Should you leave if the sex is no good?

Q I have met a new man and really like him, but the sex is OK at best. Is this a bad sign? Doesn’t everyone have great sex at the start?

Some scenarios are fixable. Technique can be taught, for instance, so if that’s the issue here, so long as he’s willing to be taught and isn’t going to be offended if you give him direction and guidance, this isn’t a dumpable offence.

If he’s just a bit clueless about sex in general and doesn’t quite understand how your sexual system works, this can be solved.

You’ll need to be tactful though. Instead of saying, “This is how the clitoris likes to be stimulated’, say ‘This is how MY clitoris likes to be stimulated’. Buy a sex book that covers the things you think he needs to know but make sure it includes some fun ideas about new stuff you can try together. Then tell him you bought it for both of you, so you don’t run out of ideas. Leave it  around for him to read privately. Again, this only works if he is open to learning about sex and happy to be told what works for you.

Harder, but also changeable, are things like reshaping someone’s attitude to sex.

If people have been brought up to think that sex is bad or dirty, they might need counselling to reshape any deeply ingrained beliefs. But it can still be done.

Even dramatically different sex drives can be balanced if you’re willing to compromise.

It’s not great news is if the problem is a lack of fireworks or chemistry.

If it’s not there in the beginning, it’s unusual for chemistry to kick in later on. BUT – emphasis there on the word ‘unusual’ because I have seen it happen in two cases with very good friends of mine. If you really like the guy, hang around for a month or two and see what happens. But it helps A LOT if you do choose someone who has a similar sexual appetite, attitudes and background as you.

There is one scenario, though, which I would heartily recommend walking away from if you discover it early enough (well, at any stage really, but especially when you have nothing to lose)…

The one time you should always walk away: if you’ve hooked up with a selfish lover.

I’m talking about someone who has no interest in your pleasure, just their own. Someone who doesn’t even ask or care if you enjoy sex with them; couldn’t care less if you have an orgasm or not. Selfish lovers will not accept any feedback or criticism because they usually think they are God’s gift as a lover and how dare you suggest anything different. But it’s mainly because they really don’t care.

It is truly impossible to transform a selfish lover into a good, or even acceptable one. So run for the hills if he’s one of those. Otherwise, if he’s well-intentioned but not terribly good at sex or the sparks aren’t sparky enough for you, set a deadline. See how open he is to learning new things and see how you feel in a month or six weeks. If you’re still unsure then, maybe exit stage left.

Relationships are always a trade off.

You’re never going to score the perfect 10. If he ticks your other 9 boxes, it might still be worth staying. All depends on how important sex is for you.