Just because you're sexually active doesn't automatically make you a mature lover — learning to be a confident, respectful, open-minded sexual partner takes time, and everyone develops at a different pace. Whether they're clueless or just plain rude, not everyone has the best behavior in the bedroom (in fact, some people are downright toxic). No matter your age, as a woman, sometimes standing up for yourself is easier said than done. This is especially true when it comes to sex: it's such an inherently intimate act, which might make you feel more insecure and vulnerable than usual. But part of being a grown-ass woman means coming to terms with your sexual needs and wants, and learning not to accept bad behavior or disrespect from sexual partners.
"Loving your body creates the most confidence," Tiffany Yelverton, sex coach/educator and founder of sexual wellness company Entice Me, tells Bustle. "Many women who are not confident are more concerned about what they look like naked, than actually enjoying the moment. I think maturity comes from experience and mindset. [A grown-ass woman is] not afraid to communicate desires, try new things and accept that sex changes as [she] ages."
Here are seven things that no grown-ass woman accepts from her partner in bed — because sex is best when it's mutually satisfying, with a partner who totally respects you.
It should go without saying that insulting someone's body — especially someone you're sleeping with — is super inappropriate. But that doesn't mean less-than-kind remarks don't happen (even accidentally) from time to time, and a grown-ass woman is not going to accept that from a partner. You might think that pointing out someone's stretch marks is no big deal, but the reality is that, no matter how well you know your partner, you never know what might cause them insecurity. Particularly in the bedroom, it's best to always be kind, sensitive, and complimentary when it comes to your partner's body instead of tearing it down or even casually poking fun.
2Not Responding To Direction
Part of being a mature lover? Understanding that you might not always know exactly what your partner wants, and being open to listening and learning. "What brings you to orgasm one day, may not be exactly what feels good to you the next," Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, Founder & Chief Relationship Advisor at Your Sage, tells Bustle. "[A grown-ass woman] wants a partner who is willing to take in her direction about how to pleasure her and adapt to what she wants, without any ego involved."
Being open-minded is one of the fundamental building blocks of good sex. Obviously, it's not required that you share every kink with your partner, but being able to have a frank, judgment-free discussion about your secret desires and fantasies is super important. It's OK to be honest if you're a bit skeptical or disinterested in a certain kink, but a grown-ass woman won't tolerate a partner who tries to shame her for any of her fantasies.
Being a selfless lover doesn't mean you're all give and no take — it means you understand that mutual satisfaction is the key to having great sex. A grown-ass woman won't put up with a partner who thinks only of their own orgasm instead of focusing on her pleasure, too. "While it is true that there may be times when your orgasm takes longer than you would like, you want a partner who cares if you are pleasured in the experience and is willing to put in the effort," Milrad says. "Sex gets unsatisfying really quickly when it seems to be a one-sided affair."
5Ignorance Of Your Body
While everyone has a different sexual experience level, there's no excuse for someone to be willfully ignorant when it comes to how the opposite sex's body works. If you're having sex, you should at the very least be open to educating yourself about how your partner's body works, so you can figure out how to better pleasure them. There are plenty of resources — like OMGYes — which exist to help people figure out what makes women orgasm. A grown-ass woman won't tolerate a partner who still thinks that the 'jackhammer' method is the way to go; instead, she wants a partner who knows about all her erogenous zones.
6Coercion Or Guilt-Tripping
Repeat after me: it is never OK to pressure a sexual partner to have sex if they don't want to, or perform a sexual act that they're not comfortable with. "Women who are more confident would be less likely to be persuaded by arguments that sex at a certain time or a certain behavior can be necessary to maintain a relationship," Nicole Prause, Ph.D., founder of sexual biotechnology company Liberos, tells Bustle. "Younger women might accept 'I need this' and consent to sexual behaviors they do not actually desire."
You might be thinking: "Why would someone slut-shame their own sexual partner? Surely that's counter-productive!" While that's totally true, slut-shaming can be more subtle and nuanced, which makes the whole thing more complicated. Whether it's by remarking about how quickly someone 'gave it up' or by making a comment about someone's willingness to do a certain sexual act, slut-shaming can rear its ugly head in surprising ways. A grown-ass woman won't tolerate a partner who tries to tear her down by making her feel less-than for enjoying something as natural as sex.
Ultimately, being a grown-ass woman means learning to identify problematic behaviors in the bedroom, and feeling comfortable standing up for yourself if your partner does something disrespectful or hurtful. A healthy sex life is one in which both people are focused on pleasuring their partner, and feel comfortable communicating their desires in an honest and respectful way — and a grown-ass woman will accept nothing less.