7 Sex Mistakes You Don’t Realize You’re Making

If you’re like most people, you almost certainly wish you were better at sex. And this is probably the case even if you already know you’re good at it. Everyone wants to be that unforgettable person who’s so awesome in bed, they set an entirely new gold standard for their partners. But making that happen is only partially about learning what to do in bed to really rock someone’s world.

It’s also about unlearning all the myths, misconceptions, and poor lessons nearly everyone learns about sex at some point. Here’s a closer look at a few sex errors that are so common, you’re almost certainly still making at least a couple of them.

1.      Making Orgasm the Be-All and End-All

We get it. You like orgasms, and with good reason, because they’re awesome. You don’t want to make having an orgasm the only thing that matters when you’re having sex, though. An orgasm doesn’t have to be the end goal, and there are plenty of times when it maybe shouldn’t be.

Focusing too much on having or giving an orgasm instead of simply making each other feel good can backfire. You can wind up with performance anxiety and miss out on the enjoyment of sex in the process. Try staying present and focusing on what’s happening in the moment instead.

2.      Making “TV Sex” the Standard

In case you need a reminder, nothing in the movies or on TV is truly representative of reality. This includes all those steamy sex scenes you see so many of these days. However, many people still look at those assuming that’s how it’s supposed to be done. Then they feel awful about themselves when they’re not capable of measuring up.

There’s nothing wrong with you if you can’t stay rock hard and go at it like gangbusters for an hour straight. And there’s nothing wrong with your partner if they don’t instantly have a vaginal orgasm thirty seconds into sex. Most people can’t do those things, so don’t take the sex you see on TV so seriously.

3.      Not Talking About Sex

Although it might seem strange to anyone who’s super-comfortable discussing sex with their partners, there are so many people out there who are too embarrassed to do it. Sometimes it’s the way people were raised, and other times, it’s just a matter of being bashful. But it’s essential to try to move past those obstacles if you’re serious about having a terrific sex life.

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Talking about sex isn’t just important for people in long-term relationships or ongoing FWB situations, either. Even one-night stands are much better when those involved are comfortable asking for what they want and expressing themselves freely.

4.      Expecting Partners to Be Mind Readers

Along the same lines of not feeling comfortable talking about sex is feeling like you simply shouldn’t have to. Many people think that if their partner is truly dialed in, they should be able to intuit what they want without their having to ask. This happens especially often with women, as they’re more likely to have experienced shame for taking responsibility for their sexual pleasure.

That said, leave the guessing games out of the equation when it comes to your sex life. Take responsibility for your own pleasure instead of placing it on your partner’s shoulders. It’s not their job to successfully guess how you’d like to be touched or pleased. It’s your job to speak up and let them know what they need to know.

5.      Seeing Sex as Dirty

Again, this is something that is more common with women because of the differences in how they’re socialized, but it can affect men, as well. If any part of you believes that sex is something shameful or that you’re wrong for wanting it, you’re almost certainly not getting as much out of your sex life as you could be.

The same goes for feeling as if sex is only OK within specific contexts. For instance, while sex between two people who are married or in a committed relationship can be great, it’s not suitable for everyone. Likewise, although any type of sex should be approached responsibly and ethically, there’s nothing wrong with casual sex, friends-with-benefits situations, or the occasional hook-up.

6.      Hiding Your Kinks

Although no one’s under any obligation to share their kinks with every partner they ever have (or at all), you should really think about whether exploring yours with other people is something you want. If it is, then consider introducing it into your connections with others sooner rather than later.

People are understandably private about their kinks and fetishes. They especially don’t want to overwhelm someone they may have just met, so they keep things tightly under wraps. Then they wind up sorry for it later, especially if they do wind up seeing anyone in particular for longer than a night or two. So don’t be afraid to be upfront about kink, especially if you want to explore yours further.

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7.      Assuming Partners Like What You Like

Sex, arousal, and satisfaction aren’t one-size-fits-all deals. Everyone’s different as far as what they like, what they crave, and how they enjoy being stimulated. However, many people assume that if something does it for them in the bedroom, it must also do it for their partner (or that it should). This is a huge mistake, especially if you want your partners to leave your bed feeling like they had a great time.

For example, someone might bust out a particular move in the bedroom in the hopes that their partner will not only love it but do it back to them. But don’t expect your partner to like the same things you do. Pleasure them the way they want to be pleasured, and let them know what you like in no uncertain terms, as well. That way, you’ll both get what you want and need.

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Ruth Thomas

Ruth Thomas

Hi! My name is Ruth! I am a sex therapist and a happily married swinger (for 20 years now).

I have a PhD in human sexuality and a masters in counseling. I've been helping people improve their sex lives for over 25 years.

I am a member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) and the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM).

I'm here to help people explore their sexuality and find what works for them. Whether it's with one partner or many, in a committed relationship or not, I believe that everyone deserves to experience the joys of a fulfilling sexual life.

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