AskDefine | Define fellatio

Dictionary Definition

fellatio n : oral stimulation of the penis [syn: fellation]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Fellatio



fellātus, fellāre


  1. oral sex in which the penis of one of the participants is orally stimulated (by licking, or sucking).


  • Finnish: fellaatio
  • French: fellation
  • German: Fellatio
  • Greek: πεολειξία, πεοθηλασμός (peoθilasmós)
  • Icelandic: tott
  • Italian: fellatio
  • Persian: (kir mekidan) italbrac vulgar
  • Portuguese: felação
  • Romanian: felaţie
  • Spanish: felación , mamada (vulgar)
  • Tagalog: chupa


See also



fellātus, fellāre


  1. oral sex in which the penis of one of the participants is orally stimulated.

Extensive Definition

Fellatio is oral sex performed upon the male penis. It may be performed to induce orgasm and ejaculation of semen or it can be used as foreplay prior to vaginal or anal forms of intercourse. Although the technique always involves sucking not blowing, the sex-act of fellatio (or, more precisely, fellating to the point of orgasm) is commonly referred to as a blow job. Fellatio (but also cunnilingus) is sometimes referred to as "giving head".


The English noun fellatio comes from , which in Latin is the past participle of the verb , meaning to suck. In Fellatio the -us is replaced by the -io, an alternate form of the suffix -ion. The -ion or -io ending is used in English to create nouns from Latin adjectives and indicate a state or action wherein the Latin verb is being, or has been, performed. Further English words have been created based on the same Latin root. A person who performs fellatio upon another may be termed a fellator. Because of Latin's gender based declension, this word may be restricted by some English speakers to describing a male. The equivalent female term is fellatrix. This is a similar situation to the pair of English words dominator and dominatrix.

Cultural significance

Some receivers regard receiving oral sex as an ego boost, believing that such an act is a form of dominance over their sexual partner because of the overt submissive nature of the act; the giver may often be on their knees before the receiver to perform the act of pleasure. In ancient Greece, fellatio was referred to as "playing the flute"; the Kama Sutra has a chapter on oparishtaka, or “mouth congress.”

Religious significance

Galienus called fellatio "lesbiari" since women of the island of Lesbos were supposed to have been the introducer of the practice to use ones lips to give sexual pleasure.
The Ancient Indian Kama Sutra, dating from the first centuries AD, describes oral sex, discussing fellatio in great detail and only briefly mentioning cunnilingus. However, according to the Kama Sutra, fellatio is above all a characteristic of eunuchs (or, according to other translations, of effeminate homosexuals or transwomen similar to the modern Hijra of India), who use their mouths as a substitute for female genitalia. The author states that it is also practiced by "unchaste women" but mentions widespread traditional concerns about this being a degrading or unclean practice, with known practitioners being evaded as love partners in large parts of the country. He seems to agree with these attitudes to some extent, claiming "a wise man" should not engage in that form of intercourse while acknowledging that it can be appropriate in some unspecified cases.
The religious historian Mircea Eliade speaks of a desire to transcend old age and death and achieve a state of nirvana in the Hindu practice of Tantric yoga. In Tantric yoga the same emphasis is placed on the retention and absorption of vital liquids and Sanskrit texts describe how semen must not be emitted if the yogi is to avoid falling under law of time and death.
In Islamic literature the only two forms of sex that are explicitly prohibited within marriage are anal sex and sex during menstrual cycles. But the exact attitude towards oral sex is a subject of disagreements between modern scholars of Islam. In Islamic terminology the practice hasn't been described as haram (forbidden) but some have claimed that it is makruh (undesirable). Authorities considering it "objectionable" do so because of the contact between the supposedly impure fluids emitted during intercourse and the mouth. Others emphasise there is no decisive evidence to forbid it.
The Moche culture of ancient Peru worshipped daily life including sexual acts. They depicted fellatio in their ceramics.

