Kindling the Fire Through Gratitude

My post Lighting the Fire led to a spirited debate over what causes/maintains/builds attraction inside of Marriage. During the debate Velvet suggested that there was such a thing as “utilitarian tingles,” deriving from a man’s provision. Naturally, this evoked a considerable amount of opposition from male commenters, as well as the author of this blog. Elspeth instead suggested that there was a sort of “negative tingling” in play when a man can’t provide. This made sense to me, as a man’s ability to provide is tied to his employment, which is tied to his Status.

Matters went back and forth, and a number of other topics were addressed, including how nerds are clueless about women, how men shouldn’t take relationship advice from women, and why so many men seem to think that women can only love conditionally. Fortunately, just as the thread was dying, Je Suis Prest left this comment:

On the subject of utilitarian tingles, I’d like to suggest something I’ve been thinking of that may or may not be correct…

I think there are two distinct things being said on that subject:
1) that the lack of provision prevents tingles; and
2) that provision is attractive.

In general, I buy the first statement. If a woman has spent the day stressing out about feeding the kids and finding enough money for rent, she’s not likely to be interested in procreative-type activities when she gets some time alone with her man. Stress has numerous negative effects including killing the mood for both men and women. Also, if a woman thinks of her husband as being less of a man because he doesn’t have a job, that attitude will definitely move him down on her mental scale.

This is a good explanation of the “negative tingles” concept arising from a lack of ability to provide. But the real gem of her comment is this:

At first, I was disinclined to accept the second premise, but then one of my female friends sent me a message about a thankfulness challenge that she’s embarked on. (Bear with me, this does tie in to the main point). She found that the more she looked for things to be thankful for so that she could journal something each day, the more she realized how blessed she was throughout the rest of the day. I’m wondering if when Velvet describes provision as being attractive, she’s experiencing something similar. If a woman is actively looking for attractive aspects of her husband and takes note of how well he provides for her, I can see how that would lead her to think about what a good man he is, how lucky she is to have him, and how many other women would want a man just like him. All of those thoughts could raise his status in her own mind and make him more attractive. I can also see how it would be possible for a woman who is actively looking for positive things about her husband to be warmer and more pleasant to him, which could lead to his interactions with her to be more positive and how that could feed into attraction as well. Could it be that this is what is meant by utilitarian tingles?

[I put those parts that I think were most relevant in bold.]

I think JSP is definitely onto something here. Gratitude has a profound effect when a wife shows it to her husband. It affects them both in a positive way, and binds the two of them even closer together. The way I see it, when a wife develops a healthy sense of gratitude for everything her husband does for her, she is elevating him in her eyes. This increases his Status relative to hers, which has the double effect of both satisfying her hypergamy and making him more attractive. Increased gratitude can only be a net gain.

Commenter Deep Strength then followed up her comment with his own:

That would be taking on the attitude of gratitude and thus by extension our actions change to that of “praos” (the greek word for gentleness / meekness / humility) which is a key player in submission. One of the fruits of the Spirit. The very opposite of which is entitlement.

The reason why we as Christians would willingly submit to God and his commands because we know of the grace and mercy that we are afforded in Him through Jesus. We are forced to accept humility / meekness / gentleness before Him, as all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That is, we cannot do enough to save ourselves on our own. It is the gift of God. And this is why we willingly do the will of God, even though it cannot make up for the gift that He has given.

Provision in this sense can be viewed as something to be grateful for, and thus as wife realizes she is grateful for that she willingly can take on “praos” which leads to submission.

He has kindly provided a missing link here, connecting gratitude to submission. This allows us to see that in a wife with a respectful attitude and a warm Christian spirit we get this:

Provision—>Gratitude—>Submission—>Attraction—>Everyone Wins!

When we see things in this light, we can understand that everything a wife does is connected to her attraction to her husband. While his dominance and overall masculinity is important, it is only part of the puzzle of ensuring a healthy relationship between the two. She must also clothe herself in “the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:4). A good place to start is with being grateful for all that her husband does for her, because every act of gratitude just adds more kindling to the conjugal fire.

