How to perform cunnilingus on a woman

Eating Pussy

This guide is for anyone who wants to perform oral sex on a woman, but isn’t sure how to go about it. If you are unsure, check out Vag Basics and look at the diagrams and read the information so you are familiar with all the different elements of female anatomy.

Performing cunnilingus on a woman takes some practice to get right, simply because every woman’s preferences are different. So the first step in giving good head is learning to communicate with your partner about what she likes, and trying out different techniques. These instructions apply to anyone wanting to pleasure a vagina, but the man-woman scenario is being used here.

Preparation

Face and pubic stubble makes oral sex on a woman uncomfortable. It’s best to be clean shaven and smooth, or to have a little bit of a beard, but day-old stubble can be problematic. Sandpaper up the clitoris is a surefire way to end the occasion. Trim and smooth your fingernails so that when you finger her, you don’t scratch her accidentally.

Don’t underestimate the importance of these two things – they can make the difference between you getting her off with your mouth, and her telling you to stop, or just not enjoying herself as much. Don’t let it happen to you. Keep in touch with your partner about her comfort levels with your facial hair status, and remember that nobody likes ever likes sandpaper on their skin.

Positions

Any position whereby you can get your mouth to her vagina works, however some do work better than others for both you and her. The position you choose is going to depend on what you are trying to achieve, and how long you intend to be doing it for.

You, as the giver, need to be comfortable, and she, as the receiver, needs to be correctly positioned to get the desired benefit from your mouth. The desired benefit may be an orgasm, or it may be pleasure – positions that result in orgasm may not be the same as those that offer simple pleasures.

Lying down or semi-reclining seem to be the most productive for all involved, as you can both relax your bodies and shuffle around as required. Her legs must be spread and held open comfortably, you may well want to look her in the eye while you do it, and your mouth and tongue need to have access to her whole vagina.

This includes being able to penetrate her with your tongue, use your fingers and hands, and be flexible in your movements. You don’t want a crick in your neck.

This can be on a bed, couch or other nice soft place that has enough room for you both to move around. Lying between her legs isn’t always the best way because your head is on a sharp angle, reducing your tongue mobility and comfort, but propping her pelvis up with a couple of pillows solves that problem.

You can also be on the floor while she has her hips on the edge of the bed, with something for her to put her legs/feet on to prop them up so it’s comfortable. Use what you have available to you, and get creative before you start. Comfort can make or break your performance art.

The 69er is a favourite for some, not so popular with others. The benefits are you both get blown at the same time. The pitfalls are that you both have your noses in each other’s bottoms, sucking a penis with any style from that angle can also be quite awkward depending how tall or short compared to one another you both are, and doing the Big Lick from anus to clitoris isn’t the same backwards.

Also, it’s hard to concentrate, so one partner ends up taking breaks to enjoy the other’s handiwork, making it not really a 69er after all.

Work this out however you will, and if it works, great, if not, move on to other things. It’s not for everyone. This position may be considered a semi-advanced loving technique so at first, probably stick to the basics, then go up a level.

Her straddling your face also works well, as she can control a lot of the action, though it can get uncoordinated, you can start to feel suffocated, and the sensation on her vagina of your nose and teeth and mouth isn’t always awesome. Try it, see if you both like it, discuss the outcome, and proceed as you wish.

What to tell her to do before you start

Every woman is different, and a lot of women are quite shy about their vaginas and unsure about how to ask for what they want, when they may not even know themselves.

You should instruct her (however you like) to lie back and relax, she doesn’t have to do anything except tell you what she does and doesn’t like, all the time, even if it feel silly sometimes.

She can ‘tell’ you by moving your head, requesting different actions, or trying to explain what she means. The thing to remember is that she can’t really see what you are doing, so explaining or naming your ‘moves’ can help (and will be funny). She can practise her dirty talk if she wants.

It’s really important that you make it clear to her that you are learning, and therefore she needs to give you clear feedback outside of a thudding silence, a moan every now and again whether she means it or not, and then ultimately getting fed up with your fumbling and making you stop, ruining it for everyone.

