this is all about real life of love sex passion and fear.. i hope you're guys enjoy with my blog..

Jul 31, 2008

13 differences between women and men

1. Names:
If Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara go out for lunch, they will call each other Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara.

If Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Scrappy.

2. Eating out:
When the bill arrives, Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom will each throw in a $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want the change back.

When the women get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

3. Money:
A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.

A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.

4. Bathrooms:
A man has five items in his bathroom: a toothbrush, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel from the Marriott.

The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.

5. Arguments:
A woman has the last word in any argument.

Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

6. Cats:
Women love cats.

Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats.

7. Future:
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.

A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

8. Success:
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.

A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

9. Marriage:
A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.

A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change and she does.

10. Dressing up:
A woman will dress up to go shopping, to water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, and read the mail.

A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

11. Natural:
Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.

Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

12. Offspring:
Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favourite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.

A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

13. Final thought:
Any married man should forget his mistakes.

There's no use in two people remembering the same thing

How safe is oral sex?

by Ashtyn Evans

Somewhere along the line, oral sex supposedly became "the sex that won’t cause HIV." Unfortunately, that isn't true. It may not be as common as with other forms of sexual activity, but oral sex can indeed cause HIV.

The workplace hookup: A Q&A with Helaine Olen

BY Margeaux Baulch

With Americans now averaging over 50 hours a week at the office, it’s not surprising that more and more people are hooking up at work. After meeting their own husbands while on the clock, writers Helaine Olen and Stephanie Losee co-authored the book Office Mate: The Employee Handbook for Finding and Managing Romance on the Job. SheKnows recently sat down with Olen to discuss the ins and outs of workplace amour.

Office Romance

Helaine Olen:
Office dating replicates the old-fashioned courting rituals of 100 years ago. You get to know someone slowly over a period of time and it allows you to notice the subtle traits that indicate whether that person would make a good partner or not. Meeting someone at a bar, you are forced to rely on first impressions that aren’t always correct. You might reject someone because you don’t like their t-shirt.

Q: In the book, you refer to online dating as the romance equivalent of the Wild West. What did you mean by that?

A: People aren’t always honest online. At work, you can see what other people think of him and probably human resources did some screening as well. Also, if you are sifting through 200 profiles online, you are dealing with a lot of information up front. Just because you like jazz music and he likes rap doesn’t mean you’re incompatible.

Q: Is it okay to date someone above or below you on the corporate food chain?

A: If you are dating your direct boss or subordinate, then I always say that it better be true love. You should be able to see the mortgage, the kids, the station wagon, everything, in the future. Most companies don’t have rules about office dating anymore -- they’d just prefer to stay out of it -- but the ones that do tend to focus on this type of relationship because it is the most dicey and issue-ridden. However, Bill Gates dated several people in the office, including his now wife, so it can work out, you just have to be careful.

Q: What should a woman do if she is the recipient of unwanted attention?

Say ‘no’ firmly -- and if it continues, go to human resources. People often mix-up sexual harassment with office dating, but they’re two separate things. Sexual harassment is generally about putting a woman in her place, not trying to date her.

Q: Is it better to keep things discreet or go public with your romance?

Just because you think you’re keeping it secret doesn’t mean that it is. If it’s just a one-night stand, then there’s a good chance no one will find out. But if you’re dating someone seriously, eventually your co-workers will catch on. So it’s best to subtly let people know by turning up at an office function together or casually slipping it into a conversation.

Q: What about all of the tales of office romances turned sour?

A: Most horror stories are usually the result of someone not handling a break-up well. If you are going to walk around the office whining and moping after a break-up, there’s a good chance you will get fired. So the key is to stay professional. Act courteously, don’t dish to co-workers or send personal emails, no lingering at his desk. You have to behave like he’s any other co-worker. Another idea we discuss in the book is having a break-up prenup. This means sitting down at the beginning of the relationship and discussing how you will handle a break-up theoretically. People put in clauses like ‘No badmouthing the other person,’ or ‘We won’t confront each other in the elevator or send a hundred emails’ -- things like that.

Any final thoughts?

A: There is a much greater integration of the personal and work lives among the Facebook generation, and I’ve come across a lot of 20-somethings who think it’s bizarre that office dating is considered taboo or that people try to keep it quiet. We’ve had mixed-sex offices for over 30 years now, so you could say that workplace dating has really come of age.

Jul 30, 2008

Attraction in action

Have you ever met someone and thought, "I really want to be her friend!" What attracts us to some people more than others? And are there traits we should seek out in relationships? In this article, personal coach Julie Jordan Scott shares with us the secrets of attraction.

Simplicity of attraction Attraction, put quite simply, is that which draws together: people or objects, ideas, products, opportunities.. Many commonly held precepts are borne from this simple definition, such as "like attracts like" and "bird of a feather, flock together."

Someone casually leaves a scrap of paper on the floor, soon there are multiple scraps of paper on the floor beside it. Without concerted effort, there will soon be a huge pile of scrap paper all over the floor.

It is seen in Junior High Schools across the world. The kids who like this style of music all crowd together. This lunch room table is populated by kids in the computer club and that corner of the hallway is reserved for the jocks.

Positive vs. negative thought There were two women who began their careers at a pharmaceutical company at the same time. They had the same level of education. Their families were from neighboring communities in Suburban New York. One of the women made an effort to attract positive people, attitudes and thoughts into her life. She brought forth almost immediate success.

Her colleague, on the other hand, always thought negatively. She would say to herself, "There are lots of opportunities here at ABC Pharmaceuticals BUT they would never promote me because I am too (insert your favorite negative attribute here). People might talk positively, yet think negatively almost incessantly, feeding the powerful subconscious a steady diet of negativity."

The book of Proverbs reinforces the law of attraction by stating, "As a man thinks, so is he."

Invitations to the world What you think, you bring into your life. Subconsciously or consciously, you decide what invitations you send to the world. One step further, you even decide who or what is going to RSVP. Make sure your guest list includes that which you want in your life, rather than what you do not want in your life. There are several simple steps to begin the process of attracting like a magnet exactly what you want to attract. By doing so, you will naturally repel those people, situations, ideas away from yourself as well.

  • Be deliberate in your verbal language as well as your self-talk. Listen carefully to what you tell yourself about yourself. When you hear yourself saying something contrary, literally tell yourself "STOP!" and replace it with a different belief, theory or reality.
  • Spend time with people who also want to attract positive opportunities into their lives. Have you ever noticed people who focus whole heartedly on "Most people think X" and lament the horrors of "most people" or who complain or nit-pick every small situation on the planet. All day long these people are like a leaking faucet dripping garbage. And what do they attract? More garbage, so they can continue to feed the drip. Avoid them like the plague they produce!
  • Take positive action, eliminate negative action. Be sure your positive thoughts are matched by positive actions and positive habits. You will come increasingly magnetic as all the components work in harmony.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used the metaphor of an arrow and gravity in his view of attraction: "If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it; Every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth." As you are experimenting with using your magnetism, simply aim high. See what you bring forth. Attract magnetically and magnificently.

Chocolate is for lovers!

Chocolate is the food of the aristocracy, children, soldiers and lovers. Once heralded as a cure-all, advertisers now market it as a "sinful delight." It lives up to its Greek botanical name -- theobroma cacao -- "food of the gods."

Chocolate history

According to Toltec and Aztec myth, the feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl first brought the cocoa seeds down from heaven and taught humans how to grow cocoa trees. The Aztec drank it on ceremonial occasions calling it cacahuatl -- foam water -- they mixed it with grounded hot peppers and poured the thick drink from one vessel to another till it foamed. Aristocratic couples would share a drink during their marriage ceremony. The difficult-to-grow cocoa beans were so prized they were used as currency, like gold was in Europe.

