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7 Common Oral Sex Mistakes — And How to Fix Them

Some expert advice for improving your technique.

Chances are, you’re pretty good at oral sex. It’s one of those sex acts where, unless you, like, try to text while doing it or speak to your wife’s genitals in a robot voice, you’ll do fine, just fine. But you can do — and should aim for — better than fine. It’s just a matter of recognizing and steering clear of some common mistakes. To help you do just that, we spoke to a few sex educators about the common oral sex mistakes men make as well as some general advice. Some deal with communication; others with technique. All will help you become a master of the form.

Thinking Every Woman’s Body Is the Same

It’s easy to assume that if you’ve successfully pleasured one vagina, you’ve pleasured them all. But this is the wrong way of thinking. “Each vulva likes something different,” says Kait Scalisi, a pleasure-based sex educator and relationship counselor. “Don’t assume that what worked on your last partner will work on your current one, or that you have some mind-blowing move that works on everyone. After all, when it comes to sex, there’s no ‘normal,’ only more or less common.”

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Not Asking What Your Partner Likes

Communication is essential in every aspect of marriage — including pleasure. “Before you get busy, or while you’re kissing, tell them what you’d like to do to them and ask if they’d like that,” says Scalisi. And please, don’t over think it. Something as simple as “I want to lick you until you scream. Do you like that?” will suffice. “Affirmative consent doesn’t have to be so hard — and it can be hot,” says Scalisi.

Going Too Deep

It’s far too common for men to focus on penetrative sex. So much so that even when men decide to change it up and incorporate some oral into the mix, they might be confused and think that the purpose is to “tongue f*ck” the vagina,” says Andy Duran, educational outreach and affiliate manager at Good Vibrations. “Though inserting the tongue into the vagina can feel amazing for all parties involved, you don’t need a tongue like Gene Simmons in order to preform cunnilingus. In fact, though cunnilingus can include all parts of the vulva, it’s typically enjoyed most on or around the clitoris.”

Rushing Your Way Through the Experience

Consider oral sex a casual road trip: take your time, check out the scenery, and explore some of those roadside attractions.“Relax, stay a while,” Duran suggests. “Destination cunnilingus is a beautiful journey. Enjoy the sights and let yourself fall into the sensory playground full of sensuous tastes, aromas, and pleasure,” he says. “Oral sex is a marathon, not a sprint. Just set up camp and stay there for as long as it’s enjoyable by the both of you.”

Ignoring the Importance of Sexual Enthusiasm

You know what makes every sex act a little bit better? Knowing that the person performing it is having a good time. “Inviting someone for an up close and personal visit to your genitals can be anxiety inducing, but when you can tell that your partner actually wants to be there, and that they are enjoying themselves enjoying you, well, that’s the ultimate turn on,” says Duran.

Forgetting About Your Fingers

The tongue may be the star of the show, but your fingers are best supporting actor. “Use your hands to caress their breasts, inner thighs, belly, and booty, or to hold down their hips while they try to squirm,” says Scalisi. “Use fingers to part their folds and get more direct clitoral, urethral, or vaginal stimulation.”

Forgetting to Check In

“Pop up for air every now and then,” Scalisi suggests. “Ask how they like it, if it feels good, would they like something different. Harder? More clit? Similarly, if they give you feedback, whether that’s ‘harder,’ ‘a little to the left,’ or ‘don’t stop,’ please listen. Don’t think of it as a critique of your skills but rather an opportunity to learn how to drive them wild,” she adds.