In many ways, society tells us that our best life is the shiniest. It’s the showreel, our highly edited version of the truth. It’s the unrealistic moving imagery of pornography that paints a picture of what sex is meant to be. But sex and intimacy is messy, it’s awkward, it’s complicated, and at times it’s downright hilarious.
When I was 17 and yet to experience sex with another, I thought the act of intimacy was all about perfection: the perfect body, the perfect moves, the perfect sounds. My sexually confident friends would wax lyrical about their favourite positions and one in particular: the cowgirl. One friend would regularly comment on her rodeo performances and I remember thinking that I had to practice if I was ever going to get the kind of rave reviews this friend was getting.
I would pile pillows on top of each other on my bed and position a mirror opposite before proceeding with my own riding attempts, all the while trying to perfect my best porn face. I was, you might say, determined to master my craft.
Suffice to say, my highly anticipated routine of porn-girl-cowgirl didn’t make an appearance the first time I had sex. The sex was weird, awkward, not that enjoyable. We were two 17-year-olds fumbling about in the dark, no idea what we were doing. It turned out that pretend sex with an inanimate object was quite different from a moving, thrusting, breathing being.
Instead of embracing the awkward moment of my first experience, I was hit with this anxiety that I wasn’t good enough. How come my friends were sex goddesses at 17 and I was more like someone attempting the Macarena for the first time?
When it comes to sex, a pursuit of perfection is fruitless but we often put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to play a part, to play out the idea of what we believe we are meant to be. And yet, the truth is that we all experience the embarrassing, the funny, the awkward and the uncomfortable moments during intimacy.
The problem isn’t the awkward moments but how we react to them. Do we let these brief moments define the whole experience or do we brush them off? When we’re too busy wondering what our butt dimples look like or what our lover just thought of the queaf that slipped out, we let our fears and worries take over. Quite simply, when we pay too much attention to the mishaps, we are not in the moment, we’re not connecting with ourselves, with our lover or with what’s happening right in front of us.
It can be incredibly hard to change our thought pattern and not hold on so tightly to these awkward moments but it always help to share them, have a laugh and know that you’re not alone. We ran Instagram polls and found that unsurprisingly, many people have experienced awkward situations. We found that the majority of people have felt awkward about morning breath, about farting during sex, about their naked body as well as how long it takes for them to orgasm. You can see the delicious array of awkward moments here: https://www.houseoftheodora.com/rants/awkward-moments
There’s so many opportunities for awkward moments to arise but let’s remember that sex, much like life, is a beautiful and messy mishmash of mishaps, amazements and surprises. Don’t dwell on the messy, focus on enjoying the journey and everything that comes with it.
House of Theodora Creators to watch:
Sandra Laznik - https://www.houseoftheodora.com/sandra-laznik
Sandra travels the world, island hopping to blissful beaches, teaching women how to own their sexuality & relish in the confidence that comes with understanding your own pleasure.
Daantje Bons - https://www.houseoftheodora.com/daantje-bons
Daantje is a dutch photographer whose photographs are at once beautiful, provocative & feminine.
Polly Pollet - https://www.houseoftheodora.com/polly-pollet
Polly is a ballpoint ninja. Using just her observant eye and a pen, she manages to create mesmerizing art that challenges our thoughts, feelings & ideas about sexuality, morality and giving a f*ck.