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Aug 27, 2008

Why Are Women So Strange and Men So Weird?

By Psychologist, Bruce Christopher

As a psychologist, I can assure you that the greatest commodity you possess is your ability to communicate. People who are excellent communicators have better relationships, better marriages, raise more functional children - and they tend to be more successful in their careers. In fact, many years ago a classic survey was done to graduates of the Stanford University engineering department; they wanted to find out what made a great engineer. The results were significant; the respondents indicated that only 20% of their success was due to their technical expertise, while the other 80% was due to their people skills.

Think about what makes your company great. It is not your organization's fine technology or its spiffy offices; it's you! It is the people that make a corporation a phenomenal one. Communication is also the greatest commodity of your organization; your ability to communicate with your teammates, your customers and clientele is what makes you successful. That's why companies are called "organizations" - it is an organism, a living entity made up of real people who give it energy with their interpersonal interactions. Communication runs your company.

About 4 years ago in San Diego, a woman introduced me to the audience and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I think about Bruce Christopher every single day." Wow, I thought, what a nice thing to say. She continued, "The reason I think about him everyday is because three years ago in a seminar, he taught me how men think and speak differently from women. I still apply those concepts and strategies whenever I talk to my male colleagues at work and my husband at home." Another "Wow" - three years of retention and application after a training seminar is fantastic!

But what happens whenever we try to communicate with someone of the opposite sex? A whole new dynamic takes over and it often feels like we are talking to someone from another planet!

In my seminar on "Voice Mail/Voice Female", I ask the audience to understand these three very important points:

  • Men and women THINK differently
  • Men and women SPEAK differently
  • Men and women DECIDE differently

    If you are not aware of these differences, you will not be an effective communicator when dealing with your opposite sex colleagues, customers, and teammates.

    For example, after attending a half day workshop, Tim Thoele of Principal Financial Group - Minneapolis (MDRT Court of The Table Qualifier), wrote us and said:
    "Your three hour session was one of the most informative workshops I have attended and found so many principles that I could apply in my own life. I walked away from your session and immediately applied what I had learned."

    My first experience involved a very good client, who happens to be a woman. Upon arriving for a very important meeting with her I kept in mind your comment that women hold eye contact for an average of 12 seconds, and men hold eye contact an average of 3 seconds, leading women to believe that men don't hear them. I decided to test your theory and apply your "12 second" technique. As she talked to me, I kept eye contact with her for 12 seconds. . .believe me, they seemed like very long 12 seconds. However, because of my attention to eye contact, she felt I really understood her needs and it ended up being one of the most successful meetings I ever had with her. . . .

    Before testing your theories, I never understood how soft skills, such as gender difference communication, could directly impact my bottom line.

    How do men and women think differently?
    Men and women are equally intelligent but men and women tend to view the world through differing frameworks. To put it succinctly, men think COMPARTMENTALLY and women think GLOBALLY: it all has to do with how men and women store information and file away data in their cognitive memory banks.

    Men, who think compartmentally, tend to separate out details and store them in distinct "compartments" which I liken to a file-cabinet-drawer system. A man, in his mind, has a file drawer for work, one for wife, for hobbies, etc, Because of this cognitive framework, men tend to open and close the "drawers" which they need in the immediate moment and they tend to stay exclusively in that compartment. The result is that when a man is in one compartment, nothing else exists except that one compartment.

    Women, on the other hand, tend to see life from a more global perspective. Whereas men separate things out, women tend to do the opposite and connect things up. Women see the underlying connections and the interrelated detail and data more clearly than men do. It is interesting to sit in a staff meeting and observe how the men see the end objective clearly, but they may have a more difficult time perceiving how one underlying piece of information could swing around and impact the end result later on. Yet the women in the group see this possibility more readily. Both ways of thinking, compartmental and global, are great ways to think, they both have their own inherent strengths and weaknesses; but put us together on the same team, or in the same relationship, and the mysteries start.

    An example, which most people in corporate America can relate to, is being in conflict with someone of the opposite sex at work. For example, Joe and Sally are having an important business discussion on Friday afternoon in the office. They have different views on an issue and are both emotionally invested in their respective positions. Then, five o'clock comes and it's time to go home and enjoy the weekend, but the discussion was never finished and a resolution was not achieved. What does the man in our story do? He goes home, closes his work file-drawer-compartment, opens up the weekend compartment and stays in that drawer all weekend long. I generally ask my audience what happens for the female in this example; all the women in the group answer immediately, "She stews about that conflict all weekend!" She ruminates and thinks about the unresolved issue with her teammate, and come Monday morning wants to find some closure to the problem.

    Then the most amazing thing happens on Monday. Joe, arrives at work and closes his weekend-file-drawer-compartment and opens up the Monday-morning-at-work-file-drawer-compartment. Sally approaches him and wants to revisit the discussion from last week. She says, "Joe, could we talk a little more about the issue from last week?" And guess what he says. "What issue? Oh that? That's in the past. It's water under the bridge. I can't believe you are bringing that up again!" And he thinks that she is just trying to drag him through old issues just for the fun of it. He can't understand why she can't let go of the past.

    In actuality what is happening is the difference between compartmental and global thinking patterns. He perceives no connection between the fight from last week and working together this week - he has compartmentally separated them out. For her, she feels an underlying connection between conflict and a successful working relationship. Far from wanting to drag him through the past again, she is doing a reality-check; "we were in conflict last week, I just want to make sure things are resolved so that we can get on with the business at hand."

    One of the great tensions that women feel in business is a sense of being left hanging and not finding closure in conflict. Men tend to close the drawer on conflict prematurely and may not see how unresolved issues can actually hinder performance and office morale. This is one small example of compartmental vs. global thinking. Can you think of other ways that these differing cognitive frameworks can create tension between men and women in business?

    How do men and women speak differently?

    Because of culture and differences in how little boys and girls are raised, adult men and women tend to have differing interpersonal styles which can create misunderstanding and communication mis-fires.

    Women tend to use an interpersonal style which is more historical and presented in a narrative fashion. Background and context are important pieces in the "Voice-Female. " In my seminars, I tell the audience that women speak in paragraph form supported with lots of details, and most importantly, the bottom-line coming at the end of the story. Makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Where else would you put the bottom-line except at the end of the story. Women enjoy the suspense of working up to the bottom-line, for the joy is in the telling of the story.

    However, men experience this enjoyment as agitation. Because in the "Voice-Male," men do not speak in paragraphs, they speak in phrases. Shorter, clipped, reporting statements without a lot of detail and surprisingly (or maybe not) the bottom-line comes not last, but first. And sometimes that's all you get! Which of course, can lead to excessive frustration for the female.

    In the average day, it has been estimated that a man speaks 12,500 words and a woman speaks about 25,000 words. This leads to the old joke about a man going to work and using up 12,495 words and coming home with only five words left! So when he arrives at home he says, "What's for dinner?" (that's three) and "Good night" (that's five!)

    Dr. Debra Tannen, a linguist and author on the subject, says that men and women use communication for different purposes. The purpose of communication for a man is to report a fact, while women use communication to build rapport. The mis-match of Report-Talk vs. Rapport-Talk can increase our interpersonal friction with the opposite sex at home and at work.

