NSFW Lesbosexy Sunday: We Are Going Down

Female oral sex terminology is permeated by misogyny. “Getting head” or “dome” sound degrading. “Eating out” is both inaccurate (what exactly are we supposed to be eating? Is there a sandwich in my vagina that I am unaware of?) & insulting (implying some flavorful lurker in our ladybits). These phrases strike me as vulgar at best, nasty at worst, and all-around misogynistic. I usually use “go down on,” but feel the term is slightly too vague to be useful. Technical terms – like cunnilingus – leave me uncomfortable and seriously not turned on. Oral sex is natural, amazing, and enjoyable for both the recipient and giver. So why isn’t there a term unburdened by negative innuendo?

Society teaches us to be ashamed of our vaginas. Both heterosexual and queer partners require vigilant grooming. Terrible messages about vaginal appearance, taste, and smell constantly beamed through media, pop culture, and advertising. Possibly the worst offender is douching commercials that attempt to sell us an unsafe, unnecessary, and ineffective product by blatantly conveying that our natural state is shameful. I can’t watch a feminine wash commercial without quivering in rage.

To tell you the truth, I used to be on the forefront of pussy shame. I believed the prepubescent boy urban myth that it tasted like either fish (ew) or cheese (double ew). Being gone down on by my boyfriends (this was back when I was dating men) was to be rushed through or avoided if at all possible. I couldn’t stop thinking about how disgusted they must be.

It took being with a woman to finally get over my self-loathing. When I went down on a woman for the first time I realized:

+ It doesn’t taste like fish or cheese.
+ It isn’t unpleasant.
+ And, most enraging, it ISN’T THAT FUCKING HARD.
+ (For reals though, sometimes I have a barely controllable urge to call my ex-boyfriends and be like, really? No Really?)

Now that I have enthusiastically embraced my (and other women’s) vag, I’m still without any clue of how to go about discussing it. Cringe-worthy terms just don’t match with the fantastically awesome act.

I don’t want to sound misogynist, degrading, crude, or technical. So what am I left with? Am I being overly prudish and PC? Or is there a term that reflects the reality of giving and receiving oral sex from a woman?
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In related news:

+ 10 Famous Merkins: “When FHM asked Klum about her bright red and heart-shaped pubic hair in the film, Klum assured the mag, “That wasn’t my real hair anyway, it was a specially made wig.”

+ How to Talk About Sex: “One of the greatest difficulties couples have when it comes to sexual communication is an inadequate sexual vocabulary.”

+ The VICE Guide to Eating Pussy: Warning – it’s very VICEy.

+ For 80% of Young Adults, Oral Sex is “Not Real Sex” Teenagers kick our butts.

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81 Comments

    • In general I feel like Vice tries to use a brand of humor that mocks racism/homophobia/misogyny/fat phobia/ etc, but in the end their writers just end up making jokes that actually are racist/homophobic/misogynistic/fat-phobic/etc.

  1. “Licking pussy” tends to work for me, or “going down on.” I agree though, it’s tough to find a term that isn’t insulting, off putting, etc.

      • from now on, i will be imagining that this is what all the women in every arbor mist commercial are actually talking about.

      • Yea like thers a lil ray of sunshine flying out of it! O not wait – forget sunshine, I see th rainbow!!

        OMG!! Taste the rainbow!!!! That is so gona b new catch phase! Aaand it has to be whispered! Lmao!!

        “go on baby,taste the rainbow!”

  2. “If you go for that long and she doesn’t cum, you’re going to be in a foul mood, so if it’s too much work, move on”

    wow.. what amazing advice Vice has :/

  3. That survey article is kind of misleading/badly titled. The headline says “80% of young adults”, but they only talked to undergraduates in a human sexuality class, primarily white straight women. So those results are only really valid for undergraduates who are taking a human sexuality class, and it’s pretty shaky for anyone who isn’t a white straight woman. It’s probably not incredibly far off the mark for young adults in general, but still. It bothers me.

