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Speaking of Spit


Simon Sheppard, QSyndicate.com

It's high time to give a high-minded thought to lowly spit.

Saliva has, maybe oddly, been thought of as a major marker of contempt: "I spit on your grave" and all that. Saint Bernardino of Siena even urged his 15th-century congregation to show their contempt for "sodomy" by spitting holy hockers, resulting in a sacred splatting sound and a very slippery church floor.

But spit has its uses, as we masturbators – particularly those of us without foreskins – all know. "When I learned to beat off, I first used spit as lubricant," an avid wanker recalls. "Since then, I've tried all sorts of lubes, but it's still my favorite."

Spit can lubricate not just solo masturbation, but person-to-person play. Rub a spit-slick finger on a sensitive nipple. Spit on an asshole before you finger it. Or get your palm soaking wet and stroke someone else's cock. (In the carefree days of yore, spit was widely used to lube up for fucking. But it lacks the slipperiness for extended use with condoms, and so has largely been replaced by lubricants that are expensive and less readily available.)

Beyond its slickly practical uses, saliva also packs a wetly symbolic punch. It can be largely decorative, tracing the path of a lover's tongue over flesh. Lips wet with saliva are lips that invite a kiss. And isn't a well-sucked stiffy shiny with spit just a whole lot prettier than a dry and lonely one?

Through the alchemy of kink, a gob can be turned into power-dynamics gold. A dominant top recalls, "I played with a submissive who loved being spat at. On his crotch, his chest, right smack dab on his face. It was hot to spit on his cheek, then watch him stick his tongue out and let it drip into his mouth. It was so pleasantly demeaning." So if you have a submissive curled up at your feet, why not show you that you care with a similarly damp gift? "I also spit down on my own bare feet," the top reminisces, "and then commanded the guy to kneel and lick it off. Really hot."

But spit play need not be so oppositional; it can flow with mutual affection. Deep kissing is, after all, dubbed "swapping spit." (Of course, spit's not the only liquid that can be swapped; other fluids, from a swig of beer to a squirt of cum, can move from mouth to mouth and back again.)

One fellow says, "When I'm above someone, screwing him, I love it when I get my mouth full of saliva, he opens his mouth, and I let a stream of spit flow into his mouth as he gulps it down. It's almost a parallel to what's happening at crotch level, and it just seems wildly romantic to me."

Spit is totally public, yet oddly intimate; it's the readily accessible body fluid that isn't piss or cum. Inexhaustible, universal, it's usually undervalued: the uncouth dispose of it in gobs on the sidewalk. Yet it also can be a symbol of commitment, the salivary symbol of erotic domination or the wet bond between two hungry mouths. It's an erotic accessory of a thousand uses, so next time you're with your honey (or your honey-of-the-moment), open your mouth and let it flow. We spit-loving queers can teach that dry-mouthed Saint Bernardino a liquid thing or two.

Simon Sheppard is the author of Kinkorama: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Perversion


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