Cunnilingus is a great and wonderful thing, but because a lot of dudes out there are unsophisticated heathens with no regard for manners, it can absolutely be ruined by an impolite partner. If you've ever had the unfortunate experience of hooking up with a Non-Face Wiper or had a guy yell "YOU CLOSE BOO?!" from between your legs, you know this to be extremely true. Here are eight crucial oral sex etiquette rules that all men should imprint on their brains.
1. Wipe off your mouth before coming up for a big ol' juicy smooch.
There's nothing gross about a vagina or any of the stuff that comes out of one. But that doesn't mean every woman wants an entire face full of her own vagina after a dude is done going down on her—if she thinks it's super hot and wants to kiss you ASAP, she'll let you know. You don't need to do a deep cleanse and face mask between oral and making out, but if you don't know her preferences, a quick swipe of the hand is very courteous.
2. Ask for directions if you get lost.
Cunnilingus isn't a road trip. It's a (very good) part of sex, which is meant to be fun for all parties involved. Don't know how to reach your ~final destination~? Ask! For! Help! It's not at all weird or rude to ask a woman where your tongue should be—it's actually extremely considerate and polite.
3. Literally never say a goddamn word about a woman's pube-grooming habits.
Unsurprisingly, 40 percent of dudes have asked a female partner to change her pubic hair situation. What else do that 40 percent of men have in common? They are all terrible monsters! You don't get to be in charge of anything about a woman's body, and you especially don't get to be in charge of how she chooses to groom/not groom her pubes.
4. Also literally never compare one woman's vagina to another woman's vagina.
Look, women are aware that you probably have had other sexual partners before them and have therefore taken a peep at another vagina. The least sexy thing you can ever say to a female partner is, "Wow your vagina tastes way different than my ex's!" You'd think all men would be smart enough to not say anything like this but truly they are not!
5. If you have nothing nice to say (about a woman's ~natural musk~), don't say anything at all.
Women have enough anxieties about their vaginas without their male sex partners complaining that they "taste icky ????" or "smell funky." If you want to very quickly ensure never having sex with someone again, say one unkind thing about her vagina.
6. Don't go from zero to 100 real quick!!!!!!
Yes, sure, cunnilingus is often considered foreplay to penetrative sex, but that doesn't mean you can dive right the fuck in. A rogue tongue coming unannounced and full speed into a gal's vagina feels less like a sexy overture to oral sex and more like getting prodded at the gynecologist.
7. Patience is a virtue.
While it is true that most women can more easily get off with clit stimulation (à la oral sex), that doesn't mean a single touch to the clit is all it takes to have an orgasm. No man's tongue is a powerful lightning rod of concentrated pleasure (though that would be great). Women are very much onto the bullshit cursory 10-seconds-of-cunnilingus move. Oral sex shouldn't be the equivalent of a peck on the clit — spend some time down there! And when in doubt, refer back to etiquette rule no. 2.
8. Don't talk with your mouth full.
Shouting, "ARE YOU GETTING CLOSE," between a woman's legs like her vagina is a bullhorn is a very good way to ensure she's never going to get close!
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.