Dear Pleasure Mechanics,
My boyfriend and I listen to your podcast every week and it has prompted some very exciting conversations and bedroom adventures. For this, I thank you. But last night he told me he wants to try irrumatio. I told him I would think about it, primarily because I didn’t even know what it was. When I googled it this morning, I was a bit horrified. What could he possibly mean by this, because surely he doesn’t really want to orally rape me? Your advice please.
My lips are sealed.
What is Irrumatio?
Irrumatio is the act of actively thrusting of the penis into the mouth of a partner.
In the ancient Roman sexual vocabulary, irrumatio is forced oral sex between two men. Latin erotic terminology had two words for oral sex between men. Fellation, is when the man’s penis is orally excited by the fellator. Second, irrumation, is when the man (the irrumator) … engages in motions by moving his hips and body in a rhythm for his own pleasure.
In ancient Rome, giving oral sex was considered obscene, a lower social act. They emphasized the fact that because urine was unclean, and passed through the penis, it was unclean to use your mouth on these parts – much like our anal taboo today. Giving oral sex was even used as a legal punishment, especially in cases of adultery (along with punishments like cutting off ears, noses and other choice body parts)
Ancient Rome is often glorified as a more free and luxurious time, usually because we see their erotic art and imagine everyone lived in an endless orgy of pleasure. Not so! It was actually quite a brutal time and sex laws were very strict. Those of higher economic class had way more freedom, and permission to abuse those of lower classes and slaves. Homosexuality and Heterosexuality did not exist. Men were expected to have sexual relationships with boys of lower class status. This model of assigning status based on who is being penetrated and who is doing the penetrating persists with us today, and in some cultures is a major factor in designating an act as problematic or not.
Can Irrumatio Be Pleasurable For Both Partners?
Irrumatio can be a pleasurable and consensual sex act if we frame it in a very specific way. It can also quickly become problematic and unpleasant for the receiver if not undertaken with awareness and consent. Irrumation requires both excellent communication before the event and non verbal communication during the encounter.
Take away all of the ancient social meaning and just think of it as a specific style of oral sex. The receiver relaxes as much as possible and offers up their mouth and throat to be penetrated. The giver then takes charge and thrusts into the mouth for their own pleasure. This relies on the agreement that the partner doing the penetrator stays aware and respectful of the receiver’s comfort. This is an advanced form of oral sex and should only be tried once a couple has mastered fellatio and know what the recipient can take. Some people love deep throating while others only like the head of the penis in their mouth. The mechanics of irrumatio will depend on your specific fit together, between the penis and the mouth and throat!
Use hand signals to communicate. An “ok” sign might mean everything is good, keep going. A flat hand might mean “slow down” or “stop” Find ways to communicate so you can both enjoy the experience. Always have a way to “tap out” and end the experience quickly if you are not enjoying it.
Ultimately, exploring irrumatio is a good experiment in communication and consent during an intense sex act. Proceed slowly, practice explicit communication and see how the experience feels for you. At best, you’ll both have a great time and broaden your sexual repertoire. If it doesn’t go well, you can scratch it off your list and know you gave it your best shot! You’ll know more about one another as sexual creatures and will have had an intimate, risky sexual encounter together, which is always good for your relationship.