How to be a better lover

Want to be a better lover? Build up a fitness base, as an athelete would. Not by physical exercise, although that can’t hurt, but by exercising your ability to create. Want to be a better lover? Practice — strive to master — an art form.

I would like to see men model themselves less exclusively on the hero-warrior archetype and explore their artistic creativity more. Through painting, for example. Let the battle be for unfettered self-expression, let men attack the picture plane rather than each other, let them paint their grief rather than mask it with revenge.

A woman knows she is not going to have much fun with a man who can’t handle looking or feeling foolish. Picture a bold young woman coming upon a man as he sunbathes in the nude. She stands there gazing down on him, taking a good look at his less than perfect body, at his pathetically shrivelled manhood, and then she begins to laugh, not derisively, but with a kind of helpless amusement. This might describe one of a man’s worst nightmares, but it could also be — in the immortal words of Humphrey Bogart at the end of Casablanca — the beginning of a beautiful friendship. If, that is, the man in question hasn’t already died of humilation or — given the high volatility of male pride — imploded or exploded with rage. The next step would be his — to return her look and smile, feeling himself, against all odds, getting hard.