Girl Sex 101, by Allison Moon and K.D. Diamond (along with an impressive roster of guests), is the book I’d wish I’d had when I was frantically researching before my first-ever date. It’s the book I tell friends who have been having sex for a good long time to read because it has a really good way of talking about things, and the book I want to accidentally on purpose leave on the nightstands of friends who have not been having sex for a good long time at all and are sort of terrified of it, and the book I think everyone else should read, just to brush up a little. It covers having sex with girls, but it also covers talking and thinking about sex with others or for yourself. It’s trans- and genderqueer-inclusive, acknowledges and pictures different bodies and life stages and is relentlessly sex-positive. If you only plan to read one book about sex, ever, make it this one.
Not convinced? Don’t have time? The following nine quotations illustrate the philosophy beneath Girl Sex 101. And also include sex tips. Duh.
1. Just talk to that girl you want to talk to.
“When it comes to hitting on girls, one night of awkward conversation is less horrible than years of regret.”
2. Don’t get attached to outcomes.
“DON’T GET ATTACHED TO OUTCOMES. I’ve met some excellent friends at clubs and bars. Some of them I was hoping to hook up with but didn’t. A few of them I was hoping to hook up with and totally did. The reason why this works is that sex wasn’t the point. It can be an excellent cherry on top, but if you approach a woman with the singular goal to get into her crotch, you’re a dick (see what I did there?). Being attached to a preconceived outcome is what makes the creepy vibe happen. You’re allowed to flirt, use innuendo, and let her know you’d like to take her home. But if she says no, you have to be okay with that and back off. […] If you’re not attached to outcomes, success can look like a myriad of things from having a nice conversation, making a bunch of new friends, or just breaking through your anxiety and asking a pretty girl to dance.”
3. No one is going to read your mind.
“Part of being a responsible sex-positive person is knowing that no one is going to read your mind. No one is going to ‘just know’ that you like something or not, even if you have all the same equipment. It’s your job to speak up and share the stuff your partners need to know. This applies to STIs just as much as it does to things you really like.”
4. Ask better questions.
“This is a question I want you to eradicate from your lexicon: ‘Is this okay?’ Any answer to this question gives you exactly 0% constructive information. It’s the sexy time equivalent of ‘How are you? Fine, thanks.’ Don’t do it. Instead, ask ‘Do you like this?’ That question is easily answered with a yes or no. And with either answer, the next question can be ‘What would make it better?'”
“Give yourself different orgasms in as many different ways as you can. Experiment with penetration, glans stimulation, vibrators, hands, dildos, pillow humping, on your back, on your tummy, in the bath, in the shower, on the toilet, anywhere you can get your hands on yourself. Bottom line: try stuff. A lot of us, being human, find one thing that works, and we just keep doing that. This is all well and good when you’re on a schedule, but it’s not great when you’re with a partner. A partner is never going to touch you as efficiently as you touch yourself, what with the whole biofeedback thing. So, try different things, and learn to like different kinds of touch.”
6. Know that no one has the answers.
“One of the biggest impediments to great sex is people pretending they’ve got all the answers. The truth is, no one has all the answers. Experts, workshops, podcasts, and guidebooks like this one, they can’t tell you how to get that specific girl off in the way she likes. The individuality and multiplicity of the human experience is out of all of our scope. The best we can do is offer you ways to approach, ask, listen, and offer. The rest is a co-creation. This is where the magic of sex happens.”
7. Define your own boundaries.
“The bottom line is, your boundaries are your own. You get to decide what makes you feel safe. You can have übersafe sex by using gloves, condoms, and dental dams, and not kissing. Or you can trust in your partners to get tested and report their status to you and not use any barriers at all. It’s your body, and it’s your choice. You get to define your boundaries, and you can negotiate them with your partners if you want. But don’t feel bad about any of them. As long as you’ve thought it through, they’re yours and they’re fine.”
8. You are allowed to want things.
“The thing to remember is that you’re allowed to seek and have the sex you want. You are allowed to choose your partners, choose to be celibate, choose to be slutty, choose to be monogamous, and choose to have sex solo or in groups. You get to have consensual sex when you want, as often as you want, with whomever you want. That is your right as a human in this world.”
“Date people who want what you want. The life you want is worth it.”