Heart of Flame

Here are some other discussions on gratitude:

Sunshine Mary-

Be a low-maintenance wife

Women’s arrogance and the downfall of assortive mating


Transforming my mind as a Christian wife

If anyone knows of any other good posts on gratitude, let me know so that I can include them here.


Filed under Attraction, Desire, Femininity, Marriage, Red Pill, Women

25 responses to “Kindling the Fire Through Gratitude

  1. Gratitude has a profound effect when a wife shows it to her husband. It affects them both in a positive way, and binds the two of them even closer together. The way I see it, when a wife develops a healthy sense of gratitude for everything her husband does for her, she is elevating him in her eyes. This increases his Status relative to hers, which has the double effect of both satisfying her hypergamy and making him more attractive. Increased gratitude can only be a net gain.

    Provision—>Gratitude—>Submission—>Attraction—>Everyone Wins!

    This makes a lot of sense. It’s like a wife is self-satisfying her hypergamy just by having a deep sense of gratitude to her man. Once a woman’s hypergamy is satisfied by a man, she’s almost certain to feel sexually attracted to him.

    In many ways, I think the idea of attraction gets turned into this voodoo sort of thing sometimes; it’s like dark magic and incomprehensible, according to some people. I think this is untrue; magical thinking just clouds the issue. On the whole, I think it’s rather straightforward. Hypergamy must be satisfied (via LAMPS); once it is, attraction will happen.

    Saying that attraction is this dark, mystical, mysterious, incomprehensible thing to my mind is some kind of weird form of one-itis, as in, “There’s only one true love out there for me!” Nonsense. There are many men a woman could be attracted to, and it isn’t some magical thing where, if it isn’t there to start, then it’s just doomed and can never be there.

  2. SSM, I seem to recall a post by Rollo which covers some of this. I think the name was “The Feminine Mystique”. From what I remember, he made the same points you just did. Attraction can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be occult. For women especially attitude is everything.

    If anything, women might have it easier than men. Because our attraction cues are solely physical, with visual appearance 95% of it all. A man who just doesn’t meet the cut is really left out in the cold on that. We can’t really change that through attitude. But women can change how they perceive the attractiveness of a man through an attitude change, potentially opening up a whole lot of potential.

  3. This whole debate is hilarious for me to read after the fact.

    Why is that?

    Well, look at the pickup side of things.

    It is well known that men don’t have to materially provide to a woman to inspire attraction in either the short nor the long term. If you want two good examples of each, look at Roosh on the short term and… let’s pick Roissy’s recent post for Alpha of the Month – Porfirio Rubiosa

    For Roosh, and those unfamiliar with him, his five year anniversary post from three years ago can sum up the kind of man he is and his journey quiet nicely without having to delve too much into the darkness of some of his posts.

    Or you can simply read a very relevant post of his geared towards provision that I remember, specifically about being so poor he was stealing partially consumed drinks

    Ok. We have some case studies.

    With Roosh we see a lifetime of little provision; with the amounts he’s willing to provide constantly lowering. Last I was reading his blog he was lying about when he planned to leave a city so that the girls would think they’d at least have a couple weeks with him.

    With Rubirosa we see a man that not only never provided, but actually took provisioning from the women. He stole and stole without apology. Yet he inspired years of lust, attraction, and devotion.

    Both left hordes of broken women in their wake, both never provided. One modern and living in a short term mating environment, one who lived in the ‘height of the American family’. What is their secret?

    They both knew that one thing was crucial:

    Women only have a baseline of provisioning that needs to be met. What is more, is that it NEED NOT BE MET BY HER MAN for attraction to blossom. Instead, after she has shelter, food, and safety; her needs are emotional and spiritual. If the woman already has those needs met, she needs her emotional and spiritual needs met.

    Lastly there are the widely known cases of women being attracted to men when no provisioning is met by either party. They are so desperate that someone who can merely provision them with hope for a future will build attraction with them. If you doubt me on this, you have not worked with enough poor or lower class people.

    Now, in all honesty I would classify most (if not all) the women that the poor and both men in the case studies obtained as women who were provisioned for yet broken emotionally and spiritually. Thus those men provided the broken emotional and spiritual desires to those women.

