Sex is one of the most natural things in the world. Chances are, you’re here because two (or more?) folks got busy. As natural as sex is, it can seem absolutely frightening to a beginner, especially if your only knowledge of the ins and outs (so to speak) of sex is the lecture you got in Sex Ed or by watching porn.
Hopefully, this little beginner’s guide to sex will help assuage a little of that fear so you can experience how absolutely amazing sex can be.
If you haven’t already gotten well acquainted with the amusement park that is your own body, it’s time for a little Solo Sex for Beginners.
Masturbation is the easiest and best way to find out what feels good to you, and it has the added bonus of giving you a pretty good idea of what might feel good to your partner. While sex toys are certainly fun, you don’t always need them to enjoy getting handsy with yourself. You can hop in the shower and get sudsed up for some good, clean fun. Skip the washcloth or loofah and go straight for the hands-on approach, slowly gliding over the same path your washcloth usually takes.
Pay special attention to spots that give you goosebumps.
These spots that cause your nipples to stiffen and/or your genitals to take notice are your erogenous zones. Some of the usual sexy suspects in this category may include:
- Scalp – Loaded with nerve endings, the right kind of caressing, pressure, or hair tugging can yield exciting results.
- Ears – A barely-there fingertip trace around the edge of your ear is often a good way to elicit full-body shivers.
- Belly button – Simply tracing a path around your navel or gentle pressure inside an “innie” might light up more than a few sexy nerve endings.
- Inner wrists – The skin here is super thin, which makes it ultra-sensitive. If you wanna kick your pulse rate up a little, gently brush your fingertips over the inside of your wrist, then keep traveling up your arm because they might feel just as awesome.
- Nipples – These are generally the most sensitive erogenous zones after the genitals, regardless of gender. If you discover yours are sensitive to stimulation, you may quickly find you can orgasm from nipple play alone.
Yes, even your genitals.
Vulva – The clitoris, or clit, is the headliner here. It’s located just under where the inner labia meet at the top of the vulva. There are approximately a bajillion nerve endings here, making it the most sensitive spot in V town.
Try pleasuring the inner labia from the clitoral “hood” that you can gently pull back to expose the clitoral tip. Many find direct stimulation of the tip to be too intense or even painful, so it might be best to focus your fingers on the labia or pubic mound. Experiment with different kinds of touch: circular sweeps, rhythmic rubbing, tapping, etc.
If you’re aroused, you’ll notice additional moisture in and around your vagina. Depending on your normal athletic activity, tampon use, and/or general body structure, you may or may not feel discomfort with inserting a finger inside your vaginal opening. Patience, gentle stretching, using lube, and ensuring you’re extra aroused can help reduce any discomfort. If you experience pain at all, stop and just go back to the kind of touch you enjoy. You can always try again another time when you’re more comfortable. Don’t force yourself. Good things take time, and sex, even the solo kind, is one of them.
Penis – The head, or glans, is the most sensitive part of your penis. If it’s not already erect, stroking the entire length or even just playing with or focusing your grip on the head can quickly have it standing at attention. Experiment with different grips (e.g., semi-loose fist, squeezing with just your fingertips, etc.).
Try stroking, gentle tugging, or rolling your testicles, alone or while stroking your penis, for a combination of exciting sensations.
The perineum, that section of skin between your testicles and your anus, can be insanely sensitive. Stroking or pressing this spot–especially if you happen to press against the prostate just right–can yield explosive results!
Anus – Anal stimulation requires a bit more finesse, but it can be awesome when done right! Pressing just a fingertip inside the anus may not require lube, but adding another finger or inserting a toy of any kind requires patience and adequate lubrication. How much lube do you need? Let’s just say there’s no such thing as too much lube. Take your time, and don’t force it. It may take time (likely longer than one masturbation session) before you can insert more than a finger or two or small toy.
The anus has a metric ton of nerve endings by itself, but if you have a prostate (for cisgender guys and trans femme folks), you can also stimulate your prostate through the anus. The prostate is like the G spot, or P spot, if you will, because stroking or pressing it can yield especially intense orgasms. It’s a fleshy bulb that’s a couple of inches inside, and if you’re really turned on, it will be swollen, making it easier to locate with fingers or a toy.
Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby
Communication is absolutely key to enjoyable sexy times. Telling your partner or partners what you want, what you don’t want beforehand, and sharing what is working well or not working at all during sex can make or break a sexual encounter.
Communication beforehand can achieve five things:
- Enthusiastic consent – If the answer to “Would you like to have sex?” is not an affirmative or is at all ambiguous, it’s not consent. “Maybe” is not “Yes”. “I’m not sure” is “no,” but with more syllables. You get the idea.
- Setting Boundaries – If you’re uncomfortable with certain kinds of touch, or if there are body parts you don’t want someone else touching, it’s best to discuss this beforehand, as opposed to your partner abruptly discovering your limits while in the throes of passion.
- Learning what your partner likes – This is the fun part.
- Sharing health concerns – Discuss safer-sex options, including the use of condoms or dental dams (for performing oral sex on a vulva), sexual health (e.g., STI history/status), or general health concerns (e.g., seizure or blood-sugar disorders) is imperative before sex.
- Foreplay – Talking about sex can be almost as fun as doing it!
Let’s Get Physical!
You’ve communicated with your partner, consent has been established, and you’re ready to go for it! Now what?
Everything we learned about erogenous zones and masturbation translates directly into partnered sex!
Keeping their boundaries and desires in mind, touch your partner the way you like being touched. The key is to discover the touches and spots that elicit a positive reaction (e.g., gasps, words of encouragement, lusty cussing…), and repeat that a lot.
If you’d like to give oral sex a try, just keep our discussion on genitals in mind and replace your hands with your mouth. It’s really that easy. Follow your partner’s cues, find a particular move they especially enjoy and keep doing it. Just, please. Watch the teeth for the love of God.
First-time vaginal and/or anal penetration requires patience and gentle attention. Vaginas produce their own lubrication, but it might not be enough due to a variety of factors. Lubrication is your friend here. Have quality lube on hand, and always use more than you think you’ll need. Pain or discomfort, while common for first-timers, is not a requirement or rite of passage. Loads of foreplay, plenty of lubrication, patient touch, and honest communication can make or anal penetration immensely enjoyable.
Was it Good For You?
First-time sex can be scary, but learning how your own body responds to sexual touch, communicating with your partner can help make it amazing. And if it doesn’t go according to plan? You can always try again… and again, and again later!