Be a Better Lover

It’s not about lasting longer. It’s not about a set of techniques.

I love the idea of getting someone so turned on they can’t hold back from orgasm for more than a moment. So when a man (it’s always a man) tells me he’s deliberately holding back an orgasm to “be a better lover” or “because I don’t want to be selfish,” I want to tear my hair out. “Better lover” looks like code for proving some kind of masculinity or winning an internal endurance contest, not about a partner’s pleasure. Most women don’t orgasm due to penetration alone at all–prolonging it isn’t going to eventually overcome the secret barrier to unlocking her orgasm-from-penetration, it’s just going to chafe eventually. I am one of the ones who can get off that way, but that doesn’t mean I want endless PiV intercourse (see chafing above).

Another common “better lover” technique that has to have high failure rates is taking something that worked with another partner or partners, or something seen in porn, read about in Cosmo, whatever, and ignoring its effectiveness on the actual person you’re in bed with. If a partner stops you, says or signals that something doesn’t feel good, or just doesn’t respond positively to something, odds are it’s not super amazing for that partner. And for god’s sake if your partner says “that’s not working/I don’t like that,” stop doing it. Don’t just obliviously continue. Don’t try again after a few minutes. Just stop. The last time I was with one partner he kept trying to do this uncomfortable two-finger thing to my clit while we were fucking, even after a “that’s making me cringe. Not good.” I’m not real keen on sleeping with him a next time, no matter how exciting his other partners find it. And don’t act like your partner is malfunctioning if they don’t like Magical Finger Technique #3 that was so great with your girlfriend six years ago. You wouldn’t sulk or suggest something’s wrong with a partner who doesn’t eat shrimp just because six-years-ago-girlfriend loved them, would you? Why is sex different?

If you want to be a better lover, stop listening to magazines and ads that tell you what women like or what men want. They’re useless. Listen to your partner. No woman is the amalgam Woman of a Cosmopolitan magazine poll. Ask what they want, listen to the answer, and (unless it crosses some boundary of yours) do that thing. Listen to feedback. Improve. If one of my partners did all the things that I find fucking amazing in bed to someone else, the most common response would be along the lines of “Jesus fuck what is wrong with you? Slow down! Not so hard!” If someone tried slow, sensuous, light touches with me and didn’t escalate relatively quickly…I’d probably suggest we watch a movie instead. There’s no manual. There are no cheat codes. There’s just talking and trying and finding what works.

15 thoughts on “Be a Better Lover”

  1. “Listen to your partner. No woman is the amalgam Woman of a Cosmopolitan magazine poll. Ask what they want, listen to the answer, and (unless it crosses some boundary of yours) do that thing. ” ALL THE YES!

    Mollyxxx

  2. Thank you to Molly who tweeted this article. Thank you, Nic, for writing it. Because *damn*. Preach it, sister. My partner texts me from the line at the grocery store about new tips he learns from Cosmo. At least he’s a reader. Also, I completely nerded out and went all squee when I saw your blog title. Brilliant use of 3s.

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