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65 million Americans are currently living with an STD.* And Women are twice as likely as men to contract an STD.* Find out how you can make a difference. Join the Cause. Visit elexabytrojan.com.

*Source: American Social Health Association

From Lovers to Friends

I’ve done it so many times.

And certainly, I’m hoping a relationship sticks one of these days, but I’m also glad to have the kinda friends that ex-boyfriends can make – really, really good ones.  Full of intimacy meshed with a male point of view and great hugs.  It truly can’t be beat if you’re looking for a cohort.

Continue reading "From Lovers to Friends" »

Have Sex & Save Money!

I’m an armchair psychologist.

Seriously, it was close to being my major in college and to this day I still enjoy the mechanics of how the human mind works. In fact, the more I study and read and people-watch, the more I’m convinced that there are actually very few human motivations and that these motivations – fear being the most common, directly affect your sex life.

Take cheap people for example. I’ve been certain for many years that people who huddle around a nickel like its the second coming are only sublimating for something else they’re not getting. To illustrate, one of my ex-boyfriends, Dan, was so cheap (cue: “How Cheap Was He?”) that he’d saved every receipt for everything he’d ever bought in case it would need to be taken back to the store. The man makes six figures, but when I asked him how he could take a vacuum cleaner that Hoover doesn’t even make anymore back to the store for a refund, it was crystal clear that this had nothing to do with saving money. This was sexual frustration masked as frugality. Was it any surprise that this “man” couldn’t keep it up for more than 30 seconds?

Same goes for people who separate the two-ply toilet paper, horde spare change, drive ten miles out of the way rather than pay tolls and/or mooch off their friends. I would never crack on anyone who actually needs to pinch pennies or clip coupons because they’re struggling; I’m talking about those who have cash who’d rather die than to let a few dollars go for the sake of pleasure or comfort.

But there is a remedy. Women’s Health just published an article called “The Cost…Of Not Having Enough Sex.” This article calculates down to the penny, how much you can save this year by getting laid instead of buying some of the more commonly used household staples like Advil, Movies OnDemand, even your regularly scheduled therapy appointment.

Let me know what you’re hording. Perhaps I can be of help. You’re welcome on my couch anytime. Well until my next boy toy arrives anyway.

Love Hurts.

Sometimes, I find myself thinking about the various ways men have hurt me over the years.

Sometimes, I feel like I can't bear to feel - even once more -the slightest slight.  I question if I have the strength, even when I know the reward is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, and yet again, wonderful.

I believe in love and marriage and partnership and passion and connection, and I really, truly do want it and believe it can happen. But I honestly question, sometimes, how much more my heart can take.

Continue reading "Love Hurts." »

You’d Better Behave Yourself!

I’ve always believed that everyone seems just a little too proper. I think we can all benefit from loosening the restrictions and letting it all hang out, so to speak. You get to know people faster that way. Take dating, for example. If it takes weeks to get all the formality out of the way so you can really get to know the other person, then you realize that person really wasn’t worth your time, what was the purpose of all the preliminary posturing?

Well, my freelance writing peer and style expert Caroline Tiger disagrees. She’s recently released another installment in her How to Behave book series called How To Behave: Dating and Sex. It appeared in my inbox through a Daily Candy article. Caroline believes some of us need a little help when faced with the conundrums of online dating, kicking someone out of your bed (or life) the morning after and hearing the L-word when not feeling it yourself (I recently lived through this one).

Perhaps you need a little guidance when navigating through murky dating waters. Following ones instincts doesn’t work for everybody, I guess. Some people get off on following the rules just like I get off on nice hands, a great kiss and a well-formed penis. What I think this really is about is not having the confidence to do what you want. Everyone’s looking for tips. We all want a map to follow.

What will we do when we finally learn that no map is correct? Well, until then, mind your manners and learn from Ms. Tiger how to behave.

Dating Dealbreakers

I'm going to just come right out and admit this - I was floored to discover that any non-smoker would date a smoker.  I certainly don't think it's sweeping the nation, but chalk one up for romance, because these non-smoking people are out there.

Continue reading "Dating Dealbreakers" »

Chemistry, Our Fickle Mistress

That mysterious connection, that intangible thing that makes your words trip, your heart race, your mind wander:  Chemistry.  I've felt it; it's definitely real.

Yet sadly, so often it doesn't hold the meaning we wish that it would.  Even as sometimes it does.

Continue reading "Chemistry, Our Fickle Mistress" »

Nudism Revisited! 10 Questions with Tom Mulhall, Owner of the Terra Cotta Inn, Clothing Optional Resort in Palm Springs, CA

Since I wrote my nudism blog back on January 10th I’ve gotten some replies from those who are curious, those who know and those who want me to spend some more time on the subject. Well, I spoke with the owner of a nudist resort recently, Tom Mulhall, who shed some light on this industry, its history and its future:

How Would You Introduce Yourself?
I own a nudist resort and we also belong to the Trade Association for Nude Recreation (TANR). I’m also a past president of the Palms Springs Chamber of Commerce, so I’m not just involved with nudism, but the entire tourism industry.

How Popular Is Nudism?
Well, one in seven people in Europe will visit a nude resort each year. Europeans are much more comfortable with nudity than we are in America. Nudism actually began in Europe (Europe the continent, not Great Brittain) in the late 1800’s as a medical treatment for Ricketts and the black sky effects of coal burning during the winter.

What’s Your Personal Nudism Story?
My wife, Mary Claire, and I were maybe 23 or 24 years old and were really poor recent college graduates looking to visit the original Jamaican Hedonism resort, which wasn’t like it is now. It cost only $300, round trip, including airfare, to go. We never realized they had a nude beach there. Since it was the 70s, the hippie culture was still dominant, but it took us a while to work up the nerve to try it. But once we did, we thought it was really cool, and we’ve been into it ever since.

How Has This Industry Evolved?
Now, nudism is no longer family/kid-oriented. There’s something now called “couples vacation packages.” People, especially when traveling to the Caribbean, tend to not take the kids so now there’s a huge market for resorts that can offer a different type of vacation experience. First, topless sunbathing, like at Hedonism and then at places like Club Med and Sandals became popular. This progressed to nude sunbathing becoming more popular.

What About Your Resort?
We lived in Chicago until 1994 when we moved to Palm Springs. We started buying rental buildings. I’m a CPA by background, my wife is a home economist. We’d vacationed a lot in the Caribbean and in Europe and talked about possibly opening our own clothing-optional resort at some point. We were the very first couples-oriented nude resort in the United States. We’re called the Terra Cotta Inn. We’ve now been open 12 years.

What’s the Personality Type of a Nude Sunbather?
This is for very outgoing people. And when you take your clothes off at a nude resort, you are so much better behaved. Its like bearing your body also accompanies bearing your soul. If you go and stay at a Hyatt or Hilton hotel, you never, ever make friends with people. Whereas at a nudist resorts you’re likely to make lifelong friends because you’ve really gotten to know other people.

Has Nude Sunbathing Grown In Popularity In the U.S.?
Nude recreation is really getting major press these days. I always say that once you get a major A-list celebrity who says they enjoy visiting nudist resorts, then you’ll blow the lid right off. You’ve got people like Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Aniston who enjoy nude sunbathing or who say they enjoy going nude at home like Shakira, who gardens nude at her home in the Bahamas. Those things will always make the press. Then, everyone will want to do it.

And Personal Highlights?
When Newsweek did their article a few years ago on the best small business in America, they came here. How many people can say they’ve had their bare butt in Newsweek Magazine?


Where Should We Go for More Information?
I would suggest the American Association of Nude Recreation (AANR) for basic information, and, of course my site and blog: www.sunnyfun.com and www.terracottainn.blogspot.com

This Valentine's Day, Just Say No To Whiny Men

I'm developing a serious pet peeve.

These people and their whining about "Hallmark Holidays."  And if it's Christmas, then it's "Oh, it's all just so commercialized, wah, wah, wah."

So don't make YOUR holiday about commercial stuff!  DUH.

Continue reading "This Valentine's Day, Just Say No To Whiny Men" »

What The Hell Is Speed Dating?

I won’t clog the blog waves with yet another Valentine’s Day snore as, I’m sure, so many bloggers are wont to do today. Instead, I’ll tell you how I was invited, by a networking and social group I’m a member of, to a Valentine’s Day Speed Dating event. What the…?

The e-vite read like this:

Everyday is the 14th!

When: Valentine's Day 2007
Where: The African American Museum in Philadelphia
Time: Happy Hour (6pm to 9pm)
Price: $10 in Advance ~ $15 at the Door ~ $5 for YFS members
Why settle for 1 date on Valentine's Day when you can have 10?
Strongly Suggested Pre-Requisites for Participation:
• Ladies Must Bring A Guy Friend
• Fellas Must Bring A Lady Friend (that you're not dating…YFS is a Drama Free Organization People!)

Come Prepared to Have Fun (no uptight people allowed!)

Needless to say, I won’t be attending. As curious as I am about meeting new people and especially about watching people who are curious aim their arrows at the wrong people, I just can’t seem to wrap my brain around the concept of “dating” someone for six minutes and waiting to see if he also thought me interesting enough to see again. Because as my many years of experience with six-hour dating have taught me, about the only thing I can learn about a person in six minutes, is NOT whether I’d want a second date with them, but only if I’d want to sleep with them. Have the clubs and bars all closed?

According to New York EasyDates, “Why waste time with internet dating or blind dates? Know you like each other before you go out. New York EasyDates meet 'em before you date 'em.”

Well, duh! Isn’t the point of meeting people that you like what you see, and then move on to the phone call, then go out on a date? Remember that? Have we forgotten? What the hell is going on?


This crap even has a page on Wikipedia, the place for everything that’s anything in our culture, proof that its legit.

I even put a call out on my MySpace.com page telling the first 10 people who could relay to me their experiences on a speed date that they’d get a shot at reading their reply in this blog. No takers.

Get a life!

Insecure Relationships Affect Your Health

with a sample size of 61 healthy women showed a link between attachment ability and your immune system. The researchers found that "those who had difficulty establishing close, trusting relationships showed signs of weaker immune function. Specifically, lab experiments showed that the women's "natural killer" immune system cells were less lethal compared with those from other study participants."

It doesn't mean that being in an insecure relationship will kill you---but it does negatively affect your health. See insecurity leads to you being stressed. And chronic stress affects your immunity because it compromises your body's ability to fight infection. Your body's natural killer cells don't pep up when they are attacked because they are depressed.

The researchers also found a direct link between certain health problems and women who had attachment issues. These include plaque psoriasis, a condition where scaly patches form on the skin, and alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss. Ugh!

So in a nutshell, in order to further improve your health, stay out of relationships that have you feeling insecure. The right relationship for you should yield more endorphins and good energy than stress, negative emotions and sadness. Keep your head up.

Do you see any correlation between the two? Have you noticed a decline in your health in the past when you were in a stressed out relationship like migraines, colds and the like? Do share.

You can read the article in it's entirety HERE.

Living Life and Falling in Love

I recently came across a new dating website called Lifeknot. You are probably wondering...why would someone start a new dating website when there are a bajillion other dating websites out there like Match, EHarmony & Myspace that have already cornered the market?

Well, the people at Lifeknot have come up with a really interesting niche. They believe that you should just live your life and pursue it to the fullest extent of happiness and love will follow. It's based on the premise that when you pursue your hobbies, interests, lifestyle and beliefs, you will eventually find someone that shares one of your interests and this creates an instant bonding platform. According to their user friendly website:

"Online dating sites rush people into the relationship stage of a friendship and social networking sites link you to so many people that the intimacy of establishing a few close friends is lost. Lifeknot’s combination of personal and activity profiles strikes the perfect balance between the two.

Lifeknot members frequently suggest new activities as they seek people that share their interests and passions–passions as diverse as sled dog racing, sushi, scrabble, sailing, shiatsu, hiking, home brewing, horseback riding, biking, beekeeping, body surfing, and belly dancing to name a few.

Lifeknot Activity Profiles permit people to show a side of themselves that isn't conveyed through traditional personality profiles alone. As a result, people feel more comfortable contacting each other; activities shared serve as icebreakers and provide the reassurance that interests are other than skin deep."

The website has over 1200 activities that people are enrolled for. The best part is that it's totally FREE! You can find activities in your area, or try activities while in another city. There are over 1200 categories and they are all user suggested. Which means if you don't find something that fits you, you can also make your own clique. How cool is that?

If I were single, this would be one avenue that I would give a whirl. So here's to all my lovely singletons---try it out and let me know what happens. You will probably have the time of your life!

What to Expect When You're A Valentine

Tomorrow morning I will be appearing on the Today Show to talk about Valentine's Day Expectations. When I was first asked, "How should women manage their expectations on Valentine's?", I wanted to blurt out (humorously of course), "Don't have any!"

Continue reading "What to Expect When You're A Valentine" »

Are People Really Still Smoking?

Seriously - It's 2007, and it's getting to the point where smoking is just plain crazy.  It's killing you; it's totally disgusting; and it's not OK.

Yes, this is a post about relationships.  It's a post about relationships with smokers.

Continue reading "Are People Really Still Smoking?" »

Why Some Nice Guys are Creepy

Scared Bunny wrote a really great post on his thoughts on nice guys and why a huge population of them usually end up getting screwed. I tend to stay away from nice guys---not because of the 'Bad Boy' syndrome but because I'm too opinionated for my own damn good and end up walking all over the garden variety of nice guys. I'm not saying that nice guy = wuss but I'm saying that if a nice guy had an edge to him, and some cajones then he would have a better chance with the average girl.

Continue reading "Why Some Nice Guys are Creepy" »

Winning Is An Aphrodisiac

Who cares about the Super Bowl anymore?

I watch every year. I’m a huge sports fan, I’m a football fan, and I like to check out the major sporting events because I am a fan and also because I’m a pop culture junkie who can’t help but make connections between what’s happening in the news and how it shapes us as a society.

For example, we’re still making racial history through sport. This Super Bowl was the first in American history to feature a Black head coach. Two, in fact. I also thought it interesting that most sports reporters who elaborated on this fact also seemed to need to apologize for approaching the subject by suggesting there will be a day when this topic won’t be relevant (no, there won’t).

But another subject that intrigues me about the big game and all the hoopla and pageantry surrounding it is the heightened sense of urgency, all the anticipation of the “big” moment and how sexually charged that all is.

Now, I’m not one of those women who get all gooey and orgasmic over chocolate. I also gossip very little, which many women use like lifeblood to stay connected to the world. I do like my shoes and I believe a quality massage never hurt anybody, but for me, one of my passion pursuits will always be pro sports. And I’m not the only one. Football wives and locker room groupies have a different agenda than I, who will always hold the game in higher esteem than the players’ marital status, however, the groupies and the “scope queens” have their place, and the Super Bowl is their biggest arena.

I remember back in the late 80s when I was still a teenager, The San Francisco 49ers won one of their Super Bowls with Joe Montana, their quarterback, being lifted ever higher into the ranks of studliness. I was working at a video store with lots of people my ages, and as we sports fans relived each great play of the game and debated where this one placed on the list of the greatest sports moments in history, most of the girls could only comment on how they wanted to be married to Joe Montana.

Okay. Whatever.

But it does make an interesting point. Where do you think all these paternity suits come from? Why are all those silicone-enhanced, sport-knowledge-deficient hoochies hanging around during and after games? How come the Super Bowl is just as much about hookers and “flesh and flash” parties as it is about the final score? And why do blogs, like the NFL Wives Club, exist?

I’ll tell you why. Because winning is an aphrodisiac!

How to Break Up.

At lunch with a friend a day after my most recent break-up, the topic of hurting people came up. I was explaining that my ex-boyfriend and I were going to do the friend thing.

Here's a truth: If the absolute first person you ever date in your entire life isn't your one and only soulmate who you then stay with until the day you die, you are going to spend time being hurt and hurting others. In a break-up, one or both of you is hurt.

Continue reading "How to Break Up." »

Was Harry Right?

Can men and women really be friends? That's the question I was asked on The Today Show last week. You know what I said?

Continue reading " Was Harry Right?" »

Ask about STDs.

I was thinking about my recent break-up - because he treated me right.  And I was thinking that while half of it is: Good Guy; there's another half that's: Hey, Communicated and Stood Up For My Needs.  And that made me think about STDs.

Yes, it's a winding path, my stream of consciousness.

Continue reading "Ask about STDs." »

Foreplay

There was an article I read in last month's Cosmopolitan that got me thinking more about foreplay.

When dating, foreplay is one of the mainstays of the dating relationship. However, once the relationship progresses to a long term committed relationship, foreplay is one of those things that invariably swings out the window. After all, you are both comfortable with each other now, know your spots and know what works yielding an orgasm in 20 minutes or less. So why bother with a lengthy foreplay session?

First of all, not only does foreplay totally get your juices revving, it also increases the passion when you actually have sex. It's like building a bonfire, first you start with an ember, which grows into a dull flame, a bright flame which grows into a blazing bonfire. Foreplay is that first spark, the ember.

