Egyptians and Yoga: A Brief History of Guys Trying to Blow Themselves
As a straight woman, I've never wanted to perform cunnilingus. Especially on myself. So it's never been a life goal of mine to get so good at yoga's plow pose that my tongue could reach my labia. Yet, I've noticed men -- even heterosexual men -- don't seem to share this ambivalence. Scientific fact: guys love blow jobs. And no matter what anyone says, I suspect every man on this planet has at least tried to S his own D. But why?
It turns out the answer is part of a long, complicated history.
Autofellatio, the proper Jeopardy term that means "sucking your own dick," can be traced back to a bunch of frisky Egyptians' creation myth.
Based on the Bremner-Rhind Papyrus, scholars like Egyptologist David Lorton have argued that Atum, the god of creation, produced his children Shu and Tefnut through autofellatio. According to Lorton, the twins were created after Atum spit out his own semen.
Conception by autofellatio: a story WAY more traumatizing than the one in which you figure out you're a New Year's Eve party baby.
A store clerk in 1938 became the subject of an American Journal of Psychiatry article when the 33-year-old let Yale psychiatrists Eugen Kahn and Ernest Lion write a piece about his "sluggish" gag reflex. Standing at only 5'2", the man had successfully blown himself when he was a spry 14 years old. He loved it so much, he occasionally performed the act in front of an audience. You can imagine how well this went over with his highly religious family... or his fellow prisoners when he spent 60 days in jail for sexual assault.
Then there was the infamous sexologist Alfred Kinsey, who covered self-fellatio in his groundbreaking Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Kinsey posited that many young men in early adolescence try self-fellation (proving my theory!); but added that only two or three eager men out of 1,000 were able to achieve their climactic goal.
Pop culture perpetuated the mythology of a man's ability to blow himself with figures like Marilyn Manson, who was rumored to have removed several of his ribs so he could autofellate; and Will Ferrell, whose amazing SNL skit proved that yoga is actually good for something. Movies like Clerks and Scary Movie 2 created a legit visual (more than you probably wanted to see), and then there's porn -- where it's actually an art that well-endowed actors are extremely proud of.
And now the real question: what do real guys say about the whole thing? A lot of people didn't want to talk about it; others denied having ever tried it. But with a little goading, I got a few guys to go deep.
The guy who doesn't get it, but tried it anyway
I don't really find autofellatio appealing. The idea is meant to be a relaxing time, so if I'm forced to position myself into a way that seems uncomfortable, that would completely take away from the pleasure aspect. And this is coming from someone who isn't opposed to having a penis in their mouth. However, with that being said, I of course tried it when I was 9 years old, and failed miserably. Like smashed my head on the cabinet and knocked toiletries over. I wouldn't try it again but guys will probably continue to try. I feel like you actually need to be missing bones in your body to get it right though, which sucks. Like, really sucks. -- Mark, 24
The guy who'd rather find a doppelganger
"What do I find most appealing about being able to suck your own dick? It can create a situation where you're less dependent on a woman -- and that's one less reason to have a woman around, which is a dream of all men. I've talked about it with my girlfriend before and she responded the way most people do: with laughter.
"It's a funny thing and for most people, completely hypothetical. You need to be flexible! REALLY, REALLY FLEXIBLE! I'd know since I tried it myself but could never reach. You need to be a contortionist or at least a very limber gymnast to even come close. My advice would be to just meet a nice young man who looks like you and suck his dick. You'll get that desire out of your system, then you'll be able to relax and probably get your blow job (from him) in return." -- Dwaine, 33
"What drew me to it? I have a penis and a mouth."
The guy who wants to succeed for bragging rights
"I find nothing unappealing about it -- it's hilarious and a win-win for everyone involved (so really, just me). It's like an alternative to jerking off. What drew me to it? I have a penis and a mouth, and there's not always a girl around, so... you can see where this is going.
"I've talked about it with a few girlfriends before who told me the whole thing is kind of gay, which I don't really understand. Is jerking off to porn gay? No. But when I used that to defend my point, I always got, 'finishing in your mouth is kind of disgusting.' But like, that was never the plan! Obviously I would be finishing this whole thing off with my hand. And at this point, I would have no choice, considering how this turned out for me last time.
"When I was 17, I had to download pornos overnight. I had to run a phone line from the telephone jack in the kitchen to the basement, where my room was. So I tried one morning before school, because I was really excited to see everything I downloaded the night before. I wasn't exactly flexible and I had scoliosis, but I was determined to make this work. I had to position my clunky computer a certain way so I could see what was going on, while trying to fling my legs behind my head. I figured climbing the wall would be best, but after a lot of neck pain, I settled for a regular, sad jerk-off session. Whatever, I still got mine. But guys will never stop trying -- mostly because of bragging rights." -- Matt, 31
The guy with a proud success story
"Of course I tried it. I even succeeded once, which I am very proud of. And also kind of sad about; I fear I will never be able to bend my back like that again. But oh well! It was worth it.
"I was 14 and just watched Chloë Sevigny go to town in Brown Bunny. Of course I was like, I want that to happen to me as soon as possible. But considering I wasn't allowed out past 9pm and no one my age knew what this movie was, I was pretty much stuck. So I came up with a brilliant idea: to do it myself. Being that I was an athlete and straight-up determined, I did it. It was weird at first, but I got over it pretty quickly. And honestly, it made me feel better knowing what to expect when I got my first real blowie from a girl. Unfortunately since that one time, I haven't been able to make it happen again. I blame the fact that I spend eight hours a day sitting at a desk. But you know how awesome it is to say, 'My dick is so big, I could once blow myself?' Pretty fucking awesome." -- Nicholas, 36
After hearing these stories, I'm wondering why I never had so much as a moment's curiosity over my own powers -- I mean, is autofellating really that different from manual masturbation? And don't all kids (and adults) wonder at the human form? Still, I can't help but feel that self-fellating belongs in the annals of weird sex behaviors many people have wondered about; some have tried, and almost none have succeeded -- or enjoyed.
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Alexa Lyons is a Thrillist writer who is still totally mystified by the interest in this topic. Follow her other curiosities on Twitter and Instagram: @alyons104.