A Short History of Cunnilingus

By Silverhawk

Ah, Latin, that ancient language of the Romans that gave birth to so much of current English, French, Spanish, Portugese, and Italian. From Latin we get the noun, “cunnus” (the vulva) and the verb, “lingó” (to lick). Put ‘em together and what have you got? Bibbidi-bobbidi-cunnilingus.

Yes, cunnilingus, that rumored sex practice of lesbians and the act that even today generates a lot of conversation in young men poised to, shall we say, dive into the fascinating world of sex. The mysteries of actual sex pale in comparison to the assumed taste of the vagina. “They pee out of there, you know”, is a common theme when adolescent males gather to discuss what they hear their fathers talk about after a few beers, and lest we forget, “You get hair in your mouth and it makes you gag”.

Fortunately for women, as boys become men and learn that vaginas and vulvas aren’t really all that mysterious but that they are pretty fantastic, at some point they overcome their fears and engage in “dining at the Y”. It may be just an appetizer or it may be the full meal, but either way, most decide it’s pretty great, and most women report the experience to be particularly exhilarating.

So, just how far back does “tipping the velvet” go?

Given the propensity of the human mind to explore and the fact that most mammals use the scent and/or taste of the female to determine when she’s in the mood, cunnilingus probably predates any of the records that survive today.

It’s not difficult to imagine a hairy cave man sniffing under an equally hairy cave woman’s furs and thinking, “I wonder…”. After wrinkling up his sloping brow and scratching his head, he probably stuck out his tongue, got a little taste, and decided “Man, that’s not bad at all, and the way that made her moan, spread her legs, and push my head down there is some really cool shit. I could get used to this.”

One of the earliest records is found in a lupanar (Latin for brothel) in Pompeii. Since Pompeii was destroyed during an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE, the depictions there are at least that old. There are inscriptions on the walls of the ruins that constitute a menu with prices. One of those inscriptions states “Maritimus licks your vulva for 4 As”. Apparently there were male prostitutes in the brothel as well as female, well, unless Martimus’ real name was Maarika and she was a cross-dresser.

There is also a fresco in one of the public baths depicting a man performing cunnilingus, so it must have been rather popular.

The Taoism traditions from China go back to at least the 4th century BCE. Taoism revered cunnilingus because it was believed the practice increased lifespan. It was also practiced because loss of vital body fluids such as saliva, semen, and vaginal fluids was thought to decrease vitality. By the consumption of these body fluids, the consumer, either male or female, could preserve and increase his or her “chí”. The most powerful and most coveted of these fluids was from the vagina. Since most people put a high value on their vitality, Taoist women must have had a really fantastic time.

Early references to cunnilingus in European based cultures are difficult to come by because up until fairly recent times, women were considered more property than people and as such, were not really worth putting ink to parchment. Nearly all early written works were penned by monks for used in monastic affairs and relate to the actions of men rather than of women.

One reference from the middle ages is the penance due for performing “unnatural” sex acts and was recorded in “The Old Irish Penitential”.

The penance due for “fornication of the lips” was four years if it was the first time, but seven if it was a usual practice.

One might believe this to be the penance for fellatio, but that penance is listed separately as five years for the first offense and seven if a regular occurrence. The former has to be a reference to cunnilingus.

The penance was given to men, not to women, but if muff-diving was prevalent enough to warrant a documented penance, it was surely practiced back then. The fact the monks felt compelled to devise a penance for repeat offenders indicates it was not only practiced, but was very much alive and kicking…or maybe that should be “alive and licking”.

Today, porn films do depict cunnilingus, but except in films for women, by women, the act isn’t really depicted accurately. Most porn films are produced for men and are always about male gratification.

Thankfully, that is changing, both in mainstream films and in women’s porn. While mainstream films don’t yet actually depict the act like they do intercourse, there are a few hints that it’s taking place. It’s more difficult to simulate than intercourse because showing what was happening would involve close-up views of a woman’s naughty bits and give all the MPAA people a heart attack.

Some women of today are as leery of cunnilingus as they are of fellatio, but for different reasons. Some women don’t like cunnilingus because they think it’s dirty. Ladies, if you’re one of those women, those of us who worship the bearded clam don’t think that. We just think you taste really hot and sexy.

Many women who don’t like cunnilingus feel that way because they believe it’s selfish. As most confirmed carpet munchers would testify, it’s not just the recipient who enjoys it. Most men who engage in the practice view it as an act of love and an act of giving that makes them feel really great. That’s the same reason lesbians do it.

Recently, cunnilingus has risen to be popular among the younger set of people just entering their journey into sex. Girls are a little afraid of being penetrated, are terrified of an unwanted pregnancy, and also want to keep their virginity. They satisfy their partners with fellatio and in turn, their partner reciprocates. Oral sex is relatively safe, maintains the girl’s virgin status, at least technically, and there’s no risk of pregnancy.

So, ladies, it’s your time now, so let what your mother told you be damned. It’s probable she loves it too. She’s just too embarrassed to admit it. Tell your significant other you want to feel their tongue tripping the light fantastic, then lay back and enjoy. He or she will love it too.

If the variation on the missionary position gets a little old, try face sitting. Just remember to look down once in a while and make sure your partner isn’t starting to turn blue. Some of us get so uh…wrapped up in what’s going on we forget to breathe. Depending upon certain of your physical characteristics down there, characteristics we love, by the way, we might not be able to breathe. If that happens, just raise up until you hear us gasp and then sit back down. We’ll happily pick back up right where we left off.

And guys (and girls too), regardless of what you might have heard, making a woman feel that great is a fantastic reward all in itself, and she’ll be so appreciative she might even consent to doing that other thing you ask her about all the time…well, maybe…if you’re really nice and make her feel that way again.



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