We might think of making love as more of an art than a science. But that doesn’t mean science can’t reveal a lot about who makes the best lovers.
Are feisty people more passionate between the sheets? Or is it the strong and silent type that is more likely to get hearts in a flutter?
This article shares the science behind which personality traits make someone good in bed.
8 personality traits of people who are good in bed (according to science)
Let’s start with perhaps the most unassuming personality trait on our list.
Because, let’s face it, when we think about being sexy, “conscientious” is unlikely to be the first quality to come to mind.
Yet research has shown that detail-orientated and organized types of people have more satisfying sex lives and fewer sexual problems.
One study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that of the Big five main personality traits, conscientiousness was the best predictor of sexual function.
They noted that guys who scored highly for conscientiousness reported fewer erectile problems. Highly conscientious women reported fewer problems with sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm.
Meanwhile, another meta-analysis study concluded that conscientious people were more sexually satisfied.
We may think of sex as a spontaneous act driven by overwhelming passion, but the reality is actually quite different. As we’ll see next on the list, it takes work.
Writing in Vice, sex researcher and author, Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D. says this trait is far more compatible with great sex than it first appears:
“Given the greater care and effort conscientious people put into constructing and acting on their sex fantasies, it’s not a stretch to suggest that they’re likely to put more effort into their sex lives and relationships overall. Perhaps they pay more attention to fulfilling their partners’ sexual requests and desires on a day-to-day basis. And maybe they make more of an effort to maintain a sex schedule so as not to let things slip.”
The next slightly surprising personality trait to make it to the top ten is being hard-working.
Although, if you have a growth mindset maybe you don’t find it such a surprise. You probably already know that being committed to improvement is what counts the most.
Because even being good in bed all comes down to how you frame things and the attitude you approach sex with.
Research from the University of Toronto found that couples who thought they had to put effort into sex in order for it to get better reported higher satisfaction in not only the bedroom but the overall relationship too.
According to the studies author Jessica Maxwell:
“Across these studies, our pattern of results suggests that those who are higher in sexual growth beliefs – who think sex takes work – are more satisfied in their sex lives and overall relationships,”
Further research has also found that a firm commitment to sex and knowing that it requires effort is key to having a good sex life.
The best lovers are those who are responsive to their partners’ sexual needs and prepared to roll up their sleeves and put the work in.
Altruism is defined as:
“The attitude of caring about others and doing acts that help them although you do not get anything by doing those acts”.
So when you think about it, it’s not really surprising that selfless and generous people also make great lovers.
Research backs up the idea that kindness really can be sexy too. For example, one study noted that altruistic people have more luck in the love department:
“Participants who scored higher on a self-report altruism measure reported they were more desirable to the opposite sex, as well as reported having more sex partners, more casual sex partners, and having sex more often within relationships.”
A strong desire to put someone else’s feelings above your own is a desirable trait in a bed partner.
As research team lead Dr. Steven Arnocky points out, it seems kindness in a mate is far more significant than we often give it credit for:
“We often hear things like ‘nice guys finish last’ and this attitude can affect the way we interact with potential mates — remember the recent popularity of ‘negging’ (deliberate backhanded compliments as a pick-up strategy)? These behaviors seem to contradict what people are actually looking for in a partner.”
If you want to ramp up desire, be sure to stay independent.
It can seem contradictory. We often think of love and partnership, quite rightly, as about togetherness and partnership.
But as psychologist Esther Perel points out, love and desire are two very different things.
“Love enjoys knowing everything about you; desire needs mystery. Love likes to shrink the distance that exists between me and you, while desire is energized by it. If intimacy grows through repetition and familiarity, eroticism is numbed by repetition. It thrives on the mysterious, the novel, and the unexpected. Love is about having; desire is about wanting.”
That’s why the key to keeping passion in the bedroom is a healthy amount of autonomy. This is what keeps enough intrigue to fuel desire.
A 2010 study agreed that creating distance between two people can trigger sexual desire.
“The link between separateness and the construct of desire is evident in theoretical views that describe desire as a wish for something one does not have, or for something that is currently unattainable. In this line of thinking, separateness is beneficial to sexual desire; desire can be sharpened by withdrawal or abstinence and be stimulated by fantasy, hope, and promise.”
It seems we cannot ever want something we feel like we already have. So the way to be better in bed is to maintain a certain amount of mystery.
The less judgmental and fixed you are in your mindset, the more likely you are to be better in bed.
Research has suggested that people who are open to trying new things (both inside the bedroom and outside of it) report being far more satisfied by their sex lives.
A survey of over 3000 people aged between 18 and 70 discovered that the people who engaged in things that could be considered sexually adventurous behaviors (including masturbation, sex toys, and more) were more sexually satisfied.
Not only did they report being happier with their sex lives, but their partner’s satisfaction also improved too.
Routine can quickly lead to boredom in the bedroom. That’s why being open-minded to trying new things and shaking that routine up can make you better in bed.
It’s an obvious point that sex takes place between two people who are coming together in a shared experience. But how quickly this can be forgotten in the heat of the moment.
Many people can find themselves retreating into a solitary experience, not really connecting with their sexual partner, and focusing instead on their own pleasure.
But one study found that the more attention you pay to your sexual partner, the sexier they feel — and the more sex you end up having.
Researchers think that responsiveness seems to be a key component of desire. And that starts outside of the bedroom.
Making your sexual partner feel special is an important part of building intimacy, and it’s what researchers think is the real magic ingredient.
“Feeling special and perceived partner mate value explained the responsiveness-desire link, suggesting that responsive partners were seen as making one feel valued as well as better potential mates for anyone and thus as more sexually desirable”.
So it seems that if you want to make your partner crazy for you in between the sheets, you need to make them feel wanted outside of the bedroom too.
Plenty of research has found confidence to be a strong predictor of overall romantic attractiveness.
And anecdotally we know this to be true. The people with swagger seem to do better in the dating game.
That inner confidence signals to potential mates that you are worthy of their desire.
So it’s no surprise that confidence in bed also plays a significant part in sexual satisfaction.
One survey found that the majority of people believed that an ability to sexually satisfy their partner is most closely linked to a man’s sexual confidence.
“The majority (∼94.0%) believed that it is important for a man to be sexually confident for good sex and that being able to have good sex enables men to have greater satisfaction with life overall.”
According to sex expert Bethany Ricciardi:
“Having confidence could include your leaving the lights on, going completely nude, or wearing something super sexy. You take control of the situation. You’re vocal. You’re enthusiastic. You feel them desiring you!”
8) Good listener
We all already know that communication is king when it comes to creating satisfying and healthy relationships.
So it’s probably a no-brainer that includes great communication when it comes to your bedroom antics too.
Research has shown how couples with sexual difficulties have more sexual communication problems than couples without sexual concerns.
Meanwhile, another study concluded that better sexual communication is associated with greater sexual function and that it plays a particularly strong role in women’s sexual desire:
“Couples’ sexual communication, though important for both men and women’s orgasmic function, appears to be particularly relevant to the orgasmic function of women with sexual problems. It is not surprising that this finding emerged specifically for women, as evidence has consistently suggested that when women openly communicate about sexual likes and dislikes with their partners, they report more frequent orgasms.”
The better you can openly communicate and express what you want, the better the sex. But that goes both ways.
To be a better lover, you have to be a good listener too in order to tune in to what your partner wants from you.
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