Skip To Content

    34 Sex Lessons Women Wish They'd Learned When They Were Younger

    "I wish I knew I wasn't a 'bad girl' for having sexual thoughts and desires."

    Reddit user u/stilllifewithkitty asked women of the Reddit community, "What is something about sex you wish you had been taught rather than discovered?" and they didn't hold anything back. Here are their brilliant responses:

    1. "You shouldn't feel ashamed of what you find pleasure in. I spent way too much time feeling ashamed, and not enough time enjoying myself and my partner."

    Meg Ryan faking an orgasm in "When Harry Met Sally"
    Columbia Pictures


    "I feel the same way — I have kind of a specific 'kink' that my ex wouldn't even entertain the idea of, and it made me feel really ashamed for a while. Then my current significant other did what I liked out of the blue, and I knew it was meant to be."


    2. "Your first time having sex is not guaranteed to hurt — for some it does, and for others it doesn't. I went through my life being afraid of my first time because I was told it would hurt so bad — I was expecting it. It ended up not being painful at all, and I was confused. I learned it doesn't hurt for everyone, and I wish I knew that so I wasn't so freaked out about it."

    Jane from "Jane the Virgin" after she had sex for the first time, saying: "Okay — I've had sex. I am now a person who has had sex"
    The CW


    "I hate how everyone said it's supposed to hurt. It made me so terrified to have sex. If you've never had so much as a finger in your vagina and then let a male partner pound you, you're probably gonna have a bad time. But if you regularly masturbate, explore your own body, and then go slow your first time, there is absolutely no reason you should expect sex to hurt."


    3. "Communicate! Don't be afraid to take your partner by the hand and show them how you like it — no one knows how to get you off better than you do. I think too many people are either too shy to talk about it or too worried they'll offend their partner. Neither of these should impede you because if the sex isn't that great now, imagine a monogamous relationship with years of it."

    Nene Leakes on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" saying, "We need to talk"


    "Learn to speak up, and know what you want and are looking for out of a sexual experience. Good partners appreciate a 'Could you please go half an inch to the left?' and if a partner makes you feel unsure or is unkind about it, then get out of that bed as soon as you can."


    4. "That even very good sex is often actually laugh-out-loud funny and awkward. Sex is just sex. It can be romantic and heart-stopping and incredibly physically enjoyable with someone who pushes all of the right buttons for you at that moment. And even with the best of intentions, it can also be a bit silly and laugh-inducing."

    Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm in a sex scene from "Bridesmaids"
    Universal Pictures


    5. "If you did something once with a previous partner and enjoyed it, it doesn't always mean you'll like it with the next partner you have."

    Zendaya in "Spider-Man: Far From Home" saying: "Never, never doing that again"

    6. "Just because you aren't both moaning like in a porno doesn't mean the sex is bad (sometimes it's so good, it's hard to make a sound). Orgasms feel different depending on so many factors — don't focus so much on trying to have an orgasm, and actually enjoy the sex!"

    Naya Rivera and Dianna Agron in a sex scene on "Glee"


    "Just because I didn't orgasm doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it!"


    7. "Don't make sacrifices for your male partner unless it gives you pleasure too. Anal sex, deep-throating, and hard choking can be fun for certain women, but if you aren't that woman, don't pretend or force yourself out of your comfort zone. The number of times I've tried anal for're probably not going to suddenly enjoy something the 20th time around."

    Whitney Houston in "Waiting to Exhale" having bad sex, thinking to herself, "Now I'm a keeper at the damn zoo"
    20th Century Fox

    8. "ALWAYS PEE AFTER SEX — ALWAYS. DO NOT WAIT. DO NOT CUDDLE. GO PEE. I so wish I was told that — I lived for a year with a UTI without knowing what was wrong with me."

    Malin Åkerman in "Chick Fight" peeing on the toilet with a toothbrush in her mouth
    Redbox Entertainment


    "I can confirm this — I got a UTI before knowing about this rule, and it felt as if I was peeing out a spiky baby dragon for four days. Never again!"


    9. "Your cervix changes position based on where you are in your cycle. Doggy style and deep thrusts can feel good one week and hurt like a mother the next. This is perfectly normal and should not cause alarm."

    Nasim Pedrad on SNL's Weekend Update, saying, "My vagina will do something and I'll be like, 'What was that?'"


    "Damn, the cervix is like a moon — I Iearned a new vagina fact today."


