How do lesbians sex? The better question might be how you define sex and why that makes it so hard to understand how two women have sex. The question seems to stump a lot of people, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

how do lesbians have sex


One of the reasons why people begin questioning how lesbians have sex is that they’re straight people, and sex with their partner usually involves differing genitals (unless we’re talking about anal sex). So what you really mean when you ask “How do lesbians have sex?” is “How do you have sex with someone who has the same genitals as you?”

It’s true that there might be a learning curve to understanding how to pleasure someone, but that’s the same whether they have the same genitals or not. If you’re a bisexual woman (find out if you’re gay, straight or bi), then you had to learn how to handle a penis with your hands or mouth or move during sex. The same is true the first time you have sex with a woman; although, you can use your knowledge of your own body as a foundation with a partner of the same sex.

Hyper-focusing on mixed-genital sex leads to all sorts of misunderstandings about sex, and they’re not doing straight people any favors, either! It leads people to define sex rigidly as only what happens after a penis enters a vagina or other orifice. Anything else is foreplay – if it even happens at all. People forget that there is a whole slew of sexual activities that you can do that are sexy and fun and also count as sex.

Oral sex, manual sex (fingering) and dry humping are just a few of the ways that lesbians have sex. But they’re also ways that any straight couple can have sex. After all, you wouldn’t tell a woman who has had multiple partners that she’s still a virgin just because there were no penises involved.

Some people describe sex with a woman as more of an adventure than a task, which might help you understand how lesbians have sex without penises.


So while people wonder about the mechanics of lesbian sex, they often forget about all the other things. Does it matter if any penetration happens if you’re having an amazing orgasm from your partner’s skilled mouth or hands? Does it matter if you’re giving unbridled pleasure? Not really!

This misconception also leads people to assume that there must be a stand-in for a penis: a dildo or sex toy. But you can certainly enjoy sex without penetration. And many women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, so penetration really isn’t a must, is it?

There’s nothing wrong with a strapon dildo, and some straight couples even incorporate them into their sex lives in an act known as pegging. Strap-ons can make one feel powerful, and it’s common enough for a woman (who may be more “butch”) to wear her cock and instruct her partner to worship it as a form of power play. But no one has to “be the man” when it comes to how lesbians have sex, nor is power exchange required.

It might be that lesbian partners take turns penetrating their lovers. Or sex might flow more organically with a bigger focus on connection than pleasure. Once you realize that sex isn’t defined by a man’s erection or orgasm, it opens the doors to having sex that’s longer and more creative. This may mean you have better or more orgasms with a female partner.

Lesbians might find themselves being on top or bottom, in control or not, from one moment to the next. There may not always be one person who initiates sex or there may. Because there are no hard and fast rules, you can have sex however you’d like.

If you’re into sex toys, check out our guide to the best sex toys for more pleasure and better orgasms.


Another huge misconception, mostly thanks to porn, is the fact that lesbians always scissor. Scissoring is an act where two women each spread their legs and connect at an angle so they can rub their vulvas together. It’s common to see scissoring in porn, but real-life opinions of this activity vary.

Many women have tried it and didn’t like it. Others report that it’s pleasurable but only when you grind against a partner’s thigh. Other’s point out that partners who are thin and bony don’t make for excellent scissoring.

You can try scissoring, but don’t be surprised if it’s not for you. It’s common in porn because it looks good to the male gaze, which doesn’t necessarily mean it feels good to a woman’s body.

As a whole, mainstream porn isn’t a good depiction of lesbian sex. After all, you wouldn’t want a woman to finger you if she had long, fake nails? (which is why you should always trim your nails before fingering someone) That could lead to cuts and infections or even a nail becoming lost inside you. Ouch! If you’re having sex with a woman for the first time, you probably don’t want to use porn as a guide.

Porn isn’t good education for any sex because of the reasons we’ve mentioned (focus on a man’s pleasure, sex is defined as penetration, sex ends with his orgasm, etc.). Understanding what counts as lesbian sex can help you understand that all sex can have a wider definition and can focus on your pleasure just as much as your partner’s – if not more.

By the way, it’s natural to ask how lesbians have sex, after all, we’re often curious about how others have sex – and how often! But peering into others’ bedrooms often shows us that sex is more varied than we might initially think.


Like scissoring, fisting is something that shows up in a lot of porn that features “lesbians” for some reason. The two acts are similarly not for everyone. Fisting can be quite intense and produce amazing orgasms, but it definitely requires time and patience that you might not have. Sexual communication is a must; otherwise, fisting could be painful and even cause harm.

Related: How to Talk About Sex

Even if you’re willing to try it, you might not find fisting to be all that pleasurable. That’s okay. Even if every other same-sex couple liked fisting, you don’t need to be into it or even try it. Everyone has their own sexual interests.

Get tips for fisting.


First things first: relax. Even if you’ve never been with a woman before (or anyone at all), you need to breathe. She’s just another human being. While we all can be anxious when it comes to having sex with someone, don’t add to it by focusing on the fact that this is sex with a woman. It’s just sex.

Psst, discover how to combat sexual anxiety.

However, you might want to explain to her that it’s your first time (with a woman). This may encourage her to take more control and guide you. It also lets her know that you’re inexperienced and perhaps nervous rather than passive and uninterested.

If you’re not comfortable being so direct, you can simply get feedback during the process. It doesn’t have to be obvious; it can be something sexy like:

  • Show me what you like.
  • Do you like this?
  • What do you want me to do to you?
  • Is this good for you?

Getting feedback (and consent) can be part of your dirty talk if you do it right (ease into it with advice from our dirty talking podcast).  But you should also pay attention to her body language (is she pulling away or tense? back off what you’re doing) and the sounds she makes (heavy breathing and moaning are good).

You can always rely on what you like, but remember that no two women are the same. You might like firm pressure and indirect clitoral stimulation while she’s more into light but direct clit stim.

Discover 9 techniques to stimulate the clitoris.

Obviously, eating pussy might be something you do with a woman. You might not have seen many vulvas or even know what you own looks like. So we’ve written a guide to eating pussy that might be helpful.

Finally, fingering is a great way to give a woman pleasure. Many people use their index and middle fingers by default, but you might have better luck if you penetrate with your middle and ring fingers. Then, the other two fingers rest comfortably to either side of your partner’s vagina, and you can even use one of the free fingers for anal stimulation. On top of that,  you can either use the palm of your hand (if you lift it) or your thumb to provide clitoral stimulation.

But sex involves more than just your genitals. There are breasts to suck, bite and knead, lips to kiss, skin to caress (and an awful lot of it at that!) and a mind to arouse. Lesbian sex is full body sex with less of an emphasis on just your genitals connecting.

Read: 12 Ways to Use Nipple Play

It’s important not to spend too much time in your head. Instead, focus on how things feel and what comes naturally versus what you should do. Remember that it may not be perfect the first time you have sex with a woman.


One of the things we advise our readers to do is to have safer sex. This means taking precautions so you won’t get pregnant or transmit an STI. Usually, this means using condoms or birth control. But how do lesbians have sex and incorporate safer sex practices?

Pregnancy isn’t an issue when neither of you has a penis, so you don’t have to worry about that, but you can still transmit STIs. In fact, infections such as HPV can spread from skin to skin contact while others can spread through saliva.

You can use dental dams during oral sex to make sex with women safer.

How do lesbians have sex? Some people might say that they’re more creative about it than straight couples. But others will argue that straight sex doesn’t need to be formulaic, over quickly or as dissatisfying to women as it often is. When you think about it that way, it’s easy to understand how lesbians have sex.

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