Andrew G Marshall

Author & Marital Therapist

Ask Andrew – My husband won’t give me oral sex

April 2nd, 2011 by Andrew Marshall in Ask Andrew, Export


He loves it when you perform fellatio on him but he won’t return the favour. How to have a constructive discussion rather than the same old fight.

A reader writes…

My husband and I have been together for 10 years and we have a major problem in our sex life.  He will not give me the oral sex that i desire. We constantly argue about this issue and it has put a major strain on our marriage.

It’s not a hygiene issue on my part so I am very confused. Do some men have a psychological problem when it comes to performing cunnilingus to please  their partner.

The irony here is that he loves when i perform fellatio on him, but he refuses to give me oral pleasure.

Please help. My husband won’t give me oral sex. I need a solution soon, or I will leave him.

Andrew replies…

There are two problems in your marriage. The first is that your husband does not like giving oral sex. The second is that oral sex has become the way that you measure love. In other words, ‘if he loved me he’d go down on me, if he won’t he doesn’t’. It’s almost as if this one topic has become the dumping ground where all your differences from putting out the rubbish upwards are somehow connected to this one topic. No wonder, you argue so much about it. No wonder, it seems impossible to solve.

So what would I do if you were seeing me? Beyond in the first session, so I could see how you argued and hear each sides case, I would be tempted to ban all mention of oral sex. This would reduce the temperature in the room (and allow you start working as a team) but provide space to look at some of the other issues that need to be solved but which are hiding behind oral sex. Next, I would look at your larger sex life. What works and how we could build on that. Finally, when you can both listen to each other. I would try and untangle why oral sex has become so symbolic. Until you can understand this, there is no way to find a solution.

So what should you do? I think it would help to read one of my books – like ‘Help you partner say yes’ – which would build co-operation. However, this seems so high octane, I think you need a neutral third party. In an ideal world, I would look for a couples therapist who is also a sex therapist (best place to look is Relate) who will be comfortable talking about sex and be able to alternate back and forwards between a general and sexual focus.

Finally, I have an observation for you. When I first read your letter, I thought ‘of course, he must learn to enjoy giving oral sex’. But when I read it the second time, I thought what if this had been a man writing about his wife? I’d probably think, how horrible. This man is pestering his wife, she shouldn’t be forced to do anything she doesn’t want to! However hard we try to be liberated, the old stereotypes rear their ugly heads ie: men should always be up for sex, men should know everything about sex, men shouldn’t have hang-ups. Ultimately, whether you are a man or a woman to be pestered for something is a turn off and also makes us more likely to dig in our heels and say no. Which brings me back to where I started. Step back, take the pressure off by taking this topic off the agenda for a while and find a new way to approach this problem through fresh eyes.