What are Your Sexual Fantasies?

Sexual Desire. Sexual Response. Sexual Fantasies.

Ladies, when it comes to sex we are comp. lic. ca. ted.

Mucho. Much. Like, V E R Y.

We do have sexual fantasies, and we do fantasize about bondage. But much to the fella’s disappointment, we don’t frequently daydream about the dominatrix I’ll-whip-your-head-back-and-forth-with-my-whip type of bondage.

Girlfs, our sexual fantasies are almost always about emotional bonding.

Yep.

We gals are more likely to become emotionally–not necessarily physically–aroused by our sex fantasies. Almost always, the content of our sexual fantasies emphasize

  • Tenderness
  • Familiar partners, settings, and feelings
  • Thoughts of intimacy
  • Emotions
  • Passive love-making
  • Non-sexual and sexual touch….slow, slow, slow, slow, slow lingering touches….to every part of your body. EVery part. Of. Your. Body.
  • Ourselves as the recipients of any fantasized sexual behaviors.

And of course, guys’ fantasies are totally opposite! This is why it’s

Oh

So

Very

Crucial

to discuss your sexual fantasies with your partner!

And rape, or being overpowered by a man/forced by a man to have sex, is also a very frequent sexual fantasy of women.

For quite a few years, researchers have studied this type of sexual fantasy in women, and they’ve determine that gals may engage in these fantasies because it allows them to rehearse in their minds how they might escape a similar, real-life situation. [Fellas--be warned! NEVER engage in this type of fantasy with your gal until you both agree to it!]

So ladies, what are your sexual fantasies? Before you jot them down, be sure to take the sexual fantasy quiz first!

And as always, be sure to share your results with your partner, because in doing so you’re helping to create your matchless relational culture!

Photo Credit: flickr.com

Intimacy Phobia: What is Your Score?

“Our fear of intimacy…inspires ingenious ways of avoiding it.”

Intimacy requires that we unmask ourselves and become vulnerable and risk rejection. Because of this, many people fear intimacy.

Do you find that you’re afraid to establish and maintain close relationships with other people, or that you put up walls or barriers that prevent people from getting too emotionally close to you?

Have you ever found yourself having many friendships–but avoiding one close personal relationship with someone?

Do you ever become over involved in work or use work as an excuse not to hang out with others? Have you ever thought to yourself, “Wow, it’s been ________ days and other than work/class, I haven’t really had any contact with anyone.” ?

If you answered yes to more than two of these questions, you may have a fear of intimacy.

But what exactly is it that people are afraid of? Fear of intimacy comes in many forms and can manifest itself in any of the following ways:

  • Fear of failure: What if this relationship doesn’t work out?
  • Fear of being vulnerable: Is it worth subjecting myself to hurt and emotional pain?
  • Fear of rejection: I’ve been rejected before, I can’t go through that again.
  • Fear of being smothered in the relationship: What if I lose my identity?
  • Fear of sex? What if he/she disapproves of my body?
  • Fear of losing someone we love: What happens if I fall in love and he/she breaks up with me?
  • Fear of abandonment: What if he/she leaves me alone?
  • Fear of being “found out”: He/she will find out who I really am and won’t love me anymore. No one can possibly love me because of all of my flaws

Are you afraid to be intimately close with another person? Take the intimacy phobia quiz here to find out your intimacy score. Be sure to save your results and to share them with your partner!

© Kelly J. Welch, Family Life Now (2/e). Boston: Pearson Education

Photo Credit: e v e n (flickr.com)

There’s More to Sex than Stripping and Lingerie

<Picking up from where we left off, the head-hunter and the lingerie>

About a week later, my husband and I went to dinner with a couple of good friends. We were planning a scuba diving trip together with them, and at some point the topic turned to what they should pack.

Me (to the gal): Well, according to [guy on my front porch], you better not bring any T-shirts to sleep in. Come to find out, we’ve been doing it wrong for nearly 30 years. We’re supposed to be doing a striptease and lap dance for our husbands every night.

The gal and her husband (almost in unison): Every night?

Me and Dave (almost in unison): Every night!

