Shailene Woodley Has One Big Answer to Your Struggle With Bad Sex

Shailene Woodley has tackled an age-old question—what to do if the relationship is good, but the sex is bad. Keep scrolling for all the advice the star had to offer.

By Samantha Schnurr Jan 22, 2021 2:24 PMTags
Watch: Shailene Woodley & Sam Claflin Talk On-Screen Chemistry

Bad sex? Shailene Woodley to the rescue. 

In an "Ask Her" column for men's website, Leo, the Big Little Lies star tackled a relatable conundrum: "If the sex is not great but the relationship is thriving, do you call it quits or work on it?"

If it puts you at ease, Woodley is no stranger to this scenario. "Oy…I have been here," she confirmed. "And to be quite honest, it has happened more than once in my life."

Fortunately for anyone in the same boat, there was no shortage of advice from the 29-year-old actress—and it all whittled down to communication. "All I can say is, from my perspective as a woman who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to say it, honesty and transparency are everything," she told the website. "If you don't feel safe in communication with your partner, then chances are, you may never be able to cultivate a truly connective sex life. And, if you do feel safe, then talk about your needs. Whether they are being met or not. Ask your partner about theirs."

According to Woodley, bad sex "is simply two people who haven't quite found the language that speaks to their unique lives together yet. Or, two people who dont know how to be deeply vulnerable with one another. That s--t can take time. And although you occasionally and very rarely do meet someone whom you spontaneously sexually combust with—most of the time, sex is a lesson in true intimacy."

Shailene Woodley's Best Looks

Don't fret—the star had an optimistic way of looking at the oftentimes awkward situation. "Wanting to call a good thing off simply because your sexual connection isn't a 10 yet is perhaps the greatest path to growth," she reasoned. "Perhaps it is an invitation to reach into the underbelly of what you are both afraid to dive into. To explore the roots of emotions, feelings, attachments—and to play in the world of sensually exploring your partner."

Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for ELLE

Above all, she urged honesty. "The more surrendered we can be to the discoveries we make with a lover," she said, "the better and more delicious our physical connection becomes."

So, if you find that the sexual connection is not quite right, "try sleeping with their mind, their heart, their senses...before you sleep with their bodies," Woodley suggested. "Try the 'slow is fast train', and see where it takes you."