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The Most Grateful Moments

“System reset. That is what grateful sex does. Every nerve fiber is soothed; the connections between heart, mind and body are restored, balanced.”  -Wendy Strgar

Think about the last time you felt profoundly grateful. Try and remember how it felt in your body the last time you were fully aware of how good life can be and notice how engaged your were by your senses, whether it was in the extraordinary taste of favorite foods, the scent of seasons changing in the early morning, the way great music lingers and changes your physiology, or the way colors capture your imagination. Turning the practice of gratitude into a felt sense is as simple as bringing our full attention to our sensory capacity. Learning to recognize gratitude on the physical plane and conjure up these moments as a visceral response gives you access to more joy and pleasure in the every day.

But nowhere is this gratitude response a more powerful and transformative visceral reality than in the moments of finding your body entwined in erotic pleasure with a lover. The range of wondrous sensations evoked by the language of touch expresses all the nuances, depth and meaning that words convey, maybe more. The myriad of chemical reactions that spontaneously occur with perfect synchronicity, opening our potential for the highly coveted experience of orgasm is one of life’s peak moments of gratitude for living in a human body. Nothing alters our perception of time and space as definitively as when the inner and outer worlds of self and other merge and become indistinguishable. In moments of grateful pleasure- giving and receiving are truly one in the same. Expressing our gratitude intimately for each other changes how you see yourself, your partner and your relationship.

Mahatma Ghandi once wrote: “To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” Overcoming our resistance to intimate pleasure is a profound spiritual awakening. Gratitude becomes a visceral and felt sense as we practice the art of receiving. Opening our capacity for pleasure is literally how we embody the experience of gratitude. And it is easy to see how the inability to receive through our senses correlates to the significant incidence of sexual dysfunction and its collateral damage to the experience of orgasm.

Millions of people, both men and women, suffer from conditions that impact their ability to receive and experience sexual pleasure. Whether from early, repetitive and unhelpful messaging about what sexuality means about us or the bad choices most of us make on the way to figuring our sexuality out, we live within an erotically wounded culture that publicly swings widely between the prudish “just say no” and the endless hookup. It is world changing act, each moment we tap into a universal force of forgiveness, which embraces desire as kin. By loving the wounded places in us, we, each of us, make the essential commitment to healing that, in fact, feels like gratitude.

The experience of pleasure is how we say yes to life. Curiosity replaces judgment in matters of arousal, which in and of itself alters your relationship to sexual gratification. It’s amazing how well our arousal mechanism responds to our ability to surrender to it. One night in the midst of my own passionate weavings, I realized that wanting to fall down the fast moving chute into a pleasure delirium is everything, and that desire is entirely proportional to our felt sense of being both loved and loving. It also presents a formidable risk with your heart. Welcoming moments of naked vulnerability is the only way to experience how healing human touch can be. Yet it is equally unpredictable, this deep dive into shared erotic bliss. Anything can happen, and usually does. But if you enter with two feet in, chances are good that the cycle of gratitude that these moments create will ground your life and encircle your love.