No problem! Shailene Woodley opened up about her love life, divulging that bad sex has been a factor in more than one of her past relationships.
The Big Little Lies alum, 29, addressed the topic in an “Ask Her” column for Leo earlier this month. “If the sex is not great but the relationship is thriving, do you call it quits or work on it?” a reader inquired.
“Oy … I have been here. And to be quite honest, it has happened more than once in my life,” Woodley wrote, noting that satisfying sex, in contrast, is “everything.” She then explained a situation in which one finds love but feels “underwhelmed and exhausted” by the lack of “chemical explosion you know is possible.”
The actress went on to share her tips for solving the issue. “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 continued. “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.”
Woodley pointed out that the sexual aspect of a relationship can improve with time. “‘Bad sex,’ in my opinion, is simply two people who haven’t quite found the language that speaks to their unique lives together yet,” she explained. “Or, two people who don’t 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.”
The Secret Life of the American Teenager alum encouraged readers to “try exploring and experimenting with sensuality,” adding: “Try sleeping with their mind, their heart, their senses … before you sleep with their bodies. Try the ‘slow is fast train,’ and see where it takes you.”
Woodley revealed that the “most turned on I have ever been” was when “lovers told me exactly what they wanted me to do or what their needs were.”
She concluded: “The more surrendered we can be to the discoveries we make with a lover, the better and more delicious our physical connection becomes. You never know what demons and ghosts are lurking in the shadows of our pasts, and sex can be a brilliant way to unearth them and heal them — both in ourselves, and in our lovers. If you are looking to enhance your relationship and feel the desire to connect deeper with your babe, then use your sexual discord as a portal to expanding your love, versus running away from it.”
Woodley has kept her romantic ventures relatively private, although she confirmed her relationship with rugby player Ben Volavola via Instagram in January 2018. However, the pair split in 2020.