What Does Sex Feel Like? Your Ultimate Guide to the World of Pleasure

Sex is one of the most powerful sources of pleasure, a health booster, and a natural antidepressant. So, what does it feel like to have sex? How would you describe it? A whirlwind of physical and emotional sensations, it is an essential part of our lives. An intimate and very personal experience, sex is surrounded by a plethora of myths formed by different cultures, societal norms, religions, laws, and other tools of social control. Portrayals in media affect the expectations of our sex lives, as the sex we see on TV, on the internet, or hear about in songs hardly matches everyone’s individual sexual appetites, fantasies, and desires. Flure dives deep into the topic to answer the question “Why does sex feel good?” and explains how it feels for different bodies.

What is sex?

Before we begin to describe how does sex feel, let’s start with what we mean by sex. The truth is that we are so used to the image of a heterosexual couple that every time we think “sex,” P-to-V is the first thing that comes to mind. That’s quite an omission because we can have sex with more people of different genders or practice it solo! Hand sex, oral sex, anal sex, kissing, petting, and masturbation are all parts of the bright mosaic of human sexuality.

What does sex feel like for men?

What does sex feel like for a man? It can be hard to describe: sex is definitely one of those things that is better to experience for yourself. Many men agree that sex is an intensely pleasurable experience, although it can be “great,” “good,” “bad,” and just “plain sex.” The sensations caused by intercourse are intertwined with men’s anatomy. The feeling of penetration, especially during vaginal or anal intercourse, can evoke a spectrum of sensations, from the warmth and tightness enveloping the penis to the friction and pressure against sensitive nerve endings. The rhythmic thrusting can establish a synchronicity of pleasure and connection with a partner, intensifying the sensory experience. Of course, the sensations are affected by the visual cues and emotional connection; besides, what sex feels like can change for one person day to day based on things like stress level or recent food and alcohol intake.
During orgasm, men often describe a buildup of tension followed by a release of intense pleasure and muscle contractions. The sensation of ejaculation can vary from person to person, but it's commonly described as a powerful and pleasurable release.

What does sex feel like for women?

Cis- and trans- women’s sensations from sex can vary from men’s, yet for women, feelings of pleasure and arousal are also prevalent when it comes to intercourse. Experiences of sex are diverse and unique and depend on different factors such as arousal, lubrication, and emotional connection. Penetrative sex, particularly vaginal and anal intercourse, can involve sensations of fullness, pressure, and stretching. The stimulation of the clitoris, whether through direct touch or indirect friction, can contribute to feelings of pleasure and arousal.
For some women, orgasm is an intense peak of pleasure characterized by rhythmic contractions of the pelvic muscles and a sense of release. Others may experience pleasure without reaching orgasm, finding satisfaction in the intimacy and connection of the experience itself. Check out our guides about period sex and sex after birth for more insights into women’s sexuality.
People of all genders can feel their nipples and genitalia swell and get hard. Also, you feel more sensitive in your erogenous zones and experience physical sensations of arousal, including a rise in body temperature or a flush of warmth. You may even observe a slight reddening or blotchiness on your décolletage, throat, or visage.

What different kinds of sex feel like

In this part, we will briefly describe the sensations you are likely to experience when engaging in different kinds of sex. Sex can feel different, but one thing is for sure: there shouldn’t be pain during sex (unless you and your partner or partners really want it)!

Solo sex

For people with different bodies, masturbation is one of the most common and natural ways to get pleasure and relax. There are many tips to enhance your sensations during masturbation and intensify orgasms, such as practicing mindfulness and using lubes, toys, etc. You might want to check Flure’s detailed guide about how to make masturbation a new-level way of self-pleasure and exploration. Solo sex is a private act of self-love, and it can last as long as you want it to; also, although the feelings of arousal and pleasure are similar to sex with a partner or partners, they are less intense, and there are less mood-boosting hormones released as a result. Nonetheless, practicing sex alone brings significant health benefits, such as lower blood pressure, better sleep, and overall improved well-being.