There are oodles of ways to initiate foreplay without even going the more common routes of first, second and third base. Any subliminal message, even a subtle one is enough to send his mind in overdrive and his blood heading straight downwards.

A look, a touch, a seductive smile. A note tucked in the pocket of his suit. A kiss in the mirror after applying fresh lipstick for an instant imprint of your lips everytime he looks at the mirror.

In my book, the best foreplay is the kind that lasts all day long....

Do you agree or disagree that foreplay tends to slip away the longer you are in a relationship? Your thoughts please.

The Incredible, Dangerous, Big Money Sex Rush!

Ever buy a very expensive pair of stiletto sandals? Remember the rush you got as you gently picked them up, smelled the leather, held them out in front of you, gently smiled as you imagined the outfits you’d wear them with, then flipped one shoe over to reveal the price tag positioned perfectly on the ball of the sole, realizing you could actually afford them without forfeiting this month’s mortgage and promptly whipped out the Visa card? If all your answers were yes, you’re also recalling the near orgasm it brought you.

I know this is a cheat, for many women enjoy shoes for the sake of shoes, whether they’re the Payless variety or the Manolo Blahnik variety, but you must admit that having a penchant for something hugely expensive and being able to occasionally treat yourself to it does provide a perverse thrill. Its not the same as being the “Belle of the Ball” like a blogged about last month, which is more about the whole of the experience; a sexy event. This is about particular and specific status items, that for whatever reason, turn us on so much that they invoke very real, very sexual feelings.

But…

But, there is a very real danger here. Have some plastic surgery. Buy the LaPerla lingerie. Buy the fancy strand of pearls. Get your blinged out Mercedes. Order the Tod’s bag for your toy dog. And after you have all those things, what will turn you on after that?

“Spend-a-holics” Anonymous, HERE YOU COME!

I'm back in the single again.

I wish this was a post about quitting.  I wish this was a post about giving up on love.

I even had it planned.  I'd even thought, If this one doesn't work out, I'm done.

You know that loss of freedom you feel when you find yourself back in a relationship? It's like a sudden change of altitude. I've asked myself, can I afford this? I want to be a film and/or television director. It's a really long road, and one that many people find difficult to live on.

Continue reading "I'm back in the single again." »

Diaper Duty - Real Men Do It

I was getting a pedicure this weekend (yes, I do indulge) and while reading the stack of trashy tabloids, I came across a quote that I hope to god isn't true. When asked about the new baby he has on the way, Donald Trump, Jr. allegedly responded, "Trumps don't do diapers."

Continue reading "Diaper Duty - Real Men Do It" »

The Snow In/Love In

The forecast called for snow today. It was supposed to begin snowing yesterday evening and continue into today with some accumulation and the promise of a hellish morning commute.

I work at home so I don’t ever need to worry about the commute unless I have a meeting, which would usually be scheduled for late morning or early afternoon anyway. The real reason I always check the snow forecasts is because I’m anxious to check something off my varied and interesting sexual to do list: the snow/love in.

I’m always envious of those women who brag about spending entire weekends in bed with their boyfriends doing nothing but eating, reading (and writing) erotic fiction and, of course, sexing each other into oblivion. I’ve never done this. And I’m waiting patiently. I mean, I’d been snowed in with someone before. It was a couple years ago and he was absolutely gorgeous. But by the time I was settled in a comfortable groove and we were assuredly snowed completely in, he was already thoroughly ordinary to me. Well, it didn’t help that he was several years younger than I and spent almost the entire time trying to impress me instead of relaxing and just being natural. I remember him drowning himself in cologne one night because he thought it’d turn me on. He said this trick worked like a charm when his dad used it on his mom. But after I began sneezing and ordered him to go shower before I got a headache, I deemed the evening a no-go and turned over to go to sleep. Besides a few lingering kisses and a couple unfulfilling mutual masturbation sessions that weekend, I had no interest.

I think it may be the calmness of a snowstorm, of how it seems warm and still, that makes me feel sexy and amorous. Perhaps its the excitement of knowing that, at least for a day or so, I can turn off the computer, put the work away and not answer the phone, because I have this unexpected, yet much welcomed break to do precisely as I please. And when those moments arise, I’m usually looking to either spend money or do something decidedly sexual.

Alas, there wasn’t that much snow. Not enough for a legitimate snow/love in. And even if there were, my boyfriend was in Philly until late last night directing a last minute video shoot, meaning I’d need to wait for another time.

Oh well. I’ll wait for the next storm.

Give Up Masturbation? Are You Serious?

I’ve been covering my Elexa Sexy Smart beat faithfully and looking up sex toys and making my friends and acquaintances spill their dirt and nastiness for you guys and I am overlooking one of the greatest sex stimulators I’ve come across in my life and its one that will (barring any run-ins with the mafia) be with me until the very day that I die: my right hand!

Oh my goodness!

I mean, I’ve certainly mentioned masturbation in this blog, but its usually part of introducing a vibrator, describing an erotic fantasy or some manifesto on movies, music or tingling lube.

But what about rubbing yourself silly just for its own sake? No frills. No fantasies. Just for the sheer “get off” factor alone. I’ve lost whole afternoons masturbating. I’ll only allow my fingernails to get so long. Being in love (or lust) helps, but sometimes its purely a physical thing. Its like getting high.

I’m a chronic insomniac. Sometimes, I’ll be tired as hell, but I will not be able to get to sleep for the life of me. I’ll be tired, physically tired, but my mind will still be going like gangbusters. For whatever reason, one that I choose not to analyze, this is a sexual trigger for me. It doesn’t make me feel sexy, you see, but I must whack off in situations like that or I cannot shut down for the night. Sometimes I even need to come over and over and over before I’m spent. I know, weird, right?

So, I’ve been thinking: what would take masturbation’s place as my sleep method if I had to give it up? Girly herbal tea and Enya? Would I be hooked on sleeping pills? No way. I like my method. Because sincerely, who in the world, Dumb Josh Hartnett movies aside, would try to give up masturbation?

I’ve tried to see how many days I could go without it, you know, just as an experiment to see if my orgasms would be more intense after waiting a while (results proved inconclusive), or if it would make sex better with a new guy I was seeing (who cares?).

Tell me. What would you give up masturbation for?

A Woman's Mantra

One of my favorite bloggettes, the Mistress wrote an excellent post today about how a woman should empower herself first before she seeks out a relationship. She noted how us ladies tend to bend over backwards and turn ourselves into pretzels for the sake of a relationship....and a crappy one at that. Instead of finding a great guy that will treat us properly, we waste our time, money, tears, heart and emotions hanging to bad guys, philanderers, cheats, abusers and pretty much every single Mr. Wrong we can find.

Even Oprah recently confessed that she was in a wonky relationship for 4 years, begging and grovelling for some respect from a guy who didn't appreciate her, treated her like crap and constantly rejected her. OPRAH!

The Mistress went on to post a list of what should be every woman's mantra in regards to men, love and relationships. It's something that we all instinctively know, yet disregard anyway. So let's take accountability for our own actions in regards to our happiness. Stop putting up with less than you deserve...aim high and let's work on ourselves and our own character before we get into relationships.

Continue reading "A Woman's Mantra" »

The Politics of Sleeping Over

I've heard that people used to rush into marriage so that they could have sex. Well, if we rush in today, I think it's because we're sick of figuring out who's sleeping where, which nights.

Ah, sleeping over.  The bag-packing.  The forgetting-stuff.  The Not Being At Home.

Continue reading "The Politics of Sleeping Over" »

Blog for Choice Day

Today is Blog for Choice Day and I am writing because CHOICE represents more than reproductive freedom. CHOICE represents comprehensive sexuality education, civil rights, and whether or not I can get a Brazilian bikini wax. It is all part and parcel of being in control of your body and getting access to accurate, healthy information.

Continue reading "Blog for Choice Day" »

7 Relationship Sins

In December's Cosmopolitan there's a really great article called, "What Smart Girlfriend's Never Do," by Gini Sikes. She interviewed Dr. Ablow, a psychiatrist who believes that familiarity nearly always breeds contempt or a loss of excitement by partners who assume that intimacy must mean letting it all hang out. According to them, there are 7 relationship no-nos.

  1. Giving gifts his mom would buy. You know how much you hate getting practical gifts from him? Like a blender or ice scraper? He utterly detests it as well, but won't tell you. His ultimate fear is that you'll morph from his lover to his mother. *shudder*
  2. Getting too comfortable in the bathroom together. Showers are cool, getting dressed in the morning is fine...but anything involving a toilet/sink should be done in privacy with the door closed. Although I do so love watching him shave.
  3. Drifting into a sex rut. You know I'm always harping on this one. Do everything you can to avoid slipping into a rut. Men love sex. Women do too! So stop letting life and busy schedules crowd sex out. It's very important to the vitality of your relationship.
  4. Baring all, all the time. As in parading around naked all the time. Sure it's sexy to see your babe doing chores naked, but after a while it does get old. It might "anesthetize your man to how provocative your nude form is." According to Dr. Ablow, nudity should only be connected to sex and not housework/reading in bed. Okay, I wouldn't push it that far, but I do understand his point.
  5. Flaunting your flaws. Don't focus his attention on your imperfections. Self-confidence is sexy. Don't spend all day whining about how fat you are and how much you need to lose weight. Get up and actually do it.
  6. Dressing down. Okay, I'm guilty of this one. I love my comfy pants and wife-beater as my in home attire. But since reading this I've been making more of an effort to get dressed even when at home. I must say, it's really amped up his appreciative looks and total distraction whenever I sashay in front of him.
  7. Spending every night together. Oh no, there is no way I could not do this. I love sleeping with his arms around me. It takes me forever to fall asleep when he's not there. However, Dr. Ablow believes that personal space is great in keeping the passion alive and that 'too much togetherness is a surefire way to cool the romance.'

Are there any other No-nos that you  have discovered in your relationships? What do you think of this list?

What’s Your “Number”?

Why do women lie about the number of men they’ve had sex with?

I know there’s still a social stigma around even the idea of a woman being in complete control of her sexuality and not giving a damn about what other people think. And I know that what gives men a studly image makes women into pariahs. But now, in the new year 2007, can’t we move past that archaic crap and into a phase where we celebrate women’s sexual prowess, something that can only be attained through confidence and experience?

I read recently that the thing women lie about the most is not their age nor their dress size, but the number of men they’ve bedded. What is that? Do women believe that their vaginas are these delicate vessels that cannot be used unless in case of an extreme emergency? Give me a break. A real man would never judge a woman by these antiquated standards and would even consider it a privilege to experience a woman who so obviously knows what she wants and how to get it.

So, here’s my proposition. Call it a New Year’s Resolution if you want. But I’d like to see the tables turn so much so that the mere mention of a woman’s number makes a man want to devour her, not run for the hills. And I’d like to see women excited to add to their sexual roster instead of feeling like dirty, diseased whores when they add another tick mark to their bed posts. We could even throw our “number” out there, like a sexual lure, a worm on the end of our hook, to give men a teaser about what’s in store and that we wouldn’t just lie there like a dead fish.

C’mon ladies, sow your oats. Tell me your wild stories. I’ll post them right here on this blog.

Oh, my number? 26.

You Watch my Movie, and I'll Watch Yours.

People like different kinds of movies. This I get. On any given weekend, there are a variety of film choices. And your first choice likely isn't going to be someone else's choice. And maybe not your partner's choice, either.

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Men Pay For Dates

Today, I thought I'd share an incendiary little post I wrote back in 2005.  It sparked a lot of discussion, and I posted a follow-up a few days later.  Enjoy.

~

Men pay for dates.

I pay to get my eyebrows waxed twice a month.  I pay for manicures and pedicures and facials.  I pay for hair color and cuts.  I pay for makeup.  I pay to shave more of my body.  I pay for tampons.

Men pay for dates.

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Hi Tech - Lo Sex

I have a friend who sleeps with his Blackberry Crackberry on his nightstand so that he can communicate all night long. Needless to say, his girlfriend is not thrilled by this behavior...because they no longer have sex and because he's becoming a big tech geek (not that that's always a bad thing).

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Sex For Help: How Many Blowjobs Do I Owe You?

My toilet broke a while back. Well, the rubber flapper inside the tank stopped “flapping” and I needed to ask my boyfriend to help me fix it because I couldn’t hold the flashlight and unscrew the damned thing at the same time. I know, real sexy, right?

So anyway, he comes to the rescue and I spend three or so hours stressed and cursing while he very patiently helps me pick out new parts at Home Depot and also helps me install everything, even going as far as convincing me to change the flapper on my other toilet too because as he put it, “If one’s broken its just a matter of time before the other breaks too.” He’s really very sweet.

But at least 57 times during this ordeal, I mentioned to him that I owed him a blowjob for helping me. That’s 57 blowjobs! Not that I can’t perform 57 blowjobs, its that I say this a lot when a man helps me with something that I can’t do alone, because contrary to what I’d like people to think about me, I am not superwoman. My boyfriend and I laugh about it and even have rated some things according a sliding blowjob scale.

He had a great new stereo installed in my car for my birthday. That was worth 10 blowjobs.

He helped me sell that car after my accident in November. That was worth 25 blowjobs.

The car I bought to replace it needed a new shift boot and still needs the automatic mechanism for the convertible top fixed. I’m willing to get the kneepads out for that too!

It started as a cute and funny joke, but has now escalated to something close to the edge of disturbing. I’m addicted to it. Can a man not help me without my offering him sexual favors? I just love to see his face light up, like he’s thanking me for asking him for help. Is it some testament to my feeling like I don’t deserve help from someone? I need to get to the bottom of this as soon as possible since I haven’t actually had to make due on any of these offers yet.

The last thing I want is to fall further in arrears.

Relationship Resolutions

I love making New Year's Resolutions, so I thought I'd follow Vixen's resolutions post and blog about dating and relationship resolutions.

Last year, I resolved to give up Internet dating for an entire year, come what may. I met a guy the good, old-fashioned way on New Year's Eve, dated him for a few months. Ended that and met The Boyfriend a couple months later at a games night.

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Blogging Your Boyfriend - How Much is Too Much?

My boyfriend likes my blogging.  When we first started dating and he was into the whole blogging thing, I was glad of it.  After all, I've watched a lot of Sex and the City, and while they've certainly covered Carrie's column, they never (that I've seen so far) address how Carrie's columns affect her dating life.

Yet, it's no secret that being written about - the private becoming public - isn't everyone's cup of tea.

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Threesomes

How do threesomes happen?

I hear stories, both exciting and nerve wracking, from people who’ve decided to share the person they’ve made a commitment to with a total stranger or mere acquaintance for only a few minutes of fun.

I also hear stories about threesomes that “just happen,” when three people are drunk or overly stimulated or on vacation or temporarily insane.

I once received a message from a woman while I was listed on Match.com that asked if I’d like to be the third party in her “first bi experience.” I got the sneaky suspicion her husband was the svengali of the whole deal and if I were interested, which I was not, I’d surely have been completely turned off when she sent a photo of the two of them without cropping out their five-year-old daughter. Big mistake.

I believe that most people who seek a three-way are emotionally immature commitment-phobes who get off on the control they may be able to wield over their partners who have yet to wake up. I think women in these situations, more often than not, are afraid of losing their husbands or boyfriends to infidelity and will humiliate themselves in any way possible to keep that from coming to pass.

However, whether the act is planned or spontaneous, this is a subject that’s become quite the phenomenon during the last several years. So I did what any blogger would do when researching this post: I googled “threesome.”

Damn!

There are threesome personals at Passion.com, some good threesome advice at The Site.org, and of course, no shortage of threesome porn.

But my favorite article was written by a crazy, yet highly intelligent man, Don Pitts, who understands, like I do, that threesomes and most other sex swapping situations make great fantasies, but the fantasy is always better than the reality and if you want to prove that axiom wrong, you’ll regret it. Read his story HERE, and beware!

Too Much Tickling

The Boyfriend likes his back tickled.  Some people break out the cigarettes; he flops on his stomach and says,"Time for tickling!"  It's cute. Sometimes.

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Morning Sex vs. Night Sex

From the time I bounced out of bed at 4:30am to sneak a look at my Christmas stocking, or was up in front of the TV by 8am, I have been a morning person.  I work better in the morning.  I think better in the morning, and I definitely... well, you know what I'm blogging about here.

My love of early morning goodies hasn't waned with age, either.

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Femme or Butch: Which Do You Prefer?

I tend to not like watching men do feminine things. I’m researching a story on strip clubs in my area and I know that eventually, I’ll need to explore male exotic dancing. I don’t want to. Men stripping is about as much of a turn-on to me as getting my teeth cleaned. And its not because I think sexual objectification is woman’s work. Its because I like to objectify men doing masculine things, like playing football, not taking their t-bars off while dancing to Olivia Newton-John songs. That makes me laugh, not swoon.

The same goes for women. I do get turned on by watching women gyrate to the floor from the top of the pole and by how they smell while I’m getting a lap dance. But I do not, under any circumstances, want to watch women mud wrestle, box or get drunk and fight another woman over some man who ain’t even worth the beer they’re throwing at each other. It isn’t ladylike and what’s more, its impractical.

