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A Cultural History of Men Sucking Their Own Dicks

What is autofellatio?

When I was a freshman in boarding school, word got around that the kid in Room 423 could suck his own dick.

My barely pubescent classmates and I were envious, and beyond inquisitive.

He can do what?!?!?!

We’d all tried (an unscientific poll revealed most guys do) and failed (the same poll revealed most guys can’t) to replicate the act ourselves. Someone called bullshit and demanded proof, which is how the entirety of the freshman dorm (minus the Brothers Wang) ended up in Room 423, mouths agape in anticipation, eyes transfixed on a waifish blond boy effortlessly contorting — as he’d so clearly done before — preparing himself for autofellatio. Near-certain success was abruptly interrupted by the faculty prefect, who, rightly suspicious of something odd afoot in Room 423, swiftly dispersed the ogling crowd.

Such enthusiasm spawned from the fact that sucking one’s own member becomes an aspirational goal of boys of a certain age who suddenly become hellbent on getting anyone — or anything — to do the same.

“Jealous people get annoyed and judge me because I can,” says Jim, a Facebook friend who’s been blowing himself to completion weekly since he was 16. “My dick is long — close to 10 inches — and I’m pretty flexible. Guys I date get annoyed. They just can’t seem to accept it.”

Intrigued by the subject matter — what gay man wouldn’t be? — I dove down an autofellatio wormhole and re-emerged at the end of the day breathless, clutching the following newfound self-sucking wisdom.

1. Alfred Kinsey and his colleagues reported in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male in 1949 that “[a] considerable portion of the population does record attempts at self-fellation, at least in early adolescence.” But given the presence of the ribcage and a hesitant spine, Kinsey estimated only two or three out of every 1,000 men are able to achieve this feat. Those numbers hold up 50 years later. “Only one man in 400 is flexible enough to give himself oral pleasure,” claims, a health-related internet community.

2. History stretches far beyond Kinsey, though. Archaeologist David Lorton says many Ancient Egyptian texts referred to autofellatio. He specifically points to a document called “Book of Overthrowing Apophis” in which a poem narrates how the sun god Ra created the god Shu and goddess Tefnut by fellating himself and spitting out his own semen onto the ground.

3. Other Egyptologists quibble with Lorton’s translation of the hieroglyphs, however, believing the ancient wall paintings of self-serve BJs meant that Horus, son of the god Osiris, kept the stars in place by ingesting his own semen and maintaining cosmic order. In other words, they believed these men were swallowers rather than spitters. Despite the debate over specifics, there’s ample evidence that blowing oneself was decidedly a thing in ancient Egypt.

Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden

4. A statue of Archbishop of Cologne Konrad von Hochstaden blowing himself sits atop the 14th-century Cologne City Hall. Some say the archbishop was unpopular among stone-carvers because he put a large tax on “hops” in beer so they created the statue in defiance. Others believe it’s a modern incarnation (circa 1950) meant to replace a statue destroyed during World War II. If so, the modern sculptor was having a laugh at the expense of his employers and future generations. Either way, gargoyle sculptures like this were known to be self-indulgent jokes by the artists of the day.

5. In Victorian England, many historical paintings depicting autofellatio were vandalized and led to the restriction of a thorough history of such acts from being widely publicized.

6. As Urban Dictionary explains, “There are a few different autofellatio positions. The ‘C’ position in which he sits in a chair and with his hands under his legs, pulls himself up to suck himself. The ‘Backwards C’ position is where lying on his back, he bends backwards and ‘walks’ down the wall behind him to reach himself. The hardest of all is the ‘X’ position. The autofellatior locks his feet behind his head to reach his penis.”

7. An urban legend has existed for years that Marilyn Manson removed a rib for the express purpose of being able to suck his dick. During one of his shows, Manson was seen by police performing oral sex on stage (not on himself, for the record). Manson believes this is how the rumor started.

8. Despite many refuting the myth, satirists have had a lot of fun with it — a la Daniel Ralston’s “Marilyn Manson Sucks His Own Dick: The Oral History.” “It came down to one thing,” Manson recalls in the piece (at least per Ralston’s imagination). “I wanted to put my dick in my mouth. That was the goal. It’s a thing every young man tries at some point. I was finally at a point where I had the money, resources and the will to make it happen. I started taking private yoga classes. I got one of those Pilates machines for my home gym. If anyone asked, I just said I needed to get in better shape for my upcoming tour.”

9. In 1993, American feminist artist Kiki Smith created a beeswax life-size sculpture titled “Mother/Child,” which included a depiction of a man performing autofellatio.

10. The opening sequence of the 2006 film Shortbus shows James, one of the lead characters, fellating himself on videotape; like all of Shortbus’s sexual content, the scene wasn’t simulated.

11. Six years ago, Redditor Autofellatiator hosted an AMA entitled “I Can Suck My Own Penis.” “It was never something I really tried for, it just worked,” he claimed during it. “Everyone jokes about it as if it is impossible. People say you have to have your ribs removed. I have to play along with the joke. ‘Oh yeah, that’s fucking disgusting, I hear you have to like do yoga for twenty years to be able to do it.’

12. Redditor Rikkinn asked him probably the obvious and frequently asked question on the topic: “Does it feel more like sucking a dick, or getting your dick sucked?” “It feels more like sucking a dick,” Autofellatiator responded. “Which, as I’ve said, is why I’m not particularly fond of it.”

