How To Be a Better Lover

Man and woman cuddling in bed

When it comes to relationships, they can be a challenging and unknown terrain to navigate. Oftentimes, men don’t know the things they need to do to be a better lover for their partner. We end up guessing. And this doesn’t tend to work out well. Women, on the other hand, have access to insightful material like the best selling book “How To Be A Great Lover” by Lou Paget. Us men need actionable advice that will teach us exactly how to be a great lover in our relationships. We’re here to help. In this article, we’re going to give you a complete and total breakdown on how to be a good lover to your woman. You’re going to be the guy that changes her life. Get ready to learn how.

Outside The Bedroom

There are really two arenas that determine the success and quality of your love life: inside the bedroom, and outside the bedroom. While both areas are equally important for you to work on and cultivate, they each feature vastly different approaches and criteria that go towards making them successful. That’s why we’re going to tackle them separately. First, we’re going to examine what it takes to be a great lover outside the bedroom.

african american couple dancing together

Emotional Intimacy

The most important aspect of any thriving marriage or relationship is the emotional essence of it. Women are fundamentally emotional beings. They value their feelings and expect their partner to value them just as much. That’s why it’s critical, as a man, to know and understand your woman and her emotions like the back of your own hand. We call this emotional intimacy, or an emotional connection. It could formally be defined as “allowing yourself to connect more deeply with your partner through actions that express feelings, vulnerabilities and trust,” says neuropsychologist Sanam Hafeez. It’s ultimately the emotional glue that holds your relationship together and helps propel it forward.

Let’s discuss some signs of emotional connection to help you gauge just how far along you are in the process of building it in your marriage or relationship. MindBodyGreen came up with an informative list detailing just that.

couple having a conversation

You Care About Each Other’s Needs and Desires

When there is an emotional connection with your partner, you want them to be happy no matter what. That means caring and hoping that all their needs and desires are met, and they are never lacking in anything.

You Both Share Openly

When you have an emotional connection with someone, you feel comfortable sharing your values, beliefs, and dreams with each other so you can support and champion one another. Ask yourself these questions: are you speaking freely? Are there things that you hold back from the conversation? If you feel nervous that you will scare them away by revealing too much, take note of that emotion and question why you’re hesitating to open up.

You Remember Little Details About Each Other

This is a telltale sign that you and your romantic partner have built emotional intimacy. It proves that you care so much about each other that you don’t just remember the big things, but you know how she likes her coffee, how she likes her breakfast and other minute details that would otherwise go unnoticed.

So how can you cultivate more emotional intimacy in your marriage? The Greatist put together a fantastic article that explores precisely just that.

First, they state that men need to “work on being an engaged listener.” This is a foundational trait that every man must develop if he wants to emotionally satisfy his romantic partner. As we mentioned before, women value the nonphysical aspects of a relationship just as much as the physical. They love to feel heard, and actively listening to their problems and hopes and dreams is the best way to accomplish that. AskMen echoes this sentiment, as they interviewed multiple women about whether they prefer men who listen. This is what they said.

  • Grace, 30, says “the obvious thing that is attractive is listening.”
  • Ellen adds that “it’s attractive if a guy is comfortable listening to someone else speak without interrupting.”
  • Hannah, 39, clarifies particular areas to pay attention to: “When they ask about stuff like your family and life before that point, then can recall details about what you said later, it makes you feel like they care, and that all of you might mean something to them.”

Clearly, being an engaged and active listener is something that women want. Why wouldn’t it make you a better lover?

Next, Practical Intimacy gives us some insight on how you can build your emotional connection. They say that men need to “up the appreciation” for their special lady. They add that it’s the simplest and most powerful way to generate a vibe of intimacy in your relationship. Relationship expert John Gottman, Ph.D., explains that “building this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully” is an essential aspect of a thriving love life.

