How to make any man better in bed

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Everyone’s been there: You meet a guy, you’re totally into him, things go well and later (a month, a week, an hour) you find yourself in bed with him. The music’s right, but something’s wrong. Very wrong. His technique is, let’s just say, lacking, and as he’s doing that annoying thing with his tongue/hand/leg, you think, *How did he get this far knowing so little? Why didn’t anyone tell him how bad that feels? I wonder if I can wear my new Club Monaco skirt with a white shirt and boots?

You know those movies where the young couple is having sex for the first time and it’s pretty much the guy lifting the girl’s skirt, neither of them looking at each other, and then he sticks his thing in and…it’s over? Well, that happens in real life, too. I once practically had a guy tell me he was done while I was unlocking my front door for us to go into my apartment. I guess the anticipation was more than he could manage. Sherrie, 36, found that she was getting a little further than that with her guy, but not by a whole lot.

“Sex was lasting five minutes, sometimes less,” she says. “He was embarrassed and we were both getting frustrated.” Then one day they stumbled upon a solution: “I was dancing around the bedroom in my underwear and he started to get turned on. I told him to go ahead and finish by himself.” This was a win-win for the now satisfied couple: “While he waited to get geared up for another go, he focused on me for some serious foreplay. By the time we got to round two, he was ready to go the distance.”

The flip side of this coin can be just as troubling. Anytime I hear about Sting’s tantric stamina, I think, Poor Trudie Styler! Frankly, I’m surprised she doesn’t walk like John Wayne. Allana, 25, was dating someone who took forever to finish. “I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, considering most guys think of stamina as a good thing, so I just told him how wonderful it would be if we could finish together.

Many of the women I interviewed saw this flaw as a complete deal breaker. They believe it’s not something you can teach or get past. Then I used this scenario: If you’re dating Leo DiCaprio and he starts slobbering all over your face, you’re going to say forget it? Take your movie-star ass outta my sight? I don’t think so. I think you’d work with him—and you should. Eleanor, 39, gets that: “I was recently dating a guy who could not kiss. I love to kiss, so it was a huge turnoff.” The first few dates she avoided any lip action, but as they started to spend more time together, she couldn’t ignore it. “I began to give him what I call secret lessons,'” she says. “I would kiss him a certain way and then whisper in his ear in a really sexy and sensual tone, Kiss me like this.’ It was sort of like follow-the-leader. And it worked! He began to automatically do it exactly the way I like.”

Back in my dating-a-million-guys period—postcollege, pre-having to get up in the morning—I was seeing a guy who did the dirty-talk thing, and I loathed it. But it wasn’t his potty mouth that bothered me, it was the things he asked me to say. Once he wanted me to tell him to you-know-what me and I said, “Are you nuts? I’d never say that!” If anything I’d write the scene like this—it’s 1945 and you’ve just returned from Versailles…. I’m wearing a satin nightgown, white. No, dusty rose. No, yellow. Wait. I’m wearing a WAC uniform à la The Andrews Sisters, my hair is like Veronica Lake’s…. By then the guy would either have drifted off to sleep or gone out for a hooker. My friend Alice, 31, had a slightly more useful method with a guy she dated a few years back: “He loved to say dirty stuff while we were making out and he would ask all kinds of ridiculous questions and expect answers.

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