Love making 101
Written by Jennifer Hanson
Let’s be honest: intimacy and love making can be difficult to link when you’re starting out with a new partner. From the standpoint of opening up, it is far easier to find a stranger to hook up with than to allow someone into your private thoughts and personal, nuanced turn-ons. When that person does suddenly appear however, where do you even start to explore that connection?
The best place to start is comfortability. Obviously, you found your person by doing activities that you both have fun doing, exploring intimacy and love making should be no different! Intimacy is the groundwork for making passionate love, and this deeper level requires being open, honest and sharing what makes your knees weak.1
Intimacy means different things to different people. Some define it as seductive love making with a partner who has their body memorized. Some need a steady stream of praise and compliments as foreplay. Some require mental gymnastics that force them to keep up with their partner. Others thrive off of a home cooked meal, or a loving cuddle.
Think about having this conversation the next time you and your partner are relaxed, or binging a random show. Don’t put too much thought into it, this is a casual discussion, not an interview!
Grab their hand and snuggle up close to them. Even these little touches can lower anxiety2
and stress levels.3
Start by asking them what sort of actions you do that make them feel appreciated and then share yours. It’s the little things that count. This is the first step to unlocking the secrets about your partner that will only lead to better love making in the future.
Let this conversation go where it needs to in order to really get to know yourself and your partner. If it turns steamy, all the better! Either way, use this information in understanding your partner and what makes them feel validated. This is an important step in growing closer to them, especially when making love.
There are some love making sessions that are just plain better when they’re more spontaneous, but a special occasion deserves more effort. Your partner’s birthday or Valentine’s Day are two holidays that give excellent excuses for seduction. In fact, in a recent survey, 75% of people said that they saw Valentine's Day as a day to show caring and affection to their romantic partner and that having sex on Valentine's Day was important to 70% of women and 80% of men surveyed.4
Plan a night for your lover based on what they told you in your first conversation. Cook a sensational meal or take them out on the town. Show them a special place that’s near and dear to your heart that they might enjoy as well. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and show them how much they mean to you.
If you want to impress the diehard romantic, decorate with rose petals and light some candles. Mood lighting and ambiance (however you both define it) are excellent ways to get in the mood to make love.
Take your time
Whether or not you had a wild night out, taking your time with love making is something that benefits everyone. It’s easy to get hasty once both of you are in the moment. You’re with someone you care for and you can’t wait to take things to another level. However, the build-up is often the best part, and by drawing things out you can reduce the possibility that a female partner will feel rushed to experience orgasm which can (paradoxically) make her less likely to come.5
Once you have the urge to speed up, that might actually be the right time to slow down. Draw out your kisses so that they’re long and languid. Slow your hands so they are caressing and feel every part of their body. Anything that will draw out both of your reactions will only make love making better in the long run.
The hormone oxytocin is released when couples make love or engage in a lot of touching, and it is also responsible for building trust in the brain.6
The more you slow things down, the more bonded you will be to your partner during love making!
Spice up your (sex) life
Maybe you’ve gone through all of the above motions by now and gotten to know your partner through and through. Things can start to feel a little dull after a while no matter who you’re with. There are always other ways to get each other in the mood for love making that haven’t been explored between you yet.
Sometimes a change of scenery is all that’s needed to bring some zest into love making. Say you both have a vacation planned in the near future, and you’re going to have some down time between seeing all of the sights and people you’re planning to. There’s something to be said for getting down and dirty in an unfamiliar place, even if the only thing changing is the view.
There are always other options if traveling isn’t in your budget. A backyard can be an exotic locale for love making too, if it’s framed in a way you both enjoy.
Special additions (lingerie or toys)
This may be unfamiliar territory, but then again, so was getting to know the person you now call your lover! It is important to note that even if this was not a turn-on your partner implicitly told you about in the first place, that might not mean they don’t like it. They may have never explored it, and this is something you can do together when you make love!
