Ask an Expert: “How do I know if I’m ‘good’ in bed?”

Lauren French is a Melbourne based Sexologist and educator, working at the Australian Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine. She graced our screens for Sexpression’s online event ‘Safe Sex’ last year and is an insightful (and delightful) sexual health expert. Thanks so much to Lauren for her response to this submitted question.

I think we’ve all heard the phrase, “I want to be having good sex!”, but what even is
‘good sex’? Who decides what good sex is? Last time I checked, there isn’t a
sexual judging system that rates everyone out of ten (thankfully!). Realistically, the
only people judging whether your sexual experience was good is your partner and
you. And since we’re all unique, we might think the sex was pretty great while our
partner thought it was average at best. So if everyone has different definitions of
what equals ‘good sex’, how do we know if we’ve succeeded?

Firstly, being good at sex doesn’t mean memorising the karma sutra, or having
screaming, squirting orgasms. There isn’t a time frame we need to be in, a number
of positions we need to hit or even a quota of dirty talk to include. Good sex is a
whole lot simpler than that. We often use the phrase ‘sexual performance’, which I
think has set up a bit of a harmful way to view sex. Sex is NOT a performance. You
don’t need to be channeling your inner porn star or worrying about how your body
looks, feels or sounds like during sex. Sex is an experience, between you and
whoever you’ve agreed to have sex with.

The better question is how can we feel confident in having a positive sexual
experience, with the answer again being pretty simple. To start, we need to know
what we like. We need to know how our body likes to be touched, how our bodies
feel pleasure and what we want out of our erotic experiences. If you’re reading this
thinking “I have no idea what I like in bed!”, that’s okay! But it means we need to do
some (very fun) research. You don’t need a partner to explore your sexual
pleasures, just some alone time and a judgement free mindset. Once you know
what you like its so much easier to communicate it to a partner. Which brings us to
the next step, communication. You know what you like sexually, but sometimes we
need to actually ask for it! Our partners aren’t mind readers, and as we already
discussed, everyone is different. So we can’t be afraid to openly state what we like,
or what we want our partner to do to us (or what we want to do to our partner!).
Pretending we’re having an amazing time when we’re not doesn’t help anyone, so
let’s not fake anything.

The main thing people say when they describe ‘good sex’ is that it’s fun and
pleasurable. So that’s the goal! We need to know what we like so we can
communicate that to our partner (pleasure part tick), actively check in with our
partner to make sure their also getting the pleasure they want (pleasure part double
tick), and have fun! Don’t get stuck in your head worrying about what you think the
sex ‘should’ be like. Real sex is intense, raw, intimate, funny, awkward and about a
hundred other things. So get our off your head and just FEEL.


Thanks again to Lauren! Find her on Instagram @lauren.french.sexologist

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