You’re in bed with your boo and everything’s going great. You’re all ready to ramp up the foreplay with some oral but when you come face to face with that peen, a whisper of insecurity hits you: Am I any good at this?

Fortunately, an important truth that comes with a blow job is that (as long as both people have given enthusiastic consent) the mouth + penis is a recipe for pleasure: It’s pretty hard to suck at it.

That’s because the penis — especially the head — is covered in nerve endings. It’s super responsive to sensation, especially when there’s lots of lubrication.

The natural wetness in the mouth, and the variety of textures created by the tongue and lips, creates a really dynamic set of tools for stimulation.

Our first bit of advice is to make sure, beforehand, that the other person is into it.

Because even while we agree oral sex feels amazing and is a super common thing to do in bed (85 percent of adults say they’ve done it), assuming what another person is into, sexually or otherwise, can be presumptuous, particularly with new partners.

Yeah, asking might be awkward but unless you’ve chatted about past sexual likes and dislikes beforehand, being direct is how you gauge whether someone is ready for it.

You can ask in a sexy way, like, “I really want to taste your dick right now. Can I?” or “Is getting sucked off something you’re into?”

Or not. For some of us, trying to sound sexy is a sure way to sound even more awkward.

Orgasms are great but pleasure isn’t dependent upon one happening. So don’t go in with a goal of making the O happen. Not all blow jobs will, or should, end in orgasm.

Plus, if you’re giving a blow job during foreplay to build the excitement, you both might want to prolong the fun by not finishing right away.

It all comes down to what you both want in the moment.

What you’ll see

One of the realities of oral sex is that your eyes (and nose) are very close to, well, the show. This can be thrilling or, perhaps, a bit overwhelming. But be prepared to get to know the penis before you quite well.

And all penises have their own unique style. Some bend a little to the left, some to the right. Some are long and narrow, others short and round. Some are circumsised and some aren’t.

An uncircumsized penis still has its foreskin, the bit of skin that covers the head of the penis.

These two, um, genres of penis look a little different but whether a penis is circumcised or not doesn’t change much for you.

The same is true of pubic hair. Some people choose to keep their hair fully shaved while others like it grown out, but that personal choice doesn’t change the mechanics of giving a blow job.

What you’ll smell

At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, bodies have smells. Groins, in particular, have smells because there are more sweat glands down there.

Everyone’s scent is different and everyone’s scent changes a little day to day. It might be sharp like an onion, or subtly reminiscent of cannabis.

You may be surprised to find you love your partner’s musk. Or, not so much. If it’s overwhelming in a bad way, there’s nothing wrong with politely asking them to jump in the shower.

STIs and oral sex

There are many STIs that spread through oral sex. Because of this, the safest route when giving a blow job is to use a condom. Ask your partner beforehand if they have any STIs and when they got tested last.

It’s also a good idea to visually check out a person’s bits before any sexual encounter, especially if you’re not super familiar with one another. This doesn’t have to be exam-like, but don’t be shy about using your eyes to look for bumps or sores.

Take it slow

When it comes to sex, the body is like an engine. It doesn’t heat up immediately. Foreplay is all the work you do to get that engine going. And the time you spend building excitement in the beginning will pay off with more intensity later. The same goes for blow jobs.

Try starting out with a deep, passionate make out sesh. If you like talking dirty, do it to get the blood flowing. Don’t be in a hurry to lose the clothes. It can be super hot to grind up against each other’s love bits with clothes still on.

Treat the experience like a road trip. The hours you spend listening to the radio, and all the sites you stop at along the way, are what makes it fulfilling and memorable.

Learn how to use what your mama gave you to make their pleasure ah-mazing.

How to use your lips

There’s something divine about the feeling of lips pressing against skin, especially the erogenous zones.

Try kissing your partner’s neck, and then moving your lips across their chest and down their stomach. Kiss them everywhere but their genitals to start. This will draw out the anticipation and make them want more.

There isn’t a right or wrong way to use lips on a penis — pretty much any way is going to feel wonderful.

You can wrap your lips over your teeth in order to have a firmer rim to slide along the shaft, or you can keep them puckered and squishy.

How to use your tongue

When it comes to blow jobs, your tongue is a glorious tool. You can make it firm and rigid to apply direct pressure with the tip, or keep it soft to use the whole surface to stimulate.

