9 Sex Guides You Didn't Know You Needed

Here are some guides from our "How to Sex" series that might just change your life—at least in the bedroom.
December 26, 2018, 7:17pm
collage of scissors, condoms, and a whip

As we covered in last year's Unscrewing Ourselves month, understanding sexual pleasure isn't just fun—it's crucial. Sex can be ecstatic, joyful, and very, very enjoyable when done right; done wrongly, it can be painful, traumatizing, and just plain uncomfortable. Women and LGBTQ people in particular have been screwed over by conventional sex education when it comes to understanding our own sexualities and bodies. That's where our How To Sex column comes in.


We’ve spent the year creating guides to help you explore your body in the most pleasurable and safest ways possible. Are you worried about losing your virginity? We’ve got you covered. What if you're the more experienced one, but you're worried about taking your partner’s virginity? We have that covered, too. Are you an LGBTQ person looking for non-heteronormative sex tips that don't suck? You're in luck. If you’ve aced the beginners stuff already and are looking for more intermediate play (figging or sounding, anyone?), we've got some kinky guides to new fetishes that might just change your life.

Whatever fresh new horrors this year may have visited upon us, the bedroom remains one place where you can switch the lights off (or leave them on, whatever you're into) and focus on yourself and your pleasure (and your partner's, if they're there too). As we dim the light on 2018, read these pieces to figure out how you can up your sex game for the coming year.

To have great sex, you need to be having sex in the first place. However, having sex as a newbie can be intimidating, awkward, and not the most pleasurable experience in the world. It can also be amazing, if it’s completely consensual and safe and you feel 100 percent comfortable with the person that you’re with. We created a all-bases-covered guide to losing your virginity, including lubin’ up and what happens after sex.

Being a first-timer with a more experienced sexual partner can sometimes add more stress to the situation. If you’re a non-virgin dating someone who has never done it before, this is how you can handle sex in a respectful, pressure-free way.

The beauty of sex is that there are so many things everyone can try—no matter how they identify or who they’re into—to make it pleasurable for you and your partner. A simple one to get started with is edging, or the act of delaying an orgasm to make it more intense. Sounds good? Here’s how it works.

Despite what the media or high school sex ed taught you, sex isn’t a heterosexual penis-in-vagina situation. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information out there for trans and queer folks, which is where this How To Sex column comes in. (You can also try muffing, otherwise known as the act of fingering someone’s inguinal canals (a.k.a. the canals behind the penis that the testicles descend from—the same ones that your balls get sucked into if you jump into cold water).

The voices of plus-size people—especially when it comes to sex—aren’t heard often enough. (FYI: Here’s how you can help make the world less hostile to fat people.) That’s why we asked Amanda Scriver to write us a guide on how to face-sit as a fat person, including practical tips on how you can embrace a sex act that’s all about your own sexual pleasure.

Queer women have been sexualized by heterosexual men for so long that it can be hard to separate fact from fantasy. So is scissoring an archetypal part of lesbian sex or is it just a made-up male wet dream? Do women actually do it? Let our guide give you some answers.

Let 2019 be the year that you grow more comfortable with the kinks that turn you on, even if they seem unusual to others. If you’ve ever been aroused by the idea of being pinned down and having your armpits tickled till you cry, you might have a tickling fetish (a.k.a knismolagnia). Here’s what that is and why it’s a turn-on.

Do you enjoy sipping a cup of hot ginger tea or sucking on ginger candy? You might never look at either the same way again when you find out what “figging” (or “gingering”) is all about. This is how you can safely engage in the BDSM-related sensation play.

The great thing about sex is that if you’re turned on by something a little unique or alternative, there’s a definite chance someone else in the world will be, too. You might find that with “sounding,” otherwise known as the act of stuffing a tiny metal rod in your urethra. It’s also known as “cock-stuffing,” “urethral sounding”, or “catheter fetish.” It is a pretty advanced kink, so here’s how can practice it with minimal risk.

Next year, maybe set some sex goals for yourself. Maybe you want to get into BDSM. Maybe you want to learn shibari, the art of erotic rope-tying. Maybe you want to try having sex in public. Or maybe you just want to learn how to be more dominant in bed. Head into 2019 with the best mindset possible, so that you can have the best sex possible.