Oral Sex: What Is It, Best Positions, Tips and more

by Chelle

on Nov 30, 2021

Oral sex can be an unbelievably satisfying and intimate act. But just like with any kind of sexual stimulation, what works for one person isn't necessarily going to work for someone else. So it helps to have some oral sex tips to try while you're down there discovering.

Whether you’re pleasuring a person with a penis, or stimulating the vulva, here’s our ultimate guide to going down. Read on to find out everything you need to know about oral sex.

oral sex innuendo

What is oral sex?

Oral sex - it’s referred to in many ways, ‘flicking the bean’, ‘blow job’, ‘going down on’ and much more are all terms we use regularly when discussing the subject of oral sex. So, what is it? Oral sex is the act of using your mouth or tongue to stimulate and pleasure a partner’s genitals. Most often, oral sex is performed on the vulva, vagina, clitoris or penis although occasionally, oral sex can also be a sexual activity that stimulates the anus - sometimes referred to as ‘rimming’. Oral sex can be a deeply personal act of intimacy - many people will enjoy oral sex as a regular part of their sex life. Others may feel less pleasured by oral sex and not everyone will enjoy it.

The experience of oral sex differs from person to person and there are several ways to stimulate someone’s genitals through oral sex. Licking, sucking, going slower, harder, longer, softer can all change the experience and ultimately, the pleasure a person can feel from oral sex.The best way to find out whether you will enjoy oral sex, is to try it for yourself. Experiment with your partner, talk about what feels good, mix it up a little and most importantly - stay safe as you explore.

Read on for our top tips on not only how to enjoy oral sex, but also how to perform it so that your partner can feel maximum pleasure too.

How to go down on a woman

Being the sensitive bundle of nerve endings that it is, the clitoris should be one of the main focus points during oral sex. And though it's not the only place to explore, according to several clitoris-owning people, it's a very good place to start!

You could either pay close attention to your partner's responses by looking out for shudders, noises or movements that signal they're having a good time or, if you're comfortable to, ask them exactly what they like in the oral sex department. Communication will ultimately bring you closer and should result in a great oral sex experience for you both.

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Oral Sex Tips and Techniques for eating her out

When most people talk about the clitoris, they're usually referring to the visible glans. In fact, only a very small amount of this sex organ is actually exposed, and research suggests that the clitoris – and clitoral nerves – actually extend to the anterior wall of the vagina.

As we said, everyone is different. So here are some oral sex tips you can try to find out what your partner likes. Keep in mind that these aren't in systematic order and are more of a guide than concrete dos and don'ts. Want to give her the oral sex experience of her lifetime? Here’s how you might want to do it.

9 steps to great oral sex on a vulva

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1. Tease first, lick later

Launching straight into a rhythmic tongue workout can be too much for some people. If this is the case, try teasing and building up to direct stimulation by lightly kissing their thighs, breathing on them, attending to everywhere but their clitoral glans. This will get them so worked up that whatever you do when you finally get to the clitoris is likely to have explosive results.

2. Use the tip of your tongue

Trace delicate circles on the clitoral hood or glans using just the tip of the tongue and see how they react. Some people love how targeted this tongue movement is, especially if you hit the right spot for them. This could be inside the clitoral hood, but try the entire clitoral area to see what gets the best reaction.

3. Apply more pressure

If light licks aren't doing it for them, try pressing onto and around the clitoris a bit harder with your tongue. This added stimulation might be what gets them going. Some people like the feeling of having a constant pressure on the clitoris and/or vulva, others prefer an alternation between pressure application. Experiment to find out what works best for your partner.

4. Stimulate through the hood

Many people find direct stimulation of the clitoral glans too intense, especially to begin with. If that's the case, instead of pulling the clitoral hood up to expose the glans, you can stimulate the glans through the hood instead, working up to direct contact if they're into it. Remember, the clitoris is extremely sensitive, so take care and don’t rush in too fast when performing oral sex.

5. Lick flat and long

You can also use the flat part of the end of your tongue and gently lick the length of the clitoris. The clitoral nerves reach into the inner labia, so don't neglect this ultra-sensitive area. Flatter, longer licks of the vulva and clitoris can also make oral sex more enjoyable for the one performing as it allows them to taste their partner in a deeper way.

