While freedom and playfulness are key parts of a fun sex life, it’s equally important to ensure you’re respectful and tactful between the sheets. From failing to properly negotiate sexual experimentation to simply assuming that your partner is having as much fun as you are, here are the top ten sexual etiquette mistakes (and some tips that will help you improve your approach).
1. Poor Hygiene
If you expect someone to get up close and personal with you, make sure you’ve had a thorough wash. If you’re lucky enough to have an unexpected sexual encounter, you can still freshen up in the bathroom before getting down to business. As a bonus, you’re more likely to get a spontaneous offer of oral sex if you smell enticingly fresh and clean.
2. Skipping Foreplay
While this complaint is usually levelled against men, both males and females should consider whether they’re adequately “warming up” their partner before expecting some form of penetrative sex. Different people become aroused at different paces, so take your time and make sure you’re both feeling properly turned on before taking things to the next stage. Foreplay can involve anything from deep kissing to massage and exploring the full length of your partner’s body.
3. Trying Something New Without Asking
If there’s any doubt about whether your partner might enjoy something, ask before trying it. Some people will be delighted by the inclusion of spanking or anal sex, but plenty of other individuals might find these acts intimidating, uncomfortable or distasteful. Consequently, it’s vital to obtain explicit consent before bringing any new practice into the bedroom.
4. Ignoring Your Partner’s Feelings About Cleaning Up
It can be tempting to just lie in post-coital bliss, but if your partner is looking uncomfortably sticky or scrambling for a washcloth then the least you can do is help to clean up. A shared shower can also be an intimate and fun way to freshen up after sex. However, if you’re the one who is more concerned with cleanliness, try to wait a few minutes before running off to wash yourself – you don’t want to give the impression that you can’t wait to scrub all traces of the encounter off your skin!
5. Forgetting To Turn Off Your Phone
Nothing ruins the mood like the impatient buzz of a text message or the loud sound of your abrasive ringtone. Make sure you turn off your phone (or at least switch it to silent mode) before sex. If you forget to switch it off, never pick up the phone during sex! If someone has something important to say, they’ll leave a voicemail or call back later.
6. Being Sexually Selfish
Don’t just turn over and fall asleep after sex! While it’s unrealistic to expect earth-shattering spontaneous orgasms, it is important to make sure that both parties experience equal pleasure. While this may not always involve climax, it’s good to check out whether there’s anything you can do to enhance your partner’s satisfaction. Meanwhile, if you’re feeling ignored, don’t pretend you satisfied – this is a recipe for an endless supply of unfulfilling sex.
7. Sharing Stories About Past Partners
Unless you already know that your partner finds it exciting to hear about your previous sexual encounters, keep those fond memories to yourself. Regaling a new lover with stories about how your ex was up for sex in any location could put her legs around her own neck will only breed insecurity and resentment.
8. Being Too Critical
Aim for the middle ground between enduring terrible sex and making your partner feel completely inept. This etiquette tip is especially important in long-term relationships, when it may feel like higher comfort levels license brutal honesty! You should feel free to make your wants and needs clear, but a little tact will make sure you get great results without bruising any egos. Try “I’d love it if you would…” instead of “Ugh, I hate it when you…”
9. Pushing Pour Partner’s Head Down
Unless it has already been established that your partner likes that sort of thing, pushing at their head or yanking their hair in an attempt to encourage oral sex is bad manners. If your partner is in the mood to give it, you’ll soon know. In addition, if you’re with someone who is shy about initiating oral sex then it’s much better to ask for it than to try and force the issue.
10. Pressuring Your Partner Into Avoiding Condoms
Finally, some people find condoms desensitizing, but they are an important safety measure. Even if one of you is using another type of birth control, a barrier method of contraception is vital unless you’ve both been tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Suggesting pulling out instead of using a condom is not a reliable substitute, so if there’s pressure to avoid condoms then it’s better to put your pants back on.