Happy Hump Day friends, foes, and fiends. You all had so many amazing questions for this week, so I’m just gonna get down to it. Keep them coming at [email protected]

I’ve heard that the first time having sex can be painful and bloody. What are good sex positions for virgins?

I hear ya. Taking a whack at first time penetration can be anxiety-riddled enough, what with the emotions and the uncertainty and the sheer excitement. Then throw in all of the urban legends of bloody sheets and tearing and heartbreak into the mix and this whole sex thing seems like more of an unnecessary burden than something people actually do for fun! 

Let me reassure you that most of those stories you’ve heard have probably been greatly overdramatized exaggerations. True, a tiny percentage of female-bodied people have anatomical anomalies that may make first time sex more difficult. The discomfort of “cherry-popping” that we hear about growing up is all thanks to the hymen. It’s a thin membrane of skin that partially covers the opening of the vagina and gets pushed aside to make room for the dick or dildo. Tampons are typically too slender to disturb hymens, but a big ol’ cock or rubber dong plunging in will sure do the trick. There may be a few spots of bright pink blood when you wipe next, but this sometimes happens to even the most seasoned of sex-pros. 

The best sex position for first time intercourse is probably receptive-partner-on-top, commonly known as “cowgirl.” Reason being, the person with the hole is in direct control of the depth, speed, and force of the humping. Make sure to have a lot of lube on hand, whether it be the tried-and-true spit or a packet of water or silicone-based lube. Stroke some on to your partner and yourself; lube just makes everything slide in so much easier. Start off slow. Grab on to the cock or toy with one hand and massage it around the opening to start familiarizing your body with its new buddy. Work in the head, then the shaft, and slowly release your hand as you settle down onto it. Hope that helps make your first time a smooth one!

How exactly do lesbians have sex? 

Well thanks for asking instead of assuming lesbians just scissor! Female-on-female sex may involve rubbing vulvas together, but it can also include pussy eating, dry humping, vulva massage, making out, fisting, using sex toys, vaginal sex, anal sex and everything in between. 

I think that female-on-female sex, to gays and straights alike, may be so alluring and mysterious because of how strongly held our cultural idea of what “sex” really is. What is your definition of sex? What image do you see? Is it the classic image of a hot dog shooting through a donut hole? Too often we think of penetrative sex as the only way of doing it that “counts” as being “real” and everything leading up to intercourse as mere foreplay. By that definition, most lesbians would be considered virgins. 

I know way too many freaky, kinky lesbians for that to be true. And I also know way too many straight couples who have mind-blowing sex without intercourse. I would like this column to encourage you all to think of sex outside of the pee-in-the-vajay box. Sex can include anything and everything that makes you feel bodily, sensual pleasure. Take your time to enjoy yourself and play on the playground instead of running the bases of the baseball diamond.

I think I’ve had an orgasm before but I’m not sure. What’s the difference between good sex and an orgasm? 

My dear friend, good, even great sex, need not involve an orgasm. And besides, I’ve seen plenty of boring, uneventful sex end in an orgasm. But I understand the need to know. 

For those with penises, most (but not all) orgasms will be accompanied by ejaculation, aka gooey semen shooting or dribbling out of the pee hole. It’s a bit more tricky for those with vaginas to know if they’ve orgasmed, mostly because there are no outward, physical signs of orgasms for us (unless you’re a squirter, which is a topic for another column). 

An orgasm is distinct from feeling “turned on” in that it can be felt as a build-up of bodily tension, muscles, and sensations in the groin, extremities, belly and chest. The tension builds until it seizes – you may actually feel like you’ve temporarily lost motor control – and then finally releases in a euphoric outflow.

What is your take on facials? 

Facials – ejaculating on a willing participant’s mug – are definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. Some like to avoid contact with semen in general, so a full load to the face could be a mega turn-off. Others find the act of cumming on another person’s body parts to be degrading, like a dog peeing on a tree to mark its territory. And some people, although fully aware of the subliminal undertones of facials, just loooove the sight, smell and feeling of jizz dripping all over them. Submitting yourself to or dominating over your partner in such an intimate way can be a very arousing feeling. What do I think about facials? Any sex act shared between two fully informed, enthusiastic, consenting adults is just fine by me.

Ta-ta for now!

Sam is a senior who works at Sex Out Loud, the University of Wisconsin’s peer-to-peer sexual health resource. Send her some sugar at [email protected]