Bedroom Blunders “Did that just really happen?”
Bedroom Blunders – how to handle the “Did that just really happen?” moment in bed
So you just shared a nice romantic dinner date with your special someone, you’ve just come home and you’re ready to get things heated up. As you start to get undressed, playing it up for a little striptease while walking across the room, all of a sudden WHAM you trip and fall smack on your face! Or you’re already in bed, trying out a new “acrobatic” position and that gas bubble you’ve had since dinner finally decides to make it way out in the form of the loudest fart ever. Or you’re with someone new and accidentally called out the WRONG name. One of the first things probably going through your head is “Oh my gosh I can not believe that just happened to me!”
This reaction is normal. It is also normal to experience feelings of anxiety when you have an embarrassing moment in the bedroom. Many times, the initial embarrassment will abate and you will be left with a “what now” kind of feeling. The anxiety you felt in the heat of the moment may come back or intensify. You may have concerns about your partner’s feelings about the situation, worries about your own thoughts and associations towards your sexuality, and feelings of sadness or anger directed toward yourself for making such a mistake. Then you will begin to ask yourself, “What do I do now?” or “How do I fix this?” Just remember, you can’t go back in time and take it back, nor can you just pretend it didn’t happen; but you can use the experience as a learning opportunity for yourself and a chance to discuss your feelings about sexuality with your partner.
- First things, first, relax and don’t freak out. If you are in the middle of a sexual experience with your partner, something goes wrong, and you start hysterically yelling, crying or what have you, the moment will be ruined and the other person will probably be scared off. To make this more concrete, imagine the roles reversed. If you were engaging in sexual activity with someone who passed gas, how would you feel if they started crying? Would you feel bad for them? Could you resume sexual activity? Or would you just shake it off and have a laugh later? These same thoughts are going through the other person’s head when you have the mishap. So don’t tense up. Try taking a moment, have a few deep breaths. Get yourself refocused on what you were doing before it happened. If this can not be accomplished with you are still in the room with your partner, take a few minutes to be by yourself. Try splashing some cold water on your face or take a sip of water. Take some more deep breaths, really concentrating on the in and out feeling in your lungs, and whole body. Notice any tension left in your body. Are you feeling excited tension about the prospect of getting back out there and moving along with your encounter? Or do you feel nervous tension that is inhibiting you from being fully present in the act? Remind yourself that you’re human and as a human we all make mistakes sometimes. It is not the end of the world, and you will be able to move on. Take the time that you need to get your head back into the activity at hand. Start thinking about the pleasurable sensations awaiting you. If you feel like continuing in sexual activity tell your partner and try again.
- Have confidence in your self and your sexuality. Know that the person you’re with is engaging in sexual activity with you because they found something in you that they like, whether it is a physical, emotional, or personality characteristic. They found out about this characteristic that drew them in because whether consciously or unconsciously, blatantly or subtle, you gave off confidence about it and they honed in. Keeping in mind that you have something special about you that caused the person your with to choose to be with you, will help ease some of the nervous tension caused by whatever happened to make you embarrassed. The key to overcoming embarrassing moments in bed is having the confidence in yourself to try again. To fully develop your confidence regarding your sexuality start by looking at your body and focusing on all the good things it does for you. You can walk, talk, jump, dance, wink, bat your eyelashes, hold eye contact, and smile. Maybe you’re a great singer or you have the ability to make alluring faces. Think about these positive physical characteristics during your sexual encounters, rather than anything else that will cause you anxiety. Then think about aspects of your personality that help you sexually. Are you outgoing and like to flirt? Or maybe you’re shy and coy? Can you crack a million and one jokes? Do you find it easy to make a deep connection with others? Take the physical and personality traits that enhance your sexuality and capitalize on them. If your flirting style is by using jokes, make a joke out of your mishap. For example, if you tripped or stumbled during a sexy striptease, laugh it off and say yikes I’m such a klutz we’d better do it on the floor so I don’t fall off the bed. Use your assets to make a rebound from the embarrassing situation. And the next time you engage in sexual activity think of those assets first and make the most of them during your experience. Focusing on the positives will take the pressure off and allow you to have a better and more intimate sexual experience.
