Pleasures Of Loving

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How much does body image affect sex?


Oral sex or oral-genital sex means both mouth contact with the vagina, which is called cunnilingus, and mouth contact with the penis, which is called fellatio. Cunnilingus comes from an alternative Latin word for vulva, cunnus, and from the Latin word for licking, lingere. Fellatio comes from the Latin word fellare, which means to suck.

Oral sex given simultaneously by two people to each other is commonly called 69 or, from the French, soixante-neuf. This is because the body positions of a couple can resemble the numeral 69 when they are having mutual oral sex. Read more here...

Cunnilingus and fellatio are common sexual behaviors both for same sex couples and for couples of different sexes. There are various body positions for oral sex, but it is the mouth that provides the pleasure in all cases. In cunnilingus the labia, the clitoris and the vaginal area are kissed, licked and gently sucked.

In fellatio the head and shaft of the penis are licked, kissed and sucked. In both cunnilingus and fellatio the feeling of the mouth and tongue on the genitals can be extremely pleasurable.

Who has oral sex? Not everyone by any means. Some people simply don't feel comfortable about it. It is as normal and proper not to have it as to have and enjoy it. It is interesting to note that research shows a growing acceptance of oral sex as a normal behavior, this despite the historical view that oral sex was sinful and against nature, and despite some religious and legal prohibitions.

The first real evidence of how many people were having oral sex was provided by the historic Kinsey reports. These reports were published in 1948 (male) and 1953 (female).

Since then in the 1970s we have had the Hunt report on sexual behavior, the Hite Report, the Spada Report, the Redbook Report, the Bell and Weinberg study Homosexualities and others; all have contributed to what we currently know about attitudes to and the practice of oral sex. For more information on what's best for you, click here - that includes advice on oral sex positions.

A very revealing way of showing how attitudes have changed is to compare the Kinsey data on oral sex (collected in the 1930s and 40s) with modern data: 1950s data showed that around 15% of high school graduates had oral sex in their lives, while around half of the more educated people did; modern figures are over 80% for each group.

The increasing practice of fellatio and cunnilingus is very clear from the figures. In the Redbook magazine survey, 100,000 married women responded to a questionnaire about sexual attitudes and practices.

The women ranged in age from the late teens to the 60s (though 84 percent were between 20 and 40) and were essentially Catholic, Jewish or Protestant - 51 percent described themselves as strongly or fairly religious, 33 percent as mildly religious and 16 percent as nonreligious.

Eighty-seven percent of the women responded that they had oral sex often or occasionally and a similarly high percentage reported that they found oral sex very or somewhat enjoyable. Eighty-five percent of the women reported giving oral sex to their husbands and 72 percent reported the experience to be enjoyable.

If you are giving oral pleasure to your partner, be sure to avoid the transmission of sexually transmitted infection of any kind. I suspect that Candida albicans (yeast) infections may be transmitted orally if the partners are affected. And of course the best cure is always to be found in prevention.

Alan Bell and Martin Weinberg in their important study of gay sexual experience, found in their in-depth interviews of more than 1,500 homosexual men and women that oral sex was the most frequently used sexual practice.

Twenty-seven percent of the white male homosexuals said receiving fellatio was their favorite among all sexual practices; 18 percent of black male homosexuals said receiving fellatio was their favorite, while eight percent said mutual oral sex was their favored sexual activity; 20 percent of the white homosexual females ranked receiving cunnilingus as their favorite sexual act, and 24 percent favored mutual cunnilingus.

The rankings for both men and women were from among seven common types of sexual practice.

In the Hite Report Shere Hite reported on the responses of 3,019 women aged 14 to 78 from all parts of America. Cunnilingus was consistently described as a very arousing and desirable sexual practice, leading to orgasm regularly among 42 percent of the sample.

Why has this change come about? It is difficult to identify precisely all the factors which have led to a greater acceptance of oral sex, but here are some of them:

the major religions have relaxed their historical prohibitions about oral sex being sinful and unnatural; although a clear, understandable
statement on oral sex being a proper means of sexual expression Is still conspicuously absent from most religions, most have at least suggested that within marriage it is an acceptable practice.

Since the 1970s, couples seem to be more willing to experiment; this is the result of more information, of sexual issues being more openly explored, of the relaxation of rigid religious prohibitions on sexual issues generally, and of the exercise of greater freedom by couples to decide what is good and right for themselves and their relationship

there has been an increasing acceptance by societies throughout the world of sexuality in general and of sexual expression in particular; although many repressive attitudes still exist, enormous progress has been made in extending individuals' rights to express their sexuality free from external control and in keeping with their consciences.

Q. "Is it true that oral sex is a throwback to breastfeeding and that's why some people like it?"

A: "Nobody knows for sure why so many people enjoy oral sex but it's an exciting way to give and receive pleasure. Sexologists generally agree that what is really important about oral sex is that women and men can if they wish engage in it freely, derive enjoyment from it and find it very pleasurable. "

Q. "Some friends of mine told me they saw a porn website and saw a couple in the film having oral sex. They were both interested but had never discussed it together until that time. Now they really enjoy it. Is that uncommon?"