    Yet, looking at these studies, what is a Christian supposed to get out of it?

    “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consum and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”
    – Matthew 6:19-21

    Most of all, the Christian must look to the families they wish to imitate when building their own. For myself, that is the family of a large Catholic family making the necessary sacrifices to home school. That is my ideal family, and I model much of my own behavior and improvement as a man around those powerful anecdotal evidences I see. What’s more, is that by doing so I take in powerful cultural norms that would be missed by any ‘scientific’ study of attraction (of which I have found few good ones of note beyond a single youtube series). Those anecdotal evidences show me one single thing through all the places in the US I’ve lived and all the diversity of backgrounds I’ve encountered:

    That for a happy family, the man should take care that the provisioning level of his family is met by himself as the primary (if not sole) earner. After that, he should put all his sacrifices towards the spiritual, mental, and emotional health of his family. The problem with the

    “Provision—>Gratitude—>Submission—>Attraction—>Everyone Wins!”

    model put forward is that provision so often ignores provision beyond the material realm, while gratitude, submission, and attraction ALL DEAL with non-material items -> those of the woman’s emotions.

    Thus why I think a man must invest his treasures in those that will not be stolen nor rust. Not only with God, but also with his Wife.

    The female equivalent of this towards male attraction is likely intelligence – or maybe that’s just me personally. Once a certain level of intelligence is reached; most evidence shows that men don’t care. As long as you’re not so unintelligent you’re not unattractive, you’re fine as a woman. As long as a man can provide enough he’s not unattractive, he’s fine as a man. It’s not that the sexes can’t come to LOVE each other for those traits; it is simply that this LOVE has nothing to do with ATTRACTION to that person. Just as a certain level of provision must be met to build attraction, a certain amount of attraction must be met to build love.

    Or, to put it shortly….

    A woman will take anything an Alpha does and love it. Including provision.

    A woman will take everything a Beta does and despise it. Including provision.

    Provision is not a part of attraction

  4. stupid moderation due to links. blah.

  5. Thanks. I’d be interested in what you think of it, coming as we do from different perspectives and backgrounds with the same goal.

  6. @ Leap

    I was understanding provision a bit more broadly in Donal’s post. He referred to it as “everything he does for her.” Do you think of provisioning in this equation as just $$?

    Provision—>Gratitude—>Submission—>Attraction—>Everyone Wins!

    I agree with you that just money alone won’t do it.

    Also, there is something important to remember here. What works for Roosh to generate attraction in a club slut might not be a great long-term strategy for keeping a monogamous wife attracted. Your thoughts?

    And last…I think there may be more than one way to generate sexual attraction. I wrote about that here:

    in which I described having a very intense and sudden sexual attraction to a highly inappropriate man. But whatever it was about his serial-killer vibe that set me a-tingling, I doubt that was something that could have maintained attraction over the course of a marriage.

  7. @ Leap

    The point of my post was not so much provision as it was gratitude. The provision itself is not really the source of the attraction, the gratitude was. I suppose I should edit the post to make that more clear. Really, anything that can inspire gratitude would work.

    This applies to a lot of situations, actually. Broken women who end up with thugs, part of them is grateful for the attention they receive from such men. Is it often abusive attention? Yes. But it is attention which they never received before, attention which they are grateful for.

    Trust me, I am well aware of the limits of provision. I made note of that back in my first LAMPS post on SSM’s old blog. Unless a woman would be otherwise starving, provision isn’t directly attractive when it is of the basic variety. Only when you get into the massive amounts of wealth (millionaire range) do you see it actually make a real difference in and of itself.

  8. Ok. I don’t think the post itself confused me so much as some of the comments did. Though honestly the comment was directed more at the women, with a goal of educating any men who were sitting on the fence.

    The whole idea of ‘provision tingles’ is hilariously untrue. Even in ‘days of yore’ I suspect it was a combination of gratitude, lack of opportunity, and depth of fear that kept women from cheating – certainly not the provisioning itself.

    But then, I subscribe to the only difference between an innocent baby and a vile sinner of an adult is merely a lack of opportunity on the baby’s part. Gotta love Augustine’s sense of humor.

