Bad at sex
June 23, 2012 6:43 AM   Subscribe

What does it mean to say someone is "no good in bed"? What things do people do (or not do) when they're bad in the sack?

Someone said this about an acquaintance today, and I got wondering what specifically it might have been referring to.
posted by peter1982peter to Human Relations (51 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

I would suggest that the key factor would be this... Do they focus on themself and their own pleasure exclusively - or is it a two-way, mutually satisfying activity?
posted by jkaczor at 6:48 AM on June 23, 2012 [10 favorites]

When someone says this I think of not being receptive. Just lying there. Not enjoying themselves. Not enthusiastic or concerned about their partner.
posted by Fairchild at 6:51 AM on June 23, 2012 [4 favorites]

But, then again - if someone simply has no clue where the various Erogenous zones are located (perhaps cannot find other, more specific destinations (like say the clitoris)) - then yes, that person is simply bad in bed. ... but hopefully trainable ...

(And both my posts apply equally to either sex)
posted by jkaczor at 6:51 AM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Someone (particularly a female) who just lays there.
Someone (particularly a male) who is just concerned with getting themselves off, and not concerned with the partner.
posted by Flood at 6:54 AM on June 23, 2012 [16 favorites]

Communicate (expressing their own desires and paying attention to their partner's effectively).
posted by thatdawnperson at 6:54 AM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

That's a pretty subjective judgement, people have wildly varying ideas about what they want in a sexual partner. Generally though I'd say someone was a lousy lay (I mean, I wouldn't actually say it as that would be incredibly, unforgivably rude, but I'd think it) if they were a selfish lover, or if their lovemaking lacked passion, or if it didn't last long enough to be satisfying, or if they didn't communicate their desires, or if they didn't want to spend time with me afterward. That's pretty generic, but it's a pretty broad topic.

A lot of it is often down to lack of chemistry rather than skill, though. All the tricks in the world don't make up for someone just not being that into you, or vice versa.

Also I'd like to reiterate that gossiping about someone's supposed lack of sexual prowess is super rude and tacky and you should avoid picking up that habit.
posted by Scientist at 6:55 AM on June 23, 2012 [16 favorites]

Yes! jkaczor is absolutely right. My reply was sexist. I was thinking of a woman in this case. How terrible. More thoughts: just banging away. Inadequate foreplay. Bad kisser. Not adept in the art of oral sex or unenthusiastic about oral sex. Enthusiasm will get you everywhere.
posted by Fairchild at 6:56 AM on June 23, 2012

In my experience, gossip about someone being bad in bed is mostly sour grapes because the speaker isn't in bed with the subject anymore. I've only ever heard anyone get into that sort of thing (versus joking about drunken shenanigans during, say, a one night stand) after a bad breakup or similar.

It's entirely possible to be bad in bed, but consider the motive of the speaker in saying so - usually, it's just one more way to denigrate someone that pissed them off.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:05 AM on June 23, 2012 [6 favorites]

Fairchild, there are men that just lay there too, I didn't assume your reply referred to women only. Lack of participation is disappointing from any gender.

My worst lovers were the ones who couldn't take direction. Either they would shoot down my (perfectly vanilla) suggestions outright ("that's too weird," "I don't feel like it," "just trust me okay") or they would ignore my requests, acting like they didn't hear, or maybe worst of all, saying "okay" but not doing what I asked. Sometimes I've even been made to feel unfeminine, emasculating, or demanding when I tried to commiunicate with my partners. Those men were a waste of my time.
posted by milk white peacock at 7:16 AM on June 23, 2012 [14 favorites]

This is unanswerable, because there are so many ways to be bad in bed. It can be based on action (a mismatch between what you are doing and what they are wanting), or it can be a physical mismatch (they want you hung like a horse, and you aren't). And it can simply come from emotions afterwards -- if you wake up the next morning feeling guilty or dirty, you are probably going to call that sex "bad," no matter how fun it was in the moment.
posted by Forktine at 7:33 AM on June 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

I am a woman who has sex with men
I never talk about sex with other people in public, let alone mention names (it's bad form and it would make me look like a dunderhead)

Things I don't like in bed

No initiative or simply "just lying there" makes for really bad sex

On the flip side, men who think they are starring in their own porn, so they are *too* energetic or last too damn long and I feel like I a prop. Eventually I start to tune out against my will. I am talking sex marathon.

