Oral Sex: What You Need To Learn About It

Oral sex can be scary for some, especially if it’s you’ve never done it before. In reality, there’s little to worry about, and everyone has been in the same spot as you.[1]

Today, we’re going to teach you all you need to know about oral sex: from the basics to the general guidelines on how to do it to your partners.

A few misconceptions you need to know

Oral sex is a lot more fun than you would think. Let’s get a few common misconceptions out of the way first, though.[2]

  • Oral sex isn’t sex

There’s actually some debate on whether or not oral sex is “real” sex. Well, sex is a very broad term, and you can be sure that it doesn’t start and end with penetration between the penis and vagina.

  • All genitals are the same

Penis and vulvas vary a lot, and everyone has their own size, shape, and more. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to genitalia, either; some people like it big, others small. You should never compare yourself to others.

  • There shouldn’t be any smell

You can wash as much as you want – although you shouldn’t overdo it for health reasons – and you’ll still smell something below. That’s because everyone has a natural odor, and it’s just part of being human.[3]

Still, it doesn’t mean you should neglect your hygiene – far from it. Before having oral sex, you should take a bath and wash around the area. Just don’t use any deodorant or perfume since they can actually cause discomfort for you and make the entire experience lose its pleasure.

  • The taste is the same

Again, everyone has a different taste down there. No, it doesn’t taste like ice cream, but it shouldn’t be unpleasant, either. When it comes to ensuring your health and hygiene, your taste should be fine.

Additionally, there are a few foods that might change how things taste. For instance, onion, cabbage, and garlic have been reported to cause an unpleasant flavor. On the other hand, foods like pineapple and cinnamon might sweeten the taste.[4]

STIs are still a risk

Pregnancy isn’t possible with oral sex, but that’s far from the same with STIs. Any contact with someone’s genital (and anus) and their secretions can catch you an STI. Oral sex while pregnant can also put your baby at risk.[5]

Some of the most common STIs that spread through oral sex include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HPV, and HIV. Some of them don’t cause oral symptoms, but some might manifest via soreness, warts, and sores around the mouth/throat, and swelling on the lymph nodes.

Oral screening is important

Most sexually active people are aware of the importance of STI screenings, but oral exams should be part of your checks. Dentists can take a look at your mouth and spot anything out of the ordinary that might suggest STIs.

As some HPV strains can result in oral cancer, there are enough reasons to take an oral exam at least once per year.

Oral sex for female partners

Female oral sex should focus on the clitoris. You want to caress, rub, and even flick it with your tongue – always gently. Other than that, things might differ from person to person.

Some people enjoy tongue penetration, but the inside of the vulva is a lot less sensitive. Make sure to pay attention to your partner when trying it.[6]

Oral sex during periods is healthy as well. As long as you and your partner are willing to do it, then it can be just like oral sex. You might want to focus solely on the clitoris.

  • How to do it

The first step should always be foreplay. Make sure to take your time until they’re ready for actual contact; once there, you want to start by licking around the area: mainly the mound and inner thighs.

Then, you can start licking upwards from the bottom of the vulva, preferably with a flat tongue; you can repeat this a few times. While at the top, you should lick the clitoral hood (i.e., the small skin flap over the clitoris).[7]

Then, you should pull up the hood and start rubbing the clitoris with your tongue. Always start softly and slowly before ramping up. Develop a rhythm, and keep it as they build up their orgasm.

Oral sex for male partners

A common misconception is that circumcised and uncircumcised penises require different techniques. However, it’s mostly the same. The only real difference is that you often want to make sure you let the foreskin roll up and down while giving a handjob. Once actual oral sex starts, you want to focus on the glans itself.

Deep-throating is entirely up to you. It’s not an integral part of oral sex, and some people even prefer regular tongue friction over deep throating.

Similarly, you don’t need to swallow or even take the ejaculate into your mouth. You should discuss with your partner what they want and what you’re willing to do.[8]

  • How to do it

There’s no textbook way to give oral sex to a male. However, there are some techniques you can play around with.

You can start by using your tongue tip to lick along the penis’ shaft while pausing now and then at the head to circle it. The underside can be quite sensitive as well, and you might want to focus around the area where the shaft meets the glans’ underside.

You can also move up and down with your mouth on your partner’s shaft while sucking. Make sure to hold the base with your hand if necessary.

What are rim jobs?

Rim jobs refer to oral sex on the anus. Before anything, make sure the person receiving it has cleaned it thoroughly – you should already know why.[9]

Rim jobs can be a more delicate subject – even taboo – for many people, so make sure both parts consent to it before trying it. Other than that, it’s up to the person: some like tongue penetration while others don’t; the same goes for fingers and toys.

  • How to do it

Focus on the cheeks at the start, just like foreplay. Then, start lapping the anus with your tongue: up and down. You can alternate this by circling the hole with the tip of your tongue. Start softly and build pressure and firmness as things build up.[10]

You should stay focused around the anus and perineum until your partner is satisfied, but don’t expect an orgasm unless there’s genital stimulation along with the rim job – or your partner is particularly sensitive.


No one should view oral sex as different from regular sex. Both are important elements for sexual intimacy, and as long as both are treated with the same caution and respect, it could become an integral part of any couple’s sexual life

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4660550/

[2] Saini R, Saini S, Sharma S. Oral sex, oral health and orogenital infections. J Glob Infect Dis. 2010;2:57–62. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

[3] Schwartz IM. Sexual activity prior to coital initiation: A comparison between males and females. Arch Sex Behav. 1999;28:63–9. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

[4] Newcomer SF, Udry JR. Oral sex in an adolescent population. Arch Sex Behav. 1985;14:41–6. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2840968/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3639487/

[7] Prinstein MJ, Meade CS, Cohen GL. Adolescent oral sex, peer popularity, and perceptions of best friends’ sexual behavior. J Pediatr Psychol. 2003;28:243–9. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

[8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22429603/

[9] Holmes KK, Mardh PA, Sparling PF, editors. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 3rd ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill, Co.; 1999. pp. 451–66. [Google Scholar]

[10] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26107371/