sexdownunder

Sex, Love & Relationships in Australia

I’m horny

It starts with her beauty in my eyes, it moves...

It starts with her beauty in my eyes, it moves to her scent in my nose, then how her soft skin feels against my fingers and lips. Very intoxicating.

Do you admit to being horny?  You know those times of the day where your mind begins to think, “right now I’d like to…”.  Why is it okay for men to say, “shit I’m horny and need a root” while women mostly complain about how much their partner hassles them for sex?  No matter how far women have come in gender equality (I actually don’t think we’ve come that far), we’re still far behind men in what’s deemed “appropriate” conversation for a “lady”.

There’s two points I wish to make:

  1. Horniness is a feeling, it doesn’t mean you’re a slut;
  2. Just because you’re horny doesn’t mean you have to have sex or masturbate.

I believe acknowledging horny feelings is important.  If we ignore them we are denying ourselves pleasurable feelings which over time may train our brains to filter them out and only acknowledge the mundane or negative ones.  If we filter out the horny feelings then this may result in a decreased libido.

You may be thinking, “hang on, but what about the guy who is horny all of the time”.  I still believe those feelings need to be acknowledged not ignored.  It’s beneficial to acknowledge the feeling then make a conscious choice on which action to take.  As I said above, you don’t have to act on every feeling!  If you think you have to act on horniness then why don’t you always act when you feel angry (go hit someone) or when stressed (scream and throw things) or sad (cry).  We can control horniness just like we can control other feelings by deciding on what is the best action to take at that particular time.

Feeling horny is a great feeling!  It doesn’t have to become self-destructive and it doesn’t have to be ignored.  It’s the most misunderstood feeling I know.

Embrace horniness, act on it when appropriate and channel it into positive energy when it isn’t.

If the boat ain’t rockin’…

Rome visit, June 2008 - 57

I often see couples whose relationship has improved to the point that the main tension is gone, who are suddenly afraid to address underlying issues in case they suddenly, “rock the boat”.

Fear that addressing the underlying issues may push the relationship back into turmoil in effect halts the relationship from progressing.  This avoidance approach almost always paves the way for old patterns to return.

I’m not suggesting that you embrace arguing and conflict but I’m also saying not to avoid it.  It’s not the amount of arguing that’s the issue but how the arguing is done!  So, how do I suggest you argue?

Firstly, try identifying what the issue is.  It sounds obvious but we often start an argument by being indirect. For instance saying, “you’re lazy” will almost always result in defensiveness and return criticism.  Instead saying, “it’d make me feel a lot more relaxed and happy if you helped me clean up after dinner” will generally have a better outcome.  If the bigger issue is your partner regularly avoiding their share of the housework then try expressing how it makes you feel rather than directly criticising them.  “Honey, you know how stressed I’ve been lately?  A lot of that stress comes from feeling like I have to do all the housework, what would you be able to do to help me?”

The bigger issues in relationships often revolve around:

  1. finances, usually one person complains the other spends too much;
  2. sex, one person complains the other person wants it too often or not enough;
  3. work/life balance, not enough time spent with the parter.

To improve a relationship long term each of these issues need to be addressed.  If there’s improvement in your relationship but underlying tension about these issues remain, it won’t be long before the tension rebuilds and spills into other areas.

Setting regular catch up times to discuss heated topics is a good way of not avoiding conflict.  If you know that every Tuesday at 8pm you sit down with the T.V off and have to discuss your relationship for half an hour then there’s opportunity for each of you to raise the issue. Always raise an issue based on how it effects you, NOT what your partner is doing wrong.

Finally, the trick to arguing successfully is to always finish the night on a positive.  It may be that you watch a comedy show on T.V together or share a treat but you need to do something that reconnects you rather than leaving the tension between you.  My own rule is to never fall asleep without making up.  I’d rather stay up all night until an issue is resolved than go to bed and have a restless nights sleep.

Who knows maybe the boat will be rockin’ in other ways….

