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how to have good sex

Like being sexy and picking up women, and dating successfully, being good in bed is a skill that will never develop if you fear failure too much. Rather, it feeds on its own success. So the most important thing you need to know about being good in bed is that it's not really very complicated or difficult at all.

Oh, sure, if you're an accomplished sexual athlete, you can pore over the Kama Sutra and try exotic positions and dabble in sex toys and scented oils and variations for more than two people. These things have their place and you'll get to them. But they are really the last 10% of the experience; the first 90% percent consists of learning how to have basic satisfying sex face-to-face with one partner, factory equipment only.

Guys, a few simple techniques and the right attitude will get you most of the way to that goal. And, by the way, part of the reason is today's girls; it has been long enough since really effective and easy contraception was first deployed in the early 1960s, and I doubt that so many women have ever been more sexually sophisticated or less inhibited in the whole prior history of the world than they are today. You have it easier than you know. So begin with confidence...

Let's start with attitude. Remember that you're there to have fun with your partner. Joy and satisfaction are the goals, whether the two of you are just scratching a mutual itch or affirming a lifelong bond. So be generous to your partner -- the satisfaction you give her will come back to you. (This advice isn't quite as true for her, unfortunately -- but we'll cover that below.)

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There are three basic ways in which male and female sexual response are different in bed that you'll need to keep in mind. These differences determine the basic rhythm and pacing of good sex.

First: under ordinary circumstances she can have multiple orgasms in fairly rapid succession, while you can't. This is the most important difference and the one least affected by psychology, mental attitude, or self-training.

Second: under ordinary circumstances, she will take more time to warm up to the point where a really satisfying orgasm is possible than you will. Intimacy and trust can shrink the difference but aren't likely to erase it completely.

Tips for men on how to be good in bed.Third: her response will vary in subtler and less predictable ways than yours. The best places to stimulate her will wander around; also, women vary as to whether they want progressively heavier or progressively lighter stimulation as they approach orgasm. Her attitude and self-training matter here; women with more experience and/or fewer inhibitions tend to have a simpler and more robust response to stimulation, more like a man's.

These three differences set your basic policy. Unless you know differently about the specific woman you're in bed with, the two basic things you need to do to be a good lover are slow down and pay attention.

The classic male failure mode is to jump on the woman, rush through foreplay, plug a penis into her vagina, and gallop to orgasm before she's even completely warmed up. If she comes at all under that kind of treatment, it's going to be just a shadow of the rip-snortin' multiorgasmic joyride a good lover would take her on.

Cathy: "Yes, and she is likely to be angry with you for leaving her hung up."

So slow down. You've got hands and lips. Use them. A few minutes of good old-fashioned lip-to-lip smooching is always an appropriate starter even if that's what you were doing before the clothes came off. Run your hands gently over her body; women love the feeling of being caressed all over, of being explored and owned by a lover's hands. Try different levels of pressure from light to very firm. Pay attention to the way her breathing and muscle tension changes as you touch different parts of her in different ways; her body will tell you what she likes, so you can do more of it.

Cathy: "If she wants you to speed up, she will probably say so."

The erotic sensitivity of her body is more diffused than yours, less exclusively centered on her genitals. Use this fact. Where your hands find a good response (especially a good response to light or teasing touches) it is often wise to follow up with your lips and tongue. Dial in on areas where the skin is naturally sensitive; the neck, ears, the inner surfaces of arms and legs.

Cathy: "And if you get no response, or a confusing one, ask her how she likes what you're doing! The message that you want to please her will get through (even if the sex isn't perfect)."

Women dig men who exhibit this same kind of whole-body sensitivity as much as men dig women who are readily satisfied by simple intercourse; it's reassuring to them, it's a response they can identify with. So cultivate whole-body sensitivity if you can. Your nipples are good places to start; encourage her to tease them, and let it be known when that's turning you on. She'll love you for this.

Cathy: "Allow me to emphasize the `let it be known when that's turning you on' part. The most frustrating sexual encounter I ever had was with a guy who did not react at all to anything I did."