Study: Selfish Lovers Have More Fulfilling Sex Lives
By Ronnie Koenig Jun 17th 2010 11:18AM

Most people believe that the best lovers are the ones who are totally focused on their partner’s needs.

But, according to a new study, people who are sexually self-focused, or selfish in bed, are often the ones who actually have the most fulfilling sex lives.

The study, which was presented recently at the Association for Psychological Science convention in Boston, was conducted by Kwantlen Polytechnic University graduate student Hayley Leveque and psychology professor Cory Pederson.

Leveque said she was surprised at the results of the research.

“We found that as a partner’s sexual self-focus decreased, their partner’s satisfaction decreased,” she told The Vancouver Sun. “You would think it would be exactly the opposite, with a partner being more attentive to the other partner’s needs, but that’s not what we found. It was sort of counterintuitive.”

Leveque and Pedersen studied 60 couples — 30 of them between the ages of 18-25 and 30 over the age of 30. They asked the participants to answer questions about their reasons for having sex and how much they enjoyed having sex with their current partners.

Those in the younger age group tended to be more sexually self-focused. Their motivations for having sex included “horniness” and wanting to feel good. The over-30 group stated different reasons for having sex, including wanting to show love and affection for their partner, or because sex is part of their weekend routine.

“It seems that sexual self-focus serves a function, that a degree of it is required to keep your partner happy, which is really quite interesting,” Leveque was quoted by The Vancouver Sun as saying.

“We have to be generous as lovers, and yet, selfish at the same time,” Patti Britton, a clinical sexologist and author of “The Art of Sex Coaching,” told AOL Health. “Sex is a partner dance. One of the reasons that people don’t experience the full capacity of their sexual pleasure is that they’re hung up on whether they’re doing a good enough job.”

What most people tend to forget is that in order to have good sex you need to be enthusiastic about it, Britton said. While no one wants a lover who is totally focused on him or herself to the point of excluding his or her partner, a person who likes having sex for the simple fact that it feels good is probably going to be really into the experience, and that excitement can rub off, she said.

“When you’re oriented toward the partner and not yourself, that’s called work. When you engage your own pleasure and that’s the focus, it’s play,” Britton said.

To be more sexually self-focused, Britton recommends trying her “FOPS” technique, which stands for Focus On Pleasurable Sensations.

“Focus on the pleasure of what your partner’s warm breath feels like on your neck,” she explained. “Focus on the pleasure of his or her body pressing against yours. Focus on the pleasure of looking into his or her eyes. Get out of your head and get into your body.”

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