I had oral sex for the first time 2 and a half years after losing my virginity. Why? I wasn’t ready. It scared me. It grossed me out. I was insecure about my body – and I didn’t want anyone’s face up in my lady biz. I also didn’t want to choke on a penis, even if I loved that penis very much. So I waited, and my boyfriend was fine with it.
Going to Catholic school taught me that sex was bad. It taught me that all forms of sex were un-God-like, and that Jesus would not approve. Horny teenagers always look for ways around these rules (if they aren’t breaking them completely, that is), and the general consensus of my junior high class was that sex was scary. You could get AIDS, no one would ever want to marry you and you would be kicked out of school for getting knocked up. Oral sex, however, was a little bit better: You’d keep your virginity AND your boyfriend. At least sucking a dick wouldn’t get you pregnant and condemn you to hell.
Sure, I was curious, but blow jobs were a pretty straight forward concept – one that GROSSED. ME. OUT. I didn’t even know there was a female version of oral sex until I was embarrassingly old – but that didn’t tickle my fancy, either. I was too busy reading Kurt Cobain’s journals and writing angsty poetry to even consider using that time to squish my genitals against my gross junior high boyfriends,’
When I finally had oral sex for the first time, it was awkward – but it was also fun and sexy. I’m now proud to say that I LOVE giving blow jobs. That doesn’t mean I regret waiting though. Just because you’re not ready for something now, doesn’t mean you’ll never be – but if it does mean that, that’s completely okay too! You do you, and don’t ever let anyone make you feel like a prude or a hypocrite. Also, remember to let your partner express themselves as well and that boundaries go both ways.
I’m in my twenties now. I’m almost done university, and I’ve been with my boyfriend for 4 years. Sex toys in bed make him uncomfortable. Swallowing makes me puke. We don’t love each other any less or find sex any less enjoyable because there are things that we dislike.
The reality is that regardless of whether the pressure comes from your partner, yourself or society, it’s just that – pressure. The pressure to perform. The pressure to please. The pressure to BE pleased. Not only does this pressure and anxiety take away from the joy of sex, but it creates an unhealthy rift between not only you and your partner but you and yourself.
In the case of putting that pressure on yourself, it’s simply something you have to work through. it’s vital to be honest with not only yourself, but also with your partner. That being said, it’s equally important to make sure unnecessary blame is not being placed on them. Simply saying, “I feel like I’m supposed to do (x sex act), but I’m not comfortable with that and I don’t want to,” is a sufficient start to a dialogue on pressure, pleasure and needs.
What about partners who place that pressure on you, whether on purpose or inadvertently? In this case, it’s important to acknowledge that we must build relationships upon the foundations of communication, comfort and consent. In order to avoid and deal with situations like this, it’s best to open a dialogue about preferences early on in the relationship, and to set boundaries beforehand so you don’t you feel pressured to do something you’re not comfortable with.
Although a partner should never pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do, it’s important to vocalize your concerns so they understand your needs. This discussion doesn’t have to be embarrassing or unsexy – having a good time together is as much about what you don’t want to do as it is what you do want to do. When you feel pressured or uncomfortable, tell your partner, and instead suggest doing something you both like. By showing them that there are many other things you love doing with them in bed, you’re removing any blame and simply asserting your right to be comfortable.
Whether you’re in a long term relationship, casually dating or in any other kind of sexual relationship, if you don’t feel like you can say no or have permission to not do something, you probably need to re-evaluate the relationship. Trying new things is great, but when it comes to sex, without proper respect and support this can be terrifying and unhealthy.
Sex should be about enjoying yourself, not performing. You should always feel respected and empowered during sex. The right partner won’t care if you swallow, spit or don’t go down on them at all, because at the end of the day sex isn’t just a series of activities, it’s about connecting to another human being on an intimate level.