What a Day for a Daydream: Sexual Fantasies

Research shows us that about 95 percent of the population say they fantasize about sex….and the other 5 percent lie.

Sexual fantasiesare sexual thoughts and images that we create in our minds. Everyone fantasizes about sex, and it’s the most common daydream people have—it’s also the most common type of sexual behavior that people engage in.

Understanding your sexual fantasies is important, because it helps you to better understand “who” you are as a sexual person, and fantasies give you great insight into your unique sexual script.

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He Said She Said

Okay, so by this point you get it. You get that love is different things to different people. You get that love is different things to the same couple at different times.

You get that your definition of love is under constant construction, and that your love map (and your partner’s) changes over time. You get that early in a relationship, because of passionate love, couples are eager to care for one another and they’re highly motivated to satisfy each other’s emotional needs, to nurture one another’s love needs.

You get that, as you self-disclose, intimacy levels deepen in the relationship, to the point where you and your partner become mutually dependent and reliant on each other for the fulfillment of your intimacy and love needs. You get that when your love needs are met, you feel happy and content.

But guess what? There’s one more puzzle piece we need to put into place in order to complete the picture: Men and women don’t prioritize love needs in the same ways.

Big.

Huge.

Important.

 

She Said: Women’s top five emotional needs are affection, conversation, family commitment [check out the Sexuality tab fellas, and see why this leads to a super-charged sex life], support/help around the house [see previous bracketed note], and honesty/openness.

He Said: Men’s top five emotional needs are admiration/respect [check out the Relationships tab gals, and see how this leads to deeper intimacy], sexual fulfillment, physical attraction [don’t rush out for a boob job just yet, gals], recreational companionship, and honesty.

What do you think about this stuff? Is this similar to your experiences?

Is it realistic to expect that your partner can meet all of your needs?



Photo Credit: daedrius (flickr.com)

The Kiss Still Works

I stand by the bed where a young woman lies, her face postoperative, her mouth twisted in palsy, clownish. A tiny twig of the facial nerve, the one to the muscles of her mouth, has been severed. She will be thus from now on.

The surgeon had followed with religious fervor the curve of her flesh; I promise you that.

Nevertheless, to remove the tumor in her cheek, I had to cut the little nerve.

Her young husband is in the room. He stands on the opposite side of the bed and together they seem to dwell in the evening lamplight, isolated from me, private.

Who are they, I ask myself, he and this wry mouth I have made, who gaze at and touch each other so generously, greedily?

The young woman asks, “Will my mouth always be like this?”

“Yes,” I say, “it will. It’s because the nerve was cut.”

She nods and is silent. But the young man smiles. “I like it,” he says. “It’s kind of cute.”

Unmindful, he bends to kiss her crooked mouth and I am so close I can see how he twists his own lips to accommodate to hers, to show her that their kiss still works.

What is it that strikes you most about this story?


Source: Selzer, 1978.
Photo Credit: Bob.Fornal (flickr.com)

Lovin’, Touchin’, and Squeezin’: What’s Your Sexual IQ Score?

Touching him. Touching her. Licking. Biting. Tickling. Sighing. Cuddling. Fighting. Hesitating. Giving out. Giving in.

Fighting it. Faking it. Wanting it.

What is sex?

Just like love, no two people have the same idea of what “sex” is because your sexuality is continuously under construction.

And, just like your love map, every experience—from how and what your parents taught you about sex, to boyfriends and girlfriends, to hook ups, to sexual experimentations, to looking at porn mags or flicks, to lovers, to friends, to sex ed—you create an internalized sexual rule book.

You create your sexual script, or your sexual IQ. Your script literally directs every aspect of your sex life, every belief and attitude you have about sex:

  • It tells you who you can have sex with (Same-sex or opposite sex? Older than you, much older than you? Younger than you, much younger than you?)
  • It tells you how to have sex (Oral? Anal? Missionary position only?)
  • It directs how often you have sex (Six times a week? A month? A year?)
  • It determines where you have sex (Just the bedroom? In an elevator? Somewhere you can possibly be caught or seen?)
  • It tells you when you can have sex (Before marriage? Before college? Only in the mornings? Only at night?)
  • It directs why you have sex (Love? Lust? Anger? Fun? Play? Boredom? Jealousy? Revenge?)

When it comes to sex, most of us know what goes where—and why.

But sex is so. much. more. than knowing that Tab A almost always fits into Tab B.

So.

Much.

More.

So, over the next few weeks I’m going to give you the best go-down low-down sex information that’s out there…not pop-culture information. But the truth. Can you handle it?

I can promise you this: If you stick with this, your sex life—and your relationship—will be incredibly energized and invigorated. And you might even learn a new position or two.

So, let’s get started. The first thing you and your partner need to do is determine your sexual IQ score. Take the quiz here.

Be sure to come back and report your scores so I know what your base level was before you took on this truth challenge!

 

Photo Credit: EssG (flickr.com)

What’s Your Love Triangle Score?

Do you want a marriage that lasts? Do you want to live [almost] happily ever after? Then consummate love (not to be confused with consommé soup!) is what you want to strive for!

Consummate love is thought to be the most complete form of love, the love that’s associated with “perfect couples.”  Consummate means to develop something or to bring something to the point of perfection.

A perfect marriage? For real?  Yep.

Psychologist Robert Sternberg developed his Triangle Theory of Love, which conceptualizes eight different types of love relationships. Sternberg says that love isn’t a fixed experience—it’s a process that undergoes change over time, and it’s made up of three main things:

1.Intimacy:Feelings of closeness and connectedness deepen as we self-disclose—the more we disclose about private aspects of our lives, the deeper the trust becomes (and, the deeper the trust, the more we disclose). This trust, in turn, builds respect, affection, warmth, and the spiritual bond between couples. Intimacy takes time—and nurturing—to build, but it’s a prominent feature of love that lasts.

2.Passion: This refers to the physical attraction and romantic feelings that draw us to someone. Passion is the initial driving force in relationships. But it peaks quickly, and over time, reduces to a stable level (otherwise, we couldn’t get anything else accomplished!). At the same time, though, intimacy levels rise.

[PUSH THE PAUSE BUTTON:When passion begins to fade, it’s a good sign that the love is transitioning to a calmer love—to consummate love, a love that lasts! You are not falling out of love! The relationship is not over! Do not bail out! Stick it out, talk, and watch what happens next!]

3.Commitment: Simply put: Commitment is the decision to love someone else and to maintain the love over time. Loving another person is a conscious act of will—it is a deliberate choice. It’s putting forth your best effort in a relationship. No matter what.

I’ll be the first one to tell you that developing consummate love is tough. And maintaining it is even tougher.

That’s why I’m determined to write this blog, to help you get to that kind of love that no one can compete with! That kind of love that is so crazy hot Goliath himself couldn’t take you out of it. That kind of love you see in others and say to yourself (or out loud), I want that!

Stop in later and I’ll show you how all of this stuff about love ties together. In the meantime, time for another pop quiz!  Go here to see what kind of triangle of love you have. (When it asks for forename, it’s asking for your partner’s first name. It took me a second to figure that out. J).

 

 

Photo Credit: B Rosen (flickr.com)

 

Mr. Happy Gets Married

The other dayI introduced you to Mr. Happy and his “Stop! Don’t use that pole anywhere near her no-no hole” sex advice.

But Mr. Happy’s “secrets of sexual intimacy” don’t end there.  It looks like a night of explosive, make-Mr.-Happy-blow-like-Mr.-Mount-Vesuvius sex starts with the wifey.

“Ladies, learn how to wrap yourself, to wrap the room in a seductive allure tailor-made to your husband.” [Observation #1: Tailor-made to my husband?? That would mean something involving snow. And ski poles. There’s no way this can end well.]

But Mr. Happy’s wife seems to be an eager beaver (oh yes I did), so let’s see what gets him going.

Meet Mrs. Headlights (I am so not kidding).

“There’s this thing we men talk about called ‘headlights.’” [Observation #2: Ummm……I think pre-pubescent boys sneaking a peak at the lingerie section of the J.C. Penny’s catalog—or Popular Mechanics—talk about ‘headlights.’ Mr. Happy: Puberty called and suggests you give it another go.]

I wonder why headlights are so important? I mean, in the bedroom, not on the highway.  I’m sure Mr. Happy has an explanation. Let’s find out.

“When you’re a young boy watching the women’s Olympic diving competition, you might get together with your buddies and mention one swimmer’s ‘amazing headlights.’” [Observation #3: ‘Nuff said.]

