“I really don’t like the way you Kiss”

In 2008, I was the co-founder and COO of an organization that was educating the world about Orgasm. Yes, orgasm. Born in San Francisco and about to be on the front page of the NYT’s Style section, we were building a curriculum of how to improve your life: Better Sex, Better Communication, Better Self-esteem, and of course, more powerful orgasms. Not only was I was in a leadership role in the business, I was also co-leading the Men’s Program, coaching and teaching courses. I had reached the status of BMOC and was loving it. Women liked me, men wanted to be more like me, and most of all, I had begun to really like who I was.

In addition, I was falling in love with my girlfriend. She was smart, beautiful, sexy, and funny. I would sometimes sit and watch her dress from the sweaty sheets of our bed and marvel on how much she turned me on. She wore beautiful lingerie under well-worn t-shirts, comfy jeans and Doc Martin’s. It wasn’t love yet but it was getting close. It was an adventure to get to know her.

One quiet evening I asked her:

“So, what I can do better in our relationship?”

This was something that normal in our community. We were blunt to the point of fierceness, open to adjustments, and always looking to optimize everything around relationship and sexuality. However, in this moment, I was expecting something fun and light maybe something flirty. I was expecting her to “more flowers” or “take me out more” or “you could do a better job of making the bed”.

She looked at me directly and said, “I don’t like the way you kiss.”

The truth hit me like a punch to the stomach. It felt like my legs were rubbery and my head slightly spinning. I had prided myself at being excellent in all manners of physically intimacy and had seen myself as if not a penultimate lover at least one that was competent. Her view that my kissing wasn’t even likable felt like my spleen had just become airborne.

I realized I had two choices in the moment. I could (a) Push back, gaslight, punish her for her truth and basically be an asshole acting like a 12-year old or (b) get curious.

I choose the latter.

“Okay”, I said evenly, “What don’t you like about it? What can I do better”

Her face turned to a smile and she moved closer to me on our bed. She looked at my face, taking in my eyes and making sure my request for more information was sincere. She told me later that no man has ever reacted like that and most would let their fragile egos take over.

She angled my head with her warm fingers and leaned in close. I could smell her skin as her lips came in contact with mine.

“Now, go slower… yes… a little less tongue… and push your lips into mine and tease my tongue into your mouth… uh… yes… and…”

Things went well after that.

After my lesson, I continued to learn to pay attention to her little desires around our physically intimacy. To say this experience changed me would be an understatement. Hearing her criticism about such an delicate aspect of me was extremely difficult. However, I learned how important it was to not let my ego lead and trust that more connection and intimacy and great sex was right around the corner if I did.

I will always feel grateful for her for the gift she gave me. It opened up the door not only for her to change the way I interact with women but all the relationships that I have followed. I feel indebted for the power and courage of her truth and how much it has changed me.

The most direct path to intimacy is through the truth. I believe the willingness to receive your partner’s views, reward it, learn from it, is the most powerful method to have the relationship you’ve always wanted.