Life's Too Short For So-So Sex

Good sex, bad sex, quick sex, rough sex. Makeup sex; slow and steady sex; hot, heavy, and rowdy sex. While people can have all kinds of sex, there's a big difference between so-so sex and good sex (not to mention great sex). As with a lot of things, practice makes perfect, so it may take time to find out what good sex means to you. If you don't have time for that right now, we reached out to experts who know it best and were willing to share just what good sex means to them.

"Why Do You Want to Have Sex?"

Before you have sex with someone, couples therapist Dr. Daryl Johnson, LPC, PHD, suggests that you ask yourself what your motivations are: "Why do you want to have sex, why with this particular person, and what do you hope to accomplish?" By getting clarification on this prior to having sex, you'll go into the experience knowing what you want and what you're going to get out of it. Whether it's to get closer with a partner, experiment with new positions, spice things up in a relationship, or simply just because you want to, you can equip yourself sexually and emotionally.

"Rather than chasing orgasms, trying to mimic whatever you think sex is 'supposed' to be like, or seeking to maximize or minimize partnerships, focus on what feels good."

"Focus on What Feels Good"

Shadeen Francis, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in sex therapy, emotional intelligence, and social justice, believes that sex is about sensory pleasure. "Rather than chasing orgasms, trying to mimic whatever you think sex is 'supposed' to be like, or seeking to maximize or minimize partnerships, focus on what feels good," she told POPSUGAR. "What allows you to feel safe enough to explore, play, and be curious?" By focusing on your needs, you can be honest with your partner about what you want more of, and get to know your body better at the same time. This also gives you an opportunity to talk to your partner and see what they like so you can both experience pleasure to the fullest extent.

Don't Wait For the Stars to Align

As for the sex itself, Francis's key piece of advice is don't be afraid of lube! Since lube can enhance sexual experiences and make them more enjoyable for everyone involved, there should be no shame in lubing up. "Lubrication changes based on stress, temperature, health, duration of play, hormones, and stage of hormone cycle, et cetera. So instead of trying to make the stars align for everything to go smoothly — pun not intended! — or risking painful tearing or irritation, choose your favorite lube and keep it near wherever you like to play." (Pro tip: you can use lube for things outside of just penetrative sex.)

"Real Sex Requires Intimacy to Be Pleasurable"

While some people might just enjoy the casual romp, marriage and family therapist Rabiia Ali, LMFT, suggests waiting until each person is truly ready. "Ready means that this is something that they want to do and not something that they feel will please someone else," she said. The way to make sex enjoyable is by being comfortable with both your body and your partner, and being able to voice what you want. Having sex on your own terms can make it fun and exciting, while still being at a level each partner is OK with. And to get the most out of the sex you're having, make sure it's with the right person. "Real sex requires intimacy to be pleasurable," Ali told POPSUGAR. Being sexually vulnerable with someone else works best when you're comfortable, and when you're ready to focus on you and your partner's wants and needs. The next time you're in the mood to get it on, let these tips fill you with pleasure.