Cunnilingus

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Watercolor painting by Achille Devéria depicting cunnilingus

Cunnilingus is an oral sex act performed on a female. It involves the use by a sex partner of the mouth, lips and tongue to stimulate the female's clitoris, vulva, or vagina. A female may receive cunnilingus as part of foreplay before sexual intercourse, or as intercourse.[1]

Contents

Technique

Mihály Zichy "Making Love", circa 1911

As in all human sexual behavior, both the techniques used in cunnilingus and an individual's response to them are varied.[2]

The clitoris is the most sexually sensitive erogenous zone for most women, but may be too sensitive to comfortably stimulate at times, especially in early stages of arousal. Author Shere Hite notes in The Hite Report that most women achieve orgasm easily from clitoral stimulation as part of cunnilingus or some other form of direct clitoral stimulation.[1] Some sex manuals recommend beginning with a gentler, less focused stimulation of the labia and the whole genital area. The tip, blade, or underside of the tongue may be used, as can the nose, chin, teeth and lips. Movements can be slow or fast, regular or erratic, firm or soft, according to the participants' preferences. The tongue can be inserted into the vagina, either stiffened or moving. The performing partner may also hum to produce vibration. This act is better known as 'The Val Kilmer'.

Cunnilingus may be accompanied by the insertion of finger(s) or a sex toy into the vagina, which allows for the simultaneous stimulation of the g-spot, and/or into the anus.[3][4]

Etymology

The term is derived from the Latin words for the vulva (cunnus) and tongue (lingua).[citation needed]

Positions

Édouard-Henri Avril's depiction of cunnilingus in missionary position

There are several positions for cunnilingus:

Terminology

There are numerous slang terms for cunnilingus, including "DATY" (for "dining at the Y"),[5] "drinking from the furry cup"[6] "carpet munching", and "muff-diving".[7] It is also commonly called "eating someone out", "eating pussy" or "licking someone out."[8] Several common slang terms used are "giving lip", "lip service", or "tipping the velvet", an expression that novelist Sarah Waters claims to have "plucked from the relative obscurity of Victorian porn".[9] Older erotic literature refers to it as "gamahuching", with some variation in the spelling.[citation needed]

A person who performs cunnilingus may be referred to as a "cunnilinguist",[10] and the phrase "cunning linguist" is also often used as a pun, implying oral skill of a different sort.[11]

Melanie Marcus (Michelle Clunie), a lesbian character from the American TV series Queer as folk, once referred to it when calling herself a 'cunt lapper.' In blues and soul music, the term "licking candy" is often used, as in Marvin Sease's 1987 jukebox hit "Candy Licker."

Cultural, spiritual, and religious significance

Cunnilingus portrayed at Pompeii

Taoism

Although not spoken of openly in Western society until recently, cunnilingus is accorded a revered place in Taoism. This is because the practice was believed to achieve longevity, and the loss of semen, vaginal, and other bodily liquids is believed to bring about a corresponding loss of vitality. Conversely, by either semen retention or ingesting the secretions from the vagina, a male or female can conserve and increase his/her ch'i, or original vital breath. In Taoism:

The Great Medicine of the Three Mountain Peaks is to be found in the body of the woman and is composed of three juices, or essences: one from the woman's mouth, another from her breasts, and the third, the most powerful, from the Grotto of the White Tiger, which is at the Peak of the Purple Mushroom (the mons veneris).

Octavio Paz. Conjunctions and Disjunctions. trans. Helen R. Lane. 1975. (London: Wildwood House, 1969) p. 97.

Édouard-Henri Avril drawing depicting the life of Sappho

According to Philip Rawson (in Paz, p. 97), these half-poetic, half-medicinal metaphors explain the popularity of cunnilingus among people: "The practice was an excellent method of imbibing the precious feminine fluid" (Paz, p. 97). But the Taoist ideal is not just about the male being enriched by female secretions; the female also benefits from her communion with the male, a feature that has led the sinologist, Kristofer Schipper, to denounce the ancient handbooks on the "Art of the Bedroom" as embracing a "kind of glorified male vampirism" that is not truly Taoist at all.[12] Ideally, by mingling the male and female liquids the Taoist aims to reconcile opposites and to recapture the mythical time that existed before the division of the sexes, the primordial time of the original ch'i.

