Q: My long-term partner’s attitude toward oral sex is that it’s OK for him to receive but not to give. I think he has hang-ups about the female body.

A: For all relationships, sexual satisfaction revolves around giving and receiving. If your partner is either unable to or refuses to perform oral sex, it’s time to slow things down and find out why not. Start the conversation with how cheated it makes you feel. For example, you can say, “Because you never go down on me, I feel used and sad when I do it to you.” Your partner’s aversion might hinge on emotional reasons from childhood, a dislike of your genital grooming habits, a distaste of the flavor, or a fear of not being able to please you orally. What may have seemed selfish on the surface might instead be a complex interplay of legitimate concerns.

Like anything else in life, the more you know and understand about the issues behind your partner’s decision, the more likely you will respect instead of resent him. If the problems with oral sex date back to childhood, your partner will probably need professional counseling. However, grooming habits are easy to fix with a pair of scissors and bright light. If taste is the issue, double check your hygiene and/or try a trail of your partner’s favorite tasty treat leading the way to your spot. If his concerns stem from fear of inadequacy, show how you like it done. This direct approach should help restore balance.