As we all know, husbands are the most understanding species on the planet -- second only to wives.
So when I first told my husband of my intention to write an essay on the subject of my inaugural blow job, I took his nonchalant wave as hearty approval. However, as the weekend continued, and no standard spousal prying ensued, I began to suspect that he might not have heard me. He had been multi-tasking with Jeff Beck and the vacuum cleaner at the time.
Of course, I can and do proceed in most matters without my husband's approval. After 547 years of marriage, I tend to take his approval as given -- not that I necessarily encourage him to do the same with me and my approval, but that's another matter entirely.
I felt, however, that there was something distinct about this situation to which the well-established precedents for an enduring marriage did not altogether apply. So I decided to broach the subject again, this time leaving Jeff Beck well out of it -- my first blow job was none of Jeff Beck's business, after all.
On this occasion, there was no question of my husband having heard, though his response was largely mimed. The expression that crossed his face as he braked suddenly -- when he might have continued steadily through an orange light -- was a mixture of horror and denial.
We sat in silence at the traffic lights, as I watched his expression move from genuine confusion, 'Are you serious?' to semi-genuine, marriage-worn 'Fine by me, just as long as my penis isn't involved' to perfectly disingenuous, wisdom of the years (and years and years and years of marriage to someone like me) world-weariness that said: 'Whatever you do, my darling, is okay with me. I trust your judgement and support you in all your (insane) endeavours, even if I can't quite put this unconditional trust and approval into any of the many words invented for such purposes.' Ah, men.
When the green traffic light finally put an end to his marital mime, he simply said: "Oh". This was really all I needed to proceed, and all I could reasonably expect considering he was negotiating Auckland traffic at the time. And the fact that -- all said and done -- there probably is a deficit of useful and proper (not slang) words in the English language available for a husband confronted with news of his wife's intention to publicise the circumstances of her first blow job.
Shakespeare, no doubt, did his best to come up with suitable vocabulary for such occasions. Indeed 'blow job' itself has a whiff of the bard about it, hard as it is to believe that oral sex existed in his time. Whether or not it did, the world will never know, as Shakespeare failed to include the words 'blow job' in any of his sonnets, or even to liven-up the duller patches in Hamlet with a fellatio scene. At least as far as I'm aware. To be honest, my Shakespeare is not what it could be. When I might have been reading and re-reading his life's work, I've been busy doing -- well, let's just say -- other things.
So I cannot claim to be an authority on Shakespeare any more than I can claim to know the general history of the blow job or his involvement (if any) in it. All I have to offer is a much more modest account of one particular blow job that I had some involvement in, and which occurred not that long ago -- considering the full sweep of history, and how quickly time seems to get away on one.
In fact, here it is already half-past-ten in the morning of the day after I extracted my husband's permission to embark on this project (and a good part of the night reassuring him that the first blow job is not necessarily the deepest), and I haven't even told you where or when or how or with whom -- apart from establishing, more or less incontrovertibly, that it wasn't with Shakespeare or my husband.
On that note, incidentally, I feel some responsibility towards my husband for involving him in the project from the outset: in that, were I never to get around to writing the essay, he would rightly have cause to feel even worse than he feels already. Sometimes living with a thing is easier than living without it; even if that thing causes you chronic grief and only very temporary bursts of relief. In a marriage, it is important, above all else, not to make things worse than they are already. That mightn't be Shakespeare, but Shakespeare (surely) wasn't married as long as we have been, and the longer one is married, the more salient -- and Shakespearian -- that particularly piece of advice becomes.
So here are the pertinent facts:
Where: concrete roof, youth hostel, Crete -- a long way to go for a blow job.
When: mid-August (summer) 1985, Sunday (before church), 5.46 am, the morning after I'd been rendered useless for a job in Islamic martyr heaven.
How: not in a manner easily summarised under a single sub-heading. How: upside-down under a dark grey, heat-absorbing blanket, my recently de-flowered feet on the pillow where my head had, mere moments before, been sleeping -- and my mouth breathing -- with the ease of the unsuspecting. How: with firm encouragement from my pumped-up companion in the form of a large instructional hand on the back of my head. How: with an audience of between 10 and 20 twosomes sharing the shame and shade-less perimeter of the flat square roof. How: with great difficulty, much choking, acute humiliation, and heat-stroke; by 6.00 am the summer sun on Crete beneath a blanket -- quite frankly -- sucks, or to use the most up-to-date vernacular: it blows. How: with a deadline I'm capable of anything. How: because I hadn't eaten for some time. (And I would like to take this opportunity to advise all beginner blowers out there against undertaking this sort of job on a full stomach. The risk of it all turning to custard -- and an even greater mess than absolutely necessary -- increases exponentially with every morsel of food swallowed within the twenty-four hours prior. Twenty-five years on the job has taught me that much, if nothing else. To be safe, if there's a job prospect looming, I would recommend forgoing meals for the entire day. If you're on the job daily, of course, you may need to take a supplement. Snacking on dry foods, such as seeds -- and some nuts, although you may find your appetite for nuts in general rather diminished -- may also be helpful.) How: as fast as was humanly possible in the less than ideal conditions, and without the aide of a vacuum cleaner. How: because there seemed little option short of
leaping off the roof and spoiling everyone's breakfast. How: because if there's anything worse than a giant penis for breakfast in the sweltering heat with a bunch of knowing onlookers, it's a shirker. How: without thinking, other than of the magnum opus in my mouth that was about as welcome (and almost as big) as a nuclear missile. How: without swallowing. As it turned out that day, I wasn't as hungry as I seemed. How: God only knows. Well, God and Shakespeare (perhaps).
Who: some guy who said he liked my tits. Or said he liked "these" as he gave them a synchronised squeeze. Two hands, two tits. It sure is all laid on for them, isn't it? Who: he told me that he was from Oxford (though his talents would have been wasted on rowing). Who: some guy who couldn't believe there were any nineteen-year-old Australian virgins. Perhaps Shakespeare's son, after all.