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dear fifi

Dear Fifi: Am I bad at sex?

The mo’ Fifi, the mo’ problems. Or something. Look, it’s hard coming up with a new subhead every single week.


The other day I was crossing the street in a busy central location and there happened to be no cars. I could hear the rushing of water underneath the tarmac so loudly, I almost stopped walking to just stand and listen. I walk that street every day, twice a day, and I’d never heard it before. There’s a lot going on underneath the surface that it’s not always calm enough to hear, it seems. 

If you’ve noticed some water gushing from the pipes of your life lately, you can tell me all about it confidentially right here. I’m here to stop and listen


I’m cringing as I write this but it won’t leave me alone so here goes… 

A few weeks ago, I met a guy and we went back to his house. He was nice, not forceful or anything, but when it came to us having sex, he just wanted a blow job. Grand. I’m not the most experienced girl so I did what I thought was correct, but he couldn’t cum to the point where we just gave up. We were pretty drunk, but not that drunk. 

I haven’t heard from him since (I’m not surprised, or upset actually) but my head is wrecked with thoughts that I’m absolutely awful at sex and I’ll just embarrass myself if I continue this way. But on the other hand, I won’t get any better without practicing? How do I handle this and calm myself down?

You are not absolutely awful at sex. You know how I know that for sure? Because no one is defined by one encounter, positive or negative – no one is one other random person’s opinion of them. No one is summed up by one incident. Don’t let one thing inform your perception of yourself to this degree.

With any luck, you’re going to be having sex for the rest of your life. Let’s put this one brief liaison into perspective with that. So then, sex is going to be a lifelong project. It’s personal and it will evolve. Don’t let this one man (a person you admit you don’t even really care about) wield this type of power over your view of yourself and your sexuality.

If anything, reframe this as a positive experience because you learned something and it provoked you to think about this: about sex, how you want to have it, how you want to be at it, and who you want to have it with. These are all good things to know about yourself. Forget this guy and concentrate on learning about yourself from this.

Sex isn’t about “that one weird tip that’ll drive him wild”. It’s not about ticking the boxes on a menu of experiences. Sex is essentially about communication, and that’s why it causes (many and diverse) problems for a lot of us – because open and honest communication is a really tricky for people when it comes down to it, especially when it’s laced up with other worries and blockages.

I believe that if you get better at communicating, you will get better at sex. That means being in a situation where you can speak frankly and freely, where you know the other person involved feels exactly the same, and there’s nothing being hidden or unsaid. The freedom to say: I like this, do you want that, this isn’t working for me, let’s try that instead. And the responsibility to listen to the other person’s desires too.

Let’s face it: sex between people generally improves over time. The first time is usually the worst time, because generally you might not have the tools, precedent or intimacy in the relationship yet to be completely comfortable and communicate at your best. It gets better because communication gets better. Equally, things break down when communication breaks down.

You didn’t know this guy well enough or didn’t feel comfortable enough to say all the things you were thinking. Him “just wanting a blowjob” and getting to decide that for the both of you is not really a two-way street of mutual pleasure, is it? I’m not sure you’re the one who should have been left with the niggling doubts about being a selfish or inexperienced partner here, to be honest.

Sex is an element in the mix for a successful relationship – don’t view it as some madly distinct/separate thing or put it on a pedestal. It’s part of who you are. You seem like a thoughtful person who is sensitive and self-aware. When you find the right sexual partners, that will shine through if you can communicate. Don’t be afraid. Find people you’re comfortable with and start talking.


PS – you’ll never know why someone hasn’t followed up with you after a first date or a fleeting sexual encounter, so don’t linger worrying about it. It could be anything at all and you’ve no way of knowing. He might have fallen down a well for all you know. In fact it might be a positive thing for Mr Just A Blowjob For Me Please Kindly Stranger to get a land sometime soon…


Want to talk?

Confess a story, ask for help or just shout into the void for a bit and see if that helps. All welcome. Anonymity totally guaranteed always. 

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