KEY TO BEDROOM SUCCESS: Practice, experimentation

Sarika Jagtiani

During a class last semester, we were required to write a humorous anecdote about ourselves. One of my classmates commented in her blurb that Swenson’s burgers were better than sex (mmmm….Swenson’s).

A guy then quipped that if Swenson’s goods were better than a man’s, the girl was missing out on something.

I disagree.

When you first start having sex, or when you’re just plain young, sex can be disappointing. Or if it’s not disappointing, it’s not the explosion of passion you expected. It’s more like a sparkler dud.

You have to deal with guys who have gone to the jackrabbit school of sex; girls who want to lie there like slugs, completely not interested in what’s going on; and worse than either of those, your own insecurities.

Fear of the unknown and of failure tend to get in the way of the sexually inexperienced and fill their sexual explorations with angst. Sex isn’t so appealing when you’re not sure what to do.

So first things first: Get to know yourself. Intimately. In the dark. With some lighted candles. And maybe some porn. Get the hint?

Oh OK, I’m talking about masturbation.

On a question and answer section of, Dr. Patti Britton, clinical sexologist and sex coach, said, “Research shows that masturbation is the foundation for good partner sex and is in itself a wonderful outlet (to release sexual tension or just plain relax).”

Good to know.

Unfortunately, according to “Sex in America,” a national survey about sex that was taken in the 1990s, many women don’t start masturbating until after they start having sex with partners. Had they started earlier, they might have had a better idea of what they liked and disliked.

Communication is key to any good relationship, and that includes sexual relationships. If you know what you like, and your partner isn’t doing it, speak up. Nicely. Or just nudge them toward another area. Another speed. Another way of doing it.

And don’t worry about offending. If you’re nice or tactful about it, your partner shouldn’t mind.

Think of it this way: One of the most important bedroom goals for men is pleasuring their partners. It’s what they strive for, or at least it’s what the guys I’ve talked to/read about strive for. So you’re better off telling him what you like and getting genuinely excited, which is what turns him on.

Another thing for girls to remember is to be present while you’re having sex. Try to be open. The major complaint you read about and hear guys talking about is girls who are just not into the sex. They just lay around and expect the guy to do all the work. Well, ladies, if he wanted to have sex with himself, he wouldn’t have called you.

Having sex with someone is interactive. You don’t have to be a porn star. Use your hands. Your hips. Your voice.

And girls have performance anxiety too, don’t forget. So guys, if we’re doing something you’re not crazy about or if you know how you like it and we’re just not getting it, let us know.

One thing a lot of people seem to appreciate is locking eyes during sex, or even oral sex. It’s intimate. It’s personal. It’s hot.

Another key is being uninhibited with your bodies. I know, I have my own body demons to deal with, but you have to figure that if someone is there with you, naked, they’re there for a reason, right?

One subject that both sexes have issues with is oral sex.

For a lot of women, receiving oral sex is fraught with anxiety.

There are questions about grooming. About cleanliness. About intimacy.

If you’re unsure about what’s going on in your undies, I would suggest getting checked out by a doctor,.

If you’re feeling fine and your doctor didn’t find anything abnormal, it’s just a matter of getting over the intimacy factor.

It’s hard to do. I’ve spoken to a few women about this, and they all agree that it’s scary to have someone that up close and personal. But it’s also the most pleasurable for a lot of these women.

For those afraid of oral intimacy, I say relax. If he didn’t want to be there, he wouldn’t. I’ve actually heard from more than one guy that it’s actually kind of disappointing when a girl is willing to give oral sex but not receive it. Again, guys want you to be happy in bed, and if he’s seen how happy oral sex can make a woman, it’s no wonder he wants to do it again.

So how to relax? As Dr. Britton said, try to get out of your head and the worries that are percolating in there and focus on the physical sensations.

As for giving oral sex, this can be troublesome, too.

Everyone gets nervous, especially if they’ve never done it before. But trust me, there are plenty of Web sites and books out there that can help you out with step-by-step directions on what to do and how to do it. I found plenty by just searching Google for “oral sex.” Other places to check out for inspiration and direction are and

A helpful hint might be to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Er … underwear.

What do you think would feel good? What would you want done to you?

The final thing to remember: Practice makes perfect.

Sarika Jagtiani is a graduate student in journalism and is the Stater’s sex columnist. Contact her at [email protected].