Dear Alice,

We are two straight sophomores who are considering lesbian activity. This is not a joke. We have always been intrigued by lesbians and have been asking the question, "How do they do it?" Obviously, a great deal of the enterprise must involve oral activity, but what else can we do?

Sincerely,
Interested in lesbian sex

Dear Interested in Lesbian Sex,

What folks who identify as lesbian do or like (or what anyone does or likes) in bed is as varied as there are people to know. They may kiss and hug, caress each other's bodies for hours, or have quick sex. They may kiss, suck, and caress each other's erogenous zones with fingers and tongues, press and rub their bodies, masturbate together, or use sex toys. Some may get pleasure from penetration while others may pass on it. One person, both, or neither may orgasm once or several times. Still, others like looking at erotic pictures, telling or reading sexy stories, sharing fantasies, or sleeping together without sex.

That said, your line of inquiry brings up a key point — many people mistakenly believe that folks who identify as women and are primarily attracted to women-identified folk know how to please each other based on the assumption that they have similar looking genitals. However, everyone is different — and not all who identify as women have similar genitalia (i.e., being a woman and having a specific type of genitalia isn't mutually exclusive). What may be more critical to note here is that clear and honest communication is key in all types of relationships, including sexual relationships. Having sex with anyone for the first time, or at any time, may involve a lot more than what happens between the sheets. Plus, talking with a partner about what feels good can be a wonderful way to make your time together more enjoyable.

Further, there are no "musts" when it comes to sexual activity between two people assigned female at birth (i.e., who may have similar genitals), just as there are no activities that are “musts” in any type of sex with anyone. Rather than asking, “How do they (lesbians) do it?," you might instead ask, “What might I/we like to do?.” With that as your guide, taking some time to think about your fantasies, desires, and interest in taking part in certain sexual activities is the type of homework that may be more likely to inform a satisfying experience in the future — more so than consulting a type of instruction manual. If you’re not sure where to start, you might check out Scarleteen’s Sexual Inventory Stocklist. This resource outlines options for establishing boundaries, types of relationships, safer sex practices and preferences, sexual responses, and sexual activities that you can review and reflect on how you feel about each. It’s worth checking it out on your own first, but it can also be a useful tool for discussion and exploration with a partner to clarify sexual preferences and interest.

If by now you have even more questions than you initially had, that’s okay. While you may have come to this site looking for an erotic road map of sorts, hopefully you’ll come away from the screen with an expanded sense of sex-ploration and possibility with any partner.

Alice!

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