NSFW Sunday Special: What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Lesbian Sex

Thank Jesus Whitney & Romi’s Real L Word Strap-On Sex smashed open those patriarchaly-painted lesbian sex-talk walls a few weeks back, yeah? Like now that 500+ persons have seen that scene, everyone’s on the same page? That’s how lesbians do sex, right? Done and done? Questions answered, clam-power acquired, etc?

Well, no! Not at all.

Do I have any bisexuals or former bisexuals/heteros in the house? HAY! So, back when we ran in totally het circles and were engaging in heterosexual dating activities, it seemed like all girlfriends ever wanted to talk about was sex sex sex. How long he lasted, how big he was, how you did it & how often, etc etc etc. Yes, just like in the show!

But queer girls don’t always get initiated into that kind of discourse. Although our straight male friends love getting regaled with Real Lesbian Sex tales, our straight female friends aren’t always sure where to begin and our queer girl friends — well — not everybody HAS queer friends! And even those of you that DO seem to report that for many newly-out (or young) queers, sex-talk doesn’t come naturally. And when it DOES, there’s a lot of questions lesbians are still afraid to ask or topics that seem off-limits — even within relationships. And then where do you go.

We’ve heard about this THING from you. In your emails and silence and ideas and questions and how NSFW Sundays get CRAZY stats, but minimal comments. Also, the minute you crack the conversation open with a few beers, it seems like every lesbian is just dying to half-whisper some long-lingering sexual question or confess a buried desire.

Where’s the open, honest, free-flowing homosexual sexual discourse? What zaps certain sexual conversations dry as a fish in a vacuum?

Possible causes of this THING we SENSE:

– We have/want to have/have had sex w/each other, so it’s eternally awkward to discuss sex.
– You’re all too politically correct to really TALK.
– Our lez-friends are friends/exes of our girlfriends.
– Question-related discomfort relative to inexperience/extreme variance of experience within peer groups.
– Trash-talking other women’s sexual behavior just feels fucking TACKY, so we often keep our concerns/problems to ourselves ’cause it feels that way.
– Years of shame instilled by the patriarchy/heteronormative society/lack of peers for productive conversation/the lchan porn board keeps getting shut down.
– Lack of lesbo-sex media ’cause even writing posts like this is a huge barrier w/r/t our ability to attract advertisers.
– We don’t think we know what we’re talking about.

The ridiculousness of The Real L Word‘s self-congratulatory sex-talk is, of course, how tired and generic their topics of conversation ARE and how they kinda ignore the fact that a bajillion sex-positive lesbians have been talking about and putting lesbian sex out there forever!

1. Some Questions.

We started a giant anonymous google doc for everyone at Autostraddle to see what people haven’t been talking about when they talk about lesbian sex and questions that arose included gems such as: Do you feel like you know what you’re doing when you have sex? Scissoring — is it a thing? Are you a girl who squirts or have you been with one? How wet do you get? Have you ever not initiated sex because you knew it would take hours and you’d rather be asleep?

2. Some Answers from our brainstorm, presented here entirely void of context/question being answered for your amusement:

– What if you’re being sneaky and put your hands down her pants while she’s cooking dinner or something, WHO’S ON TOP THEN??

– People want to make you feel weird about sex, period. Oh, you haven’t had sex? Oh, you’ve only slept with one person? Oh wow, you slept with how many people?!

– I masturbate more or less every day unless I’m on my period and then i only want to eat chocolate and die.

-My partner and I sometimes talk about how ridiculously wet we get. We get really, really wet sometimes. Like if my vag. had a little white t-shirt you’d be able to see it’s nipples…err what? Yeah. that wet.

– If someone seemed alarmed by me squirting, I would probably cry.

– 69 is a thing, but I’ve never gotten off with it. I honestly don’t like the position and where our noses have to be. There. I said it.

– Scissoring can be kind of silly, but I think laughing during sex can be good/healthy and when it stops being silly, sometimes it’s pretty hot. It’s not something I would like request in bed, but don’t knock it til ya try it. It’s feels like a big wet vagina hug. In a good way.

3. Our question for you today:

WHAT DO YOU FEEL LIKE PEOPLE NEVER TALK ABOUT WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT LESBIAN SEX? What questions do you wish you could ask, but can’t?

Because we’ve decided that the idea of “oversharing” is a tool of the patriarchy so that we’ll feel ashamed and won’t confide our stories in one another and therefore won’t grow/rebel/be, you should answer this.

Did you think we’re not gonna give you any links today? Of course we are. Because there are totally lots of actual visible humans talking about lesbian sex all ovah the place.

+ Kids these days like to bring their sex questions to  Go Ask Alice and Scarleteen.

+ The sex-positive hosts of Sisters Talk Radio don’t shy away from sexy topics, like this video on Why Lesbian Sex Doesn’t Have to Be Boring.

+ Greta Christina always has a lot of stuff to say like her take this week on Porn, Social Criticism, and the Marginalization of Kink.

+ Want some sex advice from Lesbian Oil Wrestlers (we believe these ladies also moonlight as local party promoters and other fixtures of the nightlife)?

+ Questions about Non-Monogamy? There’s an infographic for that.

+ In Sex positivity and other lies on Tumblr, the pansexual madame thursday wonders how “sex-positive” the internet really is when it seems to “equate sex with the nude bodies of thin, conventionally attractive, blonde white women in male-gaze centric pornography.”

