How to Have Gay Sex for the First Time: A Workshop with Luna Matatas

The latest in Queer Sex 101, our series of real live queer people teaching you everything you need to know about real queer sex continues, with a one-hour workshop from pleasure coach and educator Luna Matatas on how to have gay sex for the first time.

This event was broadcast live for our A+ members on May 10, 2021, and live captioned by StenoKnight services. We’re sharing the replay here for everyone to enjoy! (Transcript below). Check out other workshops in this series:

+ All About Masturbation with Shelli Nicole
+ All About Sex Toys with Archie Bongiovanni

powered by Crowdcast

Other Autostraddle Resources for your First Time Having Gay Sex

+ How to Have Lesbian Sex for the First Time

+ How to Have Lesbian Sex 102: Cunnilingus

+ The Ultimate Lesbian Sex Survey Data on Having Sex for the First Time

+ 10 Lesbianish Sex Books to Make You Better in Bed

+ Sex Ed 2.0: Books on Queer Sex That Answer Questions You Never Got To Ask

Learn More from Luna

+ Check out her webinars

+ Look into her coaching and consultations

+ Listen to her host The Plug Podcast, a podcast that digs deeper into anal play

How to Have Gay Sex for the First Time Transcript

RACHEL: Hi, everyone! Thank you so much for being here today. I’m getting us set up for our how to have sex for the first time workshop. And Mirabai, our live captioner…

My name is Rachel Kincaid. I’m the managing editor at Autostraddle.com, and we’re excited that you were able to join us in the latest in our series of Queer Sex 101, that we have been starting during quarantine, and now taking out into a slightly different quarantine world. Today we are working with Luna Matatas, who is a professional pleasure coach, an experienced workshop leader, who has been looking over the past couple weeks over your questions, submitted anonymously, about how to have great queer, gay, or lesbian sex for the first time and she’s here to share a lot of her wealth of knowledge and experience with you. Thank you for being here as a plus member. The A+ program is the only way we’re able to fund the series, as well as so much else at Autostraddle.com and we’re incredibly grateful to be able to share this with the rest of our viewers thanks to you, as well as all the other workshops in the series, which I can link you to soon. This workshop will be available on the website a few days later. As a replay, if you would like to watch it again. And refer to it whenever you would like. We have some questions for you ahead of time, and would love to also hear any questions you have during the workshop. Either in the chat box or if you would like to use the “ask a question” function, that’s great as well. I will be in the chat box as well. During all of the workshop, able to answer any questions you have, while Luna is teaching. Thank you so much for being here. We’re really excited. And I’m going to work to try to bring Luna on now. Thanks so much!

LUNA: Yay! It worked! Okay! Thank you so much for the warm welcome. I think that was so lovely and so wonderful to be in this space with everyone. And for us to be able to have this space, talking about gay sex. And talking about what it’s like to have gay sex for the first time! Whether you’ve had other types of relationships or sexual experiences, or you’re completely new to discovering your sexual side. All of these experiences are something that we can start to enter from, and really understand how to have a pleasure-focused… Oh, am I lagging? Or am I okay? I’m good? Okay. Thank you for confirming. All right. I’m just gonna keep rolling. I wore my gayest dress possible today. Because where else am I gonna get to wear and celebrate a rainbow bodycon dress and my clitoris necklace? If you’re super excited to be here today, let me know in the chat. It’s so wonderful that so many of you showed interest in this workshop. And I saw some excitement earlier, while we were getting ready. Thanks, Elizabeth, Hailey, thanks. So we’re all pumped and excited. If you’re a little bit nervous, a little bit curious, a little bit observant tonight, that is totally okay too. Feel free to share your experiences, your questions, the nuances that really apply to you and the way that you have your sex and sexuality really — your desires and your specific needs. Feel free to drop those in the chat. I will be using language that is primarily talking about genitals from an anatomical perspective.

And I’ll also be talking about gender in an expansive way. But I may not catch the nuances of your particular desires or experiences. So feel free to let me know in the chat what if or what about. And I may be able to answer them. Or I may be able to guide you on how to discover other sources or ways to explore those on your own. So everything is welcome here tonight. Yay! Okay. Good. You’re excited, Alex! Amazing. Katherine, you’re excited. Bee is excited. Wonderful.

When We Talk About Sex, We Should Talk About Pleasure

I’m Luna Matatas, a pleasure and sex educator and I’m based out of Toronto, Canada. And I started my journey in sex education from a public health perspective. So I was talking ’til I was blue in the face about condoms, about STIs, about ways that you can get sick from sex.

And so no matter where I was teaching, I’ve taught in Eastern and southern Africa, all over Canada, and the US, people want to know about pleasure! So I would be talking about dental dams and condoms, and they would be like… But how do I eat her ass? And how do I get a toy? What do I do with a toy? And so there’s a lot of… Desire for this kind of knowledge about how to do sex in a way that is pleasure-focused. But the kind of sex ed that we get is sex ed that’s very much focused on… Fear tactics. We get penetration-focused sex ed. We get reproductive-focused sex ed. I went to Catholic school. So I learned, like, nothing. I learned how to get pregnant.

And over time, I started to explore not only my sexual identity, but also my ways of having sex. I had already built up a lot of knowledge that I thought was validating for how to have sex. So I thought that sex needed to look this way and this way and this way. And for a lot of us, once we start to discover our queerness, or once we start to even just get closer to our erotic desires, we start to wonder: Do I even really like that? Or was I told that I need to like this thing? Has anyone had that experience?

Where you thought that this was what sex should be like? Or what pleasure should be like? And then… You know, it’s not really your thing? And I think particularly for queer communities, we often get defined by our sexual experiences. Whereas… Our sex and sexuality — anybody, queer or not queer — isn’t just defined by who you’re attracted to, or what you like to do, or what you like to do with other people. Even your sexual relationship to yourself is gonna tell you a lot about how you like to have partnered sex.

