It’s 3 AM and there you are, overthinking your whole relationship. You ask yourself, “Am I good in bed? Is my partner even attracted to me anymore? Is it normal to lose attraction to your partner?” Frantically, you type the words ‘how to be a better lover’ on Google.
Your overthinking makes sense though. You are right to place importance on sexual intimacy. According to a research, one of the major reasons for couples falling out of romantic love was ‘loss of intimacy’. And you just don’t want to end up being that couple.
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. We’re here to help you in your endeavor to up your sex game, backed by expert advice from sexologist Dr Rajan Bhonsle (MD, MBBS Medicine and Surgery). He specializes in pre-marital counselling and has an experience of 36 years as a certified sex therapist.
How To Be A Better Lover – 11 Pro Tips By A Sex Therapist
Dr Rajan Bhonsle says, “The advice on how to be a good lover differs from case to case and cannot be generalized. For example, my tips for a couple who’s having no sex in marriage would not necessarily apply to those who have disagreements over oral sex in a relationship.” So, depending on where you are at, make a note of the handy tips that are applicable to you:
1. Use the 3 Cs of communication
Clichéd as it may sound, to be a better lover in a relationship, patience really is a virtue you need to adopt. You cannot make a relationship work in the long term if you throw tantrums at the first sight of discomfort or taunt your partner if they could not immediately provide you with something you asked for. Dr Bhonsle talks about the 3 Cs of communication skills:
- “Complete your sentence. Be very specific about what you want in bed. Some of my clients talk about how they like long, wet French kisses whereas some like pecks more. Which one is you? And which one is your partner?
- Clearly express your critical physical/ emotional needs. Saying “Hmmmm” could mean different things. Your partner is not a mind reader who can telepathically figure out if you are upset or doubtful
- Caring communication is necessary. Avoid being critical. When you say something like, “You always cum fast”, you come across as an examiner, who is giving marks for performance in bed”
2. Find a midway for cuddling
Is cuddling after sex important in a marriage? “One of my clients didn’t like being cuddled after sex in his marriage because he was a light sleeper. He would have important meetings in the morning and needed a sound sleep of 5-6 hours. And the wife wanted to cuddle. This problem is faced by many men in their love life. So I came up with the arrangement of cuddling for 15 minutes after sex. I also told them to cuddle on Saturday nights. This way the husband could take afternoon naps on Sunday to cover up for his sleep.
Related Reading: Why Do Guys Distance Themselves After Intimacy?
“Similarly, some clients of mine had disagreements over the ‘timing’ of the sex. The husband was too tired to do it at night and got a good erection in the morning. But the wife didn’t like it during the day. But when you love someone, you keep an open mind and agree to negotiate on such things. You don’t hate their weird little habits, in fact those are the quirks that you love and are essentially what makes your partner special,” says Dr Bhonsle.
3. Establish the non-negotiables
How to be a good lover? Find out what your partner likes/hates in bed. Paying attention to the nitty gritty is very important. Dr Bhonsle explains, “I knew a lawyers couple who had been dating for 3 years. They were such a good-looking couple, they could have easily been models. Everyone was waiting for them to get married. When they finally did, they went for a honeymoon to Mahabaleshwar.
“On returning from the honeymoon, the girl filed a divorce. Her reason was that her husband fancied anal sex in marriage, which according to her was very ‘disgusting’. They dated for 3 years but had still failed to communicate their preferences in bed before getting married. Some activities like kissing can be negotiated in a relationship, with the help counseling.
“But in cases of anal/oral sex moves, you cannot force someone. It’s like forcing a vegetarian to eat non-veg. The guy made matters worse by showing her pictures from Khajuraho culture, emphasizing that anal sex is an integral part of our Indian history. But so is ‘sambhog’, which means equal pleasure. Both should enjoy equally, right?”
4. Use the “I” instead of “you” language
Dr Bhonsle talks in great detail about the “I” language in intimate relationships. He emphasizes that one should say, “I would like for you to cuddle after sex” instead of saying “You always run away after sex”. Similarly, instead of saying “How can you like oral sex? It’s so disgusting!”, you could say “I don’t have a liking for oral sex/I don’t prefer oral sex”.
He goes on to say, “Accusation is not just specific to married couples/romantic relationships. As a part of counseling, we even train parents to use the right language. It makes more sense to say “You did a naughty thing” instead of using a generic statement, blaming the kid for ‘never’ doing their homework.”
5. Orgasm is not the end goal
Dr Bhonsle says, “If you want to become a better lover, it is necessary to realize that orgasm is not mandatory in every act. I know so many cases, in which men/women can’t orgasm during sex but help themselves later on (and both the partners are perfectly okay with this). In other cases, one partner cums during sex and then stimulates the other, after sex.
“It’s always okay to cum turn by turn. It is almost impossible to cum at the same time, unless it’s a lucky coincidence. Also, some people do not have the ability to cum during sex. The cases of ‘retarded ejaculation’ are pretty common. One of my clients is unable to cum during sex. So his wife gives him a handjob after the sex.”
6. Don’t underestimate the power of holding hands
Holding hands could be one of the ways to increase physical intimacy in a relationship. Dr Bhonsle confesses, “I am 63 year old man who was taking stroll with my 58-year old wife. We were holding each other’s hands and the watchman scolded us for it! Every culture has a different opinion on PDA.
“I personally believe that there is nothing wrong with PDA, if both the partners are comfortable with it. My married son hugs his wife in front of me and I’m totally okay with it. Times are changing. We should too.”
7. Slow down and enjoy your partner
This holds during foreplay as well as during sexual intimacy. In a frenzy and craving to be physically intimate with the partner, people often tend to miss out on simple things like enjoying the process. Men, if you are wondering “how to be a better lover to my wife”, this is a good place to begin making small changes that can add up to big results in your love life.
Take sufficient time to explore each other’s bodies and indulge in elaborate foreplay as often as possible. If you already do that, try slowing down and savoring every moment. Look into your partner’s eyes and really enjoy making love. The secret is to anchor yourself in the present moment and make your partner feel safe.
Related Reading: The Five Stages Of Intimacy – Find Out Where You Are!
8. Try new and different positions in bed
Everyone has the right to explore, express and experiment with what arouses, excites and satisfies them. This is essential for building a fulfilling relationship. It is not just about the positions you enjoy but also about the ones you want to experiment with. Don’t limit yourself, based on past experiences and be open to new things. Trust me, self confidence is the key.
Exploring new positions also matters more when your partner is dealing with certain issues such as arthritis, or if your boyfriend/husband is dealing with erectile dysfunction. Don’t worry, erectile dysfunction is estimated to be experienced by 19.3% of the population, according to research. Certain positions may help them perform better. You can be better in bed by simply being more experimental in bed.
9. Explore yours and your partner’s erogenous zones
The human body is blessed with an intriguing mix of erogenous zones. In fact, different people have different erogenous zone that really turn them on. Locking these is a surefire way of taking your sexual chemistry to the next level. For example, in the case of Colin and Mia, Mia had a particular liking for neck kissing, and it turned Colin on when Mia kissed his entire back.
Likewise, you and your partner too would have your own set of sensuous trigger points. If you want to learn how to be a better lover in the bedroom, begin by exploring each other’s erogenous zones in different ways. With this seemingly simple exploration of each other’s bodies, you can heighten the intensity of sexual interactions exponentially.
10. Surprise them with new elements
Intimacy in the bedroom is more than just foreplay and sex, and you cannot finish learning how to be a better lover unless you work on the different crucial elements that set the tone for desire and passion in the bedroom. Women, if you are wondering “how can I be a better lover to my husband”, then these tips from relationship and intimacy coach Shivanya Yogmayaa might help you:
- Dress up, smell sexy and date each other as strangers again
- Take a bubble bath or shower together
- Blindfold and let him dress you in a new lingerie
- Tease him with a strip dance to his favorite song
Related Reading: My Husband Is Impotent And I Am Having An Affair With Someone Else
11. Savor each part of intimacy in the bedroom
Before you start the act, truly connect with each other. Giving each other body massages can be relaxing and help couples reconnect more intimately than just engaging in sex. Play on some lounge music and light candles as you pamper each other.
Now that you have enjoyed the shower, the body massage, the strip dance, the teasing, the foreplay and the mind-blowing sex, it is time to savor the next part as well. Once you are done with the act, do not immediately think about dressing up or going to sleep. Spend some time cuddling instead.
The moments after sex are the most honest and vulnerable ones. Spend those moments lying in the arms of your partner, mindlessly caressing their hair or body, and talk to them. If you are not big on talking, then spend those moments in silence, but make sure you savor that time together.
How To Be A Better Lover Outside The Bedroom
Apart from changing things up in the bedroom, you can also explore new ways to build different forms of intimacy in the relationship. The best way to build an emotional connection is by traveling together.
“Travel often to enjoy recreation beyond your sexual relationship. Create memories together, video clipping romance and food. Traveling can bring out different sides of both partners’ personalities and an element of playfulness that can add value to your relationship and romance,” says Shivanya.
Shower her with words of appreciation for all the things she has done and the sacrifices she has made. You can also spoil her with gifts and love letters as well! Another way to improve your bond, according to Shivanya, is to hang out with other couples, because when you have another couple in front of you, you value your own relationship more.
She says, “Socializing with new couples can be a new way of bonding and learning from other couple’s way of life. Sometimes just dining with each other can get boring, resulting in repetitive conversation. So plan double dates and chill out with new couple friends.”
- Express your needs in a frank and specific manner, instead of accusing your partner
- Establish the negotiables (like cuddling) and non-negotiables (like oral sex)
- Use the “I” instead of “you” language to establish a better physical connection
- It’s totally okay to orgasm one after the other in a sexual relationship
- Hold hands to deepen intimacy
- Keep surprising your partner with new elements to bond with them at an emotional level
Our final thoughts could use a light note, with some age-old nuggets of advice from How to be a good lover, a book edited by Bodleian library, “Don’t attempt kissing in a canoe unless you are both able to swim and don’t kiss your lover with your hat still on your head.”
This article has been updated in October, 2022