the ‘good’ in good in bed
or Flexible in Bed
The ‘Good’ in Good in Bed is hard to define.
Exactly what being ‘good in bed’ means can never quite be pinned down because it will vary so much from person to person to gender to nature to nurture to sexual orientation to fetishes to fantasies. Being ‘good in bed’ is a meaningless truism foisted (mostly by themselves) on people who are new to or uncomfortable with sex, making them even more unsure of themselves.
You can be great in bed for one person and easily just average or even terrible for the next depending on their tastes. When his roomie asks him, “So, was she good in bed?” he might mean was she loud, was she energetic, was she into it, did she let him do X thing, a combination of the above, or something else entirely. When her best friend asks her, “Was he good in bed?” she might be wondering about his assertiveness, his tenderness, his unselfishness, his stamina, or a million other things.
If there was a way to place a value on someone’s goodinbedness, it would have to be with some form of aggregate review-based sex Rotten Tomatoes where each of your partners assigned you a score based on their personal experience and your average total was teased out from the consensus. There would obviously have to be a minimum amount of reviews to reach this consensus, and of course, some critics would be deemed more reliable than others.
With this method, the people who would most likely end up coming out on the sunny end of the good in bed scale would be those who adapted well to the very different likes and tastes of each of their (minimum amount of) partners/critics. Because being good in bed is very possibly so drastically different – even between average, regular people – we would probably find that our sex superstars were those who were comfortable and humble enough to make a priority of discovering what their partner liked and then adventurous and malleable enough to adapt their behavior accordingly.
The very best in bed would not only be able to quickly adapt their behavior but also their personal likes (and even dislikes?) to each partner. Part of the pleasure of the best sexual experiences is seeing your partner derive pleasure from you, and having a partner who gets off on the things you like, I believe, is one of the best things about sex. The faster you learn to really, intrinsically enjoy the things that inherently turn your partner on, the more mystical ‘chemistry’ he/she will likely later attribute to your sultry skirmish.
When this happens by happy accident, stars and rainbows and unicorns can collide. But it’s bad business sense to buy stock in a company whose only profit comes from scratching lottery tickets and crossing their fingers. It’s better to do it on purpose.
So when looking for someone who will be good in bed (either a new longer-term partner or a one-night stand), look for someone who is adaptable. Look for someone who is resilient and flexible enough to mold themselves to new situations quickly and genuinely enjoy them.
Put potential partners in foreign settings and see how they react and whether or not they enjoy themselves. Force them to ad lib; test their improvisation skills. See if they can roll with your punches before getting your kicks.
Insert profound closing argument sentence here that will somehow offset that last terrible wordplay.
Side note: I suppose it’s possible to have a certain limited skillset that, in general, a large quantity of the people you meet will like – bouncing your ass or taking control or being gentle or slobbering or drilling, for instance. It’s also possible to live a long and fulfilling life with a GED and a minimum-wage job. But this column is about exploring the frontiers of sex.
Also: This doesn’t mean that you tell each partner that their favorite kind of eggs is coincidentally your favorite too. It just means not growing old in bed and being open to enjoying new things, people, experiences.