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Making Sex Feel Good

Sex can be fun, meaningful and feel great. Sex can also be frustrating, confusing and it can hurt. So how can you make sex feel good?

You have probably learned about sex from many places such as TV shows, movies, your parents and family, your teachers, your religion, your community and your friends. All these messages combine to affect your feelings and opinions about sex.

Sex means different things to different people. It can include fantasizing, masturbating alone or with a partner, vaginal* or anal intercourse with dildos, a penis*, fingers, or other sex toys.

Have you had a bad experience with sex?  Are you afraid of sex?  This does not mean that something is wrong with you or your body. Sometimes all the messages you receive about sex can make it hard to sort out what your own feelings and desires are or can get in the way of your sexual pleasure.

This page talks about some reasons why sex may not feel good and some tips on how to make it feel good.

What kind of things can make sex feel bad?

  • You are not turned on or excited.
  • You don’t know what to do or are worried you won’t be a good sex partner.
  • You are not sure you are ready to have sex.
  • You are worried about how your body looks, if your body is “normal” or sexy.
  • You are worried people might make fun of you, gossip about you, or tease you.
  • You are being forced to have sex.
  • You have been sexually assaulted or abused in the past.
  • You are unsure about whether you like men, women, or both.
  • You are worried about pregnancy.
  • You are worried about getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • You have an STI and are worried about giving it to your partner.
  • You are afraid about people finding out, including family or friends.
  • You are not comfortable with your partner.
  • You don’t feel like you can talk to your partner about what feels good and what doesn’t.
  • You are feeling pressured to have sex or to have an orgasm.
  • You are tired or stressed out.
  • You feel like it’s over too fast or takes too long or hurts.
  • You are dealing with depression, anxiety, or other issues that affect your sex drive.
  • You are on medications, like anti-depressants, which can lower your sex drive.
  • You don’t have any privacy or a comfortable place to have sex.
  • If you are nervous, feeling guilty or worried, or if you are high or drunk, sex may not be much fun. You may have trouble getting or keeping an erection or your vagina may not lubricate (get slippery) and can tighten up.

How can I make sex feel good?

Here are some tips that will help sex feel good:

Learn to love your body!

  • It’s a sad fact that many of us feel ashamed and embarrassed about our bodies.
  • There are many kinds of sexy bodies. What we see on TV or in movies is the perfect version of what the media thinks people find sexy. It is not what every individual thinks is sexy.
  • Everyone’s body is beautiful and unique. Our bodies come in many different shapes and sizes. Our genitals vary in size, shape, colour, and smell, just like our faces!
  • Take time to explore your body. Use your eyes to look, your fingers to explore and your nose to smell. Use a mirror to really check yourself out.
  • If you take the time to learn how to love your body you will find that others will love it too.

Find out what feels good

  • Everyone likes to be touched, caressed and played with differently.
  • Masturbating on your own is a great way to get to know your body and what feels good. You can masturbate on your own or with a partner. (For more on how to explore your body check out the Puberty Section of this website. For more on masturbation check out Masturbation 101.)
  • It will be easier to tell your partner what you want if you know what feels good for you.
  • You can use a sex toy to touch yourself in different areas, using different settings or speeds to get a sense of what you might like.
  • Look at magazines, read books or watch movies and fantasize about what you’d like to do.
Useful Tips
  • The most sensitive part of the female genitals, for most, is the clitoris. The clitoris is the small bump at the top of the vulva, and there are also parts of the clitoris that run the length of the vulva. Because the clitoris is not inside the vagina, many people don’t orgasm during vaginal penetration with a finger, dildo, or penis alone. (For more on the powers of the clitoris check out Vulva 101)
  • The most sensitive part of the male genitals can be the head (top part or tip) of the penis. (For more on the powers of the penis, check out Penis 101)

More tips for making sex feel good

  • Take some time to get in the mood. This can include sending sexy text messages, talking sexy, massage, giving small kisses, lighting candles, putting on music or anything else that makes you feel sexy.
  • Let things progress at the speed that works for you; slow, fast, whatever feels good.
  • Talk to your partner about what feels good and what doesn’t feel good for you.
  • You may want to tell your partner you like it when they try new things, as long as you say it’s okay first.
  • Lube can go a long way to ease a tight situation and make things feel good.  You can buy lube at a drug store in the condom section or at sex toy stores. Some sexual health clinics, as well as Planned Parenthood Toronto’s Health Services, give out free samples of lube. Remember, using oil-based lubes like Vaseline can damage latex condoms.
Useful Tips
  • If you are concerned about pregnancy, use a condom or visit a sexual health clinic to talk about other birth control options. (For more on birth control, see the Birth Control section of this website.)
  • Play safe. Whether you are straight, gay, lesbian, or bisexual and no matter who you are having sex with, sex can put you at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Consider using a condom, dental dam, or latex glove to reduce your risk. (For more on protecting yourself from STIs see the STI Section of this website.)
  • If you have been sexually abused or assaulted in the past or if you are suffering from depression or anxiety you may find counselling helpful in getting to a place where sex feels good.  You can ask your health care provider about how to get this kind of help and support.

*We know that these aren’t the words everyone uses for their bodies (eg. trans folks), and support you using the language that feels best for you.