22/01/2015 12:11 GMT | Updated 24/03/2015 05:59 GMT

Ten Things You Need to Know Before You Don't Go Down on a Woman

1. In a recent vlog for her YouTube series Lesbians Explain, Arielle Scarcella revealed that 55 percent of of her straight female viewers preferred penetration to oral sex. In contrast, 75% of her lesbian audience preferred oral sex to penetration.

2. That difference wouldn't matter if there wasn't such a significant difference between the number of women who orgasm from penetration and the number of women who orgasm from cunnilingus. When sociologist Elizabeth Armstrong analyzed quantitative data on the likelihood of orgasm among 15,000 heterosexual college students she found that just 15% of women had an orgasm during penetrative sex with a new sexual partner. In contrast, 63% of women who experienced oral sex, self stimulation and penetrative sex during a first sexual encounter achieved orgasm.

3. The heterosexual women that Scarcella interviewed explained that oral sex required a greater level of vulnerability and they felt more comfortable giving, rather than receiving sexual pleasure. Scarcella concluded that straight women need to have more self confidence and more body confidence.

4. Female assertiveness and cunnlingus have an ancient history. In 1998, the French writer and professor Theirry Leguay wrote a history of fellatio (L'Histoire Raisonnee de la Fellation) in which he describes how the Chinese Empress Wu Hu who reigned during the T'ang Dynasty from 690 to 705 A.D used her position to decree that all visiting dignitaries pay their respects by performing cunnilingus on her.

5. More recently, a study by Laina Y. Bay-Cheng and Nicole M. Fava which was published in The Journal Of Sex Research (2011) examined young women's experiences and perceptions of cunnilingus during adolescence. They found that the only attitude of consequence when it came to how frequently a woman engaged in cunnilingus during adolescence was, yep, you guessed it, sexual assertiveness. The young women were also confident that their male partners enjoyed performing oral sex.

6. Bay-Cheng and Fava concluded that their findings cohere with a minority, but mounting view, that adolescent sexual experimentation and experience - when accompanied by accurate knowledge, mutual consent, and health precautions - is developmentally normative (Fortenberry, 2003; Steinberg, 2007) and can promote sexual well-being (Horne & ZimmerGembeck, 2005; Muise, Preyde, Maitland, & Milhausen, 2010; Rostosky, Dekhtyar, Cupp, & Anderman, 2008). Basically, women who are confident enough to ask for oral and who do so in the belief that their partner will enjoy the experience just as much as they do, are behaving in a normal, healthy way. Good to know.

7. So, what makes a good cunnilingual experience? Firstly, as Scarcella points out, women need to be confident enough to communicate what they want. They also need to feel relaxed, because anxiety and orgasm are mutually exclusive. Some women find it easier to let go if you blindfold them before you go down.

8. Good cunnilingus should be wet, but oral sex is not safe sex, so if you are with a new partner, or you haven't had a mutual sexual health check, femidoms, dental dams or clingfilm should be used to prevent the potential transmission of infection. Use lubricant between the barrier method and your partner's genitals and keep a glass of water handy for yourself.

9. The tongue is the ideal sex toy because it can provide so many different pressures and textures, simply by altering pace and flex. When it is limp and flat, it is soft and sloppy. When it is rigid it can be used to probe the vagina. The entire vulva and clitoris can be lightly sucked, or rapid flicks can be delivered slightly below the clitoris. Because the clitoris is so incredibly sensitive too much rubbing can be painful so pay as much, if not more attention, to the surrounding areas. Simultaneous stroking of the inner thigh, the bottom or tweaking of the nipples can dramatically magnify the sensations.

10. Women don't always have to have an orgasm when you go down on them, but bringing a partner to climax with your tongue is a very rewarding experience. Because women take longer to get aroused and reach orgasm, consistency is the key to a successful outcome. Men often lose their erections whilst giving oral sex and women who are anxious may interpret this as a sign that a partner is turned off, so make it absolutely clear that there is no time limit and you are getting as much pleasure from the experience as she is. Then keep going until she has an orgasm.