While it can be tough or awkward to admit, most of us have endured the agony of awkward sexual encounters. But, unless we want this nightmare to become a recurring reality, we’ve got to stop pretending that uncomfortable sex is supposed to happen. The promising truth is that bad sex is both unnatural and completely avoidable.
Whether it’s rare or a frequent occurrence, unenjoyable sex is something that directly defies nature. Before we talk about the source and solutions for the unfortunate event of bad sex, let’s briefly cover the symptoms. Less-than-ideal sex often includes unpleasant physical sensations, lack of positive sensations, and even moments of unwanted silence. Bad sex might cause you to feel confused about what the other person is thinking, generally disconnected from your partner, pressured to climax in a certain way or at a certain time, and generally unhappy, irritated, or dissatisfied afterward.
Human sexual intimacy is biologically designed to be full of passion and desire, vulnerability and connection. It is meant to be a beautiful and unique interaction between living, breathing, and increasingly complex creatures.
Humans evolved as socially and sexually promiscuous animals in order to support individual feelings of relaxation, ease relationship tensions, and initiate the reproduction of our species.
Three Solutions for Bad Sex
Essentially, it serves no evolutionary purpose for sex to cause feelings of violation, agitation, and disconnection with each other and ourselves. So when bad sex happens, it is impossible to ignore. So why does bad sex happen if nature intended for it to be so glorious? One possible source is the fact that many world religions link sexual activity with faltering morality, teaching the belief that spirituality is sacred and sex is less than virtuous. Yet, this is a purely social construct aimed at imposing control through the presence of an ultimate, external authority, thereby disconnecting individuals from their sexual autonomy and evolutionary instincts for building healthy relationships and maintaining an overall sense of social cohesion. If we want that to change then we have to be wildly honest with ourselves (and we have to get naked).
Structures of sexual repression become quite lucrative for governing institutions when we forget our body’s evolutionary drive and innate tools to maintain peace. While most of us are squirming with sexual desire, perhaps bad sex is more prevalent when our worldview is defined by a hierarchical perspective of the human experience, where spiritual and bodily functions are separate, personal authority is blasphemous, and sexual pleasure is wrong and wicked.
So let’s reclaim our birthright as humans and take down the treachery that is bad sex. Here are three solutions for bad sex:
1. Sacred Body
In order to cultivate an equitable perspective of our human experience, we can adopt the belief that our body is a temple. We can dismantle patterns of guilt, shame, and repression by treating our physical existence with the same reverence that we do our spirit.
By treating our body as a temple, we embrace all parts of our physical experience, both the functional and aesthetic. We acknowledge that our body’s needs—sexual and otherwise—exist to help us continue living in a healthy way, and we see the opportunity to clean and care for our body as a sacred act. Likewise, we acknowledge that our body’s desires serve an equally essential role in maintaining our health. Our desires propel us into action, align us with a greater purpose, and define our individual existence as worthwhile.
By accepting and engaging our sacred body, we devote ourselves to our physical desires. We address our sexual desire as necessary rather than excessive. We playfully engage in our body’s sensations and physical stimulation as a source of positive personal expression.
2. Mind in Motion
Most often, bad sex is a side effect of mental distraction and energetic instability, and it’s nearly impossible to “get off” when your mind is spinning out of control. Mental exercises might sound like the last thing you want to do but good sex doesn’t happen when we’re distracted. Good sex happens when we are effortlessly present, absorbed fully in each moment and every molecule of our experience.
Meditation is widely misunderstood as the act of emptying or clearing your mind, but it is actually the practice of observing the movements of your mind, which we can do pretty much all of the time. When we observe our mind’s linear processes and habitual patterns while having sex, we can intentionally shift our experience away from discomfort and towards desire. Once we become more familiar with our own mental patterns and personal “bad sex behavior,” we can actively re-create our reality.
Excessive criticism, self-judgment, and other neurotic tendencies are not a good look in the bedroom. So just stop should-ing. Whenever my mind tells me that something should be this way or that way, I know that my left hemisphere is in overdrive, and it’s time to cool down. This is the perfect time to observe my mind and watch for patterns. Then I ask myself where those “shoulds” came from, why I believe them, and how they are helping or hurting me.
This mostly looks like an internal dialogue in my head, and I have to walk myself through the steps of self-acceptance to build my confidence in such a vulnerable place. But this tends to be an essential first step towards being able to clearly communicate my needs and desires to my partner. Master this practice, and you’ll never have bad sex again.
3. Inner Authority
Our past experiences do not define who we are and, in order to free ourselves from the destructive patterns of guilt, shame, and repression, we must reclaim our sexual power.
Since sexuality remains highly stigmatized and is intricately connected to our personal identity, many people still feel large amounts of discomfort when talking about sex.
It’s not easy to tell a person you love that you are sexually unsatisfied and you don’t know why. So, how do we access and express our inner authority when we are still figuring out what we like, what we want, and who we are?
First, we have to learn how to enjoy the process of discovery. If we want to enhance our sex lives and experience endless pleasure, we must accept the fact that the power is in our own hands. We can choose to let it unfold in ways that are unenjoyable, boring, and awkward—or we can proactively explore it. We can approach our sexual interactions as opportunities to heighten our sensations, navigate our personal boundaries, and embrace our ever-changing and perfectly flawed nature. By exploring our sexual desires with a joy for discovery, we can reclaim our inner authority and choose to create good sex. Sweaty, sacred, mind-blowing, intensely powerful, life-changing sex.
Let’s remember the age old truth whereby the personal is always political. And with the current political landscape, it seems to me that some deeply personal truths are begging to be unearthed. Now is not the time to hide timidly in the dark, pushing your desires for incredible sexual pleasure under the rug. In fact, there has never been a good time to sit back and watch the boring cycles of sexual suffering continue. So get up and reclaim your sex life.