Bad sex

Bad sex happens to good people. And if it's happening in your bedroom, it doesn't mean you should panic. Most problems are entirely fixable.

Two young people are facing each other on the street, talking about bad sex. Both are wearing black puffer jackets with hoods

Having bad sex? Don’t worry, it can happen to anyone! But nobody talks about it do they? Lucky for you, The Mix does. Better than that, we can help you make it better.

Common problem no.1: My partner goes too fast and thrusts too much

Yes, thrusting is an integral part of the copulation process. But if your partner thinks ruthless pounding is the magic route to your orgasm, you’re both going to be disappointed. If their jack-rabbiting makes you feel like they’re essentially just masturbating inside you, it’s worth trying to mend their humping habits.

Solution: Tactful suggestion to slow things down

Porn, as always, is largely to blame for this one.

“Anyone who watches porn and thinks that’s what sex is like is going to get it wrong in real life,” says Dr Lori Boul, author of DIY Sex and Relationship Therapy. “Sex is not just about repeated thrusting. There’s much more to it than that. It’s about the kissing, cuddles, touching, the intimacy.”

Telling them they’re crap in bed is NOT the answer. Instead, try whispering, “can we try something different tonight? I’d like to try it slow.” This proposes the idea without denting his confidence. Then show them how much you like the new pace. Moaning always goes down well. Or saying afterwards, “Wow, that was so intense. I loved it! Don’t you agree?”

Common problem no.2: My partner will only do it in the dark

Naked bodies are a turn-on. But if you’re sleeping with someone who will only do it:

a) Under the covers

b) With most of their underwear still on

c) In total and utter darkness…

…well, it can kinda wreck the visual side of sexy time. Plus, if they’re so insecure they won’t even let you touch the body parts they don’t like, then it can make sex feel more like a game of emotional Minesweeper.

Solution: Compliments and understanding

Body image issues are usually down to lack of confidence. Compliment them to help build it. Tell them how sexy they are, how much they turn you on, and, eventually, they’ll start believing the hype. As they build sexual self-esteem, don’t suddenly whack on the lights. Build up to it, with soft (and ultra-flattering) candlelight at first.

As for the touching no-goes, Dr Boul, suggests doing the following exercise.

“Each draw a body shape and then colour them in,” she says. “Colour in red the areas you don’t like to be touched, orange the areas you don’t mind, and green the parts you LOVE to be touched. This is a good way to discuss your pleasure points if you find it embarrassing to talk about.”

Common problem no.3: They keep acting like a porn star

If they’re not constantly checking themselves out in the mirror mid-coital, they’re flipping you over into all sorts of gravity-defying positions whilst grunting, groaning and screaming at the top of their lungs. You can’t help but feel that a director should be yelling “action” from the corner… whilst your orgasm has got all camera-shy. This can make it feel like you’re having bad sex.

Solution: Get them to embrace the sensual side of sex

“Sexual posers aren’t actually engaging in the sex,” says Dr Boul. “If you’re worrying more about the visual you’re not taking in the feelings, which is what it’s all about!”

Your partner is most likely trying to re-enact porn – because, again, they think that’s what sex is like. Show them how wrong they are. Get them to close their eyes then touch their body using different textures, such as a feather or an ice cube. Ask them how it feels. Once they realise how good sex feels when they’re concentrating on the right thing, they’ll be no going back.

Common problem no. 4: They’re passive in bed

Perhaps your partner is lying there like a limp bit of cabbage, expecting you to do all the work. Taking the lead can be a turn on, but if it’s all the time, every time, you start getting frustrated by their passive lovemaking and worried that you’re having shit sex.

Solution: Build their confidence

Being passive in bed is rarely down to just being selfish. It’s usually more down to a lack of confidence. “It’s probably insecurity,” says Dr Boul. “They don’t know what to do and they’re frightened they’ll do something wrong.”

Ask them to tell you want they want in bed, talk about their fantasies and be really encouraging to build their confidence. If you suggest trying a new position, they’ll probably find they like it. Especially if you tell them how good it was afterwards.

Talking about bad sex

Whatever the problem is between the sheets, talking about sex is a topic that has to be treated sensitively. Anything along the lines of ,”you’re crap in bed” or, “this is shit sex”, is guaranteed to make bad sex worse. Imagine if someone said that to you – you’d strap on a chastity belt of shame forever!

Dr Boul suggests these openers: “I fancy trying something new, what do you think?” or “I love having sex with you but I feel like spicing things up. Any ideas on how?”

“Sex should always be talked about, whether it’s good or bad,” says Dr Boul. “If you don’t talk, you’ll get resentful. But it’s important to really think about the words you’re using.”

Sex is a massive learning experience, so don’t expect things to be amazing straight away. It can take DECADES to get it right. And, as long as your bedroom buddy is willing to make alterations, you can have fun learning together.

Next Steps

By Holly Bourne

Updated on 20-Dec-2022