  9. @ Sunshine Mary

    No. I absolutely do not think that provisioning applies solely to money; though it is a fallacy I see many men of the Manosphere either fall into or resent that a woman deems a provisioning they’re unable to provide as worth more than the one they are able to provide.

    Just like I see feminists wailing about how men don’t like intelligent women with a ‘get em girl’ attitude.

    As for what works with Roosh… I forgot to mention this in the first comment I made, but in addition to the drink theft I linked to, he had another old post where he invited the women he was with to steal drinks with him as well. He related that many of them enjoyed it and loved the thrill it gave them.

    Do I think that -exact- strategy works with women as opposed to bar sluts?

    No, absolutely not.

    However I do believe that I, as a man, need to be willing to provide a healthy, well balanced woman with a healthy, well balanced version of that same emotional thrill. That thrill could be anything from pretending we’re kids and jumping in fall leaves, to making an ‘inside secret game’ of telling stories about couples we see while sitting on a bench, to discussing art at a museum and how it makes us react. Each of those is me providing her with something; and in marriage I’d be looking at providing emotional reactions centered around marriage; though I obviously have no experience with this as of yet.

    This type of provisioning is the type where, if Yohami was describing it, he’d tell all us men to swing our manhood around and let women rub up against our masculinity, while not being afraid if we accidentally knock a stupid woman over with it because she wasn’t paying attention to us.

    As for your comment and post, I also agree with that. There’s a huge difference between temptation and attraction. I haven’t covered it here but it falls largely in line with what you’re describing. Namely that PUA’s and the modern world operate on living from temptation to temptation of the hedonistic life style and don’t know how to build long term attraction; but that’s because they’re not operating on the truth of the fallen nature of man. What Christians run into as a problem is that much of the nature of attraction lies within the same realm as that of temptation, with vastly different intentions making all the difference in the world to God. My intention of attracting a woman to make a large family of holy little saints is very different than that of the PUA looking to get a quick lay; yet we use many of the same techniques that vary wildly because of those intentions.

  10. @Je Suis Prest:
    “If a woman is actively looking for attractive aspects of her husband and takes note of how well he provides for her, I can see how that would lead her to think about what a good man he is, how lucky she is to have him, and how many other women would want a man just like him. All of those thoughts could raise his status in her own mind and make him more attractive.”

    I agree that an attitude of gratitude can successfully maintain attraction, but the biggest word in that paragraph is IF.

    Someone on Sunshine Mary’s post about whether attraction can be generated where there was none to begin with mentioned Stockholm Syndrome as something similar….
    I’ve been thinking about this quite often since reading that, and to me, the will to survive is so strong in humans that we do what we must to remain alive/sane/cope etc…
    So if we are trapped, we adapt to the reality in order to survive.

    But with today’s divorce laws, there’s always a way out.
    In a marriage where the woman is NOT sexually attracted to her husband, there’s NO reason for her to NEED to generate desire towards him.

    That’s my issue with the whole concept of even asking ‘can she’?

    It would take a complete overhaul of her attitude and women these days are thinking of their exit strategies rather than looking for ways to increase their gratitude, thankfulness, desire, arousal for their husband.

    She’s more likely so busy being irritated at his every sexual move and creeped out by his advances towards her even after all these years that she wouldn’t stop to consider flipping the script.

    Attraction is physical. So is repulsion. With women, you’re sorted into one of those groups pretty much straight away. Not a lot of wriggle room.

    About Provision being Attractive, Leap of a Beta explained it well.

  11. femininebutnotfeminist

    @ donal,

    Another brilliant post! The “Provision – Everyone Wins!” Model explains it well, assuming the woman is humble enough to want to show her hubby that she is grateful in the first place. Gratitude begins with humility, which is unfortunately lacking in people these days.

