Your tenth standard biology textbooks may have told you what sex is, and taught you about penetration with diagrams that made you giggle a little. But no biology textbook will teach you about that other, exciting part of sex that you may have heard or wondered about: oral sex.
Oral sex may sound like two mouths having sex (but that’s that other fun activity called kissing). Oral sex is pleasuring your partner by using your mouth, especially the tongue and lips, to lick, kiss and suck your partner’s genitals.
While it may sound simple in theory (and maybe a little icky but trust us, it’s not), oral sex is something that is helped with a little prior knowledge. The genitals aren’t an amorphous blob that you can just lick at random like your first ice-cream cone. If you really want to make it count, you need to be aware of what you’re working with, meaning the different parts of the genitalia, and what to do with them.
So, to answer all your oral sex questions, we asked a committee of experts – gay men and lesbian women – for their best oral sex tips and guidelines. We figured who better to ask than men and women who deal with the same architecture while having sex – their own genitalia as well as their partner’s? More practice, no?
Oral sex fundas for everybody
Before we get into the specifics of oral sex for men and women, here are some basics for everybody to keep in mind.
Use protective barriers: Don’t think that STDs are transmitted only through penetrative sex! They can be transmitted through oral sex too, so use dental dams for oral sex with women or condoms for oral sex with men. While most of you will know what condoms are, dental dams are similar thin, square pieces of rubber that are placed between the mouth and the vagina.
SUPW side note: If you’re in the mood for handicrafts, or need a dental dam but don’t have one with you at that steamy moment, you can make one yourself out of a condom, with just a little help from Google.
Respect your partner’s preference: If someone isn’t into the idea of oral sex – getting or giving – don’t pressurise them. Consent is key, obviously!
Stay clean and hygienic down there: This is a big part of what keeps oral sex safe for all participants. It’s also more comfortable and respectful. Need help in this department? We’ve got you covered.
Oral sex fundas for women
Here are some tips three women who have sex with women gave us for safe, sexy, super sizzling-hot oral sex.
There are four common positions that work particularly well.
One. Standing with a leg propped up on a waist-high table, chair or any firm surface at the right height (don’t pick a rickety washbasin). Tilly, a Bangalore-based lesbian in her thirties, jokes that this is a position you see often in club bathrooms, particularly when people are drunk. *ahem*
Two. Sitting or lying down with your legs spread. This gives the giver easy access, and is a comfortable position for the person who’s receiving. And in case your knees go weak because of how good it feels, you know you won’t go tumbling to the ground.
Three. “Sitting” on your partner’s face, or positioning yourself on your knees above their face while they lie down. This again gives your partner really easy access (and a great view), and gives you a bit of control over the proceedings, as you can raise or lower yourself depending on what feels good, or just leap right off if you’d like to stop immediately.
Four. The eternal champion, 69-ing. This infamous position is where you and your partner give each other simultaneous oral sex. It sounds complicated, and can look a bit unwieldy too, but it’s pretty simple. You and your partner either lie side by side, with one person’s head positioned at the others genitals. Alternatively, you can have your partner lying down, while you position yourself above them on your knees in a way that your genitals are right above their mouth, and your mouth at their genitals. Confused? Just try to follow what the number looks like: 69.
Since the last two positions can be really intimate, and require some coordination between you and your partner, they usually happen between people who’ve been with each other for some time. As Tilly says, you can’t just sit on someone’s face without discussing it with them first, no?
You’re down there. Now what?
Learn the landscape: First of all, it’s important to know what you’re working with. Starting from the top, you have the clitoris, or the little button-like bit of flesh visible at the top of the vulva. Right below are the labia, or what looks like the “lips” of the vulva, and nestled between them towards the bottom of the vulva is the opening of the vagina. All our experts mentioned that the clitoris is a particular hot-button issue, meaning that this button is one that you definitely want to focus on, but carefully.
Lalitha, a young Bangalore-based lesbian, likes doing a quick recon with her fingers before getting to oral sex. “Initially, I use my fingers once to see what works and get a lay of the land. Some women prefer stimulation around the clitoris, some directly on, some prefer more pressure, some less. So, I try to see what works with my fingertips first. It’s easier to feel all this with your fingers rather than when your face is in there. You should use gentle, tiny movements, like how a worm would move. Figure out what areas your partner likes stimulated now, so you have some direction when you get down to oral.”
Keep things slippery: Namratha, a lesbian in her thirties, has another general reminder. If things aren’t nice and wet by the time you get down there, use lubricant (or “lube”, which you can buy at a medical store). “Without proper lubrication, anything you do there can turn into a nightmare. Everything needs to be perfectly slippery.”
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Find the clitoris: Remember what we said about the clitoris being particularly sensitive? In fact, the actual clitoris is so sensitive that it’s protected by a little hood of skin, which is what you can see when you look at the vulva. To get to the actual clitoris, you need to gently pull back this protective skin, revealing the small, pink organ within.
A basic oral sex technique is to use the thumb of one hand to gently push back the hood (or as Tilly says, to “peel” back the skin that covers the sensitive clitoris, kind of like peeling a banana) to reveal the clitoris, press down to hold the hood back in place with your thumb, and then use gentle strokes of the tongue on and around it.
But not just the clitoris: Remember, just because the clitoris is a known sensitive spot, it doesn’t mean you need to focus all your energies there. In fact, because it’s so sensitive, it can even get uncomfortable or painful if you keep stimulating it without a break. Try different strokes and pressures, and pay attention to all the parts of the vulva. Spread the love!
Focus on her reactions: Does she moan more when you hit one spot? Writhe when you use a certain amount of pressure? Good, keep at it.
