What to Know Before your First Time Having Lesbian Sex

No matter how long we’re on earth, there will always be moments we feel like a sheepish, nervous teenager again. For many of us, that’s how we feel about having lesbian sex for the first time — no matter how old we are. Whether you’ve come out later in life or haven’t met the right person until now, it’s common to feel extra self-conscious if you think you “should have” been more experienced by now. As intimidating as it can feel, there’s really nothing to fear. Here’s what to keep in mind before your first time having lesbian sex.

There’s no way to do it right – so you can’t do it wrong

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For many people, their first time having lesbian sex is fraught with fears about performance. What if you’re bad at it? What if it’s obvious you don’t know what you’re doing? Often we feel that our identity itself will be either affirmed or invalidated by how we show up during sex — if we aren’t “good at” lesbian sex, are we even really gay? 

It’s very normal to be nervous your first time doing anything, especially something so charged with intimacy and emotional vulnerability! For some of us, our fears may also be informed by how we’ve experienced “straight” sex or sex with men. “Regular” heterosexual sex often follows a consistent kind of script: making out for a few minutes as “foreplay,” maybe oral sex, and then some amount of penetration before the penetrating partner orgasms and the encounter is over. We may feel like we don’t yet know the accompanying script or normal “flow” of lesbian sex, and panicked about how to navigate without one. 

The good and bad news is that lesbian sex often doesn’t follow any kind of prescribed script or set of actions. Any of a dozen different actions could constitute “sex” for lesbians; three different couples could both have some of the most fulfilling and transcendental sex of their lives, and have performed none of the same acts in bed. 

There’s no right way to have lesbian sex; there isn’t even a single definition of what lesbian sex is. This can feel very overwhelming — but it also means that you can liberate yourself from the feeling that lesbian sex is a test with a right answer that you need to pass. Instead, think of it as a venn diagram: there’s a set of things that your partner might like or want to try, and a set of things that you might like or want to try, and the goal is just to try to explore the middle overlapping space.

Focus on your partner, not your fears

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The specter of lesbian sex as a concept can become very big and scary in our minds, especially if we came out later in life or maybe in more sex-negative environments. It can feel like your partner(s) are likely much more experienced and knowledgeable than you, and that you’ll immediately be exposed as inexperienced. When you think about the idea of Having Lesbian Sex abstractly, it may just feel overwhelming and terrifying.

That’s why I don’t recommend trying to approach this idea as a large, abstract concept — there’s no way to learn “how to be good at lesbian sex,” since, as we established, there’s no one definition of what constitutes good sex or what lesbian sex even is. So where should you start instead?

In many ways, even people who have been out for 20 years are having lesbian sex for the first time regularly, because every new partner has a totally new set of needs, desires, boundaries, and preferred bodily sensations. In fact, one of the most surefire ways to be bad at lesbian sex is to assume that everyone likes the same things that your last partner (or you!) like. Instead of getting lost in the weeds about your experience with lesbian sex as a whole, try focusing on your partner, and learning as much as you can about what makes sex good for them

This doesn’t have to mean a big sit-down meeting before you go to bed together — it can look like organic, thoughtful communication during sex itself. Some helpful questions you can ask:

  • Can I take this off of you?
  • Can I touch you here?
  • Do you want more of this, or something else?
  • Do you want this softer or harder?
  • Faster, slower, or more of this?
  • Can you show me how you like it?

Pay attention to what makes them gasp or moan, and if their body language feels stiffer or less responsive. And listen to their words and gestures, too — a good partner will tell you how to touch them, .n.move your hand to the place they want it, and let you know enthusiastically when something feels good. You don’t need to have solved the Rubik’s cube of all lesbian sex — you just need to bring some awareness to what feels good for this one person.

Let yourself notice what you really want

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When you’re caught up in thinking about how to navigate a new, intense and (hopefully!) very fun experience, it’s easy to lose perspective. Especially if you’re anxious about doing a good job or pleasing a partner, it’s common to get a kind of tunnel vision about your performance. DId I do everything right? Did she have a good time? Does she want to see me again? Some of us can go a surprisingly long time — years, even! — without really considering whether the lesbian sex we’re having is good for us

Checking in with your partner and what they want is key — but don’t forget about what you want. Sometimes, the hardest part of becoming more comfortable and confident in lesbian sex is really letting ourselves acknowledge and act on our own personal desires. Especially if we experience a lot of internalized homophobia or sex negativity, we may feel at a loss for how to even determine what it is we like or want to try in bed. 

With or without a partner, let yourself build a growing awareness of what feels most exciting and intriguing for you about sex. What fantasies bubble up when you’re not paying attention? What stands out to you in romances or when watching or reading porn? Do you feel more excited when you think about doing something to another person, or having them do something to you in bed? What’s the one thing someone could say or do that would put you on cloud nine? Starting to ask these questions and noticing what happens when you act on the answers is the best way to take your blossoming lesbian sex life to the next level. Great sex is about finding the connections between the way you experience pleasure and the way someone else does to create a whole that’s more than the sum of its parts — something that becomes possible once you let yourself prioritize your own unique sexual wants.

Recommended Books:

Girl Sex 101 (Black and White)

Carnal Knowledge: Sex Education You Didn’t Get in School

Queer Sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, Pleasure and Relationships

For More Articles Check Out These Recent Posts:

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