For example, as much as I love Laila Ali, I never realized how attractive and appealing she was until she made a guest appearance on the TV show “Girlfriends” a few seasons ago as Toni’s new and demanding real estate client. She’s incredibly beautiful. Perhaps she just loves boxing and following in her famous dad’s footsteps (Muhammad Ali had six daughters, no sons), which I cannot begrudge her, but sexy? Nope. Never saw it. And with as much of an athlete as I am, and as good at certain sports as I was, I’ll never argue that I ever looked sexy while playing.

There’s something about high heels and lip gloss and satin panties. That’s sexy. Not weak, and not necessarily submissive, but feminine.

And there’s something to be said about broad shoulders and facial hair and a warm, deep voice. I love seeing the kind of swagger in a man that can only come from high doses of testosterone.

I happen to like them over six feet tall and more than 200 pounds, so that if I’m wearing my highest heels and tip over, he’s still a little taller than me and can catch me before I hit the ground. I’m a strong woman and I like a big, strong man. Call it modern Darwinism, but can anybody argue?

An Oasis on the Horizon, Or A Mirage?

Ever been through a drought? I don’t mean a few weeks where you’re both super busy and exhausted and having sex is just for the physical release and to put you to sleep. I mean a DROUGHT…a serious, months-long anti-sex pattern that only you, not your adoring, attentive partner, are going through. Well, its happening to me.

It began during late summer. The combination of money worry and intense heat. Then I got a new client, but developed my patented “Six-Month Commitment Phobic Wandering Eye” disease. Its worse than glaucoma. Then, on Thanksgiving night, during a rain storm and driving home from my mother’s house, I was in a horrific car accident that totaled my car and sent the tension/worry meter scurrying back up to 1000. Its only now, after several months of this, that I’m beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

My boyfriend has been so great through all of this. He’ll lie next to me, rub my back, and tell me that everything’s going to be okay. Even if its a lie, its still comforting to hear. He’s been schlepping me around and giving me his expert advice on buying and selling cars, he’s a great and loyal friend. But what if I don’t get the sex thing back?

I’ve always prided myself on being a potent sexual being. The fact that I’m a woman has never stopped me from putting my sexuality right out there, aggressively, for anyone I was attracted to (and some I wasn’t) to see. It’s a healthy part of who I am and damn it, I’ll use it! Plus, I’m supposed to be at my sexual peak. What’s going on?

I’ve had some intense urges to have sex during the past few weeks. I’ve had those daydreams that start as mere passing thoughts, become languid and relaxing fantasies, then turn into hard driving, imaginative, spine-tingling masturbation sessions. Too bad nobody’s around while they’re happening as my Waterpik shower sprayer is getting a serious workout.

Its obvious that my head needs to be totally clear for more than a few hours and that a man needs to be present, but damn! Have I officially become an old maid?

You and Your Partner, Grumpy Together

The Boyfriend and I were stressed out.  At the same time.  Grump.  Grump.  Grump.

Relationships are supposed to see-saw, aren't they? You take turns cheering each other up through the stressful times? Ah, well, only when you're lucky.

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Holiday Vacation and the Yearly Need for Grooming

There is quite a debate out there about Brazilian bikini waxing...just ask Suzanne Reisman, whose blog, CUSS and other rants, is devoted to the subject. I for one, am all for waxing (at least for adult women deciding to take it off)...and when it's time for vacation, especially those where bathing suits are an evil necessity, waxing becomes essential.

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Right before Christmas, almost everyone leaves.

Christmas in Los Angeles.  Almost everyone leaves.  Suddenly, the roads and the stores aren't as crowded, and the city gets quieter.  Sitting alone in front of my Christmas tree, it feels like a blessing.

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An AuPair for Christmas! The Perfect Gift?

Here’s a true story and yet another reason why the thought of marriage, of lifelong commitment to just one person, terrifies me:

I worked with a woman many years ago that had the awful habit of bringing her personal business to work and unloading it on all the rest of us because she had nobody else to talk to about her issues. I’ll call her M.J.

M.J. was in her late thirties at the time and was pregnant with the second of two sons. She and her husband got married in the early seventies, joined the Peace Corps and did the whole hippie, non-capitalist thing for a while before settling down and getting “regular” jobs. He was a state social worker and she was a high school English teacher. She quit teaching while she was still relatively young, and took the corporate job we knew her from that tripled her income now making her three times as wealthy as her husband. According to her daily reports, this, plus the fact that she never took his surname sent him into quite a state on top of his early midlife crisis. But M.J. was pregnant again and looking for advice on what she should do because once the new baby came, she’d be exhausted with nursing plus all the responsibilities of coming back to work. We already knew from her daily rants that her husband never helped with the first baby, never changed a diaper, and never got up for a feeding. And in addition to this, he “made her” have sex with him, every single night, whether she felt like it or not, because, as she put it, “He’s Italian and Italian men are very needy in that way.”

Yes, you read that right.

Now here’s the interesting part. M.J. seriously considered, out loud, hiring an overseas au pair to move into her home and help her care for her new son AND her demanding husband. In other words, her gift to him and to her newborn baby would be a Swedish nanny that would take up the slack around the house and, eventually, in the bedroom. This life, that was her choice, became just work for her, and her newfound corporate status could afford her this sick and ridiculous solution.

Her actual solution? I heard later that she did eventually leave the Italian stallion, but got remarried to someone else that same year. Some women never learn.

Hey Baby…What’s Your Sign?

Using astrology to size up potential partners is nothing new. During the 70s, “what’s your sign?” came right after “what’s your name?” Something about free love and the dominant hippie spirituality of our 70s culture made knowing whether someone was particularly star-sign compatible especially relevant, even if your relationship landed just through the next outdoor concert.

I got into astrology early in college. Something about having my chart done and discovering that after all the years of believing I was a chaste, exacting Virgo, I was actually, to my excitement and approval, a fiery, sexual Leo. (It has to do with knowing my birth time, not just my day and year, and that in 1970, when I was born, the sun decided to hang around in Leo until about 10:05 a.m. Lucky me!) And I was fascinated by this. I then understood why my horoscope never made any sense and why people I knew, who were the same sign, would be totally different from each other, even if they had the same birthday. Its about a complex combination of planetary positions that, if in agreement, would produce a really well-balanced person, and if not, well…would produce Adolf Hitler (He was a Taurus with many planets in Aries, which most experts say is a very dangerous combination). Anyway, I loved it. And I began a quest that isn’t that serious (I am NOT one of those weird, Miss Cleo ladies who’ll read your tea leaves), but it sure is interesting and a whole lot of fun. I got so good that at one point, I could watch someone for a few minutes and tell the sign they were born under, and with uncanny accuracy. I also can tell which guys are best in bed.

Sexual astrology is very, very interesting. Get the book Sextrology, by Starsky & Cox. If you get into this, you can actually pinpoint exactly how good a guy will be in bed and whether he’s likely the stick around afterward. I can dispel all the rumors and stereotypes (Scorpio is NOT the best in bed!) and gloat because I love to be right. I recently got into studying Venus and Mars signs: Venus is the planet that rules love and relationships and Mars determines a person’s sexual style and their tendency toward aggression. Having these planets in compatible signs can make your love and sex life incredible (He’s Just Not in the Stars, by Jenni Kosarin, is a new and hilarious new book modeled after Greg Behrendt’s best-selling “He’s Just Not That Into You” and will explain the Venus-sign phenomenon).

Some examples:

For high style and a damned good time in bed, get yourself a Libra. He’ll take you to the best places and shower you with affection. If he also has Venus in Libra, he may also be faithful to you for five minutes. Lucky you!

If its high adventure you’re after, go to the nearest race track and look for a Sagittarius. You’ll be one notch on a very long list, but if you get one with Venus in Capricorn, at least you’ll get a baby and a nice house out of the deal.

Aries is the all-time sexual champion of the entire astrological universe and I know this from personal experience: they love me! Yay me! But the trick to landing one is to act like you hate them and to never return their calls. You can also get one whose loyal too if you check for mommy issues and a Venus in Taurus position.

Don’t ever go near a Virgo.

And only date a Scorpio if you’ve given up on life and on making your own decisions. You’ll spend the rest of your days chained to the stove.

Can You Seductively Kill Spontaneity

A man once asked me, "How do you stop the train when it's moving?" I didn't get it. Was he giving me an SAT question hoping that I would be some Rubik's Cube champion with great success in answering impossible questions? Was this a sex question? Ah, yes, it was. This man wanted to know how to stop "the train" of sexual spontaneity in order to whip out the condoms.

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Favorite Sex & Relationships Blogs

I thought I'd start the week this week with a short list of a few of my favorite sex & relationships blogs.  I'm going to make it a short list with a few favorites, because I find that a long list just begs to be ignored, while a short list says, Hey!  Look!  Cool blogs!  On a short list!  So without further ado...

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Sex Songs - What's Your Fave?

I am the kind of girl who can really get into her music...I mean, really get into her music.

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Orgasmless Sex

Until recently, I had never heard of Orgasmless Sex. My friend coined the phrase when she was describing to me an encounter that she had with a certain gentleman. "It was the best orgasmless sex I have ever had!" she exclaimed.

Orgasmless sex? What in the world? Is it truly possible that in this day and age that there are women that have sex on a consistent basis and don't manage to orgasm? If so, what is the drive for having sex in the first place? I asked her all these questions, and my friend was kind enough to reply.
   
Orgasmless sex is pretty much what we think it is; having a sexual encounter without reaching the big O. She told me that she is not one of those women who can orgasm pretty easily, it takes a while for her. She has to feel comfortable in the relationship and many other factors applies. As well as it being the right guy, her head has to be in the game, and he has to be used to her body. This has never been achieved with one night stands or friends with benefits. But she still wants to have sex...and enjoy it.
So she is used to having orgasmless sex. She says that when achieving an orgasm is not all that you are focused on, you can really enjoy the moment, every nuance, every subtle touch, and just really enjoy the whole experience. She gets to savour his body while he does the same with hers. It also takes less pressure off the guy to perform or to make you come, and so he enjoys the experience far better too. She tends to focus more on pleasing the guy, and just the service in turn pleases her.

Looking back, I realise that I have had orgasmless sex a few times. But it's never been a regular habit of mine, and probably never will be. I love the breathless anticipation and the dizzy exultation that accompanies the Big O, and I know that I could never give that up. If I found a guy that couldn't make me orgasm (even with sufficient teaching), well then he has simply had to go.

Orgasmless sex can be good, but I'll still settle for having a Big O, any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

The Pitfalls of Eye Candy

Everyone is used to a certain level of eye candy. We are bombarded daily with images via the media, television, magazines and advertising of 'beautiful people'. We each have our own coterie of handsome/beautiful men and women in which we would drop everything for at a moment's notice.

With George Clooney the 'People's Sexiest Man of the Year' and everyone having idols from Beyonce to Angelina Jolie, how do you dissociate yourself from that when you are in a relationship?

Should you even want to?

Men are visual creatures, but then, so are women. In fact, it is human nature to look at what is termed 'beautiful'. We love to admire. We are all voyeuristic to a certain extent. Is it okay to admire celebrities from a distance while in a relationship, or is this some mild form of cheating?

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Tag, You’re It!

Learn to be elusive. You’ll have better sex! I promise!

Well, I can’t actually promise it, but I am absolutely in LOVE with the idea of using my own personal mystery to lure a man in, seduce him, and have my way with him only to have him following me around like a lovesick puppy while I lose nothing but a few extra hours. Yes, I know, its my sexy, sadistic side.

Problem is, I suck at it…

The need to be the queen of quicksilver is trumped a million times over by my enjoyment of the chase: that is, me chasing him! I love a good challenge. Its gotten me where I am in business, its why I’m the best on the basketball court and its created some very interesting dating and sex experiences: some good, some bad, but always interesting and always putting me in a great position to learn and apply the lesson to the next situation.

Its just that those challenges never change. Its always a new face, but the same scenario. And now I’m beginning to think that the problem isn’t finding a man who is the ultimate challenge, but that it is I who am the biggest challenge. It began innocently enough. When I was young, I was always the friend girl, the sidekick, the first picked by the boys for dodge ball. And I hated it. When the other girls got breasts, I stayed flat and remained “the friend.” I wanted so badly to be the one they lusted for, cat called, whistled at, but it wasn’t happening. I didn’t get any serious male attention until I was in my early 20s and I was so beside myself with glee that I felt I couldn’t turn down any invitations, ignore any calls or be the one who ended things. That got real old, real fast. I put some notches on my belt pretty quickly, but also endured a bunch of crap I would never take today. Thing is, I won’t start taking guy’s crap anytime soon, but I didn’t reinforce the other end, meaning that I still won’t turn down many invitations, ignore many calls or be the one who ends things. I still believe if I don’t answer that phone, he’ll forget about me and take up with some other, bustier girl and I’ll be relegated to sidekick status again. But if I could just master it, I know he’d stay around longer and I’d have better sex.

So, I’m not a “Rules” girl. I know some of those women who waited six months or until they were wearing the engagement ring to have sex…and they’re DIVORCED now! So who says they’re right? I have no hard and fast rules, no pun intended. I cannot stand even abiding the three-date rule. How about a three-hour rule? That’s more like it! I’m a hunter, a wild animal who chases it down, devours it, but maybe stays a bit too long to bask in the afterglow. There’s just got to be some balance.

I’ve been a proponent of Greg Behrendt’s “He’s Just Not That Into You” mantra since before the book was published and save for a few isolated incidents, I can move on without too many tears. But what about my challenge? Can I be the aggressor and be elusive at the same time?

Do You Like to Watch? Do You Care if He Does?

Today I was asked if I was okay with my partner going to strip clubs. I thought about it for a split second and said, "Hell, yeah."

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Loyalty: You and Your Partner, In It Together.

When I was in graduate film school, I was verbally abused by a fellow classmate.

We were sleep deprived; we were all under a tremendous amount of stress. I did stupid things; other people did stupid things. I've forgiven most of it, others haven't, but this was different. This was a verbal attack like nothing I ever experienced before or after. And when I told my boyfriend at the time, I could tell he didn't believe me. And didn't want to believe me.

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Real Lesbians Show Yourselves!

No woman is ashamed anymore of admitting to her college dorm fling with the girl down the hall. It seems everyone’s “try-sexual” and threesomes, swapping, sex on ex and girl on girl are as ordinary now as the missionary position was for our parents. There’s no harm in that, I’ve partaken myself, but where does that leave the gay girls? Real lesbians need a venue to find their true loves too and the current atmosphere of “everybody kiss no matter who the bottle points to” can’t possibly make it easier for our lesbian sisters.

I’ll elaborate.

Ever wake up in the middle of the night, toss and turn a little, then realize the inevitable, find the remote and start clicking? Its pretty scary. Not the waking up part, but what passes for late night television these days. How much film needs to be wasted on any more episodes of Girls Gone Wild for us to realize that something is terribly wrong and there’s a trend toward women, incredibly young and impressionable women, turning themselves into playthings and sex toys just because they’ve had a little (or a lot) to drink and there’s a camera rolling. What’s more, girl on girl action seems obligatory and as these tramps are all in college, where do actual young lesbians go to meet the women with whom they may possibly find something in common?

On a recent posting for Dan Savage’s Savage Love column, a young college student lamented that she was having trouble finding someone who fit the bill as truly lesbian or bisexual. He agreed with her that most of these experimenters do give true, “out” lesbians and bisexual women a very bad name, because they’re mostly “drunk, straight chicks.”

How do we experiment and have some sexy fun without making fools of ourselves and disgracing an entire group of people?

Emotionally Unavailable

“You should bottle this emotional unavailability thing...it's better than perfume for its effectiveness.” Such was my friend’s reaction to the flood of attention I’ve been getting from men – all because for the last couple of months, I have been completely, utterly, totally emotionally unavailable (EU). The results of this emotional “scent” have been rather baffling to my friends. After all, isn’t it men who are usually emotionally unavailable? Aren’t we supposed to be giving them signals that we are interested instead of giving off an essence that we’re not?

From what we’re taught, men are supposed to be the woo’ers, while women are supposed to be coy, quiet, and apprehensive. And as nature has made us, we tend to be sexually selective and play hard to get, while men fight each other for the reproductive opportunities we offer them. Women are supposed to be choosy and men are supposed to win them over with their worth and charm when they’re not busy being aloof. Well, at least that’s what many biological and evolutionary theorists argue.

But when it comes to being EU, we’re not talking about being selective or playing hard to get. (And if that’s your game, know that playing hard to get DOES NOT work. Men have equally strong opinions of hard-to-get as they do of easy-to-get women. Your best strategy is to play selectively hard-to-get if you really want a guy. This kind of woman is always the most popular among men if she knows how to use such strategies in a skillful way.) The thing with the emotionally unavailable woman is that she really doesn’t care if she’s involved with anyone – she really has no need for a relationship at the moment and would rather focus on other things. She’s either too busy, too burned out, or has recently been too emotionally burnt to have the chi to play any games, pursue, or select.

