Lorals

All About Cunnilingus

All About Cunnilingus

If you’ve ever found yourself typing out the words “what to do during oral” or “how to eat pussy,” you’re not alone. (Wanna know a fun fact? That exact phrase is Googled approximately 74,000 times per month.) Cunnilingus is a seemingly elusive sex act, and performing (or receiving) can feel a bit intimidating, especially if it’s your first time. But, here’s the good news: there’s no need to be nervous, because we’ve compiled everything you need to know about cunnilingus. 

What Is Cunnilingus? 

Before we go any further, let’s get a few definitions out of the way. Cunnilingus is an oral sex act that’s performed on a person with a vulva. The vulva consists of the labia majora, the labia minora, clitoris, vestibule of the vagina, bulb of the vestibule, and the Bartholin glands. It’s the external part of the female genitalia. And while the vulva is separate from the vagina (the internal portion of the genitals), they can both be in play during cunnilingus.

Even with its badass definition, most people don’t use the term “cunnilingus” in everyday conversation. Instead, they may refer to the act as eating pussy, eating box, going down, licking the bean, jewel munching, or eating out.

The Vulva in All Its Greatness  

When it comes to oral sex, there are a number of ways to stimulate your partner and bring them to orgasm. For people with a vulva, the clitoris is particularly important — you can think of it as the pleasure center of the vulva. (It literally has no other purpose than to make your partner feel good!) 


Anatomical diagram of the vulva

The clitoris is A LOT larger than you might think. The part you can see, the glans clitoris, is located underneath the point where the inner labia meet (that little bit of skin is known as the clitoral hood). The rest of the clitoris (surprise!) extends below the labia and around the vaginal entrance, and even deeper into the pelvic area. There is even a theory that what we know as the G-spot is actually just the backside of the clitoris. Yeah, it’s much larger than people think. It’s about the size of a halved avocado, so keep that in mind while you’re tonguing around down there...and make sure to expand your search radius. 

The clitoris extends far beyond just the glans

“Studies have shown that only one-third of all vulva-owners can reach orgasm easily through intercourse, which makes oral sex and masturbation two very good options for sending a woman over the edge,” says Katie Lasson, a clinical sexologist and relationship advisor for Peaches and Screams

Is Cunnilingus Safe? 

While it’s impossible to become pregnant from cunnilingus alone, there’s still a risk of catching or passing on a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or sexually transmitted disease (STD), including HPV, herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. 

The best way to reduce your risk of contracting an STI or STD from cunnilingus is to use a dental dam or another FDA-approved barrier method (or to abstain from oral sex entirely). 

Lorals is currently working on getting FDA clearance for our products as STD and STI protection devices. Until then, Lorals should not be used for this purpose. 

How to Perform Cunnilingus (AKA How to Eat Pussy Like a Pro) 

Oral sex is 3x more likely to lead to orgasm than penetration for women

There is no one answer for performing cunnilingus successfully. Why? Because everyone is different and what works for one individual may not work for another. There are, however, things you can do to intensify your partner’s orgasm. 

“Techniques that women enjoy will always vary from person to person,” says Lasson. “The most important thing, as always, is to communicate with your partner; invite them to keep up a stream of responses such as: ‘left a bit, right, harder, softer, etc.,’” Lasson adds. “As long as they’re enjoying themselves, this can be very sexy and exciting as their pleasure builds.”

With that being said, here are a few tips and techniques on how to eat pussy like a pro: 

Ask what they like during oral

Start sex with a sexy conversation

Ha! You thought we’d just jump right into the juicy stuff, didn’t you? Well, consent and communication come first. Have a conversation with your partner long before the clothes come off about what they like, what their best orgasm was like, how they got there, and how you can recreate that with your mouth. Be sure to keep that convo going as you go down and around. Encourage them to talk to you and to move their hips when it’s going well. You could even ask them to moan to let you know you’ve got the right place or if you’re both game they can hold onto your head or hair to guide you to the right spot. Start the conversation early and keep it going.

Explore the terrain

Explore the entire area, there are so many pleasurable spots beyond the glans clitoris

Now we’re into the down and dirty (or delicious, as we prefer to say). Lick from the base of the vaginal opening up to the clitoris. Repeat this movement, using your tongue to explore your partner’s lips (aka the labia) and vaginal opening. Remember that the clitoris extends down and around the vaginal opening, so there’s huge opportunities for new sensations. 

