Three Antidotes to Bad Sex

I’m gonna put it to you straight…

If you’re like me, you’ve probably experienced bad sex.

Don’t worry – although it’s tough for most people to admit, almost everyone has endured the agony of awkward sexual encounters. But unless you want this nightmare to be a recurring reality, it’s time to stop pretending.

Unenjoyable sex is something that defies nature. Whether it’s a rare or frequent occurrence, in my book, it should not exist. But before we talk about the source and the solution for the unfortunate event that is bad sex, let’s briefly cover the symptoms: including (but not limited to) unpleasant physical sensations, lack of good sensations, uncomfortable pauses or moments where you just want to get up and leave, lack of communication where you don’t know what the other person is thinking, feeling generally disconnected from your partner, and feeling generally unhappy, irritated, or confused at the end of it. Ew, that was gross.

It makes me uncomfortable just thinking about bad sex, because it’s the exact opposite of what sex is supposed to be.

Sex between humans is designed to be full of desire and connection, openness and love. It is supposed to be beautiful. Historically, humans evolved as socially and sexually promiscuous creatures in order to ease relationship tensions, create feelings of relaxation, and maintain an overall sense of social cohesion. We did not evolve so that we would feel violated, irritable, and undesirable after the act of sex.

Basically, when bad sex does happen, there is no ignoring it. Maybe it happens more often than we’d like to admit, but if we want that to change, we have to be wildly honest with ourselves.

And we have to get naked.

So let’s talk about the source. Why are all these “unnatural” things happening if nature intended for sex to be so glorious? Well, many of our world’s religious traditions link sexual activity with faltering morality, teaching the belief that spirituality is sacred, and sex is less than virtuous. Yet the concept of sin is purely a social construct, aiming to impose a sense of control and maintain the presence of an ultimate, external authority. This construct becomes quite lucrative when institutions govern our sexual autonomy. We are all squirming with sexual desire and, therefore, the means to maintain peace. But when an establishment exerts control over our sexuality, we become disconnected from our evolutionary instincts towards social cohesion. Essentially, countless institutions are profiting on the fact that we have forgotten our innate tools, and sexual drive, to keep ourselves safe.

Perhaps, bad sex is more prevalent when our worldview is defined by a dogmatic perspective of the human experience, where spiritual and bodily functions are separate, internal authority is blasphemous, and sexual behavior is wrongful and wicked.

So let’s reclaim our birthright as humans, and take down the treachery that is bad sex.

Here are three antidotes that I have personally used:


Adopt the belief that your body is a temple, and cultivate an equitable perspective of your human experience.

We can dismantle patterns of guilt, shame, and repression by treating our physical existence with the same reverence that we do our spirit. Our bodies are temples. We can take this as a simple metaphor or we can embody this idea fully by embracing all parts of our physical experience, both functionally and aesthetically.

photo via @mariaborghoff

The function of the temple is to serve as a place of worship, and as soon as you step inside, you are in a sacred space. The temple’s sanctity is not tainted because it has a broom closet, or a bathroom, or even a community kitchen. All of its parts are functioning for the reason to provide you a space to worship. Likewise, your body’s purpose is to provide you a place to live, so all of its needs – sexual and otherwise – are there to help you continue on living in a healthy manner.

But the aesthetic of the temple is equally important. In order to make the act of worshipping an enjoyable experience (because why else would we do it, anyway?), then we have to listen to our own desires. Our personal desires tell us what to do while worshipping, and how we would like our temple to be furnished, decorated, and adorned. It is our desires that propel us into action, keep us returning back to our sacred spaces, and define our individual existence as one that is worthwhile.

By embracing our Sacred Body, we are intentionally leveling the Human Hierarchy. Our spirit no longer resides on top, nor our body on the bottom. And ultimately, our mind, body, and spirit gain equal standing in worthiness of our devotion.


Practice observing your mind while you are having sex (and all the time).

