Uncomfortable Things That Happen In Intimate Moments That Are Totally Normal

You light a candle and dim the lights. Your partner wraps their arms around you in a full embrace before kissing you passionately. Things start getting steamy and...cue the record scratch. Getting physically intimate in real life isn't always how it appears in movies and romance novels. In reality, it can feel vulnerable and even embarrassing at times.


However, expecting sex to be 100% free of awkwardness might only set you up for disappointment. The Center for Couples & Sex Therapy points out that high expectations in the bedroom can put a damper on your sex life. Similarly, a 2018 study published in the Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy showed that self-consciousness is correlated with a lower sex drive.

In other words, the more perfectionistic and self-critical we are, the less we can enjoy sexy time. Allowing for slip-ups and imperfect moments can lead to a better, more satisfying romp. Here are six uncomfortable yet completely normal things that happen during sex.

Body sounds

Rolling around in the sheets can lead to some awkward body sounds. You might hear your stomach grumble, or you may notice a surprising squeak when your and your partner's chests rub together. But perhaps one of the most common sounds you might hear during sex is a fart-like sound coming from the vagina, called a "queef."


According to Planned Parenthood, queefing happens when air trapped in the vagina gets pushed out. Even if it sounds a lot like passing gas, it has no smell and has nothing to do with your digestive system. Even still, it can be embarrassing to queef when it happens unexpectedly. But queefing is totally normal and nothing to be ashamed of. "The most important thing to remember is that we are all human and this is just one of the many things we need to accept about ourselves when it happens," Lisa S. Lawless, founder of the sexual wellness store HolisticWisdom.com, explained to Self. If you notice a queef or other awkward body sound, laugh about it and carry on.

Sexual dysfunction

According to Cleveland Clinic, sexual dysfunction can come in many forms and, in some cases, can even be related to a medical condition. However, there's no need to panic — 43% of women and 31% of men experience sexual dysfunction, and it can often come and go without requiring special treatment.


Sexual dysfunction can include struggling to orgasm, inability to maintain an erection, premature ejaculation, vaginal dryness, and a lack of desire or interest in sex. If you notice recurrent sexual dysfunction, talk to a doctor. But for occasional sexual dysfunction, don't fret. WebMD lists several common reasons for not being turned on, including tiredness and stress, a lack of variety in bed, and a lack of quality time with your partner.

Knowing your lust language before getting frisky can help you meet each other's sexual needs. And if your partner is the one struggling to get aroused, be patient and don't force anything. Sex therapist Dr. Stephen Snyder told Glamour, "Tell [them] it's really OK if the two of you don't have intercourse tonight." Removing the pressure to have sex can help them recover more quickly, without feeling embarrassed or like they're letting you down.


Bumps, bruises, and burns

Okay, let's get one thing out of the way: sex should never hurt (unless that's part of what you and your partner have both consented to, of course). Still, accidents happen, and sometimes you might bump heads when changing positions or notice a rug burn on your knees. You might even experience minor genital soreness from friction. These boo-boos are common. In a Superdrug survey of people in Europe and the U.S., 62% of respondents reported experiencing a sex injury.


WebMD suggests taking it slow to avoid common injuries like tears, fractures, and pulled muscles. It also helps to have a few sex-friendly tools in your arsenal. Lubrication can protect skin from friction, but be sure yours is free of ingredients that may trigger an allergic reaction. When using toys, objects made for insertion that have a wide base are often safer than household objects. Finally, have condoms handy to lower your risk of getting or spreading a sexually transmitted infection.

Laughing or crying uncontrollably

Physical intimacy can trigger a lot of emotions, to the point that you might even find yourself laughing or crying uncontrollably. For some people, it may happen while doing the deed, and for others, it happens during or after orgasm. Either way, it's normal.


Sex and orgasms trigger the release of certain hormones, including oxytocin, that can cause laughing or crying fits (per Exploring Your Mind). Psychologist Stanislava Puač Jovanović tells Happiness.com that laughter "is simply the continuation of pleasure and cheerfulness" resulting from sex.

Crying, on the other hand, may seem like a sign of disappointment or sadness, but that's often not the case. "Sometimes a partner experiences a sensation, arousal, or an orgasm unlike they've ever felt, and the peak of arousal lights up their whole brain so that all emotions are heightened. ... Tears are our body's way of release," sex therapist and coach Sari Cooper told Well+Good. If uncontrollable crying happens alongside feelings of stress or discomfort, though, Healthline suggests talking to your partner about any relationship or sexual issues you may be experiencing. It can also help to speak with a therapist about your concerns.


An unexpected period

Your period can change or strike at unexpected times, including while getting intimate. Next thing you know, there's a red stain on the sheets that you weren't at all prepared for. Getting your period might sound like the ultimate mood killer, but it doesn't have to be.


First, take note that this is totally normal. In fact, sex can cause your period to start early, especially if it's due to arrive within the next day or two (per Insider). Still, if your partner isn't a fellow menstruator, you may feel embarrassed or worry about their reaction. But according to a survey conducted by Australian Men's Health, the majority of men are open to getting intimate when their partner is on their period.

If you weren't expecting Aunt Flo to visit, just be sure that the blood you're noticing is actually from your period. Post-sex bleeding can also be caused by infections, vaginal tears, cervical inflammation, and other health conditions that might require a trip to the doctor (per NHS).


Condom malfunction

Condoms can be an effective way to prevent sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy — but only when they're used perfectly (per Healthline). Unfortunately, condom snafus can happen to anyone. According to Bedsider, condom problems can include broken condoms, leakage, condoms falling off, or discomfort.


Though condom malfunction isn't unusual, it's worth fixing as soon as possible. First, make sure you have the proper size. Experiment with different condom sizes and brands, particularly when erect (per WebMD), to find the best fit. It's also a good idea to check condoms for tears before using them, according to Healthline. You can also prevent breakage by only using condoms before their expiration date (yes, they can expire!) and storing them in a cool, dark place — not a wallet or pocket.

If a condom breaks, slips off, or leaks, Planned Parenthood suggests turning to emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy, as well as getting an STD test after a few weeks.