Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

The etiquette of oral sex

Published: October 27, 2006
Section: Arts, Etc.

Q: Is there any polite way to ask for oral?

A: Oral sex is a popular form of pleasure, but admittedly has some potential for awkwardness. Some people are grossed out by the idea of mouth-genital contact, while others feel that blowjobs are degrading and force you to give up power. Some are embarrassed to have someones face so close to their privates, and others are simply worried about doing a good job! And last but not least, many of us wonder, Is there any polite way to ask for oral sex? This article will address these common oral anxieties, and maybe even give you some new ideas!

There is a stereotype that oral sex is usually given to big, insensitive men as they watch the game on TV. This image can feel degrading, and can often be triggered by the infamous head push. Understandably, its hard to ask for oral sex. But head pushing is probably not the best way to get things started. While it is true that some find it a turn on, it could turn others off of oral completely. If you know that your partner is lookin for a pushin, then all the power to you! But if this is your first time with someone, or your first time thinking about oral with your partner, its probably best to avoid the head push. Also, the TV stays off.

If you are receiving oral, there are many things you can do to make your partner feel wanted and respected. First of all, make the environment comfortable. Have plenty of pillows around, and be prepared to turn the lights down if that would help. If you notice your partner is looking uncomfortable (maybe their head is at an unnatural angle) help them into a better position. After all, you want them to enjoy this as well.

The best thing you can do to make someone enjoy giving oral sex is to be responsive. Show them with your sounds and body language that you love it. Moan, wiggle, and play with their hair. When your partner does something you really like, react to it! This way, your partner knows they are pleasing you, and also gets to learn what you really like. Also, your moans and wiggles can be quite a turn on for both of you!

Grooming is another thing you could do to make your pelvis a more enticing destination spot. Many people are worried that they are too hairy, or that their genitals dont look like the ones they see in porn. First of all, everyones genitals are different. Second of all, porn isnt real. You do not have to be completely smooth and hairless to be sexy, but some trimming is probably a good idea. You should groom your pubic patch based on what makes you feel sexy. If having very little hair makes you feel hot, go for it. If you feel sexy with a natural do, then go for that. Feeling sexy is being sexy, and it shows.

In the end, youre good as long as your partner doesnt need a hedge trimmer to get to your goods. If you are going to shave, however, be aware that the stubble growing back can be scratchy and uncomfortable for you and your partner. Keep shaving, or let it grow back a little before it rubs against someones face.

Giving oral sex is a somewhat creative endeavor, and everyone can develop their own personal style. Im not going to tell you how to do it, but there are some no-nos we should all be aware of. First of all, there is a difference between using teeth and biting. Except in very special circumstances, for example when your partner has specifically requested it, do not bite! If youre going to nibble, do it carefully, and see how your partner responds. The same goes for pinching. A shock of pain could really ruin the moment, not to mention someones opinion of oral sex in general.

When receiving, be careful not to squish your partners head between your thighs. Of course, some people like that sensation. The general rule, as always, is to find out if they like it before you do it. Same goes for resting your hand on the givers head. Be careful not to push too hard and cause them to suffocate or gag. Some might like it, but be sure to find out first. Finally, if you are going to come, give a warning. Not only is it polite, its hot.

If you want your partner to enjoy you more, your juices will taste better if you avoid eating meat for a couple days. (This applies to both semen and vaginal fluids.) Definitely avoid asparagus. Drinking pineapple juice is also supposed to help you taste sweeter. When it comes to spitting or swallowing, it is the givers choice. Swallowing is certainly not required. If your partner doesnt want you to ejaculate in their mouth, be respectful. Sex is about consent and respecting boundaries. Everyone has the right to decide what goes into their bodies.

Another contested issue is whether or not to kiss afterwards. Many believe its rude not to, while others (givers and receivers both) wouldnt dream of kissing without an Altoid. If you dont mind, thats great! If you do, the best way to handle this is to be prepared. If you are giving, receiving, or both, and you dont want to kiss afterward, or are worried your partner wont want to kiss afterward, have some mints or mouthwash handy! And to avoid making the giving partner embarrassed, both of you should freshen up together. After all, no ones breath smells that great after a couple hours in bed! Plus, minty kisses are electric.

The last rule of etiquette to follow is to say thank you. The words thank you or thanks might not be boudoir appropriate, however. Better to say, That was great! or That was amazing! or even Youre amazing! Good manners have every place in the bedroom.

This leads us to the last, and hardest, question about oral sex etiquette: how to ask. One strategy is to go down on your partner first, making the procession down there hot and seductive, which will hopefully give your partner the idea of doing the same. Unfortunately, there is no magical phrase or gesture to get someone to go down on you. The answer lies in good, old-fashioned communication. While talking about what you like and what you want in bed can be sexy, it can also be scary. One idea is to talk about it outside of the bedroom, perhaps over lunch. (You might want to make sure you arent sitting next to children when you have this discussion. Mothers tend to get upset when people say things like sucking clit around their kids.)

Of course, there are some phrases that can help facilitate these conversations. For example, I really like it when you do ___ can be a great way to start, and a great way to suggest improvements. For example, Last time I went crazy when you did ___. Could you do that some more? This is also a good time to ask what else your partner likes and wants. You might even find that your partner wants something youve been too embarrassed to ask for! Its definitely hot when you both know the things you want are fair game.

Everyone has boundaries. Its important to find out before hand, through communication, what those boundaries are. Its also important to know whether or not your partner has done certain things before, like giving or receiving oral. Sex, no matter what kind, will always be better when both partners are aware of each others boundaries and know that they are going to be respected. This way, everyone can let down their guard and really have a good time. If you have any more questions about oral sex etiquette, or how to talk about it with your partner, come talk to us at SSIS. Talking about sex is our specialty.