Boning up on going down

Hey, everybody: I’m on vacation — my first in years — so I’ll be running some much-loved, frequently requested classic Savage Loves for the next few weeks.


Q: A couple of months ago you invited women to send in cunnilingus tips for straight guys. We’re still waiting for that column, Dan. What gives? Didn’t any women send in tips? —Straight Guy Anxious For Pointers

A: Oh, women sent in cunnilingus tips, SGAFP. I got 500 letters from straight women with advice for men on the whole pussy-eating subject. Why haven’t these letters appeared in a column? Well, I have a bias: I’m gay. Given a choice between reading hundreds of e-mails about eating pussy or, say, talking to good-looking male porn stars about their online underwear sales, well, I’m going to go with the porn stars every time. While I’m aware that reading about cunnilingus is one of my occupational hazards, that awareness doesn’t make me any less reluctant to do so.

Don’t get me wrong, ladies. I am all for cunnilingus. Women deserve it, and straight men, in my opinion, are obligated to provide it. But ... still. I’m about as pro-cunnilingus as gay men ever get. Even so, spending a week reading hundreds of detailed letters about cunnilingus, picking out the best ones, and editing them into a column is something I can put off indefinitely. I guess you could say I’m pro-cunnilingus in the abstract. I’m pro-eating pussy the same way I’m, say, pro-round-the-clock home nursing for incontinent paraplegics. I’m glad it happens, I just don’t want to do it. Or watch it. Or think about it. Or spend a week reading about it. But ... I promised you a cunnilingus column, SGAFP, and a cunnilingus column you shall have.

But what about my gay male readers? Columns about cunnilingus have something to offer straight men, straight women, and lesbians, but nothing to offer gay men. So to give my gay readers a reason to slog through this column, I’ve included an item of particular interest to gay men at the end.

OK, here are your cunnilingus tips, boys ...


Whatever you do, DO NOT use your teeth! Take them out if you have to. Also, try to keep the saliva down to a minimum. —Been There

Good advice, BT. No teeth, boys, and very little saliva.


SALIVA, SALIVA, saliva: I can’t overemphasize the importance of plenty of lubrication. —Cumming From Cunnilingus

No, wait — use saliva, boys, and lots of it. But no teeth.


The word cunnilingus derives from two Latin words: cunnus (female genitals) and lingere (to lick). But the action should include not only the tongue, but also the teeth. Tongue: soft, yet firm. Teeth: Nibble around down there! —Pussy Prof

No, wait — use your teeth to nibble, boys.


I don’t think it’s necessary for a guy to spend much time on any area other than the clitoris. —It’s The Clit

Focus on the clit, boys.


A clit is not a doorbell. Please do not punch it repeatedly with your tongue. And explore the rest of my pussy. It has just as many sensitive nerve endings as my clit. —Word Of The Day

No, wait — explore the whole pussy, boys.


When I was a closeted gay college student, I turned to my straight friends for guidance on “doing the deed,” and one bit of advice actually worked: Lick the alphabet! Start with lower case and work through the caps. One word of caution: She can’t know what you’re doing! It is disastrous to let her hear you humming the alphabet song. This could imply that you are not sufficiently stimulated by her parts, as was the case with me. —ABC

Lick the alphabet, boys, but don’t let her know you’re licking the alphabet.


I dated a guy who used the alphabet song to guide him along. Basically, he hummed the “A, B, C, D, E, F, G ... H, I, J, K, LMNOP...” song while drawing the letters with his tongue on my clit. He did it at same pace of the song (long G, quick LMNOP, etc.), and by the time he got to Z, I was shaking. Now every time I hear the alphabet song I get wet! —Alphabet Soup

No, wait — tell her you’re licking the alphabet, and she’ll get wet when she hears the alphabet song.


Guys, don’t slide your tongues in and out of our vaginas. All that feels like is a small, thin, limp dick. Most women don’t like small, limp dicks so why simulate one with your tongue? —Clitty McNub

Don’t stick your tongues in, boys.


A French guy once stuck his tongue in and swirled it around, pushing it really hard against the walls of my vagina. It was amazing. The first time, I said, “Where’d you learn to do that?” He said, “You have never had eet?” “Not like that,” I said. The American guys I’ve slept with tend to lap politely. I guess this must be one of those things the French come up with in their six weeks of annual paid vacation. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? —French Kissed

No, wait — girls like eet when you stick your tongues in their vaginal canals, boys.


So many guys are obsessed with penetration that they can’t eat pussy without sticking their fingers in. Fellas, please, just lick me — it’s a nice change. —Lick It Don’t Stick It

No fingers, boys, just tongue.


Men need to know that the G-spot is located behind the ridge of the pubis bone, up and inside her vagina. Take your hand palm up, insert middle and pointer fingers, and curl your fingers toward you like you’re saying come here. Do this while you lick, and she’ll come right then and there. —East Bay Hard Core

No, wait — use your fingers and tongue, boys.


OK, let’s review what we’ve learned about cunnilingus: Use little saliva; use lots of saliva; use your teeth; don’t use your teeth; focus on the clit; explore the whole pussy; lick the alphabet but don’t tell her; lick the alphabet and tell her; don’t stick your tongue in; stick your tongue in; don’t stick your fingers in; stick your fingers in.

I hope this was helpful.

Of course, if it wasn’t — if this column left you more confused about going down on a woman — you might try asking the woman to tell you exactly what she likes. I know that, personally, two things kept coming up while I was reading my 500 e-mails about cunnilingus: my lunch, and the sneaking suspicion that not all women enjoy the same things when it comes to oral sex. So, boys, you’ll have to ask ’em how they like eet.

And, finally, here’s an item of interest to gay men — well, actually, not. When this column first ran, I closed with a personal ad from a gay reader in New York City who had a crush on a hot bartender. That gay reader with the crush? He’s a pop star now. That bartender? Dunno whatever happened to him. But as I’m Catholic, and therefore feeling mighty guilty about taking a week off, I went ahead and pulled together some of the letters I got in response to a recent column on bisexuality. Does male bisexuality actually exist? Was this Northwestern University study fucked? What is my problem, anyway?

Send letters to [email protected]

Dan Savage

Dan Savage is a sex-advice columnist, podcaster, and author, and has appeared on numerous television shows. His sex advice column “Savage Love” first appeared in The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative weekly, in 1991. The column is now syndicated across the United States and Canada. He has published six books...
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