Finally, VeryWellMind gives us our last way to cultivate an emotional connection between you and your romantic partner: being emotionally available. After spending more time together, couples inevitably tend to learn what might hurt their partners. Kind and loving partners who avoid hurting each other help each other feel loved, valued, and safe. This is accomplished through being emotionally available. When we make the environment safe for our spouses, emotional intimacy finds its place.

Unfortunately, many people have experienced hostility from those who they trusted, felt unloved, or learned bad relationship habits. This study shows that if you “have a habit of belittling or emotionally attacking” the person you’re in love with, these habits will sabotage intimacy, creating a wall in your marriage.

Learn Her Love Language

The next way to be a better lover outside the bedroom is by taking advantage of a powerful framework: the 5 love languages. These are five different ways of expressing and receiving love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Not everyone communicates love in the same way, and likewise, people have different ways they prefer to receive love. The concept of love languages was created by Gary Chapman, Ph.D., in his book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. In it, he describes these five unique styles of expressing love, categories he distilled from his experience in marriage counseling and linguistics. On his own website, he adds that by learning to recognize these preferences in yourself and in your loved ones, you can learn to identify the root of your conflicts, connect more profoundly, and truly begin to grow closer.

So what are these things really about? Let’s go through each love language individually and explain what it entails.

Words Of Affirmation

VeryWellMind says that this love language is about “expressing affection through spoken words, praise, or appreciation.” When this is someone’s primary love language, they especially appreciate kind words and encouragement from their romantic partner. You can make this person’s day by complimenting them or pointing out what they do well. We suggest using a variety of mediums to communicate your words of affirmation, such as social media comments, cute surprise notes that you leave behind, and any other creative ideas you might come up with!

Quality Time

This love language is characterized by giving your partner your undivided attention. People who identify with this love language feel loved when you are present and focused on them. Conversely, they feel unloved when you are on your phone while they’re speaking, out of the house all day long, and otherwise not giving them the attention they deserve. We recommend finding things that foster active, undisturbed time with your partner to help cultivate a stronger relationship and cater to this unique love language.

Receiving Gifts

Gift-giving is symbolic of love and affection for someone with this love language. They treasure not only the gift itself but also the time and effort the gift-giver put into it getting it. Donna Keehn, a licensed marriage and family therapist, says that a common misconception about this love language is that the “gift must have a [high] dollar value,” i.e the higher the monetary value, the better the gift. She adds that this is false, and that in reality, it’s all about the “perceived value in terms of thoughtfulness.” Try and identify gifts that fit into your partner’s world, their desires, and their interests. Aim to invoke a lasting feeling in them via the gift itself, rather than trying to find something that they’ll use forever.

man giving his girlfriend a gift

Acts Of Service

This love language champions the motto “actions speak louder than words.” This is the love language of doing things for your partner, especially in an attempt to make their life easier in the process. If this is your primary love language, you value feelings of being deeply cherished, appreciated, and not taken for granted. Acts of service show you that your romantic partner cares and is putting in the effort. We suggest providing comfort for your partner during times of stress and proactively looking for ways to make their life easier.

Physical Touch

A person with physical touch as their love language feels loved through physical affection. No, this does not simply imply sexual pleasure. In fact, it might not have anything to do with your sex life at all! Physical touch has more to do with things like holding each other’s hand, touching their arm, or giving them a massage at the end of the day. Those who identify with this love language genuinely feel love and pleasure when they receive such physical affection. This means that you need to seek out opportunities to shower your woman with physical touch at every possible opportunity.


This is the precursor to the big show – but don’t mistake it for unimportant. Planned Parenthood defines foreplay as any sexual activity “that comes before intercourse.” It can involve a variety of things, such as kissing, sharing fantasies, or touching one another’s genitals. It requires its own attention and effort, and if done right, can completely transform the pleasure you and your girlfriend derive from sex. Let’s look at why foreplay is so important.

woman's hand clenching bed sheets

Why It’s Important

Foreplay brings a vast number of both physiological and physical benefits that make sexual activity enjoyable and even possible! Healthline explores these benefits in-depth in this article. Physiologically, they say that foreplay builds sexual intimacy between you and your partner, and can thus make you and your partner feel more connected in and out of the bedroom. They add that foreplay also lowers inhibitions, which can make sex hotter! If stress has put a damper on your sex life, then foreplay can help with that! For instance, kissing, for example, triggers a release of oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. This chemical cocktail lowers cortisol (stress hormone) levels and increases feelings of affection, bonding, and euphoria.