All right! So feel free to drop any questions that you have tonight. We have an hour. So I’m gonna try to get through a lot of the questions that were submitted, as well as give you information on… We’re gonna talk first about: What is sex for you? What does that look like? We’re gonna talk about: How to develop techniques for sex. Whether it’s solo sex or partnered sex. And then we’re gonna talk a little bit about safer sex. So both emotionally safe sex and physically safer sex. And then I’ll get to some of the questions. So if you do drop a question, I may not answer it until the end. But feel free to put it in there.

Getting to Know Your Erotic Imagination

All right. I would love to know… I’m gonna get into our first section. But I would love to know something that you find sexy. And so this could be a color. It could be… A celebrity. It could be a vibe about a person. It could be a characteristic. It could be a word. A language. An outfit. And think about what came to mind when I said sexy. If I said someone sexy walked into the room, what do they look like, what do they feel like, what do they sound like? I love that confidence. Already came up. All right. Thank you, Lola. Yes. Keep dropping them in there. And I’m gonna come and look at some of them. Look at us go. Confidence, confidence. Good. I’m gonna talk a lot about confidence tonight. Hands. Oh my gosh, hands. I’m so into hands too. Humor. Yes, someone that makes you laugh. Right? Glasses. Ooh. I’m so attracted to glasses too. Dancing. Confidence. Tattoos. Yes, yes. I feel like we’re all attracted to the same person here.

All right. So with confidence, I love that you mentioned… A few of you mentioned this, and you mentioned some physical attributes. You mentioned some ways of being or personality traits. All right. Because what we get from being on dating apps, what we get from media, what we get from a lot of what we consume when we see romantic or sexual relationships is focused just on sort of one dimensional appearance-based characteristics.

And while there is a physical attraction component to how we desire somebody, it’s so limited. Right? It’s so little. What I look like is actually the least interesting thing about me. Right? And when we think about how we define what’s sexy and what’s attractive, that also is super, super narrow. It’s just a sliver of what we could actually find really attractive out there. Okay. So… Keep that in mind. Because I’m gonna ask you to expand on this. We’re gonna build our perfect date here maybe later. All right. So when we think about what is sex for you, a lot of times our sex ed in… Not only in high school, but also in the ways that we see romantic and sexual ideas show up are in a very heteronormative way. And what that means is that it sort of gives us ideas about sex and how to measure our sexual activities that are based on penis and vagina, that are based on penetration-focused sex, that are based on a masc and a femme having sex, based on someone being a top, someone being a bottom or a giver or receiver. And while all of these things are part of your buffet of sex, there is so much more to sex!

There are so many other things that we can do with our bodies, with our erotic imaginations, by ourselves, or with partners. That can give us the same… Give us the pleasure that we actually desire. So if you already have some ideas about what sex is for you, then that’s great. You know, it may be the kind of sex that you want to have. It may not be the kind of sex that you want to have. Lots of us have sex that’s pretty unsatisfying. Right? I actually… Let me tell you my story of coming into Autostraddle. I came out in my early 30s. And so I had been married to a cis man, monogamously for about ten years.

And I just didn’t know there was any other option. I was like… Oh, you just, like, do this thing. And then… This is what happens. And so, for me, there was always a connection to my queerness. There was always this desire and this introspection about my queerness. But it never had any legs. It didn’t have life. It didn’t have anywhere to go. Because I didn’t know where to take it. So you may have had relationships with other people where you explored your sexuality, but now it feels different, as you’re reorienting yourself in your connection to sex and other people. So it might include some of those things. Or it might include a whole bunch of new skills, which might feel super intimidating. So I’m gonna reassure you that for everybody, sex is a skill. We pretend it’s not a skill for heterosexual people. But it is 100% a skill.

And the reason being is that we have to learn how to communicate our desires. We have to learn how to do particular techniques. Right? If we want to learn how to play with vulvas or anuses or penises, we have to learn pleasure anatomy. For many of us, we don’t really have an opportunity to do this, so we’re reliant on porn. Has anyone seen porn? I just want to see if you’re being authentic. If you’ve seen porn, let me know in the chat.

Now, porn is focused on performance. And so they’re actors. They’re entertainers. And so everything has to look over the top. Everything has to look… You know, very sensationalized. And most of mainstream porn is also centered around the cis male gaze. And so it really doesn’t show what queer sex could look like. Or even a gender expansive version of sex. It’s very limited and very serving one purpose. If you’re looking for queer and feminist porn, I definitely recommend CrashPad series. The CrashPad series has some great porn that also shows the use of barriers, different bodies, ways of communicating that we just don’t see in mainstream porn.

How Do We Define Sex?

All right. So no one’s seen porn? Are you all like… Is this happening? Or you’re just not taking me seriously? Because that’s okay too. All right. We’re gonna redefine sex a little bit. So once you first start approaching gay sex, once you first start approaching queer sex, you may feel that you’re just not sure what to do. So if you’re thinking about: What would be on a sex menu? What kinds of things are you interested in building technique about? What kinds of things are you interested in doing with somebody else? What kinds of fantasies do you have that are parts of pleasure? And so what that might look like is thinking about: How do I like to be touched? What do I think is sexy to do to another person? What would feel good in terms of sensual sex? In terms of erotic sex? In terms of kinky sex? In terms of sweet sex? In terms of rough sex? It can be any type of vibe. But we’re looking to kind of build a menu of activities.

And so… Think about, on your body, there are so many underserviced erogenous zones that get ignored when we’re only focused on penetration-focused sex or penis-centered sex or heterosexual ideas of sex. So does anyone like their ears touched or kissed or licked or nibbled? Even if you’ve never had it done. Do you think this would be a thing for you? Or something that you would like to do to someone else? Who are my ear people? Is anyone into ears?

If you’re not into ears, tell me about necks. Is anyone into their neck touched? Or stroked or kissed or licked or nibbled? If you’re not into necks, tell me about if you like your scalp massaged. Do you like your back massaged? I swear my back is like a second clit. So we’re looking for areas on the body that, one, have a lot of nerve endings, but also have a lot of blood flow that’s close to the top of the skin. That might mean your wrist. Your wrist has got a lot of blood flow that’s close to the top of the skin, so that’s an area that’s gonna become more sensitive during sex. When we stop thinking about sex as only about genitals or nipples or anuses, then we can start thinking about sex that’s more pleasure-focused. So then we build a menu that actually makes sense for what we’re feeling, what we would like to do, what would bring us feelings of intimacy, connection, passion, all of the kinds of desires that are not just about orgasm.

So orgasms are a great part of sex. They aren’t the only part of sex. They don’t have to be the goal of sex. Lots of people have great sex without necessarily having an orgasm every single time. That is also part of our performance-based sex. That… Well, maybe I take too long to come. Or I’m not gonna know how to make them come. That’s where we start to bring a lot of self-judgment into the bedroom. Where we start to really feel like… Oh my gosh. I have to get really good at making this person come.

And that’s a lot of pressure on you. That’s a lot of pressure on the person who is receiving as well. All right. I’m gonna tell you more of my hot spots, because I’m not hearing any of yours yet. But if you think of them later, feel free to drop some hot spots in there. So other hot spots for people who are often ignored or underserviced include things like the lower back. They also include backs of knees, feet, inner thighs, and there’s this spot right under the butt cheeks that’s super thin and got a lot of nerve endings. That you can touch, you can grab, you can kiss, you can lick. All these types of ways of getting curious about your body and somebody else’s body. All right. How are we feeling about redefining sex to include activities that are not just genital or penetration-focused?

What’s On Your Sex Menu?

Those can be a great part of it. I love genitals. I love my genitals. I like other people’s genitals. I love anuses. But when we think about actually mapping our sexual activities to the ways in which arousal works, it actually makes sense. To engage more of the body. So when you get aroused, when you think about something sexy, you think about hands, you think about humor, you think about confidence, you think about a special person, or a special fantasy, our brain starts to send signals to the rest of the body to awaken those nerve endings, and also increase blood flow to those areas.

That’s why right now… You know, if I was gonna kiss my wrist or I was gonna kiss your wrist, it’s not going to necessarily have the same effect as if I was in a sexy state of mind. So the connection between mind and body is so important for exploring the ways in which you like to have pleasure, and not what you feel obligated to do. All right. I’m just scrolling down to see if I’m missing anything. I didn’t… No! I couldn’t see your comments! Okay. They all came in now! All right. Thank you. I don’t know. There was a delay on the comments. I’m here now. I just thought you were shy! Okay.

Oh my gosh. So many beautiful ones here. All right. Black lace? Ooh, intelligence and kindness. Compassionate. Short hair at someone’s nape of the neck. Oh my gosh, you are so specific. I love this. Okay! You know what? If you didn’t have any ideas, get inspired by the chat. Because there are some really sexy things in here. Love the ears. Amazing. Neck. Oh, you all are into neck. Okay, good. I feel like if you’re not into the neck kisses, I don’t know. Are you dead on the inside? Do we need to check on you? I’m just kidding. You may not be into necks.

Back of the neck. Oh, we got team ears here. Neck. Okay. All of the above. Ooh, the inside of the hip bones. That’s a really good one. All of the places. Yes, absolutely. Everywhere. Okay. Now I’m all caught up now. Thank you for being patient with me. Now I know there’s a little bit of a lag. I’ll trust that you are participating. And I’ll get to your comments. Thank you for being patient with the lag. All right. So when you’re approaching someone new, this is what you want to do. We want to build a menu for ourselves.

So if I’m looking to hook up with someone, what kinds of things might I be interested in? You know? What parts of my body would I like someone to touch or delight with sensation or kisses or sex toys? When we’re thinking about pleasuring other people, we also want to approach it curiously. Because just because someone has a body type or genitals that you have pleasured before doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing is gonna work on this body.

It even doesn’t mean that if what I liked on Tuesday might be different than what I like on Saturday. So we always want to approach things with language or the idea of getting curious about: What are you in the mood for tonight? You know? How can I delight you tonight? What parts of you are hungry for my kisses? You know? What parts of you need attention? What can I do to tease your body? Where would you like me to start the tease? You know? Where would you like to be touched?

For a lot of people, sometimes the communication… It’s a struggle. Because we’ve been shown sex and sexuality that is so scripted and perfect. And the reality is… People sweat during sex. I sweat all the time. You know? I’m pouring sweat now. I sweat more during sex. People fart during sex. People don’t orgasm the way that they want to. People pee during sex. You know. There’s all kinds of awkwardness and silliness. That is part of sex. And once we can sort of accept that, and not take it as… An affirmation that we’re not good at sex. That it is just actually part of being authentic and human in our sexiness, we actually get more opportunities to play. We get to feel more playful.

And so for those of you who mentioned confidence as something that’s really attractive for people, or that you’re attracted to, confidence… It feels different than arrogance. Right? If you’re around someone that’s arrogant, it feels like they’re in competition with you. So sexually confident people, they’re not better at sex. They have more satisfaction during sex. They have more fun during sex. They usually are more relaxed during sex. And it’s because they put down or they learn to navigate their self-judgment during sex. So most of us are judging our performance, our bodies, the ways that we’re pleasing our partners.