    • It was also interesting that, according to the study, young straight women were more likely to define only PIV penetration as “sex,” whereas young straight men were more likely to include anal sex, oral sex and digital sex as “sex.” It seems to me that the young women in question were rhetorically safeguarding their virginity by considering many behaviors “not sex,” whereas the young men were presenting themselves as more experienced by including more intimate behaviors in their definitions of sex.

  4. “If you’re not sure what to do, just keep giving her shit until the magic hands come down to pull you off.”

    Yep. Hahaha. Very good advice at least for your first couple of times…better to keep going than to stop right before the magic happens.

    Also I’m completely ok with the terms “eating pussy” or “licking pussy.” I don’t like vague-ish ones. I don’t think they suitably loan themselves to dirty talk.

    My beef with the article, among others: “Pubic hairs are to eating pussy what cavities are to dental hygiene.” WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN. Not only is it a poorly written simile but I think it might be complaining about lady hair, and that is not okay.

  5. Agreed the language around oral sex is terrible…my preference is oral sex or oral stimulation…not very sexy but not vague or degrading either…..

    love to especially give it…the smells, taste, look on my partner’s face during rapture are intoxicating to me…..

    especially don’t like terms that have the word “eat” in them…makes me think of food and I get hungry and then think of my fav burger joint in ‘n out….and that really kills it for me…. :)

  6. I hate those terms too. Like even the word vagina is derived from a Latin word meaning sheath, as in in to sheath a [mans] sword. I’m no mans sheath! But alternate terms I like such as cunt; which I like because it incorporates the sound CU or COO which is the oldest sound/word referring to the feminine that we know of. But the word cunt is so derogatory in this culture precisely becasue the massively pervasive misogyny that most women find it too hard to use.
    So yeah what word could we use to describe the awesomeness that is the miraculous lady garden of love? Wish I knew.

  7. There is so much wrong with this i dont even… “vice-y” is certainly a gentle way to put it. Though I do think it is awkwardly hilarious that the author refers to the clitoris entirely as male.

    “Eating pussy is so gentle it can make you feel like a bit of a fag. If you’re getting tired of being ballerina boy, take it out on the clit. Figure out how much abuse it can take without making her uncomfortable and show the little bastard who’s boss.”

  8. Love that last picture.

    I stopped reading the VICE article at the word “beaver.” It both makes me giggle and repulses me. So dudely!

  9. Okay, I am pretty ashamed to admit this, hence anonymity, but I ate out/performed oral stimulation on my (now ex-)(first-ever)girlfriend, and I was pretty bad at it the first time, and the second time, not gonna lie.

    Then, somewhere on tumblr the Vice Guide was linked. I read it. I made a bullet-point list, breaking it up into graduated steps. I learned them almost by heart. I wanted to improve. I was probably more driven than Melissa Ferrick at this particular task. I am saying that I am used to winning, and it bugged me that I was not winning this, so.

    I tried again, and I was fantastic. I think whole apartment building figured out that I had figured it out.

    So what I’m saying is, yes. The Vice Guide to Eating Pussy is probably not written in the best possible manner, but it improved my technique a hell of a lot, so I appreciate its existence (and at the time my girlfriend sure as hell did, too).

    • Nothing to be ashamed about, this is very common…its probably why I prefer to “give it” than “get it”…because its not necessarily obvious how to do it right. If a partner is terrible at it, I try to give feedback and direction (lovingly of course), but in the process kills the mood for me. Eventually with instruction pretty much everybody gets better. There is also some really good girl-on-girl porn that has closeups which can be very helpful. Especially those where the orgasms achieved are definitely real and not faked (very easy to tell).

  10. The Vice article was kind of… well yeah, it’s vice. But the actual advice in it was pretty solid.

  11. I usually use “gonig down on” or “eating out”. I don’t find the latter negative at all; the taste is one of the sexiest, best parts of going down on a girl.

