Home Sexual Pleasure Cunnilingus: A Shameless Guide

Cunnilingus: A Shameless Guide

0
Cunnilingus: A Shameless Guide
Listen to this article

Eating out. Going down. Oral sex. Carpet munching. Mustache riding. Pussy eating. Giving head. Muff diving. Tipping the Velvet. No matter what you call it – cunnilingus is having a moment right now. And there are so many reasons for that.

Let’s go on a shameless journey to explore cunnilingus.

What Is Cunnilingus?

The short answer is: oral sex on a woman. Cunnilingus techniques are all about using the mouth and tongue, licking and sucking to give sensation to a partner’s vulva.

The word is even derived from the Latin words for the vulva (cunnus) and the verb “to lick” (lingō).

Let’s Talk About the Basics

It’s important to note that colloquially, society refers to the whole genital area of a woman as the “vagina”. In fact however, the correct anatomical word for the whole genital area is “vulva”. Everything you can see externally is the vulva. Every vulva is different in size, color, taste, and smell. All vulvas are normal. 

When you get down there, what are you gonna see? Top to bottom, here’s what to expect:

If you slide your hand from your partner’s belly button down towards the vulva, the first area you encounter is the mons pubis, where the pubic hair begins.

Next you can see the inner and outer labia – also known as the “lips”- which frame the vagina. Towards the top, where the labia meet, is where the wonderfully sensitive clitoris is, protected by a fold called the clitoral hood. 

Why Cunnilingus Is Great

Cunnilingus can elevate arousal in ways other types of sexual stimulation cannot. Intimacy and physical sensation combine for a deeply pleasurable experience. As you practice cunnilingus, you have an opportunity to become more deeply connected and attuned to your partner and their needs. 

The power of cunnilingus really makes it more than foreplay – it can easily be the main event. Studies have shown that women orgasm primarily through clitoral stimulation.

Cunnilingus can also take the pressure off penis performance. There is so much anxiety around sexual acts, that knowing how to perform cunnilingus can greatly expand your sexual menu options.

Women who have given birth recently, experience vaginismus, or who simply don’t enjoy penetration also benefit from a partner who knows how to go down. 

How to go down on a woman

Nervous About Receiving Cunnilingus?  

For ages, women have endured negative messaging through cultural and social stigmas that they don’t deserve pleasure. This can lead to an intense sense of guilt around sex. Too frequently, this results in anxieties about being perceived as selfish, or feeling self-conscious about taking too long to orgasm. 

For the record: the average time to climax is 20-45 minutes. This of course depends on the amount of stimulation prior to oral sex, stress levels, medications, and other factors. Someone may be distracted by worrying about how they look, smell, taste, feel, etc.

As the giver of cunnilingus, you should offer plenty of affirmations – such as “I love being between your legs” or “You taste amazing.” An abundance of genuine compliments while beginning oral sex can really help ease anxiety. You want the receiver to be fully present and enthusiastic about receiving pleasure. 

How to Perform Cunnilingus 

So – how do you perform cunnilingus, exactly? To start, it’s okay to feel nervous, or be worried about your “performance.” It shows you care. Of course you want to please your partner!

Take these feelings and direct them towards communication and attentiveness to your partner. Don’t worry about being goal-oriented by only focusing on orgasms and self-imposed time limits. Consider talking with your partner beforehand, asking them what they are into, or what they don’t like. Thinking about what you might like for the experience is helpful as well. You can even watch your partner touch themselves to observe the movements and pressure they prefer.

As the cunnilingus giver you can help your partner stay grounded by connecting with them and providing affirmations. Communication and cooperative exploration can lead to the experience being about pleasure and connection rather than “succeeding.” This perspective is a helpful mindset for sex in general!

Hot Cunnilingus Tips 

Some common question around cunnilingus: what are some great oral sex tips for men? How do I go down on a girl? Should I use toys? How do I give her the best experience? Do I make noises or talk before and during?

It’s important to start slow and be thoughtful about the setting. Become comfortable, sink into the experience. Think of your environment. Do you need pillows for positioning? Socks on? A massage beforehand? Maybe some music? How can you collaborate on an environment for heightened pleasure and comfort? Create a safe zone, a bubble, for your mutual experience. 

Perhaps your partner would like to be propped up with pillows to watch the show. Or would they rather be blindfolded in order to immerse themselves fully in the experience? 

The receiver should fully focus on receiving, not any type of performance. Utilize vocalizations to help channel your pleasure, while also signaling to your partner which sensations are most desirable. If needed, redirect the focus where you want it with phrases such as “I would love…”, “it would feel amazing if…”

Reassure your partner via your own communication style. Let them know if you go silent when you are really enjoying yourself, or the other way around. Communicating with your partner is always sexy. 

Cunnilingus Tips

Cunnilingus Techniques You Should Know

First of all: don’t go straight for the clitoris. Ever! 

