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How to Have Bad Sex

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Updated June 19, 2013

Many of us long for a quick fix to our sexual dilemmas. We want a pill, an instructional video, or a series of complex finger movements that will magically make us less anxious and more confident about exposing our true sexual selves.

Of course no such magic pill exists. In the end, the quality of the sex we have is mostly in our own hands (literally and/or figuratively). There may not be one way to have good sex, but I do believe there are a few sure fire ways to not get what you want sexually, and to increase the chances of having bad sex. Here are my top ten ways to have bad sex.

Compare Yourself to Others:

Sexuality may be the most subjective aspect of human experience. Forget the magazine quizzes and six step sex books, there is simply no meaningful way to compare yourself to a stranger when it comes to your sexuality. Plus, everyone lies about sex anyway. Comparing yourself to others will give you nothing but grief. If you want to do something useful for your sex life, focus on yourself and anyone you're having sex with, and don't turn away.
Read more about the pitfalls of sexual comparisons

Ignore Your Body:

The idea of a perfect body is a fiction. None of us have perfect bodies. But we're inundated with pieced together visions of beauty that we all compare ourselves to an unattainable ideal. In response many of us turn away from our bodies, pretend they, we, aren't there. But whatever your body is like, you sexuality is part of it, and you ignore your body at the expense of genuine sexual pleasure and empowerment. It's not easy, but working with the body you've got is one crucial part of improving your sex life.
Read more about sexuality and body image

Only Listen to the Experts:

If you really want to have bad sex do every thing sex experts tell you to do. It's not that people with expertise don't have something to offer (I hope), but in practice sexuality is so personal and unique that the final expert must be you and/or the people you're having sex with. Sexual growth comes from paying attention to your own experience, your own feelings, and your own body first. Once you can do that then it's worth listening to what others have to say and deciding what of their advice rings true for you.
Read more about becoming your own sex expert

Stop Paying Attention:

Sexuality is as much about awareness as it is about action. From birth to death, our bodies and minds never stop changing, growing, and developing. This means our sexuality never stops changing either. When you stop paying attention to your most personal sexual feelings and experiences, you shut yourself off from that change, and from aspects of your sexual self. The goal is to become less sexually ignorant as we age, not more.
Read more about increasing your own sexual awareness.

Grow Up, Get Serious:

Sex is the closest thing adults have to the kind of play we engaged in when we were kids. While sex can be about all sorts of grown up things (having kids, making love, transcending duality, etc...) it can also just be a rollicking good time. If you make sex just one more thing that's serious and routine, and only done in "reasonable" ways, you lose much of the power and magic of sex in our lives.
Read more about sexual role play.

Believe That Ignorance Is Bliss:

We all live with a certain level of sexual ignorance. This ignorance keeps us at risk of many things; risk of bad sex, risk of STDs, risk of too many regretful moments. If you want to maintain that level of risk, just keep up your level of ignorance. If you want to turn the tide then get out there and learn something about sex that's relevant to your own life from someone who is qualified to teach you.
Read more about ending personal sexual ignorance.

Confuse Sex Entertainment With Sex Education:

Most of the books and magazine articles you read about sex are written by people with two qualifications; they look hip and they live in New York. Sex entertainment (movies, adult workshops, sex toy stores) can be a fun way to explore your options. But it isn't the same thing as sex education or sex therapy. If you're feeling good about your sex life but want more, sex entertainment may offer a quick boost. But if you're feeling genuinely stuck and distressed about your sexuality or your sex life, be sure to turn to a qualified sex educator, counselor, or therapist.
Read more about finding good sexual help.

Keep a Closed Mind:

Making the arbitrary decision that however you're having sex right now is the only way to have sex is another guaranteed route to sexual disappointment. Regardless of political and religious beliefs, there are countless ways to express and experience your sexuality. You don't need to throw out your principles or blur your boundaries to have better sex. You just need to be creative, which is kind of the opposite of being narrow-minded.
Read more ideas on getting creative with sex.

Act Like Sex Is Something Special:

Our sexuality is linked to all aspects of our lives; our health, our families, our jobs and retirement, everything. In this way, sex isn't really anything special; it's every day and everywhere. It follows that if you want to change your sex life in a substantial way you have to change other aspects of your life as well. But when you segregate sex from the rest of your life, whether that means putting it on a pedestal or in an old shoe box, you reduce your chances of change, and cut off awareness that can help you grow sexually.
Read more about integrating your sexual self.

Let Fear Be Your Guide

Sex is scary. Partly because we know so little, and partly because sex demands we give up control and expose ourselves. As a result many of us make a preemptive retreat. We don't talk about our desires, we don't tell our partners what we really want to do, or even what we fantasize about doing but would never want to do in real life. We keep ourselves hidden and collude with partners by not pushing them too much. Oftentimes fear is a reasonable response. But if you're in a safe relationship where there is trust, the more you let fear be your guide, the less you'll get out of the sexual relationship.
Read more about revealing your sexual self.
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