No, but really — how does a person have better sex or a better relationship? The Fresh Toast has enlisted Rachel Krantz, a sex writer and proud canna-enthusiast, to help readers out with some answers as its sex columnist. No question is off limits, and all questions will remain anonymous. Please send your super-hot sex and relationship inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, onto this week’s topic: ways to show your gratitude to your partner, in honor of Thanksgiving.
Q: So, I have a great boyfriend. Seriously, he deals with all my sh*t, cooks, and even helps me handle my mother. I think I’m a pretty good girlfriend, but I know I could tell him I care more often. I’m wondering — do you have any sexier or romantic suggestions for showing your gratitude to a partner?
A: Happy Thanksgiving! (To those of you who don’t boycott the holiday for some very legitimate reasons.) I thought that given the holiday’s theme of giving thanks, now would be the perfect time to answer this question. Here are my tips for showing more gratitude to your lover.
1. Tell Them The Next Time You Think To Yourself ‘They’re So Cute’
You know how sometimes you just look over, and think, wow? Tell them the next time you think that! Even if it’s the silliest little thing, like how they rest their hand on their chin, or how they say a certain word, it will make them feel loved.
2. Next Time You’re Naked, Point Out A Body Part That Doesn’t Get Enough Love
Men especially don’t tend to get enough body praise, unless they’re ripped or something. So the next time you’re naked, compliment his earlobes, or his chest hair, or his toes. Whatever it is he doesn’t hear is cute often enough — or that you might even know he’s insecure about — vocalize your love for it.
3. Get Flowers Or Another Surprise For No Reason At All
I love getting my partner flowers or a present for no reason at all. Surprises work every time — and the more random, the more romantic they are.
4. When They’ve Had A Hard Day, Tell Them Why You Admire Them
Tell them anytime, really — but especially when you know they had a hard day, for whatever reason.
5. Vocalize Your Gratitude In Bed & Out
It sounds obvious, but people assume all too often that their partners “know” we appreciate their cooking, or doing laundry, or always going down on us. Well, they might know, but you should say it. Vocalizing appreciation and gratitude goes a really long way. (As does being sure to return the favor.)
6. Take Something Off Their Plate
Maybe they usually do a certain chore or have an errand to run — surprise them by doing it for them. When they ask what inspired you, tell them, “I was just thinking about how grateful I am to be with you, and I wanted you to know it.”
7. Pack Them A Pipe
If you’re both fans of cannabis, break out the weed for them the next time you know they are feeling stressed or bored. Especially if they are the ones who usually suggest getting lit, they will appreciate it.
8. Offer To Listen On Speakerphone To A Hard Conversation
Sometimes, when I’m really dreading a conversation with my mom, I’ll ask my partner to listen, just to feel like I have a witness to the crazy that’s going down and that I’m not alone. Suggest the same next time they have to have a similarly hard chat — even if it’s just being on hold with the cable company, they will appreciate the moral support.
9. Pick Up A Snack That They Will Know Is Just For Them
If they have a favorite snack, pick it up next time you’re out grocery shopping, even and especially if you won’t eat it yourself. They will appreciate the gesture.
10. Replace An Item You Know They Wouldn’t Get For Themselves
New socks and underwear are vastly underrated — and dudes especially wear them down. Get them high-quality replacements out of nowhere, and they will feel loved and fresh every time they slip them on.
11. Ask For A Sex Session Focusing Only On Them
Next time you’re in the mood and getting down, say, “I’d really like to get to know your body more tonight. I was thinking we could just focus on you and your pleasure?” Ask a bunch of questions along the way, and spend time pleasuring them, doing some A/B testing of what kinds of strokes or licks they like better. You can also ask if there are any fantasies they have been having lately you can help bring to life, or what else would make them feel more loved and sexy. Make it all about them — and if it’s not their MO to receive, respect that, but try to push them to relax and enjoy the ride. Say something like, “This is selfish of me, I just want to worship you for a bit because I’ve been feeling so into you. Can you just lay back and let me pleasure you for awhile? It’s really getting me off.”
12. Leave A Note
Slip a note of love and gratitude into their lunch, on the fridge, in their car, in the mailbox, or even in their email inbox. It can be simple: just the thought will mean volumes. If you don’t know where to start, just make a list of the littlest things you love about them, and see if you don’t run out of space!
13. Defend Them When You Might Be Tempted To Tease
When you’re around your partner’s friends and family and they are lovingly giving them grief, it can be tempting to join in — and sometimes, that’s fine. But next time, see if you can’t play devil’s advocate and actually defend them on their behalf. They will appreciate it, even if it’s something silly, like saying, “No, he’s actually really good at cleaning up after himself though!”
14. Donate To A Cause They Care About In Their Name
We all mean to give to charity, but we might not get to every organization we want. The next time your partner is going on a political rant, show you were listening by making a small donation in their name to an organization that supports that view the very next day.
15. Pay Attention To Your Good-Nights And Good-Mornings
It sounds cheesy, but I really think it’s important to say goodnight and good morning to your partner with love and gratitude. You can do that with a hug, a kiss, an I love you — any way you most authentically can show your appreciation for their presence in your life, and the fact you don’t take them for granted. It’s the little things that create the culture of the relationship, people. (I also recommend a passionate kiss when they walk in the door, like you’ve been waiting for them all day.) These things go a long way.