Is giving head supposed to be arousing to the giver?
February 14, 2006 12:01 AM   Subscribe

Is giving head supposed to be arousing? She prefers this sequence: foreplay, followed by cunnilingus, and then intercourse. Trouble is, almost immediately I go down on her, I lose my erection -- does this mean I'm gay?

A previous girlfriend complained bitterly, during a session of muff-diving -- she groped me and exclaimed, "You're not even hard!" What did my member's state have to do with anything?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (33 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

"... almost immediately I go down on her, I lose my erection -- does this mean I'm gay?"

posted by Effigy2000 at 12:11 AM on February 14, 2006

Not sure how losing an erection from going down on a woman might equal gay, but I'll go with "nope", means you don't dig the dive. At least not with her.
posted by FlamingBore at 12:15 AM on February 14, 2006

I can't say if you are or not, but this is hardly a barometer for teh gayness. I love to do it, but my own state comes and goes in the process. Just the doing doesn't always crank me up, but the quality of her 'feedback' does, bigtime.

You can answer that sort of comment with something like "baby, this whole thing is about me taking care of you; I get my jollies after feeling you get yours..."

And, there are guys and gals out there that just don't like it. Just being into doing it is a big step. You'll figure out the rhythm that rocks you both.
posted by SpookyFish at 12:20 AM on February 14, 2006

Maybe you're someone who needs actual physical stimulation to stay hard for long periods of time. Try 69 between cunnilingus and intercourse if your gf wants to move right into the main act with no intermission.
posted by rhiannon at 12:20 AM on February 14, 2006

There's nothing dysfunctional about you losing your erection while giving head. While some folks are turned on the by the act, or the smells/tastes associated with fellatio & cunnilingus, it's fairly one-sided as far as pleasure is concerned. [Presumption Alert!] Your gal may be worried that your lack of 'resolve' indicates a reluctance or repulsion when it comes to your heading south, when really it's just that you're not getting physical stimulation. Try le soixante-neuf; I'm sure you'll stay oak-like, your lady will have her fears allayed, and a good time will be had by all.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:23 AM on February 14, 2006

Two suggestions if this bothers you: get her in a position (chairs and the end of the bed are good here) where you can keep a hand on your cock. Or hump the bed. You can multitask, can't you? The trouble with 69 is it can be too distracting for either party to get orgasm.

This happens to me occasionally. Don't worry about it. I take as a sign that I'm concentrating on her, and that's gotta be good, yeah?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:54 AM on February 14, 2006

And on the other question: if you start having sex with men and enjoying it, that would be a sign you are gay. As you get older you will realise that far from being an infallible indicator of your wants and desires, Mr Penis is capricious, inconsistent, and wilful. Listen to Mr Penis, but don't take him seriously.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:12 AM on February 14, 2006

she groped me and exclaimed, "You're not even hard!"

That is her problem not yours, she had better do something about that rather than whine and complain. :)
posted by Meatbomb at 1:23 AM on February 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

Happens to me sometimes when I go down on guys; doesn't mean I'm straight. The idea that any sign of limpness during sex is necessarily a reflection on the attractiveness of your partner is juvenile. Blood flow comes and goes, especially when you're focused on someone else's pleasure. But if it's important to you, there are a couple of things that might help. Try not being so workmanlike about it, maybe. Or try asking her to be more vocal, or do something that makes you hot. Or try fantasizing in your head.

Mr Penis is capricious, inconsistent, and wilful.

Yeah. What he said. Tell your partner it's ok, it happens, don't stress, he'll be back, you're busy focusing on her.
posted by mediareport at 1:56 AM on February 14, 2006

As Joe's spleen said, hump the mattress. Or at least, enjoy laying on your cock while you dive.

I have the opposite problem frequently: I get super arroused going down on my partner, while laying on my cock. He gets off big time, I feel oddly satisfied. If the satisfaction lasted the day, that'd be fine. LOL
posted by Goofyy at 2:16 AM on February 14, 2006

Falling in (non-platonic combined with erotic) love with men would be a far better indicator that you're gay.

Don't buy into the cultural myth that you have to be a rock-hard sex machine during every part of the sexual act. Erections during sex come and go. Great sex is bigger (so to speak) than the sum of its physical parts. And if your former girlfriend (who apparently gave you a bit of a complex about this) didn't understand that, then she didn't deserve to enjoy the pleasure of your company to begin with.

Now get back out there and enjoy yourself.
posted by mykescipark at 3:30 AM on February 14, 2006

The myths we have to deal with. I believed for years that men's sex drives were immense and overwhelming, based on gossip from girlfriends, mother, motivations for television characters and - dare I say it - pornography.

Perhaps she feels, as I would have in the past, that she (or her vagina) is not attractive to you. Dependent on the woman, mostly I think the best approach is honesty but not while in the bedroom - maybe on an afternoon's walk or something. It may come as a shock to her too, so try to break the news gently. Ask her about what surprises her about sex, or technique or preferences.

