Written by Zach Grossfeld
As a guy, I’ve experienced the depths of embarrassment and the pinnacle of ecstasy in the bedroom. So, I decided to write about it. Hopefully, these words can improve the sex life of at least one person. Here’s a bit about my journey.
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with best-selling author and renowned sex therapist Dr. Ian Kerner.
After reading his book, She Comes First, and applying some of the principles and techniques firsthand, I emailed Dr. Kerner to speak with him about his experience as a cunnilinguist.
He walked me through some early, embarrassing sexual encounters, what most guys get wrong about going down, and the best headspace to be in when one finds themselves "pearl diving."
Dr. Kerner Inspired me to blog about my own experiences.
This post will focus more on the mindset and approach that has helped me during sex. For specific techniques, I highly recommend checking out Dr. Kerner's She Comes First.
He's been in this game for decades and has the expertise to help the most misguided man to the promised land.
Concerning my sexual knowledge base, I don't have a degree in Clitoracy 101 like Dr. Kerner, but I am willing to talk about my most mortifying and exhilarating sexual experiences.
You don't have to be a stallion to get a girl off, but you do have to pay attention.
The guys who brag most about their sexual facilities probably feel the most helpless in the bedroom. If you'd like some honest insight from a guy who has felt helpless and made adjustments, read on:
What Am I Doing?
I think I'm on the clit. Wait, no, umm…. I feel like I'm just stabbing at it with my tongue. And how many fingers do I put in to start? One? Two? Do I hook my fingertips? Relax or go fast. Shit my forearms getting tired, I'll switch in a sec. How long has it been? Do I look up at her? I feel like she's looking at me. Maybe I should fuck her already. Also, this playlist is getting weird. How do I know if she's into this?
In my early sexual exploits, I had no clue what I was doing. The above thought reel looped many times over in my head. I'm sure I left girls unsatisfied despite their best efforts to fake it.
I didn't have a game plan.
Much of the vocabulary surrounding the man's job during sex centers around penetration, so that's the type of experience I thought that I needed to provide:
I fucked the shit out of her.
Last night, I drilled that pussy.
This morning I'd be surprised if she could even walk. Does anyone have a wheelchair?
I've both heard and said phrases similar to the above. Throughout my time in college, I never encountered any counter-strategy. If a guy didn't think like this, he wasn't willing to admit it. "Making it clap" is currency on campus.
Sure, there are times where deep, hard, and fast penetration makes sense, but it shouldn't define the approach. I've been down that road. It only takes about two and a half minutes to hit the dead end.
Stimulation Over Penetration
Fed up with subpar sex, I changed my mindset: stimulation over penetration.
Taking a page out of Dr. Kerner's book, I learned that the clitoris is the powerhouse of the female orgasm and that it's bigger than most guys, and girls, think. The clitoris has 18 parts that make up a network, most of which is not visible.
With new information, I researched positions that provided the most stimulation to the clitoris.
Girl-on-top, doggy style, and CAT (Coital Alignment Technique) all seem to stimulate the clitoris more effectively than traditional missionary (though legs over the shoulder is a different story…).
In girl-on-top and CAT, the penis is positioned in a way that allows for both significant penetration and firm contact of the male pubic bone against the clitoris.
Penetration and friction against the clitoris is the golden zone. Also, positions like Doggy style create a tighter fit and free up the hands for self-pleasure. For more on these positions, check out here and here.
Watch any mainstream porn video and the narrative echoes a similar buildup: The guy makes out with the girl for maybe thirty seconds, quickly makes his way down to the vulva, eats her out for another thirty seconds, and gets right into penetration. Porn is entertainment. It's built to put on a show, not as a guide to maximizing pleasure.
There's a time and place for a quickie, but for me, the most mind-blowing sex lasts between 30 and 45 minutes from first to last kiss. Penetration might account for just 10 to 12 minutes.
Commit to the time frame.
Kiss her lips, face, neck, breasts, stomach, and other parts of her body like you are entirely in the moment, and you should be. Don't just check the boxes of what you think comprises excellent foreplay.
You have a beautiful woman in your bed who deserves your presence. Each journey down to the vulva is different, so use this present state of mind to explore.
Once you get down to the vulva, savor the buildup.
Kiss the inside of the thighs and around the lips with the same passion of an intense make-out. Then, when she isn't expecting it, press your lips against hers and make the first "kiss" an event. For more on the first "kiss," check out She Comes First.
Apply Pressure and Bury
For me, the two cues that seem to bring the most pleasure to my partners while going down are bury the face and apply pressure.