The guy (a pastor): How do they get anything else done?!

The gal: No wonder he works from home!

<side-splitting laughter, waiters wondering if they should cut us off, but realize we’re not drinking>

The gal: I guess that leaves you out, babe, because we can’t afford lingerie!

The guy: It just ends up on the floor anyway, I’ll save you the trouble……I’ll just go home and cut strategically placed holes in your T-shirts!

<Fast forward about 48 hours, Dave and I get a call from Pastor Guy, telling us his wife has been rushed to the hospital and she’s in emergency surgery. The doctors believe it is advanced ovarian cancer.>

In the hospital, we’re all at her bedside when the surgeon comes in to deliver the news that she did not have ovarian cancer, but instead that she had a very serious abdominal infection, from which she would recover.

There were shouts of joy and lots of tears!  Her husband, exhausted from no sleep and worry, slumped into the chair and put his face in his hands. My husband went over to him, knelt beside him, and put his arm around his shoulders.

“It’s gonna be okay, we’re here for whatever you need. You guys just take it easy and let us take care of everything.”

The pastor looked up, tears in his eyes, and said, “It’s not that, Dave. It’s not that.” He put his face back into his hands, trying to gain his composure.

The pastor’s shoulders began to shake. Dave looked at me, totally confused as to what to do next. I just shrugged my shoulders in an I-don’t-know kind of way and used hand signals to gesture “hug him tighter.”

But just at the moment, the pastor let out the most hilarious belly laugh you’ve ever heard! With tears streaming down his face, laughing uncontrollably he said to his wife,

“Honey, it just dawned on me that I almost cut holes in your T-shirt the other night as a joke!  The T-shirt you wore as they rushed you to the hospital!!  Can you imagine the doctors’ and nurses’ faces?!? Can you imagine what I would have had to explain if you had nipple holes cut out in your T-shirt?!?”

We love these two to pieces. Like us, they’ve been through a lot in their 30+ year marriage. And like us, they saw the humor—and the potential dangers—in teaching young couples that stripping’s where it’s at.

I’d like to say that I was shocked at my friend saying that his wife gave him a strip tease and a lap dance every night. I’d like to say that I was shocked that they were teaching couples in their church that THAT’S what great sex and a great marriage is all about.

To be fair to them, I’m not in their marriages, so I don’t know if that every-night-no-matter-what kind of sex works for them or not.

But I have a hunch they’re setting themselves—and everyone they’re teaching—up for huge disappointment. And maybe failure.

That’s what happens when sex is reduced to an act (or lots of acts), instead of understanding how it’s intricately tied into your love map.

Photo Credit: nostalgicphotosandprints (flickr.com)

Buh-Bye Body Image Worries, Hullo Orgasms!

When you become preoccupied with the appearance of your body outside of the bedroom, these worries and concerns ultimately end up in the bedroom.

Because for women sexual arousal and response require attention and focus, when you focus on how your body looks—rather than what you’re experiencing and feeling—you are less able to let your guard down and fully enjoy sexual pleasure and sexually pleasing your partner.

For a great relationship—and great sex—redefine what sex is all about!

Replace each of these with something positive
about YOURself.


  • Get real! Sexy is as sexy does! You define what body type is sexy and appealing to your partner, not media images! Your partner probably wouldn’t be in bed (or on the kitchen table) with you in the first place if he or she didn’t see something about you that was appealing.
  • Let it happen! You can’t force great sex, especially if you’re overly concerned about how you look during the act. Just let sex happen. Focus on what feels good and all the different sensations going on in your body.
  • Let go! Hang on to your partner, but get rid of all of those inhibitions by giving yourself to ENJOY SEX. When you truly let go, it’s tough to think about what your thighs must look like in a particular position (trust me, your partner isn’t looking, either).
  • Connect, communicate, and trust! When you focus on emotionally connecting and communicating during sex, you feel safe and secure—and you’ll realize that the shape of your body has nothing to do with these other feelings.
  • Be adventurous! Explore, explore, explore! Come up for air, and explore some more! This attitude shifts the focus to each other’s bodies, and in doing so, you begin to see how FUN sex really can be…and that it’s not all about looks.
How healthy is your body image? Find out here! Be sure to email me your results, or come back here and share them!
Source:  See Family Life Now (Welch, 2010), pg. 218. 

