Scissoring 101

What is Scissoring

Let’s get That Conversation out of the way first.

Scissoring is a real thing. It is a real way that people with vulvas have sex. Yes, you can genuinely enjoy it. While it’s not for everyone, scissoring is not just a “bad porn thing”, or a joke, and making people who enjoy it feel ashamed helps nobody.

While the words ‘scissoring’ and ‘tribading/ism’ (or ‘tribbing’) are often used interchangeably, they’re not quite the same. Tribadism can refer to a wide range of ways of grinding the vulva against another person’s body, while ‘scissoring’ generally (but not always!) is used to refer specifically to vulva-to-vulva contact. The positions used for scissoring can be used for other combinations of genitals, but I’m going to focus primarily on vulva to vulva contact.

While ‘scissoring’ isn’t a term that everyone likes, it’s going to be the term I use in this post. I like it as a term, to the point where I have a t-shirt with a embroidered pair of scissors on it that I refer to as my ‘transmasc4transmasc’ shirt.

I think the term is also more specific than tribbing, and some of what I’m going to talk about is specific to vulva-to-vulva contact, such as STI risks. However, if you don’t like this as a term, that’s valid. You don’t have to like ‘scissoring’ as a term, and if you’d prefer to call it ‘tribbing’, or something else entirely, that’s totally ok!

While heavily associated with lesbians, you do not need to be a lesbian, in a f/f couple, or a woman to enjoy and engage in scissoring. Scissoring can be gay sex, lesbian sex, straight sex, or any other words you want to use to define your relationship. However, I am writing this from the perspective of being a trans man who frequently has sex with other trans men in this way. My experiences may not be yours.

pinkscissors

A Roadmap to Scissoring

I’m not going to give a step-by-step guide on how to scissor, because I don’t think that would be helpful. Scissoring isn’t something that all bodies or combinations of bodies are able to do. And where it is possible, what works for one combination of bodies and partners might not work for another.

You don’t have to exactly make contact between clits/dicks for scissoring to be pleasurable. The whole vulva area can be massaged for enjoyable sensation. The motion you likely want to make should massage your vulvae, not hit them together. You may not orgasm from scissoring, and that’s ok! Sex can be enjoyable even if one or more partners don’t orgasm, and scissoring is no exception to this. Removing the pressure of feeling you have to orgasm from scissoring can make it more enjoyable.

At the same time, if orgasm is an important part of sex for you, it’s valid to not want to scissor because of this. There’s always a possibility scissoring will not work for you, even if you try every single position and trick you know of. Not all acts work for everyone, and you are not broken if scissoring isn’t something you enjoy. Sex is meant to be fun, and if you don’t find scissoring fun, you shouldn’t feel like you have to do it.

My go to advice is to suggest stretching before scissoring, but I know this is definitely a big ask. I am not ashamed to say I do not do this most of the time, because I do not have that much foresight. But scissoring definitely works out your body more than you’d expect, so if you have time and space to have a quick warm-up beforehand, I would wholeheartedly recommend it.

I’d recommend using lube, especially if one, both, or all people involved are on testosterone. If you’re not using barriers, you can use all types of lube, but if you’re using barrier methods, you should not use oil based lubes.

orangescissors

Scissoring Positions

Scissoring isn’t one position, it’s just a type of having sex. There’s several ways to fit bodies together, and what works for you may depend on you and your partner/s’ body types, where your vulvae sit in your body, and how flexible you are. It is mostly about trying different angles until you find what works, and if something other than the positions I describe here works for you, go for it! These positions are just here as suggestions of places to start experimenting.

Lying Scissoring

This is the position that most people think of when they think of scissoring. Partner A lies on their back with legs spread. Partner B lies on their side, with one leg over Partner A’s leg, and their other underneath the other leg. This position can make it hard to aim clits, especially if one or more partner is not on HRT, but does leave hands free. This makes it a great position if you want to bring toys into your scissoring, such as wand vibrators.

Sitting Scissoring

This is another ‘classic’ position for scissoring. Both partners sit opposite, and interlace their legs. This means that one of Partner A’s thighs will be above Partner B’s leg, and one of Partner B’s thighs will be above Partner A’s. This position may require you to prop yourself up with hands if you don’t have back support, so while it’s another position that you can use toys in, it may be a little more difficult than in the lying scissor.

