Content note: This essay is about sex that is boring, disappointing, unsatisfying, inequitable, and/or dissociative, but is nonetheless consensual. I do mention rape briefly in order to differentiate it from what I'm actually talking about in this essay.
I just started reading Maria Yagoda’s new book on bad sex, Laid and Confused, and it’s making me ponder the myriad of factors that have led to some of the worst (consensual) sexual experiences of my life. (I’m not gonna talk about non-consensual encounters here because that’s a whole other issue, though I do think there are some societal factors that are partly responsible for the proliferation of both rape and bad sex, including abysmal sex education, widespread cultural misogyny/homophobia/transphobia/etc., and the chronic undervaluing of female sexual pleasure and sexual agency. But I digress.)