Men Who Spit – Not as Sexy as Swallowers?
I recently received a review on my BDSM short story, Surrender, that made me think. In the review, the reviewer commented that she didn’t find spitting sexy in the context of oral sex, that reading about a character spitting instead of swallowing after their partner comes in their mouth pulled her right out of the narrative. Now, I’m not saying it isn’t a valid opinion—everyone’s entitled to their own, after all—but it definitely made the wheels in my head start turning.
When did swallowing become the only way to handle unprotected oral sex when it comes to erotica and erotic romance? Is swallowing after your partner comes the ideal reaction to having one’s mouth flooded with fluids, and, if so, should it be the only reaction seen in erotic writing? I asked myself a bunch of these kinds of questions, and, for the most part, haven’t found the answers. Brace yourselves. I’m about to get a little graphic (though when does that surprise anyone? XD).
When it comes to my writing, I have a very diverse cast of characters floating about in my head, and their reactions to oral sex vary a great deal. For Hadi in The Keeper, he isn’t fond of penetrative sex, which means he’s devoted more of his time to oral sex. It would make sense for him to have gotten over the taste and texture of come and learned to swallow it with some ease. Contrast that with Gabriel, who is from a work in progress trilogy called Immortal Sonata. Gabriel loves oral sex, but absolutely hates the texture of come, so whenever a lover comes in his mouth, he either gags or just finds a way to spit it out. In Surrender, Aaron discreetly spits into the corner of the sheets in the room he’s occupying temporarily with Travis at the BDSM party. When they’re planning on changing the sheets right after they finish with the room, I saw it as no big deal while I wrote their scene. In my mind, there are infinite ways people can react to oral sex and the fluids involved, and I suppose I don’t like limiting myself to writing any character a single way, as if all characters must adhere to some sort of formula.
Swallowing isn’t always sexy. It’s realistic that some guys just don’t like to swallow come. The push for the lack of diversity is the most disturbing aspect of this thought process for me. We shouldn’t limit ourselves or our characters when we’re supposed to be showing the spectrum of sexuality. Sure, tropes are nice and serve their purposes, but they don’t have to be hard and fast rules. When you get right down to it, not much about sex is actually sexy. The balance we usually try to strike with erotic fiction is finding that happy medium between making the unsexy erotic and enjoyable while also keeping hints of reality that make the characters and situations relatable. It’s that balance that I always try to go for, and part of the reality portion is varying my characters’ preferences in sexual acts, positions, and whether or not they are fond of body fluids.
What do you think? When characters in erotic stories spit instead of swallow, does it pull you out of the narrative? Does it spark that ‘What? You don’t like my come? You didn’t enjoy yourself? :(‘ sort of reaction? For you authors out there, do your characters always swallow, or do you have a few who would rather not? Readers, share your thoughts as well! What are your preferences in stories when it comes to oral sex? Do you find it sexier when men swallow, when they spit discreetly, or when things get a bit messier and come doesn’t stay in a character’s mouth? Don’t be shy; I’m really curious!