+ Susie Bright taught us everything we need to know about fisting in Susie Sexpert’s Lesbian Sex World [check out her post on The Velvet Fist] and now she dishes out advice and tips and other sexual funtime in her In Bed With Susie Bright podcasts.

+ LESBOSEXY TUMBLR ALERT: soul sista lesbo likes to “post pictures of lesbians, mostly naked.” she also posts feelings, and feelings about feelings. and sometimes kittens.

We’ll end with what the mainstream internet can talk about when they talk about sex:

Riese is the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2683 articles for us.

103 Comments

    • I think it’s totes lesbian sex. It doesn’t matter if one or both partners are cis or trans or genderqueer or whatever. If you both identify as female/lesbian and you have sex, it’s lesbian sex. Dont’ let anybody else define who you are or what you do. That’s my thing.

    • Dude, it totally is. My favorite argument/rationalization is that hey, I’m female, right? And therefore I’m female-bodied, since this is my body. Doesn’t really make sense otherwise, right?

      Just like there’s no one way to have ‘regular’, cis lesbian sex, there’s a multitude of ways for us ladies with the integrated strap-ons. Parts or no, penetrative or not, sex is what you make it, and is what you call it. Unless you say ‘hanky-panky’, then you’re WRONG. Srsly, that phrase need to die, like, the day it was first used.

    • IMO, nope, not in the slightest.

      Being trans doesn’t mean you gotta hate what you got down there. That’s one of those gatekeeping lies from the bad old days. While some trans women do, not all do. I know plenty of women who were derailed from accepting their trans-ness because of that yarn.

      I bring up the mythology of hating one’s penis because, from where I’m standing, I see avoiding doing things you and your partner take pleasure in as a form of self-hatred. Just as ignoring parts of one’s body is a form of self-hatred, a form of dehumanization and objectification. While I’ve always felt this, an old ex of mine helped me to put the feeling into words— a trans man who had no shame about his vag and delighted in PIV sex.

      Of course, in TMI-land, if you’ve started transitioning, I’m sure you’ll have noticed that things change. In the fabulous words of [redacted], “girldick is *totally* different from boydick!” I see no reason why the former should be excluded from lesbian sexytimes 🙂

  1. unfortunately my girlfriend likes to keep up the image that she’s super tough and a top and all that, but when it comes to sex she’s always so shy to talk about what she wants. the best sex conversation i’ve had was with her gay best friend, and we were talking about how rough sex is the best and how she’s afraid to bite me because she doesn’t want to hurt me. :c

    • It’ll come back. The hope is that eventually, she’ll be able to be happy without the meds. That’s usually what takes away the sex drive because, while anti-depressants raise serotonin levels, it also decreases dopamine levels. Dopamine is directly related to love and sexual desire.

      All you can do now is be as supportive as possible while not taking it personally. She’ll be back, and it’ll be better than ever!

        • I definitely second the suggestion to try meds in a different class than the ones you’re on (though some folks, like me, respond very poorly to welbutrin). In particular, if you’re having issues with SSRIs you might want to switch to SNRIs like effexor/venlafaxine, or to the SNRI-like viibryd/vilazodone.

    • Yes! This has happened to me. I have an anxiety disorder and have for pretty much all my life.

      I would say she could check with her doc to see if she can switch to something that dampens the drive less. I agree with the comment (below) about maybe introducing some toys/vibrators. I also agree that it’s possible it will come back in time.

      I have actually been off meds for about two years and after the couple of months of withdrawal from having been on them since high school my sex drive sort of reappeared ten-fold. Or maybe it just went back to normal. Either way, meds usually aren’t forever even if the person taking them thinks they are.

      I’m sure you can work it out either way!

      • Morningbird,

        Thank you so much for sharing. I have been on and off anxiety medication for years (since beginning of high school). They are wonderful and have given me my life back, but I hope someday I can be off of them. Thank you for the hope.

        B

    • I’m on antidepresants right now, and I did lose the libido. But after a few months it’s back. I totally enjoy sex even though I am still taking them.
      And if you guys want to read more on depression, and all that stuff you should read this book:
      http://www.amazon.com/Queer-Blues-Lesbian-Overcoming-Depression/dp/1572242442
      It has stuff about anti-depressants, being queer and depressed, something for partners etc. It helped me a lot, so check it out.

    • This is a really important question, and the answer is definitely time and patience! I think a conversation with her doctor is very important, because doctors are actually very empathetic to this side effect, and are willing to work on a dosage or combination of different meds that will lessen the effects on the libido. Sometimes adding a second medication to the mix, like the cymbalta or wellbutrin, can balance it out, without totally switching medications, but that is something that obviously needs to be discussed with a doctor!

      And be patient, it is probably just as frustrating for your partner as it is for you, but allowing a little more time for romancing her into the mood will probably help a lot. The libido just needs to be encouraged out of its medicated hiding place, so lots of touching and patient encouragement will help. and honest conversation is super important, don’t let your frustrations fester, because it just isn’t productive for anyone…Stick with it though, and she will appreciate all of your efforts!!!

    • Er, kinda? My wife lost her libido on the only meds that really worked for her. After a while, she decided to ween herself off them because of it. Her libido came back, but of course so did the anxiety. So that doesn’t really help unless you/they can find non-prescription ways to cope, sorry.

      (I’ve been with a bunch of people on antidepressant/antianxiety meds, but none of the other folks I’ve been with had issues because of it; i.e., even if/though the meds reduced their libido, it wasn’t so much as to be a problem. Again, not helpful, sorry.)