Photo Credit: Flickr.com

Wine Wednesday for the Ladies: Sexual Desire & Response

Earlier I talked about sexual response and I mentioned that the problem for most couples is that men and women differ as to how long they reach and remain in the various response stages.

These differences almost always cause huge problemsin a couple’s sex life…and sadly, most sex problems almost always spill over into each and every other aspect of a couple’s relationship.

Sure, a lot of us can fake it make it without knowing everything there is to know about sex, and maybe we can even have enjoyable sexual lives.

But I’m a firm believer in knowledge + practice [infinity] + patience [to infinity and beyond] = fantastic sex lives [and relationships]. Understanding how and why your body works the way it does, and how and why your partner’s body works the way it does, greatly [as in Oh. Em. Gee.] enhances your sexual pleasure.

I’m also a firm believer in ignoring it + hoping it gets better + trying to figure it out on your own = frustration and less-than-satisfying sex lives [and relationships] and faking it (a lot more than you are now).

So, pull up a chair pour a glass of wine, gals, and let’s get real about what turns you on–and why.

Sister Sexual Desire & Response

When it comes to sex, gals,

1.You will almost always have a lower sex drive than your man: He has testosterone. You don’t. BUT—if you find that you just need a little more help, your doctor can prescribe a bit of testosterone. In fact, many peri- and postmenopausal women are prescribed testosterone today. And gals….they keep coming back for more.

2.You emphasize the interpersonal aspects of your relationship—not the physical or the sexual: You tend to care about love, intimacy, and relationship satisfaction. Once these are fulfilled, you can more easily give of yourself sexually and physically.

3.You tend to have sex to enhance the commitment to the relationship: Both yours and his.

4.You tend to have sex to express your love: In fact, new research suggests that your orgasms are enhanced if you hear your partner say “I love you,” just before, during, or immediately after your orgasm.

While almost every sexologist since the 1st century has claimed that guys and gals the world over have sex because they’re programmed to do it, because it’s an innate need, one contemporary sexologist says uh-uh, nope, no way, not so fast.

New research in college-age women and middle age women shows that sex for women is highly contextual. In other words, we do it for increased emotional closeness, increasing our own well-being or self-image, to feel wanted or loved, to feel attractive….not because it’s an inborn drive, and not necessarily because we want to experience physical pleasure.

And get this—this researcher also claims that we gals have sex for personal satisfaction…not for orgasmic release.

All of this 21st century research might help to explain why today’s sexologists and sex therapists think that desire should be added as a distinct phase of sexual response for women (Masters and Johnson ignored this as a part of overall sexual response in women).

So, a truer picture of a woman’s sexual response pattern might look something like this:

(Emotional intimacy + sexual stimuli + relationship satisfaction + a clean house + locked doors + children soundly asleep + paid bills + secure love + secure commitment + not feeling fat + sweet nothings + estrogen = SEXUAL DESIRE = Seeking out and being receptive to sexual stimuli) + (sexual stimuli + emotional satisfaction + physical satisfaction = SEXUAL AROUSAL) + (time + time + time + time) = ORGASM.

Yeah, we’re that complicated, ladies.

And get this—we gals experience high sexual desire and interest when we first enter a new relationship, or if we’ve been away from our love interest for awhile.

BUT…

…this sexual hunger for frequent sex appears to decrease the longer we’re in our relationships. Girlfs, our sexual appetites are replaced by a desire for increased emotional closeness and intimacy!

What does all this mean??

New sex research sure seems to indicate that your sexual desire isn’t inborn, gals—your sexual desire is TRIGGERED by feelings of love and intimacy and closeness and appreciation and relationship satisfaction.

Just as your love will transition from a 24×7-do-me-baby-do-me to a calmer, more stable type of love, so too does your sexual appetite transition to a sexual desire that is triggered by your love for your partner and the security you feel when you’re with that person.

