My ex said I’m bad at sex and broke my trust
I’m Zachary Zane, a sex writer and ethical man (a fancy way of saying I sleep with a lot of people, and I’m very, very open about it). Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of sexual experiences, dating and sleeping with hundreds of people of all genders and orientations. In doing so, I learned a thing or two about navigation issues in the bedroom (and a bunch of other places, TBH). I’m here to answer your most pressing sexual questions with in-depth, practical advice that goes beyond just “communicating with your partner” because you already know that. Ask me anything – literally, anything – and I’ll gladly do it.
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Dear Sexplain It,
I had been dating a girl for about a year. She was my first sexual partner. I failed on my first three attempts to have sex, so sex didn’t happen. From the fourth attempt we only did foreplay, and I wasn’t enough to make her cum, but she said I was good, and if I just went a little longer, she would have sperm. Recently she broke up with me saying I was bad at sex. She then told me that immediately after we broke up, she ended up with a Bumble match. She called me to tell me that she had great sex with him and that our sex was terrible.
I loved her so much and thought she would support me and support me to get better at sex but instead she is calling me now telling me I was bad. She killed my self-esteem, and I feel terrible and depressed. How can I overcome this?
—The worst at sex
Dear worst to sex,
First of all, your ex is unnecessarily cruel. His ongoing communication does not improve your mental health or make you more sexually confident; all she does is pour salt on your wounds. So block it. I’ll wait.
Finished? Awesome. We will continue. I understand why your self-esteem is in the trash. Mine would be too. I have no way of determining how “good” you are in bed, but what I can say with certainty is that your first sexual experiences should not dictate the rest of your sex life. In fact, most people’s first times are usually crap. The first time I tried to have sex I couldn’t get a hard one I ran away from my disgraced girlfriend’s house and cried the whole car ride home me. Look at me now! I’m a fucking sex writer who’s had satisfying sex with hundreds of people.
I want to reframe how you think about this. Let’s get EXCITED, because you’re about to embark on the wonderful journey of perfecting your sexual skills. By the way, some guys are too proud to research the subject, so you’re already ahead of the game just by reading the rest of this column. Go yourself!
Start by educating yourself. There are many amazing resources out there for building confidence, talking openly about sex, embracing your desires, and increasing pleasure. (May I suggest a book I co-wrote, The best men’s health. Sex. Never. : 200 candid, funny and friendly answers about getting started?)
I also recommend some online courses, such as the Mind-blowing oral online course, which will teach you how to please your partner using your hands and mouth. Fun educator Luna Matatas offers a range of online courses, from Domination and Submission to Confidence and Dirty Talk. (Please note that each link refers to an article on men’s health we wrote about it. Read them too.)
Also learn what makes you feel good. The more you get used to experiencing pleasure in your mind and body, the more you will be able to connect by the time you eventually play with a partner again. “When someone tells you you’re not good at something, it’s easy to get hung up on technique and performance, but you’re probably better off focusing on connection and fun instead of worry about how you measure up,” said Dr. Jessica O’ReillyWe-Vibe sex and relationship specialist.
Dr. Jess recommends that you “spend time getting to know your own sexual desires, responses, and values. What makes you feel good? How does your body react to specific types of touch? How do you react to visual and auditory stimuli? Take note of your answer and don’t judge yourself.
I recommend reading The Multi-Orgasmic Man: Sex Secrets Every Man Should Know. While, yes, the purpose of the book is to help you become multi-orgasmic, the way to to have there’s focusing on your body, your arousal patterns, and your breathing.
As for when you’re finally with a new sexual partner? Let them know you’re feeling a little nervous. If you were openly talking about sex, say, over drinks, this might be a great time to share. You can say something like, “I’ve had negative sexual experiences with sex in the past, so I’m a little nervous about having sex again.” If there is no natural opportunity to get upset before you go to the bedroom, just tell them once it becomes clear that you are going to have sex (i.e. when you undress). Then, let them know what they can say and do (or not say and not do) to make you feel comfortable. You will know the answers to these questions because you will have read and spent the last few months focusing on your body and your pleasure! Once you share, it will inspire them to share what they are in—which paves the way for you to please them.
Worst at sex, you’re not the worst at sex, just because you want to get better at sex. And you can. As Dr. Jess said, “Know that good lovers are made – not born – so you can always improve!”
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