Giving thanks … expressing gratitude … is a pretty big deal when it comes to your sex life.
A recent study published in the Journal of Social, Psychological and Personality Science demonstrates that gratitude has a positive correlation and causation on a couple’s motivations to meet each other’s needs … sexually and otherwise.
This measure is called sexual communal strength, or SCS for short.
Gratitude is cheap, easy, and effective at creating a more satisfying sex life in which you and your partner desire and are highly motivated to meet each other’s needs.
Gratitude improves your sex life.
We thought this might be true, but now science confirms it.
This makes sense. Gratitude is proven to elevate your mood, change your whole mindset, decrease your blood pressure, help you to sleep better, and generally have a more satisfying time walking around on planet Earth.
Naturally, it stands to reason that gratitude would also increase sexual satisfaction, but here’s the cool thing…
Not only does it improve your sex life, it improves SCS — the sexual communal strength — the extent to which partners are motivated to meet each other’s needs.
Sexual Communal Strength (SCS): The Drive to Please Your Partner
Having a better sex life is not just about how much sex you’re having or how you thrust or how you go down on your partner.
While these are all important, they’re more of the PRACTICAL elements of good sex.
But in order to have an amazing sex life, both partners need to be highly motivated to meet each other’s sexual needs.
In other words, if you say to your partner, “Hey, there’s the thing I really want us to try. I think it would bring me a lot of happiness and joy.” And they have a very low motivation to meet that, chances are, even if they do do the thing that you want to do, it’s not going to be that great or satisfying.
If they’re highly motivated to meet your need, they’ll stop at nothing to blow your mind.
As a sex coach, I believe this is the most important component to a great sex life, and a satisfying long-term sexual relationship.
Motivation to meet each other’s needs is critical if we’re going to really, really be able to please each other and build a fantastic sex life.
Couples with Higher Sexual Communal Strength Report Happier Relationships.
Imagine … when both partners want to please each other, they’re happier! What a shock!
In fact, people with highest SCS report more sexually satisfying relationships.
They report higher levels of desire, and that it’s easier for them to get aroused.
Clearly, gratitude really packs a punch when it comes to building a better sex life.
But First, What Even Is Gratitude?
Robert Emmons says that gratitude is made up of two key parts:
- The acknowledgement that good exists in the world… that there are gifts, benefits, and wonderful things in our lives
- The acknowledgement that the source of these good things is outside of ourselves.
The source of the goodness is another person or from the world around us… or even from a greater power that connects all of us.
In a romantic relationship, gratitude is the acknowledgement that good things happen. That good things are here.
It’s acknowledging that there’s great, wonderful, magical things between us, about us, and about your partner.
It’s acknowledging your partner for what they do to make the magic in your lives happen.
Gratitude Requires Presence.
To even acknowledge what’s good in the world, we must be present to what’s good in the world.
If you’re thinking about the future or the past, or the pain you previously experienced… you’re not here in this moment, able to focus on what’s good, great, wonderful, magical, and beautiful right here.
The More You Express Gratitude, The More Your Partner Will Want To Meet Your Needs
Think about it.
When you give a gift to a child, and they’re just so thankful, they really let you know how much they appreciate you and how much they appreciate their gift. Maybe your heart gets bigger as they hug you and tell you they love you.
You’re more highly motivated to continue to give them things that make them happy, that they then express that happiness back to you!
This is one of the most beautiful things we see about early in relationships. When we’re falling in love, we tend to be so grateful. We’re so enamored by the person that’s in front of us and the fact that they love us. Gratitude is like an endless abundant waterfall early on in relationships.
Once we start to become more familiar with a partner and maybe even become less grateful and more entitled to them, and to our relationship with them, then that expression of gratitude begins to fade.
And this, my friends, is how the spark dies.
How to Build a Relationship of Gratitude
Gratitude is free, it’s easy, it’s simple. And yes, it’s a muscle you have to learn how to flex, but you can see benefits to flexing it all over your life.
Bookend your days with a gratitude practice.
Start and finish your day with intentional gratitude.
For me, this means literally writing down in a journal, 5 – 10 things I feel grateful for that day.
This can include all areas of your life, but make sure to include your sex life and your partner.
Do this every single day. You will start seeing results very, very quickly.
Here are some ideas: you can be grateful for your physical body, your beating heart, your lungs, your eyes, your ability to speak, to type, to read. It doesn’t have to be too much fancier than that.
I’m grateful for my family. I’m grateful for my relationships. I’m grateful for the dog. I’m grateful for the laptop. I’m grateful for my cell phone. I’m grateful that I can afford to pay my internet bill. I’m grateful for the car in the garage that allows me to drive to the store to pick up the groceries so that we can enjoy pumpkin pie or whatever it is that we’re eating today.
Express your gratitude.
Share your gratitude with your partner! Let them know what you wrote down in your journal.
Sharing gratitude is a two-way street. You need to express it to them, for them to share it readily with you.
Be spontaneous about thankfulness.
Giving thanks isn’t just for Thanksgiving.
Don’t just go through and share with your partner what you have in your notebook. Definitely do that.
But also… when something happens that you’re grateful for… share it with them!
Express it right away without delay.
Focus on Feeling the Gratitude in your Body.
Gratitude is not lip service.
It doesn’t work to just write things down and not let them actually affect you in your heart.
Your access to gratitude is so essential and your ability to feel that gratitude.
Ask Your Partner to Express Gratitude
Tell your partner what you’d like to receive gratitude for. You can say something like, “Hey, when we do that thing you like so much, it’s not my favorite thing in the world, but I know how much you love it. I’m very highly motivated to meet your needs, but that thing in particular doesn’t feel that great for me. I love doing it for you. I’d love it if you would express gratitude for me when we do that. It would mean a lot to me.”
This will change the way you feel about your partner, about your sexual relationship and about life in general. There’s literally no reason not to do it.