    “This applies to a lot of situations, actually. Broken women who end up with thugs, part of them is grateful for the attention they receive from such men. Is it often abusive attention? Yes. But it is attention which they never received before, attention which they are grateful for.”……

    In other words, bad attention is better than no attention at all. To use my Dad and me as an example: 95% of the attention he chose to give me (during my preteen – teenage years) was argumentative in nature (he freely admitted to enjoying arguing about anything and to regularly picking fights just for the fun of it). I didn’t figure this out until years later, but when I was a little desperate for some attention from him, I would go pick a fight about something…no, anything… just to get that attention from him, even though I wanted the attention to be “good” in nature. While wanting your Daddy’s attention is certainly different than wanting the attention of a guy, the idea of getting ANY attention at all is enough for some women (those without even baseline standards or the ability to handle loneliness) to choose these thugs that they are attracted (the word I would use is “intrigued” by) to.

  12. Gratitude is hard. It doesn’t come naturally. Hell, even faking gratitude is hard. It is basically a spiritual discipline.

  13. deti

    Bringing it back around —

    If provision leads to gratitude, we have here a direct admission from the women putting forth this theory that a man is valued not for who he is, but for what he does or is able to do for the woman who deigns to accept him. Thus, to women, most men’s value has nothing to do with his intrinsic worth; but rather the uses to which she can put him.

    But a man who can ratchet up arousal (Like SSM’s paper hat guy) or attraction (like SSM’s husband HHG), the woman will love and be attracted to the man regardless of his provisioning ability.

    And this applies regardless of what the “provisioning” is, whether it’s money, or status, or protection, or muscle.

  14. femininebutnotfeminist

    @ Deti

    Oh puh-lease! Just because a woman is grateful for her hubby’s provisioning doesn’t mean she only cares about that part of him, or that she thinks he’s ONLY worth having because he provides for her! That quality is only one part of the total package. If a woman said she WASN’T grateful for what he does for her, well I suspect you would find some reason to fault her for that too, would you not?

  15. deti


    It is what it is. Nothing more, nothing less.

    If we accept the formulation at face value (which I don’t), it means that his entire relationship in this scenario rests on his provisioning. It means that to the extent attraction can exist at all from this woman to this man, it is wholly dependent on his providing for her whatever it is she wants – money, resources, protection, muscle, spiritual covering, whatever.

    She will not be thankful to him or grateful for him or to him unless he is giving her something – providing.

    What sets it all in motion is what he gives her, what he does for her, what he secures to her and transfers to her so that she can use it for her own ends and thus be thankful and grateful that she has it and that he got it for her, whatever “it” is.

    FBNF, you don’t like this because when all the hamsterbation is stripped away, it is still all about what the woman can get from the man..

    It gets your hackles up because at bottom, it is still about making him qualify to her for her gratitude, submission and attraction.

  16. femininebutnotfeminist

    @ Deti,

    You seem to be missing the whole point that Donal is making here… it’s not PROVISION that’s the key, it is the wife’s attitude of GRATITUDE toward her husband for anything and everything he is and does. He just happened to talk specifically about provision in this instance, not because it’s the most important thing about attraction, but because he was addressing the “utilatarian tingles” comments from the previous post.

    What I don’t like here is that you have found some way, again, to assume evil intentions of a woman who displays an attitude that is in fact Godly! It’s like, no matter what a woman does, whether she shows her husband a respectful and grateful attitude or not, you (and a handfull of other men around these parts) will go on and on about how terrible she is! We’re darned if we do, darned if we don’t! THAT, my dear Deti, is what is raising my hackles!

    If you think you have a better idea of the kind of attitude a wife should have towards her husband, then by all means share it!

  17. deti


    Calm down.

    I said nothing about a woman being “evil” or “terrible”. Those are your words, not mine. I simply observed that if we’re talking about a woman being grateful for a man’s provision; and that gratitude leading to submission and attraction, then what’s really going on is that her attraction to him is at bottom dependent on his provision – i.e. what he does for her and what he gives her.

    No provision, no attraction. He has to provide. He has to “dance”. He has to do something, give her something, be of some use to her, for there to be “attraction”. If he doesn’t, or cannot, or the provision doesn’t continue for whatever reason, then the attraction must of necessity disappear with it.

    No other conclusion can possibly be drawn.

    It is what it is. It is not evil or terrible. It is simply a fact, just “the way it is”. And it is just the way some women’s relationships are with their men. Because there is nothing else which attracts them to their men.

