Behind Closed Doors: Learning to appreciate, navigate the unexplored during sex

A lot of my female-bodied friends love going down on a partner, but cringe at the very idea of receiving oral sex themselves. Until recently, I was one of those women. Part of my hesitation regarding oral sex is certainly tied to my feelings about genitals in general. Try as I might to correct it, I can never quite escape the feeling that genitals are bad and ugly and private, and that no one wants to be intimately exposed to them. This feeling is closely tied with my general insecurities about vaginas. I tend to view them as scary, cavernous and unexplored places. As if my own uncertainties weren’t enough, it seems just to be an accepted fact that vaginas are funny-smelling, fishy places, something women everywhere should be concerned about.

In addition to fretting about the look, taste and smell of my nether-regions, I am aware of how long it takes me to orgasm. While I think that sex should be more about the journey and less about the destination, I have often felt like getting eaten out is kind of a boring part of that journey for my partner. Repetitive music, low speed limits and not a lot of scenery. It’s a bummer, really, because I can’t help but think that I, and my oral-sex-avoiding female friends, would enjoy the adventure a lot more if we could all just stop thinking about what we smell like, how long it’s taking to orgasm, and whether or not we look good from that angle.

I’m glad my views on oral sex are changing. Previously, I considered oral sex to be the boring friend of PIV — fine enough to engage with if you’re in a bind, but there are other, more lucrative pursuits. I’ve never talked to a man who met a blow-job he didn’t like, and I can’t help but wish I could have met more of my oral sex receptions with open arms and legs sooner. It’s nice to be able to enjoy time devoted to my pleasure and experience. Dialing back on some of my insecurities and concerns has been critical in changing my attitude.

I don’t have it completely figured out yet, but I’ve realized that a big aspect of what makes it easier for me to relax on the journey is when I feel like my partner is enjoying the trip as well. It’s important to know that my partner is enjoying the scenery and the experience, and it’s a relief to hear that I smell and taste good — it helps me stop worrying about whether or not I smell like a fish market. I might brush off your comment initially, but hearing it over a period of time definitely helps. A little enthusiasm goes a long way. Supposedly, feeling a partner smile when a man is receiving a blow job is one of the sexiest experiences in the world. While I may not know exactly what your lips are doing down there, your enthusiasm makes me feel less like you’re doing me a favor, and more like we’re equals enjoying the journey — and nothing is sexier than that.

Tyna H. is a Behind Closed Doors columnist and does not enjoy repetitive music, low speed limits and a lack of scenery on any trip.


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