Secrets of Loving Cunnilingus

How to boost her pleasure

Posted Jul 02, 2013

The myth is that men don’t enjoy providing women with oral sex. Actually, many (most?) love it. For many men, this special gift feels deeply intimate and very satisfying. In addition, women are much more likely to have orgasms from oral than intercourse. Cunnilingus is not difficult, but some men are unschooled in the fine points. Here’s how to boost her pleasure and your self-confidence.

“Cunnilingus” comes from the Latin cunnus for vulva, women’s external genitalia, and lingere, to lick. Cunnilingus is popular but less so than many people believe. According to a recent survey by researchers at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute, 75 percent of adult women have received it at least once, with 60 percent of those age 21 to 49 saying they’ve received it during the past year, and 33 percent of women over 50. 

Hygiene

Many women feel self-conscious about the aroma and taste of their genitals, and spend $150 million a year on douches. Gynecologists deride douching as hygienically unnecessary. Natural cervical mucus keeps the vagina clean, and washing with soap and water keeps the vulva clean and tasting like the mouth during deep kissing.

“If women think their genitals look, smell, or taste unattractive,” says Palo Alto, California, sex therapist Marty Klein, Ph.D., “it’s difficult for men to persuade them otherwise. But I encourage men to say: ‘I love how you look.’ ‘I love how you taste.’ Everyone likes compliments, and over time, she might change her mind.”

Basics

The vulva includes:

  • The outer and inner vaginal lips.
  • The clitoris, nestled under the upper junction of the vaginal lips.
  • The vaginal opening.
  • And the erotically sensitive groove between the clitoris and vagina, the urethral sponge.

Basic cunnilingus involves licking the vulva from the vaginal opening, across the sponge, and up to the clitoris, and possibly inserting the tongue into the vagina. As women become sexually aroused, their outer vaginal lips fill with extra blood, which parts them somewhat, exposing the inner lips and the sensitive tissue between them.

Make sure you both feel comfortable. Lying prone between the woman’s legs might strain your neck or back. You might slip a pillow under her hips to raise her vulva. Or coax her to the side of the bed and kneel on the floor.

The tongue is much softer than fingers, so it can provide gentler stimulation. “For many women,” explains Fair Oaks, California, sex therapist Louanne Weston, Ph.D., “the gentleness of oral sex is key to its enjoyment.”

Begin slowly—and as gently as you can. Keep checking in until you're confident that you know what she likes. Continue to check in periodically. She might want a change. Some women enjoy a  tongue's direct attention, others find it too intense, even off-putting.

Some women feel reluctant to discuss their reactions to oral sex. Instead, they use body language. They might squirm if they find it uncomfortable. Unfortunately, many men don’t realize that she’s writhing in discomfort, thinking she’s actually in the throes of delight. That’s why it’s important to check in verbally.

Fine Points

  • Alternate using the tip of your tongue, the flat of it, and your lips as you explore her vulva. All three feel a little different and provide subtly different sensations. Check in about each.
  • Combine this with finger and palm massage. After circling her vulva with your tongue, do the same with fingers using light, moderate, or deep pressure, as the woman prefers. 
  • Use whole-body massage. Some women enjoy having their legs, arms, and/or breasts caressed while receiving oral.
  • Instead of steady tongue pressure on the clitoris or swirling moves around it, use the tip of your tongue to tease just the underside of the clitoral shaft with light little licks about once every 10 to 15 seconds. This move helps some women get over the hump to orgasm.
  • Something else affects many women’s enjoyment of cunnilingus—her lover’s enthusiasm for it. “Few things detract from a woman’s enjoyment of oral sex,” Weston explains, “as much as the suspicion that her lover considers it a duty or, worse, a chore.” If you enjoy providing cunnilingus, by all means, say so—and show it.

Female Ejaculation

Some women ejaculate, that is, they produce fluid on orgasm. If this happens during oral sex, many women feel concerned about “squirting” in the man’s face. Some men enjoy this, others don't. Discuss your feelings. There’s no right or wrong, just personal preferences. If she ejaculates, and you have a problem with it, pull back as she approaches orgasm and try manual massage. 

After orgasm, many women experience unusual clitoral sensitivity and don’t like to be touched there. This is normal.

References

Herbenick, D. et al. “Sexual Behavior in the United States: Results from a National Probability Sample of Men and Women Ages 14-94,” Journal of Sexual Medicine (2010) 7(Suppl 5):255.