A version of this article appeared on VICE Germany
Oral sex can be the greatest thing to give and to receive – but it can also be mind-numbingly boring. Especially when you're giving it, it's 7AM, your mouth is parched and your partner keeps nodding off cause the coke is wearing off. Or, it's 11PM on a weekday and you're just trying to prove to yourself that your relationship is still in great sexual shape.
Still, despite the boredom, you'll likely soldier on – either because you are not a quitter or because you care so much about the person attached to those genitals, you want them to be happy. We asked our friends what they think about when they're going downtown.
VICE: What goes through your mind when you go down on a woman?
Vivienne: How am I doing? Where should I put my tongue? Does she like what I'm doing? Has she come already?
Which thought dominates?
Wondering whether she's come, for sure. Not every girl announces their orgasm by moaning "I'm coming" – and I don't like asking them either. I made that mistake once and it completely ruined the moment, because when I asked, she felt this pressure to come quickly. So she was suddenly a lot more tense. I kept telling her that I hadn't meant it that way and that she should relax, but that didn't help at all. So since then, I've asked myself that question a lot, but I never do it out loud.
VICE: What do you think about while going down on someone?
Svenja: "Don't even try to ram your cock into the back of my throat." I hate it when guys do that – maybe it's the influence of porn, all those hardcore films. It's happened three or four times to me. Whenever I give a blowjob, I just hope a guy lets me do my thing without feeling the need to turn it into a porno.
So when he lets you do your thing, what do you think about?
In that case, I think about the guy whose penis I have in my mouth.
**VICE: *What do you think about when you're giving a blowjob?***
*Jake:* Well, my mind is either blank or I think about food, for some reason. My gag reflex is very strong, so I usually try to distract myself. My boyfriend is fairly understanding, which makes me more inclined to try harder – so I also think a lot about ways to stimulate him more.
Are there any particular physical aspects you focus on?
I always need to be in control, so I don't respond well to guys pushing me down or pushing their dick in deeper without warning. And I'm always worried that I'm hurting a guy with my teeth. I have four teeth that are basically fangs – two on top and two in my lower jaw – and they're pretty sharp. So if you're girthy, you're in the danger zone.
VICE: What went through your mind the last time you gave a blowjob?
Martha: I wondered about how long it would take for him to come, and then I realised that my mouth was too dry from the alcohol and cigarettes I'd had – especially from the red wine. That was disgusting.
Did you soldier on despite your cottonmouth?
Well, after a whileI couldn't handle it any more. So I left him on the bed and staggered into the bathroom to drink a glass of water. For some reason, I then decided to brush my teeth with the first toothbrush I found. And then I went back to it.
VICE: What do you think about when you're going down on someone?
Jo: To be honest, I'm not really thinking about much. I'm just having a great time, I listen to the person's noises to try to figure out how it's going and what they want me to do.
You identify as queer – would you mind talking to me about the difference between going down on a man and going down on a woman?
With penises I worry about gagging more – and cis men are usually a bit more porny, which brings thoughts like "If you push my head down, I'll bite your thing off" to mind.
When it comes to vaginas – I myself am super sensitive, so I'm really careful not to be too rough and direct unless she asks me to be. When I lick a woman, I'm always like, "This is the best, I'm having a great time, you taste great." Partly because it's true, but also because I know what it's like to be super self-conscious when all sexual attention is only on you. I'm still into it when I'm giving a blowjob, but I'm giving off a bit less of a "This is the best" vibe because I have arthritis. So if I go on for too long, my jaw will lock.
VICE: What did you think about when you last went down on your girlfriend?
Thimo: Mostly about the fact that we've been a couple for quite a while now.
Can you talk me through that train of thought?
I realised that after being together for five years you have less inhibitions regarding personal hygiene. I don't think that's bad – you don't always have time to shower before, or you just can't be bothered. But when I go down on my girlfriend and she doesn't smell so great down there, I find it difficult not to think about that.
VICE: What do you think about when you go down on a woman?
Maximilian: I start out just thinking about the technical stuff – how to do it right – until I get into the groove. If I don't know the woman well, I spend the first 30 seconds trying to figure out if she likes what I'm doing.
