Blow Jobs: Choose Your Own Adventure

Rarely do I hear a woman say that she simply feels “so-so” about fellatio. It’s always a ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ opinion. I can’t help but wonder if those who hate it have ever had a considerate partner who gives them their share of control over the situation. I worry that simply because one person is receiving physical pleasure during oral sex, it is often seen as a selfish, one-sided sex act.

Blow jobs don’t have to abide by pornographic standards. They do not have to be an exercise in male dominance and female degradation. (Although for some couples, this agreed upon power dynamic is really hot.) As with any sexual act, blow jobs should be an experience of shared enthusiasm & pleasure where the comfort levels and limitations of both partners are acknowledged and respected — and compromises are often possible if you communicate.

“I hate the way it tastes.”

This is probably the #1 complaint that I hear when discussing blow jobs. I’m going to assume that most of the time this is in reference to the taste of ejaculate. (I hate to think that men are commonly presenting their partners with sweaty ol’ genitalia. Wash up, boys!) It’s important to remember that allowing your partner to cum inside your mouth is not the only acceptable way to end oral sex. You have options. For example, it’s really easy to switch from oral sex to a saliva-lubricated hand job at the end — especially if you’ve been incorporating your hands the entire time. If you’re concerned about being able to gauge your partner’s arousal (and trust them to be honest with you), ask them to tell you when they are about to cum so that you can switch.

Another great option is … condoms! A lot of people forget that oral sex can be dangerous too. Not only will using a condom protect you from STIs, it also allows you to finish a blow job with your mouth without worrying about the taste. You definitely don’t want to choose just any condom for this, as the taste of many will not be an improvement. However, there are several brands that make flavored condoms for this very purpose. Or, if you have a flavored lube that you enjoy, you can try pairing it with an unlubricated condom.

If you are comfortable enough with the taste to do a little experimenting, you and your partner can always discuss dietary changes that are said to improve the taste of ejaculate (less meats & beer, more fruits & veggies). Or you can try aiming at parts of the  mouth without tastebuds (back of the throat, under the tongue, etc).

“It makes me gag.” 

Repeat after me: “The partner who is performing fellatio is in control.” They should have the power to decide how much penis is entering their mouth, how quickly or how forceful, and when to take a break or stop altogether. If you are the receptive partner, thrusting, pushing the other person’s head down, or “mouth fucking” are off limits unless your partner explicitly gives you the okay. If thrusting is a reflexive action when climaxing, wrapping a hand around the base of the penis will help limit the depth of insertion and prevent activating the gag reflex. This is also a helpful technique to use with well-endowed partners.

What about deep throating? We obviously do not live in a Deep Throat fantasy land where a woman’s clitoris is at the back of her throat. In fact, not only does the performing partner not experience physical pleasure, but gagging is almost guaranteed and bruising is possible if the insertive partner is too rough. Still, it’s a huge turn on for some individuals — men and women alike. If you are interested in trying the deep throat technique, start by finding a position that creates a straight path from your open mouth to your throat. (Lying on your back with your head hanging slightly over the edge of the bed is common. You can still control the action by pulling your partner into you.) Also, relax. You may never be able to master your gag reflex, but it will certainly be easier if you can remain calm.

“My jaw gets sore.” 

As someone who is pretty sure she has a mild case of TMJ (an often painful disorder of the jaw joint or surrounding muscles), believe me…I understand. In my experience, variety is key. Forget the idea that a blow job is only ‘sticking a penis in your mouth and moving up and down.’ If your jaw starts to get sore, take a break! Rely on your hands for a while, or move to an area where you can concentrate on licking more than sucking. For many men, the urethral opening or meatus, frenulum (where the foreskin attaches), and corona (the ridge around the glans) are all sweet spots for this type of stimulation. Ask your partner if they like their testicles being touched or licked during oral sex — same with their (clean) perineum or anus. Maybe, despite everything popular magazines would have you believe, they even enjoy some light nibbling! Don’t be afraid to mix it up. It’ll relieve your jaw of a lot of physical stress and keep you feeling enthusiastic about what you’re doing.

Closing words for the receptive partner… 

Recognize that your partner may still be turned off by the idea of giving oral sex. Make sure that you are really hearing what they have to say on the matter. Are they willing to find a compromise under certain circumstances — or is that action completely off the table? For a pleasurable experience, everyone involved has to want the sexual activity in question. Do not try and pressure, force, or coerce a partner into anything they are uncomfortable with. Think about it: How sexy is it, really, if the person you’re with is miserable?