The Problem with DJ Khaled—and All the *Other* Dudes Who Won’t Perform Oral Sex

The artist’s remarks about oral sex have sparked a much louder conversation about sexual double standards

Laura Hensley
Producer DJ Khaled sitting in a chair

(Photo: Getty)

DJ Khaled has a big mouth, but he doesn’t like to use it for everything.

The American rapper and Weight Watchers ambassador (who is frequently heard yelling, “DJ KHALED!!!!” in the background of other artists’ songs), told New York radio show The Breakfast Club that he does not perform oral sex on his wife because he is “king” and there are different rules for women and men. While he made the sexist comments in 2015, the interview has since resurfaced.

“I believe a woman should praise the man, you know, the king,” he said to the show’s co-hosts. “If you holding it down for your woman I feel like the woman should praise. And a man should praise the queen. But you know, my way of praising is [like] ‘How was dinner?’ ‘You like the house you living in? ‘You like all them clothes you getting?’ I’m taking care of your family… You know, I’m putting in the work.”

“So you’re saying you don’t go down?” host Angela Yee asked. “Nah, I can’t to that… I don’t do that, I don’t do that, I don’t,” DJ Khaled replied.

“It’s different rules for men—we the king,” he explained. “There’s some things y’all might not want to do or want to do, but it gotta get done,” he said while looking at Yee, adding: “I just can’t do what you want me to do.”

The dumb AF remarks sparked a Hollywood-sized conversation about oral sex over the weekend, with celebs from Debra Messing to The Rock chiming in (The Rock is a giver, FYI). Openly bisexual actor Evan Rachel Wood shared her take, tweeting, “You’re seriously missing out man. Take it from someone who has pride and thoroughly enjoys pleasuring women. You should grow up.” Even ’90s band Smash Mouth made themselves relevant again by slamming DJ Khaled on Twitter, writing: “A King who doesn’t is no King at all.”

The problem with DJ Khaled’s remarks is two-fold: not only does he refuse to perform oral sex because he’s the breadwinner and “king” of his household and therefore doesn’t need to worry about his wife’s sexual satisfaction, he’s also obviously repulsed by the idea of eating a woman out. He’s playing into a decades-old societal taboo against men performing oral sex. In other words, 42-year-old DJ Khaled still thinks pussies are gross.

But, sadly, he’s not the only one. Women have always been made to feel badly about their vaginas. We’re told they are too stinky, too ugly, too hairy. We’re sold feminine hygiene products to mask our “stench,” and taught kegel exercises to tighten our cooches. Toxic masculinity also plays a part. Men are taught their dicks are holy grails of sexual pleasure, so of course women would want to give blowjobs, while learning that “real” men don’t lower themselves by returning the favour.

This attitude has real consequences for women. Writer Helin Jung wrote about the shame she felt around her vag after a boyfriend told her he didn’t like going down on her because of her smell. Gynecologist Jen Gunter—who spends much of her time debunking health myths and pissing off Gwyneth Paltrow—wrote about men’s opinions of her vagina for the New York Times (she’s also been told her lady bits “did not smell right”) and the countless women she’s comforted regarding vagina distress.

“I have listened to women with completely normal exams weep that they have been told that they do not smell or taste correctly,” she wrote in the Times. “These women all shared something: They were told these things by men. While I admit this is anecdotal data, my years of listening to secret shame about healthy vaginas and vulvas seems to suggest it is largely, if not entirely, male partners who exploit vaginal and vulvar insecurities as a weapon of emotional abuse and control.”

@wethebestmusic #FatherOfAsahd

A post shared by DJ KHALED (@djkhaled) on

I’ve hear similar stories from my friends. Most ladies I know have been in a situation where they’ve gone down on a dude only to find he won’t return the favour, or have been told horrible things about their vaginas. One friend I’ll call Steph says she’s been in this situation “so many” times.

“I remember once I was in the midst of a bit of a sex marathon with a new guy, and there had been three or so counts of penetrative sex and I’d also given him a couple of blow jobs,” she said. “He tried to initiate another round, and I nudged his head down towards my zone and he just looked up at me (between my legs!) laughed, [and said], ‘I’m not going down on you when I’ve already messed that pussy up’ and then proceeded to f-ck me. Fun times.”

Another pal I’ll refer to as Tia told me about the time she was seeing a guy in university and he refused to go down on her because it was “gross” and “near the butt hole.” “I was like, ‘Excuse me?!’” she recalled. “I’ve literally put your entire dick in my THROAT and been damn near your asshole but you won’t go stick your tongue out a little?”

“I’ve also had a couple guys where I’ve given them head until they’ve had an orgasm, and then I would ask them to go down on me and they would say they are too tired,” she added. “I don’t have a problem with a guy not wanting to go down on me if he is honest about it… I just have an issue with guys who act like it’s some awful thing.”

Tia makes a valid point. If a couple agrees oral isn’t for them, then cool, don’t do it. But both people have to be on the same page: it’s unfair and inherently sexist when men refuse to perform on an interested partner because they think a vagina is gross, nasty or smelly, yet think their dick is a stick of lavender-wrapped gold.

While I can’t be entirely sure, I’m going to bet that DJ Khaled’s penis is not anything extraordinary. In fact, I’m confident it is a normal, healthy looking schlong, which is what makes his beliefs even more infuriating. DJ Khaled is perpetuating the archaic idea that he deserves oral sex simply because he has a celebrated penis—an organ half of the population has—yet his wife doesn’t because she has a smelly ol’ vagina.

It’s ridiculous, and that’s why he needs to realize that no matter how much money he makes, how much clothing he buys his wife, or how many bougie vacations he pays for, it’s not OK to treat her vagina like a second-class sexual organ; he does not deserve a separate set of sex rules just because he’s a dude. I mean… Does he really think that he’s more worthy of oral pleasure than his OWN WIFE?! Has he forgotten that she literally has to put up with him yelling his own name every time he enters a room? Or that she birthed his beloved son, the very toddler he’s turning into a celebrity? Honestly, where does this man get off?

(Not in her mouth, I hope.)

Related:

The First Time I Had Sex with Myself
Women on What It’s Like Being Addicted to Sex: “I Was Hooked from the Start”
Here’s What It’s *Really* Like to Be in a Polyamorous Relationship

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