Maybe this sounds like the last thing you want to do, but good sex doesn’t happen when you are distracted. Good sex happens when you are effortlessly present, absorbed fully in the intimate experience you are sharing with another person and with yourself. Bad sex is most often the side effect of mental distraction and, therefore, energetic instability. Just as it’s difficult to write an email when you are busy worrying about other things, it’s almost impossible to “get off” when your mind is spinning out of control. So I’m totally serious when I say, get your head in the game before you do the dirty – *eh hem* I mean, beautiful.

photo via @mariaborghoff

Speaking of getting your head in the game, from my experience, it’s usually my head that is the biggest cause of bad sex in the first place. Being raised in a linear-thinking society with heavy-handed dogmas attached to nearly everything, my brain’s left hemisphere has gotten really fucking good at comparing myself to other people. I’m talking quantitative assessments of the most absurdly personal and ridiculous things that my mind has convinced me are important. Like the number of times I’ve had sex recently, and who initiated it. And the level of intimacy and genuinity exchanged between me and my partner. And the amount of time we’ve spent together doing adorable, cringe-worthy, couple things. Even the measurement of time that my guy holds eye contact with another woman, who in my mind is too beautiful.

Yeuck, seriously? Sometimes I wonder how I started obsessing over these details in the first place, because when I step back and truthfully observe them, I realize that they actually don’t even matter at all. I’ve simply mastered mental calculations of social situations.

I’ve become a professional neurotic, which is not a good look in the bedroom.

But now that I’ve discovered my excessive talents in the self-judgement and personal comparison arena, how do I let go, so that I can actually enjoy sex?

Stop shoulding, and listen… you heard me. Whenever my mind tells me that something “should” be this way or that way, I know that my left hemisphere is in overdrive, and it’s time to cool down. This is the perfect time to listen to the voice of my mind. I listen intently, and I look for patterns. I familiarize myself with my own tendencies so that I can recognize when my mind is pulling me in a direction that I don’t want to go. Master this practice, and you’ll never have bad sex again.


Reclaim your power to intentionally create your sexual experience.

Universally, most everyone has experienced some form of sexual trauma. Maybe you feel guilty or shameful for your desires. Maybe you have unexplainable impulses due to repression or attachment issues associated with past abuse.

Whatever it is, I promise you, your past experience does not define who you are.

Sexuality remains a highly stigmatized and taboo topic of discussion, which can sometimes inhibit us from healing. It can even feel disempowering to openly admit that we struggle with our sexuality, because it feels so personal, so vulnerable, and so connected with our identity. Energetically speaking, our sexual center is the second developmental phase in our chakra system, so when there is any discomfort or tension there, it can make us question who we are entirely, which is not fun for anyone. In my own experience, the is world full of authority structures that dominate the way we perceive ourselves and interact with each other. Essentially, the world is full of dogma, which can sometimes create more suffering rather than instill peace.

So how can we access our Inner Authority and enhance our sex lives?

photo via @mariaborghoff

Only you know what you need and what you desire. You know your boundaries and how to navigate their endlessly shifting frontiers. Only you have the ability to regain control of your body and mind, overcome the inevitable sensations of pain, and experience an endless amount of pleasure. When we confine ourselves to rigid systems of belief that propagate feelings of shame, isolation, and helplessness, it is very difficult to transform our reality. But the power is in your hands, so you can either let it keep unfolding in ways that are unenjoyable, boring, and awkward, or you can play with it.

You can own your authority to intentionally choose good sex. Sweaty, sacred, mind-blowing, intensely powerful, life-changing sex.

Let’s remember the age old truth, where the personal is always political. And with the current political landscape, it seems to me that some deeply personal truths are calling to be unearthed. Now is not the time to hide timidly in the dark. In fact, there never has been a good time to sit back and watch the boring cycles of suffering continue.

So get your ass up, and go make some sexy time.

by Maria Borghoff