    For example, at the end of the day, wife may ask husband, "Hi honey, how was your day?" He answers the bottom-line: "Fine" - which is "Voice-Male" code for "nobody died and I still have a job; what else could you possibly want to know?" Of course what she is hoping for in her own language is more of a historical narrative with some details, which she does not get and thus may complain, "He never tells me anything. I have no idea what is going on in his life."

    At work, men and women also can speak different languages. Remember Joe and Sally who work at the same company? One day, Joe approaches Sally and asks her a bad question, "Sally, I wasn't at the staff meeting today, can you tell me what happened?" According to his "Voice-Male", what Joe wants to hear is simply the bottom-line; really only about a six word answer which sounds like this: "Joe, we postponed the Johnson proposal." That's the bottom-line isn't it. But Joe never asked for the bottom-line, so Sally speaks her own language to him and gives him "Voice-Female".

    She speaks in historical narrative fashion, supported with lots of detail, and at the end she says the bottom-line last. . ."And Joe, we postponed the Johnson proposal."

    I often ask the women in my audience, "As you speak to a male colleague in historical narrative, have you ever noticed their eyes glaze over?" This usually gets a round of applause. Women begin to believe that men are not listening to them, and of course the answer is that they are not. Not because men don't care what women say, it's all about how it is said. "Men cannot hear you women," I say to them, "because you are speaking a foreign language to them. You are not giving them 'Voice-Male', you are giving them 'Voice-Female'."

    In order to fix this communication chasm, both men and women make strategic mistakes. Sally, who knows that she is being tuned out, does what we Americans often do when we are in another country and we do not speak the native tongue: we speak our own language louder and slower. Sally may actually increase her historical narrative, giving more details and background, and/or raise her voice to get his attention. This tends to not work with men and Joe falls into the habitual trait that men often employ with women; he interrupts her. Studies demonstrate that men interrupt women in conversation 75% to 90% of the time. He finishes her sentence for her, cuts her off, gets her to change subjects or hurry up - all because he is agitated and waiting for what he really wants, the bottom-line.

    Due to the fact that men and women are working together more closely than ever before, the opportunity for communication chasms to appear are far more probable.

    It has been approximated that in a single day, the average office person can waste up to 38% of their day dealing with communication mis-fires and interpersonal tensions in the office. Other studies have observed that up to 70% of what you say to the opposite sex is either misunderstood or not heard. It is apparent how readily you could increase effectiveness and performance on your job simply by being aware of the different male and female voices.

    Great communicators are people who change their approach based upon the person they are talking too.

    So what do we do about these cognitive and interpersonal differences? The answer is: we change our approach. The biggest mistake that men make with women is that they relate and communicate with women as if they were men. The biggest mistake that women make with men is that they do the same - they relate and communicate with men as if they were women. In short, we use our own specific "gender voices" on the other sex and we wonder why "they just don't get it." We need to be aware of our own "Voice-Male" and "Voice-Female" styles and be open to changing our "voice" when the need arises.

    For example, another way that men and women use different voices is in how we ask for things that we need. Learned from childhood, women often use a style which has been called "hint language." This is when a woman expresses a need, wish, or desire framed in the form of a question, raising her shoulders as if she doesn't know what the answer is. In reality, this is a culturally respectful way that women have learned about how to ask for what they want. Wife may turn to husband and say, "Wouldn't it be nice to go see a movie today?" This is "Voice-Female" for "I want to go see a movie."

    Unfortunately, men don't often get the hint. The reason is that hint-language is not part of the "Voice-Male"; men tend to take language very literally, focusing in on the content of the message instead of the hidden meanings in the communication. Given the question, "Wouldn't it be nice to see a movie today?" Men just give the answer - "No." Women wonder, "Does he not hear me or care about what I want?"

    A client recently told me this story. One of their female supervisors gave a directive to her male staff member, but she said it in "Voice-Female": "Say Larry, if you don't mind and if you've got some time, would you please finish this project?" Now we all know that what she is really saying is, "Get it done!" But what does Larry actually hear? "Well, I've got a lot of options here," he thinks to himself, "Frankly I do mind and I don't have the time right now so I guess I'll not do it." Two weeks later the female supervisor approached Larry and asked why he hadn't finished the project.

    What are the true stories of communication mis-fires in your business? Have you noticed that men and women speak a different language and have different "voices?" If you have, then try to change your approach when speaking with the other gender.

    Men Can
    Men need to use "Voice-Female" when speaking with women. For example
  • Increase historical details
  • Give more background and context
  • Remember that women use communication to build rapport-connections
  • Spend more time asking questions and listening, moving slowly to the bottom line
  • When you listen, be sure to maintain eye contact, nod your head, be attentive and give what I call "listening noises" (i.e.; "Uh-huh, umm, hmmm"). Why do you do this? Because this is the "Voice-Female"; women give off interpersonal signals to the speaker of the conversation which lets them know they are being heard. A woman feels heard by another woman because of her listening noises.
  • Increase non-verbal excellence in communication by trying to read between the lines when listening to women; work on picking up some of the hints that she may be dropping for you. Listening is the art of communicating.

    Women Can
    Women need to use "Voice-Male" when talking to men. For example:
  • Give the bottom-line first
  • Resist the thought that he needs the context and the background. A great technique to try is to simply give him the bottom-line and then ask him if he wants more detail. Most of the time you will be surprised because he actually will. "Sally, what happened at the staff meeting?" says Joe. "Well Joe," says Sally, "We decided to postpone the Johnson proposal." (pause and then continue) "Would you like to hear more details about that?" This is "Voice-Male." Try it and you may find the men in your life hearing you and remembering what you say more effectively.
  • Avoid speaking in hint language. Remember that men tend not to hear the hints; they hear a question that needs an answer - so they answer it. Be direct. Instead of saying, "Wouldn't it be nice to go see a movie today?" Speak in "I statements" such as "I want" or "I need" - try not to put men in the position of reading your mind or guessing what you are saying. Women, who have become excellent leaders, have learned the art of assertive and respectful communication that doesn't sound pushy or aggressive.

    Remember that when it comes to communication, delivery is everything. It's more of how you are saying it, than what you are saying.

    I worked with one client who was an outstanding female consultant, yet her business was not generating enough revenue to keep her busy. In reviewing some of her written proposals, I found she was speaking in "Voice Female"; the "bottom-line" in her proposals were on the last page of a 30 page document. Knowing that her potential clients were men, I suggested she place the bottom line on the first page and then follow it with the details of the proposal. Her sales increased immediately. It was necessary for her to change her approach to fit the interpersonal style of her customers, who were men.

    Take a piece of paper and outline ways that you can change your approach to more effectively communicate with members of the opposite sex in your profession. Imagine the opportunity to increase your success with your customers and colleagues just by speaking in a way so they can hear you. Remember, speak THEIR language, not yours.

    Psychologist, Bruce Christopher is one of the most sought after speakers in the Fortune 500. His unique style of EnterTrainment® blends practical applications within a laughing environment.

  • When it's time to say goodbye - really!

