Good Sex Versus Bad Sex

Did you have sex in high school? If you didn’t, you really should’ve because it was sort of amazing. It’s the worst sex you’ll ever have without knowing it. Like someone could actually just ram their tongue in your bellybutton for an hour and eat the lint, and you’d just be like, “Oh my god, my body is trembling with pleasure! This is so experimental and hideously kinky! WHERE’S THE WHIPPED CREAM? CAN I EAT THIS WAFFLE OFF YOUR PUBIC HAIR NEXT?! I saw it in that movie 9 and 1/2 Weeks...” Ignorance is seriously bliss, you guys. Since you have nothing to compare it to, everything feels fantastic and Kama Sutra-y. You want to be Samantha Jones from Sex and the City talking about your sex life all blasé in the high school cafeteria. “Yeah, we’ve done anal. I mean, we’re just really free, you know?” You honestly believe that the sex you’re having is fantastic and daring and adventurous when, in reality, it’s strange, painful, and often lasts the duration of a Ramones song.

Bad sex doesn’t become Bad Sex until you’ve actually had good sex. In fact, you could live your entire life thinking you were having the most mind-blowing sex until you meet someone who actually knows what they’re doing, and then you’re like “Oh, JK.” Sometimes good sex can be a curse though because when it gets taken away from you — and it always does — you’ll forever know its truest potential. You’ll no longer be satisfied by a couple of thrusts and a colorful O face. You’ve been touched by an angel and now you have to wait until the next one comes along. Hint: You might be waiting a long time. Like imagine yourself waiting in the ER with no healthcare next to a man with a gunshot wound who’s already been there for four hours. You might want to just take home this guy with the man bun in the meantime.

All of this being said, do you ever get paranoid that you’ve been having tons of bad sex without knowing it? How do you know if you haven’t found the peanut butter to your sex jelly yet? People always talk about sex as either being terrible or amazing but what I’ve found in my own experience is that a lot of is unremarkable. I’ve dated people for long stretches of time and when it ends, I can’t remember what the sex was like for the life of me. The go-to descriptive word is always “nice.” The sex is nice. Um, you know what’s nice? Puppies, Ellen Degeneres, Unitarians, your friend’s mom, 75 degree weather, a hug from an orphan. Sex shouldn’t be just nice, right?

There’s something sweet about all the bad sex you have in the beginning. There’s no judgment. You might be ultra vulnerable but you’re protected by your partner’s own ignorance. If something doesn’t feel perfect or if things are awkward, it’s okay because you’re young and this is just the starting point. No expectations here! You just want to explore someone’s body and have them let you do things to it. It doesn’t stay this way, of course. With every new person you sleep with, it gets to be more noisy. Bad sex is bad sex, good sex is good sex. The definitions have been made and set in stone. You have a checklist that needs checking off. There’s something so… clinical and disheartening about it. In some ways, I wish every time could feel like the first time. I mean, except it would be longer, nicer, and no one would have Cheeto breath. TC mark

image – Noah Kalina

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Guest

    I never had sex in high school.  But my first time was…eh.  Wouldn’t wanna go through that again.


    Yay Unitarians!

  • Domino

    my first time was with a guy that was quite experienced and i remember thinking “oh shit… ok here we go…. owww oww OWWW ok… ooh! oooh. oh that actually feels nice. wait what do i do? his face is making weird faces. he is getting reeeeally into it. ohmygod this is good. this is great. this is GREAT. I WANNA DO THIS EVERYDAY OHMYGOOOOOOOOD”. 

    high school sex wasn’t that bad at all, actually.

  • guest

    Glad I didn’t have high school sex, that seemed to end badly more often than not. And have to say that my first time was lame, even though I was inexperienced, I still knew that it should have been better for all that hooplah everyone said.

  • CDub

    So just read Todd Clayton’s post, then I read this … I hope Clayton never read these before becoming more comfortable with his sexuality.

  • Anonymous

    So true, love it!

  • Grace KM Wong

    Peanut butter to sex jelly! Ha – love this line.

  • Paul S

    Please! I’d just be happy with SOME sex…


    “Oh, JK.”  *spits out drink, starts laughing*

  • Mitch Lavender

    Cool bit.  And yeah, the first sex, however awkward it really was, is remembered as awesome. 
    “Dude.  Smell my finger.”

  • my name is aesthette

    “You’ve been touched by an angel and now you have to wait until the next one comes along. Hint: You might be waiting a long time. ”
    LOL. True facts. 

  • julezz


  • Mary

    this is SO true. love it.

  • Ombre

    The first guy I slept with was actually my best sex. But I was a late bloomer – lost it at 19 to a 31 yr old. Everything has been downhill since him, and he’s also too much of an asshole to try and reconnect with. :(

    Guys my age just have no idea….

  • SomeGuest

    Huh, being a 20-year old virgin doesn’t seem nearly as bad now.

    • AndreaCarmona

      except when you eventually do have sex, there’s a good chance it’ll be with someone with experience and will know that you aren’t very good. And they’ll continue their search for good sex.

  • Anonymous

    Your point being?

  • Natasha Reeves

    Totally adorable. I love you for your honesty!

  • Keltydennis

    I appreciate the part about high school sex. It’s so true, it’s so intense and intimate because you don’t know anything else.

  • Lady

    It works the other way, too.  The first guy I had sex with was pretty well endowed and I had no idea.  I wish I’d appreciated it at the time.  Sigh…

  • Veronica

    You know what’s missing here? Self-sex. I’ve had great self-sex and now that I’m starting to have partner-sex I’m not totally ignorant… A part of me wishes I was, though. I got too used to my own touches and now I have to adjust to other kinds of touch.

  • Josh Burns

    Oh, so true.  I married someone who was horrible at sex (real bad choice on my part) and eventually got divorced.  I was lucky enough to stumble on some great sex, and then was naive enough to think it would be easy to come across again.  Savor and cherish it while it’s at your disposal.

  • Annamorous

    Cheeto breath lol

  • AndreaCarmona

    So painfully true. I don’t even know how to start saying how much I enjoyed this article.

  • Setoshino

    Reblogged this on The World Without Us.

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