Oral sex involves stimulating a partner’s erogenous zones with your mouth. Certain practices along with open communication may make the experience more pleasurable for both partners.

Rest assured that, even if it’s your first dive, chances are you’ll be fine — everyone starts somewhere!

But we want to make sure you’re more than fine, because life’s too short for oral that’s just meh.

After all, if you’re gonna go down, you should do it right.

Here’s what you need to know about the giving and getting of oral sex, plus all of the fun and even practical stuff in between.

Before getting down to nitty, let’s talk about the gritty.

Yes, oral sex is “real” sex

Forget what you heard from Clinton or anyone else about what sex is and isn’t. Penis-in-vagina sex is not the be-all-end-all of sex. Oral sex can be just as pleasurable — if not more so — than penetrative sex.

Your anatomy is unique

Vulvas and penises come in all shapes and sizes, so try not to spend any time worrying about how yours compares to someone else’s.

Vulvas rarely look like a perfectly juicy peach, and penises aren’t usually eggplant emoji-big or smooth.

Everyone has a smell of some kind

Scrub all you want, but you’ll still have some odor down there. It’s called your natural odor, and it’s fine.

That said, freshening up before oral sex is just the nice thing to do.

To keep things fresh:

  • Take a shower or bath, or at least use soap and water to wash your genital area.
  • Use a wet paper towel or unscented wipes if you need to freshen up on the fly.
  • Avoid perfumes or deodorants down there because they aren’t genital-friendly or necessary.

And everyone has a taste

You know whose genital juice tastes like cookies and cream? No one’s! We all have a taste down there.

As long as you’re healthy and on top of your hygiene, you should taste fine.

If you’re still worried about funky spunk, tweaking what you eat may improve the taste of your juice.

Avoid garlic, onions, asparagus, and cabbage, which reportedly make for a less-than-pleasant flavor.

To sweeten your sauce, try eating:

  • pineapple
  • papaya
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • celery

There’s no risk of pregnancy from oral sex, but there is a very real risk of oral STIs.

Any skin-to-skin contact with the genitals can spread STIs. The same goes for contact with vaginal, penile, or anal secretions.

There’s also some risk of transmitting an STI to the fetus if you have oral sex during pregnancy.

STIs that can be transmitted through oral sex include:

Some oral STIs don’t cause any symptoms, but if they do they may include:

  • sore throat
  • open sores or warts in or around the mouth and throat
  • swollen lymph nodes

If you’re sexually active, you probably know that regular STI screening is important.

But did you know that you should be getting regular oral exams, too?

Your dentist can inspect your mouth to check for sores, lumps, or other abnormalities that could be a sign of an STI.

Oral exams are also used to check for signs of oral cancer. Certain strains of HPV can cause oral cancer.

You should see your doctor or dentist for at least one screening a year.

See your provider right away if you’re experiencing unusual oral symptoms or suspect that you’ve been exposed to an STI.

Common Qs

Do you really flick the clit? You can! Lightly flicking the clit with your tongue can be a nice way to mix things up and build pleasure. Think soft puppy tongue licking an ice cream cone — not woodpecker destroying a tree.

Should you insert your tongue or keep things penetration-free? That’s up to the person you’re going down on. Some people find the mere idea of being tongued hot AF, but fewer nerve endings in the opening means less sensation. If they like it then go to town.

What if they’re on their period or pregnant? If they consent and you’re cool with it, too, then go for it. Things can get messy, so focusing on the clit is probably the better way to go. Know that blood can have an odor and a metallic taste. A dental dam can help if you’re squeamish.


Try this:

  1. With your tongue flat, lap long strokes over their underwear until you get the fabric — and them — wet.
  2. When they’re ready for tongue-to-skin action, spend a little time licking the fleshy mound above the clit. Show the inner thighs some love, too.
  3. Lay your wet tongue flat at the bottom of their vulva and lick your way up. Repeat.
  4. Flex your tongue and use the tip to lick tiny circles over the clitoral hood — the little flap of skin over the clit.
  5. Use your fingers to gently pull the hood upward so you can focus the tip of your flexed tongue on the clit. Start with light pressure and speed and gradually ramp things up.
  6. When you get into a groove that they love, keep at it to take them over the edge.


With a little determination and imagination, you can turn pretty much any penetrative sex position into an oral sex position.

But to save you the neck cramps, we recommend these oral-friendly positions:

  • Lie Back and Enjoy. Have them lie on their back with a pillow under their butt and legs apart while you lie or kneel in between with your face in the muff of it all.
  • Control Freak. Lie on your back and have them straddle your face while facing you so they control the moves and pressure — and watch you work for it.
  • Almost 69. They get to straddle your face again, only this time they’re facing your main attraction and can return the favor in the way of some 69 action.

Safety and cleanup

The best barrier method you can use when giving oral to someone with a vulva is a dental dam. This is a thin latex barrier that you place over the vulva.

You can order dental dams online or use a condom to create an alternative.

Do a quick wash up before and after oral sex with soap and water or gentle wipes and you’re both good to go.

Common Qs

What should you do if they’re uncircumcised? There’s not much difference in technique as far as circumcised vs. uncircumcised. If you start off with a hand job, let the foreskin move up and down with your hand. When you’re ready to get licky with it, gently pull the foreskin downward to expose the head.

