Readers respond to Dan Savage's advice for NUMB, who wondered if it was was girlfriend's cigarette habit making him lose feeling during oral sex.
I was curious about the letter from the girl who said her boyfriend's face goes numb… my boyfriend has a similar reaction when he comes from oral sex… sometimes it is just a tingly "pins and needles" feeling in which his eyelids flutter and all his muscles contract involuntarily while other times he says it's so intense he can't move his hands because his fingers are paralyzed. I used to smoke but quit a few months ago and my boyfriend still gets temporarily paralyzed pretty often when he comes from oral sex, so obviously it has nothing to do with smoking. My question is… what the heck is causing it? He told me he likes it so I wasn't too concerned… do I need to be?
Can Numbness be Normal?
I read the letter from "Not Underestimating My Blowjobs" in this week's column. I have experienced similar sensations—although I might ad that my girlfriend does not smoke, thank God. When she gives me head for prolonged periods I also find my face starting to tingle and go slightly numb. The longer she goes at it the more it tingles and the number I become. So that probably debunks the nicotine hypothesis.
Numb in Norway
With regards to NUMB's boyfriend's reaction to her blowjobs: HIS THEORY IS COMPLETELY WRONG. I'm not a smoker, and I don't date smokers [I've tried, but the cigarette breath, yuk!], and I get the same exact sensation when I get blown. To be exact, whenever I get blown REALLY well. It starts as a tingling sensation, and as the intensity increases so does the tingling until my face goes all numb, similar to the way that your leg falls asleep, but way better.
If anything, she should be proud. NUMB seems to have one hell of a jaw, and she deserves some flowers! Or equally dedicated cunnilingus!
Not Underestimating Marvelous Blowjobs 2
Regarding the guy whose face goes numb while his partner is giving him head; he's just hyperventilating. It's got nothing to do with absorbing nicotine from his partner's saliva—sheesh. He's just breathing too hard, or rather just perfectly, since he likes the sensation. It used to happen to me all the time in my—sigh—youth. Only for me it wasn't just the face but my arms right down to my finger tips. Mind blowing. Really.
Numb No More
When I run hard or otherwise exercise to the point that I'm having trouble keeping my oxygen level up, my face is the first thing to go numb. I've had similar experiences breathing hard while getting a blowjob. The only girlfriend who has been able to do that to me was a smoker, but probably had about one cigarette every two weeks so I don't think it was the nicotine. NUMB's boyfriend is probably just hyperventilating more with her than he's used to. I found it was a lot of fun—hope he does too!
No Funny Sign Off
As a physician and strong advocate of fellatio, I think it is very likely that NUMB's partner is getting a "numb" face while on the receiving end of NUMB's oral attention because the partner is hyperventilating (presumably due to the enjoyment) and thus making the blood flow to his brain decrease (by making his blood CO2 level drop and his cerebral arteries contract). I've experienced this myself; and with non-smoking partners. That said, I still wouldn't stick my cock in an ashtray if I were him.
I had a partner a couple of years ago that would give me head which resulted in my lips, cheeks, and even hands becoming totally numb. Besides the fact that my partner was a nonsmoker you might want to mention to NUMB that the penis is not "permeable" in the way that she implied. If it were, drug users everywhere would have been dipping their junk into things hundreds of years ago! But that's not the case.
Why did I go numb? Because I was breathing too damn hard, simple as that. It was just a case of mild, sexually-induced hyperventilation. I'd be willing to bet money that the non-smoking boyfriend in question is a heavy-breather too, and if these blowjobs lasted much longer or got much better, he'd up and pass out.
Got Alcohol Soaked Penis