Welcome to Hump Day, where award-winning psychotherapist and TV host Dr. Jenn Mann answers your sexiest questions—unjudged and unfiltered. Have a quandary? Email us anonymously at HumpDay@instyle.com
DEAR DR. JENN,
I’m very generous when it comes to giving my boyfriend oral sex, but he doesn’t return the favor very often. Once in a while, he’ll go down on me unprompted. But if I ask him to—which I really don't want to have to—I can tell he does it unenthusiastically. How do I address this? —Uncunning Linguist
You need to teach him how to use his mouth—to communicate, that is. It sounds like you have asked for head but have not asked about his hesitation to give it. Try asking open-ended, non-judgmental questions ("I have noticed you don't tend to initiate giving me oral sex. What holds you back? What can I do to help change this?") with some positive reinforcement ("You are so good at it! You get me so turned on when you do it!").
In my clinical experience, men who are withholding in this area fall into one of the following four categories: The most common reason I see men hold back is their own insecurities about performance. Vaginas are complicated, and what gets women off is varied. Men who have received negative feedback or whose performance did not inspire enthusiasm often just stop trying. These guys need patient, kind, encouraging teachers.
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The second group is those who are used to women saying "no" when they offer. There are a lot of women who have internalized society's negative messages about their lady parts and, as a result, don't let men get up close and personal with them. These men just need the green light, and they are usually good to go.
The third group is the selfish dudes who expect blow jobs constantly but don't return the favor. These guys tend to be more traditional in their beliefs and expect to be taken care of sexually with little effort on their part. Many of these guys can be enlightened and turned around, but some of them won't ever change. And do you really want an unenlightened fellow under your bedsheets for the long haul?
Lastly, and this is the minority of the group, is the guy who has hygiene concerns. A shower before sex can help, asking about bush preferences goes a long way, and making sure you are healthy (infection free) in the area can make a world of difference, if that is the problem.
I've noticed that I don't see this kind of disparity in generosity with same-sex couples as often. But I think that's in part because it's easier to understand why your partner loves a specific sensation if you've experienced it yourself. That's actually good news for you: It suggests that most of all, this is an issue of perspective, so if you can get your BF to see yours, there is hope!
But don't forget: Good partners like to please their woman, so you shouldn't be embarrassed about wanting more oral sex from yours. Be gentle but direct in asking for what you want. Don't beat around the bush, so to speak. Make sure he knows how much you love his tongue action, give lots of positive feedback, and keep the conversation open and non-judgemental. If he's a worthy partner, once he sees your effort, he will soon be as generous as you are.