Cunnilingus, or oral sex, is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Since most vagina-havers experience orgasm through clitoral stimulation and not intercourse, it’s also a near surefire way to ensure sexual satisfaction in a relationship.
But our partners aren’t always sure we want it and, to be honest, a lot of people with vaginas aren’t always sure they want to receive it. We think about the way our vaginas look. How they smell. Whether our partner is enjoying it and, because of a lot of internalized negativity toward our totally lovely vaginas, we can feel dirty. We wonder whether we look “normal” down there. And all of those insecurities keep us from relaxing and loving the moment (and for some folks this can get in the way of orgasm), while our partners often aren’t sure what to make of our “no, but yes, but are you sure you want to do that?” signals.
Don’t be ashamed to straight-up ask for what you want, but make it sexy
It’s one thing to bark orders and make demands in bed, and quite another to lean over and whisper that you would do anything — anything — if they would do that thing with their tongue that drives you over the edge. Be direct, honest and hot about it. Start with something small like, “I like when you touch me here.”
Pay a compliment
If your partner isn’t going down there as much as you’d like, it’s possible he/she lacks confidence that they are pleasuring you to your satisfaction. So make sure you are your partner’s greatest cheerleader when something is working. If something isn’t working, say it and suggest a move that does. Say out loud that you love that one thing. Announce when you’re about to come and make it clear the reason it’s happening. Once you see how much it pleases your partner to please you, it won’t feel so awkward.
Groom to boost your confidence
You don’t have to torture yourself by getting monthly Brazilian wax treatments if that’s not your thing. However, if you’re worried about what you look like down there and it prevents you from initiating oral sex even though you want it, do what you can to ensure you are clean and groomed to your own standards. You don’t have to spend a dime or cause you great pain to do so, either. Trim a little, shave a bit, and hop in the shower first if you’re feeling frisky and have just arrived home from the gym. Chances are your partner loves you no matter what, but self-confidence goes a long way. Better yet, ask your partner what they like as well: Totally groomed or just a little? Their answer alone may make you feel more confident.
Let your body provide clues
Women are often accused of not being more honest and upfront when it comes to asking for what we want, especially during sex. It’s a valid point, but it can also get rather annoying having to always feel like a nag. One way to avoid the oral sex talk that can kill the mood is to use nonverbal cues. If your partner is kissing your neck or chest, nudge your body upward to let him know you’d like him to explore other areas.
Don’t play dead
In addition to verbally expressing what you like while he’s giving you oral sex, let yourself be free enough to moan, groan, wriggle and enjoy! The more responsive you are, most partners will get the hint that you really, really like what’s going on and want it to happen more often. Anyone who doesn’t leap at the chance to drive you that wild again is seriously lacking in the effort department. Again, once you see how it satisfies your partner to satisfy you, it will help you feel more confident.
Give your partner oral sex
Take the lead by giving oral sex to send the message that you want to spend more time on foreplay but aren’t quite sure how to come out and say that directly. Then, if he/she tries to go straight for the main course, ask them to reciprocate. If your partner isn’t into oral, that’s another conversation, but it’s a great non-verbal way to make it clear it’s something you’re into (that works great with using your words too!)
A version of this story was published January 2016.
Before you go, check out our (NSFW but totally nice) sex position bucket list: