Miss Information

My girlfriend won't let me go down on her. Is this a dealbreaker?

By Erin Bradley

Dear Miss Information,

My girlfriend is taking a trip to New York City late next month. I can't go because of school and work obligations, so she decided to go with a friend of hers that I've never met. The friend is a guy, but he's gay, so my girlfriend sees no problem. I've never met this guy, and I already don't like him. Whenever they do anything together (every few years), they seem to have a little too much fun. Am I nuts for being upset that she is going on a vacation with another guy, sexual orientation notwithstanding? — Annoyed Boyfriend 

Dear Annoyed Boyfriend, 

Of course you're not nuts. A little insecure? Definitely. But anyone can be a relationship threat, penis or not. Case in point, what if she goes with a girl? What if that girl's a party girl who happens to be single? You think your girlfriend's not going to ride sidecar in the Great Dick Derby? In that light, the presence of a gay guy whom everyone will assume is her boyfriend might work in your favor. How likely is it that she'll get hit on at the Chelsea Jamba Juice or the men's dressing room at Diesel? 

If you're worried she'll be more flirty with him just because he's gay, you need to quit it. Either she knows the boundaries or she doesn't. Besides, what's so terrible about a little controlled titillation? You guys have been together a long time. Are you that insecure? Sometimes people need that little boost of sexual energy. Unless she's the last girl he dated before he switched sides, I wouldn't stress. Instead, ask your girlfriend about whatever's making you nervous (whether it's the sleeping arrangements, what they're going to do, or who they're going to see).

Don't go down the hole I've seen many a jealous partner fall into, which is to pretend everything's okay and then call every night at 2 a.m. to "say goodnight," which is really code for "check up on," and a precursor to a screaming match if she happens to be out having fun, instead of in bed wearing an ankle-length nightie. You can make this very hard on yourself, or you can put it in perspective and enjoy a couple of days of rare alone-time. I hope you do the latter. 

Readers, would you be jealous in this situation? Would any of you go so far as to ixnay the acationvay altogether? 

Dear Miss Information,  

My long-term girlfriend has always been a little inhibited, but lately she's become interested in coitus only. For a lot of guys, this might be a dream, but for me this creates a problem, because there's nothing I enjoy more than lavishing oral affection upon a beautiful woman. It's the only time in my life that I feel I become part of something larger than myself. I live to know that sweet intimacy and to feel that sense of belonging. We've talked about it before and she's half-heartedly agreed to try to be more receptive, but it never seems to take. I don't blame her if it's not her thing. But, while it might be selfish, this is my most important sexual need — and I have to ask myself, is it something I can live with sacrificing for the rest of my life? — Half Sexed 

Dear Half Sexed, 

That's a question you're going to have to decide for yourself, Half Sexed. I'm not going to say you have permission to cheat just because your girlfriend won't let you go down on her, or that an open relationship is the obvious answer. Your letter doesn't go into whether or not you guys have even discussed that, but to hear a man describe cunnilingus as "something larger than myself" fills my feminist heart with joy. If you do decide to leave your girlfriend, I'm sure you can write one hell of a personals ad. 

The only help I can give you is to recommend you keep communicating and keep trying different tactics. Not just foreplay, but during play. Maybe she's not into the way you perform oral sex, but the fact that you're wearing a "GO TEAM VAGINA!" jersey and waving a pennant with big tongue on it makes her afraid she'll break your heart if she says it.  

I'd also lower your expectations. Be content that she even lets you between those thighs. If moans and groans are mandatory, then put on some porn or have some music playing in the background. It's not ideal, but it's a compromise. We all do that kind of stuff when we're committed to our relationships.  

Still having doubts? Start a pro/con list and see where you land. Is this the only issue with you two? Would you consider yourselves deeply emotionally attached? Are you willing to sacrifice everything else for this one thing? Only you know the answer. 

Hey readers, what sex act, if any, is so important to you that you can't be in a relationship without it?

Commentarium (57 Comments)

Oct 04 10 - 1:18am

It's always the same thing with this column, I want to fuck Erin Bradley and ignore what she has to say about it.

