Oral sex

So, sometimes people like to put other people’s genitals in or around their mouths. It happens.

Oral sex is sexual activity involving the stimulation of the genitalia of a person by another person using the mouth, lips, tongue, teeth, or throat. Long story short, it’s using one’s mouth to stimulate someone’s genitals, be that a penis, or a vulva. Oral sex can also be performed on the anus.

Oral sex performed on a vulva is called cunnilingus; on a penis, it’s called fellatio, and on the anus, it’s anilingus. These are the more technical terms anyway, you may call it going down, blowjob (for penises), eating/licking out (for vulvas), rimming (for anuses); whatever language you prefer and feel more comfortable with is what’s right for you.

Some people use oral sex as foreplay to other forms of sex; others use it as an act by itself. Again, what’s right for you and your partner(s). Some people find oral sex very pleasurable, indeed the most pleasurable kind of sex; others do not like it at all, and it makes them uncomfortable. Again, each to their own.


Can I get an STI from oral sex?

*YES*. Like all forms of sex, there can be risks of STI transmission, and no form of sex is 100% safe in this regard. However, oral sex is generally regarded as less risky than vaginal or anal intercourse, and unless semen somehow ends up hanging around the vagina during the process, you can’t get pregnant from it. Anilingus also carries much more risk with regards to bacterial transmission, and should not be performed before cunnilingus or fellatio without washing your mouth thoroughly first. In any case, it may be wise to use a condom (possibly flavoured, if you don’t like the taste of non-flavoured condoms), or…



These fun little buddies are very, very thin sheets of latex (or polyurethane if you’re allergic), the same stuff that condoms are made of, that you can lay over the vulva or anus when performing oral sex; this can help prevent transmission of *some* STIs, though not all (HPV is a crafty little thing, more on that elsewhere on the site). They also come in flavoured and non-flavoured variants, but they are also generally not widely used, and thus can be difficult to find in shops. However, you can make your own by cutting a condom at both ends, then length ways, and rolling it out!

Here are a couple of DAM GOOD TIPS:

  • Apply lubricant to the side facing the vulva/anus. This increases sensation and sensitivity. As with latex condoms, do not use oil-based lubricants with latex dams.
  • Use a different dam each time (yes, between cunnilingus, and anilingus), and if it falls on the floor, you should replace it.
  • Do not switch which side of the dam is applied to the vulva/anus. If it helps, write the letter “C”, or any other letter that is not reversible, on one side, so you know which side is which (you can see through them!)
  • One of you should hold it in place. It ain’t gonna hold itself!
  • If you are absolutely going to perform cunnilingus or fellatio after anilingus, use a dam, so that the chances of bacteria from the anus being transferred to the urethra are greatly reduced.
  • Dams are not suitable for fellatio (blowjobs); they don’t offer any form of protection, and that’s what condoms are for anyway!


But how about technique?

This is something that is like other aspects of sex: practice makes perfect (or at least better). You should discuss with your partner what they like and what you like as a priority. Communication is the number one sex tip! You won’t know what they enjoy most without discussing it and finding out. Not everyone is the same, so each person will have different likes and dislikes as to what is pleasurable, so you need to find that out by asking them or trying things and judging their response. Knowing the anatomy can help, with most of the highly pleasurable areas typically centred around the head of the penis, and the clitoris, but again this can vary from person to person and so it’s always best to ask!


General Points

  • Some women will prefer oral sex much more to penetrative sex and will find it easier to reach orgasm
  • Some women will like oral and penetrative at the same time, or one before the other. This can be done with your fingers or a sex toy
  • Some men will like it in different ways of using the tongue, cheek or teeth more
  • Oral sex can also take place as a single sex act, as foreplay or at the end or in between penetrative sex
  • If you don’t want to use condoms or dental dams, you MUST get checked for STIs first and talk to your partner to see if they feel the same way
  • Condoms can also be used as a fun addition to your sex life, if you don’t use them normally, as they can be flavoured, which can be a    nice change
  • Basically, communicate with your partner and only do what you are both comfortable with
  • Not everyone likes giving oral sex so don’t expect it of another person or want them to perform it against their wishes
  • Many see oral sex as more intimate than penetrative sex and would want to be in a relationship before giving and/or receiving


If you want more info, check out this video from awesome sexologist/sex educator, Dr Lindsey Doe!