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"Eating at the Y": Why It's a Good Thing

"Eating at the Y": Why It's a Good Thing

by Dr. Barb DePree

I may be going out on a limb here, but I’d like to make a case for oral sex. It gives us another avenue to intimacy and pleasure, and as such, is an important component of a lusty love life. It’s a skill that couples should try to develop. Or at least keep an open mind toward.

Here’s why.

First, most women (70 percent. Did you get that number?) don’t climax with vaginal penetration alone. In my practice, postmenopausal women commonly tell me that the only way they can orgasm is through clitoral stimulation or oral sex.

For all women, no matter the age, the most dependable orgasm is clitoral—which, as we’ve said before, is a powerful organ with twice as many nerve endings as the penis.

Sure, the clitoris (and the penis) can be stimulated in many creative ways, but the mouth and tongue are darned effective.

Second, I know I sound like a broken record, but we lose sensitivity and the ability to lubricate vaginally as we age. And our partner’s ability to maintain an erection will eventually wane as well, despite the little blue pill. As the old penis-in-vagina sex becomes less dependable, it’s helpful to have other tricks up our sleeve.

Oral sex is one way to keep sexual pleasure alive as a couple. No less venerable an institution than the AARP says so in this article. It makes sense to give ourselves alternatives and room for compensation, so that when one capability diminishes, another can fill in the gap.

Now, I’m not for a minute suggesting that you haven’t tried oral sex. Sex coach Kathleen Baldwin, says that “It’s somewhat rare in my experience to find a woman over 40 who doesn’t enjoy oral sex.” She thinks that mature women are less influenced by cultural norms and are more familiar with how their bodies function, including their lady parts.

For many women, however, the “yuck” factor presents an impediment. Some women consider their genitalia “gross.” They worry about cleanliness or odor. They worry that it will take them too long to climax.

Funny thing is, most men really like oral sex—both giving and receiving it. I ran across an article by a man on the topic, who writes:

It’s an amazing feeling to satisfy a woman, and cunnilingus is the most foolproof way to do it. It also minimizes our own performance phobia. Women can’t see what we’re doing, our tongues will never need Viagra and we’ve all got a similarly sized piece of equipment. But most of all, [cunnilingus] is a five-sense experience that places us up close and personal in a way that no other act can. …most vaginas smell and taste pleasantly mild…

The pleasure you can give your partner (and ultimately yourself) may be worth getting over any squeamishness. And you can always address the cleanliness issue by showering (or a bath!) before sex.

Oral sex, whether cunnilingus (oral sex to a woman’s genitalia) or fellatio (oral sex to a man’s genitalia) works best with some technique, and like any other skill, practice makes perfect. The most direct path to improvement is communication. You have to let your partner know what feels good. (More on technique in the next post.)

One final consideration: if you aren’t sure about your partner’s status with regard to sexually transmitted disease (STDs): you can still transmit them with oral sex. Chances of infection are lower, but Chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, human papyllomavirus (HPV), even HIV can still be “caught” through oral sex. For example, one woman I know caught genital herpes from a cold sore on her husband’s mouth!

So, if you’re with a new partner and you aren’t completely knowledgeable about his or her sexual history, you need to use protection—a dental dam (piece of latex placed over the vulva) condom, or femidom (female condom).

Kind of takes away the sexy, but it sure beats the alternative.

Oral sex is just another way of expressing intimacy and sharing pleasure. And it’s a particularly nice option if more traditional forms of lovemaking become problematic. Well, heck. It’s a nice option any time.


  • As a man ages, oral sex may be the only way he can achieve orgasm. I know that sounds self-serving and suspect to many of the women who will read this, especially those who are resistant to giving oral, but that does not make it any less true.

    The mouth does feel similar to a vagina and has no problem lubricating and the lube is edible. Forgive me for being truthful in a way that may be received as hurtful by some, but it also feels like a young vagina in that it feels toned (tight), has varying textures (tongue, teeth, lips, cheeks) and varying pressures. This does not mean a post-menopausal vagina is not capable of delivering pleasure to a husband and/or wife. What it does mean is that as a man inevitably loses sensitivity and rigidity in his penis, an aging vagina is less effective as stimulation than it used to be in the same way that an aging penis is less effective at delivering a sense of fullness and stimulation.

    Just as you will find yourself needing more frequent, direct and effective (better technique) clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm as you age, we men need more frequent, direct and effective penile stimulation. Not surprisingly, for most men, a handjob is not as effective as oral, although there are some men who say they cannot achieve orgasm by oral. I suspect in some cases oral is “more” effective because IT IS oral. Naughty and taboo are always more stimulating and oral, though fairly common now, is still that “forbidden” step beyond intercourse, as well as another step beyond mutual masturbation for many people.

    There is something not only very physically stimulating about your wife taking your penis into her mouth and taking you to orgasm, but it is also psychologically highly satisfying and fulfilling to know your wife is not only willing and but enjoys doing it. Some women really like the sense of power and control of the sexual experience they have when giving oral. It absolutely creates even greater bonding and connectedness for a man, if that has any significance to you wives. It can create a very intense and high-value sexual experience and orgasm for us husbands. We get the same intense and satisfying feelings when we give you oral to the point of multiple orgasms. We feel bonded, connected and on purpose in our relationship with you.

    If you have not been a fan of giving oral, I suggest you rethink your position on this. Whether your husband and you are aware of or not, oral may soon become his primary way of achieving orgasm before the lights go out completely, and yours as well. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater when it comes to giving or receiving oral sex especially as you age and move into post-menopause. You ARE going to have to redefine how you DO SEX as you age to continue to find it fulfilling. This is a good place to start.

    Dan on

  • Bravo, for launching into the topic of oral sex! It was much appreciated.

    Dinda on

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