 

Accidental Communication

Hello again fellow bloggers.  I know I’ve been extremely slack and hope my followers haven’t all deserted me for more erotically enticing posts.

Thought I’d share my latest adventure.

Day One:

Last Thursday I received a text message from an unknown phone number:

No one has inspired me as you do.  Either way we go… you have touched me.

I am the ocean.

She is not drowning.

She is a mountain.

I am the sea.

She is not moving.

I am forever.

Down on bended knee.

I hope you have enjoyed the poems I sent you. They were all new… all you.

I had no idea who it was from and assumed it was spam. Then I started to think about the meaning of the poem.  I even wondered if perhaps it was meant for me.  That night I replied, “Please explain who and why”.

Day Two:

The next morning I received a blank reply to which I responded, “?”.  He then responded, “Who’s that?”.  Then, “Oh I see there is a typo in the number that’s crazy.  Well u got a free poem. You’re probably very inspirational as well.”

I was enticed by the mystery so I replied, ” I hope the right person enjoys it as much as I did”.

He replied, “No actually she didn’t understand it”

Me, “Oh sad. It made perfect sense to me. Maybe try flowers instead?”

Reply, “That’s a sweet suggestion but actually flowers don’t reach her either.  She isn’t ready for love at this time. Thanks for liking the poem.”

And then he told me his name, “By the way, I’m Peter in Queensland.”

Over the next couple of hours we text back and forth.  He told me more than I told him. In fact I didn’t disclose any of my personal details other than my first name.

Peter is 50 years old and lives on a farm with horses.  He works four days a week and considers himself as leading an “alternative life”. In addition to poetry he plays the guitar and sings.

He told me to listen to Pink’s, “Glitter in the Air”.   Here’s part of the lyrics:

Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone?
You’re whole life waiting on the ring to prove you’re not alone
Have you ever been touched so gently you had to cry?
Have you ever invited a stranger to come inside?

Had I not read the poem I probably would have ignored the text. Too often I hear women claiming men can’t communicate or they don’t express their emotions.  Here is a guy trying to get the attention of a women who apparently doesn’t want his affection.

Day Two ended by him saying he was seeing “the girl” the next day.

Day Three:

I got a text simply saying, “No deal”.  I guessed that meant the poem recipient was not receptive.

I asked him why and he replied, “It’s my heart and hers don’t want the same thing in the end”.

Of course there’s always more to a story than what’s initially told.  He went on to tell me they are work colleagues and started an intense sexual relationship several months ago. He text, “We have had the most fantastic sex I and she have ever had.  All night long, music, wine and loving.  My stupid heart wants to feel loved outside of those times.”

I’d drown in her eyes and when I kissed her and come my heart would all but stop.

Where is this going?  How do you end communication with a stranger who has shared so much? Do I need to end it or do I keep going?  What would you do?  Does my own relationship status make any difference in how I should proceed?

Fun and Games

How often do you sit down with your partner and play a game?

Español: Torre Jenga cayendo.

I’m referring to old fashioned board or card games.  The things we used to play before technology took over!

I love playing games.  I don’t believe age should be a barrier. I’d rather die laughing than bored.

My favourite games are those that don’t involve much skill but require you to be silly.  I like Charades, Who am I or Pictionary.  I like games that require me to get off my bum and act silly.  It’s embarrassing but that’s what makes it fun.

When I’m in a more serious mood I reach for Scrabble or Battleship. When I’m in a competitive mood I enjoy Draughts (Checkers), Backgammon or Chess.

I don’t have to win although sometimes if I’m feeling a little cheeky I will make a bet with my partner and then there’s no stopping me.  Out comes the competitive streak!

I’ve recently started completing jigsaws.  They’re kind of fun although at times they’re also frustrating.  I buy the ones with a maximum of 500 pieces as I have a limited attention span and I like ones with interesting but not too difficult pictures.  I have one on my table at the moment of cats sitting watching a movie while eating popcorn.

I’m always on the look out for new games, anything that’s quick and easy to learn.  Have you ever played Pass the Pigs ? It’s a must play in my book.  Simple and silly.  You can carry the game in your handbag or even in your back pocket so there’s really no excuse to choose technology rather than a game.