I couldn’t understand the significance of this little how-to-make-Mr.-Happy-really-really-happy-with-your-headlights tidbit, but reading on I learned this: Apparently, a guy’s explosive volcanic eruptions are at your fingertips tonguetips nippletips, gals.

“What am I talking about? Nipples. When a man can see a woman’s nipples through the fabric she is wearing…we get weak in the knees at the right presentation.”

<things your mamma never taught you>


“I don’t know anything more alluring than a satiny top being pushed from underneath by your wife’s two nipples.” [Observation #4: Wait, what? What does Mr. Happy want with your wife’s nipples?]

Apparently, here’s all it takes to make Mr. Happy blow his top tip:

“Now, here’s how you build on your presentation, girls. Let’s say your husband hears the shower running at 10:30 PM. Just the sound of the water makes him frisky.” [Observation #5: Silly Viagra makers. All it really takes is a leaky faucet, not an erection-in-a-bottle.]

<you can’t make this stuff up, people>

“When his wife walks out sporting a new nightie that conveniently displays those headlights, he’s suddenly a little boy. [Observation #6: There's something seriously, seriously wrong with this statement!]

“A lot of men would jog five miles just to see that in their own bedroom. [Observation #7: See Observation #3]. That scenario alone could bring a good number of American men straight to orgasm!” [Observation #8:Gone in 60 Secondsmuch?]

Look, I’m all for great sex advice. No matter what studies you look at, sex problems are always pretty close to the top of the list when it comes to divorce because great sex is really important to a couple’s overall relationship satisfaction and happiness.

But folks, sex advice that reduces a woman to a sexual object—using her [nipples] as an instrument (object) towards your own sexual pleasure—almost always results in regarding her as a commodity and ignores her uniqueness as an individual.

Now, there’s no problem with a guy being attracted to a particular area (or every area, for that matter) of his gal’s body. There’s nothing wrong with her being attracted to any/every part of his body.

But when a books uses four pages—count ‘em, four pages—to talk about how excited Mr. Happy gets when he sees Mrs. Nipples Headlights…well….I have to wonder how Mrs. N-H benefits?

Stop by in a few days and we’ll talk about women’s sexual desire, arousal, and response…and why Mr. Happy needs to learn what makes Mrs. Headlights’ eyes roll back in her head.


Photo Credits: “Turn on your headlights” (Nikita Kashner, flickr.com); “Roof” (Thom Watson, flickr.com)

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

Attachmentis a developmental phase that we never outgrow.

Our experiences with early attachment relationships to our parents become the foundation on which all future love relationships are built—both our ability to love others, and to allow others to love us in return.

There are different classifications of adult love relationships:

·Secure attachment types: Like securely attached infants, secure adults have little difficulty seeking and maintaining closeness (physical, emotional, affectional) with another. They don’t fear being abandoned or losing their partner. They allow others to get close to them and depend on them. They experience enduring, happy, warm, trusting relationships.

·Avoidant attachment types: Avoidant types feel as though they never find “real” love. They are uncomfortable when too emotionally or physically close to another person. They show discomfort with intimacy and are hesitant to trust others. They find it difficult to allow themselves to depend on others.

·Anxious/ambivalent attachment types: Insecurity is the hallmark of this adult attachment type—it is not a matter of if a romantic partner leaves them, but when. With the constant fear or worry that the partner isn’t really in love with them, anxious/ambivalent adults cling to their partner and push for commitment. They may also withdraw and pull away before they get rejected.

What is your adult attachment style?  Take the quiz here!

Now that you have an understanding of your attachment type, reflect on how this understanding of “love” affects your marriage or your intimate relationship.

In what ways does this help you to better understand and appreciate your love map? How does it help you to better understand and appreciate your partner’s unique love map?



Photo Credit: Northern Star (flickr.com)

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

Why Does She Talk So Much?

Do women talk more than men?

As we grow up from infancy to adulthood, we’re taught how to be a “boy” or a “girl,” or a “man” or a “woman” in a lot of different ways. Each day we are bombarded with messages from society—from parents to teachers to friends to the media—that send very clear-cut gender cues, or the “correct” ways we’re supposed to act and think and feel.

And communication is no exception—boys learn how to communicate one way, girls learn how to communicate another way.

According to one researcher, men and women are taught so differently about how to communicate (and in what they focus on when they talk) that it’s as if they understand communication messages in entirely different ways!

In other words—you may think you are clearly expressing yourself, and you just may be….but that doesn’t mean that she’s hearing the intended content of your messages!

