Hey, You. Stop Having Bad Sex. Yes, YOU.

What I notice a lot is that people — especially women — seem to be totally content with having mediocre, if not outright bad, sex. And I really don’t understand why. It’s so EASY to have GOOD sex. But people don’t even realise that the sex they’re having is subpar, that they could be enjoying themselves so much more. So here is my hopefully-comprehensive list of How to Have Good Sex, accompanied by various resources with more in-depth discussion on the topics. And hopefully you, even though you don’t think this applies to you, will take these ideas into consideration and perhaps start having really awesome sex.

1. Stop Hating Your Body and Yourself

This is a big big BIG biggie. Well, I guess they all are… You know that corny line about “how can you love someone else if you don’t even love yourself”? It’s pretty much true. If you don’t like your body, body parts, or yourself, it’s hard to really take part in an activity and enjoy yourself fully. If you are constantly ashamed of your body, or constantly criticizing yourself, you limit your ability to really lose yourself in the moment and enjoy it. This doesn’t just apply to sex. You know, for example, when you go to a pool or a beach and you go “Uuuuuugh I have to wear my bathing suit in front of all these people! They have to see my body OH NOES THE SHAAAAME”? That clearly limits your ability to just jump into the water, play some beach volleyball, or generally have a good time. Same goes for sex. So start working on completely scrapping that attitude right now! It will take a while, but believe me, the results are SO worth it.

The Scarleteen Do-it!
Seven Ways to Love Your Body

2. Stop Feeling Guilty!

This is related to the last one. A lot of people, because of the current social climate around sex, feel guilty about the sex they are having (this includes masturbation too, of course). This is often made even worse by religious upbringings that have taught people that anything relating to sexuality, sexual expression, and sex are dirty, wrong, or “sinful”. Even for people who have taken a step back from their religion and no longer believe that sex is something to be ashamed of, it can still be very hard to feel completely okay with every kind of sex every time because guilt can be so deeply ingrained. However, sex is not something that anybody should be feeling guilty about, and feeling guilty can really limit your enjoyment of your sex life. So if you are feeling guilty, focus on ways to move past this; there is no magic cure, I’m afraid, because different things work for different people. But the following links give some good input and ideas.

How can I stop feeling so guilty?

3. Use Lube! Seriously!

Quite a lot of women (mostly straight women, for some reason) seem to have a big huge hang up about lube. They think that using lube is like admitting defeat or something? No! I cannot use lube! For that would be admitting that I am not enough of a woman to produce enough lube! Saywhut? It’s pretty much inevitable that we’re all going to need to use lube at some point in our lives. For many various reasons; hormonal birth control can reduce someone’s production of self-lubrication, condoms need extra lube to help stop them from breaking, and some days someone will just NOT produce enough lube to have sex comfortably. It’s not some sort of failing. And seriously, you really can’t go wrong with lube. It is your friend. Trust me.

Lubricant is a Girl’s Best Friend
The I-Don’t-Want-to-Use-Lube Blues

4. Explore

Whether you’re currently in a sexual relationship or not, exploring is really huge in getting the best out of your sex life. Explore your own body, your own fantasies and desires. Try new ways of masturbating — using sex toys, touching places on your body while you masturbate that you don’t usually, thinking up new fantasies to see if they work for you. Masturbation can also help with your partnered sex life; if you have explored your own sexual self thoroughly, you will be able to give your partner suggestions on what works for you. And with your sexual partner, explore their body too; don’t just assume that because they are a certain gender, touching a certain body part in a certain way will be the best thing to do. Also explore what works between BOTH of you together, because you’ll be surprised to find that some things that don’t work for you when you’re by yourself actually may work well with a partner. Bring toys, roleplaying, games, anything into the mix with your partner, and never be afraid of being awkward or silly; having fun is a big part of having sex, and it’s not all about being Super Srs Bsns Romance Time. Something you think would be silly might end up actually being totally awesome and sexy and fun. And if it doesn’t work for you, what’s the big deal? The worst that could happen is that you have a hilarious inside joke with your partner.

Vulva, I Hardly Knew Ye
The Clitoris, the Vagina and Orgasm: Feelings and Frameworks

5. Stop Doing Things You Don’t Actually Like

So many people, but definitely the vast majority being women, take part in sexual activities that just don’t rock their socks. It’s a big part of our culture, the expectation that a woman will do things to “please her man” and the “pleasure” she gets from “making her man happy” should be sufficient. This is not to say that enjoying yourself by giving your partner pleasure isn’t legitimate, or that people should only ever do things that make everyone involved orgasm. But there is a big difference between doing something that isn’t personally your favourite and doing something that you really don’t care for, or even dislike. If some activity just really doesn’t appeal to you, or you find yourself being totally bored while participating in it, then just STOP. You don’t owe anyone any kind of sex, and they don’t owe you anything, and neither of you should be EXPECTING any kind of sexual activity from one another.

Instead, find something that you BOTH enjoy doing. That way you will both have oodles of fun instead of one person falling asleep (also, protip: seeing that your partner is obviously bored out of their mind or experiencing discomfort is a turn-off for most people. So even if you’re doing something because your partner enjoys it, they’ll enjoy it LESS if they know it’s something you don’t dig). Of course, if you don’t want to do something because “EW GROSS” or something similar, you need to think about why that is and work on ridding yourself of that mindset; hang-ups around yours or other peoples’ bodies are not conducive to good sex overall, so if they’re the reason you are unwilling to participate in a certain kind of sexual activity, that is definitely something to work on. But in the end, some things just aren’t that exciting or appealing for someone, not for any reason other than just the uniqueness of human beings. Doing things that you don’t actually enjoy doesn’t make your sex life better; it makes it boring and unfulfilling for everyone involved.

