Oral Sex Tips: Things to Know When Giving and Receiving Head

by Emma Maidens

on Oct 13, 2022

Oral sex... Need we say more? Okay, yes, we will say more because there’s so much to learn (and love) about oral sex techniques that we could write an entire book about it.

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What is oral sex?

If you’ve never given head before or just want to give better oral sex, we have the tips and tricks you need to know. But before you strip down and eat out, it’s important to understand what oral sex is.

Oral sex is contact between the mouth and the genitals and/or anus. This includes stimulating the penis, vulva, anus or all the above with your tongue, lips and mouth.

It can also be referred to by a few other common names and phrases, so let us take you through them in our oral sex guide.

Vulva owners may refer to oral as head, cunnilingus, and going down. Penis owners may know it as fellatio, blowjobs, and head (again). Oral sex also incorporates mouth to anus contact - often referred to as a rim job, tossing the salad, or analingus.

Head doesn’t have to end with an orgasm for it to be considered oral sex. The act of stimulating any of the above three sensitive regions, whether that’s by licking, sucking, kissing, beathing or tasting (if you come up with anymore, let us know!) is all it takes to be in the oral category.

While oral sex doesn’t have to end in orgasm, it’s often very likely to due to the intimate and wet nature of this type of play.

One of the best things about giving head is that it’s easy to change things up. What works for one partner may not work for another, and similarly, while you may enjoy receiving it a particular way on Monday, Tuesday could see you craving something different.

Check in with yourself

Whether you own a penis or vulva, checking in with yourself is crucial in giving and receiving satisfying head.

If you’re just not feeling oral on a particular day, let your partner know before they head down. Similarly, if you’re feeling in the mood for something a little bit gentler and slower, even though last time you liked it hot and fast, gentle direction can go a long way to improving the experience for everyone.

These different waves of what you’re looking for in pleasure are completely normal and make oral sex a great option because it allows you to easily adjust your technique while the other partner has their mouth free to guide you (unless of course you find yourself in the 69 position).

Oral Sex Tips

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Headspace (pun intended)

Avoid framing giving oral sex as something you’re solely doing for your partner. If you see it that way, you won’t enjoy it, and neither will they.

Sex is a team sport, all players should be having fun, so ensure this is the headspace you’re in before you unzip them.


If you or your partner are feeling a little self-conscious, as is completely normal, some compliments can go a long way.

Whether that’s a little bit of steamy talk about how much you’re enjoying their taste, or even just some pleasurable moans or noises since your mouth may be too preoccupied to talk, reassuring words or noises let them know that you’re enjoying your time giving them oral sex.


We know, we know... This can be easier said than done. Communicating beforehand and during with your partner can be a good way to ease your mind if you’re worried about anything.

Forget about the point of oral sex being to orgasm - this is just an added bonus if it happens. The point of oral sex is pleasure and enjoyment, so try and focus on the sensations not what’s going on in your head.

Deep breathing techniques, like those used in meditation and yoga, can be helpful to calm your mind and be present in the moment. Or, if you’ve had a stressful day, a massage or relaxing bath beforehand can help you to leave your stress at the bedroom door and immerse yourself in the oral sex experience.

Oral sex for vulva owners

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  • Many vulva owners aren’t able to reach climax from penetration alone, so oral sex can be a particularly important part of play as it provides more stimulation of the clitoris.

  • When performing oral sex, remember it’s a marathon not a sprint. Don’t be disheartened if they’re not squirming in pleasure within 30 seconds. Dinding the right rhythm and technique takes time and practice.

  • Don’t forget other erogenous zones. Work your way down with nipple play, neck and stomach kisses.

  • The clitoris is the most sensitive area of a vagina, so begin gently and slowly before increasing pressure and pace.

  • There are two distinct parts of the clitoris, the clitoral hood and the clitoral glans. The clitoral hood covers the glans, and the glans are extremely sensitive. Some vulva owners are so sensitive that they prefer oral sex to begin over their underwear, while other mays prefer you to use your tongue and mouth to stimulate the clitoral hood instead of pulling it back to expose the glans.

