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Welcome to A Millennial's Dating Diary series, where we explore real-life interactions and the hurdles of dating in Southeast Asia. The series will feature the dating stories and misadventures of Arika – a 26-year-old, straight female marketing manager with a penchant for over drinking — and fellow millennials.
On one of our recent COVID-compliant girl’s night, the topic of bad sex came up.
“Can you continue dating someone if the sex is terrible?” I asked my two friends. As usual, my girls were subjected to the strangest thoughts that sometimes pop into my head.
“If I’m really attracted to someone, and the sex is bad, things could work if he was open to improvement. We could always use toys,” said my best friend, *Natalie, 25.
“Hard no for me,” said my friend *Vanessa, 27. “You’d have to deal with bad sex for as long as you’re in that relationship.”
Like many other women, I, too, carry my fair share of bad sex stories.
*Jack, 28, was someone I dated exclusively for a while, and he was close to everything I wanted in a partner. Committed, loving, and a huge romantic, I dare say he could be the dream man for many women.
Sadly, the sex we had was just not up to par. Tried as I might to enjoy the process, there was only so much “ooooh” and “aaaahs” I could do before I started realising how much I was faking it. I even started to avoid having sex with him because I just could not fake my enjoyment anymore. And the thought of having to endure 20 minutes of Jack not knowing where his hands should go felt like a waste of time.
When Jack and I started dating, we talked about past partners, and this was how I learned of his inexperience in the bedroom, so I sort of knew what I was getting into.
To be fair, I don’t believe that having plenty of sexual experience makes one good at sex. There are plenty of different elements that make sex with someone really good. For me, it’s always been about the emotional connection and bond. Which is why I know, I could never continuously have one night stands with random strangers — regardless of how physically attracted I am to them.
If I’m physically attracted to someone, but cannot seem to connect with them through conversation and witty banter, the attraction stops there. This was why I was still able to date Jack for as long as I did. We were great in every possible way… except sexually.
Back to Jack, after several letdowns, I decided it was best to talk to him about it. Jack and I got along so well and we had such good bants, I didn’t want to lose that. Worried I was going to bruise his ego, I started out by asking him what part of our sex he liked best.
I then moved the conversation towards how we could make things a little more fun in the bedroom, perhaps with the use of toys and other aids. “I don’t get what you’re talking about. Just let me do what I normally do, what’s wrong with that?” he asked. “Do you not enjoy the sex we have?” he asked, earnestly.
And it was then that I lied to him for the first time. “No, no, it’s fine! I always have a good time,” I replied. Till date, I beat myself up for not being honest about how I felt because our relationship ultimately ended partly because I was resenting any sort of sexual activity with him, and slowly, my interest in him waned. It also didn’t help that we wanted different things in life.
Through Jack, though, I’ve learned how important sex is in any romantic relationship I’m in, and why I can’t continue seeing someone if I didn’t enjoy the sex.
And let’s not sugarcoat it; I know of other people who could never continue seeing someone if the sex was not enjoyable. If you’re like me, sex is one of the ways you show your affection, care and love towards someone. It’s no wonder then that physical touch is one of my dominant love languages.
When it comes to compatibility, I’ve learned that it’s equally important to find someone that matches me sexually as well.
However, some people don’t emphasise sex and the need for such strong physical connections. That being said, not every relationship is doomed to fail if the sex is bad.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to the couple and what they choose to do when presented with such a problem. I’ve learned that it’s important just to communicate how you’re truly feeling, even if it might hurt their feelings… unless they’re less endowed, but that’s a column for another day.