Dear Dr. Lags:
I'm not particularly sensitive when I have sex. Which is awesome when it comes to intercourse, but less so when it comes to fellatio. Its never been much of a problem before (most women I've been with are either neutral or dislike it), but my current partner loves to give, but is terrible at it. I don't want to hurt her feelings, but it's really a bore. I'm wondering what my course of action should be. Thanks for your time.
I'm not entirely clear on what you mean by "not particularly sensitive" here. Do you mean sensitive emotionally or physically? Given the context, I think it's safe to assume you mean physically. And I'm glad you asked. But, if you meant emotionally, I'm really glad you asked. There are few places, if any, in this world where a woman is more vulnerable than in the bedroom, and it seems that a woman who loves giving head so much is probably particularly vulnerable to criticism. Givers tend to be sensitive types, and particularly when giving something they're passionate about , so let me make some suggestions right off the bat about what NOT to do, lest ye get impatient:
1) DO NOT TELL HER SHE'S TERRIBLE AT IT. The aforementioned likelihood of her vulnerability in this area could lead to all kinds of disasters. But, given that you were sweet enough to ask me for advice rather than yelling at your S.O. about her technique, I doubt you're in danger of breaking this maxim.
2) DO NOT GET IMPATIENT AND TRY TO FORCE HER TO DO WHAT YOU WANT. I'm speaking from experience here, and I think a lot of women out there will back up my story: when I was young, the first guy who ever put his dick in my mouth had obviously seen a lot more porn, or had a lot more experience, than I had. I just didn't know what to do with it, and after a few minutes, he got frustrated with my fumbling and, rather than make some kind suggestions or give up on it entirely, he shoved his cock as far back in my throat as it would go. I was not pleased. I almost vomited on him, and to this day I wish I had, because he would have deserved it.
It's difficult to stay patient when your naughty bits are being mishandled, and I can sympathize somewhat with the urge to just move ever-so-slightly to get your bits into the part of your partner's mouth you want them to be in, but given that every part of the anatomy involved here is very sensitive, this is not a good idea. (Your bits and pieces might not be "particularly sensitive," as you said, but they're still, I'm sure, sensitive enough that if you move the wrong way and provoke a bite-down fear response, you'll regret it. Trust.)
3) DO NOT SHOW HER PORN THAT YOU THINK WILL INSPIRE HER without consulting her first. I know nothing about her except that she's enthusiastic, and while this is a good indication that she might be open to learning from the pros, springing scenes from Tristan Taormino's Expert Guide to Advanced Fellatio, full of gagging, spitting, upside-down-69-ing and the like, on her without warning might crush her pride in her work or make her sick to her stomach. Or it might just drive her out of the relationship entirely, depending on how she feels about porn. Leaving some porn lying around that shows what you like might work if she's ok with it, but passive-aggressive porn-notes are not the key to success.
Ok, all the DO NOT's out of the way, let's move on to the DO's. There are a lot of them, but every single suggestion I'm about to offer comes from a very simple concept: communication. If there's one thing in the universe that most of us are terrified of talking openly and honestly about, it's what we want during sex. But if there's one thing in the universe that we all should try to talk openly and honestly about, it's what we want during sex. Sitting there and silently subjecting oneself to things one doesn't enjoy will never, ever lead to better sex for anybody, and even though it's an incredibly difficult thing to bring up, even in the heat of passion, it's important to everyone out there who's getting any.