‘Cowgirl’ Scissoring

I don’t like the name for this one, as I think it makes it sound like it’s more like the PIV position than it actually is. But it’s the name I’ve seen it referred to as most, so I’m going to use that. One partner lies down, while the other straddles them, with one leg over their thigh/hip, and one between their legs, facing their partner. I’ve found that this position works well if the partner on bottom lifts their thigh that isn’t being straddled. This position gives the partner on top most of the control, so works well for dom/sub play. There is, of course, a ‘reverse cowgirl’ version of this position, where the partner on top faces away from the partner on bottom. I’ve found that when in the ‘reverse’ variant of this position, the person on top can hold onto the bottom’s thighs for support.

Thigh Scissoring

This one is a little different from the others, in that it’s what I’d define more as tribbing more than scissoring. It doesn’t involve direct vulva-to-vulva contact, but its a position I’ve had partners refer to as scissoring, so I think it deserves inclusion. In this, instead of vulva-to-vula contact, there is vulva-to-thigh contact. One partner sits or lies with their legs spread, while the other partner straddles one of their thighs/their hip, and grinds on them this way.

Of course, there may be variations you have to make to these positions to make them work for you and your partner/s, and these positions may not work at all. They are only here as suggestions, and the idea that you have to stick to set positions purely because somebody gave them a name is ridiculous. Experiment to figure out what works for you!

bluescissors

The Risks When Scissoring

It doesn’t have a reputation for it, but scissoring does have a significant STD transmission risk. These include infections transferred skin-to-skin, such as HPV and the herpes viruses, as well as potentially fluid transmitted infections, such as chlamydia and HIV. You may choose to reduce this risk by using dental dams as a barrier between you.

If you use a barrier, remember to use lube. You can use both silicone and water based lubes, but not oil based lubes. I’ve found using Sliquid Sassy– a thick water based lube- works well for me.

You may also choose not to use a barrier method. For example, if you are in a monogamous relationship and/or know the STI statuses of everyone involved in your relationship, you may decide the risks are negligible. This is totally valid. You know your lifestyle and what choices are right for you better than I do.

yellowscissor

Scissoring with Toys

Scissoring is a sex act that lends well to the use of many kinds of sex toys, including external vibrators, double ended dildos, and strap-ons.

There is a sex toy specifically created for scissoring- the Shi/Shi Union. I have a lot of opinions about the name (is anyone surprised), but I haven’t tried it myself. There’s a really good anonymous review on Autostraddle, which is definitely worth the read (you can find it here).

What I have done is use toys not specifically designed for scissoring during scissoring. I’ve found wand vibrators work well for this, especially my Doxy. The broad head and rumbly vibrations means that positioning doesn’t need to be precise for both partners to get off. I’ve found with smaller vibrators, such as my WeVibe Tango, there needs to be much more precise positioning, and shifting bodies can cause the toy to end up in totally the wrong position.

However, using external toys may make using barrier methods harder. This is something to bear in mind when deciding how you would like to scissor.

Double ended dildos can be fun while scissoring. The toys from Funkit are a great choice for this- they’re modular so each partner can choose a toy that suits their preferences and anatomy. The NoFrillDos would be my pick- they’re a low cost (they’re $24!) body safe dildo, and come with three colour options and three shape options.

If you already have dildos you enjoy using, something like the Double Dildo Strap Connector from Sh! may be useful. The neoprene it’s made from can take a wide range of dildo sizes without becoming misshapen, but if you use particularly large dildos, it may not be appropriate.

If you use a double ended dildo with a partner, a longer dildo will reduce the chance of STI transmission, as there’s likely to be less as genital-to-genital contact or mixing of fluids. You also have the option of using a condom on your dildo.

You can also use a strap-on in scissoring positions, both to penetrate the vagina/front hole and the anus. If you decide to do this, do make sure the position is comfortable for both/all partners. My go to combination is my Joque Harness and the Pleasure Works Cadet, and I’ve also had fun with a SportSheets Thigh Harness, but you may have your own harness and/or dildo preferences.

greenscissors

While scissoring may not be for everyone, it can be a fun, pleasurable way to have sex. There’s no shame if it’s not something you have interest in, but it can be a fun sex act to experiment with, and it’s one I enjoy.


This post was not a sponsored post. Affiliate links were used in this post.

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