ORAL SEX AND THE OPRAH SHOW -
AN IRATE OPEN LETTER TO “DR PHIL”
By Rose Cooper
|| On a recent
episode of the Oprah Show, “Life Strategist” Dr Phil McGraw
discussed the oral sex phenomenon which has become rampant among young
teenagers. Girls as young as 13 are casually and routinely performing
fellatio on boys in a manner that has prompted it to be dubbed The New
‘Spin the Bottle’. Furthermore, this practice is not the exclusive
domain of the poor or less educated demographics.
A couple of young women were brave enough to appear on the show, as representatives
of this defiant and unapologetic new breed of teenager. Dr Phil had some
very strong words for these young people (and their parents) and I heartily
agreed with some of the things he said in regard to health issues and
cultivating a more positive self image – something which could have
been given far more extensive extrapolation. However, the bulk of his
diatribe was about society’s moral indignation towards her actions.
There’s no doubting the man’s altruistic intent, I have truckloads
of admiration for the guy and am a disciple of his life management ideals,
but in this regard, he was about as switched on and contemporary as a
pile of steaming Pterodactyl dung. He missed the point of his own argument
by a country mile...and not a single audience participant - or even the
ordinarily sharp and astute Oprah Winfrey -could see the forest for the
My monumental indignation
can be neatly divided in two parts.
Part one: Most of his argument was
about the act being immoral.
One of the girls told Dr Phil that “she didn’t see anything
wrong in what she was doing – and as far as she was concerned, it
was her body and she could do with it what she wanted”. She didn’t
even see the oral sex games between friends as being overtly sexual.
Dr Phil countered with the logic she “hadn’t earned the right
to make her own decisions about her body because she couldn’t see
into the future and know the consequences of her actions”. In other
words, she isn’t old enough to know better. In the next breath,
he said “only life experience can teach you about what’s right
and wrong and that one day, she might regret her actions, because she
will meet someone special, and wish she hadn’t been so frivolous
with her sexuality”.
He based his argument on the nebular concept that when she did grow old
enough to know better, she will develop higher moral values, ergo she
would suffer from severe regrets about her present lack of moral discrimination.
He then assured her that her future regrets would be aggravated by the
fact that future life partners will have a moral dilemma about her sexually
questionable past. “Girls who do this kind of thing, aren’t
the kind girls that decent boys will want to take home to mother,”
I could have thrown my well-worn and dog-eared copy of “Life Strategies”
through the television screen! Am I the only person that sees the glaring
contradiction here? On one hand he told her that she doesn’t know
better, but one day she would be judged badly by herself and others anyway.
Why would he inject morals into the argument? What is so confounded immoral
about a 13-year-old, performing oral sex on another 13 year old? He said
it himself: These children do not know better. Doesn’t that make
them innocent? If they were innocent, then why would they look back on
their actions with moral indignation?
I contend that Dr Phil is projecting his own personal moral value system,
which he formulated with his mature adult brain, but he is expecting a
child to identify with this argument and adhere to his advice, based on
a moral code they clearly aren’t old enough appreciate. He then
added insult to injury by being completely chauvinistic about it. “Not
the kind of girl they take home to mother”? Oh please, give me a
What’s going on with you Dr Phil? Do you think that penis sucking
is a disgusting act – something that Nice Girls just don’t
As far as I am concerned sexual immorality is the domain of adults alone.
An adult preying sexually on an underage person is immoral. You can’t
have it both ways Dr Phil, you can’t call the girl immature and
irresponsible in one breath and immoral with the other, because a person
who is immoral understands the consequences of their actions - and does
them anyway. We can only judge ourselves by our own truth.
My mother always told me - you can’t put an old head on young shoulders,
and that is true. You were right when you said there should be an open
and consistent dialogue about oral sex between parents and their children.
You were right when you said that girls might go in search of approval
and acceptance via this kind of behavior – if they aren’t
receiving adequate approval and appreciation from their families. You
should have stopped at that very valid argument and left morals out of
it. Further more you shouldn’t have gone where you dared to go in
the second half of the show…
two: You dared to buy into the dreaded double standard!
It was established early on that most girls
are giving oral sex and very few are receiving. Nobody bothered to ask
There could be several reasons for this.
1. You classify the act of cunnilingus as a more distasteful topic than
fellatio, so you simply just “didn’t want to go there”.
2. You presume to know why the girls don’t ask for it – because
you think it’s not something that either the boys or the girls
would particularly enjoy anyway and you’re okay
3. You figure it’s not worth mentioning, for the same reason Queen
Victoria did not acknowledge lesbianism – the concept
seems ridiculous to you.
4. You’re stupid.
However, I believe if you did go there – and probed the girls as
to why they chose not to receive you would have gained a greater insight
into the workings of their immature minds – therefore giving you
better grounds for countering their misguided motivations. You could have
highlighted that their desire to please and yet not receive pleasure,
has to point directly to their low self-esteems, low self-images and their
obvious sexual immaturity. You might have reached them with that.
A golden opportunity – drowned in a sea of chauvinistic, misogynist
Then…when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, you turned
the tables and talked to the boys.
The mood in the room changed so palpably, it was as if you had been sitting
in the dark and suddenly switched on a neon sign. With the girls, you
were disapproving, judgmental and harsh. With the boys, you smiled warmly,
cracked jokes, practically chucked them under the chin and told them they
were getting a good deal. You said they couldn’t be expected to
say “no”. After all, boys and girls are different, aren’t
they Dr Phil? Boys will be boys, won’t they Dr Phil. You can’t
tell boys to have a moral dilemma about receiving oral sex. It’s
not like a boy or a man could knock back a blowjob when it’s offered.
