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How Opera Taught Me to Give Amazing Oral Sex
Maybe you’re a big fan of lilting Italian arias, or maybe you have never enjoyed the chocolate voice of a great mezzo-soprano. To me, something in operatic music encompasses the passion of life. I was recently listening to a great piece: Lakmé by Delibes, which is filled with such emotion, so many layers, that the depth of its expression can send me into ecstasy. It is only fitting that I put it on as I write this chapter.
I was a vocal performance major with a concentration in operatic studies when I began my early education in academia. Little did I know that what I was learning as a vocalist would apply to arts in the bedroom. I pride myself on being very agile with my tongue, lips, and mouth; and certain techniques that I learned when studying singing helped me become an amazing giver of oral pleasure.
One of those techniques involved releasing tension. If you get tired before you’ve even started the journey of a scintillating, sexy oral session, then tension may be at the root of your exhaustion. Why is tension an enemy when it comes to blowing your partner away?
1. no flow: When your muscles are holding physical tension, there can be a lack of blood flow and sensation into that tense area. Lack of blood flow means that the body cannot fully arouse, thus you miss out on turning your mouth and your genitals on to their full pleasure potential. Lack of flow also means that there is a lack of deep breath. When you cut off your breath, you cut off your ability to feel more and more “oh my god” sensations.
2. no energy: It takes a lot of energy for you to be tense, which is one of the reasons you may tire quickly and easily when it comes to giving oral. Tension steals the energy away from your amazing skills. What good is the skill if you have no endurance to keep going?
3. no sensuality: If your tongue and mouth are tense, and if your body is tense, it sends a message to your lover that is the opposite of a relaxed sensual space into which he or she can release into ecstasy. Your tension may stop your lover’s sensual juices from flowing. Tension is contagious.
4. no joy: Behind physical tension there is often emotional tension. While not always the case, tension in your body can be an indicator of an emotional issue. And sometimes tension in your body can cause you to feel not so great. When you relax, you bring in joy, love, and passion; so let that tension go.
I was on the set of a reality series about sex-life makeovers when I met Andy and Lara. They were cast in the show because she wasn’t having orgasms from oral sex. Lara complained that Andy would spend “thirty seconds down there” and then give up and rush to intercourse. He exclaimed, “It’s more like thirty minutes!” She hadn’t had any issues with having orgasms before meeting Andy, but now it seemed like she’d be on the verge of something wonderful right when he would have to stop whatever technique he was doing. Andy explained, “I just can’t go any longer. I get pain in my neck, in my shoulders, and my chest feels like it’s going to collapse!” He tensed up his upper body as he said this, lifted his shoulders to his ears, and held his breath so that his face got red and stressed. I thought to myself that if he was doing anything like this display, then tension was playing a big role in his inability to take his time loving Lara with his mouth and tongue and her inability to have an orgasm.
One of the biggest enemies to a singer and an oral lover is tension: jaw tension, tongue tension, neck and shoulder tension, and (believe it or not) pelvic floor tension too. In many of my singing classes, we were given exercises to help us have an awareness of tension and ways to release tension. The first step is to notice possible tension. Are you clenching your teeth? Are your shoulders up around your ears? Is your tongue curled up in your mouth?
I asked Andy to think about giving oral sex to Lara while doing the following exercise. I wanted to help him notice if he was already tense, and if he could tense more and then let go completely. As you do this exercise, I want you to do more than notice tension, I want you to also notice what it feels like to be completely relaxed.
Exercise: The Tension Tester
To test your tension, try this exercise by actually tensing these areas mentioned below. Tense each specific area as you take a nice deep breath, and then relax as you exhale. Take a moment to notice your body when you complete all the areas mentioned.
Releasing the Tension
You may live in a chronically tense state. Most people these days have found stress to be their natural way of being. Fortunately, we also have tools to help us to relax. Here are a few exercises that I have found effective in releasing the tension and helping me to not only improve my singing and speaking voice but also my oral skills. Why? Think about the last time you were giving oral pleasure. Did you find that your jaw started to get tired, or maybe your tongue wore out? I repeat: the culprit is tension.
Andy was in his early twenties. You would think that he wouldn’t be complaining that every time he went down on his girlfriend he would get pain in his chest, shoulders, and neck. You would think that when Lara was about to have an orgasm, he’d be able to keep going instead of having to move because he couldn’t stand the pain any longer. When I watched him practice some of the oral techniques he was using, I found out that he was tensing most of the muscles in his face, neck, and shoulders, and he wasn’t breathing at all. The more stressed he got, the more he tensed; the closer she got to orgasm, the more he’d tense. He was caught in a tension loop. And Lara was not a happy camper—she wasn’t getting any s’mores!
I had to teach Andy how to loosen up and how to improve his flexibility and stamina. A little tongue and mouth Pilates was in order.
Try these exercises to get loose and free.
I have to say that this technique is still hard for me to do. I have a lot of tension in my jaw, which makes it hard for me to let go. It wasn’t surprising that Andy did too; it was next to impossible for him to get this one. But with practice, he started to loosen up a bit.
Hold your chin between the thumb and forefinger of your dominant hand. Use your fingers to move the bottom of your jaw (mandible) up and down for about thirty seconds. Depending on the level of tension you are holding, you may find this next to impossible. Now, move your hand so that your thumb is on one side and your fingers on the other and try moving your jaw back and forth for a few seconds. Notice if you are holding your breath. Take deep breaths as you try to allow your fingers to move your jaw. Your jaw may pop and snap, especially if you are having TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues.
