Your Call: My Husband Won’t Give Me Oral

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We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section. 

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Dear Em & Lo,

Okay, So me and my husband have been together almost 3 years married for 2 and he’s only given me oral 3 times! I am very clean down there and I won’t have sex without first taking a shower. Apparently he’s had bad past experiences with ex girlfriends having a smell down there, but I wasn’t aware he hated it so much since he did it while we were dating. It really hurts my feelings that he won’t do it, I am his wife he’s seen me give birth and he’s very open to everything else sexually but not this. I’ve tried to deal with it, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life never getting oral I love oral! I’ve tried bringing it up to him and he treats it like a joke… I give him oral all the time and I love doing it but since he won’t return the favor I’ve started to do it less often and resent it. I am really at a loss and don’t want my marriage to be broken up over this.

— Downtown Girl

What should Downtown Girl do? Leave your advice in the comments section below.



  1. OK – so I was in a similar situation in my last relationship. I told him point blank that I wasn’t going to give him oral if he didn’t do it in return. We had a rule – whatever he did to me, I could do to him, anal was a good time lol. But I digress… Honestly, sex isn’t a bargaining chip but it is about two people meeting each other needs and being happy – if you resent having to do something just DON’T DO IT. If you like to give him oral and are ok with not getting any – keep doing it. It isn’t that complicated. You are not being cold and withholding sex period – just a certain act and if he can live without you giving oral and you can live without getting it and removing that act from you sex life then go forth. If he doesn’t care and you can’t live without it – see the first comment. Good luck.

  2. Given that things are very lopsided in the fellatio:cunnilingus ratio department, it’s tempting, as Tony says, to withhold oral sex from him in hopes that you’ll receive more. But that mentality always makes me uncomfortable. It treats sex acts like bargaining chips, which isn’t exactly moral high ground. However, your letter says that you have become resentful and your desire to give oral is waning. These are genuine feelings and not manufactured bargaining chips. If he realizes how his actions have had a negative effect on his marriage(and his supply of oral pleasure), maybe there’s a chance he could try to remedy his behavior. From his point of view, I imagine things have gone swimmingly up to this point. There has been sex on the regular and plenty of oral for him. The fact that he hasn’t returned the favor might not truly seem to be a negative to him. There’s some occasional nagging from his wife, but really, where’s the downside? Well, the downside is that this has been silently eating away at the underpinnings of his marriage, and things are in jeopardy. This realization might come as a surprise or scare him – I’m not sure. But he does need to know.

  3. Maybe being giving doesn’t come naturally to him? Was he a spoiled kid? Is his ego sort of large? What is his track record with women like? I once dated a guy like this. He started to deliver in the bedroom and give just enough affection to keep me hooked once I was about to check out because of his behaviour. But a year later we still broke up because of the fact that he was self-obsessed. The way we behave sexually is a symbolic reflection of the way we are. Not necessarily a direct link between oral sex in particular and character..but just sayin!

  4. It sounds like you’ve let him know how much you enjoy oral from him, so repeating that probably won’t get you very far.

    While I don’t like the idea of sexual withholding in general, simply saying that if he won’t give you oral sex then you won’t give him any either seems like a relatively straightforward option. This only works if he really enjoys oral sex. Focusing on being treated equally (you sincerely try to please him, you have a right to expect similar treatment in return) may also help.

    Ultimately, you can’t “make him” do anything. The only way I know to change another person’s behavior is to change your own and then they change in response. I wouldn’t do anything unethical or immoral.

    A last option is a marital therapist to help the two of you try to find common ground.

    Good luck!

  5. I mean, at a rate of once per year since you got together, you kinda knew what you were signing up for.

    You’ve got 3 options (assuming “dump him over it” isn’t an option):

    1. Browbeat him into doing it – maybe he’ll learn to like it.

    2. Open the relationship – tell him you need oral, and you’re going to get it from someone. Tell him you’d really like it best if it were him.

    3. Get sneaky cheating oral.

    Of those 3 options, 2 is the most ethical; 1 is the least likely to have dire consequences for your relationship and your family; 3 is the easiest but the likeliest to end in catastrophe.

    Pick your poison.

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