By Rosie Alger and Dan Teano
Opinion Editor and Lifestyle Editor
Sex seems to be one of those ideas where everyone knows what it means, yet no one knows how to define it. Plenty of people think of sex as purely penetrative, but if that is the case, what is sex for gay and lesbian couples, for example? Does everything else that couples do get reduced down to foreplay?
If sex itself is hard enough to define, how can we possibly go about defining good sex? I tend to think of sex as any physical act in which one or more people involved have the potential to orgasm.
To be really good sex, however, I think the focus should be less on that end result and more on the other person. Call me a romantic, but I think sex is all about connecting. If two people are really listening to each other and paying attention to physical and facial cues that show how the other person is feeling, the sex is always going to be more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Sex should be a give and take, and above all it should be fun. The more nervous or tense you are, the worse it will feel. Don’t let your preconceived notions of what sex should be get in the way of having fun. The worst thing to kill a mood is to put too much pressure on yourself, or the other person, to achieve a certain goal.
What sex is, and what makes it good, is going to be different for everyone. Make sure you are clear with your partner about what you like and do not like, and ask them to do the same. Don’t pretend to like something that you don’t; you won’t be doing anyone a favor. Don’t be ashamed to ask someone to try something they’ve never tried before. If you know what you like, you might be able to expand someone’s horizons and make their experience better as well. Don’t push it, though; respect their decision if they aren’t comfortable with what you are asking.
As is the case with most aspects of a relationship, the key to good sex is communication and openness. You don’t have to talk everything out in an academic way, but let your partner know how you feel, whether it be through words or actions. The more feedback you give and receive, the better the sex will be.
Keep an open mind when it comes to defining sex and what makes it good, and don’t be afraid to try new things.
Nowadays, guys and good sex seem to be an oxymoron.
With the recent news of Aziz Ansari’s scandal, some people have indicted him for sexual harassment, while others have spited him for being “bad at sex.”
In the past two months, several online magazines have published op-eds by females who recount their own stories of “bad” sexual experiences. Consequently, if you’re a guy who’s interested in having sex, the media has put you in a precarious position. On one hand, you need to downplay your intentions to avoid one-way consent; on the other, when you do have consent, you have to deal with the now-popular assumption that you’re miserable in bed. So, you’re either a predator or an emotionless robot incapable of foreplay and lasting for more than five minutes—or, like Ansari, you’re a strange mix of both.
While wanting to have sex as a male seems like a lose-lose situation, there must be a way to “do” sex in a way that isn’t “done” but shared. After all, we should only have sex when we’re fully confident that our partner is equally invested emotionally and physically.
The reason why most guys fail to have “good sex” is because they’re so desperate to have it. When we strike up a conversation with someone at the bar, thinking about how to have sex with that person should not dominate our minds.
As a heterosexual male, I can tell you this: girls can sense your agenda from the moment you make eye contact with them. Before you even say, “let me holler at you,” they can already tell you wanted to chat them up for one reason only. Of course, this does not mean you’re never allowed to show you’re sexually interested. Nevertheless, there’s an obvious difference in how you look at someone when you think “I want you” versus “I want you to want me.”
This is what good sex isn’t: having sex for the purpose of telling your friends you “caught a body” and can add one to your hit list. If this is your intention, you’re already in a losing position. Without noticing it, you become forceful and outcome-dependent; you bring her into your room and you sit on your bed without even thinking to wash your hands; you care more about getting off than listening to how she’s responding to your foreplay—wait, what foreplay?
Of course, women are capable of giving “bad sex” as well. They can easily pull someone into their room, then kick them out half an hour later without that person’s pants ever touching the floor. The point is this: bad sex isn’t determined by gender, but rather by the failure of both partners to respect themselves and each other sexually.
Call me old-school, but I subscribe to the idea that good sex is exclusively enjoyed by people who actually like each other, that good sex doesn’t rely on alcohol to initiate or sustain desire, that good sex is sensitive to what the other person is experiencing. Good sex is when both partners are looking to fulfill themselves sexually by pleasing their partner first.
I’m no sex expert, but experience has taught me that people, especially when they’re turned on, are active beings, not rag dolls. If your partner fails to reciprocate with equal enthusiasm, neither one of you is having a good time.