12 Steps for Wooing Your Beloved to Bedtime Bliss
(A guide for both men and women)

Katherine Phelps

This is just a little handy hint guide to the various ways in which you, dear reader, can impress the person of your dreams and thereby have greater access to ongoing nookie. All too often people are expected to inherently know techniques for effective wooing. This of course is not the case. We all have to learn by trial, error and observing other people's experiences. Ultimately, this is a highly individual art and must be modified with each new person you wish to enter into a relationship with.

Show a genuine interest in your beloved's interests.

This is the best way I know of to make opening conversations possible. In such a situation it is usually best to start with a question like, "What do you think of the local Gorgonzola cheeses?" If your beloved is a cheese fancier, you have just opened the doorway to an empassioned conversation that could last some time. You are then associated with passion; a good thing, no? However, be sure to share in this interest. Otherwise you will either be caught out in your lack of knowledge or worse still, suffer from MEGO (my eyes glaze over) and lose your interest in this potential mate; a bad thing, yes?

Be a good listener.

This is a good skill for making friends in general. Be sure to always give your beloved space to talk about themselves as well. Ask questions or make comments based upon what your beloved has said. Encourage them to say more, and look straight into their eyes as you listen. Remember, we are all looking for acceptance and being listened to is one sign that someone is accepting us.

Become a friend.

I know of people who say, "Never have sex with a friend." My stance is ALWAYS have sex with a friend. It's overall a much safer and enjoyable situation. With a friend the pressure isn't on to perform perfectly. You are allowed to be human. All too often "in-love" is a state whereby two people blind themselves to each other's humanity, and enter into a relationship with a projection of their own insufficient ideals, rather than with the other person. When the ideals are found not to fit these all too human beings, disillusionment and disappointment follows. In friendship you are perfectly aware of each other's humanity and choose to accept it. Friends can be honest about birth control and protection. Friends can laugh when things don't work out perfectly on a date or in bed, knowing that they will have another chance at it later. Friends feel secure in the ongoing nature of the relationship and therefore have no need to cling, but give one another their freedom.

The best way to become a friend is just learn to be concerned about the other person's day to day joys and cares, maintain ongoing contact and make sure to have fun together alone and with other friends.

Do little things.

It is always delightful to receive gifts from a beloved such as chocolate (good for any sexual persuasion) or tickets to an event. Too much of a good thing, though, and your beloved will feel that you are trying to buy their favours. Major turn off time. Ongoing little courtesies and favours will go a much longer way and speak of a deeper sense of caring. These include: both men and women unlocking the passenger side of the car first, helping one another put on a jacket, making offers of help, always carrying your own condoms in your purse or wallet, sending a card just to let your beloved know that you are thinking about them.

Broaden your expectations.

I know of many people who never get a date because they are waiting for the TV ideal to walk into their life. People can come in all sorts of packages and still be sexy and loveable. Review all of your judgements of "I could never go out with a person who..." You could be limiting your choices too severely. For instance to say that you would never go out with someone who cheers for the Seattle Seahawks means you could be missing out on all sorts of people who share your love of football.

Broadening your expectations to me also means freeing yourself from roles. Don't expect your beloved to behave in certain ways because of their gender or career. I know of men who really appreciate it when a woman takes them out for dinner and alternatively women who appreciate having a meal cooked for them. In freeing yourself from judgements and expectations, you open yourself to enjoying the new and unexpected aspects of your beloved, thus broadening yourself.

Be honest.

Be honest about who you are, how you feel and what you want. This can be a toughie because almost no one believes they are good enough as they are and often get caught up in trying to impress. To this day I still get scared about telling people how I feel about them and how I feel about myself in any given situation. And I think it is everyone's favourite pasttime to avoid saying what they really want for fear of being told they can't have it (and thereby still not getting it).

