Oral copulation is not for everyone. Some people love it (like one date I had who told me he just wanted to "slurp on dicks all day" while we were sitting in the middle of a casual dining establishment) and some, like the wife who refuses even after her husband promised never to come in her mouth, don't. And people need to know that's all right.

The reason we're talking about this at all (besides the fact that Monday is as good a day as any to talk about performing fellatio) is because a frustrated man wrote to The Guardian begging for advice on how to get his wife, who is literally afraid of performing oral sex on him, to just kind of lick it a little.

Here's his letter:

My wife never initiates oral sex and obviously does not enjoy giving it, which is a real turnoff for me. When we discussed it, she made it clear that she is scared that I will come in her mouth. I have reassured her that I will not, but her treating my cum like it is poison is a further turnoff for me.

Okay, I get it, that kind of blows (sorry), but I don't know if there's much one can do if their partner isn't into something. You can talk about it, but if they're not into it, they're not into it. Especially if it's not just an aversion but an actual fear. And there are so many other things you can do when it comes to sex (and actually now there's a blowjob machine anyway) that you can go without oral sex and still never be bored.

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The Guardian's resident sex advice expert actually gives some fair advice, bypassing the letter-writer's complaint that he's turned off that his wife is treating his semen as "poison" (some people just don't like the taste, okay?) and pointing out that coercion, no matter how well-intentioned it is, is not okay. Yeah, your semen probably isn't actual poison, but there's no reason to convince anyone of that if they're not interested. It didn't work for my ex (sorry, dude) and it's not going to work for this guy.

There is something that the sexpert is missing however in her response. In her efforts to help the couple have better sex, she says this to the letter writer:

Generally, if one wishes to encourage a certain sexual behaviour in a reticent partner, it is best to first increase the erotic charge between you by pleasing each other in well-established ways. Then you can very gradually introduce novelty. But if you gently, generously and respectfully try to discover what truly excites her, and reward her with praise when she pleases you in any way, your sexual connection will be far better.

Not so bad at first, but how is this too different from coercion if trust is never mentioned? Even couples who have been together for a long time may not trust each other sexually for whatever reason, so the answer isn't just to "up the erotic charge," it's to up that charge by communicating, being open about what's going on and respecting limits. And if you are going to introduce novelty (such as the $19.99 BDSM Beginners kit I once bought), that's going to have to be negotiated as well, because introducing that novelty isn't just operant conditioning (the praising part), it's also making sure that your partner trusts you and is comfortable with bringing that novelty into the bedroom, whether it be blowjobs or sex dolls or flashing truckers as you speed down the interstate on a road trip. Getting a no to any of those won't kill you. And if it's really that important, a sex therapist may be more helpful than a couple of paragraphs in an advice column.

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