The Belle Jar, Episode Four: Box Lunch

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Belle Jar has been busy for the last, oh, two months. But she’s back, this time tackling that most challenging of the bedroom arts: cunnilingus. As always, send comments, questions, and propositions to [email protected]

khkTo any straight man reading this: count yourself lucky, because it won’t happen again.  It’s no small thing for a lesbian to reveal the keys to cunnilingus.  This is the pussy card—the major advantage any lesbian has over any straight man, the one we deal to pick up the bicurious and girls in sexual crisis. Once she’s had a chick, she’ll never want a dick.  I’m telling you trade secrets here; I am giving you our Ace.

First, a caveat: I do not presume to speak for all women.  There are enough vaginas in the world for the variations in style and taste to overwhelm even the most thorough of instructors.  This is more of a small-scale survey piece, a dialogue—half notes, half creative license—of how-to-steps culled from the sharpest female minds (with the aid of a little wine).  Thank you kindly, ladies.

The Warm Up

Curly*: Here’s instruction number one: you’re probably going to suck.  A woman will inevitably be better than you.

Mo*: Agreed. Men, inevitably, will be slow on the uptake.  They’re dealing with equipment they don’t own.

Curly: Ok, so, from the beginning.

Mo: A very good place to start.

Curly: Let’s begin with positions. The girl, ideally, is up against the headboard—at least for me, that’s what works.

Mo: Or on her back. Legs over your shoulders.

Curly: Or sitting in a chair.  Or on her hands and knees and being licked from behind. Or kneeling over your face.

Mo: I love to watch the person, it’s like “oh my god, that person is licking my vagina.”  Complete turn-on.

Curly: The key throughout all of this is communication, at every turn.  You’re in there, and you have to be vocal. The best thing is if the person you’re going down on is being vocal and saying, yes, that’s good, but assuming they’re not, you’ve got to ask.  If you don’t, it can get awkward.

*not their real names, obviously

Mo: I’ve faked [orgasm] to avoid awkward issues of communication.

Curly: That’s such a waste.

Mo: Anyway, let’s keep going with this.

Curly: So there’s the question of what to do with your hands.

Mo: You’ve gotta grab the hips and the thighs.  The key is the juxtaposition of really soft tongue and rougher caresses with your hands.

Curly: Right.  This is why it’s so much better if someone is [finger] fucking and licking you at the same time.  You get the hard and the soft.

Mo: Whoa, slow down, we’ll get there.  First though, and this is key, guys need to learn how to get girls warmed up.

Curly: I like the person to use their fingers to just touch first.  The guys are divers.  You want to lick thighs, inner thighs, general pelvis area.  Breathe on the girl’s vagina.  If you’re a woman, put your breast on the person’s clit.

Mo: Ah! That’s the best!  …I don’t mind how you start, as long as you don’t go straight for the clit. I like someone to go from the rear to the top, in a long lick. You want to build it up, don’t jump the gun. Licking in between the inner and outer labia is really good.

Curly: Humming or moaning against the clit, also a good plan.

Introducing the Tongue

Curly: One thing guys do is try and spear the clit. Or they stick their whole face in it and go like this ~shakes head violently~ The whole thing is thinking of your tongue as a pancake, flatten it out. A: Also, often you get a woman and one side of her clit is more sensitive than the other, so if you’re sleeping with her for the first time, you’ve got to explore.

Mo: Don’t focus your tongue on the ball of the clit, on the ball really hurts.  And, going along with my spear motif, putting your tongue far into a girl’s vagina doesn’t do much for her.  Fingers are way more powerful. The other thing that’s very bad is that guys don’t wait until the girl is wet before they start using their fingers, and that’s hell.

Curly: Circular tongue technique is absolutely key.  Don’t lap, you’re not actually a dog.  A lady is not a water bowl.

Mo: Oh!  And sucking on the clit is also great!  That’s one of those moves that seems to work across the board with women.

Curly: Also, to go back a bit, it’s fundamental to embrace the pussy juice.  Cause if you don’t, you’re fucked.  Granted, if the girl hasn’t showered recently, especially after a trip to the gym, it’s going to be unpleasant and you’re allowed some leeway.

Mo: Hip-hop music is really good for giving head.  It helps you keep the flow—speed it up, slow it down.  Jazzy Bell by Outcast, that’s my giving head track.

Fingering Finale

Mo: Ok, so let’s say that at this point, things are getting elevated.  You can tell from the way she’s breathing and moving her hips.

Curly: When it gets elevated the person needs to use fingers.  You need to use fingers and tongue at the same time.  And people have different size holes, so you’ve gotta ask the person if she wants more or less.

