Last Sexy Feast, I wrote about how the taste receptors on the tongue play second fiddle to the aroma receptors in the nose, which is why smell is an important part of both sex and food.
Today, let’s talk about tongue.
I love tongue, whether slow-cooked and chopped as part of a soft lengua taco, or sliced and grilled over charcoal at a gyutan (literally, “cow tongue”) restaurant in Japan. (Oh, I also love restaurants that specialize in one item or dish, and do it right!)
I was recently at La Bête for brunch, and my eyes immediately met the menu item that I knew would be my match: a beef tongue reuben on rye with choucroute and thousand island dressing. The tongue was tender and tasty.
So what does La Bête’s tongue sandwich teach us about sex?
Many people have never had tongue, and are nervous about their first tongue-on-tongue action. Here’s a little primer.
If it’s your first time to tackle tongue, take it easy. Your goal is to get to the tongue, but there’s no need to rush. Anticipation is exciting.
Go slowly. Admire your object of desire, and then when you’re good and ready, move your mouth to it. But don’t be a jackhammer. You needn’t reach for the tongue with yours right away. Explore around a little. Take a nibble here, a lick there. Soon enough, you’ll likely have access to the tongue.
If you’re still thinking sandwich, go ahead and bite. But if instead of bread slices we’re talking about lips parting, don’t bite. Instead, move your tongue around and taste your partner’s mouth, lips, teeth, and–yes–tongue. Meet it, lick it, suck it, and maybe chase it around. When tongue meets tongue, it’s a magical moment.
Different people like different types of tongue action: soft versus firm, slow versus fast. Some like it gentle, with light swirls and innocent darts. Others like hard, deep kissing that’s sometimes sloppy. Many like a combination of both. Find what works for you. Sometimes, this takes effort from the rest of the mouth, in the form of verbal communication.
Sandwich or someone, before running out of breath, pull back, perhaps after one last gentle kiss, then admire and smile. Licking your lips, you’ll likely be ready to go back for more.
First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on December 2, 2010.