    You both care deeply about each other, but something's not quite right. Neither of you wants to end the relationship, but for some reason one or both of you aren't quite getting your needs met.

    It could be that one of you wants more than the other can give, it could be due to a long distance relationship, or it could be that one of you wants to change the other. There are many things that can disrupt a really good relationship, but once this disruption occurs, it's not easily forgotten, unless things do change.

    This kind of situation is a painful and upsetting experience for both. I've been on this merry go round three times, and each time I didn't try and get off because I didn't want to deal with the pain it was going to cause me. Especially when the rest of the relationship was going so well. But the longer you stay on this roundabout the more it ends up hurting.

    Recently I had the same thing happen again, we were both happy being together, but he never had time to see me due to his work hours. I understood that this problem was not going to go away. And for once I took control. As much as I loved being with this man, I wasn't going to compromise my life, or who I was, as well as waiting and hoping that things would become better. So I took the long road. I walked. I did it calmly, rationally, and with dignity (well there were a few tears spilt, but I wasn't hysterical, so I think that's acceptable). There were no fights, no arguments, just a felling of sadness from both parties.

    This is the first time I have tackled a great, but just not quite right relationship this way. It was difficult walking out of the door once I had made up my mind (I have to admit, the first time I brought it up and said it was over, I drove straight back to his house). But a week later when we were having dinner 'as friends', I found myself kissing him passionately in a restaurant. We went back to his house, watched a movie like old times, while he kept telling me he liked this "spending time together broken up".

    I realized it was bordering ridiculous. How many times was I going to drag out the inevitable? I almost stayed the night, when somehow from somewhere, this common sense, which I'd never experienced before said "get out of here now, this could go on for months, 'pretending' that we're not together when we were." Somehow I managed the strength to stand up, walk down the stairs and say goodbye. It hurt, and it was hard. But once in the car driving home, I knew I had made the right decision. I felt sad, yet strong and empowered. I knew I wouldn't allow myself to be put in that situation again.

    What amazed me the most, this action had taken me ten years to learn. I think that's why I was finally able to do it. At 28 years of age, I really don't have the time to muck about in a relationship that was not meeting my needs. By this age I really should have learnt a few things, such as the saying "If nothing changes, nothing changes". I guess it was ME that had eventually developed an enormous amount of self-respect when it came to men. I was no longer going to be the one who just couldn't let go when I knew it wasn't going to work, even when things were near to perfect. If the imperfection in the relationship is bothering you a lot, near to perfect is not good enough. When you go back for more, (and more and more) the heartache becomes unbearable. And I felt I couldn't do it to myself again.

    So the moral of this story girls, is don't be second best, don't let a relationship take over your whole world, when you know the best thing to do is walk away, even if you believe that this man is your soul mate. If he is, then I strongly believe your turn will come around again, once you've both grown. But never, I repeat never place yourself in a relationship where you are not satisfied and are compromising your own needs (although, make sure your expectations are realistic).

    This time round, as much as I still hurt, I feel strong. I haven't gone back crying on his doorstep, telling him I'd made the wrong decision (only to end it a week later). Remember the saying your Mum always said "If you love something, set it free, if it comes back it's yours, if it doesn't it never was". That saying use to annoy the hell out of me, now it just makes me smile. You never know what's around the corner, and it's best not to sneak a peek, because the unexpected could be amazing, and isn't the element of surprise the best part?

    10 Reasons To Stay Single

    This article is dedicated to all the girls out there in "Singledom". Whoever said that single girls don't have more fun?

    Relationships are all about compromise.Being single on the other hand, is all about being in control and taking charge of yourself.

    You are the Queen of your domain. Being single allows you to be self-indulgent without the need to feel guilty.

    Often when in relationships, girls become self-conscious about their body image.

    Being single means you are no longer a slave to the way you look.

    Single girls can stop worrying about their image 24 hours a day, as they have no one to please but themselves.

    Relationships involve sharing and sometimes that means everything! Some guys are content to just share your chocolate with you, but when they insist on borrowing YOUR clothes, you know you're in trouble!The beauty of being single is that you don't have to share with anyone - it's all about you, you, and you baby!

    Relationships mean loss of party-life.

    Single life means partying to dawn!

    You get to meet different types of people while mingling in different circles.

    Being single is all about fun, spontaneity and even more fun! So what are you waiting for - Network girlfriend!

    Single girls are footloose and fancy-free.

    Being a free agent entitles you to see whom you want, when you want.

    Being single allows you to flirt with a guy, without feeling guilty!

    Rediscover your own body clock. Single girls should enjoy the freedom; answer to no one and do things in their own timeframe.

    Remember that single life can be a headache-free, hassle-free, wonderful Life!

    Spell on How to Attract the Right Partner

    It's a strange experience for a writer to be peeking into other people's bedrooms. Not literally, of course, but through the case studies I choose to include in my books. Tackling the topics of love, lust, relationships and fertility this time around meant that I needed to cajole those brave souls who were willing to be my magical guinea pigs. Asking a couple to trust you to improve their sex life, or to trust you at the worrisome time prior to undergoing IVF, is a big request. Thankfully, I was able to convince a number of wonderful people across three continents to do just that.

    When I first decided to write about the Witch's Way as it applies to love, it was important to me to ensure that at its heart it had integrity, truth and a distinctly modern take. It is a recurring theme in my work to take the ancient wisdom of Witches and apply it to modern problems. Witches have always been good in the bedroom!

    We are able to assist when it comes to building a solid personal foundation, attracting the right partner, keeping the lust alive and even when it comes to cleanly breaking the bonds when a relationship goes sour. We know, through our vast herbal and nature-based wisdom, which plant to use to balance hormones and which ones get the juices flowing. Our whole spiritual practice is based around creation and pleasure (which is in contrast to many other mainstream religions), and so Witches, I believe, are in a prime position to influence matters of the heart and body in significant ways.

    I didn't want Witch in the Bedroom to be "just another spell book." My intention wasn't to instruct anyone on how to turn their boyfriend into a frog or show how to curse that nasty ex. Rather, I wanted it to demonstrate how - through the Witch's Way - the reader can attract and keep an ideal partner, build a greater connection with each other, ramp up their sensual pleasure and even conceive more easily, if that's their desire.

    I purposely delve into the nitty-gritty issues, such as co-dependence and sexual disassociation, because they are such common complaints in today's world. However, keeping fun in it...such as a section on Sex by the also just as important in keeping lust and love alive."

    Which State has the most romantic men?


    Sydneysiders are most likely to be single, Brisbane women are demanding, Perth-based men are the most generous spenders, while men living in Melbourne are the most likely to say it with flowers according to a national survey about Valentines Day.

    According to the 5th quarterly Australian Pleasure Survey commissioned by online gift voucher service RedBalloon Days, of the 3,005 respondents, 79.9% of all respondents will celebrate the day with a partner.

    Of the men and women living in Sydney only 78.0% and 79.0% of respondents respectively will enjoy Valentines Day with a partner, compared to 87.5% of Perth men and 93.2% of Adelaide women.

    However, according to the chief of experiences at RedBalloon Days, Naomi Simson, most Australians are both realistic and romantic about Valentines Day.

