How To Be Good In Bed

What’s the key to having a really amazing night with someone you’re seeing? We asked tons of people that question—with very surprising results.

By Elise Nersesian

retty much everyone — single or taken, straight or gay, rich or poor — sure wouldn’t mind being good in bed. But what does that mean, exactly? Is it a gift you’re born with or something anyone can learn? Does it boil down to technical skills or just a super-confident or sensual vibe? To find out, we asked single people to pinpoint what makes for an unforgettable night. And guess what? None of these principles involve contorting yourself into pretzel-like positions. Here’s what truly makes a difference:

Go ahead and get personal
“One girl I dated did one simple thing that made sex so amazing, I still think of her to this day. Whenever she got
“One girl I dated did one simple thing that made sex so amazing, that I still think of her to this day: She’d softly whisper my name.”
really into it, she’d softly whisper my name. It was incredibly hot—it brought a whole new element of intimacy to our sex. We had just started dating, and things were moving pretty fast. When she said my name in the heat of the moment, I felt really connected to her… It made me feel like a king!”
—Len, Washington, DC

Have a laugh
“Sex can be an awkward experience: When two people are naked and sweaty, strange things are bound to happen. So, in my mind, the ability to laugh at yourself is crucial. It makes things so much more comfortable and intimate.”
—Cate, Providence, RI

Stop obsessing about your flaws
“A woman can make sex unbelievably hot if she exudes confidence. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a perfect body. The sexiest woman I knew had what most people would consider a less-than-perfect figure. But when she stood in front of me and slowly took off her clothes — without worrying about whether the lights were off or she was hidden under the covers — she convinced me that she was the hottest woman on the planet. I wish more women were like that.”
—Brendan, Boston, MA

Speak up if something’s not working
“I love when a woman lets me know what does — or doesn’t — feel good; to me, that makes a woman good in bed. If she doesn’t speak up, how else will I know? I love hearing that I’m making her feel good, and there are also nice ways to say something isn’t working. One girl I was with flat-out
“I never knew what he was going to do, which heightened all my senses. It was great!”
said, ‘It’s just not happening right now. Let’s try again later.’ We took a break and just cuddled, then started kissing, and she guided my hands to where she wanted them. I was so impressed that she wouldn’t fake her pleasure for a guy’s ego.”
—Michael, New York, NY

Add some spontaneity
“Being spontaneous adds tons of excitement to sex. The last guy I dated was so creative in bed that everything seemed brand new every time we slept together. For example, he would jump in the shower with me, when I had ten minutes to get ready. Or when we would be sitting at a restaurant, he’d sit right next to me and rub my leg and give me a light kiss on my neck. I never knew what he was going to do next, which heightened all my senses. It was great!”
—Rebecca, Oak Park, IL

Don’t be too goal-oriented
“Being good in bed means being free of pressure. I appreciate it when a guy cares about my pleasure, but sometimes it’s not going to happen, and guys should learn to live with that and just enjoy sex and getting to know each other’s bodies.”
—Eliza, Spokane, WA

Tap into your sensual side
“Being great in bed means taking your time. To keep things interesting, my fiancé and I will occasionally abstain from sex from time to time: We’ll make out for an hour with all our clothes on, but we won’t go all the way. We’ll focus on our breathing, and how our skin feels against each
“I love when a woman lets me know what does — or doesn’t — feel good. If she doesn’t speak up, how else will I know?”
other, and we get totally into the moment. That sensual approach takes sex to another level for me.”
—Corey, Boston, MA

Ask for feedback
“To me, great sex means great communication, and my girlfriend definitely has that down. She always asks me what feels good, and what I’d like her to do. When we first started dating, it felt a little strange, but now it’s totally natural for me to say, “Yes, do it like that.” I love that she’s so open to hearing what I like.”
—Ben, Elmira, NY

Try something new
“I think being open to new ideas is crucial to being good in bed. It’s important to want to explore new experiences and sensations. Instead of zeroing in on the typical hot spots, I love it when a woman turns her attention on ground that’s rarely covered. I love having my ears, nape of my neck, even the backs of my knees kissed. My last girlfriend had me close my eyes while she kissed me on every inch of my body. It gave me chills in places I didn’t think were possible.”
—Tim, Fairfax, VA

Elise Nersesian is a New York-based writer who covers love, sex, and relationships.
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