As a sex therapist, a lot of people ask for tips on how to be better in bed and meet their partner’s needs sexually. With women, sometimes there’s a concern that pleasing their lover is just another item on an already long list of obligations. But for many people, ensuring their partner enjoys sex as much as they do is a core value of their sexuality. So, let’s talk about what it means to be a selfless lover and how you can improve your sexual skills.
Step One: Talk About It
Part of the reason people end up disappointed in bed is that so many are afraid to talk about what they like with new sexual partners. The problem is it only gets harder the further you get into a relationship to come clean about what you want, now that you’ve been having sex for a while. The best practice is to talk about sex in detail before you have it.
If you’re worried about the conversation harming your chemistry, don’t be. In the long run, excellent communication skills will last while chemistry could be intermittent. A long-term relationship will benefit from direct honesty about sexual needs, as they will often change and grow over the years. Since this is a conversation you will need to have often, getting good at it at the start of a relationship can help set you both up for success.
When they don’t have information directly from the source, many people end up mimicking what they’ve seen in movies or porn. This is a recipe for disaster because porn isn’t a reflection of reality by any stretch of the imagination. The better idea is to mention what you like casually and have a conversation first. Then, after you’ve had sex, you can talk about it again, so you know what to do differently next time.
Step Two: Don’t Ignore Signs of Incompatibility
Sexuality is as diverse as humans are, and no two people are turned on by the same things. In all likelihood, you and your partner will have to find common ground in your sexual interests. Despite all these differences, many couples have satisfying, mutually beneficial sex lives.
Sometimes, sexual compatibility just isn’t in the cards. Even if you are attracted to someone, if your ideas of good sex are too different, you may not be a match. If one partner is only turned on during a BDSM scene, and the other only wants vanilla, only an extraordinary compromise could make the relationship work. If one person wants an exclusive relationship where the other wants to have an open relationship, this, too, can pose an insurmountable problem.
Step Three: Know Yourself
The easiest way for your partner to please you in bed is if you can articulate exactly what you like—and this works both ways. If you don’t know what you like, you might want to try sensate focus, which can help you map out areas of pleasure on each other’s bodies without pressure to perform sexually.
Knowing yourself extends beyond the bedroom, too. If you encounter sexual problems in the relationship, it’s essential for both partners to be introspective to find out what’s going wrong. Identifying whether you have underlying anger at your partner, too much stress during the day, or feelings of distrust can help you address the problem at hand and before you can return to your satisfying sex life. Unresolved issues mean that one of the partners will have a difficult time being intimate and vulnerable until the primary concern has been permanently settled, which takes a lot of effort for both partners. Underlying issues are best solved quickly, too, because years of compounding the resentment or distrust only makes it more difficult to restore the feeling of union with your partner.
If you want help being better in bed, reach out to a trusted therapist who can guide you toward a healthy sex life.
Bio: Dr. Nazanin Moali is a clinical psychologist and sex therapist in the Los Angeles area. She works with various individuals to understand and improve their sexuality. Dr. Moali conducts personal consultation sessions in her Torrance and Hermosa Beach offices, or via a secure, online video-counseling platform. Click here to download the 101 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Hot checklist. Download her new ebook, How to Increase Your Libido – For Women, here.