The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

The Talk with Cosmy Pellis: Embracing awkwardness in sex

5 min read
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Cosmy discusses how to keep sex a lighthearted and positive experience.


Associate Editor

I am extremely saddened to announce that I am ending this column. Everyone is slut-shaming me on campus and even my mom hates it. 

Just kidding! Happy April Fool’s! You guys love me, admit it. Let’s get into this week’s column. 

Sex can be so awkward. The first time having sex with a new person can be especially uncomfortable because you don’t know each other’s bodies well yet. This is normal, and I honestly think it’s a fun part of the process of getting to know someone. 

That being said, the more comfortable you are with a sexual partner, the more you’ll enjoy having sex with them. In order to do that, your body has to relax, and being in your head, insecure or worried really doesn’t help. Awkwardness is not bad, and it can even make you feel more comfortable and happier with your experience if you embrace it. It’s all about the approach and mindset. Here are some tips on how to embrace the awkwardness, alleviate stress and transform first-time, uncomfortable sex into a fun bonding experience. 

Show physical affection outside of sex 

If the only time you and your partner touch is during sex, no wonder you feel uncomfortable! More casual touching when you’re just hanging out will make you feel a lot more relaxed around each other. This shouldn’t just be a means to an end—the end goal isn’t necessarily sex—but being more touchy whenever you’re together will help to alleviate the awkwardness of sex. 

Being physically affectionate outside of the bedroom is also a healthy emotional practice; it shows that you’re attracted to each other inside and outside of a sexual context. It also will help you to understand each other better and break that touch barrier before it evolves into deeper intimacy. 

This also means that touching or kissing doesn’t automatically equal foreplay. That association can be super stressful for people, and you should both feel comfortable setting boundaries for when you want touching to lead to more or not. 

It’s also really important to be mindful about how you touch your partner in general. If they aren’t comfortable with PDA, you should respect them or ask them how you can be affectionate with them without pushing that boundary. 

Don’t take yourself too seriously 

It’s so easy to feel insecure during sex. It’s possible that your body won’t look “perfect,” and there are going to be weird angles, but the right partner will value you and your body no matter what. People probably think that I’m super confident since I write this column, but self-esteem is something I have to consistently work really hard at, and I still struggle with insecurity. 

My best advice is to not take yourself too seriously. Sex is messy, sweaty and imperfect, but that’s the beauty of it. Taking yourself lightly comes from a place of empowerment, and that comes with realizing your worth and your value. Being confident in your sexuality and not taking yourself too seriously helps make your sexual partner feel more comfortable, so remember that sex is a mutual act, and the treatment and respect you give to the person you’re engaged with should be reciprocal. 

Humor is your best friend 

Laugh with each other. This is the number one easiest way to lighten the mood and ease any tension or stress during sex. 

So many awkward situations can arise during sex, like weird noises, head bumping, awkward limbs and not knowing where to look. The best way to dissolve any uncomfortable feelings is to make a joke and laugh about it together. The more you do this, the quicker you’ll be able to come up with jokes. If you feel like it’s awkward, your sexual partner probably does too. Joking about it can ease the tension you’re both feeling, and it can make the sex way better. It’s so difficult to keep feeling uncomfortable when you’re laughing together, and this will bond you and your partner and take some of the pressure off. 

You can also make fun of the funny parts of sex,  within limits. Never make fun of your partner’s body or how it looks during sex, and don’t make fun of their performance, either. But if they say something funny, you get kinda stuck in a position, someone queefs, I don’t know, all of that is fair game. Did I just write the word “queef” in the school newspaper? Yeah.

Establish banter and dialogue 

Making fun of yourselves and each other leads right into my next piece of advice: communicate with each other! Talking during sex can make it a lot more enjoyable. You and your partner can get to know each other in a new way and feel a lot closer afterward.

You can ask questions about whether something feels good, suggest trying a new position or really bring up anything you’re thinking about. Asking questions is vital to making sure that you’re both having the most enjoyable experience possible. 

It’s also important to establish a dynamic between you two, and that can heighten the experience. Without getting too far into the details, not only can dirty talk make sex better, but it can also be really healthy and help you understand each other and your turn-ons. It can also increase you and your partner’s confidence. 

Praise your partner 

We often get so wrapped up in worrying about our own sexual performance that we forget to give our partners positive affirmations. This is so important. This is another way to increase your partner’s confidence, and chances are they will follow your lead and start praising you as well. 

If you like something specific that your partner does during sex, tell them! If you think they look really hot, tell them! There’s no reason to keep compliments or positive thoughts to yourself. Sex is so vulnerable, and I can 100% guarantee that your partner will be so happy to hear it. One main goal of sex should be to make your partner feel good, both physically and mentally. 

Sex is better for everyone when both partners feel confident in their bodies and abilities. Awkward situations will inevitably occur, so embrace them and laugh at them. I hope these tips help you say goodbye to uncomfortable sex and embrace more empowered, fun, even hilarious sex that boosts your mood, your self-esteem and your connection to your partner.