My 73-year-old uncle was visiting a few weeks ago. We hadn’t seen each other in a while so my new job - writing about sex - came as a bit of a shock to him. I could see the thoughts rolling around in his head and I knew that something a little "raw" was coming. Once out of earshot of his wife, he leans over and asks me, "Do you teach women to swallow?"

A laugh and delicate skirting of the issue were sufficient to bring the conversation back to a comfortable level. If we had been alone, I would have taken his question more seriously and engaged him in a conversation about sex, blow jobs and what women will - and won't - do for a loved one.

I hated blow jobs when I was married. I refused to swallow. I was more of a "I’ll take you most of the way there and then, it’s a hand job" kind of wife. And, I suspect I was one of many women my age who didn’t enjoy giving oral sex.

Times change as do attitudes and the blow job now presents itself as a great opportunity for real intimacy and a wonderful, adaptive tool for maintaining a hot sex life as we age.

I have yet to meet a man who didn’t just swoon over the idea of a blow job.

So why is it that men are so drawn to this particular sex act? Here are a few key reasons.

It's Taboo

Many older men crave the "forbidden" delights denied to them by squeamish wives or lovers who were a bit uneducated about sex and not fully initiated in the pleasures of giving and receiving. Encountering a woman who actually enjoys giving a blow job is a real treat.

It's a Great Alternative to Intercourse

Men with erectile issues can be apprehensive about penetrative sex. What happens if it fails at "that" moment? If sex has always been about penetration, then what happens? A well-executed BJ offers some of the same joys - a tight warm spot, the sensation of in and out and a whole lot of intimacy. Combined with the use of hands, it can produce a climax that rivals intercourse. Or, use it as part of a repertoire of sexual acts to get both of you more aroused. (Read more about ED in Erectile Dysfunction Drugs: Not the Ultimate Fix.)

It's the Ultimate Sexy Act

Men view the blow job as the ultimate sexy act. They get to watch! It’s a visual turn-on, one that a woman can manipulate to make even sexier by wearing bright red lipstick, dressing in a sexy manner, and using her hands or a sexy toy to add sensation. If she enjoys the act it becomes even more appealing to the receiver.

It Involves Power Play

Power is present in our sex acts even if we’re not engaged in deliberate power play. Is he always initiating? Does he prefer to be on top, in charge? Are you quiet and nondirective? All of those things add a unique flavor to sex acts. Some people see the BJ as a submissive act for women, with the male partner in control of thrusting and tempo. I think of it as a more dominant act for women. Push him down in the chair and proceed to unzip or undress while he sits back and watches. You’re in charge and deliberately pleasuring him - that’s a huge turn-on for a man of any age.

It's an Act of Giving

Oral sex is an act of giving that rests on one party’s desire to give pleasure to someone. It’s a way to show love, affection or passion. And, when women initiate oral sex on a man because they want to, they are showing that connection in the most intimate of ways.

If you’re in a relationship with an older man, consider oral sex as another way to add intimacy to your relationship. There are benefits for men and women in adopting sexual practices to replace or supplement intercourse as we age and our bodies change. Expanding the repertoire is a wonderful way to ensure an active sex life when aches and pains, ED or vaginal dryness present challenges. (Read more about sex and aging in Sex at 60: A Personal Reflection.)

And, should he want to return the favor... well, women enjoy receiving oral sex just as much as men do. For many women, clitoral stimulation is the primary means for achieving orgasm, making oral sex highly desirable. Ian Kerner, a sex therapist and author, wrote "She Comes First," an excellent book on the art of oral sex. The book uses delicately drawn illustrations to show female genitalia, with detailed instructions and suggestions on how to play, tease and stimulate a woman orally. It’s a book for beginners as well as experienced lovers of oral sex. I think it should be required reading for all men! The male version is "Passionista, The Empowered Woman’s Guide to Pleasuring a Man." I highly recommend adding both books to your book collection.

So, back to my Uncle E.’s question ...How would I teach a woman to swallow? I would urge her to remember why she’s giving her lover a blow job in the first place - because she cares about him and she wants to give him pleasure. I’d tell her that swallowing is not imperative, but it can be nice. It’s not such a big deal and if a woman can anticipate it, she can avoid having the ejaculate go straight down her throat. As as alternative, she can discreetly spit it into a tissue strategically placed nearby.

When you approach sex, any kind of sex, with a desire to please and a delight in your partner’s body, then you enjoy what you’re doing. His arousal arouses you. You want to do the things he enjoys because it makes the experience more enjoyable for you as well. If you’re just performing what I call "charity sex," it’s not going to be any fun for either of you.
Savor these moments and as he gets ready to climax, and be willing to experience all of him in the most intimate of ways. It will be a moment he’ll long remember, I promise.