6. A little suction

We all know how popular clitoris sucking toys have become in recent years and that’s because they stimulate the nerve endings, creating a rush of endorphins and physical pleasure. To imitate the experience through the act of oral sex,, close your lips over their clitoris and lightly suck, moving your head ever so slightly from side to side.

7. Penetrate and lick simultaneously

Some people enjoy penetration at the same time as oral, so insert a finger (or two) and slide them in and out in time with your licks, or hook your fingers up towards their belly button and rock them slightly for super satisfying G-spot pressure. This dual stimulation can feel amazing and may lead to an intense blended orgasm.

9. Consistency

If they're clearly enjoying what you're doing (again, don't be afraid to ask if they're not being that vocal) and you've worked up to a rhythm that's clearly working for them, consistency is everything. If they're telling you to keep going, keep doing exactly what you're doing. Keep paying attention to those reactions, and if they're telling you they're close to orgasm do not stop what you're doing.

Oral Sex tips & techniques if your partner has a penis

Giving someone a blow job, or performing oral sex on a person with a penis can feel quite intimidating. How do you stop your teeth from grazing their shaft? Do you take the entire length? What if you can’t? You might have many questions in relation to how to please your partner, but the top secret to giving phenomenal head is having the confidence to explore and experiment and to show the one receiving, that you too, are enjoying the act of oral sex.

Tip number one: Don’t act like it’s a chore.

With a few subtle considerations, such as your positioning, the angle of which you’ll perform from, knowing your own gag reflex and limits and ensuring eye contact throughout, the experience of oral sex can be one that’s thoroughly enjoyable for you both. Read on for our top tips on how to make it epic when you go down south.

6 steps to great oral sex on a penis

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1. Take it slow

Porn movies might have you thinking that the best way to pleasure someone with a penis is by going hard and fast, but many people enjoy a slower, more sensual build up and love it when their partner changes up the pace between hard and fast, slow and steady. Slowly run your tongue up and down the shaft, teasing a little with each tender lick and then gradually build up to increasing both speed and pressure.

2. Make eye contact

Making eye contact with your partner can make the act of oral sex a truly erotic experience. You don’t need to keep your eyes locked on one another for the entire time, but occasionally making direct eye contact can intensify the pleasure felt by your partner, leave you both feeling more connected and increase your confidence to continue pleasing them too.

3. Share the love

Don’t be naive enough to think that pleasuring the shaft of the penis alone is enough to lead them to climax. Quite often, it is - but why not share the love anyway? Focus some of your attention on pleasuring other external erogenous zones. Teasing your partner by licking and caressing the balls with your tongue can feel incredibly pleasurable while you perform oral sex.

4. Read their body language

What’s the best way to know if they’re loving what you’re doing? Read their body language and take heed of their facial expressions to get a grasp on whether your oral sex performance is hitting those all-important sweet spots. By making eye contact and regularly taking a moment to watch for their natural body responses, you will be able to tell if your approach to oral sex is working for your partner too.

5. Make your oral vocal

Now, we don’t mean to shout from the rooftops, sing a song or get loud and lairy, but many people have suggested that some noise during oral sex can be pleasurable. Soft, quiet moans as you devour the goods on offer can be a great way to demonstrate your own enjoyment. Providing you both feel comfortable enough, experimenting with a touch of ‘dirty talk’ can also be mutually arousing; and for an unexpected pleasure tactic - try making a gentle humming noise, as this can send subtle vibrations down the shaft.

6. Use your hands

While oral sex is predominantly about pleasuring your partner with your tongue and mouth, there’s no need to disregard the pleasure a simple ‘hand job’ can provide. Why not mix up your technique and throw in a little hand action to keep your partner continually aroused? Stimulate the penis by alternating the direction of both your hand and mouth, going one way with your tongue and sliding your fingers in the opposite direction.

Best Oral Sex Positions

Now that you know some of the best tips and tricks for initiating oral sex, you might be thinking about which position will feel best? Oral sex can be enjoyed in a variety of different sex positions and finding out which ones feel great for you is just part of the self-discovery journey.

