We know bad sex exists in this world, but who’s giving it? Definitely not me, and I bet you’re thinking to yourself as you’re reading this, “Not me, either”. Which is fair enough. We all claim to be great at coitus, at the very least, decent at it; admitting otherwise would be career suicide for lack of a better term. Nobody’s willing to stand up with their hand raised, and say “It’s me! I’m bad at sex. I’m the reason people go on Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse chat rooms to share their worst sex experiences with strangers ready to sympathize”. Any takers? I figured as much.

If nobody’s willing to admit they’re bad or might be bad at sex, then who’s giving all this bad sex we keep hearing about? Personally, I think it’s all of us. On at least one or two occasions. We’ve all given some bad sex. We just don’t always know about it cause the other person was kind enough to spare our feelings by not telling us the sex was trash. But that’s not necessarily to say we’re inherently bad at sex. It’s just easier to remember bad things more than we do good things; and when you hook up with someone and it turns out to be trash, even if it’s one time, that’s all they’ll remember.

In a world where cancel culture exists in its many forms, we’ve become less patient, less tolerant and most certainly less forgiving. So that one bad sex experience? first and last; instant relegation! Sex is a lot like Idols. If you blow your first audition, that’s it, you’ll forever be canonized in the wooden mic category; the hall of shame for giving bad sex; unless you get another shot the next year and redeem yourself (good luck with that, rarely happens.)

On one occasion, I hooked up with this lass I’d been drooling over for as long as I had known her. And the wait turned out to be totally worth it, for me. I had the time of my life. Suffice to say I enjoyed every moment of the entire exchange: from the foreplay, all the way to penetration. I was all up in there, feeling like Baron Zemo in the club in Madripoor in that one episode of The Falcon and Winter Soldier, as I went to pound town; and from the looks of it, she was in there with me, responding positively to every kiss, touch and stroke. In reality, she didn’t enjoy it as much as I perceived that she did.

We only ever hooked up once, (a single round) and I looked forward to hooking up again, so you know, I followed up with a couple of texts weeks later, “would you love to hookup again sometime”? to which the response was an “I’ll let you know”! a bad sign if I’d ever seen one. Not a “Sure, I’d like that” or “We can arrange that”, but “I’ll let you know”, to which I followed up with, “Cool”.

A month went by, and I didn’t get a response, yet we continued to chat every now and again. One night, I felt particularly ballsy and asked her if she was down, which afforded us a dialog in which she told me that the sex wasn’t great for her in the same way that it was for me. In my head, all I could think was “bad sex”! It made all the sense in the world why she wasn’t so keen on hooking up again. Gutted, the only response I could give was a solemn, “Oooh”, completely missing the part where she explained that it was more to do with the “lack of connection”, and not really my performance (I’ve probably delivered some weak performances that I’m not privy to though, it’s only realistic.)

Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine in which she revealed (somewhat surprised), that a guy chose to go out with his boys to watch sport over going another round with her, after hooking up. An ordeal she was incredibly irritated by.

He didn’t outwardly tell her he was leaving to watch a game, but she connected the dots, and the puzzle fitted. All the clues to why he was so keen on driving her home all pointed to him rushing to catch that afternoon’s game. Upon hearing this story, I was equally surprised and irritated. Who chooses sport over another round of good coochie. Was my friend bad? Couldn’t be, I’d know. We’ve fucked on occasion. Unbiased, I’d rate each time as good; more than. So why didn’t this guy share my enthusiasm about going another round?

Well, the answer is simple! Sex is an anecdotal experience, unique for everyone. Just like art. Sex is art! Subjective, even for people who’ve had sex with the same people or person. What he got out of it was probably not the same thing I did. Maybe that’s the reason he picked Football over more sex.

I’m not not confident in my ability to please another human, sexually. But just like most things in this life, we have our hit or miss days; not every sexual encounter you have will be mind-blowing, and that’s not always on you, but also the other person. Sex is an exchange of energies (as well as genitals, obviously). Some days your have whiskey dick or vaginismus, and other days your energy is just off for whatever reason; and that’s okay! the pressure to always deliver good sex is incredibly unrealistic and superficial like most things built around sex culture. The sooner we acknowledge this, the sooner we start treating people (ourselves included) less harshly for encounters that don’t live up to expectation.

I’m not saying we should settle for bad or mediocre sex when otherworldly sex exists out there in the world. I’m not saying we should just take it lying down (no pun intended) and not communicate what we like during sex. What I’m saying is maybe we shouldn’t be too quick to brand or conclude that we are always great at sex or that the person we don’t have fulfilling sex with is inherently terrible. Could just be that it’s the match-up that’s terrible. What I’m saying is that one bad performance isn’t indicative of another person’s overall sexual competency.

I was pondering this quote “It’s the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it”. The sentiments of this quote are something I try to apply in different areas of life; for an objective view on life. It’s for this reason that I sat and asked myself before I began typing this article, “What if I’m not as good in bed as I think I am? What if anyone isn’t as good in bed as they think they are”? If I’d never had that conversation with the aforementioned lass I hooked up with, I might never have thought to have this honest conversation with myself. But thanks to that experience, I was afforded a reason to introspect. Which for me is a joy, as a subscriber of one of Socrates’ famous quotes: “The unexamined life is not worth living”.

If you have sex with someone a myriad of times and nothing changes, It would be fair to conclude a lack of compatibility or claim that that person’s trash at sex; if it pleases you. But I definitely think it’s worth experiencing someone a handful of times before you can come to an informed conclusion about them.

I think they’re people that think my sex is okay, and others that think my sex is great! And both are valid conclusions. It’s each person’s unique “user experience”. The not so great reviews are valid too. I don’t think it’s possible to be a hit with everyone. That’s why it’s important that we free ourselves from the idea of being the “best” sexual partner in the world. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in the work and be good at sex; aim to make the experience pleasant for both you and whomever you’re having the coit with.



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Samm Tembo

Samm Tembo

Samm Tembo is a Freelance content creator, aspiring filmmaker, entertainment and lifestyle writer, from Lusaka, Zambia; sharing his worldview through words.