And that, girlfriends, is a realistic expectation for your relationship. When you feel the sexual desire waning, when you feel that something is “different” about your love–it just may very well be an indicator that your relationship is actually becoming STRONGER…it’s not getting worse!

How does this information compare to what you may have read in popular magazines such as Cosmo, or what you may have learned in a sex class?


Photo Credit: Jeff Cusher (glass of wine, flickr.com); Curtis Gregory Perry (trigger, flickr.com)

What’s Your Sexual Fantasy Type?

1. Imagine that you are one of four people in a room. One is tied to a bed, one is holding a whip, one is sitting in the corner and one is applying nipple clamps to the recumbent. Which one are you:

a. The one tied to the bed? (P)

b. The one with the whip? (D)

c. The one in the corner? (R)

d. The one applying the clamps? (A)

2. Which of these is closest to your ideal setting for a fantasy?

a. A Venetian brothel (P)

b. A dungeon (D)

c. A bedroom (R)

d. A prison cell (A)

3. Which of the following animals would you choose to feature in your fantasy?

a. A unicorn (P)

b. A snake (D)

c. An octopus (R)

d. A tiger (A)

4. Which of the following eras would you choose as the setting for a fantasy?

a. The present day (P)

b. Victorian (R)

c. Caveman (D)

d. Far future (A)

5. Which of the following toys are featured in your fantasy?

a. Feathers and whipped cream (P)

b. Handcuffs, panty hose, and a necktie (A)

c. Whips and chains (D)

d. Ice cubes and a cold beer (R)

6. Which Disney character are you (female)?

a. Nala (the Lion King) (D)

b. Snow White (R)

c. Sleeping Beauty (P)

d. The Little Mermaid (A)

7. Which Disney character are you (male)?

a. Mufasa (the Lion King) (D)

b. Peter Pan (R)

c. Jack Sparrow (P)

d. Woody (A)

8. Sex in a glass elevator is

a. unsanitary (R)

b. illegal (P)

c. boring (D)

d. exciting (A)

9.  Sex on the beach

a. can lead to sand crabs in places you can’t reach (R)

b. is an alcoholic drink (P)

c. or in the snow, or in the jungle, or in the rain forest… (A)

d. is better if the beach is rocky (D)

10.  In “Elf,” your favorite quote is

a. Buddy to the fake Santa: You stink. You smell like beef and cheese! You don’t smell like Santa. (D)

b. Buddy: First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie-dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle. (A)

c. Buddy: I’m a cotton-headed ninny-muggins. (P)

d. Buddy: Ow!!! Son of a nutcracker! (R)

SCORING:

A=Adventurous

D=Dominant

P=Passive

R=Repressed

Determine the number of As, Ds, Ps, and Rs. Which do you have the most of and be sure to stop in and share your results!

Mostly Rs: You are perhaps a little repressed in your fantasizing. If you say things like ‘I never fantasize’ or ‘this just isn’t me’ ask yourself why change in this area has become such a huge problem for you? Would the sky collapse if you tried? It isn’t as if a mere fantasy is going to corrupt your personality. And good fantasies (accompanied by the right friction) are the basics of sexual enjoyment.

Mostly Ps: You tend to assume a passive role in your fantasies. You’re turned on by having things done to you, and why not? It’s good to let go sometimes, and the privacy of your own imagination is the perfect place to do this.

Mostly Ds: You like to fantasize about being dominant. Fantasies are a natural place to work through desires we would mainly not want to act out in real life, and this can include violent or otherwise transgressive ones.

Mostly As: You are adventurous and daring in your fantasy life, willing to explore the further extent of your sexuality. Getting a partner to play along for real would of course require careful preliminary communication.

Source: Adapted from Phillip Hodson (www.bacp.co.uk)

Photo Credit: Antipodas (flickr.com)

Sexual Response: In 5…4…3…2…1…

In the 1960s and 1970s, sexologists Masters and Johnson outlined their revolutionary Four Phases of Human Sexual Response.