The irony: when a woman is emotionally unavailable, the men start dropping like flies. In a lot of ways, this woman is his dream girl. In the flock of women throwing themselves at him, not only does she present a challenge (something men love), but offers no threat of things getting too emotional or heavy any time too soon. Furthermore, she’s not frigid, mean, or bitchy – she just doesn’t care where things go or what happens. She has no agenda, no mission to get a ring on her finger, no vision of him meeting her parents, no plans to start popping out babes anytime soon… you get the picture.

So how does one become emotionally unavailable? While there are tons of ways to become “EU,” I thought it’d be easier for you to start working on the Top 5:

1. Stay busy, maintaining a jam-packed schedule. If you don’t have the time to think about relationships, then they can’t become a priority and you are less likely to stress over your status. This will make you less likely to respond to his email or return his phone call – at least any time soon. Ultimately, you’ll stay on his radar longer because you’re not giving him your full attention from the get-go and are in the driver’s seat in whether or not things will happen.

2. Travel – a lot. People who are always on the road (or in the air) have difficulty maintaining any kind of relationship. The fact that you’re always out of town will excuse you from not being overly attentive to a beau, but not rule out any potential. You just don’t have the time to get serious right now. You avoid dealing him an ego bruise, which will keep the door open.

3. Go on a relationship hiatus. Make a pledge to yourself that for the next “X” weeks, you will only be involved with yourself, taking the time to do everything you’ve been wanting to do to better yourself, take care of yourself, and love yourself. This will help you deflect any eager beaver attempts on his part ‘til you’re ready for them, upping the anticipation for him.

4. Throw yourself into a long-term project, e.g., write a book or screenplay, which will demand 99% of your attention. When you make the time to surface for some fun, make sure your friends get first dibs on your remaining 1%. Any males can join your posse in tow if they’re up for it. It’s the only way you can “squeeze” him in.

5. Look dynamite whenever you go out. If you’re giving off the aura that you could care less if you meet somebody, men will be even more intrigued that you’re all dolled up, but for whom? What purpose? What does this gal have going on that I need to know about?

Of course, being emotionally unavailable should only happen in stints. And after a while, you’ll have so many men falling at your feet that you’ll have to entertain the thought of getting involved with at least one of them a little more seriously. But in the meantime, see being EU as a way to focus on yourself, tend to the non-relationship needs in your life, and as a means to let guys come after you. You may be surprised by the end results.

The Good Life

Does the good life ensure a better sex life?

No, I don’t mean the good lives of the old, blue-blooded, moneyed tight-asses who marry for pedigree and only have sex to produce the mandatory heirs to their mandatory corporate thrones. And I’m not talking about the trampy lives of those gold-digging, hip hop queen wannabes whose panties will tumble down as soon as they see you throw that hundred-dollar bill on the table or pop a bottle of Cristal, even if the wine and the flash money was donated to the video shoot by your record label.

I’m referring to the sex high I’ve gotten on numerous occasions when I’ve chosen to mix it up a little and have gotten fancy when the situation didn’t call for it – and even sometimes when it did. I’ll just do it a little better, and fancier than anyone else. This turns me on. I use it sparingly, for fear it’ll lose its flavor, but its got such a powerful impact. These are the nights silk G-strings and Nicole Miller sandals were made for!

For example, I have a 20-year-old fantasy about going to the opera with someone special: arriving in a limo wearing a fancy gown and blowing a kiss to the driver as I’m escorted into the Met. I have no lasting interest in the opera, mind you, so what, besides the pure luxury of the act, would make me want to get all dolled up and sit through three hours of depressing drama sung in Italian? I can pretend my date is an important foreign diplomat and I can tell him to meet me in the ladies room for a little impromptu world peace negotiation.

Of course I wouldn’t want to do this all the time (I couldn’t afford to!), for this option is for the every-once-in-a-while, for rut eradication, for spice. Just like your G-spot vibrator isn’t what you reach for every night you sleep alone, but you sure are glad you have it in your arsenal.

If you’re out of your element, on a mini-vacation so to speak, you won’t help but feel a little tingle you wouldn’t necessarily feel at home in your old ratty sweats and tee shirt, right? And for some people, I think the act of playing dress up, G-string notwithstanding, isn’t worth the time or the trouble unless sex completes the scenario. Coatroom sex. Back alley sex. Limousine sex.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Trust & Love

In relationships, trust is one of the foundation stones. The thing about trust is that it's usually given without reservations, until it's broken. Once it is, trust is one of the hardest things to ever get back---sometimes nigh impossible.

I'll be the first to admit to my flaws (as many as they are). I'm a true cynic when it comes to guys. Experience has shown me that it's better to take everything they say or do at face value and with a healthy dose of skepticism until shown otherwise. Usually because most of the time, they talk up a good game and then can't deliver.

However that also backfires soundly. You start worrying over the most trivial things, when if you trusted implicitly it would not be an issue at all. You fret and agonize over every single issue that pops up, eventually worrying yourself into an insecure, needy spot and turning your relationship into a self-fulfilling prophecy of your own disbelief. And then we wonder why there are no good guys left, and why every man we end up with ends up being untrustworthy. Thinking the worse of someone until they have proven themselves worthy of your trust isn't the right thing to do, and in addition it's quite exhausting.

So, how does a woman of this century protect her heart and still remain optimistic at the same time?

First of all I think it starts within yourself. You are your own greatest foe when it comes to relationships. Figure out what your relationship patterns are, the kind of men you keep getting tangled with and what baggage from your past you are still holding on to. Then systematically analyze and break it all down, finding associations and correlations that you might not think of initially . Because at the end of the day, the common denominator in all your failed relationships is...you.

Secondly, cleanse your heart, mind, soul, body and spirit from all the negative influences that have clouded your perspective and your life (which include friends, families, exes, music etc.) Also bear in mind that the television, magazines and books have the ability to cloud your mind as well. Cleanse yourself totally inside and out. Take up a sport, yoga or martial arts. Reconnect with your spirit, your conscience, your God. Do whatever you have to do to get back to the happy, fulfilled and inspiring person that you were before you dipped your toes into this crazy thing called love.

When you have developed yourself into the phenomenal, radiant woman you are, only then do you get back into meeting people and developing relationships. Network, be social, be gracious and keep yourself open to every possibility that comes your way. Because really, you don't know if the guy who is right for you is the guy next door or down the street. Only by keeping yourself open to every possibility will you find the gem you seek. Remember, he's not going to charge in on a white horse in shining armor, filling every single one of the checks on your 344-point list---Mr. Right might even come in a whole different package.

Last but not least. Trust. Trust even though everything in you is screaming not to. Trust that every experience and person you meet is just another stepping stone to your ideal self. Trust in him until he's shown himself approved (or not).

Your thoughts?

"Cherish" Your Partner, Your Relationship

It's a common relationship question: What quality is most important in a relationship? Honesty? Communication? Passion? While acknowledging that one quality alone could never be enough, I give you my candidate: Cherish.

It's a verb, so it doesn't quite fit right in a list, but it's a powerful, under-used verb. With one swoop "cherish" encompasses "appreciative," "respectful," "giving," "nurturing," "kindness."

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Sex Toy of the Month! Rubba Duckie, You’re The One!

Ever tried it in the bathtub? Water can be the greatest aphrodisiac. I remember how ecstatic I was when I discovered all the sexy things I could do with a detachable shower head. I suddenly needed three showers a day!

I try all sorts of new body wash gels, loofah sponges, and bath beads. I love the idea of waterproof vibrators and have fun with all the different textures, temperatures, pressure settings, the works. I think the mere sensation of the water can be enough to turn me on some days. I’m curious about those “rub-a-dub” dice cubes that float and have sexy instructions on each side. I know how much guys hate baths and consider them a waste of time and water, but even the most shower-friendly man won’t be able to resist those! One of the funnier Sex & The City episodes had me consider buying an automatic toothbrush –set aside especially for sex of course, and using the very gentle brush attachment: I can’t mess around with the firm brush! What would I tell my gynecologist? A couple weeks ago I wrote about using kids toys as sex toys just so long as your kids don’t catch you in the act. Well, the sex toy of the month fits that bill as well as being suitable in and out of the water. Its called the Rubba Duckie!

Remember that song Ernie sang on Sesame Street about the rubber friend he was awfully fond of? Well, I guarantee you’ll be awfully fond of this toy too because it does much more than keep you company. Sure, that’s what your kids may think, but this baby vibrates, and at a really powerful rate, and of course floats and is completely waterproof. It even comes in a smaller, travel size!

So try it in the bathtub. Bring new meaning to lather, rinse, repeat.

Taking Charge in the Bedroom

The media and society have propelled sexual empowerment for women rapidly ahead in the last decade. I remember a time when it was taboo for a woman to seek out a man purely for a sexual encounter however now we have definitions, boundaries and tips for everything from a casual one nighter to a regular fuck buddy.

Guys have always been cast in the role of the assertive aggressor in the relationship. He's usually the one the initiates sex either by asking for it, seducing you and sometimes practically commanding you to his behest. Women on the other hand in the past have been known to be more submissive. More traditional roles even place a woman as lying stoically on the bed like marble while she completes her 'wifely duty'--(yeesh!)

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He Loves You When You’re Mad

Back when I was flirting with becoming a feminist, I bought a subscription to Marie Claire magazine. I know that Marie Claire is no rival for Ms. Magazine and won’t put any other hard-core feminist publication out of business any time soon, but as an energetic college student about to take on the world, it was refreshing to read a magazine that not only gave great fashion and beauty tips, but also cared about women’s rights and sought to bring my attention to what was happening with young women around the globe.

One article I remember in particular – one of the lighter, funnier ones – asked the question, “Why do bitches get the best men?” It referenced all the usual Hollywood suspects: Madonna, Courtney Love, Sharon Stone, Shannen Doherty, and explored the connection between being a very powerful, driven woman who takes no crap from anyone and the likelihood for errant sex tape scandals, sexy affairs with married men, cat fights over soon-to-be ex-boyfriends and the like.

I never got it out of my head. You must admit there is some validity to it. Many an affair and fantasy can be attributed to the sexual power of the bitchy woman. There are women who men want to have their hot, exciting fling with: a sexy vacation to take between long-term relationships with the girls next door. Its romantic, its fast-paced, its hot-tempered. Then, its over, and they’re back with someone named Barbie or Christie or Susie. I’m analyzing my own love life. I didn’t have much for a comparative study back then, but now, I have 15 solid years of dating and relationship experience and I must confess to being in just one situation in my love life that I can define as long-term, and that doesn’t count because it took a year and a half to get to know the guy and when I got to know him I realized I didn’t like what I got to know! So my point is that most of my experience has turned out to be the temporary kind and I now believe its because I am seen as this sexy, powerful, Amazon bitch woman who’ll take control and has no feelings. In other words, nobody wants to form a lifelong relationship with a woman they’re convinced only belongs in their fantasies.

Perception is reality for most people and they’ve always perceived me a certain way. Men and women alike don’t ever assume I can be a decent person. Because of my looks and with very few exceptions, people believe that I never have a bad day, never make a mistake, never sleep, eat, catch cold or cry. In their eyes, I am insufferable and impossible to please so what’s the point of getting to know me? I’m that exotic resort men want to visit in order to rest up for their next round with Barbie, that nice girl with less ambition and more patience for their crap. And that brings me to an inevitable question.

Could I be a sex toy?

The Happy Homemaker's Guide to Making Dental Dams

I used my first dental dam when I was about seven. I was in the dentist's chair getting my back molars sealed. But today, dental dams have a whole new meaning - and I am not sure if my pediatric dentist would be happy that I was talking about my "first" time.

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"I Hate Your Boyfriend": Do You Tell a Stranger?

I hope Logan won't mind me bookending on her post yesterday, "I Hate Your Boyfriend": Do You Tell A Friend?  I totally agree that sometimes you have to have an honest sit-down with a close friend.  If you approach it right, I think it's definitely better to get things out in the open.

But what would you say to a stranger or an acquaintance about their boyfriend?

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"I Hate Your Boyfriend": Do You Tell A Friend?

The holidays typically stress me out. Though this year I didn't have time to be stressed seeing that I never saw the holidays coming. Time has flown by, and now I think that I best be living each day to the fullest, and encouraging my friends to do the same too.

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Holidays together? Holidays apart?

My boyfriend went home for Thanksgiving, and no, I didn't go with him.

I remember being a girl who would connive to manipulate things into being what I wanted.  Swing the family invite and try to push the relationship to where I wanted it to be.  For better or for worse, I'm not that girl anymore.

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Drugs & Sex

There’s ginseng, a natural stimulant that boosts energy and (allegedly) makes you feel sexy. There’s Ecstasy, a not-so-natural stimulant that promotes affection, if not necessarily sexual activity – I had a guy once describe Ex as making your entire body feel like a giant, swollen clit. Imagine that! Then there are the big guns, Viagra and Cialis, prescription sex enhancements that give rich, old men hope and threaten us with a four-hour erection.

But what about using a drug, whether natural or synthetic, legal or illegal, to enhance sex drive or pleasure?

Some may say that a drug induced sex enhancement, whether from natural, herbal sources or not, is a cheat, and it will eventually take away from your drive, not to mention from your health and the rest of your life. And some may say its no different than using a sex toy, just one more element your can add to your sexual mix, or not.

There’s a connection (at least with me) between being in great physical shape and your body getting off from its natural feel-good drugs, namely the endorphins, and it boosting your sex drive, not to mention your body image and confidence. Is this any different than using an over-the-counter or even a street drug to achieve the same effect, if that’s your thing?

I’m not here to judge. I had an ex-coke head tell me that when he was high on the nose candy, he’d want to bang everything that walked, but he couldn’t necessarily finish the race (if you understand what I mean). This is an obvious drawback. However, he also said that he’d have the confidence to try things or to talk to prettier women while on the powder than he would otherwise. There were pros and cons.

My latest curiosity is about a drug called Enzyte. There’s a recent marketing push for it, but its been around for about five years. It’s a natural male enhancement whose draw is that its a once-a-day pill and that it promises huge erections and stamina, but its all natural (read: no four-hour side effects). Is this our future? Are there that many men out there who can’t get it up or keep it up that improving upon modern, pharmacological science is such a big business? I’m not naïve enough to believe that a large portion of the population isn’t taking these prescriptions recreationally, but all this?

There’s a pretty professional website called Penis Resources (I can’t make this stuff up!) that helps explore all this and sells all matter of topical creams, extenders, patches, pills (the herbal types) and explains in detail just how common frigidity and erectile dysfunction are and that its not a crime.

You make the call.

Kids Toys As Sex Toys: Co-Ed Naked Twister Anyone?

I’ve been thinking. I blogged earlier about how I like sex toys to look and seem like play toys, not like clinical, sterile torture tools, you know, something fun that makes you giggle, makes you orgasm, but isn’t necessarily meant to take the place of a real penis.

But what about actual play toys becoming sex toys?

Let’s explore this. Remember Nerf, those balls and projectiles that couldn’t hurt you because they’re made from that spongy, collapsible material? Well they’ve got something now called Nerf Dart Tag. Its like laser tag or paint ball only with Nerf darts that don’t sting. I say, play it naked around the house. Reenact that scene from the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Work out your aggressions and make up afterward. Do the same with Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. Yes, they still make that one! And when’s the last time you played a game of Twister? You know Twister, that silly game with the spinner and the colors and positions of your hands and feet? Not until recently did the sexual possibilities of this one occur to me. Yes, I bought one. I haven’t played it with a guy yet, but its in my arsenal now nonetheless.

Board games create unlimited sex options. Think about playing Scrabble with the rule that only sexy words and terms can be used or Trivial Pursuit with the caveat of having to remove an article of clothing every time you answer incorrectly. I’d lose every time, which means I’d actually win.

Note to parents: just keep in mind you’ll need to concoct a very creative story if the kids go looking for Twister’s spinner and find it in your bedroom.

Sexy: In the Attitude or in the Jeans?

I have to say, I'm surprised we haven't covered it before...but seeing as the word "Sexy" is in the first half of this blog's name, I think it's about time to talk about what "sexy" really means.

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Please don't call it "orphans" Thanksgiving

I usually spend the holidays with friends. I'm not a fan of holiday travel, and I like to spend the holidays at home. As in my home, where I live.

As a transplant to Los Angeles, I get a lot of, "Are you going home for the holidays?"  And I simply reply, I'm staying home for the holidays.  Home is where the heart is, and mine's living right here in the La La.

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Fetishistic!

Merriam-Webster defines a fetish as “an object believed to have magical powers, an object of unreasoning devotion or concern or an object whose real or fantasied presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification.” Dr. Drew Pinsky used to elaborate on LoveLine that fetishes were perfectly healthy and normal, and usually developed before the age of five, so most people with fetishes don’t have any solid memory of how it began.

