Sex-Ed only covered the basics like how to avoid getting pregnant and how abstinence is a great way to not catch chlamydia. When it came to sex itself, I needed a lot of practice to really figure it out. Here are a few things I learned kinda later in life.
Men aren’t always in the mood. It’s a bad stereotype that men are always horny. A lot of things can make them not in the mood for sex—depression, stress, weight gain, simply being overworked, etc. For so many years, I took the rejection personally and it’s all because I didn’t really know what can and can’t affect a person’s sex drive. Sometimes you’re dating someone who just has a lower drive than you. While that’s OK, it’s part of the relationship dynamic that doesn’t openly get talked about as much as it should be.
Sometimes you don’t have to try so hard. There’s a lot of pressure on women to be “sexy” to create an even better sexual experience. That’s nice sometimes, but in reality, sexiness comes from within. For example, it’s nice to wear lingerie, but should you have to? No, and when you do it should be solely because it boosts your own confidence. Sex doesn’t always have to be a huge production all the time. Find a partner who finds you sexy even when you’re in standard work clothes.
Numbers don’t matter. Well, numbers shouldn’t matter. Everyone has a different sexual history and it’s their business only. It’s not like you’re going to be denied a mortgage based on having too much sex. Numbers might get mentioned in a new relationship, but more often than not, the topic will likely just fuel one partner’s insecurity. As we get older, it’s even less of a big deal. You’re not obliged to tell anyone how many people you’ve slept with, whether that number is 0 or 100.
Always go to the bathroom both before and after. Sounds like a no-brainer to people who’ve been having sex for years, but it’s a lesson that took some time when I started becoming sexually active. Yes, it may kill the moment, but know what else will kill many moments after? A painful UTI.
Faking it is embarrassing for everyone. I’ve never done this myself, but boy have I heard stories. I’ve also lived in apartments with really thin walls and learned that this happens often. If your partner isn’t doing it for you, it’s way better to let them know what you like. It might crush their ego for a second or two, but it’s worth it if it means you’ll stop having bad sex. As a side note, if your partner refuses to listen to your turn-ons? Just dump them. It’s a waste of time to be with someone who doesn’t care about your enjoyment during sex.
Don’t worry about that extra five pounds. Nobody feels 100% confident naked. Seriously. Everyone has some sort of issue they’re a little worried about, which may make them want to hit the sheets with the lights out. The truth is, sex just isn’t good if you’re so focused on how your stomach looks. There’s an excellent chance your significant other doesn’t even notice. Just focus on having a good time.
Sex is for you too. Somewhat of a continuation to the above, it’s important to remember that sex isn’t just for men. nor is sex something that women owe men. It’s something for both of you to help improve your relationship. Sure, some nights might focus on his satisfaction, and that’s healthy, but you need to take turns in order for your relationship to work. Also, if something doesn’t feel good in the moment, it’s fine to vocalize that.
It never hurts to be prepared. Know what always feels embarrassing? Going to the pharmacist right before they close and asking for Plan B. Sometimes condoms break, but by having something on hand just in case, you can avoid the trip out. It’s less scary to buy Plan B when you don’t need it. Even the best-prepared couples have had a scare or two in the past. Also, double check the expiration date on those condoms while you’re at it.
It isn’t always good. Even if you love your partner, sometimes you’ll have some bad sex with them. Maybe one of you is just tired or it’s a new position you’re not too happy about. Maybe you’re just distracted over a fight you two had weeks ago that you’re still not over. Whatever the reason, it happens—and it doesn’t signal the end of a relationship unless it’s constantly bad.
Never be with someone who forces you into something you don’t want to do. There are certain sex acts that make people uncomfortable, whether it’s linked to a past trauma, a bad experience, or just something that kind of grosses you out. It’s important to be open about your desires, but it’s 100% normal to not be in total agreeance. If your partner pulls the “if you really wanted me to be happy, you’d do XYZ” card, just know there are plenty of people out there who’d have no problem respecting your boundaries.
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