Top Oral Sex Tips for Going Down on Vulvas
Drawing circles, spelling out the alphabet, licking left to right in a downward diagonal motion and then praying to the cunnilingus gods.
Many admit that when they get down to a little lip-to-lip action they’re somewhat clueless. So we decided it’s about time we shed some light on the mystery that is oral sex for vulvas aka cunnilingus.
There's no one size fits all approach, every partner and every time is different. So, to ask the question on everyone’s lips… What turns good head into incredible head?
The truth of the matter is, it's a skill, and there's always room for improvement whether it's your first time or you’ve been hailed for your talents for years. It takes communication, practice and a little patience…
The good news is that the homework is very fun.
Keep reading to unlock the secret to sweaty, hair stuck to the nape of your neck oh-f*ck-don't-stop-now kinda oral sex.
Communication and consent
Firstly, it’s essential to talk with your partner before you get down to it. They know their body best and you’re still learning about what turns them on - so pay attention!
Communicate your boundaries, your likes and dislikes and always ensure there’s enthusiastic and continuous consent from everyone involved.
Cunnilingus is not all about the receiver’s pleasure, be sure to talk to your partner about what you’re comfortable with and where your limits lie. No one wants a nosebleed from taking a pubic bone to the face, and we’re also assuming you’d rather not be smothered to death during a queening sesh. Sex should always be fun so if you’re not feeling it, no matter how much you want to please your partner, don’t be pressured.
Whilst we’re on the topic of communication - don’t feel that the talking has to stop once things get going. Sure, it's rude to talk with your mouth full but this might be the one exception. We can’t expect our sexual partners to be mindreaders so feel free to communicate during the act too!
Author of ‘The Cunnilinguist: How to Give and Receive Great Oral Sex.’ Alex B Porter says that unfortunately, we “can't just expect to lie there and have an orgasm delivered on a plate.” Sex is a two-way experience so it’s important to stay present both mentally and physically.
Going down on someone on the shy side?
Asking simple yes and no questions can be a good way to gather the important info from someone who’s not much of a talker.
Alternatively, find your own way of communicating without words…
Maybe a double tap means ‘this isn’t pleasurable, try something else’ and a squeeze of your hand or pull of your hair means ‘don’t stop, it feels really good’.
Observe what makes them moan and watch their body language. Heavy breaths and bucking and grinding of the hips are massive giveaways that you’re doing a marvellous job.
Have you heard the tragic news?
There's an orgasm gap.
A 2022 research article from psychologists Terri D Conley and Verena Klein highlights that women having penis-in-vagina sex are simply getting 'worse sex' than men and subsequently, we're orgasming less. A pretty miserable state of affairs we'd say.
The good news? We think we might know why the orgasm gap exists...
YouGov research found that women who orgasm every time during sex are far more likely to say they always receive clitoral stimulation. For example, in the case of straight women, 38% of those who climax every time they have sex say it incorporates clitoral stimulation, whereas for those who don’t always orgasm only 18% always include clitoral stimulation.
It seems there's a lack of understanding of cis female genitalia and the mechanics of the female orgasm meaning for many, the clit has become the neglected hot spot that holds the key to sheet-clenching pleasure.
The best bit? Oral sex offers the perfect opportunity to stimulate the clit and help lessen the orgasm gap.
The below guide offers some oral sex techniques for vulvas that are so good, even the neighbours will need a cigarette afterwards.
Definitely, do some prep. Are you a pillow-under-the-bum kinda person? Lights on or off? Scented candles, mood lighting, a bit of a massage - whatever floats your boat.
Foreplay is key before oral sex. Kissing, caressing, compliments n pillow talk - you know the drill.
The key takeaway here is that you start building your partner's arousal well before your lips or tongue even touch their vagina, vulva or clitoris. And for many vulva owners, a slow and gradual build is what its alllll about… trust us.
For many, oral sex is not the main event. Dr Emily Morse, host of Sex with Emily podcast suggests for those into it, it definitely can be.
She highlights that there are over 8,000 nerve endings in the clitoris but despite this, vulva owners can take anywhere up to 40 mins to orgasm from oral sex. Worrying about how long it's taking to get there will only make orgasm harder to reach so remember, there's no such thing as taking too long! The best thing a giver can do is to tell their partner that they have all night and that there’s no rush. Honestly, we've never heard a sexier sentence.
Dr Emily Morse also mentions that for many, oral sex is the most vulnerable sex act we can get up (or down) to. We're talking literal face-to-genital contact after all.
