Why Only 28% Of Women Love Giving Oral

She may not enjoy going down on you as much as you’d hope, new Canadian research suggests.

Researchers surveyed 500 straight college women about their most recent sexual encounters and found that nearly 60 percent of them gave oral sex during that encounter.

But only 28 percent of them said that doing so was “very pleasurable.” Just over half of the women said it was “somewhat pleasurable,” and 17 percent just didn’t enjoy giving oral at all.

So what’s a guy to do? Understanding where she’s coming from will help you navigate and make sex better for both of you. Here are a few reasons women may not be into giving head.

She might only be giving oral sex out of obligation.

Traditionally—and research finds this is still true in many modern relationships—women are often presented as more passive than men during sex, says study author Jessica Wood, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Guelph.

In these old-school roles, women are seen as the “givers” of oral sex and men the “receivers.” These norms can make a woman feel like she has to perform oral.

But if she’s only doing it out of obligation, it’s probably not going to be very fun for her, says Wood. Plus, she may feel pressure to be good at it—which isn’t great for her, either.

So check in with her during sex. Ask her if she likes what’s happening, says Wood. And reassure her of what feels good to you, too.

An open line of communication will help her feel more comfortable speaking up about what she does—and doesn’t—want to do in bed.

She might feel that oral sex is too intimate for a casual hookup.

Some women don’t feel comfortable giving oral to casual hookups as opposed to long-term partners, says Wood. In fact, the study found that both men and women were 17 percent more likely to give oral sex in the context of a committed relationship.

Why? Some people see oral sex as a more intimate act than intercourse, other research suggests. For them, it’s a way to express love to their partners—so it should be reserved only for more serious relationships.

Keep that in mind anytime you’re casually hooking up with a woman. As always, communication is key: Ask her where she stands on oral, Wood says, and tell her you don’t want to put any pressure on her.

Related: 45 Best Sex Positions Every Couple Should Try

You didn’t reciprocate. 

Only 52 percent of men reported giving oral sex during their last encounter. That’s compared to 59 percent of women.

But receiving oral sex may actually make women enjoy giving it more, the study suggests.

Women who received oral sex were nearly 19 percent more likely to find giving head pleasurable than women who didn’t have the favor returned.

So if you want her to like going down on you, reciprocation is important, says Wood. One caveat: Not all women love oral sex, so as always, ask first.

If you are on the receiving end, follow these New Rules Of Oral Sex to make sure she has as much fun during the deed as you do.

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