By: Sexherald Staff
Whether intentional or otherwise, two people having sex are sending messages to one another. These messages can range from explicit, audible commands to subtly implicit body language. Depending on the circumstances of sex and the relationship of those involved, some of these messages can be more or less welcome than others in which a number of factors determine how certain messages will be perceived by each individual.
One such message is the act of a man ejaculating on his partner’s body, including the face, chest, buttocks, and genitalia. Also referred to as a “facial” or a “money shot,” the act of ejaculating on the face is often shown as the finishing act of pornographic scenes. Many observers, particularly women, see this as an act of dominance or deprecation toward females. However, the act is widely popular with most men who often describe it as hot, arousing, and sexy as well as dirty, raunchy,and forbidden.
While there are many men who share the former view and women who share the latter, the topic is commonly referred to as a somewhat controversial and puzzling one. This may be due to a number of historical, religious, and cultural influences that, over the years, have shaped a collective regard for facials as being taboo or unsavory.
Historically speaking, sex in America began in the Victorian era. This period is known for both its conservative social regard for sexuality and, conversely, it’s hypersexual rebellion to that effect. Libertines emerged from this era as a formalized group of rebels, and gained a reputation for promoting a hedonistic lifestyle lacking in moral restraint. In a society submerged in Christianity, sexual hedonism flew in the face of God’s commands to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) and to avoid premarital sex (2 Corinthians 11:2).
The Libertine culture took root in England, France, Italy and America, producing pornography and provocative literature that caused scorn from the mainstream. Since sexual deviancy naturally followed in the path of the Libertines, mainstream distaste for Libertine culture could translate into a perpetual disdain for it and for activities such as facials.
Looking at religion in more depth, Christianity’s disapproval of facials extends to married individuals as well. The Bible refers to marriage not only as a union in which the man takes care of his weaker wife (1 Peter 3:1-5, 7), but also as a metaphor for God’s relationship with the church (Eph. 5:23-32). Since facials are seen as a derogatory gesture, it isn’t a huge leap to see why Christians would frown upon a cumshot upon the weaker sex, especially while she acts as a metaphor for the house of God.
The facial would also potentially be seen as an egregious act by a variety of Mediterranean and Asian religions as well. These shared the belief that semen contains “life energy” and should be conserved at all costs. Some would go so far as to inhibit ejaculation by compressing the perineum, or the area between the scrotum and the anus. In these religions, facials could carry a double negative connotation: one of disrespect for the receiver and one of wastefulness or weakness of the giver.
History and religion aside, contemporary American culture offers plenty of material in judgment of facials. Some of the more expected voices in this arena are those of women’s rights, who argue that the act, like all pornographic acts, is degrading. A study comparing the components of pornography between male and female directors lends some support to this argument, with more women directors choosing to have ejaculation on the feet, anus or thighs significantly more often (36.1 percent) than male directors (9.8 perrcent). Even women who direct porn appear to have a sensitivity to the underlying meaning of the facial, and will choose other targets for ejaculate one out of three times.
On a related note, perhaps a more telling reason for the taboo nature of facials is found in the psychology of masculinity and sex. In Masculinity and Sexuality: Selected Topics in the Psychology of Men, authors Richard Friedman and Jennifer Downey propose that “Anxiety and hostility are usually mixed with erotic affect to some degree in all men during states of sexual arousal.” As such, the facial can be attributed to a certain level of sexual hostility, especially since it is technically considered to be deviant behavior. The authors continue with a discussion on the importance of “coping capacities,” ensuring that this inherent hostility is prevented from turning into more substantial behaviors or violence. If the facial is treated as an early warning sign for increasingly hostile sexual encounters, it is easy to see how it could carry a stigma.
Conversely, facials can also carry with them an intimate tone, indicating the receiver’s acceptance of the giver, and signifying a comfortable, trusting relationship. In his book, Sexual Life, Stephen Levine explains that five interacting forces—individual psychology, biology, interpersonal relationship, sexual equilibrium, and culture—work together to determine our experiences as a sexual person. As such, clinical experts find it impossible to assign a specific value proposition to any number of sex acts, including facials. If facials are something that are shared and enjoyed by both parties, then they can be seen as part of a loving sexual relationship.
This mutual understanding and enjoyment of facials is not reserved for those in committed relationships, however. Facials can be part of the BDSM repertoire, making them an erotic supplement to a variety of sadistic activities.
Likewise, for some women, watching porn (and oftentimes the accompanying facial shots) is an effective form of erotica. While this seems to contradict an earlier discussion around women viewing these types of scenes as degrading, research indicates that women who have had few negative experiences with men gained some enjoyment from porn, and felt it held a certain level of empowerment for women. Comments relative to this concept were also identified in sex forums on the topic, indicating that the ejaculate was a sign of the woman’s power, because she was integral in conjuring it.
While one’s openness to facials can vary per person, the prevailing consensus is that the subject is a touchy one. From religious contexts that view cum as man’s essence to psychologists who could potentially see facials as the gateway to more aggressive behavior, there are a variety of reasons why ejaculating on another person’s face can garner some frowns. There are plenty of men and women, however, that would continue to enjoy facials even without the approval of the mainstream. With few health risks and zero chance of pregnancy involved, go ahead and get messy.
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