“Fun tips for first time having sex with a woman???”
(Morgan Goldwich / Rowdy Magazine Online Writer)
Rowdy After Dark is an unfiltered, inclusive and sex-positive column by and for college students. Do you have a burning sex or relationship question you’d like answered? Send it to us here*.
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Your first time can be intimidating, regardless of your gender or sexuality. But it can be extra tough out here for us women who love women. Pleasure-centered sex ed is so lacking for people with vulvas that oftentimes we only have the hugely misleading girl-on-girl genre of porn to turn to for pointers. This can all lead to anxiety and sometimes even shame about our first time with another woman. What should I do? Will I be good enough? Should I try to scissor (probably not)?
This week’s reader-submitted question touches on just that:
“Fun tips for first time having sex with a woman???” - from another woman
Now, the implication is that this reader is inquiring about relations between two people with vulvas. I want to hold space for the fact that not every woman you might hook up with will have a vulva, and not every person with a vulva will identify as a woman. This advice should be applicable to sex with people of all genders and orientations, but for the purposes of this question, I’m going to talk more specifically about all things vagina.
Also, it should go without saying that all of this should only be taken into consideration with enthusiastically consenting people. One way to ensure this could be by establishing boundaries before starting, ie. “What are you comfortable with?” and asking questions like, “Is this OK?” as the encounter progresses. This is just one of the many reasons why communicating during sex is so important — but more on that later.
First and foremost, anatomy is critical to know and understand to have good sex. Forgive the sports analogy, but you have a bit of a home-field advantage when you’re with someone who has the same body parts as you. There’s a certain familiarity about it that can make it easier to replicate the things you enjoy on another person.
However, if you haven’t spent too much time exploring your own body (though that’d probably be my first suggestion), or need a quick refresher, here is a general diagram of a vulva*:
* Note: people tend to incorrectly refer to the whole thing as the vagina, when they should actually be saying vulva. The vagina is a muscular tube that goes inside the body, marked in the picture above. Using the right words can be important for clear communication with others.
As far as female anatomy goes, we all hear lots about the coveted clitoris. There are over 8,000 nerves in this small area, making it incredibly sensitive. So, it’s understandable why it gets so much attention. In fact, a 2017 study found that about 36% of women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, double the amount of those who said they could from vaginal penetration alone, with an additional 36% saying they prefer it in addition to penetration.
But there’s actually a decent amount of the clitoris that is inside the body, more than just the little bean-shaped structure you can see on the outside.
So, why is this important? Because it means there’s a lot of ways to pleasure a person with a vulva that doesn’t just involve stimulating the visible external part of the clitoris (though definitely don’t forget about this part). Stroking or putting pressure on the labia (or “lips”), for example, can indirectly stimulate those sensitive parts. This is also part of the reason why some people enjoy penetration more than others, depending on how their clitoris is positioned. Even so, if you are inserting a toy or finger in the vagina, it can be a good idea to also stimulate the clitoris at the same time, like with your thumb or palm, for example.
Having good sex with a person with a vulva is about a lot more than just the vulva, too. Erogenous zones are places on the body that have concentrated nerve endings and can include the inner thighs and nipples and even the ears, neck and wrists. Giving these places some love, whether it be by kissing, lightly stroking or biting, can go a long way in the midst of your hookup sesh.
Even with this information, it’s important to remember that every body is vastly different and responds to different things. While it might be a good idea to start off with things you personally enjoy, like rubbing small circles directly on the clitoris, for example, you might find that your partner is more interested in penetration, or vice versa.
When you’re getting it on with your partner, start slowly. Grinding or light touching can be a fun way to build up the momentum. Listening to body language can be a great guide for how you’re doing, but asking is always better. Creating an environment where you both feel comfortable asking for what you want and sharing feedback is key to getting the most pleasure out of the experience. Stay receptive to feedback – about rhythm, pressure and placement of your hands/mouth/toys, and come willing to share your own requests.
Whether this is simply your first time with someone with a vulva or your first time having sex in general, it’s important to keep in mind you probably won’t be a pro immediately. And that’s OK. Part of the fun is exploring these things with someone you connect with and being open to learning about yourself and your new partner along the way.
Good luck, my friend, and please feel free to report back with updates.
Morgan is an online writer at Rowdy Magazine and a fourth-year journalism and women’s studies student at UF. You can usually find her at a local coffee shop, petting her latest foster cat or on social media @morgangoldwich.