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What makes for good sex? 

Kinky sex, loving sex, drunken sex, boring sex, short sex, long sex … there are so many kinds of sex, but what is the best kind? A reader wrote in, asking what constitutes “good” sex — something that we probably all have questioned at one time or another.

My initial reaction was to simply tell her that the best sex is when both people orgasm. But there is so much more to it, so I asked around for some more opinions.

I was not surprised when the majority of women I talked to think that sex is best when emotions are involved.

“Emotion and chemistry constitute good sex. My best sexual escapades are when I am caught off guard but overwhelmed completely with passion and desire,” Jessica Ripes, 21, and in a three-year relationship said. “Chemistry [is important] because great sex comes with understanding each others wants and needs.”

Some of the guys I talked to also agreed that real emotions are key.

“Emotion has always made sex better — true feelings,” said Devin Smith, 19, who is currently in a relationship.

Comfort is another key component to great sex because you are more apt to experiment with wild and kinky things with someone you are sexually comfortable with rather than with a one-night stand. With comfort comes communication; the couple must communicate their needs, desires, and preferences to have successful sex, and that communication comes much easier with a partner you feel like you can talk to.

“[Comfort with your partner is important] because you can both be open to what you like,” said Rebecca B., who is 25 and in a relationship.

Steve Council, 25, agreed. He said that “changing it up and being adventurous” makes sex more exciting — and that can more easily be done with someone you’re comfortable with. Some people have more hard limits than others; like anal or threesomes. Anal intercourse and threesomes may not be something to include in your regular sex lineup, but they are great to spice up your sex life on occasion. Adventurous sexual experiences can actually bring a couple closer together.

Emotions are great, but obviously we can’t forget the physical aspect of sex. Physical attraction contributes to good sex as well.

Sami Whittemore, 19, believes physical attraction constitutes good sex.

“If you’re not attracted to your sex partner then you are just having sex to have sex, maybe to relieve stress or fill a void because you are lonely. You need to be attracted and comfortable with them so you can make the sex as pleasurable as possible, being able to go further than missionary.”

Sex can still be phenomenal with someone you have no feelings for. Sometimes it is hot to be with someone you don’t really know because the act is only based on physical attraction and experience each individual has acquired on their own.

“Sometimes just an understanding of roles is enough. Who’s in charge? If it’s a one-night stand but the guy knows he needs to be dominant and he needs to throw you around, bite you, pull your hair and show you he controls you and your body for the night … Emotions aren’t truly needed,” Smith said.

Phenomenal, unforgettable sex is made up of comfort with your partner, communication between partners, being sexually adventurous together, physical attraction and most importantly being safe. The best sex is different for everyone, and most of the people I talked to agreed that there is no single determining factor, but there are a few universal qualities: Sex without negative repercussions, safe sex and being selective about your sexual partners is the best sex. Thirty minutes of pleasure is not worth a lifetime of suffering.

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