Becoming a bar mitzvah is about becoming a man, of course. However, every so often it’s alleged that, these days, part of that man-becoming process involves, well, a different rite of passage: receiving oral sex from female contemporaries. Sometimes the act is presented as a private “present,” but, in some fantastic versions, it is part of a group activity in which a “train” of boys lines up to be serviced by a parallel line of girls. An article in 614, a magazine for Jewish women published by Brandeis University, flags the “trend,” and also mentions the inconvenient, if also completely irrelevant, fact that the most famous and consequential blow job ever given (not that there’s a museum) came courtesy a nice Jewish girl named Monica Lewinsky. A few years ago, an essay in The Atlantic also discussed the alleged fad, debunking it as largely “urban legend” with a glint of truth. Neither that article nor 614‘s came up with anything beyond purely anecdotal and suppositional evidence, so we will do the same. We personally don’t recall such behavior from our own bar mitzvah experience—and we’re pretty sure we’d remember it. But certainly that does not mean it has never happened; actually, the mere fact that it is discussed as something that happens guarantees that it will be. Which is why we find the 614 article’s recommended prescription so confounding: “Talk to the kids,” it suggests. “Find out what sex means to them; find out what is realistic. Find out if they see it as sex; if the girls feel they are degraded. Find out if the boys are pressuring the girls.” We would think the best way to get kids not to participate in such behavior would be for them to know as little as possible about it.

Sex and the Suburbs [614]