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and transparent to another is a risk. You might get hurt. However, you might find someone to whom you can reveal yourself and share your deepest thoughts. A love based on honesty means that you are truly loved for yourself alone. Honesty means you don't have to worry about interpretting each other's actions and words. Asking for what you want means you might get it. However, be open to negotiating with what your beloved wants as well, such as: "We will go to Star Trek Generations this Saturday and Like Water for Chocolate next Saturday," rather than insisting that you can only see one or the other.

Honesty becomes absolutely imperative once you get into bed in order to ensure a good time is had by all. Be sure to frequently ask as you try different styles of foreplay or sex positions, "What do you want, do you like this, is this any better, how do you feel?" And there is nothing like a little opening of the heart in pillow talk afterwards.

Give yourself and your beloved freedom.

I believe we all are looking for a return to that babyhood state where we are the absolute centre of love and support from another person. Often when entering into a relationship we hope that the other person will answer all our needs and give us a sense of that early love. I have seen far too many relationships spoiled when the participants see the other person as their source of love and therefore try to control that person so as not to lose the source. This only serves to kill love. The controlled person cannot love freely, but only out of obligation (which breeds resentment), and the controlling person is not free because they have tied themselves to only one source. Usually in this sort of relationship both people are both controller and controlled.

It can be scary giving a beloved their freedom. However, several things can be done to make it easier. Make sure that you have friends you can rely upon. In this way you know you are always surrounded by loving supportive people. It may hurt if a beloved chooses to go their separate way, but then you have people whose shoulders you can cry on, then pick yourself up and continue creating intimate relationships. Learn how to enjoy separate as well as mutual interests with your beloved. Learn how to give each other space and privacy. Finally, and most importantly, become your own source of love.

Cultivate your sense of humour.

Having a sense of humour means you are fun to be with. It also means you have an easier time of getting yourself unstuck from a situation you may be taking too seriously, and rescue any disasters. I've been in several fights when something about the fight struck me as funny and next thing you know, both my beloved's and my own angry mood was ruined. We were then able to see the problem in a more open and creative light. Humour also saved a couple of botched attempts at lovemaking, so regardless we had fun.

Learn compassion and forgiveness.

In our own estimations we are all flawed beings, and yet we all equally deserve to be loved. Respect your own humanity and the humanity of your beloved. Let no one mistake be unforgiveable, though you and your beloved both always have the right to choose whether you wish to continue together. Nevertheless, be aware of what is most important to you in the relationship, not losing sight of that in the heat of a painful situation.

Take responsibility.

I have heard people say that all men are like "X" or all women are like "Y" and thereby blame an entire gender for their inability to find contentment with someone. If you are having difficulty in creating a happy relationship be willing to take a hard look at yourself. What do you believe about yourself? Do you believe that you are loveable...really? What do you expect out of relationships? If you expect your beloved to treat you poorly and then leave you, very likely you will do things to confirm that expectation so as to prove your opinion right. Would you rather be right or loved? Remember no one makes you do or feel anything, that is your choice. You are responsible for your feelings, you are responsible for your actions. Trying to make other people responsible for these things means you will never give yourself the opportunity to change things for the better. And you can always change things for the better.

Taking responsibility means also that no matter what your gender, you should always be prepared to have safe sex. It is not the sole responsibility of the man to carry a condom or a woman to take birth control.

Have fun.

That's the whole idea isn't it? Have fun, enjoy life, laugh, cry, share love, make love, be good to yourself. People who know how to have fun are the sexiest people in the world. They know how to play in bed which means a lifetime of interesting sex.

Honour yourself.

This is probably the most important advice of all in wooing and creating bedtime bliss. The more comfortable you are with yourself, the more comfortable a beloved will be with you. The more you enjoy yourself, the more a beloved will enjoy being with you. The more you love yourself, the more you can love and be loved. It's as simple as that, and yet it can be the most challenging thing in the world. Honouring yourself is a lifetime commitment, but one well worth making.

Go forth and have a good time!