If you’re a man, it’s likely that the question “What does sex feel like for a woman?” has crossed your mind a time or two. After all, it seems like your body parts are so different, and you don’t do exactly the same things during sex. The truth is, there is no easy answer. In fact, sex may not feel the same for two women. Because we can never try out another person’s experience, we can’t truly know. However, we’re going to try our best at it in this article about what sex feels like for a woman!
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When you ask what sex feels like and related questions such as “What feels good to you sexually?” Men might be surprised to learn when sex feels good to women and when it doesn’t. Even some women are surprised when their friends don’t especially care for G-spot stimulation. It’s amazing how sex can feel so different for people, even those who have the same reproductive organs.
We asked women what sex feels like and what makes sex feel good, and they had so much to say. There were a ton of experiences!
If you and your partners respect the differences in the way we experience sex, it can lead to an incredible sex life, while ignoring them can mean that you never quite feel fulfilled.
What Does Sex Feel Like For a Woman?
When some people wonder what sex feels like for a woman, what they really want to know is what does a penis feel like when it’s inside a woman’s vagina. Just like women can’t know what entering a vagina feels like if they don’t have a penis, men without vaginas can never experience vaginal penetration, and even if they try receiving anal penetration, it’s not quite the same.
When we asked readers to tell us why sex feels good, more than a few mentioned how it felt good to be filled and fulfilled. One woman had this to say about her man’s penis entering her vagina:
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There’s this feeling you get when he enters you, it’s like he fills you and he scratches this itch that is so deep that can only be scratched by having sex
Another mentioned how having her partner inside her allowed them to achieve a closeness like no other.
But penetration doesn’t always feel good. Sometimes it can hurt initially, even if it feels better later. Here’s a pretty detailed description of what being penetrated by a penis feels like at first from one reader:
Initially it hurts until my body has become used to the insertion of his penis, then the pain changes to pleasure, me grinding on top and him underneath, as I play with my clit I feel a warmness tingle through me, my whole body feels on fire, he pushes down on my tummy and I feel him more, as I keep going I’m getting close, I feel myself get wetter, I feel senses getting stronger and my legs beginning to shake, all of a sudden I feel this warmth ripple through my body, I’ve cum.
Notice how she incorporates feelings throughout her entire body and not just her vagina. This was echoed by another reader who described the sensations as:
An intense physical connection that make[s] my body feel whole and complete. A sense of pleasure that flows through my body.
The vagina may not be super sensitive to textures or how hard a penis is, which is why a guy can be at “half-mast,” and intercourse can still be pleasant for a woman. However, most vaginas can detect different textures on toys, especially those that are rigid and tell the difference between fingers and a penis.
Side note: One study shows that unprotected sex is more pleasurable for both men & women as well, so perhaps not using condoms can play a role in your sexual enjoyment .
For some women, G-spot stimulation leads to squirting [2, 3], but they often need penetration to stop because it blocks the urethra, which is where female ejaculate comes from. Penetration past this point can become painful.
It can feel even more intense when a woman is anally penetrated — by a finger, penis, or toy — at the same time as vaginal penetration. A guy can often feel something stimulate his penis if he’s penetrating a woman vaginally and something is in the other orifice.
And if you wondered, “But what does vagina feel like?” The tissues and moisture are somewhat similar to a mouth — but tighter!
How Sex Makes Your Body Feel
But it’s not all about penetration. You can — and should — use your whole body during sex.
For many women, clitoral stimulation is needed or preferred to reach orgasm . Take it from one reader who said:
The best sex is getting the clitoral orgasam with the pleasure of feeling a cock deep inside you.
The clitoris is analogous to the penis. It has a shaft, glans (head), and prepuce, which is like the foreskin . Like a penis, the clitoris can become erect.
The clitoris actually has more nerve endings than the penis , which can make it too sensitive to direct stimulation when not aroused. Every clitoris may vary in sensitivity. Some prefer specific stimulation; some like a lot of pressure. Add in a clitoral piercing (More: Everything You Wanted to Know About a Clit Piercing), and the experience can be even more different. One reader describes it like this:
Physically it is as though every part of my body is alive. as though my hearing is ultra sensitive, touch is heightened.
The clitoris and the labia form the vulva, which becomes engorged with blood when a woman is aroused [7 8, 9], increasing sensitivity. However, many body parts can become more sensitive when a woman is in the mood for sex, and touching them can feel stimulating during these moments, even if it wouldn’t feel especially pleasurable when a woman is not aroused.
The nipples, in particular, are usually sensitive, sometimes too much so, Many women enjoy kisses around their neck and collar bones, and even sucking can feel good. More body parts can be sensual than you realize. Check out this list of erogenous zones.
There isn’t just a single way to stimulate a body part, either. You might be surprised when you experiment.
The Uncomfortable Truth About Unsatisfying Sex
Penetration can feel lots of different ways for women. For starters, it can be painful to insert something without enough lubrication. This can occur if a woman isn’t fully aroused…and some medications can make her dryer. Two potential culprit medications? Research suggests that blood pressure medication  and antihistamines can have this effect along with dampening sex drive [11, 12]. Menopause can also lead to vaginal dryness. But some women are just dryer than others.
On the other hand, too much lube can even reduce wanted friction.
In addition to a woman’s physical and mental state, pain can be caused by her partner. A very well-endowed partner, for example, may be more painful than one with an average penis. Similarly, penetrating too quickly or too roughly can cause pain.
Another potential source of pain is the cervix. While some women like cervical stimulation, many find that their cervixes are too sensitive. So sex with a partner whose penis easily reaches the cervix or positions that make the cervix more accessible may not be comfortable. Also, keep in mind that the cervix changes position throughout the menstrual cycle , so this pain may be more intense as some points than others.
Speaking of sex positions, some can uncomfortably stretch or squish a woman’s body. And everything from arthritis to an old injury to a person’s body weight can impact how sex feels.
Sex may not feel great if a partner thrusts too roughly or lacks rhythm. Many women don’t particularly enjoy jackhammer-style thrusting for example.
If lubrication wears down as sex goes on, intercourse can become uncomfortable or even painful.
There’s only a thin wall between the vagina and anus, which means that intercourse may make a woman feel bloated or even encourage her body to pass gas. Furthermore, if she has any GI distress, sex can be quite uncomfortable.
And there are times when sex feels neutral or not even erotic. For these women, vaginal stimulation may be lackluster. They may have a less sensitive vagina and/or prefer clitoral stimulation.
One woman who took our survey stated that sex with her husband was “[comparable] to washing the dishes or folding the laundry.” She was mentally checked out, making literally grocery lists in her head during sex.
Another person who took our survey has a similar response about how boring sex could sometimes be. She wound up avoiding her partner around bedtime during those times. However, she didn’t always find sex to be a boring chore. There was a lot of variation.
Even when a woman enjoys sex, it can be incredibly frustrating when her partner switches up what they’re doing. Consistency is often key to making sex enjoyable.
It can be difficult for women who find sex lackluster or even painful to speak up. In fact, one study found not just that 81% of women experienced a little pain during sex but that the women who experienced the least amount of pleasure during sex were the least likely to speak up about it to a partner .
This can lead to faking pleasure or orgasms. It’s entirely too common for women to grin and bear it until it’s over. Sometimes this can lead women to confuse how sex feels and how bad sex feels if they’ve never had a good partner.
Unfortunately, this actually trains their partners to do the wrong thing. Lettings things slide or faking pleasure makes it that much harder to come clean and have satisfying sex in the future.
How Do You Make Sex Feel Better For a Woman?
Men should only have sex with women who want it. Not being in the mood was frequently cited by our readers as something that makes sex feel less good for them. Many women were less than thrilled with sex when they were tired, too.
Increased foreplay can relieve the pain you feel during sex , increasing the chances of sex being satisfying for her. Female readers let us know that not taking enough time was often a problem, and foreplay has a big role in this. Few women have ever complained that their partners liked foreplay too much.
Rushing to penetration can also feel bad mentally. It can make a woman feel like an object.
