Let’s be honest: sex is not always the softly focused oxytocin bath that Cosmopolitan magazine spreads make it out to be. Sometimes sex is a romp on dirty sheets with a grabby guy who’s got terrible body odor and zero condoms.
But hey, bad sex is still sex. And if you are horny as we are at The Frisky, you’ll take the bull by the horns anyway because you know there’s a way to troubleshoot most any sexual snaffoo. I am not a sex therapist, but I am a woman who’s has wide variety of sex with a decent number of dudes and have encountered all these problems. (For more in-depth sexual troubleshooting, I recommend the kickass sex guide, Guide To Getting It On.)
Below, a thorough, honest (and heteronormative, cause I’m a straight lady who sleeps with dudes) guide to troubleshooting bad sex.
1. Birth Control/Condoms Problems: Would you believe there are people out there who don’t prepare for safe sex? I knooow, right? There are girls who aren’t on birth control, but don’t carry condoms. There’s guys who say they’re “allergic to latex” but don’t carry non-latex rubbers. Hard to believe, but these people walk among us. If you’re in a long-term relationship this stuff will be less of a problem. But if it’s a first-time hookup or the beginning of a relationship, not having birth control or condoms, tell your hormones to STFU because there’s no guy hot enough to put yourself at risk for STDs or an unwanted pregnancy. Seriously, just make out. Get lady-blue balls. Learn your lesson. And next time, bring your own condoms. (Why aren’t you doing that already, girl?!)
2. Butt Sex/Play (Differing Appetites For): There’s nothing worse than a lingering finger that all of a sudden makes you go, oooh, whoa there! Having your anus played with feels awesome for some peeps, but butt play — whether it’s with fingers, toys, tongue, whatever — isn’t for everyone! Not asking first is a red flag. If this is your first time or his first time trying it out, you need to use lubricant and you need to go S-L-O-O-O-O-W-L-Y. And if after going ever-so-slightly deeper and deeper, someone still isn’t having a good time, it’s safe to assume y’all might not have butt play/butt sex in your cards just now. Only the two of you can decide whether this is a dealbreaker, but speaking from personal experience, if one person is “pro” and the other is firmly “con,” then someone is always going to be unhappy with their sex life.
3. Can’t Come No Matter What He Does: Sometimes it just doesn’t happen and it’s no one’s fault. Give him a sultry kiss and ask in your flirtiest voice, “We’ve both been working so hard and I’m really tired out. You must be, too! Let’s take a rain check and cuddle instead.” And if he asks if there was something that he was doing wrong, be honest with him. However, if this is a more persistent problem, make an appointment with your gyno or a sex therapist to see if there’s something deeper going on.
4. Can’t Get It Up: Trouser snake in hibernation? Don’t stress about it and certainly don’t freak out that this has something to do with you/your attractiveness. Most guys can’t get it up sometimes, even if they want to be aroused. He might be tired. He might be stressed at work. He might have just imagined Paula Deen riding a mechanical bull with sticks of butter in each hand. Who knows. Unless we’re talking about guys at Viagra age, not being able to get it up seriously isn’t a big deal. Whip out your vibrator and give him a break!
5. Coming Too Soon: It’s probably accidental. He’s probably embarassed about it. Next time, ask him to go more slowly and/or suggest he jerk off sometime beforehand. If this is a persistent problem, however, it may be worth discussing with a sex therapist.
6. Consent: Consent is what it’s all about, people. It’s a sign of respect, kindness, and trust. If he doesn’t care about getting enthusiastic consent from you, then he isn’t someone who deserves to have you be in bed with him. Period. Whether your enthusiastic consent comes in the form of words (“Can I …?” “Yes!”), noises (“Oooh, oooh! Oh yes!”), or visual cues like nodding/grinning/splaying your legs open like you’re in Cirque du Soleil is up to you. [You can read a lot more about consent here.]
