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Irrumatio is the act of thrusting of the penis into the mouth or throat, between the legs, breasts, feet or upper thighs (also known as interfemoral sex), or between the abdomens of two partners. In the ancient Roman sexual vocabulary, irrumatio is strictly a form of os impurum, oral sex, in which a man forces his penis into someone else's mouth, almost always that of another man.
"Latin erotic terminology actually distinguishes two acts. First, fellation, in which the man’s penis is orally excited by the [fellator]. Second, irrumation, in which the man (the irrumator) ... engages in motions by moving his hips and body in a rhythm of his own choice". A Latin synonym for "irrumator" is labda (Varr. ap Non. 70,11; Aus. Epigr. 126).
Etymology and history
The English noun irrumatio or irrumation and verb irrumate come from the Latin irrumare, to force one to perform fellatio. J. L. Butrica, in his review of R. W. Hooper's edition of The Priapus Poems, a corpus of poems known as Priapeia in Latin, states that "some Roman sexual practices, like irrumatio, lack simple English equivalents".
As the quotation from Butrica suggests, and an article by W. A. Krenkel shows, irrumatio was a distinct sexual practice in ancient Rome. J. N. Adams states that "it was a standard joke to speak of irrumatio as a means of silencing someone". Oral sex was considered to be an act of defilement: the mouth had a particularly defined role as the organ of oratory, as in Greece, to participate in the central public sphere, where discursive powers were of great importance. Thus, to penetrate the mouth could be taken to be a sign of massive power differential within a relationship. Erotic art from Pompeii depicts irrumatio along with fututio, fellatio and cunnilingus, and pedicatio or anal sex.[better source needed] The extant wall paintings depicting explicit sex often appear to be in bathhouses and brothels, and oral sex was something usually practiced with prostitutes because of their lowly status.
Craig A. Williams argues that irrumatio was regarded as a degrading act, even more so than anal rape. S. Tarkovsky states that, despite being popular, it was thought to be a hostile act, "taken directly from the Greek, whereby the Greek men would have to force the fellatio by violence". Furthermore, as A. Richlin has shown in an article in the Journal of the History of Sexuality, it was also accepted as "oral rape", a punitive act against homosexuality. Catullus threatens two friends who have insulted him with both irrumatio and pedicatio in his Carmen 16.
In oral sex, irrumatio is performed by actively thrusting the penis into the mouth of the partner. Fellatio and irrumatio can be used interchangeably during oral sex. Indeed the distinction between fellatio and irrumatio has vanished in modern English and the latter term has fallen out of widespread use.
"Peruvian erotic pottery of the Mochica cultures represent a form of fellation in the vases showing oragenital acts. See the vases illustrated in color in Dr. Rafael Larco-Hoyle’s Checan (Love!), published in both French and English versions by Éditions Nagel in Geneva, 1965, plates 30-33 and 133-135. The action should really be considered irrumation".
- "irrumatio in Sex-Lexis". Retrieved 2009-07-07.
- Amy Richlin, "The Meaning of irrumare in Catullus and Martial", Classical Philology 76.1 (1981) 40–46.
- G., Legman (1969). Oragenitalism: Oral Techniques in Genital Excitation. The Julian Press. p. 174.
- Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short : A Latin Dictionary. Oxford, at the Clarendon Press. (s.v [clarification needed] "2. labda").
- Richlin, A. (1981). "Richlin, A. 1981. "The Meaning of Irrumare in Catullus and Martial". Classical Philology 76 (1): 40–46. Link to preview available from the WWW.". Classical Philology 76 (1): 40–46. doi:10.1086/366597. JSTOR 269544.
- James L. Butrica. "Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2000.02.23". Retrieved 2009-07-07.
- Richard W. Hooper (ed. [clarification needed]) (1999). The Priapus Poems. Urbana and Chicago, IL, University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06752-5.
- Krenkel, W. A. (2006 [orig. 1980]). "Fellatio and Irrumatio" in W. Bernard and C. Reitz (eds. [clarification needed]). Naturalia non turpia (this work is one of a series of articles written by Krenkel about sexuality in the Roman Empire.). Ildesheim, Zurich, and New York. pp. 205–32. Check date values in:
- Krenkel, Werner. "Masturbation in der Antike." "Pueri meritorii." "Fellatio und Irrumatio." "Tonguing." and "Tribaden.". Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Wilhelm-Pieck-Universität Rostock. pp. 28 (1979): 159–89; 29 (1980): 77–88; 30 (1981): 37–54; 38 (1989): 45–58.
- Adams, J. N. (1982). The Latin Sexual Vocabulary. Baltimore. pp. 126–127.
- Tarkovsky, S. "Roman Sex ?C Hot Sex from the Frescos in Pompeii". Retrieved 2009-07-07.
- Williams, C. A. (1999). Roman Homosexuality: Ideologies of Masculinity in Classical Antiquity. Oxford: Oxford University Press:. p. 331.
- Richlin, A. (1993). "Not before Homosexuality: The Materiality of the Cinaedus and the Roman Law against Love between Men". Journal of the History of Sexuality 4 (4): 523–573.
- Richlin, A. (1993). "Preview of "Not before Homosexuality: The Materiality of the Cinaedus and the Roman Law against Love between Men"". Journal of the History of Sexuality 3 (4): 523–573. JSTOR 3704392.
- ""Fellatio" in Sex-Lewis". Retrieved 2009-07-07.
- G., Legman (1969). Oragenitalism: Oral Techniques in Genital Excitation. The Julian Press. p. 243.
- Legman, G. Oragenitalism : Oral Techniques in Genital Excitation. New York, Julian Press, 1969.