Oral sex is a super common activity for people of all genders, sexual orientations, and ages. According to a 2016 survey in the UK, somewhere between 67-80% of people report having had oral in the last year. But just because something is common, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to talk about. Indeed, we have millennia of unfair and frankly mind-boggling stigma against oral sex. On top of the oral sex stigma, it can also be difficult to start a conversation about a new sex toy or bedroom product.
If you think Lorals can benefit you or your partner, the first step is having a conversation. Here are a few tips for introducing Lorals to your partner and your sex life, with the goal of helping you and your partner get even closer (emotionally and physically).
Setting the Stage for an Easy Conversation
Before you dive in, make sure you're in the right headspace to have a lighthearted, productive conversation. Here are some tips.
Have the conversation in a non-sexual situation, outside of the bedroom.
When the time comes, keep the convo light and casual. “Yes, it may be an awkward and uncomfortable conversation, but it’ll be less awkward than having this conversation when your vulva or penis is in someone’s face,” says sexpert and Big Dick Energy (BDE) coach, Rachael Z. “Be sure to share your ‘why.’ For example, your partner may not know that oral helps you have better orgasms,” Z continues. “It’s totally OK if your why is because it feels good. Ditch the shame that surrounds oral!”
Come from a place of positivity.
The last thing you want to do is upset your partner or make them feel like they’re no longer good enough or can’t handle your sexual needs. Make sure they know that you love having sex with them and see this as an opportunity to connect more deeply with them. “Whenever there is a disconnect between what partners want sexually, it can be frustrating and disappointing,” says Sarah Melancon, Ph.D., clinical sexologist, and sexuality and relationships expert for SexToyCollective.com. “But it’s equally an opportunity for understanding oneself and one another more deeply.”
If in-person conversations are too stressful, try text or email instead.
"If you are uncomfortable with face-to-face communication, using asynchronous forms of communication is useful. Try texting, emailing, or writing a letter to your partner to let them know your feelings” says Rebecca E. Blanton, Ph.D., (aka Auntie Vice), and BDSM performer. This can be especially helpful if you or your partner are neurodivergent and need time to process and plan a response.
What to Say During the Conversation
So what do you say, once you're ready to talk with your partner? That might depend on whether you're a giver or a receiver, and whether you or your partner is hesitant about oral.
No matter whether you're the giver or receiver, an easy conversation starter can always be, “This is interesting!” Share a link to an article, a TikTok, or an Instagram post about Lorals with your partner, along with a neutral, open-ended phrase (as opposed to something like “Isn’t this cool?”). Saying something open-ended begins the conversation in a non-judgmental, hypothetical sense. Once you both feel more comfortable with the hypothetical idea of Lorals, you can expand into the different ways Lorals would help in your own sex lives.
For receivers who want more oral but hesitate about receiving
Most of us have turned down oral for some reason or another. Lorals' data show that 87% of women have foregone oral pleasure for a variety of reasons: sensitivity, shyness, worries about period messes, stress related to trauma, concerns about scent or taste, a partner's scratchy facial hair, and more. But we all deserve to experience the pleasure our bodies are capable of, and the likelihood is that your partner genuinely wants to make you feel good.
There are hundreds of reasons why an individual may turn down oral sex (when they really want to say YES). If you find yourself nodding in agreement or you resonate with one or more of the above reasons, Lorals are here to help you feel more comfortable and confident during oral.
Here’s a sample dialogue you can use the next time the occasion arises: “You know how sometimes when you try to go down on me I wave it off or suggest some other type of sex? I really like oral and love when you make me come, but sometimes I’m worried about X and it takes me out of the moment because I’m thinking about Y…But I really love it when you do go down on me, and I’d love to do it more often. I found these undies designed to be worn during oral, they’re super thin and sexy. I’d love to try them with you next time if you’re comfortable with that.”
For receivers who want more oral but have a hesitant partner
We talk a lot about people feeling uncomfortable with receiving oral, but many people also experience sensory issues like aversion to certain textures, tastes, or scents that can make giving oral uncomfortable as well. But that doesn't mean they don't also love bringing their partners pleasure and making them feel good; it’s just a difference in preference. Meanwhile, there are so many ways to explore oral so you both enjoy it.
“Find out why they are uncomfortable,” says Blanton. “Are they unsure of what they need to do? Are you being too forceful (e.g. holding their head down, shouting commands, etc.)? Do they feel 'squidgy' about bodily fluids? Is it that your partner has an issue with odor or taste? The solution may be as simple as finding a new physical position that’s more comfortable for them.”
