Want your partner to go down on you? Sex therapist Alexandria Holcomb shares how to ask for oral sex without feeling embarrassed or awkward!
While it can be difficult to navigate the shame that surrounds sex, it is important to remember that our pleasure is as important as our partner’s pleasure. That means advocating for ourselves and what we enjoy. Here’s what a sex and relationship therapist has to say about asking for what you want, and how you want it, when it comes to oral sex.
Why some women struggle with communicating and asking for oral sex
“In popular media, we are given a portrayal of sex as this glamorized and polished experience that involves instantaneous and mind-blowing orgasms,” says Alexandria Holcomb, sex and relationship therapist.
“What is missing from this picture is the time and effort that goes into having conversations with your partner about what you each find pleasurable. The truth of the matter is great sex, including oral sex, includes talking about it.”
In our culture, sex is often shrouded in shame. Societal messaging can cause women to feel dirty or ashamed for embracing and expressing their sexual identities.
This makes it difficult for women to talk about desires when their pleasure is treated as secondary to their male partners. Judgement can be a major deterrent in opening up to a partner, and having negative experiences with previous partners who have responded insensitively or selfishly can also make it difficult to be vulnerable.
How to ask for oral sex with a partner
According to Holcomb, there is no specific way to initiate oral sex with your partner. It comes down to your personal style.
“You can be direct and ask your partner if they would like to engage in oral sex, or it can also be integrated into dirty talk,” she adds, “It can also be a part of foreplay whispered in between kisses. It’s whatever feels most comfortable for you.”
But most importantly, Holcomb suggests checking in with your partner first. Even if they have expressed wanting oral sex in the past or they previously have enjoyed oral sex, it does not mean that they want to engage in oral sex in that moment, so it’s always important to be mindful of that.
Communicating and asking for what we want
What may be arousing for somebody may not work for someone else. Every body is different, and as much as we would like them to, our partners cannot read our minds (unfortunately!).
When it comes to communicating your desires around the technique or asking for what you want during oral sex, the more specific you can be about what you enjoy, the better.
“It can be helpful to think about previous experiences – with or without a partner – and use those as a guide when thinking about what feels pleasurable to you,” says Holcomb, “even if it’s hard to talk about what you want and how you want it, remember that your partner wants you to feel good. If you are unsure, that’s okay too! Sex should be a fun experience and that can include experimenting and learning more about each other’s bodies.”
Giving feedback to our partners can be both verbal or non-verbal. Once your partner is between your legs, don’t be afraid to express things like “that feels great” or “faster” or “harder” when it comes to the technique. Or if it is on the opposite end, don’t worry about asking them to stop, pause, or try something else.
For some, it can be hard explaining exactly what they like or want, so feedback such as a nudge, a guiding hand, a moan, or pulling their partner closer can be indicators that let your partner know where to go and what feels good.
But avoid criticizing your partner
Instead of criticism and focusing on what is going wrong, try redirecting them and focusing on what feels good. Holcomb suggests saying something like: “I really enjoyed when you were doing that, can you do it again?”
And don’t forget post-sex check in
Just as it is important to check in with your partner before, it can be equally important afterwards.
Have a conversation about what your partner did that you enjoyed, as well as the things that didn’t feel as pleasurable. This can help with establishing a more satisfying sexual relationship in the long term.
What if my partner isn’t keen on oral sex?
If your partner isn’t keen on oral sex, here’s what you need to remember: We want to be respectful of our partners, and this means respecting their sexual boundaries. Being pressured into doing something is not sexy.
“Instead of getting upset with your partner, having a constructive conversation about why they are not interested in oral sex can help clarify possible hurt or feelings of rejection,” says Holcomb.
This can lead to discussions about the sexual dynamic you both are seeking and the steps you can take to create a more satisfying and fulfilling sex life for both of you.