At Aztec court, Cortez drank the beverage in a golden goblet. Before the Spanish could cultivate vineyards in the New World, they took over cocoa plantations. The new arrivals to Mexico began to mix sugar and vanilla with chocolate so it was no longer a bitter spicy drink. The Spanish soldiers would stay alert longer and fight better drinking chocolate and it wasn't intoxicating like alcohol. In Spain, doctors praised it as a beneficial drink with medicinal properties. They used it to treat sore throats, fevers and to ease difficult pregnancies. Priests and nuns drank chocolate during fasts. Monasteries were in charge of growing cocoa and for almost 100 years the Spanish guarded the secret of chocolate.

No one knows who was responsible for leaking the secret. It could have been Antonia Carletti, an Italian traveler, who might have discovered chocolate and spread the word to the rest of Europe. Other sources credit Spanish-born Princess Anna of Austria who married the King of France, Louise XIII. Soon the French started Chocolate houses and clubs and they sprang up all over Europe. Madame Du Berry in France served it to her various lovers to keep their strength up. Europeans treasured chocolate as a special treat, an aphrodisiac as well as cure for all ailments.

Many countries contributed to the art, science and technology of chocolate. A Dutch chemist, Coenraad Johannes Van Houten, discovered a way to extract cocoa oil and produce chocolate powder cheaply, making it available to almost everyone including children. Daniel Peter in Switzerland mixed cocoa with condensed milk creating milk chocolate in 1876. Manufacturers used steam engine to grind cocoa beans and chocolate. Chocolate factories sprouted up, producing chocolate bars with added ingredients like raisins and nuts.

The birth of the chocolate bar
In 1674, people started eating chocolate in stick solid form but mass production was not possible. A small group of Quakers took over chocolate production in the nineteenth century England. They saw chocolate as a healthy non-alcoholic drink and food for the lower classes. Fry and Sons mass-produced eating, solid chocolate bars in 1847.

Since the American Civil War, chocolate has feed armies. Hershey's supplied the American army with chocolate bars as part of their rations. The bars provided soldiers with fast, portable energy.

Chocolate is for lovers
In Europe, chocolate obtained the reputation as an aphrodisiac and the food of love, shortly after its arrival. Manufacturers and artists can mould chocolates in an endless variety of shapes. They are treats for almost every holiday, but chocolate has special meaning for Valentine's Day. The Italians most popular chocolates are Baci -- meaning kisses -- filled with cherry and hazelnuts. They also have little messages in each silver wrapper. Italian lovers started to exchange boxes of these chocolates in the 1920s.

Chocolate is one of the most versatile and beloved foods in the world. Belgium is at the forefront of creating and marketing luxury chocolates to adults. It's a new idea with a long tradition.

A game for love

To some, intimacy means snuggling in front of a roaring fire. To others, it means reading a book together or watching a steamy movie. But achieving intimacy requires communication. If your relationship is in need of a tune-up, plan an evening alone and play a game for love.

Getting to know you
Whether you've been with your partner for many years or you're just starting a new relationship, building true intimacy is crucial in developing a strong and loving relationship. Often we work hardest to develop intimacy in the initial stages of a relationship, and become somewhat lax in our efforts in the ensuing years.

For those couples just starting out, sharing your deepest thoughts, fears, hopes and desires brings you closer together and helps to form strong and lasting bonds. As relationships continue to develop -- couples marry, have children and become more involved in their careers -- it's important to continue working at building intimacy. This helps us as couples to stay connected and adds to the security, happiness and fulfillment of the relationship.

It might sound a bit comical, but by playing a simple game which has been around forever, it's easy and fun to build intimacy. Remember the game Twenty Questions? We've all played it in one form or another. This can be a terrific tool in helping even the most reserved to open up to their partners.

Twenty QuestionsTwenty Questions is a very easy and straight-forward game to play. Each person takes a turn asking a question which must be answered honestly and as completely as possible by their partner. You can take turns asking questions -- one at a time, or you can each take a turn asking all twenty questions in a row. The key is to ask open-ended questions - questions which cannot be answered by a simple Yes or No. Moreover, taking time to develop great questions will only serve to make the game more interesting and revealing.

Even those who have been together for many years are often amazed by what they learn about their partner in playing this game. Past experiences and memories are often revealed, deep thoughts and emotions can be brought to the surface, a issue or desire may be shared, etc.

The point, whether you use this technique or not, is to continue to communicate on a meaningful level. We never stop growing and are forever changing, making it that much more important for couples to share their deepest thoughts, fears, and needs with each other on a regular basis. Those couples who work to build intimacy find their relationships much more loving and rewarding, and as such, enables them to better deal with the occasional problem or issue that comes along in all relationships.

If you feel your relationship lacks intimacy or you're looking for a bit of a tune-up, plan an evening alone, put on some soft music, cuddle up next to the fire, take out your list of questions, and play a game for love.

Gay and Lesbian Couples Handle Conflict Better Than Straights

Study Compares Gays and Straights and Relationship Success

By Kathy Belge

I’ve always had a personal theory that lesbian couples get along better than straights because as women, we’re better communicators. We’ve been socialized to express our feelings and can share them more readily with a partner. Well, it turns out that that theory has been backed up by scientific research.

The Gottman Institute out of Seattle conducted a 12-year study of gay and lesbian couples to determine what makes them succeed or fail. Even though we have many of the same problems as heterosexual couples, same-sex couples actually have some better coping mechanisms. The Gottman Study looked at how couples deal with conflict and was reported in 2004.

Gay and Lesbian Couples Deal with Conflict in an Upbeat Manner

When it comes to conflicts, gay and lesbian couples are more likely to use affection and humor in a disagreement than straights. And gay and lesbian couples are more likely to remain positive when hearing about a disagreement from their partners. “Straight couples may have a lot to learn from gay and lesbian relationships,” Dr. John Gottman says.

Gays and Lesbians Use Fewer Hostile Emotional Tactics

Gottman discovered in his studies that gay and lesbian couples put more of an emphasis on power-sharing versus power-over dynamics. In a study out of the University of California at Berkeley, Robert Levenson discovered gay and lesbian partners display less belligerence, domination and fear with each other than straight couples do.

Gays Take it Less Personally

In a fight, straight couples are more likely to “hurt” their partner with a negative comment. For gay and lesbian couples, positive comments have more of an impact, making the partner feel good about him or herself and negative comments don’t affect them as negatively. “This trend suggests that gay and lesbian partners have a tendency to accept some degree of negativity without taking it personally,” Gottman says.

Lesbians Show More Emotion Than Gay Men

When fighting, lesbian show more anger, humor, excitement and interest than gay men. This may be because women are raised to share their emotions more readily than men.

Kiss Like a Pro

The Fine Art of Kissing

From By Tracy Bartlett

Kissing is a fundamental erotic art, but it seems to get neglected as such, even though kissing is often where the whole game starts. Like all erotic arts, it is a skill that can be improved upon, and your best teachers are your lovers and friends. Kissing is an entire erotic world unto itself as well as a form of sexual communication. How you kiss telegraphs information about what kind of lover you will be. Being a good kisser will maker her want more. Bon appetit!

Let Anticipation Build

Rushing it is the single most common mistake (meaning erotic-energy reducer) lovers make. Flirt until she’s moving closer to you. Stay close until she’s aching for you to kiss her (if you’re not sure, ask: “I’d like very much to kiss you right now, may I?”). Kiss her softly until you feel the urgency to build to kiss deeper. You get the idea.

