I give out blowjobs like I give out compliments: rarely, but full of heart. In fact, the amount of people on whom I’ve bestowed this, er, action, I can easily count on one hand. I’m not a prude nor am I selfish, I’m just picky about what I put in my mouth, I guess. However, for those who have fallen into this elusive category, I’ve wanted to give them a blowjob, have done so multiple times, and yes, I really enjoyed it.

As with most sex acts, no one ever gives you a “how to” on the subject. You learn how to have sex out of practice, from conversations with friends, or, if you’re lucky, a partner who’s willing to show you the way and gives you tips. But even the most intimate relationships sometimes aren’t as open as they could be when it comes to actually talking about sex…this is where a class can be a good thing.

I signed up for “The Art of the Blowjob” class at New York’s Toys in Babeland; I figured it was time to learn how to give head properly. I walked into the class knowing beforehand that the information I learned in those two hours would be knowledge I would retain for the rest of my life…unlike the majority of my college curriculum.

The class was led by two amazingly open and fun women (they actually closed out the lesson with a blowjob-themed song sung to the tune of “My Favorite Things,” from The Sound of Music) who were clearly more than comfortable with the topic. Before getting into the details, the class was asked to call out “penis”, “cock,” “pussy,” and “vagina” as a way to make ourselves comfortable with the words they would be using. I can’t even tell you the amount of fifteen-year old style snickers this exercise invoked, and the scowls I was forced to shoot in every direction. (Editor’s note: Does anyone else remember playing The Penis Game while on school field trips?)

Next up was a lesson in biology that was far more informative than that mandatory biology class in high school; the point being if you’re going to get face to face with something, you should not only know the parts of it, but be able to name them, too. I now know the head of a cock is called a glans…as for the rest, I’m still memorizing my diagram.

There are three words to know when performing a blowjob: lube, lube, lube. That’s right, lubrication is your friend and something from which no one should shy away; the wetter and slicker, the better. Another mandatory in giving head is using your hands; so the instructors went over hand movements to add to the overall pleasure of the “job.”

Pump Up the Jam: the basic one-handed movement of rubbing the shaft of the penis from head (glans) to the balls, and back up again.
Fire Starter: taking the shaft between two hands and rubbing it the way one would rub their hands to keep warm.
Tootsie Roll: a two-handed up and down twist motion that extends the entire length of the shaft.
Waterfall: a hand over hand rubdown that starts at the head and lightly (or aggressively) pulls the penis skin taut and towards the balls.
Doorknob: a one-handed back and forth twist that mimics opening a door via a doorknob.
Strike It Up: grabbing the balls and shaft together and applying pressure in an upward, towards the head movement.
Stroke It: using both thumbs to massage the sensitive underneath part of the head of the penis.

While one of the instructors strapped on a dildo (so the other could demonstrate the techniques) we were given rather large bananas…or to quote Molly Shannon’s character in Never Been Kissed, “a little land called Every Man’s Fantasy.” Along with the bananas we were given flavored condoms and taught how to put a condom on a penis with our mouths…this of course, invoked even more laughter from a younger section of the audience. The mouth/condom/banana trick was a great segway into the “mouth techniques” part of the lesson:

Slap Happy: keeping the tongue flat and slapping it against the head of the cock as they do often in porn; both the feeling and sound are arousing.
Figure 8: licking the underneath side of the shaft up towards the head, then wrapping around and back down to the balls in a “figure 8” motion.
Hummer: creating a battery-free vibrator with your mouth by humming your favorite song! (fancying myself a musician of sorts, I couldn’t wait to try this one out!)
Twist: focusing on the head and licking while tipping your head from side to side.
Lollipop: sucking the cock, then popping it out of the mouth against your cheek to make a “lollipop” sound.

Next were positions in which to give head that are both fulfilling for the receiver, and comfortable for the giver, including tips on how to reduce gagging from deep-throating action. For example, if you lay on your back on a bed or kitchen table, or wherever, and let your partner stand and straddle your head as you take his penis in your mouth, you can not only perform a very deep blowjob, but the angle at which he is in your mouth is one that will not induce gagging, as he’s against your throat instead of your tongue. However, if that position isn’t for you, and you’d still like to be able to take in an entire cock without getting teary-eyed from feeling as though you’re choking, the instructors suggested placing two fingers against the furthest part back on your tongue and allowing yourself to get used to the pressure of having something there. Honestly, I was amazed at home many women then willingly shoved their fingers in their mouths to immediately start getting over their gag reflexes.

A great blowjob is not just limited to the penis, but also involves attention to the balls (just give ’em a lil’ tap, kiss or lick!), as well as the anus. The class did not shy away from the taboo subjects of anal sex and anal play; in fact, they embraced and detailed the proper way to stimulate the prostate. While some straight men will steer clear of this action, the fact is the male G-Spot is the prostate gland and can be reached via the anus with a well-lubricated finger and, as Babeland calls it, a “come hither” finger motion that is pointed towards the belly button. Our handout suggested inserting the finger as far up as the second knuckle, as a good place to start an introduction to the sensation, as well as “Toys for Boys” that can intensify the feeling when the time is right.

However, if anal play isn’t your thing, you can still give great head. The perfect blowjob is all about being comfortable with yourself and your partner; it’s also about being creative, open-minded and understanding that sex, in all its forms, is not only fun, but also a basic human desire we all have.

Of course all scientific research requires that one take the learned knowledge and test it. So I called upon *Charming Guy to lend his appendage to the cause. The results are below:

My favorite hand/mouth combo: Waterfall and Hummer.
His response: “Are you humming Neutral Milk Hotel? Are you playing name that tune down there?”

His favorite hand/mouth combo: Waterfall and Figure 8.
His response: “Why are you asking me to rate things right now?”

While I’ve always given myself an A for effort, I have a feeling that I still need to work on the performance end of things. Honestly, I think I have a long way to go in perfecting the blowjob. I’m all for hours and hours of practice if need be; and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get it just right. Just like masturbation…now that’s something I have down to a science.

*Name changed to keep the anonymity of the cock and its owner.