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What you need to know about scissoring

What you need to know about scissoring

Scissoring used to get a bad rap. It was the butt of jokes. It was a trope used in popular culture to hyper-sexualise queer women and vulva owners. It was a mythological sex position invented solely to pander to male desire found only in pornography and French cinema, and not in the bedrooms of vulva owners everywhere. Scissoring, they said, wasn’t real. 

Well, the secret’s out. Lesbians scissor. People with vulvas scissor. And they love it. 

Many find scissoring thrilling, pleasurable, and highly erotic. If you are curious about scissoring, there are plenty of - ahem - research materials available online. But before you go down that rabbit hole, here are a few basic things you need to know about scissoring. 

It is a type of tribbing 

You may already have heard of, watched pornography featuring, or engaged in tribbing. 

The sexual act of tribbing is when one person rubs their vulva on any part of their partner’s body (the leg, arm, buttocks, belly etc.). 

Scissoring is when two people with vulvas rub them together while in a position that, as you’ve no doubt gathered, looks a bit like a pair of scissors. 

So all scissoring is tribbing, but not all tribbing is scissoring. 

There are numerous positions 

Although its name conjures a pretty specific image, there are actually a number of variations of this highly customisable position. 

One commonly known variation is when both people lie on their backs with their legs spread open, and scooch inwards, allowing them to straddle each other’s vulvas. 

Another typical version of the scissoring position is when one partner lays on their side, where their one thigh is held up and the other is straddled across the resting leg. 

In every scissoring position, the partners will need to intertwine their legs so that their vulvas can make direct contact.

With a bit of experimentation, and depending on individual differences in anatomy and flexibility, you and your partner might be able to make other variations work. For example, one partner could lie on their back and the other partner could straddle one of their thighs. 

Try it out and see what works! 

It can incorporate penetration 

If you are already confident with scissoring and are a fan of penetration, consider incorporating toys. G-spot wands, insertable vibrators, and double ended dildos are all scissoring compatible. 

Lube can make scissoring better 

You need a little friction to create a spark, but too much can cause discomfort, pulling and chafing. An oil based lubricant, such as coconut oil, is suitable provided you are not using silicone toys, latex, dental dams or condoms (all of which are incompatible with oil based products). If you are, a water based lubricant is the best option. 

You can get STDs from scissoring 

Here comes the disclaimer. Yes - as with all forms of genital-to-genital contact, it is possible to transmit and contract an STD or STI through scissoring. 

Ideally, you and your partner will be up to date on your STI status and will communicate that to each other before scissoring. Consider whether either of you having sex with other people, and if so, whether you have an agreement to only exchange bodily fluids with each other. As always, it is crucial to have frank, earnest conversations with your partner about testing. 

You can also reduce the risk of transmission by using dental dams, and avoid scissoring while either partner is menstruating or has visible genital lesions. 

It’s fun! 

Like all sex positions, scissoring can feel a little awkward at first. It can take a while to find your rhythm. Keep an open mind and an open dialogue. Most importantly, take your time and enjoy the process! Scissoring can bring you and your partner some serious pleasure.

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