4 ways to let go and learn to enjoy receiving oral sex

By Maya Khamala

“Getting eaten out” never sounded all that appealing to me. The expression seems to imply the presence of some substance thick enough to be eaten. Sorry if that’s unsavory. Having someone "go down on me," however, has always enticed my imagination into some sort of power fantasy or other—a positive. I offer this quick comparison as a way of demonstrating how shifting one's way of thinking can make a significant difference in how one feels. While I've always enjoyed having my fire-flower licked, sucked, kissed, petted, slapped, penetrated via eager tongue or careful finger, etc., I can’t say that there haven't been times when I was too distracted by my anxiety to be present or receptive. When you get like that, it can seem impossible to actually feel it or love it. Sometimes, the anxieties that take ahold of us are a form of self-consciousness, and other times they're more external than that. 

Regardless of the specific nature of your relationship with a wily, shiny goddess known as Cunnilingus, if you want to better enjoy your partner’s lips and tongue, I humbly offer you the following 4 tips for letting go and fully appreciating oral sex.

1. Understand that society is at least partly to blame

What I mean is, if you feel like maybe your pussy is too gross to be licked, it’s sorta kinda key to understand that the relationship between your poom poom and your mind is not immune to the misogyny that surrounds. Research has shown time and again that not only is there an oral sex gap—among heterosexual partners, men usually receive more than they give—but there's also an enjoyment gap. In other words, people with pussies tend to enjoy receiving oral sex less than those wielding penises. 

Sex educator Cassandra Corrado believes vagina messaging is to blame. “There's a lot of messaging in our society that basically tells us 'vaginas are dirty,’" she says. "So, the chances are pretty high that if you have a vagina, you're going to go through life feeling self-conscious about how you smell, look, taste, or all of the above. That self-consciousness bleeds into your sex life, making it really hard to relax—you might feel so worried about those things that you don't even want to ask for (or permit) cunnilingus.” Ring any bells? Good, that means you see you're not alone, which is a good first step. 

2. Understand that in reality, your pussy is a sensual delight

For starters, every vagina is different from the last, but to be marvelled at and adored nonetheless. If you feel like you need a labiaplasty to look like a mainstream porn star, it just ain't the case, and can be downright dangerous to your most delicate parts. Pleasure is not preoccupied with how it looks to explode into bliss, my dear, and that goes just as well for your pleasure face. And if you’re preoccupied not with optics but with taste or smell, heed the words of Cosmo Frank: “You might think your vagina is gross/weird/smelly, but guys don't. We think vaginas are awesome. No, we are not lying to you. Yeah, vaginas smell, but in a good way. Just make sure you don't douche (it's unhealthy), and shower regularly, and you're not going to have anything to worry about.” While the general opinions of men (or partners of any gender) should not rule your life by any stretch, it’s helpful to hear these things spoken out in the open sometimes.  

Trusting that your partner is enjoying going down on you (otherwise they wouldn't be doing it!) is a steep climb for some. If you’re not worrying about your smell or taste, you might be worrying that you're taking forever and your partner is going to lose patience, or find you difficult/defective—in fact, they'll probably never attempt this hot mess again, right? Wrong. I mean, if that is actually the case, find a new partner, 'cuz they're defective, just saying. But here's the thing: your smell and taste can be a powerful aphrodisiac, thanks to the pheromones in your juices which were created to drive your partner wild. I mean, the sight of your engorged, aroused vulva alone can turn your partner right the hell on too. 

3. Find ways to communicate and connect

I’m talking both while receiving oral sex and while fully clothed—it can't hurt. Put another way, not communicating tends to cause a lot more anguish than communicating ever could, and that’s saying a lot, let's be real. So, first thing, if you're anxious about receiving oral, bring it up—whenever it feels right, in or out of bed. You might be surprised how the simple act of discussing your fears openly can help them fade away—perhaps by increasing mutual knowledge, or by adding humour. Not to mention, your partner likely has their own insecurities, and may feel more comfortable bringing these up if you start an honest discussion. 

If you tend to feel disconnected while your partner’s all the way down there, ask them to hold your hand, your hips, or your ass; ask to have your breasts stroked or your nipples tweaked; ask for eye contact; ask for dirty talk; ask for occasional face-to-face breaks. You never know how you partner’s receptiveness to such requests may entirely change your experience. Also, tell them what feels good and not, y'know, on a physical level. While it's not as easy for some of us to express our needs and still feel sexy, it’s necessary, and it does get easier. You don't need to know how to instruct a partner on every specific detail of what you want. Instead, try just giving feedback on what you want in the heat of the moment. This can be made into a mutual practice too, for all-around hotter, more communicative sex. Words like “faster,” “slower,” “harder,” “softer,” and "more," are all possibilities waiting to be explored. 

4. Stop pressuring yourself

You don't have to be or act a certain way that you’ve seen in the movies, or in porn. You don't have to make noise. You don't have to stay silent. You don't have to stay still, nor do you have to writhe and claw and pant. You don't have to stay in control, and you don't have to lose control. You don't have to cum. You don't have to cum within a prescribed time limit. You don't have to squirt. You don't have to stop yourself from squirting. You don't have to be anything but present in your body and comfortable with your partner and the mutual pleasure at play. 

If you know all the reasons you should be relaxing into oral sex but are still having trouble, try breathing exercises for better sex: as a basic exercise, you might try breathing in for four counts, and out for four. Measured breathing helps your muscles let go of tension and relax, which in turn helps your mind remember what taking a break really means.

Because we all deserve to be fully in pleasure.

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