Ah, to be a baby dyke. When you first come out as queer, you see the whole world through new, gay eyes, and it’s extremely exciting—yet also VERY bewildering. You wander helplessly through the men’s section of Goodwill, trying to figure out if you actually look good in hats. You suddenly have no idea how to use your hands (wink wink) or your mouth (wink wink wink).
Look, I get it. I’ve only been out of the closet for two years, so I personally still feel like I’m very much a baby gay out here in these streets. And like all baby gays, I have often felt nervous about sleeping with more seasoned lesbians, lest I disappoint them with my lack of ~skills~. I know a lot of other newly out queer women share this same concern, especially if they come out later in life when their queer peers appear to have already figured themselves out.
Sure, you could spend ten hours examining lesbian porn and googling “how to give head.” There is some very useful literature on the subject, to be sure.
But one from baby dyke to another, let me tell you something: You don’t need to worry about being good at sex. There is no such thing as being “good” at sex. Pleasing your partner doesn’t require any special skill set, except for the skill of communication and paying attention. The rest comes down to compatibility, and you will figure it out as you go—I promise.
It’s okay not to know everything right away.
Some people treat sex like a sport at which they can win a medal. They brag about how many skills they have in their arsenal and swear that they can f*ck better than all the other dykes in America. And look, there may be some logic to these sentiments; some people do seem to have a knack for f*cking. They might have a bunch of tricks up their sleeve from years of experience. That’s great for them!
BUT, there is no bag of tricks that will work for every single set of genitalia in the world. Everybody likes different things! One woman may want her clit gently brushed; another may want you to press down hard or even use your teeth.
No matter how many tricks you have up your sleeve, you have to re-learn how to have sex every time you engage with a new sexual partner. In that sense, baby dykes are starting off on equal footing with everyone else, whether you’ve f*cked ten women or zero. In fact, sometimes people with a lot of sexual experience are less able to please new partners because they’ve gotten stuck in a few specific ways of f*cking.
It’s okay not to know how to please her perfectly right away; how could you possibly? You’ll learn, together, and it will be great.
Communication is everything.
You don’t need to be great at Doing Sex in general; you need to be great at pleasing the specific sexual partner in front of you in that moment. Your bag of tricks won’t help you figure out what actually works for her, and Google can’t tell you that either. Only she will.
If you’re coming from hetero land, the idea of discussing sex and pleasure may make you break out in hives. Communication is important in hetero sex too, but it’s also taboo, because (insert 1000 years of patriarchy here). But queer sex can go in so many possible directions that it’s really impossible to avoid the subject. That’s ultimately a good thing. There are way fewer assumptions about what you’re “supposed” to like and you can get down to the business of discussing what you actually do like and how to provide it to each other.
Talk about sex! Talk about what you’re interested in but kinda nervous about. Talk about what you’re definitely not interested in. Establish boundaries. Make it sexy, if you want. Or don’t (it might be awkward at first). But talk about it. Not only will you learn your partner’s body more easily this way, but you’ll also become more comfortable being vulnerable with them, which makes it much easier to have a fun sexual experience.
Also, remember that communication goes beyond just words. It’s also important to pay attention to non-verbal signals to see how your partner is feeling during the ~act~.
Get out of your head.
If you focus on how “good” at sex you are, you become blind to the importance of individual variation and interpersonal connection, which are both necessary for TRULY great sex.
You know what kind of people really have a knack for f*cking? The kind of people who pay close attention to their partners’ words, sounds, and movements to figure out what pleases her and what doesn’t. The kind of people who ask, “Do you like that?” or “What do you want?” The kind of people who are like orgasm scientists in the bedroom, carefully experimenting and taking notes for the future. The kind of people who are willing to do whatever it takes to make you come—even if they’ve never done it before in their lives.
I’d take that type of person over a person who can rattle off 18 methods for fingering off the top of their head any day.
Compatibility is a thing.
Okay, now for some slightly bad news: Sometimes, all of the communication in the world just doesn’t seem to work. Great sex requires a special spark between all parties involved, and you can’t force it. It either happens or it doesn’t.
But this is kinda good news too. If you don’t have that spark, she’s just not doing it for you, or vice versa. It doesn’t mean that either of you is bad at sex. Nothing has to be “wrong” with either of you for the sex to suck.
You might just be sexually incompatible, and that is A-okay. Annoying, yes. But okay.
Stop trying to be “good” at sex. What really matters is that you and your sexual partner(s) are comfortable, turned on, and tuned into each other. That’s all good sex really comes down to. Isn’t that a relief?!