5 Ways to Make Sex Less Enjoyable

Life has few guarantees—and even fewer when it comes to sex.

However, there are things that are guaranteed to make sex less enjoyable. How many of these have you done lately? How many of these do you think are part of “normal sex”? Imagine how much more you’d enjoy sex if you and your partner eliminated a few (or all!) of these:

* Insist that orgasm is the goal (for both of you)

Orgasm lasts a few seconds, making it a tiny fraction of any sexual experience. And while orgasms can be delightful, no orgasm is good enough to make up for sex that is annoying, mechanical, or emotionally frustrating.

If you’re having trouble climaxing, try relaxing instead of working hard. Do what’s pleasurable, what makes you glad to be there, and what makes you feel connected to your partner. If that doesn’t lead to an orgasm, you haven’t wasted your time—you’ve enjoyed sex.

And if your partner at some point looks at you and says “I don’t think I’m gonna cum tonite,” let it go—don’t insist on pushing for an orgasm. After all, your partner’s orgasm, if they have one, is for their satisfaction—not your sense of accomplishment.

* Tease the other person about their body

Most of us are a bit insecure about our bodies: too much here, not enough there, hair where it isn’t wanted, not enough where it is wanted. Bumps from shaving or waxing. Shapes that aren’t like Greek statues. A scar, blemish, or skin condition. Lack of symmetry (eyes, nipples, anything that comes in pairs).

And yet we keep coming back to sex, where we take off our clothes and invite someone to admire—or judge—our body.

Go ahead of admire. Don’t judge. If you don’t like every part of your partner’s body, focus on the parts you do like. If you can’t find one single thing to enjoy—the smell of their hair, the curve of their shoulder, the taste of their neck, the firmness of their calves—pay closer attention, and let go of your stereotypes about what’s attractive. Or get a new partner.

But don’t, don’t, don’t tease someone about their body—unless they LOVE their body. Hardly anyone likes it. And it make some people shrivel up inside—which will soon translate into them shriveling up on the outside. And if you can’t help yourself, if you absolutely can’t keep from teasing your partner about their body—maybe you have a problem much bigger than their big butt.

If you want to discuss a concern about your partner’s body, do it outside of the bedroom, when you’re feeling close.

* Refuse to touch your own genitalia

Most people masturbate, usually by stroking their vulva or penis. And most people would rather die than do the same thing in front of a partner.

What a shame. How else can you show how you like to be touched? How else can you give yourself a bit of extra pleasure when you want it? How else can you apply lube to yourself, or insert a penis into you (or your penis into someone else)?

Some people can only climax with their own hand. Instead of seeing this as a problem or a “dysfunction,” shrug it off as your own personal style, and put yourself over the top. If you do so, make sure you stay in touch with your partner—with your eyes, your mouth, or your other hand. Or theirs.

* Freak out if you fart (or queef) during sex

Our bodies are just a festival of fluids, sounds, and smells—many of which are on display during sex. And while some of these are welcome additions to sex (vaginal lubrication, moans of pleasure, the smell of arousal), others are definitely NOT welcome.

Farts are the most unwelcome of all.

So what do you do when you or your partner um, pass gas? You let it pass. You don’t need to say “excuse me,” don’t need to hide, and certainly don’t need to stop having sex. If you’re in the middle of being real excited, you can certainly keep doing what you’re doing. In any case, about 20 seconds after it happens, you’ll both forget about it.

Unless you hold onto the unwanted moment, preparing your apology for later.

Don’t do that. Grownups know that lots of things occasionally happen during sex: a little urine, a little drooling, a belch, a sneeze. It’s because we do this glorious thing—sex—with this pedestrian thing we don’t entirely respect—our bodies.

Oh, what’s a queef? That’s just an expulsion of air from the vagina, typically during or after something goes in and out of it, over and over. It can’t be gas (that isn’t how the plumbing is arranged), so it can only be air. But it sounds like a fart, so some people feel guilt (or embarrassment) by association.

* Obsess that you don’t smell or taste good “down there”

I hear there are people who enjoy the taste of broccoli. Really? It’s hard to predict what someone will enjoy smelling or tasting—and even harder to understand it.

In oral sex, there shouldn’t really be a “giver” and “receiver”, just two people sharing some flesh, some dampness, and some enjoyment. So if you have trouble understanding why your partner enjoys licking or sucking you, ask; and then you really should believe them.

If you’re concerned about how you smell or taste, just say so—“I’m not sure I’m real fresh down there right now.” Thanks for the warning, friend. Then let your partner decide for themselves. If you hear “Mmm, lovely,” believe it. If your partner continues in an enthusiastic way, believe it. If you’re baffled by your partner’s enjoyment, be grateful rather than pushing them away.

And if you’re certain you wouldn’t like the way you smell or taste down there, don’t lick yourself.

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