Sex columnist Dan Savage has made his career on advising lonely masturbators on the three Gs of not-terrible partner sex: “good, giving, and game.” Be good at what you do, be giving about doing it, and be game to try something new. GGG was always just Savage’s own personal, common sense advice. But now a new study published in a Journal of Sex Research has found that being game in the sack truly makes for more satisfied relationships.
Researchers at University of Arizona and Hanover College were not specifically studying the impact of GGG advice; they studied the concept of “sexual transformations,” or changes/growth/adaptations a partner makes in bed in order to make their partner happy. Through interviewing 96 male/female couples about their sex lives, the researchers found the people who reported the most satisfying relationships were the ones whose partners had made sexual transformations. The people who felt more positive about the sexual transformations also had happier overall feelings about the relationship.
What does being game mean in practical terms? As Dr. Debby Herbenik put it while writing about the study on Salon.com, “[W]hen one’s partner adapts to your needs, you’re likely to feel heard, special, rewarded, valued, or – at the very least — you get to do the things you want to do, sexually.” I’ll add on to that and say that being open-minded also makes for judgment-free feelings both in and outside the bedroom. Adapting your sexual behavior — whether it’s having more or less sex or trying a new toy or something else entirely — says that you are validating your partners’ needs enough to do something. You don’t have to be thrilled about their desire to have more/less sex or roleplay or whatever, but you’re not shutting them down. Great sex isn’t just about being good, giving and game, but about enjoying whatever it is you enjoy free of judgment and stigma.