Tantra

The religious historian Mircea Eliade speaks of a similar desire to transcend old age and death, and achieve a state of nirvana, in the Hindu practice of Tantric yoga. In Tantric yoga, the same emphasis is placed on the retention and absorption of vital liquids and Sanskrit texts describe how the male semen must not be emitted if the yogi is to avoid falling under law of time and death.[13]

Song of Songs

Verse 7:3 (verse 7:2 in the King James Version of The Song of Solomon) of the Biblical Song of Songs may contain a veiled reference to cunnilingus, although many translators render the key term "navel." The King James version renders the line, "Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor". (KJV) [14] An alternate translation could read as follows: "Your vulva is a rounded crater, never lacking mixed wine"[citation needed]. ( הפות שלך היא מכתש מעוגל, לא חסר יין מעורבב)

The context, moving up from her sandals to her vulva to her belly to her breasts, however, makes the meaning of "vulva" (Heb. shor), as derived from an Aramaic word meaning "secret place", all but conclusive.[15] In many Christian and Jewish traditions the erotic intimacy between the bride and groom described in the Song of Songs is given spiritual significance.

Risks

Chlamydia, human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis (multiple strains), and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) — including HIV — can be transmitted through oral sex.[16] The documented risk of HIV transmission through cunnilingus is considered to be extremely small, and far lower than that associated with fellatio, vaginal or anal sex. There have only ever been 2 documented cases of HIV transmission through cunnilingus.[17][18] If the receiving partner has wounds or open sores on her genitals, or if the giving partner has wounds or open sores on or in his or her mouth, or bleeding gums, this poses an increased risk of STD transmission. Brushing the teeth, flossing, undergoing dental work, or eating crunchy foods such as potato chips relatively soon before or after performing cunnilingus can also increase the risk of disease transmission, because all of these activities can cause small scratches in the lining of the mouth. These wounds, even when they are microscopic, increase the chances of contracting STDs that can be transmitted orally under these conditions. Such contact can also lead to more mundane infections from common bacteria and viruses found in, around, and secreted from the genital regions.

In 2005, a research study at the College of Malmö in Sweden suggested that performing unprotected oral sex on a person infected with HPV might increase the risk of oral cancer. The study found that 36% of the cancer patients had HPV compared to only 1 percent of the healthy control group.[19]

Another recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests a correlation between oral sex and throat cancer. It is believed that this is due to the transmission of human papillomavirus (HPV) because this virus has been implicated in the majority of cervical cancers. The study concludes that people who had one to five oral sex partners in their lifetime had approximately a doubled risk of throat cancer compared with those who never engaged in this activity, and those with more than five oral-sex partners had a 250% increased risk.[20]

