Wife says ‘no’ to dining south

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Hey Minda!

My wife is reluctant to let me go down on her. One of my proudest attributes is being good at cunnilingus. Every woman I’ve been with has been very complimentary, and I seriously love to do it so much; almost more than I like getting oral.

Anyways, the issue is that when I go down on her, she gets uncomfortable and says things like “OK, OK” or “that’s enough,” and this is after only a minute or two. I want to tell her that her womanhood is amazing, and she should explore and be cool with it. To relax. And I try that but she is not receptive. She has only let me go at it maybe a dozen times in five years, and, when she truly lets go, I know she likes it, but that’s just so rare.

On the flip side, she will go down on me almost any time I ask and I love it. How should I approach asking her to let me reciprocate?

PS, there is probably some Catholic guilt shit going on as well.


—Heading South for the Wife

Howdy there HSW,

I can’t tell you how to make your wife more comfortable with oral, but what I can tell you is that you’re not alone. You belong to a healthy-sized group of people who profess to have a desire to lick their partner down when what they really want is their ego stroked. It will be easier for you and healthier for your marriage if you replace “Champ Cunnilinguist” with a different attribute to be proud of.

Just yesterday, I interviewed Sex Ed Instructor Dirty Lola, who told me she frequently gets questions from people wanting to know how to give great oral. She always responds that every person is different, and what worked on one person won’t necessarily work on the next person. It’s best to ask your partner what they want and then listen to what they tell you. The listening part is key.

I have sat up during the act to give a gentleman some guidance only to be rebuffed, “I got this.” Um, no sir, you do not. Lack of listening is so frustrating, in the past I’ve quickly faked enjoyment to get it over with and move on to the next thing. And you know what? Every single man believed me. They never once doubted or questioned how “very complimentary” I was. And so many of them had told me in the lead-up how extraordinarily skilled they were (#EyerollEmoji). They had put all this weight on me to find what they were doing pleasurable. This added pressure on me shifted the focus from my own pleasure to pleasing my partner, my pleasure became performative and insincere. Their love of going down was really just selfishness masquerading as a selfless act. I’m hoping that’s not what’s happening between you and your wife. But it does sound like it’s time for you to reevaluate why this is so important to you and what, if any, amount of importance it is to your actual wife.

You mentioned the whole Catholic guilt thing could possibly be a factor, but even so, unless your wife has asked for your assistance in unpacking all of that, it’s best to just let her do it at her own pace. But if she hasn’t claimed that as a reason and has just steadily over the last five years been telling you she’s just not that into it, then why not listen to her? What is she into? Why not do that thing and do it really well and then pride yourself on being the best at pleasing your wife.

If your wife’s reluctance is a personal hang up, or an issue with the way you specifically perform oral versus just a plain and simple distaste for the act — not everything is for everyone — then you might be surprised by the ways in which she opens up to you once you actually start listening to her and show her through your actions you’re listening.

Back in my faker days, I didn’t bother speaking up, because those partners had shown me already, in other ways, that my input didn’t really matter to them. I don’t believe this is the case with you and your wife. She seems otherwise still interested in you. But it never hurts to check in with partners to ask them if they feel seen and heard by you.