"People tend to have a lot of questions and expectations around how to make things better and where you can go next and how to push your boundaries. And I think that has a purpose and a place, but that should not be the whole focus. We don't stop and say, what do I already like? What am I already blessed with?" Mcguire says.
It Reminds Us to Appreciate Our Partners
Just as we often point a critical eye at ourselves during sex, it's easy to turn that eye to our partners as well.
"When I work with couples, I often tell them to turn to each other with an eye of gratitude," says Nina Sonovia Brown, a registered psychotherapist in Coloarado. "By appreciating our partners, we create the energy to also be appreciated."
It also allows both of you to exist in the moment, rather than dragging in past grievances or expectations. And, as you may already know, those two can be major mood-killers.
Being More Grateful Allows You to Be More Giving
If you've ever taken the time to steep yourself in a sense of gratitude - about anything - you know that it creates its own kind of energy; the kind that lights you up inside and allows you to give a lot more to the people around you - including the people you have sex with.
"Every lover we have is completely unique and completely different," Mguire says. "That's something really special. We don't want to be so focused on what our expectations of them are that we don't appreciate what they already are."
Plus, one of the main indicators of intimacy within a loving relationship is putting our partner's needs above our own, according to sex and relationship coach Colby Marie Z.
"In the spirit of reciprocity, our lovers are more likely (although, be forewarned, this isn't guaranteed) to respond to pleasure being given to them by providing pleasure to us," Marie Z. said. "If we demonstrate that we are willing to go above and beyond to provide pleasure to a lover, they may feel a sense of gratitude (or obligation, to be honest) in providing us with an equal level of pleasure."
Gratitude can lead to more passionate, spontaneous sex. Read: Just FUCK for Fuck Sake!
But, Like Anything, Gratitude Can Be Taken Too Far
In asking about how we could all learn how to be more grateful - and more generous - in our sexual interactions, I did have one major concern, though. Abuse. After all, couldn't gratitude just become an excuse for accepting bad behavior from our partners?
"This isn't about doing whatever your partner wants and not checking in with boundaries," Mcguire says.
In fact, Sonovia Brown told us that finding a sense of gratitude in her own body provided a sense of healing - as well as the strength to get out of a not-so-good relationship.
"When I was able to be grateful for myself and explore myself, I was able to learn to enjoy sex to the full capacity," Sonovia Brown said. "It was through masturbation that I became aware that this other thing existed. I knew that when I masturbated, it felt amazing. So I knew something different was out there. I taught myself to be appreciative of my body and what I deserved."
"It's so easy to find all our faults. So create a practice where you look at what you do have," Mcguire said.