Ask The HANX Gang: Why Won't My Boyfriend Go Down On Me?
This Sexual Health Month, we spotted a sharp uplift in traffic to one of our eternal hot topics on HANX Life, our free, anonymous digital safe space. Namely, what do you do when your partner likes a blow job/oral but won’t return the favour?
It’s unsurprising that this is a hot topic right now. The proliferation of blowjob-centric content in both porn and mainstream media often puts cunnilingus as a second thought. In recent years, however, as sex positivity as a concept has become more widely known, act has been more accepted and portrayed in mainstream media*. In fact, much was made this month of Harry Styles going down on Florence Pugh in the trailer for Don’t Worry Darling, lauding it as a feminist act. (Side note: does cunnilingus have to be a politically/sociologically relevant act? Can going down ever just be going down? Answers on a postcard)...
For those of us who grew up with blowjobs being talked about in the playground and portrayed on screen as de rigeur (holla at the American Pie generation), we might not have been aware of the glaring disparity in featuring vulva and vagina focused pleasure. In fact, without seeing a very ‘normal’, pleasurable sex act presented as standard, it’s easy to see how that can translate to it taking second billing to male pleasure in real life, too.
ADVICE FROM THE HANX GANG
Turning to the HANX Life community, our original poster reveals their partner’s answers lack of interest in oral sex - and responses ranged from supportive to shocked:
“Maybe try some other things in foreplay, show him what you like and make it pleasurable for both of you. It’s a two way thing and sex is a big part of relationships!”
“I sure as hell hope you aren’t going down on him if he isn’t going down on you.”
“This is a really common problem! Have you thought about getting some flavoured lube? I think also some guys just don’t know what to do, so they avoid it. They don’t realise they need to focus on the clit - I think the term ‘licking out’ makes them think they need to get all up in there!”
HOW TO TACKLE IT
Whoever you’re having sex with and whatever their gender, if you’re disconnected when it comes to oral sex, there are a few steps to take that might help work through the issue.
- Practically speaking, lube is always a great idea. Some prefer flavoured lubes (but look out for glycerine in the ingredients list if you have a vulva, as this can cause yeast infections). If you're using a dental dam, make sure to use a water-based lubricant as oil damages the latex and puts you at risk of STIs.
- If, like our poster, you feel concerned about smells or the presentation of your genitals, having a shower and freshening up is both reassuring for yourself, and courteous to your partner.
- Mesh/thin lace underwear is a good option if you’re easing into the act.
- Talk through what’s going to happen, and take it slow. You don’t have to go from zero oral sex to explosive orgasm in one mega-session! Communicate and make sure you’re both comfortable and consent throughout.
Ultimately, if your sexual desires aren’t compatible, it may lead you to question your relationship going forwards, which can be upsetting - or a relief. Consider if a pyscho-sexual therapist might help you find common ground sexually, especially in penetrative sex isn’t pleasurable, as our original poster described. It doesn’t have to mean the end of an otherwise good relationship.
That said, we all have individual preferences, kinks and boundaries that are drawn in line with our own unique wants and needs. A reactionary attitude of not giving oral sex if it isn’t returned can lead to further disconnection and resentment, whilst not tackling the issue at hand.
Open, honest conversation about your feelings is the most important step to take when discussing disappointments or frustration with sex. Remember, it can be difficult for some to hear feedback about sexual performance, especially if it’s perceived as criticism, so tread carefully, but be clear about your intentions for the desired outcome of the conversation.
- Sign up to HANX Life to join the conversation. Reluctant to muff dive? Tell us why. Cunnilingus convert? We need your tips. Remember, each month, our favourite comment bags a sexual wellness Starter Pack on us...
- Shop the HANX Sex Positive Baseball Cap
*We’re talking blockbuster cinema and mainstream TV, people.