Anal–oral sex

Anal–oral sex, also referred to or described as anal–oral contact or anilingus (from anus + lingus (Latin Lingere:to lick)), also incorrectly spelled analingus, is a form of oral sex involving contact between the anus or perineum of one person and the mouth (lips) or tongue of another. Non-clinical, slang terms include rimming, rim-job, salad tossing, butt licking and eating ass. It is performed by people of all sexual orientations. Depending upon the context in which it is performed, this sex act can either be used for personal pleasure among consenting parties or as a form of erotic humiliation.


Anilingus involves a variety of techniques to stimulate the anus including kissing, licking, and sliding the tongue in and out of the anus. Pleasure for the receiver comes from the sensitive nerve endings surrounding the anal opening, which are not typically stimulated by the tongue and lips.

Pleasure for the giver can come from various sources. Anilingus can satisfy both anal and oral fixations in the giver.

Health risks and prevention

There are many health problems that can result from practicing unsafe rimming, because of the presence of bacteria, viruses or parasites on or in the anus or rectum. These include Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, intestinal parasites, chlamydia, human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, herpes, and other sexually transmitted diseases. Applying the mouth to the genitals immediately after applying it to the anus can inadvertently introduce the bacterium Escherichia coli ("E. coli") into the urethra, causing a urinary tract infection. HIV/AIDS is not believed to be easily transmitted through rimming, although experts assert that there is a risk of acquiring HIV from rimming.

Frequent rimming with casual partners increases the health risks associated with the practice. Generally, people carrying infections that may be passed on during rimming will appear healthy. If the couple knows that each of them has a healthy background, there is less risk of catching one of the serious viruses or parasites. Parasites may be in the feces if poorly cooked meat was consumed. Hepatitis A traces in feces only apply if the infected person has eaten contaminated food. Hepatitis C is rare although possible if the receiver has trace amounts of infected blood through his/her anus or feces.

If the receiving partner has wounds or open sores 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 chips relatively soon before or after performing anilingus also increases the risk of transmission, because all of these activities can cause small scratches on the inside of the lips, cheeks and palate. 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.

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 human papillomavirus (HPV) might increase the risk of an 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 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% increased risk.


Owing to disease risks, many medical professionals advise the use of dental dams when performing or receiving anilingus with a partner whose STD status is unknown. A makeshift dental dam can be made out of a condom (instructions). Using a real dental dam is preferable, as real dental dams are larger, and the makeshift version may be accidentally damaged during the cutting procedure. Plastic wrap may also be used, but this is less preferable because the thickness can reduce sensation. Certain kinds of plastic wrap are manufactured with tiny holes to allow venting during microwaving which may allow transmission of pathogens.

Anal–oral contact in popular culture

  • The Howard Stern Show executive producer Gary Dell'Abate has said on numerous occasions that he enjoys oral–anal contact, both giving and receiving.
  • Anal–oral contact was referenced in the movie South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. In the scene, the mothers of the boys have a meeting with the principal because the boys had been swearing in class. While reading through a list of the words the boys used, Kyle's mom asks, "what the heck is a rim job?" Cartman's mom responds "Why, that's when you put your legs behind your head and have someone lick your ass!" The other mothers then stare at her.
  • In Pier Paolo Pasolini's film Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma, anal–oral contact features multiple times, mostly between the 'men of power'.
  • Madonna is depicted having an anal–oral contact with a man in her erotic book Sex. Illustration
  • In both the UK and US television show Queer As Folk's opening episode, the act of rimming is depicted between two of the lead characters.
  • In an episode of the popular television program Sex and the City, the character of Miranda Hobbes shows signs of surprise when a sexual partner performs the act on her, and later dumps said partner when he encourages her to return the favor.

See also


External links

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