Back before he became a body neutrality icon, DJ Khaled was known, infamously, for an interview in which he claimed he would never go down on a woman because, “a woman should praise the man — the king.”
While most of the world took issue with Khaled’s anti-cunnilingus ruling, including a slew of male celebrities like Smash Mouth and The Rock who came forward to make their own oral sex proclivities known — it would seem the creative team behind the DC Universe took Khaled’s advice. If kings don’t go down on women, neither do heroes.
That’s the message the producers of the DC Entertainment-HBO Max adult animated series “Harley Quinn” got in response to a third-season scene in which Batman performs oral sex on Catwoman, anyway. In a recent interview, executive producer and co-creator Justin Halpern told Variety that DC cracked down on the cunnilingus scene because, “Heroes don’t do that.”
“DC was like, ‘You can’t do that. You absolutely cannot do that,’” Halpern told Variety. “They’re like, ‘Heroes don’t do that.’”‘
Asked if the message they were trying to send with that stance is that “heroes are just selfish lovers,” the cunnilingus police over at DC reportedly offered the following, not entirely clear or convincing, explanation: “No, it’s that we sell consumer toys for heroes. It’s hard to sell a toy if Batman is also going down on someone.”
What exactly Batman’s oral sex habits have to do with DC’s ability to hawk merchandise remains unclear, as does the final fate of the controversial scene. The third season has yet to air, and in a parenthetical included “in fairness to DC,” Variety noted that the Harley Quinn creators went on to say that DC has been “remarkably supportive” and “allowed them to push the envelope numerous times,” so whether the world will get the animated Batman/Catwoman oral sex scene we deserve remains to be seen.
What is clear is the inherent absurdity and sexism behind the notion that “heroes” don’t go down on women. I’ve never been entirely sold on the reactionary mentality that all men must go down on their female partners or be branded sexist, selfish lovers — everyone is entitled to their own sexual preferences and boundaries, and not wanting to perform a particular sex act is not inherently selfish — but the idea that “hero” status precludes a man from pleasuring a woman does reek of dated, sexist stereotypes. Not all heroes go down on their female partners, but they certainly can and should if they want to.