Sex Advice I Wish I’d Been Given In My 20s

Sex is one of those things that really does get better with age and confidence. Looking back, I wish I’d told my 20-something self these sex truths so that I could’ve enjoyed myself a lot more:

  1. Leave body stress at the door. Who doesn’t stress out a bit about things like cellulite, stretch marks and a body that doesn’t look like it belongs to a Victoria Secret model? But honestly, I used to worry way too much about that stuff, to the point that it prevented me from enjoying sex. This low self-esteem also made me feel less free in the bedroom, which wasn’t fun for me or my partner.
  2. Sex isn’t the glue that mends relationships. I remember a long-term relationship I was in that started falling apart. I knew it was happening, but I still had sex with the guy in the hope that we could get back on track. The result? I ended up having really disconnected sex that made me feel lonely. It sucked. I learned that what’s happening outside of the bedroom definitely influences sex more than the other way around.
  3. UTIs don’t have to be such a bitch. I’ve experienced my fair share of urinary tract infections (not always as a result of having sex, of course). But I wish I’d known just how easily I can prevent them: by peeing before and after sex and drinking a lot of water to flush out the urinary tract so bacteria can GTFO. Seriously, that’s it.
  4. You need to take responsibility for my orgasm. I used to hear this advice on talk shows and stuff, but I never really understood that it was linked to confidence. The more confident I became in the bedroom, the more I learned that although a guy is working to bring me to orgasm, it’s also up to me to make it happen by being in the moment and experimenting with different positions to make me come easier.
  5. It gets better after the first time. The first guy I had been in a long-term relationship with and lost my virginity to seemed to be so great at sex. I really thought I’d be with him forever… until the relationship ended and I realized he not only wasn’t a great BF, but he wasn’t that great in the bedroom. A bit more experience was necessary to show me this.
  6. It’s okay to have a high sex drive. I realized very early on that I had a high sex drive, but it’s funny how guys would hear this and think it meant I was going to put out easily — so annoying and so far from the truth! I stopped saying I had a high sex drive so that I wouldn’t be seen in that false light, but then I got older and I realized it’s not up to me to control how people misunderstand things. Saying I have a high sex drive is like saying I’m a chocaholic (which I am): just because it’s a fact doesn’t mean I’m indulging all the time. FFS.
  7. You don’t want sex without love, so don’t do it. It’s funny how I learned this lesson in a really weird way. I had thought the guy I was sleeping with was in love with me, only to feel during a sex session that he really wasn’t. My gut just told me that he felt nothing. He was able to separate his emotions from sex. After sex, I felt horrible. I wish I’d known that it was okay to be myself and not settle for sex without love because it didn’t feel good to me, and this didn’t make me a prude!
  8. You have to speak up. I had always been too shy to say what I wanted in the bedroom but that was a shame. I didn’t realize that expressing myself would also give my partner pleasure or that not chatting about sex was preventing me from maxing out on pleasure. Speaking up is the key to satisfaction.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.