The Venus Butterfly is a term used for various sexual techniques, one of which being the subject of the 1988 book The One Hour Orgasm. It was first publicly mentioned in a 1986 episode of the American television drama L.A. Law, although a technique of the same name appears in the book The Sensuous Woman, which was first published in 1969.
L.A. Law television episode
In an episode of L.A. Law titled "The Venus Butterfly", which first aired on November 21, 1986, a client claims to have an effective sexual technique and reveals it to his lawyer, Stuart Markowitz (Michael Tucker). The technique itself is never described to the audience. In a hotel bedroom scene it is implied that Markowitz uses the technique on his girlfriend, Ann Kelsey (Jill Eikenberry), with great positive effect. According to authors Tim Brooks & Earle Marsh, the Venus Butterfly was pivotal in Kelsey & Markowitz becoming a couple.
The writer of that section of the episode, Terry Louise Fisher, stated that she had just made it up. The show received many letters and phone calls from viewers asking what it was, as well as two requests to license the term. Playboy magazine did a feature speculating on what the technique was and included suggestions from readers. Years later, actors on the show reported still being asked about it.
Sue Johanson variation
As described by writer and sex educator Sue Johanson in 2005, the Venus Butterfly is a variant of cunnilingus. It involves using one's tongue on a woman's clitoris, using one's fingers on her vagina and using the other hand in the perianal area, "even penetrating the rectum [i.e. anus] if that is pleasurable for her." A similar description was given in a 2004 episode of the TV series Rescue Me. This same technique is referred to in the novel The Illuminatus! Trilogy, written by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson as "the One-Man Band," and is referred to in issue No.298 of The Amazing Spider-Man.
The One Hour Orgasm variation
The 1988 book The One Hour Orgasm: How to Learn the Amazing "Venus Butterfly" Technique, written by Leah and Bob Schwartz, is dedicated to educating readers on how to perform the technique. In this variation either the woman or man is lying down, and their partner, sitting next to them with their legs positioned around each other, very gently, with just the minimal amount of pressure (the "touch" of a butterfly's wing, at least on the clitoris) stimulates the clitoris or the hood, with the penis at the two-o'clock or ten-o'clock position. The book suggests keeping the clitoral shaft steady with one thumb laid gently along and beside it, with the other thumb lying lengthwise just within the vagina but not moving deep within it. (All of this is done using a lubricant.) The light pressure continues using the same speed throughout until a peak is reached close to orgasm but not quite (although it can be continued if multiple orgasms are the goal), then the speed is slowed down even further or stopped, but very soon continued again and the person is brought back near orgasm or given a second or third orgasm. This orgasm control on the part of the person providing the technique can be learned over time with a particular partner. The technique can be sustained, "surfing" near the orgasm but stopping occasionally, for a very long time, hence the term "One Hour Orgasm."
The book is mentioned in the film Meet the Fockers. A set of video-tapes (for him, and for her) were later made by the Schwartzes, showing how the technique is performed.
- Tim Brooks & Earle Marsh, "The Complete Directory to Prime-Time Network and Cable TV Show, 1946–present."
- A Behind the Scenes Look at L.A. Law, Cosmopolitan, December 1987 (reprint on fansite, retrieved 23:45, August 12, 2006 (UTC))
- Daniel R. Coleridge, "L.A. Law Reunion's Sexy Secret!" TV Guide, January 24, 2002.
- Performing Oral Sex on a Female Talk Sex Productions Inc. & Sue Johanson 2005, URL accessed August 6, 2006.
- Colloquially, this configuration is also known as The Shocker. Basic Cable Awash in Raunch: a content analysis of expanded basic cable's original prime-time series, Parents Television Council, November, 2004
- The One Hour Orgasm: How to Learn the Amazing "Venus Butterfly" Technique, a book written by Leah and Bob Schwartz, 1988.