Whenever the subject of strap-on blow jobs comes up, people often ask, "what’s the point?" But I think this reaction is unfortunate and symptomatic of our particularly goal-oriented and orgasm-oriented culture.

Strap-on oral is a great way to start playing with strap-on sex. When you’re new to strap-on play it can seem awkward. If you're a woman and haven’t practised thrusting for most of your life, then those muscles simply aren’t as developed as someone's who has. Strap-on oral sex also offers a lot of positional versatility and the act itself is a lot less taxing. Here are a few things to consider before you start sucking (or blowing).

Material Matters

Make sure any toy you’re using is made of body-safe materials, like silicone, and make sure toys are washed between uses, especially if they’re shared between partners. Condoms are a great way to help with sanitation and clean up, and they often come in flavors that can be the perfect complement to strap-on oral. If a condom is going in your mouth, go for the non-lubricated kind and add the flavored lube of your choice if desired. Note that many flavored lubes contain glycerin, which may contribute to yeast infection for those who are susceptible to them. So, if it’s also going in a vagina, make sure your lube is body-safe. (Read Sex Toy Safety: A Guide to Materials for more sanitary tips).

Everyone's Unique

There is no universal "right way" to perform a sex act. Everybody's body and preferences are different. People often look for that secret tip or technique that will blow their partner’s mind in the bedroom, but the single best piece of sex advice is to communicate with your partner. For great sex to happen, you need to talk to your partner and find out what they like. You also need to feel empowered to ask for what you like.

When communicating, it’s helpful to know that some questions will glean more valuable information than others. Simply asking "do you like this?" or "is this okay?" won’t get you much feedback. On the other hand, questions like "would this be better if I did it harder or softer," or even simply, "what would make this better?" are likely to give you the information you need to improve the experience. (Check out Why We Should All Be Talking About Sex A Lot More Often for more on the importance of communication).

Performance Can Be Sexy

Don’t underestimate the power of the mind. The performative aspects of sex can engage the mind in the same way that good porn or erotica does. Think about the details. Think about the way the positioning of your body will appear to your partner. The sight of someone on their knees, for example, can be a big turn on, especially if it's a reversal of your traditional roles.

As an intimacy educator, one of the most common things I teach in classes is to slow down. People are in such a rush to get off that they miss out on the intimacy and connection-building potential of so many sexual and sensual acts. Performing an act that is very unlikely to lead to orgasm, like blowing a strap-on, is a great exercise in the performative and connective aspects of sexuality. Any sex act, at it’s best, is an experience for the full body and especially for the mind. The brain is the biggest sex organ, after all. That’s why the whole performance - body language, eye contact, and the noises you make - is incredibly important to the overall pleasure of both the giver and the receiver.

Terminology Is Important

Language is always an important aspect of communication. Find out what words your partner likes to use in reference to their body parts. Nothing pulls a person out of a sexy mood faster than using the wrong body-part word. This is doubly true if you’re using a strap-on as part of gender play. If the wearer thinks of their dildo as a part of their body or gender identity, you need to be careful to respect that. This could be as simple as avoiding words like "fake" and "toy" and being sure to only handle the dildo in ways you would handle a bio-cock.

Play With Power Dynamics

Oral sex doesn’t need to include a power exchange aspect, but playing with power can be incredibly hot. Try holding a partner’s hair, guiding their head or telling them what to do - as long as it’s a negotiated power exchange, role play can be an exciting experience. You can also try turning your communication into dirty talk. Tell your partner what you’re going to do to them. Have your partner say how good it feels or ask for what they want.

Sensual Touch and Positioning

When it comes time to use your mouth, go slowly. Get to know the cock the same way you would with any body part you’re exploring for the first time. Kiss it, lick it, stroke it. It can be just as much a tease and turn on for your partner as it is with a biological body part.

Try mixing up what you’re doing by incorporating other parts of the body. Bring your partner’s hands and fingers into the mix. Try sucking or nibbling on their fingers while making eye contact at the same time. Touch their whole body; stroke their legs and torso. You’ll find that from a blow job position, your arms should be able to reach most of your partner’s body.

Another great technique is to create full body contact. Press your body into your partner's by using your chest or breasts to press against your partner’s thighs. This can work especially well if the receiving partner is on their back with their legs up on your shoulders. This position can also work for a reversal of the usual power exchange. You can use you partner’s legs as a fulcrum to move their body and pin them down into a receiving position.

It Takes Two

All of this might sound one-sided, but it doesn’t need to be that way. Performing oral sex should be pleasurable for the giver as well as the receiver. There are lots of nerves in the mouth so be sure to savor the sensation and texture of the strap-on. For some people the mouth is a major erogenous zone. As well, the psychological aspect of a strap-on blowjob is key to the arousal of both giver and receiver. There is a lot of pleasure to be gained from watching your partner enjoy themselves. For some people this is the main turn on in any sex act. (For more tips, read The Ultimate Guide to Giving a Blow Job, which can apply to both dildos and bio penises).

Strap-on foreplay can be a sexy, bonding experience for you and your partner. If you remember to communicate and focus on pleasure, while keeping an open mind and a playful attitude, you’re bound to have a good time.