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Ask Athena: My Girlfriend Wants Oral but I Feel Self-Conscious


Dear Athena,

My girlfriend wants me to go down on her, but I feel self-conscious about doing it. I know she wants me to, since I never have. What if the smell bothers me? And she goes down on me, so I feel bad. Am I a bad boyfriend? What should I do?


Bad BF

Dear BF,

You're not bad; you just need some guidance. I agree that returning the oral favor would be a good move, especially if she's been asking you to take a trip to vag town. Here are some tips to help you feel confident and make this experience as enjoyable as possible — for both of you.

If smell is a concern, why not start this adventure in the shower? Talking to her about your odor anxiety would make her self-conscious and be a big no-no. But soaping up together would get you both squeaky clean, turned on and ready to have fun. Enjoy a shower, then escort her to a cozy place where she can get comfortable.

Comfort is key, and you might suggest she lie down with a pillow under her bottom so you have easy access. Make sure her legs are spread nice and wide. Invite her to relax so she knows you aren't in a rush — she needs to feel that you're excited to please her. Rushing someone to orgasm has never gotten anyone anywhere.

Start by teasing her with your tongue. Kissing her thighs and stomach or taking a long lick of her clitoris are enticing ways to get started. Think of it like licking an ice cream cone; avoid stiff, jabbing motions.

If you do something she's into, she might drive her pelvis toward you, or her breathing might change. Connect with these nonverbal messages and give her more of what she's enjoying. You might even ask her what she likes — maybe she prefers labia action; maybe clitoral stimulation is her thing. Encourage audience participation.

At some point, you might need to take a little break. That's fine! If you aren't having fun, she'll likely pick up on that. Keep things going by switching to your fingers for a bit. You might even use a vibrator — that could really shake things up.

The important thing is that you proceed with love. Worry less about you and focus more on her. Think of your happy place, and then take her there with your tongue.