How To Deep-Throat & Not Feel Like You're Gagging

Photographed by Natalia Mantini.
When you're on the giving end of a blowjob, sometimes all you're thinking about is trying not to gag (and keeping your hair off your face). But the thing is, gagging when you have an object ramming into your mouth is a normal anatomical reaction, and not an indication of your blowjob abilities. That's why there's a blowjob technique that actually embraces gagging: deep-throating.
Deep-throating is the act of inserting a penis or other object (like a dildo) into your actual throat, rather than just the mouth, says Megan Stubbs, a certified sexologist. It sounds physically impossible, or like some unrealistic porn move, because throats are generally not used to having large objects inside of them. But lots of people — givers and receivers — are big fans of deep-throating, because it can provide a more intense sensation than the average blowjob.
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Before you just go slamming a penis or object down your throat, there are a few tips that you should keep in mind. The most important one? Relax and don't overthink it, Stubbs says. "You won't be the first person to gag or maybe vomit on your partner," she says. "It comes with the territory." As with any new sexual practice, talk about it with your partner beforehand, Stubbs suggests. Givers are supposed to be comfortable, too, so speak up if you're not.
Ahead are some tips from Stubbs that might make deep-throating easier on the giver. Keep in mind that everyone is totally different, because all bodies are different. If you realize you're not into it, that's perfectly fine. "Listen to what your body is telling you, be patient, and remember it's okay to laugh!" Stubbs says.
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Practice.

Humans have a natural gag reflex, which stops things from going down your throat that aren't supposed to be in there, Stubbs says. Deep-throating an object or penis goes exactly against that reflex, so it might feel unnatural or like you're choking at first.

It is possible to learn how to "control these reflexes and insert objects into your mouth," but you have to practice, she says. "Don't think that overnight you will become a deep-throating master." Make sure you and your partner are on the same page about this, and that you both have reasonable expectations about the experience — because the last thing you need is pressure to perform an already challenging act.
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Change positions.

Depending on the size and bend of what's being deep-throated, it might make sense for the giver to lie down. Stubbs suggests lying on your back, with your head hanging off of the edge of a bed, with the receiver standing up beside the bed. "In this position, your throat and mouth will have better alignment for the insertion of objects," she says. That might be a little more acrobatic than you're down for, so perhaps kneeling makes more sense for you. You could also try 69-ing, which will position the receiver's penis or strap-on dildo at a different angle than kneeling, and can allow the giver to control the speed and depth. It can take some maneuvering to figure out the right position for you and your partner, so experiment with a few different postures and angles until you find something that clicks, she says.
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Stop if you're in pain.

Believe it or not, deep-throating is not always a blast for the giver, and it can be painful in some cases. You might have heard that you can use a numbing lubricant on your throat to make deep-throating easier, but Stubbs says you should pass on that. "Pain is your body's signal that something is wrong," she says. "Without sensation in your throat, you're probably likely to deep-throat with success, but you're also likely to damage your soft tissues." If you're in pain, stop and take it easy.
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Breathe through your nose.

Finding a flow with your breath makes deep-throating way easier — it's like yoga, but different, Stubbs says. Mouth-breathing is pretty much out of the question when you're deep-throating, so "nose-breathing is where it's at," she says. Try to take slow, deep, controlled breaths while performing the act, she says. Inhale before you take a mouthful, and don't hold your breath, Stubbs says.
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Go slowly.

Despite what you might have seen in porn, deep-throating is a marathon, not a sprint, Stubbs says. "If you just start ramming things into your throat, you can damage your sensitive throat tissue," she says. At first, the giver should focus on going slowly down the receiver's shaft, and stopping when they reach an uncomfortable point. Once that's somewhat manageable, they could try increasing their tempo for brief periods, then slowing down so they can catch their breath.
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Embrace your spit.

"Wetter is better," Stubbs says. Lubrication is key for helping things go in and out of your mouth easily, she says. When you're hitting the back of your throat with an object, things are going to get spit-y. Expect a little mess, and don't be afraid of your spit, she says.
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