No awareness of basic anatomy of the female body. (for example, someone gripping your boob like it's a tennis ball and pulling it around, what the hell is that about? It hurts!).

Pressuring/coaxing me to do something I already said no to.

Weird psychological play, like men who judge me for liking something, or for not liking something, and then there's a weird tension and the fun is over

About the previous reply, I disagree with not liking it when someone shoots down my suggestions. They have their reasons, and we can talk about it in a less charged situation, maybe after sex, if they feel like it.
posted by Tarumba at 7:39 AM on June 23, 2012 [9 favorites]

*previous to the previous reply, that is.
posted by Tarumba at 7:40 AM on June 23, 2012

Tarumba, of course it's fine if a guy doesn't want to do everything I want to do. It's only a problem when he makes me feel ashamed for asking in the first place. (What you called "weird psychological play.")
posted by milk white peacock at 7:47 AM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've been on the receiving end of that criticism, in person, in about that form, with specific reference to oral sex. My technique has been highly praised by other lovers, though, so I tend to take it with a large grain of YMMV salt--although to be fair, there may be differences due to circumcision issues. (I am a woman and my sex partners are men. Any yes, I D'ed TMFA not long afterwards. Even if they are lousy in bed by whatever standards you have, find a nicer way to say it.)
posted by immlass at 8:03 AM on June 23, 2012

When it feels like someone is unaware of/unwilling to communicate their own desires.
posted by whalebreath at 8:04 AM on June 23, 2012

In my experience, it normally refers to the speaker being the kind of jerk who talks about others sexually behind their back. See also: high school.
posted by spunweb at 8:22 AM on June 23, 2012 [9 favorites]

gossiping about someone's supposed lack of sexual prowess is super rude and tacky and you should avoid picking up that habit.

Yeah, so much of what makes someone "good at sex" is whether they're a good fit with you or not. I'd be concerned that if I called someone bad in the sack it was basically like saying I was bad in the sack. So, I never say stuff like this since it has a tendency to get back to people and then 1) you're a jerk and 2) you may have really hurt someone's feeligns for what was just idle banter [ask me how I know].

Anyhow... I am a woman who sleeps with men, and bad in the sack to me in the past has meant

- is not concerned with my orgasm at all but is very concerned about his own
- has no idea how to make me come and no interest in talking to me about it or making it a point of discussion/play
- jackhammering [not my particular preference]
- just lies there, disinterested, distractable, eyes-closed-thinking-about-someone-else
- super specific requests and no interest in my specific requests
- chatterbox or totally silent
- holding me in a specific position when I do not want to be in that position
- nagging/coaxing/whining/pouting
- TRYING TO SNEAK SOMETHING IN MY BUTT [when that was not on the program]

All of this stuff might be good in different circumstances than the ones I was in when we were fooling around. I think there are some "objectively bad at sex" things like not being attentive to your partner, being scary, being checked out, and then things that are more subjective which is most of the stuff I talked about.
posted by jessamyn at 8:27 AM on June 23, 2012 [29 favorites]

I think this is fairly simple and the answers already are an obvious point that this could entail almost anything due to it being highly specific to what Person A likes and dislikes.

What does it mean to say someone is "no good in bed"?: It means the speaker didn't enjoy themselves, almost or to the point, where it was a dis-pleasurable experience.
posted by zephyr_words at 8:43 AM on June 23, 2012

As a woman who has sex with men... I'll add that I don't really enjoy sleeping with guys who just assume my body/mind operates the exact same way their ex etc's did and just run on autopilot on that basis, rather than paying attention to my responses/asking me (of course I'll speak up for what I want, but a guy who takes the time to figure out what I like and respond to is great)
posted by lifethatihavenotlivedyet at 9:08 AM on June 23, 2012 [5 favorites]

I think in a generic sense it means awkward, clumsy, or checked out. Someone can be awkward or clumsy and pull it off because they are self-aware and confident enough, or it can work because there's enough chemistry & cuteness between the couple, but those are special cases.