Through their research (don’t ask…it involved a lot of not-so-fun electronic devices, like a penile strain gauge and the photoplethysmograph, placed into a lot of different body cavities), they discovered that sex—whether it’s masturbation, oral sex, anal sex, sex with a toy, or penis-in-vagina sex—causes a chain reaction of sorts.

(Or, as my husband says, “the launch sequence has been initiated!”)

[Read more...]

Why Is He Always So Analytical?

It’s been said before that the “Y” sex chromosome came about because since the beginning of time, men have been questioning, “Y do we always have to talk about this $#%! relationship?!”

In an earlier post I talked about women’s genderlects, and how most women are taught from an early age to communicate in certain ways with others. So engrained are these behaviors, researchers say that understanding and caring is the context in which women frame nearly every conversation that they have. In short, the underlying message in women’s conversation is connecting with others—and they do this by talking (a lot).

But what about guys? Are boys, like girls, socialized from young ages to stick to certain communication “rules?” Do guys have an underlying genderlect?

Researchers think so!

When men engage in conversations—with family, friends, intimate partners, or lovers—their underlying genderlect appears to be:

  • Problem Solving: From a young age, boys are taught to be independent, and because of this, they often solve problems on their own. While girls are taught to “talk things through” if they have an issue with a friend, boys are often taught to look at the situation “logically.”
  • Advice Giving: Because men are tuned in to problem solving, when someone shares a problem or a concern, men often immediately jump to offering advice or a solution.

Thinking, analyzing, intellectual understanding, facts, logic—this is the way men experience their relationships. It’s the way they assess the status of all of the friendships and interpersonal relationships.

This is probably why your guy is so quick to offer advice or a solution when you share a problem with him.

It may also be why you sometimes feel as though he seems so distant or insensitive, and why he doesn’t want to talk about his feelings or what’s troubling him.

Newer research even suggests that men’s communication behaviors are established well before birth. According to some genetic studies, male and female brains are structured differently—wired differently—because of the influences of testosterone (the masculinizing sex hormone) during the prenatal period. These biological differences cause men to process information and communication messages in different ways.

This new research might also help to explain why guys, when confronted with a problem, will oftentimes make jokes or change the subject.

This isn’t to say that men don’t have an emotional connection to their family, friends, intimate partners, or lovers—it just means that they do not express these emotions in the same ways that women do.

So, let’s say you come to your guy and describe a problem to him. Because your genderlect is connecting, talking, understanding, and caring, you expect him to respond the same way you would.

When he comes to you and describes a situation (like a problem at work or in class), he expects that you will give him advice and help him solve the problem, because that’s what he would do for you.

Do you see the problem? When he offers advice and you’re expecting understanding, you feel that your feelings are invalidated or that he’s trivializing your problems.

When you offer sympathy and understanding and he’s expecting advice and a solution to the problem, he feels that you’re putting him down.

You may feel that his joke-telling is making fun of your situation. He may feel that your comforting is treating him like a child.

Now’s the time to toss out absolutely EVERYthing you’ve ever heard about or learned about communication (unless you’ve taken my class…cuz that’s the right stuff!).

Here’s the deal: it’s not the words that are the source of lover’s spats (or full-blown arguing).

For you to have ah-mah-zing communication with your partner, you need to stop listening to the words being spoken.

Big. Huge.Important.

Yep, you heard read me right. Stop listening to the words.

Come back next week and I’ll show you what to tune into in your intimate relationships, so you can have the kind of couple communication that very few couples are able to achieve.

Can you think of specific instances where your feelings were hurt because you felt that your guy wasn’t “listening” to you? If you look at the situation again with his genderlect in mind, does this change your perception of his response to you?

Photo Credit: flickr.com

The Elusive G-Spot: The Holy Grail or [Holy] Crap?

You can’t pick up a women’s magazine (or even a men’s magazine, for that matter!) without finding tips on how to locate and stimulate a woman’s G-spot.

Reporting that the G-spot is the Holy Grail of sexual experiences, and reporting that finding the G-spot will give a woman the most powerful and explosive orgasms (evah!), pop culture continues to claim that every woman has a G-spot, and that it’s just a matter of practice, practice, practice to find it.