Vary Techniques

Avoid the mindset where you can’t “go back” to something you’ve done earlier. Soft kisses complement deep, hard kisses. A particularly fabulous hand job may inspire you to kiss all her fingers in appreciation. Punctuate mouth kisses with kissing/sucking her neck, inside the bend of her elbow, behind the knees, armpit and so on.

Surprise Her

Keep her on her toes by varying the types of kisses you deliver. For example, most people expect a peck when parting company in public. Every so often, plant a big, wet sloppy one on her at the bus stop. Likewise, remember to occasionally press her up against the wall, tangle your fist tightly in her hair, growl, “You look good enough to eat” in her ear, then kiss her softly and dash off to work.

Remember Make-Out Sessions?

They’re still hot! So take your date, friend or wife to the drive-in and make out through the whole movie. Invite friends over to play spin the bottle. Hey, we’re big kids now--we can do whatever we want!

Try Sensory Deprivation

While kissing, try sliding your hands up over her ears so your palms form a seal to block out sound. With eyes closed, this added sensory deprivation serves to heighten the tactile sense and focus her attention so that your mouth becomes her whole world.

Use Mouth Toys

Try kissing and passing objects between you. Grapes and cherries work particularly well. I ca can certainly add a thrilling sensation while kissing(not to mention the places that might enjoy the caress of an icy tongue). Wine or sparking water can be passed from one mouth to another, introducing the sensation of “drinking her in.” Gravity can help with that last maneuver --position yourself slightly higher and let the wine spill from your mouth to hers.

Talk Sexy

Of course I am not suggesting interspersing kisses with excerpts from a lecture on federally supported municipal bonds. But sweet compliments whispered into her mouth are very likely to be welcome. It’s flattering to be observed in detail, so describe to her (in your sexiest voice) the smell of her hair, what you thought when you first saw her that night, how hot you are for her, how you’ve been watching her for an hour, what you hope to be doing to her later.

Weave Kissing Throughout Sex

Make kissing a staple of lovemaking, not just a warm-up act. Kissing is appropriate anytime. After oral sex, it’s a fabulous taste treat. There’s a powerful intimacy involved in joining mouths and breath. Try keeping your mouths together and breathing as you get close to orgasm. Don’t try to navigate tongues; just let your open mouths touch so that you’re hot, panting and your mutters of “yes…yes…” go right into each other’s mouths.

Observe Her

We tend to give what we want to get, so pay attention to her style and technique. Does she push her tongue deep into your throat? Does she nibble you lips? Does she kiss with her lips for a long time before using her tongue? How much pressure does she use pressing her mouth to yours?


This is, of course, as with any sexual activity, the most important skill. There’s such a huge variety of desires that it is impossible to “just know” everything she likes and doesn’t like. There also needs to be room to discover new desires. Try setting aside time for kissing play that isn’t in the heat of passion (but could lead to that). Use that time to educate and explore. Kiss for a while, then talk playfully, but in detail, about what you like and what you would change. Take time to tell stories that reveal erotic patterns (e.g., your first lover kissed you in the woods at summer camp, so the smell of pine is a turn-on for you). The more you practice (as with any skill), the more comfortable it will get. The more you get to know each other in this type of setting, the more knowledge you’ll have when you’re in the sweet thick of it.


  • Don’t assume she likes what you like. Ask. Experiment.
  • Don’t ask sweeping questions such as, “What do you like?” If talking in detail is difficult for someone (which is true for most of us), this is too overwhelming a question. Instead, ask for the responses to specific actions. (“Do you like it when I suck on your lower lip?” “I’ll start soft and get harder; tell me when it’s too hard.” “Do you want me to push my tongue farther into your mouth when you are more turned on?”)
  • Don’t kiss with cold sores. Keep the gift that keeps on giving to yourself, gals! Those unfortunate irritating outbreaks can challenge us to be erotically creative! Go thing we can’t get them on our hand, eh?
  • Don’t rush into using your tongue. Kissing with just lips with a soft open mouth is a delicious sensation and a strong anticipation builder. Be a tease.

Lesbian Sex Drives: When Your Sex Drives Are Not the Same

How to Cope with Different Sex Drives in a Lesbian Relationship

By Kathy Belge

If there is one question I get more than any other, it’s from couples who have different sex drives. They’re too embarrassed to talk to their friends about it and with each other, the issue becomes so heated they can't talk about it. Both partners are left frustrated with no place to turn.

The first thing you need to know is that you are not alone. According to Michelle Weiner-Davis, author of The Sex-Starved Marriage, one in every three couples suffers from sex drive differences. She, of course, is writing about straight married couples, but therapists that I know assure me that this is the number one issue that couples come into counseling for: whether lesbian, gay or straight.

Yet, despite it’s prevalence, it seems we have very few tools to deal with this issue. Some people have low sex drives. Others have high sex drives. You may be very happy to have sex one or two times a year. Your partner might want it every day. You might feel like you’re the one to always initiate sex and most times your advances are turned down. You feel rejected, unloved, unattractive and insecure. How can you talk about this range of emotions with your partner, when she just “doesn’t get it?”

Likewise, if you are the one who has a lower sex drive, you don’t understand what the big fuss is. You show her you love her everyday by cuddling, telling her you love her and doing little things for her around the house. Sex just isn’t that important to you. You express your closeness, intimacy and love in a different way.

Having a low or high sex drive is not the issue. How it affects your relationship is. If one of you loves to go to the movies and the other doesn’t, no big deal. She can go alone, or find a friend to go with. Sex, however, is quite a different matter. Sure you can masturbate. And you should. Masturbation can solve your need for orgasm, but it doesn’t fulfill that part of you that longs to be close to your partner, experience passion with another person and feel sexy and desired.

Why is this an Issue?

I hear time and time again from lesbians, after they break up, that lack of sex was an issue. They loved their partner deeply, but just didn’t want to live a sexless life. Others are just frustrated because their partners expect them to be monogamous, yet, aren’t having sex with them. Some step out and have affairs. Dealing with different sex drives is not something that will just go away if you ignore it. This article will help you explore some solutions for getting your relationship back.

What Can You Do: If You’re The One with a Low Sexual Drive

First and foremost, find a way to talk about the issue with your partner. Communication and understanding are key to solving this problem. Do you understand why you have a low sex drive? Are you taking medications that affect your libido? Are you depressed or do you have a poor body image? Were you the victim of sexual abuse and does that affect your ability to be intimate?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, they are all valid reasons for having a low sex drive. But they are also issues that can be addressed with a professional--a therapist, your doctor. It’s your life. Take control of it!

Recognize Your Power

The person in the relationship with a low sex drive is often the one who controls how often the couple will have sex. Your partner initiates, you turn her down, no sex happens. Isn’t a relationship supposed to be 50/50, sharing and taking care of one another? In an ideal world, I guess. But the reality is, nothing in a relationship is equal. If one of you makes more money than the other, there can be a power imbalance. In the case of sex, it’s the one with less who usually has to power. She asks, you turn her down. You might not even care, or want to change. That too gives you power. But if your lack of sex drive is causing problems in your relationship, you need to make some changes too. Here are some ideas to try.

Have Sex

You may not feel like having sex. You’re not in the mood, you’re tired and you just want to sit on the couch eat ice cream and watch American Idol. But your lover is giving you that look, she’s rubbing your feet and her hands are starting to move up your body….what do you do? Yes, you have a right to say no. No one should be made to do something they don’t want to, but why not say “yes” for a change? The way human sexual response works is that many people may not start out “in the mood,” but once they get going, their sexual energy rises and they end up getting aroused and enjoying sex. Why not see if that works for you?

