When you think about being a great lover, what comes to mind?
Many people assume that good sex is all about perfecting your physical techniques. But if this were true, we would probably all be robots. For what it truly means to thrive in the bedroom and some tips to impress your partner, I spoke to award-winning film director, Angie Rowntree, who founded Sssh.com—a premier source of ethical, erotic cinema for women and couples.
And while we agree that a little practice can go a long way, it turns out that thriving in the bedroom entails more kinds of “doing” than merely “doing it.”
“I cannot stress the need to communicate enough,” Rowntree states. “Great sex always begins with honest, open, and mutual communication.” One-sided telephone games are not games to play in the bedroom, and this is especially true when you consider that consent is an active and on-going process.
However, when it comes to pleasure, asking for what you want in bed (whether you’re in the “heat of the moment” or are just sitting down for coffee together) goes much further than assuming your partner can read your mind.
If you aren’t sure about how to bring up your desires, Rowntree suggests that it can’t hurt to start with some positive and loving affirmations: “Tell them what aroused you the most about the last time you were together. Tell them what you’d love for them to do again, or steer the conversation towards ‘would you ever want to try xyz?’”
Moreover, never ever put your partner down if something was not particularly satisfying. Always frame your suggestions in a positive way: “It would be so hot if you would do ___ next time” or “Hey, I would love it if you did ___ because…”
Lastly, “some couples find that some erotic ‘show and tell’ can really spice things up and open the lines of communication,” says Rowntree. “Have your partner watch you touch yourself (or vice versa) and turn your communication into steamy foreplay.”
Remember the adage “analysis is paralysis”? This absolutely applies to sex.
If you overthink your every move and word, you will physically tense up and sabotage your passion. Sex shouldn’t be something you approach with the same brevity or somber tone as your taxes or a dental appointment. The bedroom deserves and demands your joie de vivre—and always a sense of humor.
“Our bodies sometimes make funny noises during sex. People get hip or leg cramps. It’s all part of being human,” says Rowntree. “Instead of being self-conscious or worrying that you’re ‘unsexy,’ go ahead and give into the giggles if you must or suggest a stretch and re-hydrate break.”
She also adds, “Never get caught up comparing yourselves to other couples, much less to what you see happening in professionally shot and edited adult films. Whether you are watching a Sssh.com film or a hot Bridgerton or Outlander love scene, the audience seldom sees the very human behind-the-scenes goofs and giggles that invariably occur.
“Lastly, laughter is also a powerful way to relieve tension together and bond, which means that couples who don’t take themselves (or their sex lives) too seriously tend to have more fun and more orgasms.”
Believe it or not, the pleasurable road to an orgasm is not a linear trail.
“And if you aren’t relaxed or don’t feel secure enough with your partner, the chances of having one greatly diminishes,” says Rowntree. As we mentioned previously, communication is vital—but so too is an open mind and feeling safe enough to open up and be your authentic self around your partner.
Rowntree explains, “Cultivating a sense of openness helps to ensure more honest communication and deepens overall intimacy.” For instance, if you have a fetish or a kink (or they do), or there’s a fantasy that you want to explore, it means the world to know that your partner will not judge or shame you, that it’s always safe to share with them.
Additionally, openness means not rejecting other forms of intimacy beyond sex.
“So much of what comprises great sex starts before you even get near the bedroom,” said Rowntree. “Also, foreplay can take on so many forms, but your largest and most engaged erogenous zone is always your brain. Therefore, when you engage in non-sexual varieties of intimacy, your brain still makes note of how your partner ‘lights your fire’…and nothing stokes the flames of passion quite like sweet anticipation”, Rowntree explained.
“If you have been together a long time, you need to look at your sex life in a broader context and realize that how you thrive together in the bedroom is always related to how you treat each other and relate to each other elsewhere. Great lovers are made because they make the effort every day.
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Eve Parsons is a New York-based writer for Sssh.com, a premier source of ethical, erotic cinema for women and couples since 1999. She talks about sex, relationships, mindfulness, and pleasure, and her work has appeared in AskMen and Penthouse Magazine.
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