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If Your Man Sucks At Oral Sex, This Is Probably Why

It is every woman's right to get some good head. If you're not, this could be the reason.

Sex

I'm a fan of oral sex. In fact, when I randomly have a discussion with someone who isn't, my eyes get wide, my mouth drops open, and I find myself being something that I rarely am—silent. What in the world? I mean, like really, how can you not thoroughly enjoy being on both the giving as well as the receiving end of oral?! That doesn't mean I don't have moments when I wonder where the practice of fellatio and cunnilingus came from, though. Oh, you too? I did some research, and this is what I discovered.

It would seem that, back in the day, if a man noticed that other men were interested in his lady, he would go down on her as a way to keep her from cheating. How far back in the day? Well, one article I read actually used the word "ancestors" so yeah, that's pretty far back. Do you know what tripped me out about that? It didn't say that women gave head in order to keep their man from cheating; it said that men went down on women. Who knew that it's very possible we were on the receiving end of oral sex—first? Today's society definitely doesn't make it appear that way. SMDH.

Anyway, there's that little pearl of insight.

I also read a psych study that confirmed what most of us already know—men typically have no problem climaxing from intercourse, while it's (much) easier for us to do it via oral sex. Then, when you add to the fact it also stated, "While 85 percent of men reported their partner had an orgasm during their most recent sexual activity, only 64 percent of women reported having had an orgasm," I said to myself, "All of this points to the fact that cunnilingus is king." Well, queen.

I immediately followed that up with the thought that, sadly, I know some people who say their man sucks at it. (Pun intended and not intended, if you catch my drift.) And, what are they doing about it? Laying down and taking it. And not in a good way.

If this is you, it's time to break free. It is my personal belief that no man is bad at oral sex "just because." There is a clear reason. Knowing what it is could be what points you in the direction of finding out how you can semi-quickly resolve the matter so you can be a huge fan of (receiving) oral sex, too.

He’s Selfish

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If there are two things I loathe, it's a liar and a selfish person. There's no time to get into the whole lying thing, but let's unpack selfishness a little bit, shall we? When someone is selfish, they are self-consumed. Everything they do—or don't do—at the end of the day, is all about what they want (or don't want). If other people have to suffer in the process, so be it. On the sexual tip, I refer to these kinds of people as "Celie Sex" (you know, like the kind of sex that Celie in the movie The Color Purple had). And yes, some men suck at oral sex because they are very much just a selfish individual. Now selfishness can manifest in a few ways. He may not do it at all because he's selfish. He may only do it every once in a while because he's selfish. Or, he might do it the way he thinks that it should be done rather than how you want it to be done—again, because he is selfish (and an ego maniac).

The main problem with this particular reason is, a lot of the time, whatever is (or isn't) transpiring in the bedroom, points to whatever is (or isn't) happening in the other rooms of the house as well. What I mean by that is, if you're with someone who is sexually selfish, he's probably relationally selfish, too. I ain't gonna tell you what you need to do about that because each situation is different (especially if you're married). What I will say is don't chalk up a sexually selfish man to only being that way sexually. Chances are, you are being deprived in some other ways too and that definitely should not be ignored. Not one minute more.

He Hasn’t “Reprogrammed” His Mind

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I actually know quite a few virgins, and something I tell them often is a blessing that comes with waiting until marriage is you don't have anyone to compare your partner to. One wife I know, who was a virgin (along with her husband) on her wedding day, once said to me, "I don't know if [he] is good in bed or not. He's all I know, so he's good to me." Indeed. But for the rest of us who didn't take that path in life, we've probably got somewhat of a roster and a really good memory. Same goes for the men that we choose to sleep with. And since every woman—including her vagina and clitoris—is different, so what worked for the women in his past may not be what works for the woman of his present.

This reality means that he might need a little reprogramming. If this is the case, be open to becoming his loving and patient instructor. Walk him through what pleases you and what doesn't. Only a sexual narcissist (or a really insecure man, which is one and the same, to a certain extent) would resent you for doing so. Oh, and since you've got a sexual past as well, be open to him doing the same for you. Oral sex is not a "one technique fits all" type of experience. It definitely has to be customized.

He’s Totally Oblivious to Your Cues

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I'm a doula, and one of my clients was like the ultimate superhero during labor. She barely made any sounds at all; she would just hum through her contractions (and squeeze the heck out of my hand). What's crazy is that she rocked like a champ, with no epidural, until she was nine centimeters. Then she had to get one because she was so focused on "handling her contractions" that her pelvis wasn't opening up and her blood pressure was skyrocketing. Right as she was about to get to 10, she actually needed the epidural in order to relax.

