I go down on her; why won't she do the same for me?

Originally Published: August 6, 2004 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: December 2, 2010
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Dear Alice,

I am nineteen-years-old. I have been in a romantic relationship with a girl, now 18, for over a year now. I love her very much, and I know she loves me. In fact, I would be perfectly happy with our relationship were it not for our lopsided sexual activity. I have gone down on her many, many times since we first began dating. She, on the other hand, has never touched or even seen my penis. We have talked about this several times, and she says she is insecure about penises in general. The best reason she can give for this, however, is that she thinks they're "gross." She usually defends the fact that I go down on her by saying that she never asked for me to do so, and that I do it of my own free will. I don't want to leave her... in fact; I consider it out of the question. But I don't want to simply accept our relationship the way it is. The whole time I've been dating her, I haven't had an orgasm that I didn't give myself. I need some advice on how to handle this.

Dear Reader,

It sounds as though right now penises are outside of your partner's comfort zone. At the same time, it's understandable that you are frustrated that she thinks a part of your anatomy, or part of you, is "gross." She seems consistently hesitant to see and touch you where you'd like to be seen and touched. It's not clear what her reasons for this might be — perhaps she feels inexperienced and/or unready to act that way with you, or maybe she was sexually abused. Either way, her reason(s) may not matter as much as her choice to exclude your penis from your sex life.

It takes a lot of courage to talk with partners about our private desires, so bravo for raising your questions and concerns with her. Now that you have talked with her, though, it seems you're out there hanging. Think of it like this: individuals have needs. Only you can decide for yourself what it is you need to feel satisfied. Is your partner giving you oral pleasure a "need" (this is a way for you to know that she's physically attracted to you, cares for you, and accepts you, validating you and your relationship), or a "want" (you wish she would, but if she chooses not to, you can cope, as you have already)?

Consider a few things:

  • It is common for couples to mismatch in one or several areas of their sex life. Sexual compatibility is just one aspect of a romantic relationship, and one that can change over time. Something to contemplate is where, outside of your sex life, are you two compatible? How much fun do you have together? To what degree do you each bring out the best in each other?
  • Your partner's decision not to see or touch your penis is not an indicator or barometer of her love for you. Are you comfortable with that?
  • Take a second to think about your reasons for giving her oral pleasure. Assumedly, you go down on her because you want to and because you want to experience intimacy in that way with her. If you go down on her just so she'll do the same for you in return, consider that a sexual action is not a bargaining chip.

You say you are tired of having orgasms by yourself. Perhaps the two of you can find other ways for your partner to play a role in your orgasms. What about exploring other body parts that she feels more comfortable touching, seeing, and kissing, such as the back of your neck, your ears, your nipples, or your inner thighs? The point is to figure out how to have and give pleasure in mutually agreeable ways. Clearly, the more you pressure her, or the more she feels pressure, whether or not you are aware of it, the less likely she will be to even think about taking any sexual risks. Who knows what may happen if you were to back off and accept her as she is (the way you want her to accept you)?

One way or another, it sounds as if you've started a valuable dialogue with your partner. Continue to do so while you two learn and explore options for ways to enhance your sexual selves together.

Alice

December 16, 2004

20823
Hi Alice,

If the girlfriend is still not mature enough to see her boyfriend's penis, he is fighting a losing battle. He should not pressure her, but he should realize that his sexual needs will...

Hi Alice,

If the girlfriend is still not mature enough to see her boyfriend's penis, he is fighting a losing battle. He should not pressure her, but he should realize that his sexual needs will not be met by his girlfriend for awhile, if ever, even though her needs are being met. He should stop going down on her at once until she is interested. Sex is an important part of a romantic relationship and if one partner wants and the other thinks it is gross except when she gets hers, it may be time to move on and find someone more compatible.

December 3, 2004

20821
Alice,

To the guy who wrote this and other guys out there, I totally feel for your girlfriend. I totally agree with Alice. Just because she won`t go down on you has nothing to do with her love...

Alice,

To the guy who wrote this and other guys out there, I totally feel for your girlfriend. I totally agree with Alice. Just because she won`t go down on you has nothing to do with her love or attraction for you. Think about it, eighteen year old girls are very vulnerable and unsure of themselves. I know I am. She is showing that she is thinking by deciding not to do certain things and not giving in to societal pressures and I commend her on that. Also, you need to consider, people have values and morals. Maybe she wants to be a virgin until marriage and to her that includes not seeing or touching a penis. You should respect her for who she is and if one day she wants to go further with you. Until then, just continue doing what you do on your own without pressuring her. And if you really need to "get off," I suggest looking at your favorite porn.