“I count the minutes,” A tells me over dinner one night. A is a dear friend and his extremely active – and imaginative – sex life makes him my favourite guinea pig. While I have been quite promiscuous in my early twenties (but have slowed things down since partnering up for the last few years), A still is quite the adventurous one. I have always known him to be gentlemanly and polite, but a very thin wall during a trip to Sri Lanka made it very clear that he wasn’t so in the bedroom. His last few girlfriends always described him as a “giver”. So, when he tells me that he counts the minutes he spends down there and expects the same from the lady, I am surprised. Why is oral sex so transactional, I ask?

“Because it is selfless,” he replies. The man’s right. Oral sex provides no pleasure for the giver – only the possibility of the kindness being returned in equal measure propels the fervour. While I have come across people who might not enjoy penetration, nobody says no to getting head. Also, while fucking requires skill, it is really difficult to be bad at oral sex. Or so I thought.

“That is absolutely untrue,” S tells me. “It is bloody easy to go down on men. You guys are like apes. You don’t give a shit about tempo and skill. And so, because you are so easy to fiddle, you think that’s how it is with women. Idiots.”

There are a couple of things to take note of here. Firstly, some men might lack the skill, and I think it is never too late to educate yourself. Most men don’t give a shit about learning anything about sex, sexual etiquette or behaviour after the tenth grade curiosity wears off. They think they know it all – that it’s all boom-boom-pow. It is selfish to expect women to spend a lot of time down there, while we wrap the show up in a few minutes. I feel oral sex should be treated like a main course, not as a part of foreplay. If you think it is, you need to buy a book, my friends. It’s intimate and allows role reversal and shifts in the power dynamic, which is hot. Your partner is completely at your mercy. He or she is giving themselves up completely to you, allowing you to control the degrees of pleasure they will experience. To tarnish the possibility of this experience by clubbing it with foreplay, or by not paying enough attention to it, is foolhardy.

The biggest problem with oral sex – other than the human tendency to make it transactional – is the mental block about putting someone’s genitalia in one’s mouth. We become conscious about germs and hygiene and honestly, it is a valid issue. Clean yourself, for starters. Both parties should maintain their shrubbery. There is absolutely nothing dirty about your private parts if they have been cleaned well. Once you have overcome this silly mental block, let’s move on to making going down an even better experience. I have three words for you – edibles, edibles, edibles. There’s whipped cream and chocolate sauce and honey for beginners. Edible lingerie and underwear can also be a fantastic way of taking it up a notch. Experiment with edible lube. There are sensory-enhancing lubes which are meant to make your skin more receptive – and, here’s the best bit: they come in fun flavours like peppermint and sweet pepper that adds that extra tingle. There’s more. You can always Google.

Stop making oral sex a chore before you get onto the big F. Like I said, it’s a main course. Can you imagine how amazing it would be if sex became dessert?