ICYMI: The tongue is one of the strongest muscles in the body. Not only can it bend, twist, lick, and maybe even turn into that weird shape you used to flex back in middle school, but it literally functions to help you eat, swallow, and speak.
In other words, it’s high-key important. But that’s just the textbook definition, my friends. The lesson your sixth grade anatomy teacher didn’t teach you about your tongue: It’s the greatest asset to your sex life. Allow me to explain.
For starters, your tongue is multi-functional. You use it to kiss, during foreplay, with oral sex, to dirty talk, etc. It pretty much ranks as the MVP since “its power can provide arousing stimulation to erogenous zones with little effort,” says certified sexologist and pleasure coach Tyomi Morgan. (Erogenous zones = areas on the body that feel reaaaaal nice).
And considering there’s just so much you can do with your lil flexible dangly thing, you should know exactly how to use it. Let’s dive deeper, shall we?
Why is it important to incorporate your tongue into your sex life?
FWIW: You probably are already using your tongue a lot more than you think—which is a good thing! But when you’re intentional and actively thinking about using your tongue to enhance every sensation possible, it changes the whole vibe.
One reason is because the tongue’s surface is textured, which is a better way of saying that it adds some nice friction—different than what your hands, lips, or other body parts could offer, says Morgan. Think of it similarly as to why you may prefer textured sex toys vs. smooth toys some days.
It’s also self-lubricating (duh), so it tends to create an easy, smooth glide on delicate or sensitive areas of the body, says Morgan.
What areas of the body are best to explore with your tongue?
Every part of the body can be explored with the tongue, but always communicate with your partner before engaging. Start by discussing what erogenous zones your partner wants you to focus on (think: the neck, collarbone, lips, etc.), and also establish boundaries as to what areas are a no-no.
A general rule of thumb: “Every person’s body is going to respond differently to the stimulation, so it is nice to begin high and aim low,” says Morgan. Some areas to get you started: the head, neck, mouth, lips, ears, collarbone, chest, nipples, sides of the abdomen, bikini line, fingers, toes, anus, and genital areas.
As for some not-so-obvious ways you can sneak your tongue into the action to enhance pleasure, Morgan suggests the following:
- Sucking fingers
- Tracing the outside of the lips with the tip of your tongue
- Whispering kinky commands or desires into your partner's ear
- Tracing the outline of the ears
- Using the tongue as a summoning signal (like performing a "come here" motion)
- Tracing booty cheeks before analingus
- Licking foods off of various parts of the body
- Using the tongue for penetration
- Licking or tickling vulva lips or the perineum
- Feeding your partner with your tongue
Are there any specific movements you should do with your tongue?
So glad you asked. And TBH, you have some options depending on what your end-goal is. Morgan suggests:
- Use the tip of the tongue to provide slow flicks to erogenous zones. Then, speed up the tip and flick quickly.
- Use the flat middle pallet of the tongue to rub up against larger surfaces with a slow stroke. Create an “S” motion with the flat part of the tongue to create a wave-like sensation.
- Use the tip of the tongue to draw shapes and patterns around erogenous zones.
- Flatten the tongue to make long, slow strokes with its textured surface.
- Use a slightly curled tongue to create a suction.
Basically, point your tongue for direct stimulation and flex or flatten your tongue to cover more surface area, she confirms.
Some helpful tips to remember before tongue play-time:
Always ask first before applying the tongue in action since some people may not like the feeling of the tongue in their mouth, ears, or other body parts, says Morgan. Consent = everything.
Oh, and make sure your oral hygiene is up to par. “Brush your tongue and rise with antiseptic mouthwash before engaging in sex, since antiseptic mouthwash reduces the spread of bacteria to sensitive areas like the vulva,” confirms Morgan.
And a lil pro tip: “Remember to balance the amount of saliva being produced from the tongue during your exploration, and switching in between using the tip and the flat surface of the tongue,” says Morgan.
Lastly, don’t think too much about what you should or shouldn’t be doing during sex. Let your tongue flow naturally into what feels good, what’s getting a positive reaction from your partner, and what areas you want to explore consensually. Using your tongue more during sex is supposed to be fun—it's not supposed to make anyone feel like a dog just slobbered all over them, mmk?
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.