The Ultimate Sex How-To Guide! (doesn't exist)

Hi: during foreplay, how long should you give a blowjob for? Is it right that my boyfriend shouldn't cum from me giving him oral sex before we have sexual intercourse?
Johanna Schorn replies:

We get a lot of questions from users who wonder whether there is a certain way they should act or feel or look, if the way they are doing things is weird or normal, or if there is something wrong with them or how they feel or act or look. I'd say that that topic is in the top three of our most frequently asked questions. It's a very understandable question, too, when sex is something that's brand-new to us, something we're only slowly learning about. And on top of that, all of these new questions are usually coming up during a time where there are a lot of changes going on: our bodies, our relationships, our whole lives. Everything is in flux. So, if you look at it like that, it's only natural that so many people feel a little insecure.

That's the good news: if you're feeling insecure, you're definitely not the only one.

And here's the bad news: There are no one-size-fits-all answers to these questions and concerns.

That being said, I'll let you in on a secret: the fact that there are no easy answers isn't really bad news at all. It means that there is no right or wrong, no weird or normal. It means that, however you chose to do things, as long as that's in alignment with your own wants and needs and those of your partner(s), is a-okay. It's a challenge, because it means that you have to figure out what it is that's best for you and your partner, but figuring that out can be a great, fun, enriching process, too.

And now I'll come to your question, wildrose. You use the word foreplay, and talk about things happening before intercourse, and that's the first thing that struck me when I read your query. What you're written reflects a common perception of how sex is "supposed" to work. There is the very popular idea of a linear progression that happens every time someone decides to have sex: of things happening in one specific order. The idea usually is that we start by making out, then progress to manual and/or oral sex, and then turn to the main attraction, intercourse. Sometimes, when people are hurried, they go directly to intercourse. This idea of how sex works for people is so pervasive and so popular, especially in media. But it's also so limiting, and it assumes that a lot of things are true for everyone in real-life sex that really, really aren't.

It assumes, for instance, that intercourse is better or somehow more important than everything else, and that everyone likes it best. It assumes that everyone likes manual and oral sex, but that they're not that important, and expendable in a pinch. It assumes that sexual activities always have to happen in a certain order.

None of that is true. Intercourse is not the most special of all activities for everyone, or for any one person who likes it all the time, and not everyone likes it. Some people think it's awesome, sure, but others can take it or leave it; some only like it some of the time, and there are people who don't like it at all. Not to mention all of the people who simply don't engage in vaginal intercourse because they're in relationships with people who have the same genitals as them. There is also no given order for all of the activities that people may engage in any given session of sex: you can start with intercourse and then move on to oral sex, or you can have manual sex and nothing else, or you can engage in mutual masturbation or ... the possibilities are endless. To boot, a whole lot of people don't only do one sexual activity at a time, but combined activities so sometimes some are happening at the same time. And all of that is sex. But it's the sex you and your partner want to have, and not anything that's dictated or prescribed for you.

And by this point I am pretty sure that you can also answer for yourself the questions that you posed. How long should a blow job last? For however long it's comfortable and enjoyable for you and your partner. Should he ejaculate from it? If he ants to, can and that's what he and you want, sure! Can you still engage in intercourse afterward? Sure. Or you can engage in intercourse before, or in a different session. It's all up to you!

While we are on the topic of should's and how-to's, here's another, similar question:

kandi555 asks:

I am 15 and my bf is 18, and we have not yet kissed. He is longing to kiss me and the feeling is mutual, but the truth is, I do not know how to kiss. My previous relationship lasted for about a year, my ex was also 18, and I did not kiss him either because I did not know how. I am just afraid to look like a bad or inexperienced kisser. Please help!

Things we are about to do for the first time tend to be pretty intimidating, because we don't know what to expect. And the more time we spend worrying about them, the more intimidating they become, especially when it is one of those things were there is no easy answer. There is no step-by-step guide to your first kiss, and no one can tell you what it's going to be like. That's something that you will have to figure out for yourself. And, personally, I've always felt that that's part of the fun.

The best part is, of course, that you are not in this alone. You've got a partner. And even if he's kissed someone else before, he hasn't kissed you, so this is all new territory for him, too. Have you talked to him about this yet? If not, I suggest that you do. Let him know that you're a little bit scared and that you don't know what you're doing. And ditch any ideas you might have about "bad" or "good" kissers: there's no such thing. There's only being honest and open and doing what feels good; and as long as you're doing that, you'll be fine.

Being inexperienced isn't a bad thing. We're all inexperienced when we first start with something new, and I always wonder why so many people feel that they have to hide that, and why so many people feel compelled to lie, or fake knowing something that they don't. There is no shame in not knowing something yet. We all start with zero at some point, and learning is an important and fun process. And, sure, your very first kiss may feel a little awkward. But there is no shame in that, either. Embrace the awkward kisses, and laugh about them with your partner. Enjoy all parts of the process, because they all have their own value and their own unique appeal.

Last but not least, user Lauraal has similar concerns about engaging in a new activity for the first time:

I have been with my boyfriend for a couple of months, we're 14. He wants to take things one step further and finger me. I'm not sure because, well, I don't know what to do. When he fingers me, do I lay down? Sit down? Stand up? Do we make out? Where do I put my hands and what do I do rather than just stay there letting him do it? This is both out first time and I'm quite shy and get awkward easily. The only thing we've done is french kissing/making out. Help please because I'm confused. And will I bleed? Thank you :)

First of all, I want to make sure you know you don't have to do anything you're not ready for or don't feel 110% comfortable with. If you don't think you want to have manual sex, then that's perfectly okay, too. So if the idea of manual sex is really awkward or uncomfortable for you, then you may want to give yourself a little more time. You have all the time in the world to go at the pace that's comfortable for you, alright?

There's no "standard position" for manual sex. Whatever position feels best and most right to you, is the one that's right and good for you. And you'll probably have to experiment a little to figure it out, like everyone does. There's nothing awkward or weird about that. We don't all come to sex automatically knowing all there is to know about it. Sex is a learning process, and it's going to be that for the whole of your life, because you will change, and your body will change, and your interests and likes will change. And that's good, because it means that there will always be new things to discover!

So here, too, I'll advise you to talk to your partner. Let him know you feel awkward. Talk to him beforehand to make sure that you're both on the same page, and that you understand that it's going to be trial-and-error. Communicate with him throughout, check in with him to make sure that you're both comfortable and having fun. Understand that it's okay to have a fit of the giggles -- this is sex, after all, not church or a court case -- or to stop and change positions.

As for whether you bleed, there's no reason you should if you make sure that a few things are in place. Make sure that you are completely relaxed and aroused. That you are using plenty of lubricant. And make sure that your partner goes very slowly and gently, and stops any time you experience any pain. If you take care of all that, bleeding shouldn't be an issue.

Now I know that was a lot of text, and a lot of it may not have been what you wanted to hear. When you're afraid of something, or new to something, the most reassuring thing is always when someone can tell you exactly what to expect, and I haven't really been able to do that here. But that's also the beauty of sex: there is no one-size-fits-all. It's unique to each and every single one of us, and we all get to figure out how to have the sex that's perfect for us. We get to experiment, and try different things, and decide for ourselves what works and what doesn't. We can sample everything we want to, with no obligation to buy. If it doesn't work, you'll simply not do it again.

Try to think of it not as a challenge, but as an opportunity. The opportunity to find out what's the best sex for you. If there's a secret to great sex, that's it: it's about what's best and feels best for us as individuals in unique relationships.

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