    "Adelaide people are the most likely of all Australians (92.5% vs the national average of 88.5%) to view Valentines Day as too commercial," said Simson, "yet 95.8% of all respondents have bought a Valentines Day gift at least once in their lives".

    "Men are the big spenders, with 50.8% spending $150 or more, compared to just 34.5% of women," said Simson. "Of those who have spent $200 or more, 35.1% are men, and 20.3% are women."

    The biggest spenders are Perth men and Sydney women (41.7% and 23.3% respectively) who have spent $200 or more on Valentines Day gifts, while the nation’s stingiest romantics are women living in Perth (19.1%) and Adelaide men (19.0%) who have spent less than $50 on gifts.

    "Surprisingly few people (12.8% of women, 7.1% of men nationwide) said they would be embarrassed if they didn’t receive anything on the day," said Simson. Those who say otherwise are Brisbane women (14.5%) and men living in Melbourne (10.4%).

    Of all Australians, female Brisbanites are the most likely to agree that Valentines Day creates a lot of expectations when you’ve just started dating (82.1% vs national average of 77.9%), it is a good test to see if you’re taken for granted by your partner (32.4% vs 27.6%), it’s embarrassing not receiving something at work on the day (14.5% vs 11.6%), and Valentines Day, their birthday and Christmas are the only times their partner does acknowledge them (27.4% vs 11.2%).

    The most sensitive souls seem to belong to Melbourne women, and Perth men, who were the most likely to agree that Valentines Day is distressing for those without a partner (66.5% and 54.0% vs national average of 63.3% for women, and 47.6% for men respectively).

    Sydney men were the most likely of all male respondents to want to celebrate Valentines Day by taking their partner on a dinner for two or a picnic (32.2%), Perth men planned to take them on a weekend away (62.5%) while Brisbane men wanted to celebrate with something out of the ordinary (35.0%).

    Adelaide women and Brisbane men ((48.2% and 50.0% vs national male and female average of 38.9% and 43.7% respectively) are the most likely of all to plan the gift and Valentines Day itself for weeks beforehand.

    According to Simson, tastes in Valentines Day gifts have changed. "The survey found that only one in five men and one in 13 women want to give flowers, chocolates, fragrance or lingerie as gifts on the day, and the majority want to enjoy a weekend away or a dinner for two with their partner," said Simson.

    While a weekend away and a dinner for two are far and away the favourite Valentines Day gift options across Australia (57.3% and 30.4% respectively), some of the gifts appealed much more to residents of different cities. The top answer for each gift category was as follows:

    a weekend away Brisbane men (55.0%); Melbourne women (64.0%)
    a dinner for two Sydney men (39.2%); Adelaide women (32.2%)
    flowers Melbourne men (16.9%); Sydney women (2.7%)
    chocolates Adelaide men (9.5%); Adelaide women (5.4%)
    lingerie/underwear Perth men (8.3%); Adelaide women (1.7%)
    fragrance Sydney men (1.7%); Brisbane women (3.4%)

    Aug 7, 2008

    Chlamydia and When Sex is Not OK

    Sexual Assault

    The majority of young people in Australia feel positive about sex and get involved sexually at a time that's more or less right for them. Sadly, this isn't always the case. Sexual assault is "any unwanted sexual behaviour that makes a person feel fearful, uncomfortable or threatened. It includes any sexual activity that a person has not freely agreed to. All forms of sexual assault are criminal and the responsibility lies solely with the offender." Australian statistics show that the majority of victims of sexual assault are girls and young women. For both girls and boys, and young women and young men, the greatest number of victims of sexual assault are children, teenagers and young people under 25. Women who are sexually assaulted nearly always know the person who did it.

    The influence of drugs or alcohol

    There can be other times when sex is not OK either. Research shows that one quarter of Australian high school students who have had sex report that they were drunk or intoxicated the last time they did it. This meant the sex was unprotected, or that they didn't really want to have sex but were too 'out of it' to know.

    When a relationship is not equal

    Another, different situation, is when a young person has sex in exchange for money or some other reward. For some people this might be OK, but for others, it can obviously lead to abuse and exploitation. It is also illegal in most states and territories in Australia for someone in a position of authority over a young person to have sex with them if they are under 18 years. Teachers and sports coaches are examples of this.
    For someone who has been sexually assaulted, or who has had sex under circumstances which they don't feel completely OK about, it can make it much more difficult to even think about sexually transmitted infections like Chlamydia, let alone go to a doctor to ask for a test. That's why it can be useful to involve a 'support team' that might include a trusted adult, counsellor, sexual assault professional and a doctor.

    Some Girls Do: My Life as a Teenager

    For every woman who has been a teenager or is one now, a funny, quirky and revealing collection of stories by well-known Australian women writers about their teen years.

    You've read their bestselling novels and memoirs. Now some of Australia's favourite female writers recount the true stories of their teenage years in this bumper collection . . .

    Remember your high school formal, your first love, first kiss, first bra, and the first time you realised your parents weren't always right? Relive the joys (and the horror) of your adolescence with Some Girls Do . . ., as fifty-six inspiring and accomplished writers reveal how they survived those challenging years.

    Whether they're writing about adolescent angst, first crushes, and being a rock groupie, or battles with anorexia, sexual abuse, or family after deciding to become a nun, these women prove that while the teenage years are not necessarily the best, you can survive to tell the tale. The result is a wonderfully funny, moving collection of memories, of different times and different lives, told with honesty, insight, sensitivity and humour. No two experiences are the same, because while some girls don't have a care in the world, real or imagined, some girls do . . .

    Includes stories from 50 contributors including Nikki Gemmell, Belinda Alexandra, Gabrielle Lord, Jessica Adams, Jessica Rowe, Kathy Lette, Kate Holden and Rachel Oakes-Ash.

    All royalties will go to the SISTER2Sister Project, a mentor program for disadvantaged teenage girls and part of Life Changing Experiences. Allen & Unwin will also donate $1 from the sale of this book to SISTER2sister.

    About the Author:
    Jacinta Tynan is the author of Good Man Hunting, which was published in 2005. A news presenter with Sky News Australia, she previously worked as a national news presenter and reporter for ABC TV. Jacinta is also a keen actor, and her performances include The Vagina Monologues at Sydney's Ensemble Theatre. As the grand-niece of Nino Culotta (John O'Grady), author of They're a Weird Mob, writing is in her blood.

    The Strong Woman's Desire for a Strong Man

    What sabotages the love lives of today's independent women?

    In an unconventional new book, German psychotherapist Maja Storch examines the ways that women (particularly those who we regard as successful, liberated and high-achieving) unwittingly undermine their intimate relationships. Dr Storch's work with women has enabled her to identify the unconscious reasons behind this process.

    Many women have rejected the stereotypical female roles of their parents' era but now feel uncomfortable with their continuing desire for a loving partner. Instead of embracing this side of themselves and looking for a man to fulfill that desire, many women continue to fall for those men who are emotionally unavailable and who ultimately treat them badly.

    Maja suggests that it is this rejection of their perceived weakness, which gets in the way of many women finding a safe and fulfilling relationship. She helps women unlock the fears that lie behind self-perpetuating patterns and achieve the necessary balance of independence, vulnerability, desire and strength that will enable them to succeed in a relationship.

