Fellatio


Fellatio is a type of oral sex in which there is mouth contact with the penis. In fellatio the head and shaft of the penis are licked, kissed and sucked. The mucous membrane inside the mouth is similar to the lining of the vagina. The moist slippery feel of the mouth and tongue on the penis can be extremely pleasurable.

Fellatio can be incorporated as part of a couple's foreplay, meant to heighten sexual arousal, or it can be the main activity, meant to bring the man to orgasm. Fellatio is common among both heterosexual and homosexual couples, yet not everyone engages in it. Some women, and to a far lesser extent some men, simply do not feel comfortable with this type of oral sex.

Attitudes Toward Fellatio Have Changed The historic Kinsey reports published in 1948 provided the first real evidence of how many people were having fellatio. (Kinsey's report on female oral sex was published in 1953). Comparing Kinsey's data collected in the 1930's and 1940's to later (1970's) studies including the Hunt Report, the Hite Report, the Spada Report, the Redbook Report and the Bell and Weinberg study entitled Homosexualities, shows that attitudes toward oral sex have changed over the years, indicating an increase in the practice of oral sex, fellatio and cunnilingus.

It is difficult to identify precisely which factors have led to a greater acceptance of oral sex, but some likely contributors include the following:

  • Scientific and medical evidence has helped dispel the myths about harmful health effects of oral sex and made it clear that fellatio between disease-free people does not in and of itself lead to disease
  • The major religions have relaxed their historical prohibitions about fellatio being sinful and unnatural
  • Modern hygiene practices have resulted in both men and women bathing far more often than was true in earlier times, thus reducing offensive body odors and tastes that may be associated with oral sex
  • Since the 1960s couples seem to be more willing to experiment and openly explore sexual practices and issues, just as society as a whole has shown an increasing acceptance of sexual expression.

Common Concerns About Fellatio

Even if a couple includes fellatio in their sexual relationship, anxieties about performing fellatio on a man may still exist. The person performing fellatio may have concerns that the partner's penis may be too large for her or his mouth or that it may cause gagging. Another common worry is that the man will urinate during fellatio, or if ejaculation occurs, that the taste or feel of semen in the mouth will be unpleasant.

Although an erect penis may be too large to fit entirely in one's mouth, some form of mouth contact can usually be made on the penis regardless of size. How deep into the mouth a penis penetrates can be controlled by either the man or his partner placing their hand around the shaft of the penis. This technique allows the hand to act as a stopper to control the depth the penis enters the mouth, thereby reducing the risk of gagging due to deep penetration. A thick penis that may stretch the lips and mouth can be licked up and down the shaft and around the glans without trying to take the penis fully into the mouth.

With regard to urinating during fellatio, it is extremely unlikely that any man is going to urinate in his partner's mouth by accident. Men cannot ejaculate and urinate at the same time. During ejaculation there is a reflex action that contracts a muscle in the neck of the bladder which leads to the penis preventing the flow of urine.

If a person giving fellatio is hesitant to have the man ejaculate into her or his mouth, the partner can signal when he is about to ejaculate and his penis can be removed from the mouth. For some, the slightly salty and chlorine-like taste of semen (which can intermingle with certain tastes from a partner's recent meal) can create an unpleasant taste; others may find this unique taste part of the erotic experience of lovemaking.

If couples feel comfortable incorporating fellatio into their sexual relationship, communication about their concerns and preferences, along with experimentation with different techniques can allow for a pleasurable experience for both partners.

Those who feel uncertain about how to perform fellatio or wish to learn more about this topic may want to consult "The Joy of Sex" and "More Joy of Sex" books by Alex Comfort or "The Ultimate Sex Book" by Ann Hooper.

Copyright 2002 Sinclair Intimacy Institute

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