Instead of heading straight to your genitals or hers, take time to kiss deeply and give her a sensual massage to help her relax and get in the mood. When she’s ready for genital stimulation, you may want to give her an orgasm or two, which can relax her body and make penetration even easier.
Above all, women reported to us that connection with their partners not only made sex good but separated sex that was just okay from great sex. Now, this sometimes means a loving connection, so expressing feelings can help a woman enjoy sex more. Sex can be an intense way to express emotions and to connect with your partner.
But connection doesn’t have to mean deep feelings. You can still connect and share intimacy even when it’s casual. Connection can also mean attraction and good rapport.
And part of that is treating a woman like a person who has agency and putting effort into her pleasure. The women who took our survey often struggled with partners who were selfish and cared only about their own pleasure but appreciated partners who cared about their partner’s experience pleasure, too.
Related: 14 Tips to Have Better Sex
Both partners should be willing to communicate if they want to have awesome sex. They should talk about desires, wants, and needs before slipping between the sheets and be able to make requests during sex.
Verbal communication is especially crucial between new partners who have yet to learn a lot about the other person or when at least one of you is inexperienced. Sometimes men are surprised to realize that their new partners don’t like something that a past partner, or perhaps all previous partners, found enjoyable.
Communication should carry into the bedroom. Discussions that happen in the moment don’t have to ruin the moment, however. It can even take the form of dirty talk (get dirty talking tips). An “Mmm, yes” when he does the right thing or a general instruction – harder, softer, deeper, higher – can direct your lover to do exactly what you need and build to your orgasm.
A man can sexily ask if a partner likes one thing or even if his partner prefers one type of stimulation to another and use this to please her. Of course, there are times when a woman may not know, perhaps due to inexperience, or be able to verbalize what exactly she wants.
On top of explicit, verbal communication, men should look for cues. Is her body language close and open or closed off? If she is still and silent or pulling away, sex probably doesn’t feel good, or she may be bored. But if she draws you closer or moves her hips, she’s probably having a good time.
Are her sounds moans of pleasure or sounds of pain? If she is grimacing, you may be hurting her.
By paying attention, you can ensure that you both feel good and enjoy yourselves, perhaps to the point of orgasm.
Orgasm: The Biggest Bang?
It’s easy to become hyper-focused on orgasm. Depictions of sex almost always end with a man’s orgasm while a woman’s orgasm is considered a bonus. If more men were concerned with the pleasure of their female partners, we would be closer to orgasm equality, that is, similar rates of orgasm between men and women. In fact, when lesbians have sex, orgasm rates are greater than straight women [16, 17].
But that doesn’t negate the fact that sex can’t be pleasurable without orgasm, or that you should only focus on cumming. It’s easy to get into the routine of jumping in the sac and focusing on orgasm, but this can make sex less satisfying or, at the very least, more routine. In some instances, what’s going on in your head or the inability to let go can even make it harder to have an orgasm . It’s okay if orgasm is vital to you and to try for one, but beware making that your only goal.
Learning to orgasm is easier for some women than others, however.
When a woman has an orgasm, it doesn’t always feel the same. Some orgasms are smaller and can even be underwhelming. Clitoral orgasms tend to be centered around the clitoris, while internal orgasms feel a bit more diffuse. Some orgasms can impact the entire body.
For some women, orgasm is more about release less than it is pleasure. Your pelvic muscles contract, and tension that has been building up releases from your body. Others experience more stereotypical toe-curling and sheet-grabbing. Not every woman is very vocal when she cums.
Orgasms may be accompanied by female ejaculation; although, some women can squirt without having an orgasm at all!
Generally, after an orgasm, a woman’s clitoris is very sensitive to the touch and needs a break.
Her partner’s orgasm may also impact her. Depending on a woman’s level of sensitivity, she may be able to feel the pulsation of his cock in addition to his body becoming rigid before relaxing after orgasm. If they’re not using condoms, she may be able to feel his cum filling her during the fact.
How Does Sex Feel Mentally?
While we’ve focused on the physical sensations of sex until this point, it’s just as important to think about how sex feels to a woman emotionally and mentally. As we’ve alluded to, having sex with a romantic partner can feel better than sex with a casual partner. And having sex with a person more than once gives them a chance to get to know you, which can make sex better.