You can include your partner’s anus if you’re into ass play; just don’t switch back to the vulva once you’ve gone to the back, because bacteria can transfer and cause issues. Lorals are a great way to be able to explore the full terrain without having to worry about spreading bacteria; they’re sexy latex panties that can be worn during oral sex and rimming that allow you to try out new experiences like anal play without having to worry about poop. Generally if you go for the butt, you don’t want to then switch back to the front, but since Lorals give you full coverage of both the vulva and the butt you don’t have the risk of transferring bacteria and causing infections or UTIs. So you can switch with wild abandon!

Spread ‘em

Use your fingers to spread the labia for easier access

Spread your partner’s lips so that the glans clitoris and the vestibule are exposed and you have full access. Lightly flick your tongue over the area and experiment with light and firm strokes. Using your fingers in the shape of a V, you can hold their labia in place, spreading and lightly scrunching them together to experiment with just how much tension they enjoy while your mouth is on them. This technique also allows you to suck their clit fully into your mouth (gently, no teeth unless they ask) while you lick and suck. Don’t worry if you drool a bit, slippery can be nice. 

Use your fingers and explore

Use your hand and fingers to explore and find all the sweet spots

The clit is a hotspot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore the rest of your partner’s body. Use this time to wander around your partner’s labia with your tongue; gently slide one finger (or two) inside while you continue to lick away. Use your thumbs and index finger to firmly stroke their labia, the crease of their legs, and pubic hair. Make sure you’re finding all those other little spots that make your partner squirm — remember the clit is much larger and more sensitive than you think.

Flatten down the hatches

Flatten your tongue like you're eating ice cream for full coverage

Flatten your tongue and use wide, slow strokes. This way, you’re getting full coverage across the vulva and touching as much as you can, meaning you can start to pinpoint the areas your partner likes best — then, increase the speed. If it helps, imagine that you’re licking an ice cream cone. 

Watch closely 

Pay attention, but maybe a little sexier

Remember to pay attention to your partner’s body language and verbal cues. Are they tilting their hips towards or away from your lips? What are they doing with their hands? Try to take their clues in and follow the rhythm of their body. And make sure you talk about it afterward. Otherwise, how will you lock down the perfect tongue game?

If you’re the one receiving oral, move your hips, grab their hands (or their hair if they’re licking in the wrong spot), and engage with your partner while they’re pleasuring you. Show them physically that you’re enjoying yourself.

Try a vibe 

Add a little oomph to your oral game with a vibrator

You can also add a vibrator or a clitoral sucking toy to the mix while your mouth is occupied elsewhere for a toe-clenching orgasm. They’re especially great if you’re occupied with rimming your partner but would like to feel them squirm in every direction from the 360-degree stimulation. If either of you are uncomfortable bringing toys into the bedroom just yet, start the conversation in a non sexual situation and gradually work your way up to it. 

Consistency is key

Once you've found the right spot and movement, stay there

Once you’ve found just the right spot, stay there. Tongue cramps be damned! When you find something that’s working, keep the same speed, rhythm, and pressure until they’re exploding above you. Trust us, you don’t want to get your partner revved up only to stop just short of the finish line.

Maintain smoldering eye contact 

Make sure they know you're enjoying each and every second

Lock eyes with your partner to make the moment more intimate. But please don’t do this in a psycho-esque way. Just look up every now and again to let your partner know that you care and are enjoying pleasuring them. 

Get vocal

Go on, get loud and moan

Speaking of pleasure, if you’re the one receiving oral, make sure you’re giving your partner all the positive reinforcement you can when they find a good spot. And if they haven’t yet, feel free to give a little instruction. If you’re the one going down, you may want to consider making some noise yourself. Moaning against your partner’s body may send an ooh-aah sensation on their vulva. Plus, moaning is just super-hot to hear, regardless of your role in the pleasuring. 

What about…?

Oral sex can be intimidating, especially if you’re a first-timer (and even if you’re not!). If you still have a few burning (seemingly embarrassing...but really not!) questions, we’ve got the answers. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions, and their corresponding answers, about giving and receiving oral sex. 

What if I’m worried about how I taste? 

Vaginas and vulvas have natural flavors, don't stress

Easier said than done, but really, don’t worry about how you taste! 

“It's normal to feel insecure about these things but here's the thing: bodies (including vulvas) have their own ecosystems of bacteria that determine how they smell and taste,” says Tara Struyk, the co-founder of Kinkly.com and Kinkly Shop. “That's just part of being human. For your partner, that's just part of having sex with another human. If they give you grief about it, maybe they aren't such a fun person to sleep with?” 

But we all know that there are just times where we’re self-conscious or we’ve just exercised or haven't had time to shower but are so, so horny. Similarly, your partner can be all about using your thighs as earmuffs, but just not be feeling the fluids that day. Lorals are perfect for those days when you absolutely want their mouth on your V but want a little bit of a barrier between their face and your body. We’re all working on loving every part of our bodies, but sometimes we just want to ride someone's face without stressing.

If you’re adamant about finding a way to make your vagina taste different, here are a few tips to keep in mind: 

  1. Avoid strong foods. Spicy food, asparagus, and highly-seasoned foods may cause body odor.
  2. Ditch the cigarettes and the booze. Tobacco and alcohol can impact body odor and sweat, making the area taste metallic, bitter, or sour. 
  3. Stay hydrated. When you’re dehydrated you may notice that your urine smells a bit stronger than usual. To avoid this, be sure to drink plenty of water. 

“That said, there are some things that have been shown to affect odor and taste, most of which are a good idea for your general health,” adds Struyk. “These include limiting processed foods, eating probiotic foods like yogurt, and drinking plenty of water. There is also some evidence that limiting garlic and onions, dairy and red meat may also affect vaginal odor. That said, even the very healthiest vagina still tastes and smells like a vagina.”

What about the smell?

Your vagina should not smell like flowers

You can scrub yourself raw and still have some type of odor down there. That’s because you’re human and it’s natural! “Genitals all have their own unique smell,” says Kate Balestrieri, a licensed psychologist, certified sex therapist, PACT therapist, and the founder of Modern Intimacy. “If you’re worried about odor, a quick shower with soap and water can help you feel ready for oral sex after menstruation, a good workout, or a long day at work.”  

Gently spread your lips apart and clean around the folds with your hands or a washcloth. Soap is not necessary but if you do use it, make sure it’s mild, unscented, and formulated for intimate areas. Remember to avoid getting soap or water inside of your vaginal canal, which can lead to a bacterial imbalance resulting in BV or a yeast infection.

If you’re not close to a shower or want to get right to it, Lorals are a great way to feel a little more comfortable when you’re just getting started with oral sex or are having a particularly sweaty or bloody day. They’re made of ultra-thin, vanilla-scented rubber latex and are designed to fully cover the vulva and the anus so your partner can get right up in there without the worry of smells and tastes. 

What if I’m on my period? 

Periods are natural, and period sex is too

Let’s get something straight: periods are a normal part of life. Having your period is NATURAL and there's no reason to be ashamed to talk about it, especially with your partner. As long as the two of you are OK with it, it’s fine to engage in oral sex while you’re on your period.  

And if you’re not quite comfortable with the menses-mouth contact, Lorals give an extra layer of reassurance that there will be no mess or chance of blood getting into your partner’s mouth. 

Just in case you need convincing, here are three benefits of having oral sex on your period: 

  1. Orgasms may help to relieve menstrual cramping. During orgasm, your body releases a rush of dopamine and serotonin (those feel-good hormones) which are like the body’s natural pain relievers. 
  2. Orgasms may make your period shorter. When you orgasm, your uterus, and cervix contract. Because the uterine lining sheds during menstruation, it’s possible that having one or multiple orgasms may help to speed up the process. 
  3. Your menstrual cycle can increase your sex drive. Some people are hornier on their period, it’s just facts. 

When it comes to oral, things can get a bit messy. (But that’s totally OK and expected.) As long as you and your partner are consenting adults and have communicated beforehand, you’re free to let loose and have fun with it! 

 

Written by Tabitha Britt, a freelance writer and editor. She's also the founding-editor-in-chief of DO YOU ENDO, the first (and only) no-BS digital magazine for individuals with endometriosis by individuals with endometriosis in the US. You can find her byline in a variety of publications including Insider, Medical News Today, and Kinkly. 

Reviewed and Edited by Sarah Brown, a sex and intimacy educator with 10 years of experience designing and marketing intimate wellness and pleasure products.

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