    In her bestselling book - The Strong Woman's Desire for a Strong Man, which has been translated into 10 languages - Maja Storch examines the ways in which successful, independent women (who she classes as 'strong') unwittingly manage to repeatedly undermine their intimate relationships, and their unconscious reasons for doing so.

    She writes: 'When I say 'strong woman' I'm not talking about a kind of sexless, uptight, man-hating monster, or an academic who wears severe grey 'power suits' and lives alone with her two pampered cats. The type of woman I have in mind is independent, with a vibrant, energetic personality and an active sex life. She has learnt to rely on her own strength and is not waiting for a man to come along and save her.

    'Strong women are capable of great love, and share a longing for a loving man. But their desire has caused them great pain, as their encounters in love have been unsuccessful in the past, and they begin to wonder if this capability for love is a strength or a weakness. Do you love films where the independent woman falls for the broad-shouldered hero? Do you yearn for a man to come along who won't be put off by your confident manner, who will treat you like a woman and protect and guide you through life? And do you secretly hate yourself at the same time for even having these feelings? If so, you're not alone. Welcome to the club!'

    Topics discussed in the book:

  • Why we behave as we do in relationships: Maja Storch discusses how we are influenced by our understanding of traditional masculine and feminine roles and our childhood experiences, and how this can impact on our relationships.

  • The impact of the unconscious on our lives: Storch uses the Jungian idea of the unconscious or 'the shadow', to explain why strong women who may be independent and dominant in their everyday lives, may also have a more hopeful side in their unconscious that still longs for a close loving relationship with a man, but which they keep hidden.

  • How the battle of the sexes influences strong women in relationships: Storch explains that women have won significant territory from men through the women's movement - and there is no way they want to give it back. Women are no longer limited to the options of wife and mother. They have seen too many of these 'good women' lead productive but miserable lives, as they care for their husbands and families, but miss out on pursuing their full potential. They have also seen these 'good' women, perhaps their grandmothers and mothers, cast aside for younger women, and have now come to the conclusion that womanly virtues are not worth much.

  • Have women lost their femininity? Storch argues that by striving to forge their place in the world - a predominantly male world - women have taken on some of the traditional masculine character traits. And in the process they have pushed aside some of their true feminine qualities, including the desire for a loving relationship.

  • Why don't strong women fall in love with nice, uncomplicated men? Many strong women are afraid to drop their guard and allow themselves to pursue that loving relationship for fear of losing the independence and power they have worked so hard to establish. So they continue to fall in love with those men who will never give them the commitment, love and respect they want.

  • How to break the cycle: By coming to understand that her desire for a loving committed relationship doesn't have to mean sacrificing her independence, strength and power, the strong woman can learn to embrace and accept herself and her desires fully, opening the way for a more satisfying relationship without the heartache.
  • Family Separation A Guide for Teens - Top ten things for teens to remember

    Family Separation A Guide for Teens - Top ten things for teens to remember The Australian Government has produced a booklet 'Family Separation A Guide for Teens' with the Child Support Agency to help Australian teens experiencing family separation.

    Separation can take place over months or years. During this time children experience many emotions and changes to their lifestyle. It can be confusing and a difficult process fir everyone to adjust to. This compounded with teenage pressures of the social & physical nature can intensify your reactions to your adjusting lifestyle. 'Family Separation A Guide for Teens' aims to give teens some tips and help to understand and cope with what's going on around them.

    The Child Support Agency (CSA) helps ensure children can rely on their parents for the financial and emotional support necessary for their well-being. They have more than 4000 staff across the country supporting around 1.5 million parents to transfer payments for the benefit of 1.2 million children. For more information about the CSA call 131 272 or visit:

    Top ten things for teens to remember

    1. You’re not alone. Around 11,000 teenagers are affected by family separation in Australia each year.

    2. It’s not your fault. Nothing you said or did made your parents decide to separate.

    3. It’s not your job to make things better for your parents. They are responsible for you, not the other way around.

    4. Your parents are separating from each other, not you. Your father will always be your father and your mother will always be your mother.

    5. You have the right to feel safe. If you don’t feel safe, talk to someone you trust. If you’re experiencing violence call the police.

    6. You can still have a relationship with both your parents even if you don’t live with one of them any more. You can visit them or stay in contact with them by phone, email or letter.

    7. You have the right to express your views and have them heard.

    8. Relationships break down for a number of reasons. Don’t take sides or judge who is right or wrong, your parents’ relationship is between them.

    9. It is a good idea to get two of the things you need every day, like a toothbrush, hairbrush or clothes so you don’t have to carry as much stuff when you travel between your parent’s houses.

    10. It is okay to get help if you need it. Talk to someone you trust.

    Could you share your guy?

    by Lucy Stewart

    Could you share your guy?

    Struggle to share the space in a communal change room? How would you go sharing your man? I recently took the plunge and committed to a years contract with Foxtel. Oohh Foxtel, a sweet luxury that I have already come to love during its short stay. With just under 100 channels at my disposal, I can watch anything from Sex and the City and Family Guy, to the 2000 AFL Grand Final. Now, I know what you're thinking. Why on earth would she want to watch some stupid Grand Final? And the truth is, I don't, but all I'm saying is that if I wanted too, I totally could.

    One particular series has taken my interest, Girls of the Playboy Mansion. The show follows the lives of Hugh Heffner's three girlfriends; Holly Madison, Kendra Wilkinson and Bridgette Marquardt. Viewers are taken behind the gates of the world's most famous English Tudor and are given just a glimpse into the lives of girls that live, play and party with the man himself. We are invited to watch extravagant parties, lavish photo shoots and lazy summer days around the pool. Though this may not be everyone's cup of tea, it's right down my alley, as for some unknown reason I just can't get enough of trashy reality television.

    Throughout the show I watch in disbelief as the girls are intimate with the 81yrs old Playboy mogul. However there is one thing I find even more astonishing than this. Every episode I attempt to grasp the idea of sharing your man. Not since the evolution of Crocs have I struggled with such a concept. Learning to share

    Now I won't lie. I do have a reputation for being the jealous type. At home, my sister and I like to participate in the occasional 'call 0ff', in which we place our puppy in the middle of the room and each furiously call her. Whoever the dog runs to is supposedly the one she likes better. 'Call off's' do occasionally end in me sulking off and ignoring the dog, and my sister, for the day. Plus, I'm not really one to share. If I've just bought one of the latest magazines I won't share it with anyone until I've read every page. I like my magazines as virgins, thank you very much. However, as jealous and as selfish as I am, I'm sure most girls would agree that they don't want to share their partner with anyone. It is for this very reason that I simply can't comprehend how Holly, Kendra and Bridgette do it.

    It appears that these girls are not alone in the structure of their personal relationships. In the modern world there are little restrictions on the types of relationships people can have. In 2001 same sex marriages were first legalized in the Netherlands, with six other jurisdictions quickly following suit. Earlier this year Ontario's highest court gave legal parental status to the lesbian partner of a biological mother, essentially giving a young boy three legal parents. It seems that the traditional idea of an intimate relationship has completely gone out the window. Whilst the girls of the playboy mansion simply date the same man, some people take this a step further.

