Every month in Sex at Our Age, award-winning senior sexpert Joan Price answers your questions about everything from loss of desire to solo sex and partner issues. Nothing is out of bounds! To send your questions directly to Joan, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A member writes:
Six months ago, I made a strong connection with a man who lives far from me. We met in person once, then developed a lovely, long-distance texting and phoning relationship. We recently booked a trip to get to know one another in person and explore the possibility of a real ongoing relationship. We spent four nights in the same bed, mostly cuddling and kissing, and having penetrative sex twice. I came close to vaginal orgasm, and I love the way we kiss and feel to each other.
The problem: My new lover told me that he is not into oral sex — it is not his thing. Receiving oral sex is the main way I can reach orgasm with a partner! We are in our late 60s, and he has never even tried cunnilingus. He only received fellatio one time 40 years ago, and he did not like it. I felt sad, disappointed, and confused.
I really like this man. Oral sex is an intimate act and I am not going to pressure him or demand he try it right away. I want to be sensitive, not demanding. We are just learning about each other, and there are many levels of intimacy. I get the feeling he may be open to trying, yet he seems inhibited, or maybe it’s lack of confidence.
How do I teach and encourage him to go down on me? He is a virgin with oral. What if he is unteachable or turned off by oral sex? I am not sure yet if this is a deal breaker.
At this stage of my life, this relationship feels like a gift and is satisfying on many levels. I am delighted to find a man who feels so kind and compatible. Neither of us has been in an intimate relationship for many years, and everything is new and exciting. Am I missing some red flags?
— Can Oral Sex Be Taught?
Can a man in his late 60s who has never performed cunnilingus be taught to do it, like it, and become proficient at satisfying his partner this way? Yes, if he’s open to learning.
I think it’s important to understand why he never tried giving oral pleasure to a partner in the past and what’s behind his reluctance now. Does he just need education? Or does he find the idea distasteful? Try asking him questions like these:
- “I’d like to understand your feelings about cunnilingus. Why have you never tried it?”
- “What do you imagine when you think about doing it with me?”
- “What would need to happen for you to be willing to try it with me?”
- “How can I help you feel comfortable about doing it with me?”
If he says something like, “It seems dirty,” or “I don’t like the taste/ smell,” or “That’s not something a man does with a woman he respects,” then I think his sex-negative beliefs are too ingrained, and you’re probably sexually incompatible. Enjoy what’s good between you now, but will it become a deal breaker in the future? I’d say yes. You have a right to the kind of sexual pleasure that works best for you.
But suppose he says, “I worry that I’d do it wrong and I wouldn’t please you. This is all new to me. I don’t know what to do or how to do it.” Ah, what a lovely invitation to teach him!
All vulva owners are different, and even if he had previous experience, he wouldn’t know what you like. If he wants to learn, start with baby steps if he’s nervous. For example, you might ask him to get close to your vulva and watch while he uses touch to excite you. He’ll see how your genitals respond to stimulation. You could show him with your own lubricated finger what you’d like his tongue to do in the future. Let him get used to the idea of what you’d enjoy without pressure to do it right away if he’s anxious.
Once he’s ready to try, take the pressure off by saying you’re not expecting an orgasm through oral sex (for now) — you just want to help him know what arouses you. Give him plenty of honest, positive feedback, such as, “a little higher on my clitoris,” or “suck gently,” or “flick faster.” Think of it as exploring, not trying to reach a destination. Later, when he feels comfortable and competent, help him learn how to stimulate you to orgasm orally.
These books are excellent guides — buy him one or both, and bookmark what you’d like to try:
- She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman by Ian Kerner
- The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus: How to Go Down on a Woman and Give her Exquisite Pleasure 2nd edition by Violet Blue
I admire your willingness to go slowly and take every moment as a gift. I hope it pays off for you! But please don’t back off from asking for what you want and need for sexual pleasure.
Send Joan your questions by emailing email@example.com. All information is confidential. Joan can only answer questions that are chosen for publication.
Joan Price is the author of several books including “The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50” and the award-winning self-help book “Naked at Our Age.” Visit Joan’s blog, “Naked at Our Age” and her Facebook page. For senior sex news, tips, event and webinar announcements, and special offers, join Joan’s mailing list. View Joan’s new free webinar, “Safer Sex for Seniors.”