Tell her it’s ok if she doesn’t like what you are doing, but she has to tell you so that you can do something she does like, and become an oral expert.

She needs to know she must help you all the time, until you get better at it and you can just tell by how her body moves whether she likes it. It’s not ok for you to fumble around by yourself with no response, hoping you do it right. This is a team effort.

How to begin

First, cleanliness. She needs to be clean from a recent bath or shower. Day-old vag, like day-old penis, isn’t usually very nice to smell, so eliminate any possibility of bad smells or gunk, and make sure she is clean.

She’ll also feel more comfortable if she knows she is clean. If you are showering with her and washing her, do whatever you like but do not, under any circumstances, put a soapy hand or penis between her inner labia or into her vagina, as it will sting and ruin your sexual experience. Very carefully between the inner and outer lips is passable, bush is great, anus is good (not inside though).

If she has had some vagina problems like yeast infections, urinary tract infections or BV, it is advisable that she treat those problems before having sex. You probably won’t know about these problems, but you are allowed to ask.

Sexual hygiene is important, as is the comfort of you both with smells and fluids that may be present, including blood from her period. Disclosure is key! Douching is really not advisable since it ruins the vagina’s ability to care for itself bacterially (including from sexually transmitted infections and urinary tract infections), by washing the good bacteria away.

(Read about why douching is bad news.)

The beginning. Consider this licking to be part of a greater sexual experience that includes kissing, making out, touching. You can’t just dive right down and expect results.

Once you are both a bit hot, work your way down her body, but take your time – go slow. The longer you take to get there, the more turned on she’ll be when you get there, which is exactly what you want. It is much easier to do your job with a willing vagina than one you have to coax and cajole.

Position yourself in between her legs with your body, without lying on top of her with all of your weight using your elbows as props. Work your way down her body, kissing, removing clothing, getting up underneath her clothes, licking, caressing, touching.

Get all over her – breasts, stomach, neck, hands, wrists, hips, mound, ribs, ears, everywhere. Don’t just aim for the vagina, because it doesn’t work like that for women.

She needs you to pay attention to her whole body and her mind to foster a whole experience, not just a straight-up oral. Being a skilled lover means understanding that women’s bodies are different to a man’s, and the longer you spend on her body means a far better chance of a successful sexual encounter.

Put her legs over your shoulders, using your body to move against her, and kiss and lick her thighs, the crack between her thighs and her vagina, her butt cheeks. Brush against her vulva and clitoris and bush from time to time; it will titillate her.

Don’t touch her vulva directly yet, though. You really need to understand the value of anticipation here, as it works a treat. Use a lapping motion with your tongue, keeping the tongue pretty soft. The old alphabet trick works if you can’t think of anything else – that is, write each letter of the alphabet with your tongue on her skin.

Start to rub your face on her vulva a little bit while you lick around it, and take a look at her face, in her eyes. Smile at her. When she wants it, she will tilt towards your face, kind of asking for it. If she doesn’t want it, you will feel her move away from you – obey.

If you are confused, take a step back. You shouldn’t be confused, and if you are, it means you are probably missing a cue or she is not telling you something. It might just be that she feels shy, so turning her on is the only antidote to that.

Then, when she starts grinding her pelvis against you, you have to stop. Yes, that’s right. Stop. Tease her some more. Brush your face and breath against her ever so slightly. Hot breath can feel great. Get her arching her back to get more, and then… kindly give it to her.

Talk. Ask questions. Explore. Tell her she’s beautiful, and that her body is a delight, delicious, and pretty. Make sure she knows that you love her body, and whatever else you do actually love about her (but don’t tell lies; it’s disingenuous).

Trust here is more important than you think, because many women are extremely insecure about their bodies, rightly or wrongly. The other reason to talk to her while you do this is not just for the positive reinforcement (which works wonders on all occasions), but because it creates a connection, and a mode of communication.

This fosters trust, and trust breeds orgasmic women.

