The Myth of Good Sex vs. Bad Sex

I know that some of the sex that you have is good and other sex you could just leave behind. That’s not what I’m talking about in this particular post. The myth that I’m talking about is that some partners are good at sex, while others are just bad. I really believe it’s important to shift this line of thinking, especially when you’re working on sexual negotiations and trying to improve your sexual relationship with a partner.

When you create a good vs. bad dichotomy, you start labeling people. You might even label yourself. Like other dichotomies, this cuts into self-esteem and self-worth. Everyone is worthy of sex!

Let me give you a couple of other examples of dichotomies and you’ll see what I mean.

  • Attractive vs. ugly
  • Good kisser vs. bad kisser

If you look at these 2 things, what do you notice? They’re subjective! You might think one person is a bad kisser and another person might think they’re great.

“Good” and “bad” takes your responsibility out of the equation. If the sex is a hookup, you might not care enough to put in a lot of effort. This is fine. However, people will label their partners good and bad, without really thinking about what they need to do to make a change.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have preferences. There is no way around preferences. Instead, I’m saying that it’s better to focus on how you can influence your sexual relationship, rather than label and dismiss it. Rather than saying, “my partner is bad at sex and I’m done with trying,” ask yourself what you need to change. It might be that you need to change your approach. You might need to ask different suggestions.

What do you do if a partner won’t listen or change?

Sometimes, you might be really dissatisfied with the sex, and your partner might not do anything about it. In these situations, you have to make decisions. I recommend asking yourself this question:

Are you willing to leave the relationship because of the sex?

If so, then you have to consider whether this relationship is workable for you and what next steps you’re going to take. If not, then you may need to consider broader options. If you’re in a monogamous relationship structure, you will want to talk with your partner about your needs and ask them what they need to be more involved in the discussion. You can offer sex therapy to your partner as one option.

This is where some people consider a consensual, non-monogamous relationship structure. These relationships can work in these situations if you are truly accepting the limitations of your relationship (you’re not holding contempt or resentment) and you have a relationship that has a solid foundation. It’s possible, you might not be a great sexual match.

Either way, you’re going to want to work on increasing the understanding of why there is a sexual problem. What barriers are there? Rather than labeling your partner as good or bad at sex, get curious about the bigger picture. What is the background story about the problem?

If you both start to have open conversations, you can make changes to improve the sexual relationship.


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