There needs to be some warm up before clitoral stimulation. Try kissing erogenous zones such as ears, neck, hips, and the inner thighs. Once you’ve moved towards the vulva, the recommended method is to always start in the outer areas. Engage with the outer lips, then gradually move inward towards the more sensitive areas, such as the clit. Go slower than you think you should. You can also use your nose, lips, tongue, chin, whole face, and fingers to create stimulation and connection.

Begin with a soft flat tongue, using gentle movements before very gradually moving on to more focused pressure and a firmer tongue. Consider all the different ways you can use your tongue. Lapping with broad, long strokes. Licking with a more focused and a harder stroke. Flicking with full flexing strokes rapidly. 

Play around with a variety of motions and sensations, then pick one that your partner responds to and focus on it. Experiment together to find the rhythm, pressure, and position that works in the moment. When you find something that is exciting for your partner in the moment, stick with it! Don’t get excited and suddenly change your style in response to their arousal. Focusing on maintaining that steady rhythm that builds to orgasm. 

If you’re already a pro and are looking for new specific techniques to try, consider circular motions. Swirl your tongue around the clit, then try upwards motion from the bottom of the vulva towards the clitoris, in long or short strokes. Try playing the “This, or that?” game with your partner, alternating between one style and another. 

Sometimes it can be hard for the receiver to articulate what they want, but choosing between two sensations can be simpler. You can ask your partner to show you with their fingers what they like beforehand, and ask them to demonstrate the motions they enjoy (which is also super hot!). If you feel your partner pushing towards you, consider continuing what you are doing, or increasing pressure or speed. If you feel your partner pulling away, consider slowing down, decreasing pressure or moving to a new area. 

You can also use your hand to pull slightly on the mons pubis to create a little more tightness and tension in the vulva area. Lay your hand firmly on the pubic mound, and with a flat hand gently press the area towards the receiver’s navel. This can expose the receiver’s nerves more, and really heighten sensation. The giver can also moan while giving oral sex, which can create pleasurable vibrations on the vulva. 

Other types of stimulation can be used in concert with cunnilingus. Vibrators, finger penetration, fingers externally alongside tongue, massaging, squeezing the ass, anal stimulaiton, and nipple play can all be used in tandem with cunninglingus. When penetrating with fingers, try a “come hither” motion or a fluttering motion upwards towards the pubic mound (where the G-spot is located). You can also incorporate some suction using your lips while licking to heighten the sensation.

It’s important to remember that every person is different and has different bodies. Pay attention to the receiver’s body language and vocal cues more than anything. Some people need feather light licks while others will want a nice firm suck.

Cunnilingus positions

Popular Positions

There are several popular positions for cunnilingus. Try one – or try them all!

A basic and comfortable position is the giver lying on their stomach, with their head between the receiver’s thighs. The receiver is on their back with their legs spread. The giver can wrap their arms around the receiver’s thighs, which allows access for their hands to stroke, massage, graze, embrace, or stimulate the receiver’s erogenous zones. A pillow under the hips of the receiver can be very helpful for the neck comfort of the giver. The receiver can also try lying on the edge of the bed, with the giver kneeling on the floor in front of them.

The face-sitting position is also very popular. The receiver kneels over the face of the giver, their knees resting on either side of the giver’s head. They then lower themselves towards the waiting mouth. This allows the receiver to have some control over pressure and rhythm through hip movement and grinding. Having a headboard or some other support for the receiver to hold onto can provide some much-needed stability for this.

The classic 69 position allows a mix of control for each participant. You can engage in simultaneous stimulation, or just one person can be receiving. Before you offer 69, make sure you check with your partner if this will be arousing to them. 69 can be a multi-task and might make it unlikely that the woman will orgasm.

Are You Ready to Dive In?  

We hope this guide was a great starting point to your cunnilingus efforts. There are so many more great techniques you can try out with your partner though, so develop, explore, discover, have fun. Tons of great books and resources are also available so continue your journey of learning about this fun and pleasurable activity. 

Previous article What is Adult Breastfeeding?
Celeste Hirschman is the co-founder of the <a href="https://www.somaticainstitute.com/">Somatica® Institute</a>. She trains coaches in the <a href="https://www.somaticainstitute.com/somatica-philosophy/">Somatica® Method of Sex and Relationship Coaching</a>, and has her own private practice in San Francisco, where she works with clients to have profoundly pleasurable and fulfilling lives. She has co-authored multiple academic articles published in peer-reviewed journals and three books: <a href="https://www.celesteanddanielle.com/sex-therapy-books/cockfidence-book/">Cockfidence</a>, <a href="https://www.celesteanddanielle.com/sex-therapy-books/making-love-real/">Making Love Real</a>, and <a href="https://www.celesteanddanielle.com/sex-therapy-books/coming-together/">Coming Together</a>. Celeste has her MA in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University (SFSU) and her BA in Women’s Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). She has taken the Hakomi Pro-Skills Training, as well as multiple trainings in sexuality and relationships. Celeste also has a Certification in <a href="/types-of-therapy/what-is-sexological-bodywork/">Sexological Bodywork</a> from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS).