TMI: People Tell Us What Their First Queer Sexual Experience Taught Them


Jul 2, 2023


Image Credit: Istock/Denise D'souza for The Swaddle

Welcome to TMIa monthly series that crowdsources awkward details and uncomfortable moments that come with occupying our bodies.

Queer intimacy has long been sidelined. It rarely makes it into the sex education syllabus – if it does, it’s little more than a footnote – and while queer representation in the media has gone up, it is still heavily outweighed by scenes that imply heteronormative penetrative sex as the norm. These depictions of intimacy on-screen, as well as sex ed classes – for those who have access to it – lay the foundations for how many of us come to view pleasure. However, they are far from inclusive, leaving out a range of sexual experiences and perpetuating a narrow, restricted and heteronormative definition of sex. The demands to expand this mainstream perception of sex and relationships may be growing, but wherever it remains absent, people’s understanding of intimacy is largely shaped by their own experiences. We asked people what they learned about queer intimacy after their first time. Here’s what they said: 

A Finer Touch

 “Difference between platonic and romantic touches.”

“That bottom can be masculine too. And top and bottom are just roles, it’s not like sexual orientation.”

“So apparently you can’t just “top” someone. It’s a whole process. You have to take it slow.”

Pleasure Sans Penetration

“Oh… penetrative sex is not the only way to live?”

“That I could ever have an orgasm.”

“How easy it is to makeout with a girl in a public washroom.” 

“That it is better than straight sex.”

Sex Is a Safe Space

“Intimacy has been subjected to sexualisation over and over. Intimacy is, and can be, soft. Platonic. Gentle touches. Hugs. Love that flows beyond sexuality. Intimacy is everything that goes beyond and more. Intimacy is subjective. Queer intimacy taught me how to love not just my partners, but everyone in my life with the same tenderness. Intimacy is not just sexual but very healing in every way and form, if extended.”

“How much more forgiving it is of your insecurities than heterosexual intimacy.”

“I felt comfortable in my own body for the first time.”

A lot of trial and error, queer representations are so sparse that all your learnings and un-learnings happen in the bedroom itself.”

“That I could feel loved in the bedroom.”


Written By The Swaddle Team


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