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No, You Don’t Have to Go Down on Her During a Hookup

Let's establish some ground rules for oral sex during hookups — no matter who you are

The head game isn’t fair. We know from research that during casual hookups, women are twice as likely to go down on guys than the reverse — but women are also less inclined to enjoy the extra beej they’re giving.

Weird, right? Why are women handing out head like candy on Halloween if they don’t like it that much, and when men don’t even want to do it in return? Why, also, does this mean they are probably not getting off themselves, as most women don’t jizz from penetrative sex without clitoral stimulation of some kind? This means women are participating in casual sex even when they are twice as likely to get off in a more steady relationship than during casual sex, and yet they are doing it anyway. Why?

Because sex is good and feels good and people want to do it. And because culturally, women expect to get off less because it typically takes more work to get them off. And hookups are the worst situation of all for women to get off: When you do it in hookups, it is often a stumbly, dark, fall-into-bed sort of thing, the stuff of pumps-and-dumps, not the long-player professional sex sesh we imagine in porn where everyone walks away epically satisfied.

And yet, in spite of all this, the rule remains: Nobody has to go down on anybody during any casual sex experience! I can’t say this enough. And most importantly, nobody especially has to go down on someone during the first casual experience.

Oral sex is kind of intimate. Doesn’t matter what the genitals are. It’s okay if you don’t want to do it right away.

Not every woman wants to go down on you. Not every woman wants you to go down on her. Not every man digs blowjobs either, and not every man likes giving women oral. That is fine. Not fine as in “disappointing but acceptable.” Fine as in actually totally okay and even understandable and good — if it’s for the right reasons, and I’ll elaborate on those in a minute — because every sexual scenario is negotiable and there is no one set of sex rules for sex times! As my old boyfriend who never went down on me would say: No doy.

Still, a recent Reddit thread in r/askmen surfaced the question as if it’s a shocking idea that oral sex isn’t automatic in hookups. “How true is it that guys don’t go down on the girl if it’s a hookup?” someone asked in a now-deleted question.

Their answers:

“Hell No, You Can’t Trust Her Travel History”

“Hell No, She Might Be Gross”

“Hell Yes You Do Gotta Go Down on That”

“Yes, Because I Want a Beej and It’s Only Fair”

“It Depends!”

For what it’s worth, these are all totally fine reasons to go or not to go downtown. The only not fine reason is if you are such an immature twat that you won’t actually try to do it or become good at it because you’re lazy, or selfish or actually hate vaginas. Like this guy. He had one bad experience and swears he’ll never “turn out a cherry again.”

Look, I wouldn’t go down on a dick first thing out of the gate, no questions asked. I’ve hooked up with some dudes in college whose dicks were absolutely terrible candidates for blowing. They were not clean, they had weird pube flakes, shit smelled weird, and… no. Believe it or not, we don’t all walk around showered and groomed ready for sex. Sometimes it’s legitimately a surprise that you end up in bed with someone. We can’t all be Superman ready to spin into our showered fuck outfit the second someone signals the green light. If I am willing go three days into a period with no shower, well, I don’t expect an extended oral play session.

There are also plenty of legitimate reasons why a woman wouldn’t want you to go down on her on the first time you fuck, too. A big one is that for a lot of women, oral sex is a truly intimate act that requires full on trust, full-on relaxation, and the belief that the man doing it is rarin’ to go and lives to make you cum with his mouth.

Remember how Chris Rock described an amazing blowjob? “l want you to suck my dick like you think the antidote’s in it!” he jokes in Bigger and Blacker. “Like you trying to get some Robitussin out of that motherfucker!” That’s how women want you to be about eating them out. If you can’t do it like that, don’t bother. There’s a psychological component to being able to get off that isn’t just about physical waxing on and waxing off, but is about comfort and getting to an anxiety-free headspace, and feeling wanted.

Other women have enormous hangups about their lady parts, too, from how they look to how they taste or smell, and it’s just not comfortable for them to let some new dude go sniffing around down there until she trusts him and he signals some of his attitudes about vag love to her. The weirder the dude is about it, or the less confident, the more insecure and anxious she’ll be.

I am the first to admit that this isn’t a great reflection on our culture, which still needs to do a lot of work getting men and women up to a place where female pleasure graduates from some sort of seasonal menu to the permanent one. In a perfect world, women would cum as often as men in every sexual scenario, and men would be eager to explore and learn women’s bodies for the express purpose of getting them off. Women would do the same, and not phone in sex off some weird porny vibe that involves only bouncing and moaning.

But even if it were possible, I’d still guarantee that many women would opt out of the oral way of getting off in early sexual encounters, and many other women would still pause it until a later hookup or serious relationship where they just felt less vulnerable.

So next time you read a shocking headline about how men don’t go down on women, you can bristle slightly less. There is no reason for anyone to feel pressure to perform intimate sex acts, or any sex acts that feel intimate to you, at any point, and especially not the first time.

But men, this doesn’t mean you’re getting off that easy. Don’t demand a blowjob if you’re not willing to offer oral back. She doesn’t have to take you up on it, but you definitely have to mean it.