9 Things Every Woman Should Know About Receiving Oral Sex, Because Giving Direction Doesn't Make You Rude

Unlike men, not every woman is jumping at the opportunity to get oral sex. While many love it, there are those of us who don't enjoy receiving oral sex. Some find it awkward or nerve-racking, or it just makes them self-conscious ― not just about their vagina, but their entire body. To be on your back with your legs spreadeagled, and someone’s face in there lapping away at your vagina isn’t exactly how some women want to spend their time; especially since we live in a society in which vaginas don’t get the respect they deserve. We may realize that our vaginas are awesome, but when it’s being prodded by someone else’s tongue, it can make us tremble, and not in a good way.

Cunnilingus is one of the most intimate of sex acts. It’s something that isn’t always on the table; I have friends who stand by a “no oral sex during a one-night stand” rule. For a lot of women, there needs to be a level of trust and comfort for them to acquiesce to oral. Of course, there are those who totally embrace getting their clit licked and sucked during a casual hookup. High-five to them, but it’s not a sentiment that everyone feels.

But no matter how you feel about receiving oral sex, there are few things you should know about it ― like how 69 is almost always a bad idea. Yikes.

1. All Vaginas Smell To A Degree

Your vagina smells, and sadly many women think that their vaginas smell bad. Hold the effing phone, because that is wrong, oh so wrong!

For starters, your vagina isn’t supposed to smell like a flower, nor does your partner want it to smell like a flower. Although the smell can change over the course of your cycle, or because of something you ate, by and large, it's usually about the same. Yes, some women have stronger scents than others, but that’s normal for them, so they shouldn’t sweat it.

But if you do notice that your vagina smells much stronger than usual, or does seem a little “ripe,” then see your doctor. A stinky vagina is usually a sign of an infection, like bacterial vaginosis. But in all other cases, don't freak out about your vagina smelling.

2. Your Vagina Is Pretty Lovely

Vaginas are works of art ― and despite what you might think, your vagina is, too. Between the labia, the vulva, the clit, and the way it comes together like a little flower, it’s gorgeous. So don’t go into oral thinking that your vagina is ugly or weird-looking compared to other vaginas your partner has seen. Yes, not every vagina is exactly the same, but that just adds to their beauty.

3. You Don’t Have To Stay In One Spot

Just because someone is giving you head doesn’t mean you have to lay there like a deer in headlights, confused as to what to do next. You can wrap your legs around your partner’s head, or (my personal favorite) sort of play with and pull at their hair ― mess it up, too.

4. Giving Direction Doesn’t Make You Rude

Actually giving direction is probably going to be appreciated, especially if it’s the first time this particular person has gone down on you. Because not all vaginas are the same, not all techniques are going to work for everyone. Vocalizing to your partner what feels awesome is totally fine.

5. You Shouldn’t Stress Yourself Out About Trying To Have An Orgasm

Although the majority of women need clitoral stimulation to come, sometimes a clit that’s being stimulated by a tongue that’s all wet and slippery just isn’t going to make it happen. That’s OK! Don’t feel bad if you can’t orgasm that way; you’re under no obligation to come just because someone went down on you.

6. … But Being In The Moment Really Helps

I, for one, am really guilty of thinking about a million other things when I’m getting oral. I kind of space out and think about deadlines, what color I want to paint my bedroom walls, and a bunch of other thoughts that don’t belong in sexual situations. But what I’ve noticed is that when I bring myself back into the present, I not only enjoy it more, but my chances to orgasm also increase.

7. You Can Get An STI From Receiving Oral

Yes, it’s true. It's rare, but true. While the person on the giving end runs a higher risk of getting an STI, if you’re on the receiving end of someone who has an open cold sore (although you should really pass on oral if you spot one of those), you can contract the herpes simplex virus that causes those sores. Then it becomes genital herpes on you. According to stats, 80 percent of the population carries the herpes simplex virus.

8. 69 Is Rarely A Good Idea

Although I’m the last person to tell someone what position works for them, 69ing rarely works out ― especially when you’re trying to relax, feel less awkward, and actually enjoy yourself. You’ll end up with balls in your face while receiving oral. Who wants balls in their face during oral? But then again, some women dig it.

9. It’s OK If You Don’t Like It

Honestly, I don’t like receiving oral sex. It’s too wet and slippery. This doesn’t negatively reflect on my partner’s skill AT ALL ― it’s just not my thing. If it’s not your thing, too, then own it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you, if you think receiving oral is a total bummer. Bustle's Gabby Moss doesn’t like oral either. So welcome to the club.

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