Ever wondered what comes to men’s minds when they think about great nights? I sure have. To get the low-down, I asked 10 guys in my life to describe what makes it over-the-top amazing for them. Their answers might surprise you.
Chemistry, plus BDSM for good measure
Chemistry is what makes great nights for me,” says Tal, 27 and straight (and one of my old crushes). It can be literally anything that I find intriguing and makes me want to know someone intimately. It could simply just be the way they look, their mannerisms, their scent. As a non-monogamous person who thrives on novelty, that’s usually enough for me to create great experiences. Other than that, I’m also a dominant in a 24/7 BDSM relationship, so power exchange is something I enjoy in sleeping with someone a lot too.”
Being in the moment
I asked Matt, my ex, what his thoughts were on the topic. He’s 30, straight, and in a long-term relationship. “I think it’s the ability to be in the moment and appreciate all the different senses and sensations,” he said. “For me, it also extends to empathizing with your partner and imagining their experience and knowing they’re doing the same to you. Finding a common plane where you can connect and enjoy something you’re creating together while letting go of everything else.”
Empathy and enthusiasm
One of my oldest friends, Mike, 30, recently came out as gay. He says, “I naturally want to find out what the other person likes, so when I’m with someone that does the same for me, that’s empathy. I also love sleeping with someone who loves being intimate. It makes it more pleasurable for me when I know they love the feeling of it. The more animalistic it gets and the less emotional it can be, I actually really enjoy that as well. I can really enjoy sleeping with someone that I’ve never met before. It’s all about that physical pleasure and that exchange.”
Connection is the cake
For my old friend and former flame, Roman (who’s 29 and straight), connection is vital to great experiences. “I think connection makes for truly great nights,” he explains. “The position, pace, and setting are the icing but connection is the cake. Connection between souls is that unexplained voodoo stuff that makes sex feel like the kiss of heaven with the little death of the ego. I think all that’s magical about intimacy is found in connection.”
Vulnerability without expectations
“Sharing my own vulnerability, or seeing my partner share theirs makes for great intimacy,” says my polyamorous friend Adam. He’s 34 and bi. “Caring for the other person can also work well for me too—if the other person is enjoying something that they feel vulnerable about. Specifically, a lot of eye contact can do it for me, but typically in more emotionally close relationships. I’ve felt a weight of expectation on me previously but that’s something I’m shedding. Intimacy has got a lot more relaxed and enjoyable for me for that reason. So, not putting expectations upon myself. And secondarily, having partners who don’t have expectations.”
Connection and trust make anything possible
Rob, a 42-year-old straight, polyamorous guy I met recently told me, “Great nights involve lots of things. That vaguest of commonly used terms, connection, is the best way to sum up what is essential. With that, the intimacy can be gentle or wild, intimate or distanced, passionate and loving, or brutal and objectifying (so long as it’s consensual). Trust deepens any loving connection and a devotion to the process of trust is essential for a growing path for intimate loving intimacy.
Nothing between each other
Henrique, 21 and straight, is a dude I had a great makeout session with one time. Here’s his take on it: “It goes beyond penetration. The development of the energy between a couple before, during, and after is what fascinates me. I get to a point where I can’t really see or feel any barrier between myself and my partner. Maybe that’s what fascinates me the most.”
Everyone gets what they want through communication
I asked my best friend and long-time crush Blake what he thinks. He’s 32 and describes his orientation as “still figuring that out.” He says, “The first thing is genuine love and care for the person I’m sleeping with. The more I know and care about someone, the more I enjoy the it because I’m more giving as a lover, and more able to give. The second part is communication. When we express our desires, everyone gets what they want. It becomes a much greater experience. There’s far less insecurity, far more connection and it feels good to know I’m pleasing my partner. It turns me on—it’s an upward spiral when both of us are enjoying each other.”
Working toward shared pleasure
My new friend João says, “For me, great intimacy is all about co-operation and synchronization, and complete openness. It’s when both partners are working toward the experience of shared pleasure, when the pleasure of one becomes the pleasure of the other. Letting go of boundaries and insecurities is extremely helpful and constructive.” He’s 21 and straight.
It starts when our clothes are still on
Finally, I asked my boyfriend and amazing lover, who’s 29 and straight, what makes great intimacy to him. “It starts way before my partner and I are actually naked. The electricity and anticipation of the unknown encounter and the adventure of knowing someone anew plus the vulnerability of being completely open and exposed to one another combine to create an intoxicating cocktail. When that happens I’m in the moment, and the slightest touch can set us on fire. It’s also being able to let go into the experience—just playing and finding out what feels good. Add reckless abandon and a good sense of humor, it’s always a good time.”
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