Getting Great Oral Sex


oral sex

Oral sex is a true gift. Since we can’t do it for ourselves it is a wonderful, pleasurable and intimate way to connect with a partner. And it is the easiest way for most women to orgasm during partner sex, other than by using a vibrator. Despite its magnificent potential, however, it is not always everyone’s favourite. Of course not everyone likes the same things, but sometimes there are blocks in our way, techniques that can be improved and simple ways for us to learn to enjoy this decadent treat.


We all grew up with direct and indirect messages that women’s vulvas are dirty, smelly, ugly and taste bad – usually some reference to salty fish. For more on debunking these untruths, please read the article – All you need to know about your vulva and vagina.  And even though you may not entirely believe those messages, they sometimes seep into our unconscious and affect our reactions anyhow. For myself, the first time a partner wanted to go down on me I thought, “That is gross, but go ahead if you want to.” Many of us spend time while receiving oral pleasure debating when to give our partners the tap rather than actually enjoying the sensations. Convinced that they don’t in fact enjoy the taste, smell and experience of oral sex on us, we often believe that we need to put them out of their misery by reassuring them that they have done enough oral sex for now and it is time to move on to other more enjoyable pleasures.


Because of the often one-sided nature of oral pleasure, many of us feel self-conscious about receiving our partner’s full attention. While some of us love attention showered upon us, many others among us feel like we ought to be doing something reciprocal at the same time or have a hard time simply enjoying the decadence. (On a side note, the position “69” can be likened to communism: It is fair, it is equal, and it doesn’t work: at least for those of us who have to concentrate during orgasm and cannot do so while giving pleasure at the same time.) This discomfort with receiving often grows with each passing minute, especially once the length of time it usually takes for our partner to orgasm has passed and our partner is still working away at our pleasure. We start to feel guilty that we need more time than our partner. It just no longer feels fair. And so we end up letting our partners know that they have valiantly fulfilled their part of the oral sex bargain and giving them permission to move to other sexual activities – again, often to their dismay.


We get easily distracted: noticing the chipped paint on the ceiling, compiling lists of chores to be completed later that day, worrying about our taste or whether our partner still finds us attractive. With all of these distractions, we are unfortunately not feeling the pleasure our partner is generously offering. Our focus in in our heads, cut off from our genitals. Read more on how to bring more presence to your pleasure. 

Let them Enjoy

As a result of these blocks, many men in particular complain that their partner cuts them off when they are in the middle of enjoying the delicacy of oral sex. And so rather than sparing them perceived distress, many women deprive their partners of a great pleasure! If you are unsure, ask your partner what s/he likes about giving you oral pleasure. You may be surprised by their answer. And just to set the record straight, as anyone who has given oral pleasure to both men and women will attest, penises are way more challenging to fit in your mouth and pleasure than are vulvas. So especially if your partner has a penis, you certainly don’t need to feel like your partner has a harder job!

If you still get distracted, convinced that your partner is only going down on you in order to be nice, make a deal with them. They promise to switch to other forms of pleasure when they lose their desire to continue dining at your vulva. You then have to trust them to be honest, and, as long as they are down there, surrender to the idea that they are quite happy and prefer not to be interrupted. Of course one thing that partners can also do is to reassure their partner of their desire, saying things like, “I love how you taste. There is no rush. I could stay here all night.”

Enthusiasm is Rarely Sufficient

Just because your partner is happy to indulge you with hours of oral pleasure does not necessarily mean that you will enjoy it. Some folks just don’t like it, just like some simply don’t enjoy chocolate, a fact that remains perplexing to many. Often the lack of pleasure is a result of techniques simply not working for you. Unlike other forms of sex, it is hard to know what to correct or request since we usually cannot see what a partner is doing or describe the technique that worked before. And since we cannot do it for ourselves, it is tough to show what works, especially since fingers and toys are not equal comparisons to the possibilities of mouths and tongues. Therein lies the dilemma. Many women say they don’t enjoy it but have no suggestions on what they’d like their partner to do differently.

Sometimes a little education can help. While there are many educational films out there that are loosely-veiled porn that won’t teach even the most uneducated, there are some quality educational tools out there. Oral Sex For Couples DVD by New World Sex Education is an excellent series that actually contains a diversity of techniques. The oral sex chapter in Secrets of the Sex Masters (written by me and thus in my humble opinion a good comprehensive resource) has explanations and diagrams that give numerous techniques to try.

Try a pleasure lab: ask your partner to do several techniques and rate each in turn on a scale of 1-10. And for each technique, tell your partner what might make it even better. So many of us get frustrated when we ask for it softer for example. Our partner is at a pressure of 9 and they lessen it slightly to a 7 but we need a 2. How do we ask again for it softer without hurting our partner’s feelings or coming across like an ungrateful nag? Be specific and tell your partner that they are at a 7 and that you would prefer a 2. And after the next adjustment, that it is still a 4 and needs to be just a little softer and make it a 2. Or let them know that it is indeed softer but needs to be softer still please. Acknowledging that they are getting closer is helpful to keep both partners enthusiastic about continuing in the exploration.

If you have a finger technique that really works for you, show your partner with your finger and then demonstrate the pressure and movement by placing your finger over your partner’s. Once they have a sense of what you like, hopefully they can use the technique for both finger play as well as translate it into oral pleasure.

In the end you may be someone who simply does not enjoy oral sex. But please try these suggestions before you give up on the whole idea. Oral pleasure done the way you like it can be one of the most exquisite ways to experience pleasure – for both of you!

Image: Oral sex scene from the movie Gone Girl


About Author

Carlyle Jansen is the founder of Good For Her, Toronto’s premiere sexuality shop and workshop centre, and producer of the annual Feminist Porn Awards. Carlyle has been teaching workshops and coaching individuals and couples since 1995. Her teaching audience includes sexual health professionals and sex therapists, youth and parents, TV audiences as well as informal groups of folks looking to fun ways to improve their sexual experiences. She is a regular contributor to Tonic Magazine and interviewed regularly by media and documentaries. Her chapter on Sensational Oral Sex is published in the book Secrets of the Sex Masters and her upcoming book Sex Yourself will be out with Quiver Books in 2015.

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