Queer sex means different things to different people; here are tips to keep in mind for your first time.
So, you’ve just met someone, and you really hit it off. Maybe you feel butterflies in your stomach, nervous around them, or you can’t stop thinking about when you will finally be with them again. This time, however, you’ve met someone on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum and you’re filled with questions and maybe even nervousness. How will we have sex? What if I don’t know what to do? What if I say the wrong thing?
The thing is, having queer sex for the first time is not unlike the experience of having any kind of sex for the first time: sometimes it’s awkward, sweaty, nerve-racking, exciting, or even not so memorable. Your intuition will guide you as to what feels right.
If it’s your first time experimenting with queer sex, know this. It’s normal to be nervous. And? Your first time won’t be perfect. But that’s what can make sex such a colorful experience.
Coming to terms with identity
You might be thinking you need to define your identity before having sex for the first time. Maybe you’re not sure where you land on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. One thing is for sure; you don’t need to define your identity to have a pleasurable, consensual queer experience. If you haven’t figured out your identity, there is no pressure to or rule that says you have to.
Identity can be fluid and ever-changing. Sometimes, trying out an experience might offer guidance as to whether or not you like it enough to try again or feel you fit a label. You don’t need to know your sexual identity before having sex.
Talk about it
Before having queer sex for the first time, it’s essential to talk about the experience with your new partner before it happens! If you’ve read this and feel nervous, know that this conversation doesn’t have to look like a sit-down serious discourse. Instead, you can check in via text, and it even might lead to some steamy foreplay.
For this conversation, make a list of your hard nos and hard yeses for the experience. These can be activities that you’ve always wanted to try, major turn-ons, or things you’ll be happy never to do again. Make sure to learn your partner’s list so you know what is on the table and which activities to avoid. In addition, list-making hard nos and yeses opens up important discussions about consent and ensures everyone is on the same page.
Consent is about communication and permission. Consent can look like asking, “is this okay?” or “can I touch you here?” Consent can be revoked at any time. It’s important to remember that everyone has different personal boundaries, so what may have been okay for a former partner might not apply to your next.
After you’ve discussed which activities are a yes or a no, you might also discuss sex aftercare ideas, aka, how you’ll plan to wind down after the experience.
Unfortunately, no one is absolved as to the risk for STIs, which means that yes, you still need to get tested before having sex and ask your partner to as well. You can also discuss what forms of protection you’ll use. These conversations are crucial, and it’s best to check in before you have sex to ensure your safety and because it isn’t always easy to have this discussion right before an encounter.
Set realistic expectations
You don’t need to have tons of experience to have a great time. Don’t expect that you’ll do everything perfectly or know exactly what to do.
Sex is about pleasure and you’ll learn what feels good, what you like, and how you like it with time. You’ll also learn about your partner’s pleasure through physical and vocal cues and communication. Finally, continually check in throughout the experience to ensure that things are feeling good.
Before the experience, find out what terminology your partner uses for body parts. For example, someone might be uncomfortable using the word “breasts” and might use “chest” instead. Terminology can make us feel more comfortable and lead to a more pleasurable experience where our boundaries are respected. Don’t assume you know which terms someone might use. Again, have these conversations before the encounter so you’ll know which words to use. If you don’t know which words to use? Ask!
But, how do we have sex?
Queer sex can look different for different people. That’s the beauty of it. There’s no given rulebook for which positions or activities are on the menu, which allows for more room to figure out what sex means for you.
Rarely does sex-ed taught in schools offer queer sex education. This leaves plenty of students left to their own devices (or lack thereof) to figure out important information like queer sex safety and things people want to know, like what to do or how to have sex. Mainstream porn that depicts LGBTQIA sex is not always accurate and can leave people with high or unrealistic expectations when they go searching for answers. You can rest assured knowing that you don’t need to put your legs behind your head in a highly uncomfortable position to have a good time!
The only answer? There’s no right way to have queer sex or one activity that defines it. Different people like different things. Part of what makes queer sex so liberating is that you get to redefine sex on your (and your partner’s) terms.