Too stupid to not post
Ok, as I was escorting the niece and nephew around Barnes and Noble, I saw an old favorite, The Sexual Life of Catherine M. now in paper back. When it came out in hard cover, every woman of a certain age ran to buy this description of oral, anal and bisexuality by a French editor, Catherine Millet.
Oh my god, this article should be used in abstinence only courses if they really want to turn kids off fucking forever—Christopher Hitchens in Vanity Fair writes about his theory that fellatio is the all-American sex act. Unfortunately, he doesn’t even address what immediately pops into one’s head when thinking of why fellatio, which occupies a place in the public imagination as an act separate from all others that therefore is all about women “servicing” men, might be the all-American sex act. (Think Nancy Reagan’s amazing ability to publically fellate Ronnie with her rapturous gaze and you’ll know what I mean.) No, Hitchens has to start off this article doing what I think, and I’m a free speech absolutist but I’ll make an exception for this, should be banned in America—creepy British perverts interpreting Lolita in public.
“Crazy things, filthy things. I said no, I’m just not going to [she used, in all insouciance really, a disgusting slang term which, in a literal French translation, would be souffler] your beastly boys … ”
Souffler is the verb “to blow.” In its past participle, it can describe a light but delicious dessert that, well, melts on the tongue. It has often been said, slightly suggestively, that “you cannot make a soufflé rise twice.” Vladimir Nabokov spoke perfect Russian and French before he became the unrivaled master of English prose, and his 1955 masterpiece, Lolita, was considered the most transgressive book ever published. (It may still be.) Why, then, could he not bring himself to write the words “blow” or “blowjob”?
He leaves it hanging there, as if the words were too gross for even Nabokov to write, skipping over the obvious interpretation, which is that Dolores is under no delusions about her adolescence spent sucking older men off to survive and Humbert is still pretending that it wasn’t the tawdry abuse that it was.
Hitchens then quotes a part of the novel where Humbert describes how Dolores has figured out she can charge him for oral sex in order to collect money to run away. (Humbert steals it back from her to prevent this—ah, the romantic love that we priggish American feminists will never understand.) Hitchens never really explains what he’s trying to demonstrate with this, except that Nabokov was too squeamish to use crude slang terms for “risqué” subjects, which is why I want a moratorium called on the creepy British perverts reading Lolita, because for some reason they seem incapable of grasping that Humbert’s unwillingness to use straightforward language while he’s still willing to fuck a pre-teen repeatedly is supposed to be a dark joke.
Stay with me. I’ve been doing the hard thinking for you. The three-letter “job,” with its can-do implications, also makes the term especially American. Perhaps forgotten as the London of Jack the Ripper receded into the past, the idea of an oral swiftie was re-exported to Europe and far beyond by a massive arrival of American soldiers. For these hearty guys, as many a French and English and German and Italian madam has testified, the blowjob was the beau ideal. It was a good and simple idea in itself. It was valued—not always correctly—as an insurance against the pox. And—this is my speculation—it put the occupied and the allied populations in their place. “You do some work for a change, sister. I’ve had a hard time getting here.”
For the first time, I see why Hitchens gets work in America—a certain willingness to fellate Americans with his flattering portrayal of us as hard-working folks who deserve to kick back and have our Europeans cousins get to sucking. Lovely.
Hitchens needs to read more.
posted by Steve @ 1:01:00 AM