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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Don’t Enjoy Receiving Oral Sex

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Is it possible for a female to not enjoy oral sex [performed] on her, or is he just doing it wrong?

It’s possible that either one or both of these things are true—receiving oral sex could just not be your thing, your partner could need to practice some oral sex skills, or both! The only way to find out is through some experimentation and communication with your partner.

Receiving oral sex is often perceived as something that all people of all genders enjoy. However, just because something’s popular doesn’t mean that all people enjoy it. Some women might find that they need more intense stimulation than oral sex can provide in order to have an orgasm. The authors of the book I (Heart) Female Orgasm found that only 14% of women said that receiving oral sex was the easiest way to have an orgasm. Some women may like oral sex as a warm-up to other types of sexual activity, but not by itself. Since women are sometimes taught that their genitals or bodies are unattractive, anxiety about how the vulva looks, smells or tastes may prevent us from enjoying oral sex until we find a way to move past that socially-constructed shame.

Performing oral sex on a partner is a learned skill, not one that any person instinctively knows how to do perfectly. Each person is a sexually unique being with their own desires, likes and dislikes, so that flick of the tongue that a previous partner loved might do nothing for a new partner. In order to be a good giver of oral sex, a person has to be able to pay attention to their partner’s responses, listen to constructive feedback and try new things. Also, STUDY! Both you and your partner can get ideas for techniques to try from books and videos. Erika Moen recently published a brief guide to oral sex in her webcomic Oh Joy Sex Toy. Tristan Taormino’s series of educational DVDs includes The Expert Guide to Oral Sex: Cunnilingus. Sex educator Shanna Katz recently published the book Oral Sex That’ll Blow Her Mind: An Illustrated Guide to Giving Her Amazing Orgasms.

So, if you’re currently lying back and making grocery shopping lists in your head while your partner’s going down on you, do NOT automatically think that there’s something wrong with either you or your partner! Be brave enough to talk about it. Have your partner try new moves with their tongue, lips and fingers, and tell them when a particular sensation makes your toes curl. You may discover that no amount of oral sex is going to give you an orgasm, but hopefully you and your partner will have fun trying, learn some new things about what you like, and get more comfortable talking about sex. If you find that receiving oral sex isn’t something you particularly enjoy, there are lots of other sexual activities to try.

Laura Anne Stuart owns the Tool Shed, an erotic boutique on Milwaukee’s East Side. She has a master’s degree in public health and has worked as a sexuality educator for more than fifteen years. Want Laura to answer your questions in SEXPress? Send them to laura@shepex.com. Not all questions received will be answered in the column, and Laura cannot provide personal answers to questions that do not appear here. Questions sent to this address may be reproduced in this column, both in print and online, and may be edited for clarity and content.