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‘Hella Blows’: an essay about sucking d*** – we must stop shaming Black women about oral sex

August 31, 2017
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From Mckensie Mack / AFROPUNK Contributor*

Now, now be calm everybody. Sex is normal. There is nothing wrong with having sex with consent. Nothing wrong with it at all. And yet, when it comes to Black women and oral sex it’s just not something we be willing to talk about openly. Why does it make us feel shame when there is nothing to be ashamed about? Let’s talk about the latest episode of Insecure, Hella Blows.

Is this about Frieda?

Hell to the nawl. Not everything I write is about Frieda, lil bitch #termofendearment. But if you’re looking for that, you can go here and here and get me some views.Views equal future coin opportunity so do take a look. That being said, this essay is not about Frieda. Its about the stigma of oral sex within Black culture. Specifically, it’s about last night’s episode of Insecure.

Ah, ok cool. What went down in that episode?

Well, Issa and her friends go to a sex toy conference. While there, they start talking about oral sex, specifically sucking dick. Issa says what a lot of Black women feel about oral sex. It’s the “Black women don’t give no blow jobs because that makes em disposable” commentary.

Wow. That’s deep. Why did she say that?

She said it because it’s true, in a way. Black women are conditioned to see themselves as commodities. It’s different from the ways white women or Asian women are conditioned to be objects for use. There’s a hierarchy of desirability. White women sit above Black women and very thin, skin as white as white sheets looking Asian women sit above white women. Black women are placed at the bottom of that hierarchy. The lower you sit on the hierarchy, the more work you have to put in to be notable, to get seen. That means across the board, you have to be everything to every white body. Other Black people adopt that conditioning and see Black women as less than worthy of love and affection.

This conditioning makes us believe that if Black women as a whole are undeserving of love and affection then the only way to be loved as a Black woman is to make yourself the exception to the rule. If I’m loved, then that means I am better than all these other bitches.

What does it mean to be better than the rest?

It means to believe a fucked up system that tells us that we are mostly bad and that there is only a small percentage of us that are good. To be better than the rest means to follow an arbitrary list of rules that everyone sees but no one writes down. For example, you don’t get angry in public and cuss out racist white people because that means you’re’hood’. Or you don’t tell white people in public to cut their racist shit because that could hurt their feelings. When it comes to sex, a couple of the rules are Don’t be a hoe and Dick sucking is for the hoes of hoes.

What does it mean to be a hoe?

Sometimes people will call other people hoes because they cheat on their partners or have sex with people they know are in monogamous relationships. But most of the time, it don’t have no meaning. People will call other people hoes because they have sex with whoever they want, whenever they want and aren’t pressed about being married or placing a man at the crux of their identity. The word hoe is used a lot to sex shame Black women. It’s a word we’re taught to use when we feel like we need to regain the control we never had over a Black woman who’s too confident and doesn’t know her place. When we see a Black woman being free, it makes us afraid because we not using even a tiny bit of our power to be free too. So how dare a Black woman be liberated, let alone a Black trans woman?

So…are you a hoe?

Oh of course. I’ve reclaimed that word for myself. Hoe for me means being a human who is confident in showing love vertically and horizontally whenever they wanna.

So what all of this have to do with thinking giving oral is bad?

Oh, prepare your mind, lil twinkie. It has everything to do with it. We are at our most vulnerable when we are naked and in the presence of other people. We spend the majority of our lives clothed,covering ourselves. To lay our bodies bare is a huge fuckin deal. Think about this. Women’s bodies are sexualized all the time. Are your breasts big enough? Are your breasts too small? Nobody likes itty bitty titties. Don’t show your breasts in public when you feed your kids- don’t feed your kids. Don’t be a hoe. Black women have to be aware of what everyone and they momma wants their bodies to be — perfect. We all know there is no such thing as perfect people. But still, the system that disenfranchises Black and brown people doesn’t really want us to be perfect. The system wants us self-doubting and seeing our bodies as things to be judged and measured by other people because if our bodies can be judged and measured then they can be controlled. The reality is having oral sex means that we are having oral sex. It doesn’t mean that we are bad people. It doesn’t mean that we are evil. It means that we are showing affection to another person.That’s it. That’s literally all that it means. So why are you allowing random ass disc jockeys, teethless uncles, and joyless, peach cobblerless aunties to tell you otherwise?

What should Black women do?

Two words: LET GO. Black women have to decide if they will follow the rules set for them around purity and respectability or if they will not. The gag is both paths lead to the same place. Respectable or not, racism will still attempt to devour you. Virgin or hoe, you will still be faced with sexism that says that your body is without value. Black women, all women, gotta decide what they believe about themselves. Because it’s what you believe and what you do with that belief that equals power. So, are you worthy?

*This post originally appeared on Medium. McKensie Mack is child of southern butter black folk. host of shows about politics, history, and humanity. I tell jokes for liberation. give me money.

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