Sexual Health

Is bad sex a legit reason to break up?

You're seeing a new guy, and it's all going surprisingly well. He's texting you the perfect amount and making plans with you based off of conversations you've had—because he was listening. Swoon.

So you sleep with the guy—and the sex is bad. Real bad. What now?

The "good on paper, bad in bed" conundrum has been around since the days of the dinosaur. But real talk: Does being bad in bed actually have to mean game over for a great relationship? Not necessarily. Here's what you can do:

Figure Out What Went Wrong
Was it meh because you just didn't have chemistry between the sheets? Or were you too afraid to speak up and tell him what you like? If it's the latter, you've got to make your voice heard, says certified clinical sexologist Dawn Michael, Ph.D.

"It's each person's responsibility to show the other what turns them on," she said.

In other words, you can't expect him (or her) to know what you like and where you like it, she says. So say it loud and proud, sister.

RELATED: 8 Quick Tricks That Can Turn ‘Meh’ Sex into Mind-Blowing Sex

On the other hand, if you were giving direction and he was just wiggling around like a glob of jelly soap, you need to take a hard look at what was actually lacking: sexual chemistry or compatibility. Sexual compatibility is somewhat important in a relationship because, unlike that instant sexual chemistry, which can fade, it's something you work on together, said psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.

"Sex is a non-verbal form of communication," Tessina said.

And just like you can improve the way you work out an issue, like prioritizing time to hang with each other, you can build up your sexual compatibility by talking it out.

Have a Casual Talk
Luckily, Tessina says that this situation can be fixed without a super dramatic "we need to talk" conversation. Instead, she suggests a gentler approach.

"Ask some questions about how your partner feels, and what he wants in bed," she said.

If your partner recognizes that his needs are important to you, he'll realize that your sexual needs should be a priority too, Tessina. Just keep in mind that he could be experiencing an emotional or physical problem said that’s embarrassing to talk about, she said.

Build Sexual Tension
Psychotherapist Kelley Kitley, L.C.S.W. said that one reason the sex might be lacking is because there's not enough sexual tension between the two of you. To get that fire burning, Kitley suggests sending sexy texts throughout the day, as well as slipping in some suggestive touching.

RELATED: How to Discreetly Turn Each Other On in Public

"Enticing him all day will create more desire—and potentially hotter sex,” she said.

What Doesn’t Kill Your Lady Wood Makes You Stronger
Problem solving is a huge part of any successful relationship, and experts agree that if the two of you can work together to fix this awkward problem, you've got staying power.

"If you talk about it, a session of bad sex can be the thing that sets you on a course for lifetime happiness," Tessina said.

It sounds hokey, but actually discussing the issue and finding a mutually satisfying solution (*wink*) is the key to solving any relationship issue, she said.

And in short, that's how you know whether it's worth ditching a solid bae over a lousy lay.

"If you’re having a good time in other ways," Tessina said, "it’s foolish to overreact to a sexual problem, which could be caused by a misunderstanding or nervousness."

This article originally appeared on WomensHealthMag.com.