All Choked Up
What can gay men learn from opera singers, sword-swallowers, babies and bunnies?
April 26, 2013
(Open wide! That “hang-y thing” in the back of your throat is actually called your Uvula.)
Deep throating—swallowing a large penis into the pharynx and past the epiglottis—is considered by many to be the Lamborghini of oral sex. For the giver, the sensation of dick-diving into the soft flesh of a hungry throat combined with the thrill of dominating his partner is the pinnacle of exhilaration.
For the receiver, the stimulation is less physical than psychological/emotional. After all, deep throating, despite similarities with regular blowjobbery, is largely characterized by physical discomfort. Something that big shoved that far down your throat just isn’t supposed to feel good. What the swallower gets off on may be the arousal associated with submissiveness, vulnerability, servitude, humiliation, danger of suffocation, etc.
Likewise, the visual aspects of deep throating make it a fan favorite for participants and third-party observers alike—hence its popularity in porn. For many dominant tops, making the swallower choke, gag, slobber, cry and (yes) even puke is the whole point. Some fringe fetishists into emetophilia even get off on “Roman showers” (but that’s a subject I’d rather not, um, bring up right now).
Many will argue deep throating is overrated. Some men just don’t connect with the dominance/submission dynamic, preferring simple, mutually respectful, gentle sex. Some say a regular tongue-and-lips bowjob simply feels better, that if the dick isn’t big enough, you can’t actually go deep, or if the dick is too big, the result is a mutually unpleasant, tooth-scraping, eye-watering, Technicolor yawn–inducing experience. Others claim that most guys simply don’t know how to deep-throat.
In a gay deep-throater’s perfect world, men would have no teeth, no gag reflex, and could keep their mouths and throats open at will. But like most animals (except for rats and bunnies, which cannot vomit), humans are endowed with a gag reflex. Some people’s are hypersensitive, while according to one study, one in three humans don’t have one at all.
The “pharyngeal reflex” is a built-in mechanism to help protect us. It warns us to avoid certain things (e.g., when the smell of rotten food makes us feel like heaving). It keeps people from choking, like overzealous participants in hotdog-eating contests who inhale too many wieners. Babies have an extra-sensitive reflex to compensate for their inability to make rational decisions about what to put in their mouths. And if we ingest something toxic that our bodies need to reject (like too many cosmos), the reflex triggers a complex series of reactions, inducing “emesis” (vomiting).
While gagging can be triggered by physical stimulation of the soft palate or the back of the tongue/throat, it also has an emotional component, aroused by activities that evoke fear, stress, anxiety and other intense feelings (like seeing a bloody accident victim or awaiting your final callback for Book of Mormon). It’s no wonder deep throating makes some fellators want to barf. A good cocksucker must suppress the urge to hurl as a schlong tickles his tonsils and plunges into his esophagus, plus he needs to stay calm and relaxed while in this vulnerable position.
Luckily, man can learn to suppress his gag reflex. (This is what a sword swallower does.) He can also train his mouth and throat to open beyond the limits needed for normal daily activities, and he can learn to feel less vulnerable while staying that open. (This is what an opera singer does, actively yawning his pharynx open, raising his soft palate and releasing his tongue forward to achieve the singer’s coveted “open throat.”)
So for all you aspiring opera singers, sword swallowers and deep-throaters, here are a few tips for suck-cess:
1. “Untrain” your gag reflex. Using your toothbrush, find the spot on your tongue where you start to gag. Let the urge pass and continue to brush there. This will be unpleasant at first, but do it every night, progressing in baby steps farther back on your tongue.
2. Put salt on your tongue or gargle with salt water. This may temporarily suppress your gag reflex.
3. Hum during fellatio. Some people claim they can’t gag when they hum—and even if it doesn’t work, the person you’re blowing will enjoy it!
4. Squeeze your left fist (or pinch the muscle in the web between your thumb and forefinger). This reflexology trick is believed to suppress the gag reflex.
5. Use a numbing spray or liquid (like Chloraseptic or Anbesol) to temporarily desensitize the back of your throat (though possibly the tip of his dick!).
6. Don’t deep-throat too soon after a meal. Enough said.
7. Stay lubricated. A slippery dick is a happy dick.
8. Find the physical position that accommodates the shape/curvature of the man-sword you plan to swallow.
9. Practice with a dildo to see how open you can stay without gagging. (Don’t use a banana, which can break off in your throat.)
10. Communicate. Good sex requires trust and knowing your partner’s limits. Deep throating has the potential to do serious damage if taken too far. Of course consult a medical practitioner at the first sign of damage.