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Sex, Revisited: How Do You Know If You’re Good In Bed?

"I remember coming home that day and vowing to myself that I would learn to be good in bed – at literally any cost"

Sex and the City defined a generation of thinking on fashion, sex and dating. With a TV reboot in the works, we’re delving into some of  Carrie Bradshaw’s most seminal questions in a new mini-series: ‘Sex, Revisited’. Four writers will answer the questions through the lens of 2021 because we couldn’t help but wonder…

How Do You Know If You’re Good In Bed? by Nina Oyama

A million years ago, when I was a young “up and coming” stand-up comed­ian, I used to perform a joke about an ex-boyfriend who had told me I was “an animal in bed”. Naturally, I asked, “What animal?” to which he replied, “Sloth.” When I’d perform the joke, I genuinely found it very funny to recount on stage, but the way it actually played out wasn’t so humorous. I was 18 years old and being told I didn’t know how to fuck properly! Obviously, I cried! But I remember coming home that day and vowing to myself that I would learn to be good in bed – at literally any cost.

My approach was slightly different to that of Carrie, who – after hearing that a man had fallen asleep during sex with Charlotte – couldn’t help but wonder: “How do you know if you’re good in bed?” I’ve always been a do-er, rather than a dweller.

So I broke up with my boyfriend, and that summer I did everyone I possibly could. You know how you need to do 120 hours of driving before you can take the wheel on your own? I probably clocked 120 hours in bed. It was like studying for the Sex Championships, and I had a prize to win.

I say “studying” because, while having a lot of sex was fun, I was also learning what people liked. The whole time I was running around the city and being a proud slut, I was trying to figure out how I could do the exact thing that would make the other person feel good. And from my travels, I have noticed a common thread among people who I’ve slept with: the ones who say they are good in bed are not.

It’s like the Dunning-Kruger effect – when idiots think they are super smart because they aren’t self-aware enough to know otherwise. Proclaiming that you are Good in Bed is a red flag and only sets you up for failure. When Carrie asked, “How do you know you’re good in bed?” it was Samantha who said, “I’ve never met a man who was bad in bed who was good at life.” And she made some points.

It’s that mediocre white man confidence, when guys believe they are good at things but are actually terrible, and they never get better because it never occurs to them that they could be bad. Ultimately, being good in bed is about caring about your partner and making them feel comfortable and safe. And even then, sex often falls outside the good/bad binary. Either way, anyone who tells you you’re a sloth in bed doesn’t deserve the honour of sleeping with you.

This story originally appeared in the June issue of marie claire Australia. 

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