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

  1. 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.

  2. “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.

  3. 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…. :)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.”

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

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