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Seven Traits of a Masterful Lover

To become a firekeeper you must ask yourself: “What is my intention as a lover?” 

Is it:

  • to show up only when things feel good and retreat into hiding when things get uncomfortable? 

  • to satisfy cravings, even at the expense of another person? 

  • to sit on the sidelines and wait to be called in, missing the game entirely? 

No. As a firekeeper, you allow your body to become a vehicle for conscious-love, not just for your own awakening but for your partner’s as well. You cultivate and ultimately excel in the seven traits of the masterful lover.

1. A masterful lover is aware. 

The aware lover skillfully brings love back to moments that would otherwise lead to turmoil. 

They catch themself in their own patterns that sabotage the relationship and do their part to stop unnecessary fights. They are not blinded by false perceptions of self, whether that is deflecting accountability (“I’m not the problem here, my partner is.”) or suffering delusions of grandeur (“I’m great in bed, it’s my partner who’s shut down.”). The aware lover sees clearly how they impact the relationship with the things they say and actions they take. 

The aware lover sees past themself and into their partner without turning away, wincing, or denying what they see. Their vision is not compromised by rose-colored or dark-tinted glasses. 

In addition, they know how to look at their partner as if they are seeing them for the first time, even if they have seen their face thousands of times. They see with eyes of wonder and appreciation, not by tricking themself but by using the skill of trained attention. 

Their attention is free rather than obsessed with either the positive or the negative. They see each and every moment purely without projection and without bias.

You know you are becoming an aware lover when you possess an increasingly disciplined mind. You can direct your attention, even in the most triggering moments. For example, you do your best to see the moment objectively during a fight. You see in real time whether your behaviors are creating more trust and love or less. 

The point here is this: The masterful lover intentionally keeps romance, beauty, and deep fuck alive, especially in long-term relationship, by cultivating awareness. Because of this, they can remain attracted to and appreciative of their partner over time rather than growing increasingly bored and tired of them. You will be learning this skill in the chapter on awareness. 

2. A masterful lover is sensitive.

The sensitive lover’s body is awake, alive, and pulsing with sensation. They use this sensitivity to expertly navigate moments of seduction, arouse their lover’s body, and awaken their lover’s heart. 

The sensitive lover lives their life in a way that amplifies their ability to feel the most nuanced levels of sensation. They stop blindly engaging in numbing behaviors by being intentional about the foods they eat, substances they consume, and choices they make. 

For example, they know how deadening it is to spend hours zoning out to TV and porn, to become dependent upon a vibrator, or to overeat. So they indulge in those “pricey” behaviors sparingly. 

The sensitive lover rarely botches moments of intimacy because they hone their ability to feel their lover’s body and heart as well as they feel their own. They know—without having to ask—when their words and touch are closing their partner’s body or opening it. 

Every single response and nonverbal cue guides their every movement. This is true not just in lovemaking but also over coffee, driving in the car, and throughout the day. 

In the same way a great hunter can sense every rustle in the forest, the sensitive lover can feel their partner, even from miles away. They text them at just the right time and say, “Thinking of you.” Their partner smiles at being felt so attentively just when they needed it most. 

You know you are becoming a sensitive lover when your emotional intelligence begins to increase. You stop hiding your feelings and start offering them through an open heart as a gift to the relationship. You stop seeing sensitivity as a weakness and start seeing it as a strength. 

The point here is this: The sensitive lover cultivates a remarkable ability to feel and then uses their sensory acuity to serve trust, love, and ecstatic sexual union. 

You will learn this skill in the sensitivity chapter; we will show you how to use your sensitivity to open yourself, your lover, and the moment to divine union.

3. A masterful lover is nonreactive. 

The nonreactive lover shows up to all of life—pleasure and difficulty—with full breath, open heart, and unguarded body. The nonreactive lover is the living embodiment of equanimity.

In the midst of massive, pulsating, ecstatic pleasure, the nonreactive lover can relax completely and let the tongues of fire lick their body without being engulfed by the flames. They remain composed yet relaxed, so there is less risk of them prematurely ejaculating or freezing up. 

The nonreactive lover doesn’t come to the sexual occasion raring to flex their muscles, prove something, or assuage neediness. They aren’t trying to win arguments or assert control. They stop trying to control things. Instead, they release all agendas in sex and love and meet the moment equanimously by allowing what is before making any attempt to change it. 

The nonreactive lover has gained enough spiritual maturity (usually the hard way) to recognize there is no “there” to get to. Instead, the nonreactive lover comes to the sexual occasion to serve their partner and celebrate conscious-love through two bodies. 

The nonreactive lover also welcomes all of the flavors of their partner, including the ones that more reactive lovers would say are too much, such as intense anger or vulnerable sadness. All the textures of reality, from sweet lightness to thundering darkness, become fodder for the nonreactive lover’s sexual play. 

You know you are becoming nonreactive when you can breathe with any and every moment—when nothing triggers you into a physical, emotional, or psychological knot. 

