We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we hear the nitty-gritty of how we can actually better understand our deepest desires and most embarrassing questions? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, to help us out with the details. No gender, sexual orientation, or question is off limits, and all questions will remain anonymous. Now, onto this week’s topic: how you can prepare for sex with women when you're new to it.
Q: “I just had sex with a woman for the first time after only ever being with men! It was just a one-night thing that probably won’t be repeated with this particular woman. It went very well, but I think she was easily orgasmic. She came so quickly that I suspect it was more about her having fast orgasms than about me being particularly skillful. I'm worried that when the next woman rolls around I'll be back at square one, feeling like I have no idea what I’m doing. Are there any techniques for having sex with women I can learn now for the next time? I know some of it's intuitive because I'm also a woman, but I feel like I should be doing something to study! How can I ensure that I'll be just as good the next time around?”
A: Thanks for the question! Congrats on having your first girl-on-girl encounter! I can totally respect your desire to learn more sexual skills for your next partner(s). It seems like you understand that great sex requires effort, which is one of the most important lessons I try to get across in my sex therapy practice. Here are six important things to know about preparing to have sex with women.
Remember — Sex Isn’t Just About Orgasms
The first thing I want to point out is that great sex isn’t just about having orgasms. I know it’s easy to think of orgasms as a sure-fire sign that you’re “good in bed,” but it’s just not the case. In the future, you might be with a woman who has never had an orgasm, and doesn’t know what she needs to get there. Or you might be with other women who can orgasm easily on their own. It’s important to keep the focus on giving your partner pleasure, without getting fixated on orgasms.
Remind yourself of this distinction in the moment when you’re with your partners. When you’re being intimate, ask your partner for feedback by saying things like, “do you like it better when I do this or this?” Or say, “I like when you tell me how it feels.” You can also say things like, “I’m going to keep going until you tell to stop,” which helps your partner understand that you’re not pressuring them to orgasm.
Give Yourself A Proper Sexual Education
Even if you were lucky enough to get a decent sex education when you were growing up, you probably still have plenty of gaps in your understanding of how sex works. I’ve been involved in the sex therapy world for almost 15 years, and I still learn new things all the time! You can give yourself the foundational sex education that you never got, covering topics like sexual health, safety, and communication.
I like The Big Bang: A Guide To The New Sexual Universe by Nerve as a basic intro-level book. The Whole Lesbian Sex Book: A Passionate Guide For All Of Us is a good lesbian primer. Girl Sex 101 by Allison Moon is also a fun and thorough introduction. If that seems daunting, you can also just try thumbing through my past articles.
Learn About Technique
From there, you can try educating yourself about specific sexual techniques. For a thorough technique introduction, try reading books like The Ultimate Guide To Cunnilingus: How To Go Down On A Woman And Give Her Exquisite Pleasure, or some of my past articles, like this guide to going down on a woman. You can also look up workshops at local sex-positive stores and organizations in your area.
As much as I advocate for educating yourself, keep in mind that sexual technique is a hard thing to study in advance. It’s like trying to read up on how to dance. You can learn some of the basic ideas or theories, but you’re going to learn so much more by actually moving your body. Sex is the same way. You can read about specific ways to move your tongue, but you’re going to learn much more in the moment when you’re actually using your tongue on your partner.
Get More Familiar With Your Own Body
One of the best things you can do to become a better lover, even when you’re single, is to get more comfortable with your own body. If you feel confident in your own skin, you’re not going to get as distracted by negative thoughts in the moment when you’re with partners. You’ll be able to focus more fully on receiving when your partner is pleasuring you, and giving when you’re pleasuring your partner.
If you have sex with women, getting familiar with your body can also help you better understand how to pleasure a woman. You can’t give yourself oral sex, of course, but you can explore different manual techniques on your own body. Try playing around with all of the different clit-touching techniques I shared in this article. Of course, all women like different things in the bedroom, so keep in mind that your partners aren’t necessarily going to like being touched in the exact same ways you like touching yourself.
Be Adaptable In The Moment
Like I just said, what works for one woman won’t necessarily work for another, and sexual preparation doesn’t always translate to being a great lover. When you’re with your partners, it’s important to hold your education and ideas about technique in the back of your mind, but stay more focused on what’s going on in the moment. Solicit feedback from your partners. Watch and listen to how their body responds to what you do. Be flexible with trying new things if one particular thing doesn’t seem to be working. Focus on staying connected and present with the person in front of you.
I think one of the most underrated qualities in a good lover is enthusiasm! Have you ever had a partner who seemed to enjoy going down on you or touching you almost as much as you were enjoying receiving their attention? It’s really hot! I’m sure that right now you’re feeling a mixture of excitement about your first encounter, and anxiety about your future ones. Anxiety is totally normal and natural, but try to pay more attention to that excitement. Your future partners will thank you for it.