Most people, after they get over the initial "Oh my god I wasn't born a sex god/dess! My ego will never recover!" shock, learn that they'd rather be with someone who voices what he or she wants from them than spend their sex lives poking around in the dark and hoping for the best. And there's no time like the present to start. Exactly how to go about communicating to your partner about what would feel good to you and make her head-giving talents improve will have to be left up to you, since you know her. Temperament, open-mindedness about sex, size and bruisability of ego, and a thousand other factors will have to go into your decision about how to go about this, but here are a few tentative ideas you can tailor to your particular lady-friend:
1) Positive reinforcement: A common complaint I hear from females who who enjoy cock is that their men-folks are almost completely silent during sex, and I've experienced this phenomenon myself. I don't know if it's the ubiquity of pornography we're all supposedly being so affected by that reinforces the idea that men are to be neither seen nor heard during sex (except, of course, when they're cumming, in which case screaming obscenities is perfectly ok), but to be quite frank, it's very disconcerting to the avid fellatio-giver. How are we to know if what we're doing is good or bad if we don't get any direction? What men like is as varied as what we ourselves like, from the good old fashioned in-and-out to the convoluted double-hand-wring to the deep-throat choke. If every move we try is met with the same silence, there's no way to know what's working. So my advice is to start the process by speaking up about what you already like. Is her mouth really soft and warm and wet? Make it known! Do you like how she licks that one spot before she starts? Voice it!
If you're a tight-lipped type, this could take some work on your part. People who aren't natural dirty-talkers often feel ridiculous when they have a go at it. Again, you know yourself and your partner better than I do, so your methodology will have to be left up to you, but try starting slow and simple. A few more moans and grunts at first might lead up to words, which might then lead into more and more talking, which can eventually transition into suggestions of what else to try. Or maybe it'd be too awkward to start talking during the act: maybe you could try mentioning your favorite part of the blowjob to her in the afterglow. "Oh my god, baby, I love how you did that one thing!" and see if you can get the conversation going from there into a realm where you can introduce talk during the act. Or, if she's receptive to discussing what just went on, try mentioning that it'd be so amazingly wonderful if she did this one other thing you were thinking about next time, on top of that other mind-blowing thing she just did, and how it might make you all stars and sparkles if she tried it.
No matter how you get around to doing it, telling her what you really love about what she's already doing will make it less jarring when you start asking her to try other things.
On the flip side, if she's doing things that are absolutely not working for you, like using her teeth or not using enough spit or something, this is worth bringing up, but still in the "positive reinforcement" way. For instance, "I love how you use your hands to do this one thing; it feels SO amazing! But then when you do this other thing with your teeth, it kind of hurts and I can't focus on that first thing I mentioned, which is so great I want to be able to experience it fully." Always mix the bad in with the good, so she'll be motivated to work harder on the good without focusing on the idea that she's doing something bad.
2) Honesty: Again, you know more about this situation than I do, so don't let me assume too much about it. But the most difficult thing about talking about sexual preferences is learning how to be honest, not just with your partner, but with yourself, too. Examine what it is about the blowjobs that she's not doing well, and then examine, in your head, what you wish she was doing. What does the difference say to you? Are you a guy who really just wants soft, sweet, sensual blowjobs with hands and eye contact, but she keeps her eyes closed and hands off? Are you really a guy who likes the hardcore, jam-it-in-her-throat, no-hands porn star blowjob, while your partner is a two-hands, barely-using-her-mouth type? Neither of these options, or any other options really, are bad, but before you go about suggesting to her what it is you'd like her to do, figure out if what you want is compatible with what she might be willing to give, and then gauge how to express that to her. For instance, if she's a sweet but very shy, conservative sexual personality, asking her to spit on your cock from a few feet away and then deep throat it might be something that's best worked up to in very slow, measured steps over the course of years. But don't think it can't happen or shouldn't happen. Just be honest with yourself about what you'd like out of the experience, then make a game plan about how to get there, which leads me to another point...
3) Start slow: Once you've begun reinforcing the positives of what your partner is doing and have laid out the final goal of what you'd like, it's time to start working things in that direction. But take it slow, take it easy, and take very small steps at first. Making more noise during fellatio is a great way to start because it's nonverbal and therefore less specific. Depending on what things are like in the bedroom now, you might want to spend a few weeks getting her used to you voicing your pleasure more before you transition into words, or she might be more open than that and only need a few minutes of loud moaning. That's for you to gauge, but whatever you do, don't rush it. Once you've transitioned into words, once again, don't jump the gun. Tell her what you love and what you don't before you ask her to try something new that she might not be ready for. The key is to gauge her mood and willingness to respond to your input as you go, and never try to move too fast, or you'll risk scaring her off entirely. And always, always mix the negative with the positive! Even if she's miles off course from what you want out of her, she's got to be doing something right or you wouldn't even be letting her try it.
