Abby O'Reilly over at The F-Word blog has an interesting piece up on fellatio and where it fits in feminist sexuality. She argues that while fellatio has long been considered an act of either submission by the woman or domination by the man, it can be feminist. She draws a parallel between the vagina dentata myth (the myth of fanged hoohas used to discourage men from sleeping with strange women, in the same vein as "if you don't stop playing with it, it'll fall off!" threats) and fellatio; the mouth has a similar function to a vagina in delivering pleasure to the penis, but has the threat of teeth as well, therefore a woman pleasuring a man orally can be an act of power because she could choose to bite it off if she wanted to.
I'm not totally comfortable with this conclusion.
Sure, if we could completely remove a cultural context of male dominance, find a man who doesn't have warped expectations about sex and his pleasure versus hers, and pretend we have an even playing field in regards to sexual power dynamics, then her conclusion might be true. Hell, I would love to live in that world and fade into irrelevance with my crazy-lady rantings and ravings, but to the best of my knowledge, that world has yet to exist.
In current reality, we live in a world where female sexual pleasure is considered "dirty" even in pornography. How often do we see sex in porn that involves a woman actually receiving pleasure instead of kneeling in a circle of men with semen all over her? yeah, she looks like she enjoys being splattered in the eye with sperm, but I can tell you, that shit burns. We have (in the US at least) a public education system that only tells you not to have sex, and precious few resources talking about how to enjoy your body, so we learn from pop-culture and porn about how sex works.
I can't tell you how many guys I have dated who enjoyed fellatio not because it felt good so much as because it made them feel powerful. One of them specifically could not get off from a blow job unless I was on my knees or we were driving and he was forcing my head into his crotch.
The "power" that comes from the threat of harm is also problematic in Abby's piece. Women live in a culture that teaches us to submit to sexual advances regardless of our own feelings about it because we are taught that not submitting can lead to violence. I personally don't want to wield that over someone else. Its an abusive dynamic to fall into.
However, more importantly than that, we still live in a world where the penis is worth more than a woman. Think of Lorena Bobbitt. When she cut her husband's member off because he had been raping her, what did everyone focus on? The fucking penis. Nevermind this woman who had been abused for years, she dared to harm the almighty wang, and is now practically the devil, with horns on her head and a fanged vagina, no doubt.