    Polygamy refers to the practice or condition of having more than one spouse at one time, and it is not restricted to the lives of the famous. In 2006, HBO television series "Big Love" was released. "Big Love" follows the life of modern polygamist Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) and watches him tackle issues within his three-house suburban home, as well as outside of it. The series revolves around Bill, his three wives; Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn), Nicki (Chloe Sevigny) and Margene (Gennifer Goodwin), and the family's seven children. It attempts to offer the viewer an unbiased portrayal of polygamy in America. The show has set off nation wide debate across America, as to whether or not polygamy should be legalized. The season finale of "Big Love" averaged 4.5 million viewers, so it is clear that many have a strong interest in the idea of 'man-sharing', or can simply relate to the show. The polygamy trend appears to be catching on around the world. In Chechnya, the Deputy Prime Minister believes that legalizing polygamy is essential for the country. Chechnya has been devastated by war, and as a result the female population greatly outweighs the male population. Women are being forced to share guys in what appears a man drought.

    Real life man-sharing

    Could the belief that it is impossible to find a man, let alone a good one, really be the driving force of 'man-sharing'? Earlier this year Kate, 20yrs, met a man that she instantly fell for. "I met him at a club when I was out with some of the girls. He was gorgeous, smart and true gentlemen." After various failed relationships Kate thought she'd hit the jackpot. The only problem was that her sexy bachelor Brian, had eyes for not just Kate, but another woman he'd met a month earlier. Brian was desperate to learn more about Kate, even though he was seeing another girl. "He told me straight up that he'd recently been on dates with Claire, to be honest I didn't think much of it. It wasn't like he had a girlfriend or anything, and I'd been in so many crappy relationships that I thought it was worth a shot." For the next month Kate and Brian had various dinner dates and he was even lucky enough to meet the parents. "I hadn't told mum and dad that he was seeing another girl, but it's not like he was my boyfriend, so to be honest I didn't think it mattered." Just over a month later Claire moved interstate and was then completely out of the picture. However, Kate and Brian's relationship remained unchanged. "I'll admit that initially I had thoughts about us making our relationship official but then I questioned the effect this would have on my life." Kate practically works full time and attends university so she felt that there was little point in becoming a full time girlfriend. "I came to the realization that my relationship with Brian was working perfectly just the way it was. At that point in my life I couldn't handle a boyfriend, but a friend with benefits suited me just fine"

    Though Kate's story is not as extreme as the polygamists living in Utah, or the girls at the playboy mansion, her relationship with Brian is still not what you would call traditional. It appears that 'man-sharing' is all around us. Is the idea of a traditional relationship becoming a thing of the past?

    The Reality of it All

    Sex therapist, and author of Riding the Sexual Frontier, Jo-Anne Baker, does not agree that traditional relationships are becoming a thing of the past. She does however believe that nowadays people have less commitment to working relationship issues out. "They simply aren't equipped with the tools to keep developing intimacy." Could this be the reason couples are choosing to add more people to the equation? Jo-Anne believes that even if a couple believes in monogamy, it's still something that they need to work at. Relationships involving late teens and early 20 something's require particular effort, as this is the most common age for sexual experimentation. In the case of a relationship involving more than two people Jo-Anne does not believe that this is sustainable. "In my experience, couples find it hard enough with one partner, let alone two." She believes that adding more people into a relationship will cause a breakdown in the main relationship, and various trust issues will develop from this. Not so in the case of the playboy girls. Hefner's number one girlfriend, Holly Madison claims; "I don't get jealous of other girls, because I was... raised in a cloning lab to be the perfect woman for Hugh M. Hefner." You're not fooling anyone sweetheart.

    It appears that though 'man-sharing' is becoming more and more acceptable, it's not all its cracked up to be. Whilst many young couples are experimenting with different types of relationships, the stability of such is questionable. Still, there could be much worse than having to share Hugh Hefner. Imagine having to live the life of any one of the guests on Fox 8's Jerry Springer show. I don't care how attractive she finds him; it's her brother for God's sake!

    'Man-sharing' all around us:

    For years Simone Warne has shared her husband Shane, though for most of it she was blissfully unaware. Following her discovery of betrayal Simone and Shane continued to live together whilst they both saw other people.

    American pornographic actress Nina Hartley was in a relationship with her husband Dave and 'wife' Bobby Lilly for 20 years. The relationship fell apart with Hartley saying "I was too immature and he was too possessive. It didn't work... It ended up ending because it was the wrong three people involved."

    On the American hit Grey's Anatomy, key characters Meredith Grey and Addison Montgomery are forced to share McDreamy, aka, Derek Shepherd. The tables turn when McDreamy is forced to share Meredith.

    Inside the Mind of a Sex Addict – More than the Naked Eye Sees
    If you ever wanted to explore inside the mind of a sex addict, then just keep reading. I was a prime candidate for pornography addiction -- 29 years old, single, and I was horny as heck! New to town and not knowing any girls with whom I could talk made it easy to see them only as sex objects, so I focused only on their physical attributes.

    Have you ever heard of the song, I’m A Girl Watcher? It became my theme song in my new hometown. Initially, I obsessed about women’s physical attributes with their clothes on, but this led to the natural progression of wanting to see them without clothes. More than a few counselors in my city, of which I was one, had a womanizing reputation. Being sexually active was almost expected and condoned. Daily, my boss retold his youthful sexual exploits -- now too old to continue. “Boy you ought to be humping (having sex) every night,” his chauffeur once said. Such surroundings would make it easy to blame others for my fall into pornography, but I take full responsibility. No one held a gun to my head.

    Flipping TV channels at my boss’ home late one night, my eyes hit the Playboy channel and I was hooked! I couldn’t see enough nudity and sex. My conscience was saying “No,” but I wouldn’t listen. Having counsel from mature moral men would have been nice. But no excuses -- I’m totally responsible for my wrong choices and their consequences, some lifelong. How did a boy raised in church get here -- becoming a porn addict?

    Inside the Mind of a Sex Addict—Living A Double Life
    The reasoning inside the mind of a sex addict usually suggests going underground with your new lifestyle, becoming a secret agent because people won’t understand. They’ll reject you. You know the middle and high school drill -- one way with parents/teachers and another with peers. Getting high from the chemicals the brain releases makes pornography extremely addictive. Pornography enslaved me to this chemical release in my own brain -- doing whatever it took to get high. My brain became my own drug supplier, eliminating any middle man. No one warned me that this addiction would escalate. Watching pornography not only affected my mind, but my body.

    Masturbation is the next step in pornography. Pornography triggers a physical response -- an erection. Erections demand a release or a cold shower. I wasn’t about to take a cold shower! Masturbating unleashed a new source of pleasure. My addiction had now tripled: my lusting eyes, the euphoric feeling from the brain chemicals, and the pleasure of masturbating. Avoiding peak hours at the video store was critical in not being seen with pornographic videos. Every free moment, my mind was focusing on pornography. You may be thinking similar thoughts, “So what if girls rejected me or someone mistreated me, relief is only a DVD or a website away.”