    • Cannabis. I know it’s illegal in most states, but it will maybe amp things up even if you’re on anti-depressants. Doesn’t work for everyone, but it worked for my friends…

      • not that switching without really thinking it through is EVER a good idea, but there’s always a side-effect profile with potentially shitty things and you kinda have to see what you prioritize. i.e. weight gain, sex drive, etc. also also, ALL of this kind of side-effect stuff is contradictory and anecdotal (or from industry-sponsored bullshit research, often), so really you never know until you see how something interacts with your particular chemistry/sexiness

  2. Ok, I’ll bite. I am one of those that regularly reads the NSFW Sunday posts but have never commented on one (before now).

    I am very open minded about sex (despite being English my Swedish mother enabled this. Sex seemed just like breathing growing. A natural thing that happens every day).
    But even I struggle to talk about one thing in particular. PORN.
    I will happily talk to my friends (gay/straight, male/female) about most things: s&m, anal, female ejaculation, etc. Seemingly most things don’t embarrass me. But I never talk about my love of porn. And I like it all (perhaps excluding scat).

    I think the problem is I feel like a bad feminist admitting it. The topic came up with one of female friends ans she immediately stated that all porn is degrading to women. I shut my mouth. I get uncomfortable when a friend wants to use my laptop, afraid they will look into my history and deem me a compulsory masturbating pervert (although, to be fair this label may well be true).

    So instead of talking about it in real-life I will just admit it here instead…

    I LOVE PORN.

    • Ooooh yes! The Great Feminist Porn Debate. I actually find that almost all my queer friends are super pro-porn but almost all my hetero (and lady) friends are iffy about it at best – at worst, they’re sputteringly infuriated with me for single-handedly tearing down the very foundation that feminism was built upon. I think the difference is in the numbers. There’s tons of awesome *feminist* hetero porn out there, but compared to all the other porn for straight people??? It’s just a tiny little drop in the vast sea of on-screen-straight-people-sex. Whereas, I can’t swing a dildo without hitting SOMETHING progressive in the queer porn world.

      So I feel like my perspective may be a little different from theirs. If every time I wanted to consume some porn, I was hit in the face with a bajillion shots of hot man-juice, I’d probably be weary of the genre, too. But aside from the skeevy “lesbian” pornos full of 6″ plastic heels and long-as-fuck impractical fingernails, I’m pretty much surrounded by (what I consider, anyway) relatively good porn. That’s just my theory, though. In any case, if you couldn’t already tell, I totally agree with you.

      I LOVE PORN, TOO.

      • Straight boy (with lots of lesbian pals) here — just wanted to say oh man I feel embarrassed for my entire gender every time I see that supposedly “lesbian” porn with the fingernails and heels. As much as I love me some porn, being aware of the sheer unrealism of it makes it a total turnoff. Just wanted you to know that sometimes we can’t stand that stuff either.

        (also hey this site is really neat and I’m recommending it to people)

      • Just wanted to say that there’s nothing un-lesbian about sex with long nails and 6″ high heels. That’s just a particular variety of femme gender presentation. I love my manicures and wearing my “impractical” super high heels to bed. My grrrlfriend’s a total fan. Absolutely agree on not being into hetero-produced faux lesbian porn, though.

    • I used to be an angry anti-porn feminist, but then I discovered No Fauxxx and Pink and White productions.

      Because oh my god, who can say no to hot, queer, self-directed, safer sex, kink-positive porn with race and body diversity? It wasn’t that I hated porn – it was that I hated the patriarchy/heternormativity perpetuated in mainstream porn.

      Speaking of, I just borrowed my friend’s copy of The Wild Kingdom (http://jizlee.com/wordpress/film/the-wild-search-pink-white/) and I’m very excited.

  3. I met this girl. Super smart. Super Hot. Played Roller Derby. The first time I kissed her, I got unbelievably wet. It was the same every time we kissed. She said it was the same for her too. When we finally had sex she dropped that she had never had an orgasm either with someone or by herself.

    I had no idea what to do seeing as I had assumed the pussy eating position when she decided to tell me.

    She got me off instead.

    I thought it over and told her that I was down for experimentation to help her. She was Super smart. She was Super hot. I told her no pressure that we would take it at her pace.

    She wouldn’t let there be any sort of intimacy after that. Slowly, she pulled away until she just dropped me.

    So, the question is this: If someone has never had an orgasm, how can they understand what it does for a relationship?

    • That’s a really tough one. I’ve never had an orgasm either (although certainly not for lack of trying – I just don’t get them, apparently), and apparently they’re a BIG. DEAL. which can sorta make things awkward, y’know? Like, this girl I totally like is having all this fun, and I’m not, does this mean there’s something wrong with me? Am I not gay? Do I not really like her or something? And then the doubt and everything makes it all just a gigantic fucking minefield. Maybe she stayed away from sex because she felt that not having orgasms => she’s bad at sex => you didn’t want to be with her or something? The psychological pressure in that situation is really intense.

      So, uh, maybe it’s not you, it was her / her self-doubt? Just my two cents.

        • That’s how it was for me when I was younger, too, and the degree to which people cared about it eventually lead me to start lying. The idea of working on it made me feel pressured instead of excited. I think sex is supposed to be unpredictable sometimes, and effortless too, at least sometimes. One guy who was really insistent about it from the get-go… we just decided to be friends instead, because it wasn’t fun for me anymore, I felt disappointing. This situation changed later in my life and now it’s no longer an “issue.” But I remember that self-doubt being a real killer, especially if she’s already been in a relationship where it was a big deal.