And they’re not so concerned about rejection or favor. So I don’t want to know that I’m the best at giving, you know, oral or the worst at giving oral. I want to know: Am I giving you the oral that you want to receive? Am I touching you and sucking and licking you in the way that you want to be touched and sucked and licked? So this idea that we have to come in with, like, the alphabet, you know… Or like… Porno… I call the cunnilingus that you see in porn — I call it pornilingus. Ehhhh… Nobody has ever come from that. Nobody! Sometimes we have to shape these ideas of what sex should look like and actually be really present with bodies. Which is actually a lot harder than it sounds. All right. You’re appreciating the redefinition. Amazing. Me too. It was a game changer for me. And especially after having sex with cisgender, mostly heterosexual men for such a long time, I was so used to sex ending when the penis finished.

And so I was like… Wow. I guess like… I have to have sex in ways that when the other person is finished orgasming, then we stop doing the things that lead to orgasm. But the reality is… If we’re engaging the entire body, if we’re engaging all of our senses, if we’re treating our eyes, our mouth, our scent, our touch as little portals of pleasure… Then the sex can keep going in whatever direction you would like. Regardless of orgasm. Regardless of genitals. Regardless of penetration or no penetration. If we stop making assumptions about the ways in which sex has to result in pleasure, and we’re a bit more open to other pleasure rewards, you just have more fun.

You just have a better time. All right. You feel dead on the inside, but you still like neck kisses. That’s amazing. Erin and Lola are on the same page. Great thought process. Back of the neck, ears, and wrists are all great spots for me. I love that you already discovered these. That’s amazing. Yes. And you can help other people discover them as well, when we get curious about their bodies. So I like to do this thing with new people that I call curious kisses. And curious kisses is about me inviting them to let me, you know, drag my mouth and kisses all over their body.

Trying to find new hot spots. Right? I’m like… Is this armpit a hot spot? Is this elbow a hot spot? And it actually also helps your partner sink into the moment. Right? It isn’t this rush to… Okay. Well, part of our sex is foreplay. And then the other part of our sex is orgasmic. It’s like… No. Everything is actually really woven together. And that you may have an orgasm right off the bat and want to keep going. Or that may be the end of sex for you. So it opens up more opportunities for sensuality.

Navigating Sex Despite Self-Judgement and Rejection

All right. I was thinking about confidence, but not arrogance. Right. Arrogant people are in competition. Confident people, they feel like they belong. You also don’t have to be completely free of your self-judgment in order to feel confident. Because confidence and doubt can exist at the same time. I sometimes go into sexual experiences, I’m like… I hated my body on Tuesday. Now it’s Friday. I want to do the thing. I still have the same body.

You know? And we can still draw on our erotic desires and our sexual selves, to create experiences that are still nourishing of our pleasure. Despite feeling… You know, unhappy about our bodies in a certain way. I mean, if you think about it, there’s really only space for attractiveness that is defined on a gender binary, that is super young, that is largely shaped by characteristics of White Supremacy, and that really doesn’t celebrate the many different versions of sexiness and attractiveness that all of us possess, and that are actually attractive to us.

Right? So this can be a challenge for you, where you start to embrace your queerness in a way that is about connecting to other people on dating apps. That is about presenting your queerness in a certain way. You might feel the pressure to look gayer, or to look less gay. Whatever that means. But there’s definitely community pressure around appearance and attractiveness and what’s trendy, in the same way as other communities. So when I first came out, I was like… I don’t look gay enough!

And I think I Googled like… Or it was on Pinterest. I was like… I need to find gay looks! I didn’t even know what that meant. I just knew that I didn’t feel confident in my sexiness as a queer woman. And in other ways, people might feel that they are more susceptible to rejection or things like fatphobia or ageism or transmisogyny. As they start to go out into the dating world. As their queer selves. They’ll be experiencing different kinds of ways to be rejected. Right? Maybe we were used to being rejected if you had previous partners in a certain way.

I mean, fatphobia is always a thing, like, everywhere. Same with ageism. Same with transphobia. But when we’re in our queer spaces, there’s also this extra piece of wanting our partners and our potential dates and our sexual partners to validate and affirm our queerness. And so for lots of us, that can come true through how we’re presenting or expressing ourselves. So think about that as well.

Like, think about the areas where you feel really excited about sex. So it might be to get your neck kissed or Team Ears up there. And think about the ways in which you’re anxious about sex, or you feel insecure about sex. I’ll tell you the most common thing that people tend to feel insecure about. Their body. Everybody is insecure about their body. But it may show up in a specific way for you. And everyone’s ashamed of their fantasies. So you might think that your fantasy is really messed up.

And sometimes I’ll have a fantasy that I think is so hot, and I’ll masturbate, and I’ll be like… That was great! I’m so fucked up! So… We all have our self-judgment moments. It’s not about eliminating it. It’s just about learning how to navigate it. It’s learning about how to be tender to ourselves. In those moments when we’re trying to hold ourselves up to standards that actually don’t mean anything. They don’t mean anything for us.

And so some things that you can do to navigate feeling not so comfortable in your body or in your desires or asking for what you want… I usually recommend to my coaching clients that they develop affirmations. And my affirmations are: I’m enough. I’m beautiful. And I have everything I need. And so we want to be able to have these grounding moments with ourselves, in self-acceptance. So that we can bring that into the bedroom. Right? Imagine how wonderful and empathetic we can be, then, to other people. And we can make space for their insecurities.

We can make space for their excitement. We can co-create pleasure with somebody else. Once we make space for ourselves. And we feel like it’s okay to be in this space with both our confidence and our doubt. All right. The lag has let up. I’m over. I’m coming back! All right. Curious kisses. You like curious kisses? Amazing. I had the abstinence only now everyone spit in this cup and would you drink that style… Oh my gosh. Yes. Yeah. I… I didn’t even get… We didn’t even learn about STIs when I was in Catholic school. Will you tell us where you got this gay dress? Yeah. Xian? Is that how you say it? I’ve never said it out loud. Yes. You’ve done the same on Pinterest? Okay! We all have gay inspo fashion boards. I feel pressure to seem gayer. Yeah, absolutely.