    Inside the Mind of a Sex Addict—Regaining Control of Me
    Often a constant battle rages inside the mind of a sex addict. Initially, all the secrecy and illicit pleasure was fun. But the more pornography I consumed, the more it consumed me. Stimulation required more perverse pornography. I wasn’t in control -- the pornography was! Addicted while single, I carried it into my marriage. This resulted in deceiving my wife, the one with whom I’m to be closest. Hiding my addiction from my wife got old quick. I must be crazy for risking my marriage for fantasy!

    Pornography promotes selfishness. Seldom did I think of bringing sexual pleasure to my wife. I thought only about getting, not giving. Pornography made it difficult if not impossible to develop intimacy with my wife. When we had conflict, pornography made it so easy to cop out and not work through the conflict. (I’ve since learned that working through conflict, not avoiding it, is the key to marital intimacy.)

    Finally, I saw that pornography was destroying my marriage and me. I needed help. God provided it through an unusual revival that broke out on Christian college campuses across the country. Without music and any form of manipulation, students gathered, one by one confessing their sins. My executive director thought it would be beneficial for our office to do this. So, in front of men and women and with God’s help, I publicly confessed my sin of pornography. Immediately, what felt like a physical weight was lifted off of me. I was free! Instead of receiving criticism, men put their hands on my shoulders and prayed for me! Then, I went home and confessed to my wife. She immediately forgave me. She has never mentioned it since then. In fact, she has given me permission to publicly share my story to help free others. Not every wife is ready for us to unload our guilt on them. Become a student of your wife -- be sure she’s ready and willing to hear this from you. You may first need to spend months building trust and intimacy with her.

    Freedom is seldom appreciated until it is gone. Being free from pornography is incredible! It has resulted in a new closeness with my wife, less stress from living a double life, peace, self-worth, and no deception from momentary pleasure. I now have self-imposed boundaries and I also have an accountability partner. I’ve replaced pornography with life-giving priorities: family time, helping others, writing, and speaking.

    Aug 3, 2008

    10 Things Every Girl Should Know About Boys and Their Private Parts

    1. Unlike your girly privates, which are internal, boy privates are external. God knew that nobody wanted to see all our lady mess, so He pushed everything up inside you. What in tarnation He was thinking when he came up with that nasty, dangling, squishy flesh on boys beats the heck out of me, but I suspect it was so it would be easier for Him to keep an eye on what they're up to. Because trust me: that grotesque grab bag of horror and disappointment is always up to something, gals.

    2. Boy privates are often said to resemble hot dogs, although if you ask me, the ones I've seen always called to mind something like those cute little Austrian cocktail weenies they sell 8 to a can. But I think famed author Lynne Cheney described the male unmentionable best when she recalled recoiling at "an old Frankenstein's monster bratwurst that looked like it had rolled under the couch for a month and got covered in dust bunnies and would make you spit up if you even so much as halfheartedly nibbled the tip of it."

    3. Though erotically sensitive just like girl nipples, boy nipples are NOT privates – yet. But my husband and I are working hard to instill a sense of sexualized body shame so acute, that one day soon boys will learn that their nipples are dirty little things that will get them – just like you! – arrested when they strut around topless at Myrtle Beach. America is not some big, old licentious San Tropez and it's time all of you out there realized it!

    4. The stuff that comes out of boys every time they use you has as many calories as seven whole pints of Häagen-Dazs. That's why all the girls who do "it" always get so fat and ugly and have that ulcerated skin that screams to everyone in church, "I am an insatiable slut!"

    5. While almost all American boys have human-looking privates, most foreign boys have privates like German Shepherds or half-open tubes of Max Factor lipstick.

    6. Because boys use the business end of their privates as a pipe for going number one, touching it is pretty much the same as taking a bath in a Mexican's toilet.

    7. If you play your cards right, the revolting little wrinkled purse part of boy privates is something a Christian lady can go throughout her entire life without ever seeing. But knowing where it is can come in mighty handy when called upon to give a "not until marriage" warning kick.

    8. When a boy's disgusting private goes inside of a girl's shameful unmentionable, there is a serious risk of it breaking off and causing excruciating pain while it travels throughout your body like a giant trichinosis worm.

    9. Up until the moment in your wedding when he says "I do," a boy's privates sport a treacherous spine of jagged scales, which may or may not secrete acid and weapons-grade anthrax – for which, apparently, only Ann Coulter has developed the antibodies.

    10. God designed a boy's privates as part sword, part battering-ram, to joyously stab and hammer you with on the magical night you begin your life-long tethering to the man who'll liberate you from the drudgery of ever having to make your own decisions – except when to have a headache or give an "I don't like this" bite.

    Aug 1, 2008

    Your number of lovers is never too much

    by Saskia Vogel

    3, 60, 24, 17, 624, I don't remember. Is there an answer to "How many men have you slept with?" that ever actually feels like the right number? And how do you count in the first place?


    First off, how do you define sex? Well, if you're straight, probably by penetrative intercourse. If you're bi, then you are more likely to include any oral/manual encounter. If you're into BDSM, you might count the partners you've "played" with. Frankly, I think sex is 2 hot bodies going at it passionately (in whatever form you choose), so I'd say the rule of thumb for Total Number of Erotic Encounters should be all inclusive. (For example, sexually active lesbians who have never had sex with men are not virgins. Their number is not zero.) And there's the problem. Once you start counting your lovers, you may come up with a number that makes you feel...well...slutty or under-experienced. You may start "making expectations" like these: I don't remember his name; It was only the one time; I only count men I loved; It was just oral; It was before I became celibate.


    In numerology, I love my number: nine. Like my star sign (Virgo), I think it says a lot about me, but my number of sexual partners, depending on the company, makes me feel somewhere between slutty (I've never told my boyfriend how many, and I've never asked him) and chaste (I adore my outspoken friends). I couldn't tell you my number off hand anymore, and I'm sure you, dear reader would find it somewhere between slutty and chaste, too. It's popular question (remember that scene behind the cash register in Clerks where Dante freaks out about his ex's number of partners...including oral-only sex?), but does it really matter? A number has no bearing on a person's ability to have any kind of relationship they desire. It holds no moral weight. It only says nothing about your values.

    I say we stop counting. When we stop counting, we give ourselves permission to explore our desires free from social stigma, love as we please and discover sex as an organic erotic force to be enjoyed as we enjoy the other earthly pleasures. And really, who cares? (And if he cares, is he worth it?)

    Frankly, unless I'm feeling like channeling Sesame Street's The Count, I couldn't tell you my number off hand.

    Nine Things to Know About Male Sexuality

    by By Cory Silverberg

    There's a myth that male sexuality is simple. The reality is that (in public at least) men talk and write less about sexuality than anyone, and the result is that there is a great deal of ignorance about male sexuality. Here is a crash course on key aspects of male sexuality that everyone should know about.

    Penis size isn’t a simple measurement.

    Most men worry about the size of their penis at some point their lives. Sadly, they usually do this with little understanding of what the average penis size is. While some women report that penis size does matter, most people agree that penis size isn’t nearly as important as things like overall sexual interest, sexual technique, and sexual compatibility. All things that have much more to do with the organ between ones ears than the one between ones legs.