What about when you're in the groove?
Well, the position you're in when you give a girl head is pretty comfortable and I don't move my head that much – so I usually put a pillow down under my head and just rest comfortably. That way I can go on for hours.
When I'm lying comfortably like that, my mind begins to drift and I think about all sorts of things – what I've done that day, what I have planned for the next day, or what I could have been doing if I wasn't going down on a woman.
VICE: What do you think about when you're going down on someone?
Andi: I think about the girl I'm with and what she likes. I try to focus on that, but I can get distracted sometimes.
How do you get distracted?
Well, for example, if a woman isn't completely shaven, her stubble can be itchy. When that happens I can make weird leaps in my mind and start thinking about pubic hairstyles. Sometimes, I'll come up with fun patterns for hairstyles that I would give her. Like a snake, or something Christmas-y.
VICE: What do you think about when you're giving a blowjob?
Isabella: "No teeth!" When I was 15, my best friend had a boyfriend and she warned me never to use my teeth when I gave a blowjob. That stuck with me.
So what do you do to make sure of that?
I imagine I'm peeling an orange with my tongue. You really have to focus. I want to see how he responds to what I'm doing, if he's enjoying himself or not. That's how you get the job done.
VICE: What do you think about when you give a girl head?
Harley: Oh God, the first time I went down on a girl I was just so overwhelmed by the fact that I had never seen a vulva from that angle before. I couldn't stop thinking about whether mine looked like that or if she'd think my vagina was weird.
Is it less overwhelming now?
The fact that there are so many expectations on both sides can still make it a bit overwhelming. But once the pants are off that usually changes. I just worry about what I look like with my head between their legs sometimes – it can't be the most flattering angle. I have been giving people head for almost eight years now and I still worry that I don't have a clue as to what I'm doing. When I was in high school, a friend taught me how to give a blowjob by demonstrating the act on a pen. But nobody ever says, "This is how you eat pussy".
VICE: What do you think about while giving head?
Aylin: Just everyday stuff like uni, work or my plans for the weekend.
Does that set the mood for you?
I've been in a relationship for four years, and sex has become a bit of a routine. When I give my boyfriend a blowjob I do it only because he's into it. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't give him a blowjob if I found it awful. It's more like, "OK, let's get this over and done with."
VICE: What do you think about when going down on someone?
Alex: I'm always focused on the technical aspect – like making sure my teeth are covered, that there's enough saliva and that I'm not just letting my tongue sit there. If I let my mind wander I know I'll probably end up accidentally scraping him with my teeth. That's less of a problem when I go down on girls. But thoughts like "Shit, I should have brought a hair tie" or "this position makes me fart" I think are universal.
Can you tell me more about the biggest difference for you between going down on guys and girls?
I have only eaten out vaginas twice, and both times I was pretty panicked and had no idea if I was doing the right thing. I think penises are easier to please.
VICE: Can you tell me about the thoughts you have when going down on someone?
Wayland: All kinds of stuff, really. First of all, I try to read the way that person responds to what I'm doing. But then the rest of it is taken up with mentally singing songs I've got stuck in my head, wondering what to have for dinner – and wondering how long it'll take to get them off, to be honest. I don't mind at all if someone takes a while but you can always get a sore throat or neck.
You identify as queer – is there a difference between men and women?
Giving head or eating someone out are completely different, yet there are a lot of similarities. You have to be aware of your breathing, of when you're too rough or too gentle, of the warning signs that someone's about to come. Eating a girl out tends to be a bit messier for me. I'm not one for half measures so I always end up really going to town – having a beard means I really need to wash my face afterwards.
VICE: What goes on in your mind when you go down on a woman?
Lena: I find myself not having much time to think about anything else than the job at hand. I'm pretty busy trying to pay attention to how she responds to what I do – does she breathe faster if I put my tongue a bit to the left, right, up or down? What happens when I speed things up?
Can you block out everything else?
Sure – I mean, I register what kind of pubic hairstyle she has or what she tastes like. But generally I'm as focused as I am when I play avideo game.
* The names of Harley and Alex have been changed.
* This article was revised at 16:06 GMT, on October 5th, 2016
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