Let me preface this with a fairly obvious disclaimer: you should never pressure someone into something they’re uncomfortable with in bed.

For every sex act that one person loves, there’s someone that finds it as arousing as unclogging the shower drain, cunnilingus being one of the most polarizing aspects of sex.  

In 2017, arguably the golden age of eating ass, something as vanilla as oral sex is still an uneven playing field in hetero relationships. According to a study published in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, (hetero) women are more than twice as likely to go down on their partners compared to (hetero) men.

Why do so many men still, as a rule, refuse to go down on women?

Sex and relationship blogger Oloni says guys not going down on their girl is a common issue.

“I constantly receive dilemmas from young women who are upset that their male sexual partner has no interest in wanting to explore their body in various ways,” she says. “Oral sex being one especially.”

It’s ok to not be in the mood for cunnilingus 24/7, and if your man happens to be all vulva’d out you should probably respect that.

But...the idea that a guy would never go down on a girl on principle because our bodies are gross? Or complicated? Or not worth the effort?

That idea seriously needs to die out.

Love me, lick me

It’s important to contest the aversion to cunnilingus because it comes steeped in misogynist narrative. Men who refuse to give oral either find it gross or emasculating...or both.

Or ever worse, they lack the basic understanding of the female orgasm and think vaginal sex will ostensibly make both parties come.

The beauty of oral sex lies within its intimacy: you’re fully devoting yourself to your partner’s pleasure, and you’re in complete control of your partner’s sexual energy.

Of course many women don’t enjoy being eaten out, but that doesn’t change the fact that there’s an oral sex double standard. You should want to go down on me because you should want to make me cum. “I think it makes them feel sexually inferior,” says Oloni.  “A lot of men enjoy being the dominant partner during sex, but fail to understand you can still be dominant and please a woman through oral.”

So when men are adamant about going downtown, they’re contributing to the pervasive notion that our bodies exist solely to satisfy them, while our sexual pleasure comes second (pun intended) or ignored altogether. You’re saying we don’t deserve to be pleasured if you don’t get something out of it.

To many women, receiving oral sex has emotional resonance too. The internalized belief that our genitals are ugly means we’ve been socialized to be self conscious of our vaginas, that they look and smell weird, or that something is wrong with them. Genital dissatisfaction in women is so common that according to the American Society for Aestetic Plastic Surgery, 4.6% of women having labiaplasty are under 18.

A refusal to go downtown not only means you’re unwilling to sexually gratify us (which is bad enough), but you’re also pathologizing our bodies and hurting our self-confidence. Whether intentionally or not, you’re essentially body shaming.

Vulvas may not taste like a Krispy Kreme but spoiler alert, your dick isn’t an Original Glazed, nor does it smell any better than what we have between our legs. Ladies, I’m here to tell you your vulva is perfect and healthy and 100% cunnilingus-worthy. However it smells or tastes is absolutely fine, and anyone who shames you for it doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near it.

Don’t be a pussy, eat a pussy

Lack of proper sex ed means we learn mostly from mainstream porn, most of which is made by men for men. When the aim is to satisfy the male gaze, your average hetero porn rarely reciprocates oral sex. So if life imitates art porn, head for the woman is rare. While blowjobs are basically a given during sex, women don’t expect - let alone demand - to be eaten out in return (if you do, you’re doing amazing sweetie).

The female orgasm is complex and still mostly misunderstood, ignored and trivialized in both pop culture and the medical community. Most women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, so friction by penetration isn’t enough (no matter how good your dick is). By not going down on a woman you’re effectively slashing her chances of an orgasm, and Oloni says it usually boils down to selfishness or being lazy.

I understand that cunnilingus is a nuanced task that differs from woman to woman, but if we’re willing to test our gag reflex, while somehow erasing the existence of teeth and incorporating balls while remembering to breathe...men could at least extend the courtesy with some tongue action.

And if you’re worried about getting lady juices all over your face, think about it this way: if every woman who ever got jizzed on her face stopped sucking dick, well, there’s be a lot less blowjobs.

Nice guys finish last

Being repulsed by the idea of eating a woman out comes down to the idea that vulvas are gross and female pleasure doesn’t matter that much, but perpetuating negative, ineffective sexual behaviour benefits no one. The idea that women exist solely to sexually gratify men is still deeply ingrained in our way of thinking about sex, which is precisely why cunnilingus is still considered such a taboo.

You should always respect your partner’s boundaries, but it’s unfair to everyone to sexually coddle men for fear of hurting their egos. Much like you shouldn’t fake orgasms, it’s in your best interest to let him know he’s not fulfilling your sexual needs. “It should only be a deal breaker if you require it,” says Oloni. “If you're not fussed, then that's fine. You can always explore in complete different ways.”

You’re entitled to an orgasm, and if being eaten out is important to you he should be giving you not only what you want, but what you require.