How to Do It

How Do I Take My Blow Job Technique to the Next Level?

My boyfriend is very good at oral sex. It’s time to up my game!

GIF of a woman standing in front of a neon banana.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

How to Do It is Slate’s sex advice column. Have a question? Send it to Stoya and Rich here. It’s anonymous!

Every Thursday, the crew responds to a bonus question in chat form.

Dear How to Do It,

My question is pretty simple: What are your tips for giving an amazing blow/handjob? My boyfriend does not like any stimulation of his prostate or any playing with his balls, so I focus my attentions on his dick. My usual technique involves the usual sucking of dick, licking from the base to the tip, and running my tongue around the tip—which he likes a lot. I do have a gag reflex so sometimes I have to stop, which ruins the flow. I don’t think I’m good at using my hands though, and it always ends up too dry when I stop using my mouth. Also, I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to shake a dick like a can of pop, so clearly my handjob technique needs some work. My boyfriend is very generous and a frequent, enthusiastic giver of oral sex so I’d like to return the favor!

—Oral Aspirant

Stoya: I love the hands-on questions.

Rich: This one being more literal than most.

Stoya: [Laughs.] OK, so no undercarriage and no balls. There go half my tricks.

Rich: I think the biggest trick is to listen to the guy?

Stoya: Agreed. So kudos on that, dear writer.

Rich: My favorite kind of dick to suck is a sensitive one, and my favorite way to suck it is to edge it. That requires a lot of communication, keeping him close but not coming.

Stoya: I’ve had lots of guys who have specific likes but can’t describe them (oh, heterosexual men). Whether they’re able to communicate directly or not, you kind of have to titrate. I like to find the thing that tips them over the edge and then not use it.

Rich: Yes, you can really top from the bottom when giving a BJ. You’re in total control, so much so that the entire idea of top/bottom is sort of subverted. In this scenario, the active party technically is the “passive” party figuratively, since “passivity” is usually designated not by actual behavior but by being penetrated by another’s penis.

Philosophy aside, this is a practical question and a difficult one because every dick is different. However, the thing I notice working well is to clamp my mouth midway down the shaft (teeth shielded, obvs) and work it in and out, as if I’m jerking it off with my mouth. A sort of gumming-yanking. That tends to make guys come, so I save it till the end.

Stoya: My three-button move is sucking while flicking my tongue across the frenulum, while also jerking the rootward half of the dick with a choking-spit lubed hand. I’ll explain about the choking-spit part: When you gag, but not vomit, this super lubricant comes out of the throat. It’s usually stringy, clear, and super slippery. It also dries slower than spit.

Rich: It is a slime, really.

Stoya: Yup. Throat slime.

Rich: To me, it is to silicone lube what spit is to water-based.

Stoya: YES. Exactly that. I learned about this trick in porn, and I think everyone who interacts orally with penises should at least try it.

Rich: Yeah, a good jerk/suck combo is classic. I like to twist my hand while jerking in that scenario, I find it intensifies the sensation

Stoya: Oh, yes.

Rich: It’s also very fun to tease. Once you really get him going, stop. Then put your mouth on his dick for a second and pull it off again.

Stoya: Draw it out. Make sex a whole adventure.

Rich: You get to really play with him in a way that feels almost like a biology experiment but also very dominant, while obviously existing in that moment in complete service of his pleasure. I remember not really understanding why some people love giving head so much. I mean, cocksucker is practically an orientation for some people. And then one day, I just got it. It’s often what I want to do most. There’s a lot to it! I gave the following advice recently, but something I think that’s also useful is enthusiasm. Try sucking his dick for you, not him (for him).

Stoya: Yes! I want to talk about dry hands for a minute. Before the dick is wet, you can use your fingers and backs of your hands to gently stroke in a teasing manner. It’s an entirely different sensation than wet handjobs.

Rich: That definitely sounds more like a starter than a finisher, generally speaking, but different guys respond to friction differently.

Stoya: Once spit is involved, the technique is impossible. I know tantra isn’t to everyone’s taste. But Barbara Carrellas has some great ideas in her Urban Tantra book. Different strokes to try with illustrations. The gist is that spiraling motions and up and down strokes can both be fun.

Rich: I would also add that if she’s basically going from sucking to jerking to finish him off, she can use lube at the end. Most of it won’t taste great if she switches back to oral, but I find Swiss Navy silicone is totally fine. Or she could use a natural oil like coconut.

Stoya: Way back in the day, I used flavored lip gloss. There are so many creative ways to lube up and still suck.

Rich: Yeah, I think your best guide is your own sense of adventure and dick-hunger.

More How to Do It

I’m a lesbian in a decadelong relationship with my fiancée. We get married next summer. I found out she was having an emotional affair since August of this year with a woman she’s talking to online on the other side of the country. When caught red-handed, she said she would end it. Our sex life hadn’t been great these last couple years—stress, depression, a big move, her working constantly, us being on opposite schedules, the works. The thing is, I love her more now than ever before, and since this revelation and her ending the relationship, we’ve been more honest with each other with what we need, not only in bed but from each other. Could this truly be just a blip in the radar, or are we doomed?