Oct 04 10 - 1:25am

Uh, LW #2, perhaps your girlfriend is intimidated/turned off by by the power dynamics of "lavishing oral affection upon a beautiful woman"? Sounds like some not-quite-realized d/S to me...

Oct 04 10 - 2:07am

Look, to give some really uncomfortable advice, you might try seeing if she's more interested in receiving oral sex if you use a dental dam. She's not going to bring that up with you, so you're going to have to suggest it.

Oct 04 10 - 3:37am

No cunnilingus ever is definitely a deal breaker.

Oct 04 10 - 3:45am

There's nothing as awesome as a spiteful partner who can't stand to see the other one have fun. Dude, let your girl go to NYC and have a ball.

Oct 04 10 - 4:32am

I hate getting eaten out. I wish I could go back to high school, a simpler time, rather than now, when every second guy down the pike thinks he's the first and best dude to ever enjoy eating pussy. So smug, so self assured, because they "love it". Really, it's just slimy. Stop!

Oct 04 10 - 5:08am

I'm a girl who doesn't like receiving oral, but loves giving. For the dynamic in my relationship, that's perfect. I know I have needed things sexually before and never received them until I was with my current partner, and it has been incredibly freeing and fulfilling. I don't know... I'd definitely consider breaking up or opening up the relationship. Not because it's a universally important act, but because it's that important to the LW's fulfillment.

Oct 04 10 - 6:16am

If I was ever in a monogamous relationship and the girl wouldn't let me go down on her that would be a deal breaker. I like eating pussy more than fucking and often come without touching myself while going down on a girl and those orgasms are more intense than penis in vagina orgasms are for me. But, I'm in an open relationship with a woman who likes getting oral sex so it's not an issue and even if she didn't like getting oral sex it wouldn't be an issue - I'd just save that for playtime. .

Oct 04 10 - 8:00am

Well, I like all kinds of stuff, but I'd have to say that having a partner who refused to go down on me would be a deal breaker. It seems selfish & someone who's that squeamish probably isn't going to be my style.

Oct 04 10 - 9:56am

I rarely like oral sex b/c every guy I've ever dated has thought he was The Best at oral when he was either pretty bad or really bad. It's hard to get a guy who thinks he's god of pussy licking to understand that you don't really like what he's doing and would rather he did it like this or like that instead. After years of actually dialoging about it and being ignored or insulted I just gave up and now I just say, "I don't like oral sex."

Oct 04 10 - 10:15am

etc, that's tragic. Don't give up, there are some real solid pussy lickers out there, you just have to find them. There are also some attachments to the Sybian that you might want to look into.

Oct 04 10 - 11:22am

i love oral-- giving and getting. i can't imagine being without it.

Oct 04 10 - 11:59am

For me, if a guy won't give it that's a dealbreaker. I am passionate about giving and receiving. There's more than just coitus for fun!

Oct 04 10 - 12:49pm

where can I find this man

Oct 04 10 - 1:07pm

it's less about the act itself, and more about her reluctance to do something that brings her partner so much pleasure. Who cares if oral isn't her thing - oral isn't my thing, either - I prefer fucking or getting fingered. But if I was with a guy who loved it as much as this guy claims to, I'd be overjoyed to let him between my thighs for as long as his heart desired. Receiving oral sex is not exactly a deviant act - it's not like this guy is saying he wants to poop on her face. She should let him give her oral. The dealbreaker here is her selfishness.

Oct 04 10 - 3:52pm


Do you just dislike recieving oral because your head is so far up your other nearby orifice that it makes cunnilingus uncomfortable? Everyone should be damn happy that there are men who actually have a positive attitude about vaginas.

Oct 04 10 - 3:56pm

"something larger than myself"

Gawd...I'd date any guy who thought like that about giving oral! Nice!

Oct 04 10 - 3:59pm

@bearman33: RIght there with ya. For about three weeks there was a LSFW photo of Erin at the top of this column. She made me want to do things I only feel comfortable discussing with Dan Savage.

Oct 04 10 - 4:38pm

I loving giving oral to women as it is 1 of the BEST things in life! Sadly, most of the receiving end aren't always thrilled to receive. And I'll take or beg whatever coaching or orders they give so i can improve.