I’ve known very few stone cold fetishists in my life, but the few I did come across certainly made an impression. John had a hard-core foot fetish. During spring and summer he’d obviously stare at our toe-painted, sandal-clad feet and volunteer to pedicure and pamper said feet. I immediately put him to work. Dave, a guy I worked with, had a thing for women in white stockings. I had this outfit back then – a white, heavy cable sweater number – that I wore with white tights and boots. I told him to get a job in a hospital where he’d have his pick of any of the white-legged and white-shoed nurses he wanted, but in the meantime, to leave me alone. And I guess its common knowledge that cross dressers aren’t necessarily confused about their sexuality, they just became fixated at a young age with women’s clothing and need to work it out through playing dress-up in mama’s pearls as grown men.

I won’t encourage anybody to get involved with a man who wants to wear your panties, but nurturing a harmless fetish can be fun. We just need to be clear about the difference between a fetish and something that compromises self-esteem. In other words, toenail painting is a harmless fetish that will please him and save you some time at the salon, but his need to have sex on a crowded subway train to check one more bullet point off his juvenile “must do before I die” list is not. His thing for stiletto pumps? Check. But tell him “nice try” to the idea of a threesome with your best friend while he films it.

Oh, and speaking of foot fetishes, check out this cool Foot Fantasy kit I found online. Then, when you run across the next foot-fixated guy, like a Girl Scout, you’ll be prepared.

The Art of Receiving

Vixen recently wrote about the pleasures in giving...oral sex, I mean. But while we talk frequently about blowjobs and our willingness (or lack thereof) to give them, we forget about the other side - what it means to receive and what's the deal with people who aren't willing to give to us?

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The Sex Toy Party! Details Here!

It was 75 degrees outside and I’d just played in two recreation football playoff games where I scored a touchdown and caught another 20-yard pass that led to a touchdown, but all I could think about was the sex toy party I was invited to later that day. Would I have fun? Was it worth the energy? What products would I see that I haven’t seen before? I was about to find out.

I drove literally through the woods and across a lake to bring you details from the sex toy party I’d been eagerly anticipating. Good thing I could put my convertible to good use, probably for the last time this year, and enjoy the ride. Mapquest sucks, so when I arrived, the ladies were already onto their second drinks and Stephanie Taylor, the doyenne of Slumber Parties By Steph, had already begun the break-the-ice exercises. She had all the guests list household chores they hated, then pass the lists to the person next to them. Then, she read aloud the answers, but matched to a different question: “I hate sex because…” The answers were then hilarious! “Because its disgusting,” and “because its too small,” drew the biggest laughs.

She gave a key for our reference: anything for anal sex she’d refer to as for the “back door,” anything for vaginal sex she’d refer to as for the “front door,” and anything for clitoral stimulation (my personal favorite), she’d refer to as for the “doorbell.” Now, isn’t that cute? Then Stephanie began the show.

The beginning was harmless enough. When we were passed the naked playing cards, someone asked, “Do these come in Pinochle cards?” We wondered aloud if it took all night to finish a game of Poker for Lovers. The chocolate soy body massage candle smelled delicious, and about the love swing the hostess pointed out that, “This is one hook your husband won’t complain about installing around the house!” We all cracked up, but this stuff was just your basic innocent fare.

Next we got to sample all the jams and jellies that promise to enhance sex in some pretty odd and amazing ways. There was nipple-warming cream (Steph says she’s working on a beer flavor), and an anal analgesic that also works on bee stings! There was a cream called Like a Virgin that can make you tighter and works for up to 24 hours! We tried something called Good Head (I can’t make this stuff up!) that actually suppresses the gag reflex for non-stop oral favors and Just Like Me, which is a 24-hour lubricant that will actually dry inside you, but activate when you’re aroused again. Wow.

Next came the toy store portion of the program. Stephanie calls them “bedroom accessories.” There was the “7th Heaven” for beginners, which was pretty basic but has 7 different types of vibrations. We saw the G-Wiz, designed by a female doctor specifically for finding the G spot. And we saw the Krystal Wabbit, the Butterfly and the Hummer, which are all pretty advanced and high-tech what with bullets, rotating beads, escalation and ticklers!

So, it was a great party and I had fun, but I must say that the highlight of this shindig was at halftime, when Stephanie asked for 2 volunteers before she showed toys, but didn’t say why. Turns out she gave two women two different q-tips dipped in arousal balm, one cool, one warm, and instructed them to “grease their doorbells.” Yowee!

So, here’s a tip: Attend a Slumber Parties by Steph Party! But don’t, DO NOT volunteer for anything at these parties if you’re not prepared to be completely turned on!

Savoring Life's Sweet Moments

The Boyfriend got out of jury duty early today, so he came by my office and surprised me by sweeping me away for gelato.  And I'm not sure where the post is in that, except that it was so sweet, and I want to share it.

And well... Aren't these moments just the best?

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You, Your Partner, and Your Television

My ex-fiance couldn't go to sleep without the television on.  (Yes, I do appear to have media on the brain this week.)  But if the television's on, I can't go to sleep. In fact, I'm strongly opposed to televisions ever being in bedrooms. I have to unplug my iBook at night, because the glow from the plug disturbs my sleep.

Sometimes, I think that fact alone might have been enough reason to call it quits. I mean, seriously, there simply wasn't a solution once he started insisting he couldn't sleep without the television on. That night he let me sleep on the couch - yeah, major nail in the relationship coffin.

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The Handsome Stranger

One thing that fascinates me about being 36 years old is that I’m still having first-time experiences.

My ex-boyfriend Dan gave me my first experience with someone utterly mentally flawed. I didn’t need the Ph.D. in psychology to understand that he was/is a repressed, anal-retentive, obsessive-compulsive, cheap, asexual momma’s boy. And when I finally realized that the situation wouldn’t ever get any better, I had absolutely no feeling about walking away. That was a first. A fling I had after that was my first experience with someone more than ten years my junior. Shortly afterward, I met a man with three children. What a completely forgettable human being he was, but his kids were delightful and precious, and needed a mother like nobody’s business. I got so attached and truly believed I could help them, which of course I couldn’t. I had a hell of a time prying myself away. Yet another scenario I hadn’t experienced: the handsome stranger.

Have you sat through this one?

Perhaps you met while on a business trip, at a dance club on vacation, over the internet. Whatever. You catch his eye. He introduces himself. There’s that “spark.” You laugh. You exchange numbers. “What harm can it do?” you ask yourself. You could always use a new friend, right? Networking takes on various forms. He leaves a message asking about your trip, then keeps asking about your days, your friends, your life. He tells you how beautiful you are and that there aren’t any women in his town like you.

He begins dropping hints about how nice it would be to have you come and visit. He sends pictures and asks for some pictures of you. The conversations turn romantic. He tells you he wanted you the second he first saw you. Details fly around about what he’d do to every inch of your body if he were there with you. You may return the favor. Your mind opens to the possibility of taking it to another level. Flirting is one thing, but maybe this could be something else. Maybe this can be something really strong; maybe it can be forever seeing that the long distance is the only obstacle. But what’s really making your heart pound? Is it that you feel something honest and authentic with this person, or is it that he’s a stranger, someone exotic to you who came out of left field?

And then you get the voice mail. “Hey. I just wanted to tell you that my friend from Atlanta is in town. She says she wants to give it another try. I need to at least see. You have been very nice to me. I’m so sorry.”

Come to the Islands...Get Knocked Up!

Want to go on vacation? Oh wait...want to go on vacation to get pregnant? If so, you are not alone. It appears that many couples are going on "Procreation Vacations" in the hopes of getting knocked up. Apparently, our lives are so stressful that we can't seem to do it at home anymore.

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Controlled Giving

Definition: This is the gift given to you by someone that is spurred predominantly by feelings and thoughts of gaining or maintaining control in your life.

Now classic giving doesn't fall under this domain. A controlled gift is one that comes with strings attached. It's not coming from that nice, fuzzy place where you just want to give your partner a present just because, or even for their birthday or anniversary.

A controlled gift is one that stems from you wanting to have a string or connection to the receiver. You want something in return, or are giving mainly so that you can hold it back over the receivers head. "Look at all I have done for you, I have bought you yadayadayada." He/she will always be indebted to you (in your mind), because of what you have done for them. It might even be a standard scenario of bribing you buying your affection.

For example, a friend of mine was recently offered a free gym membership from one of his Exes. You might say that this could just be a gift of a friend to another, but bear in mind that she went out of her way to gift him with this. She signed him up, on her gym account and he doesn't have to pay a single dime. Controlled gift? Yes.

Most people aren't gracious receivers and feel that any present given to them must be repaid in one shape or another. That is not true. Gifts are that...simply gifts. They should not be turned into chains to leash you to any action besides a heartfelt thank you. Just because a guy buys you a nice bracelet doesn't mean that you should throw caution to the wind and let him treat you like crap. Just because he paid for dinner doesn't mean that you should serve yourself up as dessert, (unless you want to).

Alot of people give because it makes THEM feel good to give to you. They just like the look of absolute pleasure on your face when they present you with something they know you will like. It has nothing to do with how they want to be viewed by you or what they want you to do for them. Although not fully altruistic--it is a human, and more realistic motive.

It's all about the intent. If the gift is coming from a genuine desire to please you and make you happy, then hey, I'm all about receiving graciously. However, if it's a gift disguised as an expensive way for them to keep you in their corner, have you at their beck and call or throw back in your face at some distant future I'm going to have to say "Thanks but no thanks," to your subtle form of control.

What are some controlled gifts/givers you've encountered? How did you deal with this?

Sharing Your Netflix

Yes, I let The Boyfriend start a queue on my Netflix.  Which is a cool feature.  He has a queue; I have a queue.  Great, right?

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How Big is Too Big?

Today on the Today Show, we talked about May-December relationships, or as I like to call them "March-September" romances, as people are living longer, healthier lives. But how large of an age gap is too large? Is there such a thing as age incompatibility?

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Sex Camels

I don’t know if you guys remember this, but in the months preceding Angelina Jolie’s first lip lock with her Mr. Smith co-star, she was causing a stir over the fact that her life was a wee bit sexless. Jaws dropped as the news spread. How could this gorgeous babe voluntarily go without? How could any woman who exudes that much sex seemingly shun it? How could anyone who could have it all, at any time, with practically anyone, sex included, voluntarily turn into… a sex camel?!

For those few months Jolie was busy making “more of a saint than sinner” headlines, a number of my female friends and students were breathing a sigh of relief. Finally, they were not alone – and, not only that, Angelina had just made their long-term, voluntary bout with secondary abstinence hip and empowering! Suddenly, there was nothing wrong or taboo with deciding not to get a little sumpin’ sumpin’ and, instead, hold out for something more, and with someone special at that. Sex camels loved the fact that Jolie had just become the posterchild of women empowered enough to choose to refuse.

Now, few would fault Angie, or any gal for that matter, for trading in her abstinent ways for some action with heartthrob Brad Pitt. But given no star has stood at attention for a lack of such in her love life, since Jolie’s rendezvous with abstinence, a lot of women have, once again, been left wondering if they’re the only ones not seeing some action.

It seems that increasingly, at least in my social circle, more and more young, attractive, intelligent women (who aren’t virgins) are holding out on sex for extended periods of time. These sex camels have a number of reasons for this secondary abstinence, ranging from being picky about their partners to looking for love to being fed up with players to just wanting to focus on themselves...  With headlines always sensationalizing those having more sex or better sex, rarely does the media mention and reaffirm those who aren’t having sex, unless it involves a virginity pledge. Even the recently released National College Health Assessment Survey for 2005 gave us very little insight on who’s having sex and how much, simply confirming that college students aren’t as promiscuous as thought. (FYI, men and women both reported having had an average of 1-2 sexual partners in the last year.)

So given we no longer have Jolie under an affairs of the abstinent microscope, inquiring minds want to know: who is this sex camel woman? How does she cope with her sexless stint? What makes her so attractive to men and women alike? What or who will it take to break her sexless streak? And when she finally does, is she better about making sure it’s with protection? Is she likelier to use forms of protection that are meant to empower her, like the sponge, female condom, or line of Elexa condoms by Trojan?

These are questions to ponder as one of the most important dates of the calendar approaches. World AIDS Day is practically the only day of the year that makes it super cool to use a condom or other form of protection if you’re sexually active. It’s also a day that supports sex camels worldwide – because there are lots of them! I promise you.

National College Health Assessment 2005 Survey results:

http://www.acha.org/projects_programs/SEXF05.cfm

http://www.worldaidsday.org/default.asp

You and Your Partner: Birds of a Feather? Or a Horse of a Different Color?

Once, when I was a teenager, I overheard two married women talking near me. The gist of their conversation was that men and women have different interests and your man should do his thing and you should do yours. I tossed my schrunched up hair, straightened my gummy bracelets, and agreed with the friend I was with - we were never going to live like that.

Continue reading "You and Your Partner: Birds of a Feather? Or a Horse of a Different Color?" »

Erotic Messages

Being a lover of the written word, I have found erotic messages a wonderful & creative activity that adds more zing to one’s love life. It doesn’t have to be anything grandiose like some Shakespeare sonnet, just a few words expressing how your lover makes you feel, that you are thinking about him and that you want him. Guys are highly imaginative and can read between the lines and create a visual of even the most innocent sentences strung together. A quick text message at work, like “I can’t wait to see you tonight” is enough to have him fantasizing all day about seeing you as well.

Of course, it’s always great to add a little spice by telling him all kinds of naughty things, what you are wearing (and sometimes NOT even wearing). Imagine sitting in a stuffy office getting hassled by your boss and your phone buzzes. Upon checking it, it’s a nice little message from your love telling you that she/he misses you and can’t wait to see you again. It’s amazing how just a sentence like that can revert the whole aura of one’s day. For those of you more into writing, feel free to express yourself in poetry, an erotic story, description of a dream/fantasy you had or even a love letter.

You can never go wrong with a cheesy Hallmark card (think something from the Personal Expressions line). For more ideas, do a web search or try LovingYou.com. It’s one of my  favorite romantic sites. There are so many ways to say I love you that you should always seek the opportunity to do so. Because at the end of the day, that’s really all that matters.

Your thoughts?

Sick Boyfriend Needs Chicken Soup

The Boyfriend has a horrible cold right now.  We went to a Halloween party on Saturday night and played a board game with friends on Sunday night - meanwhile he's sneezing.  And sneezing.  And sneezing.

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What Would You Do to Snag a Mate?

As you already know, I have this thing about reality television. I have a complete fascination obsession with it. I am a true voyeur and the trashier the show, the more I love it. The object of my affection (though I am ashamed to admit it) for this week is Flavor of Love.

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Doing Favors For Your Partner

Have you seen that commercial where the guy picks up the toy that's fallen out of a stroller? And then someone sees him and then does something nice for someone else? And so on, and so on. It's a cool commercial, and I keep thinking about it.

'Cause this month, The Boyfriend let me borrow his car.

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The Miseducation of An Ex-Boy Toy

While I was working late one night last week, I logged onto iChat just to see if anyone was around. Well, just so happened that a guy, a very young guy, that I spent a fun month with last summer was logged on too. We caught up for a few minutes, exchanged updates about work, friends and family and then, he filled me in on his new single status. After a while, he opened up to me that, for lack of a better way of putting it, I completely “turned him out.”

No, not like that. He was by no means a virgin when I had him. And he has absolutely zero gay tendencies. However, at 22 years old he had very little experience with a woman who knew her way around a man’s body like a woman of 34 years, as I was at the time, did. I gave him some pretty spectacular experiences and a few choice “firsts.”

He admitted to now having some very intense dominance/submission fantasies because of me. Really? Then he said he had done some research on a few anal toys, like vibrating balls and paddles, and plans to investigate this more, also because of me. Interesting. Well, I did give him that extended lap dance that night wearing my tallest heels and looking very Amazon-ish. If my not letting him touch me during that 20-minute episode could trigger his inner submissiveness, I’m more than happy to have helped. I gave him his first prostate massage as well, and you should have seen him respond! But I warned him he was about to have the orgasm of his life, so if he wants to play with his own prostate gland to try and recapture that pleasure, well then I’m two for two. “I always thought that it would be exciting and fun for a woman to take control, but few women seem to do it though,” he said. “Once I'd like to be helpless and out of control, a woman’s plaything for a change lol. I think you created a monster.”

Damn, I’m good.

Spooning Basics

Ever since I realised what Spooning was, I've enjoyed it. There is such comfort, security and sense of attachment found with just that one position. When cuddling, most couples end up with the woman as the little spoon and the man curving around her like the big spoon. Over my Spoon Cuddling history, I've found out that there are different kinds of spooners. Some can be mixes of a couple of the styles, while some guys tend just not to spoon at all. The way a guy spoons you can be indicative of the level of your relationship at that  particular period. Who knew?

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Fetishmovies.com: Pay-Per-Minute Porn!

Along my more recent quests for sexy dirt and dirty sex, affordable shoes and the newest skinny jeans notwithstanding, I stumbled across something very interesting. Have you ever heard of online, adult, pay-per-minute movies? This sounds like quite the alternative to those seedy, windowless “adult” bookstores and that out-of-the-way porn section of the video store. This should be all the rage, right?