13. Autofellatio has been a popular topic among Dan Savage’s readers for years. For instance, here’s a question from a guy named Kevin: “Hey, Faggot [how all readers address Savage], I stumbled across a video titled ‘Blow Your Own Horn.’ It featured guys who could suck their own dicks. I went home and attempted to do this. It didn’t work. I’m only three or four inches away from pulling this feat off. Is there some special technique or do you just have to be hung like a horse?”

14. Savage’s response: “Hey, Kevin: You need to be limber. Start a stretching regimen, take a yoga class and one day you may be able to suck yourself off. In the meantime, find a cock to practice on — imagine how disappointed you’ll be if after months of hard work you can finally reach your cock only to discover you give lousy head.”

15. Perhaps the most famous autofellatio adherent is adult star Ron Jeremy, who at age 20 could easily bend over and suck his own dick. A number of porn films were released in the 1970s featuring Jeremy blowing himself — and it’s originally what put the Hedgehog on the porn map.

16. In 1927, a ribald version of the 1902 limerick “There Once Was a Man From Nantucket” was published in Immortalia: An Anthology of American Ballads, Sailors’ Songs, Cowboy Songs, College Songs, Parodies, Limericks and Other Humorous Verses and Doggerel. It was all about autofellatio, reading: “There was a young man from Nantucket / Whose dick was so long he could suck it. / He said with a grin / As he wiped off his chin / ‘If my ear was a cunt I would fuck it.’”

17. This twist on “Man from Nantucket” has appeared in many comedies over the last century, including: Woody Allen’s 1966 film What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, when protagonist Phil Moskowitz reads the opening line of “ancient erotic poetry”; The Simpsons, which makes numerous references to the limerick, such as in the episode “Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo,” when Homer comments that he “once knew a man from Nantucket” but “the stories about him are greatly exaggerated”; and Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, where it’s quoted during the radio program’s very last episode.

18. In Slate’s 2011 “Contorted History of Autofellatio,” writer Jesse Bering says the closest female comparison to autofellatio are the women who suckle from their own breasts for sexual purposes. “One therapist writes of an especially self-sufficient female patient who had a habit of doing this. When he asked her why, she merely replied, ‘I’m hungry.’”

19. That said, within minutes, we were able to find a GIF of a woman eating herself out.

20. Ralston’s alternate tale of Manson’s pursuit of autofelatio continues like so: “February 1st, 1996. Marilyn Manson enters Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles to undergo rib removal surgery. It’s the first operation of its kind performed in the United States. After 13 grueling hours, the vertebral or ‘floating’ ribs are successfully removed. Manson remains in the hospital for 27 days while his body adjusts to the changes. His internal organs are in a state of flux. With the help of experimental water therapy and acupuncture, Manson begins to regain a full range of motion.”

21. “It’s a shock the first time you cum in your mouth,” Deviant Kade, an adult video performer told VICE in 2012. “It’s a surprise, because you can do it. You’re more excited about doing it than caring about the cum. ‘I just came in my mouth. That’s amazing!’”

22. In 1975, the psychiatrist Frances Millican and her colleagues described the real case of a “very disturbed” patient who learned yoga precisely to suck his own dick. A couple of decades later, in what has become a classic SNL skit, Will Ferrell enrolls in a yoga class only to become flexible enough to fellate himself.

23. Back to Dan Savage: “Hey, Faggot, I’m a hetero male that enjoys sucking his own dick. I came home one night very drunk, horny and alone. I started a consolatory wank, when I flashed on a story I had read of a well-hung man that liked to suck himself off. My body is flexible from years of yoga, and I thought I’d give it a try. The result was fantastic. Apart from the less-than-pleasant taste of semen, I’d never had a better blow job in my life. This is not something I do often. I have a normal sex life and truly enjoy women. In no way do I consider myself gay, but I know the pleasure of having a live cock in my mouth. I fantasize about giving another man head, but I don’t really fit into the gay lifestyle.”

24. To which Savage responds: “Giving yourself a blow job doesn’t make you any gayer than giving yourself a handjob. Consider: a guy giving another guy a handjob is doing a pretty gay thing, but a guy giving himself a handjob might be doing a gay thing, and he might not. It depends on what he’s thinking about: Is he pretending his right hand is Luke Skywalker’s hairy blond butt, or Princess Leia Lipsmacker’s more generous rear end? I will concede that a gay guy with limber/length working for him is likelier to suck himself off than a similarly endowed straight boy, if only because the gay boy isn’t afraid sucking his own dick is going to make him gay — he’s already gay! Straight boys, on the other hand, often let homosexual panic keep them from all sorts of pleasures. Like getting fucked in the ass, for instance.”

25. As for Manson, in Ralston’s satire at least, all of the trouble the rock star went through to be able to suck himself off was more than worth it: “I’m a pretty open person, sexually. I’ve had sex on a blimp. Not in a blimp, on a blimp. I’ve had sex while being hunted for sport by wealthy oil tycoons. I had sex on the set of Dunston Checks In, twice. This was by far the most satisfying experience of my life. Everything about it was perfect except for the fact that I didn’t particularly like having a dick in my mouth. Oh, and I came in my own mouth which was not great. I guess I hadn’t really thought that part through.”