Deepthroating can totally feel super intimidating, and many of us start off feeling like it’s something we are just never going to accomplish. If you want to learn, however, you absolutely can—with a few handy tips and some practice, of course.
1. Go for some citrus.
“I personally love to take shots of lemon juice beforehand,” says adult star Daizha Morgann. “It makes me drool way more, and makes it easier to take it ALL in.” Your dentist may not love what it does to your enamel, but this is a special-occasion kind of adventure anyway.
2. Find your angle.
“You may find it easier to be on your knees, or you can try leaning your head off the edge of the bed, which can help open the throat,” shares sexpert Antonia Hall.
You can keep a moistened grip on the end of the penis by the testicles to allow for greater control, Hall says—especially while first becoming comfortable with deepthroating. “Open your mouth and throat as wide as possible, flattening your tongue against the floor of the mouth and stretching your neck as long as possible,” Hall says.
3. Remember your breathing.
If your gag reflex is an issue, inhale while the penis is being inserted and exhale while it’s coming out. You’ll also want to focus on trying to breathe out of your nose. “If it’s too hard, try and find a nice rhythm that allows you to take little breaths out as he slides out of your throat, and hold it while he is down in your throat,” says Bethany Ricciardi, a sex and relationship expert with TooTimid.
4. Consider opting for a throat spray.
You can try using a relaxant, like Doc Johnson’s popular GoodHead Deep Throat Spray, on the back of your throat. “It has a small amount of benzocaine (5 percent) so one spritz to the back of the throat is often the perfect amount to help alleviate the gag reflex. You want to be relaxed, not numb,” says Stephanie Salyers, who has been a sexuality educator for more than 10 years and is a SAR certified sex coach.
Keep in mind that the gag reflex is reminding you to breathe, so the trick is to relax enough to manage it without trying to completely suppress it. “Your gag reflex is part of the body’s innate self-protective instincts, so please don’t try to bypass this feeling,” Salyers says.
5. Have you tried putting wine on it?
If you’re feeling anxiety about deepthroating—like, you’re wracked with the extremely reasonable fear that you’ll choke–it’s worth taking a minute beforehand to relax. “There are a couple factors that I think really help,” Morgann says. “For me, I definitely think a glass of wine helps to ease the anxiety.” Right there with you.
6. Conversely, stay as hydrated as possible.
Drinking lots of water totally makes oral sex more comfortable. “Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can vary in cause and severity, but even something simple like too much caffeine and not enough water in your system can reduce your saliva production and cause a parched feeling,” Salyers says. Drinking water helps keep your mouth wet—a key component to oral of any kind.
7. Sheathe your swords.
When it comes to deepthroating, you have to look at your teeth as swords, says Ember Snow, adult performer and cam star. “Sheathe those swords when you slide the penis into your mouth—once you can do that, step it up a notch by sticking your tongue out,” Snow says.
8. Practice, practice, practice.
Don’t be afraid to practice on a toy. “Choose a silicone, realistic dildo—something as close as you can get to the real thing. Repeatedly stick it down your throat—try holding it there,” Ricciardi says. “Move it in and out, all around, and even try swallowing around it. Each time you feel that gag start to kick in, stop and try to take a second to suppress it,” Ricciardi says. The more you practice this, the more likely you get past that gagging urge.
9. Take breaks if you need them.
If you’re having trouble mastering a breathing rhythm, don’t be afraid to take breaks as needed. “If you have to, just take a break every 10 seconds to catch your breath and then keep going,” Ricciardi says. “Make sure the person receiving oral is respectful to you and can understand the difficulty of the task.” They need to be patient too—that way, there’s no pressure or anxiety when trying to perform!
10. Spit is just fine.
If you’re icked out by spit, now’s the time to learn to embrace it. “Your partner will probably think it’s sexy—use it to your advantage and let the spit help the penis slide in and out of your mouth,” Ricciardi says.
11. Maintain the intimacy.
Deepthroating may conjure up images of porn, but it’s also very intimate. You’re basically giving deep sexual pleasure to your partner by making love to them with your mouth and throat.
“There’s often an element of surrendering to one’s partner by the giver and a sense of power and control by the person receiving,” Hall says. “The receiver will experience the intimate depth of the person’s mouth and the back of the throat, which is soft and feels particularly good against the tip of the penis,” Hall says.
12. Don’t be afraid to swallow.
No, you definitely don’t have to swallow, but it’s sexy and actually kind of an advantage. “If you don’t like the taste or sensation of them coming in your mouth, you won’t feel it happening!” Ricciardi says. Deepthroating to completion and swallowing while they’re still down there is definitely a skill—and might be for someone more advanced. But beginners can always work their way up.
13. Ball play is the best play.
Another more advanced technique that you can try is to bring in some ball play. “If you’re kneeling in front of your partner, and they’re deep inside your throat, you’re in a perfect position to stick your tongue out and lick their balls,” Ricciardi says.
“You’ll want to keep the penis deep, don’t move it in and out, but continue deepthroating while licking!” Ricciardi says. You can always massage the testicles with your hands or reach up and grab their nipples for extra stimulation as well.
Aly Walansky is a New York-based lifestyle writer. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @alywalansky.