Let's talk about (bad) sex
Unsatisfactory sex can be a major relationship issue. We asked some UA students to give their takes on how to tackle it
Editors note: Talking about sex is fun and foxy, but it’s still a taboo subject to be published for many individuals. We have only included the first name and year of the sourced students at their requests.
We’ve all been there—you’re dating someone new and start hooking up, but those late-night activities aren’t exactly the way you thought they’d be.
Conversation never dries up and you’re so into the way he looks in that button down or how she walks around in those sundresses, but for some reason, the sex just isn’t as great as you imagined.
This realization is beyond upsetting, but walking away certainly shouldn’t be the first solution.
Communication is a key aspect of any relationship, no matter how serious the relationship is.
Two UA students shared their thoughts on what to do when the sex just isn’t cutting it.
Evie, a junior, said the dynamics of such a conversation are more comfortable when you’re already in the moment.
“I think, if anything, during that moment, you don’t want to just burst that person’s ego or be like, ‘No! I don’t like this,’” Evie said. “It’s really hard when you’re having sex with someone and maybe they were liking it but you weren’t. It [should be] 50/50, but it can’t always be that way, so you have to respect the other person’s enjoyment and just go with it.”
It can be especially hard to bring up the topic without offending, as the other person can easily go on the defensive.
“I think you need to say, like, ‘Hey, give me one moment, can we stop for a second and talk about what I kind of want to do?’” Evie said. “I wouldn’t put it in a very arrogant or mean way. I think it’s really important when you’re at that moment to be respectful and stay open-minded.”
Sophia, a senior, said she thinks it’s important to be open-minded and confident in yourself when bringing up sex with your partner.
“I’d probably just be like, ‘What’s your style?’” she said. “People definitely have a style that they like. Some are kinkier than others, some people just like to do it and be really intimate, some people are more about the sex and less about the person. I think I would just get a take on what they’re in it for.”
Figuring out personal feelings for your partner definitely plays a part in having this conversation. For some, like Sophia, not having feelings for your partner makes the conversation more difficult to have. For others, this conversation is easier when feelings aren’t a part of the picture.
“I don’t think chemistry is something you can just end a relationship over,” Evie said. “If you really love someone, [good sex] might just take a little more work, but you’ll get there.”
Another factor to consider is the personal background of your new sexual partner. On a college campus like the UA, students come from all over the world and likewise represent different cultures and religions.
“Some people were raised with really liberal parents and they were able to talk about sex and probably have very little confusion when it comes to what to do in bed and how to mesh with someone,” Sophia said. “[On the other hand], some people were raised to think that sex is shameful, and that’s probably a contributor if you’re having problems
Breaking through barriers like religion, culture or upbringing can present challenges, but it’s not impossible.
Sophia said she thinks anyone who is wanting to talk to a partner about making changes in the bedroom should first talk to a friend, but overall, staying open-minded is key.
“Just be cool with it—a conversation like that doesn’t mean that you’re bad in bed, it just means that you’re not on the same page,” Sophia said. “It might be pretty easy to get on the same page, you just have to be willing to talk about it.”
While we can all hope that everyone we date will be perfect in bed, that’s rarely the case.
Sex can be a deal-breaker, but so can communication. Life is full of sexual opportunities and who knows—maybe you and your partner share a crazy kink that neither of you have even dreamt of bringing into the bedroom.
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