Getting past the mechanics

Sex on Monday

The specific mechanics of oral sex really shouldn’t be pondered too long. Like most of sex, the longer it is examined with an unhormonal eye, the more horrifying the entire process gets.

Like a word repeated until it seems more like noise than something with actual meaning, when looked at too long oral sex loses its abstract appeal and narrows down into a vaguely horrified expression and a “you want me to put my mouth where?”

It is not an image you should dwell on.

Focus instead on how awesome the whole experience is, once you get past the actual mechanics.

Establishing why it is worth learning how to do, and do well, is as easy as talking to anyone who regularly gives or receives oral. A good chunk of men prefer it to vaginal sex, and Ian Kerner, in his book “She Comes First,” cites the fact that woman can orgasm most reliably and most consistently through oral sex.

In other words, suck it up and get on board: it is very worth it.

But step one of that plan, namely the sucking, can be a bit daunting. And whether it is you or your significant other who is trying to work up the nerve to venture boldly downward, start in the shower.

I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating: crotch sweat isn’t sexy. I lay no blame on anyone, be they veteran or rank novice, for wanting the bits they are going to be licking to have a bit of a rubdown first.

In fact, if you know in advance that you are going to have someone go tete a tete with your nether regions, your time in the shower should start well in advance of the actual encounter: especially if your partner is skittish about the concept.

Personal grooming is appreciated in general and makes everything less intimidating. Whether you just trim down or go bare is either a matter of personal preference or something to discuss with your partner of choice.

Trimming is not optional.

And while you are spending the inexplicably long time in the shower that personal grooming requires, multitask and start pondering your diet. Tongues have taste buds that are pretty difficult to factor out of oral.

When it comes to prepping penises, the shower should take care of the bulk of the taste, until it comes time to actually, well, cum. If oral is strictly foreplay, you may not need to worry about diet at all.

As a girl, fluid plays a part the whole way through.

That doesn’t mean you need to meticulously track everything you eat in the hopes of making things taste like blueberry pie, but a few basics are worth keeping in mind. Asparagus and artichokes are largely regarded to have a negative effect on taste, and conversely pineapple is said to make everything taste like candy. I personally find diet soda to have a negative effect.

But in general, beyond the basics, just aim to stay hydrated: it helps keep tastes, be they positive or negative, more dilute and hopefully more in the background.

For the unexpected bouts of oral (or just for the self-conscious), it can be worth having some flavored lube on hand.

Then, once you have tackled the preparatory steps of proper diet, grooming, showering and supplies, all other relevant knowledge will spring immediately to hand and the concept will never seem awkward again.


In reality, you are still signing up for the possibility of stiff neck, sore jaw, sore tongue and the sweet sound of your partner’s orgasm.

I would like to take a moment for everyone, no matter their gender, to make note of the fact that sound is supposed to accompany the receipt of oral. Or at the very least some sort of indication that you are not dead. Giving silent head is boring.

Moving on.

When it comes to oral, just like with other forms of sex, there are several positions, and each come with pluses and minuses.

If a guy really likes the visual aspect of getting head, a position with a view that is uncomfortable to keep up may end up as a net benefit since you don’t have to go as long.

For a girl, adding a pillow or two underneath her hips to change the angle and access to things can make orgasm quicker and easier.

Play around and communicate to find out what works best for the two of you. Being good at giving head is more about being adaptable and paying attention to the signals than any one specific technique or position that is guaranteed to wow. Just keep in mind that using your hands isn’t cheating; in fact, it is generally encouraged.

A little prep, and a little practice, and it very quickly becomes very clear how oral sex earned its popularity. But I still wouldn’t recommend thinking about it too closely.