From time to time it is okay to have sex with your partner just to do so. Even if your needs are not satisfied, it is okay to do something for her and for her only from time to time. Pretend it’s her birthday and this is the one gift she really wants.

Take Charge of Your Limitations

Do you only want sex on weekends, while on vacation or after you’ve had a long bath? If you know that’s what you need to get in the right frame of mind for sex, then do those things. And then invite your partner to join you for love-making.

Make Yourself Sexy

When couples first get together, they usually have great sex, and then gradually it slows down. Aside from the hormones that were racing through your body, there were probably some things you did to make yourself sexy for your partner. Did you dress in sexy outfits, go out dancing or make sensuous meals and feed each other? Think back to a time when you did feel sexy and sexual and see if you can bring some of that back into your life. Likewise, have you gained weight, let your hair go or stopped working out now that you’re “settled?” If you don’t feel good about yourself, you’re not going to feel good about someone else getting intimate with you. Head back to the gym, buy a new outfit or get a sexy new haircut. Really, these things will help your sex life.

Don’t Just Say No

If you really don’t feel like having sex, instead of saying “No, Honey, not tonight. I’m tired.” Instead give her another option. How about on Saturday after your softball game? Or if you give me a back rub, then I’ll get in the mood.

For the Partner With the Higher Sex Drive: What Can You Do?

You love your partner. Sometimes just looking at her, you get turned on. She is sexy and funny and smart and you can’t wait to show her how you feel by making love to her. In your mind, you make a move and she’s right there with you. You fall together and make passionate love for hours. In reality, you make a move, she tells you she’s tired or not in the mood and you feel dejected and want to crawl into a corner. It wouldn’t be so bad, except you haven’t made love in months and it’s really starting to affect your self-esteem. You think she doesn’t love you anymore, she finds you unattractive or is mad at you about something else.

Probably none of that is true. Your lover just has a lower sex drive than you. She expresses her love to you in different ways and she doesn’t quite get your need to be intimate all the time. “Isn’t cuddling enough?” she wants to know. So, what can you do? Here are some things to try:

Try to See Things Her Way

Most women who lose their sexual desire still find their partners attractive, good mates and love them very much. It’s just that they have a low libido. Every time she turns you down, she feels guilty. She doesn’t understand why she feels this way (or even if she does, she doesn’t know what to do to change it.) All she can see is that she’s making you unhappy, that you blame her for your unfulfilled needs and she wishes the whole problem would just go away!

Don’t Blame

It may be hard, but instead of blaming the problem on your wife’s lack of libido, take a look at yourself and see if there is anything you have been doing that might make her feel less than amorous. Have you been fighting a lot about other things? Is she taking on most of the burdens of the household? Is she really stressed out about something that you can help to alleviate--like trying to juggle care for her aging parents and her children while holding down two part-time jobs? Who would want to have sex with all that going on? If there is a way you can step in and help, do so.

Stop Pushing on the Same Door

You’re not having sex as often as you like. Your wife knows this. You know this. You’ve hinted at it. You’ve made moves, only to be rejected. You’re frustrated and it shows, so every time she pushes you away, you get hostile or hurt. And you continue to do the same thing over and over, even though it is not helping the situation. In order for things to change, you need to change your tactics. You’ve gotten into a negative pattern here and one of you needs to stop it. Try doing the exact opposite of what you’ve done in the past.

Try NOT initiating sex for 3-4 weeks. See what happens. Try being affectionate without it turning into a request for sex. The next time she turns you down, try saying, “Okay, I just want you to know I love you.”

Meet her Needs

Does she need a romantic dinner, candles and sexy music to get in the mood? Does watching a sexy movie turn her on? If that’s what it takes, then do it. But don’t spring it on her as a surprise and then expect sex. Let her know you’d like to plan a sexy evening and ask her what it would take to get her juices flowing.

Likewise, is there something in bed that would especially turn her on? Does she like oral sex, but you don’t like it? Does she feel unfulfilled unless there’s penetration? Make sure that you’re willing to do what she does want when the time comes to make love.

Let her Know How You Feel

Does she realize how serious the situation is? Because sex isn’t that important to her, she probably doesn’t realize what it means to you. Talk to her, but not in an accusing way. Use “I” statements, telling her that when she refuses you, you feel as if she doesn’t love you, is not attracted to you and like there’s something wrong with you.

You’re not Right, She’s Not Wrong

Stop looking at your lack of sex as a problem with her that she has to change. Instead, look at it as a problem with the relationship. This may seem like a subtle thing, but once you remove the blame from her and put it on the relationship, then it is something both of you can work to fix.

Get Intimate Without Having Sex

Agree to be intimate and not to have sex. Spend time , giving her a foot or body massage, laying in each other’s arms, slow dance. Agree beforehand that you will not have sex. Then don’t. It’s very important to keep this promise to her, even if the above activities get you turned on. She needs to know that you can be intimate without it always having to lead to sex.

Does Something Need to Change?

Are there other issues in your relationship that need to be addressed? Do you put her down, belittle her, not pay attention her dreams and desires? To have good sex, your relationship has to be good too.

Define What You Want

What is it that you do want from your partner? Do you want sex once a week? For her to initiate from time to time? For her to be more affectionate outside of the bedroom? Try to be clear, don’t just say, “We never have sex. I want sex more.” Set a goal, even if you never share it with her. Like any goal, it will take time and steps to get there. If you haven’t had sex in six months, a goal of sex three times a week may not be achievable. And you’re certainly not going to get there this week. A step toward this goal might be simply to talk about the issue without fighting. Or spending the evening cuddling on the couch.

Get Professional Help

If you and your mate are at a stalemate and you can’t seem to work through this issue, then, please do see a good couples counselor. It may be the thing that saves your relationship.

10 things lesbians should discuss with health care providers

The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) has listed 10 health care concerns lesbians should include in discussions with their physicians or other health care providers.

The medical group ranks breast cancer as the top priority. Other necessary topics include depression, gynecological cancer, diet and osteoporosis.

"Many lesbians and far too many health professionals are not comfortable or do not know how to discuss health issues related to sexual orientation," said GLMA Executive Director Maureen S. O'Leary, R.N. Unfortunately, there are some health risks that are of greater concern to lesbians, and we need to make sure they are addressed."

Gynecologist and former GLMA President Kathleen O'Hanlan, M.D., said that the medical community must look at all factors -- gender, age, family history and current health -- but that there are cultural competence issues involved in treatment of lesbians that many do not understand.

"We know from research," said O'Hanlan, "that lesbians are less likely to seek medical care than other women because of the stigma they experience everywhere in society. They also experience it when they go for medical care. Health care providers may feel uncomfortable asking questions they feel to be personal. They then limit their visit and dash out without counseling the patient.

"Although more research is needed to understand the prevalence and causes," O'Hanlan continued, "there is evidence that lesbians smoke more and drink more. It is also more likely they are overweight, which adds significant health risks."

Keeping a long distance relationship red-hot

Long-distance lovin'
Jennifer Chowdhury

I’ve been in a long distance relationship for two years now and let’s just say, having a vivid imagination is a very necessary skill. But contrary to what most people might think, it is possible to have a great sex life in a long-distance relationship. In fact, studies say that couples who are long distance have a better sex life than most. Here are some ideas for keeping things steamy when the fire's far away.

Woman on Phone

Have phone sex

This is probably the most popular method of keeping the fire alive in a long distance relationship. Masturbate to the sounds of your lover's voice over the telephone. You can even give each other directions, telling your lover exactly what you'd like him to do to him and what you want him to do to you. Long distance lovers tend to shed their inhibitions faster since they have to rely on unordinary methods of communication, so don't worry about being shy about talking about sex in such explicit terms. You'll soon get used to it.

