I don’t want to sound naive, but sometimes when a girl goes down on me, she sounds like she’s gagging, and her eyes water. Is that just part of the whole thing, or am I doing something wrong? – PAUL N., PARMA, OH

Moushumi Ghose, Psychotherapist/Sex Counselor, MFT: While this isn’t necessarily part of it, some girls like the gagging/eyes watering thing because it’s a symbol of submission that, for some—not all—men, is hot and arousing.

If she’s OK with “deep throating,” as it’s called, go for it, but go slow and be careful. Gagging—a physiological reflex triggered by something unpleasant or dangerous—isn’t in general something the body likes, so slow down, pull the penis back or out occasionally, and check in to make sure she’s doing OK and not in terrible pain or discomfort. Deep throating can and should be done slowly, and with her leading the way.

Dr. Aaron, Psychotherapist/Sex Counselor, Ph.D: I think for many women, putting a large object—such as an erect penis—in their mouth triggers a gag reflex. If you don’t want to trigger that response, you two can discuss how deep to put it in and how gently or vigorously you thrust.

I’d classify this as D/s (Dominance/submission), since it involves power and aggression. Some people are really turned on by gagging; in fact, if you research it online (for scientific reasons only, of course), you’ll find a large porn niche on it.

Are guys brutes for liking it? First, D/s isn’t a gendered thing—plenty of women enjoy being on the dominant side, too.

And second, sex is about fun and pleasure, so if you like it and it’s consensual, just ride the wave and file any shame or self-judgment into a drawer—preferably under lock and key.

Jena Friedman, Writer/Stand-Up Comic: If you like her, ask her if she’s comfortable. If you can’t make out what she’s saying because your dick is in her mouth, take it out and ask her again.

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