Oct 04 10 - 5:09pm

I'm a gay dude with some very close female friends, and I've received a lot of jealousy from boyfriends. Whether it's the amount of time spent together or the casual intimacy we enjoy, I'm perceived as a threat more often than not.

What's funny about this is that, unless you're a shitty boyfriend overall, I tend to encourage my friends to be forgiving, patient and sexually game with their boyfriends. Shooting themselves in the foot, they are.

Oct 04 10 - 5:32pm

To #1: Yes, you are being a nut, a very insecure nut. Everything you've said tells me so: "I've never met this guy, and I already don't like him." Wow. Judgemental much? And while you've never met the guy, you are already convinced that "they seem to have a little too much fun"? These words are the mark of a jealous, distrustful, and overbearing partner. it also sounds like you and your girlfriend could benefit from having "a little too much fun" yourselves.

Oct 04 10 - 5:56pm

@etc: Find a better guy. Some were insulted?!? There are guys who will listen, and adapt, because they want to please their partner. Most of the fun for me in giving oral is because it's giving her such pleasure. If she needs it "this way" or "that way" to make it good, I definitely want to know, because I want her quivering at the tip of my tongue.

Oct 04 10 - 6:09pm

to #1- I'm pretty jealous by nature and my overbearing ways almost killed my relationship. when I realized that my boyfriend needed some space/ freedom it was really hard to do but i had to back off. it paid off though because he actually wants to spend more time with me because he doesn't perceive me as controlling him. if she thinks you don't trust her it just puts a wedge between you. and if you really don't trust her, that's a whole other issue than going on vacation without you.

Oct 04 10 - 6:11pm

Etc...I totally understand where you are coming from. I am stunned at how many guys overestimate their sexual abilities and just refuse to accept any suggestions. Bad oral sex is not like bad pizza (which as we all know is still kinda good!) Bad oral sex is annoying, infuriating, and often uncomfortable.

Oct 04 10 - 6:15pm
captain obvious

to etc, and all women who have problems giving guys intructions--if the guy won't listen to what you want and still thinks he's good at giving head, this isn't a problem that all men have. The guy is an asshole. Good men will listen to what you want and do their best to do what you like. The problem isn't that all men who think they are good at giving head won't listen. The problem is the particular men you have been with have been assholes who won't listen. Go find yourself a guy who's more concerned with giving you what you want than having a big ego about giving head.

Oct 04 10 - 6:21pm

It's one thing to have something in a relationship that nags you. We all have those. It's okay to need to vent about it outside the relationship (discretion please!) When you have to write an anonymous advice columnist to ask if it's a dealbreaker then yes, it's a dealbreaker. Whether or not the letter writer has too many dealbreakers and needs to get over himself is a separate issue.

Oct 04 10 - 11:17pm
Diane Q

I totally agree with SS - well said!

Oct 05 10 - 2:33am

#1: You should be grateful you even have a girlfriend, with all your jealousy issues. Not for long, I'm betting.
#2: The reason your gf doesn't want you going down on her is because your technique is bad, even if she can't say so. I had a boyfriend like that; the oral sex was so awful I couldn't take it. When I asked him to lick, not suck, he said, "No one else ever complained."

Oct 05 10 - 3:09am

IMHO there are two variables here-- talent, and style. Yes, some people have more (or less) native ability for oral sex. But there are also markedly different styles. Your "bad" lover may just be repeating what drove his or her last lover crazy with ecstasy, but which leaves you cold.

Oct 05 10 - 3:46am

It was my birthday a couple of weks ago and my wife asked me what I wanted. "I want to go down on you every day for a week" said I. Silence. I got a bottle of wine and a pair of socks. Go figure.

Oct 05 10 - 1:31pm

#1 - The problem is that he doesn't know his girlfriend's friend. Separate lives and friends basically mean you're always going to go a little "nuts" over stuff like this. My girlfriend's best friend (for longer than I've known her) is gay and he's become a very good friend of mine, too. I wouldn't think twice about them going on a trip anywhere. And my girlfriend simply wouldn't go out of town on a "fun" trip with someone I've never met. Maybe that's just us. But at first glance, it seems like a deeper relationship issue.

