Let me be blunt (shocker), life’s too short for bad sex. And life’s too short to keep having bad sex.
I think it’s easy to settle for intimacy that isn’t satisfying in your 20’s. This is something I especially find true in a college environment. It’s a side effect of the hook up culture. Some of my friends have expressed to me that they’ve never had sober sex. Some of my friends have said they’ve had good sex, but they haven’t had amazing sex; mind blowing sex. And that sucks. It’s because most people my age get drunk, go to a party, get drunker, and get “laid.” It’s usually sloppy. It’s usually with someone they don’t know very well, or at least someone they don’t know well sober. It’s usually just sex; which is fine, sometimes. Sex doesn’t have to be more than a physical act if you don’t want it to be. But if the sex you’re having all the time is just fine, if it’s not satisfying you, why do you continue to engage in it? If the sex you’re having doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, if you’re not enjoying it, why are you doing it?
I decided to turn to the place I always turn to when gathering “research” about a certain topic I feel inclined to write about: Instagram. I asked people this question, “have you had good sex?” and gave them two options, “yes” and “not yet” (because I believe everyone will experience good sex at some point in their life whether it’s happened yet or not). 90% of people answered “yes,” although I was surprised at some of the people who answered “not yet.” These were beautiful, brilliant, souls who have not had beautiful, brilliant sex. And again, that sucks. I’m not naive to the fact that we’re young and like wine, things get better with time; sex isn’t excluded from that idea. Although, the idea that we shouldn’t be having, or can’t achieve good sex at our age is just silly. If we’re having it all, we can and we should. So, what is good sex? How do you define it? I asked Instagram and most people boiled it down to the way they feel during and after it. I want to share a few of my favorite answers on how people know they’ve had good sex:
“It feels different.”
“We’re both in the same headspace. There’s no other place to be than that moment with that person.”
“Having an orgasm. Or multiple.”
“When we’re fueled with passion and surged with self-confidence.”
“Both parties are satisfied, passionate, and loving.”
“When you’re 100% comfortable with each other.”
This might sound cliche, but good sex leaves me speechless. Good sex is all consuming. You are lost in one another. It’s another level of connectedness. Without words, you both know what one another is thinking and feeling. You’re completely engulfed in this moment, with this person, and it’s just good. Put it this way: if you’re questioning whether you’ve had good sex or not, you haven’t. Now that we’ve defined what good sex means to us, how do we have it? You might be thinking, if we know what good sex is, isn’t having it pretty straight-forward? Not all the time. For some people, putting words and feelings into action is difficult. I think that’s normal, but I don’t think that should stop us from trying. You might know what good sex looks like for you, but does your partner? Does your partner know what satisfies you? And most importantly, do they feel the same way about it or express what satisfies them?
I asked people if they struggle with communicating their sexual wants and needs to their partners and 82% of people said no, while 18% said yes. There’s a lot that can stop someone from having satisfying sex, and it’s not just not knowing what good sex means to them. Sometimes, people aren’t having good sex because they don’t know how to communicate these things to their partners. So, how do we communicate these wants and needs? Here are a few answers that I love:
“It starts with being open, honest, and completely transparent.”
“If you’re comfortable enough to get naked in front of each other, you should be comfortable enough to talk honestly with them.” (if you’re not comfortable enough to do so, you probably shouldn’t be having sex with that person in the first place.)
“Just tell them. It’s hard at first, but once you do you grow closer and more comfortable with that person.”
“I like it when you _____. Maybe try _____ next time.”
“ASK! People stress about just asking questions. Consent and consideration are sexy.”
“Be straight up. Remember that it’s a two way street and both parties should feel like their needs are being met.”
“Talk to them about your needs and wants, but understand they have needs and wants to and listen.”
I’m tired of people having sex and feeling bad about themselves afterwards. I’m sick of hearing, “we were drunk, idk,” or “it was fine.” Sex is beautiful. But most importantly, sex is unique for each and every individual engaging in it, and how each and everyone of us defines “good sex” is unique, too. Don’t settle for meaningless, sloppy, ignorant sex when it can be so much more than that. Be vulnerable, be open, figure out what you like and what you don’t, and embrace that. Do not be afraid to speak up and allow yourself the good sex that you should be having; the great sex that we all deserve.
And also, because I’m writing about sex, I feel obligated to add: be safe. Use protection. Be smart. Give consent, ask for consent. Oh, and obviously, have fun.