The point here is this: The nonreactive lover is simply here to meet each moment as it is, and they make love to and through that moment right alongside and in perfect sync with their lover. 

When you learn this skill of nonreactivity and begin breathing in sync with your partner, abiding in equanimity with every breath, you are walking in the world as a masterful lover. 

We will be teaching you how to do this in the equanimity chapter. 

4. A masterful lover is skillful. 

The skillful lover is a sexual and sensual artist. 

The skillful lover is not merely relying on surface appearances and theatrics to create sexual attraction. Wild turn-on is a quality they command as a cultivated skill, not just a consequence of luck and chemistry. 

From a steamy glance over coffee to a full-on sexual embrace, lovemaking is an artform to the skillful lover. In the same way a chef can create a delicious dinner night after night, the erotically skillful lover can create delicious intimacy night after night, year after year. 

The skillful lover understands the exact ingredients that light a sexual fire—and it’s not what everyone has been led to believe. They know what all the fakery is trying to imitate, so they aren’t trying to imitate anything. They are the thing. With this understanding, the skillful lover can keep the sensual fires roaring at any age, with any body type, and under any circumstance. 

Skillfulness is the key for anyone practicing a monogamous lifestyle. With it, sexual fire stays lit rather than flickers out. And lovemaking matures like a fine wine over time as a skillful couple becomes more subtly attuned to the nuances of their turn-on.

You know you are becoming a skillful lover when you possess the know-how to design the intimate relationship of your dreams. You are in command of sexual attraction. You know what’s missing when it fades and exactly how to get it back. You stop needing external stimuli and “newness” to ignite excitement. You have everything you need right where you are with the person you adore.

The point here is this: The skillful lover knows the secrets of how to make a relationship hot. They know it’s not through fat wallets and gravity-defying body parts. They do not give up when things cool off. They turn to their practice, pick up their fire-keeping tools, and spark a flame. 

You’ll pick up these tools through the inspired embodiments you will learn about in the Alpha and Omega chapter. 

5. A masterful lover is passionate. 

The passionate lover knows that sexual fire is what nourishes intimate connection. And so they bring it. 

The passionate lover prioritizes intimacy. In doing so, they sustain the kind of romance that most people enjoy at the beginning but lose over time. The relationship continues to feel exciting even if it’s decades old. Leisure time is bathed in sacredness, eros, sexiness, fun, and play.

This is because the passionate lover does not allow themself to grow cold or withdraw. They always remember that intimate relationship offers something they can’t get from work, family, or friends: sexual love. So they never allow the relationship to go cold. 

The passionate lover stokes the flames of desire in themself, even though it’s uncomfortable to yearn, vexing to want, and tempting as hell to take all of that sexual hunger and stuff it down with food and work or discharge it with chronic masturbation. 

The passionate lover understands that desire is irritating, that staying deeply in touch with desire can drive one mad. The passionate lover is not confused by this. They learn to breathe their sexual fire from the crown of their head, down to their genitals, and back up again. They transmute sexual fire into an energy that liberates rather than enslaves, that sustains a burning passion for all of life rather than consumes everything in its path. 

By this, the passionate lover is wide awake and conscious of it all. They don’t shut it down, and they don’t follow desire into oblivion. Just like a firekeeper tends to the flames with respect, the passionate lover navigates desire with integrity. 

It’s not easy. The stress state freezes people out of sensuality. Exhaustion squashes sexual desire. And stored resentments restrict sexual generosity. 

The passionate lover tolerates none of this. They keep erotic heat alive as a gift to their relationship. 

The passionate lover learns their partner’s body a little better every single time they make love. Sexing never grows old, habitual, or boring. 

You know you are becoming a passionate lover when you are actively stoking sexual fire in your relationship, prioritizing it as much as you prioritize the gym, work, or anything else that matters to you. You know you are becoming a passionate lover when your beloved walks around with a smile on their face and a bounce in their step.

The point here is this: The passionate lover never allows themself or the relationship to go cold. They keep passion in the picture. 

And they do so using the fire of sexual desire—staying in touch with it, sharing it, and holding it sacred. They never allow those flames to leap out of control. They use fire rightly, as you will learn how to do in the polarity chapter. 

6. A masterful lover is present. 

The masterful lover possesses the ability to be powerfully present in the moment. 

They aren’t stuck in the past, projected into the future, or buried in their phone. They are here in the present—the now—with their partner. 

The present lover makes their partner feel as though they are the only thing in the universe when they are with them. They offer their consciousness, unguarded heart, and undivided attention freely and without obligation. This leads to profoundly fulfilling sex and love. 

Time and again, we see the present lover inspire genuine sexual worship. They are as grounded and authentic as a sage. They are as radiant and energetically luminous as a supernova. As a result, they inspire real turn-on, the kind that feels irresistible. 

The present lover can pierce a soul with their gaze. Their undivided attention pours through their face when their beloved sits before them. 

