5 Red Flags In Sex To Be Aware Of

Can you remember the worst sex you’ve ever had? Why was it so bad? Was it the mind-numbing boredom, lack of connection, or simply excruciating awkwardness? Sometimes, even good sex can be imperfect, because there isn’t such a thing as a perfect lover. But in some cases, there are some red flags in your partner’s sexual behavior that makes the whole experience far from enjoyable. Let’s explore some of those!

Setting The Stage

In the realm of sexual experiences, taking the time for foreplay is essential for arousal and enjoying the moment. Unfortunately, this first step often gets ignored or rushed through. But then, you miss out on the pleasure and connection it brings! A medically reviewed article on Healthline.com states that foreplay is essential for physical pleasure and emotional intimacy. This can be achieved through various means, such as tender touches, warm hugs, whispering sweet nothings, or engaging in passionate kisses. But without the proper foreplay,  you may end up feeling unaroused, unsatisfied or emotionally disconnected from your partner. 

The Closing Act

Just as foreplay sets the stage, aftercare – emotional and physical care after a sexual encounter – marks the important closing act. Try to imagine some of your sexual experiences… Have you ever felt unusually emotional after sex? Social psychologist and sex researcher David Wahl mentions a state called postcoital dysphoria, which is a feeling of sadness or emotional unease after sexual activity. It might be easy to just roll over and fall asleep after doing the deed, but neglecting aftercare can leave one or both partners feeling emotionally neglected or disconnected. Simple acts like cuddling or engaging in meaningful conversations create a safe and nurturing space for both of you to address your emotional well-being.

Me, Myself And I

Have you ever had a partner who was selfish in bed? If so, you’ve unfortunately encountered a so-called “pillow princess” or “pillow prince”. They are the ones who solely focus on their own pleasure, without considering your desires. Comment below if you know the type! As certified sex therapist Dr. Juan Camarena points out for MensHealth.com, these individuals tend to approach sex with the mindset of wanting to be pleased without putting in much effort. But the truth is, sex is all about finding a balance between giving and receiving. It’s absolutely important to respect your partner’s boundaries, but it’s also perfectly okay to express your own needs and desires. So instead of focusing solely on your pleasure, the key is to find a space where both partners feel comfortable and fulfilled. 

Entitled To Your Body

In some extreme cases, being selfish in bed can lead to a troubling phenomenon called sexual narcissism. Sexual narcissists are individuals who believe they have an absolute right to sex, particularly within a romantic relationship. A 2010 study found that this mindset can escalate to sexual aggression, including coercing a partner into unwanted sexual acts, verbal threats, exploitation of an intoxicated partner, or even using physical force. It’s a manipulative behavior where arguments, pressure, or positions of authority are used to force someone into unwanted sexual activity. So please remember: whether you’re dating someone or not, this is illegal and completely unacceptable and goes against the principles of consent and respect. 

Unopened Textbook

Limited knowledge about sexual anatomy, techniques, or consent can create misunderstandings, discomfort, and unsatisfying encounters. For instance, not understanding the significance of proper lubrication and clitoral stimulation can cause pain for individuals with female genetalia. Similarly, not realizing that performance anxiety can affect erections may lead to feelings of shame. That’s why, according to 2020 research, sex-ed is so important! While sex education alone may not directly address all the complex factors that contribute to intimate partner violence, it can contribute to creating a more informed and empowered society, fostering healthy relationships, and promoting respectful communication. Of course, no one is expected to know everything right from the start. However, taking the initiative to educate yourself about sex can significantly enhance the quality of your experiences. To start, take a look at some resources at the end of this post!

We hope you never had to experience these red flags in your relationships. But if you find yourself in some of these situations, please remember to take care of yourself! And if you want to learn more about healthy sex, take a look at 8 psychological facts about sex. Thanks for reading, take care!


“Sexwise is a brilliant resource created by the Family Planning Association which is here to give you honest advice about contraception, pregnancy, STIs, and pleasure.”


School of Sex Ed

“School of Sex Ed provides in-school workshops on consent, sexual health, porn and positive relationships. They also work with university students, youth groups and provide training and consultancy. Their approach is rights-based, sex-positive, non-binary and trauma-informed. They support young people and those working with them to ensure everyone has access to a complete, inclusive and comprehensive relationships and sex(uality) education.”



“AMAZE envisions a world that recognizes child and adolescent sexual development as natural and healthy, a world in which young people everywhere are supported and affirmed and the adults in their lives communicate openly and honestly with them about puberty, reproduction, relationships, sex and sexuality. In such a world, young people across the globe would have access to the information and support they need to develop into sexually healthy adults.”

Sex, Etc.

“Sex, Etc. is on a mission to improve teen sexual health across the country! They helped teens with answers to their question about sex, relationships, pregnancy, STIs, birth control, sexual orientation, gender identity and more!”


Sex Positive Families

“Sex Positive Families provides the education and resources that help families raise sexually healthy children.”



“AGENDA is an amazing ‘free online toolkit developed with young people for young people. It supports them in how they can safely and creatively challenge gender inequalities and oppressive gender norms, both of which are the root cause and consequence of violence against girls and women, homophobia and transphobia.”


Sex & History

“Sex & History is an award winning initiative using museum objects and historical materials to deliver Relationships and Sex education and change the culture of talking about sex in schools.”


Trans Student Educational Resources

“Trans Student Educational Resources is a youth-led organization dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment. In addition to our focus on creating a more trans-friendly education system, our mission is to educate the public and teach trans activists how to be effective organizers. We believe that justice for trans and gender nonconforming youth is contingent on an intersectional framework of activism. Ending oppression is a long-term process that can only be achieved through collaborative action.”



Drillinger, M. (2019, January 31). Here’s How to Tell if Your Partner Is Selfish in Bed—and What You Can Do to Fix It. Men’s Health. https://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/a26099834/selfish-in-bed/

Goldfarb, E. S., & Lieberman, L. D. (2021). Three decades of research: The case for comprehensive sex education. Journal of Adolescent Health, 68(1), 13–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.07.036

Ph.D., D. W. W. (2022, March 17). Why what follows sex is at least as important as the sex. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/sexual-self/202203/why-what-follows-sex-is-least-important-the-sex

Santos-Longhurst, A. (2019, August 26). 38 things to know about sex and foreplay. Healthline Media. https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/foreplay-sex#benefits

Widman, L., & McNulty, J. K. (2010). Sexual narcissism and the perpetration of sexual aggression. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39(4). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-008-9461-7

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