The Etiquette of Oral Sex

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The Etiquette of Oral Sex
The ups, downs and in-betweens of oral sex.

Or lightning-fast ones, depending on the nature of your motivation. Tiffany*, a 27-year-old banker, had been dating her boyfriend Peter for about eight months, but she had never performed fellatio on him.

"I didn't enjoy it," says Tiffany. "But one evening we were out with his friends and I overheard them refer to to his ex with a nickname that strongly implied she was good at giving head. I got jealous, so that night I went down on him with the goal of outperforming her. He went nuts, which I loved."

If you don't have such stiff competition to spur you on, note that the receiver shouldn't be the only person who is enjoying himself. Watching your partner get turned on because of your expertise—and you have a remarkable vantage point from which to do so—is extremely pleasurable in itself. If one person truly enjoys giving but dislikes receiving, there’s nothing wrong with a one-way street. But it doesn't have to be.

"People who don't enjoy oral sex generally have a psychological block," Dr. Cadell says. "Like any other sexual activity, it all starts between the ears." It can also start at the bargaining table. Angela, a 32-year old nurse, and her boyfriend, Vince, had a problem that apparently plagues all stand-up comics: At the end of the day, he wanted sex; she was tired and just wanted a massage.

"I jokingly suggested that if he would give me a massage that night, I'd give him a blow job when I was more awake the next day," explains Angela. "He was totally into the idea. Although he was much better about keeping his commitment. I don't like to give blow jobs when I'm not in the mood for sex."

Caution: Don't let lovemaking become a bargaining chip in your relationship or it will soon have all the luster of taking out the garbage or picking up dry cleaning. Instead, make the arrangement a game that everybody wins.

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