Illustrated by Aru Bose
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.
Are you wondering how to do it but aren’t sure whom to ask? Never fear, we’re right here!
Oral sex fundas for everybody
Here are some basics for everybody to keep in mind.
Use protection: STDs can be transmitted through oral sex too, so use dental dams for oral sex when vaginas are involved, or condoms for oral sex when penises are involved. (Dental dams are similar thin, square pieces of rubber that are placed between the mouth and the vagina. If you don’t have one, you can make them yourself, quickly and easily.)
Respect your partner’s preference: If someone isn’t into the idea of oral sex – getting or giving – don’t pressure them.
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 vaginas
Here are four common positions that work well:
- 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).
- 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.
- “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.
- The eternal champion, 69-ing. This infamous position is where you and your partner give each other simultaneous oral sex. You and your partner 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.
Your partner has a vagina, and you’re down there. Now what?
Learn the landscape. It’s important to know what you’re working with. (Want to learn more about female genitalia? Take our Genital Knowledge Quiz!) And some like to explore down there first with their fingers, to figure out what works for their partner, before diving in.
Be gentle! It’s a really sensitive area, so tread with caution. If you have rough stubble on your face, remember it can end up being very scratchy and prickly – and even painful – for your partner if you aren’t careful.
Keep things slippery. 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). Especially if you’ll be using your fingers too.
Feel free to multitask. It’s called oral sex, but it doesn’t mean that you are only allowed to use your lips and tongue. You can use other things too – fingers, cheeks, toys, your nose – anything that adds to your partner’s pleasure!
Find the clitoris. The clitoris is sensitive and protected by a little hood of skin. A basic oral sex technique is to use the thumb of one hand to gently push back the hood 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.
Spread the love. Just because the clitoris is a known sensitive spot, it doesn’t mean you need to focus all your energies there. In fact, 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.
Focus on their reactions. Do they moan more when you hit one spot? Writhe when you use a certain amount of pressure? Good, keep at it.
Draw it out: “Edging” is a technique where you bring someone right to the point of orgasm, pause for a few seconds, and the continue. It’s a bit of a tease, like building up suspense, but for some people, it makes the orgasm much stronger and more pleasurable.
G maane genius. The G-spot 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, gently insert a finger, palm side up and crooking it upwards towards the upper wall of the vagina, and aim for a kind of gentle aaja-aaja motion with your finger.
Oral sex fundas for penises
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.
Here are some popular positions:
- Lying across a bed with your head hanging off the edge, and your partner standing next to the bed. Some say 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.
- Lying back on a bed while your partner goes down on you sitting on their haunches, because it’s comfortable and easy.
- Sitting on the edge of a bed (or chair) and having your partner on the floor on their knees.
- The old favourite, 69, where your mouth is at your partner’s genitals, and your genitals at your partner’s mouth.
Ready? Then it’s time for action!
Approach with caution: Try different things out slowly and gauge your partner’s reaction to see if they like it, love it or wants you to just ‘stop ok please’.
No teeth! Always remember to keep your teeth to yourself. Unless someone asks for it, make sure you never touch the penis with your teeth.
Focus on the head: The tip of the penis is particularly sensitive, so give it some attention: 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).
Try the shaft: The shaft, or the length of the penis after the head, is a good place to use your hands and mouth. You could try gently cupping your palms around the shaft and moving your hands up and down (start slow and gradually increase speed, but do keep checking in with your partner about whether it works for them or if its too much). You can also use your tongue to lick and tickle the shaft.
Find 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.
Tickle those testicles! The testicles are an oft-ignored region, but can bring lots of pleasure if stimulated correctly. 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.
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!