Ingestion of semen

The ingestion of semen ("swallowing") poses some risk of STD transmission, although HIV is rapidly killed by stomach acids. . A very small percentage of people are allergic to semen. Nancy Friday's book, Men in Love - Men's Sexual Fantasies: The Triumph of Love over Rage opines that swallowing ejaculate is high on the intimacy scale.
As late as 1976, doctors were advising women in the eighth and ninth months of pregnancy not to swallow semen lest it induce premature labor. As it is very safe to swallow semen during pregnancy, fellatio is sometimes practiced as a replacement for vaginal sex by couples looking to engage in a sexually pleasurable activity while avoiding the difficulty of vaginal intercourse during the later stages of pregnancy.
Semen ingestion has also had central importance in some cultures around the world. In Baruya culture, women engage in fellatio and swallow semen when they need physical strength.

Link to reducing preeclampsia

It has been suggested that fellatio may, through "immune modulation", have a beneficial role in preventing dangerous complications during pregnancy. Specifically, several research groups have reported that preeclampsia, a life threatening complication that sometimes arises in pregnancy, is much less frequent in couples who have practiced oral sex, and even more rare in couples where fellatio regularly ended with a woman's swallowing of her partner's semen. The results were statistically significant and are consistent with the fact that semen contains several agents that have important roles in the prevention of preeclampsia, which may arise out of an immunological condition. According to that view, preeclampsia is caused by a failure of the mother to accept the fetus and placenta, which both contain "foreign" proteins from the father's genes. Regular exposure to the father's semen helps cause her immune system to gradually "grow accustomed" to their proteins. Other studies also found that, while any exposure to the partner's sperm during sex appears to decrease the chances of various disorders, women in couples who have practiced "sex acts other than intercourse" are less than half as likely to suffer preeclampsia. The studies noted that it would be impossible to assume conclusively the likely protective effect of the "other sex acts" including oral sex, or that the correlation between these sexual practices was due to the presence of collinearity induced by some other protective factor not noted in the studies: for example, greater overall frequency of sex. The standard way to resolve such confounding questions in medical science would be through a randomized trial, but there are unique challenges to research in sexual health. Candidates for a protective agent in semen may include serum hormone leutinizing agent and transforming growth factor beta.

STD risk

Chlamydia, human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis (multiple strains), and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) – including HIV – can be transmitted through oral sex. While the risk of transmitting HIV through fellatio is unknown, it is suspected to be fairly rare. Any kind of direct contact with body fluids of a person infected with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) poses a risk of infection. The risk from most of these types of infection, however, is generally considered far lower than that associated with vaginal or anal sex.
If the receiving partner has wounds on their genitals, or if the giving partner has wounds or open sores on or in their mouth, or bleeding gums, this poses an increased risk of STD transmission. Brushing the teeth, flossing, undergoing dental work, or eating crunchy foods such as potato crisps relatively soon before or after giving fellatio can also increase the risk of transmission, because all of these activities can cause small scratches in the lining of the mouth. These wounds, even when they are microscopic, increase the chances of contracting STDs that can be transmitted orally under these conditions. Such contact can also lead to more mundane infections from common bacteria and viruses found in, around and secreted from the genital regions. Because of this, some medical professionals advise the use of condoms when performing or receiving fellatio with a partner whose STD status is unknown. Flavoured condoms may be used for this purpose.

HPV and oral cancer link

In 2005, a research study at the College of Malmö in Sweden suggested that performing unprotected oral sex on a person infected with HPV might increase the risk of oral cancer . The study found that 36 percent of the cancer patients had HPV compared to only 1 percent of the healthy control group.
Another recent study suggests a correlation between oral sex and throat cancer. It is believed that this is due to the transmission of human papillomavirus or (HPV) because this virus has been implicated in the majority of 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 and those with more than five oral-sex partners had a 250 percent increased risk.


fellatio in Bulgarian: Фелацио
fellatio in Danish: Fellatio
fellatio in German: Fellatio
fellatio in Modern Greek (1453-): Πεολειχία
fellatio in Spanish: Felación
fellatio in French: Fellation
fellatio in Korean: 펠라치오
fellatio in Malay (macrolanguage): Fellatio
fellatio in Dutch: Fellatio
fellatio in Japanese: フェラチオ
fellatio in Polish: Fellatio
fellatio in Portuguese: Felação
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