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Everything You Need To Know About Scissoring

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We're bringing you this Q&A from BUST's Sex section, featuring advice from sexlogist Dr. Carol Queen.

Question: What exactly is scissoring? Is it a real thing? How do you do it? –Blades of Fury

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Dr. Carol Queen: It certainly is a real thing, although if you try it, your mileage may vary. For some, it’s delicious, and for others, it’s not their thing. Scissoring — which is generally done by two clit-and-vulva-having people (but it could be done with a soft penis too, I suspect), involves appositioning those parts directly. You could also just call it “rubbing vulvas.” It isn’t the same as tribadism, which is generally more a “rub the clit on the mons” kind of game.

To scissor, spread both sets of legs like scissors when they’re open and then cuddle up vulva-to-vulva and figure out the moves that feel sexiest to do: wiggling, swirling, thrusting, whatever you both like. People who like scissoring can come this way, and they often like how intimate it is to go puss-to-puss.

You may be wondering, “Is this safe sex?” And the answer is, no, not entirely. Scissoring puts your vulva and vaginal opening in direct contact with your partner’s genitals, and if they have an STI, it’s conceivable that it can be passed this way; herpes and HPV/warts certainly might. You don’t have to be naked to scissor, though; even clothed, it can be sexy, and if I were going to scissor with someone whose STI status I didn’t know or who had something I didn’t want to catch, I’d get a smokin’ pair of latex underwear and go to it.

Perhaps you’re also curious about where all those legs fit while you’re doing it. The short answer is, lie on your sides at an angle, so no one has to lie on anyone else’s leg. For optimal contact you might need to grab each other’s legs to get enough leverage to move, or hold hands and pull each other rhythmically. An alternative version, if at least one of you can comfortably raise your leg all the way in the air, is to do that while the other partner kneels as close to her vulva as possible (maybe with that leg resting on her shoulder).

Frankly, for some, scissoring isn’t a super-accessible position. For others, it isn’t so sexy as to be worth all the wiggling and maneuvering it takes to get there. Some love the sensation of body rubbing and others aren’t much into it, so if you try it, expect to be somewhere on the “meh” to “blown away!” spectrum. As with almost any sex act, it will be most pleasurable if you’re already very aroused. Oh, and bonus points if either of you likes toe-sucking! 

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Carol Queen's latest book (written with Shar Rednour) is The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone.

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Top image: Still from Blue Is The Warmest Color

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2017 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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