Partnered sex

When you are with a partner, an emotional connection and a state of mind may play a significant role in your primarily physical experience. All genders can be involved, and sex is not limited to penetrative sex. For example, making out will surely make you feel something different from anal sex.

Multipartnenered sex

Group sex is more popular than people think. Some people prefer it to partnered sex, for it brings a more intense experience. Some people describe multi-partnered sex as “immersive, exhausting, and sweaty.” Of course, consent and boundaries are essential for the pleasure of everyone involved, but if you are on the same page, the experience promises to be very fulfilling. If you are looking for a partner to practice this kind of sex, there is no better place to connect than Flure: a perfect dating app for like-minded people.

Anal sex

For both men and women, anal sex can elicit a range of pleasant sensations. Giving anal sex provides intense stimulation and a feeling of connection, and tightness and pressure can be very arousing. Some men may also experience an added dimension of pleasure from the stimulation of the prostate, often described as a deep, internal sensation that can intensify orgasms.
Similarly, for women, anal sex can offer a unique and potentially pleasurable experience. The sensation of fullness and pressure against the anal walls can stimulate nerve endings and contribute to feelings of arousal and excitement. With proper lubrication and relaxation, many women describe the pleasant sensations of anal penetration as a deep, satisfying form of stimulation. Some women may also experience added pleasure from the indirect stimulation of the adjacent vaginal walls and clitoral region, enhancing overall sexual satisfaction. However, it's important to note that anal sex requires care and preparation to ensure comfort and safety.

Oral sex

Oral sex, whether giving or receiving, can be intensely pleasurable for people of all genders. For men receiving oral sex, the sensation of warm lips and tongue caressing the sensitive nerve endings of the penis can evoke a range of pleasurable feelings. The varying pressure and rhythm of oral stimulation can create a buildup of arousal, leading to heightened sensations and a powerful release of pleasure during orgasm. Many men enjoy the visual and physical intimacy of oral sex, finding it deeply satisfying and gratifying.
Similarly, for women receiving oral sex, the sensation of a partner's mouth and tongue exploring their erogenous zones can be incredibly pleasurable. The gentle suction and rhythmic movements can stimulate the clitoris, labia, and other sensitive areas, leading to waves of arousal and pleasure. Women may also enjoy the intimacy and connection of oral sex, feeling deeply cherished and desired by their partner's attentiveness and skill. Conversely, giving oral sex can be equally gratifying, providing a sense of pleasure and satisfaction from pleasuring their partner and witnessing their reactions of pleasure and arousal. Overall, oral sex offers a unique and intimate form of sexual expression that can enhance intimacy and pleasure.

How to make sex feel better

Now that we know why sex feels good let’s talk about how to make it fantastic.
  • Express your needs. Explaining what you want, how you like to be touched, what your fantasies are, and so on is the first step to better sex. Your partner might be attentive, but they hardly are mindreaders, so actually expressing your desires with words should help you achieve that experience.
  • Masturbate! Not only does solo sex please you, but it also contributes to your understanding of your body. Spend some time exploring your sensations when playing yourself to see if it intensifies your experience when having partnered or multipartnered sex.
  • Don’t pretend. Pretending in bed can be fun, but will it intensify your pleasure? Forget what you have seen in porn and popular culture: this is your real sex life, not a scene where everyone is a skilled professional.
  • Use your body language. Your sensation during sex is not entirely your partner's responsibility. Navigate them by showing them what speed you are comfortable with, where you want more pressure, and how you like to be touched.
Grab Flure’s spicy guides on how to talk dirty, how to make your date night hot-hot-hot, and how to explain your kinks so you feel comfortable. Your sex life is a fluid and complex continuous process, and not only practice makes it better. Some theoretical knowledge about health and sexuality never harms!

Bottom line

Sex is a profoundly personal and multifaceted journey, influenced by a myriad of physiological, emotional, and psychological factors. Understanding and embracing this diversity highlights the importance of exploration of desires, preferences, and boundaries. Ultimately, the key to enhancing the experience of sex lies in communication, consent, and a willingness to explore and experiment. Expressing yourself and communicating your preferences to your partner is key to a thriving sex life.