Sugar Talk: Unreciprocated oral sex and the importance of the conversation sandwich

How do you define sex?

When is it OK to have sex? Who is OK to have sex with?

Are you having enough sex? Or what’s too much? Is there such a thing as too much or too little?

What makes something a fetish?

How do you ask for something new in the bedroom?

What’s a g-spot?

Is it weird if a straight guy wants anal penetration?

How do I talk to my kid about sex?

Why are so many people talking about “rape culture”? What does that even mean?

How do you know if you’ve had an orgasm? What does it mean if you’ve never had an orgasm?

Sex is delicious. And complicated. Frequently, accurate and useful information is hard to come by.

That’s why Sugar Talk is here.

In this column, we’ll cover sex, anatomy, sexuality, gender, relationships, sexual orientations, sex in popular culture, and most importantly, your questions.

My name is Jacq Jones; I’m a local sex educator and I own an education-focused sex toy store in Hampden called Sugar. I love talking about sex, I love helping people find their way to joy in their own sexuality and sexual expression, regardless of what that looks like. As long as it’s truly consensual, I am here to help you get the info you need to experience your desires.

I’ve been working in sex education and reproductive health care since 1994. I know a lot, but I don’t know everything. Sugar Talk will also feature medical professionals, sex workers, and other sex educators and professionals for answers and different perspectives. Often with sex, there’s more than one “right” answer. We’re going to work to cover a lot of bases. We’ll begin the column with a frequently asked question I encounter at the store from straight, cis women: “My boyfriend and I have been together for a few months. I go down on him, and I like doing it. But he never goes down on me. It doesn’t seem fair.”

You’re dealing with a super common issue. I’d start with telling him that you like receiving cunnilingus and ask him how he feels about it. It’s possible that he had a past partner who didn’t like it, or he’s been told that he’s “doing it wrong” so he’s avoiding it.

Conversations like these can feel a little intimidating. I promise that you’ll survive it. Start out by having the conversation someplace private, when you’re both sober, happy, and not about to have sex. Use the conversation sandwich. It’s a magic tool. Here’s how the sandwich works: First tell him how much you enjoy having sex with him, tell him about something that he does that feels really good to you, then tell him that receiving cunnilingus (pussy-licking) is something you’d love to receive from him and ask if that’s an option. Then listen.

If he’s willing to to try it, set up some time to play with cunnilingus. Set it up as separate from sex. View it as an experiment. Try different things. Laugh. Understand that licking someone’s genitals in the way that works for them can take practice and input from the person receiving the cunnilingus.

If he really just doesn’t like going down and isn’t willing to try it with you, you have some decisions to make. Is this a deal breaker for you? No one should do something they don’t like doing in the bedroom. Are there other parts of sex and your relationship that make up for not receiving that one thing? It can be OK to stay in a relationship that’s missing something. Relationship researchers John and Julie Gottman have found that every relationship has 10 problems. There is no such thing as a problem-free relationship. The key is to decide if the specific problems are deal breakers. It’s OK if this is a deal breaker. It’s OK if it’s not.

I will, however, make one exception to that rule. If he’s not going down because he thinks that pussies are dirty or gross, and he’s not willing to reconsider that concept (pro-tip—pussies are amazing, wonderful, magic creations that are absolutely not dirty or gross), that’s definitely not OK. As my friend and fellow sex educator Ducky Doolittle says, “Sometimes we’re fucking the wrong people.”

You deserve a partner who is deeply excited about your body and about having sex with you. This guy might be exactly that partner. If not, it might be time to move on. You deserve a partner who gives you the pleasure you desire. So, go get it—and let me know how it goes!

Do you have a question? Send me an email to And we’ll get to talking about sex.

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