Dear Caitlin: How Do You Know If You’re Good In Bed?

Dear Caitlin: How Do You Know If You’re Good In Bed?

I have received a lot of emails from people asking me questions, so I’ve decided to begin answering some of them publicly. Feel free to send your questions to Privacy will always be protected. My goal is to help people, and if you have a question, others have it too. If you would prefer not to have your question answered publicly, let me know in your email and I will not post it on my blog. Thanks!

Dear Caitlin,

I am in a relationship, and it’s going really well. I love my girlfriend, and I want to be a good lover. She tells me I satisfy her, but I don’t believe her. I don’t think I’m good in bed. I’ve always had girls tell me I’m good, but I don’t buy it. Lately I’ve been worrying about it a lot. How do you know if you’re good in bed?


NYC Lover

Dear NYC,

What makes a good lover differs for everyone. I know what I think makes someone a good lover, but there is no universal answer or definition. You have to figure out what it means to you to be good in bed. It also helps to know what it means to your partner.

However, I think there is more to your worries than just this. If I am right, no amount of external validation is going to ease your anxiety.

Think about it. You can’t believe you are good in bed, even though you are told that you are; you have always been told that you are. So, either everyone has been lying to you, or, you are projecting. A projection is when we feel something, but we think it is others who feel it. FoMales_Anas_platyrhynchos_2_r example, if you ever notice that you feel REALLY bad about something, as though you let someone down, but the person seems totally fine with it, it is more likely that you let YOURSELF down; you are projecting your disappointment onto someone else.

I think it is possible that when you say, “she isn’t satisfied,” what you really mean is, “I’m not satisfied.” This doesn’t mean your girlfriend is, “bad in bed,” whatever that means. It may mean that you have unknown needs and desires that you would benefit from exploring. I suspect the latter is true, being that you’ve always had the sense that your partners didn’t really think you were good in bed, even though they said you were.

If I am right, and you are projecting your dissatisfaction onto her, the first step is realizing it. Then you can explore what you need to be satisfied.

My best,



The information contained on Caitlin’s Couch, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and any other material thereon, is for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not intended to (and does not), provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to the reader or to any other individual.  The sole purpose of Caitlin’s Couch is to promote discussion, dialogue and awareness of various topics relating to lifestyle and mental health. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment, and before undertaking a new health care regimen.  Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on Caitlin’s Couch.


  1. AlwaysDoubting says:

    I have had precisely this problem for years. Your answer is very insightful. In a way, maybe I always felt disappointed in my skills and effort because my partners didn’t respond in kind? I felt that if what I had done was really good then certainly they would have reciprocated more intensely. My self criticism and striving to get better and better at sex was an expression of disappointment in my partners that I didn’t want to have to deal with, because I had idealized them and not demanded (or received) much in return–at least when it came to sex.

    Very helpful answer. Thanks!

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