Try holding the shaft of the penis with one hand and using the very tip of your tongue to lightly lick the head. This might be slow circles around the circumference or light taps.

Or, if you have your mouth around the penis, try using your tongue to stroke the frenulum, an extra sensitive area on the bottom side of the head of the penis.

How to use your hands

While the mouth may be the star of the blow job show, the hands play important supporting roles.

Your hands come in, well, handy if your mouth gets tired. Or, you can bring them into the mix to switch up the type of stimulation. In the same way you lick an ice cream cone, you can use your hand(s) to hold onto the shaft of the penis while you use your mouth.

And, if it’s what your partner wants, your hands are there to explore other erogenous zones nearby!

Whenever you use your hands, glob on the lube. Dry hands on dry skin, especially the penis, is a recipe for pain.

Ramp up the desire with eye contact

Some people absolutely love locking eyes during oral. It’s a whole new and intimate way to connect with a partner. But it’s also not for everyone, so don’t feel obligated if it’s not your thing.

Don’t be afraid to skip the eye contact

Eye contact can be intense in an uncomfortable way, especially for the giver. If it’ll make you feel more at ease, avoid eye contact altogether. Plus, depending on the position you’re in, it might not be physically comfortable for your neck.

How to find a rhythm

When giving a blow job, finding a rhythm/rhythms will help the receiver relax into the experience. If your movements are erratic and uneven, your partner might feel taken out of the moment.

Keep in mind that keeping to one rhythm for too long can become desensitizing or monotonous. If you’ve stuck to a certain cadence for a while, you might try switching things up by using your hands for a while.

If you’re unsure if what you’re doing feels good, remember to ask!

How fast should you go?

There’s no ideal speed but it’s a good rule of thumb to start off slow. Remember, this is a journey. And going very fast right off the bat might make them come sooner than you’d planned.

When things start to get steamy you might find you naturally start moving faster. The receiver might also start thrusting or moving along with you enthusiastically. Which is a good sign they’re enjoying themselves.

If their thrusting becomes overzealous or too much for you, let them know. In their excitement, they might not realize how their movement is affecting you.

Same as with rhythm, you’ll want to keep things interesting by toying around with different speeds throughout.

The joy of edging

With edging, you stop yourself from finishing when you’re right at the brink of orgasm. After giving yourself a breather, you repeat the process multiple times.

The idea behind edging is that by building up the arousal in this way, the eventual orgasm will be stronger and more satisfying. This technique can be super exciting during oral. But make sure to ask/tell your partner first. It can be jarring to stop so close to orgasm if they’re aren’t expecting it.

How deep should I go?

Probably mostly thanks to porn, “deep throating” has become a thing and as soon as something gets popular people start wondering if they should be doing it. But the truth is, the ideal bj depth is the depth that’s most comfortable for you.

And blow jobs don’t have to be deep to feel amazing.

If fact, you don’t have to put much of it in your mouth at all. Try holding the penis about an inch below the head while you wrap your lips around the top of it. Then, using plenty of saliva, gently suck and lick the head of the penis.

And, of course, some people also love the feeling of having a penis deep inside their mouth and touching their throat.

The best advice here is to go slow and make sure they don’t thrust too hard. You’ll also probably need to breathe through your nose. If your breathing ever feels restricted, ease up.

There’s a tendency to get laser focused on the penis during oral, so here’s our reminder: stimulate other yummy spots on the body too!

Everyone likes different areas to be caressed, though, so it’s extra important to ask them what they like. The body has lots of erogenous zones, here’s a few common ones.

The balls

If you’re trying out ball play, start by gently cupping them in one hand and asking your partner if it feels okay. If they want more, use your fingers to massage the balls and move the sack around in your hands. Using lube will help you avoid accidentally pinching the skin.

The booty

If they want some butt action, start by using a lubed finger to tease the rim of the butthole. If they’re craving penetration (and you’re up for it), stick your finger a couple of inches into their anus to find the prostate (btw, only people assigned male at birth have prostates).

The perineum

The perineum is the area of skin between the ball sack and the anus and many people love having it touched. Try tickling or pressing this area with your fingers while you’re giving them a blow job.

Inner thighs

The skin on the inner and upper thighs, including right below the booty, can be super sensitive to touch. Try licking this area as a way to tease them. If they’ve expressed an interest in biting, this is a great place to (lightly) use your teeth.

