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Unlocking the Pleasure: A Comprehensive Guide to Oral Sex

Unlocking the Pleasure: A Comprehensive Guide to Oral Sex


The mouth and tongue are incredible organs capable of a range of movement and sensation that can be extremely pleasurable indeed. But many of us are also far more squeamish about what we’re willing to put in our mouths as compared to what we’re willing to touch with our fingers or even our genitals. So, while most people seem very curious about oral sex, many are understandably also disgusted by the idea. And perhaps alongside the fact that it can feel amazing, it’s in the overcoming of this sense of disgust that lies its appeal.


As Alain De Botton expertly points out in a video titled ‘The Philosophy of Oral Sex’, which you can watch on The School of Life YouTube channel, what makes any erotic act exciting is the fact that these acts could seem disgusting out of context or with a person you don’t desire. But in the right context, with someone you adore, that disgust can be replaced by intense arousal and a profound sense of acceptance.


In case oral-sex terminology is confusing to you, here’s a quick break down: ‘blowjob’ is the colloquial term for oral stimulation of the penis. A more formal term for blowjob is ‘fellatio’. ‘Pussy licking’ and ‘eating pussy’ are colloquialisms for oral stimulation of the vulva, which is an act usually focused on the clitoris. The more formal term for this is ‘cunnilingus’. ‘Giving head’ and ‘going down on’ someone, are other slang terms for oral sex. ‘Annilingus’, ‘rimming’, ‘rim job’ and ‘eating ass’ all refer to oral stimulation of the anal region


How do you have oral sex safely?


Sexually transmitted infections, including human papillomavirus (HPV) and herpes, can be transmitted via oral sex. So if you and your partner haven’t been tested for STIs, you should consider using condoms during blowjobs, and dental dams during cunnilingus and anilingus.


Is it okay to swallow semen and vaginal fluids?


As we’ve just covered, if you and your partner haven’t been tested for STIs, it’s best to use a condom or a dental dam during oral sex, in which case you’re not going to need to either spit or swallow any fluids because a condom will collect semen, and a dental dam would prevent vaginal fluids from entering your mouth.


If you’ve ascertained that STIs are not a concern, and you’re simply curious about whether there are any other side effects to ingesting semen or vaginal fluids, then the answer is, nope—semen and vaginal fluids will simply be digested!


Is it better to spit or swallow when giving a blowjob?


If you and your partner have been tested, and STIs are not a concern, then it totally depends on how comfortable you feel about spitting and/or swallowing. If, for whatever reason,

you’re not comfortable with swallowing, or even spitting for that matter, just say so. Your partner can ejaculate elsewhere or into a tissue.

If you are both comfortable with oral sex and swallowing, then that’s something you can both enjoy as part of the experience. If you prefer to spit it out, spit it out. It’s up to you to decide what your preferences are. It’s common courtesy to inform your partner before you ejaculate when receiving a blowjob so they can decide how they’d like to go about it.


Should you worry about how you taste and smell down there?


This is perhaps one of the most common questions around oral sex.

At the risk of making a generalization, people with vulvas worry too much about this, and people with penises sometimes don’t worry enough.


Before any sexual activity, it’s great to have a shower. Wash your vulva (external genitals only, not inside the vaginal canal), wash your penis, wash your balls, wash your pubes, your butt, your underarms. Who doesn’t love a nice shower! Enjoy the process. Showering before getting naked, if you can, is a nice thing to do—whatever your gender. Showering together can be fun too!


Basically, as long as you generally maintain your personal hygiene, there’s no need to worry about what you taste and smell like. Your genitals are not going to taste or smell like strawberries or roses and it’s absurd to expect them to.


Even right after a shower, the genitals may have a bit of their own unique scent and taste. It’s not a ‘bad’ smell or taste; it just is what it is. A huge part of being able to enjoy sexual intimacy is getting over one’s squeamishness around the body in its natural state.


Do you have to wax or shave your pubic hair if you want to receive oral sex?


It’s worth remembering that oral sex has been around far longer than the trend of pubic hair waxing.


Porn has certainly impacted how we think bodies ought to look like during sex—and that’s perhaps partly why more and more people seem to experience this pressure to get rid of their pubes.


Pubes protect against friction and infection. There are no health benefits to waxing or shaving them off. It’s simply an aesthetic choice and depends entirely on your own preference


How should you initiate oral sex?


If you’d like to initiate oral sex, it’s usually a good idea to offer it first. In sex, as in life, reciprocity is usually much appreciated. But don’t assume; ask. Ask your partner for their consent, even to give them oral.


Ask if they’d be interested in giving you oral. Resorting to non-verbal moves to ask for oral sex, particularly in a first[1]time hook-up or with someone you don’t already have exceptional communication and very clearly understood boundaries with, is a terrible idea.

In fact, let’s talk about the problematic ‘blowjob head push’. This is particularly common in heterosexual encounters, where the man tries to initiate oral sex by pushing down the woman’s head mid-make out, sort of physically directing her head to his crotch instead of respectfully and clearly communicating his desire verbally first.


Unless you know your partner very well and they have explicitly indicated they like having their head pushed, do not just push down someone’s head when you want a blowjob. Because this registers as a demand for oral sex, not an ask. It becomes much harder to willingly give consent because, instead of initiating a verbal discussion of consent, you are literally pushing them, and in order to decline, the person not only has to say no, they also have to literally resist your pressure.


Even if the person was quite excited about giving oral sex, when you do this, it is likely to be a major buzzkill. At best, the person doing the head pushing seems entitled and creepy; at worst, it can feel like something rather close to sexual assault.


Oral sex can be a lot of fun, but only when it’s done willingly. So talk about it. And make your partner’s sense of safety and pleasure as much of a priority as your own. Seek each other’s consent. And honour each other’s boundaries. If someone says ‘no’ to something, respect that too. Respectful, clear communication is key.


How can you get good at oral sex?


The best way to figure out how to make your partner feel good is to ask them what feels good. Being able to communicate honestly and actively with your partner about sex is arguably the most effective thing you can do to become a better lover.


It can also be a huge turn-on to see your partner enjoying themselves with you, whether giving or receiving oral; so when you’re enjoying yourself, don’t hesitate to let your enjoyment be known!


While a lot of people want to know ‘how to give good oral sex’, especially for vulva-owners, getting more comfortable receiving oral sex is also something worth thinking about.


For example, for many vulva-owners, receiving oral sex comes with thoughts like ‘Gosh, I hope they’re okay down there’, ‘I hope it’s not too smelly or gross’, or ‘Am I taking too long?’ which can really get in the way of enjoying the experience.


Whether giving or receiving, try to be present in the moment, communicate with your partner about what feels good, and really enjoy every sensation.


The key to a pleasurable sexual experience is consent. And consent is an ongoing process. Check in with your partner not just before the act, but throughout the act.

Even something as seemingly small as putting your hands on their head while they’re at it is something you should ask about first.

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