In general sexiness implies being comfortable (so talking about what you want isn't weird, for instance), being able to use their body as they want (having rhythm or dexterity, for instance), and being into it.
posted by mdn at 9:14 AM on June 23, 2012 [5 favorites]

I am a woman who has sex with men and I have had some bad sex. There are too many reasons to list but most of them are above. I will note that size has made some difference, although probably not in the way most men think, as well as hygiene being a factor. Alcohol-related impotence has ruined a few nights for me. But I think that with an attentive, generous, and engaged partner, most bad sex could have been good sex.

I'm curious to know why you want to know what this means.
posted by sm1tten at 9:18 AM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think sometimes people worry about being "bad in bed" when they're just inexperienced. (On a related note, bitching about virgins because they're shitty in bed is really unkind. I've just overheard that one a lot, from both genders, and it really bothers me.) Awkward does not always mean bad, if the person is willing to listen.
Sometimes the chemistry just isn't there, but generally, the important thing is listening to what your partner says and paying attention to their body language, being responsive and engaged, and not getting huffy about being coached. That last one is really important. If there's something you like, while they're not obligated to do it for you, they are obligated to be polite about it. If they act wounded and sullen because of a basic request (like "I want to go slow for a bit" or "this position doesn't really work for me, let's switch") then they're bad in bed.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 9:22 AM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

[Folks, don't make this a prescriptive sexuality thread, just answer the question, thank you.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:53 AM on June 23, 2012

- TRYING TO SNEAK SOMETHING IN MY BUTT [when that was not on the program]

I'd guess that unhappy surprises of the WHOOPS BUTTSEX! variety are the cause of an awful lot of bad sex complaints. I've been both the perpetrator and recipient of not-nice surprises, and regret both.
posted by Forktine at 9:58 AM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Cold fish and jackhammers are the typical tropes.
posted by rhizome at 10:01 AM on June 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

Agree with mdn. More words: Not being mentally present. Not picking up on cues (whether or not spoken). Not participating in a dynamic/not responding to the other person's response.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:08 AM on June 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

Not engaged with their partner, not considerate, riddled with hangups, sexually selfish, not sufficiently sensuous, not open to exploration.

Those are probably the main things that makes someone "bad in bed" for me. But just like "good in bed", these things are personal. For example, I know a woman who says she loves nothing more than a good jackhammering. Individual things like that vary; it's the larger, broader strokes that make the sex, overall, good or bad. Jessamyn is on the money when she says that it has to be about sharing, and that to a large extent what makes sex work is two-way chemistry and communication.
posted by Decani at 10:09 AM on June 23, 2012 [4 favorites]

Very small, smells, 3 humps and done, bad kisser, dead quiet, not getting fully hard, and yes, trying to sneak something in my ass
posted by KogeLiz at 10:22 AM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Part is physical. Like any physical skill, there's a "use the right amount of force" issue which just takes some physical learning before you get it. It's like carrying an egg - don't be too forceful (you'll crack it), don't be too soft (you'll drop it). And of course, different for every partner, so one needs to pay attention to signals and be willing to modify course, and one needs to be generous about giving signals. This applies to kissing, cuddling, and all kinds of sex - use the right amount of force, for the right length of time, in the right places in the right rhythms with the right amount of slobber, etc.

Part is interpersonal. You're sharing potentially-embarrassing things with this person, and trying to do a delicate joint project with them. If they're a jerk, or selfish, or bossy, or (god forbid) cruel, or not pulling their weight, it's going to be a bad interaction.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:26 AM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am a woman who has sex! I also think it's skeezy to openly talk about someone being bad in bed unless you're specifically warning someone off. However, I absolutely keep a mental checklist.

There are two categories of bad in bed. One is forgivable, one is not.

