Today’s reader question is about giving oral sex to your husband:
Could you please send links to articles that specifically address wives who are averse to “finishing” when we give oral sex to our husbands. … his desire for me to do this comes up periodically and he has been very kind and patient about my aversion. I know it is a mental hangup and you have addressed the gag reflex, but [it] still seems repulsive, even though I love everything else about my husband’s body. Am I just selfish? He is so undemanding in every aspect of our marriage, so the fact that he still brings it up means it is a strong wish. I have managed a couple of times over the years, but I had to hide how unpleasant it was to me. And he stresses that he wants me to enjoy it, or we don’t do it. (He asked me to ask you.)
Hmmm. I actually had an aversion myself to the word finishing. Using that word makes it sound like if you don’t swallow your husband’s ejaculate, he didn’t get to finish. But I presume he did, somehow or other. Oral sex without swallowing isn’t unfinished business.
That said, I know many husbands desire that their wives take their ejaculate into their mouths and even swallow. I’ve encouraged men who write me about this to make the request but let it go if she simply can’t stomach the idea. Having a great sex life in marriage doesn’t mean that your partner performs every sexual activity you desire. There should be mutuality in the marriage bed.
But the query is from a wife, at the request of her husband, so I’m going to address that side of the equation. And I do believe that a number of wives adverse to the idea could learn to accept semen into their mouth and even swallow, at least on occasion.
Let’s just address this question first: Is it hygienic? Yes, it’s perfectly fine to swallow semen. It even contains vitamins, sodium, and fructose, all of which you ingest in food. One study oddly showed that semen has antidepressant qualities, so there might even be a health benefit. The only caveat here is if he has a sexually transmitted disease, but then it’s not the semen that’s the problem, but rather contact with any outbreak on the skin. Otherwise, it’s totally fine.
What about the taste? It tends to be a bit salty, but can taste sweet — depending on what your husband eats and his specific taste. If you don’t like the taste of his semen, he can do several things to improve its flavor: wash thoroughly in the area beforehand, avoid smoking, incorporate more fruit and/or fruit juices into his diet, cut down on red meat and dairy consumption, drink plenty of water. You could also add a flavored personal lubricant to the experience, to sweeten the overall taste.
How about the texture? Some people have fewer issues with taste than texture. Semen is about the consistency of a beaten egg, so it’s a thick liquid that may not appeal to some wives. If this is the sole issue, then letting your husband ejaculate in the back of your mouth, closer to your throat, will keep you from dealing with the texture much, if at all.
How do you address the gag reflex? If you have a strong gag reflex, then you need to consider how to make fellatio work well for you. First things first: You don’t have to swallow him; that is, put his whole penis into your mouth or “deep-throat.” His sensitivity is mainly in the head of the penis, and you can concentrate there and stroke his shaft to provide additional pressure and pleasure. (See also What Does He Mean by “Oral Sex”? (It May Not Be What You Think).) Also, consider changing positions to find a comfortable angle for your mouth and throat.
If it’s the ejaculate itself causing you to gag, you can try a couple of things: (1) Train yourself ahead of time by putting your finger toward your throat until you feel a reaction, then breathe and relax through the sensation. Repeating this practice can help you overcome a gag reflex. (2) When you feel yourself starting to gag, tuck your left thumb into your left hand, as if making a first, and squeeze your thumb. I don’t know if this works, but I saw so many articles and testimonies online about this working, it seemed worth mentioning. If someone else has tried this, let us know in the comments.
What about the mental block? You might logically get over all these issues, but in the moment, some little part of your brain yells, Oh my gosh, that’s man-juice in my mouth. Yuck! Hey, we’re biologically and culturally primed to avoid ingesting things that are bad for us or even weird. So it’s understandable that you might have a negative visceral reaction to the idea of semen in there.
Honestly, getting over that is like getting over anything else you want to do but have an initial aversion to doing. You have to re-frame how you think about it, reminding yourself constantly that this is okay and even good; then take baby steps toward changing your behavior; and reward yourself for progress you make. It takes time and intentionality, but there really isn’t another magical formula. You can most likely break through the mental block, but only if you want to and if you adopt actions that help you shift your thinking about this practice.
Are you selfish for not wanting to? It doesn’t sound like you are, because (1) you’ve actually tried and (2) y’all seem to have great sexual intimacy otherwise. You’re not looking at your husband and telling him you don’t want sex to be pleasurable for him; rather, you’re wanting it to be mutually pleasurable and this particular area just happens to be unpleasant. Even if a sexual activity is entirely permissible and good in marriage, that doesn’t mean you have to do it. Sexual intercourse is the only activity commanded in the Bible, even though we have the freedom to do much more.
Neither spouse gets to demand a specific sex act, and we should feel secure and confident enough in the marital bedroom to say something like, “I will happily do A, B, and C, but I’m just not comfortable with X.” At the end of the day, you may decide you flat-out don’t want to do this. And really, you and your husband can have a great sex life without it.
But since it’s important to him, and he has not demanded it but rather requested, is there a way you can make it happen? I love that your husband said he wants you to give him fellatio all the way to ejaculation only if it can be enjoyable for you too. So the final question really is: How can you make this an enjoyable experience?
Many wives do enjoy giving a “blow job” and swallowing. How do they do it? Here are some final tips:
- Think about fellatio positively. Shed the worry about your mouth touching that area of his body, because it’s also just skin — albeit rather erogenous skin.
- Keep your mouth from being overwhelmed. Try different angles and actions to see what feels reasonably comfortable while still being arousing to him, and ask him to be gentle in his movements and let you have more control. Also, check out the chapter on oral sex in Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design where I explain how to perform fellatio in a way that works for both of you.
- Focus on the pleasure you’re providing. You know how awesome it feels when your husband concentrates on giving you incredible pleasure and even a mind-blowing orgasm? That’s how this feels to him, and you are making it happen. High-five yourself, girlfriend!
- Anticipate when he’s coming. It can be a shock for him to suddenly gush into your mouth. If you can’t read his body signals, unlikely until you’ve done this a number of times, ask him to tell you when he’s about to ejaculate so you’ll know it’s coming.
- Relax your mouth and throat. If you can anticipate, you can relax your mouth and throat even more in that moment. You might want to slow or stop your mouth motion and focus on your relaxation and his release.
- Take control of where the ejaculate lands. If you have an issue with swallowing, try having him release closer to your throat so his fluid isn’t hanging around in your mouth for long. It’s just in, swallow, done. Literally takes seconds. Some wives would rather taste and savor semen, and they can shift their mouths accordingly. But get yourself into a position that works for you.
- Clear out your mouth if you need to. If you feel the need, jump up when it’s over and go swish some mouthwash around in your mouth. Gurgle with it, so that your throat gets cleared too. Keep a drink, a breath mint, or gum nearby if you want to replace the taste lingering in your mouth.
Do you have to perform this act? No. But if it’s really important to your husband and you are willing to try, then take some time and effort and see if you can make it happen. A lot of wives who used to balk about swallowing learned how to enjoy it. You might too.