Q: I've given my boyfriend a blowjob a couple of times, but the experience hasn't been good. Both times I had a gag reflex. He's not particularly large down there so I don't understand why I would gag. Is it normal to gag during oral sex? Any advice to more pleasurable oral sex?
A: One thing to remember when having oral sex is that the most sensitive part of the penis is the head. So, there's no need to put the entire penis into your mouth and throat. Also, the most soft and pleasurable parts of the mouth are the lips and tongue. Going further into the mouth just makes the penis hit the hard palate, which isn't very pleasurable. Also, just behind that is the uvula (the dangly bit of flesh in the back of the throat) which can cause you to gag. If you're hitting your gag-reflex while giving oral sex, then you're putting the penis too far into your mouth. Simply take the head of the penis into your mouth and stimulate it with your lips and tongue. Then, find a rhythm that he likes. Most men enjoy oral sexual stimulation that is slow and soft, perhaps building up to be a bit quicker when he's close to climaxing.
An advanced technique is to build up some saliva and let it run down the shaft of his penis. You can use that as lubrication for masturbating his penis with your hand hands while you stimulate the head of his penis with your mouth. You can then get both your hands and mouth moving in a consistent up-and-down rhythm and that feels very much like having vaginal sex. You can also use your hands to stimulate the testicles or any other part of his body that he might enjoy.
For more tips, check out this safe-for-work video.
Q: Is it healthy to perform oral sex on the anus?
A: Yes, as long as someone has recently washed (showered).
What type protection is necessary for oral sex?
A: Most sex ed instructors tell people to use condoms or dental dams when having oral sex. For those who don't know, dental dams are thin squares of latex or polyurethane (the same materials that are used to make condoms) and can be used to drape over the penis or vulva while having oral sex. Condoms and dental dams can help prevent the spread of some sexually transmitted infections. However, the truth is that almost no one uses these when having sex. It's rare that dental dams can even be found at sex shops.
For the most part, oral sex is relatively safe. There is certainly no way to get pregnant from having oral sex and there aren't many STIs that can be transmitted through oral sex either. The biggest risk is contracting oral herpes (herpes simplex 1). However, a majority of people contract oral herpes during the lifetime and it's not dangerous. Oral herpes tends to results in only a few cold sore outbreaks during a person's life. Most people with oral herpes don't show any symptoms at all. One can get some other STIs through oral sex, such as gonorrhea or HPV, but these cases are fairly rare. Also, a very easy way to prevent getting HPV by any means is to get vaccinated for it.
In short, don't worry too much about contracting STIs when having oral sex. It's a good idea to get to know your sex partner beforehand, so that you can know if you're particularly at risk of contracting an STI from them. But, oral sex is generally a very safe way to have sex.
Q: I had unprotected sex a couple of days before my period was supposed to come. I took the plan b pill and my period came the day after, as scheduled. Is it possible to be pregnant even if your period comes?
A: There’s not much of a “trick” to it. The best thing to do is just keep your mouth open wide while wrapping the mouth around the penis. Don’t feel the need to put the penis deeply into your mouth, as all of the soft parts of the mouth are toward the front (tongue, lips) and the most sensitive part of the penis is the head (glans). Also, you don’t need to “suck” on the penis, as the term “sucking dick” implies. Basically, you’ll just be using your mouth like you would your hands if you were masturbating him, except that the mouth is naturally lubricated and much softer. Form an O-shape with the mouth, moving the teeth out of the way, and move your mouth up and down on the penis. You can do whatever you like with your tongue, but try to keep it soft and relaxed. And, don’t go down so far that you feel like you’re going to gag. If your jaw gets tired, take a break and use your hands for a while. And have fun! It will probably be more enjoyable if he gives you some stimulation at the same time with his hands or mouth (or a toy).
For more information, I suggest checking out this video: https://youtu.be/S8N97MrRBLA
Q: What is the best way to go about tossing salad (e.g. preparation, lube) and what are the risks?
A: For those who don’t know, “tossing salad” is giving oral sex to a person’s anus (i.e., “mouth to ass”). There’s not much prep needed. You don’t need lube, because saliva provides plenty of lubrication. You just want to make sure the body is clean beforehand, such as right after taking a shower, so that the person “tossing the salad” doesn’t come into contact with any fecal matter. But, if the person receiving anal stimulation is showered and clean, there’s no risk at all.
Q: Is giving oral sex bad? Why is it looked down upon?
A: There is nothing bad or unhealthy about giving or receiving oral sex. Oral sex is very safe, sanitary and (of course) pleasurable! It can especially be a great way of increasing the probability of a woman orgasming during sex.
Oral sex has had a bad rap for a while, at least in Western cultures. Especially before the 1960s, it was seen as being unhealthy and “contaminating.” This is likely because people were misinformed about the “dangers” of oral sex. Many people believed that having oral sex would lead to disease and even disabilities, such as blindness. Of course, there’s no evidence for this whatsoever. Also, many religious groups were against oral sex, because it doesn’t lead to procreation (pregnancy).
However, oral sex tends to be viewed much more positively now, by scientists and non-scientists alike. It’s also one of the most common types of sexual activity performed now-a-days. Most people report having oral sex before they have vaginal-penile sex, and it has been shown to help teens prolong the time before they start engaging in vaginal sex. So, it can help decrease teen pregnancy rates. Also, it’s much safer in terms of STI transmission as well.
Answers provided by Dr. Ross Avilla
Dr. Ross Avilla has been teaching Human Sexuality since 2013 and has a PhD in psychology from UC Davis. Dr. Avilla is not a clinician and all information and advice offered on this website is for educational purposes only.