What to do with your tongue, where to put your hands, and more.

By Gabrielle Kassel
November 22, 2019

Blow job, fellatio, giving head, going down: whatever you call it, it doesn’t take a PhD in anatomy to understand why receiving oral sex if you have a penis might feel amazing. The warm and wet sensation of a mouth on the nerve-dense shaft and head of a penis, combined with the sounds and visual of the act, can be crazy pleasurable.

Receiving a blow job is good—but giving head can be gratifying, too. One reason why: while you’re performing oral sex, an erotic interplay of dominance and submission takes place.

“On the one hand, your partner has the power to thrust into your mouth and throat, but on the other, you have all the power, as your teeth are in close proximity to their most sensitive parts,” sexologist Jessica "Dr. Jess" O'Reilly, PhD, host of the Drive Him Wild With Pleasure video course, tells Health. And then there’s the thrill of watching your partner receive pleasure, she says.

Since giving and getting a blow job both have benefits, it pays to pick up some pointers for making blow jobs even more comfortable, exciting, and orgasmic. These are the top tips from Dr. Jess and board certified sexologist Lanae St. John, author of Read Me: A Parental Primer for ‘The Talk.'

Get started with different techniques

You probably know this, but blow jobs don’t literally entail blowing on the penis, say, the way you’d cool off soup—unless your partner likes that. Instead, Dr. Jess tells Health that blow jobs typically incorporate some combination of licking, sucking, kissing, deep-throating, and hand action. “Every person has their own preferences, so it’s less about technique and more about asking what they like,” she says.

If you can come right out and ask your partner about their preferences, that's probably easiest. But sometimes giving a blow job is more of a fact-finding mission, and you have to try things out and gauge your partner's response. Dr. Jess recommends trying this: tuck your lips under your teeth, "clamp down for extra pressure, and then slide up and down the shaft."

Another tip: Flick your tongue against the tip of penis, or along the frenulum—the sensitive notch of skin on the underbelly of the head. Based on your partner's response, you'll be able to see if they enjoy light pressure here, and if it's okay to advance to putting the entire head in your mouth...or if they prefer that you focus more on the shaft.

A word about deep-throating

“There’s a misconception that you have to be able to deep-throat to give an enjoyable blow job. But that’s not true,” says Dr. Jess. “If you’re nervous about gagging, not enjoying yourself, or uncomfortable, this will affect your lover’s enjoyment.” If you are going to try taking the head and shaft in your mouth but are worried about gagging, just go slow, and stop at any point you feel that gag reflex kicking in.

Use your hands

A blow job isn't all about the mouth. In fact, adding hand moves introduces a different level or pressure and sensation, magnifying the pleasure your partner is already feeling. It's also a good go-to if deep-throating isn't your thing. “Using your hands to stroke the shaft while using your tongue and lips on just the tip, will create a similar sensation,” she says. This is also a good tip for when your mouth or jaw gets tired...just switch to making a fist around the shaft and moving it up and down, or cup your partner's balls in your hand gently.

Play with your partner's balls, and more

Speaking of testicles, it’s understandable if most of your attention is on the penis. But don’t forget about the other erogenous zones nearby, like the balls, perineum, and anus.

“The testicles are incredibly nerve-dense,” says Dr. Jess. Try creating a sucking sensation against the delicate skin with your mouth, or using your hand to massage the balls to wow your partner, she suggests.

You can also lick or caress the perineum, the area between the testicles and the anus. (Not everyone likes action here, so ask first or go very slowly.) Applying pressure here with your thumb or the flat edge of your tongue can stimulate the prostate, which is often called the male G-spot because of how intense stimulation here can feel. “Try using a vibrating toy against this spot,” suggests Dr. Jess. 

You can also stimulate your partner's anus while you’re giving a blow job by using a finger or tongue, says Dr. Jess. Some people get squeamish about having their anus played with, so get explicit permission before incorporating rimming or anal fingering. But if your partner consents, trust, you’ll blow their mind.

Experiment with new positions

There's more than one way to give a blow job besides on your knees or with your partner lying flat. Your partner can lie back with their legs up or with bent knees. Or have them lie on their stomach with their hips up and legs out slightly, as you crouch behind them and treat them to a from-behind blow job.

Dr. Jess recommends "the giraffe," which entails you lying on your back with your head hanging over the bed and your partner straddling you from a standing position. You can also try "facesitter," she says, which has you lying on your back and your partner kneeling over your lips.

For mutual pleasure try classic 69, or even sideways 69—so you’re both on your sides but facing opposite direction.

Spit or swallow: it's your choice

It’s a myth that spitters are quitters. “There is zero pressure to swallow if that’s not something you want to do,” says Dr. Jess. Maybe it's because you don’t like the taste of semen; maybe you find it hotter for your partner to orgasm somewhere else on your body. Any reason is a valid reason, she says.

If you don’t want to swallow, you have a few options. You can tell your partner where you want it (for example, “I want it all over my chest” or “I want to see you finish in your hand"), you can catch the semen in your mouth and then spit it into a towel, or you can ask your partner to wear a flavored condom.

If you do want to swallow, Dr. Jess has a few suggestions to enhance the experience. “Take the penis deep into your throat and when they come, gaze seductively into their eyes,” she advises. Or when your partner tells you they’re close, suck only on the head, so you can control how much you swallow at a time.

Prioritize your own pleasure

Mutual pleasure is always a win in the bedroom. While giving a blow job, ask your partner to turn you on, too: have them talk dirty to you or tell you what they're feeling, or suggest bringing a vibrator or vibrating ring into the mix, which you can press against your clitoris or put in your vagina so you're both moving closer to orgasm.

And above all, always follow the number one rule of blow jobs: only give one when you want to and your partner wants you to. “You are not obligated to give anyone a blow job or perform any act you don’t want to,” St. John tells Health. Any partner who makes you feel obligated to give one probably isn’t a keeper. “There are plenty of other acts and activities you can engage in to experience (mutual) sexual pleasure,” says St. John. True that!

To get our top sexual health stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Health Hookup newsletter

Advertisement