Oct 05 10 - 6:04pm

WAY more bad oral sex out there than good oral sex. I've had good, and love it, but it is rare. Mouths are different. Pussies are different. It's like guys with big Things: Often the worst in bed because they think you're going to be so happy about what's just there that they don't have to treat your sensitive parts to anything special.

Oct 05 10 - 11:03pm

I agree that there is more bad oral sex out there than good oral sex. I also find that the men who say they're great--esp early on in the relationship--are probably awful. I've had a partner who loved giving, but he was awful, and part of it was that he enjoyed eating me out for his pleasure, not the pleasure he was giving me. It turned him on to be between my legs, but he was focused so much on his fun, he wasn't very good at listening to instructions, body cues, or being consistent. I eventually told him that it wasn't something I liked because he would get frustrated at my lack of orgasm which would spiral the whole sexual act into emo-time. It worked out though--his coitus game was waaaaay better.

Oct 06 10 - 8:07am

do you (or she) ever get cold sores or canker sores? it's hard to enjoy oral if you're worried about turning oral herpes into genital. it's also something she might be hesitant to bring up.

Oct 06 10 - 1:23pm

I too love giving head...AND I also enjoy receiving...HOWEVER, very few have been allowed to go there because that's something that is very personal and intimate to me....way more than giving head or f*cking...I've concluded that it's about relinquishing control and opening (literally and figuratively) myself up to someone....maybe she feels something similar??

Oct 06 10 - 7:41pm

I am *so* making up a "GO TEAM VAGINA!" t-shirt. If I do it right, the V can be a vag, and the A can be a tongue.
It'll sell like gangbusters.

Oct 07 10 - 12:08pm

#2 asked whether or not he could continue to live with it on the longterm. Regardless of the details, it poses an interesting question - would you give up on your favorite sexual act for the rest of your life? If so, how wise is that?

Oct 07 10 - 11:42pm

Your Problem scooter is your techniques and timing rember lick and tounge, Eat Out is just a fiqure of speech and the old drop your spoon under the table just works in the movies, and dennys is definetly not the place to bring up the subject,

Oct 08 10 - 7:17am

aahh i dont know why every one are crazy about the sex... i dont like sex...or i never did....and i also heard that sex is hell painfull....people are crazy!!! its painfull then why they like it:@ i realy dont understand it....m 18 years old m a big gorl,i can understand every thing except this one...:-( can somebady tell me why they this yuck thing....its ssoo yucky

Oct 08 10 - 5:49pm
Just a Thought

Interesting that no one has raised the possibility that the girlfriend is self-conscious about herself "down there." There are plenty of women who, because they were raised in households that inculcated such thoughts or heard too many adolescent boys make jokes about smells, etc., think they do not smell or taste good. I know this from personal experience. There are also women who are very sensitive and are overstimulated by direct tongue-clitoris contact. The ultimate kiss is a primordial thing- the salt of the sea, and the taste and scent of woman that is like no other.

These lovers need to have a conversation about WHY she doesn't want this.

Oct 09 10 - 10:21am
oral guy

I can only suggest communication. Talk to your lady and ask her what she likes and what she doesn't while you are giving her oral. It may seem ackward but you really need to know what she likes. Myself I also love oral I love the touch, her movement to my tongue, the taste I am an oral guy. I also give before and spice it up and stop and give in the middle of our love making and before and after. I start at her toes and kisse her all over, I hug and touch and feel and after love making I holder her and kiss her long wet warm kisses. Oral is not just oral but it is a part of the entire love making package. Also my lady likes excitement sometimes and I go down on her while she is driving if she likes or for that matter where ever we are. Give her the whole package and she will love oral but don't make oral stand out as the big thing it is just part of you and her loving each other.

Oct 11 10 - 3:28am

I'm totally amused by the implication that overestimating one's own sexual abilities (or oral sex abilities) is a "guy thing". There are shitloads of women out there who have no idea how to give a blowjob, and who aren't willing to get better at it, either because it wounds their egos or because they regard oral sex as a favor that their mate should be grateful to get at all. Neither gender has a monopoly, or even a majority, in the shitty attitude & selfishness department. (Of course the whole notion of "being good at oral" is kind of a red herring anyway; what works for one person is pathetically inadequate for another, and vice versa. Sometimes if you think someone's bad at oral sex, it can really mean that you're bad at communicating, or bad at getting off.)