The idea that any sign of limpness during sex is necessarily a reflection on the attractiveness of your partner is juvenile. Yes, I totally agree. I think people don't get past this point without discussion (or maybe literature), particularly useful for people who don't actually own penises.
posted by b33j at 3:46 AM on February 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

You might find that it turns you on more if she doesn't shower immediately beforehand.
posted by teleskiving at 3:52 AM on February 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

I'd second what teleskiving said. I think many American women in particular have the notion that good clean body excretions are somehow dirty/nasty, when in reality they are a crucial component in sexual arousal.

And the truth, as b33j points out, is that many men don't actually find vaginas visually stimulating. Personally, I've always thought they reminded me of something that you'd find in a European butcher's shop window.

So it isn't the look of a vagina that gets me hard when performing oral sex. It's the knowledge that before too long, my dick is going to be deep inside it.

(Mind you, if you find that the idea of that happening doesn't get you excited, then you may well want to explore the possibility that either your current partner doesn't turn you on, or if it's applicable to all women, then you may well be gay.)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:40 AM on February 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

Losing your erection while concentrating on something else that does't involve actively and physically stimulating your penis is like totally normal. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. It's all in the head. The one on your shoulders, I mean. I can go down on my girlfriend and think of something completely different. It's not like oral sex is something like rocket science. So no wonder one can temporarily lose his erection. What strikes me odd is the reaction of your girlfriend exclaiming: "You're not even hard!" Like if you did something wrong.
Ask her if she gets wet every time when she gives you head.
If she says "Yes", she's not telling the truth.
And: You are not gay. Unless you're sleeping with other men in between get togethers with your girlfriend.
posted by ollsen at 5:10 AM on February 14, 2006

Being told that there is something wrong with you during sex is one of the biggest anti-aphrodisiacs. Penises have shriveled and went in to hiding over much less. Sex is an emotional, physical and mental rhythm between two people. A partner that doesn't realize that (by throwing out immature accusations) needs to be educated and enlightened. The line between physical sex and making love is in the awareness of the emotional and mental side of it. As you and your partner feel good about being together and can express it, your pleasure and experience will grow.
posted by blueyellow at 6:13 AM on February 14, 2006

Well, I think enough people have chimed in here that you should feel sufficiently comforted. Still, might as well add my two cents to the change jar...

Ditto what pretty much everybody has said so far. Little Vesuvius is a capricious fella. Sometimes when performing cunnilingus, he stands right up at attention... and sometimes he doesn't. The desire is never really lost, though, and with just the slightest modicum of groping after the oral activities are done, he's back in the saddle and rarin' to go.

Women, by and large, totally understand this. It's the same reason why a good many women that I know (while considering it a fun appetizer) don't like the whole 69 thing as a means of achieving orgasm -- they just can't while focused on somebody else. In that respect, mediareport nailed it (no pun intended). Blood flow comes and goes. If you get a little soft now and then while performing oral, then it's probably just because you're focused on her and not you.

Also, as b33j and mediareport both noted, she needs to sort of get over the idea that any loss of Little Vesuvius's ardor somehow means that you're not attracted to her. That's pretty common, I think, and good dialogue can help overcome that.
posted by kaseijin at 6:16 AM on February 14, 2006

A previous girlfriend complained bitterly, during a session of muff-diving -- she groped me and exclaimed, "You're not even hard!" What did my member's state have to do with anything?

Quite a lot. Imagine if she's going down on you and doesn't appear to be particularly sexually interested. It's not so fun then, is it?
posted by wackybrit at 8:06 AM on February 14, 2006

Quite a lot. Imagine if she's going down on you and doesn't appear to be particularly sexually interested. It's not so fun then, is it?
posted by wackybrit at 8:06 AM PST on February 14

Appearing to be interested is something the giver has control over; certain physiological functions are not. Some men need direct contact to maintain erection past a set period of time; some do not. Why, exactly, is this so hard to understand?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:13 AM on February 14, 2006

Ask yourself this the next time you go down on her:

Q: Would I rather be sucking cock right now?

If the answer is yes, you're probably gay.

If the answer is no, then I'm thinking not.
posted by baphomet at 8:15 AM on February 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I kind of think that you're doing this because it's the sequence she prefers, and that it has become some kind of rote mechanics rather than a method of pleasuring and exploring your partner. Pointing out that you're not hard might have been a way for her to say, "hey! don't lick me like a popsicle, get interested in it and me!". Without her, you know, just saying that. Cause we can tell when you're doing it because you think you have to, rather than because you want to. And for the love of god, don't stop to ask, "are you almost there?" as if it's a Formula One. You never know - really getting invested it in, and seeing how your mouth can incredibly pleasure your partner - might actually arouse you in the end. You sound young(ish) so it'll all work out in due time. And no, you're not gay. Unless you're having sex with identified men, often, not enjoying or desiring sex with women, and you, you know, actually identify as gay. Then you can think about being gay. The always-entertaining and variable state of your dick at any given time during a sex-act or love-making (or not) has nothing to do with having the gheyness.
posted by barnone at 8:19 AM on February 14, 2006

I love eating pussy, but this certainly still happens to me. The two usual solutions are either constantly masturbating during the process, or (what I usually do) maintaining really elaborate fantasies about what's going to happen in five minutes. Take this time to figure out in what position you'll next fuck her, what exactly you're going to say to maximize the sexiness of the command to assume that position, etc.