  • Even the smallest of technique changes can feel very different for vulva owners. A flat tongue compared to a pointed tongue is going to totally change the feeling for your partner.

  • Communication is key, so ask the receiver to tell you what they like as you perform oral or pay attention to their moans and breathing. Most importantly, if they say, “don’t stop”, listen to them.

Oral sex for penis owners

  • Lots of saliva is a key part of giving mind-blowing head to penis owners, so build some saliva up in your mouth or invest in flavoured lube.

  • Tease your heart out! Pay attention to their inner thighs, testicles and perineum (the sensitive area of skin between the balls and anus) as these are all heavy with nerve endings.

  • An important part of giving head to a penis owner is using your hands too. Gently but firmly wrap your hand around their shaft and use this to stimulate in addition to your mouth, as this can help give the “deep throat” feel (and gives your mouth a break!)

  • Use your tongue to create more targeted stimulation of the head of the penis, or run it up and down the shaft. Try long licks with a flat tongue from base to tip (like an ice cream), or flicks right on the super sensitive tip with a pointed tongue.

  • Ball play is also welcomed if they’re game, so try taking their balls into your mouth and lightly sucking.

  • Minimise any teeth-on-penis action, so wrap your lips around your teeth to the best of your ability.

  • Don’t push through. Remember it’s meant to be enjoyable for you both. You can take a break and continue to pleasure them with your hand, fingers or by rubbing the head of their penis along your face, lips and other body parts.

  • It’s okay to have a gag reflex - most people do! Try deep throating, but don’t push yourself. Keep breathing and start slowly, depending on the size of their penis. You may not be able to deep throat them the first time, or ever.

  • If you’re the lucky recipient of head, it’s important not to push your partner while they perform this. Dominant and submissive dynamics can be fun to try, but without proper communication and consent it’s a no-go.

  • Find a rhythm, and if they respond positively, stick to it. Think about what rhythm makes them reach climax during sex and try replicating this.

  • Ask yourself what you feel comfortable with, whether finishing in your mouth is okay, If you’d prefer, ask them to use a towel or ejaculate onto your chest. This can be a very intense moment for you both, so it can be worth having a conversation about this before you begin.

  • If they reach climax, don’t be afraid to give them some more gentle licks or sucks afterwards. They will be extremely sensitive at this point, though, so keep things on the lighter side.


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If you’re feeling comfortable using your mouth on your partners vulva or penis, why stop there? Analingus, also referred to as rim jobs or tossing the salad, can also be a pleasurable experience thanks the many nerve endings in your anus.

Just like other forms of oral sex, analingus involves pleasuring your partners anus with your mouth. This can be kissing, sucking, licking or any other mouth movement performed to pleasure the nether-nether regions.

Analingus can be great by itself or as a warm-up to other anal play. With any type of anal play, it’s important to remember that this area is home to some bacteria, so you’ll need to keep a few things in mind to stay healthy while you have fun.

It can be a good idea to engage in some pre-analingus prep to make the experience as risk-free and pleasurable for all parties involved. A freshen up beforehand can remove excess bacteria, so if you have time why not jump in the shower?

This can be a fun opportunity to get steamy with your partner or jump, in solo for a wash with mild soap and water. If you’re short on time, never fear: use wipes like the Lovehoney sex toy and body wipes to leave you feeling fresh as a daisy.

Remember, no matter how thoroughly you clean up before, you’ll want to avoid moving from the butt to the vulva if performing oral sex on a vulva owner, as there’s still always the risk of transferring unwanted bacteria between these areas.

If you’re ready to move your oral sex game forward, or err back, check out our beginner’s guide to rimming.

Emma Maidens

Written by Emma Maidens.

Originally published on Oct 13, 2022. Updated on Oct 13, 2022