Oct 11 10 - 3:41pm

I'm the best Pussy Eater in New York City.

Oct 12 10 - 5:21pm

I love doing it. I don't know why. I just feel like, before I get head or have sex, I have to taste you first. I love cunnilingus.

Oct 13 10 - 4:30am
charles scott

i think you can take leave from school and have vacation with your girl friend.

Oct 15 10 - 5:44am


Oct 15 10 - 7:10am

etc, please don't give up on finding someone who can do it right! *knock on wood* most guys i've been with have made me see stars within 10 minutes of nosing under my skirt, but then that's the easiest way to get me off. and most of that has happened from age 25 on, and with men who have some experience. anyway, some of my girlfriends don't like it at all. if you do want it to work, i think it helps to relax and have fun as well as use yr great communication skills.

Oct 19 10 - 12:57am

There are subtle shades to this preference that is being overlooked: it's black and white thinking. If there are no shades of gray in a good way and "sometimes I like/enjoy _ _ _ _" is out of the equation there goes the joy and possibilities. It's a sexual lockdown. We're not in jail. If this man feels locked out he's got to ask himself why he lets himself be locked in.

Oct 19 10 - 3:43pm

Does she shave Down There?
Introduce that variable.

Nov 10 10 - 12:27am

I like oral sex if the guy is good at it. Most are not, unfortunately. The thing i must have in a relationship is enough dick, enough intercourse. Premature ejaculation is a total dealbreaker.

Dec 01 10 - 3:38pm

love that wet,lil smelly,warm beautifull pus...

May 11 11 - 8:26pm

I wonder why some girls don't like recieving oral? Like seriously, I don't think they HAVE to enjoy it, everyone to their own, but I just wonder why?

Are they paranoid about how they smell/look/taste? Sometimes that's why I don't want it.

Have they just never received good oral? At one point that also put me off, because it was okay, but that was all it was. OKAY. Never awesome. Never I'mgunnacumomg.

Though my current boyfriend can actually make me orgasm through oral. However, a lot of it is also 'in my head' ie. it feels good, but I can't orgasm coz my thoughts are blocking it. Once I relax and let myself go though, it's great :)

So please tell, why?! I think when girls say they don't like it coz guys aren't good at it:
*1. You need to give them some tips or they'll forever be no good - let them know they don't just have to licklicklick in one motion and speed, they can try other things. I personally like it when he rubs my inner thighs with his warm hands, it always gets me going more.
*2. Give them time to get used to you, and for you to get used to them (understood, not really possible for one-night-stands). My boyfriend didn't make me orgasm from it til about a year or so into our relationship. But that wasn't just HIS fault, it was partly mine. So yeah.. :) Why don't you like it?

Nov 20 11 - 9:03am

Well done airltce that. I'll make sure to use it wisely.

Nov 20 11 - 12:48pm

OCVf0T lhistplxjayl

Nov 29 11 - 6:54am

i am a 30 year old virgin and i am afraid to let a guy do oral sex to me it seems to 'invasive' personally. also i notice a lot of guys (and women) are extremely judgmental and don't give good people a chance. they just write them off if something doesn't fit perfectly with what they want. it's a shame that's happened to me a lot, that's why I don't even bother trying to date anymore. ty.

Jan 27 12 - 10:43pm

Well I have the same problem and I am married. Like you I really get turned on giving oral sex to a woman and giving her pleasure. My wife's (I did not bring the subject up) friend told me how much she loves a mans tongue down there. Would I love to have a woman like that. You might want to consider ending the relationship.

Aug 04 12 - 3:59am

It's natural to care if your partner goes away with someone else. Having a small amount of jealousy or concern is good at times. Sometimes jealousy is a gut feeling something is not right. It would be great to have a world of no cheating or breakups. Having zero jealousy means trusting completely or that we just don't care, but yet we are told never trust anyone. Look at divorce stats and listen to break up stories and find out how much trusting someone completely works out.

I also knew a guy that was bisexual but everyone thought he was gay. He went on a trip with someones girlfriend and they had intercourse.