Sex educators and my sex life agree: This advice is SOLID

By Gabrielle Kassel
January 13, 2020
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Fall down the Reddit rabbit hole and you're clicks away from everything you'd ever want to know about skincaresleeppregnancy, and (you might be surprised to learn) sex!

Of course, you can't believe everything you read online and Reddit sex threads aren't monitored for accuracy—"No offense to Reddit, I do love the site, but it can be a breeding ground for people who think they know everything," says Lisa Finn, a sex educator at sex toy emporium Babeland—but that doesn't mean this cult-favorite site isn't harboring some gems.

So I ran a few of the sex tips by Finn and Lateef Taylor, a sex educator and sex-positivity advocate, and with their approval, I gave them a try for myself.

Scroll down to read about four of the best sex tips I found on Reddit—and what happened when (my partner and) I tried them.

Masturbate Alongside Your Partner

One Reddit user took to the online hub to find out if other people (besides he and his wife) find mutual masturbation magical. In just five days, over 2,500 folks took to the post to let him they love it, too.

"I find the intimate sharing of something so personal as self-pleasure incredible," writes the original poster (OP). "It's honestly great and I find it really intimate!" says another user. One commenter who has chronic pain notes mutual masturbation is a "godsend" when they're hurting: "I [can] stay comfortable under my heating pad and rest in the nook of my husband's arm and feel really intimate."

What is it about mutual masturbation that makes it as intimate as these Redditters say it is? "As a society, masturbation is still pretty taboo. It's something that's thought of as being done in private or not at all," explains Finn. Sharing that with a partner can be really vulnerable for some," and that shared vulnerability can lead to extreme intimacy," she says.

"It's a huge learning experience," adds Taylor. "You get to watch and study how your partner likes to be touched." Maybe you always move your fingers side-to-side while they touch themselves using circles, or maybe you hold the vibrator right on their hotspot, while they like to hold it off to the side, says Taylor. You can use all of this info to better pleasure your partner down the line. (Related: 13 Mind-Blowing Masturbation Tips)

VERY convinced to give this tip a try, I pulled out one of my new favorite vibrators, and my partner pulled out the lube. Then, we cued up Bryson Tiller and proceeded to touch ourselves, together. And fam, let me tell you: It's as intimate and H-O-T as the Reddit users would have you believe. Especially when there's eye contact…

Engage In Aftercare

If your exposure to BDSM is limited to Fifty Shades of Grey, you might think power-play only involves pain, whips, floggers, or handcuffs. But there's another element you don't see; "aftercare" is something (responsible) BDSM practitioners do after sex or a scene and, according to some Reddit users, it's something everyone (kinky or not) should be doing. (Related: The Beginners Guide to BDSM).

What is aftercare, exactly? One Reddit user describes aftercare as, "being sweet and tender and present with each other after sex. So, spooning, cuddling, talking softly, asking if they're okay or if they need something. Sometimes you might both take a nap in each other's arms or hold hands. Other times, wrap each other in blankets or rub each other down while talking."

Finn says that's more or less accurate, adding that aftercare is about making sure both you and your lover feel safe, respected, cared for, and comfortable. "While it's essential for heavier or more intense BDSM scenes, it can also be used after vanilla sex (however you do define that)," she says, agreeing that aftercare is for all.

In essence, its just spending time together after sex, touching each other lovingly, and engaging in some post-sex analysis. "It's a good time to talk about what you liked, what you didn't like, what you want to try again next, what felt good, or even how it made you feel emotionally," says Finn. 

As a self-acknowledged workaholic, it can be hard for me to make time for sex, let alone post-sex cuddles. I could stand to incorporate a little more aftercare into my sexytime routine—especially considering my boo's love language is words of affirmation and physical touch. (Not sure of your partner's love language? Here's how to talk about it—and other convos for a healthy sex life.)

One Sunday after toying around with some new pleasure products, my partner and I decided to give more intentional aftercare a try. We spent hours appreciating, spooning, and loving on each other. As you might guess, it was romantic as shit and really opened a door for us to talk about our ~feelings~. Also, I got a massage, which was clutch.

Redefine Shower Sex

The consensus among Redditors is that shower sex is, well, awful, and best left to the movies. "0/10 would recommend, I'm staying to regular ol' cramped car or bed sex," writes one Reddit. "I fear for my life when I'm [having sex] in the shower," writes another.

Despite this seemingly universal stance against shower sex, there's a whole thread of tips on making it better. (Related: A Sexologist's Top Tips for Making Shower Sex Amazing)

Considering my partner and I regularly shower together but rarely engage in hanky-panky while there, we decided to give one of the tips a try: Replace penetrative shower play with foreplay.

"Shower sex, as hot as it may sound, can be physically very taxing and dangerous, especially when there's penetration involved," says Finn. And because water washes off the body's natural lubricant, penetration can become downright uncomfortable, she says.

But "taking penetrative vaginal and anal sex off the table isn't just a smart safety measure," says Taylor. "It also allows you to explore oral sex, vibrator play, massage, non-penetrative hand sex, massage, and other sex acts that you might usually overlook." (Related: The Best and Safest Shower Sex Positions).

The first time we tried shower "sex," we brought a Wartenberg pinwheel (ICYDK, that's a sensation toy). It was so fun, we tried it again that same day, but also brought in a waterproof vibrator. The final verdict? Non-penetrative shower sex is way steamier than regular shower sex.

Pack a Sex Goodie Bag

Ever worried about asking a casual fling in advance if you'll be spending the night? Reddit users have a solution: Make a little baggie of hygiene and sex products you might want for a night or romp away from home. (Related: Questions To Ask Someone Before Having Sex With Them).

In the viral thread, over 2,300 Reddit users took to the comments to share what's stashed in their sex sacks. While some just keep hygiene products like face wash, deodorant, and a toothbrush, others include extra panties, lube, and sex toys—the later of which Finn and Taylor think is best.

"Whenever you're going to have sex with someone, you want to have safer sex products, sex toys, and lubes that will make you feel the most comfortable and experience pleasure," says Taylor, adding that this is especially important if you have any allergies to ingredients commonly found in lubes or condoms. "Being prepped like this will take away a lot of the questions and uncertainty, which can help you relax into and therefore enjoy the experience more," says Taylor.

While many of the Reddit users keep their sex sacks in their cars, Finn notes that condoms and lubes can get ruined by extreme heat. "The plastic bottles most lubricants are stored in begin to disintegrate from the heat, and so can the latex in condoms," she says. So if you live someplace warm, make sure to swap the condom for new ones after stretches of sweltering heat. (Related: 8 Scary Condom Mistakes You Could Be Making)

Although my partner and I are serious enough that I'm not worried about asking any q's in advance, I love idea of having my fave pleasure products with me—and after last night, let's just say I'm glad I did.

Want More Sex Tips?

If you're curious what other sex tips are floating around Reddit, I recommend scrolling through this thread, which houses close to 2,000 tips on how to pleasure your partner. Just keep in mind, "what works for one person may not work for you (and your partner)," says Finn. "And if it doesn't, it doesn't mean your body is broken!"

And for a constant stream of (expert-vetted!) sex tips, you can always subscribe to Shape's sex and relationship newsletter, NSFW.

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