In our conservative Christian culture, oral sex comes with a lot of hang ups. But it doesn’t need to. In this episode, let’s talk about how amazing oral sex can be between you and your spouse. Let’s look at the hang ups that either spouse might have and see what we can do to help them. After all, a high percentage of women say that oral sex is the most reliable way for them to orgasm. There is a lot of pleasure to be had there. Maybe it’s time to give it a try?
Let’s talk about oral sex! It always seems to be a hot topic and I can’t believe I haven’t done an episode about it yet!
A question came up in my Sex for Saints Facebook group and I thought it would be a great question to address here on the podcast. Here’s the question…
“My friend has been been married for almost 30 years and enjoys oral sex with her husband. She feels extremely guilty because of some discussions that she has had in the Bishops office where the Bishop counseled her that oral sex is not ok, even in marriage. She feels that she is not worthy to go to the Temple. Her question is – “How do I overcome my feelings of shame because logically I know that the church does not belong in my bedroom and cannot tell me what we as a husband and wife can or cannot do sexually- but the soundtrack still plays in my head that what we are doing is wrong and shameful?”
I unfortunately hear similar stories like this all the time. And let me just give you some context of where it came from. In January 1982, a letter went out to bishops on how to conduct interviews. In it, it said “The First Presidency has interpreted oral sex as constituting an unnatural, impure, or unholy practice” and they ought not enter the temple. But don’t ask them details of their sex lives. If they ask, tell them to repent. Well, nine months later, after an uproar, they sent out another letter telling bishops again not to ask about people’s sex lives.
In my opinion, this is a gross mishandling of things that did serious damage (and continues to do so) in people’s sex lives. This is not doctrine. It’s an interpretation (and a wrong one at that). If something was so important to our salvation it would not be buried in an obscure letter from 1982. It would be taught by all members of the current first presidency and twelve apostles, just like all true doctrine is.
Many bishops took this as doctrine. Others threw it away because they saw it for the nonsense it was. Bishops are men. They are good people trying to do their best. They are not trained therapists. They should not be talking to people about their sex lives beyond a “do you keep the Law of Chastity.” Anything else they should refer to professionals.
Who’s heard the term “oral is immoral?” Have you ever heard that? That saying went around quite a bit in the early 80s and has stuck around for many others. Now, if you’ve never heard it great! But if you have and you believe it, then it’s definitely the reason for some oral sex hangups. I’m going to go through some common hangups here today, but if there is something I don’t address or you know that you are feeling a lot of guilt and shame about oral sex, come into coaching and let’s work through it. This podcast can help, but it’s probably going to take more than what I can tell you in 15 minutes, ok?
Alright…so let’s talk about oral sex!
Some couples love oral sex and it’s a regular part of their lovemaking. For other couples, it might happen on a special occasion. I have a friend who says that her husband only gets it on his birthday and their anniversary. And then for other couples it never happens. Why? Because we’ve got oral sex hangups. So let’s dive in and talk about all of them, shall we?
First off, I want to say that if oral sex has been something rare or nonexistent in your relationship, it’s important to understand why. I want you to know that if you can understand why, there is often a way through. There is hope for the future. I’ve seen with my clients that through their personal growth and development in coaching, their willingness to try new things expands. Things change over time. What was once a “no way” or “never” changes to a “huh…people actually enjoy that?” “Ok, maybe.” To a “let’s just try and see.” Now there is always the possibility that when they are actually willing to try, they may not like it. And remember, I always recommend you try things multiple times before you decide that it’s not something you want in your sexual repertoire. Usually once is not enough to make a decision. We also need to remember that if a spouse sets a firm boundary about something that they are unwilling to do (even if they’ve done it before) that we need to respect and honor that boundary because we love them.
Now, I understand that if you really want something and your partner is unable or unwilling that can be really hard. There may even be a grief or mourning process. And that is okay! But we also need to decide is that particular act more important than our overall sexual relationship? Is it more important than our spouse and their feelings?
The Wife Who Won’t Give
Ok, let’s talk about the wife who doesn’t want to give oral sex to her husband. The first question I want you to ask yourself is “why?” “Have you tried it?” “What is the turn off?” Now, I get that there can be turn offs there. So what are those? The most common ones are smell and taste. Sex and genitals have a smell. And it’s not necessarily bad, it’s just different. If you can get used to that smell and taste, it’s not so bad. There are a lot of women who actually love giving oral sex. It is a very intimate act and vulnerable act, but can truly be pleasurable for both parties if done with the right mindset. Another concern I hear from women is that they are afraid of gagging or they don’t want him to finish in her mouth.
So let’s talk about some practical tips to help mitigate a lot of these concerns.
Smell & Taste
First, smell and taste. If this is a concern for you, it helps if he is freshly showered or even doing it in the shower. Because in the shower, you don’t really smell or taste anything. There are some great products that men can use in the shower to help with smell. I really like products from companies like Ballsy or Manscaped for those kinds of things.
