Having better sex is as easy as opening your mouth – to tell your partner what you’re looking for. So why do some of us find that so tricky? FS magazine from GMFA, the gay men’s health charity, looks at why in the latest issue…
“I’ve had sex with a few guys, but I never really know how to say what I want,” says Patrick, 19, from London. “I’ll be thinking, ‘I’m supposed to be enjoying myself’ but I lie there thinking; ‘Hurry up and get it over with.’ The last guy I was with was out of my flat like a shot as soon as morning came and I lay in bed feeling used and stupid. I can’t work out what’s wrong with me.”
Dr Tara Few, a sex and relationships expert, says Patrick’s experience is perfectly normal. “Many people lack sexual confidence because we receive very little advice on how to talk about sex. The model of sex that is taught is largely heterosexual, and questions about sexual pleasure are not seen as important in an educational context.” All those sex education lessons at school clearly have a lot to answer for. The result is that we often end up feeling sex should happen naturally, without needing to say what we want. A lack of self-confidence in life translates to a lack of sexual confidence in the bedroom, again meaning guys stay silent about what gives them their kicks, or unable to say when there are things they don’t want to do that may even put them at risk of HIV or other STIs.
For advice on improving your self-confidence and keeping sex safe, see the full article “Can we talk about sex?” in FS magazine, issue 120. It’s available for free in gay venues and GUM clinics across the UK or can be viewed at www.gmfa.org.uk/fsnation