When I first saw the teaser cards for Fetishmovies.com while at the register of one of my local sex shops, I became curious. I thought it was a great thing. One of my early jobs as a teenager was at a local video store. The other girls and I used to relish late Saturday nights, because if we were stuck working instead of partying with our friends, well at least we could be entertained watching young men trickle in, as the store emptied and giggle at those sheepish looks on their faces as they tried to act like they weren’t headed into that tiny back room. And the capper was when someone came in you actually knew and whose sister or girlfriend or mom you actually knew! That was the best! Imagine never again needing to hang your head at the thought of renting porn or take that gulp and quick, sly peek around the store to see if anyone was watching. Porn has changed as the times have changed and its now more inexpensive, accessible and easily kept secret than ever before.

Fetishmovies.com is a site boasting more than 8,000 adult films by The Top Adult Studios, whatever that means. There are prepaid cards and the option to download for later viewing (read: sharing). It allows a viewer to watch a movie as many times as they want in two days (maximizing the jerk off potential). There are no membership obligations or billing schedules, meaning no paperwork gets mailed to your house.

Then it occurred to me that perhaps this isn’t such a good thing. Should porn freaks get off, no pun intended, so easily? Porn, the web type and otherwise, is cited as a factor in many separations and divorces these days, including the newly separated country singer Sara Evans, and there’s no doubt that this is a multi-billion-dollar business: a $57 billion-dollar business, in fact, according to WomanSavers.com (yes, WomanSavers.com, I could NOT make that up!). A quarter of all internet searches are porn-related and ten percent of adults ADMIT to being addicted to porn. How many just don’t admit it? Maybe being a little embarrassed is a good thing. Maybe porn enthusiasts need that conscience check, that little voice in their ear asking, “Should I really be doing this?”

Besides, if porn becomes too much of a routine thing, won’t you forget how to interact sexually with another human being?

Accidental Adultery: Oops, I Dated a Friend?

I recently read an interesting post called "Accidental Adultery" by Jay in Toronto on her blog, Kill the Goat.  I don't know... have you ever had this problem?

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What Should You Look For In A Sex Shop?

I stopped to visit the friend of a friend recently, now that she started a new job. She’s a former receptionist who now worked in a sex shop. As she and my friend talked, I perused the store, where I expected to find the usual vibrators and whips, but in this store, called Passional, I found so much more.

Kali Morgan, from Philadelphia, is a former artist who opened the store 10 years ago because she always liked the products she ended up selling. Not only does she offer all the latest gadgetry, I found great sexy cards and stationery, erotic fiction of all types and really great fashion: everything from traditional lace-up corsets to tight rubber dresses and those really tall, glass-bottomed platform stripper heels.

Cue French maid fantasy…

But that’s not all. I was especially impressed by the magazine she publishes, Passional Magazine, and intrigued by the sex classes she offers. That’s right. Sex classes! It was then very clear that this store and its owner want to appeal to everybody seeking to learn more and explore their sexuality, not just those interested in very alternative and kinky sex play. “Dress for ‘Sexcess’: Fashion As Sex Toys,” for example, gets couples to open up about what turns them on. “Its basically two hours of party games and true confessions about what couples really want to look at or what really makes them feel sexy,” says Morgan.

The couples taking this class must also feel comfortable swapping underwear. “Men always secretly like to cross dress. Its pretty common. Sometimes there are competitions about who can go the farthest ‘out there,’ says Morgan. Passional hosts classes every Friday as part of their sex education program. Sometimes Morgan teaches, sometimes she brings presenters in to teach.

…And I seriously doubt the people frequenting these sex “seminars” are the types to ask if their butts look big in their jeans. They are confidence personified and probably take their “education” seriously. There are classes on sadism, pole dancing and sensory deprivation.

Holy Blindfold Batman!

So isn’t this what we should expect from a sex shop? Toys and trinkets have their place, and sexy message cards to swap for the usual yawn-inducing Hallmark fare can be commended. However, a sexy store where we can learn a little about ourselves, maybe join a group or two and leave with greater ammunition in our arsenal, well, that’s a sex shop!

Check out some other Passional class descriptions here.

scratching the 7 year itch

So here I am in LA, waiting to be picked up and taken to the studio to shoot The Greg Behrendt Show. I am taping a show about sex in long time relationships/marriages and it has got me thinking, do we put too much emphasis on sex and not enough on exploring the different types of intimacy that we experience as we move through the stages of a relationship. We are told too often that sex can be as hot as it was when we first met and we wind up being disappointed. So here's the honest answer - sex can still be hot, but it is impossible to replicate the experience that you had when you first met and couldn't get your hands off one another. I mean, you still may play around with under the table gropings and quickies - but the feelings that you had when you first explored someone's body have evolved. Instead of feeling badly that we aren't having sex the way we did when we first met we should look at sex as a new adventure. But there are challenges along the way. Children, financial obligations, family, and work stress can screw up our libido - not to mention changing hormones. I think what I am trying to say is that you can't take anything for granted. Even if you've been with the same partner for ten years you need to check in and see what their new desires are and how they are handling the changes in your physical relationship. Communication is essential whether you are just starting out or years in. I can guarantee that there are still things about your partner that you don't know or completely forgot about. Either way, incorporating those things back in can recharge your sexual batteries - it doesn't mean it will be the same as it once was - but that's okay - we're not exactly the same people as we once were and we might have new fantasies too.

Dating Truths: See what I did? I didn't let it lie.

Here's a dating truth:  People will tell you things you need to know if you're listening.  In a perfect world, people would always communicate openly and clearly, but in the real world, where everybody's just doing the best they can with all their hopes and fears and uncertainties, sometimes you have to listen.  To jokes.  To off-handed comments.  To remarks that seem off somehow, and especially to anything like that that's repeated more than once.

Continue reading "Dating Truths: See what I did? I didn't let it lie." »

Mars vs. Venus: The Debate Continues!

The Washington Post recently reported a story about how a study from McGill University in Montreal is challenging the accepted vernacular of the last 10 years about how women are sexually and emotionally oriented differently then men. Yes, I’m referring to that Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus junk that polarized us and put us into very tight, uncomfortable (for me) categories like a straight jacket. So, now that I have a platform, I can’t resist posting my thoughts.

The study, conducted by Irv Binik, psychology professor and director of the Sex and Couple Therapy Service at Royal Victoria Hospital serves to confront that age-old standard, the one that maintains that women take longer to become sexually aroused than men or may not want it as much. Total nonsense. Binik had men and women watch some skin flicks and then tested them for arousal with thermographic cameras. Binik discovered that both men and women became aroused within 30 seconds. Take that! Men reached maximum arousal in about 10 minutes (women in about 12), but what’s two minutes when we’re well on our way to maximum thigh warmth and nipple hardness? Binik’s even quoted saying, “There is no difference in the amount of time it takes healthy young men and women to reach peak arousal."

Now will everybody just shut up??

I believe we need to think hard about how much these cultural and societal norms affect how we see ourselves sexually and definitely encourage our behavior toward “acceptable” standards. We all know it ain’t biological! Books like Men Are From Mars… and The Rules give women an excuse to be passive when we should take control of our relationships, our sex lives and our sexual health. We don’t need a study to tell us that we want sex just as much and as badly as men and that we get just as aroused and in just as short a period of time, do we?

Of course we don’t.

We need to realize how dangerous this is. The same passivity that leads women (and men) to believe that a woman’s place is in the home is the same passivity that leads to women being less educated, making less money, being the one who works a full day AND does hours and hours of housework when she comes home, that makes women irresponsible about their sex lives and likely to remain in romantic and sexual situations that are unhealthy. See the connection? We need to acknowledge this and work to combat it.

Coquettish games are a thing of the past and the coyness about sex and the power of female sexuality is quickly becoming obsolete out of dire necessity. When we’ve become a society where women contract an STD at twice the rate as men, we should expect nothing less. Leave the passive/aggressive game in the bedroom because that’s the only place that its acceptable. Who has a whip?

Findings from the Binik study are expected to be published in the January edition of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Saying 'I Love You'

Of all the relationship milestones, this is one that brings a thrill to my heart. It signifies (especially if it's mutual), that the relationship has gone past the lower stages of infatuation, lust and chemistry and developed into something more. It signals a strong attachment to the guy and has the hope of a bright, loving future.

However, once this milestone has been crossed, sometimes, saying I Love You becomes too nonchalant. Our society has trivialised the phrase to cutesy Valentine day cards and incentive for hidden agendas. Using it as an excuse or reason for one's actions frustrates me. Using it as a sign-off phrase or greeting tarnishes the important of those three words. Using it in the heat of a sexual moment diminishes the great capabilities that the phrase has. Using it to soothe me in the midst of an argument fires up my ire.

I'm a firm believer that every single time that I say I love you, I mean it, from the bottom of my heart. I actually do get that warm feeling and flutter and I strongly do feel the love brimming over. I strongly advocate that every single time he says it---he means it as well. This to me retains the power of the phrase, and the strength of it. I know that every single time he tells me he loves me---he means it.

In addition, actions really do speak louder than words. Show me you love me, as well as saying it. Sometimes a loving gesture, a massage, a hug or a sweet smile gets the same message across. There are other words & phrases as well, appreciative words, thank-yous and words of acceptance and pride.

Keep the power and emotion in your words. Don't be part of the society that diminishes love into less than it is. Don't use it to manipulate him into do what you want. Don't let it become routine and mundane. Don't use it as a reason for doing things that you know are inconceivable. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Say I Love You...when you honestly, truly do.

The Milk Was Free, and That's Okay

Do all women want to be married? Yeah, I didn't think so...but apparently, there are some so-called "experts" that are desperate to help women get hitched.

Continue reading "The Milk Was Free, and That's Okay" »

Buy A Box, Give A Box! Let’s Get Everyone Involved!

I got a new client a couple of weeks ago. I’m the city coordinator for a national pilot campaign to increase the number of African-American women who get tested for HIV. During the training for this new post I was bombarded with facts and stats about how grim it is for all women, especially Black women, what with so many still not educated enough about STDs or still too reticent to take complete control of their sexual health. Elexa by Trojan is doing their part.

Until December, buying a box of Elexa condoms will result in a donation of a box of those condoms to a women’s group by Gifts in Kind, a well-respected product grant maker. This is tremendous in making sure condoms are readily available to women and in reducing the stigma around seeking out, buying and using condoms every time we have sex. Its the least we, who have more knowledge and more accessibility, can do for those who may not. But that’s not all we can do.

In my new post for the pilot HIV testing program, I’ll be visiting whoever I can in the Philadelphia area who can be partners with me to get more Philly women tested. I’ll be visiting Temple University, Philadelphia’s largest, which is in the bottom 20 on Trojan’s Sexual Health Report Card. I’ll be talking to many women and women’s groups in the city who fit the demographic: Black women between 18 and 34 who are in or are seeking monogamous relationships with men. What else can I do? The same thing you can do…

Among my friends, I’m always the one who knows the most about the newest STD on the scene or a different mutation of the same old ones. I’m always the one who has the correct information on everything concerning women’s issues, everything from sex toys to toxic shock syndrome to genital mutilation. Ask me anything. Really, ASK! And that’s what I challenge all my readers to do. Ask questions. Let’s get involved. No matter where you live or what your personal opinion, there’s something you can do to increase the number of women you know who are better informed and in control of their sexual health. Let’s band together. Let’s volunteer at our local health clinics. Let’s get sex toy manufacturers to include a condom in every package. Let’s buy a box of condoms and offer them for guests on our coffee tables instead of candy or fruit. We can make the difference. Ask me anything!

You can find out more about the Buy A Box, Give A Box campaign at Elexa Sexy Smart.
Givea_box_logo_final_2

You Should Ask Him Out, If You Want To.

This is my new and studied position. Upon landing in Los Angeles and finding myself single at 30... Well, I read all The Books. You know, all those dating books? I know you know The Books, even if you haven't had the joy of reading them and trying to figure out the right and wrongs of the dating scene.

Even I, champion of the go-with-your-gut philosophy, bought into thinking that maybe, just maybe, The Books knew something I didn't know. So I did the best I could for years, reading and thinking and seeing what happened.

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Let's Talk About Sex...to Anyone Who Will Listen

Did you know that October is Let's Talk month? Technically, it is designed to encourage parents to talk to their children and teens about sex (which you know I wholeheartedly support and write about quite frequently). But I feel like we can reinterpret this to fit any of our individual needs.

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Leaning on Your Relationships

What do we want when we run to our friends, family and lovers with our problems?  Is it a search for solutions, solace, comfort?  I've been having a rough week, but during it all I've had people to call and reach out to, and I am so thankful for that.

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Vibrating Panties on the Greg Behrendt Show!

Should fashion really be used as sex toys? Last week on The Greg Behrendt Show, a new daytime relationship talk show airing nationwide, Greg, who penned the women’s must-read He’s Just Not That Into You, interviewed a “sexpert” who arrived with a trunk full of the latest sex goodies in tow. Beside all the obligatory lotions and potions was something very interesting, something that could spark a huge sexual trend, if used with just the perfect amount of slyness and naughtiness: vibrating panties.

I love to use Elexa's relatively new vibrating rings. They’re efficient, effective and just interactive enough where your man won’t feel banished to the ranks of mere spectator. But vibrating panties? This takes the idea of interactive sex play one step further. Forget about the issue of the toy taking the place of real skill in your man’s repertoire, but what of the notion of being able to (literally) turn a woman on and off, with the touch of a switch?

Here’s how it works: a small transmitter is sewn into the fabric of the panty’s crotch, which you could feel on its own, but then can be further activated by electrical charge when a second party (your partner) presses a button on a remote control device up to 20 feet away. And the extras include both an acceleration button and a “circling” button. WHAT??? You mean I can be standing in the kitchen getting my freak on, at my man’s urgency, while he’s on a conference call in the home office?

What’s happening to us? We already don’t get up to turn the television channel, we don’t use a key to get into the car anymore and remote vacuums are cleaning our carpets. Those are mundane things that we should be happy to automate so we can have more sex! Now sex is by remote control??

But its not my place to judge how people have their freaky fun. Perhaps a deal can be brokered between ESPN and the manufacturers of these fun pants. At least non-sport wives and girlfriends would have something to do before half-time.

What Would You Do?

Would you sleep with a man who refused a condom? A reader talks about her struggles with her boyfriend...

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Are You Too Picky?

I was chatting to a male friend the other day and he stated that the reason so many of us beautiful, successful, intelligent women are single are because we are too picky. "Most of you ladies nowadays have lists and you say you know what you want and then start to measure every guy against your list. What you find alot of the time is that no one person hits everything on your list. Maybe they make like 50% or 70% but it is rare that one person will hit the mark completely. Now I'm not saying settle by any means. There is a certain amount of compatibility that two people must have in order for a long term relationship to work. But, just don't be too hard on us men."

Ok Mr. Hot Stuff, allow me to tell you something. The reason that most of us are single is not that we are picky, it's because we are highly selective. Don't knock our lists because there isn't anything superficial on there. The thing about it is, I feel that I meet every single aspect on the list, and so much more. So why should I settle for...say a guy that can't even type a coherent thought together? Or someone that has to swear 7 times in a 10 word sentence? Or a person that is incapable of taking care of themselves? Or someone who smokes, has violent tendencies or is involved in illegal business ventures?

The Master list has 44 points, things that I have realised that I cannot compromise on, character traits that are very very important to me. Nothing on the list is unattainable, most of the components are things that most decent men should have.

50-70% is actually a low grade for me. I feel that to actually consider someone worth marrying, they should make about 90% on the real list. I have met several men who make a cut on the list...it's not that it's an impossibility. There are no superficial elements like height/weight/race on the list because I feel that those are not as essential as a person's character, intelligence and morality.

Knowing what I want isn't the reason I'm single. Not finding what I want is.

Do you think that most Singles are single because they are picky? Let's hear your thoughts.

Compete Your Way to Better Sex

I love to bicker. Yes, it's true. Whether it's a political debate or a little he said, she said banter, I have to say, it really gets me going.

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The Many Benefits of Sexercise

A popular question I get asked by lots of women is what the real deal is on sexercise – can it really help gals to get in shape? And while a roll in the hay can result in a luscious lover burning 100-150 calories, the true benefits of sexercise don’t lie in whether or not you can work up a good sweat, but in how it can boost the way you feel about yourself.  After all, getting in shape, whether in the sack or at the gym, can make you feel more attractive, increase your self-esteem, and ultimately charge your sex life even more!  Feeling energized and confident, and, in turn, more sexually attractive, are all factors that contribute to your sexual vitality, desire and satisfaction.  And of course, once you feel super sexy, others see you that way too. 

In general, being physically fit makes for better sex in that your libido and sexual functioning are primed for action. When you exercise, endorphins - mood-elevating compounds - are released, creating the deep relaxation needed for amazing sex.  Even better, these endorphins also help minimize pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), menstrual cramps, and the discomforts of menopause in women, making for a hotter love life.