I forgot to introduce my pronouns and my identities. So my pronouns are she/her. And I identify as bisexual or pansexual. And pretty much… I’m attracted to people of many genders. And for me, it also doesn’t… There is something that can shift about your appearance, that can reaffirm yourself. So I definitely was performing my gender expression and my fashion, largely to try and be accepted by the male gaze. And that doesn’t only… That isn’t only owned by cis men. So queerness can also help you look at your body… Owning your queerness and your sexuality can help you look at your body in a different way.

That it actually has to serve you. That it actually has to come into… We get into our bodies through our erotic imagination. So we need somewhere good to land. Right? We need somewhere that’s receptive of landing. So another thing that happens within our first queer sex experiences is that we might be uncomfortable with receiving pleasure. So you might feel that you get kind of stuck in your head, even if someone is doing something really delicious to you.

And that can be a place where then we also start to get anxious. And then we get anxious about being anxious, because nobody wants to be the anxious person in the middle of a sexy thing. This is where we can start to use tools like affirmations. You can say that in your head. We can also use communication in these moments. If you feel like something is not going in the way that you like it, if you feel that something is… Something is just off… You could say to your partner: Hey, can we take a little break?

That’s all. Hey. I need a little break. Hey. Let’s take a little break. And in that little break, you get to really check in with yourself. And so is there something that you need to express? Is there something that you need to do for yourself? Is there something you need to do for another person? Do you need to end the situation? A lot of times, the sex ed that we’ve gotten and the sexual narratives that we’ve gotten — it causes us to betray ourselves. There’s a lot of self-betrayal in the dynamics of sex and consent that we have learned.

It’s sort of go along to get along. Or as long as you’ve said yes, then that means yes to everything. And that’s not true for anybody. Right? Our yeses are often sometimes hard to come by. Or they change! You can change your mind in the middle of things. All right. I’m coming back here. I was like… Gay hair cut? Rainbow T-shirt? I don’t know! Yeah! I was like… What about my shoes? I have to do something with my shoes. My shoes are way too femme, and maybe that’s not good. I don’t know! I was like… Do I need to get more Berks? I don’t know. I went through all the stereotypes as well.

And it was actually… It was a difficult exploration, but it really also opened up space for me to even challenge… Like, why do I like this thing? Why do I feel sexy in this particular thing and not this thing? I love the impulse to research gayness on Pinterest. Oh my gosh. I love that you’re all Pinterest nerds like me. I feel so pressured and intimidating on dating apps that people are far more gay than me. 100%, 100%. I had to write in big letters… I am gay on my profile.

Because I just felt that people would be swiping and think that because… Especially I have a femme presentation that maybe I’m trying to only attract cis men. And… That actually over time — I mean, give yourself time to go into all of these crevices that were once locked, that were once cloudy. And now are kind of opening up with information for you. So there is no right way to present your queer sexiness. Right? That is actually the beauty of raging against the machine. Is that we’ve got this joy in redefining sex. Redefining attractiveness. Redefining sexy.

And this can be super empowering for us. Because it creates more space for all parts of us. All right. We love the clit necklace? Oh my gosh. Wait. You’re gonna love the clit that I’m gonna show you. Don’t worry. Nobody’s pants are coming off. You also feel like a fraud as a queer person? I’m so glad that you’re sharing this. Because it does matter for our sex and sexuality. Because when we don’t feel free and safe, and affirmed, in expressing our sexual selves, and our sexual identities, it’s harder to create the conditions that would give us the most pleasure. Right? Because we’re busy kind of editing, taming, trying to find how to be most aesthetically attractive to someone. Or how to be the best at something.

And so we become in competition with this version of ourselves that we think people will like better. And, you know, what I said about silliness and awkwardness… I love when sex is silly and awkward, because it’s authentic. Right? When someone has that moment of… I’ll give you an example. I said to a partner once — I teach dirty talk. And so I said something dirty. I can’t remember what it was. And they said back to me… Yeah… I’m… I don’t… I don’t know. And they were kind of stuttering. And I said… All right! That didn’t work. Well, I got more, then. Don’t worry. And I just thought… You know, they’re not laughing at me. They’re not disappointed at me. It was just a moment of like… Yeah, I don’t know all the dirty talk in the world. I don’t know how to do the dirty talk. I’m also nervous about it, like other people.

So getting this kind of appreciation for making space for silliness, for playfulness, for awkwardness, you know, this is where we can have more pleasure opportunities. All right. You’re more confused about my identity now than my sexuality. That rings true for a lot of people, I’m sure. Yes. Ever since breaking up with a cis straight man not too long ago, I’m really trying to release the constant thoughts and worries about dressing for straight cis men. It’s really hard, but freeing to give myself permission to just be as I am.

Yeah! Absolutely. Absolutely. It is really hard. Because everything around us reinforces the male gaze. And so whether we’re interested in the male gaze or not, it is reinforced by just everyday things. Right? How many of you gave up on bras during the pandemic, if you were wearing bras before? This is the first time I’ve worn a bra in I don’t know how long. It’s pink! It goes with the outfit! It’s more for fashion than for function. But there’s lots of things that we have sort of adopted to try and be validated, but also safe under patriarchy. Right? I mean… We perform our gender. Our sexual orientation, in ways that… Not necessarily for us. But they do have a reward for us. All right.