    Men don’t always want to have sex.

    The stereotype of male sexuality is that men always want sex. This stereotype is so ingrained in men that many act it out, engaging in sex when they don’t really feel like it just because it is expected of them. The fact is that there are many times when men don’t feel like having sex, and this doesn’t always indicate a “problem”. Low libido may be caused by physical or psychological factors, but it can also be a reasonable reaction to life’s stressors.

    Men can have multiple orgasms.

    Because most men learn to stimulate themselves to orgasm with ease, they tend to think they’ve learned it all by the time their 19. In reality, most men only experience a small percentage of their orgasmic potential. One example are male multiple orgasms. Just like many (but not all) women, many men can learn to become multi-orgasmic. Learn more about male multiple orgasms.

    Men can control ejaculation (most of the time).

    While most men experience problems with ejaculation at some point in their lives, many don’t know that the timing of ejaculation can be controlled, most of the time, with relatively simple exercises. There are many myths about premature ejaculation and these can be difficult to overcome. But getting a better understanding of male sexual response, and learning to control ejaculation, can also lead to a greater experience of sexual pleasure.

    Men can (and do) use sex toys.

    There is a myth that sex toys (vibrators in particular) are for women, and that they are like a stand-in for men. The fact is that sex toys don’t replace people, they do things none of us can, and the pleasure they facilitate can be for men as much as women. Sex toys can provide incredibly intense stimulation, unlike anything a man has experienced, and using sex toys with a partner can open up all sorts of new possibilities. Learn more about sex toys.

    Men do have a “special button”

    While not all men like having it pressed, it’s true that the prostate gland can be a source of intense sexual pleasure for men. Often referred to as the “male g spot” or the “p-spot” (a term that seems seriously unsexy to me), prostate stimulation, done either externally by massaging the perineum, or internally through penetration, can open up a new world to men who believe there’s only one way for them to experience sexual pleasure.

    Anal pleasure is for all men.

    Many heterosexual men still think that if they like or want anal play it “means they are gay.” This is a false idea based on homophobic beliefs. Anal play won’t make you gay but it may make you very excited. In addition to prostate stimulation, many heterosexual couples are exploring the physical and psychological pleasure of reversing traditional sexual and gender roles. However they do it, once they discover the pleasure of anal play most men never look back. Learn more about anal play.

    Masturbation is good for men.

    Parents often give boys mixed messages about masturbation. They may say “it’s dirty” bit they also say “boys will be boys”. As a result almost all men masturbate throughout their lives, but often do so with feelings of ambivalence. And they rarely talk about their masturbation. Many of the secrets to a man’s desires can be found in the way he masturbates, and men who are good at pleasuring themselves can teach their partners what turns them on while exploring new ways to masturbate.

    Male sexuality isn’t simple

    This is the single most harmful myth about male sexuality. Because men’s genitalia are external, because they can usually get themselves off easily, because in the west we’re told that men have it “better” than women (as if there were only two genders on the planet) it is assumed that there is nothing new to know about male sexuality. As a result, one could argue that men are among the least sexually evolved and have to work extra hard to discover their own sexual potential. But it’s there!

    Games that lovers play

    BY Margeaux Baulch

    There comes a time in every couple’s relationship when the sex becomes routine.

    King Chess Piece Bowing to Queen
    Watching your partner take out the trash and lounge around in his sweats on the weekends may be a fact of life, but is hardly the fuel needed to keep your engine purring. So, if your sex life could use some friendly maintenance, try tuning it up at home with either (or both!) of the following adult-themed games.

    Twist Her

    Body Twist HerIf you thought that traditional Twister had all of the makings of an orgy, try Twist Her. Like the original, you still become jumbled up, but the twist is where. Instead of a big plastic sheet, Twist Her comes with a set of colorful, hand decal stickers that you decide where to place on your body. The directions are simple; rolling a pair of dice determines which sticker you touch as well as with what body part. Red toe on your lips? Green lips on his thigh? It’s easy to get twisted with pleasure with this game, especially if you’re skimpily clad.
    $10.39, available at

    A Hot Affair

    Hot Affair If variety is the spice of life, A Hot Affair is the paprika of sensual desire. Modeled after traditional board games, AHA comes with dice, playing pieces, and over 200 cards instructing you to either divulge your most intimate secrets or do wild, naughty things to your partner. Never had a reason to take off your underwear and shove it in your lover’s mouth? Now you do! Each player takes turn rolling the dice and landing on various squares that instruct you to drink, “nibble seductively” on snacks, or take a card. With each round, the questions and activities become increasingly more provocative, leading up to the final fantasy. The winner gets to select his or her favorite choice from the two cards he’s swapped out throughout the game. Teacher and saucy student? Honey drizzler and drizzlee? Costumes are not included, but they might be fun.

    The worst places for public sex

    BY Brian Josepher

    A story the other day caught my eye. A young couple was caught copulating in a New Jersey Ikea. According to the male member of the couple, Ikea has become the “sexspot,” or the hotspot for public acts of sex amongst his generation.

    Ikea apparently is the new Walmart.

    To me, Ikea, or Walmart, just sounds uncomfortable. That started me thinking. What are the worst places for public sex? This is one columnist’s opinion.


    The smell of moth larva wafting over the exhaust system. The aisles of junk piled upon junk. The ubiquitous yellow smiley faces. The discount rates advertising the strangest pricing. Who can make love next to $21.39 or $17.61? Walmart as a sexspot is uninviting for the very reason that consumers shop Walmart in the first place, the prices. Ironic.


    People talk about the Mile High Club as the best sex they've ever had. Supposedly the atmospheric pressure increases the intensity of the orgasm. Personally, I don't get it. Cramped quarters, unclean environment, disturbed by that knock on the door and a stewardess threatening to "land this plane if you don't come right out." Better to tamper with the smoke alarm and light up a cigarette. Oh, and then the walk of shame that follows. You and your partner leave the lavatory together. All eyes are upon you, or appear to be. The act of sex should not be flaunted. The Mile High Club is a club for flaunters.


    I lost my virginity in a station wagon. What do I remember? The January cold of Colorado. Shivering overriding any amount of passion or curiosity. Wanting to get it over with and go get warm. Sex to me wasn’t nearly as inviting as a roaring fire.

    At least in a station wagon there was plenty of space. For a time later in my life I was a proponent of Saab sex. I don't want to say that alcohol was involved, because that would mean drinking and driving, but, well, nobody sober selects Saab sex. There's simply no room to maneuver. That stick shift can be quite an obstacle.

    I'm not a fan of Hummers. How a war machine became the new beetle, I have no idea. Maybe it has to do with the sexual adventure. Hummers are a mini motel room. And they can take you anywhere, to the top of Everest included. Now there's a Mile High Club of a different sort.


    Friends of mine used to enjoy sex in a bar well. Don't ask me why. Her tush on ice. Knees banging into bottles of vodka, gin and vermouth. Everything a little sticky.

    Personally, I think they liked to watch themselves and the wall length mirror gave them that opportunity. I also know that she was a big fan of pickled onions. She didn't have far to reach.

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