Oral sex is a mind-blowing act far too frequently relegated to the sidelines in favor of penetrative sex or the less breathtaking hand job.
To help take your skills from “let’s just have sex” to “my brain is broken," this ultimate guide to giving head will guarantee a knee-shaking experience for the receiver and a safe, comfortable one for the giver. Add in a few of the best sex toys and you've got yourself a fun time!
But before diving in, ahem, headfirst, it’s important to remember that no one became a master of anything overnight. Whether giving oral sex terrifies or excites you, mastering the act takes time, patience and exploration.
As sex educator Kenneth Play advises: “Practice makes perfect, plus a lot of talking and communication. No one gets better at anything in a vacuum.”
The ultimate guide to giving head:
What to know beforehand
1. The receiver's oath
Before anyone goes south of the border, the receiver of a blowjob has to acknowledge the position of power they are in. Oral sex can swiftly become a battleground of wills, not a mutually pleasurable experience.
A receiver must never forget a partner’s comfort in favor of their own pleasure. Controlling the flow of the experience is often a favorite for those on the receiving end, but it is never acceptable to do so at someone else’s expense.
Never go for face-f***ing without prior consent from the giver and do not forget to set up a safety word and signal, which must be treated with the utmost care and attention.
While asserting power in a sexual situation is thrilling (if you're intrigued, check out our bondage for beginners guide), it is easy for it to become a traumatic experience with an unforgiving and disrespectful receiver in charge.
Prioritize communicating with the giver. Do not get lost in the pleasure, check-in and verbalize requests for specific movements or actions. Vocalize what feels good and what you like, so the giver can give head without becoming an object to abuse.
2. The giver's comfort
Ahead of any sexual act, stating or reaffirming boundaries is a must, especially with new sexual partners. Injecting consent check-ins throughout the act is a fun option but no desires should be acted upon until a foundation is set.
As the giver, what do you like and dislike? Is your gag reflex capable of deep throating or should you take it off the table? (At the very least, make sure it’s off the menu after ingesting any alcohol because no one wants to be remembered as the partner who threw up on a penis.) Taking the time to understand your own desires and boundaries as an individual makes sharing them with a partner far easier. Communication and active listening is the only surefire route to better sex.
“Like anything in sex, it’s all about tuning in to the subtle feedback your partner’s body is giving you,” explains Play. “As you try out different techniques, pay attention to the way their breath changes, muscles tense, and the levels of hardness or quivering of their cock. There’s a lot there to learn if you tune in.”
If you’re staring down the barrel of a larger-than-average penis, practice before taking it on. Use a dildo or bullet types of vibrators to improve your technique alone, without the pressure of a captive audience. However, remember sex is not a checkbook that needs balancing. If it’s just too gargantuan or gag-worthy to tackle, pick another sex act to master instead. (Our "how to finger" guide will help you ace the handsy stuff.)
5 oral sex tips to blow their mind
1. Work the tongue
Oral sex would not be oral sex without one magic muscle: the tongue. This flexible and taste-driven body part is perfect for taking a blow job from perfunctory to hedonistic. Use your tongue to cover every centimeter of the sex organ, pay attention to how each touch makes the receiver feel and soon you’ll lick a path to completion.
2. Relax that gag reflex
Mastering the art of deep-throating is a quagmire puzzled over by penis lovers from the very first sign of sexual intrigue as teenagers. How do you do it without triggering the gag reflex? The answer is simple: practice. Do not try to take it all the first time out and instead build up slowly. In time, deep-throating will feel natural. Or, if your gag reflex just isn’t cooperating, use a hand or two to assist.
“The secret is relaxation,” adds Play. “If you tense up, you’ll definitely gag. I really recommend practicing with a dildo before you try it on the real thing.”
3. Don't forget the balls
The balls are a forgotten sexual treasure hidden in a sack many deem too ugly to go near. However, they are a crucial ingredient when it comes to leveling up a blowjob. By gently caressing and tugging them while using your tongue and mouth, the giver will be overwhelmed by the dual sensations. They are there for a reason, so do not neglect them!
4. Use your head—and theirs
If in doubt, focus on the head—literally and figuratively. Ask what the receiver likes and dislikes before doing anything. If their mind is not on the job at hand, their body won’t be either.
And for novices, focusing on the head of the penis will prevent any gagging incidents and will maximize the receiver’s pleasure. The frenulum, which is the underside of the head of the penis, has the densest area of nerve endings. Be gentle with it, though. It can get raw quickly, so stick to light sucking and licking, and keep the teeth away by curling your lips around them.
5. Most importantly, enjoy yourself!
The best part of giving head is losing yourself to the act. “Don’t fake it, but find the part of you that’s genuinely interested in loving or giving to your partner and feel into that while you are doing the act,” advises Play.
Do not waste any energy on performing for a partner; they do not need a full play to enjoy a blowjob because they have sensations to soak up. Moaning and movement come with the act, so forget spending time whipping your hair back and forth and instead indulge in the act at hand, er, we mean mouth.
Hannah Shewan Stevens is an NCTJ-accredited journalist based in Birmingham, England. Her work—which primarily focuses on opinion articles, physical and mental health, disability and sex—has been published in outlets like Bustle, Huffington Post UK, Telegraph, Metro UK and Restless Magazines.
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