As long as it’s regular and moderate, almost any type of exercise, sexercise included, improves sex.   This is because our nervous and cardiovascular systems, which are utilized when we workout, contribute to our sexual functioning.  A healthy nervous system is what helps you to enjoy all sorts of erotic stimulation, e.g., your lover’s scent.  It does this partly through the release of certain hormones, with a relaxed body being more sexually responsive to arousal.  Your nervous system is also what increases blood flow to your genitals when stimulated by relaxing the smooth muscle tissues of the pudendal arteries, which carry blood flow to the genitals.  The result: you experience more sexual excitement and vaginal lubrication. 

A healthy cardiovascular system also results in better bodily response to your sexual wants, including your sex drive.  A healthy heart and blood vessels allow for improved blood flow throughout your entire body, filling your tissues, genitals included, with rich oxygen. 

While you can benefit from practically any kind of exercise, being able to have sex for better sex and a more shapely body is definitely a great way to go for many, partners willing.  For the best results, adorn his pride and joy with a Trojan Elexa condom before climbing on top of him for the ride of his life.  A little bit of rodeo action on a regular basis should definitely help to keep you, and your relationship, in shape.

Tips on Staying Committed to Your Partner

There is an article in October's issue of Women's Health written by James Vlahos that further elucidates how to form a closer monogamous bond with your partner. Contrary to the popular belief that our generation doesn't have the fortitude to be committed to one person 'until death', the writer explores the facets of attraction and how to keep the zing in the relationship even when you are long term monogamous.

Science has proven to us that the brain does secrete chemicals that make us get the feelings of lust, romantic love and attachment. However, even though we get these urges, for some reason, the brain slows down on the chemical 'doping' once the attachment is formed. It's like Mother Nature does everything in her power to get you together and then right after that----you are on your own.

The author further explores how to trick your brain into staying faithful to one partner. He actually planned a date using precepts from nature and science with his girlfriend just to test his theory. Here are the most interesting conclusions:

  1. Exercise together. Like Elle Woods would say, "Exercise gives you endorphins...endorphins make you happy."
  2. Do exciting things together. Then you associate the good, exciting feelings with being with your partner.
  3. Cuddle. Mmmm! Cuddling increases the body's levels of oxytocin, and this makes you horny.
  4. Do the deed. (I really don't need a second invitation/reason on this one!)

What are some other things that you think a couple should engage in to keep the sparks alive and the relationship strong?

Read the article in it's entirety HERE.

Seven Reasons It's Great to Be Single

This weekend, I was looking down the barrel of single.  A year ago, I wrote about all the things I enjoy about being single.  And even though The Boyfriend and I are still together, it seemed like a great time to review.

So after the break, my seven reasons it's great to be single.

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A Whirlwind Saturday: The Ultimate Sex Rush!

Let me tell you about last Saturday! This day will go down in my history as one of the Top 10 All Time Best Kellie Days!

I usually take the weekend to just chill. If I have to do much more than go outside to retrieve the mail, I will be upset about it. Because of my work and the networking events I attend – and there’s always two or three to attend during the week – I use my weekends to recoup, relax and regenerate. But last Saturday was a little different, and I never once complained about it.

My boyfriend had a stereo installed in my car. He got it for my birthday. I was so surprised and excited. Music moves me in a way nothing else does and just the idea of more bass and treble made me want to sing. We went from Best Buy to our Saturday afternoon football game for the Philadelphia Sport & Social Club league (I can’t believe I let him talk me into that!). I played the entire game and we won! Winning is such a turn-on! I was high for the rest of the day. A quick nap and car pick-up found us at a trendy Olde City Philadelphia Spanish tapas restaurant for some of the best food we’d had since we met. Neither of us had ever been there and mingling with the city’s beautiful people is always sexy and fun. The weather was breezy, the sidewalks were crammed and the spices and sangria had us feeling content and stimulated. We topped the night off with some good old-fashioned city street racing (more on this next week), which heightened every sense – senses that were highly piqued before we even arrived. Whew!

Well, needless to say, we were in no mood for sleeping when we got back home just after 2:00 a.m. Yes, I love to chill on my weekends but the occasional whirlwind Saturday can throw a nice monkey wrench, a sexy monkey wrench, into my plans!

NEWSFLASH! Elexa by Trojan™ Condoms Are BIGGER Than Magnum!

Ever see the box for the Trojan™ Magnum condom? Dark and no-nonsense, masculine and straightforward, they’re obviously an alternative to the fun and games candy-colored concoctions being passed around at parties and in dorms. No-frills Magnums are for those guys not interested in cutesy gimmicks and, yes, for another reason: Magnum’s are larger condoms for LARGER guys. After all, being with a very well-endowed man is serious business!

I remember all those late nights giggling with other girls about how big, how wide, how long and how smooth, but it would be years before I was with a guy who was an actual member of the Magnum club. Lo and behold, my current boyfriend and love of my life, is a card-carrying member! Yay me!

When I began this blog, he was so excited. I thought he was simply excited for me as I’ve wanted a platform for either a sex or a fitness column for some time. But he was beside himself for another reason: he wanted me to blog about him! Now most men would run or the hills at the thought of their girlfriend divulging intimate secrets of their sex life together or, God forbid, relive sexual events from seasons past, pre-him. But not my man. He keeps asking, “When will you blog about me?”

So here goes: my boyfriend sings a ringing endorsement of Elexa by Trojan™ condoms. He loves that they smell normal, not so annoyingly like latex. He loves that they’re comfortable, very comfortable, which somehow surprised him. But the piece de resistance is that, in his words, “I think these condoms are even bigger than Magnums!” He was like a kid on Christmas tearing through each new wrapper for each of the three Elexa condom types: stimulating, ultra-sensitive and natural feel (his favorite is natural feel). He was so curious and wide-eyed. It was like we’d discovered the latest sex toy and couldn’t wait to try it out, not simply doing the routine prep work before going to work. He never complained once about the pastel-colored boxes nor the presumption that they must only be for women. Now, in fact, he doesn’t want to use anything else!

Now how’s THAT for a ringing male endorsement?

Sexual Communication - At What Point, Responsibility?

So, The Boyfriend had an issue with my last post on sexual miscommunications.  He thought that the guy who thought we might be about to have sex because we were fooling around was a presumptive jerk.  The Boyfriend was concerned that I was sending the message that it is the woman's responsibility if a guy is an aggressive jerk.  Which was certainly not my intention.  Yeah, No Means No - no matter when you say it.  Yeah, if a guy can't handle that, I think we need to find a zoo for him to live out his days in.

But at the same time - my mother did teach me better safe than sorry and about taking responsibility.

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Three (or more)'s a Crowd.

I have found polyamory and various forms of open relationships very prevalent in Los Angeles. Here, it's as much a part of the getting to know you phase of a relationship as the discussion of religion, children and politics.

How do you vote, and BTW, do you swing?

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Business, Parties, and Your Partner: Just Stir?

I haven't had the option for a while now until recently, but historically spreaking, I'm pro bringing the significant other to business parties.  I've looked at the wife-less and the husband-less at the annual holiday party and thought it sad.  Some chalk it up to the rising rates of babysitters, but I've definitely always thought: May I never have a day where I go to a holiday party without my man when it's an option.  I'm fine on my own, but I prefer to bring the other half of the team.

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Reciprocity in a Relationship

Alot of the women that I have come across really go weak at the knees when their current flame exhibits any romantic inkling or deed. We love it when he brings flowers, sends chocolates, drops us a sweet line in the middle of a busy workday. There are millions of ways that our guys show us that they care, and we adore every single one.

The rule of reciprocity is that your man goes Gaga over the little things you do as well. Guys don't want us to know this...but they enjoy every tiny little effort that we bestow upon them. Think of every single thing that a guy has ever done for you--now come up with some of your own to lavish on your mate.

Be it dinner, tickets to an event they are dying to see, a burned CD of their favorite songs, a book, massage, poetry...anything you do for them will be deeply appreciated. In pleasing them, they in turn try to please you, and the mutual care will slowly blossom into the most giving relationship you have ever had.

Do unto him whatever you would want him to do to you. If you want him to hold your hand, seize his, if you want him to call you, call him. Initiate instead of responding and you will see the eventually your guy will be taking his cues from you.

Cater to your man, cause only you truly can.

The Implications of 9/11: A Fight to End Intolerance

September 11th is a hard day for everyone. Aside from the sadness I feel everytime I look at the gap in my beautiful New York skyline, I feel equal sadness at what 9/11 symbolizes - intolerance of all kinds.

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Shopping with Your Man

So this weekend, The Boyfriend and I went shirt shopping at Ross.  I needed shirts; he needed shirts and help picking out shirts.  I was afraid on so many levels.

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Boy Toys Revenge: The Double Standard…Part 2

I pride myself on my common sense and focus. Precise, mind-like-a-steel-trap, professional, calculating, independent, these are all adjectives used to describe me. I can recall everything with pinpoint accuracy. I type everything into my PDA. Organized, driven, no-nonsense.

But I am human.

I’ve indeed slipped in the past. I’m sure it will happen again. Perhaps many more times before its all over. Like the off chance that I forget to mark something on my calendar, there were times that I lost my boy toy focus and tried to make a relationship out of a few iffy encounters over drinks and canoodling. That’s bad enough. But why does it always happen with the other type of boy toy, the type you don’t want to make mistakes with?

Boy Toy(s), noun: 2. That guy nobody else will have, not even on a dare. The stray puppy that no matter how perfectly you scratch behind his ear, will snarl at and bite you if you get too close. Devastatingly raw sex appeal, completely intellectually deficient, embarrassingly immature, uncanny ability to target your frailties, huge penis. See: damaged goods, slumming or selling self short.

Trouble is, the boy toy fantasy is always better than the reality. Strong women in the movies don’t have to give those awkward lectures about “wanting more” or “its just not working out and could we just leave it where it is?” In real life, we have some explaining to do. Ever want to leave on the understanding that it was just sex, only to have him not understand? Or worse, ever give your power totally away staying a little too long at the spring fling motel when check out time was so obviously long ago?

No discipline, lonely, embarrassed, drunk dialing in the ladies room, fixated, just once more, lose my number, headache, you ain’t the “happily-ever-after guy,” bored, I can’t ease your pain, hungry, guilty, live and learn, stalker, no orgasm is worth this, desperate, what did I ever see?, loser, move on, if you didn’t have that beautiful penis you’d have a bounty on your head.

I am human.

The Pleasure of Pleasuring (Orally, that is).

Have you heard of the Blowjob Wars? Yes, there is quite a debate going on in the Blogosphere about whether or not women actually enjoy giving blowjobs. And whether or not giving blowjobs is a slap in the face to feminists everywhere. Can you believe this?

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When You Are Mad at Him

Now eventually, even the nicest, coolest guy is bound to do or say something totally insensitive or annoying. Some women can let things slide easily, however for majority of us, there are certain things that push our buttons. We erupt, explode, see red and pretty much give him hell for whatever it is.

The biggest thing to remember when you are mad is that you shouldn't fight dirty. Fighting dirty includes name-calling, making fun of, slagging and dissing him/his penis. When you are mad is not the time to remember all the 23 million things that he has done to annoy you but you never told him. Focus on the ONE issue that you are mad about, talk about it and then Let.It.Go. If he's a smart guy, he should have figured out by now how to unruffle your feathers and get himself back into your good graces.

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Boy Toys Revenge: The Double Standard…Part 1

Ever have a boy toy?

Boy Toy(s), noun: 1. That fun guy you just like to hang loose and have electrifying sex with but know nothing serious will ever happen because he’s 10 years younger/got an I.Q of 35/destined for prison. And that’s all right.

Sure you have.

Either it was a boy in high school or college that you can barely remember or something on the side while you were engaged to that nerdy, boring accountant with the nervous tic, or its somebody you’re with now, but you’ve had one. I’ve had them too.

Instant animal attraction, hot car, zero obligations, late-night rendezvous, passion, spontaneity, mystery, who cares if he’s uneducated, fun, fun, fun, blowjobs at the movies, never meeting the parents and if you do its all a huge joke, laughter, too many martini weeknights, irresistible pheromones still on the sheets on mornings after, breathless, hazy, perfect remedy for a horrible breakup, delicious kisses, no promises, hands through the hair, getting out of yourself, perfection.

It is an art. It takes practice. Sounds like I’m an expert, but I’ve never been particularly good at it. I have a reputation for being cool and standoffish that has nagged me since middle school, but damn if I can’t just do a hot boy and then throw him directly in the trash! I should be able to. I wish I could. I’m even willing to give up another cherished talent of the devil’s choice, to just once experience the feeling of freedom I suspect comes from having the focus to screw ‘em and be through with ‘em! I guess its akin to the envy some women feel toward those with thinner thighs or better public speaking skills, I envy the players.

I’ll probably never have the “perfect one-night-stand.” Guys have learned to love being sex objects and perhaps this is the issue. If they all wanted a girl to love and cherish them, to the very end, it may be easier to dump them immediately. My inner sadist can’t come through when deep down, I’m thinking the no-attachments arrangement is something he wants as much or more than I do. Chasing the bigger orgasm is fun unless he’s on his way to another woman’s house right after he leaves yours. Oh, well. It can be fun while it lasts.

Just don’t get too close…

Be a Force for Change

At the International AIDS Conference last month, AIDS advocate Melinda Gates called for prevention tools for women in an effort to prevent HIV infection. Whether you hope to one day be the next Melinda Gates, want to be a “sexpert,” or simply long to be a force in your community in fostering a positive sexuality, it’s never too early to get started on your quest to make a difference. With 79% of junior high teachers and 45% of high school teachers failing to teach about condoms, any time and efforts you can lend to safer sex promotion at your school, your college campus, and/or local community youth center can only help in righting the wrongs of the abstinence-only sex education agenda in our schools and in assisting women in protecting themselves. With some planning, networking, and heart, your efforts can be a huge success. Hopefully, the following five pointers will get you well on your way…

 

  1. Find allies, like Planned Parenthood. You’re going to need people to work with and support you, as well as provide you with venues for advertising, presentation space, and a “home base.” Unless you’ve got a degree in a sex ed, round up a supervisor to oversee efforts, provide guidance, and back you on any political challenges to your agenda. These people may include your school nurse, a health promotion services director or educator, and/or a faculty advisor.

  1. Make sure that you, yourself, have, at the very least, basic “sexpertise.” Take courses that deal with sexuality is sues, read books written by sex experts, and check out legitimate online resources, like the ones below, for sexual health information…
  1. Work with your local health center or department of health. They may be able to provide you with free pamphlets and articles. Some will also lend you samples of contraceptives for presentations, or, if you’re lucky, have safer sex freebies for you to give away as well.

  1. When host workshops, make sure that you’re culturally sensitive and inclusive. Resources that can assist you in specific outreach to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered community include: the Bisexual Resource and GLBT National Help Center
  1. Keep your programming fun! Whether you’re giving a workshop, are camping out in the student union building with an information table, or are handing out condoms, like Trojan Elexa’s stimulating condoms, get a hold of sexual toys/aids, books, videos, and safer sex supplies for your presentations. Even sex doesn’t captivate an audience forever. So kick things up a notch with some titillating sexual enhancers from these online stores/companies and books, with products and ideas specifically geared towards women, women’s empowerment, and celebrating female sexuality…

More than anything, make sure that your efforts are sustainable. Have somebody you can hand the reins to when you move on, or have a whole sexual health peer advocates program, based on your efforts, in place so that more people can go out and spread the word on safer sex and female empowerment. After all, being a force in and of itself can be contagious.

Standing By Your Partner

One of my darling readers emailed me this question that struck a few chords with me.

Do you think that women seem to be more accepting of the physical appearance of a loved one, as opposed to men? Take the story of Beauty and the Beast for example. It always seems society overlooks that most times men leave women (I am not making an absolute statement here) that have become disfigured or physically disabled. Some say it is because they just can't handle it. I wonder if you reverse the roles if it would be the same. I think women see more beyond the outside appearance like the country song "Stand by your man".

Interesting line of thought. I think that it's not really a generalization of the sexes as it is a character flaw. For every example of a man leaving his wife when she falls ill there are also apt examples of the guys actually sticking through thick and thin what many a woman has been known to flee. At the same time, there are also scenarios where it's the woman that bails as soon as her man gets into a spot of trouble or difficulty.

I myself have an acute illness that has sent many a guy hightailing in the opposite direction. Sure, they didn't outrightly come out and say that they were afraid of dealing with it, but eventually a few came back to tell me this was the case.

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Defining "Desperate"

I think some guys want to think women are desperate.

My first few years in Los Angeles, newly single for the first time ever, I got the “desperate” label a lot. And, to be honest, I was an emotional mess, and I ultimately ended up dating the biggest loser the La La had to offer for five months longer than I should have, so I’ll concede a grain of truth, even if I never felt it was a 100% match. After all, I wasn’t looking to settle no matter what my emotions; surely my life to date is a testament to that if nothing else.

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The Pre-Date Countdown

1.  It's too late to lose 10 pounds, so let it go.
2.  It's also too late to dye any grey hairs (or cover that hot pink experiment), so let it go.  Pretend it's your "Rogue" look.  (Or that you're just that punk rock.)

