This Simple Sex Tip Changed How I Think About Blow Jobs

It's so easy, so simple, and it changed everything.
PHOTO: Getty Images

"Hey, can I do a blow job experiment on you?"

My partners typically respond to this type of request with varying degrees of enthusiasm. After all, the word "experiment" could mean pain, pleasure, or some kind of odd adventure that incorporates both or neither. But in this case, the person I texted is open-minded and generous with his dick, which happens to be one of my favorites.

"Sure," he replied, and I started planning my strategy.

I'd recently attended an eye-opening Q&A given by my friend Caitlin K. Roberts. Roberts is a certified somatic sex educatormeaning her sex education method is hands-on rather than theoreticalwho teaches about pleasure, touch, and consent. One of the concepts she covered that night was "sensate focus," a sex therapy tool pioneered by researchers Masters and Johnson (of Masters of Sex fame). Originally developed to help clients whose sexual anxieties and expectations prevented them from enjoying sex, sensate focus is the practice of concentrating 100 percent on touch, and the physical pleasure it brings you.

Roberts compared the practice to stroking a swatch of velvet: You do it purely for your own satisfaction, to enjoy the way the fabric feels against your skin. Sensate focus takes that idea even further and asks, what if the velvet was your partner’s body?

As Roberts talked, I turned the idea over in my mind. What would it be like to give a blow job purely for my own pleasure? Even people who love giving head, like me, are still typically motivated by the desire to please their partner. I wondered how emphasizing my own enjoyment would shift the act for us both. Would he even be able to come from it? Would it lessen my anxieties about how I looked and doing a "good job?" Would it make the experience scintillatingly hot, or boring and slow?

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The night we'd picked for our sexperiment, I calmed my nerves with a cocktail (phallic pun not intended). The thought of giving head for my own pleasure was weirdly nerve-wracking. Even though I'd explained the experiment to my partner ahead of time, I worried he would get impatient if he didn't orgasm, or maybe even think this whole thing was strange and selfish.

Women are often socialized not to be sexually demanding, and even though I know the orgasm gap skews heavily in favor of men, it's a tough attitude to unlearn.

We started by making out a lot. Once I was ready, I kissed his body in a much slower and more meandering way than I normally would, teasing him the way I like to be teased, because it was a tease for me too.

Through his underwear, I felt him get hard and remembered Roberts's advice: "When you're touching another human, how do you make that the most pleasurable experience for yourself that it can be? How do you enjoy the texture of someone's skin? How do you enjoy the feeling of your nerves as they make contact with a surface? How do you enjoy the smell of that person?"

I tugged his briefs off eagerly, my tongue wandering all over him in long, wet strokes. I slowed down to savor the feeling of him sliding against my lips in a way I rarely get to appreciate when I jump straight to porn-y head-bobbing. I felt like a fellatio sommelier, appreciating how he tasted and felt. Without the pressure of "performing," I felt free to enjoy it all.

I also noticed I was drooling way more than usual, presumably because I was so focused on enjoying what I was doing. It was like when your food arrives at a restaurant and your salivary glands kick into overdrive. It would've been embarrassing if I wasn't so into it.

Deepthroating is one of my biggest kinksI enjoy taking someone far inside me, but I don't often attempt it because I worry about doing it "wrong" or needing to back off abruptly. But within the context of a blowjob for my own pleasure, I could go faster and deeper for a while, turning him on more, and then scale back as soon as I felt uncomfortable or wanted to switch things up. It didn't matter if my eyes watered or I made gagging noises—the focus was on my experience, not his. Everything I did felt masterful and purposeful, never bumbling or inept.

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After about 15 minutes, I craved more speed and pressure. Sensate focus deprioritizes orgasm, since it's supposed to be about enjoying the journey, not the destination. But the more worked up I got, the more I wanted to feel my partner's climax—not just for him but for me. I sped up gradually and took him to the edge, then pushed him over into the strongest, longest, loudest orgasm I've ever given him. Later, he told me, "I don't think I've ever come for that long. Usually it feels like tremors, but that was like an earthquake."

I deemed our experiment a success. I felt badass and babely, and he'd had a great time. While giving oral sex, it's often hard to strike the balance between pleasing your partnerthe ostensible "point" of the actand enjoying that process yourself. Setting a specific intention together beforehand helped us both focus completely on our roles in that interaction. My job was to do whatever the hell I wanted (both of us knowing he could stop me at any time), and his job was to lie back and enjoy without trying to control the experience. It relaxed us both and had explosive results.

If you want to give sensate focus a try, Roberts recommends telling your partner what you plan to do, so they know what’s up and can enjoy it for what it is. "That feels good, to be seen as desirable and to have your body give someone so much pleasure," she said, and receiving touch from someone who's that focused on their own pleasure is an entirely different experience. She recommends setting it up as a time-limited endeavor—"Can I try this for 10 minutes?"so the parameters are clear for both partners, and so if you want to switch to a more traditional, orgasm-focused trajectory after those minutes are up, you can.

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But you might not want to. After that meditative mess of a BJ, I felt so electric and blissed out that I just wanted to lie on top of my partner in a drooly heap. There's so much more pleasure to be found in sex than just the genital kindand I appreciate the reminder to enjoy all of it.

Follow Kate on Twitter.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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