Woman with banana in her mouth representing oral sex

A beginner’s guide to oral sex

Giving can just be as fun as receiving. 

Whether you engage with oral sex prior to penetrative sex, or decide to make it the main event, oral sex can be a pleasurable and exciting act to participate in with your sex partner.  

Oral sex has proven to play a big role in maintaining an active and fulfilling sex life, with studies revealing that more people over the last few decades are engaging in oral pleasure.

If you’re looking to improve your techniques, or you’re a newbie and wish to learn more, our comprehensive guide below will help you to up your oral sex game. 

What is oral sex?

Oral sex, also referred to as fellatio, is when you use your mouth, lips or tongue to stimulate a person’s genitals or anus for sexual pleasure. 

Typically, this erotic act involves kissing, sucking or licking the penis or testicles, the region of the vagina (especially the clitoris) or anus.

Many still believe that oral sex is not really sex, but rather a substitute or preliminary to sexual intercourse as an act of foreplay. A 2007 update of a past study discovered that only 20% of participants thought oral sexual constituted sex.

Likewise, a 2013 study on the perceptions of oral sex found that 91% of respondents perceived intercourse as more intimate than oral sex. 

On the other hand, for some people, oral sex (like penetrative sex) is the exchange of intimacy between one another, especially when it involves the genitals or anus.

The truth is, oral sex is a sexually motivated behaviour and still has the same risks as penetrative sex, such as contracting or transmitting an STI. It should therefore be held in the same regard.


Man unzipping his jeans getting ready to receive oral sex

How common is oral sex? 

Oral sex appears to be a common sexual practice for sexually-active adults. According to CDC, more than 85% of adults between 18-44 years old admitted to having oral sex at least once with a partner from the opposite sex. 

ISSM report that the National Survey on Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles conducted by Netdoctor revealed that 67%-80% of respondents aged 16-54 in the UK engaged in oral sex in the previous year.

Contrary to popular belief, there are many people who actually prefer to have oral sex than penetrative intercourse. According to multiple research, many women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, with oral sex being a guarantee for many to successfully achieve it. 

Oral sex tips

If you’re new to oral sex, it might be a little daunting exploring a new sexual venture, especially one where the focus is on you or what you can do. Here are some general oral sex tips that will prepare you.

  • Always make sure there is consent from both parties
  • Have an open conversation with your partner beforehand to discuss any concerns or likes and dislikes
  • Vulvas and penises come in all shapes and sizes, so don’t worry about how your anatomy looks in comparison to others
  • Keep things fresh by taking a shower or bath before oral sex 
  • Find a comfortable oral sex position so you can focus on the moment
  • Always use protection, as STIs can be transmitted from one person to the other
  • Remember, there’s no rush. Start nice and slow and experiment with your lips, tongue, and mouth to gauge what your partner enjoys most
  • If you’re the one receiving, don’t be afraid to give directions and let your partner know what’s making your body tick
  • Everyone’s genital juice has a taste. Sweeten your semen or body fluid up by eating the right foods, such as fruit (e.g. pineapples)
  • Try some tasty flavoured lube if you need extra moisture or just a little more fun

Woman seductively licking the inside of half a grapefruit

How to give oral sex 

There is no rule on how to give oral sex, as everybody has different preferences. However, if it’s your first time or you’re still relatively new to oral sex, you might feel confused about what to do or where to start. Below is some general advice. 

How to give oral sex to a woman 

Step 1: Although women have an organ specially designed for sexual pleasure – the clitoris – the trick is to avoid going straight to it. Explore her body first, caress erogenous zones like her nipples, navel, and inner thighs that will help her relax and get in the mood before going down.

Step 2: Before heading to her main spot, make sure she’s in a position that you’re both comfortable with, whether it’s lying on her back, lying on her front, sitting up or standing. The right position is important to keep up a good performance and make her feel good. 

Step 3: When you’re ready for tongue-to-skin action, move your mouth to the vulva area. Start licking the fleshy mound over the clitoris.

Step 4: Then, place your tongue at the bottom of their vulva and begin licking up. Repeat this motion. 

Step 5: Spice things up by flexing your tongue and using the tip to lick tiny circles over the little flap of skin over the clitoris, referred to as the clitoral hood. You can explore this area further by gently lifting up the hood with your fingers and focus the tip of your tongue on the clitoris. Start with gentle pressure and speed and gradually up the tempo. 

Step 6: The tongue is your main tool here, but remember that you can also use your hands and even the rest of your face, putting more pressure on this erogenous spot. Many women respond well when you use fingers or even sex toys during oral sex. This is perfect for those women who like clitoral and vaginal pleasure at the same time.

Step 7: Finally, if you have found the perfect point of pleasure for her, don’t stop. Don’t be afraid of repetition or boredom. If you discover that your mouth has found the gold mine that drives her over the edge it will be indicated with her body language or maybe even words. Keep going until you achieve your goal – whether that be an orgasm or deeper arousal in preparation for intercourse.