If you’re looking for a little inspiration, we’ve rounded up our top 5 to get you started.

Common Oral Sex Worries... And How to Banish Them

1. Help, I can't relax!

You're much more likely to enjoy receiving cunnilingus if you're relaxed. If you find it really hard to switch off, close your eyes or slip on a blindfold. Removing your sight from the equation can help you to lose your inhibitions, so you can focus on enjoying your partner's oral skills rather than getting distracted.

2. Am I clean?

Nobody's vagina smells like freshly laundered linen or roses – everyone has a natural smell and taste. If niggling thoughts like this are holding you back from enjoying oral sex, have a quick shower, or wash down there beforehand.

3. What do I taste like?

Again, it's unlikely you taste like your partner's favorite ice cream flavor - but lots of people who perform cunnilingus say that they love the way their partner tastes! There's some debate about how much you can really alter your own 'flavor' (and whether you should), but a healthy diet, lots of water, and good vaginal hygiene are the simplest and safest ways to keep your vulva feeling its best.

4. Do I tell them what to do, or let them do their thing?

Shouting a set of instructions might be off-putting (unless it's a turn-on for you both), but gentle encouragement is great for the person giving, as it lets them know when they're hitting the right spots. Make the right noises, gently (gently!) move their head, tell them what feels good. If something they're doing doesn't feel right, or you want them to stop, the only way they'll know is if you communicate that, so be vocal and ask for what you want.

Talking about what you like outside of a sexy scenario (like when you're lying in bed chatting) can be helpful for both of you, too. If something isn't working for you, try to be encouraging rather than critical – phrases like "I really love it when you..." and "It turned me on so much when you [insert oral sex thing here]" can be really good conversation starters.

5. I don't like giving/getting oral sex... Am I weird?

No way. Everyone has their sexual preferences, and some people just aren't into it – that's totally fine.

If it's that you don't have much experience and you're not confident about your oral expertise, then just giving it a go with a patient and encouraging partner can improve your confidence. If it's because you feel self-conscious about the way you look, taste, or smell, it might be worth exploring how to lose those hang-ups with the help of a supportive partner.

If you've had a bad experience with a previous partner, remember that not everyone is the same – you might be missing out on an intimate act with a partner who respects and values your pleasure.

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Is Oral Sex Safe: can you get an STD?

Now obviously we don't want to put you off oral sex (I mean, it's pretty awesome!), but it is possible to contract an STI from oral sex. With this in mind, there are a few precautions you and your partner can take in order to make sure everyone is safe and having a great time.

Thinking to go to town when you go down?

Here are 3 things to keep in mind.

How to have happy healthy oral sex


1. Wrap it up

The only way to be completely protected from transmitting or contracting an STI is to have regular sexual health screenings and to always use a barrier contraceptive with new sex partners.

Barrier contraceptives (female condoms and dental dams) are a type of prophylactic that can prevent skin-on-skin contact and the transferral of bodily fluids that may contain a sexually transmitted disease.

2. Get tested

Obviously, if you and your partner know you're STD free, you can go ahead and have all the oral fun. But since some STDs are symptomless, you'll need to take a test at your doctor's or local sexual health clinic.

Because you can get some STDs in your throat, ask them for a mouth swab as well as a genital swab, and a rectal swab if you think you need one (if you've had anal sex, or if rimming is part of your sexual repertoire).

3. Won't a barrier method reduce sensation?

If the receiver is worried about reduced sensation with a condom or dam, make it your mission to get them so turned on they won't notice it.

For those of you who are turned off by the idea of a prophylactic, your best bet is to know your sexual health status and to share it with your partner.

Best sex toys for oral sex

Best toys for solo oral sex


Written by Chelle. Lovehoney Editorial Team
Chelle is a multi-published adult author who believes great sex starts with having the confidence to explore your fantasies in the bedroom.
A bondage and kink enthusiast, Chelle is also an advocate for BDSM education, and when she’s not writing blogs for Lovehoney, you'll find her planning for her next erotica novel.

Originally published on Nov 30, 2021. Updated on Dec 1, 2021