Try floating the idea to them the next time you’re both about to make love and see what their reaction is. If they show any excitement, you’ve got your answer!
Maybe floating the lingerie idea was your first attempt at talking dirty. Worry not! If that’s something your partner has confessed to liking, or you saw their eyes light up when you did it the first time, this is a must-try during love making. Dirty talk can start with something as simple as observations and you can run with it from there.
Switch things up
If this is you or your partners first long-term relationship, it’s easy to stick with one or two positions that do the job. However, that can make things boring if you do the same thing every single time you make love. Try incorporating some new and easy positions into your escapades. The “easy” part is important here, since falling on your face will ultimately make anyone self-conscious and ruin the mood. Remember: this is still fun; you’re just branching out!
Don’t be selfish
Love making without an orgasm is like making a mediocre meal: it was good, but you probably didn’t feel as satisfied as you could have. Everyone’s orgasm is different, and maybe you or your partner find it difficult to get there. First, know that the effort is the most important part. Hopefully as you get to know each other sexually, you will both be more comfortable and able to orgasm every time you make love. Sometimes it takes people a little longer to open up and that’s okay!
That being said, there is usually one person out of the two of you that has a harder time bringing themselves to orgasm when you make love. It is so important that you not only help them get there but let them go first. If you know you’re close and can ride that wave at any time, make holding back a habit so that you both end up satisfied in the end!
Touch base afterwards
After you’ve made love, take a moment to bask in the afterglow. Closeness is key for the groundwork of intimacy, and there’s no better way to get close than having a snuggle after love making.
This is also a good time to reflect on what you liked that your partner did. Did they do something that was risky and surprised you, but you ended up loving? Don’t be afraid to tell them that! On the other hand, if there was something you weren’t comfortable with, now is a good time to bring it up in a gentle way. Remember: communication is the key to good love making.
When all is said and done, you and your partner need to be able to connect in a meaningful way when it comes to making love. It may not seem like it, but this can actually lead into making a far deeper connection than simply having sex.
There are numerous ways to do this, but the most important one is having an open and honest conversation with your partner about what they like and what makes them feel cared for. After this groundwork is established, it is far easier to feel comfortable making love.
Don’t be afraid to take your time or prepare accordingly for whichever love making scenario is unfolding. Your partner will appreciate your attention to detail and be glad you bothered to have that first discussion.
There will probably be a time when love making loses its luster, but that doesn’t mean it’s forever! New positions, new places and new additions (whether it’s toys, lingerie, dirty talk or something else) will help rejuvenate you and ensure you get back that same spice you once had.
No one likes being left behind. If your partner has a hard time achieving orgasm, make sure to help them and let them go first so you’re both satisfied! And be equally as open and honest afterwards by communicating what you each did that made things better.
All of these little things add up to ensuring a happy and healthy relationship; both with each other and with love making. References:
- Prager & Roberts (2004). Deep intimate connection: Self and intimacy in couple relationships. Handbook of closeness and intimacy.
- Eleonora C. V. Costa, Eva Castanheira, Litícia Moreira, Paulo Correia, Duarte Ribeiro & M. Graça Pereira (2017) Predictors of emotional distress in pregnant women: the mediating role of relationship intimacy, Journal of Mental Health, DOI: 10.1080/09638237.2017.1417545
- Justin A Lavner, Thomas N Bradbury, Protecting relationships from stress, Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 13, 2017, Pages 11-14, ISSN 2352-250X, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2016.03.003.
- Mark & Kerner (2013). Valentine's Day Survey. Good in Bed.
- Tavares, I.M. (2016). The relationship between sexual stimulation and female orgasm: the mediator and moderator roles of psychological variables.
- C. Sue Carter, Oxytocin and sexual behavior, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Volume 16, Issue 2, 1992, Pages 131-144, ISSN 0149-7634, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0149-7634(05)80176-9.