Once you’ve spent a little time exploring some of these ideas, it can be good to begin to experiment with another person.

We know this can feel a bit awkward. Talking about sex and trying out new things can be scary. You might feel like you’re putting yourself on the line, and you may worry about saying or doing something that will make you look stupid or weird.

It’s worth remembering that part of the joy of experimentation is that it doesn’t always have to go right. There’s no need to try really hard to get it right. Some things probably won’t work as well as others! That’s ok. It’s much better to take the pressure off and approach things with a sense of fun and curiosity, rather than feeling you are always at risk of getting it wrong and embarrassing yourself.

When it comes to talking to your partner about what you’d like to try, you might find our article on talking about sex useful. There are some great tips for figuring out how to ask for what you like, and advice on dealing with awkwardness and feeling self-conscious.

During the process of experimentation it can be easier to start small. You might like to try out something simple first – like mutual masturbation. This can help you to move onto other new things (if you do want to keep experimenting) more gradually – easing you into the process of discovery together. Again, pay attention to what you liked and what you didn’t like as much – as well as why you did or didn’t like it. Following clues like this can give you new ideas about other things you might like to try. Over time, you’ll get a better sense of your sexual identity.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that you don’t always have to have sex. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the idea that sex always means having full intercourse, but it definitely doesn’t! In fact, sometimes it can be useful to take this kind of sex off the table while you’re trying stuff out. It can take the pressure off – making experimentation feel a little less high stakes, and taking some of the emphasis off the idea of having to ‘perform’. You may find that placing limitations on the kinds of activities you’re doing can mean you end up being a bit more creative.