It’s up to these dirty girls to control their impulses. The boys
are under no moral obligation whatsoever.
Then you asked these boys – “is a girl who gives oral sex
to lots of boys, someone you would take home to mother?” They said
no, and the audience applauded.
What kind of bullshit is that?
I wish I could have been there, sitting with that poor redheaded girl,
whom you berated so one-sidedly. You character assassinated her mercilessly
– it was guilt by association. She sat there so bravely, and dignified
as representative of the “teen oral sex givers”. When you
ran down the reputations of girls who give oral sex – she bore the
brunt of it. You may as well have asked the audience to throw rotten fruit
I am still so angry I could spit.
There’s something you’re overlooking here Phillip. Kids have
been having sex with each other since the dawn of time. It is called experimentation
and it’s perfectly natural. Not highly desirable, but nonetheless
it’s normal behavior. Statistics tell us, that lack of adequate
sexuality education, is in direct proportion to early experimentation
with penetrative sex. You were right when you said we have to talk to
our children, but absolutely wrong about everything else – especially
your open acceptance of the sexual double standard.
What hope to children have today, when one of the leading lights of the
community can get it so horribly wrong? It’s bad enough they can’t
help but follow the cues of a society obsessed with the subject. So called
“family” sitcoms like Friends (shown in prime time
– therefore considered ‘g’ rated) often make references
to men’s fascination with lesbians and threesomes. Society doesn’t
judge Bill Clinton as harshly as it judges Monica Lewinsky. Women who
give head or enjoy their sexuality are depraved, and men don’t mind,
so long as they have a front row seat. That’s okay with you, isn’t
it Phil, we can’t change the status quo.
Tell me Phil - could the table have been turned? Could you berate a boy
for allowing himself to be used by girls to give them oral pleasure? It
won’t happen, will it? A) Boys would be allowed to enjoy being “used”
in this situation and B) Young girls would never dream of making sexual
demands such as these anyway.
Or would they? Is it true that men are sexual and women are emotional?
Surely sexual motivation boils down to learned behavior. Men can be just
as emotional as women and women can be just as sexually motivated as men
can. We can only judge ourselves on what believe to be our own truth at
the time. There was a time when I was as sexually mercenary as any tomcat,
but that was long ago, and another story.
I believe your attitude toward the teen girls and boys did more harm than
good. Teenagers like these have no moral paradigms. They would see any
adult who tried to impose their morality onto them as being sexually repressed
and inhibited. They would shrug you off as an old fuddy duddy.
You never once asked about their motivation. You didn’t want to
know why -you gave the “just say no” message. That kind of
blanket solution is no solution at all. Every person is different and
everyone’s morality is different. How on earth is childish sexual
experimentation immoral? Get off that hobbyhorse and mount something that
makes more sense.
I propose you do another show on this subject. Ask the boys why this oral
sex gender imbalance was all right with them? Ask your audience why it
is all right with them? Ask yourself why it is all right with you? Address
the gender imbalance, and you will get to the heart of this entire issue
– and that is the societal cancer that is the sexual double standard.
It victimizes women. It’s malignant and it’s thriving and
you, Dr Phil, are not just on the bandwagon, you would appear to be the
one holding the baton.
How would I sum up your attitude on the issue of teen oral sex?
I would have to say it sucked.
out the Teen Oral Sex questionnaire
responses to the Teen Oral Sex questionnaire
|I just read the article about Dr. Phil's comments to kids who have had oral sex while he was on Oprah. The way he put girls down is so unbelieveable. It's their life, & their decision & nobody should look down on them. I'm sure we all have done things that may be "bad" to some people, but you know what, we all have our opinions. If you don't agree to something- don't do it, if you want to do it, go right ahead, make sure you know all the facts & info about what you will be doing though. & this BS that Dr. Phil said about it making girls bad to bring home to the guys parents is beyond me. Sorry, yea the girl may have done that, but guess what The Boy Probably Asked For It!! He isn't innocent in the situation. It takes 2 people to do that!! So don't go blaming the girl, and making her feel as if she is some bad person. Guys do it all the time!!!!!! I'm sorry but look at it from the girls point of view, would a girl really want to bring a guy who does it all the time home to her parents? I doubt they would really approve of that. Guys get girls upon girls to do it for them, & they are called macho, but when a girl does it once she's a whore?? THAT'S BS! Dr. Phil and anyone who agrees with him on this topic is stupid. Wake up, face reality, it happens, it takes 2 people, if ur gonna praise one, praise both, but don't sit there & think for a minute because a girl does that she is bad. She is human with feelings & desires just like anyone else!!!! Sometimes people are just to centered on their own beliefs to see not everyone agrees with you (even if your name is Dr. Phil!!). If he really wanted to "help" these kids, he should listen to them & be understanding, not try to force his beliefs onto them. I wish I was there when he said that BS, because I would have gotten up & put him in his place! What an idiot.. sorry but it's true. That man doesn't know how to help kids in this situation, he just knows how to make girls feel as if they are horrible for acting on the same feelings he & everyone else in the world has every day of their lives!!!!! Dr. Phil needs a reality check on this topic & I would be glad to be the one to stand up & tell him what a complete jerk he is for saying the things he said!