A reflexive contraction that occurs when an object contacts the back of the throat. Biologically, the gag reflex helps to prevent choking and suffocation, as it can clear the airway of food and other obstructions.

The gag reflex may be suppressed with practice or through the use of numbing agents, allowing for “deep throating” during oral sex. When numbing agents are used (common examples include lidocaine, benzocaine, and certain herbal extracts), users must be careful to avoid injury during intense sex, since the numbing effect will prevent nerves from registering pain.