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guide to sex
July 22, 2013 | by  | in Features Homepage |
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Salient’s Guide to Queer Sex


Something I get asked fairly often by straight dudes is something along the lines of: “So, like, how does it work when you guys, you know, do it?”

In the minds of most people, sex between two (cis) men is putting a penis in a butt, but as with all sex, it’s not nearly that simple. There are heaps of queer men who don’t enjoy anal sex, but there’s often an unpleasant pressure to do it. It’s not as common as you might think, and the definition of what sex is can be a little fuzzier than for hets. For me, oral sex counts as sex, and a sexual relationship between two men without anal sex can be just as fulfilling (trust me on this).


Ultimately, the technical stuff can be learned along the way, but for really good-quality sex it’s about being really into the other person/people. Just because it’s a dude you’re getting with doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate foreplay. You know the drill – erogenous zones, sensitive but passionate kissing, nipples, fingering… and blow jobs.

Blow jobs

In my experience, having a penis is a boon for the ability to give good blow jobs – knowing exactly how it feels when teeth graze the head makes a real difference. There’s a myth that all queer men have no gag reflex, but I can tell you with great authority that this isn’t true (gents, please, form a line). Lux and I will be covering this in more detail soon, but for now, avoid teeth, use your tongue lots, don’t ignore their balls, and be aware that it feels pretty great to have your penis at the back of a throat.


Take a dump in the few hours before you go for it. You generally don’t need to douche unless you’re paranoid about the slightest trace of crap on the condom. Finger yourself first, or get the other guy to finger you. Going in cold when it’s been a while can be unpleasant. Go slow, use more lube than you thought possible. Don’t forget that you have all the power in this situation, and can stop things at any time. If you’re not enjoying it, ask the top to stop. There’s a difference between taking a while to get into something and just plain not enjoying it.


The bottom has all the power. They may like to be fucked hard, but if they ask you to stop, you stop straight away and slowly pull out if that’s what they want. As above, go slow, use plenty of lube, don’t freak out about the possibility of seeing trace amounts of crap, and learn where a prostate is. I reckon that bottoming a few times makes you a better top, so please experiment!


Trans* lovin’ is just like any other kind of lovin': if you’re both enthusiastic and open with each other, you’ll probably have a great time!

– Communication is super-important. You need to carefully negotiate boundaries. For instance, specific body parts may be off-limits due to feelings of discomfort and dysphoria (or they may not be!) Also, you may have to reject your learned labels for body parts, especially genitals. Ask which words your partner prefers! Let your partner show you what they like and what makes them feel good.

– Unless your partner initiates the conversation and is comfortable sharing, don’t ask invasive questions about their body’s history or future plans. If you ask questions they don’t want to answer, don’t push it! This is just common courtesy.

– Enthusiasm is appreciated! Trans* people get a lot of negative messages about their bodies, meaning some people have issues with feeling undesirable. Further to this, don’t compare your partner to other partners. It’s kind of a jerk thing to do in any circumstance, but especially when comparing a trans* partner to a cis partner.

– Protection! The methods of protection you’ll use depend on the acts you partake in and anatomy of those involved. Use gloves, dams and/or condoms, as well as plenty of lube! Water-based lube is the safest and most versatile lube. Oil can destroy latex condoms and dams, and silicone lube will fuck up your silicone toys (silicone being the best material for toys as it’s non-porous, easy to clean and body-safe).

– Remember to check in with your partner regularly to make sure you’re both havin’ a safe and happy sexy-time.

– Keep an open mind. Try new things; you may just be surprised by the results…

For more info on trans* people, check out the Trans* 101 guide on page 29. There’s also a really great, more in-depth guide at


It’s hard to put into words all there is to know about lesbian sex.

Almost a century ago Vita Sackville-West wrote a poem to her mistress Violet Trefusis. After referring to Violet’s “chatter” and giving thanks for the “honest friendship”, Vita breaks into a description of the “heavy fragrance of intoxicating night”, saying “I search on your lip for a madder caress… I tear secrets from your yielding flesh.” This sends a rather heady aroma wafting from the page.

Vita’s love of Violet’s yielding flesh—visceral—was only recently discovered. This is often the case for lesbian sex as well. Sex education was putting a condom over a wooden penis and being shown where the vagina is. Most of my primary education on sex came a decade later from The L Word. Thus, there’s a tendency for people to view sex through the lens they know: stimulation of vaginal juices, harden penis, insert, repeat, with poetic understanding of this process provided by blockbuster films. And so, we talk of “endless foreplay” or lesbian sex being “everything but…”

Perhaps? Technically yes? But, I think this misses a point: we are all on the same hedonistic pleasure-cruise set for the same destination. Kate Winslet could just as easily smear her hand across a sweaty car window on board the Titanic from the thrust of Natalie Portman. With fingers or a strap-on, or a tongue on yes, some yielding flesh or lip. Granted, dear Kate would be swimming to the island of Lesbos and not stranded in the cold waters of the Atlantic.

I’ve been stranded in the cold waters of the Atlantic with both men and women. So if you do decide to jump ship and swim for Lesbos, make sure you go with the tide, that is to say, trust your gut. It pulls you there.

Most importantly, sex should be fun. It’s good to keep a sense of humour when negotiating the logistics of scissoring—one of the more difficult moves—in the back seat of a car. There’s no need to panic because you already have a head start: sex with a woman is simply jumping from one model of car into driving another. You know the fundamentals already; it’s all about finding out the nuances. A vintage Porsche may require extra attention on the clutch when switching gears. Driving with feeling makes for the best ride.

And finally, if you’re looking for a how-to, a Guide to Lesbian Sex is best written with a lover.

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