Physical issues that aren't the person's fault. Generally size incompatibilities - too big or too small.
Lack of rhythm. Sometimes this is fixable, sometimes it isn't.
Lack of passion/enthusiasm
Doing Things Wrong: tends to fall into either following a script regardless of the person, or doing things they saw in a porn
Assuming that oral sex on women is easy.
Sex either too short or too long


Like jessamyn said, people who try to stick things in places that you didn't ask for as "surprises" are the worst. (And what is it with dudes that this is so common?)

Refusing to stop something until they can elicit an orgasm. (I once had to suffer through an hour of bad oral sex. Never again.)

Guys that don't communicate about their physicality. Like guys that are having trouble with erections that prefer to blame you rather than talk about it.
posted by corb at 10:26 AM on June 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh man. As a 20's female who has sex with men, I actually haven't run into many guys who are unconcerned with my orgasm. I've run into way more guys who are VERY "concerned" about it - in ways that make sex with them miserable. For example:

1. Not listening when you tell them certain things won't make you orgasm. Because if THEY can be the first one to "make" you orgasm that way that will be a gigantic ego boost and make them feel really good. So, they'll do their "guaranteed move" for hours if you let them, thinking they are bringing you closer and closer to orgasm, when you are actually in more and more discomfort and even pain, all your arousal has drained away long ago, and you are just hoping it will end.

2. Not listening when they tell you that, right then, you are really enjoying the sex but you are not going to have an orgasm at all. (And you are okay with that). Again, if you let them, for hours they will try this and that. Thinking they are bringing you closer but making everything more and more unpleasant and making you long for it to just be over. Meanwhile if they had just listened to you, and not worried about it, you could have had an enjoyable time.

3. Not listening to you or not caring when you say that certain positions hurt. Pressuring, whining, or guilt tripping for certain positions anyway, or continuing to try to maneuver you into them.

4. Actually that should have its own number. Continuing to try to "sneakily" do things that you told them you don't like and have asked them not to do. Thinking maybe you won't notice at first and you'll like it or feel obligated to continue once it's happening? I once had a guy who, just as I was about to orgasm, would sneakily touch me where I had told him I hate being touched. Maybe thinking he would "train" me to like being touched there by associating it with orgasm. All it did was kill my orgasm, make me never want to have sex with him again, and associate sex with him with disgust and discomfort.

5. Pressuring you to keep having sex with them for a longer period of time than you want to. Maybe out of a mistaken belief that "lasting longer" is always better. Some women may love having intercourse for an hour plus at a stretch. I think most don't.

6. In general, pressuring you to do things after you've already communicated that you're no longer enjoying it, are sore, aren't aroused anymore, are tired, need a break, etc.

7. Having rigid beliefs about "what women like" or being "skilled in bed" that they have gotten from porn or exes, and clinging to those beliefs even after you tell them that YOU don't like those things.
posted by cairdeas at 10:37 AM on June 23, 2012 [31 favorites]

I think this is the tl;dr of my answer. The tags on this question are "performance" and "ability." In my own personal experience, the guys who were the most focused on their "performance" and "ability" were the absolute worst to have sex with. The best were the guys who did the best job of listening, paid careful attention to both positive and negative ("please don't do that") requests, were flexible (not in the yoga sense - I mean they didn't have previously set expectations they refused to deviate from), weren't pushy, and didn't get judgmental*, or defensive. My first serious boyfriend was a virgin in his early 20's with 0 "skills" to speak of when we started dating, but because he was absolutely stellar on all the things I just listed, I never had anything less than total enjoyment and satisfaction with him.

*A lot of guys who think of themselves as non-judgmental are thinking "I wouldn't judge a woman even if she wanted the kinkiest, nastiest things ever!!!" But they're forgetting about the other direction, and often end up being super judgmental when the woman wants things they don't see as exciting enough.
posted by cairdeas at 11:20 AM on June 23, 2012 [10 favorites]

Oh yeah, another one: guys who think that good sex has to come directly from their penis, rather than thinking that sex is about feeling good. Guys that are really sensitive about it - for example, if a woman can come better by herself or with a vibrator, but they don't want to let her use her hand or a vibrator during sex because it violates their idea of the penis being the pleasure provider. Despite the fact that many, many women have difficulty achieving orgasm through PIV sex alone.
posted by corb at 12:03 PM on June 23, 2012 [5 favorites]