- Take time to process the event and reflect on your feelings. This step is two fold. First take time by yourself after the encounter is over, maybe the next day, and reflect on what happened. Was it a small bit of embarrassment, like if you tripped and fell? Was it a much bigger embarrassment, like saying the wrong name? Or did it fall somewhere in between such as trying a new position that didn’t work out so well. Start by assessing your embarrassment level. If it wasn’t that big of a deal work on moving on and chalking it up to one bad night. Leave that experience as is and get a laugh out of it when you tell your friends. However, if you experienced a good deal of embarrassment, anxiety, sadness, or even depression from it, you’re going to have to process where the feelings are stemming from. Are you feeling inadequate? Are you worried you don’t turn members of the opposite sex on? Do you feel like you always have to “perform” when you’re having sex? Was the relationship deeply intimate or just a one-night-stand? How do you feel about such encounters? Do you notice a pattern? For example, do you find yourself engaging in many casual flings, and then finding a reason to cut the relationship off over small things as soon as it gets serious? Start to process what happened by answering these and any other questions you have about your sexuality and sexual experiences. You may choose to write the answers down in a journal. Or call up your best friend and discuss it with him or her. Some may choose to see a sex therapist if the pattern becomes a barrier for your sexual functioning and desire. After you have processed the event with yourself or a friend, talk to your romantic partner. (Note if the embarrassing event occurred during a one-night-stand this may not be possible and in that cause you will want to do further processing alone.) Ask your partner how they feel about what happened. Many times they might not even recognize anything “went wrong.” If this is the case you may have to explain what the situation was that made you embarrassed. If they are aware of what the issue was, let’s say you called the wrong name, as them the same or similar questions you used to process the event for yourself. Use this opportunity to open the lines of communication regarding your sexual connection. Make the effort to take your relationship to a deeper level of intimacy. Using the wrong name example, start to ask yourself what did my partner do to make me feel like I was back with so and so? What emotions were I feeling that made me go back to that time if my life? Did I have a good or bad sexual experience with that person? What place am I at in this relationship as compared to where I was in that relationship? How does my partner feel about my relationship with my ex? If you don’t know the answer to that question, ask your partner. Talk to him or her about the good and bad times you had in previous relationships. What hurt and unresolved issues are you bringing into this new relationship that is affecting your sex life? Share your wants and desires with your partner and be open to hearing about what they want as well. Give feedback and be open to receive it. You can learn many things about yourself, your partner, and your relationship from your “mistake” just by taking the time to sit down and process the thoughts and feelings together.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things because of one little mishap. If you’re embarrassing moment was due in part to trying a new technique that failed, or a new position not doing the trick for both of you, don’t simply give up on expanding your bedroom repertoire. Once again, use this “failed” experience as a lesson. Go back and ask yourself the questions found in the section on self-confidence. Think to yourself: “Just because this idea didn’t work the way I wanted it to, what am I GOOD at?” If you have a huge collection of shoes for example, create a role play where you’re a shoe model and wear then in bed. If you’re a good dancer, try a striptease set to music to calm some of the nerves. Also, talk to your partner. Find out what they think you’re good at. Ask what moves they like and don’t like. What kinds of touching do they prefer: hard pressure or gentle stroking? As a couple, each of you can make a list of the things you want in your sexual experience. Compare and contrast lists. Then make a master list to choose from when you want to spice things up. If he likes it when you’re on top, try variations of positions where the woman is on top. Once again, take what you know you’re good at and capitalize on it. No one is perfect in bed but good sex isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being authentic and expressing who you truly are with your partner.
- Last but not least, laugh about it. Once you have gotten over the initial dread and shock that comes with an embarrassing moment in the bedroom and you processed your feelings and reactions, take a few minutes and just laugh about the whole thing with or without your partner. Remember good sex is all about having fun so if you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re doing it wrong.
If you are having trouble letting go of the embarrassment / anxiety counseling can help. We have trained couples and sex therapists at the Center for Growth who can help. Call 267-234-9564 to schedule your appointment.