9 Totally Normal And Not Gross Things That Happen During Sex We Promise It’s Normal

Feature image of Free-Spiiirit in Alien-Pass!on.


Sex: sometimes it is weird or gross or embarrassing or everything at once. You shouldn’t let those moments ruin it though — they happen to almost everyone, and being able to laugh and move on is an art that is easy to learn and essential to keeping queer sex fun. Here are some of those things, and why it’s okay to stop being worrying about them.


1. Vagina Farts

Vaginas sometimes make fart noises during sex. This is called queefing and it’s a result of air being pushed into a small wet space and then being pushed out, either because you move or because something is inside of you or both. It’s totally fine and normal:

“You’re doing everything right. Before you go dissing your toots, hear this: the hotter, harder and more playful positions you get in, the more likely you are to queef. Now, a queef is caused by the air that gets sucked into a place that usually doesn’t have any. Your vagina is not a wind tunnel, you know? When you change your body position, a gap in your own gap can cause your vagina to vacuum up air. When something besides the air … wants to take up space inside you, well, it pushes the air out and that’s the funky sound you hear.”

2. Farts, Period

During sex, you are moving around. (Or you are in a kinky situation and emphatically not moving around.) Maybe someone else is. Maybe you’re tense. Maybe you ate food at any point in your life. Everyone farts sometimes, and you can choose to either laugh and keep going or have it ruin a sexy moment, which hopefully is not a difficult choice to make:

“I do find that laughter helps to remedy most situations like these, assuming something’s not seriously askew with your digestive tract. Besides, farts are easy to laugh at because they are funny. It’s a trumpety sound coming from your butt! In a Salon article by Tracy Clark-Flory, poignantly titled ‘Farting in Love,’ author Beth Lisick wrote that she jokes about farting … by saying things like, ‘That sounded like it came from the ’80s.'”

3. Not Being Able To Get Your Skinny Jeans Off (Or Not Being Able To Get Her Skinny Jeans Off)

It’s hard to feel hot when you’re awkwardly taking off skinny jeans. You can remove them in the bathroom or something, but you can also just embrace removing them in front of your activity partner. Under your jeans is a naked person your activity partner is excited to see, it’s gonna be fine and it happens to everyone:

“Super-tight straight leg pants, worn notably by sex symbols and rebellious icons Elvis Presley and James Dean, made it big in the 1970s underground punk scene. The pants’ popularity stayed alive through the decades, persisting largely through other music scenes. And although skinny jeans were once — and still are — the choice pants of rock stars and those looking to fight The Man, they have now joined the ranks of the lesbian subculture so that we, too, can experience the awkwardness of trying to hook up, having trouble getting your skinny jeans off, having to hop around the room removing them from your ankles, and finally end up with a pair of inside-out skinny jeans on the floor. Holla.”

4. Feeling Ridiculous In A Strap-On Harness

The nice thing about underwear harnesses is that they’re easy to use and easy to wash and at no point do you have to worry about a buckle coming undone or catching on your activity partner or riding up or doing any of the annoying things that classic leather strap-on harnesses with actual straps do. In their guide to taking butch (but really any lady) cock seriously, Sinclair Sexsmith writes:

“When you’ve seen that gleam in her eye and it’s time for you to strap it on, don’t be embarrassed, apologetic, or shy. At that point, she’s gotta wait for you to disrobe (possibly) and re-buckle, test the weight between your legs, get comfortable. Don’t rush.”

Their cock commandments are about the obvious rather than about the harness it goes in, but also apply – Sexsmith suggests wearing it around until you get used to it, playing with it by yourself and pretending you feel great about it until you do:

“But what if you just don’t feel it, don’t feel connected to it? Well, for now, I suggest you just fake it. Don’t lie about it — but make up in your head what it would feel like if you could feel it, and go from there. Experiment. Channel your favorite porn star and the way they drive their beautiful tool with such grace and ease and respect. (Don’t have a favorite porn star who straps on and plays? Maybe you should do some research, and find one!) Really feel into it and see what kind of sensations you can feel, and focus on those. A lot of strapping on and playing and ‘feeling’ a strapped-on cock is mental, so be curious and open to expanding what you thought was possible.”

5. Fluids (Too Many Or Not Enough)

Some people get wet enough to soak through the duvet and some need a gallon of lube per sexual encounter and some squirt and some don’t and all of this is fine. You can deal with this by using something like a waterproof Liberator throw if you’re too wet and vast amounts of the lube of your choice if you’re not wet enough. Being super wet is awesome because you probably save money on lube. Being super dry is awesome because look at all the fun types of lube you get to try. Squirting is fun because hello, you had an orgasm that made you squirt. No good activity partner will be bothered by any of this.

In his 1980 Sapphistry: The Book of Lesbian Sexuality, Patrick Califia writes:

“There is no objective standard for measuring whether a particular woman lubricates too much or too little. Everybody has a different quantity and kind of vaginal lubrication. Some women find that their lubrication is more copious at different points of the menstrual cycle. Other women find little or no change.

