I’m sure a lot of us have wondered, “Am I bad in bed?” from time to time. It’s a tough question to ask, and the truth is your partner may not be 100 percent honest with their response, even if you work up the nerve to say anything to them. Sometimes, though, you can feel that something’s not quite right during sex, and you may not be performing as well as you can. I hate the term “performing”, because it sounds fake, or like a competition— both of which it should not be— but sometimes we know when something’s just… off.
It’s not anything to be ashamed of. It can be really uncomfortable, and make you feel really vulnerable, if you feel like your partner isn’t satisfied, or you’re just not good in bed. But this shouldn’t make you feel bad, because how you are in bed can depend on so many different things (Maybe you’re stressed? Struggling with body image issues? Not sexually comfortable with your partner?) and it can happen to the best of us. The best part is that you can (and will) improve.
During my first few hand jobs, I confused pre-ejaculate with the guy actually finishing and I just smiled all pleased with myself while he looked awkward and unsurprisingly, frustrated. (Whoops! It happens). Even though we tend to feel really insecure and defensive about how we perform during sex, remember that every single person has had a sub-par performance, or in my case a just completely embarrassing one. It’ll get better.
So how do you know if you have some room for improvement? Here are some easy signs that are also totally fixable.
1. Your Enjoyment Is Your Only Priority During
It takes two (or more) to tango, but if you notice that you’re only focused on what you enjoy in bed, rather than how your partner is doing, you need to take a step back and look at the sex as a whole. Getting your partner off can be a huge turn on, which is great, because it leads to both of you doing everything you can to turn your partner on and loads of mutual excitement and enjoyment.
2. You’re Racing To The Finish
Not everyone wants to have marathon sex sessions. In fact, a lot of women prefer shorter rounds. But if you’re fumbling as quickly as you can from kissing to foreplay to sex, you probably need to slow down. Especially if you’re having hetero sex, you may need some time to really get in the mood before penetration, so don’t skimp on the foreplay. It’s sexier than you think.
3. You’re Too Orgasm-Focused
Yes, orgasm-equality is amazing and important, and it’s great that millennials are so much more aware of it than previous generations. But there are lots of reasons someone may not be able to finish— medical conditions, antidepressants, whiskey-dick, or just being too tired or stressed. Pressuring your partner to finish can make them self-conscious and uncomfortable.
4. You’re Not Asking For What You Want
Being bad in bed isn’t just about not making your partner feel good. If you’re just going along and pretending to enjoy sex, but actually not getting what you need, you’re letting your partner down, too. They would be disappointed, and hurt, if they realized you were being disingenuous. Being a good sexual partner means being honest to them and yourself.
5. Your Partner Shuts Down Afterward
If things are really uncomfortable after sex, chances are something was off during it. It should be a lovely, silly, glow-y time, so if your partner seems to be uncomfortable, you may want to ask if they’re OK and if there’s anything you could do to put them more at ease next time.
6. There’s Palpable Awkwardness
Don’t feel bad— we’ve all had sex that’s awkward. You know the kind: You can hear the bed springs, there’s fake moaning, and it feels really mechanical and unnatural. Trust your gut. If you feel awkward your partner probably does too, so work out how to make it more relaxed for the both of you in the future.
7. You’re Not Talking About It
Being bad in bed isn’t just about what happens during sex. All of the problems above can be remedied through communication. If you don’t talk about sex, it’s going to be difficult to make any improvement. And, you should be communicating about what you like just as much about what isn’t working, or what you are worried may not be working. If the sex is great, it shouldn’t be a touchy conversation area, And by focusing on the good, it will be easier to talk about the not so good. Make sure you’re communicating regularly.
Originally posted on Bustle