What to do when a partner refuses to go down on you

By Priya Alika

It’s the stuff of nightmares. You’re in the middle of sex, you’re gently guiding your partner’s head down between your legs – and suddenly, he pulls away and says with finality: “I’m not going to eat you out.” 

Unfortunately, it’s a phenomenon too many women can relate to. Although blowjobs are a super accepted (and expected) part of porn, cunnilingus is much less mainstream. DJ Khaled famously declared an aversion to ever going down on a woman, and there is no shortage of men who will happily explain why they don’t perform oral sex on their partners.

This spells bad news for women (considering most of us can’t come from penetrative sex). How are we supposed to get off when our partners aren’t interested in giving us head? Here are some ways to address it.

1) Ask what the deal is

Yes, it can feel weird and awkward to discuss sex in a clinical fashion. But this is a conversation that needs to be had. You need to tell your partner: “Hey, I’ve noticed that you aren’t a big fan of oral. What’s the story with that?” Encourage them to be forthcoming about their issues with oral sex. 

Maybe there’s some deep-seated phobia going on with your partner, or maybe he thinks that vaginas are ‘unclean’ or ‘unhygienic’ somehow (a surprisingly common belief among men who don’t like to go down on women). If this is the case, he needs to tell you so that you two can work it out and you can dispel any myths he might have. 

2) Suggest a compromise 

Okay, so you’ve established that he won’t go down on you. Is there any wiggle room there? Would he go down on you if you were 69-ing? Would he use sex toys on you to get you off instead? Find out what he is willing to do in bed to pleasure you and take it from there. With time, it’s quite possible that he might relax his rigid stance on cunnilingus. If not, decide whether or not this is a dealbreaker for you. It may not be, but it also may be. You're fine either way- listen to your gut (/vulva). 

3) Explain that oral sex is a two-way street...because it is

Repeat after us: it’s not unreasonable to expect head if you’re giving head. After all, blowjobs are work too. You have to think about teeth placement, gag reflexes, breathing patterns, and god knows what else. 

Let your partner know that you put in a lot of work to please them sexually, and that you expect reciprocity. If they aren’t willing to go down on you – well, maybe it’s time to rethink the frequency of the fellatio that you provide. There’s no need to fight, or to give your partner an ultimatum: simply tell them that you base your sex life on principles of fairness. This might be just the reminder he needs to kick up his game. 

4) Remember you deserve the world 

If your partner is a run-of-the-mill selfish person who doesn’t go down on you because he’s sexist…tell him: “Boy, bye.” Men get away with not satisfying women because the bar is so low – don’t be a woman who accepts the bare minimum. If you're someone who loves receiving oral sex, make it very clear from the outset that you expect head. Prioritizing your pleasure does not make you selfish: at most, you’re just behaving like a man would. 

If he can’t oblige, well, there’s no shortage of other men who will. Hold on to that thought and don’t be afraid to cut off men who can’t please you in the ways that you need. Once you become intolerant of bad sex, you will clear the path to the sexual bliss that you so richly deserve. Good luck out there, sis.


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