How to Be the Best Lover She’s Ever Had
What makes a great lover? What makes a lover “the best”? If anyone promises you a single answer ignore it. The answer is different for every person. So the only true “answer” is what each partner tells you. You have to ask. Caring about the answer is the first step to being great in bed.
If you don’t want to have a conversation about sex with the person you’re having sex with you’re probably bad in bed. And if you’re too lazy to read a whole article that’s not a great sign either.
But for the great lovers out there who are also pressed for time, here’s the abstract: ask your partner what turns them on, what drives them wild during intimacy, and what makes them climax. Those can be three different things. Don’t expect one act or magic trick to achieve all three. What turns us on isn’t always the same thing that makes us climax.
I cannot emphasize this enough: you do not have to be a mindreader. Ask her to tell you everything. But then you have to go and ACTUALLY DO THOSE THINGS. Do what she likes consistently. Frequently. Even without being asked. Especially without being asked once you already know. As soon as you have the keys you can initiate. And every time you do those things you will get better at doing those things. This is a skill. Just like soccer or woodworking or those miraculous little ships in bottles.
Do not ask if you aren’t excited to learn and to do the things she confides in you. With whatever words feel natural to you, thank her for trusting you with her desires.
Please remember — women have been socialized to minimize and stifle their own sexuality in almost every culture for almost all of human history. We carry a lot of internalized baggage while we navigate the Virgin Mother/Mary Magdalene dichotomy that all women are supposed to flawlessly embody in a way that attracts men without stigmatizing us as sluts. Or for a ten-year-old but timeless Ludacris reference — dirty in the sheets/Lady in the streets. It’s a lot.
We’ve also been socialized to sublimate our sexual desires, preferences, and needs for yours. Please don’t take advantage of that. It really, really sucks.
Ready? I’ve deliberately numbered these steps in order of importance. Each one builds on the last. Don’t skip to the end unless you want to continue disappointing women who are tired of men jumping straight to sex. Put the time in, do the work, and you won’t regret the results.
1. ) Just Ask
If you are close enough to do the sex-having you are close enough to ask her what turns her on. Although this seems to be uncommon it’s not revolutionary. Treat this conversation like a date night. Make sure the household chores are caught up. Cook dinner together. Curl up on the couch with your favorite drinks. Stroke her hair and touch her face, if that’s something she responds well to.
Put your phone down. For the evening. Focus on each other.
But before you say anything, before you get her hopes up, DO NOT ask if you don’t intend to deliver. Some men treat this conversation as foreplay for the “real” stuff. It’s not. It’s intel, James Bond. Do not disregard it as fantasy talk when it is the blueprint, the insight and instruction that can help you be deft, focused, skillful — no tuxedo required.
Don’t be one of those whiny men who lament that women don’t come with an instruction manual if you’re going to ignore all of her instructions. Each of us is our own instruction manual. You just have to listen.
If you think listening is boring you are probably bad in bed.
I don’t know if the frustration is that we’re all so different and unpredictable and you want to be able to repeat the same routine you’ve had since you were 16 or if not enough of us are saying what you’re hoping we’ll say.
PSA: Few women masturbate while fantasizing about deep-throating you to warm you up for perpendicular doggy-style immediately followed by rough anal sex completed by ATM where you then come all over her face while she smiles and swallows whatever landed in her mouth.
If you want her to think you’re a great lover you also need to do what she likes. Not just what you think makes a man a great performer in the absurdly asymmetrical porn that dominates the free streaming sites.
So ask her what she likes. And here’s the super-secret secret I’ll keep repeating to see if it sticks: Then go do those things. Incorporate them into your sex life. Take the initiative. Don’t treat them like once-a-year birthday requests either. And chances are, nothing she’s into is as much work as a blow job or as potentially painful as anal sex. So do it with passion. Reassure her if she seems uncertain. Even if you’re not in a monogamous heternormative relationship, most folks like reassurance and compassion— especially if they’re feeling vulnerable during intimacy.
Many women thrive on communication. It’s how many connect intimately and deeply. And the more connected they feel the safer they feel to be open. The more open they are the more passionate they feel safe to be. This is how we let go.
If your woman does not thrive on communication find out what her love languages are. Share with her what your(s) is/are. Build intimacy in the ways that work best for you as a couple.
“How was your day?” isn’t in itself a prelude to furniture-breaking sex. But the intimacy that develops and deepens between people who actually give a shit about the answer can be over time.
Unless you are conscientiously in an NSA arrangement your partner likely wants to feel connected to you. She wants you to confide in her about your dreams, fears, goals, frustrations and desires. And she wants you to want to know about all of hers. What is sexier than feeling fully desired for all of who you are?
We all want to feel seen, we all want to be valued for our truest selves.
3.) Division of Labor
If you want your lady to be open to sex and in the mood for great sex, figure out if she even has the headspace for sex and sexiness. Is she mentally and physically available? Step outside of the bedroom and assess your lives, your routines and your obligations. Do this strategically. Do it with a spreadsheet if you need to. Calculate the actual available hours you have for sex that you’re not sleeping or working. At least 16 hours? Backwards-calculate from those remaining eight.
