You’re watching a blockbuster at Regal Cinemas. This movie entails the typical male- female love-making scenario where the male tends to have a few years more experience under his belt than his female partner, but somehow she still knows exactly how to go through the motions like an absolute pro. She bats her eyelashes and bam–she is going down on him within a second’s notice. This seemingly cavalier move is one in a million when it comes to Hollywood film plots, but when the roles are reversed, how common is it really? When you think about it, when was the last time you saw a guy go do down on a girl in a major motion picture?
Typically, movies portraying a woman receiving sexual pleasure receive an NC-17 rating as opposed to the typical R rating most sexually adventurous films receive. There just tends to be more instances of women casually going down on men. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) does not attempt to hide the fact that films with more scenes depicting women receiving oral sex or experiencing orgasms are almost always delegated the NC-17 rating; it is actually stated quite frankly in their own by-laws. The same scene with the roles reversed is more likely to be given a R-rating, which is also stated within their by-laws and is commonly seen within the walls of any local theater.
To any producer, receiving an NC-17 rating is the equivalent to a student having their research paper submitted to a department for potential national publication only to have it given recognition on the most basic local level—it just isn’t the same. An NC-17 rating severely cuts national advertising funding and limits a film’s potential audience significantly. Because of the vast weight MPAA ratings hold, most times producers tailor their films to fit into the arbitrary R-rating category as to not face certain box office defeat. Doing so entails the certain elimination of any scenes explicitly containing any ounce of female pleasure, thus perpetuating the cycle of lackluster sex for women on film.
While the implications of this misogynistic film industry rating system are hard to empirically measure, it got me thinking about how this sentiment translates into casual sex between college age students. It came to my attention that most women I know would never expect a man to go down on them during an average hookup, while the opposite tends to be much less taboo. In fact, many of them felt that receiving oral sex was reserved as a special treat and almost definitely was performed as a precursor to sex or within committed relationships. Getting eaten out was not a casual occurrence, for lack of better terms.
Most likely, this sentiment derives its origins from patralineal ideals that place a man’s needs before that of any woman’s. It may be polite for a man to hold the door for a lady in passing, but the bedroom is apparently an entirely different entity when it comes to courtesy. The social constructs that place a woman’s sexual needs as second to that of a man’s have perpetuated not only a movie industry that laments the faintest sign of cunnilingus, but a set of bedroom normalities that leave women as second class citizens when it comes to pleasure and the faintest trace of ecstasy.
Many women simply do not feel comfortable enough to take control between the sheets because of the many unladylike implications that accompany such behavior. However, while being a sexual trailblazer can be a daunting and even risky task, it has the propensity to land your female counterparts into a potentially better position in the future. If the MPAA currently refuses to recognize female sexual arousal as a natural aspect of the every day sexual experience, then it is up to us to reverse the misogynist practices of the past and create a more even playing field when it comes to who cums first.
The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect those of The Sandspur, its staff or Rollins College.