Is it any wonder that these different genderlects lead to so many problems, misunderstandings, tensions—and all out shouting matches—between couples?!?

Don’t give up just yet! Once you know how and why women communicate the way they do, you’ll be better able to adjust your communication styles—and responses!—so that tensions and arguments are minimized and intimacy flourishes.

You see, in any type of communication, there’s the message (the actual words spoken), and the underlying message (there’s a ridiculously long research term for this…we’ll just call it the genderlect).

As girls grow up, they’re taught to be the caretakers and keepers of relationships. If there’s a problem with a friend or a relationship, girls are encouraged to “Talk it out.” “Sit down and just hear each other out.” “Just listen and it will all work out.”

In essence, girls are taught throughout their entire lives to:

·Talk about “it”: Whatever “it” happens to be—like being angry about something that happened at work two months ago, or seeing a new pair of shoes that are super cute, or thinking out loud about what she should do next, or asking how your day went.

·Connect: Women are often referred to as “kin keepers” because they hold relationships and families together. They’re taught from a very young age that keeping each other connected in the relationship is their responsibility. This is why they talk, talk, talk, talk, talk—to ensure that everything’s okay and on track with you as a couple.

·Understand and care: Women’s primary means of communication is showing sympathy, understanding, and care. When someone (you, a friend, a family member) is hurting, this shows that they are being 100% supportive (even in situations where it may not make sense to be that involved or caring).

Talking, connecting, understanding, caring—this is the way women experience their relationships. It’s the way they assess the status of all of their friendships and intimate relationships.

<This is probably why gals can’t go to the restroom without a circle of friends!>

It’s crucial that men understand that women have different genderlects than they do: When your gal is upset or has had a bad day or she just wants to talk about nothing in particular, she expects you to respond to her the same way that she would respond to you.

She expects you to respond in a caring, understanding, and connected way. She expects you to listen to every word she’s saying (as long as it takes), because that’s the response that she would give to you or to anyone else that she cares about.

This isn’t to say that you don’t care—it just means that you express your love and care for her in different ways than she expresses it for you.

And that’s why it’s so important that she understands your genderlect.

Stop by in a couple of days and I’ll talk about men’s genderlects, and how couples can best merge their differing communication cultures.

Your thoughts?  Do you think that gender differences are what make guy/gal communication so difficult? Or do you think that there might be something else at play?

Photo Credit: Feuillu (flickr.com)

REAL Sex!

Real sex isn’t about explosive, perfectly timed orgasms (every time, no less). It’s not about two beautiful, perfect bodies performing in perfect, rhythmic sync.

Real sex isn’t about lingerie and striptease and lap dances and stripper poles and blow jobs and perfect hair and makeup (every night?!?). Real sex isn’t even always about pleasing your partner or him/her pleasing you.

Real sex is so. much. more. than our sex-saturated society and these well-intended books that my friend talked about portray.

Real sex means that sometimes you don’t feel like sex, and your partner understands. It means telling your partner what you want and what you need and your partner respecting those wants and needs.

Real sex means the “hot spots” are there because you put them there: Your partner is beautiful and sexy and sensual and delicious and hawt because that’s how you see him or her—and you treat him/her that way every day.

Real sex means being interrupted, perhaps even at the moment of orgasm, because your child just threw up in the bedroom next to yours or the UPS guy just pulled up in the driveway. And sometimes it means that you can’t get aroused because there are just too many bills to pay or there’s just too much work to do.

Real sex means reaching out to your partner out of anger or disappointment, exhilaration or desperation, loneliness or celebration. It means clinging helplessly to your partner because you just received word of your mother’s terminal illness, or because you just buried your child.

And with breast cancer, real sex means navigating around the tubes and innumerable stitches in her chest because the cancer wouldn’t let go. It means longing for, aching for, and memorizing your very ill wife’s body….because you just don’t know what will happen next.

Real sex—the hottest sex you’ll ever have in your life—isn’t about whatever secrets Victoria has to offer this season. No, no, no. Victoria herself doesn’t even know the secret to keep-you-up-all-night sex!

But breast cancer survivors and their co-survivors know…..They know that the emotional and spiritual connections to a lover is what makes it impossible to keep their hands off of each other.

They know what real sex is.

And maybe that’s just about the greatest gift that breast cancer gave me….and that I give to each of you.

Photo Credit: enchanteurs (flickr.com)