Five Habits of Highly Successful Lovers

Make Love Like God

Great sex is not about size, stamina, or technique

When I was growing up “making love” was synonymous with “having sex.” After almost 50 years of heartbreak, incompetence, and insensitivity, I’m finally realizing the subtle, yet life-changing differences between these two acts.

As a father of two young children, I dread the day when I will need to give the “birds and bees” talk (I don’t even know how bees have sex), but I cherish the opportunity to share with my children the recipe for making love.


1: Presence                          

In order to make love, we need to show up. We need to be present in mind, body, and spirit. To paraphrase Damone from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, wherever you are, that is the place to be. Don’t wish that you or your partner were a little bigger, smaller, thinner, or firmer.

Just show up as who you are and let your partner see, feel, and touch all of you. Making love requires honesty, vulnerability, and authenticity. If you want to act like someone else or be with someone else, then you are just pretending to make love.

2: Embrace What Is

Love embraces everything that is, without judgment or aversion. If we want to make love, then we need to adopt the same sincerity and openness. Love everything about your partner, just as they are right here, right now.

We often compare our partners with an image (often unrealistic) that we construct in our minds of an ideal lover. Sometimes we compare our lovers with past lovers. Love can only be made in the present. It takes whatever is and makes magic, if we allow it to.

I used to have this fetish to have sex with partners who had really flat stomachs. I’m not sure why I thought this would make sex better, but this delusion actually made sex worse. Rather than be in the moment, I would fantasize about how I could get my partner to lose some weight or tighten their abs. For years, I disregarded the pleasure and joy of a soft, tender abdomen caressing my body.

3: Give More Than You Take

Love takes pleasure from giving. If we want to make love, then the most important thing we can do is give without expectations of returns. Give like Mother Teresa gave to the lepers in Calcutta, like Jesus gave on the cross. I know these aren’t sexy images, but that shows the disconnect between having sex and making love.

The sexiest thing that one can do is give to another unconditionally. Unfortunately, sex has been advertised as something that we get, take, or have. Love, on the other hand, can never be taken; it can only be given. If we want to make love, then the only thing we can do is give.

On practical terms, we can think about the elephant in the room—orgasm. Always try to give orgasm rather than get climax. If you can’t give in this manner, than give something of equal or greater value. Above all, try not to take freely without reciprocating. Like Ms. Claudette in Orange is the New Black says, “Love is not an excuse” for selfish behavior.

4: Act and Speak to Deepen Connection

The most noticeable difference between making love and having sex can be seen in how we act and speak. Love is about connection. What can you say or do to deepen the connection between you and your partner?

Notice that this takes a lot of attunement. Sometimes the things you say or do to one person may deepen your connection, but if you say or do these exact same things to another person, they might feel ignored, threatened, or abused.

Love is custom-made for each person, so it makes sense that making love will take into account each individual’s desires, fears, and idiosyncrasies. This requires understanding and empathy, which is why it is so hard to make love during a one-night stand.

Quick Tip: The easiest way to connect is through the eyes. The eyes are the window to not only the soul, but also the heart. In times of intimacy, try to maintain eye contact. Make sure you see your partner and let them see you.

5: Nurture the Love That Is Made

Making love is like making a baby: love needs to be nurtured and cared for before it can survive on its own. After having sex, we often check out or leave. Making love requires a deeper commitment.

After the love making, it is often necessary to repeat the first four steps over and over in order to ensure that the love does not regress into just sex. Sometimes we have to stay present and talk to deepen connection. Other times we might have to embrace what is, especially when things don’t go like we want them to go.

To clarify, there is nothing wrong with having consensual sex. The problem arises when one person wants to make love and the other wants to have sex. Knowing the difference can prevent the harm and shame inherent in this misunderstanding.

Making love is a lot easier than learning tantric or getting six pack abs. All you need to do is gather the ingredients and mix thoroughly. And don’t forget to have fun.

Photo–Gus Greeper/Flickr

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