Lalitha uses the info she gleaned from her recon mission while performing oral sex. “Once I figure out the spots, I try to lick or flick my tongue in those same places I’ve identified. Sucking the clitoris doesn’t work for me, because then your nose is all smushed up in there and you can’t breathe. Whereas if you lick, you can still breathe through your mouth.” Since the vulva is of course located right where the legs join, she makes a fair point: there is very little breathing room if your mouth is right there, so this is a good technique to keep in mind.
Draw it out: Now, have you heard that old song? Nahi Nahi Abhi Nahi, Thoda Karo Intezaar? The singer may not have meant it as a good oral sex tip, but apparently it is! “My current partner enjoys a thing called edging,” Lalitha continues, “It’s when you deliberately withhold your orgasm so that at the end, the orgasm is much stronger. I know when she’s reaching the edging point, so I stop until it subsides, just for two seconds, and then I start again, and repeat. She can’t come if I just lick around those side spots, so sometimes I run my tongue round the clit and the labia just to tease her. In the end, it’s really strong when the orgasm finally happens.”
G maane genius: And finally, you can try to hit the hallowed G-spot. This is a controversial spot located deep inside the vagina that some people say doesn’t exist, some say causes immediate orgasm, and others say provides some pleasurable sensations. In any case, if you’re eager to embark on the quest to find it, our experts suggest gently inserting a finger, palm side up and crooking it upwards towards the upper wall of the vagina. Aim for a kind of gentle aaja-aaja motion with your finger, like a Bollywood heroine sexily asking her hero to come closer. You can try inserting another finger (or even two) if that seems to elicit a good reaction while giving oral sex. Lalitha specifies that you start off with gentle strokes, and increase the speed and pressure a bit in time
Oral sex for men
We spoke to three gay men for their best oral sex tips, and got all the essential info on the what, where, (a little) when, how and why of giving men oral sex.
Some people prefer laying the groundwork for oral sex before getting to it, through lots of kissing and foreplay, while others use oral sex as a kind of foreplay itself.
30-year-old teacher Sujit mentioned that he prefers making sure his partner’s penis is hard and erect before he goes down on them. He feels that it brings him more pleasure to take a hard penis in his mouth, and that it indicates that person’s attraction for him, although he says that “everything will still be okay”, even if you start performing oral sex with a penis that isn’t fully erect.
Of course, there are others, like 28-year-old Biswa, a Bangalore-based media professional, who likes sucking on a flaccid penis and feeling it grow hard in his mouth thanks to what he’s doing.
Our experts quoted a variety of positions that tend to work for them, and the importance of figuring out the position that works for you. Don’t forget to keep in mind height differences and the position of the furniture in the room. Yes, use props!
There are a few common positions our experts cited.
One. Lying across a bed with your head hanging off the edge, and your partner standing next to the bed is a favourite position, because it feels good and allows you to deep-throat (or take the penis deep into your mouth) with ease. Also, turning your head 90 degrees and twisting your body around just a little bit gives you a whole new position.
Two. Lying back on a bed while your partner goes down on you sitting on his haunches, because it’s comfortable and easy.
Three. When you sit on the edge of a bed (or chair) and have your partner on the floor on their knees. Again, because this is comfortable, and, as Sujit says, the imagery of kneeling down can be quite attractive for some.
And four. The old favourite, 69, where your mouth is at your partner’s genitals, and your genitals at your partner’s mouth.
What to do with it
Approach with caution: Try different things out slowly and gauge your partner’s reaction to see if he likes it, loves it or wants you to just ‘stop ok please’. Pranay, a gay writer in his thirties, mentions how he approaches oral slowly. “When I reach the navel, I like to look up and give a kind of look. Sometimes they vocalise a response, or say no, or give some other indication. Plus, it’s pretty sexy.”
No teeth: Always remember, keep your teeth to yourself. Unless someone asks for it, make sure you never touch the penis with your teeth. Biswa suggests folding your lips over the edges of your teeth, while Sujit suggests making sure you open your mouth wide enough to take him in without grazing his penis.
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There are three main zones to pay attention to: the head of the penis, the shaft, and the testicles.
The head: The head of the penis, or the tip of the penis that’s lighter in colour than the rest, is particularly sensitive, so it’s good to focus on it. Spend time licking it, sucking with gentle pressure, and cupping or pursing your lips just where the head meets the shaft. Think of it as a lollipop that you can lick and suck (but don’t get too hungry and chomp down).
The shaft: Another sensitive zone, the shaft, or the length of the penis after the head, is a good place to use your hands and mouth. Pranay suggests cupping the flats of your palms around the shaft and moving your hands rapidly up and down. You can also use your tongue to lick and tickle the shaft, but since the area is so sensitive, it’s something you should try out tentatively.
Pay attention to the frenulum. It’s a band of elastic tissue on the underside of the penis that helps the foreskin contract over the head. It’s extremely sensitive, and gentle stimulation can lead to speedy orgasm.
Sujit says that when it comes to the shaft, a good partner should “feed” you his penis, and that it’s lazy to just sit back and let your partner do all the work.
The testicles: The testicles are an oft-ignored region, but can bring lots of pleasure if stimulated correctly. They’re basically the delicate pouch hanging just behind the penis. Pranay mentions spending some time “warming” the area with his breath, to let his partner know he’s getting there, and also because it feels nice.
Then, you can lick and suck the testicles gently, and try taking them into your mouth one by one, or even both together. Cup them in your hands and apply a little bit of gentle pressure, and you can even use your tongue to tickle when you have them in your mouth.
Sujit adds that “breathing is essential to a good mouth fuck”, and you don’t have to take the penis out of your mouth to breathe.
So, it seems oral sex can be as varied and subjective as penetrative sex, and just as enjoyable, if not more. All you need is good technique, and now that we’re here, you probably have it!