When I posted surveys a couple months ago about women receiving oral sex, I knew exactly what I wanted to say. I wrote an introductory post about it. Seven hundred survey respondents later, I had a clear indication that my initial thoughts were pretty much on target.
Yet I’ve sat on these survey results, unable to write about them, unable to even remember what I wanted to say. I can write about how wives can learn to give oral sex to their husbands (here and here and here and here), so why can’t I write about wives receiving oral sex from them?
Every time I’ve tried to write this post, I’ve gotten to a point where my internal dialogue has gotten the better of me.
I know I said I would write about receiving oral sex, but can I really do that? If I say that, doesn’t that mean everyone will know that I have, well, had it? What will they think of me? Is it okay for me to say that? No, maybe not. But no one would give a second thought to a male writer who announced, “Oh, yeah, I love getting oral. It’s the best, and my wife is great at it.” So why do I think it would be less acceptable for me to say the same kind of thing? Why do I seem to think it’s okay for a man to enjoy receiving pleasure and not for a woman? What is my problem?
Well, it turns out that my problem may be the same thing behind a lot of women not being comfortable receiving oral sex.
In fact, women may be less comfortable than men even thinking about it. Of my 702 survey respondents, 61% were men. How is it possible that men are more interested than women in participating in a survey about women’s pleasure? On a recent Marriage Bed survey about oral sex (for both men and women), 70% of the respondents were men.
What do women say?
Let’s take a look at what women say about oral sex for them. We’ll start with some numbers.
- 78% said that their husbands initiated oral sex. Only 22% of women ask for it.
- More than 80% of the women surveyed indicated that they don’t like their husbands to perform oral sex on them.
- The primary reason given is self-consciousness about the smell and/or taste. (This topic will become a post of its own.)
- The next most common reason given is that we don’t like to have all the attention on us . . .
- . . . closely followed by body image issues.
When asked to share about their views and experiences receiving oral sex, in addition to concern about their smell/taste, women cited difficulty relaxing and concerns about a husband’s expectation of reciprocation.
- “My husband is always very willing, but sometimes I can’t relax enough to enjoy it.”
- “There is shame associated with sex and having all the attention on me makes it worse.”
- “Sometimes I want him to stop because I want to orgasm with PIV [penis-in-vagina intercourse] instead and he doesn’t stop right away. It makes me feel like it’s not about me, like it’s about him being in control and about what he wants, his ego.”
- “I feel obligated to return the favor. I don’t enjoy performing oral sex on him.”
- “I am so uptight when he’s giving me oral sex, even though he’s not hurting me, that I can’t relax enough to orgasm. Yet, I think he expects it to be an easy way for me to do so.”
- “My husband once mentioned to me that he would like it if I would shave some of my pubic hair. I had always associated that kind of shaving with kinkiness and felt that his request was either that or an affront to my personal hygiene, especially since I’d never heard of “good girls” doing such things.”
- “I’ve only let him do it once. Surprisingly I had an orgasm but I just can’t bring myself to let him down there.”
- “It can be hard to receive, even if you feel okay about your body.”
Many women said extremely positive things about receiving oral sex, referring to the quality of orgasm and the level of intimacy. A few women expressed their sadness about the fact that their husbands rarely or never performed oral sex on them.
What’s our problem?
I was struck by the number of women who said that while oral sex feels good and leads to orgasm, they just aren’t comfortable receiving it. Why, if something feels good, do we reject it?
For years, I wasn’t comfortable receiving oral sex. I was concerned about the smell/taste. And, because I do aim for transparency here, I admit that it wasn’t all about my female smell. After having children, I had quite a few years when my bladder just wasn’t too reliable so concern about urine was added on top of that. (Sorry, guys, I know that probably gets a “gross” out of you, but several women mentioned this in the survey and a few of my real-life friends, too.) Even if I washed myself beforehand, I was worried that my husband would smell or taste something unpleasant.
I was also very uncomfortable with the idea of a sexual act being just about me. During intercourse, my husband would be experiencing his own arousal, which I figured would distract him from the sights and sounds of me. When he would try to perform oral sex on me, I was the center of attention. He would see and hear everything and wouldn’t be distracted by his own feelings of sexual stimulation. I was uncomfortable with my own sexual response, and when I receive oral sex, my response is front and center. I’m naked in more than one way.
Body image, concerns about smell/taste, and being self-conscious interfered with my willingness and ability to experience a great pleasure. I was still operating under the idea that sex was more for my husband than for me, and oral sex for me didn’t fit with this view. I’m not comfortable being the center of attention, and it was hard for me to simply accept my husband’s attention without worrying about what I would have to do in return or that I might embarrass myself.
I rejected my husband’s blessing because I was too wrapped up in my own issues. I didn’t allow myself to think of my own pleasure during sex.
I wasn’t alone, either. One woman wrote this:
I struggled for years with body image issues, which always caused sex, especially oral sex (received) to be tense, not pleasurable. One day after having a conversation with my husband about how I felt about my weight, changes after having children, he said he really wished I would let it all go, he loved my body and accepted me just as I am…. I finally released myself of years of torture, I now love sex, all of it like never before. I saw so many more flaws than he ever saw.
Quite a few women wrote about being self-conscious, not being able to relax, thinking that sexual activity needed to be mutually pleasurable and not just about her, and so on. They were uncomfortable with their own sexuality and sexual responses
Our discomfort with our own sexual response gets in the way of experiencing great pleasure.
I like to think that I am comfortable now—yet I still have struggled to bring myself to write a post in which I admit that I enjoy receiving oral sex. See that? Even the word “admit” makes it sound like I’m confessing a dirty secret. As comfortable as I truly am with my own sexuality when I’m with my husband, I apparently still have a remnant of the sexual reluctance that kept me from accepting my husband’s oral blessing for so many years.
Are you comfortable with your own sexuality and sexual response? Have you let that interfere with receiving and enjoying sexual pleasure from your husband, especially oral sex?
Upcoming posts (which I hope I won’t take so long to write) will show us some insight into our husbands’ minds and hearts. One will be just about the smell/taste, and another will be about why so many of our husbands absolutely love giving us oral sex.
What finally changed my mind?
A few years ago, my husband was one of the adult leaders at a week-long camp. One night, he and the other leaders (mostly other dads) were sitting around the campfire, eating pretzels and cherries. My husband, not even thinking, put a cherry stem in his mouth and tied a knot in it—with his tongue. The two moms who were there said, “Wow. Chris is a lucky woman.”
When the women told me this story later, in my husband’s presence, I could see the look of envy on their faces. And I saw a sadness in my husband’s eyes that I didn’t care what he could do with his tongue. It occurred to me that my husband had a talent that I didn’t fully appreciate. I decided to give it another try.
They were right. I discovered that I am a very blessed woman indeed.
Let my beloved come to his garden,
and eat its choicest fruits. Song of Solomon 4:16
Other Posts on Oral Sex for Her
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