Six Things That Make a Woman Bad in Bed

July 23, 2010

Dear Susan,

I am writing because I’ve been totally humiliated and I don’t know what to do. I recently found out my boyfriend had cheated on me, and I broke up with him for it. He actually claimed to want to stay together and work it out, and he acted genuinely sorry. I considered trying to make it work, but in the end I knew I could never feel the same way about him again. When I told him, he got really angry and he wound up saying that I was a “shitty lay.” I was devastated, because I always thought the sex was really good. He always said it was, and he sure acted like it was. I was a virgin when I met him, so obviously I didn’t have any techniques or anything.

After he said that, I was crushed, and confided it to a good friend, figuring she would reassure me that guys just use that as a parting shot when they’re pissed off. I was shocked when she told me that he had been complaining about my being “bad in bed” for the past year. I guess it was something he often said to his friends, and he had pulled her aside last summer and said the same thing. She tried to question him about what he meant, what was so bad, but he just said, “She just doesn’t do it for me. Her actions don’t turn me on. She sucks at sex.”

I am so embarrassed. I can hardly look at his friends. I also feel super awkward with my girlfriends. I thought I had this great relationship, and I had this being said about me. I know I just have to get over it. My real question for you is how do I know if I’m good in bed or not? What is so hard about it? I don’t want this to happen again, what should I do? I’m so ashamed.


Dear Anonymous,

Before I get to the practical advice part, I just want to say that is a terrible story. I’m so sorry that you have been humiliated in this way. Obviously, this guy behaved in a way that showed he had zero respect for your feelings. He sounds like a total jerk in general, and you’re well rid of him. The most important thing for you to learn from this experience is not that you lack sexual skills, but that you had a long-term relationship with someone who must have shown his true colors before now. I encourage you to go to the Best Posts page and read all the posts you can find on identifying men of good character. The most important thing is that you don’t repeat this experience, and part of that will depend on the men you choose.

OK, now to the question of what men find hot in bed. Obviously, I don’t have any real information about what your sex life looked like. There are two possibilities here. The first is that he has an unrealistic view of what to expect during sex. If he has either watched a lot of porn or had a large number of sexual partners (especially promiscuous ones), then he likely has expectations that are unrealistic about what good relationship sex looks like. That has nothing to do with you, so it’s not something you need to address. The second possibility is that due to inexperience, or perhaps a lack of communication during sex, you failed to do something that he wanted or expected. He bears equal responsibility for that, by the way.

I’ve always maintained that what a woman needs to be good at sex are Focus, Enthusiasm and Boldness. What can I say, they’ve always worked for me. However, my experience is too limited to allow me to speak with authority on this matter. I’ve done some research, and found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that this is a very popular topic on forums and blogs.

Here’s what men say are the most common mistakes that women make in bed. They are in the relative order of importance, based on how frequently they’re mentioned:

1. Passivity

Men refer to women who just “lie there” as Dead Fish, Dead Lay and Corpse. It’s not true that men just want an orifice and nothing else. Men want and need to know that the woman is really into having sex specifically with them.

“Show some enthusiasm. We want you to be as into it as we are. It makes us want to try new things and figure you out a bit.”

“The most boring thing a woman can do is not move. It’s even worse if she is totally silent.”

“Gyration is the ticket.”

“They call it bump, so bump.”

“There’s nothing worse than a chick that just lies there…might as well be doing it with a pillow.”

“Not moving her hips would pretty much kill it.”

“When she doesn’t touch you, but lets you do whatever.”

“Not giving feedback. Make some noise, something.”

You’ve got to meet a man halfway during sex. Participate.

2. Insecurity

Men lose desire for women who have no confidence in their physical attributes or sexual appeal.

“I hate it when a chick doesn’t want me to look at her body. Whether it’s turning out the lights or avoiding morning sex, my attraction for a girl takes a dive when she does that.”

“When she doesn’t trust her instincts. Some girls flop around like manatees, have all these crazy moves, think they are being so hot, but they’re a mess. It has to be real.”

