Over Sunday beers the other afternoon, my mate told me how she’d broken up with someone she’d been seeing casually because he was sexually rude – he never had condoms, begrudgingly reciprocated blow jobs and left mop-up tissues on her floor. Basically, he had bad sex manners.
Just like in life, good manners are very important when it comes to sex. Here are the things I think are the most important when it comes to shagging etiquette.
The Scouts and Guides motto works for grown ups too. Condoms are everybody’s job. You should always have a stash in your bedside drawer and in your handbag/wallet. No, it’s not presumptuous to bring condoms on a first date – it’s sensible. It’s also good practice to have lube in your nightstand – not having it when you need it can be a disaster and Vaseline or oil-based moisturisers are not a substitute.
If you’re seeing someone regularly, take the time to find out if there’s a type of condom or lube they prefer. Some people are allergic to latex, guys may prefer a slim or an easy fit, girls might like that tingly lube. If you’re sleeping with someone still in their 20s, they may still enjoy the coloured or flavoured varieties(!). Knowing your partner’s preferences, and providing for them, is good manners.
It’s good manners to give your partner all the information they deserve to make decisions about their own sexual activities. If you’re not on the pill, say so. If you’re not monogamous, say so. If you have any kind of transmittable STI, say so.
Honesty is also important in bed. Obviously you should never fake an orgasm* – that’s a lie by moaning and hurts no one more than yourself. Politely tell your partner when something isn’t working for you, just like you would when something really is. Ask for that honesty in return – well mannered lovers are interested in what turns their partner on. Being honest about what you like and don’t like ensures that the people involved both (all) have the best experience possible. And good sex for everyone is clearly the ultimate goal.
Good sex should be about giving, about taking pleasure from giving it. And that’s a two way street. If you want someone to do something for you, you have to be prepared to reciprocate.
If there are things that you don’t want to do (and it’s absolutely fine if there are) then I refer you to #2. However, if you’re not prepared to go down on someone, then resign yourself to a life without oral.
Physically, this is a no-brainer – keep your bits fresh, clean and tidy. Keep the bedroom that way too. Never leave used condoms on someone’s floor or nightstand – wrap them in a tissue and throw them in the bin. Help your lover change their sheets after a particularly sweaty session. Shagging can be as dirty as you like but otherwise being clean is just good manners.