Christopher Hitchens Writes Lyrically, Lovingly, a Little Creepily About Blow Jobs

big-banana.gifChristopher Hitchens has an odd paean to fellatio in this month's Vanity Fair, ostensibly in honor of the tenth anniversary of the Monica Lewinsky affair but, judging by the lip-smacking gusto he brings to the piece, more likely as an excuse to write 2,934 loving words about what has clearly been the subject of much feverish consideration. Though the piece is not without scholarly merit (he is meticulous about tracing references to the act across time and oceans) it cites no experts in linguistics, history or sexuality, so you're going to have to take assertions like "Through the 1950s, then, the burgeoning secret of the blowjob was still contained, like a spark of Promethean fire, inside a secret reed" on faith (though I would question his phallocentric characterization of the song "Sodomy" from Hair, given the full complement of sex acts described therein). Query whether the term "going down" is anachronistic, whether G-spot "fantasies" have dissipated, or if the blowjob has indeed become "an American handshake and ideal"; however, I can offer no guidance with respect to his characterization of "life's long tragedy."

I will note, however, that he is the second Vanity Fair writer to unabashedly praise the wonders of fellatio in print: see James Wolcott's nostalgic ode to the act from April 2005, which I then-described as "managing to use the word "blowjob" nine times in eight paragraphs (eleven if you count "BJ"), tinged a purplish-blue as he praises their virtue and laments the cruel world wherein they are absent."

For a more robust critique of the piece, see Corynne Steindler of Jossip.

UPDATE: The folks at the Observer's Media Mob were equally inspired by Hitchens' turgid prose, and found numerous other examples of fellatio-inspired commentary. So maybe it is an American art form, after all.