I had a few friends and usually most of our relationships have gone well and the intimacy has been good. However, I’ve never really enjoyed oral sex. My new partner says he’d like to try it with me, but I’m just really uncomfortable. It’s never really been a priority before and my new boyfriend says it’s because other people were bad in bed to try again. I’ve never really heard of it and feel a bit of pressure to try it, although I’m happy without it. I wouldn’t have said they were bad in bed, but it makes me wonder what that phrase even means. I don’t know how I feel as I’m less experienced than him, but I also want to discover something. I’m just stuck in my head about it. How do I overcome this blockage?
dr West replies: Oral sex is often viewed as a sideline to sexual activity prior to the “main” event of penetration, with unsatisfactory results. No wonder so many women aren’t fans. We also have celebrities bragging about not giving oral sex to their wives because they are too “manly,” which inspires a lot of empathy for these women. When done right, it can be a satisfying party of intimacy, bringing emotional and physical pleasure to all involved. It’s not necessarily that all of your ex-boyfriends were “bad in bed,” as they might also be studying. Humans are not born with sexual abilities; They are developed with experience, consent, communication and respect for our partners. This is a process for anyone engaged in sex, and the wide range of sexual activity can be exciting or frightening. Every person we meet is like a blank page that we find out by talking and taking the time to get to know each other on a deeper level.
As with anything sex related, if it’s not your thing, it’s none of your business and you don’t have to do it. If he keeps asking and doesn’t hear or respect your “no,” that’s a big red flag, as the pace should be comfortable for everyone. Ask him what he wants to do, why he wants to do it, and how open he is to feedback if you don’t like it. He should work with you to make you comfortable — this is different than overtly or covertly pressuring you to do what he wants to do.
There are many ways to find out if this is something you want to explore with your partner. Start by examining why you’re hesitating about this. Is it the activity itself, concerns about your partner, your body, or a willingness to experience authentic sex? It can be a pretty vulnerable position to be in. You let a stranger get very close to your genitals, and that stranger’s mouth has teeth. Our original brain tells us this could be a dangerous situation, and our modern brain worries about how we look or taste and the sounds we make. This can make it difficult to relax in the moment.
Part of the reason many women hesitate to try oral sex is concern about how it looks, smells, or tastes. Stronger odors and different tastes can result from common disorders like thrush or bacterial vaginosis — both easily treatable over the counter and a normal temporary nuisance for many people with a vulva. Body parts aren’t meant to smell like bubble bath, and any mature partner will recognize that. Some people buy so-called “feminine hygiene products,” which include special washes or douches. However, these can be counterproductive and upset your delicate vaginal pH balance. The vagina is a self-cleaning machine and is best left alone to work its magic.
Many women may have felt put off by oral sex since everything they have experienced before is bad technique. It’s rarely featured in porn, and when it is, it’s more of a brief display for the camera than a genuine desire to please another person. This is of course because porn is not real and is not intended as sex education. We must take responsibility for educating ourselves and this can be a shared learning process through books, podcasts or workshops. What works for one person may not work for another. The best thing your partner can do with their mouth is talk to you and ask what works for you and what increases both your comfort and pleasure.
Different pressures also work best for different people, as some may find direct stimulation too intense or too sensitive, especially in the beginning. Adding toys or fingers can increase the intensity. Some people find that they can’t hold certain positions for long or feel too exposed or uncomfortable, so trying new positions and locations can do the trick to finding what works for you.
Since it’s often rushed in favor of other activities, it can be a good idea to take everything else off the table and allow ourselves to focus on that one activity. This will help us stop worrying about spending “too long” to enjoy it. This pressure to keep going can keep us from truly letting go and leaning into authentic pleasure, rather than feeling like we’re working through a checkbox of what sex should be like. It’s your pleasure – there’s no time limit or order of what should happen, and you can talk to each other to mess it up or keep it going and going and going.
dr West is a sex educator and host of the Glow West podcast, which focuses on sex. Send your questions to email@example.com. dr West regrets that she cannot answer questions privately
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https://www.independent.ie/style/sex-relationships/asking-for-a-friend-ive-never-enjoyed-receiving-oral-sex-but-my-new-boyfriend-is-very-keen-for-us-to-try-it-what-should-i-do-42010080.html Asking for a Friend: I’ve never enjoyed getting oral sex, but my new boyfriend is very keen that we try. What should I do?