    10. "If you have a partner who is confident in their ability to get you off by penis in vagina alone but it's not happening, take matters into your own hands. Literally! I stuck around with an ex who was totally offended by the idea of me getting myself off if he was unable to do it himself."

    Samantha Jones from "Sex and the City" in bed saying, "I'm masturbating. I told you I'd be doing that all day today"

    11. "For a lot of people, sex is very emotional, and if that's the case for you, you just need to be careful about how far you go and with whom. I'd also say you need to be aware of that in your partners, too. While you aren't responsible for someone else's emotions, it's important to pay attention to how vulnerable your partner is."

    Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps in a sex scene from "Love & Basketball"
    New Line Cinema

    12. "Different positions feel better with different men. I thought I had a favorite position, but different penises worked better in different positions."

    Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page in various sex scenes in "Bridgerton"

    13. "Prioritize your own orgasm before and during the act, and make it clear to your sexual partners: 'I'm about getting mine as well, so if you're not up for it, this isn't happening.' Sex makes so much more sense and becomes so much more enjoyable when your male partner actually gets you to come — wow, who knew!"

    Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Guzman in a sex scene in "The Boy Next Door"
    Universal Pictures

    14. "Toys and experimentation are not a bad thing. I think some people view toys as such a taboo, almost as if toys are for people who can't keep up or are boring, when in reality, it's the opposite. Toys can really be so much fun, and everyone should at least try them to add some new dynamic to the bedroom."

    Blanche from "The Golden Girls" saying, "Are the batteries included?"

    15. "Faking it will not make bad sex any better. If you avoid discussing what is or isn't working for you, it might make things worse — exaggerating your moans as a way to communicate doesn't work. Be an active participant and don't just expect your male partner to know what to do. Every woman is different, so he may be trying things that worked before with someone else but don't work for you."

    Jerry to Elaine in "Seinfeld": "What about the breathing, the panting, the moaning, the screaming?" Elaine to Jerry: "Fake, fake, fake, fake"

    16. "I wish I had gotten accurate information about STDs and pregnancy instead of scare tactics and faulty statistics in sex ed."

    Molly Shannon kissing a tree in "Superstar" while a nun shockingly looks on
    Paramount Pictures

    17. "Semen allergies are a real thing. I'm only mildly allergic to my current significant other. (With my ex it was so, so bad — we always used condoms, but blowjobs made my mouth and throat BURN. The one time we had an accident, I couldn't stop crying from the pain.) I always peed after and washed myself with warm water — my ex, my current S.O., and I never had any kind of STI. I was scared, but I've been tested many times, and my gynecologist agrees it's an allergy."

    Aubrey Plaza spraying white silly string in the air, landing on her body
    Complex TV

    18. "Shop around for birth control, and don't settle for the first one you get — try a bunch until you find one that suits you best."

    Mary Tyler Moore on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" insinuating that she takes birth control pills


    19. "Just because you're young and you need to use lube doesn't mean something is wrong with you."

    Caroline to Max in "2 Broke Girls:" "Go into my nightstand and get my cinnamon-flavored makeup remover" Max: "You mean the lube? It's almost empty — man, you've removed a lot of makeup"

    20. "I used to get embarrassed about queefing during sex, and now I either just laugh or ignore it totally because I'm too into the moment. Sex sounds in general took me a while to get used to, but now it's just a kind of atmospheric 'Fuck yeah, we're having sex!' thing that gets me into it even more. My guy loves it when I laugh while he's inside me (apparently it feels good to him), so bonus points there."

    Ariana Grande in her "Bang Bang" music video
    Lava / Republic


    "Weird noises are inevitable, and it's okay to laugh! (Bonus points if your partner has a penis and is still inside you.) The laughing may tickle his penis, and it's really funny to watch him squirm."


    21. "Sex gets better as you get older. I'm 33 now, and sex is much more enjoyable (and it's not a partner thing — it's totally my body)."

    Otis catching Jean and Jakob having sex in "Sex Education"


    22. "I didn't know about squeezing while having a penis inside me. I had discovered Kegel exercises a relatively short amount of time before becoming sexually active, but I didn't know that this was a thing I could do during sex because I'd never heard of it. I flexed once briefly during my first time and he didn't seem to notice (neither did the second guy), so I just assumed they couldn't feel it. Six years after I started having sex and a few months into my current relationship, I asked my boyfriend if he could feel it, and he was shocked that I'd never heard of this phenomenon before. It apparently makes sex so much better for both male and female parties involved — I've discovered that I generally can't orgasm unless I'm squeezing."

