Why is it called a blow job?

The term “Blow Job” is used to describe oral sex. It is the act of licking and sucking a person’s penis for pleasure. But considering there's no blowing involved, why is it called a 'blow job'? We explain here.

BY THE ROAM TEAM 2 MIN READ

WORDS TO KNOW
Blow job

The act of licking and sucking a person’s penis for pleasure

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There are a multitude of terms for blow jobs, including:

  • Fellatio

  • A “BJ”

  • Giving head

  • Sucking off

  • Going down on someone. 

But, considering that it generally doesn’t involve actual ‘blowing’ the term ‘blow job’ can be a bit confusing. So how did this name come about?

The exact origin of the term ‘blow job’ is debated. Scholars have found references to ‘blowing’ in relation to sex in the 1600s (when Shakespeare was around), however this doesn’t specifically refer to oral sex, nor was it very widespread at the time.

In Victorian times, around the 1800s, the world ‘blow’ or ‘blowing’ appeared more widely in text. Implying that the term was becoming more common around this period, alongside the sexual liberation movement. By the early 20th century ‘blow jobs’ started to crop up as a specific term in literature, before becoming a mainstream term in the second half of the century. 

While it’s unclear exactly how the term ‘blow job' became such a popular way to describe oral sex performed on a penis, it’s probably the most common slang term now. This can be a point of confusion for many, as the act of physically blowing air is not generally part of the practice (unless you or your partner(s) are into that!) 

Blow job tips

Our top tips for blow jobs are the following: 

  • Start slow and gentle

With the access to pornography, which, if created ethically, is shot by adult actors performing, many mistake what they see on screen for best practice in real life. We can assure you that the best way to start every sexual act is slowly, gently, and with your partner(s)’ explicit consent. We suggest starting with your hands and some lube and working your way up to putting the penis in your mouth if you feel comfortable.

  • Try to avoid using teeth

It is very common, especially for those who have never given blow jobs to bump the penis with their teeth. The penis is full of nerve endings and as such, is very sensitive. This can be very uncomfortable for the receiver, so we recommend trying to be conscious of your teeth, and use your tongue and lips as a barrier between your teeth and the penis – by licking, kissing and sucking. This is easier if you are starting slow and gentle.

It is normal that your teeth may sometimes make contact with the penis. Try not to worry if this happens – much like kissing, our teeth can sometimes get in the way, and so long as your partner(s) are not hurt, with their consent, you can continue.

  • Too much spit is better than not enough

How ‘wet’ the blowjob is should depend on what you’re comfortable doing, and the preference of the receiver(s). Some folks enjoy extremely wet or ‘sloppy’ blowjobs, while others prefer less moisture. Whatever their preference, one thing is for certain: a dry blow job will not feel good or be easy to give. If your mouth is dry, consider hydrating, or adding lube. Our ‘for the front’ lube is great for this, as it is scentless and tasteless, and is easy to slick on.

  • Don’t ignore the surrounding areas (balls, gooch, upper thigh, lower stomach)

Often people giving blowjobs will focus solely on the penis. We recommend getting surrounding erogenous areas involved. This is a great way to build anticipation, and discover new sources of pleasure for your partner. With their consent, you can apply similar licking/sucking/kissing to the lower parts of their testicles, perineum ‘gooch’ (the area of skin between the base of the testicles and the anus, as well as upper thighs and lower stomach.

If you and your partner(s) are comfortable, this can be a great way to introduce ‘rimming’ – the licking of the anus. The contact of these other areas can be done individually, or while rubbing your partners penis.

  • Enjoy yourself

For many people, sex can feel very performative. And something like a blowjob, particularly in porn, has been depicted as solely for the pleasure of the receiver. This should not be the case. Any sexual act you engage in should be voluntary, and something that brings you gratification/pleasure. If you get off to watching your partner, get off, that’s great! If not, that’s also normal, and a great opportunity to introduce toys for use on yourself, or to suggest mutual oral stimulation (such as 69-ing!)

The most important thing with blow-jobs, as with any sexual act, is that all the participants are willing and enjoying themselves. If it’s not something you or your partner(s) are into, that’s absolutely fine, and there are plenty of amazing alternatives you can try!

We hope this brief history of the term, and our top tips help you! Feel free to email us at orders@exploreroam.com for any questions you have (about blow-jobs or otherwise), and any requests for definitions and articles.

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