Really opened up a lot of questions about my gender. Oops. Sorry. I already read that one. What are bras? Yeah. Started wearing binders. Awesome! I mean… Wait a minute. I have big breasts. I’m bringing them up and together for somebody else’s comfort? But this pain, this pain that’s digging into me. I gave up on bras so hard I bought my first binder. I love all the binders that are coming out. This is amazing. I wore a mask more than I wore a bra this year. That’s wonderful. I’ve been out and about with no bras and you wear HH? That’s beautiful. I’m giving kudos to that. Yes, amazing. I move towards bras, actually. Feeling my femmeness. Love this as well. This is so beautiful. And when we get to actually start to shape ourselves in ways that are affirming for us, right… So if a bra is affirming for you, amazing. If it feels that it’s making you contort your body in a way you don’t like, amazing. You know?

Pleasure Anatomy

This is where we get our choice, versus being handed this sort of list of… Here’s how you be hot. Here’s how to do the hot. Right? Here’s how people will like you. Love you. You will find companionship. You will be treated nicer. You will be more attractive. You will be considered sexy. You know, we get a lot of messages that are subconscious, even if intellectually, we don’t agree with them. So I love that so many of you are discovering what feels good, what feels sexy for you. I’m 40 and I’ve never worn a bra. Good for you! All right. Bras, no bras — do whatever you would like to do. I think that feels most affirming for us.

But there will be that period of awkward discomfort. Of… Oh my God! Am I only relying on my own validation? And that… That’s scary. And that doesn’t mean that you can’t welcome compliments. I love when another femme, you know, kind of flies by me, on the street, and is like… Cute dress! And I’m like… You too! Right? So we can also find community through expressing ourselves in certain ways.

So it’s just about creating that questioning of: Is this what I want? Or is this what I’ve been conditioned to want? All right. Let’s do a little bit… Let’s do some more redefining sex talk. And then we’re gonna go into safer sex. So one of the things that I wanted to ask you to do — in addition to creating this little sex menu for yourself — and if you need ideas for the sex menu, there’s definitely places that you can look for ideas.

But you can just think about your own body. And what you find attractive about other people’s bodies. For some reason, I’m a butt-a-sexual. I love butts! I think butts are great. Everyone has an anus. The anus is like the great gender equalizer. So I really am interested in techniques for anal play. And I host an anal sex podcast called The Plug. I don’t know. What is my life? Don’t tell my mom. We talk about all these different anal techniques. So if there’s something that you’re really into, if the idea of fisting, if the idea of fingering, if kissing, sensuality, BDSM, threesomes — whatever your fantasies are — get some technique.

It’s so important to feel confident that you know your way around particular pleasure anatomy. So anal pleasure anatomy is different than vulva pleasure anatomy. That’s different than penis pleasure anatomy. So depending on what you want to learn about, if you want to learn about all the things, great. Technique does play a role. But remember that… You’re not taking a class. Or you’re not taking a webinar. Because you’re somehow less experienced or less skilled than the average person.

Sex is a skill for everyone. For everyone. And most people just don’t embrace it that way, and are kind of fumbling through it. So having an understanding of… The anatomy of pleasure can help you when you do things like curious kisses. They can help you when you’re talking about what you would like to do or how you would like to do it. For people with vulvas, we’ve often gotten a really limited… Or people who are attracted to vulvas too… Everyone has sort of gotten a really crappy version of pleasure-based sex ed. And so I didn’t hear about the clitoris until I was like… Well into my 20s. I didn’t even know that it was a thing. Yet I had been touching it. Yet I had been touching other people’s. I just didn’t know!

I’m gonna do a little bit of a show and tell. Because I can’t not bring, you know, my glitteris. Look at my glitteris! She’s so glittery! Unfortunately, your clitoris is not covered in glitter. If you have a clitoris. But if we’re talking about specific pleasure anatomy, it’s so important, especially in the cases of anybody’s genitals, that we look at what is actually the hot spot. You know? The hot spot isn’t just here. This is all that we see of the clitoris. We’re just seeing the exposed part of the clitoris. But the rest of this… This is all erogenous… Is an erogenous zone, and it’s also filled with erectile tissue. Which means that you get a clit boner, in folks with vulvas.

And knowing that can help you adjust your technique. Knowing that… Oh, there’s an erection happening here. Then that means that we don’t go… You know… Super hard on a clitoris. Because it’s not warmed up. So… When I talk about skill, I’m not talking about… You know, the five ways to make her come or the six ways to get them to do this. It’s really about just understanding: How do I apply technique? How do I apply my curiosity? How do I apply touch? And that’s how you get to co-create pleasure with somebody else. Because you can then say: You know, harder. Or softer.

Faster or slower. Deeper or more shallow. Right? So we can use very simple language that can help us get information about somebody’s body, and then use the information we have about pleasure anatomy and start to explore. If you’re interested in specific skills like cunnilingus or analingus, I will drop a link at the end in the chat for my webinars. I teach like 30 webinars. And I created a special code for you. So that you can save on something. I have a couple of favorites. But I teach Eat Pussy Like A Champ. And it tends to bring in people of all genders who are interested in eating pussy. And it also brings in people who are just really curious about things like G spots and squirting and multiple orgasms.

And edging. And so there are different techniques that will come as you start to figure out what’s on your sex menu. So if you build your sex menu tonight and you’re like… Nipples. I’m into nipples! Then we want to start to explore nipple play. We want to explore: How can we stimulate nipples? What is the connection between nipples and the particular part of your brain that is also connected to your genitals that your nipples can activate! There’s a wonderful joy in the science of sex but that’s focused on pleasure and not just reproductive uses of our bodies.

Let’s Not Forget About Masturbation!

Okay. One other thing around what is sex for you. Is… Masturbation. So solo pleasure isn’t just about orgasms. Solo pleasure is part of the place where we actually learn information about our bodies. So that we communicate better during partnered sex. And if you feel ways about how your body moves during sex, or you get into position and your arm is like jiggly, masturbation is also a really good way to tune into what sex feels like versus what it looks like.