+1 on her not taking a shower beforehand. I know that I generally prefer my mates when they smell like themselves. They're far more arousing. Don't forget that pheremonal stimulii matter. I find that it takes about 12 hours for the ideal levels of scents to build up. Shorter if she goes out for a jog or something.

As to whether or not you're gay... I don't know. I'm bisexual (or pansexual, perhaps; just a slut?).
posted by Netzapper at 8:22 AM on February 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

No, you're not gay. No, it doesn't mean you're not attracted to your partner. You're concentrating on her pleasure, not yours.

As long as when you're through things get back to 'normal' you have nothing to worry about.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 9:30 AM on February 14, 2006

Yes, you are so totally gay. You should get yourself checked for that biannually. Unfortunately for you, it seems that you are too late.

Seriously though, I think the problem is that cunnilingus is supposed to be erotic. If it isn't arousing to you then you are doing it out of obligation or mechanics. You may be good at the mechanics, but the eroticism isn't there. That's why you aren't getting turned on.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:36 AM on February 14, 2006

I think it depends a lot on the women, as well as what turns you on, etc. The current gf is really fun to go down on, as she almost always smells/tastes pretty good. I wish I could say that for other women I've dated, but she really tops them all. With others, I have gagged or gotten very close to retching because the smell/taste is off, just by a little bit. And no, it's not easy to keep a hard-on when you're wanting to retch.
posted by Happydaz at 10:01 AM on February 14, 2006

AFAIK there's a physiological basis for what's going on, folks.

My understanding is that there's a cock-spine feedback loop that operates entirely independent of any cock-brain connections.

Put your brain's focus entirely into pleasing your lady, and provide no physical stimulus for the spinal loop, and you're gonna be limp.

69 puts the spinal loop back into play, allowing you to be hard whilst simultaneously paying attention to your partner.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:33 AM on February 14, 2006

fff: Sounds fishy to me, and opposite of how I seem to be personally wired. Being played with focuses my attention on the state of my erection, with frequently counter-productive results. Kissing and giving cunnilingus tend to work better for me. 69 has also frequently struck me as overrated, because the geometries of two human bodies are frequently less than optimal IMO.

In my not limited but also not vast experience, there is a wide variation in terms of how people are wired.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:53 AM on February 14, 2006

Happens to me a lot. . .especially if partner takes some time in coming. I think it has to do with where the concentration is, how much (if any) alcohol, how horny I was to begin with, etc.

It's not a problem and it come back when needed.

Maybe it would arouse her to know you are playing with yourself, during. . .

(And, like other posters, this is one of my fave things to do.)
posted by Danf at 11:10 AM on February 14, 2006

I do not think your necessarily gay, I just think your putting so much effort into something else you start losing your concentration. This can happen. The gay party only makes sense if your thinking of someone other than yourself that is not of the same sex.
posted by Gabe014 at 12:06 PM on February 14, 2006

Most certainly. Not.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:19 PM on February 14, 2006

PS: I guarantee there will be a time when you're both turned on, ready to go, and she's just not wet. Ow. At that point, don't go all "you're a lesbian!" on her - just reach for the lube and go to town. See? Step away from the labels and reach for the enjoyment. It'll all work out much better that way :-)
posted by barnone at 3:04 PM on February 14, 2006

Don't buy into the cultural myth that you have to be a rock-hard sex machine during every part of the sexual act. Erections during sex come and go. Great sex is bigger (so to speak) than the sum of its physical parts.

This is a terrific point that every man and woman should take to heart. I used to feel bad if a partner would lose his erection sometime during sex ("omigod, he's not attracted to me!!"), but over the years I've (happily) learned that there are a whole host of indicators of enjoyment/arousal during sex.

As for the specific matter at hand (ahem): I agree with the suggestions for using your hand, rubbing against the mattress, etc. to stay hard while you're going down on her if you'd enjoy and it won't distract you from her pleasure. As for 69, as others have said, it's one of those things that's fun but within limits -- often tricky for either partner to reach orgasm as a direct result, but it can be a nice way to get you both worked up, then switch to just one person going down on the other (depending on who gets closer to orgasm first) to seal the deal, as it were.
posted by scody at 4:04 PM on February 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

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