It was the last night of our quarter abroad. The past 10 weeks had been incredible, full of kangaroos and Tim Tams and sexy accents. I had an early flight to catch in the morning. For now, I was back from the bars and sharing my awkwardly narrow dorm-room bed with an Australian guy. A great guy, let me be clear; I’d known him for a few weeks, and he was funny and sweet and attractive. Good dancer, good kisser.
Everything was fine until he tried going down on me. Now, I have a high pain tolerance, but I’d never experienced anything quite like this. It felt like a high-powered vacuum on my clitoris. To this day, I think it might be the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. And I’ve had my fair share of broken bones, concussions, sprains, bruises and stitches. Brazilian waxes have nothing on this guy’s tongue action. It was just terrible.
Did I tell him to take it easy? Whoa there, Turbo, cool your jets? No, I’m ashamed to say I didn’t. I squirmed and cringed for about fifteen seconds until I couldn’t take it anymore, then pulled a “Why don’t we just kiss for a while? I’m not really comfortable with oral!” Yes, I lied to save his feelings. I just couldn’t figure out how to explain that his level of suction was inflicting unimaginable pain on my sensitive parts.
I understand how awkward it can be to give someone tips in the bedroom, especially when your partner isn’t actively seeking guidance. But if you do it right, communication about sexual acts can make them so much better! The trick is to keep it positive, to give directions without criticizing your partner. I wish I’d mustered up the courage to just tell the guy that I like my cunnilingus a little gentler. There are ways I could’ve phrased it that would have saved his ego and maybe even helped him get me off.
On the other side of things: be open to suggestions! If your last partner loved one of your bedroom skills, don’t automatically assume it’s going to make your next partner hot. In my own experience, Serious Boyfriend #1 and Serious Boyfriend #2 liked very different things in the oral department. I have guy friends who wish girls paid more attention to their testicles, and another friend who mandates that girls to stay as far away from them as possible. So ask questions! Don’t put your partner in the awkward spot of wishing they could give you tips.
How do I handle this? Once things reach a certain level of intensity, I say, “Hey, I take suggestions! Let me know what you like.” I want my sexual partners to feel comfortable telling me what feels good. Don’t worry about sounding like an amateur with this line – you won’t. If a guy said it to me, I’d hear, “Hey, I’m versatile. I want to make you feel good. I can tailor my technique for you!” I’d be beyond thrilled.
Sex gets better the more you get to know someone’s body and their desires, so verbalizing these things can only speed up the process. Just be respectful of different tastes! As long as your partner is mindful of your boundaries, don’t make him or her feel weird for voicing certain desires.
The discussions you have with your sexual partners can open up the door to hot new positions, awesome sex toys, tasty body toppings, sex in cool places, and maybe even a threesome. Or maybe you just want to mold your existing skills to each other’s tastes. Regardless of how traditional or kinky your desires may be, communication in the bedroom is the key to getting what you want.