Anilingus (from the Latin anus + -lingus, from lingere, "to lick", and alternately spelled analingus), is an oral and anal sex act where one person stimulates the anus of another person by the use of their mouth, lips, tongue or teeth. It is also referred to as anal–oral contact and anal–oral sex, or colloquially as rimming. Anilingus can be performed by or on people of any sexual orientation for personal pleasure or as a form of erotic humiliation. Pleasure for the giver is usually based more on the principle of the act. The anus has a relatively high concentration of nerve endings and can be an erogenous zone, and the receiver may receive pleasure from external anal stimulation, as well as from the surprise element. The person receiving anilingus is regarded as the passive partner in the act, and the person performing anilingus is the active partner. People may engage in anilingus for its own sake, before anal fingering or penetration, or as part of foreplay before sexual intercourse.
Oral sex, including anilingus, is widely considered a taboo act, or at least frowned upon, in many cultures and parts of the world, at times associated with humiliation. Some people are sexually inhibited in performing the act or having it performed on them, or both. According to Diamant, Lever and Schuster, anilingus is a more rare sexual practice between women.
Anilingus can involve a variety of techniques to stimulate the anus including kissing, licking or the tongue moving around its edge or up and down the insides of the cheeks and crack of the buttocks, and in and out of the anus itself.
Anilingus can be performed in a number of sex positions including:
- the passive partner is on all fours in the doggy position with the active partner performing anilingus from behind.
- the passive partner is on their back in the missionary position with their legs raised high with the knees drawn towards their chest, and with some sort of support (such as a pillow) under the their hips for comfort and to raise their buttocks. With the partner's anus exposed, the active partner kneels between the partner's legs to perform anilingus.
- the passive partner on top in the 69 position. The active partner may lay down on the partner in the missionary position, with legs raised high, from the front to raise the partner's buttocks to perform anilingus on the exposed anus.
- the rusty trombone, in which a male stands while the active partner performs both anilingus from behind, generally from a kneeling position, and also performs masturbation on the standing partner, thus somewhat resembling someone playing the trombone.
Health risks and prevention
The practice of anilingus has potential health risks arising from the oral contact with human feces. Diseases which may be transmitted by contact with feces include: bacterial diseases include shigellosis (bacillary dysentery); viral systemic diseases include hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, poliomyelitis, human papillomavirus (HPV) and herpes simplex virus; parasites include intestinal parasites; and infections and inflammations chlamydia infection, gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis, gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Applying the mouth to the genitals immediately after applying it to the anus can introduce the bacterium Escherichia coli ("E. coli") into the urethra, leading to a urinary tract infection. HIV/AIDS is not believed to be easily transmitted through anilingus.
Anilingus with a number of casual partners increases the health risks associated with the practice. Generally, people carrying infections that may be passed on during anilingus appear healthy. Parasites may be in the faeces if poorly cooked meat was consumed. The faeces contain traces of Hepatitis A only if the infected person has eaten contaminated food.
Another recent study suggests a correlation between oral sex and throat cancer. It is believed that this is due to the transmission of HPV because this virus has been implicated in most cervical cancers. The study concludes that people who had one to five oral-sex partners in their lifetime had approximately a doubled risk of throat cancer compared with those who never engaged in this activity. Those with more than five oral-sex partners had a 250% increased risk compared with those who never engaged in this activity.
The thorough washing of the anal region before anilingus will wash away most external fecal particles and reduce the risk of contraction of fecal-sourced infection. An enema can also reduce the risk of direct fecal contact. A dental dam may also be used.
Safe practice is to avoid unprotected sex which involves fellatio after anal intercourse.
If the receiving partner has wounds or open sores on the genitals, or if the giving partner has wounds or open sores on or in the mouth, or bleeding gums, this poses an increased risk of STD transmission. Brushing the teeth, flossing, undergoing dental work, and eating crunchy foods (such as potato chips) relatively soon before or after performing anilingus also increases the risk of transmission, because all of these activities can cause small scratches on the inside of the lips, cheeks, and palate. These wounds, even when they are microscopic, increase the chances of contracting STDs that can be transmitted orally under these conditions.
Forced and mostly public anilingus was used from time immemorial as a form of humiliation and punishment, usually of prisoners. The use of the practice in the Thirty Years' War was described by Grimmelshausen in Simplicius Simplicissimus (1668). The practice is commonly referred to as "arse licking", and the term is still at times applied to the behaviour of someone who is too pleasant and helpful to someone in authority.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Anilingus|
- Jordan Tate (2007). The Contemporary Dictionary of Sexual Euphemisms. DSt. Martin's Press. pp. 8–9, 106. ISBN 0-312-36298-6.
- Jack Morin (2000). Anal Pleasure & Health: A Guide for Men and Women. Down There Press. p. 147. ISBN 0-940208-20-2.
- Newman, Felice (2004). The Whole Lesbian Sex Book: A Passionate Guide for All of Us. Cleis Press Inc. p. 174. ISBN 978-1-57344-199-5.
- Taormino, Tristan (2006). The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women. Cleis Press Inc. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-57344-221-3.
- Diamant AL, Lever J, Schuster M (Jun 2000). "Lesbians' Sexual Activities and Efforts to Reduce Risks for Sexually Transmitted Diseases". J Gay Lesbian Med Assoc. 4 (2): 41–8. doi:10.1023/A:1009513623365.
- Mark Forsyth. The etymologicon // Icon Books Ltd 2011, page 49.
- Morin, J. (1998). Anal pleasure and Health. Oakland, CA: Down there press.
- Tate, Jordan. (January 9, 2007) The Contemporary Dictionary of Sexual Euphemisms. Publisher St. Martin's Press ISBN 0-312-36298-6
- Is Oral Sex Safe?. University Health Center at the University of Georgia. Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-12 (from internet archive)
- What's Rimming?. Columbia University's internet health service. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-12
- Roxanne Khamsi (9 May 2007). "Oral sex can cause throat cancer". NewScientist.com news service. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-12
- Castleman, Michael (27 April 2010). "Rimming: The curious couple's guide to oral-anal play". Psychology Today. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- Simplicissimus, The German Adventurer, trans. John C. Osborne, Newfound Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-9797292-5-6
- Macmillan Dictionary