Queer Sex 101

Queer Sex 101

Queer Sex 101


I was asked to write a blog on queer sex 101. I initially wrote about barriers, lube, toys, and  tribbing. Then I deleted everything. Sex education has long been dominated by a sterilized heteronormative anatomical perspective that only focuses on abstinence, pregnancy, disease, and penetration. While those are aspects of sex, it’s missing the bigger point: pleasure. Even as we've moved towards more sex-positive education in the last decade, we still replicate this ideology by focusing primarily on the mechanics of sex. Understanding function doesn't equate to good sex. Queer sex is an art, not a recipe. So today, I present to you the fundamentals of pleasure rather than the mechanics of sex:


Emotional Attunement

By definition, sex must be consensual. That means that everyone involved is enthusiastically agreeing to participate. Sex without consent is violence. Being able to say "yes" to sex with a pal is the bare minimum. However, consensual sex doesn't necessarily equate to good sex. We need to take it a step further. If you want to experience intimate pleasure with your pal, you also need to add a layer of empathy. Emotional attunement means that you can mirror your pal, understand what energy they're bringing to the interaction, and respond accordingly. Attunement is collaborative and reciprocal. It ensures that pleasure is being experienced by everyone. Further, it gives flexibility to change acts or context to better fit someone’s experience. When we attune to our pals we’re giving them the ability to define how they want to receive touch and we’re giving them the same feedback about ourselves. Pleasure comes from pals who are working together towards a shared goal.


Open your mouth when you breathe

Your pleasure deserves a voice. You shouldn’t keep quiet in bed, that goes for speaking your desires, but also for the way you breathe. Many of us first learned to masturbate when we were living in our caretaker's house. Discretion and silence were essential unless you grew up with folks who encouraged open sexuality, which is not the case for most. Our bodies internalize shame. Many of us, whether we realize it or not, still hold our breath and keep quiet when having sex. The problem is that you can't come when you're holding your breath. Oxygen and pleasure go hand in hand. Asserting our desires, breathing loudly, and embracing our full range of expressions is part of shame-free pleasure. Remember, sex isn’t a performance, it’s an experience. If you’re holding your breath, get out of your head, and push out a loud exhale, feel how it turns your body on.


Pet each other

One of the reasons why sex often hurts (assuming you don't have a medical diagnosis) is due to tensing and lack of lubrication. People rush too quickly into penetration or genital stimulation. Petting, making smoothies, lightly touching, rubbing, or whatever else you want to call it is the process of connecting bodies on a skin level. Before genitals are involved, spend time touching each other. Petting is a good time to set the pace for stimulation, attune to each other, establish consent, and practice breathing. If you prefer light touches, communicate that. If you want scratches, hard rubs, spanks, or whatever else, tell your pal. You’re setting the scene for anything that comes after. Whether you’re fucking solo or partnered, give yourself the freedom of leisurely sexual experiences. Start by arousing your skin, and your brain, before jumping right in. Petting is also a great form of after-care. Just because sex is done, doesn’t mean your experience of pleasure is over, touch each other to conclude your experiences.


Make it physically easier

Sex can be exhausting, uncomfortable, and difficult, but it doesn't have to be. We live in an age where we have an abundance of tools at our disposal. Toys, pillows, props, supports, and beyond can make sex accessible and easy. You don't need to develop carpal tunnel to prove you're a good lover. Substitute tired or restricted body parts with new tools. Going acoustic isn't the right move for everyone. We need to let go of the notion that bodies are superior to toys; they're not. I'm sorry to destroy your ego but your tongue doesn't have consistent three-hour battery life on full blast. Some of us need more consistent and intense stimulation than a human can provide, and there's nothing wrong with making pleasure easy. The less draining and more satisfying sex is, the more likely you are to do it. I'm obviously not saying you should never use your body, but recognize limitations without attaching shame. Invest in the tools that enhance your pleasure whenever possible.


Be light-hearted about desires

Shame is heavy, and heaviness inhibits pleasure. It’s not easy or simple to overcome social, sexual, and relational trauma, but bringing playfulness to your intimate experiences is a great first step. You create security with pals through repetitive attention and care for each other’s desires. If you feel inhibited in your ability to communicate your desires, you’re not alone. Let’s not over-complicate it, there's nothing hotter than saying "more." I promise it's your simplest communication tool and it's so effective. It might not feel within your grasp to divulge your deepest fantasy to your pal in all of its details. That's okay. Focus on saying "can I have more ______." More more more more more. Great sex at the end of the day is about more pleasure. Give each other permission to ask for more, give more, and receive more.


Build games together

Sex can get dull when you're in the same routine over and over again. We can get self-conscious and shy, leading us to forsake novelty for comfort. I find that approaching sex as a game can remove performance pressure, introduce novelty, and redirect focus on participation. After all, you can't play a game if you're just watching. I love teasing my pal when we're having sex. We add banter, light wrestling, power struggles to our foreplay. Each time we have sex we're able to add to our game. We slowly create more dynamic ways of engaging with each other, picking up where we left off last time, and taking it a step further. Building games can also mean trying something completely new or revisiting a different type of sex. The more you embrace variety, the less you'll get tired of the same old thing. Play is ever expansive, and sex should offer the same.

Once we get out of our heads about what sex should be like, we can start having sex the way we would like to have it - pleasure filled and consensual!