          • I had that too for a while – then I got over it – it’s kind of resurged. I feel like I do things in the wrong order, sometimes – I think someone is hot and I want to touch them/get them naked/etc. whatever, I do, but there is a sort of vulnerability/release that is required to “reach that point” for me and I am still hyper-aware of: someone just walked past the front door or: what time is it or: how long this is taking, sometimes I’m too drunk to make the connection or not drunk enough to relax without actually being comfortable with this person, and I kind of realized that for me to really, really enjoy sex, and actually totally connect to this person, I have to trust them, on a deep kind of level that doesn’t come with two or three dates. Once that obstacle has been scaled I get off super-easy, it’s pretty ridiculous. I feel bad for people in the new part of relationships with me, trying so hard, when it’s just not going to happen… Another thing I can recall is getting a very strong sense of “this always worked for her”, or “this always works for me,” like, News for you! I’m not you/her, the same things will not work, please try another approach.

            Also the expectation is heavy and daunting and I feel like awareness of my partner’s awareness of the fact that I don’t come makes it harder to come. I want to forget it, it’s easier if you forget it too. Can we just enjoy getting to know one another? do we have to figure everything out instantly? we’re not in a romance novel the last time I checked? I promise it will happen eventually, and then we will both enjoy it more, really, for serial.

    • i didn’t have an orgasm til i was 27. i’m really not joking – i’d had lots of sex, had had several partners, had enjoyed wild, energetic sex, kinky sex, boring sex, quickies, and slow, sweet lovin’… and for the most part, it had always been enjoyable, but i always felt like i wasn’t quite satisfied. it’s hard to explain it right – but after 11 years of sexin’, i just learned to ignore that part of my body/mind that was always kind of whispering to me that there weren’t really any orgasms.

      then i met a woman. i’ll call her gillian. her force of personality was epic – and it’s like the curtains drew back on the world and all the light came pouring through and an orgasm was in all that light! we’ve long since broken up but gillian was a step in my sexual awareness that it just took me some time to get to.

      does every woman have orgasms? i can’t know, i’m only me. i can only say that with age, and experience, and the right timing, and the right partner, and the right place, and right point in my sexual journey… it happened.

    • Maybe she’s asexual or greysexual. A lot of people try to “fix” aces, so I could see your enthusiasm being misconstrued that way. If you get another shot, you might want to ask some questions in that direction (though, do note that asexuality gets very little press so even if she is she may not realize that it’s a thing yet).

  4. People never talk about how rough and aggressive lesbian sex can be. The whole world seems to think that we just run our fingernails down each other’s backs. Little do they know that we a) do NOT have long fingernails, and b) are capable of FUCKING the shit out of each other!

  5. this is awesome. everything you said made me reflect a litle bit.I think it just boils down to my not being feminine enough.all the images out there of women,their movements and comfort level that inate sensuality i find im woefully lacking. they way she holds herself her gestures the teasing smiles and lingering perfumes.if there ever is any dirt on her it looks cute.i find it hypnotic soo sexy.soo not me.anyway my point is its in my head that sex should be natural the way God meant it to be if you have to ask there is something wrong with you.hope i make sense.

  6. I can’t think of anything to mention, I would just like to post a “yay” that this thread IS getting comments with good info/opinions/questions. 😀

    oh, and i guess i do have something to say: i don’t get the nails thing- my gf has nails (not super long, but they exist, she gets manicures sometimes etc) and i think they feel good….

  7. I am quit open about sex with my queer girl friends and queer friendly straight friends. We talk about porn, hook-ups and all that jazz.
    But my deep dark secret that I don’t talk about is that I get very turned on by straight rape fantasies, which is weird since I only like girls and it’s wrong. I know it’s normal and all that, but I think it’s embarrassing. Am I alone with this?

    • oooh that’s interesting that you have straight rape fantasies. totally normal and interesting!

      i have some form of a rape fantasy also, but mine is gay. more or less i think i just want someone to control me b/c I AM SO TIRED of being in charge of things WAAAAH SO BORED AND TIRED. RAPE ME GENTLY PLZ THEN MAKE ME A SANDWICH THNX XXO.

  8. So I actually really needed this post today, My mother opened up a few days ago about how the whole lesbian thing kind of freaks her out. She asked me,”Do you really want to have sex with girls?” The answer is yes,but I want it to mean something. I guess I’m not super sexy…I don’t dance around like a playmate in my sexy pants or strut around shirtless like Shane. My sexuality is based in the experience, in the connection with the person, but for some reason every one I know is convinced that the gays live this sexual circus freak show lifestyle. I guess the idea of being more adventurous is kind of hot, but is that reality? Having had limited sexual experience, I think that is the biggest fear. That I wont find somebody who will take things slowly so I can…catch up? Probs why I don’t talk about it, for fear of sounding like an 11 year old.

    • I have been here before. I’m going to be completely honest and say that I didn’t start dating and having sex (aside from some gropage when I was 14) until I was 21. I was extremely isolated in high school. I totally chickened out my first year of high school after a make-out session and ran back into the closet for YEARS. Then when I finally got the nads to come out to my family etc. when I was 18 I didn’t even know what to do. I had never dated any guys like some people do in HS and I was totally socially awkward for a couple years in college.

      Then when I was 21 I just met someone. Then everything just happened. I felt obligated to tell her I didn’t have a clue what I was doing which was sooooo terrifying at the time. Then she just shrugged and was like “It’s okay” and I almost cried. It wasn’t a big deal at all.