In culture

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Hite, Shere (2003). The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality. New York, NY: Seven Stories Press. pp. 512 pages. ISBN 1-58322-569-2, 9781583225691. http://books.google.com/?id=s3OZaVn2wfkC&lpg=PP1&dq=The%20Hite%20Report%3A%20a%20Nationwide%20Study%20of%20Female%20Sexuality&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Oral Sex Etiquette". Yourtango.com. http://www.yourtango.com/2006169/the-voyeur-going-down.html. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  3. ^ Human Sexuality in a World of Diversity. Boston: Pearson Allyn and Bacon: Pearson Education. 2005. pp. 124, 226. ISBN 0-205-40615-7. 
  4. ^ Masters, W.H.; Johnson, V.E. (1966). Human Sexual Response. Toronto; New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-20429-7.. 
  5. ^ "What does DATY mean? - DATY Definition - Meaning of DATY". InternetSlang.com. http://www.internetslang.com/DATY.asp. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  6. ^ "drinking from the furry cup - Dictionary of sexual terms". Sex-lexis.com. http://www.sex-lexis.com/Sex-Dictionary/drinking%20from%20the%20furry%20cup. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  7. ^ "muff_diving at Wiktionary". En.wiktionary.org. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/muff_diving. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  8. ^ "licking out". Urban Dictionary. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=licking+out. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  9. ^ "Taking Velvet public: author Sarah Waters reflects on the sensation she started by writing Tipping the Velvet, the novel that became a smash U.K. miniseries that's now set to conquer America." The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), 13 May 2003.
  10. ^ Morrison, Blake (2007-11-10). "The pleasure principle". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/nov/10/featuresreviews.guardianreview26. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  11. ^ "Urban dictionary". Urban dictionary. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cunning+linguist. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  12. ^ Kristofer Schipper. [1982] 1993. The Taoist Body. trans. Karen C. Duval. Berkeley; Los Angeles; (London: University of California Press). p. 148
  13. ^ Eliade Mircea. [1954] 1973. Yoga, Immortality and Freedom. trans. Willard R. Trask. (Princeton: Princeton University Press). p. 267–268
  14. ^ "[T]he description of the woman's aperture as containing wine implies the man's desire to drink from the sensual bowl. Thus, this may be a subtle and tasteful allusion to the intimacies of sex". Tremper Longman, Song of Songs, B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2001, p. 195. See also J S. Exum, "The Poetic Genius of the Song of Songs", in Hagedorn (ed), Perspectives on the Song of Songs, Walter de Gruyter, 2005, p. 90
  15. ^ Cf. the brief discussion in Brown, Francis; Driver, S. R., and Briggs, Charles A. Hebrew & English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1902; repr. 1978; p. 1057a. A more complete discussion is found in Frants Buhl's edition of Wilhelm Gesenius' hebräisches und aramäisches Handwörterbuch über das Alte Testament.Göttingen: Springer-Verlag, 1915; repr. 1962; p. 863a.
  16. ^ "Oral sex: looking after your sexual health". The Family Planning Association. The Family Planning Association. http://www.fpa.org.uk/helpandadvice/sexuallytransmittedinfectionsstis/oralsex. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "How is HIV Transmitted? : Specific Sexual Practices: What are the Risks?". Aidsmeds.com. 2011-06-17. http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Transmission_9963.shtml. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  18. ^ http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/Factsheets/pdf/oralsex.pdf
  19. ^ "Oral Sex Linked To Mouth Cancer Risk". Medindia.net. http://www.medindia.net/news/view_news_main.asp?x=5822. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  20. ^ Oral sex can cause throat cancer - 09 May 2007 - New Scientist
  21. ^ Legman 1966, p. 124
  22. ^ "Schom, ''Napoleon Bonaparte'', p.51". Books.google.com. http://books.google.com/books?id=4GXsA1KuL_oC&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq=Napoleon+Josephine+%22much+lower+still%22&source=bl&ots=fN-I86I_QB&sig=ZRHzmlXxqlG_yOPnwdPp0RL82nM&hl=en&ei=fB9qS-aACdWztgfF2o3tBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAgQ6AEwAA. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  23. ^ Dutourd, Jean; Club des ronchons (1992) (in French). Notre amie la femme. Lausanne: L'AGE D'HOMME. p. 46. ISBN 978-2-8251-0270-1. http://books.google.com/?id=riLk91kLF38C&pg=PA46&dq=%2224%20avril%201796%22. "«Un baiser plus bas, plus bas que le cœur» (7 avril 1796), «Un baiser au cœur, et puis plus bas, bien plus bas» (24 avril 1796)" 
  24. ^ "Re: Mord durch Cunnilingus". Tvforen.de. http://www.tvforen.de/read.php?8,863581,863591#msg-863591. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  25. ^ http://www.querverlag.de/pdf/queer_crime.pdf
  26. ^ "The Sitter (2011) – New DVD Movie Reviews | Movie Cynics – New Movie Reviews – Fun Drinking Games – Movie Rumors – DVD Movie Release Dates". Moviecynics.com. 2011-12-09. http://moviecynics.com/the-sitter-2011-new-dvd-movie-reviews/. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  27. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KQSPybYyLc
  28. ^ http://www.thelword-online.de/?s=staffeln&staffel=1&episode=1.05&bereich=inhalt

References

External links