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 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.