In the candid new interview, the 27-year-old actress gets real about her role on the hit ABC Family show -- in which she plays lesbian teen Emily -- and dishes on what it's like kissing another woman although she's straight in real-life.
"People ask what it's like kissing a woman, as if there's something awkward or weird about it," she says. "I completely embrace it. When I step into Emily's shoes, I'm truly in the moment, and I'm fully attracted to the women I'm fooling around with."
"I'm not Shay when I'm doing the scene; I'm Emily," she adds.
The actress -- who has a whopping 4.9 million followers on Instagram -- also gives her thoughts on why girls kissing is so "sexy" on-screen.
"It's sexy because two beautiful girls are softer, more sensuous, slower and also sort of educational," she explains.
And she has a theory as to why "Pretty Little Liars" has so many male viewers (as if the gorgeous cast wasn't reason enough).
"Guys watch because they like to learn from it," she says. "It's like, 'Hey, what's she doing to that other girl's body that I might want to try?'"
Shay's been teasing her Maxim cover on Instagram recently, including posting this cute video of her trying to describe herself in 15 seconds or less.
"I am a woman who wants to travel to as many different places as I can, meet as many different people, experience as many different cultures and try as many different foods, all while wearing a great pair of heels," she says.
There's also these steamy outtakes from the shoot, shot by photographer James Macari.