Hesitant about cunnilingus

Published:

Dear Sex Counselor,

I’ve been slow at giving oral sex to women. Inhibitions? Taboos? I don’t know. I’m committed to pleasuring my lover that way. Any suggestions for helping me to overcome that? In addition to orally pleasuring my female partner, how do vibrators fit in? (pardon the pun)? Which do women find more pleasurable - good oral sex or a well-positioned, well-used vibrator?


Hmm ... lots of food for thought here. I want to start by having you think about what happens in your head when you think about giving oral stimulation to your partner. Do you think "yuck, it smells" or "will I do it right" or something else? If so, what?

If taste or smell are a concern, there are a couple things you can do. First, be certain to start your "date" with a thorough and luxurious bath or shower together, cleaning each other carefully and gently. Don’t use soap in her vagina, since it may upset the delicate pH balance - instead, use a non-oil-based soap or shower gel to clean gently around the outside of her vulva. Encourage her to do the same for you, around your penis and testicles. Make sure not to use a soap that contains oil, such as Dove, because the oil could stick around and make tiny holes in any latex barrier you use later.

After your bath or shower, you can either use a barrier such as a sex dam, or some flavored lubricant. If you use the barrier, put some lubricant (flavored or non-flavored) on your partner’s vulva and then lay the dam over the lubricant. Don’t stretch the dam; that will diminish the sensation she feels. Then either you or she can hold the dam in place and you can continue on with what I suggest in the next paragraph.

If you wish to only use a flavored lubricant, first find out if your partner gets yeast infections a lot. If she does get yeast infections frequently, using a flavored lubricant directly on the vulva isn’t recommended, as the glycerin in the lubricant can cause a yeast infection for her. Instead, use the barrier method described in the previous paragraph, putting the flavored lubricant on top of the barrier.

If your partner does not get yeast infections frequently, you can go ahead and use the flavored lube directly on her vulva. Spread it liberally over your partner’s vulva, and proceed.

If smell and taste are not the turn-off for you, I want you to make a date with your partner. Take a bath or shower together so that you are both clean and fresh. Then I want you to caress her whole body, in a well-lit room, not going to her genitals until she is already quite aroused. Once she is aroused, I suggest that she make herself comfortable with pillows under and around her, and you make yourself comfortable with a pillow underneath your hips, or with her on the edge of a bed or chair and you on the floor. Ask her to tell you when you are pleasuring her, and begin exploring her vulva with your mouth. Try lots of different strokes with your tongue and lips, and try not to feel as though you have to bring her to orgasm. If you find a spot that she particularly likes, stay there for a while. Encourage her to instruct you, it’s very hard to read minds! Don’t worry about bringing her to orgasm, but don’t be surprised if you do.

Oral sex can be a slow, pleasurable feast. The idea is to use the silkiness of the tongue and mouth to produce wonderful sensations. Ask her to tell you when to stay in one place, and how fast she wants you to lick. By getting her to talk to you, you can be sure of touching her the right way!

If you just want some pointers, or feel like you need a refresher course on pleasuring a woman, there are plenty of books and movies that give excellent instruction on the "oral arts". Try She Comes First for a very comprehensive, smart guide to orally pleasuring a woman.  If you’re more interested in a movie, try Pleasuring Her First, which details lots of ways to please a female partner - oral, manual, through penetration, and lots more.

Regarding vibrators vs. oral stimulation ...

All, both, and it depends. Some women think they take too long to have an orgasm, and may prefer to use a vibrator to get them there. Others love a vibrator in their vagina or anus, or both, plus oral stimulation to the labia and clitoris. Many women enjoy both oral and vibrator stimulation at different points in the sexual encounter, or at different times in their personal sexual cycle.

The only way to know what your partner likes is to ask her. If she doesn’t know, start playing! Try introducing an insertable vibrator along with oral or manual clitoral stimulation and see how she likes it. Talk about whether she has any interest in anal stimulation, and if so, read our other Q&As and explore that safely.

If your partner is on medication that delays orgasm, or makes it harder to have an orgasm, she may need the intense stimulation that a vibrator provides in order to actually reach orgasm. All of this can be determined through a sexy conversation or two or three, and some playful exploration.

Happy practicing!

The Sex Counselor