If you want to silence a room and get everyone's attention, just say these magic words: I'm writing a book on oral sex.

Typical reaction: speechlessness, followed by nervous laughter, followed by a comment along the lines of “Let me know if you ever need any research assistance!”

It’s amusing. People love oral. It’s ultimately irresistible. But this once taboo behavior can still be a tough sell in the bedroom. What gives?

It’s actually only recently that oral sex has become widely acceptable. Pursued by people of all orientations, from the teen years up, oral sex is a very common practice: 70-90 percent of men and women report that they’ve engaged in such behavior.

And who can blame them?

Many women love becoming the center of oral attention. This isn’t only because it feels incredible to have somebody deliver the ultimate kiss, but it’s critical to her orgasm as well. Some women can climax only from this most intimate of sexual pleasures, thanks to the hub of her pleasure, the clitoris, getting ample attention. Some need oral sex, and the orgasm from it, in order to hit heaven (often again) during intercourse.

While the feel-good sensations rock his world as well, men are generally into oral sex for more psychological reasons. Being “hero worshipped” in this way makes him feel desired, accepted, nurtured and dominant. He also likes that his lover is doing all of the work and that he can just relax as his hot spots are teased.

Hands down, both Mars and Venus will tell you that they would love to receive more oral action. In fact, this genre of books is one of the best selling when it comes to sex advice.

So why are some lovers still so squeamish about it in the bedroom?

Historically, societies have condemned oral sex as a dirty, shameful behavior. While the sexual revolution empowered us to think otherwise, some lovers are still feeling the shockwaves of the negative, die-hard messaging around such pleasuring. I regularly get e-mails from people who are frustrated that their lover isn’t up for giving or receiving oral. At the heart of their woe is a partner’s mindset that oral equals “dirty.” By labeling it a major taboo, it’s hard for them to relax and enjoy, let alone attempt.

If this sounds like your situation, talk to your lover about what oral sex means to you, highlighting the positives of such pleasuring when it comes to bonding, giving, and maximum sexual response. Encourage your lover to explore sex resources that portray oral sex in a healthy light, depicting it as natural, normal, and beautiful more than anything.

Sometimes, new lovers will avoid it for fear of a bad review. Seasoned lovers make the mistake of seeing such sexual exchanges as a mere appetizer and not the main course. Then there are those worries of cleanliness, the monotony of routine, or being frustrated over the quality of delivery or lack of response.

If this is your story, approach the situation as though pursuing a fine dining experience. Try a new venue, sample a different dish, and ask that your meal be served up with a twist; add some spices. Then talk about how much you’re savoring this sexual moment, before sitting back and enjoying all the exquisite eroticism to be had with the tip of the tongue.

Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "The Better Sex Guide to Extraordinary Lovemaking."