By Rasa Estee - 21 August 2023
What you said that one time to someone could not only shift a previously-stagnant intimate situation for the better, but also last with them for the longest time. That's great and all... but also a bit overwhelming.
Yeah, I know this from experience as both a giver and receiver of compliments during intimate/sexual interactions.
As an introverted, fierce lover who struggled with expression, tend to blush often (and even with my resoluteness to dismantle patriarchy WWE-style and all that), I still found myself stumped at how to start.
But I did start, and I kept going. And since I'm still here, I though I gathered and shared some thoughts on the nitty-gritty of the kind of compliments I've been practicing. May it be helpful to you.
the structure of a fiercely-loving compliment,
especially the kind that's an absolute delight to give and receive in an intimate and/or sexual settings.
Since we're not pick-up artists, we don't "try to come up with" compliments out of thin air. We can get all the information we need by staying connected to our five senses in the present moment and start from there.
For instance, as you caress each other you may suddenly get struck by how incredible the feeling of the other person's skin is in your hands.
Instead of trying to think up random quotes about skin or cheesy lines you've heard somewhere, soften your breath and bring your full inner attention to your hands and that particular sensation. And then describe it in your own words.
Bringing our attention to what we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell as we interact with another and sharing sensual joy from that space shows deep attentiveness, courageous and vulnerable honesty, and genuine interest in the other person. And those things are ALWAYS hot!
Also, for those who tend to get anxious, flustered, and distracted during intimate/sexual interactions, this might be extra helpful. Bringing our attention to our five senses helps with grounding us back into the felt-sense of our bodies and the present moment.
Internal monologue-level of
Not everyone has the gift of words. And if you don't have it, AND tend to blush easily (like me), then it can get hard for you to express what you're experiencing through your five senses to turn it into a compliment. This is where your internal monologue can save the day.
Provided that you're with a relatively safe person and your inner monologue is relatively appropriate, you could choose to go with your internal monologue and say that as a compliment.
I'd say an awkward but honest compliment is always better than none (and certainly FAR more preferable than criticism).
Once, a man blurted out to me, "How could skin be this soft?!" complete with a frown and look of bewilderment. And then, he instantly realized that he just said their internal monologue out loud, and we both had a good chuckle.
It was funny, sweet, and endearing. (And, being as awkward as I am, I've certainly been the one blurting things out, too. I'll tell you all about it in the next edition.)
Let's just say that we went on to have a VERY lovely night.
I get it that words are hard. And when we're overwhelmed, we want to skip, edit, and tone things the F down, but this could go too far into flat-lining our compliments. So, keep the honest details, be specific and go the extra-mile with courage.
If your internal monologue says their skin is like fragrant, cool velvet, then say THAT. All of THAT. Afraid that it may seem cheesy? Maybe. But that line's more likely to illicit a more interesting response than "Your skin is very soft."
The only hard and fast rule I'd say is to NOT use comparison to another person as part of your description.(read LL edition 03 for why we don't do this.)
The details of your sensual joy/experience can say A LOT about you as a person and lover. Sensuality is the foundation of pleasure. It gives valuable information about how you experience the world in general, the moment you're in and the person you're with.
Expressing the honest details of your compliments goes a long way in helping your intimate/sexual partner know where you're at, where they're at, and where y'all are in the dynamic that's playing out.
I know that when we're nervous, our minds conjures up weird ideas. Like maybe, just maybe, you need to say your compliments with some made-up voice that may sound deeper or sexier or more confident or off-hand, etc. Stop. Stop it. Just be human in your delivery.
Remember our motto of "An honest and awkward compliment is better than none and far more preferable than criticism."
If you feel passionate or heartfelt, be passionate or heartfelt. When in doubt, use a genuine and regular-speaking tone.
Remember that you're respectfully connecting with another human being, so be human and give them a chance to show up for you likewise.
For The LOVE
This brings us to the ultimate criteria AND desired-outcome of a fiercely-loving compliment. To practice giving and receiving compliments for the LOVE of it!
Not to score sex or points. Not to perform some superior skills of persuasion/coercion/manipulation over another. And certainly NOT because we feel entitled to others' affection/sexuality/body.
It's human to desire connection and validation for sure. And that's one of the reasons why we do this.
However, putting it all on the possibility of connection and validation that's largely outside of our control can make it way too hard on ourselves. After all, all we can do is to be and offer love and hope it's reciprocated. If not, we move on. And life goes on.
Being MUCH MORE invested in being in practice of loving with our words allows us a growing sense of lightness and ease with it.Plus we'll grow to have easier times letting go when things don't go as we expected.
Giving and receiving compliments for the LOVE of it bodes well for our continuous growth and creativity as sexy, fierce lovers.
Next, we'll look into how to put this in practice. We'll break it down in a scenario, play-by-play, including how you give it, receive it and how to handle the blush in the midst of it!
Why?! Because that's how we roll, y'all.
(Honestly, I'm a fierce lover that could sure use A LOT of help and truly appreciate a clear how-to and real-life examples. I hope you do, too. :D)
And if you did compliment someone today, I sincerely thank you.
It makes life doable. You make life doable. Thank you.
Yours in delight,
This is an edited version of On Point section from Lush Letters #05 published in 21 August 2023 titled "The Structure of A Fiercely-Loving Compliment".
Image credit: Telephone Man, 2021. Manual Collage. Art by Vantiani