The delights of fellatio were probably savored
even in the dawn of civilization. Maybe the early Middle Easterners learned
it "in the most natural manner: by observing nature," that is, by watching
domesticated and wild animals licking each other's genitals- "Thus, from
natural observation, investigation, and experimentation, emerge the arts
of love." As the Old Testament so often reminds us, the Jews were surrounded
by incorrigible sodomites, the Babylonians, Philistines, Chaldeas, Egyptians,
we can be sure, didn't ignore penis-sucking when it came time to have a good time. There are very old Egyptian pictures that seem to suggest fellatory activity.
In ancient Greece, fellatio was known as "playing the flute." Its praises were sung by Greek and Roman Poets, and so it must have been fairly widespread. Priapus comments, "Through the middle of boys and girls travels the member; when it meets beaded chins then it aspires to the heights." The Roman poet Martial counsels an aging friend, "Why do you plague in vain unhappy vulvas and posteriors; gain but the heights, for there any old member revives." And the poet Lucian mentions the fellatory rape of the Syrian Timarchus.....
In Egypt, on the other hand they called you "sore throat" -and this is a well-known business. It must have been a close thing with you not to be choked, that time you came across the sailor of a three- master, who fell upon you and stopped up your throat for you!
Lucian even tell us that Timarchus enjoyed the "active" as well as "passive" roles.
In the Medieval period fellatio is lumped together with anal intercourse under the accusatory label "sodomia," so documents relating to its use and popularity become uncertain. However, based on general estimates of homosexual activity, fellatio doubtless continued to be practiced throughout Europe until modern times.
We can't be certain of the frequency among gay male acts, of fellatio in a population. Magnus Hirschfeld's pioneering research around the turn of this century in Germany estimates that 40% of gay males practice one-way and mutual fellatio. In most cultures anal intercourse is the most common form of gay male sexual activity. An exception to this is found among the Crow Indians of North America. Among them, anal intercourse is absent and fellatio "fairly frequent."
In India the art of fellatio has a long history, going back perhaps "to the birth of Christ." One of the first love manuals, the Kama Sutra (ca. 100-300 A.D.) has a whole chapter on Oparishtaka, "mouth congress" saying that:
The male servants of some men carry on the mouth congress with their masters. It is also practiced by some citizens, who know each other well, among themselves.
In India it is also known as mukhamethuna ("oral churning") and ambarchusi ("mango-fruit sucking").
Fellatio has been highly praised from North Africa eastward, being "common and customary among all classes and races," often deemed even more intimate and enrapturing than genital union, perhaps because oral excitation yields the most acute and intense pleasure. The sensations produced by the caressing mouth of one's beloved seem more ardent and enravishing than those produced by the penis or vagina.
In Turkey, it's felt that fellatio allows greater variety and subtler nuances of pleasure than vaginal or anal activity, which are more or less restricted in their execution and effect. In a word, as the Turks say, "Penis sucking is better than fucking!"
Throughout the Arab world, the slang word for fellatio is qerdz. In tunisia, Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Afghanistan, and farther, to Malaya, from which there is this sex-party account:
The scene is the same all over the room. While the man lies at full length on a couch or sits reclined in a chair, the boy-kneeling or stooping-holds and kisses his penis, sucks it, and receives the emission of semen in his mouth, right up to the very last drop.
In all, there are many places in the world where the finer joys were and are savored and cultivated. The "Arabian voluptuary" as Victorian England knew him, or the "damnable Toork" of an earlier era, could appreciate a darting tongue, wet, firm lips, and sucked-in cheeks clinging to a quivering stalk.