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Good sex comes from understanding how your body works. Everyone has different sex drives and likes different things when it comes to sex, so don’t worry about whether you’re “normal.”

What kinds of sex do people have?

Sex isn’t one size fits all. What feels good to you might not be right for someone else. Everyone’s different when it comes to sexual behaviors and desires, but here are some common kinds of sexual activity:

  • masturbating alone or with a partner 

  • oral, vaginal, and anal sex

  • kissing

  • rubbing your bodies together

  • using sex toys

  • phone sex or “sexting”

  • reading or watching porn

  • sex talk, or “talking dirty” during sex

People get turned on by different things, so communicating about what you like or don’t like lets your partner know what’s OK and what’s off limits.

What are erogenous zones?

Some body parts have lots of nerve endings and make you feel excited or aroused when they’re touched. Those are your erogenous zones. The biggest erogenous zone for most people is their genital areas: the vulva, clitoris, labia, vagina, penis, scrotum, perineum, prostate, and anus.

Usually the penis and clitoris are the most sensitive. Other common erogenous zones are the breasts, nipples, thighs, butt, mouth, ears, neck, and feet. But everyone’s different, so what feels good to you might not feel good to your partners — you have to ask them to find out!

What’s the sexual response cycle?

The sexual response cycle is how your body reacts to sexual stimulation. It can happen with a partner, by yourself…and even in your sleep! You don’t always go through all stages of the cycle — you can stop at any time.

The first step is desire, or having sexually arousing thoughts. That can lead to excitement, when your body gets ready for sex. Your heart rate goes up, your muscles tense, and blood flows to your genitals.

The next step is the plateau phase, when you’re really aroused and keep that feeling going by masturbating or having sex.

At the end of the plateau phase is orgasm, when the tension you built up is released in a series of muscle spasms that feel really good. Your body releases endorphins — hormones that make you feel happy and relaxed.

The resolution phase happens at the end of the sexual response cycle, whether you have an orgasm or stop before that. Resolution means your body goes back to how it was before you got aroused.

How often do people have sex?

There’s no amount of sex that’s considered “normal” — everyone’s different. How often you have sex depends on a lot of things, like whether you have a partner, what else is going on in your life, and how strong your sex drive (your desire to have sex) is.

People have different sex drives. Your own sex drive can change based on things like stress, medications you take, and other physical, emotional, and lifestyle factors. Some people want to have sex every day or more than once a day, and some people hardly ever want to have sex. People who don't experience any sexual attraction for anyone may call themselves asexual.

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