How to deal with anxiety the first time you have same-sex sex

Feeling nervous? It’s okay (Picture: Getty/

Okay, so you’re pondering having sex with someone of the same gender for the first time.

Feeling nervous? Don’t panic – that’s totally normal.

‘Same-sex sex can feel daunting even if you’ve had plenty of “straight” sex before,’ sex and relationships expert Annabelle Knight tells ‘The reason it feels so different is because… it is!

‘The idea of first time same-sex can feel scary because it’s an entirely new experience. Nerves are part and parcel of pushing yourself out of your usual space and into something new.’

There’s a lot of fear when trying anything new (including queer sex) that you’ll get stuff wrong, that you’ll be rubbish, that it’ll be embarrassing.

It’s all perfectly natural, but when the nerves are overwhelming, it’s time to tackle them.

So, how do we do that?

Reframe anxiety as excitement

You’re about to do something new – what if instead of viewing that as a scary thing, you see it as exciting?

‘Try to focus on the positives. As with lots of new experiences things can seem daunting, however if you re-package nerves as excitement then you’ll be able to build what’s known as “positive anticipation”, which will help you to really get the most out of the experience as a whole,’ Annabelle suggests.

two men kissing on sofa

Reframe anxiety as excitement (Picture: Getty Images)

Talk about it

You don’t need to pretend to be totally cool or act like you know what you’re doing. It’s actually pretty endearing to openly say that you’re a touch nervous.

‘We can combat nerves by opening up communication with our partner, or if you feel able to, telling them that you might be feeling a bit nervous,’ says Lelo’s sex and relationships expert Kate Moyle.

Redefine sex

You might still be holding on to a traditional definition of sex, viewing it only as penis in vagina penetration.

The reality is that sex can encompass all sorts of joyous things – stroking, licking, caressing…

And the thing is, if you’ve been in ‘straight’ sex setups before, you’ve likely played with all of these bits of sex. Remembering that makes same-sex sex feel a lot less scary.

‘Appreciate that there’s more to sex than penetration alone,’ Annabelle says. ‘This means that everything from kissing, cuddling and sensual massage can fall under the banner of sex.

‘Great sex is how you define it so don’t feel constrained by the idea that penetration = proper sex.’

Be playful

Hey, this is supposed to be fun.

‘Even if we haven’t had a sexual experience with someone of the same gender before, bodies are still sensual and sensitive – be creative and playful with your touch, which will help to build up arousal and desire,’ suggests Kate.

Close-Up Of Lesbian Couple Kissing On Bed

Keep communication open (Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)

Bring in sex toys

Sex toys are not a necessity, but they can be a bonus – and can definitely help to relieve the pressure of delivering an orgasm with your hands and genitals alone.

Don’t feel pressured to orgasm every time

Not climaxing doesn’t mean you’ve ‘failed’. It’s the journey that counts, and every bit of sex can be a glorious experience – not just the orgasm.

Keep the communication going

‘Vocalise what you are feeling using positive encouragement,’ recommends Kate, ‘so letting them know what feel’s good for you.’

Embrace uncertainty

Annabelle adds: ‘To get the most out of your first same-sex experience make sure you’re in the right head space.

‘You don’t need to have everything figured out, nor do you need to put a label on yourself – instead embrace the fact that you’re ready to experiment and open yourself up to a different type of connection.’

Top tips for great first-time same-sex sex

Trim your nails

‘Long fingernails look great but can be a bit of a pain in the clit when it comes to same-sex experiences,’ notes Annabelle.


One thing Annabelle recommends for great same-sex sex? ‘Lube, lube, and more lube!’

‘Anal doesn’t just happen, she notes. ‘The anus isn’t self-lubricating and needs a lot of help in that department. A good quality water based lube is a fabulous all-rounder. It’s skin safe, toy safe, and condom safe too.’

Lube is great for vaginas, too, particularly if the woman you’re dating is going through menopause or has given birth (both of which can cause hormones to drop and dryness to occur).

Wetter is better, so feel free to lube liberally.

Stay safe

Pregnancy won’t be a risk during same-sex sex, but make sure you’re still protecting yourself from STIs. Condoms, dental dams – all necessary.

Oh, and ‘if you’re sharing sex toys make sure you give them a clean between uses,’ says Annabelle.

Explore different turn-on spots

‘For women and vulva owners the clitoris is the source of most sensitivity and sexual pleasure, and most women report orgasming via direct clitoral stimulation,’ Kate tells us. ‘But having said that, take your time to explore sensually and not just focusing on the areas of the body commonly associated with sex.

‘This build up gives the body a chance to sexually warm up and become aroused which is key to pleasure.’

MORE : Expanding your dating pool to more genders? Here’s how to navigate your nerves

MORE : Seven nail art ideas for your next femme-icure

MORE : How to come out to your partner

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