Oral sex refers to sexual contact between mouth and genitals. On a woman this is called cunnilingus and many lesbian teens have questions about how to do it, whether it is safe and if you can lose your virginity this way.
How Common is Oral Sex Between Women?
Oral sex is one of the most common sex practices among lesbians and bisexual women with female sex partners. Though there aren't exact numbers on how many lesbians are having oral sex, a recent study from the a survey called, Sexual Behavior, Sexual Attraction, and Sexual Identity in the United States, gives us some insight.
Administered by the National Survey of Family Growth, the survey found that 9.3% of all American women between the ages of 15 and 44 reported ever having oral sex with a female partner. What it doesn't tell us is how many of these women identify as lesbian or bisexual and how many of those are having oral sex.
Can Lesbians Lose Their Virginity Through Oral Sex?
A lot of people think that gay guys and lesbians "lose" their virginity through intimate sexual acts with a parter. That can include oral sex. As one teen lesbian writes,
"There's such a debate on whether gay people lose their virginity or not (especially lesbians) if they only have sex during their lifetime with the same sex. Of course we do! It's so stupid to think that you can only lose your virginity though heterosexual intercourse. I mean, you wouldn't think of someone that had only had oral sex as a virgin would you!? Personally, I think you can lose your virginity through any form of sex / making love whether it be intercourse, oral, anal, gay, lesbian etc."
Can You Get an STD from Oral Sex on a Woman?
Going down on a woman is a really low risk activity for HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). But cunnilingus puts you at significant risk for STDs that can be passed through skin-to-skin contact, like herpes. To reduce your risk, you can use a latex barrier (aka: a dental dam) over the vulva. It is also always a good idea for sexually active teens to get tested for STDs on a regular basis.
So, Just How Do You Perform Oral Sex on a Woman?
A lot of people are confused by how oral sex works on a woman, since female genitals are a little more hidden and less straight forward than are men's. But there is no one way to perform cunnilingus. Just like every sex act, different people are going to like different things and trial and error are a big part of sex play. Here is some more information from the Guide to Lesbian Life. She explains,
"Tune in to her responses. All women are different. Have her tell you what she likes and wants more of. Some women love having their clitorises stroked, others are too sensitive. What turned her on one day, may not work the next...Communication is necessary for great sex. If you're new to this, or even if you're not, talk to your partner. See what worked, what you might do differently."
What if I Think Oral Sex is Nasty?
No one should ever have any type of sex play that she isn't comfortable with and plenty of women who have sex with women do not have oral sex. But you might want to think about a few things that could be making you feel this way. Girls get a lot of messages about their vulvas and vaginas and many of them are negative. For the record, a girl's genitals aren't dirty, smelly, or gross. If you are concerned about odors or tastes you might encounter during oral sex, you can always take a shower or rinse between your legs.