Putting up with bad sex
Good sex makes you feel good about yourself. Bad sex has the opposite effect. Simple, huh? You’d be surprised.
As a sex therapist, I hear from lots of people who keep having sex even though the sex they’re having isn’t making them feel good about themselves. Most often, they’re just relieved that all the body mechanics are still working. They forget that sex is supposed to make you happy.
Believe it or not, there are ways to turn bad sex into better sex—sex that actually leaves you feeling good. But for now, let’s just say the most important thing you can do to cultivate good sex is to say “no” to sex that’s just not worth your time or energy. (But watch out: Here’s what happens to your body when you stop having sex.)
Having sex when you’re not ready
sirtravelalot/Shutterstock Too many people have sex despite not being very turned on. They might be physically aroused, but that’s not the kind of arousal that counts. What counts is psychological arousal.
When you’re psychologically aroused, you become more infantile, more in-the-moment. If all goes well, your IQ drops and you become a bit more immature. Good love-making recalls our attachment to the first people who held us, rocked us, and told us we were wonderful. Hey, who wouldn’t want to go back there? Most adults get to be infantile like that only when they’re having sex. (See how one study found great sex to be a trance-like state.)
So make sure you lose some IQ points in bed. Otherwise, why bother?
Not being selfish enough during lovemaking
We’re all reminded these days to make sure we pleasure our partners in bed. But some people overdo that part. The result is a lot of very boring sex. Sexual generosity that’s not accompanied by a certain kind of selfishness just isn’t very erotic.
Think about it: No hero in a romance novel ever rips off the heroine’s clothes and says, “Now tell me how you like to be touched.”
No, he just consumes her, like a delicious pastry. There’s a kind of selfishness at the heart of most sexual passion.
Ideally, you want to feel “selfishly connected” to your partner. That frees your partner to feel selfishly connected to you.