Just Because I Agreed To Have Sex With You Doesn’t Mean I Can’t Complain If It’s Bad

It’s great that guys are becoming a bit more sensitive to the importance of enthusiastic consent when it comes to sex. It’s so refreshing to have a partner who makes sure I’m cool with what’s happening and that you’re not feeling pressured or violated into doing anything I don’t want to do. However, I’ve noticed something pretty obnoxious recently — guys seem to think that since I agreed to them, I just have to accept whatever they give me and not complain when it’s not very good. Uh, I don’t think so.

  1. Consent does not equal resignation. One of my major bugaboos about bad sex with a guy is that many of them are absolutely dumbfounded when I’m not totally blown away by their lackluster performance. Yes, I agreed to sleep with you, but that doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned all hope of getting anything out of the experience. I’m not doing you a favor by hopping into bed with you, I’m hoping to get off just like you. What’s so hard to understand?
  2. I’m a participant, not a bystander. Is there anything worse than a dude pounding into you like a jackhammer without the slightest bit of consideration about how you feel or if you feel anything at all? It’s like I’m some silicone sex doll and not a living, breathing human being that wants to be an active participant in our sexual experience. Sometimes I wonder if these guys even care what they’re screwing, so long as it’s a willing body. This isn’t just bad sex, it’s abysmal, and I have every right to complain about it.
  3. There’s no excuse for bad sex. Sometimes you just don’t know if you’re going to be sexually compatible with someone until you’re in bed with them. I’m not expecting miracles here, nor do I need multiple earth-shattering orgasms to feel good about a sexual experience. It’s easy enough to make things fun and enjoyable even if it’s not all that memorable. Bad sex is just another way of saying that not enough effort was made to try to make it any good, and I don’t think there’s an excuse for that.
  4. I refuse to feel guilty for wanting to feel good. Not that long ago, a guy I slept with wanted a repeat performance but the first time around was so bad that I literally couldn’t even entertain the idea of going back there again. He got so offended and came back with something along the lines of “But you wanted to do it!” It’s like, yeah dude, I did, but I also wanted it to be good. I’m not about to put up with bad sex just to stroke some guy’s ego.
  5. There’s no excuse for laziness. Women’s bodies are complex and it takes more than a few yanks and rubs to get us off. I totally appreciate that. However, it’s also really not that hard to make us feel good. I’ll even make it easier for the guy by clearly and vocally expressing what I like and what I want him to do as well as providing him with hands-on training. If the night ends with me feeling disappointed and a little exasperated, that’s down to his laziness, and that’s not cool.

A little primer on how to please a woman & avoid bad sex

While I get that some guys are less experienced than others when it comes to pleasing a woman, there are some simple things they can do to make it a halfway decent experience while they’re focused on getting their own rocks off.

  1. Throw a little foreplay our way. One of the biggest things that contributes to bad sex is a lack of foreplay. I feel like because most foreplay activities are female-centric, men don’t get much out of it and therefore aren’t all that interested in it. Big mistake. Don’t just start kissing us and then move right to trying to bone us. Slow down a little, spend some time pleasing us, and rest assured you’ll get yours.
  2. Ask us what we like and actually listen to the answer. This is a biggie and probably the most important thing on this list. If you’re not sure what a woman is into, there’s one way to find out: ask her! If you want to be super adventurous, you can try a few things (nothing too weird/freaky/anything you’ve seen in porn, please) and then give us a breathy “do you like that?” That’s probably more of an advanced move, though — if you’re afraid you’re bad at sex and aren’t confident, just ask before acting.
  3. If it’s clear we’re not into something you’re doing, stop. Again, pretty simple but you’d be shocked by how many guys don’t do this. I’ve physically voiced my dislike of certain things guys have done in bed before, saying “ouch!” or “no” only to have them keep on going because they clearly liked it. Who cares about the other person, right? Ugh. If you’re pulling a certain move in bed and the woman you’re sleeping with is stark silent, making faces of displeasure, or otherwise seeming like she’s really not into it, please take a hint.
  4. Don’t give up so quickly. This is another frustration for many women and a huge contributor to bad sex. Guys will start doing something that actually feels kinda nice, but because we don’t start screaming in ecstasy after 30 seconds, they stop and move on out of frustration/disinterest. Men, straight women are begging you to have a little patience and keep on going. If you do, I promise you’ll be rewarded for your hard work.
  5. Spend a little extra time to finish us off. Men tend to come more quickly than women and that’s fine, but for the love of all that’s holy, please don’t just roll over and go to sleep or hop out of bed to get a drink or get in the shower. We’re used to finishing ourselves but if we wanted to give ourselves an incredible orgasm, we could have done without the bad sex with you and just skipped to the good stuff. If you want to make it an experience we’re likely to want to repeat, put the work in and help us get there. You’ll feel as good about it as we do in the end. Sex doesn’t have to be bad for either of us, you know!
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill