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4 Things to Know About Scissoring the Sex Position Thats Not Just for Lesbians

4 Things to Know About Scissoring the Sex Position Thats Not Just for Lesbians
You've probably heard about a sex position called "scissoring" that is pretty much what it sounds like: two people arrange their bodies like a pair of scissors so their genitals are touching in a sexually pleasurable way. Scissoring is typically associated with lesbian couples, though any two people can scissor and customize the position in any way they want. To find out more about scissoring, we spoke to experts who explained why scissoring feels good, who can scissor, how to get into the position, and more.

What's so pleasurable about scissoring?

One reason scissoring feels so good for many people has to do with the closeness of their bodies and genitals. The feel of your thighs moving against your partner's body is warm and exciting. Even though it doesn't usually involve penetration, scissoring offers an intimacy that more traditional sex positions don't always have.
Rubbing genitals is also pleasurable in itself. When two women do it, this genital-to-genital rubbing falls under the definition of tribbing. "Tribbing occurs when a woman engages in genital stimulation with her partner by rubbing or humping their vulva against some part of a partner’s body,” Michele O’Mara, LCSW, PhD, a lesbian couples coach and relationship and sex psychotherapist in Indiana, tells Health. Tribbing can be vulva to thigh, elbow, kneecap, or elsewhere. Scissoring is a form of tribbing because it's "vulva-to-vulva or clitoris-to-clitoris stimulation,” says O’Mara.
“The act of rubbing one’s vulva on an object, body part, or another vulva is often pleasurable, as it generally includes the clitoris receiving stimulation,” sex therapist and psychologist Christina Nelsen, co-owner at California Relationship Centers, LLC in the San Francisco Bay area, tells Health. Many people also reach orgasm this way, says Nelson.

Who can scissor?

Though scissoring is associated with lesbian sex and is also seen in pornography geared toward men, anyone of any sexual identity or pairing can scissor. Whether it's vulva-to-vulva, vulva-to-penis, or penis-to-penis, it's still scissoring. You actually don't need to have a partner to scissor; simply use a pillow or other object and make the same rubbing or humping movements. If it looks like something that will feel good, or you try it and realize you like it, it's up for grabs for everyone.

How do you get into the scissoring position?

Start by reclining on the bed or floor and inching your bodies closer together, so you literally come together like a pair of scissors. It might help to do some stretches first, since scissoring can often require a little flexibility. Once you're in a scissor formation, adjust yourselves so you feel comfortable.
One way to try it is to sit up partially with your palms flat and supporting your body weight. You could also get into more of a sitting position, with one partner on top of the other; this is especially intimate because you can look at each other and connect at the eyes. You could even scissor with your faces in opposite directions and your legs wide open, which would allow for more vigorous rubbing or humping. Whatever feels good is the right way.

Is there an easier way to scissor?

If full-on scissoring is too vigorous or tires you out, try tribbing—rubbing your genitals against another body part of your partner (or vice versa). It's less physically demanding, and you'll have your hands free to stimulate other body parts, and in some instances it can feel more personal. “Depending on your tribbing position, you can also maintain close contact with one another’s face and body, which allows for kissing and can otherwise enhance intimacy,” says O’Mara.
Whether you're engaging in scissoring or tribbing, feel free to bring in sex toys (like a thigh harness), says Nelsen. If you want to use a vibrator, you can place it between your bodies for more clitoral stimulation, suggests O’Mara.