Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it – Cole Porter was singing about falling in love, but his lyrics can also apply to make love.
Making love is one of the most primal, basic acts for all species.
As such, you would think it would be easy, intuitive, a no-brainer, right? And it is, or it can be. But all of us sometimes wonder if we are good at it. We worry about our partner’s pleasure and if we are turning them on. We worry about our own performance. We want to be good and generous lovers.
Let’s talk to some people who have volunteered to share their experience in this, the most private and pleasurable of domains, with us.
Frank, 43, feels confident about his lovemaking skills, but it wasn’t always that way
You know, when you are just starting out, I think all of us guys are kind of clueless about what to do with our girlfriends. I recall my first sexual experiences with my then-girlfriend. We were seniors in high school and had been “going steady” as they called it then for about six months.
I had been wanting to have sex with her from the first date, so when she finally said ok, I was like a horse let out of the gate.
I think the actual act lasted like 30 seconds. I was amazed at the sensation. But of course, she was not impressed. But the next time we did it, it was a little better, and as we did it more and more I started getting it right.
Still, we were young and didn’t really know much about how things worked. It wasn’t until I was older, like 35 or so, that I really started focusing more on my partner’s experience and less on mine.
Now I’m married, and my wife will tell you that I’m good, giving lover. We really know each other’s bodies well and how to turn each other on. Not that it’s anything routine, no way!
We are playful in bed, and are always looking for new stuff to try to spice up our lovemaking.
Mary, 39, took a long time to learn about lovemaking and doing things right
I grew up in a family that never talked about sex. I also went to Catholic school and no sex education was given. So really, the only way I knew how babies were made was seeing our dogs mate one day.
That did not give me a very good impression of making love!
I think I was really repressed and probably pretty inept with my first boyfriends. I was a virgin when I got married at 21, as was my husband. We had an embarrassing wedding night. He couldn’t get an erection right away, and when he finally did, penetration hurt me so much that I could not continue.
We decided we needed some outside help and so we bought a couple of sex manuals and read up.
This helped us a lot.
The fact that we also trusted each other completely allowed us to really experiment sexually so eventually our lovemaking was satisfying to both of us. Now we are considered the “wildest couple” in our church group!
We use sex toys, like to look at erotic videos, and we even indulge in a little bondage from time to time. I’d say I’m light-years away from that timid, sex-fearing girl I was when I first tried to make love.
Walter, 50, has devoted his life to being a great lover
Making love is, to me, an art form.
I’ve always been very interested in the whole thing, from the first kiss to seducing my partner, to afterglow, the entire story. And it is important for me to be seen as a good lover.
What does that mean? It means that I really see, appreciate and listen to my partner. In bed and outside of bed. But especially in bed. I’m not shy about asking her what she likes if she has any taboos that we shouldn’t do, any fantasies she’d like to explore safely with me.
Women seem to appreciate my lovemaking style because I allow them to open up sexually with me.
This only happens, of course, because I work to establish a good level of emotional connection with my girlfriends before we hop into bed. Sex for sex sake was great when I was younger.
But lovemaking with a good, strong emotional connection is the best. It permits both of us to be completely open and relaxed during the experience, which is necessary for us to experience the best orgasms we can have.
Mark, 49, talks about when he understood what all the fuss was about
I married my high school girlfriend. She was the only woman I’d ever slept with.
She didn’t like sex very much, and I respected that so I didn’t try and convince her that things could be different. What did I know? I had zero experience.
After 26 years of marriage, we ended up divorcing. I then met and fell in love with a woman who really loved sex. I mean, she really loved it.
She was totally free with her body, always wanting to try new things to increase our pleasure. It was a whole new world for me, me who had always had to convince my ex-wife that lovemaking was part of our married life.
She taught me how to make love, in every sense of the term. How it wasn’t just a physical need, but a truly intimate, loving experience in which there was no shame between consenting adults. I thank my lucky stars every day for putting this woman in my path.