When Sex Goes Wrong, Laugh It Off

c. scott brown sex goes wrong

1190 words  |  7 minute read

One of the more popular anecdotes about my sex life is a real doozy: while aggressively fingering a woman I accidentally tore her vaginal wall with my fingernail and caused massive amounts of bleeding. When the bleeding wouldn’t stop we had to go to a nearby clinic where she was treated and I was given some very judgmental stares by the staff. The woman in question had to convince the late-night clinic staff that I actually was a really good guy and wasn’t doing anything she didn’t approve of, we just got really excited about things and had an accident. It was not, as you would expect, the best ending to an evening.

Sex is tricky. Unless you’re incredibly vanilla about it and only have it for 5-minute long stretches in bed in the missionary position, there’s a lot of room for things to go terribly awry. The more you do it the more opportunities you’re giving fate to come in and wreck your flow and leave you and your partner(s) in an embarrassing situation. Aside from the clinic visit I describe above, I’ve had a whole laundry list of maladies rain down on my sexual experiences: falling off the bed and hitting my head on the way down, fecal matter popping up during anal sex, vomit all over me during oral sex, unannounced visitors interrupting, condom breakage/pregnancy scares, you name it. If you can dream it up I’ve probably had it happen.

In a way sex is a lot like baking. You’ve got a ton of ingredients to choose from that can all be combined in an unending number of ways. You try to visualize what you want and then put all the ingredients together in the combination you think will work. Inevitably, you’re going to fail. You’re going to burn the cookies, you’re going to drop the cake, you’re going to put too much flour in, you’re going to use baking soda instead of baking powder…things are going to get messed up. It’s inevitable. What’s important about baking though is seeing the problem happen, learning from it, and getting the ingredients out to try again. After all, no successful baker would ever let a truly terrible tray of brownies stop them from continuing on their quest to make the best tray of brownies they are capable of.

The same initiative needs to be there for sex. When sex goes wrong you need to laugh about it and move on to the next tray of treats, as it were. But it’s hard, isn’t it? It’s difficult to get over the idea that you were with the hottest lady you’ve ever been with and couldn’t keep your erection. It’s hard to fathom forgetting about the time that you left your tampon in and got a severe infection from it being lodged in your cervix for a few days. But you have to move on, you have to forgive yourself, and you have to laugh about it. After all, it’s just sex.

But let’s be real here: what makes it so difficult is not looking in the mirror, it’s the other person who was involved. Like the woman who called you a “sick weirdo” when you impulsively licked her anus, or the guy who called you a “nasty slut” when he discovered first hand that you had a yeast infection. Their negative reactions to the inevitable mishaps of sex are what makes a potentially harmless but awkward situation into an ego-destroying painful memory for years to come.

I see this all the time with women and anal sex. Most of the time a woman has experimented with anal sex in some way, usually as a spontaneous and/or drunken act. They were in the middle of a tipsy hook-up with some guy and he awkwardly tried to stick it in her butt, to which she obliged thinking to herself, “Why not?” Well, she figures out that it hurts a hell of a lot and tells the guy to stop, but he’s already in and says something along the lines of, “It’s OK, just relax”. She yells at him and pushes him off, and he responds with, “What the hell? I thought you were interested in trying new things. You’re just a prude though.” He zips up and that’s the end of the session. Now, tell me this: why in the world would that woman ever let anyone near her ass again?

But imagine that it went down differently: the woman says “Stop” and the guy pulls out immediately and says, “I’m sorry, was that too much too soon? It’s totally OK, we don’t have to do that.” Afterward he asks her about it and apologizes again and says that he’d really be into it but will go at her pace. Suddenly the anal catastrophe of the previous paragraph is simply a toe-dipping into the waters of anal sex instead, and the concept of trying again under different circumstances is not off the table. In fact, it may even be an event both parties are looking forward to.

Both situations involve the same sequence of events, the only thing that changes is the reaction to those events. This is why all people who are having sex need to be exceptionally understanding when sex goes wrong. There needs to be a handshake of sorts, an “If things go wrong when we’re bumping nasties I just want you to know that we’ll get through it just fine” agreement that absolves anyone from guilt for unintentionally causing the sex to become awkward. I know, as a man, that if I were to be in the middle of sex and lose my erection I’d feel really terrible about it, but if my partner was cool and understanding I would feel much better in no time at all. If she was all, “Do you think I’m not pretty enough? Why would you do this?! Take me home!” that would pretty much kill my confidence for a long time. But if I’m going to expect ladies to be understanding about something like that then I’d better return the favor and be understanding to them when their time comes.

So yeah, when I’ve been puked on during an oral sex session, I just let it slide. I laugh a bit, clean up, and get right back into it. Or clean up and just say over and over again, “Don’t worry, everything’s cool” and do something else like watch a movie, get some food, or just lie in bed and laugh about it. I wouldn’t want her to freak out on me if I did something to mess things up, and I do my best not to freak out on her.

Next time something goes wrong with sex and you walk away feeling horrible about it, don’t look at what actually happened: what happened that “ruined” things is irrelevant. Your or your partner’s reaction to the events is what ruined things. And if your reactions are always pleasant and positive and your partner’s reactions are the same then you’ll never walk away from sex feeling bad ever again. It’s that simple.

C. Scott Brown

I'm a freelance writer specializing in sex, relationships, politics, and social commentary. Visit me at https://cscottbrown.net/

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