Given that you said your problem is lack of sensitivity, I'm assuming you'd probably like her to use more pressure with her hands, more suction with her mouth, and maybe more tongue-action. These are all attainable goals, but they might take some work and some missteps to get them right. Take it slow, never be judgmental, and work together as a team. It's not her responsibility to do it all herself, and make sure she knows that you're working, too.
4) Appropriate setting: This is one of those "you-know-best" things, but once you've gotten to the point where you can start making new suggestions about technique and hand-placement and the like, I'd say it's important to consider the setting in which you bring it up. My fallback plan would be to say it, using positive reinforcement and blah blah blah, during the act, when passion and intensity are already there and minds are somewhat more open than, say, over breakfast. But that's not how everybody's brain works. Maybe breaking her concentration during the act would kill it. Maybe she's most open to suggestion in the morning over oatmeal (if this is the case, however, I'd say working it into a conversation that fits the context is still a good idea; plan a romantic evening with dinner and dancing, and then add that when you come home you'd like to eat her out just so, then let her give you head in exactly the following way... or something).
Also keep in in mind that the way women feel sexually is often much more influenced by their emotional state than the way men feel. So if it was your plan to mention to her tonight that you'd like it if she slowed down or sped up a little, but you know that she's had a really rough day at work and is kind of upset, just focus on the good stuff and save the suggestions for later. If she's trying to cheer herself up by blowing you, it might be best to just let her do it this one time.
5) The porn angle: Remember how I said earlier that you shouldn't just spring porn on her as an example of what you want? I meant it. But, at the same time, once you've tried the above recommendations and communicated to her that you'd like a few new things in the blowjob game, depending on her level of comfort with the topic, it might be worth trying to show her some porn that exemplifies what would feel good to you. Again, this depends very much on what you know about her, and what you want. If she hates porn, don't even bring it up, or at least wait until she's very open to the topic of sexual improvement. If she's open but hesitant, you might want to try showing her old-fashioned porn from the 70's or 80's, or go to Camille Crimson's TheArtofBlowjob.com, a site where Camille dedicates herself to sweet, sensual, sexy fellatio without any of the gagging, choking, and violence that a lot of other pornographic blowjobs entail. It's a very couples-friendly site (she only performs with her long-term boyfriend) and filmed beautifully, to boot.
If, however, she LOVES porn and is all about it, well then, have at! Watch some together. Let yourselves get fired up, and as the action unfolds, point out to her what you think would be fun, or not fun, to try. If porn is good for anything, it's education, and there's a TON of it out there, so why not give it a chance?
6) Be receptive: Once you've opened up communication about preferences in the bedroom, you're on your way to a healthier and more honest relationship. But be warned: this is not a one-way street. She might have a few words for you about your technique, too. She should. Try to encourage her to share her likes and dislikes with you, in the same positive ways that you've tried to share yours with her. Communication goes both ways, and you'll both end up a lot more satisfied in the bedroom if you learn a way to talk about these things together that works for you. But remember, she probably will have some complaints of her own, which makes it all the more important for you to be sensitive to her feelings while broaching these topics and to use as much positive reinforcement and constructive criticism as possible. If you're too indelicate with your suggestions and criticism, you might get an earful about your own inadequacies, voiced in angry tones. If, however, you're careful, considerate, and honest with how you bring up these ideas, any criticism she's got to give back to you will very likely be brought up in a similar way, which will make everyone happier in the end.
6) Of course, there are a whole host of other things you could try, from his-and-hers sensation-enhancing lube (which probably doesn't taste so great for her but might be worth a try during intercourse) to cock rings (which prolong erection and, according to some, increase sensitivity) to, well, drugs. But far be it from me to encourage anyone to use mind-altering substances for better sex: if you learn to communicate openly and honestly with yourself and your partner about what you want and what you're willing to give, you should end up having the best sex of your life.