Oral sex keeps your mouth busy – but not so busy that you can’t check in with your partners.
What should you ask before you unzip? How can you make sure your partner is satisfied with your technique? What’s the point of “spicing things up”? If you’re salivating for suggestions, I’ve got 5 ideas that are easy to swallow…
Ask: Are we going to use a barrier?
Barriers like condoms, dental dams, and finger cots are used to reduce STI risk in sex acts including penetration, oral sex, fingering, and shared sex toy use. Barriers can also be used to limit mess, or to change the sensory experience of sex (like taste or touch.)
Before giving or receiving oral sex, STI risk reduction should be discussed. But so should comfort! Are you eager to give your partner(s) a rimjob, but only if you can use a dental dam? Is swallowing unpleasant for your partner, and would a condom help?
Ask: Is there something you’d like to try?
Sometimes, oral sex becomes routine. We know what “works,” so why change things up?
But as I pointed out in 3 Sexy At-Home Date Ideas, “Trying new things together is both a bonding experience and a breath of fresh air. It’s thrilling to experiment, even with something small. You’re ditching your routine and your existing assumptions. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite things?”
Asking your partner(s) if they have something in mind gives them the opportunity to voice fantasies or curiosities they might have. Even if they don’t (or they’re not ready to share), you can use the conversation as an opportunity to share yours! Maybe you’ve always wanted them to sit on your face, or you’d like to explore facefucking to add an element of power play to oral sex. Maybe you’d just like to try a change of position or setting, with your partner standing or sitting at their desk.
Ask: Do you want to use a sex toy?
Sex toys have probably already rumbled and buzzed their way into other parts of your sex life. But while oral sex is primarily mouth-based, sex toys can make great partners to all things lick and suck.
Maybe you’d like to add a Manta Vibrating Penis Stroker to the mix? Flavored lube can sweeten the deal. Or perhaps you’d like some backup for cunnilingus, like the Filare Swirling Oral Sex Simulator or Inya Vibrating Tongue? A petite finger vibe can add some extra zing without complicating the proceedings.
Ask: Would you like to try orgasming from this?
Oral sex can be an orgasmic end in itself, but because of its unique versatility, it’s often used as a foreplay/build-up activity too. (Unlike partnered penetration – which requires adequate physical arousal and preparation to be comfortable – oral sex can be had with relaxed/resting genitals.) If your partner is not a multi-orgasmic person and they intend for sex to keep going after oral, they might want to play easy and steer clear of an orgasm.
Unless you’re edging them, that is.
Regardless of whether or not someone is multi-orgasmic, orgasms are not always in the cards. Sensitivity, stress level, hormones, aging, experience, and more can impact someone’s capacity to orgasm. “Would you like to try to orgasm?” is a great way to ascertain a partner’s interest in pursuing an orgasm without putting pressure on either of you.
Ask: Do you want this slower/firmer/rougher/wetter/etc?
Ongoing communication can take sex from “good enough” to “great”! It can be nerve-wracking to ask a partner to change up their technique (especially if you’re shy or not used to voicing your desires.) You can reduce any hesitancy your partner might feel by asking them for input yourself.
Communication doesn’t have to be a constant verbal back and forth, nor does it have to feel like an awkward feedback survey. Consider these dirty talk examples:
- “Tell me how you like it so I can make you lose your mind…”
- “Like this… or like this?”
- “You’re so sexy, I could take my time with you and enjoy every minute – but I’d also love to get greedy and get you off hard and fast. How do you want it?”
- “Mmm, you taste so good. Can I lick inside you now?”
- “Is that good, baby? Maybe I should use my fingers?”
- “I love how you feel in my throat. Do you want me to suck harder?”
But even if you can’t come up with some plausibly saucy phrasing on the spot, that’s okay. There’s nothing sexier than making sure your partner is having a good time. Go ahead and ask anyway!
Betty Butch (they/she) is a queer sex and relationships writer. By blogging about their experiences as a fat, trans, autistic person, they hope to help change the narrative of who has sex and what sex "should" be. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram.