Especially with the rise of social media, new terms are coined all the time, including in the arena of sexuality. For instance, while the word "cuck" has become an insult hurled by the right-wing trolls, it's related to cuckolding, which can (and should) be a hot and consensual sexual activity that all involved parties enjoy. If you weren't quite sure of what that particular word's definition is — or you're unclear on terms like felching, docking, or queening, for that matter — I've written a near-comprehensive guide.
Additionally, if you're wondering if any given sex act is really a thing, keep in mind the wise words of sex educator Jimanekia Eborn: "Everything is a thing, is basically what I have learned working in sex education." In other words, if you can dream it, you can do it — or at least rest assured that someone else has probably tried to. With that being said, here are 17 sex terms you probably didn't learn in sex ed, explained.
1. Pearl Necklace
As Samantha explained to Charlotte on a memorable episode of Sex and the City, a pearl necklace is what results when someone ejaculates on or around their partner's neck or chest (yes, so that the semen is roughly where a pearl necklace is when worn). If you're not someone who enjoys wearing this kind of pearl necklace, feel free to stick to Charlotte's preferred version, which you can find at Bloomingdale's.
2. Impact Play
Impact play refers to any impact on the body done for sexual gratification, from spanking to whips and crops. When engaging in impact play, remember to pick a safe word and continually check in with one another to ensure the level of pain is desirable. It's also important to stick to areas on the body which are safe to spank or tap on with a crop, which means fleshy, meaty areas away from the organs, such as the butt and thighs. If this sounds appealing to you, be sure to check out my guide to first-timer BDSM tips.
Squirting is when a person with a vagina ejaculates fluid during sex. Eborn says she is frequently asked if squirting is a myth, and she's only too happy to share that it is not, nor is it "just peeing." Research suggests that the fluid involved comes partly from Skene's glands, also known as the "female prostate" — but as with many subjects that don't focus on a penis, more research is required. Not everyone squirts, and among those who do, some squirt from clitoral stimulation and some squirt from G-spot stimulation (that is, stimulation of the sensitive front wall of the vagina).
You may be familiar with cognitive behavioral therapy, a helpful form of talk therapy. However, within the world of kink, CBT refers to "cock and ball torture." This form of CBT can be therapeutic for people with penises interested in having a dominatrix inflict pain on their genitals, through the use of ropes, whips, or even chastity devices.
Pegging refers to when a woman penetrates a man anally with a strap-on dildo. There's a now-infamous pegging scene in a Broad City episode that recently repopularized the term.
Queening is just a glamorous name for sitting on someone's face. There's nothing more to it than that.
Scissoring, also called tribadism or tribbing, is most often thought of as the territory of same-sex, female-identified couples. It's usually considered to be two partners rubbing their vulvas against each other's, but can also be defined as one partner rubbing their vulva against other body parts of their partner's (including the thighs and butt), as Autostraddle pointed out. In so-called "classic" scissor position, partners' legs intersect so that they look like — you guessed it — scissors. Porn (especially porn made for the male gaze) has probably hyped up scissoring as a more popular act among women who have sex with women than it actually is in real life, but plenty of people love it.
8. Edge Play
When you first hear the term "edge play," it's easy to assume it refers to extreme sex acts that literally involve an edge of some sort, such as knives or needles (and yes, some people consensually incorporate those things into sex). But no sharp objects need to be involved in this type of edge play. The term means kinky sexual acts that push your boundaries (consensually) to the edge, which can be exhilarating for some. What is considered edge play differs from person to person, as we all have our own boundaries and limits. For some, psychological play such as name-calling may be edge play. If you are going to try pushing your boundaries, please do so with a partner you trust and use a safe word.
Figging is one of those sexual acts that are so interesting it's fun to know what it means, but you have to wonder if anyone actually does it. Figging is the act of inserting a piece of peeled ginger into someone's butthole, which would burn, sting, and be quite painful. Figging allegedly originated as a (non-sexual) form of corporal punishment on female prisoners by the Greek and the Roman empires. These days, the term also can refer to the general infliction of consensual pain on the anus.
Aftercare is a sexual practice that everyone should be doing, whether you're having kinky sex or vanilla sex. It's a term created by the kink community and simply means checking in with your partner(s) after sex to make sure all parties felt good and safe about what just went down and taking care of one another emotionally and physically. This can mean cuddling, bringing ice to the submissive partners if there are any spanking bruises, and talking about what you liked or what you didn't like. It really just means checking in post-sex, and if anything did happen that one or all parties felt weird about, making sure it doesn't happen the next time.
To felch is to suck up semen out of an orifice (using a straw is optional). For instance, someone may ejaculate inside their partner's anus and then suck their own semen out of the anus with their mouth; they then may or may not swallow. (Keep in mind that exchanging fluids in this way is associated with the risk of STIs, including HIV.)
Bukkake is both a sex act and popular genre of porn in which multiple men, typically three or more, ejaculate all over a woman.
"Docking is when two uncircumcised [people with penises] get together," Eborn explains. "[The first] pulls his foreskin back and holds it while [the second] stretches [theirs] open and outward as far as possible over the head and shaft of [the first partner's] penis." She says she is frequently asked if this act is real and possible, and her response is that with enough imagination and determination, most things are. (That said, remember that comfort and safety should take priority in all sexual encounters, no matter how creative.)
Cuckolding is when a person in a relationship stands by as their partner has sex with someone else. There are many ways to cuck: The "cuckold" may look on while tied up in a corner, or the cuckold's partner may go out on their own, have sex, and report back. There is usually an element of humiliation involved: For instance, a wife may tell her husband all about how her other partner has a massive penis and can satisfy her in ways her husband cannot. Yes, some men are turned on by being told they suck in bed. (Important note: It's totally possible to share sexy fantasies about cuckolding with your partner without actually doing it.)
Professional dominatrixes often get requests to do cuckolding sessions in which they may have their submissive watch as they have sex with a different partner or tell the submissive to buy them lingerie for them to wear on a date with someone else. While cuckolding is primarily associated with married, opposite-sex couples, people can enjoy cuckolding play regardless of gender, orientation, or relationship status.
15. Water Sports
According to safe-for-work Google searches, water sports are aquatic activities such as jet-skiing. In the bedroom, however, the term refers to the incorporation of urine in erotic play. A golden shower, for example, is when one partner pees on the other. If you want to try this kind of play for the first time but are a little nervous, peeing on your partner (or being peed on) in the shower is a good way to dip your toe in the water, metaphorically speaking.
Fisting is when one partner inserts their entire hand or fist into the other partner's vagina (or anus, for the highly talented). If you enjoy intense penetration but are dating someone with a small penis, remember that they have an entire fist to use on you. (And no, a penchant for fisting won't make your vagina loose (nor will sex in general, so put that myth out of your head).
If you'd like to try it, go slow and use plenty of lube; the fister can also wear a latex glove to keep things extra sanitary and help the hand slide into the orifice. And as with any sex act, enthusiastic consent and in-the-moment communication are key to enjoyment by all parties.
OK, so this one may not be a sex act, exactly, but it frequently happens during sex. Queefing is when air escapes from the vagina, often during or after penetration, and makes a farting sound. It's a form of flatulence, and it's totally normal. "At one point in time, it happens to all of us. We laugh [about it] to keep from being embarrassed," Eborn says.
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