A: "No. It appears that some couples are learning about sexual practices from films and books more now than at any other time. Your friends are typical in that they were each interested but needed a way to get the discussion started. We all have to learn our sexual practices somewhere, after all."

Q: "Is it true that a person gets better orgasms from oral sex?"

Q: "When I was a teenager I tried to suck my own penis. Is that normal?"

A: "Yes. Oral sex with yourself, self-fellation or autofellatio, is common, and although it would be hard to determine for sure, many sexologists believe most males at least try self-fellation at some point in their lives."

Q. "Can a man's penis be too big for oral sex?"

A: "No. Although erect penises vary in size, some form of mouth contact can be made on a penis regardless of size. A long penis
may cause gagging if taken deep in the mouth, and a thick penis may stretch the mouth and lips. Under these conditions the person giving fellatio can adjust and still both give and get pleasure."

Q. "I heard that oral sex was illegal even if you are married. Is that true?"

A: "Many states in the U.S. have had laws about unnatural acts which included prohibitions on mouth-genital intercourse or contact. Technically, these laws still remain in force in some states, but they are rarely enforced on married couples.

These laws, which limit personal sexual freedoms in a rather obvious way, are a product of the centuries-old religious and cultural restrictions on sex. In the U.S. especially, early laws were greatly influenced by repressive English attitudes toward sexual expression. The early Puritan colonists in America publicly punished or jailed men and women accused of having oral sex."

Q. "I heard it's dangerous to blow into the vagina. Is that true?"

A: "Yes. Blowing into the vagina during cunnilingus is dangerous, especially if the woman is pregnant. Air bubbles may be picked up by blood vessels and create an embolism that could be fatal to the woman and the fetus."

Q. "Even though I enjoy getting oral sex and my lover seems to also, I still worry about the smell and wetness from my vagina."

A: "Women quite often have this concern; it is probably part of the larger issue of acceptance of their own genitals. Women are usually not socialized to think about their labia, clitoris and vagina as clean and beautiful.

Consequently, some women have mixed feelings during cunnilingus - the feelings of arousal, stimulation and pleasure, and, at the same time, worry that part of them 'down there' is not clean enough, or attractive enough, to be acceptable to their partners.

The women's liberation movement has been very important in helping create a general climate in society of acceptance of women's bodies, though the issue is still not fully recognized and resolved. Parents can do a lot, too, in communicating to their daughters that their whole bodies are special and valuable.

This will probably do more for women (and men) in later life - say after 50 - see - - than reading or than participating in body-awareness groups."

Q. "What does semen taste like?"

A: "It's hard to describe accurately something that is nearly tasteless - particularly as genital odors are part of the moment and smell and taste intermingle. The most common description is that it is slightly salty, although some people report they taste garlic, whisky, asparagus and the like if a man has had a recent meal."

Q. "I feel I should douche before I have oral sex. Is that needed?"

A: "No, douching is not necessary. Your vagina is a self-cleaning organ that takes care of itself. In fact, douching probably harmful. Simply washing your genitals is sufficient to prepare you for sex of any kind. Anyway, natural tastes and smells are usually more pleasant than deodorized, antiseptic ones."

Q. "I would like to have oral sex but I worry about him urinating while I'm doing it. Does this happen often?"

A: "When a man is sexually stimulated and has an erection he is unable to urinate. This is so because during sex al excitement and erection there is a reflex action which temporarily closes off the bladder. Men cannot ejaculate and urinate at the same time either - in fact, he won't be able to urinate until he has started to lose his erection."

Q "Sometimes I taste a distinct sugary flavor when I'm giving cunnilingus. Other times I don't. Is that a sign of a problem?"

A: "No. This has been reported from time to time and it probably occurs when you have oral sex near the time of your partner's ovulation. Around that time she has higher estrogen levels in her blood and that may cause the vaginal fluid to taste sweeter than in the rest of her cycle."

Q. "Is it true that some people have oral sex during menstruation?"

A: "Yes. This is not a very common practice but some people do it. Sometimes a diaphragm is used to keep the menstrual fluid from appearing in the vaginal area.

Because of our culture's anxieties about menstruation, many people find the idea of cunnilingus during menstruation dirty, perverse, or disgusting.

It is in fact quite harmless, as menstrual fluid contains no germs. The choice of whether or not to have oral sex during menstruation is like the choice of whether to have oral sex at all - a matter of personal decision. Choosing either way does not indicate a better or worse relationship."

Q. "What is the best way to have oral sex?"

A: "There is no one best way. It seems that as soon as a practice becomes respectable in any field, a new elite emerges of the people who have perfected the skills and got all the answers. So it has been with oral sex. There are people who claim they have the perfect technique. Now it happens that there is no such thing.

Each couple learns what they most enjoy, what suits them best. Any sexual act between two people is a matter of giving, receiving and sharing, not of perfect technique."

There are many popular misconceptions about mouth-penis and mouth-vagina contact. These are some of them and they are all false.

  • women who give head are submissive
  • you can get hooked on oral sex if you do it too much
  • oral sex can easily lead to a disease because of all the germs on the penis and in the vagina
  • married people rarely have oral sex
  • having oral-genital sex is a sign of being sexually immature
  • oral sex is unnatural
  • having oral sex is a sign of true love.