The Five Biggest Sex Mistakes and How To Avoid Them
on Sep 13, 2021
Although we might not think we do, many of us make mistakes when it comes to sex. The good thing is, once we know what these mistakes are, we can learn from them and improve our sex life. So, here are the five biggest sex mistakes and how to avoid them.
Sex Mistake #1: Having a narrow definition of sex
A lot of people consider sex to involve penetration while everything else is simply foreplay. This is simply not true. For some people, sexual acts such as oral sex, digital sex and mutual masturbation, are not considered “real” sex and this is where the mistake lies.
Putting penetration on a pedestal not only limits your options when it comes to sex, but also creates pressure for it to be expected when you’re being sexual with your partner. It’s why challenging and broadening your definition of sex can be so beneficial.
Think about including other things in your more holistic definition of sex, like erotic dance, massage, sexting, role playing, dirty talk, and sensual kissing. It can diversify your sexual experience and spice up your sex life in ways you didn’t know possible.
One way to avoid making this mistake is by experimenting with intentionally taking penetrative sex off the table. Can you and your partner set aside some time to have sex and be sexual with each but not engage in P-in-V, P-on-P or V-on-V penetration? How else can you connect sexually? What other ways can you pleasure each other?
Sex Mistake #2: Rushing into penetration
Because some consider penetration the pinnacle of a sexual experience, many of us are rushing into it, trying to get there as soon as possible. This can lead to situations where you’re penetrating before you or your partner’s body has had enough time to warm up and prepare.
For people with a vulva, it generally takes time to be fully aroused, ready, and lubricated. Rushing into penetration may mean less pleasure and possibly even discomfort. For people with a penis, although an erection may happen quickly, rushing into penetration may lead to ejaculating before they want to.
Instead of rushing, try slowing things down so that you have time to check in both with yourself and with your partner before penetration. In addition to checking the obvious physical signs like wetness and firmness, consider asking whether you actually feel ready, excited and relaxed.
When checking in, see if your whole body feels turned on. Ask what it is you actually want to do. If you can feel some resistance, reluctance, or anxiety, perhaps you’re still rushing slightly. Use this awareness as an invitation to slow down even more or even take a break if it’s what you need.
Sex Mistake #3: Being too goal-oriented
A lot of people tend to focus too much on specific techniques, tricks, and strategies for getting their partner off. They might think, “if I can just do this particular move,” or “if I could get this skill just right,” then they’ll be able to pleasure their partner.
Unfortunately, techniques don’t create intimacy. Being preoccupied with doing a certain technique takes you out of the moment, out of your body and into your head. This hinders your ability to be present and connected with your partner.
Similarly, many of us focus too much on orgasm—either our own or our partner’s. Orgasm is often considered a marker of “good” sex however, this can create a lot of expectations to perform. It puts pressure on one partner to deliver the goods and pressure on the other to achieve an outcome.
Pushing yourself or your partner to have an orgasm rarely results in an orgasm actually occurring. Instead, to create deeper intimacy and ultimately, to have more pleasurable sex, try letting go of these goals.
Orgasm doesn’t need to be the goal of sex. In fact, the next time you have sex, try taking it off the table as well. Make the experience about simply enjoying each other’s bodies and being in the moment, whatever it may look like.
Sex Mistake #4: Not taking responsibility for your own pleasure
Many of us think our partner’s pleasure is our responsibility and it’s our fault if they don’t orgasm. But if we’re worried about their pleasure and they’re worried about ours, who is actually enjoying themselves?
Instead of trying to take responsibility for your partner’s pleasure, take responsibility for your own pleasure. Of course, we want to be mindful and considerate of our partner’s experience, but it isn’t our job to make them orgasm. And it isn’t their job to make us orgasm.
This isn’t about being selfish or ignoring your partner’s needs. It is about two (or more) people each taking responsibility for their own pleasure and communicating about what they need from their partner(s) in order to feel satisfied. Prioritising your pleasure and asking for what you want allows your partner to help facilitate it for you, and you for them.
Most people get turned on by seeing their partner experiencing pleasure. So, if we do take responsibility for our pleasure and genuinely enjoy ourselves, this is going to be a huge turn on for our partner. Prioritise your pleasure, and you’ll find you both end up enjoying yourselves a lot more.
Sex Mistake #5: Confining sex to the bedroom
This doesn’t mean having sex in exotic locations (however, it can certainly be a valid and valuable way of expanding your sex life). No, I’m talking about the compartmentalizing many of us do with regards to sex, that it is something which is completely separate from the rest of our lives and is only engaged with or talked about when sex is literally happening.
We need to normalise having conversations about sex in non-sexual settings, like when you’re grabbing a coffee together or going for a walk. If you’re not ready to talk about sex, you’re not ready to do it.
The same goes for affection and intimacy in general. Instead of leaving it all for when you’re being sexual with each other, try to build anticipation with your partner throughout the day and week by hugging, kissing, flirting, holding hands, sexting, fondling, showering together and any other way which fosters physical connection between the two of you.
It is about keeping the sexual simmer going outside of the bedroom. Remember this is affection for affection’s sake, not to initiate sex. Doing these things outside of the bedroom shouldn’t be done solely for the purpose of getting back into the bedroom. Instead, actively communicating your attraction without expectation can help keep your passion and desire alive.