    Angela Bassett in "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" having sex with Taye Diggs' character
    20th Century Fox

    23. "I was raised in an extreeeeemely conservative Southern household. I was shamed for showing any interest in my body at all, never mind grasping how a man's body looked or worked. I wish I had had modern sex ed instead of the stupid abstinence sex ed. With all that out of the way, I feel like at least I wouldn't have been terrified of asking my first partner a question, or at least stating my preferences."

    Mindy Kaling in "The Office" saying, "I have a lot of questions!"

    24. "Any man who has a problem with pubic hair is a fuckboi. If my landing strip or however much hair I am rocking at the time is a problem, you probably aren't the type of guy I want to be having sex with."

    Whoopi Goldberg on "The Graham Norton Show," saying, "Once where there was an Afro that I could put beads on and braid, there is now Paul Shaffer's head, empty and bald"
    BBC One

    25. "Semen will come back out of your vagina — sometimes hours later, and sometimes even a day later."

    Taylor Swift during an Apple Music interview, saying, "It's actually really good to learn that today"
    Apple Music

    26. "The first time I encountered a penis, I was surprised at the texture of it because I assumed it would be like a solid 'stick' (like a finger). I didn't expect the skin to move, but it made sense in a motion kind of way."

    Kathryn Hahn during an Actress Roundtable discussion for the Hollywood Reporter
    The Hollywood Reporter


    "Right?! I have watched porn, but I guess I didn't pick up on this — when I had a penis in my hand, I was like, 'What?!'" 


    27. "That sex with a long-term partner does not have to be tit for tat (i.e., I do this for you, so you do the same for me). It's totally okay to take a day here and there to focus on only one person."

    DeWanda Wise and Ilfenesh Hadera during a sex scene in "She's Gotta Have It"

    28. "I thought I had to be thin to enjoy certain positions or acts until my partner reached around and hugged me tight, tickling my clitoris. He also took the initiative and put a pillow under my butt to enjoy a deep missionary position — he was a sex god, and I thought I was the experienced one."

    Aidy Bryant and Luka Jones in a sex scene in "Shrill"

    29. "Having your butt slapped feels good because the nerves on your butt connect to your groin. So if your partner slaps it until it's sensitive and then lightly scratches it with their fingernails, it's magical. I've orgasmed from that alone."

    Tessa Thompson and Janelle Monáe in Monáe's "Pynk" music video
    Wondaland / Bad Boy / Atlantic

    30. "I wish I learned how to say, 'Nah, I don't really want to fuck you' and not care about how my partner felt about it. I think women get pretty conditioned early on to make people feel happy, and then feel like crap if we aren't successful."

    Oprah on "Oprah's Lifeclass," saying, "'No' is a complete sentence"


    "This is also unfortunately a life lesson that plenty of women learn at a young age — I know I was told to 'be polite,' and got a lot of 'Don't hurt anyone's feelings.' Now when someone gets hurt and irritated, I feel bad for saying I don't want to fuck them — I still feel bad saying no."


    31. "If you wait until sex hurts to use lube, then it's too late for it to have any kind of effect. The soreness and irritation will probably last you a few days."

    Jada Pinkett Smith on Red Table Talk saying, "That hurt me"
    Red Table Talk


    "It can give you vaginitis because of the little tears from all the friction — not cool!"


    32. "Try things you enjoy, and move so it feels good for you. Worry about yourself first and what feels good for you, too, rather than your male partner first."

    Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B in their "WAP" music video

    33. "I am allowed to expect an orgasm, and I deserve a partner who tries to satisfy me."

    Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake in a sex scene from "Friends With Benefits," Kunis telling Timberlake, "A little to the right — eh, a little bit more to the left"
    Sony Pictures Releasing

    34. And this: "I wish I had known that it was perfectly 'normal' and healthy for a woman to want and enjoy sex. I wish I had known that I wasn't a 'bad girl' or 'loose woman' or whatever for having sexual thoughts and desires. Other than that, the learning of sexual techniques and behaviors was actually pretty fun. I wouldn't have wanted to start off knowing it all, but it would've been a lot better if I had known from the start that I'm not morally inferior or ruined or wicked for having a healthy libido."

    Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara kissing in "Carol"

    Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Follow more Reddit threads from r/AskWomen here.

    What's something *you* wish you'd learned about sex sooner? Let us know in the comments below, or submit your responses in this Google form if you want to remain anonymous.