Oral Sex: Your Power, My Pleasure
How teasing gets me out of my anxiety and into the perfect headspace for sex
I’ve been dating a guy who stated very clearly in the beginning of our relationship that he doesn’t like power play.
“I don’t like being put in the role of an aggressor,” he told me.
I get it… he doesn’t want to be a bad guy. But this value is also why he’s the perfect candidate for power-play during sex. He doesn’t really want to hurt me or control me day-to-day. So if I give up power to him, or he to me, it’s just play. We’ll come back to neutral afterwards.
I love power play. I crave it — even need it — to really enjoy sex. I notice power dynamics everywhere and I can’t pretend they aren’t there. If a guy is on top of me, for example, he has more power. Let’s not pretend it isn’t true.
Desire is power too. If I feel desired, I feel powerful.
I’ve tried explaining to him that it’s not always about aggression, though maybe it sometimes appears that way from the outside. If you’re watching a man shoving a woman around as she passively submits to his will, it can certainly look like an abusive dynamic. It makes sense my guy wouldn’t want to be that man.
But there’s more to consensual power play than what you see from the outside. For me, it’s a way to get out of my head and into my body. There’s a storyline to playing with power that pulls you in. After reading Meaghan Ward’s piece, Is Oral Sex a Dominant or Submissive Act?, I thought oral sex is a good starting point to exploring power exchange in sex.
I love going down on a guy I’m into.
If I’m really into a guy, I love giving it. I love making him feel good, and I love knowing that I’m the reason he feels so good.
I love the power surge I get as I kiss my way down his chest and belly, as I get lower and lower, as I feel his body quiver in response.
I love feeling his muscles stretch as his desire for me builds.
I love when he places his hands on my head and pushes me gently. I love feeling his struggle as he fights the urge to push me too hard.
I love knowing that it’s because of me he’s feeling this way. This makes me feel in tune with him and connected.
Receiving oral sex is another story.
The feeling of a tongue on my clit is physically great — but sex, of course, isn’t just about the physical. If I’m not in the right head space, no matter how “right” the physical experience is, I just won’t enjoy it.
I have a hard time letting go, in general, and that includes during sex. I’m a somewhat anxious person, and I tend to get stuck in my head.
In long-term, more comfortable relationships, that might mean that during sex, I’m thinking about something that happened during the day or something I feel like I need to get done.
In new relationships though, I tend to get stuck in a space of self-conscious rumination.
I’ll find myself wondering such things as: Are my pubes too long? Do I smell and taste okay? Is he doing it because he enjoys it, or just because he feels obligated? Is he just waiting for me to orgasm so we can get to what he really wants? Am I taking too long?
It’s hard to feel pleasure with thoughts like this on replay.
I completely acknowledge that these are my insecurities and I should work on them on my own. But working on them with a partner is also great, and if I feel he’s really engaged, then I have the answer to my central question: Is he engaged and enjoying being with me? Yes.
So how do I know he’s engaged and enjoying?
In short, if he’s teasing me.
In the same way I am fully present when I’m teasing someone else, if he’s taking the time to torture me, I’ll know he’s with me.
I want his kisses to work their way down my neck, my chest, my ribs, all the way to my belly. I want to feel my back arch and my muscles stretch in anticipation of his mouth. I want him to kiss me and enliven my senses.
I don’t want him to go directly for what he might think is the sweet spot. Like a cat that swipes you if you pet it too much, I tend to get overstimulated. If I’m not 100% warmed up, as soon as his lips touch my clit, it’s usually already too much.
I want to be turned on so slowly I don’t notice the thoughts beginning to drain from my mind. I want him to make me want him so badly, I can’t help but to place my hands on his head and urge him in the direction that feels good. To lift my hips to meet his mouth.
And even then, I don’t want him to give it to me — because if he gives me exactly what I want, I’m going to stop wanting it.
I want to be so turned on that by the time he reaches his destination, I’m not even thinking anymore. I want to be so turned on, there’s no turning back.
I want to stay in a state of desire the entire time we’re together.
If he’s teasing me, he’s engaged.
Through the teasing, he’s making decisions. He’s feeling my body’s reactions, and he’s responding to them. If he does a certain thing and I twitch, or tremble, he’ll tune into that message from my body and respond.
He’s reading me, and I can feel he’s present.
If my hips rise up, he knows I want it, and he can choose to meet me or tease me more. If I settle back to the bed and stop moving, he’ll know I’m less engaged.
As he learns me, he’ll learn to pause and wait until I come back into my body. If I’ve merely gotten distracted by the thoughts in my head, he can do something different, touch me somewhere new, and reignite my desire.
There’s a constant state of engagement between us. We’re both on, and we’re both present.
Oral sex is just the beginning.
This dynamic is easiest to explain through oral sex, but it goes further. Even during penetrative sex, this give and take, this slowing down and speeding up, keeps me present. The exchange happens so fast, I t’s sometimes harder to tell in this case who has power and who is giving up power, but it’s happening.
So often men just thrust, and I find myself shutting down. But the moment of entry is the most intense, and I want to prolong that. If he’s on top, I want him to make it count. Go slow. Wait for me to respond before going deeper. If I’m on top, I’ll do the same.
How do I explain this to a guy who doesn’t like playing with power?
Maybe I need to put it up to a different lens. To me, it’s all about power — you have the power to make me feel good, use it for goddess’s sake!
But the focus doesn’t have to be there. Instead, maybe I should say: Just help me to feel the most pleasure.