One of our readers has this to say about it:
Good sex, for me at least, is feeling completely in touch with my partner. He can read every inch of my body without me ever saying a word.
Plus, people can feel self-conscious with new or casual partners or partners who they believe to be “out of their league.” But repeatedly having sex can increase your comfort. It’s no wonder why women report having more orgasms within a relationship than a hookup .
But there are other elements to the mental component of sex.
Regardless of whether sex occurs within a relationship, women who took our survey reported that they enjoyed feeling sexy and desired. It was thrilling to arouse and please their partners — many experienced joy from their partner’s pleasure.
Similarly, a woman’s greatest pleasure might be feeling her partner orgasm, especially when he’s inside of her. And there’s nothing wrong with that!
Women had a lot to say about what a woman feels when a man is inside her — and why that’s good. Being penetrated by a man often made them feel submissive and without control in a good way. It can be thrilling to make a man orgasm and feel him cum inside.
One of our survey-takers described it well:
The guy I am with makes me see stars. It’s like the blood rushes to my brain and I can not think of anything. Mentally it is all consuming. Nothing else matters at that moment. The world explodes. It feels emotionally as though I am complete.
Respondents enjoyed the freedom of being able to let go of their everyday responsibilities and expectations. They didn’t have to be inhibited; sex offered a form of escape.
Along with the physical release of orgasm comes the mental release: sex helps many people relieve stress. They feel incredibly relaxed after sex.
Many people who took our survey also reported an improved state of mind: they felt happier, more balanced, and generally healthier. One woman described how great sex left her with “a feeling of euphoria for a few minutes after climax.”
This may be due, in part, to dopamine release, which can even feel similar to doing drugs [20, 21]. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that appears during arousal that can add to those feel-good moments. However, low serotonin activity seems to be associated with depression [22, 23, 24].
Oxytocin is also a hormone that makes you feel good, and it can contribute to feelings of calm and security . Oxytocin is released during orgasm and can even be detected in a man’s ejaculate , making it one reason why orgasms feel good! This hormone encourages bonding [26, 27], which can make you feel closer to your man.
Finally, orgasm release endorphins , the very same substances that cause runner’s high. This can keep you feeling good well after sex.
But those positive feelings aren’t guaranteed and are far less likely when a woman has a selfish partner or has unsatisfying sex. But a woman can also experience feelings of frustration or disappointment in herself if she takes too long to orgasm, especially if her partner makes her feel bad about it.
Fortunately, sex can feel amazing for a woman who knows what she wants and expresses it to a caring partner, even if it’s just a one-night stand.
I hope you can see how understanding what sex feels like for women can make a man a better lover.
Several women replied to this thread asking what sex feels like for them.
Here’s a similar Reddit thread.
Several women describe how sex feels in this article on Metro.
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ #1 – Why does sex sometimes feel bad/painful for a woman?
Pain is more common with some conditions and if a woman is not adequately lubricated, either by natural or added lubricant. Her state of mind can also contribute. For example, if she’s stressed or distracted, her body might not be as aroused as it can be, which can make sex uncomfortable for her.
That moisture is why the vagina feels good to men. Without it, sex can hurt for guys, too.
To remedy these things, add foreplay to help your partner or yourself get in the mood mentally and physically. Remember that lube makes sex more comfortable. If sex remains painful or you have other conditions, bring these issues up to your doctor.
FAQ #2 – Does sex always feel the same for women?
No. While many men who have taken our surveys have said that sex (almost) always feels good, but that isn’t always the case for women. Many more women deal with neutral or even bad sex than men seem to. And even when women generally enjoy sex, all sorts of things can make it a little less satisfying — or sometimes a little more satisfying — than usual.
FAQ #3 – How can a guy be a good lover if he doesn’t know what sex is like for a woman?
Communication is essential here. Never assume that your partner is enjoying herself, likes what you like, or even enjoys things that previous partners have enjoyed. Remember to incorporate lots of foreplay and clitoral stimulation. Be attuned to her needs, and pay attention to body cues.
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