Hi Alice,

I have been with my boyfriend for over a year and we both love each other. Our sex life is great but one thing really confuses me: He loves to give me oral sex, but when I try and do the same to him, he won't let me. I don't know if he doesn't like it, if I do it badly, or if he just doesn't want it. I've tried talking to him, but he just brushes it aside. Please help me.


Dear Reader,

Gettin’ down and dirty has been great for you and your boyfriend so far, but it sounds like you’d like some clarification on his aversion to receiving oral action below the belt. Everyone is different when it comes to oral sex — not everyone enjoys giving or receiving and it could be for a variety of different reasons that your boyfriend won’t let you go down on him. Perhaps your boyfriend doesn’t like oral sex, feels he is more likely to orgasm during intercourse or other sexual activity, or would prefer you do it a certain way. Whatever the reason, the only way to really find out is for him to tell you. Prior to speaking to him again (if that’s what you decide to do), it may be helpful to first ask yourself a few questions.

People give oral sex for all kinds of reasons — to please their partner, because it pleases them, to reciprocate, etc. Do you enjoy giving oral sex? If so, what do you enjoy about it? How important is it to you that your boyfriend allows you to perform oral sex on him? You mention that your boyfriend loves to give, but do you enjoy receiving it? Are you more concerned about giving your boyfriend oral sex for reciprocity or because you enjoy it? What if your boyfriend says he doesn’t want to ever receive oral sex? What if he says he prefers a different technique than yours? Your answers to these questions can help you decide how you want to approach the conversation. 

It’s not easy talking about a mismatch in sexual desires, so kudos for trying to engage your boyfriend in a conversation. You mention that he brushes you aside when you try to talk about oral sex. Were you asking open-ended questions, which are questions that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no?” Try to think of direct, specific questions to ask that can start a conversation. When did you try to talk to him? If it was during sex, try asking when you’re not having sex, at a less vulnerable time. Think about approaching him positively, along the lines of… “I’d love to go down on you. How would you feel about that?” or “I love when you give me oral sex and I’d love to give it to you. What do you think about that?” rather than “Why don’t you let me give you head? Do I do it badly?” Be prepared to really listen to his response and be open to discussion. You can also ask what other sexual activities he prefers or what his experiences have been in the past around oral sex. This can also open up the conversation to let your partner know what sexual activities bring you the most pleasure and share your own experiences.

Good luck on oral sex communication with your boyfriend! It’s great that you are otherwise enjoying a great sex life. One way to keep your sex life that way is by practicing safe oral sex. You can protect yourself and your partner from oral sexually transmitted infections by using a latex barrier such as a flavored condom or dental dam.

Best of luck,


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