Use a web cam

Do a little strip tease in front of the web cam for your love to turn up the heat. You might not be next to each other, but you could show each exactly what you're missing.

Chat or text message him

Chatting online or text messaging is a great alternative to having phone sex. In fact, it could help you ease into having phone sex! Writing down your fantasies is a lot easier than saying it over the telephone, so play out all your secret fantasies through the written word.

Send him a love letter

Revive the old-fashioned love letter. Don't let your lover know that he's supposed to be expecting a sensuous letter from you in the mail. Reading such erotic words written in your handwriting will be a pleasant surprise and a huge turn on.

Make him a love package

Instead of cookies, pastries, flowers and the like, send a package that contains erotic novels, a hot DVD, and sex toys. Whether or not he chooses to use all of the materials you sent is up to him, but it will surely bring a smile to his face.

Watch a sexy show or movie together

You could both tune into the same hot show or rent the same DVD and watch it while you chat and play.

10 tips for singles

Being newly divorced can present interesting challenges. If you are ready to start looking for Mr Right again, Kay Moffett and Sarah Touborg, authors of Not Your Mother's Divorce, offer some ideas to get you started!

1. Note to self: Proceed with caution

Try to balance out time with thrilling new acquaintances/guys with time by yourself and time with good, old friends you can trust.

2. Singleton girlfriends: Your greatest asset

If you don't already have girlfriends who are single or have recently been single for a significant period of time, find them. Single women will be an incredible resource for you,
both because they are in a similar phase of life and because they know the ropes of the wacky dating world better than you.

3. The harsh truth: It's one big process of


An important thing to know is that a guy you meet or go on a date with does not have to ever get in touch with you again. If a guy doesn't call, he's not interested/he's commitment-phobic/whatever. Don't fool yourself that he's busy, traveling, and so on.

4. Avoid inadvertent stalking

Be careful not to engage in premature couple behavior just because it's what you know best. You don't want to ruin something good by overwhelming the guy and yourself before you even know what's there, and you want to make sure he is as great as you think.

5. To thine own self be true -- without oversharing

Whether you view it as "being mysterious" a la The Rules or honoring your own privacy, going slowly on the information front means you are confiding in a guy only once you are ready and he is worthy -- an important measure of self-respect.

6. Go with the gut.

You'll usually know by the second or third date whether you're vaguely interested in a guy. If you're dreading a next date, you're not into it.

7. The world is your petri dish

Approach the dating scene with an attitude of experimentation and openness. Don't necessarily focus on Mr Right but on Mr Right Now.

8. Defy the checklist and rediscover your type

Many of us think we have a "type." We recommend you jettison the checklist, get out of your head, and experiment with what really makes you happy (or makes you gag) so that you're living in reality and not on some remote Fantasy Island.

9. Do a 180.

One form of defying your checklist is being attracted to or getting involved with guys who are pretty much the opposite of your ex. Human nature being what it is, sometimes we need to swing from one extreme to the other to make progress.

10. Find your inner flirt

Flirting is a state of mind -- it's about engaging in a sense of play about human contact and connection. It's about charming someone and letting yourself be charmed, about delighting in someone's vitality and having him delight in yours. It's frothy and joyous, not deep or serious. It's about instant gratification, not long-term goals. The chance to flirt may not last forever, so enjoy the freedom while you can -- flirt 'til it hurts!

Jul 28, 2008

Why are there so many bad lovers?

"What proportion of men are really good in bed?" I ask this question whenever I am with a group of women. Alas, the results are not encouraging: I've never had a figure higher than 30 percent. There are, however, good reasons for this. The first and most pernicious is the idea that good lovemaking is instinctive, like eating. This is rubbish. Sex may be a basic instinct, but making love is an art. Both sexes have to learn it, and men more so than women, because women are more sexually complicated and more various.

Young men tend to have their early sexual experiences with girls of their own age or younger. Girls, in other words, who are not sure themselves what pleases them, or are not assertive enough to speak up about it. Even experienced women cannot be relied upon to educate their lovers. Ninety years after feminism became a major force, women today remain annoyingly unassertive in the bedroom: when Harry rubs at Susie's tenderest parts as vigorously as a belt sander, Susie merely grits her teeth, smiles bravely, and makes a mental note to avoid Harry next time.

Then there's the fact that men don't talk usefully to one another about sex; they don't share secrets. The most a man will do is sketch a sort of wiggly shape with both hands to indicate-you-know-what the lovely Tootsie, um, er, looks like underneath that tracksuit she always wears. When someone asks him how Tootsie behaves in private, he only raises his eyes skyward and confides, "Whooaah."

Women, on the other hand, are much more frank about the subject, and learn all sorts of delicious secrets from one another. Because we find sex essentially rather funny, we've no desire to be coy or gruff about it in private. When I lived in London, the women in the neighborhood would get together every two weeks to analyze their latest escapades, swap spicy sex tips, and even give demonstrations using cucumbers and bananas, how to apply the famous Butterfly Flick technique when performing oral sex, or how to roll on a condom while giving "maximum pleasure." Great stuff!

Much of the blame for bad sex must also go to sex manuals. Too many of them concentrate on making sex unusual, rather than ensuring that the quality is good. They push ahead to fancy work that is arousing for men, but not for women. Even the best books make serious mistakes. Most are written by men who cannot understand what sex is really like for women, or by therapists who are too soft-spoken and politically correct to speak the hard truth.

Bernard Zilbergeld's otherwise good book Men and Sex advises that it is "highly improbable" a woman will climax if she hasn't done so after "ten to fifteen minutes." Rubbish! Kim Scapa's Sex Tips for Boys is cunning and inventive, but declares that premature ejaculation (which can be readily cured) should be treated merely as an embarrassment of riches -- tell that to the girls! David Reuben's highly influential Everything you always wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask insists that oral sex will make even the most sexually unresponsive woman fly into wild ecstasies. Nonsense! Oral sex is very pleasant, if done well, but it no more guarantees orgasm than a ten-inch penis does. Such books talk about what is supposed to happen, not what actually does.

In sex manuals there is no embarrassment, no awkwardness, no distaste -- the partners are always strong, supportive, and eloquent about their personal needs. Not so in real life. Helena writes:

I have read a lot of books about sex in my time. I always feel they exist on a different plane to me, sort of in the way poetry exists on a different plane to everyday experience. I can recognize the things the writers are talking about but they've been smoothed down and turned into something remote.

Men today are more willing to please their partners than ever before: a good half of the letters I receive from women speak about "my sweet, caring man" and such endearments. And yet women still find it very difficult to communicate their sexual desires. "I feel too shy to sit my boyfriend down and tell him that there are several things he's doing wrong," writes Shirley. Men must be told about real sex, with all its difficulties and subtleties -- not about ideal, fictional sex.

The power of good sex

How important to a woman is good sex in a relationship? It varies enormously from person to person, but it is almost certainly more important than she lets on.

Excerpt: 52 Saturday Nights

Making love. It probably begins with a touch, a glance, whatever signal you and your partner exchange as the evening progresses that says, Let's. But anticipation is one of the most delicious parts of any sexual encounter.

I'm sure you've read a novel or watched a movie or TV show in which there's a he and a she who you know will eventually end up in bed together. You avidly turn the pages or urge time to pass as you wait for the spark to become a flame. Everything that they do leading up to the "big moment" increases the sexual tension, for them and for you. Anticipation! It can be like that for you and your partner.

