Whether you’re a cisgendered female couple, simply can’t or don’t enjoy penetration or are a trans/non-binary person looking to explore and avoid dysphoria, there is so, so much more to sex than P-in-V penetration. Here are some fun and creative ideas to try...
While the concept of oral sex isn’t new, there are endless new ways to explore with your mouth. If you’re in a cisgendered female couple and new to being on the giving end of oral sex, the most important thing to do is to be communicative. Remember that not all vulvas and vaginas are the same (like snowflakes!) and that just because you like the feeling of something, it doesn’t automatically mean that your partner will. Do try new techniques, like long licks with a flat tongue, pointed clit pressure with a more hard tongue, little flicks or figure-8s—BUT, don’t just jump from one to the other like you’re doing tongue gymnastics. Take a moment to see what your partner likes before moving on to something else.
If your partner is trans masc or non-binary with a vulva, there is no one way to give oral sex. Everyone, in every sexual scenario possible, is different—but there are some unique tips to try. No matter what your partner calls it, their “dick” “clit” or “click”, it gets engorged when aroused, no different than a penis. Taking all of it in your mouth and making a bobbing motion tends to be something that is fairly widely enjoyed, especially for people who are on T and have experienced some amount of growth. Always check to see if your partner enjoys any kind of penetration, even with just the tongue, before trying it as it can lead to dysphoria fairly quickly. Some people find that they enjoy the ‘full’ feeling that can come from using a dildo but don’t enjoy an in-and-out thrusting motion. In that case, try simply holding it in place for them while giving head, and remember to communicate, communicate, communicate.
If your partner is a trans woman or non-binary with a penis, some of the same rules apply—there is no one way to approach oral sex. But opposite to the techniques we just described, you may find that you want to avoid more ‘traditional’ head bobbing motions that take everything into your mouth, and instead focus on the most sensitive spots, like the head of the penis/ ‘clit’ or the perineum. These areas tend to respond positively to a mix of broad and focused licks and flicks along with targeted suction. The combined feeling of licking along with simultaneous anal penetration may also be a winning combo. Always ask before trying something new, and always listen—not only to their words but also their body language.
Good vibes are something most people can appreciate. And thankfully these days there is a really nice selection of non-gendered toys that can be enjoyed by a much wider audience without shame or dysphoria. A compact external vibe, like the Mini or Fin, can feel amazing applied to a clit, penis head, perineum or nipples (nipplegasms anyone?) in combination with oral sex, manual penetration or heavy petting. If you or your partner enjoy wearing a strap-on or simply doesn’t enjoy having too much hands-on (or mouth-on) focus down there, using a very compact toy that tucks in, like Eva II, can allow for some seriously sweet vibes without having to hold anything in place.
Exploring the world of vibrating booty toys can also be a game changer for some. Many, like the aptly-named Discover, are made with a removable bullet vibe that can be used anywhere on the body.
Handsex, hand jobs, fingering or whatever else kids are calling it these days 😉 doesn’t need to be thought of as an appetizer only. Sometimes it can be appys, dinner and dessert! Like with most things, step #1 is getting your hands on some great lube (along with condoms, gloves or whatever else you might need). While some people enjoy the friction of dry hands on dry erogenous zones (if that’s you, don’t be shy and tell your partner what you like), most people love the slippy slidey feel of lubrication. If you’re a cisgendered female couple, try mixing it up beyond an in-and-out motion. Don’t underestimate the sensitivity of the more external parts of the vulva, the booty and (obvs) the clitoris. Try one finger, then 2, then more, checking it with your partner as you go. Bringing a small toy, like the Mini into play here can feel amazing. You’re hands-on but with the added bonus of a little buzz.
If your partner is a trans woman or non-binary with a penis and doesn’t enjoy the motions of a more traditional ‘hand job’, you can either manipulate them manually in new and sensitive ways or you may find that using a non-gendered sleeve adds a totally unique experience to your sexual repertoire. We love a sleeve-like Flex because A) it looks more like a space object than a body part and B) because rather than an up-down motion it works best with a more unique twist/ spiraling motion. If one or both of you is taking Estrogen, one side effect may be that erections aren’t quite what they once were but that can be a beautiful thing. A more soft penis can be held, rubbed and massaged more like a vulva might be. Try cupping the testicles with the penis facing up, towards the belly button and applying some pressure to the perineum while making circular pressured motions with your hand.
If your partner is trans masc or non-binary with a vulva and doesn’t enjoy manual manipulation or penetration (this is very common, so don’t worry one little bit!) using a sleeve made just for them might be just the ticket. The ShotPocket was designed by trans men to allow for focused suction. Try having your partner apply it (put a little water-based lube in first for an amazing sensation) and then you can manipulate it in a ‘jerking off’ motion. Depending on their sensitivity, they may want to be the one in control of the motion, in which case you can explore some super enjoyable mutual masturbation.
Get Old School
Remember dry humping? Of course you do. Sexual tension is at an all-time high when things are a little out of reach. No matter anyone’s anatomy, grinding it out with your undies on, can feel amazing and in many cases lead to unexpected orgasms. Remember that you can still exchange bodily fluids this way, so be safe. Whether you decide to incorporate packers, external vibes or just hands and hips, don’t underestimate this tried and true way of getting off.
Go Your Own Way
It’s also common to be in a cisgendered, heterosexual couple who by choice or circumstance cannot have penetrative sex. Erectile dysfunction, vaginismus, and many forms of physical and emotional trauma can all have an effect on your ability to have penetrative sex. It’s also perfectly legitimate to just not like or want penetration—the sensation is not for everyone! In that case, manual and oral sex, with or without toys, can produce some incredible orgasms and the sexual experience doesn’t have to be any less enjoyable or bonding for both partners.
When mental or physical disability is involved, it’s really important to check in with your partner and make sure they feel safe and fulfilled in your sexual encounters. It’s normal to feel like a failure, or like you can’t satisfy your partner without penetration, but there is light at the end of that tunnel! Make sure to get creative, be patient, and communicate—tell them how much you like giving or receiving other forms of sexual attention.
What are some of your favorite ways to explore without penetration? Leave your answers in the comments.