You also have the option of him wearing a condom or you using a dental dam which is a thin layer of latex that protects your mouth. The condom is also great if he wants to finish, but you don’t want to have to spit or swallow.
Then there’s flavored lubes. These can be great to help when it comes to smell and taste, and come in a variety of flavors. Just remember to thoroughly wash them off before any sort of vaginal penetration. Flavored lubes usually contain some sort of sugar (sugar, honey, glycerin) that can greatly increase your chances of a yeast infection.
If you gag easily or really just don’t want to take his penis that far into your mouth, you can use your hand to stimulate the shaft while your mouth stays near the head. There are also products like Oh, Nut which has four interlocking rings so you can decide the depth you want it to be at. You can also use a masturbator and maybe not use your mouth at all…but what is the fun in that?
Position and Control
Another concern for women is they like to control the depth and the motion. They don’t like to have their head pushed down. So guys…hands off. Just sit back and enjoy it. But position can really help with this. So ladies, try being on top or in a kneeling position over your husband’s body so that you can be more in control of things.
The Wife Who Won’t Receive
Next let’s talk about the wife who doesn’t want to receive oral sex. Most of the time this has to do with not accepting your own body and genitals. The look. The smell. The taste.
As women, many of us were conditioned to believe that our genitals were gross. That the smell we have is gross. The discharge we have is gross. We have internalized this to such a degree that we can’t even imagine anyone, let alone our husband wanting to touch, taste, or lick us “down there.”
Oral sex can be one of the most pleasurable experiences for a woman, if we let it. A high percentage of women say that oral sex is the most reliable way for them to orgasm.
So, if we can get over this belief that our body, genitals, smell, and taste are gross, we have a very good possibility of a LOT of pleasure from oral sex as women.
One of the things I often work on with my clients in coaching is their belief about their body and specifically their genitals. How could something, that was created in the image of our Heavenly Mother, be gross? When we can internalize that our body is good and anything that comes from it is also good, then we can change our perceptions around oral sex. This belief can also be true about a man’s body. Women not wanting to give oral because it’s where pee comes out, things like that. The same holds true for men. If the body is inherently good, then anything that comes from it is also good.
But again, I’ll give you some practical suggestions as well.
Smell & Taste
Did you know that as women our smell and taste changes throughout the day as well as throughout the month? Interesting, right? Try smelling your underwear every time you go to the bathroom and see if you can tell the difference.
Most men I’ve talked to actually love the smell and taste of their wife. I’ve heard from several men that we taste sweet to them. Unless there is some sort of infection present, trust him when he says he likes it.
But, if it’s a concern for you, or him, you can always be freshly showered or try it in the shower. Try to avoid any flavored lubes, douche’s, sprays, or deodorants. They can really mess with the natural pH and biome of the vagina. You can also try him wearing the dental dam or even some plastic wrap from the kitchen.
I’ve also heard that certain foods can change the smell and taste. Things like avocados’ and pineapple. So maybe give that a try and see what you think.
The Husband Who Won’t Give
Most men I know are happy to try and pleasure their wives through oral sex and really for as long as she needs to come to orgasm. But, there is a small percentage of men who don’t want to. They may have issues with smell and taste, but the most common reason is confidence. They want to do a good job and they aren’t really sure how to do so.
So guys, if you want a great book to read on how to pleasure your wife in this way, I highly recommend Ian Kerner’s She Comes First – the thinking man’s guide to pleasuring a woman. It’s a great book to learn more about a woman’s sexuality and how to pleasure her with very practical tips of what to do and what not to do and how. By the way, Ian Kerner also wrote a book called Passionista – which is all about how to pleasure a man with some practical tips as well.
The Husband Who Won’t Receive
Now, I’m sure there are some out there, but I’ve never personally heard of man who was unwilling to receive oral sex if the wife was willing to give it. But I’m sure there are some. And if there are, I would take a wager that it is either a confidence issue, fear of rejection, or possibly even trauma.
So let’s talk about those issues.
Why we have hang ups
Besides body confidence and acceptance, rejection and trauma are two of the biggest factors for not wanting to give or receive oral sex, and we need to be sensitive to those.
If you’ve been listening to me for a while, you know I am a big fan of emotional independence. Your emotions are your responsibility and your partner can’t make you feel anything. But, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to be kind and careful about how we approach our partner when it comes to these sensitive topics.
I would advise that if these things are a struggle for you that you tread lightly and carefully. Be delicate but honest. Be tactful, especially about things that are unchangeable. Be understanding and a good receiver of their opinion.
And when it comes to trauma, great understanding and empathy is needed. Never force your partner to do something they don’t want to do. Don’t try and guilt, pressure or prod them. Don’t pout if you don’t get your way. Be sensitive, loving, and caring.
And yes, you may never get what you want. Take the time to mourn and grieve that. But then put your spouse and your relationship first. Now go have some great oral sex!