I came across an interesting article the other day, while perusing one of my favorite blogs, which addressed the whole notion of how the French consider oral sex to be on the same level as sexual intercourse.
Americans, according to this article, do not see it as such. In fact, the American point-of-view was portrayed as quite the opposite – almost nonchalant – if I may use the familiar French word.
From my American perspective, this article was pretty accurate but it did raise a lingering question in my head after reading.
How do the Swedes view it?
Oral dilemma – dating in Sweden
I started by asking my Swedish friends in the hopes they would give me their honest “oral” opinion.
“Well, I personally think that giving a blow job is only for when the guy has really earned it,” said one of my Swedish female friends, very matter-of-factly, over an AW last week. “But I guess Americans see it a little differently?”
Her observation brought up a very valid – perhaps even a little disconcerting – point: why is it that so many Americans, myself included, are hesitant to go “all the way” with someone they’ve just met or have just started dating when we apparently find very little issue with, ahem, doing everything “but”?
Embarrassed by my own inability to pinpoint exactly where this rationale came from, I decided to phone up one of my best friends in Chicago for her insight.
She was, as I suspected, quick to answer.
“Going down on someone is totally different – I guess I’ve always seen it more as foreplay rather than an act of sexual intercourse.”
OK, so now I feel that it’s my duty as an American woman, I should at least attempt to explain why I think we may be seen as a bit more laid-back when it comes to blow jobs and the like.
I think that many American women, whether or not they want to admit this, still hold onto the semi-Puritanical, old-fashioned idea that if we “put out” right away and let everything happen at once with the guy we’re dating or have just met, he will never call us again.
And why, you may ask? Because in our minds (as irrational as they may be), we assume that if we go all the way, right away, he won’t bother getting in touch again because he got what he wanted – and often without taking us out for a proper meal.
Whereas if you only perform the “opening act,” there’s still a bit of a mystery there – an intrigue, if you will – that lingers afterward. So chances are he’ll call again to enact the whole finale – or so all your friends and popular culture will wholeheartedly assure you of.
This is when I had a bit of a light bulb moment. Maybe Swedes reserve fellatio or cunnilingus for someone they actually like or have been seeing for a while. But sexual intercourse? According to my Swedish friends, it’s just not considered as intimate of an act. So, I suppose it makes sense, then, why they seem to do it far more casually.
Perhaps it’s time, though, that we (Americans, Swedes and the rest of the sexually active population) came to a happy medium – where we don’t reach third base as nonchalantly as the Americans do and we don’t hit a home run straightaway like the Swedes do. Pardon the baseball puns.
Rather, I wonder if we could instead take the time to actually get to know someone, before ripping off his or her clothes. Shocking statement, I know – but it’s one that I now plan to try and consciously adhere to.
And all that sex stuff? It can and should come later – no matter how you actually define the term.
writer // Elisabeth Carlsson
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