An About.com readers asks: I'm a guy who mostly has female friends. They are always talking about one guy being such a 'great lover' and another guy being terrible in bed.
I've had three sexual partners in my life, I'm 35, and I've never got the nerve up to ask any of them if I was any good. I want to know if I'm a good lover, and how I could be the "great lover" people talk about.
Browse the virtual shelves of Amazon (or better yet, go to an actual bookstore) and you’ll find hundreds of books that promise to reveal the secrets to becoming a great lover. Go to any magazine stand and you’ll see dozens of magazines with tips on how to drive your lover wild in bed, be the greatest lover known to man, and invent levels of sexual satisfaction that defy gravity and the laws of nature (and that doesn’t even include the porn magazines).
The message these books convey is that with the right teacher and enough hard work you can actually become a great lover, the kind of person has all the right lines and all the right moves. Someone who, in short, can turn hop into bed with anyone and create an unforgettable night (or day) of unparalleled sexual bliss.
I’d like to propose that this is a flawed premise. I don't believe that anyone is great with everyone. I don't buy that with the right technique or know how you can have great sex with every single person you encounter. Phenomenal sex is, to some extent, about the chemistry between the two (or more) people having it. You might be someone’s idea of the perfect lover, but with another partner (even if you do all the same things, say all the same things and ear all the same things) the sex may fall flat.
Even the definition of what is a great lover, can be slippery. If you ask ten people you'll get ten different answers. In a way, becoming a “great lover” is probably about taking things one partner at a time. You can learn things in one sexual relationship that applies to others, but sexuality is so subjective and personal, that you can’t always generalize experience, technique, or taste. One person’s sexual turn on may be another person’s deal-breaking turn off.
Back to the first part of your question; is there a way to find out what your partners (past and present) think about sex with you? There is...Ask them!
I wouldn’t suggest doing this in the middle of, or immediately before, you’re going to have sex. And don't do it unless you feel like you can handle the answer. But pick a time and place that seems safe and neutral, be prepared to possibly hear things that might be challenging (and be prepared to take a compliment when it’s offered), and ask your partner to talk about what they like about sex with you, and what, if anything, they’d like to do differently.