But, are the claims about the G-spot myth… or reality? (It just dawned on me—how funny of an episode would this be on Myth Busters?!? Something along the lines of “Do ‘Fainting’ Goats Really Exist?”)

Myth? Reality? Does it even matter?

Scientific evidence is beginning to emerge.  To produce the types of intense orgasms said to originate from the G-spot, there must also be nerve endings in the vaginal area where the G-spot is said to be located.

A number of recent studies suggest that there is no area in the vagina that contains increased and/or concentrated nerve endings.  In short, the pop culture claims about the existence of the G-spot go well beyond the available scientific evidence.

But why does the “realness” of the G-spot even matter?

One researcher summed it up best when he said, “The G-spot is not just a point of minor anatomic interest. The G-spot seems to be widely accepted as being real…if the G-spot doesn’t exist, then many women have been seriously misinformed about their bodies and their sexuality.

Women who fail to ‘find’ their G-spot, because they fail to respond to stimulation as the G-spot myth suggests they should, may end up feeling sexually inadequate—and abnormal.”

Do you think that women do have a G-spot, and that science just hasn’t found the evidence of its existence yet? Have you ever felt sexually inadequate or that something is “wrong” with you because you (or your partner) couldn’t “find” your G-spot?

Boobless But Not Broken

It’s Pinktober. That most wonderful time of the year, National Breast Cancer Awareness month. The time of year when you can’t find a roll of white toilet paper at Target, much less an orange M&M or an Oreo with white icing.

That time of year where people everywhere remind people everywhere else that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives.

To be perfectly pinkly correct, I thought it might be a good idea to take a little detour to share something with you about my life. But as I sit here and think about it, we’re not really going off course at all….because what I have to share with you is as much about love, intimacy, sex, and relationships as it is anything else.

I’m the boobless girl behind the pink ribbons.

Fifteen years ago, I was diagnosed with DCIS, an intraductal breast carcinoma. I was 36-years-old. At the time I had four boys all under the age of 12, and I had just begun work on my PhD. And just two years prior to my diagnosis, I buried my mother who died of cancer (at the age of 57). Her sister died from breast cancer at the age of 39, her mother died of breast cancer at the age of 52, and a cousin, diagnosed with breast cancer just a few months after me, died at the age of 43.

Talk about a crappy roll of the genetic dice.

Ironically, it all started on a perfectly pink October day. And once it started, it was a runaway train…..

I found a lump and went to the doctor and he said “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it, I’m the doctor and I’ll do the worrying for you, come see me in 6 months,” and I thought “You’re crazy, I just buried my mom you [expletive], I’m not waiting!” so I found another doctor and [skip forward about 4 months of maaaaaaany tests and scans and needles and oh-so-painful biopsies but I still needed to be a good parent and an “A” student and a good little Christian who counted it all joy] she said, “Come into the kiss and cry room and I’ll give you the dreaded diagnosis, the diagnosis I know you know is coming because you saw my face when I drew the fluid out of your breast,” and so Dave and I sat in the low-lit room that had nothing but a box of Kleenex on the table, and we looked at each other and knew and she came in and said, “Both breasts need to be removed immediately to save your life!” and she expected us to cry but we didn’t even need the Kleenex because we were so dumbfounded and confused nothing made any sense so there were no tears and she explained how the breasts that fed all of my babies and gave my husband and I so much pleasure would be “removed” and how the surgical “procedure” would take about 12 hours and how the treatments would start about 4 weeks after the “procedure” and I had the “procedure” and the pain was indescribable and parenting and loving and living with 12 glass drain tubes and two IVs and 100s of stitches was ridiculously unbearable and insanely hilarious all at the same time and like every woman who had cancer before me, and every woman who has had or will have it since me, we took it minute by minute and sometimes we were incredibly strong and other times we were incredibly weak but we did it.

Whew.  We did it.  And that’s what Pinktober is all about.

Boobless, but not broken.

Come back tomorrow and I’ll share what we learned about love through the process.
Kelly
(Which, ironically, in Gaelic means “Warrior Princess.” In breast cancer survivor speak it means “bad ass”!!!)