  12. At least you guys don’t live in the UK. The best phrase we’ve got is “licking out”. How disgusting is that?!

    • And here I thought you all said “tipping the velvet” and ate eel pies outside the music hall. DAMN YOU BBC

  13. THANK YOU. This is a real problem I think. And, especially, Right The Fuck On to: “Is there a sandwich in my vagina that I am unaware of?” So crazy gross. “Go down on” is bland but at least doesn’t conjure up any repulsive images.

    Could not finish reading that Vice article however. Someone wanna say why it’s okay to promote (tirelessly — dude will simply not shut up about it) the idea that the entire point of sex is that the guy gets to stick his dick in a vagina and everything else around that is just a burdensome necessity cuz aren’t the women so, like, weird and hard to understand? In other words: what Merin said, up top, less rantily.

  14. Hehe, that sandwich comment as hilarious, and I always hated that term too. I prefer “go down on,” myself.

    Tried to read the VICE article, but the language was way too gross and faux-macho.

  15. I love going down on a girl and I don’t like how most cultural references point to it as disgusting or just part of foreplay. Cunt is one of my favorite words, we need to take it back!

  16. Tipping the Velvet, ever since I’ve watch the movie. I just get turned on my the phrase. I haven’t used it much in real life so for all I know I may just get laughed at but I dunno, I like it.

  17. i like going down or eatting out but cant stand when girls say giving head and are talking about another girl it just makes me think of man parts. so cant go there.

  18. My favorite was Riese’s description in The L Word finale recap…’Delving into the deep secrets of [Niki’s] inner thighs’.

  19. My freshman college roomies called it “giving face” for example “Hillary gives the best face!” or “I broke up with him because he wouldn’t give me face” It caught on for a while… I use it when necessary.

  20. I have a suggestion.

    How about TASTING?

    If the right woman told me, “I really want to taste you right now”… y’know, that would about do it, y’know?

    • Works for me too. I am a sensuous person by nature and revel in the smells, taste, warmth, feel…its a big turn on when a partner is similarly inclined….

      • Agreed. Tasting is definitely more sensuous than anything else. I like how it implies that there is a delectable treat waiting on you. I mean because there is.

  21. Tasting has always worked for me. Last girlfriend simply asked… “Can I taste you right now? I really NEED to taste you right now.” I almost died of excitement.

  22. I like to say “giving her a hummer.” I know that term is also used for guys, but it never made sense for guys to me. Probably because I’ve never done it to a guy, or something.

    But I like to use it to describe oral sex with a woman, because sometimes I do – hum, while I’m down there. Because I’m always happy to be there…

  23. when i went to lesbian sex school in toronto, the class was called “how to eat a peach”
    i feel like SOME sort of term must be derivable from that?

    • ..let me see…when can I book a vacation to Toronto….

      Absolutely love the title.

      Gives that really warm feeling when my brothers and I were kids in southern California, we would go around the neighborhood picking fruit off of trees when we got hungry. Never really need to go home for lunch, just raided the neighborhood fruit trees.

      I loved the sun ripened warm peaches right off the tree…biting into the sweet soft peach, fragrant, thick juices running down your face….

      anyway..you get the picture…..

    • LESBIAN SEX SCHOOL?
      do they have practice sessions?

      I use “Devour” sometimes. nom nom nom

    • Ami, completely serious here…could you comment on what the “school” covered? It fascinates me….since I have not heard of such a thing….would be very happy to be illuminated…..

  24. I always thought that “going down on” and “tasting” were sexy. Frankly, if you are doing it to me, you can call it whatever you want.

    Seriously, if some girl was all like, “baby, I wanna rainbow unicorn you on Mars”, I would laugh…and then push her head down.

  25. my ex gf just started calling it “sucking the lady cock” because she finds it hilarious.

    i kinda get grossed out by the cock thing but hey, she’s the gold star.

  26. I’ll admit it for the rest of the dykes here. We DO wish we had dicks. I had to admit that to myself long ago. But the runner-up — pussy — is what we have. So…..enjoy it!

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