Why Should You Embrace the Embarrassing Moments in Bed?

Jun 15, 2023

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Have you ever gotten your period during sex, passed gas, or feigned an orgasm too obviously? How did that feel for you? How did your partner react?

In scenarios like these, most of us would feel awkward and ashamed. But intimacy is an incredibly vulnerable experience, and sometimes it is natural to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. No matter how much we want it to be perfect, embarrassing moments during intimacy are inevitable. They happen to everyone; you can bet on that. Still, not most people are ready to openly discuss their awkward moments in bed.

Why Is It Important to Normalize Awkward Moments in Bed?

Most of us would rather forget awkward and embarrassing things that happen in the heat of the moment and never even bring them up again. Still, we need to normalize that we cannot control what’s coming next or be prepared for everything that life (or sex) throws at us. Like every other life situation, our sexual experiences provide countless opportunities for embarrassment and discomfort.

So, instead of feeling ashamed or trying to suppress these little fiascos in bed, try to embrace them and recognize the chance for humor and bonding they present.

Also, couples sex therapy can help discussing awkward intimacy moments and find humor and opportunities for connection rather than shame and humiliation. This can help relieve tension the next time something similar happens, making sex more enjoyable.

Awkward Moments You Might Encounter During Sex

There is a long list of things that can go wrong during sex. Still, here are some of the most typical awkward bed moments that most of us have experienced (or will, sooner or later):

  • Trouble getting aroused

Okay, this happens often. If you or your partner, for whatever reason, are having trouble getting turned on, this can feel quite frustrating and embarrassing.

  • Having an orgasm at the wrong time

If one of you reaches orgasm too fast, too slowly, or not at all, you may feel embarrassed and unsure of how to handle the situation, especially if it happens repeatedly.

  • Faking an orgasm

Your partner could feel hurt or upset if it was obvious that you were faking an orgasm. So, this might be pretty uncomfortable.

  • Getting your period during sex

This is so common, but it could be embarrassing if neither you nor your partner are into period sex.

  • Releasing unflattering bodily noises in bed

Whether passing gases or “queefing” (noise coming from the vagina when the trapped air inside is released by penetration), letting out random noises may cause you to feel embarrassed (even though this is a perfectly natural response to penetration).

  • Getting caught

This one may be really awkward, especially if your child walks in on you.

How to Embrace the Embarrassing Moments in Bed and Why You Should Do It

The examples above are just a few embarrassing scenarios that could happen during intimate moments. So, how do you bounce back from such an experience?

Laugh Off an Embarrassing Sex Moment

There is no better way to relieve tension and create a relaxed atmosphere than to laugh. Laughing off an embarrassing moment together can help you embrace vulnerability, dispel embarrassment, and normalize the experience.

Discuss It Openly

Sex therapy can help you master the ability to discuss any “awkward” topic openly and honestly with your spouse. So don’t avoid vulnerability when it comes to your sexual life. Listen actively to your partner’s words and be honest about your experiences and feelings. Knowing you can discuss embarrassing bed moments without shame or judgment can relieve stress and strengthen your relationship.

Practice Self-Acceptance

Embarrassing in-bed moments can shatter your self-esteem, making it difficult to enjoy sex and feel confident about your body. To get around this, practice self-compassion and acceptance. Self-compassion exercises such as loving-kindness meditation, journaling, or treating yourself like a good friend can help you learn how to treat yourself with more kindness and understanding, especially during and after those embarrassing movements in bed.

Keep Things Playful and Relaxed

You may remember those humiliating sex encounters for years, feeling ashamed whenever you recall them. But does your partner or the person with whom you shared this unpleasant incident remember it (likely not)? Did this event impact your relationship (it most likely did not)?

There is a phenomenon in psychology called the “spotlight effect.” It represents our tendency to overestimate the extent to which others notice our behavior or appearance. Understanding the “spotlight effect” can help you put your embarrassing moments in bed and their importance into perspective. This will help you stop shaming yourself over awkward things in bed that you can’t really control and instead keep things fun and playful.

Seek Sex Therapy

If you find that shame around uncomfortable moments in bed affects your self-esteem and prevents you from thoroughly enjoying intimacy or having satisfying relationships, seeking guidance from a qualified sex therapist could help.

Individual or couple therapy can be a safe place to recognize and acknowledge your imperfections and learn to be comfortable being yourself in every situation. It can help normalize these embarrassing moments during sex and use them as an opportunity to connect and let go of the fear of judgment. This opens space for trust and a deeper emotional bond with your partner.

Let’s connect soon so we can set up a consultation.

Filippo M. Forni, LMFT is an individual and couples therapist in Los Angeles, CA. His goal is to provide high-quality and effective goal-oriented therapy services to the Los Angeles and Century City community. He has extensive training in sexuality and multiculturalism and serves as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology.