If you're a woman or person with a vulva, it's likely you've been told (or made to believe) that you should enjoy oral sex. Having someone eat you out, perform cunnilingus, or whatever you want to call it is often touted as the best way to have an orgasm. We're told about "tricks" like the Kivin Method and encouraged to work our way through the wildest oral sex positions all as a way to enhance our oral sex experiences. But, for some people (loads of people!) receiving oral sex or being gone down on feels a little too intimate.
Having someone's head in your vulva can make you feel anxious, uncomfortable, nervous and unable to relax, which btw are all very much not conducive to sexual pleasure. So, if you don't like receiving oral sex, you're certainly not alone. Of course, you absolutely do not have to learn to like it, and if you never do there is nothing wrong with you. But if you'd like to know how to relax more, get out of your head and maybe even feel some pleasure from it, that's okay too.
Here, women and people with vulvas who didn't like being licked out explain how they came to enjoy receiving oral sex (or at least how they're working on it...)
"I FELT GUILTY ASKING FOR IT"
"I stopped being self-conscious about it. In the past, I felt pressured about having to enjoy oral, which made the experience more nerve-wracking than sensual. However, I wasn't used to the sensation and it took some mental adjusting for it to start feeling pleasurable. Also, my previous partner had an aversion to bodily fluids, which made me feel guilty to even ask. So if it didn't start feeling good within three minutes during the few oral encounters we did have, I'd get so self-conscious I'd ask him to stop." [via]
"I WAS SELF-CONSCIOUS ABOUT MY TASTE AND SMELL"
"My husband loves giving oral and actively expressed how much he wanted to go down on me. He never made me feel guilty when it would take a while, and always gave me reassurance when I was self-conscious about my smell or taste. I got more comfortable with it in general, and then was happy to oblige when he wanted to do it. It always felt great, but wasn't necessarily something I would miss. As time progressed, he learned what I liked and everything started to feel amazing. He got his tongue pierced, and that was a game changer. I am a huge fan!" [via]
"I GOT TO KNOW MY BODY"
"For me, it was definitely getting to know me, my body, and how I liked to be touched, what felt good and what didn't. When I first started having sex, I would be too ashamed to talk during sex. Now, I try to communicate with my partner and lead them to how I feel the most pleasure. It's a process, and the person doing it really has a big part in whether it'll be good or not." [via]
"I WAS SCARED I'D FART"
"I was scared to get so relaxed I might fart on my boyfriend (husband now). Well I said, 'fuck it I'm telling him'. And once I did, I stopped being so nervous and never farted on him!" [via]
"I WAS WEIRDED OUT BY THE THOUGHT OF A TONGUE THERE"
"It's definitely about the person and also I finally figured out what felt enjoyable. I was always so weirded out by the thought and sensation of a tongue on that part of my body. Some men eat it like they're afraid to get their face wet. If you aren't in that like a rapidly melting triple-scoop cone of your favorite flavor then it just feels... sterile. But it's mostly being comfortable enough with the person to say, 'A for effort but now let's go for technicals'". [via]
"I STARTED TELLING THEM WHAT I LIKED"
"I stopped trying to be nice and started just telling the dude exactly what I liked and didn't. And if the guy took it hard or didn't listen, I just never spoke to him again." [via]
"I GOT A WOMANIZER SEX TOY"
"I'm getting more used to the idea. I find if I'm not just overall stressed about it happening, I still don't often feel much stimulation even in moments I do want it. I got a Womanizer that helps me get used to the idea of just imaging someone doing it. I couldn't even fantasize about it beforehand and when I did manage to, I felt like an idiot for some reason." [via]
"I LEARNED TO LET GO"
"I used to feel anxious that I was taking a long time to cum and my partner must be tired. I started thinking all this even before the act started. This made me tense up. I learned how to let go. At that moment, you are the queen and you are being pleasured! It is your time to enjoy. Thinking this always helps me." [via]
"I WENT DOWN ON ANOTHER WOMAN"
I gave it to another woman and saw how truly amazing it is. That made me be able to relax and receive it much better." [via]
"I GAVE UP ON THE EXPECTATION OF HAVING AN ORGASM"
"I would just worry about needing to orgasm and then tied myself to the expectation and need to do it. It consumed me. One day, I decided that fuck it, 'you know what I'm giving up on the orgasm expectation and I'm just going to enjoy sex for the intimacy it provides'. So I did that, I focused on enjoying the journey and boom, I started having orgasms. I'm at a point right now where I really don't care if I do or don't, I focus on the journey and my feelings towards my partner. I also try to focus on the feel of the touch." [via]
"I DECONSTRUCTED MY BELIEFS ABOUT SEX AND PLEASURE"
"It was mental for me and I had an extreme discomfort with sex, pleasure, and the way I looked from being raised in a fundamentalist religion. First, I deconstructed my beliefs about sex and pleasure. Then, I worked on body confidence and mindfulness/relaxation and being in the moment. Once I got good with all of that it got easier and better. My husband's been great for me in all of those steps too." [via]
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.