(exert from Polyamory Toolkit)
I happen to have sex with people who have sex with other people. Specifically, the two people I currently sleep with most often (1) also sleep with other people. My other partners have sex with a variety of other people, male and female.
When I started having sex with a sexually active partner, there was a time of feeling threatened by such a situation. After all, what if (the other person they are having sex with) is better at it than me? Perhaps they were bigger, or had better stamina, or knew things I did not, even was able to last till just the right moment? And thus, my partner would prefer this other lover perhaps and I would have a reduced amount of sex. And believe it or not, worse in my head, was a reduced amount of respect. Because from my high school chums to modern media, I’ve been taught if you can not satisfy your partner better than anyone else, you are not a “real man”. And that a “real man” will come along and take that lover away (I have been told by female-identifying partners they deal with a version of this as well).
With this thought it mind, when it came time to make love, I would subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) bring these other partners to bed, and try to ‘beat them’. To win at being the best lover. And this was both a doomed idea, as well as a stupid one. One that actually benefited those external partners by making them better lovers! It was a doomed attempt because my level of control over some of my physical attributes is limited. Although there are things that you can do on a physical level to assist you in being a better lover, there are some things you can not effect. The size and shape of your prick or pussy is what it is. You might be able to make some adjustments (some parts are more malleable than other parts) but overall, when it comes down to it, you got what you got. My cock is exactly some number of inches and has a slight down curve. And if slight down curve is not as enjoyable to you as 45 degree angle up, then, so be it. No penis pump or set of clamps will change what is.
And it was a stupid attempt not because I wanted to be a better lover, but because I was trying to be better than someone else. My mind would be on ‘how can I pleasure better than’ – and this was a thought process that directly disempowered the very thing that I (and my partners) most cherish in sexual connections; the physical + emotional + spiritual aspects that makes sex a complete sensual union.
That fully connected state is what makes it more than just two people humping, more than just then a physical thing. It was not stupid to desire to be a better lover. It was the path of comparing myself to another that was in error, instead of simply cultivating being more of a lover.
There came a point where I was able to surrender the war on myself (I was the only one telling me stories of my failures). Once I recognized it, I realized that no one was a better lover than us. And no one was a worse lover than us. Because us can not be compared to our partners and their partners. It is a different situation and a different experience.
(Continued in The Polyamory Toolkit, chapter “Comparing Sex”)