Oct 27, 2006


Today, we've got to talk about oral. One of the eleven Susans that I know (she's #5 in order I have met them) wrote me an email late last night after an odd experience and although I spent a fair amount of time this morning considering this, I have little insight. So, with her permission, if not full-out encouragement and insistence, I turn this tidbit over to you, readers.

Yesterday evening, Susan #5 was fooling around, for the third time, with a fellow she has been dating for about six weeks. Everything seems to be going well between them and apparently the sex is good, or at least it was until it came to
a screeching halt last night. Susan #5's gentlemen friend, you see, claims that he "flat refuses" to go down on a woman. Never has, never will, the end.

WHAT?!?, I gasp, feeling like a jerk for otherwise having respect for everybody's individual sexual limits but being unable to muster even a shred of compassion for this dude.

But, it gets even weirder! He claims that "no self-respecting Italian Catholic would put their mouth near that stuff"...! First of all, "that stuff"? Like the vagina/clitoris/labia powerhouse is a fucking Tupperware container of moldy leftovers? Pardon? He can justify putting his dick there but not his mouth? I'm sorry? Obviously this leads to an abrupt end to their sexual encounter, and his encouraged departure, but not before he says, "Look, I'm sorry, okay? You can look it up if you want to." (Even weirder-- as if he is blindly obeying some strict law of Ways Italian-Americans Must Conduct Themselves...? Huh?)

So, Susan #5 and I have been Googling the hell out of this today because we are both, thankfully I suppose, free of any weird hang-ups ourselves and haven't encountered any partners with many either.

(Okay, just as an aside, I have to share this. Upon our initial Google, this popped up and I had to laugh. Wikipedia's definition of oral sex includes the word bukkake. Bleh.)

We found this from UrbanDictionary.com right away that did not support his statement whatsoever:

"To say hello in Italian. To perform cunnilingus." With the example given of: "Take off your pants. I'd like to say hello in Italian." (Worst. Pick-up Line. Ever.)

But then, we dug this up:

"In pre-Christian ancient Rome sexual acts were generally seen through the prism of submission and control. This is apparent in the two Latin words for the act: ''irrumare'' (to penetrate orally), and ''fellare'' (to be penetrated orally). Under this system, it was considered to be abhorrent for a male to be in any way penetrated (be controlled) by another person of lower social standing during sex. This same logic also allowed a man to receive fellatio from a woman or another man of lower social status (such as a slave or debtor), because the man would be directing the actions of the person of lower rank. The Romans regarded oral sex as being far more shameful than, for example, anal sex -- known practitioners were supposed to have foul breath and were often unwelcome as guests at a dinner table. So, whereas in Greece, where there was a tendency to see the person "performing" oral sex as active and the "receiving" party as passive, in Roman times fellatio and cunnilingus were perceived to be a passive and therefore shameful act for any man to perform, and oral sex between members of low social standing groups was considered superfluous and was often viewed as taboo. Therefore ''performing'' any type of oral sex was considered to be a passive (as in submissive) act while ''receiving'"

Then, on Discovery Health:

"Though cunnilingus is common among heterosexual and homosexual couples, not everyone engages in it. Some people, men and women, simply do not feel comfortable with it. Most reservations tend to center around three issues: first, that cunnilingus in unhygienic; second, that it is taboo; third, that cunnilingus is not a true expression of femininity or masculinity."

And this:

"Historically and currently, oral sex, including cunnilingus, has been frowned upon in some cultures and by some religions. It is prohibited in some cultures and even illegal. Underlying the social disapproval and legal strictures are powerful age-old
religious prohibitions against oral-genital contact. Centuries of religious scholars have believed and preached that oral sex is unnatural and against divine law. Whether because genital-mouth contact was not a procreative act or because it was erroneously believed to be strictly a lesbian activity, cunnilingus was officially prohibited. In our culture the non-procreative aspect is the most pertinent in that it is the procreative potential of sex that has traditionally transformed it from bad to good in the eyes of many religions. The weight of religious teachings throughout history has had a strong influence on legal and social rules. Many states in the United States still have laws about what are termed "unnatural acts" which include prohibitions on mouth-genital contact."

Anyway, this leaves us stranded and clueless. So, I'm turning this over to you, readers. Do I have any Italian-American, or Italian, readers who would like to prove/disprove this fellow's claim? I refuse to believe that en entire group of people can agree on anything, so I avoid generalization like this at all costs. But, is there a basis for this guy's claim? Do I have any reader who have encountered this situation with a dating partner? Do tell. You can comment and leave a fake name if you want. I don't care. If someone is out there claiming that an entire ethnic or religious group is boycotting oral, I certainly want to hear all about it. If there is an old school cultural thing against oral, I'm all ears. Not only about that ethnic or religious group, but if there are other folks who want to weigh in on this, please do. I'm asking you, readers, who likes receiving it, who likes bestowing it, who is doesn't like to get it, who doesn't like to get it.

(I'll go ahead and weigh in on my own Jewish world-view with this line of text by Paul Yedwab, "We often think of religious authorities as prudish, striving to repress all sexual enjoyment. Such is not the case in Judaism, however.")

