Going down on her, performing cunnilingus, eating her out, giving oral sex ― whatever you call it, this sex act has the potential to be intensely pleasurable for your partner, as long as you’re equipped with the right information.
(Note: Just remember these are general tips. As with any sexual experience, it’s best to communicate with your partner about what he or she likes and doesn’t like. The advice below applies to anyone ― regardless of gender ― who possesses genitalia traditionally understood as female.)
1. Be patient.
Patience goes a long way when you’re trying to get a woman off, particularly when it comes to oral sex. Focus on a slow buildup (maybe start with a body massage or a make-out session), then pay special attention to the clitoris, which, for many women, must be stimulated in order for them to have an orgasm.
“Stay on the clitoris and choose a motion that she enjoys,” sex educator and writer Gigi Engle told HuffPost. “You can either ask her, or listen to the response you get from her body. Try circles, moving your tongue up and down, or left to right.”
“Once you find the thing that works, keep doing it until she comes,” Engle added.
2. Use your hands.
Your tongue is a great tool, but the key to awesome oral sex is at your fingertips ― literally. When going down on your partner, you can supplement some tongue action by using your hands to stroke the clitoris, play with the labia or finger her. You can even throw some sex toys into the mix, if you’d like.
“So many people hear ‘oral sex’ and think they’re only supposed to use their mouths,” sex therapist Vanessa Marin said. “But your mouth can get tired very quickly. Using your hands can double or even triple the amount of sensation you can create, and can give your mouth a break when you need it.”
3. Ask what she wants.
Mind reading is overrated. The best way to know what a woman wants in bed is simple: Ask her. Too much between-the-sheets chitchat may not seem sexy to some, but your commitment to making your partner feel amazing will be appreciated. We promise.
“Taking her pleasure in mind and being willing to do what she needs to orgasm will put her in a good mindset to get off,” Engle said. “Whatever it is she likes, do it!”
Sex educator Ericka Hart recommends checking in with your partner before, during and after to make sure you’re both on the same page.
“Maybe your partner will tell you not to talk ― but at least now you know they don’t want you to talk,” she said.
4. Don’t forget about the labia.
The clitoris deserves your attention, no doubt, but don’t underestimate the power of other parts of the female anatomy, like the labia. In fact, the labia (the inner and outer folds of the vulva) are often neglected, but they shouldn’t be, as they are full of nerve endings.
“Don’t forget about the labia as they can also be highly sensitive to touch,” Hart said. “Also ask about how they like or don’t like their vaginal opening to be stimulated.”
5. Be enthusiastic.
If you treat going down on your partner like some kind of chore, she will certainly be able to sense that, which can take her out of the moment. For women, especially, being in the right frame of mind ― relaxed, confident, not too tired ― is essential to accessing pleasure.
“Most people, women especially, feel self-conscious receiving oral sex,” Marin, the creator of Finishing School, an online orgasm course for women, said. “If you can let your partner know that you’re genuinely excited about doing it, not just doing it because you feel like it’s expected, you’ll put them at ease and increase the level of pleasure they’ll feel.”
Marin also recommends giving your partner specific compliments about her body and maybe even mentioning how turned on you get by going down on them.
6. You don’t always have to stop at the first orgasm.
One orgasm is great, but two is fantastic. Note that the clitoris can be very sensitive after climax, so don’t dive back in for Big O number two right away. In the meantime, focus your attention on other less sensitive areas.
“Circle the clitoris for a few minutes rather than going in for full contact right away,” Engle recommended. “You can lick her labia, the rest of her vulva and explore other erogenous zones with your hands, such as her nipples.”
Once you’ve given the clitoris some time to recover, you can gear up for round two. If your partner is into it, consider holding her hands down to help steady her body so she soaks up all the sensations. If she’s not comfortable with this type of gentle restraint, be respectful of that, too.
“Giving into pleasure can be challenging for some women,” Engle said. “We’re not taught to prioritize it, after all. Getting her to open up and hold still might take some gentle manual bondage. This in itself can be super hot.”
7. How about some humming?
There’s nothing ho-hum about a hummer. Patricia Johnson, who co-authored Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships with Mark Michaels, said that humming while going down on your partner can create a rather pleasurable, buzzy sensation.
“Humming essentially produces vibrations that will resonate in your partner’s genitals,” Johnson said. “You’re turning yourself into a human vibrator. It may take a little practice, but it can be a real turn-on.”