After attaining international success with her third studio effort Laundry Service in 2001, Shakira opted to create a Spanish-language project for her follow-up record, her first since her second studio album Dónde Están los Ladrones? in 1998. Having co-written nearly sixty tracks for Laundry Service, she put herself "on the mission of selecting [her] favorite ones" to record for Fijación Oral, Vol. 1 and its own successor, the English-language Oral Fixation Vol. 2. While recording the first volume, Shakira worked with previous collaborator Lester Mendez and new partners Gustavo Cerati, Luis F. Ochoa, and Jose "Gocho" Torres. Production of the second volume saw her reunited with Cerati, Mendez, and Ochoa and also joined by newer partners Jerry Duplessis, Wyclef Jean, Tim Mitchell, and The Matrix.
For both Oral Fixation records, Shakira commented that the album artworks were inspired by Eve, elaborating that "[she wanted] to attribute to Eve one more reason to bite the forbidden fruit, and that would be her oral fixation" and that "[she always felt] that [she has] been a very oral person. [It is her] biggest source of pleasure". The first volume's cover sees Shakira holding a baby girl in her arms. The second volume's cover sees an unclothed Shakira covered by a tree's branches and leaves while holding an apple in her hand; the baby girl she held in her arms on the cover of the first volume is sitting in the tree. Both covers allude to psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud's theory that infants begin discovering the world through their mouths during the oral stage of psychosexual development.