James W. Hicks, M.D.

The Mouth

In Sexploration* on October 10, 2010 at 4:15 am

From the time we are infants, we derive pleasure and give and receive affection through our mouths. Freud thought oral sexuality was a developmental stage to be abandoned after breast-feeding, but the pleasures of the mouth are a unique and crucial part of the sexual repertoire. Teenagers who are not yet ready to have genital intercourse can enjoy kissing, necking, and even oral sex, and some men and women continue to prefer oral sex to other forms of intercourse. Kissing remains the most affectionate form of sexual expression, which makes it essential for some and a taboo for others (for example, a macho type will seek a blowjob from a man but turn away from his kiss).

Lips come in a variety of shapes and sizes that contribute to appearance and the quality of stimulation they provide. The skin of the lips has a dry surface on the outside and moist mucous membrane on the inside (which makes it similar to the entrance of the vagina). Fat lies beneath the surface of the lips, making them soft, while a thin muscle circles the mouth and allows for the pursing of the lips. This muscle is involved when you press lips together during passionate kissing, when you pucker around a nipple or clitoris, or when you encircle the shaft of a penis during fellatio. Since the outside of the lips are naturally dry, these activities may be more pleasant if they are wetted with saliva, lipstick, or petroleum jelly.

The lips work together with the muscles of the cheeks to create enough suction to lightly bruise the skin of the neck when making a “hickey” or love-bite. Some people also use their teeth to gently bite and tug on the nipples, labia, or foreskin during sex. This requires some control and attention to not hurt your partner. Some people also enjoy the light pain that comes from being bitten on the skin, and a full chapter is devoted to this form of love-making in the ancient Indian Kamasutra.

The tongue is essentially a muscle surrounded by mucous membrane. The muscle fibers run in all directions, so the tongue is able to stretch, curl, flick, and move dexterously. The upper surface of the tongue is textured, in order to better grip food, which contributes to the wet sensation of friction which makes a probing tongue so exciting.

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