La Décadanse

Recently, instead of studying for my French homework, I spent about two hours watching Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg videos and looking at pictures of what appeared to be the most beautiful couple I have ever seen. Their energy resonates through their videos and pictures. They possess something fiery, which is very rare in the realm of love.

In their video for their song, “La Décadanse,” I could watch them sway sensually for hours as Gainsbourg whispers sexy sentences in French. I believe “La Décadanse” is missing from much of the eroticism today, especially my own eroticism. Birkin and Gainsbourg have something to teach all of us.

It is time to speak of the unspeakable—I am speaking of cunnilingus. Based on past experiences, I have noticed there is an unspoken expectation that women will perform oral sex on men. Men expect it, and a lot of the time they will push our heads down, suggesting we must perform this act without asking us if that is okay. Many men I have spoken to claim that they simply do not like performing cunnilingus, but the expectation for women to go down on men in a sexual experience is always present.

Sexuality is for pleasure, and sexuality involves two people. Therefore, both parties must experience pleasure in order for the experience to be positive. However, misogyny is still present in the bedroom. By not engaging in reciprocal eroticism, and by not understanding your lover’s desires and pleasures and just engaging in your own, your sexuality becomes oppressive. It is time for men to stop expecting the blow job and start giving.

On the topic of the blow job, a good friend of mine stated, “A man shouldn’t even have his pants off before a woman has at least one orgasm.” I laughed and enthusiastically agreed. Sexuality without reciprocity seems to be an extension of women’s passivity in the bedroom. Women are expected to not have sexual desires, but to embody sex and to please men. It is time we leave that notion behind.

Please your partners, and if you are unsure how to please your partner, ask what they like. The most frustrating aspect of hook-up culture is the failure to communicate. Mind blowing orgasms do not have to wait for monogamy. If you would like your partner to go a little to the left or tease you a little, express those desires. It can only benefit your sexual experience. Sex is much more enjoyable when both partners are happy.

I asked a friend of mine about her hook-up experiences with men, and she described how men simply pull her head down without asking if she is okay with it. She further describes the unspoken pressure to perform oral sex on a man, but she never approaches a sexual experience with the idea of actually being pleasured.

I asked, “Why do you continue if you aren’t enjoying it?” She simply stated, “I don’t really know why.”

I think back to Birkin and Gainsbourg, swaying in a crowded room, hands caressing one another with the look of passion and desire in their eyes. When they released “Je t’aime” in 1969, Gainsbourg stated it was “the ultimate love song.” However, the song was banned because it included sounds mimicking a female orgasm.

This is not new in our culture. Females are rarely able to express their sexuality without being shamed. Sexuality must encompass a mutual passion: the desire to not only feel uplifted yourself, but to watch your partner experience pleasure. Sexuality without reciprocity is oppressive sexuality.