Guys who fail to realise that sex drive is linked to activities outside the bedroom - good sex is more than just knowing which moves to pull - its also about treating me with respect, meeting my needs and us having a good relationship and connection when sexytimes are nowhere near on the menu.
posted by EatMyHat at 1:03 PM on June 23, 2012 [6 favorites]

treating me with respect, meeting my needs and us having a good relationship and connection when sexytimes are nowhere near on the menu

This is a must yes - unless it turns into "domestic slavery" for sexyfuntimes... Ooops, you didn't get the "honey-do" checklist done? No sex for you!
posted by jkaczor at 1:13 PM on June 23, 2012

I feel kind of weird asking, but does trying to sneak things in your butt, as a creepy/bad thing to do include a finger?

Bad sex = no trust. Not trusting me enough to talk about being unable to maintain an erection, or me not trusting enough to talk about my preferences.
lack of skill/training. There are books, websites, etc. Porn is not a good way to learn what mutually fun sex is like. At least not for me; if your mileage varies, go nuts. It's really a good idea to learn the basics.
not listening. Yeah, I still don't like it when you do that. Hey, that thing you just did; can you do more of that?
lack of generosity or involvement. Limited participation, or playing porn star fall in this category.

That said, in a relationship, if you are really horny, and I'm barely awake, and you're okay with my willing but un-energetic participation, sure. If, once in a while, you or I want to have a quickie orgasm and the circumstances don't lend themselves to mutuality, sure. In a good relationship, give and take is a way of life, and variety is as spicy as they say.

I'd bet that most people who publicly call someone bad in bed are saying it for effect.
posted by theora55 at 1:23 PM on June 23, 2012

It means whoever said this is a pretty awful person.

Honestly, the things that are good for one person are bad for another. Some people above say it's awful for a woman to just lie there but in other cultures they consider that great - if she moves a lot it means the man's not doing it right and she feels obligated to help him (of course, I don't think much of those cultures, but I'm just saying).

I went with someone who had a reputation for being fantastic, but for me it was pretty bland. Because not everyone likes the same thing. Other people liked this person was take-charge, I found the person too domineering.

Sharing warning advice - "oh, he always 'accidentally' fell out of his condom halfway through". "she tried to choke me even though I said no" might be appropriate for someone about to enter into a sexual relationship with that person.... but just randomly, about an acquaintance? I hope this immature blabbermouth is still in high school....
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 1:29 PM on June 23, 2012

I feel kind of weird asking, but does trying to sneak things in your butt, as a creepy/bad thing to do include a finger?

Yes. If you've talked about it, not a problem, but it is not a good surprise. Even if the other person is genuinely trying to make you feel good.
posted by corb at 1:29 PM on June 23, 2012

I feel kind of weird asking, but does trying to sneak things in your butt, as a creepy/bad thing to do include a finger?

Bad sex = no trust.

Theora55 - I think you answered your own question. Attempting or hinting at penetration is one thing, and I don't think it's a bad thing when you/your partner can be trusted when one says "stop" or "haha get away from there, I mean it."

But when someone "accidentally" jams something into a place you weren't expecting, hard enough to make you bleed, and then says, "well...since I'm here anyway, can't I finish?" that's disgusting (and happened to a friend....who's still with the same boyfriend). If you know your partner would say no, or are even just afraid of the no, so you don't bother to ask and just do it - THAT'S what's creepy....

I think it's all in how you approach it, and how much respect for your partner you show in your actions. It would be weird to have sex all, "can I do X?" "Yes." "Okay, proceeding with about Y?" "Okay." :-)
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 1:38 PM on June 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

I don't like when sex becomes exclusively genital focused, rather than a whole body sensuousness. . .

Once I dated this guy who somehow was able to drool, in disturbingly large quantities, into my mouth while kissing - it was the most disgusting kiss ever- total deal breaker.

But I certainly didn't tell any acquaintances about it!
posted by abirdinthehand at 1:59 PM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

To add to the "sneaking things into your butt" complaints, I once had a guy stick his finger up my butt with no warning, and then, before I could stop him, he stuck the SAME finger into my vagina. Which, in case anyone out there is unaware of this, is pretty much a guaranteed way for a woman to get a UTI and/or a bacterial vaginal infection. So I got treated for my painful infection-- and then I dumped the guy, because actually making me sick is pretty much the definition of "bad in bed" to me.

I think that porn has made men think that it's okay to insert anything into any other hole after it's been in someone's anus, but it really, really isn't. Also, men who get their ideas of how to perform sexually from porn tend to be absolutely terrible in bed.
posted by rhymeswithcheery at 2:04 PM on June 23, 2012 [7 favorites]

I feel kind of weird asking, but does trying to sneak things in your butt, as a creepy/bad thing to do include a finger?

I think it's one thing to sort of subtly make motions like "Hey if I were to do more things in this sort of direction would that be something you'd like...?" with an exploratory finger. But especially about something like buttplay which many people have strong feelings about, it's important to go slow and be cautious. And I think it's one of those things where you can sort of float a trial balloon about figuring out whether your partner might enjoy that sort of thing. And that that sort of thing should be, generally, fine

People just being like Bunny and rhymeswithcheery describes [along with the "Since I'm in here..." part and the "gave me an infection" part] in my experience are not as rare as they should be. People who are just a little clumsy at trying things out are really worlds away from people who seem to be trying to get away with something.
posted by jessamyn at 2:06 PM on June 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think a plethora of mefites have covered over things in the general sense. TO be specific, I've only ever had one, really terrible partner (man, has sex with women), and that involved:

A refusal to kiss at all during any part of the act itself.

Doing exactly the same thing every time. To the point that it I could have set my watch. And I mean the exact. Not even a caress deviated.

No movement, interaction etc. That was probably the most dispiriting part, I was left feeling like either a sex toy, or that I was having sex with someone who was semi-conscious at best.

Unfortunately, this was my first sex partner, and someone who assured the naive me that they were a maestro in the bedroom. Man, until my second girlfriend, I really did not understand the big deal about sex, haha.
posted by smoke at 3:38 PM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Missionary with the lights off.


In all seriousness, though, I've said it here before, and I'll say it again. The only explicitly BAD sex I've ever had was the time I felt like I may as well not even have been in the room. Sex is an activity you do with your partner, not an action you carry out on your partner.
posted by Sara C. at 4:02 PM on June 23, 2012

I am a lady who has had sex with humans. Incidents where I would classify various bedmates as Not Good in Bed:

- Quite literally fumbling with my equipment.
- Doing That Thing That The Previous Lover Really Enjoyed without checking to see if it was something that I even *liked.*
- Trying to rush in with no foreplay.
- Making strange comments such as "Thanks for letting me come on your leg." (?!)
- Laughing at What I Just Did There in a non-sexy kind of way so as to make me feel horribly self conscious.
- Expressing desire to display prowess at certain acts, thus putting pressure on me to declare that Yes, Baby, You Are So Amazing when really... ok, that was fun... but... that was totally not the best [foo] I'd ever had.
posted by sonika at 5:11 PM on June 23, 2012

thanks, Jessamyn, that's what I had in mind. Big difference between seducing and jamming.

A friend used to say sex is a lot like pizza; even when it's not that great, it's still pizza.
posted by theora55 at 6:32 PM on June 23, 2012

Haha! Have to agree on some of the stuff about the 'having sex AT you' debacle. Sadly I remember a boy from Watford trying to re-create his favourite YouPorn clip complete with cringy fake-American accent. 'OHH YEARRRH BAYYAYYY. OHH YEARRRH'. Dear lord.

Other stuff I've encountered is taking sexy talk literally, like thinking you're actually telling them for real you are a dirty whore. Bad kissers. Smelly junk. People who aren't in the moment and you just wish they'd used a fleshlight. Strange/vaguely insulting comments during or after sex. Doing the thing their ex loved (and when you object telling you, 'But my ex used to love that!'). Not seeming into it. Expecting a blow job every time but going down on you is a favour. Trying to pressure you into doing things you don't want to do. Having a tiny or floppy dick.