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Tech Toy Manifesto

My boyfriend hates to text message. He’ll ignore texts from his friends except in certain cases, (i.e., we’re out and someone needs directions to the club or party we’re all meeting at). He just thinks its stupid. I don’t mind this too much, but I think he’s missing out on another potentially passion-filled exercise that will spice up our sex life and bring us closer.

My last blog was about MySpace and how playing around on the internet is a good way to avoid getting serious. Today, I’ll explore the other side. Hey, I’m fair. I believe in toys. This blog is my ode to sex toys and to having fun and being confident in bed. Our modern technological inventions can certainly help with that.

Technology is great, its amazing in some respects, the way we can communicate with utter strangers, about anything, in a matter of seconds. We can work from home and with palm pilots, cell phones, laptops and wireless access, we can do it all without even hinting that we’re not hard at work in an office, but at the local coffee shop or on the beach. But, with all the ringing and buzzing, and with so many choices, it can also mitigate our ability to get to know each other and really connect too, hence my internet dating complaints.

What if you’re already serious with someone? Can technology help you come closer? I think its possible. We’ve all heard the horror stories of how internet porn has destroyed many a marriage and how pedophiles stalk young innocents who are none the wiser, but modern tech toys can also help nurture a relationship.

My man will sometimes send a sexy e-mail or two during the day. There’s nothing like the rush of being surprised with an “I want you so much” message when I was expecting the garden-variety “how’s your day” message. He hates text messages, but I’m trying to wean him on the occasional sexy text, you know, the “what are you wearing right now?” sort of thing. During a very busy day, a short, sweet, yet sexy text message may be just what the doctored ordered when you’re in back-to-back meetings or otherwise don’t have time to talk on the phone.

He’s an expert at film editing. What if I could get him to splice some film of 91/2 Weeks into a home movie of us doing it?

Hmmm, food for thought.

The Truth About MySpace

I finally got it. After years of trying to understand what the attraction to internet hook ups over face-to-face encounters was, I realized I needed to look at the “web-scoping” dynamic the same way I look at my vibrator: its just a toy.

Its no coincidence that now, four months after I met the man that I’ll most likely spend the rest of my life with, I can make sense of all those dating hassles that troubled me so and for so many years. I was just toying around. I may have fooled myself into believing that I’d meet the man of my dreams on CupidJunction.com, but honestly? I really wasn’t ready to stop playing.

First I tried Match.com. I thought the fact it was the most popular dating site at the time meant it was a credible place to meet the highest quality dating prospects. This is a joke. Although I know people who met by internet and later married, I think blind luck is the catalyst for the more successful dot com relationships; the more serious the relationship, the dumber the luck. I envied people who stepped into this luck, but I never saw that happening to me. I was too busy weighing options and clicking my way to one exciting hook up after another. It was fun.

MySpace is the worst and the best example of this theory. During the past year MySpace was anointed the most popular website in the country. I guess a lot of us want to play around. And what shaped my particular opinion is the fact that I became a member for other reasons than to scope and play.

I left my full-time job and started my writing and consulting business about a year ago. I created a MySpace page a few months prior to see if it would be a good place to network, find interesting subjects for articles and meet clients. It was! I connected to so many folks in the media business, people that I wouldn’t otherwise have known of, and it indeed led to much work, party invitations and paychecks. But damn if I didn’t need to weed out several messages every day from guys applying the A.B.C. rule of sales to scoping: Always Be Closing. It didn’t matter to them that my profile didn’t include any bikini shots or the not-so-subtle pleas for “a nice guy,” they saw an attractive woman and gave it a try.

So I started asking around. I studied the sites of guys casting their lines out to me when I make it clear that I’m swimming in a different pond. They seem to spend several hours a day on MySpace, put much energy into improving their total “friends” count and send the same comments to the every woman. Women are doing the same.

Isn’t this the same energy we put into emailing, pix and text messaging and music downloading? We do love our toys don’t we?

Redefining the Word "Test"

I had my first AIDS test at 19 (when I was a freshman in college). And while it was a scary experience – it was an important milestone for me. Yes, it’s back to school time again and “testing” doesn’t just refer to how many multiple choice questions you can fudge your way through while checking out the hot guy/girl next to you.

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A Condom is a Girl's Best Friend.

I was talking to a girlfriend about condoms recently, and she asked me why my boyfriend and I were still using condoms if we'd both been fully tested for STDs and were in a monogamous relationship.  Like with any lesson hard learned, I was eager to share the why.

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Time to Buy Plan B!!!

Finally...The FDA has approved Plan B's OTC status for women 18 and over. Granted, it is still located "behind the counter" (so that women have to show their IDs), but it's a start. (And you if you've read my blog, "Plan B for Me? Maybe..." you know how I feel about all of this. So Hurray! It may be a small step for womankind but definitely a step in the right (I mean "left") direction:)

Sex After Baby: Does it Ever Get Better?

As a new mom, I am well aware of how challenging sex can be after you've given birth. Everything looks different, feels different, and if you're breast feeding,  those once erogenous zones may not be as titillating (yes, I did say that) as they once were. (In fact, you might not want them titillated at all).

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Happy Birthday To Me: The Evolution Of My Sex Life

Today’s my 36th birthday. I always weigh, measure and evaluate my life’s progress on my birthday. Many of us do this. Either on New Year’s Day, at Christmas or at our birthday, we’ll stack up the year’s events, our accomplishments or failures, to see where we are. As for my sexual growth over these past several years, I LOVE where I am!

I was the prototypical late bloomer. Skinny and tall, intelligent and well-rounded, I wasn’t exactly the guy’s first pick for Saturday-night dates in high school. College wasn’t much better, although I did get some experience and earned the richly deserved title of “supreme ball buster.” But as I neared my 21st birthday, I was still technically a virgin. I hated the mere idea of that. I thought I’d be forever branded “unsexual,” the pretty, yet exclusive chick you’d better not mess with. I needed to make some changes.

And change I did. At least on the outside. In a few short months, I remade myself into a new version more closely resembling girls who, I believed, got the most male attention. The word promiscuous wouldn’t be inaccurate. Damn it, I needed to make up for lost time. I ramped up my boldness quotient, wore provocative outfits, drank a little more heavily, anything I thought would get and keep a guy’s attention. I was getting my freak on, by any means necessary!

I was never terribly modest, so I started taking my clothes off with anybody who responded. I endured much nonsense that the “real” me would never even consider. But I did learn so much about sex, sexual politics and why I’m so glad to be back to the “real” me. Being a girly, girl may have gotten me some much needed bedroom experience, but its who I am now, and really always was deep down, that my current flames tend to appreciate currently. I can’t count how many times my most recent boyfriends have commented on how much they love that I can watch a football game without needing to ask what’s going on or that my strength and the fact I always know what I want is such a turn-on. They love that I’m just as sexy in a tee shirt and jeans as I am in a short skirt.

Now I’ve reached a point where I have absolutely nothing to prove. I can use my girliness like a toy, pulling it off the shelf when its necessary (or fun), then putting it back for safe keeping. My most powerful self, my most sexual self, IS the woman who takes no crap.

"I Have A...": How to Handle the News About STDs

Okay, it's 2006 and we are not strangers to sexually transmitted infections. (Don't freak out just yet...this isn't to scare you, but it is a reality check). According to recent statistics 65 million Americans have some sort of incurable STD. Yeah, 65 million...so, there stands a good chance that someone may tell you that they have one, and you are going to have to decide what to do and how to do it.

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Some Boys Open Doors for Girls

I like it when a guy opens a door for me.  More than that, I've begun to recognize it as an indication of his character and his upbringing.  It's a simple courtesy, and I value it.

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SexySmart Podcast from MySpace

Take a listen to my SexySmart Podcast which I originally recorded for the Elexa MySpace group. Tell me what you think. I'll be uploading 5 more over the next few months.

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Reading Is Fundamental…For Good Sex Too!

When I was young, sex-oriented magazine articles were, to me, akin to porn. I’d read them under the guise of “gaining knowledge,” but really, I was looking for juicy stories, tips, anything that would continue to stoke my already fiery sexuality.

Mademoiselle and Cosmopolitan were my favorites. I loved to read about those young women, more daring than I, who weren’t scared to tell their racy tales of doing the nasty in the back of their cars, on the beach, their parents kitchen tables or wherever. I even remember a Washington, D.C. business trip where, on the train ride home, I read one of these racier Cosmo articles while sitting right next to my preppy-as-hell boss! But as I got older, I lost the need for that and started to read different articles, the ones targeted more toward young women who wanted to make a difference in the world, or at least stay informed about what was happening to women around the world.

Now, I’ve come full circle. Blame it on being at my sexual peak if you need to, but current world events notwithstanding, I’m enjoying searching for books and articles that keep me abreast of the latest sex toy or gadget, the newest sexual health facts and statistics and, in general, what will continue to support my healthy sex life.

I want to read all about what will help me reach orgasm every time. I need to know what new birth control variants are out there. I have to keep an eye on sexy products, whether I’ll end up using them or not. And in addition, yes, I read these articles because they do sometimes really turn me on. Thanks to sex writers and sexologists, like our own Yvonne Fulbright, Logan Levkoff and Pepper Schwartz, I can stay informed AND stay stimulated.

Fantasies: Fear or Fear Not?

Recently, I said that masturbating is not cheating. Yes - I still believe that. But there is more to that story. Here it is: Sexual fantasies (no matter how bizarre) are completely normal. We might be married or otherwise involved, but we aren’t dead. If I lost all interest in hot musicians, aging celebrities, or the guy who gives me my Grande Skim Vanilla Latte, I would know that my sex drive was over. We’re alive and our fantasies are indicative of that.

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When Your Relationship Status Meets Your Online Bio

I’ve got online bios. With a big plural on “bioS.” I’m on Friendster and Myspace and Blogher and some smaller community sites. Wherever you go in the blogosphere lately, you’re setting up a bio.

And there’s that question:  “Status.”  Easy when you’re single; complicated when you’re entering a new relationship.

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Great Weather Rocks My World!

The thing about sex and sexual stimulation is that anything can be a great igniter and the same thing, or a variation of the same thing, can be just as much of a mood-killer. Take great music: your song is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but if your man doesn’t particularly care for British drum-N-bass in the bedroom, you’re in a little trouble until you decide on something you both like. Take too long to mutually agree and, whoops, there it went! We’ll try again tomorrow night.

Its the same with summer weather. Nobody can wait until the weather breaks. Guys look forward to seeing us with our bare legs in our shorter skirts and high-heeled sandals. We girls love the shirtless fellas on the basketball court and cruising with their tops down. But when its too hot? OMG! Get away from me! It ain’t happening! Try again when I’m not about to pass out!

The past couple of weeks had been unbearable, sweltering, and its no surprise I had the sex drive of a snapping turtle. The women in my family cannot handle excess heat and I’m no exception: 10 minutes in the heat and I turn into a dishrag. But then it broke. Late last Saturday night, while out scouting a story on street racing, I marveled at how cool and gorgeous it was outside, and consequently, how much more sexual I felt. The high-speed atmosphere, the sound of revving engines and the testosterone in the air surely helped, but the cooler, delicious breeze and clearer air were the true catalysts.

Don’t believe me? Try a flowing, linen skirt with no panties on a breezy, 75-degree summer night just after a wax. Wow! Try it this weekend!

How many sexual partners? I want to know!

I have a confession.  Ever since Vixen asked, Would You Tell Him How Many Guys You've Slept With?, I've been thinking about her post.  And while I certainly should have commented, I'm developing a bad habit of blogging instead.

Because I'm an asker, and I expect an answer.

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Dirty and Degrading Lyrics Increase Teen Sex

It's funny that Kellie just wrote about music and sex, because that seems to be quite newsworthy these days. No, the press isn't talking about what songs turn them on, but they are talking about a new study that says teens who have Ipods (or other MP3s) that are filled with sexually explicit (read: degrading) songs are likely to have sex earlier. Whoa!

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Masturbation and Relationships: Can the Two Go Hand in Hand? (pardon the pun)

So you come back from (insert location of choice) and find your guy (or girl) under the covers, alone....but certainly enjoying himself (or herself). Yep, you caught your partner masturbating. Big deal? I think not.

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Men Without Mobile Phones

Do you play "I Never"?  No, not that one.  See, whenever a relationship ends, I console myself by listing all the things I never have to deal with again.  After one particularly painful heartbreak, it was, "I never have to date a smoker again."  Once, it was, "I never have to date someone shorter than me again."

Now, I've got high hopes for The Boyfriend, I really do.  But if the end comes, I already know the "never."  I will never have to date anyone who doesn't have a mobile phone again.

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Boy Toy or Real Toy? Do You Have To Choose?

This week’s opening salvo for Dan Savage’s Savage Love column is one for the memory books: a woman’s engaged to the man of her dreams; problem is, he’s jealous of her, ahem, “love toys,” and wishes she'd ditch them before the bells ring.  Savage palmed her off to fume over New York’s recent gay marriage decision, but hey, I’ll bite…

I think this is a legitimate issue. 

For those who aren’t affected by the gay marriage ban or something else just as urgent, these sillier issues of trust and confidence in sexual relationships are worth addressing.  They seem small, but they can add up to some major communication gaps and some serious sexual tension. 

Is there something bothering her?  Is she still attracted to me?  Is there someone else? 

How much do we do to let our lovers know we don’t love our toys more than our boys, that they’re just a fun substitute that aren’t meant to be threatening?

In Wednesday’s blog I mused about my fear of relying on my toys and what that could mean for my sex life.  I vowed to always value simple, skin-on-skin sex, like in the old days, rolling around on the couch before the ‘rents got home.  But let’s face it, our lives are more complex than in the old days, and with work, schedules, traffic, deadlines, bills, traffic, all this damned heat and humidity, (did I mention traffic?), a little short cut in the bedroom can’t be the worst thing in the world.  The female orgasm can be like that proverbial needle in a haystack and on some nights we don’t want to risk getting pricked.  Therefore, if there’s a simple, battery-operated device that can easily take us where we want to go, is it a wonder our guys may sometimes feel a little pricked as well? 

Now, I’m the biggest believer in self-confidence in women.  Whoever isn’t in support of a woman who is intelligent, sexy and in control is someone I don’t want around me, but Women’s Lib is not what we’re talking about here.  Men still aren’t encouraged to express feelings, especially those that may be construed as weak, so when your man is insecure about his ability to please you sexually but won’t say anything – and you go about your business without noticing he may need a little stroking (the literal and figurative kinds) – isn’t it inevitable that your relationship (and sex life) would suffer a bit?

Let me know what you think…

You Have To Work, But Your Partner Wants To Play

"Are you sure you can't come over and watch a movie?"

"No, honey, I have to work.  I have to write tonight."

The Temptation of the Boyfriend.  I already gave in once this week, albeit after I'd finished my most important "to dos."

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Who's Ready to Talk About Sex?

I just came back from an incredible weekend at BlogHer '06 where I had the opportunity to speak on a panel entitled, "Let's Talk About Sex". (And I also got a chance to meet fellow SexySmart Blogger Liz Rizzo, who by the way, is as cool in person as she is online). While I was a blogging novice in comparison to the other 699 women who attended BlogHer, my experience there crystallized what I have known and believed in for years. Women have a responsibility to talk about sex.

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Waiting for sex. Kinda.

I dated my current boyfriend for two months before we had sex.  Well... OK, that depends on your definition of sex.  To be accurate, I guess I should say intercourse.  (Ah, that great, romantic word.)  And I'll admit it was a long two months!

First off, I asked him to get tested.  For HIV and all the other stuff, you know?  And then, if you ask, you have to do, but I wanted to go to my OB/GYN, so I had to wait a few weeks for my appointment.  He was all clear, and I hadn't even gotten in to see my doctor.  In the meantime, yes, there was nakedness (hooray for nakedness!) and various activities that definitely live in the world of sex.

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Just looking for The One.

Single woman take a lot of heat.  They're told they're too picky, too desperate, trying too hard or not hard enough.  They are flooded by stories about how men don't want smart girls, or independent girls, or fat girls, or older girls.  Or whatever else some story-starved feature writer came up with that week.

Man, that's all bunch of flapdoodle.

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Sexual Pleasure - Could You Give it Up?

What would you trade for sexual pleasure? Chances are, not much, if anything at all. But even though we live in this world where we claim to be sexually liberated, some women just keep giving it up without getting anything in return...

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Why I'm SexySmart

Hi, I’m Liz Rizzo, and I am so excited to be a member of the Elexa Blogging Team! Newly coupled, I’ll be blogging about dating, relationships, men, boys… and us, and what it’s like to be a woman these days, single or coupled. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and experiences with you, and I hope you’ll let me know what you think and feel, too. ‘Cause we’re all just figuring it out as we go, don’t you think?

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Our Bloggers
Logan Levkoff Logan Levkoff
Sexologist/Relationship Expert/TV Personality/Advice Columnist
Liz Rizzo Liz Rizzo
Writer/Director
Vixen Vixen
Bad Girls Rule
Yvonne Fulbright Yvonne Fulbright
Sexologist/Sex Educator
Kellie Murphy Kellie Murphy
Journalist
Pepper Schwartz Pepper Schwartz
Professor of Sociology, University of Washington

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