If you are sexually active in college, this means that you are in a relationship with someone. I use this word loosely because you can either be dating, having casual sex (“friends with benefits”), or hooking up with multiple partners. Though the level of intimacy may differ within each category, you can experience bad sex in any of them. The truth is, just because you love someone does not mean you have mind-blowing, fantastic sex with him or her.
Because there is so much contradictory information about avoiding bad sex, it may seem impossible to prevent it. Men tend to blame women (“She just lies there and expects me to do all the work!”), and women tend to blame men (“It’s like he’s trying to beat Usain Bolt’s record!”). Though clearly influenced by hostility towards the other sex and a lack of orgasms, the responses of these brave souls are valid points.
Let’s tackle the first. Why do so many women place the responsibility on men to be good in bed? The main explanation is that women are taught to be submissive, and men are taught to be dominant in the bedroom. I can’t even begin to tell you how many conversations I’ve had with girlfriends who defined great sex as men physically taking over the women cavemen-style because it emphasized his masculinity, which of course is a huge turn on. It’s the reason why most television shows have at least one character who fits this description and why “Fifty Shades of Grey” is so popular.
If our lives resembled chick flicks and steamy romance novels, then this scenario probably would meet our expectations. Maybe that’s the second problem.
Many women define “good sex” as those graphic scenes that only exist in paper or on film. Women are taught to believe that the ideal guy should look like the half-naked guy on the covers of romance novels (steroid alert) and that it’s perfectly normal for a man to be able to thrust for hours without stopping (Viagra alert). Even worse, men are expected to be alpha-males in the bedroom but sensitive and cuddly teddy bears anywhere else. I can’t blame my male friends who scratch their heads and say, “I was just trying to be nice,” when flirting with a cute girl. Unfortunately, being nice is only part of the equation.
However, some women do believe they are responsible for being good in bed and that they are, in fact, spectacular in bed. After all, there’s no way for a man to have bad sex, right? As long as you provide some stimulation (a simple breeze would do), he must orgasm immediately. Though this may be true for some young men, bad sex can happen to anyone. Sometimes it’s something the partner does during sex that bothers you (yelling weird stuff like “whip me” and “meow” applies here). Maybe you’re completely trashed and think you’re having sex in outer space with Morgan Freeman narrating your experience.
At this point, if you are a male who is planning on showing this article to your girlfriend to justify why women are to blame for bad sex, you may want to keep reading. Though men can’t shoulder all the blame, let’s face it — you’re involved in this problem too.
Most men have watched porn by the time they’re in college and have obviously whacked off to it. I’m not going to say this is a disgusting, immoral habit because it’s really not a big deal. In fact, many women do it too, though whether they would admit to it is a different question. I’m pretty sure that for a man, it’s one of the few free activities that gives you maximum pleasure in no time at all. The problem is in the last half of that sentence. By falling into a routine of watching porn and masturbating in order to orgasm as quickly as you can, you physically prepare your body to cum within a short period of time. When you finally have sex with someone, you almost can’t control your body. This is why one of the biggest complaints among women is that partners always come before they do, leaving them horny and frustrated (and reading “Fifty Shades of Grey”).
I don’t mean to keep hating on porn, but it also creates unrealistic expectations (sound familiar?). Unfortunately, almost every porn plays out the same way: guy and girl get naked, girl gives him oral sex, guy has sex with her (or assaults her) for over half an hour (cinematography is key here), and guy ejaculates onto girl’s face. The girl’s constant screams of faked pleasure put a banshee to shame, and there is almost no fluid (sweat, precum, etc.) anywhere. The more you masturbate to this formula, the more you start to believe that “good sex” is supposed to be like scenes from porn. Real sex, on the other hand, is much more complicated; messy, gross, and uncomfortable (contrary to popular belief, most women do not like to have something shoved down their throats, and most men do not like to be asphyxiated by thigh muscles).
There are other reasons why bad sex continues to exist. These include insecurity (“are my breasts too small?”), a lack of creativity (“there’s other positions besides missionary one?”), and rudeness (“hurry up, I have class in about ten minutes.”) However, I think that the best solution to any of these issues requires women to step up and tell their partners to try something different despite their insecurities about their partners’ reactions and for men to get over their masculinity complexes and take the criticism as positive feedback in order to change.
Sex is not something you’re magically good at once you find your soulmate. Like everything else, it takes practice, evaluation, and improvement.
Gao is a member of the class of 2014.