If you find yourself getting irritated or chafed during sex, your own lubrication needs a little help. Some lesbians who feel their sexual juices are scanty keep a bottle of their favourite lube by the bed. When you are with a new lover, apply it yourself, so that she will know it’s there. You may want to tell her the fact that you’re a little dry doesn’t mean you aren’t turned on.

If you feel sloppy or messy during sex, keep a hand towel by the bed or any other surface you use frequently for lovemaking. Use it yourself, so that your partner will know it’s okay to blot you. Don’t use facial tissues — they shred up into nasty little soggy pieces, and you’ll be picking them out of your crotch for the rest of the evening.”

6. Bleeding

Also a fluid, but blood deserves a category all on its own. You might bleed during sex because it’s rough or because you didn’t use enough lube or because there’s an accident or because it seems as if someone has reached inside you and extracted your period. While it’s not a bad idea to get any heavy or persistent bleeding that isn’t your period checked out, don’t be embarrassed about it — a little bit of spotting is fine:

“Sex is messy, people. Expecting it not to be or to never be is kind of like expecting we can go play in the sandbox and somehow manage not to touch any sand or have any wind up on us when we leave. Even when we use latex barriers to reduce STI risks that also tend to keep a lot of fluids inside barriers or largely separate from a partner’s body, sex is still often messy. Sometimes people will have bleeding, even though it’s less likely when folks are being careful, when everyone is truly relaxed and aroused, and when people are using lube as they need to and not doing things that hurt. Vaginal fluids are always present to some degree, and sometimes are profuse. I’m not trying to gross you out here or turn you off of sex, I’m just trying to be real.”

Also for the record, period sex is no big deal:

“I was thoroughly skeeved out by the idea of period sex because, you know, we live in a culture of bodily shame that makes us all believe that our periods render us toxic waste plants of vile putridity. But this is not the case! Periods are kind of not really that gross! They are just things our bodies do! And if we’re being perfectly honest, sex is kind of gross when you think about how it’s two sweaty bodies bumping into each other until they both emit fluids. So … if you’re OK with sex, you should probably be OK with sex plus periods.”

7. Accidental Injury

Maybe you cut her with your fingernails even though you trimmed them yesterday. Maybe you were thrusting too enthusiastically at a weird angle and now your lower back isn’t working correctly. Maybe you have carpet burn or you just slipped in the shower or you sprained your wrist fisting your girlfriend. In a study a few years ago, one third of respondents surveyed reported injuries during sex, so you are not alone.

Remember to practice safer sex with lube and gloves and dental dams and condoms and by making sure you trimmed your fingernails correctly (high femmes and/or other people with long nails should put cotton balls in the gloves’ fingertips to avoid stabbing someone). Read about how to fist safely. Read about how to do whatever kinky thing you want to do safely — whether it’s bondage or spanking or wax play or anything else. When something happens that you did not expect, practice being caring and deal with it, whether that means pausing to help your activity partner crack their back or heading to the emergency room together. It will be a great story later.

8. Not Being Able To Come, Quickly Or At All

Some people can have many, many orgasms in only a few minutes and some people require half an hour of precise oral to even get close and some people can’t come at all. Some people can only come in a specific way or at a specific time or with a specific vibrator in a specific spot. Some days it’s easier to come than others.

It’s easy to get self-conscious if you take forever to come — even if you’re giving your partner constructive feedback, even if everything seems just right, sometimes it can take a goddam hour for anything to happen. That’s okay. Sex can be satisfying and pleasurable even if no one comes. You’re in a state of undress with at least one other person who is also in a state of undress and having a sexy time doing sexy things. Focus on the sexy things, and not on the possible result of them being an orgasm, and you’ll do just fine.

9. General Tomfoolery And Destruction

Sometimes during sex you spill a glass of water or the lube or fuck so hard the bed breaks or art falls and shatters. Sometime you come up from going down and discover you have pubic hair in your teeth or that your partner just got their period all over your mouth. Sometimes you fall off the bed, or she pushes you off the bed accidentally, or the harness makes a funny squeaky noise or your roommate comes home just as you come really, really loudly, or your next door neighbor does, or your mom does. Sometimes the cat jumps on the bed during sex or turns out to have been staring at you the whole time. Sometimes someone farts in your face.

Often, sex is not perfect. This is fine and totally okay and nothing to be worried about. Worrying about all the stuff that could go wrong during sex should not in any way stop you from having or fully enjoying sex. Sometimes something going wrong is actually a relief, because now that the thing you were thinking about has actually happened you can move on with your life. Because yeah, sometimes sex really is weird or gross or embarrassing or everything at once — and that is part of why it is awesome.

Carolyn Yates is the NSFW Consultant, and was formerly the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor, for Autostraddle.com. Her writing has appeared in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. She recently moved to Los Angeles from Montreal. Find her on twitter.

Carolyn has written 902 articles for us.