14 Unwritten Rules About Sex Everyone Should Know

September 21, 2023

Sex is complex. While there are certainly some basic guidelines, every person and relationship has unique preferences and boundaries. However, there are a few key "unwritten rules" that apply broadly and can help make any sexual encounter more mutually fulfilling and pleasurable.

1. Consent is Essential

Perhaps the most important unwritten rule is that consent must be clear and enthusiastic. A lackluster "okay" or "I guess so" does not indicate true consent. Both partners should feel excited about what's happening. If someone seems uncertain or reluctant, it's best to pause and check-in before proceeding.

2. Communication is Key

Good sex requires open communication. Share your desires, interests, boundaries, and comfort levels. Ask what feels good and what doesn't. Adjust as needed. Non-verbal cues matter too, so pay attention to your partner's body language. Silence or lack of response can be a sign to change course.

3. Foreplay is For Both Parties

Adequate foreplay ensures both partners are sufficiently aroused before penetration. Kissing, touching, oral sex, role play - take time to build anticipation and excitement. Rushing into intercourse without proper foreplay usually leads to disappointment.

4. Reciprocation is Ideal

While the give and take doesn't have to be exactly even every time, partners should aim to mutually satisfy one another's needs. Don't be selfish. Pay attention to your partner's pleasure as much as your own.

5. Hygiene is Non-Negotiable

From trimming nails to brushing teeth, basic hygiene sets the stage for a positive experience. Sweat, body odors, and unsanitary genitals are instant turn-offs. Take the time to tidy up beforehand.

6. Protection is a Must

Unless in a committed, monogamous relationship with recent STI testing, barrier protection such as condoms is essential. Don't put yourself or your partner at risk. Better safe than sorry.

7. Enthusiasm Matters More than Skill

While sexual skill can be learned over time, enthusiasm is a key ingredient you can't fake. Rather than worry about your performance, focus on fully engaging yourself in the moment. Passion trumps perfection.

8. Self-Confidence Makes it Better

Feeling sexy and confident in your own skin makes the experience more enjoyable for you and your partner. Let go of body image hang-ups. Remind yourself that your partner desires you as you are.

9. Sense of Humor Helps

Sex can sometimes get awkward - strange noises, weird positions, accidental moments. Being able to laugh together relieves tension and brings you closer. Don't take every mishap too seriously.

10. Aftercare Provides Reassurance

simple acts of affection following sex reinforces intimacy. Cuddling, a chat, bringing your partner a snack - aftercare makes both parties feel cared for. Don't just get up and leave afterwards.

11. Start Slow and Check for Feedback

Rushing into intense stimulation too soon can be unpleasant. Build progressively and gauge your partner's reactions. If something elicits a positive response, keep doing exactly that until you get further guidance.

12. Lubricant Makes Things Better

Lube reduces discomfort and enhances sensation for both partners. Don't be shy about using it liberally - many women require added lubrication for comfortable penetration.

13. Less Pressure Yields Better Results

Taking the pressure off reaching climax often makes it easier. Instead of a goal-oriented mindset, simply focus on giving and receiving pleasure. Orgasms may happen organically.

14. Communication Continues After Sex

Talking afterwards provides important feedback for next time. Discuss what worked well and what didn't. Adjust accordingly moving forward. Great sex takes trial and error.

While not set in stone, adhering to these common sense guidelines creates an environment for mutually fulfilling intimate encounters. Every sexual relationship still requires custom communication, comfort levels, and preferences. However, applying these universal principles establishes a solid foundation upon which to build physical intimacy and trust.

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