Many vulva owners face insecurities around the look smell or taste of their vulva and these thoughts can be really distracting, making it harder to be fully present in the moment. So if they do look, smell or taste particularly good then my goodness, tell them!
Sex toys that mimic oral sex
Enthusiasm and curiosity
We all want to feel like the person going to town on us definitely and passionately wants to be there doing it.
And there are myriad ways to show your enthusiasm.
Our favourite, along with making lots of noise is being curious and taking an interest in how your partner likes to be pleasured - especially by themselves.
Ask all the questions and if you truly want to know how they get off, try to learn what kinds of toys they like! Although this won't tell you all you need to know, it is a pretty good shortcut for figuring out where to focus your attention. We’re not saying become the toy, but perhaps take some inspiration from the area their fave toys tickle.
Say they like clit suckers… that's a sign you should probably be giving their clit lots of TLC.
Or maybe they love their rabbit. Sounds like time for some multi-tasking (simultaneous oral and fingering anyone?)
Oral Sex Techniques
We're talking here about familiarising yourself with the territory.
This will of course entail - what some consider a mammoth task - locating the clitoris. A word of advice, don't be shy. Use your hand and fingers to gently feel around until you've found the visible part of the clitoris - the clitoral glans - then remember your partner's preferences about direct or indirect stimulation.
Direct: Here we're talking about directly licking, sucking, or touching the visible part of the clitoris - the clitoral glans.
Indirect: Indirect stimulation means avoiding direct contact with the clit. Instead, you could try touching the clitoral hood or rubbing the clit through the folds of the inner labia. Direct stimulation of the clitoris can be, for many vulva owners, too intense and overstimulating to the point of pain - not very sexy. So make sure you check in on this one.
2. The Kivin method
You might already have a few standard moves in your cunnilingus repertoire. Repeated rhythmic motions like circling around the clitoris, drawing a figure of 8 with your tongue and switching between different strokes (e.g., circles to up and down, then back) usually go down well but again it’s a matter of preference.
There is however one particularly popular approach worth exploring, called the Kivin method. More about the position rather than the technique, the Kivin method entails having the receiver lay on their back and the giver lying perpendicular or side-on with their head resting on the receiver’s thigh. Together the two of you form a kind of T shape. In this way, the giver is able to stimulate their partner, licking in the opposite direction from thigh to thigh rather than up and down.
3. Eat in the same manner you would use cutlery in a fancy restaurant
Start from the outside and work your way in.
Remember that slow build we mentioned? As well as gradually building up to going down south, once you get there you don’t want to aim for the bullseye immediately. Try licking, kissing and sucking around the vulva and labia for a while before you focus on the clitoris.
4. Any condiments with your main course?
Considering adding an extra delicious element to your cunnilingus? Not only do flavoured lubes offer a tasty experience for the giver but lubing up makes for some wonderfully frictionless sensations that can be very pleasurable. Experiment with a variety of flavours as well as stimulating gels and tingling or warming and cooling lubes for a spot of temperature play.
5. Avoid going in too hard and fast
Gently does it, especially to start off.
Many vulva owners enjoy flat tongue action as it covers a wider surface area, therefore, you’re more likely to reach some sensitive erogenous zones.
Aim to go slow. When we’re aroused and excited, we move faster than we mean to. However slow you think you should be going, try going twice as slow as that, seriously. Building anticipation through caressing and teasing massively intensifies the satisfaction once your partner finally gets what they're begging for.
Oral Sex Positions
As mentioned, oral sex is very much a matter of personal preference, so the only thing you should be assuming is the position... hehe we couldn't help ourselves.
What you’re after here, let’s be honest, is easy access. Everyone should be comfortable and ideally, you want to be able to see what you're tucking in to. So when it comes to making them cum with your tongue, feel free to experiment with positioning.
Some of our fave oral sex positions:
- Get them on all fours and lick from behind
- Them standing with you on your knees
- Face sitting/ Queening
- Pillow under the butt. A pillow under your but lifts the hips and mixes up the angle of everything. It also offers the giver better positioning so they can see what they’re doing comfortably. No neck cramp is getting in the way of you and a good time.
Things to avoid
- Definitely don't get your teeth involved without asking them about it first. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again.
- We all like a little reassurance but avoid asking them if they're going to cum or if they're nearly there. This only puts the pressure on which can have the opposite of the desired effect - taking someone further away from climaxing.
- Don’t let the name ‘oral sex’ stop you from getting your hands involved!
- Don’t try to learn how to perform cunnilingus by watching porn which would have you believe it's a quick lick followed by a screaming orgasm. In reality, it typically takes between 20 - 45 minutes for a vulva owner to climax from oral sex.