How to Pick a Lover

Sexual Decision Making

There is a tide in the affairs of women which, taken at its flood, leads—God knows where.
—George Noel Gordon, Lord Byron, Don Juan

Let’s assume that whether or not you happen to be married, you have been harboring a secret yen for a lover—or for another lover. Let’s assume that the twinkle in your eye has become a gleam. Perhaps your present sex life leaves something to be desired. Perhaps you have no sex life at all except for memories and vicarious experiences, both of which lose something in translation.

If so, when you think of taking a lover, first think very seriously about what you want in a lover. Think about what you want to give to him, as well as what you want from him. Make a list if it helps you to focus your thoughts. Pay special attention to what comes to mind first and to the sort of associations you make.

If you are a woman of experience, let yourself remember when lovemaking was a special event for you. This simple exercise in nostalgia is best done on quiet beaches or on a cross-country train trip or in bed on a Sunday morning listening to the rain.

A Very Special Love

A Very Special Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Think about making love, not just in terms of when it was vaguely good or not so good but in specific terms of whether it was in the evening or the morning or the midday when it was just right. Of the many times one makes love, only a few are truly memorable, but those few are very important clues to your own secret garden because they offer very telling examples of the possibility of getting what you want. Who were you with then? What was special about that occasion? What did he do or say or arrange that made it right? Can you visualize him? Do you remember his voice, or do you first of
all think about the touch of his hands?

A friend of mine relayed to me an encounter she had when she had long hair. Her lover lifted up her hair and kissed it and then kissed her neck beneath the hair. He was wearing some exotic scent, and his beard tickled her, and the cashmere sweater he was wearing was incredibly soft and radiant with his warmth, and she was totally undone by the simple gesture. And totally attuned.

Where were you when you made love in special and important ways? What was important about the encounter? If it had been only a narrow bed in a cold old cabin, would that have been OK? Was it after a romantic dinner? Was there music playing? Was there a crackling fire in the fireplace?

When you can remember several of these special events, look for the similarities among them. Was there the breathless urgency and excitement of having a plane to catch? Was there the sense of timelessness that goes with checking into a fine hotel for the weekend when no one knows where you are, so no one can contact you? Were you following up on an extensive soothsaying session about your life and his? Or were you full of the enchantment of being with a perfect stranger? Was there the domestic tenderness of having looked in on your sleeping baby or the exotic madness of a rum-soaked Caribbean beach party?

Even if you are remembering many occasions and many encounters, you will soon recognize a theme to the really special encounters. Subsequent wondrous and wonderful events are often some variation on that theme. What you are looking for in a lover is someone who understands that theme: not necessarily the same man or men, but the same kind of man or men and the same kind of situation.

There’s, of course, no guarantee that the resulting experience will be all that great—it might be quite mundane and humdrum. Perhaps your tastes have changed, perhaps your memory is faulty, or perhaps the key ingredient was something you overlooked. Putting yourself in the situation where peak experiences are likely to happen doesn’t assure that they will occur, but it does increase the odds.

Only you can define the kind of love experience you want. And while there are no perfect guidelines to ensure exceptional lovemaking in the future, the best indicator of success would be some reincarnation of what was exceptional in the past. Except for the benison of beautiful blind luck, which does happen, it is only after you know what you want and why that you can go about finding it.

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