Do you have to deep throat? Nope, not unless you want to. Not going deep isn’t going to make or break an oral sesh. You can totally fake it by placing the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth and sucking as much as you’d like without an unexpected gag.

Should you spit, swallow, or keep ejaculate out of the mouth entirely? That’s something to discuss with your partner beforehand, but you don’t ever have to do anything you don’t want to do. If it’s a visual turn on for your partner, having them finish on your closed lips or chin — or wherever you’re comfortable with — should do the trick.


Give these moves a try:

  • Start by using the tip of your tongue up and down the base of their shaft, pausing to circle it around their head.
  • Show the underside of the shaft some love and then lightly flick the frenulum — the little wrinkle of skin where the shaft joins the head — with the tip of your tongue.
  • Lap up the entire length and repeat. Bonus points if you let them hear how much you enjoy doing it.
  • Hold the base of their shaft and take the rest in your mouth, then slowly slide up and down while sucking lightly.
  • Pick up the pace as their pleasure builds.


Again, with some imagination you can get your blow on in just about any position. Try giving these a go:

  • Open Wide. Lie on your bed with your with head near the edge and open wide while they stand with their head facing your feet and penis over your mouth.
  • Sit and Suck. One chair, two ways. Have them sit on the chair while you kneel before them and take matters into your mouth, or you do the sitting while they stand with their legs on either side of the chair while you lean in.
  • Laidback Lovin’. By far the most comfortable BJ position ever and perfect for those lazy morning blow jobs. While they’re on their back, lie on your side and use their torso as a pillow while you use your mouth and hands.

Safety and cleanup

We’ve got two words for you: flavored condoms. Seriously, if you’re going for the safe blow job, flavored condoms reduce your risk for STIs while giving you something tasty to suck on.

As for cleanup, a shower before and a wipe up after does the trick.

Common Qs

Aren’t you going to get poop in your mouth? We aren’t gonna lie — it’s a possibility. Washing with a soft cloth and soap and water is usually enough to get rid of the traces of feces that linger in the anus.

What do you do if there’s hair back there? No biggy. Just go with it, unless they want their bum shaved, but that’s a hole — er, whole — other article.

Should you insert your tongue or keep things penetration-free? It’s all about your comfort level. You absolutely shouldn’t stick your tongue anywhere that you don’t want to. If they’re open to it, fingers and butt plugs can do the penetrating for you.


Try these start-to-finish moves:

  • Start by licking and kissing their cheeks for a moment.
  • Lay your flat, relaxed tongue just below the hole and slowly lap up and down.
  • Point your tongue and use the tip to run circles around the hole, starting with little pressing and getting firmer and faster as their pleasure builds.
  • If you’ve agreed on penetration, now’s the time to do it by gently inserting a tongue, finger, or sex toy into the anus.
  • Continue to use your tongue on or between the cheeks or the perineum until they’re satisfied.


Doggy style is a rimming fave. It gives you equal control over the pressure and movement to find what works best for both of you.

To do this, have them get on all fours while you kneel behind. They can rest their head on a pillow and lift or lower their bottom to meet your mouth.

Safety and cleanup

Dental dams, tongue condoms, or a regular condom used as a dam will all work for safe rimming. Trimmed nails and clean hands are also important if you’re going to use your fingers in or around the anus.

A thorough cleaning of the area in the bath or shower using gentle soap and water is sufficient, but the recipient can also use an enema if they want to.

Once you’re done, you can use an oral rinse or brush your teeth if you’d like. Washing your hands and face are probably a good idea, too.

Now that you’ve got the moves, here’s some final advice. Use these tips to make oral sex everything.

Ask your partner

Asking questions is key for making any kind of sex the best it can be. Be sure to ask for their clear consent before getting started.

Asking what turns them on isn’t only helpful, but can also act as foreplay. Questions during oral are cool, too, so don’t be afraid to ask if something feels good while you’re doing it.

Use your breath

It’s hot and kinda moist, so of course it’s going to feel ah-mazing on their skin. Linger an inch above their skin and let your hot breath tease them into a frenzy.

Make some noise

Let them hear how much you’re enjoying what you’re doing. Moans, spitting, and slurping — it’s all good!

Lock eyes

Eye contact while you’re going down is sexy AF. It’s also a great way to gauge your partner’s reactions to your moves so you know what’s working and what isn’t.

Put your hands to work

Don’t be shy with those hands! Use them to spread the labia for better access to all the nooks and crannies, or to work the shaft like a pro while swirling your tongue around their head.

Explore other areas

Use your mouth, hands, or sex toys to explore their other erogenous zones during oral play to take it to another orgasmic level.

Add lube to the mix

Sure, your mouth is plenty juicy, but lube is fun for everyone! Flavored lubes can make oral sex tasty and can make hand action or toy play even better.

Take it to the edge

Edging, also called orgasm control, is the ultimate tease and the way to toe-curling orgasms. You work your magic to bring them to the edge of climax and then stop for about 30 seconds before starting up the stimulation again.

Oral sex can be as fun for the giver as it is for the receiver if you really get into it. In other words, check your inhibitions at the door, and don’t be afraid to get messy. Bon appétit!