7. Facials (Differing Appetites For): Attention, people, who think pornography is a reflection of real people’s sex lives: not every woman enjoys getting a facial. It’s okay if you think facials are offensive or really gross. But if you want to do it — or are at least willing to do it — make sure that you and your dude are both are on the same page about how it’s going to go down. You don’t want semen in your eyeballs or nostrils (unless you do … in which case … girl, wow.) Maybe you are OK with getting cum in your mouth, maybe you are not. Maybe you are OK with man juice getting in your hair, maybe you are not. Discuss all of this sometime before doing it, so there are no unpleasant surprises. And if you are firmly in the “no” camp on letting him cum on your face, but not opposed to being cum-upon in general, consider letting him come on your boobs or booty instead.
8. Gross Body Parts And/Or Body Odor: Unfortunately, you can’t do anything about a guy’s spatula-shaped weiner or third nipple. If you’re really attracted to him, you will be able to look past the parts of him that he can’t change. But if we’re talking about changeable stuff, like a stubbly chest because he shaves it, or an extra-long, extra-gross nose hair, or a nasty body odor, then it’s time to have THE MOST EXCEEDINGLY POLITE AND KIND CONVERSATION YOU’VE EVER HAD IN YOUR LIFE. Some people can laugh these uncomfortable conversations, while others get really touchy about their partners seemingly criticizing or judging them. So, please, be gentle with him. He’ll probably be mortified and fix the problem post-haste. And if no? I say that’s a deal-breaker. No one at The Frisky will blame you!
9. Kink (Differing Appetites For): I genuinely don’t think that its worth wasting someone’s time if you don’t see eye to eye about kink, whether it’s Kinky + Vanilla or Super Kinky + Just A Tad Bit Mildly Kinky. (i.e. Someone whose idea of “kinky” is locking their partner in a dog cage probably isn’t going to feel fulfilled with someone whose idea of “kinky” is fuzzy handcuffs). I honestly don’t think someone kinky and someone who isn’t kinky can have a happy sex life unless it’s an open relationship so the kinkster can get their needs fulfilled on the side. That’s just my opinion based on past experience. Even two kinky people have to explore themselves together and each individual needs to be communicative and honest about their desires and comfort zones — and it’s a constant conversation. And I hope this goes without saying, but refer to the Consent entry above!
10. Lack Of Experience: Aww! That’s actually cute. Don’t look at your partner’s lack of experience as a negative; look at it as a positive that you get to be someone’s first time for ____. You get to show ‘em the ropes! And definitely refer to the Consent entry above.
11. Morning Sex (Differing Appetites For): There was a “Sex & The City” episode like this. I think they ended up fucking in the middle of the night as a compromise. However, I think that sucks, too. Who wants to be woken up in the middle of the night all the time? Weekend morning sex is a good compromise, because noon on a Saturday isn’t really morning. The horny-morning sex-er in this relationship definitely shouldn’t whine and plead , though. That’s not sexy.
12. No Rhythm: Jack-hammering is the worst. The absolute worst. Luckily it’s a fixable problem. Find music with an easy-to-follow beat — R&B is good — and ask him to follow it. If music does not do the trick, it’s have THE MOST EXCEEDINGLY POLITE AND KIND CONVERSATION YOU’VE EVER HAD IN YOUR LIFE about being a more conscientious lover. If that doesn’t work and he’s just bad in bed, it’s time to move on already (as Dear Wendy would say).
13. Oral (Differing Appetites For): This is a toughie. I feel like it’s a dealbreaker if one person really wants it and the other person hates it/refuses to do it. If you guys stick it out even though you have really different appetites for oral, someone is always going to be unhappy about their sex life.
14. Oral (Lack Of Skill): Another fixable problem. If you love getting oral, then it’s time to have THE MOST EXCEEDINGLY POLITE AND KIND CONVERSATION YOU’VE EVER HAD IN YOUR LIFE and teach him how to do it right. There are books, web sites, and ladycentric porn for this kind of stuff. If he still sucks at oral after you’ve given him a few chances to improve, it may be a deal-breaker.
15. Weird Noises: Loud grunter? Shrieker? Banging the headboard against the wall? It can be hard to control oneself in the moment — that we all know. But your partner really can’t be waking up your neighbors, roommates, or small children in the next room. Hopefully his embarrassment will change his behavior, which he may not have been aware of in the first place. I say have a sense of humor about it. It is sort of funny.
–by Jessica Wakeman
This post originally appeared on The Frisky.