Why Teabagging Is Hotter — & More Complicated — Than You Might Think

Photographed by Heather Talbert.
If you've had a long day, you may decide to unwind by boiling water to make a cup of tea. Aside from the relaxing herbs, the feeling of sitting on your couch and dipping the tea bag slowly in and out of your cup can be a calming experience in and of itself. Or, if you have a partner with testicles and you're in the mood for a more X-rated form of unwinding, you could try another tea bag-adjacent activity: teabagging. (Hint: It involves putting something other than Celestial Seasonings in your mouth.)
Teabagging is when someone dips their balls in and out someone's mouth (like a tea bag), according to sex and relationships expert Annabelle Knight, author of The Endless Autumn. It was memorably featured in Sex and the City when Charlotte tells her friends how frustrated she is by her husband leaving tea bags all over the apartment, and Samantha assumes she's speaking of the oral sex act and advises, "Just breathe through your nose."
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While sucking, licking, and touching your partner's balls can be an ordinary part of your blowjob routine, teabagging is a little bit different. "Ball-sucking is a more voluntary act to add an extra dimension to oral sex," Knight says, while teabagging requires that the partner getting their testicles sucked play a more active role. So, instead of the giver simply repositioning their mouth to suck their partner's balls while giving oral, the receiver must physically move their body so that they're dipping their balls in and out of the giver's mouth.
Another fun aspect of teabagging? It can be used during dominance and humiliation play, Knight says. Domination and humiliation play is a form of BDSM in which the submissive partner is consensually demeaned through verbal or physical acts. These acts can include anything from the submissive partner being called names (like "slut") in bed, to the dominant one dipping their balls in and out of their partner's mouth (again, all of these acts are pre-discussed and consensual). Of course, you don't have to be into being humiliated, or even identify as kinky, to enjoy teabagging. It's all about intention, so it's really what you and your partner make of it.

You don't have to be into being humiliated, or even identify as kinky, to enjoy teabagging. It's all about intention.

If you've never teabagged, it can seem tricky to maneuver, but luckily, it can be done in a variety of positions. Let's say your partner is seated at the end of a bed, couch, or chair, and you're giving them a blowjob on your knees. In this case, your partner can simply lift and thrust their groin to dip their balls in and out of your mouth. In my experience, teabagging is most easily done if the person getting their balls sucked is standing, since they can use their knees to bounce up and down. You can also make teabagging part of a blowjob by using your hands on your partner's penis while you focus your oral energy on teabagging their balls (which, again, requires your partner to do some work, too). And while Samantha's advice about nose-breathing is certainly useful for the person doing the sucking, it can also be helpful for them to use their hands to help guide the balls into their mouth.
The most important thing to remember here is to discuss teabagging with your partner to make sure you're both on the same page about what's consensual and exciting before you jump in. Not every single person with testicles is into teabagging, and even if you do get the green light from your partner, Knight says that it's crucial for partners to keep up communication since all balls are different and sensitivity varies.
At the end of the day, even though teabagging has kinky associations, it doesn't have to be intimidating. It may be a "thing," but it can be hot in the same way 69-ing or scissoring are — not in spite of its reputation, but because of it. So, the next time you and your partner are exploring oral sex, try teabagging. When you're done, you can discuss how it felt over a cup of chamomile tea.
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