The Tricolour Sex Column: Eating out

Advice for giving and receiving cunnilingus

The ins and outs of oral sex.

The opinions expressed in this piece reflect only the experiences of a white straight cisgender woman who has only engaged in heterosexual sex. No article, author, or publication can accurately reflect the experiences of all women. Please read with caution and kindness. 

When it comes to sex, there’s no getting around the awkwardness that comes with two people who are completely naked and trying to get each other off. But making sure both parties are being equally pleasured can set the stage for something magical. 
That’s why I’m going to give you some advice for giving and receiving cunnilingus. 
Having sex with someone with a vagina can add a level of complication to any sexual interaction due, in large part, to a lack of representation of what women’s pleasure really looks like. Understanding and researching the variety of ways you can make sure your reciprocation game is on point can help to rid some of the stigma around a woman’s pleasure. 
Allow yourself to let go 
Women are often trained from a young age to please everyone around them, and receiving oral sex is no different. When I first started receiving oral sex, I was always concerned with making sure my partner was having a nice time down there. 
Does it taste okay? Is he bored or just trying to get me ready for intercourse? Am I moaning enough? 
All the worrying will make it hard to enjoy yourself, and even harder to have an orgasm. I can’t personally say I love giving blowjobs, but the idea of giving someone else pleasure and showing them I care makes it worth it. If the only thing on your mind is whether or not he’s enjoying eating you out, try and focus on why your partner offered to do it. 
I can assure you my partner is not concerned about my jaw hurting, he’s thinking about how great it feels. 
Make sure to communicate 
This one goes out to both the giver and the receiver. 
If you’re performing oral sex, asking if what you’re doing feels good will only benefit both partners. A simple ‘Do you like that?’ can open the conversation up for an ‘Actuallly, no. Can you do this instead?’ 
Researching tips on different methods of cunnilingus makes it easier to find what feels good, as each vagina and person it’s connected to is totally different. 
I wish I didn’t have to say this, but a woman suggesting you try something different doesn’t mean it’s time to give up all together. You’re not bad at oral because she’s asking you to move up a little or trying to add some hand stuff. 
Consent is key 
Consent is the most important thing to keep in mind with any sexual act. You can ask for oral, but if someone says no, any sort of convincing is off the table. 
It can be upsetting to hear someone say they don’t want to eat you out because “it’s just gross” or “it’s emasculating,” but if that’s the case, you’re allowed to take that as your sign to peace out. It’s not any one woman’s job to break down those patriarchal ideas for a man, and it’s not our job to convince men that vaginas aren’t scary and we want pleasure, too. 
Similarly, if you ask a woman to eat her out and she declines the offer, accept it. Many women are uncomfortable with their own vaginas—let alone the idea of being eaten out—and other than asking what you can do to possibly make them more comfortable, if she doesn’t want it, she doesn’t want it. 
Oral sex is awkward, weird, and one-sided, but those aspects are also its benefits. It’s vulnerable, open, and can show your partner you really care about their pleasure regardless of the transactional nature of most heterosexual sex

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.