I don't know, I can see how it's OK to go round to your bestie's house and tell it like it is, and I'd assume that level of honesty with closest friends. Announcing someone's shit in bed in other company is a bit TMI and not cool.
posted by everydayanewday at 9:15 PM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm a woman who has sex with men:

-micromanaging how/where I touch him, especially during foreplay, nitpicking small gestures I make like the speed at which I stroke his arms.

-In general pressuring me to do things I am uncomfortable with but being really inflexible about any of my requests. Had a guy who would pressure me into doing it doggy style with all the lights on despite knowing I was self conscious about it, but then balked when I asked him to take off his shirt because he felt he was too flabby.

-refusing to kiss before or during the act.

-pulling out of me after every few pumps to avoid coming. I'd rather he just cum quickly than prevent me from getting into it by constantly interrupting.
posted by timsneezed at 1:42 PM on June 24, 2012

"Good in bed" will be different for each person, so, someone who is "bad in bed" for one person might be amazing for another. I'm a guy. Here's my take:

For me, bad in bed tends to mean a woman isn't connecting with me, but rather, having sex for another purpose, such as some kind of rebellion or show. I briefly dated a woman who had this need for everyone in the frigging neighborhood to know she was getting laid. There's a difference between being loud because you're loud and being loud because you're showing off for the neighbors. Exhibitionism does nothing for me. I had a girlfriend who used sex as a way to rebel against her parents (isn't 30 a bit old for that crap? Apparently not). It didn't take long to realize my sexlife was directly related to whatever was going on between her and her parents. A fight between her and her mom meant I was going to get laid. But she rarely ever had sex with me because she was into it and enjoying herself, and when we had sex, it rarely felt like she was in the moment with me. It's kind of like somebody who smokes only because their parents wouldn't approve. That's bad in bed for me.

For me, good in bed means connecting with me. I had a girlfriend who basically just laid there on her back when we had sex. Missionary was the only thing she enjoyed, and she didn't really kiss much or even move much during sex. And yet, I think of her as amazing in bed because she liked keeping one hand in my hair and the other along my back while we had sex. There was something about that along with the way she'd look at me that was so marvelously intimate. It was the same every time, but I never ever tired of it. She was great in bed! I had another girlfriend who talked a lot during sex. Not dirty talk... just giggling, laughing, and I don't even remember what else. We had this weird way of flowing in and out of conversation while having sex, and it was odd but amazing. Another girlfriend liked to change positions a lot, but the way she moved her body with mine... again, it's all about togetherness and connecting. Maybe another guy might think each of these women was bad in bed ("She just laid there!" "She wouldn't shut up!" "She was frigging all over the place!"), but I thought they were each amazing in bed.

Too many people think being good in bed is about doing crazy stuff while fucking. They're so wrong. Great in bed, at least for me, means connecting with me and being in the moment with me. It means sharing. Bad in bed means I'm just an accessory for her show or rebellion or whatever.

But, hey, as I said... we all enjoy different things. One person's trash is another person's treasure.
posted by 2oh1 at 6:53 PM on June 24, 2012 [9 favorites]

No initiative, no flexibility, no creativity, unable to take a hint, bad communication, unable to articulate desires, not even aware of desires, inhibition, immobility, acting out a script, having sex for some reason other than wanting to have sex, prudishness, bad rhythm, no stamina, physical insensitivity or hyper-sensitivity.

Most of these are circumstantial, though, and/or things a flexible lover can themselves overcome with some effort. So I agree with the above posts that calling someone "bad in bed" is often as much a reflection on the speaker as on the accused.
posted by ead at 9:40 PM on June 24, 2012

To add to the "sneaking things into your butt" complaints, I once had a guy stick his finger up my butt with no warning, and then, before I could stop him, he stuck the SAME finger into my vagina.

I wonder if watching too much porn makes these things come about? From speaking with friends, a lot of young men don't realise that one can't really penetrate someone's ass without lubrication because it will REALLY HURT. Similarly, you don't really get a lot of lessons about safe bumfun in porn.
posted by mippy at 6:41 AM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

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