Second Opinion: What’s up with going down

consent“My boyfriend wont go down on me. Not because its not clean, he just has an aversion to it. I’ve done the same for him on multiple occasions, he doesn’t push it on me though because he knows he should reciprocate but doesnt. We tried flavored lube once but he hated it. Any suggestions?” – Anonymous

CB: Oh man. I don’t know how qualified I am to answer this question because — for real — I hate receiving oral sex. It gives me an anxiety attack and I lay there long enough to determine that I still don’t like it before calling it quits.  And I’ve been with guys who were, admittedly, incredibly good at it and I didn’t hate it, but at the same time I was like “this is not a wiener. This is not what I signed up for.”

I’ve never liked it, and this has made me the brunt of jokes more often than not in my life. But I’ll do my best, lady.

The first thing is this: flavored lube SUCKS. It’s bad for your lady parts (yeast infections and UTIs are a common side effect), it tastes horrible, and I am sure the texture of the gentle flower of your womanhood (am I a romance novelist now?) is not improved by slimy, awful tasting goop.

Also, it’s hard to get excited about a sex act when you feel “expected” to perform it. Maybe the two of you need to do some sweet exploring on a long weekend:  spend some time together trying new things and bonding on an intimate level. Shower together. Snuggle. Connect without sex and maybe he will want to head south on his own — or maybe you’ll discover it’s something you can live without. Either way, enjoy each other and don’t stress. Sex is supposed to be fun, and it’s never supposed to be unbalanced. Work together and find that balance.

DCA: This may be the former sexual assault victim advocate in me speaking but I take a pretty hard line with stuff like this. What it sounds like is you’re asking us for ways to talk your manfriend into a sex act he’s not comfortable with. If he doesn’t want to put his mouth (or any other organ) on your parts, that’s okay. That’s a boundary that he has made, it’s not something he’s comfortable with and it really doesn’t matter what the reasoning is. He’s just not into it. It’s important to respect that boundary.

If this particular sex act is something you cannot live without in a relationship you may have to consider finding another partner that is a willing and enthusiastic participant. The truth is, our love for a person doesn’t mean we are owed certain sexual privileges. You say he “knows he should reciprocate” but that just means he knows there is an expectation of something.

The real, honest to goodness, best advice I can give you is to evaluate how important this particular aspect of your relationship is. CB gives some great examples on ways to foster intimacy without pushing this particular thing. If the only way you’ll achieve sexual satisfaction is through oral sex, it may be time to move on from your current relationship. Or to explore other ways to get your kicks in ways that your partner is comfortable with. Sexual exploration is fun! There’s all kinds of toys and videos and fancy new mechanisms that can help achieve your goals without putting your partner in a position that makes him uncomfortable.

There are many reasons why a person may not be comfortable with performing oral sex. Or receiving it for that matter. (Previous sexual trauma, self consciousness of their abilities or sex organs, a general “icky” feeling that has nothing to do with cleanliness, etc.) As CB mentioned she’s not a fan of it on the receiving end, and I’ve had male partners who don’t enjoy receiving it either. Everyone gets their kicks from different things. What works for one person may not flip the switch for another.

Basically, you want your partner to be into whatever they are doing with or for you. If you feel like you have to coerce, convince or contrive a scenario where they will be “willing” then you’ve violated a boundary.

Remember: consent means they are an active, aware, willing (and hopefully enthusiastic ) participant in every aspect of the sexual experience. This does not matter if it’s heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, barsexual, any kind of sexual encounter.

ask firstI am a huge fan of enthusiastic consent. I want my partner to be screaming YES YES YES every step of the way instead of doing something out of obligation, fear or a misplaced sense of duty. If him going down on you isn’t something he’s chomping at the bit (no pun intended) to get down to (pun totally intended) then find something else he’s super into. Aim for “oh god, yes!” instead of “okay, I guess.”

My favorite explanation of enthusiastic consent and consent in general is from Scarleteen. Read it here.

(Disclosure: I worked for Standing Together Against Rape as a Direct Support Advocate, if any of our readers ever have questions about consent or sexual assault I urge you to call STAR’s 24 hour crisis line at 907 276 7273.)

And now a shameless plug! Come to the Second Annual Survivors Ball at Mad Myrna’s this weekend. Co-sponsored by Mad Myrna’s and STAR with proceeds benefiting STAR services.

Colleen and I will both be there and are more than happy to talk to you about all your sexy time questions.

Daniella Cortez

About Daniella Cortez

Entertainment editor and your gal about town. Doing my best to bring you the highs and lows of Anchorage's arts and entertainment scene.

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