The Most Important Skill for Being a Good Lover

The Most Important Skill for Being a Good Lover

Ahh, sex. It is the backbone of our society. Practically everyone is doing it behind our back and odds are, so are you. Sex has got to be the only “secret” that is constantly in our face. Thinking about how encompassing, important, painful, fun, confusing, etc., it can be, it’s no surprise there exist hundreds of articles with basically this exact title. Most of us are looking for ways to improve our sex lives and because for some reason asking our parents is out of the questions, we turn to the internet. To be fair, even if you did ask your parents you probably wouldn’t get very good advice, they most likely never asked their parents about sex either. What I have found though, is that despite the excess of articles telling us how to have sex better, 99% of them are overlooking the MOST important skill. This isn’t because they are not sharing useful information because they are (most of them at least), and this is not designed to be a “my article is holier than yours” situation. Simply put, I want to add to the literature what I think is the most important skill for a rewarding sex life. Some may agree, others will not. This does not bother me because similar to the act of sex, everyone values something a little different. If you read this far you are probably thinking, just tell me the secret position that will guarantee my partner has an easily accessible, mind blowing orgasm! Sorry to disappoint but the last thing I am going to say about orgasming in this article is this, I think that focusing on the orgasm is ruining Americas sex life. So now, like a teenage boy sitting through the first half of Titanic just to see some boob, you finally get what you want. The most important skill for being a good lover is being able to receive “no” from our partner.

It sounds so simple. Maybe that is why developing this skill is often overlooked. The problem is, the complexity goes beyond asking your partner for sex and they are not in the mood. It is even more complex than being asked to stop mid coitus. The fact is when being sexual, we are engaged in a vulnerable expression of our wants laced with all the unfair and shaming messages of society and culture, so hearing the word no can cut right to our core. There seems in most, to be an unwarranted connection between our partner not wanting to do something and our partner not wanting us. Many couples that enter my office talk about feeling dejected and inadequate because they are not getting the amount of sex they want or reversely, they are not giving the amount of sex their partner wants. This reaction is deeper than feeling disappointed. It’s human to feel disappointed when you want something you can’t have. I feel disappointed every time I go to a restaurant and they don’t serve diet Coke but I don’t hate myself for choosing such a terrible restaurant, I just order diet Pepsi. Feeling disappointed for not getting what you want sexually should look similar. For example, a couple is snuggling in bed when one person decides to initiate something more sexual. This time that behavior gets rejected. Since they were enjoying the snuggle the disappointed partner continues to snuggle or offers a loving departure. Feeling inadequate might look like someone in the same scenario becoming defensive or emotionally distant. They connected the rejection of the behavior to the rejection of the self. If you are wondering how to know if you are disappointed or inadequate, ask yourself, would I feel this way if I invited my partner to watch a movie and they said no? Asking someone to watch a movie with us is, in a lot of ways, the same as asking someone to have sex with us. In both examples, we are trying to find out if our partner is willing to engage in a specific behavior with us. So why then it is more challenging to not take it personal when its sex? There are a lot of complex answers to that question, which needs a whole ‘nother book. So for now, focus on getting better at receiving no. Remind yourself that the behavior was rejected, not you. As this skill improves so does freedom, authenticity, willingness to explore, an understanding of what your partner likes, safety in the bedroom, trust, and most importantly your own self-worth. So get out there! Go suggest some sexual act that you know your partner will hate and get practicing!

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