Mo: So when you put the finger in, the rhythm comes in.  You’ve got your tongue and your hand working together.

Curly: If you’re varying the pressure of your tongue, your hand should compliment it.  Dance, essentially.  Hit the clit with your tongue, and then use your hand, then it builds more.

Mo: This is an absolutely crucial stage when timing and paying attention really matter.  If you feel yourself just getting really excited, slow down, you’re probably going too fast.

Curly: Feel for the ridges with your fingers.  The vagina is an upward spiraling tunnel, so once your fingers are in there, make a “come hither” motion.

Mo: So at this point, you really need to take your cues from the girl.  Some like you to keep your hand in there when they orgasm, and some don’t like having anything in them.

Curly: You can go a couple of routes.  You can leave your hand in there—just applying pressure, not fucking, but still licking.  Or you can stop-start: fucking and licking, but intermittently cooling off, though some people can’t sustain this.

Mo: The clit is where the orgasm cannot be helped, so if your fingers aren’t doing anything for her, focus there.

Curly: This might be a bit controversial, but you can play a little with the asshole.

Mo: For first timers, don’t do anything invasive on the asshole, just touch it.  You don’t give rim jobs to inexperienced strangers.

Curly: So basically, if what you’re doing is working, don’t switch techniques, that’s really frustrating.

Mo: And if you followed all of this, she should have cum.

Curly: Women can have an orgasm, then wait 30 seconds, then go for another one.  Some people need a good 10 minutes to chill out; this is not a multiple orgasm.

Mo: Also, don’t believe what you see in porn, that’s a good lesson for the kids.

In summation, let me answer the question I began with: cunnilingus is an art, not a science.  I say this not because English majors are better at it than Physics majors; I’m sure both have their failings (humanities kids have weak wrists, science kids over-salivate) but because you can’t follow the same steps all the time and expect the same result.  This piece isn’t written like a Men’s Health guide to picking up sorority girls (e.g. Complete Phase One, Move On To Phase Two) because going down on a girl is a fluid process (pun intended).  Each step—first the warming up, then the tongue, then the fingers—must be introduced slowly such that it doesn’t feel like you’re shifting gears.  (Normally I don’t compare women to cars, but if e.e. cummings can do it…)

Cunnilingus does not have a sense of humor about itself.  It demands subtlety, passion, and rhythm–it’s an art, for fuck’s sake. Don’t mess around.

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  1. oh yeaa  

    As a (mostly) heterosexual woman, I got excited just reading this. AWESOME job, belle. I'm saving this to a word doc and printing it for the next guy to blunder down there.

  2. freak of nature  

    I am heterosexual and female, but I hate receiving cunnilingus. It isn't physically enjoyable and it fills me with incredible shame and embarrassment. If I'm attracted to someone, I want to be face-to-face with them, not face-to-crotch. If someone is staring intently at my vagina, they'd better be preparing for a pap smear.

  3. i'll say  

    I was "lucky" to hear this? A thousand different suggestions, no clear consensus or new ideas, and a "You're so lucky I'm telling you this, you better not fuck this up" attitude? THANKS, GREAT. Way to kill fun.

    "Curly: Let's begin with positions. The girl, ideally, is up against the headboard—at least for me, that's what works.
    Mo: Or on her back. Legs over your shoulders.
    Curly: Or sitting in a chair. Or on her hands and knees and being licked from behind. Or kneeling over your face."

    Or not. Here's some "real" advice, you know, "for all you STRAIGHT GUYS out there!" (cuz that cliche's not tired): don't take advice for how to eat a girl out except from the girl out of whom you'd like to eat. Don't read shit like this and worry about remembering the right thing to do. Just ask her about what she likes and go from there. Lesbians are not wizards with magic vagic powers, and you don't always have to listen to them.

    • thank you!  

      YES. EXACTLY. The same goes for pretty much anything sexual. Asking your partner what he/she wants you to do is hot.

      • welll  

        I donno... it seems like this article very passionately SUPPORTS AND ADVOCATES for both partners to be very vocal / consent-based during sex. it just also offers some tips to increase confidence while giving head... what's wrong with that??

        • um...  

          This is in response to a much earlier post if anyone is still reading. The poster used the word "consent" in a situation I find inappropriate.

          Watch your language: being "vocal" and being "consent-based" are completely different things. You should get most of the consent issues out of the way before you stick 2-3 appendages in her at once (tongue, fingers come-hithering birth canal , and even, as the article suggests, one or two in the ass).

          Really, now, if you're not far along enough in a relationship to refer to "oh! yes! please! harder!" as something other than "consent," it's a wonder you're going in there at all, instead of coming out--umbilicus and all--for the first time.

