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My Girlfriend Won't Give Blow Jobs

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Dear Athena,

I love oral sex — giving and receiving. To me, it's a lusty, primal, liberating way of sharing pleasure. Intercourse is good, but it doesn't provide the same pure, concentrated bliss that good oral can bring. Trouble is, my girlfriend isn't quite as into it as I am. She doesn't mind me going down on her (which I do, with relish and gusto), but it's rare that I get more than a passing peck on the pecker from her.

I have expressed to her that, as much as I enjoy giving, I also enjoy receiving, and I have asked her why she's reluctant to give. But if she has an answer, she's never been able to articulate it. I get the feeling there may be some unspoken past trauma making the act distasteful for her, but I don't wish to pry. How might I better express to her my yearning without feeling like I'm coercing her into doing something she despises?

Sincerely,

Blowless Joe

Dear Blowless Joe,

Well, you're certainly enthusiastic. And you seem to care deeply for your girlfriend and her feelings. That's a great foundation for getting closer to her — and inviting her to get closer to you. Or at least to your "pecker."

You're right to wonder about her past experiences. One rotten blow job can ruin it for future lovers. Perhaps that's what's going on here. But I think you should consider a few other common hang-ups, too.

I recently responded to a letter from "Joann to Blowann" [May 27], a woman who doesn't enjoy giving head. Read it. It'll help you understand a woman's perspective on oral. Mutual pleasure, hygiene, positioning, technique and a feeling of submission all come into play. Bottom line? Oral can be a lot more complicated than it seems.

You say you love to go down on your girlfriend. But does she enjoy it as much as you do? Is she having orgasms? Just because you prefer oral to intercourse doesn't mean she does. Find out what drives her wild and she'll be more likely to return the favor.

Here's another question: How often do you bathe? If she thinks your junk smells, or it did that one time she went down there, she'll be less likely to make a return trip. So lather up. It's so much nicer crawling into bed when the sheets are fresh out of the laundry, if you get my drift.

Before you do anything, talk to her. You seem to really care about reciprocity and the shared experience of lovemaking. Bring that attitude to the discussion so that she doesn't feel rushed or pressured. Open up to her about your own experiences. What turns you on? What turns you off? Ask her to be open with you, too.

If she does go down on you, your response will be crucial. Blow jobs can be intimidating. Some women even find them degrading. So be gentle and encouraging, and don't give her too many instructions. She'll need to feel confident if she's ever going to do it again. And that's what you want, after all: for her to do it again. And again. And again.

Yours,

Athena