A Head Above the Rest

Before I introduce the topic of this week’s column, tender readers, allow me to share a lovely anecdote. It may surprise and/or horrify you to know that professors weigh in on the content of the sex column! A professor informed me that writing about technique without stressing the importance of love vulgarized sex. I concede this point; indeed, when I reread my advice on the particulars of anal sex, I noted my lack of emphasis on building a solid foundation of trust and love between two partners. Though theorist Leo Bersani wrote that the power of sex is its ability to resist all attempts to redeem it, do take heed that memorizing “the steps” as I write them will not lead you to a more fulfilling sex life. Finding the right play partner(s) will accomplish that with much more potency. That said, why do some blowjobs just plain suck?

*Dear Tender Buttons,

I’ve been hooking up with this girl and she’s not great at giving head. So not great that I often go soft in her mouth, and she looks at me like I’m the one with the problem for losing it. How do I break it to her that she’s not very good? Or do we avoid that conversation entirely?

Concerned Prick*

Dear Concerned Prick,

Unless you have all the sensitivity of Ms. Lohan on a Clonazepam binge, do not tell this lady that she gives bad head. Two reasons why not: 1) that’s a horrible thing to say, 2) she may not give bad head.

I mean, come on, Concerned Prick. Am I supposed to take your word for it that her mouth is poison to your perfect sausage and hard boiled eggs? Gee, that’s hyperbolic. You could be “going soft” for any number of reasons, completely unrelated to her technique or lack thereof. Are you drunk? Are you stationary or mobile? Are you standing up or lying down? Do you even like getting head? A silly question to ask, but I’m puzzled as to why you feel so obligated to address this matter with a casual hookup. If giving head isn’t one of her strong suits, why have you reiterated this practice more than once (!) instead of turning to other, more pleasurable pursuits?

Okay, fair enough. You, Concerned Prick, may very well know the difference between a good and a needs-improvement-sausage smoker. However, one must depart from the mentality of apportioning blame onto one’s partner when something isn’t clicking in the bedroom. Games of “she’s bad, I’m good” are hardly ever representative of the actual situation at hand and purport needless antagonism between the sheets.

This is not to suggest, however, that technique should be ignored when performing oral sex. So, if you’re currently hooking up with a guy who keeps throwing you some shade every time you go down on him, dump that tool—OR read on to learn about common misconceptions a partner might have about oral sex.

A good blowjob does not necessarily require you to gag or choke. Do not allow your partner to “take the reins,” so to speak, if you are uncomfortable with rougher play—a guy may say that he likes the idea of deep-throating, but a skillful combination of mouth and hands should be satisfactory for most partners. Respect your own limits when performing, and avoid swallowing or use an oral condom if you determined the risk level of contracting a STD to be high.

Above all, communicate with your partner. Observe his reactions and adjust your technique accordingly. If he says fast, go fast. Focus your attention on areas that seem to elicit the best responses, like you would when giving a massage.

Oral sex is a form of active listening—as well as a great form of birth control, Bristol Palin.

Tender Buttons