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Davis, California

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Column: Go down

Poor oral sex. Sentenced to a life of being the “back-up” method of stimulation for days when you don’t feel like getting too hot and heavy. Adding insult to injury is the fact that it is often viewed as an act that neither men nor women enjoy performing. She gives it for his birthday, he gives it when he’s trying to get something else. But, with a little love and understanding, I think oral sex can be brought back to the place it deserves.

Now, there are some people who really don’t find oral sex pleasurable. If this opinion has been formed on the basis of one or two lackluster experiences, I do urge you to give it a few more tries. But if you feel you’ve tried plenty of times and it still sucks (ha), then that’s completely fine, too.

If you’re someone who does enjoy oral sex, your partner may still be less than enthusiastic about performing it on you. This is not an insurmountable problem, but the solution relies on that old friend communication. Find out what’s making your partner hesitant. They may be worried about not being “good” at giving oral and don’t want to disappoint you. If this is so, assure them that you’ll provide them with feedback. The “oh, that’s good but a little to the left” type of feedback is helpful, the “OMGyousuckatthis” kind is not. If you’re the performing partner, relax. There is a learning curve when it comes to oral sex and your lover is more than happy to learn with you.

There are a few other ways to make oral sex more comfortable for both you and your partner. The first is to do some grooming of your nether regions. You don’t need to go for a total wax (unless that’s your thing), but some trimming of the pubic hair will make it easier for your partner to feel what they’re doing. It will also increase pleasant sensations on your end. In this same vein, paying attention to what you eat before the act is helpful. Pungent foods like onions will come through in taste and smell while something like pineapple will create sweet secretions. If you want a neutral atmosphere, the best approach is to drink lots of water. These considerations can make the area of interest more accommodating to the performing party, and some people also find it makes them less self-conscious about receiving oral attention.

Because oral sex – at least in mainstream culture – is often seen as a not-quite-sex act, there is a misconception about the role of protection. Consider the never-ending “spit or swallow” debate. The answer, from a safe-sex standpoint, is that the fluid in question should be going into a condom. Granted, the risk of transmitting STIs (sexually transmitted infections) is lower with oral sex than with other types, but the risk is still present for both infections transmitted via fluids and those that come from skin-to-skin contact, such as herpes. All of this means that you should put some type of barrier between the mouth and the area being stimulated.

The two most common types of barriers are condoms and dental dams. For those of you unfamiliar with them, dental dams are basically squares of latex that are placed across the vagina. Both they and condoms vary in thickness, so you can choose a style according to the level of sensitivity you’re after. Some barriers are also flavored for the enjoyment of the giving partner. You can find a selection of flavored condoms (plus other safe-sex materials) by checking out the LoveLab here on campus. Lastly, if you’re in need of a dental dam but do not have one on hand, do not despair. You can improvise by cutting a condom lengthwise so that it takes on the necessary shape.

Once you’ve gathered your resources and had a talk with your partner, you should be equipped to give oral sex the attention it deserves. My advice? Set aside some of your sexy-times just for oral experiments. Take turns giving and receiving, play around with positions. Find out what speeds and pressures really get you and your partner going. Just make sure to give your tongue and lips a rest afterwards.

SAM WALL found out that there are vegan condoms while writing this article. Find out more by writing sewall@ucdavis.edu.


    • Sociology. It’s a writing heavy major, so what’s a few words extra a week? And, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice I never mention my own sex life in these columns. It’s all abstract.


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