What Makes Great Sex? 10 Women Reveal The Answers

I’ve had plenty of gossip sessions about mediocre, awkward, and just plain unenjoyable sex. That ill-advised one-night stand, the difficulty of mismatched sex drives, the awkwardness of miscommunication (or, worse, no communication.) But what about great sex? Here, 10 women share their hot goss.

A safe space to let go

My close friend Tal, a 20-yr-old bisexual woman, is enthusiastic about four things: “Communication! Respect! Connection! Consent! Feeling seen by the other person and feeling the safety to completely let go and be free and comfortable. And connection is so important to me—emotionally, physically, mentally. If there’s that connection on all levels then nothing else matters. The rest just happens so naturally. But if something is not working out or could be better, then communication! Everyone’s body is different, there’s so much to learn about each person and what works for them.”

One Great Sex Elixir comin’ right up

Sunniva, 26 and pansexual, is a woman I met at an all-girls sex party. “Great sex can be a masturbation round with myself or with a partner via webcam. It could be a deep connection with one or two lovers, or a circle of friends being silly and intimate with each other. It can be multiple orgasms, mutual orgasms, or a dedicated focus on one set of body parts, or it may contain no orgasms at all. I like to check in with my partners during sex and I like for them to do the same. My magical witchy Great Sex Elixir contains enthusiastic consent, humor, lube, and safer sex supplies, toys, soberness and the absence of phones and watches!”

That inexplicable element

Val, my outspoken polyamorous feminist friend, is 26 and pansexual. “Clear and enthusiastic consent, creating and maintaining boundaries. Secondly, communication—an honest stream of expression between everyone involved. Confidence also makes sex great—someone who sees their own sexiness, as well as seeing the endless kinds of sexiness in the world. The most magical sex includes an additional element that remains inexplicable—a chemistry, an intimacy, that way you abandon yourselves to a moment.”

I want to know I’m magic

“Some of the components that bring it from good to freaking amazing are love and trust, vulnerability and openness, communication, and to see in the eyes of my partner that he thinks I am magic,” says my friend Melina, 22 and straight. “I like spontaneous sex, in amazing places. Even just in bed, it can be extremely special, as long as I can feel how much I mean to the other person communicated through their touch. I love it when sex starts really slow and we both take time to explore each other before it becomes more rough and wild.”

Pleasure that lingers

My vivacious friend Tiffany, 27, describes her sexual orientation as “loves people, not gender.” She says, “Great sex is pleasure that lingers. When it’s good, I lose time. I enjoy the whole process—of seduction, of slow discovering, and/or wild ripping away of clothes, of touch and endless body-soul penetration. It’s great sex when I feel aroused by my partner’s arousal, by their juices, smells, looks. It’s great sex when I wake up in the morning and I feel so damn good in my body and, then I turn around and my partner’s asking for more…”

Don’t be shy

I asked Sara, my partner’s other lover, and for her, there are a few things that make for great sex. “It has to be the right person—I have to have some sort of connection, even if it’s a very basic energetic one. The other thing is eye contact. Even during oral sex, eye contact says we’re not shy about it. The third thing is a lot of touching and kissing, all over each other’s bodies. It’s not just about the coitus of course—touching all over, many different parts of the body, to know a man really appreciates and worships it. And another thing for me is the talking about the sex itself, how we’re enjoying it, how we like it. It’s great when neither of us is shy about saying what we want.” Sara is 28 and (mostly) straight.

Communication, flow, experimentation, and routine

Cosima and I belong to the same secret orgy group. She’s 23, polyamorous, and pansexual. “Great sex is when things feel good. A mixture of consent, communication, flow, experimenting and, yes, also routine make sex great. There is no once and forever recipe, but there are a lot of things out there to try. For me, playfulness and trust work very well. When I can let go and when I feel safe, I can have fun. Knowing that sex can be pleasurable, and that bodies are beautiful, gives a good base for sex being great. The rest can be explored.”

Letting go of shame

Eliza, 27 and bisexual, is another woman I met at an orgy. “I’ve noticed that great sex happens when all aspects of each other are welcome to express themselves without judgment. Shame about sex is taught to us, but it’s not born in us. When my partner and I have no shame together, that’s when I feel we’ve done something great. Something healing. In other words, if we’re feeling insecure then I’m turned off. If we’re being authentic, then I’m turned on!”

A dance of body, soul, and mind

My pansexual friend Nawelle, 29, says “It’s the ability to listen and feel our partner or partners—to be able to listen to every response of the body, following and redirecting that energy and that intensity. It’s like a dance where each person’s body, soul and mind responds to that of the other. The ability to give but also to receive—this doesn’t always have to be balanced, it can be whatever feels right, just surrendering.”

Trust and love are the foundations of pleasure

And finally, from yours truly, a 29-year-old pansexual woman: Being able to let go entirely, to surrender to the moment, to my own pleasure and to my partner. This comes from a solid foundation of trust and emotional connection, built on a solid base of communication. From there, I can let go into whatever comes up organically, be it soft sensuality, emotional ecstasy, silliness and laughter, power play, roleplay, rough sex—the possibilities are truly endless, so long as we trust and care for each other.

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