Editor's note: This is an abridged version of the full guide, which is available in the Lover app
Oral sex can be a bit intimating if you feel inexperienced or you are unsure what your partner likes. This blog will give you the tools and tricks to start giving good head to your partner and how to indulge them with intimate pleasure while communicating their needs.
Just like every other part of sex, it’s best when the focus is on experiencing pleasure with your partner in the moment. Whereas, having goal-orientated sex only focusing on someone having an orgasm or completing a checklist of sex acts leading to penis-in-vagina penetration can be daunting, dissatisfying, and feel mechanical.
Let’s ditch the script of goals and other things and focus on what really brings you and your partner pleasure uniquely. Oral sex is incredibly physically and emotionally intimate, especially in romantic relationships. Showing emotional intimacy with your partner can make them feel soothed before you begin cunnilingus.
You might be here wondering; how do I get good at oral? There’s no secret technique, signature move, or pattern of tongue and hand movements that, once mastered, will blow any partner’s mind every single time. Instead, it’s a combination of time, communication, paying attention, and responding. Let’s get started.
How to Prepare for Oral Sex
The best sexual experiences happen when everyone involved is relaxed and mentally and physically present. This means centering yourself in the moment and putting aside anxious thoughts, to-do lists for the day or the next day, and trying to keep intrusive questions quiet.
This can be very challenging since most of us usually have a constant mental clock telling us to move on to something, be productive, or just distract ourselves with random things. You can help focus your mind by setting the scene and scheduling this moment.
To prepare physically for this time, make sure the room is at a comfortable temperature, with comfortable surrounds, dry towels, moist towelettes, cleaned and charged sex toys, and safe sex barriers nearby.
Make sure that you’ve set aside enough time, so you don’t have to rush or make your partner feel rushed. If you plan on using lube for other activities, do a spot test on your and your partner’s forearms before applying to more sensitive areas to avoid unexpected allergic reactions.
To prepare your body to give great oral, try to wear minimal products or makeup, and moisturize and soften any facial hair you might have to avoid irritating the skin around your partner’s vulva or the vulva itself.
You may or may not know how your partner cares for their pubic hair. If you aren’t sure if they shave their labia or not, you can always part their labial folds to gain better access to their vulva.
The most important thing to remember is that it’s not your business how someone else maintains their body hair, even if that person is your sexual partner. Respecting their bodily autonomy and showing reverence and care during this intimate act should be your top priority.
Make Oral the Main Event
Sometimes oral sex can act as a short pit stop on the way to penetration. And sometimes, that makes oral feel like a chore during foreplay. Instead of checking it off a list on the way to something else, think of oral as the main attraction. If all you do the next time you have sex is go down on a vulva for an hour, what would that experience be like, and how could you make it as pleasurable as possible for both of you?
No, that hour isn’t metaphorical. Desire can be spontaneous, but often it’s responsive or scheduled! Responsive desire means that you or your partner can take some sexual stimulation before the mental interest in sexual intimacy is fully present. Taking the time to really build that desire can benefit both of you, no matter your desire type.
Giving Oral Tricks and Tips
Because you’re giving yourselves plenty of time for this experience, there’s no need to rush to the part where your mouth is literally on a vulva. Do some kissing, grinding, groping, and generally building your mutual desire. Use your hands to tease — and to bring blood to your partner’s genitals — by massaging their butt, running your hands up their legs, or even dragging your nails up their inner thighs.
When you’re both ready, move down slowly. If your partner enjoys nipple stimulation, spend some time there before moving lower. When it comes to your first touch, consider kissing their inner thighs. If you get positive feedback, build up into gently using your tongue, lips, or even teeth.
Slowly work your way up one thigh and then gently graze your mouth and nose across their vulva. You might want to linger on their mons pubis and give their pelvic bone a gentle kiss. Be light and gentle before making your way down the other inner thigh. Take your time and let the suspense build.
When you’re sure your partner is ready for more, start with a wide, slow application of light pressure from your tongue. Take your time with this, perhaps bringing your flattened tongue slowly up from the lower vulva, up past the vaginal opening, and finishing just short of the clitoris. Establish a slow rhythm here to start, and pay very very close attention to your partner’s responses as you do.
Do they react to a specific spot? Do they prefer your tongue more on the left side of their vulva, or the right?
What happens if you make your tongue harder or softer? What about speed? What about motion? What about rhythm? What happens when you head to their clit?
Don’t forget: this is about your partner’s pleasure, but it’s also about yours. Increase your own sexual desire by honing in on your senses, like taste and touch. Take pleasure in the feeling of your partner’s body in your hands, the way their flavor changes with arousal, and the noises they make.
Those who genuinely love oral sex are the most skilled at it. The more you can focus on this element of pleasure and its journey, the more amazing the sex is going to be for both of you.
For more oral sex tips and techniques for going down on a vulva, check out Going Down on Her in the Lover app.