  4. while  

    this belle jar is actually about sex, i still contend that the writer, belle jar, does not write good articles. here she basically just introduced and concluded. great piece, but still very few props to belle jar herself.

  5. BELLE JAR  


  6. belle jar  

    has proven herself o be somewhat useful. straight gal actually approves of this article as a tutorial, but not the absolute rules

  7. straight guy  

    well according to her standards, i must be a natural. must be those 10 terabytes of porn.

  8. BELLE JAR  

    We love Belle Jar!!!!
    We Love Belle Jar!!!!
    Belle Jar instead of Matthew Fox as graduation speaker.
    Belle Jar! Belle Jar! Belle Jar!!!!!!!!! Hoorah for Belle Jar!!!

  9. Words to live by  

    "Lesbians are not wizards with magic vagic powers"

  10. belle jar  

    the belle jar must get tenure! and be made university prof!!!

  11. spanish inquisition

    this is nothing more than a long, drawn-out explication on how to give head. whoopee.

    jesus, giving head isn't like juggling.

  12. eh?  

    So if women have fluid sexualities, then turning them on is like accelerating with a Continuously Variable Transmission?

  13. aww  

    if belle jar also had magic vague powers, she'd be the perfect woman.

  14. zzzzzzzz  

    Wow. BJ has 3 friends to leave 50 comments regaling BJ's supremacy over all things BWOG and universal. Boring and pretentious article as usual.
    I could write an article about how straight girls are clueless about giving head. so what.

    Throwing all straight men into the same category of clueless sexual beings is as idiotic as assuming that all women enjoy the same thing sexually.

  15. This is ridiculous  

    First of all, nothing is more obnoxious than lesbians condescending to instruct guys on how to go down on a girl. Nothing, that is, except for lesbians who offer absolutely no new information on the subject. The "come hither" technique, while successful with nearly every girl I've ever been with, has been known since the 8th grade.

    The only thing this article presented which can't be found in a 1980's health textbook is a reference to an EE Cummings (yes, he used capitals when writing his name, you hipster bitch) poem. And EE Cummings sucks.

  16. and  

    would it be insensitive of a straight guy to assume that all lesbians love giving and receiving head and can give master-class advice on it? probably. the inverse is just as lame.

  17. jimmy donuts  

    "Its fundamental to embrace the pussy juice"

    Fucking split my sides laughing...nice work

  18. A good use

    A good use of your anonymity cloak, Ms. Jar.

  19. gff  

    Why are there so many tutorials on how to give good cunnilingus, but not tutorials on how to properly perform straight vaginal intercourse? For many women, the latter is far more pleasurable, but equally dependent on technique.

  20. Prez Bo  

    He's allowed to say whatever he wants, and you're allowed to hate him and disagree.

    Personally I found the word hilarious in that context because it seemed just totally out of place.

  21. ...

    while i agree that addressing this cunnilingus guide to straight men is kind of fucked up, it's also pretty obvious (not to mention hilarious) how threatened certained posters on this thread are by the whole idea of sex between women

  22. Let's not  

    kid ourselves. A lot of girls are pretty clueless when it comes to giving head. Of course, like cunnilingus, it's the thought that counts. It's not, though, as a writer to Dan Savage put it recently, as easy as squeezing ketchup out of a bottle.
    So, Belle, doesn't it make sense to acknowledge, as frankly as with men in this article, that a lot of girls suck (ha!) at giving head, and get a panel of gay men to discuss technique? Or is it easier to fall back on the tired cliche of men who don't know anything about sex and the body?
    I loved your first couple columns, but I don't like the trend.

  23. in case  

    my last comment was unclear: I was talking about "head" as a woman having oral sex with a man. I could be wrong in that usage, if so, I apologize.
    I'm not threatened by the idea of sex between women. I'm just sick and tired of the stereotype of men as clueless when it comes to sex.

  24. belle jar belle jar  

    belle jar! belle jar! as a straight man I'm not too proud to take advice from an anonymous blogger

  25. rjt  

    I love everythingg.

  26. wowwwwwwww  

    everyone needs to take step back and look at how vitriolic this board has become. let's not get so worked up about a decidedly mediocre sex column, people; it's just not worth it.

  27. not a jealous bitch

    people are jealous bitches. this was hilarious. fabulous.

  28. lillian

    as a straight girl, i found this article interesting. i'm not a big fan of being gone down on (weird weird diction i know), but perhaps i should jsut reconsider a few things. however, as a followup to this, i would really, REALLY appreciate a panel of gay men giving tips on how to give head (to men). it seems logical, and would probably be quite appreciated by more than just me.

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