There are so many things I wish I'd known before those early sexual encounters with my girlfriends. So, as a public service to all those young queers out there, I’m going to expose some of my awkwardness so you don’t have to fumble through the way I did.
Note: I am a cis, bisexual woman who hasn’t slept with anyone who identifies as gender non-binary or trans*, so all of my experiences come from this perspective. There are other great resources available on Kinkly if you’re looking for information about sexual experiences that don’t fit the cis-normative experience.
Sex With Women Is Way More Than Scissoring
Sex with guys can be pretty simple. In and out and that’s pretty much it. Yeah, you can mix up the positions, angles, and incorporate all sorts of toys, but it all feels very much the same to me. Not so with women. There are so many different ways to have sex with women. When I started I was only aware of two of them: fingering and oral. I had no skill in either method. There was a lot of awkward fumbling around under the sheets to figure out how to make either of these methods work, and, in some cases, to find out that they wouldn’t work at all (keep reading).
Later, I would discover that there’s so much more than oral and fingering. I discovered the amazing world of sex toys and started incorporating vibrators and strap-ons. I also discovered that a good grind session is just as effective and that fingers are good for so much more than penetration.
As I discovered new methods for pleasing my partners I also discovered…
Every Woman Gets Off Differently
When I was ready for my first queer sexual encounter, I made the assumption that I had a pretty good idea what would work for another girl. I have a clit, I have a vagina, and I know how I orgasm. So I know how to make another woman orgasm, right? So wrong. In our society, the female orgasm is seen as some sort of unknowable mystery, so it’s no wonder that it’s not common knowledge that different things work for different women.
Some women only orgasm from penetration. Some women only orgasm from clitoral stimulation. Some women need a combination of penetration and clitoral stimulation. Some women only orgasm from oral. I even know some women who only orgasm during anal.
At the time, my only experiences with orgasms involved a combination of penetration and clit stimulation. This was all I really knew to try. It never occurred to me that the girls I was having sex with wouldn’t like that or that it wouldn’t work for them. It took a lot of experimentation and a lot of feedback from the girls I was sleeping with to figure out what worked for each of them, and it was different for each of them.
Read: Why I Will Never Fake Another Orgasm
Having Sex With Women Requires Serious Stamina
One of the most amazing things about being a woman is multiple orgasms. There are some guys who can come multiple times, but for most, it’s one and done.
When I started having sex with women I was completely unprepared for how long a sexual encounter could last: basically, until you’re both too exhausted to continue. Since both women have the ability to orgasm multiple times, you can just keep orgasming over and over for hours. I once had sex with my girlfriend for six hours. We’d finish, take a breather, and then be right back at it...it lasted six hours!
Sex with guys is like running a 5k, but having sex with women can be like running a marathon. It takes some serious stamina to keep up.
Read: 6 Tips to Help You Achieve Multiple Orgasms (Just Like Me)
Nothing You See in Porn Is Real - Unless It’s Made by Actual Women Who Sleep With Women
After watching some so called "lesbian porn" as a teen, I was pretty quickly convinced that nothing I was seeing was accurate. It was all extremely staged, over-dramatic, and no one looked like they were actually having fun. I was vaguely aware of the fact that while this porn was made for women, much of it was made by men. I eventually grasped that this meant the representations I was seeing were basically a man’s fantasy; what they thought women having sex with women “should” look like.
Later in life, I discovered porn made by women who actually have sex with other women, and it looked very different. These women were having sex the ways that my girlfriends and I had sex and they actually appeared to be enjoying themselves.
If you’re looking to educate yourself about having sex with women, be sure to seek out porn made by women who actually sleep with women, and be sure the porn is made ethically.
Keep Your Nails Short
I hate to admit it, but for an embarrassingly long time, I didn’t even think about trimming my nails. Sometimes, I even had fake nails. Any woman who’s had sex with a woman is probably appalled at my lack of common sense. In retrospect, so am I. I didn’t know better. I only realized the impact of my mistake by making my girlfriend really uncomfortable. It’s a miracle she wasn’t seriously hurt.
Given all the places your fingers are going when you’re having sex with a woman, it’s really important to keep your nails trimmed and your hands clean. Please, learn from my embarrassing mistake.
So many awkward, painful, and embarrassing encounters can be avoided if we just talk about sex honestly, share our experiences, and educate ourselves. Today, resources about queer sex are much more readily available and much more accurate than they were when I was growing up. I can’t imagine how my experiences would have been different if I’d had more information or access to feminist porn made by actual women who have sex with women. I was lucky to have endlessly patient partners, and I learned by trial and error. Fortunately, maybe you won't have to.