But shouldn't sex be spontaneous? Sure--why not? Spontaneity is wonderful. Coming home from work, dragging your partner into the bedroom, and ripping all of your clothes off can be wonderful. Deciding in the middle of a movie that you need to be home, now, is deliciously erotic. But planning a night of making love and letting your partner in on the plan can be just as arousing.

How? Let's begin this, our first Saturday night together, with the idea that tonight's the night. Begin at the very start of the day. When you wake up Saturday morning, whisper in your partner's ear that you have something sexually exciting planned for that evening. "Not now," you say, jumping out of bed, "but later. Think about it." Do you have to have something really different planned? Not necessarily. The difference will be the anticipation and the arousal that your comment stimulates.

For her
Put a ribbon or rubber band around his wrist, just below his wristwatch, so that every time he checks the time, he's reminded that something good is in store. Make a cassette with some erotic music, something that's meaningful to you both, and slip it into his car stereo for him to listen to as he does his errands. It can be anything from Michael Bolton to Beethoven, so long as it sends a message. If you're really creative, include a few well-chosen words with the music that hint at the evening's activities. A single word or an entire erotic scenario? That's up to you.

If you lay out his clothes in the morning, select something he knows you find arousing, like a particularly tight T-shirt or a pair of black briefs. As he's dressing, slip a piece of satin or canvas or a small piece of fur into the crotch of his shorts so that he feels it all day and thinks of you.

Do you make his lunch? Put something suggestive in for a snack, with a note saying, "I hear that olives make you passionate. Let's hope that's true, because I have designs on your body tonight."

For him
Call her up during the day and whisper a few naughty words about the evening to come. That can be particularly delicious if she's in a roomful of people and can't react. Create a pet name that you only use in the dark. Ed calls me a "sexy witch," abbreviated SB, and when I hear that, I know he's having wonderfully erotic thoughts. If you also explain to the kids that SB stands for "silly beast," only the two of you will know its sexual connotation. Call her that all day.

Pull a particularly sexy piece of underwear from her drawer and ask her to wear it for you beneath her clothing so that all day she'll think of you. Ask her to shorten her bra straps so they bind a bit at the shoulder.

For both of you
If you can, plan to have dinner out that evening. Draw out the suspense with a long meal, with lots of suggestive gazes, comments, and gestures. Remember, we're trying to make the excitement last as long as possible.

For fun
If you're really daring, take a slender ribbon and run it through one of the leg holes of a pair of briefs or panties (it works equally well with either), then through the waist opening. Tie the ribbon tightly; then do the same at the other side of the undies. Now the crotch of the pants will be really binding and uncomfortable in an erotic way. Then ask your partner to wear them so he or she will think about you all day. That constant reminder will make your lover so hungry that by the time the day comes to an end, it will be all you can do to postpone the inevitable until bedtime.

But who wants to postpone it anyway? Remember spontaneity?

Fantasies: The safest sex, part four

2) Male fantasies more often involve sex with two or more partners at one time. In one study, a third of men had fantasies about sex with multiple partners--twice the number of women. Guys are also more likely to switch partners in mid-fantasy.

3) Both sexes imagine overpowering a partner or being forced to submit to another's wishes. But men are more likely to have domination fantasies, while women tend to see themselves submitting to a partner's sexual wishes. One researcher reports that 13 percent of women but only 4 percent of men said that their favorite fantasy was being forced to have sex.

4) Men have a greater variety of fantasies. Asked to check off all those they had experienced in the past three months (on a list of 55), male collegians indicated 26 of them. Women listed only 14.

Dream on
There's still a lot no one knows about sexual fantasies. Is the frequency and range of fantasies similar in other cultures? How does the content of fantasies change over one's lifetime? And what happens when we act on our fantasies? Does it spoil them--or make them more vivid? "We have no idea," admits Leitenberg.

But what we do know is proof enough that fantasies are an essential part of our sexual repertoire. Far from being a sign of sexual inadequacy or deprivation, fantasies are associated with a healthy, happy sex life. "The people who have the most sexual problems fantasize least," Leitenberg notes.

Indeed, fantasy's power to arouse us--some folks say they can achieve orgasm solely from sexual thoughts, or "thinking off" -- proves that the brain is as potent a sexual organ as one's genitalia. And though most erotic thoughts are relatively ordinary, our more imaginative flights allow us to explore our sexuality without risk of physical harm or social rejection. Consider this finding: Imagining having sex with your current lover is a popular fantasy when you're not engaged in sexual activity--while imagining sex with a new partner is a popular fantasy during intercourse.

Most of us need no further justification for fantasy beyond the fun factor. "Sexual fantasy is a natural part of being human" says Leitenberg. "It's pleasurable. So why not fantasize?"

Fantasies: The safest sex, part three

  • Novel or "forbidden" imagery. This includes unconventional settings, questionable partners like strangers or relatives, and ligament-straining positions worthy of the Kama Sutra. Or as Dr. Seuss once asked (albeit in a somewhat different context): "Would you, could you, in a boat? Could you, would you, with a goat?"

  • Scenes of sexual irresistibility. Here the emphasis is on seductive power: overcoming the reluctance of an initially indifferent man or woman through sheer animal magnetism. Or the irresistibility may take numerical form in fantasies involving multiple partners.

  • Dominance and submission fantasies. In these, sexual power is expressed either ritualistically--in sadomasochistic activities--or through physical force, as in rape fantasies. Such fantasies are surprisingly common. Person reports that 44 percent of men have had fantasies of dominating a partner. Other studies found that 51 percent of women fantasized about being forced to have sex, while a third imagined: "I'm a slave who must obey a man's every wish."

    None of this means, of course, that real-world rape victims "really want it." "Women who find submission fantasies sexually arousing are very clear that they have no wish to be raped in reality," say Leitenberg and Henning. In their fantasies, women control every aspect of what occurs. And their scenarios are far less brutal than real-life attacks. Typically the fantasy involves an attractive man whose restraint is simply overwhelmed by the woman's attractiveness. These fantasies serve the same psychological purpose as scenes of irresistibility. "It's different means to the same end" says Leitenberg. "We want to be desired."

    Incidentally, researchers find little difference in the fantasies of hetero- and homosexuals--except in the gender of participants.

    Harlequin and Hefner
    It doesn't take a PhD to figure out that the fantasies of men and women differ. Just look at the fantasy scenarios that publishers push.

    Men have Playboy: big-busted women exposing their attributes, in almost clinical detail, from a variety of angles and positions. For women, on the other hand, there are tales like The Bridges of Madison County and cookie-cutter Harlequin romances. The covers may depict heaving bosoms and Fabio's muscular physique, but the sex always comes packaged within an emotional, passionate romance.

    While all this may change as sexual roles and cultural attitudes change, fantasies still fall along those gender lines. When male and female college students were asked to write out in detail three fantasies they had, women were more likely to describe romance and commitment while men mentioned a greater number of sexual acts.

    In another study of 300 college students, 41 percent of the women but only 16 percent of the men--said that while fantasizing they focused on the "personal or emotional characteristics of the partner." Men, however, were four times as likely to focus on their fantasy partner's physical characteristics. Sociobiologists argue that these discrepancies represent evolved behavioral differences between men and women. But even if that's true, Leitenberg observes, there are certainly cultural pressures for women not to think about sex outside of a committed relationship, lest they be labeled a "slut."

    The romance/genitalia dichotomy isn't the only major differences in male and female fantasies, report Leitenberg and Henning. Here are some others:

    1) Men are more likely to imagine themselves doing something to a woman, and their fantasies focus on her body. Women, on the other hand, tend to envision something being done to them and to concentrate more on their partner's interest in her.

