Beyond the practicality of partner, the casual playfulness of boyfriend or girlfriend, or the weightiness of spouse, there is something especially evocative about the word lover. It’s both more sensual and more soulful, implying a blend of grand sexual liaisons and intimate romance.
All to say, being a good lover is about more than just learning a few more bedroom techniques. That stuff can help, but the truth is that being a better lover starts before you ever make it to bed. At core, it’s about understanding your partner in a way that goes deep. And from that place of deep knowing comes moments of real, raw connection — and, subsequently, truly electric sex.
A lover, by definition, is one who loves. Just like you might call yourself a lover of books, or a lover of the game of basketball, here are a few ways to become a true lover of your partner.
1. Get On The Same Emotional Wavelength As Your Partner
Great sex often stems from feeling truly in sync with your partner, like they’re truly understanding your needs and desires in the moment in a way that feels effortless.
Whether this is someone you’ve known for years or someone you’ll only know for the night, spend some time getting to know who this person is, what energy they’re bringing into this sexual experience, and what they’re hoping to create from it. Are they exhausted from a long day and looking to feel pampered as they lay back and relax? Is it date night, and they crave the feeling of being pursued and desired? Or are they looking to sex as a way to feel romantic, in love, and connected to you?
Try to get on the same page as where your partner is at, and match their energy. Be attentive to their body language, listen closely to what they share with you, and ask thoughtful questions to help peel back the layers.
2. Nurture Intimacy
Intimacy is a feeling of closeness shared between two people, and it goes way beyond just the physical. One of the most simplest ways of creating feelings of intimacy is via vulnerable self-disclosure — that is, sharing things about yourselves that few other know about. For what it’s worth, this method is actually backed by research, too — psychologists have famously helped people develop feelings of closeness (and even love) with strangers simply by having them engage in deeper and deeper conversations with each other in lab settings.
When you give them opportunities to open up to you, and you in turn open up to them and let them get to know you more fully, you create a feeling of closeness that feels unique to your relationship. That’s intimacy.
3. Be Generous With Care And Affection
As a lover of books might gladly pour endless hours into their reading and treat their tomes with the greatest of care, so too does a great lover pour their time, energy, and care into their partner.
Affection is the stuff of great love. There are so many ways to be more affectionate with your partner, from laying on the sweet talk thick to supporting their hobbies and dreams. As well, be generously available to them when they need you, and perhaps even when they don’t, so they know your feelings about them plainly and can feel safe, confident, and at ease in your relationship.
These feelings are the foundation of any sexual experience you have together, and they can make or break how “into it” your partner is able to feel.
4. Tune Into The Little Things
Show them that you’re paying attention. Take note of the way they like their eggs in the morning or the way they like to organize the sock drawer. Ask them how the big meeting went today that they absent-mindedly told you about days ago. Notice when they do their makeup a little differently, or when their water bottle is empty (and refill it for them). These are the things that make a person feel seen and known.
5. Understand Your Partner’s Sexual Turn-Ons And Stumbling Blocks
Remember that every person is different in terms of their sexual needs, desires, and stumbling blocks. And, what people want (or don’t want) in bed can also change over time, especially when you’ve been together a long while. If you’ve never had an open conversation with your partner about what they like and don’t like in bed, or it’s been a long while, consider asking some of the following questions on your next date night:
- What triggers your sexual desire?
- What was your favorite recent sexual experience, and what made it so incredible?
- What takes you out of the moment during sex?
- What do you want less of in bed?
- What do you want more of in bed?
6. Communicate With Grace
A good lover is able to communicate about their own needs in a way that’s kind, compassionate, and respectful. Whether you’re asking for something you want in bed that hasn’t been happening thus far or there’s something you’re upset about in the relationship more broadly, do so in a way that’s still grounded in love for your partner. Your partner should be able to feel your care both in the good moments and in the tougher ones.
7. Take Pleasure In One Another
Come back to our metaphor about what it means to be a lover of books: At core, it means that you genuinely enjoy and derive a ton of pleasure out of reading.
Likewise, being a good lover to a partner involves honestly taking pleasure in their company and the time you spend together. People can tell when they’re having sex with someone who doesn’t care about them or who is disconnected from the experience. In many ways, this is the make-or-break factor in what makes a great lover: It’s having sex with someone who genuinely likes you, likes being around you, and clearly shows it with their actions, both in the bedroom and otherwise.
So, really savor the moments with your partner. Be fully present and engaged when you’re with them, take your time without rushing to get to specific acts or goals, and tell them what you love about them and the things they do. Lean fully into play, laughter, and pleasure. Be indulgent.
What To Remember
Being a good lover is all about truly being in sync with your partner, knowing them well, and delivering on their specific needs and desires. That means, too, that becoming a better lover will depend on the person you’re with. So get curious and really tune in.