What is bury the face?
You know how in porn the guy can somewhat stab at the vulva with his tongue?
His face is backed away, and he extends his tongue to make contact with the lips. This action makes for a proper camera shot, but not much more.
When I get the best feedback from my partner, my tongue is buried against her vulva. If there were a camera on me you wouldn't be able to see my tongue. I maintain a lot of contact between the vulva and my tongue, lips, and gums.
To apply pressure, I let my tongue act as a wall against the vulva. I flatten my tongue as she presses against it, and at times, let her do the work.
Expand the surface area.
As she's forcefully grinding her pelvis against the tongue, apply an equal force back as a solid base.
Feel her movement.
Stay in sync.
You'll be able to sense when to push harder or pull back.
In this position, you are letting her dictate the flow. You'd be surprised how effectively she can reach climax when you merely maintain the stiffness of the tongue as a pelvic-grinding surface.
Another way to apply pressure is with the fingers.
Most of the time, I stay away from "finger fucking” while giving oral sex.
Instead, I maintain steady pressure with my index and middle finger in the "come hither" position against the upper wall of the vagina, to what many refer to as the g-spot.
As I hit the tongue strokes, I keep this finger pressure applied with subtle movement. Rather than rapidly moving the fingers in and out (finger fucking), try exerting a constant force for spans of 30 to 60 seconds.
For me, simultaneous tongue and finger strokes get complicated, which is why I stay steady with one as I paint with the other.
During oral sex, when you find something that works, stick with it.
Too often, guys look to change the stroke for fear that they need to switch things up. If you're feeling a great response, don't get fancy.
It’s easy to confuse the pre-orgasm phase with the orgasm. Keep working with the fingers and tongue until the orgasm subsides. You can actually extend the female orgasm by maintaining pressure through the contractions.
For more on the tongue and orgasm phases, She Comes First has an excellent guide for various cunnilingus strokes.
Pressure Off The Penis
My goal, although it doesn't always transpire, is to bring my partner to orgasm before any penetration. Some women can take up to 20 minutes to orgasm from oral sex which is why it’s important to commit to the time frame.
Imagine making her cum before she climbs on top of you.
I feel an enormous weight off of my shoulders knowing that my partner has been satisfied before intercourse.
Males focus mountains of energy on not ejaculating, and anxiety only quickens the outcome.
Also, unlike guys, women possess the gift of multiple orgasms. Once she comes first, it can be easier to come again. Take the pressure off of the penis and spend some time on the tongue.
Reassure, Reassure, Reassure
Some women may feel self-conscious during cunnilingus, even more so than during sex itself.
Can you blame her?
The guy's face is buried between her thighs, a massively vulnerable position. She may feel nervous about how she looks, smells, or she may be wondering if you actually "want" be down there.
Assure her that you do.
In situations where I sense slight insecurities from my partner, I make sure to provide reassurance. I may say something like,
"I love the way you smell" or "You taste unbelievable."
Let her know that this is not a chore.
You want to be doing this.
It's a beautiful act, so make sure that she feels beautiful.
Also, some women may not be fans of oral sex. Not everyone responds the same way. Work with your partner to figure out what works best for them, for both inter and outercourse. Reassurance is okay, but don’t pressure someone into a position that they may not be comfortable with.
Breathe In, Breathe Out
When going down on my partner, I try to enter a relaxed, meditative state, almost like a flow zone.
I want her to lose herself and go crazy. Me, I need to stay focused and read her body. If I'm overthinking or become overexcited, I won't perform to my full potential.
I think about a couple of crucial things between the thighs (pressure and bury, remember??), but beyond that, my mind is clear.
Cunnilingus is her time to reap the benefits of pleasure. My job is to stay locked in.
To stay in a meditative state, I play music.
Nothing gets me in the zone like the right playlist, and not just for sex. I wash dishes, walk to work, and organize my room to tunes.
Take the time to also craft a soundtrack for sex. Just make sure to check in with your partner about the song selection. A sensual jam to you may be a distraction to your partner.
When I'm going down, four to five songs can fly by as I enter a rhythm.
Have fun with the playlist.
Pick tracks with an excellent beat that you enjoy.
Don't stick to the classic songs on sensual radio. Marvin Gaye is a master, but he's just not my style. But throw on Astroworld, and I'll see you in an hour.
Here To Serve
With most experiences, I try to maintain the servant mentality. In business, friendships, relationships, and yes, even sex, the servant mentality can transport you to sublime places.