Man giving a woman oral sex in bed

How to give oral sex to a man 

Step 1: If you enjoy foreplay, turn him on and tease him by showing his other erogenous zones some love to help him get aroused. Using your hands or mouth, caress or kiss his nipples, inner thigh and groin area.

Step 2: Once he is in a comfortable position for the both of you, start the oral sex session by moving the tip of your tongue up and down his shaft, leaving the glans last. These are the most sensitive parts of the penis, so leaving it to the end will make his penis more stiff for when it’s time to enter your mouth.

Step 3: Now, with the tip of your tongue, use a circular motion around the head. Then, lightly flick the frenulum – the little wrinkle of skin where the shaft joins the head. This should start to arouse him more.

Step 4: When your partner’s penis is erect, put your lips over the top of his penis making sure your lips cover your teeth and start to gently suck. Keep your mouth taut during this motion so he can feel the pressure from your lips sliding up and down. If your partner has a large penis, you might find it easier to start sucking when it’s semi-erect so you can get more comfortable with the size first before it expands.

Step 5: The idea is to lap up as much length as you can, but as far as you’re comfortable. The best thing to do is to start sucking the top part of his penis first before gradually taking him in your mouth bit by bit to get used to the length. Do not put in more than you can handle or jump into a deep throat (taking the whole penis in your mouth), as your gag reflex is likely to kick in. As the pleasure builds, pick up the pace.

Step 6: Grip the base of his shaft as you lightly suck on the rest of his penis. Slowly slide your hand up and down in a masturbating motion, and in rhythm with your mouth. If you and your partner want to, you can massage his perineum (the area of the body between the anus and scrotum) or stimulate the anus with your fingers or sex toys while you give him oral sex. 

Step 7: It is important that you decide whether you want him to ejaculate in your mouth or not. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can swallow his semen, and a lot of men enjoy this too. If you were wondering, you can not get pregnant from oral sex. If you don’t feel comfortable, tell your partner to let you know when he is about to ejaculate so you can release his penis in good time.


Woman undoing man's jeans with her mouth for oral sex

How to give anal oral sex or a rim job

Step 1: Get started with foreplay. Tease your partner with some kissing and licking on their inner thighs, perineum, their cheeks or the crease of their buttocks.

Step 2: Once you’re at the anal opening, start to lick the anus up and down with long strokes to get your partner further aroused.

Step 3: Then, use the tip of your tongue to run circles around the anus. You can start off gently and gradually apply more pressure and speed as their pleasure builds.

Step 4: If penetration is on the agenda, now’s the time to gently insert your tongue in the anus. You can try darting your tongue in and out, swirling your tongue in circles, or flicking your tongue back and forth.

Step 5: If you need to, you can use your hands to pull the butt checks for deeper penetration or play around with your partner’s genitals simultaneously for extra sexual pleasure.

Step 6: Once you’ve discovered what pleases them, keep going until they climax or are ready for anal or vaginal intercourse.  


For tips on anal sex and how to do it safely, read our Beginners guide to anal sex.

Can you get an STD from oral sex?

As previously mentioned, you can get an STD or STI from oral sex, so you must use protection. 

The STD can pass from one person’s mouth to their partner’s genitals, and vice versa.

According to the NHS, below are some of the most common STDs you can catch from unprotected oral sex:

  • Gonorrhoea 
  • Genital herpes 
  • Syphilis 

During oral sex, you or the other person should always wear a condom. If you are rimming, you can use a dental dam to cover the anus for protection, and this can be used for the female genitals too.

For regular partners or those with just one sexual partner, you can still catch an STD, so it is still recommended to use protection. 

If you do not use protection, however, a periodic medical examination is advised to check your health.

Tip: Practicing oral sex with a condom is also very pleasurable. There are a wide variety of flavoured condoms out there that not only reduce your risk for infections, but give you something tasty to suck on.

Get ready for oral sex 

Do you feel ready for oral sex?

After reading our guide, we hope you feel prepared and have a better idea of what to expect. 

The most important thing about oral sex – as well as sex in general – is that you are both involved and committed. You also need to feel comfortable and relaxed to enjoy the moment.

If you are the person receiving oral, guide your partner and tell them what you like or dislike to help them to understand your body. The person giving oral should listen to their partner while exploring new techniques to get more used to the act. That way, oral sex will be more pleasurable for both parties and you’ll feel more confident.

If you’re unsure or don’t feel fully comfortable with oral sex yet, don’t rush into it. Do some more research and don’t try anything until you and your partner are both ready.


Disclaimer: Due to the current social-distancing measures, should you decide to participate in any sexual activity of any kind it should be with a person who you have been self-isolating or social distancing with. All parties involved should also have adhered to Government social-distancing guidelines.


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