IS THERE ANY more universal desire among dudes—hell, among anyone—than being good in bed?
Heck, most people would love to be simply above average, let alone an all-time Casanova. But a lot of the signs that you’re skilled in the sack are more subtle than you might realize. (No, you don’t have to be a porn star. And by the way, the ideal penis size probably isn’t what you’d think.)
Here are 14 signs that you’re good in bed—and that you might not even know it.
1. You practice enthusiastic consent
It’s shocking how few people realize what a huge role consent needs to play in sex. Fortunately, it seems like the times are changing, but we still have a long way to go. Enthusiastic consent means that you’re actively excited about each step you take with your sexual partner. You’re not just going along with it because you feel like you can’t or shouldn’t say no or ask for something different. Great lovers take the time to make sure their partners feel genuinely good about what the two of you are doing.
2. You have a good relationship with your body
Your relationship with sex is deeply tied into your relationship with your body. Great lovers take good care of their bodies. They have healthy body confidence, and feel comfortable naked.
3. You understand female anatomy
If you sleep with women, you need to have a working knowledge of how female anatomy works. You can identify and locate the labia majora, labia minora, and clitoris. You understand that most women don’t orgasm from penetration.
4. You don’t make assumptions
The thing about being good in bed is that there isn’t a universal skill set. Every woman you’re with is going to have different needs, desires, and preferences. Great lovers don’t assume that just because something has worked for a woman you’ve been with in the past, it will work for a different woman
5. You ask questions
In that same vein, being good in bed means being willing to explore and uncover what each partner needs. You ask your partner what she wants, and you solicit her feedback.
6. You’re good at reading clues
While verbal communication is extremely important to great sex, non-verbal communication is valuable too. You pay attention to things like her breathing, her body language, her level of eye contact. You’re not a mind reader, but it’s important to you to try to be in tune with her.
7. She communicates too
Most people think feedback is bad, as if it implies you’re doing something wrong. But I highly encourage people to talk more during sex. If she’s willing to communicate, give you feedback, and make requests, it may be because she feels comfortable enough with you to be authentic about her needs.
8. You don’t imitate porn
Great lovers understand that porn is meant to be entertainment, not a how-to guide!
9. You stay in the moment
Mind-blowing sex isn’t about having a rock-hard erection or lasting for hours. It’s about our ability to stay present in the moment, connected to ourselves, and to each other. Great lovers savor each moment. You take your time with your partner, and enjoy every step that you guys take together.
10. You can manage your anxiety
Staying in the moment doesn’t mean being perfectly zen. Everyone is prone to bouts of insecurity or performance anxiety. But great lovers have the ability to acknowledge when they feel anxious, and be gentle with themselves. You allow the anxiety to pass, rather than snowball.
11. You don’t pressure her to orgasm
It’s one thing to want to make sure your partner has a good time. It’s another thing to insist that her pleasure take the very specific form of an orgasm. Men who are great in bed put a lot of effort into pleasuring their partners, but without creating pressure to orgasm.
12. You don’t get intimidated by sex toys
A frustrating number of men still have caveman-like attitudes about vibrators in the bedroom. If you’re good in bed, you understand that a vibrator isn’t a threat to your masculinity. You should welcome the opportunity to play with toys!
13. You’re not afraid to try new things
Most people feel anxiety about trying new things in the bedroom. Even if they’re bored by the same old routines, they don’t want to step outside of their comfort zones. Amazing lovers are willing to take risks. You’re curious about trying new things with your partners, and you know that some experiments will go better than others. You don’t let the fear of “failure” prevent you from trying something new.
14. You have a sense of humor
Finally, great lovers have the ability to laugh it off when things go awry in the bedroom! You don’t take things too seriously, and you know that the funny moments can be just as bonding as the sexy ones.