If you’ve been on dating apps lately, you may have seen GGG written in people’s bios. The acronym, meaning “good, giving, and game,” has been cropping up on dating sites and in popular culture more and more. But what does GGG actually mean, where did the term come from, and does this mentality actually work? We’re here to answer all your questions on what it means to be GGG.
GGG is an acronym for good, giving, and game
GGG is a sex positive term and an approach to relationships. Created by Dan Savage, a writer and activist known for his advice column turned podcast, “Savage Lovecast,” describes the mentality as something “we should all be for our partners and what we have a right to expect from our partners.” Savage defines GGG as “good, giving and game,” as in working to get good in bed, be giving without the expectation of something in return every time, and “up for anything within reason” (emphasis is Savage’s).
The GGG approach is centered around both partners finding sexual satisfaction, regardless of if a partner shares the same turn on or kink. Savage is quick to emphasize sexual acts shouldn’t turn someone off or make them feel violated. Instead, the goal of GGG is reciprocation by working toward more enjoyment and avoiding resentment for not having your needs met. GGG can be especially helpful for long-term, committed relationships where one person is expected to fulfill as much of their partner’s needs as possible.
If you see GGG in a dating app profile, you might want to swipe right
The term GGG on a dating site means for many that they are a willing and open partner. Anyone who describes themselves as GGG, or simply GG for “game and giving,” on a dating site is also a signal that they are looking for a sex-positive partner. The acronym is intended to signify a quality of openness and a healthy give-and-take in a sexual relationship, whether looking for a partner long term or for one experience. If you encounter the term on a dating site like Tinder, this person likely values the same qualities of being willing to experiment and give pleasure to a partner. Finding compatibility in a sexual relationship is a priority for many people in the dating scene. GGG people are willing to make the effort to satisfy a sexual partner’s desires — and gain the same game for (almost) anything in return.
3 ways to practice being GGG in your own life
GGG is a mentality that requires open lines of communication, trust, and a certain level of enthusiasm to explore new things romantically and/or sexually. Here are three tips for incorporating more GGG into your sexual repertoire.
1. Practice being altruistic in your sexual/romantic relationships.
Acting in the best interest of someone you care about (altruism) can benefit all areas of your relationship. This can mean building communal strength by acting on behalf of your partner’s needs and desires. Researchers found people who responded to their romantic partner’s needs without expecting reciprocity increased positive emotions in both parties.
2. Be open to exploring new sexual fantasies.
One survey by psychologist Ari Tuckman, PsyD, CST, showed bringing imagination and play into consensual sex helps to create excitement, as well as intimacy within the partnership. Tuckman explains fantasies are normal and not always actions a person might want to play out. Sharing can also help you feel less ashamed or uncomfortable about what turns you on, or your partner for that matter. A study by Justin J. Lehmiller Ph.D. surveyed 4,175 Americans and found that sharing sexual fantasies can increase arousal, confidence, and meet unfulfilled needs.
3. Practice gratitude in your relationship.
Gratitude has real benefits for strong relationships. One study found simply thinking grateful thoughts also increased the perception of how much a romantic partner or friend was willing to do for them without asking for something in return. Expressing gratitude to your partner has shown to increase how much communal strength participants saw in their relationship, which makes for stronger relationships overall.
Research shows that being GGG actually works
The GGG term gained traction after researchers at the University of Toronto Mississauga performed a study in 2012 to see if Savage’s GGG mentality showed positive or negative benefits on sexual satisfaction for couples. Social psychologist Amy Muise wrote in Psychology Today that her research team found that people who sacrificed for their partner’s needs reported higher satisfaction in their relationship, as well as more “intrinsic joy.”
The study aimed to replicate the motivation to fulfill a partner's desires, otherwise known as communal strength. The participants provided examples of what this motivation outside of their own pleasure meant to them, including having sex when not as turned on as their partner and sexual acts that might not be their favorite. Researchers tracked 44 long-term couples for 21 days. The results found couples benefitted from a willingness to meet their partner’s sexual needs, resulting in higher levels of sexual desire toward their partner.
Muise and her fellow researchers followed up with another study about GGG two years later. This time, they conducted two rounds of surveys asking about satisfaction within a relationship and commitment to that partnership at the start of the study, then again three weeks later. Both studies found couples demonstrating stronger sexual communal strength to meet their romantic partner’s sexual needs reported higher sexual fulfillment and overall dedication to the relationship. Essentially, GGG relationships are happier and healthier because couples consider their partner’s sexual needs over their own, and their partner in turn does the same for them.
People who practice being GGG also report positive outcomes
People who practice GGG often demonstrate a willingness to share in their partner’s desires and say it strengthens their relationships. For example, One self-described GGG Reddit user commented that“having a great, rewarding, exciting sex life will keep things alive and well...on top of having loving, open, empathetic communication and similar goals and values.”
Another user says they first found their partner’s kink to be surprising but wanted to “give it a whirl” in order to be open to their boyfriend's sexual fantasy. Another Reddit user responded to affirm the person's willingness to try something new, saying they’d also be “100% down to try” and admitted you can’t know if you’re into something until you experience it: “I'm also very much the person that's game for just about anything, if it makes my partner go wild. Also, experimenting is fun! The bedroom can get pretty awesome when you treat it like a mad scientist's laboratory.”
The bottom line
Following the GGG approach in your relationships can be a simple way to increase sexual wellbeing and overall stronger relationships. GGG helps you remember that pleasure and desire isn’t a one-way street. Acting in the best interest of your partner and receiving the same courtesy makes for better relationships and more satisfying sex.