  • Jul 27, 2008

    Fantasies: The safest sex, part two

    Once you get beyond age, though, it's hard to predict whether a given person has lots of fantasies. Attempts to identify a "fantasy-prone" type of individual have been woefully unsuccessful. Even religious and political views provide few clues. Conservatives have just as many fantasies as liberals--despite the fact that, according to one study, nearly half of conservative Christians feel sexual fantasies are "morally flawed or unacceptable."

    The devout aren't the only ones who have mixed feelings. One in four people feel strong guilt about their fantasies, reports Leitenberg. Most of this hand-wringing "involves people who feel guilty about fantasizing while making love to their partners," he says. Even among sexually adventurous groups like college students, 22 percent of women and 8 percent of men said they usually try to repress the feelings associated with fantasy.

    Guilt also strikes when fantasy and personal ideology collide. "There are people who feel that their sexual fantasies are not a part of them," Person says. "The CEO of a Fortune 500 company may have masochistic fantasies of being tied to a bed, and he might be perfectly comfortable because he sees that as respite from having to be in control; whereas some feminists are ashamed because they have masochistic fantasies and they feel that the fantasies are contrary to their political beliefs."

    Such guilt exacts a heavy toll. Those who fret over their fantasies have sex less often and enjoy it less, even though the content of their fantasies is no different from those of the guilt-free.

    But even unusual and "deviant" fantasies give little reason for concern in healthy individuals. It's true that we sometimes use fantasies as a springboard for later sexual hijinks. But the path from fantasy to deviance is anything but direct.

    Rape fantasies, for instance, are far more common than rapes themselves. And as an extreme example, consider that only 22 percent of child molesters say they had sexual fantasies about kids before their first molestation. So unusual fantasies are a concern only when they become compulsive or exclusive, or for individuals "in whom the barrier between thought and behavior has been broken," say Leitenberg and Henning.

    Exactly why your fantasies differ from those of your friends is not well understood. But theories abound. Certainly personal experience and the things we see, hear, and read about enter the mix.

    External stimuli like sexy advertisements or scantily clad passersby, in fact, may be responsible for the off-noted observation that men fantasize more than women. In a sample of college students, researchers found that men fantasized or thought about sex 7.2 times a day, compared to 4.5 for women. For each sex, two of those fantasies were internally triggered. But men reported twice as many externally provoked thoughts.

    Our favorite internally triggered fantasies probably attain preferred status through classical conditioning, the sane process that had Pavlov's dogs drooling at the sound of a bell. Fantasies that accompany orgasms are particularly reinforced, for instance, making them more arousing next time around. From there "we embellish them, change them," says Person. "They're like an evolving series." Scenarios that don't accompany arousal are discarded.

    While the most common fantasies involve routine sex with a past, present, or imaginary partner, that's not to say that we don't occasionally give our fantasy muscles a more strenuous workout. In addition to those decidedly "vanilla" scenarios, Leitenberg and Henning describe three other primary flavors of fantasy:

    Fantasies: The safest sex, part one

    You may be afraid to talk about them, but sexual fantasies are normal.

    Ah, sexual fantasy. It has one big advantage over sexual reality: You have total control over everything that happens. You won't be humiliated or suffer at the hands of a brutish lover unless, of course, that's what you want.

    Consider the possibilities. Your fantasy partner can be a celebrity, the guy who works down the hall, or your best friend's mate. You enjoy complete choice of venue: a tropical island, an elevator, a tree swing. And the activity in question can range from romantic, longing glances to sexual gymnastics that would strain a circus contortionist.

    So perhaps the most surprising fact about our fantasies is this: The sexual scenario we most often imagine is the ordinary, non-kinky intercourse with a past or current lover. Despite the potential for limitless freedom, our fantasies generally stay firmly tethered to reality.

    Don't worry if you assumed most fantasies were a bit more risque.Even in today's tell-all culture, sexual fantasies remain one of our last taboos, something that people simply don't discuss.

    "We tell each other almost everything--our sexual habits, who we lust for, how much money we make," notes Columbia University psychiatrist Ethel Person, MD, author of By Force of Fantasy. "But I do not know the sexual fantasies of my closest friends. We regard fantansies as too revealing. They're treasured possessions, yet we're ashamed of them."

    Even psychologists long found sexual fantasy vaguely disreputable, ignoring the topic almost entirely for the first half of the century. But the last two decades have produced a flurry of new information, say University of Vermont psychologist Harold Leitenberg, PhD, and South Carolina's Kris Henning, PhD And it turns out that a lot of what we thought we knew is wrong.

    Imaginary lovers
    The misconceptions about sexual fantasies began with Freud himself. In 1908 he declared that "a happy person never fantasizes, only a dissatisfied one." Later thinkers embroidered this theme, developing what has become known as the deficiency theory.

    "People still believe that fantasies are compensation for lack of sexual opportunity," says Leitenberg. "That if your sex life was adequate, you wouldn't have to fantasize."

    But the data show that, if anything, frequent fantasizers are having more than their share of fun in bed. They have sex more often, engage in a wider variety of erotic activities, have more partners, and masturbate more often than infrequent fantasizers, Leitenberg and Henning report in Psychological Bulletin.

    The association between fantasies and a healthy sex life is so strong, in fact, that it's now considered pathological not to have sexual fantasies.

    And no wonder. Researchers studying sexual fantasies confirm that everyone has them, from adolescence onward. Well, almost everyone: About five percent of men and women say they have never had a sexual fantasy (or won't admit to it). Person believes that these fantasy-free folks are getting a vicarious fix elsewhere--from movies, for example. Or else they simply aren't paying attention to their own thoughts.

    Most adults say they first remember fantasizing between the ages of 11 and 13. From there they quickly pick up speed. Sexual fantasies and thoughts are most common in hormone-addled teens and young adults. In one study, researchers asked people at random times during the day whether sex had crossed their minds during the past five minutes. Among 14- and 15-year-olds, 57 percent of boys and 42 percent of girls said yes. Affirmative responses were less common with increasing age: among 56-to 64-year-olds, 19 percent of men and 12 percent of women answered yes.

    Choosing your first sex toy


    by Aly Walansky

    On a cold, rainy night a few weeks ago, my good friend Dina and I holed ourselves up in her cozy east village apartment with cocktails and took in a film. The movie? "The Oh in Ohio," starring Parker Posey and Paul Rudd. The subject matter: Parker Posey's character being unable (ever) to orgasm with her husband... but finding her ultimate sweet spot with her first vibrator.

    Us gals got to talking, and it made me curious. Are there other women out there who have such a problem? We know that toys can spice up even the spiciest of relationships, but can they be the saving grace for when there is no spice at all?

    "If she's having trouble climaxing, she needs to do two things," says Christan Marashio, creator of, a sex-positive web site that coordinates classes and events geared toward singles and sexuality education in a fun and informal setting. "First, figure out if it an emotional/mental issue or a physical one. She may not have any idea what or where the G-Spot is. If she's very 'in her head' during sex or masturbation then that's probably why she's having difficulty. Relaxation is key. Orgasms require both a relaxed physical and mental state. Yoga is fantastic because it gives you additional flexibility, helps you work on your breathing and leaves you feeling centered. But the best way to give way to your orgasm is to masturbate and become familiar with your own body."

    According to Marashio, the majority of women, 70-75 percent, do not orgasm from intercourse and need additional stimulation.