Physically, foreplay literally gets the juices flowing by increasing sexual arousal; it can also help increase sexual desire, as well. Sexual arousal causes a number of physical responses in your body, including:

  • an increase in your heart rate, pulse, and blood pressure
  • dilation of your blood vessels, including your genitals
  • more blood flow to the genitals, causing the labia, clitoris, and penis to swell
  • swelling of the breasts and erect nipples
  • lubricating of the vagina, which can make intercourse more enjoyable and prevent pain

Tips For Foreplay

Now let’s dive into specific tips on how you can improve your foreplay game, which can directly lead to great sex.

Get The Room Ready for Sex

First and foremost, you need to prep the environment. Men tend not to care what’s around them when they’re about to have sex; we typically just want to get started. Women, on the other hand, are easily distracted by the things around them, so much so that it can take away from the sexual pleasure that we’re aiming to provide. Pick up the clothes off the floor, make your bed, and clear the clutter. If you’re really trying to go above and beyond, dim the lights, turn on a few candles, and turn on some music. You can find plenty of sexy playlists online!

Slow It Down

Men are notorious for rushing straight to the clitoris and getting right to work. This simply does not work! As we mentioned, foreplay has critical physical responses that it triggers, such as lubrication of the vagina. If you don’t give your woman time to get sexually aroused via foreplay, then clitoral stimulation won’t feel as good for her.

couple holding hands

Switch Up The Environment

Another tip to excite your foreplay is to change up the environment you do it in! Repeatedly having sex in the same place can cause a sense a monotony and boredom in your girlfriend. Try something different. Initiate foreplay while she’s folding laundry, or in the kitchen. You might still end up in the bedroom, but that different environment can go a long way in heating things up.

Utilize Sex Toys

If you haven’t shopped for adult toys in a while, you might be a little surprised with all the choices. From vibrating rabbits to pulsing rings that turn your penis into a vibrating tool of its own, the selection is impressive. Shopping together for toys you want to use on each other can really get the anticipation flowing, and introducing new tools and new sensations can arouse both of you.

Communication is Key

Once you’ve mastered the foreplay game, it’s time for the main act. What about tips for sex? This part of being a better lover is entirely individualized. No two women enjoy sex exactly the same way. That’s why it’s absolutely critical that you communicate with your woman to understand what it is that she enjoys between the sheets. The best time to ask her questions is right after you’ve had sex. The act is still fresh on her mind, so she’ll be able to answer your questions with better accuracy. Here are a few things to ask you lady:

  • How was it?

If she says fine, then it was not fine. This is the time to dig deeper and urge her to be completely honest with you. After all, she’ll realize that you’re simply trying to do better for her!

  • What could I have done differently?

This question is a bit more constructive, as it leaves you with actionable feedback that you can implement the very next time you two go at it. However, men can feel insecure when their woman answers with a million things you should’ve done differently, so be prepared for any answer.

  • Make suggestions!

You can’t expect her to do all the work when it comes to communication. You need to man up and be creative! Think of ways you can get more of her body involved, maybe use both your hands, choke her neck, or pull her hair. These are all solid starting points to pitch to your girlfriend to see what you should do next time.

african american couple forming heart with hands


Being a better lover takes a constant effort. It isn’t a hundred-meter sprint that you can complete in a day. It’s a 26-mile marathon that requires you to be completely invested in being better. There are two parts to the equation: inside and outside the bedroom. Inside, focus on your foreplay game and communicate effectively to improve at sex. Outside the bedroom, cultivate emotional intimacy with your partner and learn her love language. All in all, understand the nuances of your partner and adapt to them.

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