Question: How do I get experience doing different sexual acts on my husband without looking like I don’t know what I am doing?

Ah, the world’s greatest paradox! How do we get “experience” so we look like we know what we are doing sexually if we have no experience? We are expected to know what we are doing BUT we are “slutty” if we have the knowledge.

It calls into question the nature of experience. Because is it really slutty to have experience? (Spoiler alert: No.) Are we expected to know every act? If so, why? What does it say about the person with those expectations? Where does that expectation originate?

Begin to question the word “experience.”

Instead of prioritizing experience as a “partnered experience”, I want you to “prioritize the experience of knowing what feels good in YOUR body.” Because if you know what feels good in your body, to you – that’s gonna help you instruct your partner. Hopefully, you’re in a partnership that sharing this kind of stuff is safe. Then your partner then can also share their experience of what works for them. 

I dated someone who would not tell me what they wanted; he told me he wanted me to “figure it out.” That put a lot of pressure on me, I felt resentful, and it was not enjoyable. It was work and it was NOT fun. Screw that.

So much of the experience conversation assumes we know what to do at all times and that’s just not the case. Being able to find someone that you can try things with is important. Maybe neither one of you knows how to do a thing and that’s totally fine. Why? Because if you’re with somebody that you want to explore with, you get a chance to do something fun and funny at the same time. And if you make a funny noise in the middle of it, you can laugh about it. Cause it’s funny, it’s not like you have to be embarrassed about it because it just is.

The word “Experience” trips us up.

How do we go out and learn to do these things?

Talk to a sex coach

These are definitely things that you can talk to a sex coach about. 

We hesitate to ask for help because we are supposed to know everything. Well, ask away! Not asking is kind of an unnecessary constraint since sex is something we aren’t taught. As adults, we definitely deserve to get help learning the sex ed we should have had. 

If you are afraid to practice on your partner, I want to ask, “why not?” Is it because you don’t want to look like you don’t know what you’re doing? It’s kind of a weird cognitive split we get from our culture – it sets an expectation that we have to be a pure “madonna” and yet a “whore.” It’s a pretty weird expectation if you think about it. 

You could look for porn – there’s plenty of it out there, but not all of it is good.  Or you could watch movies – But it’s not a good idea to learn how to drive by watching “Fast And The Furious” movies. You can learn how to cook from watching The Food Network, but there’s something different when you actually have to apply it. The best bet? Get a certified sex coach to help you with individualized instruction.

But ultimately, who is the education for?

Is it for you to feel confident like you know what you’re doing? That’s a great reason. Is it for your pleasure? Also amazing. 

Is it for your partner’s enhanced pleasure? That’s great. Hopefully, you’re not with a partner like in my example above. If you want to know what pleases your partner, ask to practice on them. (If they say, no, then that’s a different issue altogether). Be in the moment and ask questions. Be playful. Approach the task at hand as if you were a scientist exploring a new part of the body.

If you’re playing with a penis, explore their anatomy. How does tickling underneath the balls near the perineum feel? Or at the base where the shaft meets the scrotum. How does that feel? Do they like this? There are so many things that you can explore on a penis with your hands and with your mouth. Just being able to do that with your partner and do it playfully, not with orgasm being the goal. And there’s nothing wrong with having them do some of the work to join you. Your partner can move their hand while you do things with your hands and your mouth. There are all kinds of ways that you can do that. It does NOT have to be the performative act that we see in porn. 


And if you can connect your experience of pleasing your partner and seeing them get pleasure from the experience that you were sharing with them, that also gives confidence. It’s a positive feedback loop.

There’s no shame in practicing on your partner. Absolutely not. Do you want a free guide? On my homepage, I have a freebie called “Touch Lab.” It’s instructive along the lines of what I outlined above.

You can make sex into a bit of a playful thing. How do we learn when we are little? We play. Now as adults, we can be playful with our partners. That’s how we get experience. So if you’re incorporating play, you learn at the same time. There’s nothing wrong with it being a playful thing.




About the Author

The MamaSutra

Dr. Lanae St.John is a Diplomate of the American Board of Sexology and certified sex coach with a background in sexology and a passion for helping people improve their sexual health and relationships. She is the author of "Read Me: A Parental Primer for "The Talk"" and the upcoming "You Are the One: How stopping the search and looking inside will lead you to your romantic destiny," and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the field. Dr. St.John aims to share her knowledge and expertise in a relatable and approachable way through her blog on

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