      Personally, someone having less experience and/or no experience would not be a big deal for me. I’ve been there. Everyone has. If someone you meet has a problem with the pace that you need them to go then that is their issue NOT yours…and they probably aren’t worth it if they’re going to make a big stink over it.

      You aren’t alone in being concerned about things going too fast. It took me about a year and a half (and two more girlfriends) to get to where I was comfortable with more casual relationships. I never thought I would be okay with that. I wouldn’t say I’m big on hooking up necessarily…I find that a lot of people I know who are not in serious relationships tend to have one or two people that they may sleep with and hang out with but they don’t necessarily go out to a bar with the intention of finding a one night stand. But I have also known people who do that, as well as people who are strictly into serious relationship stuff.

      I think the point is that there really isn’t a norm. People just do what they are comfortable with and that goes for GLBTQ people as well as heterosexuals (and asexuals!). Just trust that everything will work out because it pretty much always does. 🙂

    • morningbird, that’s an excellent way to put it. i wish there was a thumbs-up/like button i could click for you, darn it.

      and torch – just me, personally, it doesn’t bother me if i meet and might develop a thing for someone who has less (or no) experience. in fact, i am actually worrying that my experience is making *them* nervous, making things seem really more overwhelming than they should be. and i wonder if it makes me seem like an expert (which i’m not), or if they wonder if i’m experienced and so just really only interested in a hookup (which i’m not).

      and in fact, if the person i was interested in broached the subject, it’d probably be a weight off both our minds, because then we’d both get those expectations out of the way and be able to just focus on each other instead of “being the expert”/playing catch-up. 🙂

  9. Torch, I can certainly relate.
    I just had a similar conversation with my best friend, via the phone cause I’m chicken like that, about queer sexuality and other’s -straight- perceptions. She was shocked that the idea of sex with same gendered folks is one of the first things that uncomfortable ‘straights’ may flash to. How to explain… I just said that I found it difficult to be really out to my mom and other family members because sexuality, in general hetero or otherwise, is such an awkward thing in my family. So add queerness to the mix and you get a whole lotta avoidance.
    I thought that basically the issue lies in them having difficulties getting past the gender of who I’m having sex with part. She said she had always assumed it was more about the level of commitment made to someone of the same sex. I’m not sure I understand what she’s on about. You can have a same gendered best friend since you were six and bring them home for dinner and chaos does not ensue. Try it again with a lover. It’s not,I suspect, the length of time known it’s the carnal knowledge.
    You’re comment about “gays living a sexual circus freak show lifestyle”, kinda cemented my perception. Timing is everything I suppose.
    Hope that made sense.
    Btw, Autostraddle-you guys rock.
    NSFW Sundays are the best. I totally contribute to the crazy stats you speak of. 😉

  10. hmmm well this could be slightly embarrassing, or maybe not. i guess i’ll see when i type it. i’m 17 (turning 18 in four months wooot!) and i’ve had like 5 er 6 gf’s and most of them were longer than 3 months and probably starting from the age of 15. The thing is i didnt really do much with the first one,but with the second one we were physical but not her-to-me more like i fingered her. i wanted it, but when it actually happened it hurt =[ sooo.. i was confused because i thought it would hurt, but only for the first time,but it kept hurting most times after that. soo we eventually broke up and i kinda fixed it in my head that i was unpleasurable. and with the other girlfriends after nothing happened, probably because i was scared that it would hurt. and my most recent girlfriend (we just broke up) has tried to finger me as well, but sadly it stil hurt. and i felt super bad bcuz she was the type who liked to see me pleasured before her, but it RARELY happened. so i dont know what to do? oh but the uber confusing part is when i masturbate (hardly ever using my fingers to go in bcuz,again i think it will hurt) it feels good, but i usually just stimulate *the other main area* haha soo Is it supposed hurt all the time when u go in? or have the people i’ve been with and myself just not hitting the spot, in a literal way??

    p.s. i feel like soo graphic and explicit right now haha

    • so when you masturbate, it feels good yes? whatever it is you are doing to yourself that feels good, you can have your sexual partners do that to you — “the other main area”? do that.

      as for the hurting, um, i think for some people it does hurt at first, and for some it doesn’t, but it’s something that most people do overcome eventually, ‘barriers to be broken’… but for some people it’s a sign of something else you could talk to your doctor about, though at your age i feel like it’s probably nothing to be concerned about and …. i feel like somebody who is not the editor of this website should take it from here.

    • August, you’re very young, so it is possible that some form of penetrative sexual activity is going to hurt a bit right now. You say when you masturbate you stimulate the clitoral area, the “other main area?” Vaginal intercourse of some sort, whether with boy or toy, tends to rend the hymen in one fell swoop. It may just be taking a while to do the same thing with your gf’s fingers. Are you wet or lubricated when penetrated? If not, you may want to make sure you’re wet enough first.

      Perhaps when you masturbate you could try some self-penetration, at your own pace and readiness. There is a possibility that even though you want to be penetrated by your gf, you may be a little tense as well and not really be aware of it. So a little self love and self exploration can help you recognize your body’s readiness signals.

      Good luck!

    • I’m not a medical expert or anything, but I can share some personal experience with this.

      The first time I had sex was with a guy, and it was really painful for me. After that initial time I thought it shouldn’t hurt anymore because I had gotten it over with. But I wasn’t interested in sex with any guys after that (this was still before I had come to terms with my sexuality) so I tried to masturbate with a dildo. It still hurt. I was confused, a little worried something may be wrong, but I still didn’t give up entirely, though I was pretty nervous to insert anything.

