It’s the season of giving. Where better place to give than within the confines of a loving relationship? Because gift-giving should be inspired by love, and gifts should be given without caring too keenly for reciprocation. That should be true of all gifts born of love, be they little tokens of appreciation or grandiose attempts at impressing someone special.
Yet there’s etiquette to receiving gifts. Giving thanks is a central tenet. According to Emily Post – chief authority on the subject – verbal thanks are fine if you’re before the recipient as they receive. Otherwise a hand-written note will suffice.
But I wonder about the gifts you give that don’t require wrapping. Those things you do because you care. Those things we call sexual favours, but popularly regard as something a little less favourably (they don’t call it a head ‘job’ for nothing).
Should you say “thank you” for a sexual favour?
On one hand, it’s repulsive. On the other, it’s just good manners. And surely good manners are to be encouraged – especially in the bedroom.
And yet, there’s something about saying “thanks for the blow job babe” that just seems wrong. It seems wrong in the same way it seems wrong to apologise for the unavoidable results of orgasm, even if you’d say sorry for making a mess under any other circumstances.
If we look at a sexual favour as something that should be done simply as part of any loving relationship – something not special, something mundane – then saying ‘thanks’ is redundant. You wouldn’t say thanks to a declaration of “I love you”, for example (even though it does happen...). You also wouldn’t expect to get thanks for listening to how someone’s day was, or for hanging out the washing, or any other behaviour that constitutes a normal, relationship – right?
Well... that’s the thing, isn’t it – many of us would. And probably many of us should. When I look at the couples who have managed to figure this business of love and happiness and domestic bliss out, I realise that ‘thank-yous’ are instrumental to their harmonious success. Thanks, genuinely given, for even the smallest thing demonstrates great appreciation for the efforts of your other. Thanks can be restorative. Thanks can be affirmative, proper thanks requires kindness, and loving-kindness is a beautiful thing.
But here’s the thing. For some couples, a sexual favour is a thank you. The action is the word, so to speak. In this vein, saying thank-you to a thank-you does seem rather redundant. Should we then say no to the saying of thanks in favour of giving thanks instead? Is that not the logical continuation of this argument? And, that being the case, should the recipient say "you're welcome"?
One thing I’m sure we can all agree on is the value of thanks-giving, however it’s done. This time of year is an excellent time to stop and really take stock of the things you have to be grateful for. We ought not to get carried away in the “I’m unworthy, I’m unworthy” wankery of self-flagellation. But we could do with a shite sight more merci beaucoups that we might otherwise meter out. We certainly do have a lot to be thankful for.
I’m just curious as to whether you think a decent blow job is one of them?