Sex Dictionary: D-F

Daisy chain

A group sex practice that involves a circle of people, each engaged in sexual interaction with the person in front of them. It can involve oral, vaginal and/or anal sex.

Dartos

One of the two sets of muscles that support the testes, attached to the inside of the scrotum. See Cremaster.

Deep-throat

A form of fellatio that involves accomodating the whole length of the penis in the mouth and throat. In order to do that, the person performing fellatio needs to overcome the ‘gagging’ reflex.

Dental dam

A square of latex rubber which is placed over the vagina or anus to avoid risk of the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and infections during cunnilingus and/or anilingus.

Detumescence

The subsidence of a swelling, in particular the return of the penis to its original flaccid state, following erection.

Diaphragm

A barrier method of contraception consisting of a circular dome of thin rubber, kept in shape by a pliable circular spring. It should be used in conjuntion with a spermicide. The diaphragm is inserted into the vagina and sits behind the pubic bone, covering the entrance to the cervix. Previously known as the Dutch Cap.

Dildo

An artificial erect penis – usually made out of plastic or rubber and available in various sizes and shapes – that may be used in masturbation or as a sex-aid for couples.

Dom

Abbreviation of the term ‘dominant’, used to refer to an active partner in practices involving bondage and sadomasochism. The term ‘top’ is also used.

Donor insemination

See AID

Drag

Women’s clothes worn by a man, sometimes with theatrical effect.

Dutch cap

See Diaphragm.

Dydo

A piercing through the edge of the glans of the penis. See Ampallang.

Dysmenorrhoea

Particularly painful menstruation, typically involving nausea, cramps and headaches.

Ectopic pregnancy

A type of pregnancy in which the fertilised egg becomes embedded and starts to grow outside the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes.

Egg, or egg cell

See Ovum.

Ejaculation

The release of seminal fluid from a man’s penis at orgasm. Ejaculation has also been observed in females where fluids are released from the Skene glands either side of the urethra, usually following stimulation of the G-spot. See Bartholin’s gland.

Emergency contraception

Contraceptive measures, including a hormonal pill, combining oestrogen and progestogen (effective up to seventy-two hours after intercourse) or the insertion of an intra-uterine device (IUD) within five days of the expected ovulation date. These can be used by women who have had unprotected sexual intercourse or who suspect their method of contraception may have failed.

Endometrium

The lining of the uterus, made up of cells and blood, that is shed once a month in the process of menstruation if no fertilised egg is implanted. If an egg is fertilised it is passed along the fallopian tube until it reaches the uterus, where it becomes implanted in the endometrium. See Menstrual cycle.

Enema

The introduction of liquid into the anus to clean or clear out the bowels. It is sometimes performed for sexual stiumulation or as a preparation for other sexual activities.

Eonism

Term for transvestism, introduced by Havelock Ellis.

Epididymis

Tube through which sperm is passed from the testes, where sperm cells mature and are stored before being passed into the vas deferens prior to ejaculation.

Erection

The stiffening and swelling of the penis, clitoris or nipples following engorgement with blood as a result of sexual arousal.

Erogenous zone

Any part of the body that is particularly sensitive to sexual stimulation. Erogenous zones vary from one person to another and can include the breasts, mouth, ears, nose and any other part of the body, as well as the genitals.

Erotic

Sexually arousing and exciting.

Erotophobia

The fear of sex and sexuality.

Eunuch

A man whose testes have been removed in castration.

Everyday pill

A contraceptive pill, either progestogen-only or combined, that is produced in packs containing, as well as the twenty-one active pills, seven inactive pills that are taken in the seven-day break. It is often taken by women who find it difficult to remember to start taking the pill again after the seven-day break. See Combined pill.

Exhibitionism

Pleasure derived from displaying oneself sexually, especially in public. See Flasher.

Fallopian tubes

Two tubes, each about 10 cm long, that extend from either side of the uterus. The ends lie near to the ovaries and are bell-shaped, with finger-like structures (fimbriae) that help to catch the ovum as it is released from the ovary. The tubes are lined with hairlike cilia that help to carry the ovum down the tube towards the uterus. Fertilisation of an ovum usually occurs within a fallopian tube.

Family planning

Planning and controlling the timing, frequency and/or number of pregnancies by means of contraceptive measures. See Birth Control, Contraception.

Family planning clinic

A special clinic that provides information and advice about family planning and contraception and provides the contraceptives themselves where necessary.

Fantasy (sexual)

Imagining sexual situations, involving real or imaginary places and people, as a sexual stimulus.

Fellatio

Oral sex, involving the tongue or mouth in the stimulation of the penis.

Female sterilisation

A surgical operation in which the fallopian tubes are clipped or cut and tied, so that the ovum cannot travel to the uterus or the sperm travel to meet the ovum. See Sterilisation.

Femme

Term sometimes used to describe a feminine – as opposed to butch – lesbian. See Butch.

Fertilisation

The penetration of an ovum by a sperm and the fusion of their genetic material. See Conception.

Fetishism

An attachment to a particular object, material or part of the body other than the genitals, which enhances sexual arousal.

Fisting

The insertion of the whole hand into the anus or vagina.

Flaccid

Lacking firmness, therefore limp and soft. In the sexual context, this usually refers to a penis that is not erect.

Flagellation

The act of whipping or flogging for sexual arousal. It is often a sadomasochistic or dominant/submissive sexual practice.

Flanquette

Any of the half-facing group of sex positions in which the woman lies facing her partner with one of her legs between his.

Flasher

A man who displays his genitals in public places. See Exhibitionism.

Foreplay

Term used to describe sexual activity that takes place in the early stages of arousal. See Afterplay.

Foreskin

The retractable fold of thin, hairless skin that covers the head or glans of the penis. This is sometimes removed in part or whole in the practice of circumcision. See Prepuce, Circumcision.

Fornication

Archaic term for sexual intercourse between unmarried people.

Fourchette

The delicate area of skin about 2 to 3 cm above the anus, where the inner labia join at the back of the vaginal opening in the female.

French kissing

A kiss with one or both partner’s tongues inserted into the other’s mouth.

Frenulum, or frenum

The bridge of particularly sensitive skin at the back of the glans of the penis in the male, between the glans and the skin of the shaft.

Frigidity

A psychological block preventing a person from being able to become completely involved in or to enjoy sexual intercourse.

Frottage

Sex play that involves rubbing the penis between a partner’s thighs, armpits or chest, without penetration. Also refers to clothed sexual contact. See Coitus in axilla, Coitus inter femora, Gluteal sex.

Frotteur

The practice of rubbing up against another person’s clothed body – with or without their consent – for sexual excitement.

Furtling

The use of fingers inserted into cut-outs in the genital areas of photographs, for sexual arousal. This was particularly popular in Britain during the Victorian age.

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