Things we desperately wish someone had told us about sex

Many of us can remember the exact day we got “the talk” from a loved one. (For me, it was in the car when I was 12, and my dad said, “If you ever need condoms, please come to me. Don’t have unsafe sex.” Kind sentiment, but the memory still makes me squirm uncomfortably to this day.)

However, there are things many of us end up learning about sex that even the most thorough (read also: EXTRA awkward) talks didn’t cover. Hey, there’s a learning curve, nothing wrong with that! But there are a few things that would have been nice to know before we started tangling up the sheets.

You don’t look perfect by the end of it like in the movies.

Let’s cover one thing: After having sex, women don’t look like perfect goddesses, with our hair shining in the light of the candles next to the bed, our makeup looking freshly applied. And no men get a perfect glistening sheen of sweat on their chiseled abs. No, we’re talking messed up hair, weird red patches where skin has been rubbing together, lots of sweat that most certainly does NOT glisten beautifully, and makeup all over the pillowcase and on your partner’s face and pretty much everywhere BUT on your own face. But hey, that’s kinda the fun of it.

Sex doesn’t always go smoothly.

Most movies depict sex like this beautiful, sensual, angelic experience. Which, yeah, sex can be *amazing*, don’t get me wrong. But there are gonna be times where a position feels awkward, and you have to shift into a new one. Or when your partner accidentally pulls your hair and you yell “OWWWW” like a freaking banshee. Or when your bodies make a funny sound together and you both burst into laughter.

Sometimes, sex doesn’t end the way you’d like it to — but that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.

Sometimes one person may not be *fully* in the mood, and you have to stop in the middle. Your body — or your partner’s body — may just decide, hey, nope, not tonight. What totally turns you on one night may not work for you the next.

At first, it’s pretty easy to feel like there’s something wrong with you when you aren’t able to climax, or your partner isn’t. But in reality, it’s *so* common to have an off night. (That said, if you’re having sexual issues constantly, make sure to see a doctor to make sure everything’s OK down there.)

TBH, sex doesn’t smell great.

Unless you have all those romantic candles lit, sex always leaves the room smelling. . . well, like sex. And sex has a distinct smell like nothing else that you wouldn’t exactly want in an air freshener. Definitely not something that was covered during sex ed.

But like, since *you* know why it smells funky, it’s kind of hot. That said, if anyone else were to walk in that room? Ew.

In a sense, you start all over again with a different partner.

At the beginning, the concept of sex can be so vast that it feels like a one-size-fits-all deal. (Yeah, feel free to make a dirty joke about that one.) But in reality, every person is different. What your last sexual partner may have liked may not strike your new partner’s fancy.

Although that can feel intimidating initially, it’s actually a great thing! Getting to know each others’ sexual pleasures together can be a total blast. Just ask questions, keep communication open, and remember that it’s OK to say exactly what you want.

We’re all still learning.

No matter your age, or experience, or anything like that, sex is a constant journey. Just like our tastes for movies and food change and evolve, so do our sexual preferences, and it’s actually SUPER exciting. We should never be on a quest to *master* sex; we should be on a quest to learn more about ourselves and our amazing, fabulous bodies.

(Image via Universal Pictures.)

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