Start with the basics. When are you both home at the same time and not asleep? Of those hours, how many are spent cooking, eating, doing laundry, Netflixing, working out, raising kids, etc.?
Is she exhausted? Are you doing your share of the household labor, child-rearing, managing of any joint to-do lists?
If someone is doing the bulk of the household management, (keeping track of when bills are due, household repairs, kids’ appointments/activities, planning for holidays/vacations) AND doing the bulk of the housework resentment will build quickly. The last thing a woman wants to do is feel obliged to reward a selfish man with sex when he’s done nothing to earn it. Be careful to prevent this level of transactional thinking if you can. Once couples are thinking of sex in terms of debt and obligation you’ll need more help than one article.
Do not offer to “help” her. The household and the kids are both of your responsibility unless you have explicitly decided another dynamic for your relationship. But in most relationships, both partners are working. If both partners are working outside of the home, both partners need to be working inside the home — you are not “helping” her with “her” chores. This is a critical mindset. You are entitled to no points for doing your 50%. But it is a necessary foundation for her to be mentally and emotionally capable of desiring sex with you.
Chores and errands don’t sound sexy? I don’t care. She will struggle to find you sexy if you don’t pull your weight in your shared life.
Just remember, few things are less sexy than resentment. Sex begins to feel like a reward that might only be doled out when you “help” with shared responsibilities you should’ve proactively been on top of to begin with.
Do not expect a grown woman to remind you, a grown man, to do the dishes, laundry, make an appointment for the kids’ booster shots, make your appointment for the prostate exam, or figure out what food to bring to your family’s place that might feed 11 people, all while she’s doing the bulk of the cooking, cleaning, laundry and paying half the bills.
Do not ever say, “You should’ve just asked.” That implies that she’s the one who for some reason has to anticipate all the questions and know all the answers. Hard pass. Why don’t you survey the landscape, assess what needs doing and get it done? Or better yet, do it together.
She’s not your project manager. Don’t wait for assignments like she’s your teacher. Look around your shared home with the same eagle eye you do at work. Take initiative. Be a go-getter. Do what needs doing.
Notice how this is the longest section? If you’ve made it this far you have demonstrated that you are curious enough to learn. This is a beautiful commitment to being a good lover and a great partner. I’m impressed. Not all people, men or women, want to do that. They want to receive a great partner without doing the hard work of asking themselves how they can be a great partner too.
If you’ve read this far I’d like to pause to praise your curiosity and your investment in learning. Your willingness to learn and grow in the “boring” and daily ways means you’re also ready to respect her sexuality and explore physical intimacy.
It can be very difficult for women to access and enjoy their own sexuality in the absence of 1–3 above. They are that important. They are foundational. And they can be gatekeepers to enjoyable symmetrical sex. Thank you for reading about these pillars.
Ask her if she would be comfortable masturbating in front of you. Tell her how sexy you think it would be if she let you watch. If she’s not into it, reassure her that you think it’s sexy but drop it. If she is open to it ask her how she’d like it to play out. Would you be a voyeur? Does she want you to give instructions? Would you sit in a chair across the room and watch? Would she be more comfortable doing it over video chat? Maybe a digital veil would make it less intimidating at first. Maybe she wants you in bed with her, doing things to her while she does what she wants to do to herself. You can be her assistant or you can mutually masturbate. You can sit behind her with her between your legs while you kiss her neck or massage her breasts. Ask her if you can do this in front of a mirror.
Once you’ve figured out how she feels most comfortable including you, pay attention to how she touches herself.
She knows what she likes. This isn’t to say there is no undiscovered country, but you can discover her favorites so far.
Ask her if she wants you to touch her the way she touches herself.
Tell her how unbelievably sexy she is.
If she watches porn ask her what she likes to watch. Ask her if she’d be willing to show you her favorite styles. Encourage her to explain why she likes what she does. Ask her which fantasies she thinks she might enjoy in real life and which ones she enjoys just as escapism.
If she is open to watching it with you, ask her to pick out some videos that she likes. Tell her you’d love to watch them with her. If she’s too shy for that tell her you’re happy to watch them on your own to learn a little bit more about her. But that if and when she’s ready you’d love to share that experience together.
Ask her if she wants to be close while you watch. If she does you can sit behind her and rub her shoulders, kiss her neck or just wrap your arms around her. Ask her if she wants you to touch her while you’re close. Ask her if she’d like to touch herself, if she wants you to help.
Find out what her simplest desires and wildest fantasies are. And then do as many of them as you want. Remember, you don’t have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. Maintain a healthy balance between doing things your partner loves but maybe aren’t your favorite versus compromising your comfort level or safety.
For more on this read Dan Savage’s GGG philosophy — good, giving, and game. This promotes generosity toward your partner and respect for your own boundaries.
You are not obliged to indulge every fetish. But do your best to listen without judgment.
Your reading this far demonstrates that you already have the desire to be a great lover. Some might think puberty or a throbbing hard-on is what separates the men from the boys. But it’s not. Children have no patience, precious little impulse control. Men have discipline and dedication, a powerful desire to excel.
Congratulations! She’s lucky to have an open-minded passionate generous man like you.
There are limits to being GGG
I was chatting with a guy, and he mentioned that one time this girl accidentally vomited all over him during oral sex…