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Fellatio Foibles

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Ashlee asks:

Last night I gave my boyfriend a blow job. It was my first time doing that so I'm like 99% sure it was bad for him. I told him to try and help me cuz I had no idea what I was doing. So, he'd push my head down and I think I was "deep-throating" or something but I couldn't exactly breathe. What am I doing wrong?

Heather Corinna replies:

Well, choking you with his penis wasn't exactly helpful, and likely wasn't the help you were asking for, either, eh?

Here's a tip: at times like this when you're engaging in a sexual activity with a partner and just feeling really lost, that's the time to ask for VERBAL communication. You take a pause from what you're doing, and then you ask your partner to TALK to you to tell you what feels good to them and what doesn't.

That shouldn't be embarassing, and it also isn't something only people new to any kind of sex do. Even people who have done something 100 times will still often verbally communicate with their partners: someone who has given a blow job to 10 people will still not know what's good for a new partner, too, since everyone has their own preferences and varying areas of sensitivity.

Too, YOUR preferences and what feels good for YOU are an equal part of the equation. When you can't breathe because of what someone's doing, you NEED to say so and stop doing that thing that's hindering your breathing and making you not feel so good. Any kind of partnered sex needs to feel good for both partners, not just one, okay? I get that you're worried about things feeling good for him -- good sexual partners will always care about their partner's pleasure -- but also remember that half of this is about you, too. (And FYI? Without being too brusque, your boyfriend had a partner engage in an activity with him where she was doing something to try and make him feel good, so there's just no way it was 99% bad for him: it was probably really nice for him, even if it was awkward. No worries.)

With your boyfriend now, the thing to do would be to start a conversation about this before you're in a sexual situation again. You can start that with something like this:

"You know the other night when I was giving you oral sex? I don't feel like that was working for either of us, and I was also having a hard time breathing. Next time (if you want there to be one, Ashlee), I think it'd be better if you could tell me with words instead of with your hands what's feeling good. Then I won't feel so clueless and things are more likely to feel better for both of us. Okay? Want to talk about what felt good for you and what didn't? I can tell you how I felt about it, too."

Like I said, I know that kind of talking can seem weird, especially since when we see sex in the movies or on TV, they don't often show us people talking: but in real-life relationships where the sex is good for everyone, this is how it works. And if you're in a relationship where both of you are really ready for sexual activity, while it can be awkward to talk like this at first, you should both be able to do it relatively easily, and it should feel okay to talk like this, in pretty short order.

One last thing? Just a reminder that oral sex carries risks of sexually transmitted infections. So, if you're going to engage in it with a new partner, it's really important that you're using a condom and practicing safer sex. (They don't show that in the movies either, I know, but they also don't usually show people with gonorrhea of the throat, and that's a reality, too.)

Here are a few links I think might also help you out here:

written 13 Jul 2007 . updated 20 Dec 2012

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