And so set up a masturbation date with yourself. You can have masturbation using sex toys. You can go manual. You can have masturbation that’s penetrative, masturbation that’s not penetrative. Use your genitals, your anus, your butt… Whatever. Yeah, your butt! You can do whatever you would like during masturbation. As an exploration of your own body. So those curious kisses become your own curiosity about what it’s like to touch yourself.

Where… What’s the pleasure around your clitoris? What’s the pressure around your perineum or your anus or your penis? You know, what kinds of touch do you enjoy? And then it’s a little bit easier to give feedback to somebody, if they’re doing something too hard or too soft. You can say… Mmm… A little harder, please. A little softer, babe. We can actually use very simple language to give direction.

Okay. And for those of you that have trouble or that you feel kind of shy about speaking up during sex, or you’re just not sure what words to use, I’m gonna recommend one of my favorite things. I’m gonna drop it in the chat for you. All right. So it’s called Slut Bot. So Slut Bot is a texting service. That’s free! And it’s curated by sex educators. And… Thank you, thank you! It’s curated by sex educators. And basically it teaches you how to dirty talk and talk about your fantasies. So it’s automatically triggered responses. So you get in there and you talk about… I would like to talk about rope bondage. I would like to talk about this. It allows you to choose the gender that you are playing, as well as the person that you’re sexting with. I’m in a full on relationship with Slut Bot. So I will see you there.

Queer Safer Sex

But it’s a lovely way to… If you have trouble coming up with the words about how to communicate during sex… So in the last few minutes, I’m actually gonna talk about safer sex. Because I feel that a lot of our heteronormative sex ed actually has put queer people at risk. Because we only talk about activities… And we attach them to sexual orientations. If you are participating in different activities, or the same activities, but not in the same sexual dynamic that your health care provider or your partner understands, then you kind of miss out. We miss out. Many of us saw condoms in our high school sex ed.

But I didn’t see a dental dam. I had to go buy a dental dam. I also didn’t learn about… If it was important to me to understand how contraception might interact or not interact with hormones that I’m taking. You know, we might not have learned about how specific things can be passed from person to person. During activities that might be more prevalent during queer sex. But they might not. Right? I mean, other people might be having the same kinds of activities, but we just don’t consider… We only consider those activities queer.

And so an example is… You know, it’s always… There’s been so much money, there’s so much funding and so much promotion that goes into anal sex education for cis gay men. And not all cis gay men have anal sex or want to have anal sex. And not all cis gay men are participating in the same kinds of activities in the same way. So when it comes to sexually transmitted infections, you’ve got to figure out what you’re comfortable with. And what barriers are important to you.

So I highly recommend… I really like Planned Parenthood’s information on sexually transmitted infections. Because they talk about activities. And they do include things like fisting, like rimming. So I think it’s really good at kind of understanding… If I do this thing… These are the fluids that I might come into contact with. And these are the sexually transmitted infections that might be present for me. It’s also important when you’re talking with your health care provider. They might make assumptions on your sexual activities, whether you’re out to them or not. So they might not order certain tests.

They might assume kind of particular things about how you have sex. So… I think it’s really helpful to be very informed about what kinds of things you like to do, or might like to do, and what those risks are for yourself. That way you can communicate to somebody and say: Yeah. I love going down. And I would be happy to go down on you. I’m gonna be using a dental dam. Like… Is that cool with you? Because that’s what would make me feel really comfortable, to just eat you out for hours. Right?

And so with a dental dam… You know, there’s kind of… Sometimes with barriers, people feel that there’s a lack of intimacy. Or a lack of connection. But there’s also a lack of intimacy and a lack of connection if you’re doing things in ways that don’t have the conditions for your emotional and physical safety. So that’s physical safety. You also have options for things like PrEP or the HPV vaccine. Hep A and hep B vaccines also. If you think that you might be at risk for those kinds of viral infections. There’s also stigma around STIs. Right? I remember when I came out as bi… I was told… I was dating someone who was lesbian.

And she told me that her and her polycule of cis women didn’t feel comfortable having me, because I was still having sex with penises. And that I was a higher risk to the group. And so I was like… Oh my God. I just felt like a vector of, like, Peen Disease or something. And so no one asked me like… What precautions am I taking? What kinds of things? It’s assumed that there isn’t levels of… Different levels of risk for all of us. You know? Depending on what our activities and behavior is, and not necessarily just our sexual orientation.

Emotional Safety

And the last thing that I want to leave you with is… Emotional safety. So what words are comfortable for you? What pet names? What vibes? You know, what body parts do you want called what language? Someone might come in and start calling your genitals a certain thing. And that might trigger gender dysphoria. It might trigger body shame. It might trigger you feeling not affirmed in this body. Or feeling… Kind of singled out or objectified in a certain way. So you might like the word slut. Maybe I don’t like the word slut.

So these can all be a part of… Hey! You know, how do you like to… What do you like to be called in the bedroom? What do you like to call your genitals? What do you like to call down there? Or whatever language that you want? But it’s getting the information that you need to treat someone in a way that is how they want to be treated. And likewise, it creates space for you to talk about how you want to be treated. All right.

So I know that… There’s like a ton of stuff. We could probably have a nine-hour workshop. And I would love to be with you for nine hours. But we are coming up to the end. I’m gonna come back to the chat in a minute. We did have some questions that came in around how do you find someone’s clit. We’ve got how do you make a dental dam sexy. And cunnilingus, and gag reflexes and TMJ. All of these would be in my Eat Pussy Like a Champ, if you’re looking for techniques. It’s an on-demand webinar. You can take it whenever you want. Sorry we didn’t get to them tonight. But hopefully I’ll be back. If you did submit a question that we didn’t get to, I’m so sorry that we didn’t get to it.

