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I Hate Giving Blow Jobs

Dear Athena,

One of my best friends recently told me the reason I can't keep a boyfriend is that I hate giving blow jobs. She said it would save all my relationships if I would just give them, because men appreciate it so much. Is that true? How can I go from hating blow jobs to liking them? What advice can you give me about doing it better? I'm with a guy now I really like, and I want to make this work. Help!

Signed,

Joann to Blowann?

Dear J to B,

Let's get a few things straight:

1. Giving head isn't for everyone.

2. There is more to a relationship than oral sex. Your best friend is misguided to suggest that the demise of all your previous relationships came down to you not going down.

3. You should never assume that you have to do anything sexual. It doesn't make you a better girlfriend to pleasure someone out of responsibility than out of a mutual desire to feel good and enjoy one another.

Got it? Good.

So, why haven't you enjoyed giving oral in the past? Did you have a bad experience? Do you have a nasty gag reflex? What about it grosses you out? Figuring out exactly what bothers you will help you overcome your distaste for the act.

Then share your reservations with your new guy. Find out how he feels about going down on you. Giving oral always feels better when you know your partner is willing and eager to return the gesture; it becomes more of a shared experience. Talking about this may seem scary, but it'll give you insight into what kind of guy he is. Is he sensitive to your needs and fears? Is he a giver? Is he open to talking about sex? These are good things to know.

If and when you're ready to head south, here's how to make the act more enjoyable. If the taste grosses you out, have a spoonful of honey first; the sweetness will linger and get your salivary glands going for a slippery-smooth experience. If you're bothered by the smell down there, start foreplay in the shower or even ask him to bathe first. Then get into a comfortable position — there's no way you're going to have fun if you're straining your neck or bruising your knees on a hardwood floor.

Take your time. It's not a race. You don't have to put his whole penis in your mouth all at once. It's OK to take a break and use your hands. And never feel like you have to swallow. That choice is up to you, and if he insists on it, he's a jackass.

And remember: You're in control. Many women are turned off by blow jobs because they feel submissive. You're usually on your knees, after all. But, really, you're the one in command. Enjoy that power, and try to have fun. If it's not fun, stop. There are many other ways to drive him wild in bed.

Yours,

Athena