The short answer: it depends on who you ask, but there are two schools of thought…
First school of thought: Be f*cking aware
God, it’s truly amazing how many people are off in la-la land while love-making. It’s enough to make a partner want to shake them.
Like “bruh! F*cking. Pay. Attention.”
And when you get someone who does, it’s like the best feeling in the world.
My current partner is probably the best sexual partner I’ve ever had — a true “lover” in the best meaning of the word.
To be honest, I tend to forget about the specifics of every previous partner pretty much as soon as I set them down and move on. But that being said, as far as I know: this guy pretty much kills it.
He doesn’t have any slick moves. He doesn’t have “a thing he does with his tongue” or “magical hands.” We don’t light candles or play music or start with an hour of oiled massage. We just have sex, plain and simple, and without doing anything “remarkable,” he makes it remarkably enjoyable.
He just pays attention. He’s aware. He responds when I raise my hips to meet his, and he slows down when I pull them back. (Real talk: is it not truly mind-blowing how many partners almost wilfully ignore you when you are all but trying to pull your pelvis down into the bed sheets to get away from whatever they’re doing? It’s especially remarkable when their face is in your groin and yet they’re still somehow utterly oblivious to the fact that they’re having to chase you into the mattress.)
Listen: Can you have sex WHILE a baby’s on the boob? Post continues after audio.
I’ve never felt that with this guy. He’s never on my hair. He’s never smothering my breathing with his shoulder. He knows when I actually want it harder or faster, and when I’m just play-asking and want to be teased. When I touch him, he understands whether to press back or move away. He never gets into some weird rhythm that sabotages my own, and when I’m nearing orgasm, I don’t have to tell him (but do anyway): boi, dontchu dare f*ckin change a thing.
He knows because he’s paying attention. He’s clued in. If he has any “signature move,” it’s “being aware.” And it’s total and absolute money-balls.
I often tell him how good he is, and I once asked him, “as a good lover, what would you chalk up ‘being a good lover’ to?” And he laughed awkwardly and then answered, “Uh, I don’t really see myself as a ‘good lover.’ I just try to pay attention and do my best.”
That. That right there is everything. That’s why he’s a good lover.
It’s why I totally bought that Game of Thrones storyline about Podrick being the best lover that three prostitutes “had ever had", despite Pod being a virgin going in. I believe it because homeboi’s whole entire f*cking MO is one of deference and service — and this is both rare and valuable.
Asked “what makes someone good in bed,” a lot of people will tell you:
“Well.. I can tell you what makes someone suck in bed: not listening.”
“The ability to listen to what the partner is saying.”
“The ability to perceive the partner’s reactions to physical touches.”
“Giving a shit.”
And sure, it’s nice when your partner cares about getting you off —like: sweet, thx babe. (But for reals tho.)
But if you ask people, most would prefer a partner who was genuinely tuned into them and still learning how to make it work over a partner who was oblivious and wringing an orgasm out of you to prove something to you or himself.
“I hate when… I ask him to be more gentle and he doesn’t do it. It’s a complete turn off."
At the end of it all, it has less to do with build or moves or even endowment… and everything to do with awareness:
“The best lover I’ve ever had was a short fat hairy guy with a small penis… [but] he paid attention and could read me like a book and remembered when I responded positively to things.”
A lot of lovers would agree.
Some people call this “passion” or “chemistry” or “connection” — whatever. Doesn’t matter the word — the ideal is to make us / your partner feel understood, and not left behind.
All that being said? Getting your partner off helps, too.
Second school of thought: Be into it
What makes someone good in bed?
“Enthusiasm,” some answer.
“Knowing that you are enjoying yourself doesn’t just feel good, it feels awesome.”
“Lots of people get off on the idea that their partner is getting off.”
“Don’t be a dead fish.”
There’s no better feeling than knowing that our partner wants nothing more at that time than us.
But — a huge, massive, all-important caveat — it has to be sincere (and we know when it’s not.)
“Don’t be silent, but don’t be loud/fake.”
“Long as she knows she isn’t doing me a favor by having sex with me. And she wants it as much as I do then it is good sex.”
And how could you not get on board with this?
After all, the whole message here is: if you want to make sex enjoyable for your partner, enjoy it for yourself.