Set the stage for communication! It’ll be better for you and your partner both. If you’re nervous, try our trick: count to three in your head, and just say what’s on your mind instead of waiting for your partner to start the conversation.
Initiate a conversation about expectations around sex
Clearly communicate your physical and emotional boundaries up front (and ideally in advance)
Check in with your partner before, during, and after intimacy. That way, you create an opportunity for open, honest communication!
Consider forming a Good Sex Pact where you talk to your friends about your experiences with physical intimacy. That way you can practice with and learn from each others’ experiences and perspectives.
Start a group chat and keep each other in the loop (where you are, who you’re with, and what you could use some advice on)
Do some role-playing together and practice: asking to use protection, initiating sex, asking for consent, checking in with your partner, communicating your needs and desires.
Meet up and share stories so you can learn from and support each other
Set expectations beforehand by communicating what you’re interested in, and what your boundaries are!
Check in with yourself and partner before, during, and after physical intimacy
Lead by example, and check in or pause along the way so you know you’re both on the same page.
Make sure you’re both comfortable in your environment and can make informed decisions (you haven’t had too much to drink, and you don’t feel pressured for any reason)
Remember that you are not obligated to do anything with anyone, so if you’re not feeling it for any reason, let your partner know (you can use one of the lines we came up with, come up with a safe word, or use a gesture to let them know you’d like to slow down, pause, or stop).
Remember you and your partner are on the same team (so you should be working together)!
Commit to communicating what feels good for you (no matter how scary that feels), and asking your partner what feels good to them too!
Affirm your partner when they do something that makes you feel good! Gratitude goes a long way, so let them know!