If your partner is uncomfortable giving oral, try having an open, non-judgmental conversation with them. Here is a bit of dialogue you can use as a jumping-off point: “So, I know we’ve talked a bit about oral before, and you expressed that a big part of why you don’t like to do it is X. I came across something new: ultra-thin latex undies specifically designed to wear during oral. They block fluids but are super thin so we can feel everything through them. I’d love to try them with you if you’re up for it!”
For givers who want to give more oral but have a partner hesitant about receiving
As we mentioned above, people turn down oral for many reasons including discomfort, sensitivity, shyness, self-consciousness, and trauma. Any reason is valid, and it may take your partner some time to get comfortable (or oral might always be out of the question).
“Receiving oral sex can feel very exposed and vulnerable,” adds Blanton. “For people who have experienced trauma (especially sexual trauma), their own body can be an unsafe place. This can make oral sex challenging or sometimes impossible,” Blanton continues. “With all of these issues, communication is the key."
Putting the option on the table is a great way to set the tone for additional conversations.
Here’s some sample dialogue you can use the next time you’re in the mood to talk to your partner about exploring oral sex: “It seems like you might be a bit uncomfortable with receiving oral, and I want you to know that I would love to give you more pleasure if you decide that's what you want. I found these undies that are designed to be worn during oral sex. They’re made of super-thin black latex so they give you some coverage, but let you feel all of the sensations through them. If, or when, you’re comfortable, I’d love to try them out with you.”
You could also start by saying: “I really love going down on you and I want to make you feel good. I love how much fun we have with sex and I’d love to explore a bit more if you’re open to it,” and then describe Lorals.
For givers who hesitate about giving oral
A lot of people really love pleasuring their partners but have hesitations about giving oral.
Everything from sensory issues like scent, taste, or texture, to an intense dislike of fluids, can stop people from wanting to go down. Sometimes, the fear of not being able to make their partner climax gets in the way. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our own heads, making it hard to let go and enjoy the experience.
If any of the scenarios above sound familiar, here’s some dialogue you can use with your partner when you’re talking about oral: “Hey, I found this new product I’d love to try out — they’re latex undies you wear during oral and I think they’d look SO hot on you. I really love making you come, but sometimes I’m not super comfortable with oral, so these would be a fun way for us to explore more together. Is this something you’d be interested in trying with me?”
For givers or receivers who are concerned about STIs
Just like other forms of sex, oral has STI risks. In fact, most of the common STIs we're taught about in school are also transmissible through oral. What sucks even more (and not in a good way), is that a large percentage of people with STIs are asymptomatic — which means they’ll have no idea that they’re infected until they’re tested and receive a positive diagnosis.
For example, herpes (aka cold sores) is extremely common, with 60-80% of Americans having oral herpes (HSV-1), and it’s estimated that 90% of new cases of genital herpes are transmitted via oral sex.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is another super common STI that can be transmitted via oral sex. “HPV is related to increasing rates of oral pharyngeal cancer and people are acquiring that infection through oral sex,” Ned Hook, MD, an expert on sexually transmitted infections.
The best way to stay safe during oral is by using a barrier method. In the past the only option was a dental dam, which had to be awkwardly held in place over the vulva or anus, but with Lorals for Protection you get handsfree, wearable protection that fits like silky, sexy lingerie. Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, director of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told the New York Times that Lorals have “basically eroticized protection”...so now you and your partner can have safe, full-sensation pleasure whenever you want.
If you’re worried that you or your partner are at risk for STIs, here is an example of how you can start the conversation: “I always use STI protection during sex, and for oral I love using Lorals. They’re super cute latex undies, and they’re so thin and stretchy that you feel everything through them. I’d love to use them with you too.”
If you already know that you have an STI and want to talk to your partner about using protection during oral, here’s a great way to start: “I want to be upfront and let you know that I do have X, and it can be transmitted during oral so I use protection. I really love these ultra-thin latex undies called Lorals, they fit like cute underwear and you can feel everything through them but they protect against STIs. I’d love to use them with you.”
The Bottom Line
Talking about sex of any kind can be a bit uncomfortable, especially if you’re trying to explain why you like or don’t like something in particular. But in the end, it’s the tough conversations that’ll get you and your partner on the road to a stronger relationship and a more pleasurable sex life. Hopefully, Lorals can help make oral easier and even more pleasurable for you both!
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 certified sex and intimacy educator with 10 years of experience designing and marketing intimate wellness and pleasure products.