“Unless it’s her first time, I hate when a girl acts all nervous or scared.”

“Any kind of worrying about their appearance. Some girls start worrying about what’s happening with their makeup. Gross.”

“A woman should learn to receive compliments. When I compliment a girl, and she contradicts it, I know the sex won’t be any good. If I tell you that you have a hot body, just smile like you know it’s true. Don’t go telling me I’m wrong!”

Feeling secure during sex has a lot to do with trust. This is one of the reasons that casual sex is very awkward and unnatural for many women.

3. Lack of creativity

Men have a strong preference for sexual variety. This is most easily met by having sex with different women. If you want a man to be monogamous, you need to find ways to keep things fresh and interesting.

“The sex is scripted – it’s the same thing each time. I’m not going to do this for the rest of my life.”

“I hate when a woman gets lazy in a relationship. It gets to be 10 minutes instead of 2 hours. It’s boring. Why bother?”

“Only wanting missionary.”

“Doggie style is always appreciated.” 😉

“It’s best when sex engages all five senses: touch, smell, taste, sound and vision.”

“Men are very visual. Give us something to look at. Woman on top is good for this.”

“Try something new and pay close attention to how I react. I’ll let you know if I like being touched a certain way.”

“Just do the unexpected. Men love surprises during sex.”

“Take a chance. Try something new. To be honest, if it hurts a little bit that gets me going.”

“Finding a new place to have sex always kick starts things.”

Approach sex with a desire to discover new things, and be receptive to your partner’s suggestions. If he asks for something that isn’t harmful, try it.

4. Making your needs subservient to his.

Men want women who 1) love sex 2) with them.

“Your own pleasure is the key – orgasm or bust. That’s really hot.”

“We get off on your enjoyment. Look us in the eye and tell us exactly what’s good.”

“Flip the script and get dominant. When a woman climbs on top of me and pins my wrists down that’s super hot.”

“Whatever you do, don’t fake an orgasm. It makes us both a loser.”

“I want a woman to go after what she needs.”

“I know that every woman is different. Yeah, I know where the clit is, but not how a particular woman wants me to touch it. You’ve got to say what you want. “

Let biology prevail here. The human may be the only female mammal capable of having an orgasm. Don’t waste that.

5. Lack of oral sex.

No explanation needed. It’s an important part of the repertoire for almost every guy.

“The hummer test is crucial.”

“If she won’t swallow it’s a turnoff.”


“Any kind of scraping sensation.”

“A good BJ includes more than a mouth. At least one hand.”

“If she likes giving head, or makes me believe she likes it with me, I’m psyched.”

“Don’t forget to give some attention to the boys.”

6. Rudeness

Rude or inconsiderate women will be that way during sex, so it’s caveat emptor here as far as I’m concerned. Here are examples of behaviors that are understandably off-putting from either sex.

“When she has any awareness whatsoever of her phone.”

“Texting or taking a call.”

“Not caring if I finish or not.”

“Getting oral and not reciprocating. If you won’t do it, you shouldn’t be getting it either.”

“When she acts distracted, like her mind is obviously elsewhere.”

“Bringing up something during sex that has nothing to do with sex.”

“Criticizing in a way that is not constructive.”

“Comparing me to any other guy, or referring to other sexual experiences.”

Anon, there’s lots of good stuff here. Most of the feedback from guys has to do with attitude, not any specific sexual skill. In fact, one guy actually said:

Whatever you do, don’t try the latest tip from Cosmo on touching my back door, or pulling on my balls. If you do some weird thing with your tongue, I’m also going to wonder what the hell you’ve been up to.

Guys can’t have it both ways. If you’re a virgin, you’re not a porn star, and vice versa. If you can be confident and generous in bed, you’ll learn what you need to know with a loving partner. That’s as much as any guy should hope for. A guy who demands more than that is not a keeper. But you’ve already learned that.



Girls: Is this a source of worry? Do you feel pressured to have amazing technique?

Guys: Do you have anything to add?