Instead of worrying about how I will benefit from the outcome, I ask myself:
How can I make this experience as fun and fulfilling as possible for the other person?
Quality service, a customer-first-focus, is the key to satisfaction in the bedroom, business, and beyond.
Earlier in life, I didn't always embrace the servant mentality . Back in college, I had what most would refer to as the "notch in the belt” mindset. I reframed situations to my benefit, focusing on quantity over quality.
Then, I started to see how shifting my effort towards the fulfillment of others increases my own level of fulfillment.
Now, before I grab a drink with a buddy, I ask myself, "How can I make this the best possible experience for him?"
Before hanging with group of friends, I'll ask myself, "How can I make this an incredible night. What attitude will get us there?"
Before a date, I'll say to myself, "You know, maybe this girl had a bad week, I want her to forget about all the bullshit for two hours."
This servant mentality also works in the bedroom:
How can I make her most comfortable?
What can I do to make sure that she has a mind-numbing, sexually satisfying experience?
How can I delay my gratification to make this better for both of us?
The best part is that when she has a good time, so do you.
Be the guy that makes her cum first, and then make her come again.
Also, men and women are built differently. Guys generally have an easier time reaching climax, which is why billion-dollar markets exist to delay the male orgasm.
When's the last time you heard a girl complain about finishing too quickly? It makes sense that the female orgasm should garner our undivided attention.
Communication is Key
With your partner, one of the worst things that you can do is not communicate. For sex, the talk outside of the bedroom feeds into the experience between the sheets. Intoxicating chemistry builds hours before the first kiss.
So does tension.
Make her feel beautiful and wanted from the first second you see her. Listen. Ask her how her day was and stay invested. Kiss her on the back of the neck when she comes home.
There's no emotional divide between our everyday experiences and our sexual experiences.
Sincere communication pays dividends in the bedroom, while poor habits sap pleasure.
Guys and Girls Are Different
Setting the mood and curating a relaxed, sensual vibe feeds into the state of arousal. Men and women experience arousal differently.
Most men operate on spontaneous desire and are aroused much more mechanically. A guy can see his apartment burning down and still hit it from behind as he incurs third-degree burns.
Women, on average, are much more responsive.
They respond to context and multiple sexual cues. For a woman to be turned on, parts of her brain need to turn off, literally. According to an fMRI study, the more a woman gets aroused, the more pieces of her mind associated with stress and anxiety deactivate.
For men, as we approach climax, our brain scans light up like fireworks.
Most women crave a relaxing, secure environment.
For the most part, a guy can orgasm at a less than ideal comfort level as long as he is sexually aroused. No matter how effective the stimulation, most women cannot finish in an unrelaxed state.
Spend time on the colors, smells, and overall vibe of the bedroom. Candles add a sensual aesthetic. I also recommend checking out Philips Hue Lights and the UE Roll to command lighting and music from your phone.
Set an inviting stage for sex and good things will happen.
Big Spoon, Little Spoon
After the fun part is over, don't forget to cuddle.
After the climax, a guy's sexual interest falls off a cliff as he rapidly enters the refractory period.
Women come down much more slowly after sex. Typically, women crave more conversation and contact than guys after bumping pelvises.
As a guy, be conscious of this and talk to her. Even if you can't resist passing out, position yourself in a place where she can be against you. The post-sex communication period, both verbal and somatic, is vital to the connection between partners.
Embrace The Ride and Talk It Out
In the end, sex is a journey.
Sex is meant to be fun and exciting. Not every time will be the best, and mundane performances are part of that journey. Evaluate your sex life in periods of months and years. Don’t nitpick every time.
Over the long term, communication is the most critical factor to improve sexual experience.
Your partner can't read your mind.
If you want to try something new, if a position feels uncomfortable, if you crave more aggressiveness, don't sit back and expect things to change.
Build-in sex centered talks as a part of normal conversation.
Toys, role play, fantasy, positions, nothing should be off-limits. Throw it on the Google Calendar if you have to. Remember, what you are experiencing or feeling is normal. A worthwhile partner will understand and encourage you to share your desires.
Again, these are a few points that have been beneficial in my sexual experiences. Feel free to ignore everything I said or modify some points.
Run with it.
And, of course, when I say “men” and “women” I am speaking generally.
On an individual level, sexual preference vary wildly, which makes talking about these things even more important. Experiment, communicate, and don't take sex too seriously.
Sex should be a celebration of the journey, not a place of pressure.
As my not so good friend Travis Scott says, "There are a lot of us out here that are birds, man. We all need just to fly."