Aaaaand, go.


mary said...

YES! Hi, I'm posting under a pseudonym, for obvious reasons, but my boyfriend is Italian and he says it's "an Italian thing" and will never go down on me OR let me go down on him! This post cracked me up because it's totally true. I love that you researched it, too.

Anyway I just found you blog a few weeks ago and I have added it to my regular reads. Keep up the nice work.

Amy Guth said...

Haha, thanks for stopping by, "Mary". Counterpoint, anyone?

Susan #5 said...

I hope he doesn't find this. I don't want to bruise his fragile ego. Then again what do I care? I'm never sleeping with him again.

jake ryan of sixteen candles fame said...

I'd offer to go hook her up but I'm too busy thinking about you.

Leah said...


Seriously, just wow. No time to do research, but imagine you could find some answers on craigslist to this one.

V. said...

First I don't know exactly what the question was, but I will weigh in anyway by relaying to you the two conversations about sex I had with my dad and my grandfather.

My dad said, "Oral sex is a wonderful experience for both people, but just make sure that if you are going to do it or let a girl do it to you that you take a shower with her first, it is erotic and will make the experience a lot more pleasurable."

Not once did he ever mention love, condoms, safe-sex, abstinence or anything resembling what I thought I would get from him. Just a simple if you are going to, clean it off first. Simple enough. Oh I was 15 at the time.

My grandfather said when I was 10, TEN MIND YOU! I was still playing D&D with Chad and Bryan at ten, my idea of devious making out was holding hands behind the bleachers at the Friday Night High School Football game. So my grandfather says after dinner (and three "Kentucky Teas") "If God Almighty had wanted your tongue to go down there, he would have put a little hole at the end of it."

So there you have it, ten years old and terrified of cunnilingus.

Personally I am a big fan both ways, in fact I would say that I prefer both of them to straight up sex. Both giving and receiving.

But I guess on it being an Italian thing, you can thank that dickhead Tony Soprano. I have seen three episodes of that show and everyone of them seemed to allude that he has strippers going down on him because his wife kisses his children. So apparently he doesn't tooth paste or mouth wash.

Nicky said...

Look, I see that kind of attitude, wherever it stems from (ahem, inappropriate mystification of female genitalia; ahem, patriarchal values bestowed throughout the generations even today in Italian families [although, thankfully, not in my immediate family]), as being a helpful warning sign from nature, a higher power, Bhudda, whomever, that the guy is a douchebag. Seriously, imagine how things would have progressed with that dude ... when you had your menses, would he have been that obnoxious guy who refers to it as "your woman thing" and doesn't want to know anything about it? His douchetastic attitude about bringing you pleasure is really the same as a very brightly colored poisonous berry, or one of those flourescent fighting fish. "WARNING. DANGER, WILL ROBINSON. Don't fucking bother with this guy. His needs and hangups are more important than your pleasure."

Ms Smack said...

fantastic post. Hope she dumps him and finds some guy - Italian or not - to eat her into next week.

Amy Guth said...

Well said, Nicky. I couldn't agree more. (Excellent use of the word "douchetastic", by the by.)

Welcome Ms. Smack-- thanks for coming by.

The Shapes said...

I think Cunnilingus was one of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW) back in the day. Maybe that's why he's so scared of it.

katie schwartz said...

I love this post! I read it a few days ago, twice actually.

every american italian catholic I've dated has noshed on my V like it was baked ziti.

not to make a broad sweeping generalization, but them men that I have met who aren't keen on dining at the Y have some other

katie schwartz said...

my comment was cut off. does this make me a one-click chick?!

for the sake of closure...

not to make a broad sweeping generalization, but the men that I have met who aren't keen on dining at the Y exhibit other issues in the bdr and in their intimate relationships.

sure, people have their preference. but, when someone is vehemently opposed to noshing to the point of being repulsed by it, it's a problem. you'll see it played out in other areas of your relationship in and out of bed.

just my opinion and from my own experience.

Michele said...

Ecco un altro esempio delle stronzate che gli ITALO-AMERICANI dicono!! Sempre, questi stronzi pensano che le cagate delle loro vite si applicano ai veri Italiani, vuol dire quelli nati e vissuti nel paese d'Italia. Spesso, gli italo-americani non sono mai andati in Italia e non parlano neanche una parola di italiano, mica una parola di un dialetto. Papale papale, mi fa incazzare!
Translation: Another example of the crap that ITALO-AMERICANS say!! Always, these turds think that the shit in their lives is applicable to real Italians, those born and who grew up in the country of Italy. Often, the Italo-American has never been to Italy, doesn't speak a word of Italian, much less a word of any of its many dialects. Frankly, it pisses me off!

Rather long rant, but it doesn't help break stereotypes of actual Italians when italos lump all the citizens of Italy into one category. If the italos had been to that country, they would realize that Italy is actually many, many tiny countries. The majority of these italos are descendants of people from the South. Maybe a hell of a long time ago when their ancestors immigrated to the US, there was a certain stigma, but certainly not today. But then the italos would know that if they actually had been to the South, and actually talked to Italians.

Tell your friend to get a plane ticket. She'll find a real Italian who's really good at eating her out.