    "Research has found that many women experience their first orgasm(s) with a vibrator for a number of reasons," says Yvonne K. Fulbright, author of Sex with Your Ex & 69 Other Things You Should Never Do (Polka Dot Press, ISBN-10: 1598692054). "She's typically masturbating, so she can explore her body on her own time and without the pressure of an on-looking partner to climax. She's getting to know her body and learns how to turn it on in a way she or her partner can't in the sack. She's more relaxed because it is a private moment. The toy itself is giving her sensations not yet experienced in the boudoir."

    "Toys will, in most cases, help a woman to learn to orgasm," says LaSara FireFox, author of Sexy Witch and a sex educator ( and "Overall, the best thing a woman can do to increase her ability to orgasm is to get to know her sexual anatomy. Chapter four (Menstruation, Masturbation and Matrices) of my book, Sexy Witch, covers the benefits of masturbation extensively, and chapter two (Pussy Power!) includes a detailed drawing of the female sexual anatomy."

    "Sex toys -- vibrators in particular -- are the "treatment of choice" for women who have difficulty orgasming," says Dr Sandor Gardos, Ph.D., sex therapist at "On the other hand, if the real issue is that you are having a hard time letting go, then the best advice is to practice, with or without a toy of choice on your own. Learn what feels good and get in touch with what you need to really be in the moment. For women who have never used a sex toy before, I would recommend trying out a few on their own at first. Figure out what you like and what works for you so you can show your partner.

    LaSara advises that it's important that we get intimate with our anatomy, and not just in the abstract, either. Getting to know how we work -- what turns us on, how we like to be touched, what feels good -- and increasing our comfort with the visceral reality of our sex is, hands-down, the best way to improve our ability to orgasm. "If you don't know you're way around your house, how are you going to be able to give an effective tour?"

    "Although it's not often thought of as a sex toy, I always recommend a good lubricant as a place to start," says Ellen Barnard, MSSW, a sex educator, counselor, and co-owner of A Woman's Touch, a sexuality resource center. "Lubricant enhances and increases a woman's sensation, increases her pleasure, and provides a wonderful introduction to the kinds of pleasures one can find when you add something simple to sex play."

    "The G-gasm method is all about pleasing her with toys or fingers, no penis needed," says Jani (, author of The G-Gasm Method: Your Ultimate Guide to the G-Spot Orgasm (Bonnie's Gang, ISBN-10: 0976209047) and Tonight's the Night...Your Ultimate Guide to Sexy Kinky Things to do With Your Lover (Bonnie's Gang, ISBN-10: 0976209055). "A good starter toy is the clit buzzing "Slim Line Vibrator" -- comes in assorted colors and is only about $6. To set off some toe curling delight, you need a vibrator with the G-spot curve, to reach and apply the right amount of pressure on the G-spot. "Body Teasers" (about $11) is a good beginner toy, but to really hit the spot, get a "Blue Heaven Rotating Pet Rabbit Vibrator" -- one of these babies will set you back $100 or so, but well worth it for G-spot play -- will produce waves upon waves of G-gasms until eventually you become a puddle, out of breath and exhausted."

    "Some women find a vibrator is too strong, or that it is difficult to get it on the right spot. They end up frustrated. The ultimate sex toy is one's finger, because a woman can vary the location and pressure of the stroke on her clitoris. Some women like to use more than one finger; they like friction all around and on the clitoris," says Dr. Stephanie Buehler, director of The Buehler Institute and a certified sex therapist who in her practices teaches women to have orgasms. "For women who like or need stronger stimulation," she continues, "the classic, advocated by masturbation pioneer Betty Dodson, is the Hitachi Magic Wand. This is a pretty big vibrator, meant to rub out muscle tension all over. The beauty of it is its strong motor. It would be hard for a woman not to have an orgasm with this device. However, some women find it tiring to hold onto because it is a bit heavy and awkward." She also strongly recommends the Pocket Rocket because it is small and easy to move around. "For women who want to try using a vibrating device inside the vagina, the little Pocket Rocket is good. Only the first third of the vagina really has the nerve endings required for an orgasm anyway. The Pocket Rocket can be a good introductory device for vaginal orgasms."

    Bullets for many are the way to go. sells a wide selection and offers discreet, quick shipping (something the shy gals can't help but appreciate). Their seventh Heaven variety has seven different speeds and considering the clitoris has over 10,000 nerve endings, it can be a very successful experiment for the first-timer. A Pure Romance party may also be a good way to go, a sort of girls night 'in'. (Think your mom's Tupperware parties...just with vibrators!)

    The "best" toy is the one that works best for you. "Before deciding on a first sex toy, a woman needs to understand whether she receives greater pleasure from being stimulated clitorally, vaginally or a combination of both," says Nicole Matthias, president of, an upscale online adult boutique. "The bullet is a small yet powerful compact vibe that provides powerful clitoral stimulation. And best of all, it's very affordable. For women that prefer vaginal or the combined vaginal and clitoral stimulation, the Jack Rabbit features a rotating shaft for vaginal penetration while also providing the option of using the bunny ears for clitoral stimulation."

    But if toys don't work for you, remember you aren't alone. "There are women who still have trouble climaxing with a toy," says Fulbright. "Often this is because they have a history of sexual trauma, have major guilt complexes about being sexually active (if even just with themselves), or they have major issues with using a toy and simply can't relax enough, and get out of their heads enough, to let go and enjoy."

    "Be prepared to giggle a bit, and do some learning about your new toy when you first get it," says A Woman's Touch's Ellen Barnard. "Some women experience immediate orgasms the first time they use a vibrator, others need to take time to learn how to use one and how their bodies like to be stimulated. Consider this one more interesting learning experience on the path of a lifetime of pleasure."

    Maintain your sexy

    by Brie Gatchalian

    Whether it’s your first time with this lover or not, exuding sex appeal never gets old. It’s easy to let yourself go or to let your nerves get the best of you, we understand. After all, bedroom intimacy puts you in a vulnerable state. You don’t want to show up to the “party” feeling unprepared. But you can remedy your nerves, not to mention your look before you make love. Doing so will only elevate the experience. Before you hit the sack with your beau, maintain your sexy like so.

    Get a lesson in sex

    Having really good sex can mean losing a bit of yourself. I’m not talking about forgetting who you are, I’m merely pointing out that you have to lose a little bit of your inhibition to “get there” easily. Though they say liquor can lower a person’s inhibitions, we’re suggesting to steer clear of alcohol. Find out how to experience the best intercourse with Good Sex: A Woman’s Guide to Losing Inhibition by Charlotte Kane ($12.95 at bookstores nationwide). This guide will teach you how to free yourself to get to that better place in intimacy.


    Depending on your and/or your mate’s preference, a little grooming can’t hurt. Use a depilatory, wax or a razor to trim as necessary. Word to the wise, be wary of using a hair removal cream like Veet’s In-Shower Hair Removal Cream for a Brazilian wax (prices vary by store and product size). There are certain areas down below that are quite sensitive to chemicals. You don’t want to harm your skin before playtime. Clinque's Radient Bronze


    Some women may object to this, but when I asked my gal pals about tanning, the consensus was unanimous: Glowing skin looks way hot. If you’re concerned with sun damage, such as skin cancer, consider a self-tanner like Clinique’s Radiant Bronze Face & Body Tinted Self-Tanner ($18.50 at Sephora stores nationwide). Apply the day before so nothing runs or wipes off during the big night. Sometimes a mixture of natural moisture with bronzer can stain the sheets.

    Exude confidence

    You can sexify from top to bottom, but your partner won’t notice the effort if you don’t carry it well. Although you may be in a vulnerable state of nakedness—literally—always remember that your body is beautiful, you’re gorgeous and your lover wants you. And if that’s not enough, then you might as well fake it.

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