The His and Hers Guide to Oral Sex

Fun fact: Guys in their thirties are more, um, giving.

While there’s little data from a generation ago, every expert we talked to says women are on the receiving end of oral sex more than ever. That’s possible because we’re more confident in bed: A recent study found that women who expressed their needs received more oral sex and that most young women believe it’s a turn-on for guys rather than a turnoff. “This points to a significant attitude shift—more women feel they deserve pleasure,” says Michael Reece, Ph.D., director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, Bloomington. We love that. It’s like entering a topless bar. Other news we just had to share:

It Happens More in Relationships.

Guys are more likely to go down on a woman when they’re in a relationship rather than during an impromptu fling, says a recent study. “People do a wider range of sexual acts in committed relationships,” notes study author Peter K. Jonason, Ph.D., a psychologist at the University of South Alabama.

Older Men and Younger Women Are the Most Generous.

The statistics say it all: Roughly 75 percent of women in their early twenties performed oral sex on a guy in the past year compared with 60 percent of thirtysomethings, according to a 2010 survey from the Center for Sexual Health Promotion. But among men, 55 percent of young twentysomethings doled it out compared with 69 percent of guys in their thirties.

It’s Not Much Safer Than Sex.

Readers always ask us, so here are the facts: The risks of acquiring STD from oral sex are slightly lower than through vaginal or anal, but you can, and it’s probably riskier for a woman to go down on a guy than vice versa. “Treat it as you would intercourse,” says J. Dennis Fortenberry, M.D., an STD researcher at Indiana University. That means getting tested and using a condom until you both get a clean bill of health.

Women Enjoy Receiving and Giving.

Gone is the idea that it’s obligatory sex like a birthday present for a man. An online study from the University of Alberta found that women usually connect going down on a guy with feelings of excitement and even power. “Women aren’t doing it just to please their partners,” says study author Brea Malacad. “There’s an element of control. It’s something that she can do for him that he can’t do for himself.” He wishes!

John Kempf Administrator

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