Oral Sex: A Step-by-Step Guide

"What do I do when I'm down there?"

Everyone knows guys are obsessed with oral sex. That's probably why sex therapists and advice columnists receive more questions about it than any other sex act. I've collected the 11 most common oral sex concerns women face '- so you and your man can both love every minute. Have you ever seen a grown man beg? You will.

Where do I start?
The basic technique: Cover your teeth with your lips, with your mouth in an "O" shape '- don't stretch your lips, though; keep them loose and soft. With one hand gripping the base of the shaft, make one smooth movement by sliding your (very wet) mouth over his erection, taking him as far into your mouth as is comfortable. Stay there for one to two seconds, then slowly slide back up to the top, making eye contact with him as you reluctantly remove your mouth. (If his eyes are rolling back into his head, you're off to a good start.) Then '- to his delight '- start again. Slide your mouth repeatedly up and down. Use your tongue to keep everything nice and wet by swirling it around the shaft. Once you've mastered this, start using all of your tongue '- the top, the tip, the sides, the underneath. Try what I call a twist-and-swirl: Make a twisting motion with one hand as you slide it up and down, and swirl your tongue around the rim of the head, paying particular attention to the frenulum (the bit of skin on the underside).

Am I really supposed to suck?
No, in fact suction can sometimes feel uncomfortable for him. Instead, simply slide his penis in and out of your mouth while staying as close to it as possible. The keys are confidence (pretend you know exactly what you're doing even if you don't have a clue) and enjoyment (lots of mmmms, groans and enthusiastic explorative licks).

How do I stop gagging?
Check your position. Forget lying beside him, and instead get him to stand while you sit facing him on the side of the bed (or an appropriate-height piece of furniture). Not only will it be more comfortable for both of you, but it also gives you control over how deeply he thrusts into your mouth. Alternatively, try kneeling in front of him while he stands. It's the classic "submissive" pose, but don't forget that you're still the boss of the proceedings.

What do I do with my hands?
Even if he doesn't mean to, it's far too easy for him to get caught up in the excitement of the moment and put his hands on the back of your head, pushing you up and down. Give him a lecture, if not a swift kick in the bottom. It's hands off for him '- but hands on for you. Attempting to give great oral by only using your mouth is overly ambitious '- and robs him of pleasure. One hand should go around the base of the shaft to stop him from bobbing all over the place. The other hand should be used as an extension of your mouth. Slide it up and down, closing it when you reach the head, opening it slightly as you slide back down. As your tongue swirls, your hands should also work on the places your mouth can't reach, such as to cup his testicles or pinch his nipples.

Do I have to "deep throat"?
As Em and Lo put it, Deep Throat was merely a porn film with a catchy name '- that's all. Yet women ever since have suffered from a complex that unless you take all of him in your mouth, you're somehow failing as a dutiful girlfriend. Let me put it this way: The average throat is two to three inches deep, while the average penis is five to six inches long. You do the math '- it won't fit! Besides, most of the nerves are concentrated in the head of the penis, not the shaft. While it feels good psychologically to see his entire penis disappear, it's not crucial to his enjoyment. If you would like to take him deeper, stop and relax your throat muscles every half inch or so before letting him go deeper. If you gag easily, try positioning him slightly to the side of your throat instead. It will be shallower on your end '- and he won't notice the difference.

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