Before I gave oral sex for the first time, I had a lot of questions and worries. That's not so strange — most people worry about having any kind of sex for the first time, and especially queer women whose sexuality doesn't often get addressed in school-sanctioned sex ed. I wondered: How does a vagina taste? What am I supposed to do with my tongue? How do I know that my partner is really enjoying herself? What if I didn't like it?
They were all valid questions, and I've learned the answers over time: Vaginas all taste different, there are SO many things you can do with your tongue, moans and squeals are a good indication that your partner is enjoying herself but when it doubt you can ask, and I definitely like it (but if you don't, then there's no shame in taking oral off the menu). But now that I have some experience, I can say that the most important thing to know about oral sex is this: Every vagina is different.
Say it with me again: Every vagina is different. If you give oral sex to more than one person in your life, it's important that you remember this. Maybe your last partner loved it when you sucked their clitoris in your mouth and stuck two fingers into their vagina, but you can't count on that with a new partner. Your new lover might hate penetration or might not be able to get off when there's too much pressure on their clit. No two vulvas work in exactly the same way.
So what do you do? Well, you have this wacky thing called a conversation. Before the sexy times even begin, ask your new partner what they like from oral sex. If they're not used to talking about their desires, this conversation might take some finagling, so come prepared. Ask if your partner likes being fingered while someone goes down on them, if they like their clit sucked or blown on, if they like it when someone lightly nibbles their labia, if they like it slow or fast, and any other questions you can think to ask. Your partner might not have all the answers, because they may not have experimented much with oral sex. And that's okay. When they say they don't know if they like something because they've never tried it, that's your opening to ask, "Would you like to?"
In addition to having a built-in conversation about consent (if you're asking your partner what they like, go ahead and also ask if it's okay for you to do that to them), questions like these can help you get to know your partner's desires and might even spark sexy ideas they didn't know they wanted to try. As hard as it sounds to talk about sex so frankly, this conversation is going to make for more fun and exciting oral sex, my friends. Just try it and see.