      Medically I have no idea what happened, but I can say that about two years later I found myself completely relaxed (alone) and just opened up and realized all of a sudden that it didn’t hurt anymore, it just felt amazing. Not sure if I just happened to me more relaxed, or if my hymen was still partially in tact, or what it was. Because in technical terms, I wasn’t doing anything different, like “hitting it differently” or anything like you suggested may be the problem.

      So I would just say to not panic about it or worry that something might be wrong. Just take it slowly, and be easy on yourself. Don’t worry about not wanting to be penetrated. If you’re interested in it happening eventually, just slowly try it out on yourself, or talk with your partners about the issues you’re having. Try a finger occasionally and don’t panic if it still hurts, that will just make you tense which could be one of the main issues.

      Contrary to popular mainstream belief, you can have sex without penetration. It will all be ok.

    • Definitely what these other ladies have said is spot on. However, there are a few medical conditions that could explain what’s happening to you – vulvodynia and vaginismus come to mind.

      Now, I’d definitely explore what the previous posters have suggested, but even if you have these conditions, you can still function sexually. As has been said, sex =/= penetration for everybody. Some of us like it (like me!) and some of us really, really don’t (and that doesn’t necessarily mean a medical problem – it’s just a preference for some). But you’ve still got manual clitoral stimulation/oral sex/vibrators/frottage to play around with! And there’s plenty of fun to be had there! 😀

  11. I love scissoring too! It is like a “big vagina hug” I have been a lesbian since I was 16 yo and am now in my 40’s. I’ve done it all but my partner introduced me to a form of scissoring/tribadism several years ago that is so wonderful and intimate and sexy. Orgasms are overrated. Its passionate intense sexual energy that keeps one alive.

    • Care to share any tips on scissoring? My girlfriend and I were straight until we met each other, so we’ve got a lot to learn. I think we’ll figure things out just fine, but it was one of the positions where she was curious about the logistics.

      • Vagina hug! Hahaha. Scissoring is one of those bizarre acts that manages to (auto)straddle the line between hilarious and hot. Me and my gf do it rarely though, because we are the opposite of flexible and so usually end up with really sore groin muscles and/or pubic bones for days afterwards. I don’t have any tips for logistics, but I would recommend shaving, as I imagine it would feel a bit strange (and itchy?) any other way.

  12. my #1 feeling is that I LOVE SEX. I have yet to meet someone who can fully satisfy my high sex drive, on account that others always tire out before I do. So, I’ve just learned to adapt by finding more pleasure in meeting other expectations. I love that no two people are the same in what they want, or in what they want from me. Sometimes I’m a top, sometimes I’m a bottom. Sometimes, we’re in her room and there’s candles and Sarah McLachlan. Other times we’re in my car in the back of a parking lot. Or that time when …

  13. ahh well there hope for me then haha. thankss! im thinking back and i do remember most if not all the times the fingering occurred it was in a rushed situation. and i’ve honestly never had the time to take it slow, but i think it shall get better!
    gracias.

    • I find fingers hurt, but toys don’t. Something similar to how being poked with a pin hurts, but yet you can sleep on a bed of nails. I dunno, something about where the pressure goes. And fingernails, oh my god. Not my friend. I find fingers leave itty bitty scratches in the vulva area. But whatever you enjoy, focus on that.

  14. Scissoring has never worked for me. It just feels like the clitorises never line up right and one person ends up kicking the other in the face and it’s just very silly. Which is fine if you want to play around in bed, and it is good for laughing and getting comfortable. Not so good for actual stimulation.

    I find that the biggest reason my lesbofriends/the general lesbo community where I live and I don’t talk about sex much is because everyone has had sex with everyone else. That’s an exaggeration but not much of one. It’s not that any of us are very promiscuous (though some are), it’s just that the community is so small (small midwestern city).

  15. God, just reading this I am so relieved to other people who share my opinions on various topics. Ok. Confession time.
    Seventeen and Outis- I have never had an orgasm, either alone or with a partner. I’ve been on antidepressants since I was 13, so I don’t really know what masturbation/ sex is like without them, and I am absolutely praying that they are the reason I can’t come. I have never been able to bring myself to tell my partner the truth, so I’ve always just faked it and hoped she couldn’t tell.
    Outis, sometimes I actually avoid sex because I don’t feel like lying and I can’t stand to admit that I never orgasm. It just makes me feel so inadequate/ashamed/childish, like there is some huge part of adult sexuality I can’t grasp. I feel like if I ever told my partner that I wasn’t coming, it would just become this huge deal and both of us would feel as shitty as I do about it.
    Ugh. It’s just such a hard, embarrassing subject.

    • Oh jeez, yes, guilt and faking and lying. I know exactly what you mean.
      The anti-depressants might be responsible, if they’re SSRI’s. So that’s a possibility. Alternately, it can take some of the bitterness off to kinda take orgasms off the table in the first place. Like, ‘you’re not going to make me come, and if you try we’re both going to get really sad, so why don’t we do other things that we both like?’
      Also, a question: for me, if I’m masturbating, it’s kinda nice but definitely not an orgasm, but then even that’s a bit rare. Do you get that ‘this feels nice but is kinda boring’ type thing, or is it just nothing?

      “Ugh. It’s just such a hard, embarrassing subject.”
      Yeah, it is. Internet-hugs if you want them?

      • also, i think it’s important to not let worrying interfere with sex otherwise! there’s a lot of sexual fun to be had that doesn’t have to be a means to an end, ya know? i think mentally it’s probably hard to let go of that kind of thinking/wondering/self-doubt, but if you can toy can still have an amazing time and it could happen when you least expect it! like santa.

