Oral history

You can pretty much divide the world into people who've had a penis in their mouth and those who've not.

Whether it's giving or receiving, oral sex is a very common experience, so I'm bemused by the inaccuracy with which it's portrayed in television, film and magazines.

The most well-worn fiction is a blow job can silence any manner of disquiet in a man: depression, death of a relative, stress, losses on the stock market - they all dissolve in the jubilant solution of tongue and saliva.

Believe popular culture and a dude could be running for his life, about to be torn apart by Nazi zombie werewolves but if someone's prepared to pop his penis in their gob he'll roll his eyes stupidly, arch his head back in ecstasy and take his chances with disembowelment by his pursuers.

A recent episode in the current series of the now thoroughly over-appreciated TV show A Game of Thrones delivered a weary example of the genre.

Tyrion Lanister (played by dwarf Peter Dinklage) has just told his girlfriend the danger she's in from his ruthless, murderous father who's sworn to "hang the next whore" he catches in his son's bed.

"You mustn't come here again," says Tyrion to his mistress Shae as she pleasures him orally, "you've come to a dangerous place, full of dangerous people. Dangerous people," he repeats, then tilts his head back.

What a guy! What a gal!! She might have her accommodating head impaled on a pike atop the battlements of King's Landing but hell, it's a blow job! Stop the world!!

I've got nothing against oral sex, it's probably one of my top five things to do, but I reckon this sort of portrayal does a disservice to both sexes. Men are viewed as creatures ever led by their penises and women as ever willing to pleasure men, even if it might cost them their life.

More than that, men in TV and film don't even seem to care who's doing the business - as long as there's a mouth down there they're liable not even to check on the identity of the person.

I grew up during a particularly golden era for ridiculous cinematic blow jobs, producing such classics as Commandant Lassard in Police Academy fellated at a podium while giving a speech and Ghostbusters' Dan Aykroyd receiving same from a dead person - a spirit.

However, a quick look at contemporary TV shows it's not gone out of style. To whit: David Ducovny accepting oral sex from a nun in a church is the opening sequence of the pilot episode of Californication; Roger in Mad Men cops one from Don Draper's mother-in-law during a charity ball before Draper's daughter, Sally walks in on the shenanigans; Samantha and the UPS guy in Sex and the City and; Mayor Royce getting action from his secretary in The Wire.

The old favourite - the blowjob at the table, while dad is present - has also been wheeled out in the National Lampoon movie Going the Distance and the US TV series Shameless.

I could go on, with equally ridiculous examples of Steve Martin crashing a car in Parenthood and Hugh Jackman getting head while hacking a computer with a gun pointed at his other head in Swordfish.

Then, of course, there's the big daddy of them all, actress Chloe Sevigny giving head to Vincent Gallo in The Brown Bunny (definitely not work friendly) even though she's really dead and he watched her get raped and didn't intervene (it's art).

There's about a dozen more I could list, but I don't want to be accused of promulgating link-bait on a spurious subject just to drive traffic.

I readily accept there are greater issues facing humanity than the cinematic portrayal of blow jobs but, as we've all no doubt read in a trashy mag in a doctor's waiting room - teens today consider oral sex the equivalent of a complicated hand shake.

This type of risk-taking can only increase and, with men as diverse as Bill Clinton, Hugh Grant, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn happy to gamble everything on oral sex, we're talking about an activity that may one day affect the course of world history.

That'd wanna be some blow job.

Feel free to share your own favourite ridiculous cinematic oral sex moment. Keep the comments clean.

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