Just when you think you've mastered the seductive arts, your partner asks if you would be open to switching things up from penetrative…to oral sex. And to someone struggling with confidence in the bedroom due to lack of experience in this activity, oral sex can be quite intimidating and even scary.

But it doesn't have to be so complicated—here are just 12 simple ways you can up your head game in record time.

1. Get yourselves in the mood


In all sexual situations, foreplay is everything, people. Warm yourselves up until your bodies are ready to perform at their fullest potential. It's time to turn up the heat, so don't be afraid to kiss a little roughly and touch a little greedily. If your partner knows that their pleasure is your ultimate mission, they'll be sure to reciprocate.

2. Make sure you're both comfortable

It's all about consent, all of the time. Both of you must be on board with everything that is going on at any given moment. And no matter how talented you are between the sheets, none of that makes a difference if you're trying to enjoy it with a stiff neck and sore legs. Give yourselves enough room to groove and on a surface that's soft and cleared off. Comfort on an emotional and physical level is of the utmost importance—without it, nobody is going to feel good.

3. Try to know what your partner likes beforehand

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If you've been with your partner sexually before, then hopefully you've been paying attention to the verbal and physical cues they give you when they particularly like something you do in bed. If not, don't be discouraged— just ask them! They'll be grateful that you cared enough about their preferences to ask them beforehand. Plus, ruling out what's forbidden and noting their favorite moves will save you both time, making the experience all about pleasure without any fumbling or nerves.

4. Take the time to build up tension

Unless you're pressed for time, you shouldn't be rushing through the motions at all. Foreplay shouldn't be glossed over, but should be an exciting prelude to all of the action that's to come later on. And that goes for penetrative sex, too; enjoy that before you dive in too eagerly for some oral gratification. It's all happening— relax and let yourself get lost in your partner. Love every tug in the pit of your stomach and every flutter of your heart.

5. Ask your partner to guide you through it

If you're new to giving head or would feel more confident with a little more guidance, let your partner know that and ask them to help you help them. Let them talk you through it; if you play your cards right, receiving directions from your partner can be extremely sexy. Or let them place your hands on their body and follow their lead. They know themselves best, after all, so be receptive to their advice and their criticisms.

6. Don't forget to use your hands

One of the biggest mistakes anyone can make while performing oral sex is neglecting to use their hands in addition to their lips and tongue. Your partner should be stimulated in a variety of ways to intensify their orgasm later on. So reach up and gently wrap your hands around her breasts as you go down on her. Run your fingertips up and down his torso and lightly scratch him with your nails. Or better yet, apply some pressure to their inner thighs to heighten their senses even more as you pleasure them.

7. Base your next move on how your partner reacts

You don't need to be an expert at decoding body language, but you do need to pay attention to how your partner reacts to each individual touch. See if they are biting their lip or swallowing heavily. See if their hands are grasping hard at the sheets. See if their hips are rising off of the bed as they meet your hands and mouth halfway. See if their entire body is flushed and quivering with their effort to stay calm. Look up every now and then to make sure that they are getting as much satisfaction from what you're doing as you are. That way, you can adjust to ensure that their orgasm is nothing short of mind-blowing.

8. But also, focus less on what you see (and more on what you feel and hear)

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It's okay to close your eyes and lose yourself in the moment as long as your other senses are still receptive to your partner's desires. Listen for the sounds they make— every moan, every sigh, every gasp, every plea they whisper to you. Feel if she is getting wetter by the second or if his thigh muscles are beginning to tense up. Feel if their hands are tightening in your hair. Surprisingly, a lot of the physical cues your partner will give you aren't visual, so don't rely fully on your sight (which is probably limited if you're giving head) to satisfy them.

9. Think about introducing a little bit of flavor

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This is more for your benefit than for your partner's, but introducing a flavor that you enjoy to your partner's body can really enhance the experience on your end and help you perform better. You can suck on a mint or a hard candy right before going down on them. Or you can invest in some lubricants and creams.

Enhancement creams that are edible and can be safely applied to your partner's genitals can apply sensations unlike any they have ever felt before. You can even purchase lube that goes on cool and warms up once you give your partner a little bit of friction. I personally enjoy the Pure Romance line— they have a wide variety of flavored creams, lubes, and gels for reasonable prices.

10. When you're finished, don't let the fun stop there

Oral sex doesn't necessarily have to be the main event of your evening. If you've still got some energy left and your partner isn't quite finished, either, don't be afraid to move towards a change of course. Oral sex can make for excellent foreplay if it's executed skillfully. Rather than be the act you've been waiting all day for, it can be just a preview of all of the fun that's to come. Or you could always go for round two...

11. Know that giving head is less about you and more about your partner

If you're giving head only because you expect to receive head immediately once you're finished, you're in it for all of the wrong reasons. You should be going into the bedroom knowing that your partner's pleasure is your primary goal in this activity. Although it's important that you're enjoying yourself as well, you wouldn't be going down on someone if you weren't invested in their enjoyment as well. If reciprocation is a must for you, that's a conversation you should be having with your partner before getting down and dirty.

12. Always communicate with each other—before, during and after

Speaking of conversation, as with any sexual activity, communication is 100% required in every situation and with every partner you have. Establishing boundaries before having sex is critical to ensuring that nothing happens beyond anyone's range of comfort and consent. But it's just as important to maintain communication during sex so you can let your partner know if something isn't working for you or vice versa. Voice your concerns whenever they come about— you never need to wait when it comes to consent.

Whether or not it's a new concept for you and your partner, oral sex can be downright scary at its worst. But with constant communication and frequent practice (not that that's difficult to arrange…), you'll master your technique in no time and have your partner just begging for more.