Talk about her vagina in a lovely way, avoiding anything that could be construed as derogatory. (Don’t use controversial words unless she has explicitly told you that this is what she likes.) If you like her taste, scent, lips, bush, anus, tell her. Act like you are eating the most delicious dessert in the world.

You will need saliva here (not too much though), so don’t start this with a dry mouth because a dry mouth feels like a parrot’s tongue. Moisten your fingers and slide them down between her outer and inner lips, touching them, gently rubbing them between your fingers.

Touch each part of her vagina in turn, and look at it. Enjoy it. Get to know it. Taste it, smell it, and gently use your fingers and tongue to touch it. Slide your tongue into her and see what her response is.

Try different things and see how she responds. Ask her what she likes. Use a rating system if you need to, since things aren’t just “good” or “not good” – they are usually on a sliding scale.

Suck and lick her lips, her clitoris, put your tongue inside of her, lick from the bottom of her vagina (or anus if she’ll let you) to her clitoris with a relaxed jaw and tongue.

Run your tongue between her inner and outer lips. Most of this will feel good, but no single thing is going to be ‘the thing’ so just do everything. It all feels good.

Stiffen your tongue and flick it all over, always returning to her clitoris, keeping in mind some women have very sensitive clitorises, and it can be uncomfortable. You will need to check in with her about hers.

Her clitoris will be the thing that causes the earth-shaking, so you need to get that part right.

To bring her to orgasm

When you are sure that your lover is in the throes of ecstasy you can pull her exposed clitoris into your mouth and suck it quickly, gently at first, and start to finger her with one or two fingers. This is enough for some women to orgasm, but every woman is different so keep in touch with her about what she likes.

Another action is to roll your tongue into a tube (if you can) around her clitoris and slide it up and down.

See fingering basics to add fingering in to the mix.

There is no exact way to do this, no special formula. You are just going to have to practice, get feedback from her, and watch and observe closely how she responds. Most of all, enjoy yourself and delight in her body, and your chances of successfully bringing her to orgasm with your mouth are increased exponentially.

No matter what you do, start off gently around her whole body, then as she gets more and more turned on, narrow your focus in to the clitoris and surrounds.

When you can tell she is near to orgasm, don’t leave the clitoris alone, as if you stop and redirect yourself, the build-up of orgasm can dissipate a bit. Using your nose also works; if you have your tongue inside of her, your nose and face can be doing the work.

Extra tips and tricks

  • No biting or nibbling on her clitoris – it’s way too sensitive for that
  • Do blow, lick, suck and kiss her clitoris
  • Take her to the edge of orgasm, then slow back down and tease her
  • Use your fingers liberally, but take breaks sometimes – it can get a bit much constantly being fingered overzealously (be discerning and deliberate with every movement)
  • Don’t neglect her labia – these are made from the same cells as your testicles, so you can safely assume that’s what they feel like to be licked and touched
  • Run your tongue from top to bottom regularly, slowly and seductively, pushing it gently into the gaps as you go
  • Make eye contact with her
  • Make it clear you are enjoying yourself by making happy noises and faces, like “mmm so delicious!”
  • Use your hands on her body while your mouth is on her vagina – touch her breasts, buttocks, nipples, stomach, hips, thighs, the creases – it adds to the sensations
  • Utilise her anus if she likes it, but be careful not to double dip your fingers from anus to vagina, as she’ll likely end up with a urinary tract infection or worse (remember which finger you used and don’t let it anywhere near her vagina)
  • Quickly flick your tongue on her clitoris
  • Pull the clitoris in and out of its hood by sucking on it, like she is bucking against your mouth with the tiniest penis ever
  • Use your thumb to finger her vagina

Once she starts to orgasm, don’t stop until she makes you, even if you are suffocating! Her body tends to keep rolling for some time after orgasm, so wait for her cue. She might even orgasm twice, but don’t bet on it.

Good luck! If you are confused about any of this, talk to the lady in charge.

Consent and the cup of tea analogy

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.