Admittedly, when this blog was set up, I never imagined this would be the question I answered first. However, despite this probably being a joke, and an attempt at humiliation, I was curious myself, and decided to research and endeavour to answer this rather…bizarre question. So, HazzaDennett of twitter, enjoy!
Sexual acts, and by extension sex, are the oldest pastimes known to humanity. As such, the human race evolved, we discovered spare time at some point, and the act of sex, evolved with us. There are countless accounts of us being fascinated by it. The romans were immensely big on sex (if you know what I mean) and the Victorians were practically closet nymphomaniacs. Not surprising we came up with slang for our pastimes, and like sex it has evolved with us.
The term blow job is of course a modern one, but the act, apparently is not. Like most things in our lives, the Ancient Greeks had an influence. As if philosophy, science, culture, art and language were not enough, they had to influence our sex lives as well. The ancient Greek slang for fellatio was “playing the flute” which could easily be where the use of the word “blow” came from as opposed to “suck” which I am reliably informed would make much more sense.
However, the Ancient Greeks had other bizarre sexual practices. The Spartans, of 300 fame were encouraged to engage in homosexual practices with other soldiers. The idea behind this being that they would fight harder on the battlefield if someone they loved and cared for was in danger. Furthermore, if you were thinking that other Greeks were perhaps less bizarre by our standards of sex, then you would be wrong. For some Greek men, sex was not to be enjoyed unless with a pre-pubescent boy. The romans called this “the Greek affliction.” As you may have guessed, the romans and the Greeks didn’t really get along.
As for the term “blow job” however, after the ancient era, sex just about slipped off the historical radar with the advent of Christianity and the act of wiping your bottom becoming sinful. In fact, masturbation and wet dreams were considered a medical problem in medieval England. Yet, our old friends the Victorians picked up the sexual baton once more and began to run rampant to their bedrooms with it. So why then, in that still very Christian society?
The Victorian era is only really an interesting one to look at socially and industrially. Economically, times were good and Victorian England prospered with inventions popping up from every Tom, Dick and Harry, such as the vacuum cleaner. Politically, nothing happened to change the status quo and so, the Victorians had plenty of time on their hands for inventions, sexual practices and Christmas. It was only a matter of time though really until those things were combined (aside Christmas). Yes, it was the Victorians who invented dildos and popularised their use. They believed that when a woman missed her monthly for a reason other than pregnancy, was suffering from a lack of “natural womanly cheer” or was acting irrationally (known back in the day as hysteria) then the cure was for a doctor to use a dildo on her. For obvious reasons, this practice was thankfully abolished later on.
With the re-invention of spare time for leisure activities, sexual adventures became more popular, and enjoying sex became more acceptable. Of course talking about sex didn’t really become more acceptable. Indeed, the Victorians kept their sexual desires very well hidden whilst in polite society, but behind closed doors, everyone was at it. The term they used to describe fellatio was “blowsie” Again, could have easily been influenced by the Ancient Greeks, but we can’t really be sure. As for the addition of the word “job” it really is unknown. It is my belief, however that it simply evolved from the term “blowsie” as we certainly don’t use much Victorian slang in this day and age, it is reasonable to assume that the word “Blow Job” simply came from the word “blowsie” and we changed it to adapt to our changing culture. Interestingly, the Victorians also had a keen interest in pornography, although the Victorian porn industry was extremely different to how it is today. Photography was a very new invention and videography was unheard of. The women used were natural women, and where possible they tried not to show the faces of the models so as to not shame them.
So, in short, The Greeks and the Victorians popularised both the act and the use of slang for it in their respective time periods. It is a fair assumption that the word evolved with us from “blowsie” which just developed as our culture did. I hope this answers your question satisfactorily, and that you use this knowledge well. I would like to give thanks to HazzaDennett of twitter for asking this question, and my informants for this question, who for obvious reasons have asked to remain anonymous. As for next week’s post, that is the future, and as you may have guessed from the name of this blog, my realm is the past.
Thank you very much for reading this, and I look forward to next weeks post.
Hi there fellow history enthusiasts!
This blog was set up to do one thing. Answer your burning general history questions.
Ever wondered what happened BEFORE the monarchy? How DID the first world war start? And how did the Roman empire even collapse anyway?
Well, here is the place to ask those questions and hopefully find the answers without having to do any of the sifting through Wikipedia articles and untrustworthy, unreadable dribble yourself.
How does it work?
Well, questions can be sent to us via email : firstname.lastname@example.org, via our twitter account (search for History Geek) or via wordpress message. Either way, we will select one each week to answer. If there has been no questions asked in a particular week, either one will be answered from a previous week or we will just blog on an interesting topic, so we recommend checking us out regularly!
Also, we would also like to point out that we are not experts. There are no history degrees behind us, but there is a true passion for historical knowledge, and a genuine willingness to help out the lovely, budding historians like ourselves out of a tight spot.
Enjoy, and remember to question everything!
We look forward to hearing from you!