      • I know this is years later but I’m having a solid auto straddle day and just enjoying reading comments.

        But female ejaculation is actually something I’ve honed over the Years I was being promiscuous( now to the married life)

        I always do it by flexing my internal lady muscles as if I were pushing out ( so instwad of pulling your partner in its pushing against them)

        It creates more pressure and ffeeling from whatever they’re doing inside, and if you’re partner can get speed on their side, well like people sauce flood gates.

        But that’s the only way I can squirt. And only with fingers. Otherwise, orgasms for days with nothin to show for it.

  16. I can orgasm just fine, but I can’t have an internal one without at least some form of external stimulation, and I definitely cannot squirt. A few years ago, my girlfriend and I discovered that SHE can, and it’s friggin awesome, and now I’m jealous! We have amazing sex, but we have never been able to get me to ejaculate (and I’m not a fan of strap ons). Any of you ladies learned to hone this ability and want to share some tips??

    • I don’t know if this is true, but I think it’s sort of a you-have-it-or-you-don’t thing. :/ And for me, it’s definitely not every time – thankfully for my mattress’s sake!

    • I kinda disagree with Dina. I think it’s a skill you can develop, but even if you can’t, that’s ok! Everybody’s body is different and that’s alright!

      My tip would be exercising your vaginal/pelvic muscles. When you’re not having sex, practice contracting and relaxing your vaginal muscles, and the muscles around your urethra. Or if you can’t quite tell which is which, just tighten and relax down there, and see all what you can do. The more you use those muscles, the stronger they get and the more comfortable you are using them!

      Also, if you get that “I need to pee” feeling before an orgasm, that’s an ejaculation building. If you were to “let go” instead of “hold in,” you’d probably ejaculate. I got that feeling all the time from masturbating/sex, but I always held back. Then, when I was 18 and using a super strong vibrator, I ejaculated all on my own and was totally surprised by it!

      Anyway, werk those muscles grrl and maybe you can make it happen!

    • um, yes. and i’ve only had 1 partner i really felt comfortable doing this with. if i feel like it’s about to happen, i usually stop… because i just can’t get over the fear that they’ll freak out.

      but with me, i just feel a pressure start to build up inside… reach in and hit that button to open the flood gates :>

      but i’ve really not been able to talk about it openly, face to face, with humans. and not really able to do it comfortably with anyone (except that 1 person, who was a long time ago). meh :-/

    • I can squirt, but it’s due to playing with my clit. I don’t know why, but sometimes when I’m masturbating, if I keep going and going and orgasm a bunch of times, I will then squirt. It’s awesome and just feels relaxing. I’ve only had one loooong ago boyfriend make me squirt and that was because he used a vibrator on my clit. No one else has and I haven’t gotten anyone else to unfortunately. I wonder if penetration would make me squirt, but so far it hasn’t.

      Anyone else have this experience of squirting thanks to clit fun?

  17. Sigh. That is all I got. Well, Annie, I guess she avoids sex like the plague because I haven’t heard from her. It was the first time in a long time that I had a connection with a girl whom the more i was around her, the more I liked her, so it wasn’t about sex necessarily. I thought me sticking around and taking it slow proved it, that I was down on working on it.

    seventeen, and Annie too, what if you were open to your partner? Like, I really didn’t care how long it would have taken, what I would have had to do, she just had to tell me what was working and what wasn’t. I love a challenge. I had this fantasy that we did it together, and the first time she came, well, if she happened to say my name, i was cool with that. I looked at it like climbing Mt. Everest, you don’t just fly to Tibet and expect to hike right up, it takes months of practice runs, endurance training, building lung capacity, skill and luck.

    see, I think I could have loved her, I didn’t want her to be embarrassed with me, I guess I just didn’t express it right. Double sigh.

    • TBH it sounds to me like she might have some shit that she needs to work through on her own. Once she has, she might seek you out – or she might not. I promise you, there are other ladies out there for you to love. 🙂

  18. I really love sex and talking about sex and porn and talking about porn. If I’ve ever been in company that DOESN’T discuss sex often and in great, shameless, messily sex-positive detail, then I don’t remember it, and I guess that makes me extra-lucky.

  19. i love sex i really do. but i honestly love kissing more than sex. which is weird but i can honestly make out all night and be perfectly satisfied. i’ve never been able to actually kiss someone thats wanted more though, and thats always been a bummer :/

  20. I’ve never enjoyed being penetrated. It took me a long time to get used to the idea and/or get over the hymen-hurt, but once I did, it still feels… like nothing. I would never describe it as “awesome” or “hot” or “moan-inducing” or any of those things. You can go at me all day with a dildo, and idgaf, it just doesn’t do anything for me. Does that make me one of those women that just can’t orgasm from vaginal intercourse, or am I really missing something–ie have some sort of decreased feeling or something?

  21. seventeen-I totally agree with everything you said, especially the “let’s just do something we’ll both enjoy” part. Masturbating is the same for me; it feel nice, but after awhile it’s not building to anything, and I just get sort of bored and stop.
    Outis- It sounds like this girl is really special. Do you think you can tell her what you’ve said here, about how it was more than just sexual attraction?

