how to enjoy sex more

How to Enjoy Sex More

There are a million crap articles online about how to enjoy sex more, so thanks for clicking on this one. A lot of sex education and sex advice actually makes it harder to enjoy sex. Here’s some advice that I think will actually help you.

If you are over 18, you should buy the book I wrote with Meg-John Barker, called. ‘Enjoy Sex (How, When and IF You Want To)’. It’s great.

Consent First
Then Safety
What Does ‘Enjoy Sex More’ Mean?
Why don’t people enjoy sex more?
Have the sex you actually want
And how do you want to do it?
What’s happening now, not next
Keep communicating before, during and after

Consent First

I think the most important thing about sex is consent. Sex can’t be enjoyable without being consensual, but sex can be consensual even if it wasn’t that enjoyable. We often don’t know what it is that we might enjoy or not from sex. Sex might not always be super enjoyable, which is okay. It’s okay because we can learn about how to enjoy it more for next time. We should at try to make it not unenjoyable and we should always make sure it’s consensual. That means we should sometimes just not have sex. There’s more about consent in the rest of the article but in other pages on here too. Like this one about consent and sex.

Then Safety

Not feeling safe can stop people enjoying sex. Worrying about getting (or giving) an STI, or unplanned pregnancy, can definitely kill the sexy vibes. It’s also important to trust the other person is going to be caring, to listen to us and safe. Any kind of worry about any of this stuff can make it hard to feel sexy. It’s hard to relax into our bodies if we’re always worried about the other person or what might happen. This is something you can do by talking about safer sex.

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What does ‘enjoy sex more’ mean

People enjoy different things from sex. Some people enjoy very bouncy bouncy, energetic, porn film sex that is all about aroused genitals and orgasms.

:Aubergine emoji:

:Firework emoji:

:Rain emoji:

Other people enjoy sex which is more slow and cuddly and are here for the warmth, closeness and intimacy. Some people might not enjoy sex very much but they get enjoyment from helping another person to enjoy it.

It’s important to remember this so that everyone can enjoy sex more. Trying to make someone enjoy sex in the way you do can lead to really rubbish, boring, or painful sex.

Why do people have sex?

Why don’t people enjoy sex more?

To enjoy sex more it’s probably a good idea to think about why people might not. Obviously, asexual folk might not enjoy sex. Though as above, for many aces, it probably depends on what we mean by ‘enjoy’ or sex.


For a start, people often have painful sex when they first do it. Painful sex can lead to more painful sex (often because of the fear of it being painful).

Also some people find it difficult to enjoy sex because of their bodies. If someone is in pain, or can only move some parts of their body. Or has a difficult relationship with their body (especially genitals) then sex can be tricky. Anyone with any body can enjoy sex (yes, that includes disabled people). But only if we have a broader (better) understanding of what we mean by sex (more about this below). What can help with this is for everyone to talk about their needs before having sex.


Another reason is because of what we get taught about gender. We are taught that men are meant to be up for sex constantly and that women are not. It used to be the opposite, but anyway. This whole studs vs sluts thing is about men getting status and women getting stigma for having sex. A lot of women might find it difficult to have enjoyable sex because they have been taught that this is very bad. Also a lot of lads tell me that they are also not enjoying sex because there is lot of pressure on them to do it, but not really to enjoy it. This is, of course, doubly bad for any women they might be having sex with.


Related: the other reason that many people don’t enjoy sex is because we are taught that the only kind of sex that counts as sex is penis in vagina. Or any kind of penetration if you don’t have a penis and a vagina with you. If it’s not meant to get someone pregnant, it’s not real sex. We are taught this in sex education. Hello endless lessons about contraception and not much else. But we also learn this in sex advice and in culture more generally. As I’ve said over and over again, a lot of people don’t enjoy this kind of sex. They may find it painful (here’s how to avoid that), or just don’t have the bodies that can have that kind of sex.

If you want better sex ed then try my Teach Yourself Sex Ed course. Like everything here, it’s free.

Have the sex you actually want

Sooooo apart from dismantling the patriarchy and rewriting the hundreds of years of history of what sex is, what else can we do? We can think about different kinds of sex we might actually like, rather than what we think we should like. The ‘script’ for sex is that we should be kissing, removing clothes, having foreplay and then having penetrative sex until the penis* ejaculates. But, as I say, a lot of people don’t like that. The pressure to only have this kind of sex can stop people from enjoying it even when they do.

So, to have better sexy times, think of a giant menu of different kinds of sex and pick from those. And think about whatever order, and however you want to do them (if you want to). To find out what kinds of sex you might like read this.

OMG yes, not for me, hmmm. A yes no maybe guide for working out what sex you might want.
All the different kinds of sex you can choose from …

Also check out this giant post where I explain some of the different kinds of sex (and what happens when people do it)

What is sex - expert answers to frequently asked questions

*If there is no penis – vulva. If there is more than one penis – carry on till it also ejaculates.

