When we think of being a good lover, the first thing that comes to mind is what happens in the bedroom. But let’s broaden the meaning of the word “lover.” Yes, the physical relationship is important and not to be ignored, and I have found that many couples who are unsatisfied with their sexual intimacy have never actually talked about it openly with their partner. Let me encourage you to push through the awkwardness of that topic and share honestly your feelings about what works and what could be improved.
However, the reality is that being a good lover begins long before the bedroom. It starts with a good understanding of what it means to love. Love means safety – safe to be yourself when you’re good, bad, and ugly. It means creating safety for your mate and letting them be an unedited version of themselves. Allowing someone this freedom can entail being okay with upset feelings, unrealistic dreams, or criticism. (Before the defensiveness kicks in, remember that I said being OKAY with those things, not happy or thrilled about them.) Being okay means listening, asking questions and problem solving, when requested. Perhaps it’s easier to think about yourself first: How nice would it be for your partner to be okay when you’re upset or impractically dreaming or being critical?
Think about what makes you feel loved – a gift, a good conversation, a long kiss. Take the time to find out what makes your partner feel loved. You can directly ask or just pay attention. What makes him/her smile? Relax? Providing these things creates intimacy. Seeing that someone cares enough to spend the energy to find out what you need and then actually do it means you are known and loved. There may be nothing greater than feeling known and loved simultaneously.
So, are you creating safety? Are you knowing and loving your partner? If you are, you’re a good lover! And consequently, safety and intimacy have a direct relationship with sex. The greater the safety and intimacy, the better the sex.