An Immodest Proposal
Reciprocity, Reloaded
I Don’t Want to Give Him a Handjob Back: What Do I Do?

6. Stop Having Sex With an Asshole

A lot of people are in sexual relationships with partners who are not the greatest partners, and they don’t even realise it. If your partner EXPECTS certain sexual activities, thinks you are obligated to participate in any sexual activities for any reason, or gets angry at you for not wanting to do something sexual or not reacting a way they want or for not orgasming when or how they want, etc etc etc, they are a shit partner and your sex with them will NEVER be good. A partner doesn’t have to be abusive to be a bad partner. If they pressure you in any way, or make you feel like you HAVE to give a certain answer or participate in certain activities or put on a certain “performance” during sex, or if they focus solely on their pleasure and not yours, you are never going to be able to fully enjoy yourself. And that is a perfectly valid reason to end a relationship, even if other areas work just fine.

A huge amount of people seem to think that it is shallow or cruel to dump someone “simply” because the sex isn’t working out. But we are all sexual beings, and sexual happiness is a part of general, overall happiness. You CAN and WILL find a partner with whom you have a great sex life as well as romance/etc. This also applies to asexual people; you don’t have to put up with a partner who pressures you into sex you don’t really want to have. There absolutely are people out there who will respect your boundaries and desires (including lackthereof) and will not pressure you into doing anything you don’t enjoy. And it is totally worth it to dump that chump and find someone who makes you happy and respects you in ALL areas of your relationship.

I Think He’ll Dump Me if I Don’t Have Sex With Him. So, Should I?
I Survived Sexual Assault, Then Got Stuck in a Relationship I Don’t Feel Good About
Does Your Relationship Need a Checkup?
Hello, Sailor! How to Build, Board, and Navigate a Healthy Relationship

7. COMMUNICATE.

I cannot say this ENOUGH. You know how in the movies, people look at each other with fire in their eyes, and then the next scene pans across the floor, clothing strewn everywhere, and they’re lying there panting with a slight smile on their faces? No words need ever be spoken, because in their PASSION, their FIERY LUST, they understood each other exactly. Except no, not at all. People are not mind-readers. Communication is probably THE most important thing to having good sex. Talking during sex is not unsexy; it is necessary and can be TOTALLY sexy. You don’t have to sound like you’re reading out of a biology textbook or a list of yes/no questions. If talking during sex doesn’t seem natural to you, practise doing so and then it WILL come naturally. Talking before, during, and after sex is crucial to leading a good sex life. Talk about what works and what doesn’t work for you physically, what fantasies you have or new things you want to try out, what safer-sex methods you would like to use, everything. Talk. A lot. It is so unbelievably important. TALK.

Be a Blabbermouth! The Whys, Whats and Hows of Talking About Sex With a Partner
Driver’s Ed for the Sexual Superhighway: Navigating Consent

8. Educate Yourself and Stay Safe

Whoever said that knowledge is power really wasn’t kidding. Educating yourself around sex and sexuality is vitally important if you plan on having a happy and safe sex life. This includes the very basics; sexual anatomy of your own and partners’/potential partners’ bodies, the physical basics of how sex works, basic knowledge of safer sex. But it also goes far beyond that. You can never ever know everything there is to know about sex and sexuality, and there is no such thing as knowing too much. So poke around sex ed sites, read up on every topic under the sun; healthy relationships, sexual orientation, sexuality in general. Sex education has been proven to help people make safer decisions around sex, and decisions that make them happier. Ignorance often causes fear; I see a lot of people getting freaked out about possibly being pregnant from situations that just would never result in pregnancy. If these people had been provided with proper sex education, they would be aware of the risks of any sexual activity, and they would be confident in knowing exactly when they have risked pregnancy or contracting an STI. Similarly, if a person is educated fully in sex ed, they will know their options when it comes to birth control and pregnancy, and they will know where to go for care. Knowledge leads to peace of mind, sexual confidence, and safer sex practises.

So, with that in mind, here are a buttload of links for you to click at your discretion! My two favourite sources for sex education are Scarleteen and sexetc.org, and about.com’s sexuality column has some really awesome information, too!

Articles:

10 of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Sexual Self at Any Age
What Makes Someone Good in Bed?
From OW! to Wow! Demystifying Painful Intercourse
First Intercourse 101
Yield for Pleasure
Life Lessons from the Third Stall on the Left
Safe, Sound & Sexy: A Safer Sex How-to
Safer Sex… for Your Heart
Sexual Health 101: His
Sexual Health 101: Hers
With Pleasure: A View of Whole Sexual Anatomy for Every Body
Vagzilla! (Or, All Genitals, Great and Small)

Disclaimers: ***This article used to contain links to videos on lacigreen’s youtube channel. I felt that they were informative and fit with my message in this article. However, after incidents on tumblr since this post was made, I no longer feel comfortable supporting laci’s channel.

So I’ve been mentioning “both” in reference to you and your partner, but of course all of what I’ve said here is not limited to only sex involving two people. All the same rules apply to polyamorous relationships, as well as sex with multiple partners simultaneously.

Also: As you may have noticed, this is a huge post with tons of links. Please let me know if any of them are broken or lead to the wrong place! I did double check everything, but I’m human and make mistakes, so I would greatly appreciate it if you would let me know about any errors.

Also Also: Please share this with people you knooooow! And click the links! CLICK THE LINKS LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. Sex education is so so SO important, and spreading the knowledge is just one little thing you can do that has so much impact.

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