What makes a good lover?

Catherine Novac
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Didn’t you always wish that someone out there would let you in on all the secrets to making you a better lover? Didn’t you always wish to be let in on the “how to” to make you a woman scream out in ecstasy, and what will make a man go wild with passion, falling at your feet, leaving them begging for more, and more and more…. and thus making you the ultimate lover?

What makes a good lover?

Are your dying for the inside scoop on what makes your partner tick? The answers to these questions are plain and simple, and not as erotic as you may wish to think. Although technique does count for something, much of what makes a good lover and sex partner lies in an attitude of unselfishness as well as selfishness (to be explained later) and a few helpful hints.

I realize that many were hoping for a set of detailed directions and road map to becoming a sexual dynamo. If such were possible we’d be the first to let you in on it. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), the differences among individuals and their sexual turn-ons and offs are so incredibly diversified that a step 1, step 2, step3… kind of method does not exist. What may get you all hot and bothered may be a total bore to another. That is what makes sex both exciting and complicated at the same time. It’s best to take on a positive attitude and see it more as an adventure, a quest to reaching the end of the rainbow where you will find a pot of gold.

So here it goes! The following are hints and information on ways to be a better lover for yourself and your partner.


“Being able to talk, listen, understand and negotiate are absolutely essential ingredients to being a good lover. A bad lover doesn’t ask, listen, or remember.”

Haven’t we heard that one a million times! It has been said again and again. I hate to say it, but it is nonetheless a very critical part of good sexual relations. Verbal as well as nonverbal communication is the only way we are able to explain and express the dos and don’ts of sex to our partner. This is not masturbation we are talking about. When you are pleasuring yourself, you are constantly changing and adjusting the speed, intensity, pressure, … according to what feels good as you go along, bringing yourself to climax in the most pleasurable and efficient way possible. Sex that involves another person demands much more in the way of coordination and know-how. When on the receiving end you need to let your partner know whether it should be faster, slower, harder, softer, a little to the left, a little to the right, and so on. When you are the one doing the giving look to your partner, and pay attention to the nonverbal information being provided. This includes the way your partner is moaning and groaning. Observe the intensity and speed with which they move their hips as they sway back and forth. Ask your partner to guide you, with their hand over yours, to show you the way he or she likes being touched. These clues will let you know if you are on the right track.

Many individuals find it very difficult to express their likes and dislikes when it comes to sex. They fear that: • Their partner will feel threatened • Their partner will interpret it as a put down • Their partner will feel self-conscious about the topic • Sex should be natural and spontaneous • With a lover of many years it is difficult to bring up old and new issues

But, for better sex we must get over our hang-ups. Take the plunge. Take the risk. Consider what you may be missing out on. Listen to your partner’s request and concern and try to accommodate them whenever possible.


“All work and no play can be very boring!”

Pleasure and not only performance should be your focus. So much is lost when all you concentrate on is your technique. It is sex with no heart. This goes for your partner and yourself. Arousal for the most part takes place in the brain and not the groin. This is the adult version of a playground. Sex is one of the few areas left to us grownups where we can play pretend and put our imagination to good use.

Whether sex lasts for minutes or hours, good sex can take on many forms, from very gentle caressing to more passionate and aggressive sexual intercourse. It doesn’t have to involve any specific sexual act, be it oral sex, intercourse or even orgasm. Emphasis should be placed on what is arousing and exciting along with positive sexual emotions: liking who you are with, being comfortable with that person, being turned on by them and knowing they are turned on by you.

To have better sex you must find ways to increase arousal, (focus on sensation) and lower anxiety (do only what you are comfortable with, and don’t have intercourse till you feel ready).


This involves letting go of unrealistic expectation. You must remove yourself from the myths and taboos surrounding male and female sexuality.

Myths: • Men don’t feel the need to communicate. • Men don’t want affection, all they want is sex. • Men are responsible for pleasuring their women otherwise they are inadequate lovers. • The only good sex is spontaneous sex. • The ultimate sexual experience is when both partners orgasm in unison.

The reality is that it is not normal to have a penis that is 8 inches long and 3 inches thick. The truth is, lasting all night long can be painful. Yes, women do like sex and some men feel a “headache” coming on every once in a while. Men also do need to be manually stimulated to be aroused.

Be up to date on true and factual information with respect to your own sexuality as well as that of your partner’s. Should you feel that either you or your partner have a problem, a question or a concern regarding sex and sexuality feel free to be proactive in finding an answer or a solution; seek the help of a therapist, find a book on the topic, search through the Internet… The information is out there, it’s just up to you to get it.

Be selfish without being unselfish:

“Sex is a balancing act”

Isn’t this a contradiction! So it appears to be, but in fact it is not. By being selfish we mean be assertive about your wants and desires. By being unselfish we mean that while you are open, honest and forthcoming with your desires, be sensitive to those of your partner. It isn’t a man’s job or responsibility to give a woman an orgasm, but it is in both your best interest to try and fulfill each other sexually to the best of your ability. Involve yourself in your own pleasure. Fully engage yourself in your own sensations and experience. Be present. Live in the moment and enjoy, without guilt.

Taking this into consideration, a good lover is aware and involved in his partner’s needs and pleasures. Be flexible and combine both this want to be selfish and need to be generous in your lovemaking. What is involved in being a good lover is taking joy in what you are doing and “getting off” on showing your partner a good time. For example, oral sex should not be a duty to be fulfilled, but pleasurable for both parties concerned.

Take turns at the wheel. Be self-absorbed at times and sensitive to your partner’s needs at others. Sometimes sex can be just about you, sometimes it can be just about your lover, but most times it should be about the both of you.

Last but not least,


“Sex does not flourish in an environment were anxiety, anger or coldness reign.”

How you and your partner get along outside the bedroom will affect how much and how good the sex will be in the bedroom. Problems and difficulties affecting the relationship are important to both men and women. Having a good, sexually satisfying and sexually plentiful relationship means dealing with conflict promptly and resolving issues as efficiently and rapidly as possible.

Factors that contribute to good sex are: • A high level of arousal. • Feeling connected and intimate with the person you are about to have sex with. • Feeling secure. • Shared interest in each other and in having sex together. • Low performance anxiety. • Being well rested. Questions, concerns, column suggestions? Leave a comment here or email sex therapist Catherine Novac at catherinenovac@videotron.ca.

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Recent comments

  • Robert Bell
    September 20, 2011 - 12:02

    Thank you for a great article. Having a 4 inch penis I can say that I am very glad to hear that size is not the primary component of being a good lover. I have never had any complaints per se and I believe you hit the nail on the head with this one!

    February 10, 2010 - 11:46

    What makes a good lover? Simply, LOVE. Phyllis Carter