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Since we talked before about going down on women, it’s only fair that we discuss going down on men, too. It’s a thin line between love and hate, and that line hinges on you being good at your (blow) job.

I mentioned my old blog—Hideous Kinky—in another column, and those who have been following me around the internet for that long will remember the long-standing and oft-repeated reference to me being the “Dick Sucking Champion of the World,” or DSCOW for short. It wasn’t a name I gave myself; an old lover gave me that title after the first time I got my knees dirty for him.

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My skills include a mastery of both technique and optics, and if I am not able to bring the act to an end in 10 minutes or less, I’m going to assume his penis is broken, because the problem is very definitely not me.

There are many variables when it comes to giving good dome, but the basics remain the same across the board.

Before you get started, make sure you are hydrated. Good fellatio depends on being able to keep your mouth wet, and you can’t do that if you are dehydrated. Have plenty of water in the hours before you see him.

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Lubrication is your friend. Getting him as wet as possible when you first get started is going to make your job a lot easier. Suck him up and down a few times to make sure he is able to slide in and out of your mouth easily.

While sensation for men can be centered at different areas of their penis, mostly all of them are visual, so a good blow job is going to involve a combination of you making it feel good and you making it look good.

Eye contact is essential. Make lots of it. Nothing is going to drive him crazy quicker than him being able to look you in the eye as he watches himself sliding in and out of your mouth.

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For some men, most of the sensation is closer to the top or head of their penis. For others, it’s along the shaft. Experiment a little bit and pay attention to his reactions. He will let you know which parts feel good to him.

When in doubt, you can always ask what works. A lot of them like to be talked to during the act. It adds to the “showmanship” aspect of it.

Don’t ignore the balls. Sometimes they get lost in the shuffle, but for some men, they are a prime pleasure point as well. Whether you (gently) hold them in your hand or put them in your mouth is a choice you and your partner have to make. Not everyone likes the same thing. Again, communication is key.

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Mind your teeth. Nothing like grazing a little too roughly with your incisors to ruin the party. Learn to hold him in your mouth without your teeth interfering. If need be, practice on a banana or a Popsicle. If you leave teeth marks in it, you’re doing it wrong.

There are two techniques that a lot of people add to fellatio that seem to make it way more exciting for the men: sloppy top and deep-throating.

Sloppy top is the act of increasing the amount of saliva to the point that it’s dripping out of your mouth as you suck him off. This can be accompanied by such things as spitting directly on his penis; loud, exaggerated moaning; and letting your eyes roll into the back of your head because this is the best penis you have ever sucked in your life—or at least you want him to think that.

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There are men who say sloppy top is an absolute must in order for them to get off. There are women who love giving sloppy top. It is a preference thing.

I am personally not into sloppy top. It’s distracting to me, and I am able to get the job done without all the over-the-top dramatics because I am an expert deep-throater.

Deep-throating is the act of taking the penis all the way into your mouth and allowing it to go down the back of your throat almost as if you are swallowing it (or preparing to). I will admit that I have an unfair advantage in that I don’t have a gag reflex, but even if you do, you can still deep-throat. As a friend told me, it’s a matter of lowering your jaw and breathing through your nose—this is essential. To reduce the gag reflex, breathing through your nose while inserting toward your throat helps.

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Because there are varying approaches to fellatio, I asked about it on Twitter and got some good responses that I will share with you.

General advice:

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For sloppy top:

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For deep-throating:

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The bottom line is you want to please your partner. This is not a job for the lazy or the inhibited. You have to be willing to put in the effort to be good at it, but once you do get good at it, you will never have a dissatisfied partner. The biggest piece of advice is to enjoy yourself. You enjoying yourself is going to make him enjoy himself, and everyone will leave the experience with a smile on their face.

Blow jobs don’t have to suck; make the most out of a mutually pleasurable experience.