They can release everything that blocks their ability to bring the full force of their conscious-love to their partner. That includes distractions, insecurities, neurotic concerns, and obsessive thoughts. They are unburdened by past hurts and don’t hold grudges. 

Shit happens in relationships. Hurts happen. Trust is lost from time to time. Knowing this, the present lover doesn’t sweep things under the rug when they happen or store them in the soft tissues of their body as armor for later. 

They don’t show up to the moment crossing their arms, guarding their heart, and holding their energy back because of built-up resentments. The present lover possesses the ability to address challenges in the moment and then let them go. They know how to genuinely return to the flow of love in the now. 

You know you are becoming a present lover when you can sit before your beloved without your attention wandering outside of the moment you are in. When thoughts come up, which they naturally will do, you let them pass without attaching, the same way a skilled meditator does. You are present in both mind and heart—mentally and emotionally—here and now.

The point here is this: The present lover is with their partner all the way. They are able to create moments where time stands still. 

Presence is a tantalizing treat not everyone is offering these days. Become a present lover and never again will you feel expendable in the maze of online dating. The presence chapter will teach you how to show up with this irresistible energy and masterful command of the moment. 

7. A masterful lover is devotional. 

The masterful lover shows up as conscious-love no matter what. 

Nothing stops them from living as love—no hurt, no rejection, no insecurity, no sordid past. Even in the face of unlove, they are devotional.

Most people timidly approach sex, love, and relationships as if to say, “I will let down my guard if you will let down yours.” This is not how the devotional lover lives. 

The devotional lover offers selfless service, not because they are a martyr but because they set themself free from needing anything to change before they are willing to live as love. 

The devotional lover lives beyond the trappings of self and all of its clever, fear-based defenses. Where the selfish lover shuts down if their partner has a bad day, the devotional lover holds space. 

The devotional lover heals hurts with compassionate embrace. They release self-obsession. They dissolve neurosis in the warmth of unconditional love. They show up when they’d rather withdraw. Their attention is free rather than obsessed with themself.

All the same weaknesses, wounds, and triggers are there for the devotional lover, just like they are for any human. But the devotional lover abides as conscious-love through all of it. They don’t get taken down by conflict because they see it all for what it is—obstructed love flow. They know how to dissolve the knots. 

You know you are becoming a devotional lover when you don’t take yourself and the insatiable demand of your ego so seriously anymore. You know you are a devotional lover if, rather than foaming at the mouth with endless reports on your wounds and struggles, you become masterful at gently identifying obstruction and transmuting it into love. All thoughts of self dissolve in connection with your beloved. 

The point here is this: The devotional lover is grounded in an orientation far beyond serving self. They are not looking for love. They know that they are love. They are not trying to be conscious. They know that they are consciousness. 

We will be showing you how to become this kind of lover in the devotion chapter. Accordingly, you will walk in the world as conscious-love and bring each moment with your partner into the divine revelation of the eternal now. 


A firekeeper is a masterful lover. They show up ready to stretch, willing to be uncomfortable, and dedicated to cultivating their skill—all the while enjoying the ride. 

We will be teaching you in exact detail how these seven qualities of the masterful lover will become your modus operandi. But keep in mind that becoming a firekeeper is both simple and infinitely complex. Becoming a firekeeper isn’t something you achieve. It’s a path you walk alongside the one you love.

That path is a lifelong journey of becoming more aware, sensitive, nonreactive, skillful, passionate, present, and devotional. It is a path of spiritual awakening. And spiritual awakening, as we define it here, is the process of becoming a more conscious and loving human being.

Remember that even a firekeeper experiences all of the adversity and discomfort of intimate relating, but the difference is how they meet it. A firekeeper meets challenges courageously, not with numbness, defensiveness, or resentment. A firekeeper meets uncomfortable conversations and difficult moments with a fierce and open heart, and they do this not only for themself but also in relationship to another. 

The tools you will learn in the coming pages put you back in control of fulfillment in sex and love. You’ll no longer chase the fleeting unicorns of attraction, passion, and orgasm. Circumstances won’t affect you the way they do to other people. 

You will possess the tools to rise out of the dating pool of the collective pain body and start loving on another level—a level that creates passion, builds trust, and deepens love through any circumstance and under all conditions. 

In difficult times, you’ll develop the ability to efficiently heal the wounds that arise in conflict and transform them back into love. In good times, you’ll create wildly erotic experiences that are not merely pleasurable but are also waking you up to the fact that you are never truly alone. 

Abide in your practice when you’d rather quit, and you will see that your intimate relationship becomes a profound and beautiful vehicle for your spiritual growth. Watch how your ordinary life becomes more extraordinary than anything “out there” could ever promise to deliver. 

This may sound wildly exaggerated. We declare it is not. 

It is a living, breathing, vibrant possibility. We know because we are living it. And we have been living it for more than a decade. Not because we are special. Not because we lucked out and met “the one.” It’s because we discovered a path that led us here.

—excerpt from Playing With Fire: The Spiritual Path of Intimate Relationship by Justin Patrick Pierce and Londin Angel Winters

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