Memoirs from the foothills of Nepal to the streets of America.
Past Trade Secrets Entries
On the Oral Tradition
Trade Secrets by J.P. Tamang
On the Oral Tradition
Once I acquired a taste for blowjobs they became the wheelhouse of my eight-year stint as a hustler. I gave my first one at the age of fourteen to my American high school boyfriend. Two years later I’d be deepthroating popsicles in the cafeteria, reveling in the fascination and disgust this garnered from girls and boys alike. Other hustlers I’d meet had opinions on how to give the best head. One used to say “the key is enjoying it.” Another claimed that the key was knowing when to gag. By the time I heard these speculations I already had my own style, but had I been told earlier in life I might’ve appreciated the pointers.
Throughout my childhood oral sex was mystified. My parents, a pious Buddhist couple that lived in the suburbs of Oregon, went to great lengths to keep sexuality a secret. Even masturbation was taboo; I remember believing that I could overcome bodily desire through the recitation of prayer. That all changed when, at the age of eleven, my parents sent me to live in a monastery on the border of Nepal and India. I thought I was headed into a utopic community of people who always followed the rules, but when hundreds of teenage boys gather under one roof it doesn’t matter the pretense, someone’s going to talk about getting off.
At first, my Nepali, Hindi, and Tibetan were too elementary to follow the boyish banter of the other monks’ locker room talk. I’d see them make lewd gestures behind the disciplinarian’s back and I’d turn a cheek. For a while, I could compartmentalize the “bad” monks from the “good” ones. One night, after I accidentally ate some moldy chapati, I climbed up to the temple roof to get some air. I could see down into the courtyard outside the schoolhouse, where several monks a few years older than I were huddled in the darkness, giggling. From my spot on the roof I could hear them clearly. I watched one of them gesture to his crotch as if he were holding someone’s head there. Then he stroked an invisible cock in the air, levitating around his face. He licked it and gobbled up the drippings. Scandalized, I rushed down the temple stairs and latched myself shut in my room.