Sometimes, to do things the right way, you need spelled-out instructions, an Ikea how-to pamphlet that lays things out step-by-step. Like, how do you actually give the Heimlich? How do you know you changed a tire correctly? How do you know if you’re awful at oral sex? Well, maybe you’re too embarrassed to ask your girlfriend about that last one, and that would be one awkward pamphlet. So we went to Tracey Cox, a sex, body language, and relationship expert—who also owns a range of products from sex toys to lubricants developed by Lovehoney—to call out the most common oral sex misconceptions guys believe.
Because let’s face it, if you’ve been pulling out the same tricks you heard about in high school (aka you still think tracing the ABC's while going down on her is blowing her mind), it’s time to send your ego away for a bit and learn a few new tricks...
You’ve got to be rough
Everyone’s different, but a gentle tongue suits most women just fine. “The clitoris is sensitive, so while over-enthusiastic licking will have her squirming, it’s with pain, not pleasure,” Cox says.
Correction: Read Her Body Language
You’re reluctant to ask her point blank what she wants, and she’s just as unwilling to tell you what she needs. So, you need to prove every woman wrong and show her you’re paying attention by being alert to her body language. Namely, pay attention to any pressure from her hands. “If she’s holding your head, and pulling you closer, it means ‘tongue me deeper,’ Cox says. “Pushing your head away means you’re being too rough; slow everything down, relax the pressure and simply lick gently.” How to tell if you’re hitting the sweet spot? “If she’s holding you firmly but seems relaxed, you’ve got it right,” Cox adds.
You can stop after 10 minutes
“You might be able to orgasm at the mere sight of her mouth wrapped around your penis, but she takes longer to climax,” Cox says. You need to make her feel comfortable—so she can relax. “Tell her she can take as long as she wants because you love doing this to her,” Cox suggests.
Correction: Get Into a Comfortable Position
Most women take up to 20 minutes to orgasm from oral sex. You’re in there for the long haul, so get into a position that’s comfortable. “The most comfortable position for you is probably her straddling your face, bracing her hands on the wall behind, with a pillow or pillows supporting your neck,” Cox says. If she’s a bit shy, then pull her over down toward the edge of the bed and kneel down in front of her, and put pillows beneath your knees for support and comfort.
You've got to change things up
You may think she’s impressed by your extensive repertoire of mouth tricks (yes, we’re referring to the ABC technique again), but you’re really just frustrating her. “Women need regular, consistent rhythm for an extended period in order to orgasm, so stick with one or two motions,” Cox says. The clitoris is tricky. Your girlfriend can be hugely turned on by one sensation, and then you change your technique and it take ages for her to get back into it.
Correction: Test Techniques
Lots of women are people pleasers, but for the most part, they want you to think you’re doing a fantastic job even if they’re hating every second of it. “Make it abundantly clear you aren’t going to be offended, and need and want direction from her,” Cox advises. “While you’re getting to know what turns her on, try something for a bit, then pull back and ask if she likes it.” If you feel like a child looking for praise for a job well done, and she’s irritated by your constant stop and go, then try out different tongue movements while making eye contact with her and have her nod or verbally say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ “Though it’s even better if she's more specific, like ‘That was great but do it a lot gentler,’ or ‘Switch between the last one and this one,’” Cox says.
You should stop while she's orgasming
You might like stimulation to stop while you’re orgasming, but most women prefer it to continue right through to the last spasm, but—and this is key!—it has to be softer. “If you stop just as we’re hovering on the brink, we often don’t make it over the fence,” Cox says.
Correction: Stop Your Tongue From Getting Tired
“Keep your tongue relaxed, rather than tensed, and take little breaks where you move your head rather than your tongue,” Cox says. “Or press the flat of it against her clitoris and simply hold it still, letting her move her hips.” While you do this, simultaneously press down on her lower abdomen to arouse the part of the clitoris which isn’t visible, Cox adds. The part you see is just the tip.
69 is the way to go
The idea behind this is great conceptually. But in reality, it’s too easy to get lazy on your end, especially if she’s driving you crazy with lust and you try to get away with a few lackluster licks.
Correction: Ignore What You’ve Seen In Porn
In movies, they’ve pulled back and exaggerated the tongue movements, so you can see what’s going on, but it’s unlikely she’ll see anything other than the top of your head squashed between her thighs. “And flicking with the tensed tip of the tongue can feel great, but the most popular technique women prefer is for you to use the whole flat of your tongue,” Cox says. “Wiggle it or lick slowly and consistently in between the inner lips, and around and over the clitoris,” she adds.
But if you do want to get a little tricksy, here are a few things to note first. Cox says sticking your tongue inside her vagina can be a huge turn-on, but it’s unlikely to make her orgasm. “You need to combine it with consistent stimulation of the clitoris,” she says. “And while we’re on the subject of penetration, be aware that while some women love it when you insert your fingers inside during oral sex, others find it distracting.” Your tongue is far more are subtle than your fingers, and can easily be outshone or overpowered by the feeling of penetration, because it’s more aggressive.
And one last piece of advice: The only way to know what suits her is to ask her.