20 Men, 20 Lessons: A Life In Lovers

love lessons
Love, Self

Do we learn ANYTHING from past relationships? One women reviews her love life, mistakes and all.

God help me, I've forgotten his name even though I slept with him, age 26. That you can be unattracted to someone outside the bedroom and still have chemistry between the sheets—as long as you don't look at him during the act.

Alex, age 26 to 28. That you actually can look at an unattractive person in bed if he happens to be married and your boss. Also, that I had intimacy issues, because when he said he wanted to leave his wife, I dumped him.

Justin #2, age 28 to 33. That you can be in love with someone even though the sex is lousy. Can There Be Love Without Chemistry?

Paul, age 34 to 45 off and on. That it's gratifying to have a lover handy when you're at your sexual peak, even if he will barely speak, shows you no affection, and never spends the night.

Flaky Motorcycle Guy, age 34. That men with small penises aren't good for much. (Or so I thought.)

Skinny Jerk Joe, age 37. That if there's chemistry but you're not sleeping together, something is wrong. (For example, he's into hardcore BDSM but can't figure out if you'll go for it.) A Shy Girl's Guide To Embracing Her Kinky Side

De'Angelo, age 37. That a deep attraction to each other's hair and racial difference is not enough to sustain a relationship. Interracial Romance: Is Love Colorblind?

Josh, age 37. That somebody who constantly flirts with you and wraps you in full body hugs but says, "Sure I've thought about kissing you but it doesn't mean I'm interested in you," either has a low sex drive, is lying, is confused about his sexuality, or is a person with blurry boundaries and should be avoided.

Stevie-that-Rat-Bastard, age 45. That I could be surprised when an older, fatter, flabbier, saggier man than I've ever been with could be an amazing lover. And small penises can be good for something.

Sweetie, present. I've learned that I can still be surprised. I've learned that lots of experience (which I thought was a requirement for good sex) isn't necessary. Sweetie's combination of affection, openness, and being "present" during the act earns him my Favorite Lover of All Time award. And, last, that being 11 years older than your partner is good and bad in equal measures. History's 10 Fiercest Cougars