5 Totally Normal Things That Happen To Everybody During Sex & Are Nothing To Worry About
Sex is undoubtedly one of the most intimate acts you can share with someone, in addition to being an incredibly vulnerable experience. While there’s the potential for some beautiful, blissful moments — whispered secrets, tender kisses, those three little words — there’s also the potential for some pretty embarrassing ones, too. Unexpected noises, awkward encounters while switching positions, and struggling to achieve the big O — these are just a few of the totally normal things that happen to everybody during sex.
You know those on-screen sex scenes where protagonists get right to business in a perfectly choreographed sequence that leads to simultaneous orgasms? You've probably realized by now that those seem too good to be true because they are. Our bodies are pretty amazing — but they’re far from predictable. (Side note: If you need a little reassurance that your between-the-sheets blunders are nothing to stress about, look to TLC's show Sex Sent Me to the ER. 'Nuff said.)
Hopefully, you're in a supportive relationship with an understanding partner who can laugh right along with you (or in some cases, ignore the incident entirely) so you don't experience any unnecessary shame or self-consciousness surrounding tier sexual encounters. But next time one of these sex snafus happens to you, take a breath, relax, and remember: it’s normal, it’s OK, and it’s definitely happened to someone else at some point in time.
1. You Spot Some Blood
Maybe your period wasn't supposed to come for another day or two, or perhaps you simply forgot it was that time of the month. Either way, seeing a blood stain unexpectedly appear on the sheets beneath you can sometimes be a bit of a mood killer. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be. Think of it this way: Menstruating women (who don't take a special birth control pill that lessens the frequency of their flow) typically get their period once a month. The average period lasts from three to seven days. That means that if you're consistently sexually active, odds are you're bound to have Aunt Flow interrupt your romp at some point. Here's the thing: menstruation is a totally natural bodily function, and if your partner is making you feel badly about it, then it's likely time to start an open dialogue.
So next time you spot a little blood, don't panic: Take a moment to check in with your partner, and either slide a dark towel underneath you or head to the shower for a steamy session sans any concerns about stains.
2. He Can't Get (Or Keep) It Up
So, you’ve tried all his favorite moves, and yet for some reason, he can’t even get to half-mast. It may be uncomfortable for both of you, but rest assured, it’s totally normal for this to happen from time to time. Your instinct may be to panic (“Am I not sexy to him anymore?” “Why am I not turning him on?” “Does that not feel good for him?”) but the truth is, an inability to get a boner probably has nothing to do with you.
For example, excess use of alcohol can contribute to impotence (yes, #whiskeyd*ck is real). Many anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications have been linked to difficulty achieving erections. Has your guy been working around the clock lately? Well, studies show that psychological factors (like stress) are the most common cause of erectile problems. Moreover, being chronically exhausted can have an impact on someone’s ability to get aroused (which takes quite a bit of energy!). If you notice your partner isn’t getting hard, the best thing to do is not to make a big deal out of it. After all, performance anxiety is one of the most common causes of erectile issues, so you certainly want to avoid making him any more embarrassed, insecure, or anxious than he already may be.
If your partner is frequently having issues getting aroused, then it may be time to consider having a conversation about erectile dysfunction as a possibility. Otherwise, remember that essentially all men have been in this position at some point in their lives.
PSA: Not all sex is penetrative, nor does it require an erection.
3. Your Nether Regions Are Parched
Sometimes, all it takes is a five-minute makeout and you’re ready to go. Other times, you’ve enjoyed ample foreplay and for some reason, you still feel as dry down there as the Sahara desert. What gives? There are a number of reasons why you may not be producing as much natural lubrication, including taking antidepressants or antihistamines.
"A woman’s lubrication does not always reflect her arousal levels," explains Dr. Jess O’Reilly, host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast. "In fact, there are a variety of factors that can impact vaginal lubrication including diet, stress, medications, menstrual cycle and hormone levels. Just as the production of other bodily fluids (e.g. sweat and saliva) varies from person to person, each of us is unique and no physical process offers a universal measure of sexuality."
The bottom line is this: If you’re feeling a little dry once in a while, don’t sweat it — your partner can help you out in a myriad of ways, from oral sex to using lube. If this is happening to you regularly, note that one of the most common culprits is a drop in estrogen levels, which can happen due to childbirth, breastfeeding, menopause, radiation treatments and chemotherapy, or taking anti-estrogen drugs for endometriosis or breast cancer. And if it’s a persistent issue, you can always see a doctor to determine the culprit, as well as discuss ways to improve your lubrication levels down below.
4. You Pass Some Gas... Up Front
Woah. One minute you’re in the throes of ecstasy, and suddenly it all comes to a screeching halt when you hear a sound much like a burst of wind coming from down below. Yeah, I’m talking about a queef. Before you turn five shades of red, consider this: According to Dr. O’Reilly, “That’s just the body’s way of releasing air from the vagina. It’s totally normal and healthy.” Phew.
When anything comes in contact with your vagina, air gets pumped into the vaginal canal. As a result, that air pressure builds up until it’s finally released with quite an obnoxious noise. If you’re really trying to avoid this scenario, you can always try having your partner minimize any in-and-out movement (be it with fingers, a toy, or their penis) to lessen the mounting air pressure. But try not to let your fear of queefing interfere with your ability to enjoy sex. After all, it’s just air — so you don’t have to fret about any unpleasant odors that can come with traditional flatulence.
In the words of Dr. O'Reilly: “Sex is supposed to be messy. Tell them it just felt so good you lost control, which is pretty cool.”
5. You Pee A Little
There are lots of bodily fluids involved in sex — it just comes with the territory. But what if that fluid turns out to be urine? Most men can’t urinate during sex because the opening of the bladder closes off, preventing urine from passing into the urethra. Women, on the other hand, don’t have this natural mechanism in place, so they are totally capable of peeing during intercourse. Those who struggle with incontinence or have a generally sensitive bladder are more likely to face this scenario. However, you can also experience this during an especially intense orgasm or simply because a particular position puts more pressure on your bladder.
Dr. O’Reilly explains: “The Skene’s glands are embedded in the spongy tissue that surrounds the urethra between the vagina and the bladder. It is therefore common for women to feel as though they have to pee when the G-Spot is stimulated through the vagina or the abdominal wall. Many of us tense up, contract our pelvic floor muscles or cease stimulation altogether in reaction to this sensation warding off orgasm entirely.” According to Dr. O’Reilly, one of your best prevention strategies is simply emptying your bladder before sex. “In the event that you do release a small amount of urine due to pressure on your bladder and urethral sponge, rest assured that this fluid is also harmless and like ejaculation, it often goes unnoticed during sex,” she adds.
There's no use stressing about these kinds of awkward incidents during sex — not only are they super common, but they typically don't indicate any serious health problems. Ideally, you and your partner will be able to laugh it off together (or pretend it never happened, take your pick) and move forward without your pleasure being compromised. Who knows? Maybe one of these incidents will actually bring you closer.
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