Surprising Things To Avoid Before Sex

Sometimes, right before sex, it's nice to pop off to the bathroom to freshen up. Maybe you slick on some deodorant, check your teeth for signs of broccoli, or have a quick pee — you know, whatever makes you feel your best. But what about the things you shouldn't do before sex?

Well, that list is a little harder to nail down, especially since everyone is so different. As Anne Hodder, a Los Angeles-based multi-certified sexuality educator and coach says, "I hesitate to say that there's anything you should never ever do right before intercourse ... because we all have different rituals that help us get and stay in the mood. For instance, some people prefer not to eat foods that feel heavy (or gassy) before any kind of intercourse, while others find that 'full' feeling to be comforting and grounding."

That's why, whatever you do or don't do, it's important to stick with a routine that makes you feel good. There are, however, some bad habits, bad ideas, and negative thinking patterns all of us should do our best to avoid. You know, like zeroing in on insecurities, or forgetting where that damn condom went. Read on for some more (surprising) things to avoid before sex.

1. Don't Run To The Bathroom For A Quick Shave

If you shave your legs or bikini area, it might be tempting to run to the bathroom for a quick pre-sex touch up. But trust me when I say the consequences are not worth it. "Shaving and trimming ... may land you with irritation and discomfort," says NYC-based dating expert Rori Sassoon. Instead, try to remember to shave the day before. Or simply go forth confidently with your hairy self.

2. Don't Focus On Your "Imperfections"

As all your clothes fall to the floor, it can be difficult not to feel self-conscious. But, as Sassoon tells me, it's so important to ignore your negative thoughts as much as possible. Forget about your physical "imperfections" and focus on all the positives going on around you. (Like, the fact you're about to have sex.) It may be difficult, but you'll have much more fun as a result.

3. Don't Use An Electric Toothbrush

This one may sound extra strange, but it makes total sense once you think about it. As health writer Krissy Brady said on Women's Health, "... using an electric toothbrush ... might make you more prone to STDs." This is all thanks spinning bristles and the micro tears they can leave on your gums, board-certified dermatologist Tsappora Shainhouse told her. Ouch.

4. Don't Talk About Your Bills

As you climb into bed with your SO, do your best to refrain from "boring" talk that relates to the stresses of daily life. (You know, like bills and money.) "If you do, the sex is over before it even began," says celebrity relationship expert Audrey Hope. Keep the convo light, or skip the talking and get to it.

5. Don't Focus On How Tired You Feel

In the same vein, try not to focus on about how tired you feel. As Hope tells me, zeroing in on your exhaustion levels can bring negative energy to the room — and it can be difficult to shake. If you're in the mood (despite being sleepy) try to pump yourself up. Have some fun, then sleep when you're done.

6. Don't Forget The Lube

Not everyone needs or wants lube, but it doesn't hurt to have it on hand — especially since it can make sex even better. "Lube decreases friction, which makes sex feel more pleasurable, and lowers the risk of small cuts and tears in the vagina," says Stacy Rybchin, founder and CEO of My Secret Soiree. So go ahead and put a bottle on your nightstand now.

7. Don't Take An Antihistamine

Antihistamines dry out your nose, so think about what else they can dry out. Yea. That's why, according to Brady, you might want to go ahead and skip them before sex.

8. Don't Eat A Super Heavy Meal

If you're hungry, go ahead and have a burrito before sex. Because really, who cares? Do keep in mind, however, that eating a lot can make you feel sluggish. As editor Yagana Shah said on, "Think of sex as a workout." You wouldn't eat a ton before hitting the gym, so you probably don't want to fill up before sex, either.

9. Don't Wait To Find That Condom

When the heat of the moment arises, the last thing you want to do is fumble around for a condom. "Nothing kills a mood faster than realizing one or the other forgot to bring the safer sex supplies," Hodder says. Spare yourself the dramatics (and the distraction) and keep some handy by your bed.

10. Don't Eat Spicy Foods

Not only can spicy foods cause uncomfortable bloating, but "... the residue left on your hands and in your mouth post-nosh is notorious for setting genitals on fire," Brady said. I'm positively cringing just thinking about it.

11. Don't Drink Too Much

Of course you should feel free to do whatever you want, but keep in mind how alcohol can affect your body. As Rybchin tells me, drinking a lot can make you feel full (which might be uncomfy whilst jostling around). And, it can affect your ability to have an orgasm. Not good.

While you shouldn't overthink sex, it is important to plan ahead. And, of course, avoid things (like spicy food) that might make your experience less than fun.

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