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How to stop having bad sex

Don’t worry about how many people they’ve slept with, accept that it’s not always amazing, and communicate more

Sex, historically, has been a fucking disaster. Some civilisations got it kind of right. The Ancient Greeks seemed like they knew what was up, all covered in olive oil and having it off with whoever was closest. They were partying all night and eating grapes all day. Ideal, right? Wrong. They were also disgusting sex criminals – if you’ve seen the pictures on their vases you know – and that’s not gravy. Medieval people were no better. Imagine it, they smell terrible because they wash one time a year, their clothes are shit – all baggy velvet, not flattering at all – and probably nobody has teeth. Even as recent as a couple of hundred years ago everyone was so in denial about the female orgasm they invented a doctor who would give your wife an orgasm to chill her out and then send you the bill. I’m…. disgusted.

In short: much of history has been the opposite of a fun and sexy time. Our ancestors were repressed prudes with bad dental hygiene and actually you know what? I’m glad they’re dead. I’m also glad that I’m alive now, in a time when we’re all honest about the fact that sex done right is fun, pretty much everyone wanks, and that watching videos of people consensually having sex doesn’t mean you’re going to hell.

But being more open about sex doesn’t mean that we’re all good at it. Women’s magazines rely on our doubts to sell copies. The headlines are all like 10 Sexy Ways To Use Decommissioned World War II Sniper Rifles in The Bedroom! or How Releasing A Bag of Snakes Into The Bedroom Kept My Man Interested! Also RIP Carl Killed By Snakes. It’s confusing and it’s scary. So what is the truth? How do you have good sex?


At its most basic, good sex is two (or more) people doing what makes them feel good in a way that works for everyone involved. It’s as much about listening to your partner as it is listening to what the experts are saying. So the journey to “good sex” is often taken by trial and error. Good sex is as much about both of you feeling positive about the experience when it’s over. Good sex goes beyond how many times you get off- if you and your partner were comfortable & un-coerced throughout, I think you should consider that a win.


I’m mostly looking at you, fellas. Enough with the outrage at finding out a girl has a higher body count than you. Only time that should really concern you is when the bodies she’s talking about are the dudes she’s killed for being sex-negative baby men who shamed her for her personal choices. So long as you’re both safe together who cares. Remember when Kim Kardashian dropped her earring in the ocean and started crying and Kourtney was like “There’s people that are dying”. Well, same. It’s not that serious. It doesn’t matter. Have a Lilt and grow up, Kenneth.

“It’s like I always say about cheeseburgers, one bad burg doesn’t mean all burgs are bad. It’s exactly the same with sex”


Sometimes sex is bad. Sometimes it’s bad because you’re doing it with someone who values the high-fives it will earn them more than making it something that you don’t regret in the morning. Sometimes it’s bad because you had a big lunch, or because you think a bird saw you. Sometimes it’s because they’re touching you in all the wrong ways and you can’t work out exactly how to tell them. Whatever the reason – let it go. It’s like I always say about cheeseburgers, one bad burg doesn’t mean all burgs are bad. It’s exactly the same with sex. Or not, I don’t know. I had a lot of cough syrup today.


This isn’t to say that you should try everything regardless of your history or your boundaries or what you know about yourself. It just means that if what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s not because you’re weird or broken. The new thing you try might be no more sex with anyone who you can’t trust completely. It might be more casual sex, it might be less. It might be sex with the lights on. You want to get tied up? Great. Try it. You think you want to have sex with more than one person? Good luck to you, sir! You want to fuck in a big bowl of soup like a sexy little crouton? You go right ahead buddy and don’t let anybody stop you!


When I was a teenager about to have sex for the first time I was worried about a lot of things. What if I did it wrong? What if it hurt? What if I couldn’t stop laughing? Mostly I was worried that I’d do it with the wrong person. I was young and earnest and still associated sex with love and romance and that bit in Titanic where he sketches her tits and then they bone in the back of the car. Real tender, emotional shit. And I still do, to a degree. I only want to have sex with people who feel positively towards me, who respect my boundaries and don’t intend me any ill-will. But I’m also aware that only having sex with people we love isn’t a practice that works for everyone. For most people that would be like reading one page of a biology textbook, clapping your hands together and saying “Alright lads let’s decode that fucking genome”.


Do it before, during and after. I’m serious. There are so many people who think they can roll out the same moves with every partner and that’ll cut it. If you want to have sex with someone you need to accept their sexual history, their trauma, their level of experience. Allow people their complexities and be patient with them. It’s like this one time I got a really difficult Homer Simpson jigsaw puzzle. It was thousands of tiny pictures of Homer that – when put together right – became one big Homer. Well good sex is exactly like that. IT’S EXACTLY THE SAME.

So go and have sex. Do it with people you’ve loved for years, do it with your friends, with strangers. With people you met online. Do it for hours, or else do it for 14 minutes and then call it a day. Do it because you’re bored, because it’s raining and what else are you supposed to do? Do it because you’re in love and when words run out you want to say it in a different way, in the dark. Do it just to do it, but do it well.