Stepping off the sex escalator is the key to great sex

Young women with long hair and a knitted beanie standing on an escalator next to her partner

Ever feel as though your sex life might be a little… predictable?

It’s happened to me. I sometimes find myself on a date with someone who seems perfect: smart, funny, stylish, and confident. But once we get home and our clothes come off, everything changes. The sex is mechanical and lacks excitement. It’s over all too soon. As I roll over and go to sleep, I think ‘was that even worth it?’

When sex is unremarkable, we often blame ourselves. But if you feel uninspired in the bedroom, you could be trapped on the ‘sex escalator’ – the unspoken script that dictates most of our sexual interactions. To achieve mind-blowing sex, it’s essential to find another way.

For most folks, there’s a strict order to seduction and sex. It’s the script of almost every movie sex scene – or porno - we’ve watched in the past. If someone asks you out, you’re supposed to go on a date with them. If someone asks you to come home with them, you’re supposed to have sex. And when we do have sex, it follows the same pattern every time: making out, oral sex, intercourse, orgasm. 

Sex feels safer when we stick to the script. When we only do exactly what’s expected, there’s less risk of offending or surprising our partners. But there are LOTS of disadvantages to being on the escalator:

  • Predictable sex makes us switch off. Have you ever driven to work in the morning, then realised you can’t remember a single detail of the journey? Taking the same route every time means we stop paying attention to where we’re going. Sex is no different – when we think we know what’s going to happen next, we tune out and forget to make an effort.
  • We don’t get to ask for what we want. When we stick to the script, we feel as though we can’t request what we really need. You might long for a back massage or some slow, sexy mutual masturbation, but feel awkward bringing it up… So you keep on doing the same old sex moves, even though you could be having much more fun.
  • We feel pressured to go too fast. The sex escalator pulls us along, without respect to how far or fast we really want to go. You might start making out with someone and feel as though you’re obligated to invite them home… or you might prefer to spend hours on foreplay but feel pressured to move straight to the sex. All this rushing means we’re not taking the time to savour the sexual experiences we enjoy. And when we feel pressured to do things we don’t want, that makes for some really shit sex.

How to Get Off the Escalator

Now that we know the sex escalator is a problem, how to get off? It might seem like a big ask – after all, sex can be nerve-wracking, and doing anything out of the ordinary might leave you feeling super anxious. The good news is that breaking up the routine is easy, if you have a few ideas prepared beforehand.

Here are my tried-and-true techniques for escaping the escalator and making sex great again:

  1. Let yourself off the hook, and your partners too. Part of the reason we tend to do the same stuff over and over is because we’re so afraid of looking awkward. Trying new things comes with a risk – what if it doesn’t work out? What if I try something and my partner doesn’t like it? But the truth is, sex isn’t supposed to be perfect. We all like different things, and all look silly sometimes. The sooner we accept this and chill the fuck out, the sooner we can get on with doing the things we really want, rather than feeling uptight.
  2. Slow down. My number-one tip for great sex is to take a deep breath and slow everything down. When we feel nervous it’s easy to rush anxiously from one sexual activity to the next, without taking the time to enjoy anything. But when you go slowly, you can focus on every touch, kiss, and sensation. Your partners will notice the difference too – a slow, mindful touch is always almost more enjoyable than a fast, grabby one.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask. Talking about sex sometimes feels awkward – but unless we ask, we just don’t know. Everyone is different in what they enjoy… and you never know, your partner might be into something you’ll both enjoy. I like to ask, “How does that feel?” If I’m feeling adventurous, I might say, “How could this be even better?” Good sex is all about teamwork, and to work together you both need to communicate.

Good sex isn’t about being perfect; it just requires willingness to do things a little differently. Why not step off the sex escalator? If your experience is anything like mine, you’ll never want to return to doing sex the same old way again.

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  • TisTime2Play


    More than a month ago

    100%. We've all done it where in our minds we would play out how the proceeding night may play out, so we'd already set the tone or expectation for the night, and chances are your partner had done the same, and there's even a bigger chance that those two scripts did not align, so neither gets what they want...

    My close friend taught me to approach every interaction with no expectations, this is not about lowering your standards, but removing mental barriers that will stop you enjoying the moment you are in.

    Our lives have become fast paced and often we forget to be present because we have all these wants that we need to achieve and in the end we miss some really great opportunities because we were wanting our expectations to be met.

    About 6 months ago I changed the way I think and interact with people, to one that has no expectations other that each treat the other with respect, and WOW, what a change this has mad to my entire life.

    This must have then came out in everything from writing profiles to responding to emails to my first emails to women and couples, as from a point where I had basically been without any email contact in 2 years to a flood of invites and requests from couples and single ladies, so much so that I didn't renew sum of my subscriptions to sites like this to reduce the number I was receiving.

    6 months on and I've had so much of the best sex I'd ever had in my entire life, all because I was open and living in the now, I had no expectations and was enjoying every second and enjoying the people I was with in that moment.
    With every interaction I had I've been asked back again and again, as having no preconceived ideas has let me truly engage with whom ever I'm with in that moment, and there must be so many people that are not present and are seeking their expectations, which effects their ability to deliver what those there with need to get them to the magical O. Being present and enjoying the now has given me so much pleasure as I'm able to like never before deliver what the ones I'm with need to reach this point over and over again.

    From my point of view this is the key to sexual success. Thank you to my awesome friend Jessica that showed me the way to a life that I'd once dream of, and are now living, with a myriad of partners from 23 to 50 years old...

  • BBWmature


    More than a month ago

    It really is the key to great sex & connection.....if only the thousands on here would realise this! Great article!

  • AmyF2016


    More than a month ago

    Great reminder - and always why I prefer a fwb option that is regular and ongoing rather than ONS. Because its rare sex is mindblowing first time (only happened to me once) so it can take a couple of attempts to feel comfortable and figure out what gets each other off..through lots of experimentation of course ;)

  • X.RaySpecs


    More than a month ago

    I love this article. Thanks Georgie. When I think of the best sex I've had it's usually been unexpected or feeling safe enough to make myself vulnerable. Laughing in bed as well. That's the best feeling :)

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