When porn sites release their top most popular search terms, “lesbian sex” is always in the running for one of the top spots. And while a huge number of these viewers are straight men, lots of women, including many women who would identify themselves as straight, are getting down to the idea of lesbian sex. 

Although when it comes to making the leap to actually experience lesbian sex first-hand, many women say they’re intimidated or overwhelmed by the prospect. Adding to the confusion is the fact that a whole lot of real-life lesbian sex looks absolutely nothing like what you’ll find in porn (hello, long, extra pointy talon-nails? Not for most of us… there’s a reason the “lesbian manicure” got its name!).

‘Lesbian sex’ is a bit of a misnomer

Sapphic sex isn’t just had by lesbians. It is also had by bisexual women, non-binary women, and trans folks of a whole range of gender identities. And of course, not all lesbian or bi-trans women have vulvas at all. We’ll use the term here for convenience to generally refer to sex between two people with vulvas, but this is a hugely important point. 

It can include a whole host of erogenous zones

Because there’s no assumed default setting on lesbian sex the way there is on straight sex where it’s always presumed that it will end up in penis-in-vagina sex, sex tends to be more inventive, taking all of your lover’s erogenous zones into account. 

If your partner likes breast play, see if she’s more turned on by the actual breast or nipple sensations, or both! Some women prefer a delicate touch while others love the sensation of pain and pleasure in rough play. If she’s the latter, you’ve got room to experiment with nipple clamps, teeth, and ice cubes. 

Talking about your erogenous zones and what turns you on is a hot version of foreplay that can start before you even get home. Maybe she loves her whole body being stroked and doted on. Maybe she loves her booty spanked and her hips grabbed hard. Maybe breathing in her ear drives her wild. This whole-body approach to sex means being willing to listen, explore, and pay attention to the way her body responds. 

Go downtown with confidence

Truly, for all the manuals and sex guides about how to go down on women, most advice comes down to two rules: 1, go in enthusiastically, 2, listen to her!

Rather than focus on creating the alphabet with your tongue or whatever other weird “sex tip,” just take your time exploring her vulva. Lick around her inner thighs. Let her feel your hot breath against her. Play with the different sensations of your lips, your tongue, your nose, and your whole face. Let her luxuriate in the different sensations and then as you circle back, pay attention to what she likes. What makes her breathing change? What makes her body tense up? 

Use your hands

Don’t be afraid to use a combination of your mouth and your hands. Your hands are great not only for insertion (fingering), but also for pulling up on her mons pubis area to expose the clitoris more as she gets aroused. A lot of women like a small lift-up on that soft mons area; some women respond really well to using your fingers to separate the labia to lift back the clitoral hood. Some women really love the feeling of a tongue in the beginning but prefer the stronger clitoral stimulation from fingers later. 

And of course, finger penetration on its own or in tandem with your mouth feels glorious. In my experience, most women respond well to two fingers to start. Once your fingers are inside, try making a “come here” motion. You might have to feel around or go deeper, but this is usually a good way to find and stimulate her G-spot. From there, you can add more fingers and gradually slide toward your whole hand if she enjoys that kind of pressure, or grab a handy sex toy. 

Speaking of, don’t be afraid to use toys

Dildos, vibrators, rabbits, clit-suckers, there is no stigma attached to sex toys in lesbian sex! Strap-on harnesses are fun, but nowhere near as ubiquitous as porn would have you believe. And outside a porn set, I have never, ever seen two women enjoy a double-ended dildo that wasn’t attached to a harness. (Strapless strap-ons, especially Feeldoe, get a shout-out of approval, however.)

Take your time

You don’t need to become a lesbian sex goddess overnight. Be present, be mindful, be communicative, and show your partner that her pleasure is important to you. That is truly the best sex anyone could ask for.