And how do you want to do it?

Once you’ve thought about which sexual acts you might like also think about whether you would like to give them or receive them (or both). There is sex that stimulates both people (physically) at the same time, but also sex that stimulates people one at a time. So think about that for yourself and what order you would like different sexy things to happen.

Also think about which parts of your body you might want to be touched and by which body parts (eg hand on thigh, or thigh on vulva, or finger up nose). There are also many different ways that you can do these things: like firm or gentle; slow or fast; as a top or bottom; fun or serious; with a stern look or a gentle look.

Bish Touch Matrix
One example of different ways of thinking about touch

So we’ve gone from sex being just one thing, to sex being an endless possibility of different kinds of things. This is more fun for straights, but also includes everyone who is not straight. It includes more people who want different kinds of enjoyment from sex (see above). It also includes many more bodies, including people who can’t do, or who don’t like penetrative sex.

What’s happening now, not next

Okay so you’ve thought about what kind of sex you might want to have, who does what, how, and where. Another thing that the script does is to say that there is always the next thing. So you do a thing for a bit and then you will always want to do the next thing in the script. This can be a distraction and can stop you from enjoying the thing you are currently doing (as well as not being always consensual). So think about what is happening now, not what is happening next.

Try it with kissing. Instead of thinking ‘hmmm we’re snogging now but when are we going to take some clothes off’ think ‘hmmm, we are snogging now. This feels nice.’ In fact snogging is more enjoyable when you’re not really thinking but just feeling (or noticing the feelings). So notice how the lips feel, their breath on your face, any tingling in your body, any bodily contact, the sounds, how things taste, can you feel vibrations when they go mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. That kind of thing.

Being slow and mindful

This can make sex with another person more enjoyable – being in the whole of your body, from the tips of your toes to the top of your head, rather than just being in your brain. However, this is also the kind of thing that you can experience in your own body when you are having some Solo Fun Times™. Read more about how to actually enjoy solo sex.

This focus on what is happening now and not next is a really good way of enjoying whatever kind of sex you’re having at the time. Doing this can also make sure it’s consensual too, because it means you are paying attention to what’s going on for you and whoever you are having sex with. Even if you have agreed to do something in advance, then you can notice whether that is something that you both want to do at that moment.

Also think about what’s happening now, not next, when it comes to orgasms. We shouldn’t be trying to make someone have an orgasm because a) they might not have wanted that but also b) it might distract them from having one. Focussing on the now and not next means that we can keep doing what we are doing to help the other person to enjoy it. So try to focus on what is happening, rather than making something happen. That will make it more enjoyable for everyone.

Keep communicating; before, during, and after

All this involves communication and I’ve written so many articles about that that I’m not going to repeat myself about it (scroll down for these). But keep in mind, communicating about sex is useful but it is also sex. Communicating about the sex that we want to have (eg by sexting), are currently having, and have just have can be really enjoyable. Particularly if we are able to talk about how we are able to talk about this stuff and also rely on all the different ways that we communicate with each other.

Here’s are some ideas about how you can communicate before, during and after sex when you have sex with someone for the first time.

make first time sex better

If you keep communicating with the other person and also keep being real with yourself about what you do and don’t enjoy, then you might be able to enjoy sex more. All this stuff can take time, but hopefully there were some useful tips for you here.

Let me know whether this was useful in the comments below! (I pre-moderate them all).

And if you want some longer advice remember that I’ve written a book about this which you can buy from shops and everything.

Please leave a (nice) comment below if you like or ask me a question here.

© Justin Hancock, 2024 Find out more about me and BISH here.

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I’ve been a sex and relationships educator since 1999 (with a background in youth and community work). In that time I’ve taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. I’ve worked with many charities, local governments, schools and youth organisations facilitating training and workshops. My two books, Enjoy Sex (How, When, and If You Want To) and Can We Talk About Consent? are widely available around the world. I’ve been on the telly and the radio and have written articles for newspapers and magazines. I’m also a member of the World Association for Sexual Health. Read more about me and BISH here. Find out about my other work here Justin Hancock

If you’re over 18 and would like an advanced version of BISH check out my podcast Culture Sex Relationships. Also I’ve written a sex advice book for adults with Meg-John Barker called A Practical Guide to Sex available wherever you get books. We also did some zines to help you to figure out what you want from sex and relationships. They are at our website.

If you are an educator please don’t just show this website in class, they aren’t designed to be used as teaching resources. Instead, facilitate your own really great RSE with my resources at

One thought on “How to Enjoy Sex More

  1. One thing I want to add, is that sex can be enjoyable even when it isn’t consensual.

    This is really important, because some people who experience non consensual sex enjoy parts of it or all of it.

    That can be very shameful. Often people question if they really were raped if they feel pleasure at points.

    Of course, consent is very important. But sometimes, even if consent isn’t given, pleasure can occur, and that is Normal as well

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