Are You Making This Mistake When You Go Down?

I once had a friend tell me that she’s never given bad oral sex. When I asked her how she knew for a fact that was true, she said that she went into each and every oral sex session with her partners knowing she was giving the best head they ever had, and that confidence alone meant that there was no way in hell that she was giving oral wrong. Although I took her at her word, because my thinking has always been that it’s kind of hard to completely mess up giving head, her opinion on the topic also made me second guess my own blow job techniques. Am I giving oral wrong? Are you giving oral wrong, too? I guess it depends.

As it is with all components of sexual activity, different people enjoy different things. What one partner might totally get off on, might make another partner cringe and dramatically scream out, “WHY?". Because this is the case you need to go into each oral sex experience with your eyes and ears open. You need to engage in a bit of dialogue and let your partner guide you so you both enjoy it as much as you possibly can.

But back to the original question: Are you giving oral wrong? Well, probably not entirely, but if you're doing any of these common mistakes, there may be some areas where you can improve. And the best part is, these mistakes, like listening to your partner and not using your hands, are 100 percent fixable. You can easily improve next time by making some changes. Go get 'em.

1. You’re Using Your Teeth

Ah! Whether you give oral to men or women or both, never use your teeth. Teeth are not fun. Aside from vagina dentata, teeth have no place in, on, or even around someone’s genitals. Granted a little playful and very light graze of the teeth can be tantalizing for some, but you want to make sure you know that that’s what your partner wants before you do it. And, no matter what, NO BITING. To avoid using your teeth during a blow job, try pulling your lips over your teeth and pretend like you're sucking on a popsicle.

2. You’re Not Using Your Hands

While your mouth is very talented in its own way, not using your hands is not really giving it your all. If you’re giving a blow job, you can use your hands to stroke his shaft or play with his balls. If you’re giving cunnilingus, you can use your hands to massage the vulva or stimulate her G-spot from the inside. Keeping your hands out of the oral sex equation is selling yourself and your partner short.

3. You’re Only Focusing On One Area

If you’re giving oral to a woman, you don’t need to entirely focus on her clitoris. Yes, the clit is chockfull of some 8,000 nerve endings, but that doesn’t mean that should be the only place you focus. Some women enjoy having other parts of their vagina stimulated by the tongue, so do that.

The same goes when giving head to guys. You might think that licking and sucking just the tip of his penis is going to have him writhing in ecstasy, but there’s more to the penis than just that area. In fact, the most sensitive part of the penis, at least on a circumcised penis, is the underside where the circumcision scar is. As for men who are intact, they’re more sensitive all over, because circumcision actually removes five regions of the penis that are full of pleasure sensory.

4. You’re Trying To Do That Deep Throat Thing During A BJ

True story: You know you’re doing it wrong when you try to do it like a porn star. In fact, James Deen’s number one rule of thumb when it comes to sex is to NOT try to have sex like a porn star. While the whole deep throat thing may look hot in porn, in reality, unless you have a gag reflex of steel, it’s no fun. Also, contrary to what porn shows us, not all men want to hear you chocking on their penis. So just don’t go there if you're giving a BJ.

5. You’re Not Making Eye Contact

According to sex therapist Vanessa Marin, making eye contact during sex is a great way to create intimacy. As she wrote for Bustle: “Looking someone in the eye and having them return your gaze can be a deeply vulnerable and connecting experience.”

Basically, if you’re looking anywhere but your partner’s eyes (while occasionally looking down at what you’re doing), then it’s time to start working on making more eye contact.

6. You’re Not Varying Your Techniques

Just as it is with intercourse, you need to mix things up. You need to try different techniques, either with your mouth or hands, or both. If you’ve discussed it with your partner and they’ve consented, then maybe work some anal play or toys into your usual oral repertoire, too. Doing the same old thing gets boring, for both of you, fast, so don’t be afraid to spice it up.

7. You’re Not Listening To Your Partner's Cues

Let’s cut to the chase: Not listening to your partner's cues during sex is an issue. Now that we have that out of the way, it’s time to stress just how crucial it is to listen to your partner when giving oral. Whether they use their words or their moaning, it’s your job to stay aware of their breathing and responses, so you can make adjustments. If your partner is breathing heavily and telling you not to stop doing something you’re doing, but you decide to switch gears anyway, then your partner may get frustrated. Listen and follow direction; it's that easy.

8. You’re Not Enjoying It

If you don’t enjoy giving oral, then don’t do it. It’s that simple. Where you can go wrong with giving oral is by forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do... which leads to making disgusted faces the entire time, or acting bored or annoyed. As much as many people find getting oral to be really enjoyable, what immediately sucks the enjoyment out of it is knowing that their partner is having a miserable time.

Remember: You're under no obligation to give oral sex. But if you do do it, do it because you want to, not because you feel you have to.

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