With Thanksgiving drawing near, I believe this would be an ideal time to discuss the role of gratitude, validation and appreciation in the art of lovemaking.

Of course, when we feel validated and appreciated in any aspect of our lives it deepens our sense that we truly matter in this crazy world and that we are making a contribution to the lives of others.

Yet, many of us overlook or forget to bring such appreciative expression into the intimate moments we share with our partner. From the workshops I’ve conducted over the years, I've found that it's one of the forms of erotic talk most longed for.

So many of us carry the scars of growing up in homes in which we felt criticized, judged, invalidated or overlooked. So we internalize a sense of "not being good enough". What's more, our culture, with its narrow, idealized standards of beauty and its cult of youth and fear of aging add to this sense of inadequacy. Even men and women who appear to be exceptionally good-looking often carry deep insecurities about their attractiveness to others.

So words that validate our partner's attractiveness and value to us as a lover, are not only arousing, but healing as well. What’s more, as I say in my book THE FINE ART OF EROTIC TALK, "When there is a genuine exchange of the special, irreplaceable qualities we bring to each other, it can deepen our ability to trust and open to a more profound and satisfying sexual experience."

There are many ways to bring appreciation into your romantic and sexual connection with your lover. If at first you find it easier to focus on your partner’s physical attributes that’s fine. In that context you might say something like, "I really appreciate the softness of your skin, the smell of your hair, the delicious way you taste." You may then begin to notice in what ways your sweetheart’s lovemaking style particularly pleases you. "You make me feel so hot and sexy when you do that." Or "Your sense of timing is exquisite; you take my breath away ! Or if what you’re experiencing is a general, overall feeling of immense pleasure, you might say, "Thank you for loving every inch of my body so tenderly."

Next, you may ask yourself: What are the unique or irreplaceable qualities about your lover? Perhaps you have a partner with a vivid imagination who thrills you with his wild fantasies or one who tunes into your sexual energy so well that lovemaking becomes an easy, ecstatic dance. Tell your partner so. "I treasure your wild, imaginative mind, especially when we make love." ‘I’m so glad you’re so attuned to my body; I’m lucky to have you as a lover." And, one of my favorites, which happens to be a song lyric: "Nobody does it better. Baby, you’re the best!"

If you’d like more ideas on appreciative words and phrases to use with your lover, then check out my manual, Your Daily Verbal Aphrodisiac: Sensual Suggestions and Romantic Enticements.

May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with gustatory and sensual delights to nourish your body, heart and spirit.

I help people express romantic/sexual desires in ways that create deep connection.
For my free manual: "Verbal Charisma: How to Attract a Lover and Pave the Way to a Passionate Connection" go to http://lovetalk.org/free-report-verbal-charisma/

Author's Bio: 

Bonnie Gabriel, is the author of the Random House Book, The Fine Art of Erotic Talk: How to Entice, Excite and Enchant Your Lover with Words, http://lovetalk.org/art-oferotic-talk/. Dubbed "The Professor of Pillow Talk" by newspaper columnist, Murry Frymer, Bonnie holds an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from NYU. She has also been been trained in Psychodrama, Focusing, Non-violent Communication (NVC), and other modalities.

Bonnie has conducted seminars on sexual communication issues for such professional associations as the National Sexuality Symposium and the Association for Humanistic Psychology, as well as lay workshops for the Learning Annex, and sex ed classes for San Francisco State University.

She offers advice on enhancing love, sex and intimacy through compassionate communicaton on her Words for Lovers blog: http://lovetalk.org/blog/