I’ve been thinking about this one a lot recently. Well, not just recently – for quite a long time actually. My conclusion is that there isn’t one answer to this question. Because being a lover is a multi layered experience. And because each of us has different needs and wants.
It strikes me though that making love is a particularly vulnerable-making activity. We open our self to another person’s self in a particularly full and direct way. (Sure you can ‘hold back’. And whatever you hold back will stay within you…. and leak out – one way or another, at some time or another. Because the body doesn’t lie. But that’s another blog, for another day.)
For me, love making is a space of vulnerability. And vulnerability asks for graciousness. By inviting another to share my bed I’m inviting them into a space of vulnerability. It is then my responsibility to be gracious in that encounter. So, I’d say the key attribute of a great lover is graciousness. This means holding your lover’s vulnerability in exquisite tenderness. (And for those of you who are wondering whether that’s a double entendre the answer is yes. In sex, more than in any other activity, physcal response represents emotional state).
I’ve written before about how we bring all aspects of our lives to bed. So stress, anxiety, uncertainty can show up in love making when they have nothing to do with the love making or your partner. Love making is a dynamic space and the vibe can change in a split second. Graciousness is about how you respond in those split seconds when your lover’s uncertainty, anxiety or stress presents itself – in a phrase, a movement, a look, a change in their body.
For me, a great lover is not made in the broad palette of love making, but in those tiny moments when your response can impact your lover’s very sense of self.