Being willing and eager to venture south is only half (OK, maybe 70 percent) of the battle—just doing oral isn't enough sometimes. There are things to know, things to literally never do again, and things you can improve.
1. A vagina isn't a clamshell about to snap down on your tongue, and there is no reason to be scared of going down there.
By now, in this time of feminist strife, men should have no excuse for being afraid of or grossed out by oral sex if it's something their partner is into. It's really all fine and good.
2. Being asked if it feels good every 30 seconds is really distracting.
Some women basically enter a meditative state when someone's going down on us. But it's very hard to feel what all is happening and enjoy myself if you're constantly asking, "Does this feel good?" like you get a prize for finding the right spot. If you're paying attention, you will know when you're doing something that feels good.
3. Just latching on with your entire mouth like it's an industrial vacuum cleaner is doing nothing for my orgasm.
It feels like nothing, except sort of like my vagina is being sucked into a wind tunnel, which isn't exactly the best way to get off. There are so many little nooks and crannies down there, and if you just treat the whole thing like a baseball you wanna put your mouth on, you'll be down there forever to no avail.
4. Wiping your mouth off after isn't required, necessarily, but it's definitely the polite thing to do.
The women of Sex and the City had a roundtable brunch discussion about this same topic, and while there is no Emily Post Guide to oral sex, this would definitely be included. You wouldn't want a face full of your own jizz, would you? Neither do I.
5. Just because it's called "oral sex" doesn't mean you can't incorporate things that aren't mouths, too.
Get creative down there, buddy. If you've been at it with just your tongue for like, ten minutes, and nothing's happening, get some fingers or a toy involved. Bring in all the benched players you can.
6. We secretly love it when you say things like, "You taste good," or, "Your vagina is beautiful like a princess" (maybe that's too far but you get it).
Part of the reason oral sex is ~intimidating~ is because it's a bit personal to have someone's face right in your most private part. Think of this as compliment foreplay, because vagina insecurity is real, especially with all the pressure to smell like a field of flowers all the time. It's flattering and nice to hear that you had a pleasant experience in my nether regions.
7. Don't pull away the second we come, like the ride has just come (lol) to an abrupt halt.
Women's orgasms aren't typically over in a split second. When we come, all those nerve endings are aflame and firing on all systems—so basically, everything you're doing is intensified by like a million percent. Give me a minute (or five) to fully enjoy this blessed experience before pulling away and moving on.
8. Just licking it over and over like a popsicle is not the hottest thing we've ever experienced.
Don't change patterns so much I can't even keep up with what you're doing, but also don't just settle into a rhythm and location, assuming that eventually I'll just come.
9. If you're annoyed that you can't manage to make us come, just man up and ask for directions.
Most women won't mind kindly coaching you through the experience, I get it, there's a lot to work with down there. This only benefits both of us.
10. Putting too much pressure doesn't feel sexy, it just feels like I'm riding a weird, wet see-saw.
There are like, 8,000 nerve endings in the clit alone, compared to about 4,000 in the penis. So think about doing oral sex half as hard as you'd jack off. This changes from woman to woman, but light pressure is usually better than jamming your tongue into my vagina, full force. Like, I should barely be able to feel your tongue. Easy does it.
11. Just like actual sex, we can do this in different positions so things don't get too ~vanilla~.
There's room for creativity here, people. Mix it up, try new things. It doesn't have to be missionary oral sex every single time.
12. It's probably gonna take a while, so get comfy down there.
Not because it just straight-up takes women longer to come than men (it doesn't), but because of a lot of other factors (kinda nerve-wracking to have someone's face in your vag, maybe you don't know what we like yet, etc.). If it's taking too long, and you're getting a crick in your neck or something, pop up and ask if there's anything we'd like you to do.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.