Save

Cunning Linguists: Oral Sex in the Song of Songs

In: Vetus Testamentum
Author: M. L. Case1
View More View Less
  • 1 The University of Texas at Austin
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€29.95$34.95

As is typical of the metaphorical nature of poetry, the Song of Songs describes sexual activities indirectly, without giving any explicit references. As a result, interpreters often hesitate to define the exact practices portrayed in any given verse. For example, both Song 2:16 and 6:3 describe the male lover as “he who grazes among the lotuses.” Many scholars read these verses as some type of sexual activity, but do not specifically define the action. Using comparative evidence from Egyptian and Sumerian love poetry, as well as contextual analysis of these verses within the Song as a whole, I argue that these verses depict a particular type of love-making, cunnilingus. According to my reading, Song 2:16 and 6:3 focus exclusively on the sexual pleasure of the two partners, disregarding other potential benefits of sexual intercourse, such as reproduction, giving us a rare glimpse into a particular sexual practice in ancient Israel.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 4267 1859 156
Full Text Views 552 66 7
PDF Views & Downloads 380 150 10