August 18, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 33
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Sunday, Oct 25, 2020



Whole Lesbian Sex
How to be a great lover
Google the title of this article, "How To Be a Great Lover," and you'll come up with tens of thousands of hits, many for a popular sex guide of the same title, and others linking to online dating advice and similar commercial sites. Some of the advice you'll find is very good; much is gimmicky or dubious at best.

A lot of sex education falls into what I call the cake mix trap - pour the mix into a bowl, add an egg, half a cup of water, stir, and voila, instant success. This kind of sex ed offers "Secrets of Female Ecstasy" or will tell you "How to Make Any Woman Come in Five Seconds Flat." You've seen the magazine articles: use your tongue to draw the letters of the alphabet on her clit, or lick her so many times clockwise and then so many times counterclockwise. As if there were a recipe for making a woman come.

Other sex educators emphasize relationships and psychology until one wonders where the sex went. It ain't all about therapy (though, of course, therapy can be helpful). At some point, sex is about sex, a rare oasis of animal nature in our overscheduled, overanalyzed lives.

How then do you cultivate a quality of touch that makes your partners feel like you're really seeing them? No one wants to be thought of as merely going through the motions. Nor does anyone want to be seen as a "slam-bam-thank-you-ma'am" hit-and-run driver. Whether you are touching your partners with your hands, your mouth, your strap-on, or other sex toys, what are the qualities that will have your partners feel that they have been touched by your spirit as well?

You cultivate your presence. Presence is the physical embodiment of your you-ness. It's that quality that lets someone feel your aliveness in a room before they can see or hear you. Your presence can be felt by others as open, curious, listening, playful, sparkling, seductive, outpouring with love, or full-bodied with deep resonances. It can also be felt as laser-like in its single-minded focus, scattered, shut down, collapsed, angry, untouchable, defensive, or intractable. To some degree, you can shape your presence by your intention. You can pause before a first kiss, touch, or entry: Who do you want to be in this moment? What quality of your you-ness do you want your partner to be met with?

Your ability to do this, however, is dependent upon a larger kind of shaping, one that you cultivate over a lifetime. The quality of self with which you greet the world - as you do your job, run your errands, feed your kids - shows up in the bedroom, too. If you are shut down or unreachable 23 hours of the day, can you expect to project a quality of openness or loving spirit in the hour you've set aside for loving touch?

Sex is always more gratifying when you are really there. Not skin deep, not hiding, not distracted, not anesthetized, and not suffocated under a molasses-thick blanket of shame, but fully available to engage in the moment. Whether you are flying solo, enjoying a sensual tangle with several partners, or gazing soulfully into the eyes of your one true love, it's good to be present for the experience.

So next time you read an article about yoga to improve your sex life or the ancient practice of Tantra, understand that it's not how many poses you've mastered or how long you can sustain your conscious-breathing techniques. It's about the self that you are cultivating through these practices.

Felice Newman is a somatic coach and sex educator who works with individuals and couples. She is the author of The Whole Lesbian Sex Book: A Passionate Guide for All of Us. Visit her at She can be reached at

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