  18. deti


    How can you possibly say provision isn’t the key to this formula when the formula STARTS with provision?

    Provision leads to gratitude, leads to submission, leads to attraction.

    It all falls apart unless she is getting something from him. He has to get it or be it or do it and then give “it” to her.

  19. femininebutnotfeminist

    @ deti

    How can I say it’s not all about provision? Just look at the name of this post: “Kindling the fire through gratitude”, not “kindling the fire through provision”. I know the first word in Donal’s formula is provision, but (and please correct me if I’m wrong Donal) it could easily be replaced by a number of things she should be grateful for: his love for God, his love for her and their children, kindness towards her, protection, leadership, intelligence, steadfastness in hard times, courage, fidelity, chastity prior to marrying her, his being unapologetically masculine, his intimacy (in every sense of the word) with her, the list could go on for miles and includes aspects of who he is, not only what he provides her with.
    [Ed: You are not wrong. The crux of my argument was gratitude, not provision. It is really the gratitude that is responsible for the attraction, not the provision. The provision is merely one possible source of the gratitude, but the essential component, a grateful heart, is something else entirely. If my formula isn’t clear then I shall endeavor to fix that in an update.]

    I know you didn’t use the words “evil” or “terrible”. I was stating my frustration with a few people around here who have on very many occasions described women in ways that equate to being terrible and evil, even if those women’s actions and motives are good. The worst about women is always assumed in every situation (with just a few men around here). It’s like some people think that women, even christian women, are not capable of anything good. Or at least, that’s the impression that a lot of comments leave on me. That is the impression that your comment left on me as well. If I misunderstood you then I apologize.

  20. @deti

    I have to say, thinking that women are only grateful to their men for provisioning is pretty cynical. I remember upon first meeting my husband, before we had any type of relationship whatsoever, thinking how grateful I was to him for trying to be a man of God and making sacrifices to be faithful, because his testimony was a good witness to others. I respected and was grateful for that.

    Even now I am thankful for things that bless him and do not have a direct benefit to me. I’m thankful when he gets a good night’s sleep, because he is a light sleeper and has had trouble. Seeing him worn out hurts my heart. I am also thankful for his hobbies because I know they bless him, and I’m glad he has something to do that he enjoys to take his mind off of stress from work. I could write of other things in this vein.

    You can easily wave off what I’m saying, and judge it as you will, but I’m sticking to my guns here that what you’re wagering just isn’t true.

  21. femininebutnotfeminist

    @ Donal,

    Thank you for the confirmation 🙂

  22. deti


    I’m afraid you will have to clarify it but I’m not sure you can. The way it’s formulated and phrased herein, wife’s gratitude is inextricably intertwined with and linked to husband’s provision.

    Here’s what I’m talking about. From the OP, caps added for emphasis:

    “The way I see it, when a wife develops a healthy sense of gratitude FOR EVERYTHING HER HUSBAND DOES FOR HER,she is elevating him in her eyes. This increases his Status relative to hers, which has the double effect of both satisfying her hypergamy and making him more attractive. Increased gratitude can only be a net gain.”

    Also from the OP:

    “A good place to start is with being grateful FOR ALL THAT HER HUSBAND DOES FOR HER, because every act of gratitude just adds more kindling to the conjugal fire.

    No provision, no gratitude.

    Amanda: I’m sorry – a wife may be grateful for her husband getting a good night’s sleep and for things he likes to do; but those things have nothing to do with submission to him, nor to her attraction to him. Moreover, your thankfulness and gratitude for those things might be rooted in your genuine concern for him; but that has nothing to do with submission to him or attraction to him. I’m concerned about my best friends from college; but I’m not attracted to them. The cynic in me says your concern about your husband’s sleep is for his physical health, which you need so he will be well enough to continue working and providing for you. Your thankfulness about his hobbies and things he likes to do translates to concern for his mental health, which you need so he can continue providing for you.

  23. Pingback: How to change your man. | Sunshine Mary

  24. Pingback: The Thankfulness Project- 2013 Edition | Donal Graeme

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s