Face and Jaw Yoga
Don’t worry about looking silly for this next one; at least you can do it in private. I was doing it daily with a classroom of people. If you happen to take a class with me, you will join others, looking just as silly as you, all moving their faces like Silly Putty. It’s okay; you have permission to be silly. Being silly was hard for Andy, especially since we were doing all this in front of a crew of people with cameras. He was a good sport and played along with me. At the bottom of all this was his desire to please Lara, so he took a risk and looked silly for love.
Slowly open your mouth as wide as possible as you make different facial expressions while holding your mouth open; you can frown, smile, and even laugh. Now, roll your lips over your teeth as you open your mouth wide. Repeat several times. And finally stretch your jawbones in opposite directions by moving the bottom jaw (mandible) as far to the right as is comfortable, while visualizing the top of your jaw (maxilla) moving to the left, and holding for fifteen seconds, then move the mandible as far to the left as is comfortable, while visualizing the top of your jaw (maxilla) moving to the right and hold for fifteen seconds. Repeat a few times. Make sure that you breathe as you do each of these different stretches. I learned this technique during my first leading role and I never forgot it; I still practice it before every show.
Andy actually liked how this one felt. He admitted that he often held his breath during oral, so the breathing and stretching together reminded him to stay relaxed.
Stick your tongue out as far as it will go and touch the bottom of your chin. You may discover that you have a tongue like the lead singer of KISS or maybe there is tension in this very strong muscle and you can’t reach nearly that far. As you reach for the bottom of your chin, take five deep breaths and see if you can let go and stretch a little more. Now stretch your tongue upward to try and touch the tip of your nose. Take five deep breaths. Relax your tongue for a moment and notice how it feels. Now stick out your tongue and try to touch your right ear. Take five deep breaths. And finally move your tongue to the left, trying to touch your left ear. Take five deep breaths. Rest your tongue and notice how it feels.
No, obicularis oris (OO) isn’t a type of tension; it’s a muscle, the kissing muscle to be exact. It is a round sphincter-type muscle that surrounds your lips. There are many muscles that move our face and jaw and are responsible for speech and showing of emotion. The OO muscle purses our lips.
Take a moment to purse your lips like a chimpanzee going in for a big smooch! Take a deep breath, and then open your mouth while trying to hold your lips pursed; notice if there is any tension in your neck or face. Exhale and release your lips and any tension that has crept in as a result of doing the exercise. Now practice rapidly pursing your lips and releasing. Do this about ten times. Notice your level of tension and take a few deep breaths to relax. The objective of this is for you to notice if, when you use your OO muscle, tension is creeping into other areas of your neck and face; you eventually want to keep everything relaxed as you use your lips.
This one really helped Andy to feel when tension crept into his neck and shoulders. He would move them when he felt the tension, sometimes even shaking them out while holding his OO muscle in a pucker. Eventually he got to where he could stay relaxed while puckering up!
The Platysma Stretch
The platysma is one of my favorite muscles. It is a superficial muscle that runs from the bottom of your collarbone, over your neck, to the bottom of your jaw. This muscle often tries to help when we speak or sing, and as a result it is very hard for some people to relax it. You can feel the platysma tension when you lift your chin and turn your head from side to side. I was in Canada teaching a sold-out workshop to a group of couples. One of the first exercises we did was this stretch. I am always pleasantly surprised to hear the gasps of surprise when people discover how much tension they are holding here and how great it feels to release this muscle.
To get this muscle stretched, anchor your fingertips of both hands underneath your collarbone and pull down, now lift your chin and open and close your mouth. You will feel the stretch when you close your mouth. Take about fifteen seconds with your mouth closed and breathe deeply in and out of your nose.
Neck and Shoulder Release
Andy was definitely not the yoga type. He loved rap music and had a bit of a chip on his shoulder. His life had not been filled with meditation and candlelight. He looked at me like I’d just spoken Chinese when I asked him if he’d ever used a yoga block. I pulled mine out of my bag and told him to go get one right after our session. It turned out that he got so relaxed he almost fell asleep.
This is one of my favorites for helping with neck and shoulder tension. For this technique, you will need a yoga block. Lie down on your back on the floor with your knees facing the ceiling and feet flat on the floor. Position the block so that it is long ways, adjacent to your spine. Place one end at the area where the base of your skull meets the spine, otherwise known as the atlanto-occipital junction (yep, it’s a big word, but don’t big words turn you on. Or is it just me?). The other end will fall between your shoulder blades. Hug your arms around yourself and then allow your arms to lie out in a straight line from your body. Hold this position for about five minutes while you deeply breathe; you will feel yourself relax into the block. Do not sit straight up off the block. Gently roll yourself off the block and then lie flat for a few minutes to notice the effects of the practice.
Now place the block long ways between your shoulder blades. Hug your arms around yourself and open them up so that they are out in a straight line (like a “T”) from your body. Again, hold this second position for about five minutes while you deeply breathe. When you are finished, roll off the block, then flat onto your back, and notice the effects of the exercise.
This is a little sensual take on the usual head and shoulder rolling. Begin to roll your head gently to the right with your eyes closed and your mouth slightly open with your jaw relaxed. Now begin to contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles (this includes the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine and your anal sphincter muscles). Repeat to the other direction. Once you have loosened up your neck, try this with each shoulder.
Andy worked on all the above techniques, but I think his favorites were those that involved massage. I showed him the massage techniques to do on himself, but advised him to incorporate Lara into the massages as a way for them to connect before oral play.