By Sarah Regan
Whether you’re dating someone new or just really want to give passionate oral sex to your current partner, everybody—and every vagina—is different. What pleased a previous partner may not work for your current sexual interest, and you may find yourself wondering whether there are other techniques out there that you’re missing.
We spoke with certified sex therapist Holly Richmond, Ph.D., and certified sex coach Gigi Engle to get their insight, and as it turns out, there’s no shortage of oral sex techniques to try. With over two dozen techniques, we’re sure one of these will help you do the trick.
For creating anticipation.
For many women, orgasming is physical and mental; they need to feel relaxed and in the mood. “So much of oral sex is the lead-up to it,” Richmond notes. “Don’t dive right for the clitoris. Begin by making out and exploring other areas first,” she says, such as:
1. Try breast/nipple play.
The breasts and nipples are very sensitive, and beginning by lighting stroking, circling, or licking the nipples, or gently cupping the breasts, can really turn your partner on.
2. Nibble and/or lick the inner thigh.
As you begin heading down, build up the anticipation by nibbling or licking their inner thigh, Richmond recommends. Feel free to explore other areas with your mouth or hands as well, like the neck, stomach, and butt.
3. Keep the underwear on.
Stroke the vulva or clit with underwear still on. Again, you’re building anticipation—you could even pull their underwear to the side when you’re ready for contact.
4. Use your breath and tongue.
Try running your tongue up and down with underwear still on, or using your breath to warm up the whole area.
For clitoral stimulation.
“The clitoris is queen,” Engle says. “Always and forever. Never forget it.” When in doubt, keep your focus here, and listen to your partner as they respond to the types of clitoral stimulation.
5. Dance around it with the tongue.
Starting off, it’s a good idea to go slow. Dance around the clit with your tongue, or lightly graze it to start building sensation.
6. Lick it up and down or side to side.
Listen to and feel your partner respond as you lick their clit either up and down or side to side. You should be able to tell which they prefer, and it never hurts to ask if they like it!
7. Try sucking on it.
Some like this and some don’t, but you can try lightly sucking on the clit between strokes if they’re into it.
8. Move your tongue in a figure-8 motion.
Along with up and down, and side to side, Engle says a figure-8, or infinity, motion can also work well.
9. Stay consistent.
If your partner is clearly enjoying what you’re doing, stay consistent as far as the movement and rhythm. Constantly switching up techniques or speeds can make it harder for them to settle into the sensation.
10. Try the alphabet method.
As the name suggests, another technique is to write the alphabet with your tongue around their clit. Lots of different letters equals lots of sensation.
For extra stimulation.
Plenty of people are just fine with solely clitoral stimulation while receiving, but others may prefer extra stimulation such as penetration, Richmond notes. Here are some ideas to that end:
11. Kiss or lick the labia.
Don’t forget about the lips! The labia (both the inner and outer sets) are sensitive too, and stimulating that area can offer a more all-encompassing sensation.
12. Spread the labia.
To really expose the clit, don’t be shy—spread the labia apart and your partner will feel everything a lot more intensely.
13. Grab a breast.
Again, breasts and nipples are super sensitive—some folks orgasm from nipple play alone. With a free hand, reach up and grab their breast and/or rub their nipple as you’re going down on them.
14. Try putting a finger or two in.
If your partner likes to be penetrated during oral (some don’t, so ask!), you can use one or two fingers to penetrate the vagina. Just don’t “smash them inside willy-nilly,” Engle notes. Lightly stroke the G-spot with your fingers in a curling motion while licking their clit.
15. See if they like tongue penetration.
Some people enjoy penetration from the tongue when getting head, but it doesn’t offer as much stimulation as licking the clit, for example. See how they respond, and if they like it, alternate between the clit and vagina with your tongue.
16. Play around with their butt, if they’re into that.
Some people enjoy anal stimulation while receiving head, whether through your fingers or mouth. Again, always remember to get consent, and make sure you know what their hygiene preferences are as well. (Taking a test run in the shower is a good place to start if you’re squeamish. Here’s our shower sex guide for inspo.)
17. Incorporate toys.
Sex toys don’t just have to be for solo fun, and they can be a great addition to a healthy sex life with your partner. Plus, the options are endless based on what you and your partner like. Think vibrators, butt plugs, nipple clamps—whatever you’re into, really.
18. Try watching porn.
If you and your partner are both down for a cinematic experience, watching oral sex porn can add a little extra spice (and inspiration) to the experience.
Oral sex positions.
Depending on how long it takes them to orgasm, switching up positions can be a good way to stimulate different areas and create different sensations. Here are a handful to try:
1. The Kivin method
The Kivin method involves the receiving partner lying on their back, and the other giving head from the side, so they’re perpendicular to their partner’s body. (Here’s a visual.) This position offers a new angle, more vulva stimulation, and the potential to reach more sensitive spots.
2. Oral sex from behind
From a doggy-style-like position, give them head from behind. This position is also great if your partner is into rimming, as well. (A dental dam might be a good investment if you’re new to this.)
3. Sitting on your face
A go-to position for many, this one offers a good angle for the giver, plus lots of access to the rest of the receiver’s body–like grabbing breasts or their butt. To turn up the heat, throw out a “sit on my face” when you initially start hooking up, or whenever you want to change positions. (Here’s our dirty talk guide for more inspo.)
4. Oral on your knees
Giving head on your knees might seem like something more traditionally associated with blowjobs, but it can be hot for pretty much anyone. Remember to spread the labia here for more clitoral exposure.
5. Sitting down oral
Have the receiving partner sit in a chair. Bonus points if it’s somewhere out of the ordinary, like the kitchen table or a living room chair. With their legs draped over the sides of the chair, you’ve got easy access from below.
6. The pillow method
Put a pillows underneath their hips. Using a pillow to tilt their hips upward slightly can allow their legs to open just a bit more, and also expose more of the anus.
Encouragement is key.
According to Engle, it’s important to make sure your partner knows how much you want to give oral sex. Some people don’t enjoy oral because they can’t get out of their head, when a little reassurance is all they might need. “Making them feel comfortable and sexy in their body will help them relax. A relaxed woman is one more likely to experience an orgasm!”
Be open about how hot you find your partner and how good they taste. “They’ll appreciate knowing you’re having as good of a time as they are,” Engle notes.
Moan into their vulva, making sure they know you’re into it. You can also periodically look up at your partner and make eye contact, keeping that connection throughout the experience.
Go for multiple orgasms.
“Not every woman can have multiple orgasms, but it can be a super-pleasurable experience,” Engle says. “This last trick won’t be for everyone, and if they ask you to stop, obviously you should listen.”
If they reach orgasm, keep going—gently! The clitoris may be too sensitive for direct contact right away, so start by kissing the thighs, perhaps teasing the labia, and after a few minutes, then go back to the clitoris, Engle explains. “If they let you—start all over again,” she says, adding, “Nothing is sexier than a partner who wants to make you orgasm multiple times.”
Remember, every partner’s body is unique.
If there’s one thing Richmond and Engle both stress, it’s that every clit is different, and it takes healthy communication to figure out what you both like in bed. So, don’t be afraid to ask what they want you to do to them, Engle says.
“You’re not a mind-reader—don’t pretend you can see into the oral sex crystal ball,” she adds. “Ask and then do exactly what they say. If they aren’t sure, there’s plenty of room for experimentation.”
And of course, once you’re underway, pay attention to physical and verbal cues. “If they’re pressing into your face and moaning, you can be pretty sure what you’re doing is working,” Engle says. “If they’re pulling away or dead silent, try something else. And you can always ask!”