James W. Hicks, M.D.

Cunnilingus

In Ask the Doctor* on February 24, 2011 at 10:45 am

Q: How can I convince my boyfriend to eat me out? He’s so stubborn.

A: There are several reasons why a partner might be reluctant to administer cunnilingus. He might have a gut feeling of disgust for nether parts in general or for the female genitals in particular. He might have unquestioned beliefs that anything other than procreative sex is immoral. Or he might view going down on a woman as an unmasculine act. I imagine you have tried to engage him on this topic and might have some idea about his reasons.

To address the feeling of disgust, you might consider making your move when you are in a shower together or after you have just stepped out of the shower. Many partners might also find shaved genitals to be cleaner and less frightening than naturally hairy ones. Exposure and knowledge also tend to undermine feelings of disgust, so teach him about your clitoris, vulva, and vagina. Take his fingers on a tour, show him how his touch is arousing, and at some point suggest how excited you would be if he put his tongue where his fingers were. Most partners want to be fair, even if they have strict ideas about what men and women are supposed to do, so you might have more luck if you offer him oral sex from a “69” position. He can hardly ignore the proximity of your genitals when you are servicing his in a reciprocal position. If he licks your thighs or nuzzles you with his nose, that’s a start.

The key is to overcome his reluctance gradually, rather than frighten him off. Make it easy for him, and let him try a little bit at a time. Reinforce his efforts and his confidence by expressing arousal during the act, by turning him on at the same time, and by telling him how much you enjoyed it afterwards. If you watch porn together, you can also express your interest by pointing out how the scenes of cunnilingus look like fun and something you would like to try together.

Many men love cunnilingus, but that simple fact probably won’t convince him. He’ll have to find out for himself. Be careful about stressing how much you have enjoyed cunnilingus in the past (if you have), because that might make him feel jealous and make the whole topic more difficult to approach in the future.

[You can e-mail your questions about sex, sexuality, and sexual relationships to me at flexuality@hotmail.com, or post a question anonymously as a comment. The answers I post are for informational purposes only and do not constitute individual treatment.]

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