We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we hear the nitty-gritty of how we can actually better understand our deepest desires and most embarrassing questions? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist based in San Francisco, to help us out with the details. No gender, sexual orientation, or question is off limits, and all questions will remain anonymous. Please send your sex and relationship inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, onto today’s topic: how to go down on a girl.
Q: I’m in my first relationship with another woman. We’re going slowly with our physical relationship since I’m so new to all of this. She’s been really patient and wonderful with me. Things have been progressing, and I’d like to go down on her soon. Even though she has been great about showing me what she likes, I’m still nervous. I’ve received oral many times, but that doesn’t seem to translate to knowing how to do it to another person. How do I learn to go down on a girl for the first time?
A: Thanks for your question, and congrats on your new relationship! Sleeping with someone new is always stressful. You’re lucky that you’ve got such a supportive partner! Oral sex is a skill that requires some finesse, but I’ve got your back with a step-by-step guide to going down on a girl.
1. Let her know how much you want to do it.
Our society body-shames women. Most ladies — regardless of whom they sleep with — feel extremely self-conscious about having someone’s face all up in their business. I don’t know what your girlfriend’s relationship with her body is like, but telling a partner how sexy you find her is never a bad idea. Let her know how excited you are before you even get started. Keep reminding that she looks, smells, and tastes amazing at each step of the process. The more at ease she feels, the more she’ll be able to enjoy herself.
2. Don’t make assumptions about what she’ll like.
Women who are brand new to sleeping with women can sometimes fall into the trap of believing that all women like the same things in bed. You might feel yourself trying to replicate what has been done to you in the past, and assuming that she’ll like the same things you’ve liked. Same anatomy, same technique, right? Wrong!
Just because you like long, slow licking doesn’t mean your girlfriend will. Try to keep a beginner’s mind and be open to the fact that your girlfriend might like completely different things than you do. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to perform oral.
3. Ask for her feedback.
A great way to avoid making assumptions is to get input from her about what she likes. If you feel comfortable with this, try asking her to describe what she likes before you go down on her. The next time you’re cuddling in bed, tell her, “I’m so excited to go down on you soon. What usually feels best for you?” It’s OK to let her know that you’re feeling nervous and want some instructions.
You can also try asking for feedback when you’re in the middle of the act. Try out two different techniques, and ask her, “what do you like better? This? Or this?” You can also try paying attention to how her body is responding. Loud moans and writhing around are always a good sign!
Now let’s get down to the real nitty gritty of what to do in the moment! I’m going to give you some techniques that many women absolutely love. Please keep in mind that your girlfriend might not be a fan of any or all of these tricks, so keep checking in with her before, during, or afterwards, to find out what works for her.
4. Tease her.
Most women need some time to warm up to oral sex. The clitoris is very sensitive, and it’s usually best not to go straight in for the kill. Be nice and gentle. Fortunately, a lot of women love being teased, so this can be a very sexy step!
Take your time slowly undressing her and kissing her all over her body. Leave her underwear on, and kiss across the waistband. Move over to her thighs, and lick and kiss them. Use your hands to pull her thighs apart, and gently kiss her labia (with her underwear still on). Wait until she’s squirming around on the bed, then pull her underwear off. Use one finger to slowly slide up and down her labia, teasing them apart. Run your fingertip along the edge of her vaginal opening. Keep kissing and licking all over her labia until she’s begging you for more.
5. Focus on the clit.
The vast majority of women need clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm. Some women like direct contact with the top of the clit, while others like having the sides stimulated better. A great way to get a sense of what she likes is to start tracing your tongue in a wide circle around her clitoris, without touching it. Slowly work your way closer to the clit, then eventually do circles on top of the clit. See what she responds to, or ask her where she likes it best.
From there, keep most of your attention on the areas of her clit that feel best to her. Try out a couple of different strokes. Experiment with a flat, wide tongue versus making your tongue pointy. Try moving your tongue up and down, then side to side. Gently suck on her clit or try flicking it with the tip of your tongue. You can always go back to long, languid strokes across her entire labia if you want to tease her or take a little break, but you don’t want to take the focus off the clit too much.
6. Get your hands involved.
You may want to keep it simple your first time out the gate and only use your tongue, but you can try inviting your hand to the party if you’re feeling adventurous or dextrous. A lot of women like the combination of clitoral stimulation and penetration. Try wetting your finger with her vaginal juices, then slowly easing it into her. You can move your hand in and out, or make a “come here” motion that will stroke her G-spot. You can also use a finger to trace the folds of her labia, or use your hands to pull her labia further apart, or to stroke her thighs or breasts.
7. Be consistent.
A mistake that a lot of people make when it comes to oral sex is trying to get too complicated. Many people can feel pressured to “perform,” especially the first few times being with someone new. You don’t need to do crazy tricks or techniques to get her to come. Most women require consistency, not tongue gymnastics, to reach orgasm. Once you’ve honed in on something that works for her, keep going!
And on’t forget to have fun while you’re at it! It’s understandable that you’re nervous to try something new for the first time, but try to enjoy yourself. Nothing makes sex hotter than an enthusiastic partner.