You can read all day about how to give a blow job but nothing will prepare you like actually watching one, ahem, go down. And if you’re a visual learner, this might be the best way to learn.

The internet has no shortage of blow job videos, as they’re a super common type of porn. While you can jump on any old porn site to find one, we recommend paying a little bit for a site that makes ethical, sex positive porn.

These sites are more likely to pay and treat their employees well, and their content is a lot more inclusive.

Position is crucial for bjs. If you’re in an uncomfortable position as the giver, a blow job can start to feel tedious. Which no one wants. And who said you shouldn’t get some pleasure of your own while you’re at it?

There are so many great positions for getting off while you give head, but here are three of our faves.

The Front and Center

This position is best done in bed. As the giver, you lay with your head propped up against pillows while the receiver kneels over you, straddling your upper body and positioning their penis right at mouth level.

This position is great because it frees your hands. You can reach down your body and pleasure yourself while they’re in your mouth. The receiver can also steady themselves against the wall, which can help maneuver the penis.

69

What’s more fun than one person getting oral? Two people getting oral! 69ing is notoriously polarising but those who love it, love it.

Receiving pleasure while giving it is like a pleasure feedback loop. Especially if you’ve had the experience where giving head felt like a chore, 69ing might be a great option.

The Upside Down

The idea is for the giver to lie on their back with their head at the edge of the mattress (or couch). The receiver stands over them so that their penis is at mouth level. At the same time, the receiver uses their hands to pleasure the giver.

This position works best if you have a tallish bed frame. Or, you can try on certain couches.

Often, it’s pretty obvious and if you’re seeing a cis man, they’ll probably announce it. Some of the tell tale signs are:

  • quivering thighs
  • shallow, quick breaths
  • tensed muscles
  • throbbing penis

Other times, dialogue can be part of the experience. Ask when you notice body changes and they’ll let you know.

Then be prepared for ejaculation as an orgasm for a person with a penis tends to happen simultaneously with this. Ejaculate (aka semen, aka cum), is a milky white liquid that dribbles/squirts/shoots out of the head of the penis.

So, like we said earlier, blow jobs don’t always end in the person having an orgasm, but if they do, it’s normal to have questions like, would I like the taste? Should I spit or swallow?

This depends on you.

Semen has a taste that you may or may not enjoy. This taste changes slightly day-to-day depending on lots of factors, and everyone’s semen tastes a little different.

Semen also has a texture. The internet seems to love comparing it to tapioca pudding so we’ll stick with that. Some people love tapioca pudding, others not so much.

Can you get pregnant?

The short answer is no. Swallowing semen cannot fertilize an egg. That’s just not how bodies work. The very, very unlikely scenario in which oral could lead to pregnancy is if someone gets the semen on their fingers and them immediately and deeply fingers the other person’s vagina.

Swallow, spit it into a washcloth, the first piece of dirty laundry in reach, or have them finish somewhere on your body. Anywhere goes. You could also ask your partner what they prefer and give it a try.

But know there’s no single right way and where it goes is entirely up to you, the person with the penis in their mouth.

PS: If choosing the face or upper body, mind the eyes. Semen in the eyes is no fun and could even cause damage.

Again: Get consent. Once you have that, then start talking specifics. Do they like having their balls fondled? Should you tease their butthole? You’ll never know unless you ask.

Communication doesn’t have to mean sitting down and formally interviewing each other about sexual preferences (although, if this sounds like your idea of a hot date, by all means).

Having open communication means you’re patient with one another. It means replacing judgement with openness and curiosity.

Communication might happen in the heat of the moment, or later over lattes in the park. It’s best to start the convo early on though to ensure you’re both on the same page.

Also, texting is a totally reasonable option for when saying something out loud feels too uncomfortable. And once you broach a convo via text, it might feel easier to talk about in person.

You never have to feel obligated to give a blow job

Blow jobs are a fun, exciting way to give another person pleasure. But you never have to feel obligated to give one. Every sexual experience is a two-way street: both people should feel comfortable and enthusiastic.

If you’re excited about giving a blow job but nervous about how you’ll perform, remember that it’s likely going to feel good to them no matter what you do. And as with most things in life, what feels daunting now probably won’t feel daunting forever.