Sucking the popsicle. Munching the muffin. Licking the lollipop. Cleaning the carpet. Swallowing the banana. Tossing the salad. It’s all about oral sex.
According to the baseball theory of sex, there’s a definite hierarchy of things you can do in the bedroom. Different people define the ‘bases” differently, but it’s generally accepted that intercourse is a home run, the end game of all sexual activities.
Baseball isn’t really the best metaphor for sex, though. Whether you literally count them as ‘sex” or not, all the other pleasurable, sexy activities besides penetration are absolutely vital to a full sex life. Oral sex especially has at least as much orgasmic potential as intercourse. For a lot of people, oral sex is just as fun as straight-up screwing, if not more.
It’s really nice to just lay back and receive pleasure. Unless you’re doing 69 and both partners are giving and receiving head at once, oral is usually a pretty one-sided deal.
It’s the opportunity to be selfish for a little while, and we all need that sometimes. It’s also a good way to give something nice to your partner. It’s really sexy to watch your lover writhe in pleasure, even without orgasms of your own.
There’s also the basic fact that we have more agility with and control over our mouths than our sexual organs. A tongue can bend where a penis can’t. A mouth can suck where a vagina or an anus can’t. There’s an endless amount of lubrication in the mouth (yay, saliva!). Lips and tongues are softer than fingers, which makes it easier to please people with more sensitive bodies.
There are sex-specific reasons to have oral sex, too. Women usually experience the most sexual pleasure from clitoral stimulation. In fact, most women can’t orgasm without it. (If you’re one of the ones who can, good for you. You can definitely enjoy your minority status!) The clitoris is the only human body part designed exclusively for pleasure.
It’s a lot easier to get clitoral stimulation from muff-diving than from intercourse, which is focused mostly on the vagina. If you’ve ever tried to fit a vibrator between your bodies in the missionary position, you know it’s easier to get at the clit without a penis or strap-on dildo in the way.
Of course, not everybody likes oral sex. Some people just don’t get off on the idea of a mouth on their genitals, and that detracts from the fun even if it feels good. Some people are self-conscious about the size, shape or smell of their private bits, and having someone’s face close enough to lick them is very uncomfortable.
Others hate giving oral sex, maybe because of the taste and smell or the strain on the facial muscles and tongue.
Whatever the reason, if someone doesn’t want oral sex it’s important to respect their wishes. It’s probably best not to expect to receive oral sex unless you’re willing to give it. As mentioned, it’s pretty one-sided, and reciprocation in sex is key. That said, if oral isn’t what you want, don’t have it.
If it’s a smell or taste issue, there are some things your partner can do to make it better. The first tip is to shower right before an eating session.
Make sure to wash the whole genital area (Guys, this means your balls and your perineum, too). Good hygiene always helps.
Diet also has a big effect on taste. Eating fruits and vegetables will improve the taste of sexual emissions for both men and women. They say that vegans taste best. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat meat, but you should avoid really salty foods right before sex if you know you’re going to be receiving oral. Flavored lube can help with any taste issue.
As always, have fun and be careful. You can get STDs from oral sex, so use a flavored condom for fellatio or a dental dam for cunnilingus and analingus if you’re worried about that. They’re both available for free from University Health Service.
Waddill is a member of the class of 2009.