Trigger warnings: gendered slurs, crude language, sexual content
“Key & Peele” is a popular series of sketches produced by Comedy Central. In the linked video, two men are depicted as teaching a “cunnilingus class” to male youths, and later the teachers are revealed to be women with the goal of teaching their techniques to all men. As the characters so eloquently point out: “Now, bitches aren’t being satisfied, so check it!” What was your initial response to the video?
Although primarily amusing, the sketch has problematic elements. The video uses gendered slurs to grab the viewer’s attention and to colloquialize the content. In addition, the women at the end of the sketch are portrayed in a malicious, “taking over the world” light. Media often portrays women who seek a fulfilling sex life as being manipulative, nymphomanic, or immoral. How does this sketch perpetuate these stereotypes?
“Key & Peele” also fails to mention the reasons for youths to engage in oral sex, choosing rather to focus on the techniques of such acts. In a study conducted by Jodi L. Cornell and Bonnie L. Halpern-Felsher at the University of California, 425 ninth-grade adolescents were presented with the the following prompt: “Please list the reasons why teens your age have oral sex.” Responses (in order of frequency) included: improve relationship, pleasure, curiosity/for experience, peer pressure/friends are doing it, pressure/force/fear, wants to/can’t wait, under alcohol or drug influence, to rebel, popularity/reputation, media, low self esteem/stupid, less risk than vaginal sex, fun/bored, family problems, and don’t know. Which reasons (if any) for oral sex have you or your friends experienced?
Cornell, J. L., & Halpern-Felsher, B. L. (2006). Adolescents tell us why teens have oral sex. Journal of Adolescent Health, 38(3), 299-301.