In my previous article, What You Should Be Doing Before Sex, I mentioned kissing and stroking as a useful way to build the mood during foreplay, leading up to the actual sex.
For some couples, kissing and stroking not only involves the face, but the genital regions as well. This is referred to (usually with much blushing and uncertain laughter) as oral sex, or “stimulation of the genitalia by the use of the mouth, tongue, teeth and throat”.
Interestingly, words do exist to differentiate oral sex performed on men and women. When a woman performs oral sex for a man, it is referred to as fellatio (fe-lay-shio). When a man performs oral sex for a woman, it is referred to as cunnilingus (cun-ni-ling-gus).
Sex, Etc. provides some general guidelines in response to an FAQ on how to perform oral sex:
Oral sex on a guy (a.k.a. blow job, fellatio, giving head) is usually done by licking and sucking the head of the penis with the mouth and using the hands to touch and rub the shaft of the penis, and maybe the testicles or anus. This can cause a guy to orgasm, or cum.
Oral sex on a girl (a.k.a. eating out, cunnilingus, going down) usually means licking and sucking the clitoris, labia, and vaginal opening. This can cause a girl to orgasm, or cum. Where and how hard or soft to do this depends on the person, so each couple needs to experiment and communicate to discover ways to pleasure each other.
Sometimes, couples will give each other oral sex at the same time. In slang, it’s known as “69.” The two people’s heads are positioned in a way that, together, they look like the numbers 6 and 9.
As with almost everything sex-related, a number of misconceptions still exist about oral sex (fact: your mouth contains more bacteria than a man’s penis). YourTango.com explains some oral sex etiquette in further detail:
The reasons why some folks aren’t up on going down are a Freudian’s, er, wet dream: People fear it’s unhygienic.
Or they dislike (edit: or fear they may dislike) the taste. Or they worry their technique is bad. Or they simply find the idea of faces being in places swimsuits cover to be generally unpleasant.
You should never do anything that makes you uncomfortable—but you should do what you can to overcome hang-ups that limit not only your own pleasure, but your partner’s as well. And almost any hesitation about oral sex can be solved with a simple explanation or a reasonable compromise.
iVillage’s Love section has this to say on the subject of aversion towards oral sex:
Often cultural, religious or familial values teach that touching or tasting the body “down there” is wrong, shameful, dirty or bad. It’s not. Knowing that this can be a harmless, beautiful and even bonding tie with the one you love may help you to overcome the negativity you feel. […] If you decide you do not want to perform oral sex, it’s your responsibility to talk this over openly with your husband. Part of marriage includes open, honest communication about what you can and cannot expect from each other in bed.
Having read all that, I’ve an honest question for you. Have you ever considered performing oral sex on someone before, and if you haven’t, would you consider it now? 🙂