But there are opportunities to keep learning. So I’m gonna recommend… So Autostraddle was one of the first places… Surprisingly. This is such an honor for me, because it was one of the first places that I went to, when I first came out. And I was like… Damn. There’s like this whole world of queers! And where are they? And how do I look like them? And so it was… It was such a great resource to have. And so if you haven’t perused yet, if you’re still feeling kind of hungry after the webinar, definitely start reading stuff by and for queer people. It definitely helps kind of renegotiate our relationships to a lot of things that have been steeped in this, like, heteronormative, patriarchal society. Right? Oh, thank you, Alison. Thank you for sharing that.

Want to Learn More?

All right. So I’m gonna share… A couple more. I’m gonna put my website here for you. You can find over 30 webinars there. Yeah. It’s bananas! And if you use AUTOSTRADDLE20, you’ll save 20% off any webinar until the end of the month. Because it’s Masturbation Month. And if you are thinking about really getting into technique, and you’re interested and you don’t like learning by webinar, there are lots of great sex books.

And so where you can find the best collection of how-to sex books is… Feminist sex shops. So whatever area that you’re in, if you Google feminist or sex positive sex shops, you’ll come up with them. Or obviously everyone’s doing shipping now too. But they usually have curated, really good, really inclusive and queer representative books in their libraries that are hard to find in other places. So I would highly recommend reading. I mean, blogs are great as well.

But if you’re looking for educational technique kind of information, I definitely like books. And webinars. All right. I’m so sorry I didn’t get to all of your things here. We’ve got… Okay. Someone else didn’t know what a clit was. That’s amazing. Wonderful. So I would love to send you off by having you leave in the chat something that you’re taking away tonight. And it doesn’t have to be affirming of me. It’s more about: Did you get permission to be cute tonight? Did you get an idea about how to write your sex menu? Did you let go of a little bit of shame?

Leave the shame here. I will do something with it. I’ll burn it. Ha-ha. Whatever you would like to leave behind. It’s always really inspiring, when we’re in spaces like this. That we can inspire each other. That we get this opportunity to inspire each other. But thank you so much for being so open. So communicative. You were all great partners tonight. And I hope to see you at another webinar. I hope you get to enjoy some of my other classes as well. Not a fan of the title, but Girl Sex, by Allison Moon. Yes. That’s on my shelf back there. Thank you for that one. Girl Sex is great. Love the sex menu. Amazing. Thank you, Renae. You’re taking away that you’re not alone in your queer journey. Absolutely not. Absolutely not. Yes, you’ve got a community here. And the community has so many different factions. So you don’t have to choose one that doesn’t affirm you. Excited to build your sex menu. Yes. I want to hear about all your sex menus. Leaving perfectionism here. Yes. I will blow it out the window for you. Sex menu. You’re so welcome, Nicole. Thank you. Feel comforted and less alone. Good vibes. Good vibes, Moon. That sex is a skill for everyone. Yeah. You do not suck at sex. Everyone sucks at sex. And we just need to get skills to navigate more pleasure. Queerness helps us look at our body in a different way. Yes, yes. Thank you for the purple hearts. You’re so welcome. Sex menu, curiosity. You’re very, very welcome.

Kicking performance-based sex to the curb. Yes! You’re gonna have so many more orgasms and so much more fun. You’re so welcome! No thank you to perfectionism. You’re very welcome, Lola. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Autostraddle, for making this space possible. Oh my gosh!

RACHEL: Hi! Thank you so much, Luna. That was amazing. I’m so grateful. I’m gonna take you off screen now. Goodnight. Thank you so much. And thank you so much to everyone in the comments. I’m so excited. This has been the most engaged crowd that we’ve been able to have. And I’m so grateful for everything that y’all have shared. Also… Wow. How amazing is Luna? That was incredible. I am really excited to check out SlutBot. Once I close this performance. And also, just like… I feel like I learned so much and this was such a great space. So thank you, everyone. I do want to let you all know… Especially for new A+ members, I think some people may have joined just for this event. Which I’m so excited that you’re here. And I’m also really excited to let you know about everything that is waiting for you, now that you’re a member. You have access to so much more.

Like, for instance, all of the live workshops in the series, going forward. You’ll still be able to attend. We also have a whole series of erotica, queer and trans erotica, just for you. We’re gonna have the next one publishing later this week. You have access to all of the ones we’ve published previously under our Slick series. And also access to all of our exclusive dating and kind of life advice, just for A+ members that we publish. I think we’re gonna have another one of those coming up in the next couple weeks. Specifically focused on queer dating stuff. So that’s gonna be… I don’t know. I’m just excited for y’all to get to have access to that.

And I think also because Luna did such a great job emphasizing how important masturbation can be, in developing kind of your queer sex life and also kind of exploring toys as an option, we actually have two other great workshops in this series on masturbation and sex toys, specifically. And I’m actually just gonna share that in the chat. Those are some examples of other things in the series. So the whole series of these workshops are right there. I’m really excited to hear your thoughts on them. You can watch them for free on replays, as many times as you want, whenever you want. Thank you all so much for being here. Really excited to hopefully see you at the next workshop as well in the coming months. And please let us know what you thought about this. If you have any other ideas.

We’re just really excited to have you as part of the community. And thank you so much, Mirabai, for your captioning and for your patience. And I’m excited to see you all again soon. Thank you so much! And goodnight.

Stay tuned for our next workshop in June!

Before you go! It takes funding to keep this publication by and for queer women and trans people of all genders running every day. And A+ members keep the majority of our site free for everyone. Still, 99.9% of our readers are not members. A+ membership starts at just $4/month. If you're able to, will you join A+ and keep Autostraddle here and working for everyone?

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