    Also, this might just be me, but it almost makes me feel worse to think of my girlfriend trying so hard to help, when no matter what she does, it just isn’t happening. I get worried she’d start to feel guilty or too frustrated to bother when she could find another girl who might be much easier to please. Like seventeen said, when it doesn’t work, and you both just feel sad, it makes it seem much easier to move on to something you’ll both enjoy. Maybe try telling her that while you are totally willing to work on actual orgasm with her, it doesn’t have to be the whole focus of your sex life?

  22. I don’t understand wanting to be penetrated. I am twenty have had sex with two people in my whole life, one boy and one girl. With the boy, being penetrated hurt like hell and with the girl it wasn’t much different. Without getting too graphic, I have used tampons and a mooncup and I dont think the problem is the hymen. When I’m masturbating I rarely put my fingers up myself and when I do it’s only because I think i ‘should’. I feel I am missing out or something! ‘Am I normal?’

    • you are! don’t worry. if i’m masturbating, penetration is probably only 5% of anything i’m ever doing, maybe less. penetration is mostly when i’m with someone – it doesn’t hurt me unless it’s just not done right (for me).

      as for the pain… dina made a post a little ways above yours about what pain could be in penetration. it could also just be that you’re tensing up/nervous and the muscle walls are contracting when something’s trying to go in… (which i’ve experienced, and is really painful). alls i can say is just don’t force it and don’t worry. worrying just makes you tense up more, which won’t help you loosen up. 🙂 and just take things slow… don’t force it… don’t feel like you MUST do the penetration thing… for some people, it just isn’t enjoyable. luckily, there’s a lot of other enjoyable things to do though. 🙂

  23. So, I’m new to Autostraddle but read this discussion with a lot of interest. I am a little “older” (mid-thirties), never had sex with men, and carried and gave birth to children with my lesbian partner. So, I guess all these things have given me a different perspective on my body and on sex in general. I especially wanted to comment to “In August,” and say that I can TOTALLY relate to your experience. What I have found is that sex has only gotten better and better for me as I‘ve gotten older. I started masturbating at a very young age (preschool), so having an orgasm was never a problem. It was not “sexualized” until I became a teen, and I did not come out until college, so I can’t relate to experimenting early. BUT, I do know that at first penetration really hurt and I was confused. I mean, many of my straight friends had been the battering ram and I knew that the first sexual experience for girls with guys usually sucked. With female partners, though, pleasure seemed to be the point so it was hard for me to realize that, in fact, (in my case at least) I would have to experience some pain before I experienced pleasure (not that masturbation/oral sex/etc. was not pleasurable, but not at the same level of “mind blowing” orgasms, at least for me). I actually avoided penetration until I was with my long term partner. She was really into big dildos, and I got kind of jealous. I mean, those things scared the shit out of me but I was also fascinated when I used them on her. So, I finally decided that I wanted her to “deflower” me. I won’t go into details–it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be but in the end I could use smaller sized sex toys and more than one finger! For me it made a difference because I really do enjoy penetration. Now that I’ve had kids it has totally “expanded” the sexual possibilities for me, although it certainly was not w/o a price as there is a lot of recovery involved and your body is never quite the same in so many respects. But, the point I’m trying to make, is that your sex life will be LONG . . . (at least we’ll hope!) and it’s great to be comfortable with your body and willing to talk about all of these issues. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s comments.

  24. My GF and I decided your virginity is decijded when you feel like you’ve had sex. Even in heteros- some people count oral some don’t. As for talking about my sex life everyone I know knows WAY too much. I live my life in the following manner: I’m honest, so radically honest that not only do i not lie, I tell everyone whats on my mind all the time, and why not, I have nothing to hide. People are constantly coming up to me with “Can I ask you a question? I don’t want you to be offended but, how/why do lesbians….” Yeah, I guess that makes me a token. but I always answer… I haven’t felt that there’s any lack of discussion about my sex life.

  25. whoaaa so many comments. just one thing: I think a good way of bringing up the topic of lesbian sex and what’s not said, etc., is to talk about BIZARRE things or myths that some people have about lesbian sex. it’s 1:00 am and I can’t be bothered to check, but has autostraddle done a “myths about lesbian sex” story? There’s some great ones. One of my friends said to me upfront that “well, there’s no penetration for lesbians, right?”. I let it go to see what she would say and basically her description of lesbian sex was that gay women “sort of flop around in bed.” Hysterical. Anyway, that story sparked many conversations about what lesbians DO in fact (and shock of shocks CAN do) in bed.

  26. The girl I’m currently seeing likes 2-3 fingers at a time. I have borderline carpal-tunnel, so my hand starts to get sore or stiff pretty quickly when I am f**king her. Is there something I can do to improve my hand strength? : ) Any thoughts?? All I want to do is make her feel good, but we’re not quite at that place where we’re ready to use toys yet…

  27. So I’m bisexual, and I LOVE humping. Don’t care what genitals are there, just the act of grinding hips is mind-drooling. And even though I don’t have a dude boner I still feel like I’m fucking the girl I’m with 🙂

    I was lesbian before bisexual and that makes things hella confusing for me. I’m getting all these cross-turn-ons like guys with big butts and girls with razor sharp jaw lines.

    I also get way way way more wet than any other women I’ve been with and I’m mostly thinking woo yeah bitches I’m the motherfucking ocean but sometimes people will notice it in a way that makes me feel… less awesome. In general, sex dominates my personality more than any of my friends. Sort of hard to be sex-positive when your friends assume you’ve been having constant sexual encounters when it’s actually been at least a year since I last saw a naked person… sigh. Lonely. Nobody’s fault
    But my own
    That it’s nobody’s fault
    Nobody’s fault
    But my own

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