My point? Some guys suck at oral sex for similar reasons. They are so into what they are doing that they don't even notice what our body language and the sounds we are making are actually conveying to them. If this is what you think is going on with your man, don't have a deep talk while he's actually down there. The focus? Good. The end result? Not so good. If this is the issue, wait until the two of you are on the couch or just hanging out.

Let him know that you see the effort that he's putting in and you appreciate it, but you really need him to relax and concentrate more on you than his actions. If he's taught—and by taught, I mean you encourage him, not become a roaring dictator—how to pick up on your cues, I'm pretty confident that he could go from a C- to at least a B+ fairly quickly.

He Hates Doing It

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Ugh. The only thing worse than a selfish lover is one who hates to go down. Wait, there is actually something worse—a guy who expects you to do it, but he won't reciprocate. Grow all the way up, sir. The interesting thing about the word "hate" is, one definition of it is "unwilling." If your man is unwilling or if he performs oral in a way that conveys that he is barely tolerating it, don't let that slide. If you ask him "What's up?" and he tells you that it's something that he's never liked to do, ask him why. To tell you the truth, it could be a myriad of reasons. His past experiences have been subpar. The women he's done it to had poor hygiene. He was raised not to do it. His hypermasculinity is showing and he thinks that "the D" is all you need. He's not a big oral person, period (even when it comes to kissing). Whatever the case may be, knowing why can help you figure out how to go from there. Hmph. What I do know is if he wants to keep you around, he'll figure out how to compromise. If he doesn't, well…tell him that you would hate to lose him but…we'll holla.

You’re Not Providing the Right, Umm, Atmosphere

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Alright, all of my liberated sistahs out here. Yes, it is your vagina, and yes, you should be free to do whatever you want with it. But I recall when a wife once told me how disgruntled she was by her husband not going down on her often and him then telling me, "I don't want to put my face in a jungle. She needs to consider turning it into a golf course." For a while, she put up a fight. She was on the tip of, "It's my vagina. Deal with it." Uh-huh. But you're not the one who has to literally have your face down there; he does. So, this battle basically boils down to what Dr. Phil used to ask on a regular basis—"Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?" She eventually went with happy and mowed that "lawn" down. She got a lot more cunnilingus because of it, too.

Pubic hair length. The smell of a vagina. Whether or not to add a little flavor into the mix via flavored lubricant or something like blending cinnamon oil and coconut oil together. (Cinnamon has a natural sweetness to it that is totally bomb, by the way.) These are all things that can make or break an oral sex experience for a man.

Listen, there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking your partner about what he needs appearance- and even hygiene-wise (other than you washing it, of course; hopefully, you do that), in order to make going down on you more enjoyable. He's gonna see your va-jay-jay more than you ever will. It can only work in your favor to personalize things to his liking a bit.

Women in the Past Have Faked It

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I've shared before on this platform that an ex of mine used to say that faking orgasms is a form of witchcraft. It cracks me up every time I think back to that, although his reasoning behind saying it was actually pretty serious. According to him, a lot of women do it as a form of manipulation; they feel that if they can make their partner think they are sexually satisfied, they can get him to do all kinds of things that they want him to do. Hmm. We'll have to get into sexual manipulators (both male and female) at another time. One of the reasons I strongly discourage faking orgasms is because a guy can't learn if you are lying to him. And no matter what your motive or reason may be for faking sexual pleasure, being fake is deceptive.

A guy who is bad at oral sex, who sleeps with a woman who only acts like she is sexually fulfilled? I am not mad at him; I'm annoyed with her. He's only doing what he's been given the impression is working. The only way to turn this particular boat around is to stop lying and start being real.

You’re Not Speaking Up

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Closed mouths don't get fed. They don't get eaten well either.

A person should only be held accountable for what they know, not what they don't know. If you are spending more time internalizing your disappointment, venting to your girlfriends, or (worse) reminiscing about some ex who actually did know what he was doing rather than communicating with your partner, then that's your bad. I personally know a lot of good men but let me tell you what they don't spend a lot of time doing—trying to read their woman's mind. If your man is bad at oral sex, in a kind, approachable and productive way, convey that. I wouldn't advise you coming at him like, "Looka here, your head game is trash." Take more of the approach of, "I really love being with you. Can we try out some things in the oral sex department, though? I haven't cum yet, but I want to." If he's a good (and humble) man, he'll want you to, too. He'll want to do whatever will keep him from sucking…unless, of course, you want him to.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

Who Knew Oral Sex Has An Official Time Limit?

6 Oral Sex Positions That'll Elevate You Even When You're On Your Knees

What?! Only 35 Percent Of Men Go Down? Say It Ain't So.

10 Things You Didn't Know About The Male And Female Orgasm

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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