Ask Sarah – Bad Sex
I’ve recently started dating again and was trying a “new MO.” I confess that I watch The Millionaire Matchmaker and she has a rule of ” no sex before monogmamy.” So, I thought I’d give this a try. So, I dated this guy several times, liked him a lot, had lots in common etc. After we had a discussion about seeing other people, we decide to make the whoopee.
Bad bad bad.
It was so bad on so many levels that I’m embarrassed to go there again. Here’s my dilemma…in the old days, it was an easy fix.
But since I’ve gone out so many times and I genuinely like him as a person, how do you ditch someone over bad sex (not to mention unfortunate anatomy issues)?
Thanks for your wisdom and advice.
Dear Disappointed in bed,
First – let me just applaud you for making the bold and counter-cultural decision to wait on having sex. I know this couldn’t have been an easy choice when the temptation is so strong!
And the issue of when to take intimacy all the way is a touchy one (no pun intended) because I know I have readers on every part of the continuum from no-rules to no-sex-before-marriage and everything in-between. So – let me make this caveat that my answer to this question isn’t a commentary on when people should enter into a sexual relationship, but rather, thoughts on how a less-than-desirable sexual partnership can be turned around.
Ok – so – are you sure you want to end it? Have you come to that conclusion? Or is part of you wondering if this is salvageable? Not surprisingly, I have some thoughts on this.
I don’t think bad sex is insurmountable. Now – please don’t hear me say that I think people need to settle for less than everything they want in the bedroom… I think it’s great to aim for an amazing sex life. BUT – I think the factors that make the sex bad – can be fixed. Hear me out.
If you find a good man (and that’s a big if, I’ll admit), then you can turn bad sex into hot sex.
If the problem isn’t the sex, but the person behind it, then…yeah …it may be time to end it.
But, if the person you’re with WANTS you – that is, he wants you physically AND he wants to know you and love you, then you have all the tools you need to have great sex…with a little help.
My dad used to tell us (yes – my pastor father …dispensing sexual wisdom to his children…it’s true!) – that the most important sex organ is the mind. Not the “bathing suit parts.” If you devote yourself to another person, make their wants/needs as or more important than your own, learn about them and care for them in this way, you can have the hottest sex life. It’s true.
But, it also requires the scary step – communication. And communicating about sex is one of the most terrifying subjects, especially when you’re not on the same page. Talk about vulnerability! Talking to someone about how they are when they’re at their MOST exposed (literally naked) is the trickiest conversation to have.
THIS is why many people save sex for when they’ve reached the point in the relationship where they feel emotionally safe enough to talk about anything. Where they feel loved and cared for so much that they have the FREEDOM to speak up about any issue. This might also be why first date sex isn’t always as sizzling hot as you’d hoped… because you aren’t in a place where you can let your desires be known.
Reader – if this man seems like a catch in other ways, (and…heck…if you’re ready to, as you say, “ditch” him, then you really have nothing to lose), why not talk about this in a gracious way? You might be surprised that he WANTS to have this talk because he’s eager to please you in this arena. Now, obviously, this is an area in which to tread softly and use non-judgmental language. But, I’ll bet if you broach it tenderly, maybe over a glass of wine, and using phrases like, “I really like you and I’m excited about making this thing great. Would it be ok with you if we try a couple things differently next time we’re in the bedroom? I really like it when…”
I know what some of you are thinking… “some people just aren’t sexually compatible.” And I call BS. If you have the right parts, you’re sexually compatible. That’s just physics. A plug and an outlet will always WORK, unless something else is wrong. What most people mean when they say that, is that they’re not compatible in other ways – communication, intimacy, levels of desire, the ways you express passion, etc. But all of those things are areas that CAN be changed or modified if you care about someone enough to truly learn them and they you.
That whole joke/phrase that women say and men scoff at: “size doesn’t matter… it’s how you use it,” ….well, I think there’s some real truth to that. I’m not saying that body types don’t enter into this discussion at all – but at the core of great sex – is desire, care, understanding, ….love.
So – I say, don’t go down without fighting. You don’t have anything to lose. If you try to talk about things and his ego can’t handle it…then you’ve just gained more information about him and he’s perhaps not the catch you thought he was. And then, breaking things off becomes easier too – because you have more reasons than just bad sex – you have the much greater dealbreaker of his unwillingness to do the work to make the relationship great.
But, maybe you’ll be surprised that he likes you enough to endure a little conversational discomfort for the sake of compatibility – in every room of the house.