I’ve also found that most people are willing game participants, you just have to ask.

I challenge you to have a games night this week (after the kids have gone to bed).  What’s your favourite game?  Is there a game I should rush out and buy?

For those of you whose mind has wandered into R-rated game territory, stay tuned for my next post.  Of course I own lots of those too but sometimes acting like an innocent child without the overture of sex is more enjoyable.

Is One Ever Enough?

Polyamory large

I thought I was quite enlightened about sexual relationships until a friend of mine informed me he and his partner practice Polyamory.

Polyamory is the practice of having more than one intimate partner at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.  it is different from swinging which is sex with others for merely recreational purposes.  With Polyamory there is more intimacy and emotional attachment than in swinging.  There are polyamory relationships where the various participants all live together (often a type of threesome arrangement and frequently two women with one man) and there are those where the primary relationship partners form relationships with secondary partners outside of the home (this can number from one to many extra partners).

I asked my friend to tell me more about his relationship.

He explained that his partner is currently seeing two other guys and is open to more. They are both on numerous “sex” sites (one specialising  in affairs for married people), and swinging sites.  He hasn’t yet met anyone for ongoing sex but he’s actively looking and said he’s happy for his partner to have numerous extra sexual relationships.

Since having this chat I’ve done lots of reading about Polyamory.  Apparently there are over 50,000 people in the U.S identifying with this lifestyle.  There are no clear stats for the number in Australia and I’m guessing the figures would be somewhat distorted by the confusion with swinging and other open type relationships. The “official” Polyamory website in Australia states there are “several hundred” people practising this lifestyle in Australia.  I am sure there are many men who would claim to support polyamory when in fact they simply want to have sex with numerous women without attachment (labeled as Promiscuity).  But there are many others who are committed to this lifestyle who find it highly satisfying.

Wikipedia has an excellent entry about Polyamory.  In defining it they say:

People who identify as polyamorous typically reject the view that sexual and relational exclusivity are necessary for deep, committed, long-term loving relationships. Those who are open to, or emotionally suited for, polyamory may embark on a polyamorous relationship when single or already in a monogamous or open relationship. Sex is not necessarily a primary focus in polyamorous relationships, which commonly consist of people seeking to build long-term relationships with more than one person on mutually agreeable grounds, with sex as only one aspect of their relationships. In practice, polyamorous relationships are highly varied and individualized according to those participating. For many, such relationships are ideally built upon values of trust, loyalty, the negotiation of boundaries, and compersion, as well as overcoming jealousy, possessiveness, and the rejection of restrictive cultural standards.

There are many forms of Polyamory and I wonder if perhaps the term has become a little too inclusive.

Wikipedia lists the following forms of Polyamory:

  • Polyfidelity, which involves multiple romantic relationships with sexual contact restricted to only specific partners in the group (which may include all members of that group) (e.g. group marriage).
  • Sub-relationships, which distinguish between “primary” and “secondary” relationships (e.g. most open marriages).
  • Three people romantically involved, often called a “triad relationship.” (Commonly initiated by an established couple jointly dating a third person; however, there are many possible configurations.)
  • Relationships between a couple and another couple (Quad).
  • Polygamy (polygyny and polyandry), in which one person marries several spouses (who may or may not be married to, or have romantic relationships with, one another).
  • Group relationships, sometimes referred to as tribes, and group marriage, in which all consider themselves associated to one another.
  • Networks of interconnecting relationships, where a particular person may have relationships of varying degrees of importance with various people.
  • Mono/poly relationships, where one partner is monogamous but agrees to the other having outside relationships.
  • So-called “geometric” arrangements, which are described by the number of people involved and their relationship connections. Examples include “triads” and “quads”, along with “V” (or “Vee”) and “N” geometries.
  • Open relationships/open marriages, where participants may have sexual liaisons with others not within their core group of partners. Some open relationships may be open only sexually, while exclusive emotionally.
  • Swinging: Traditionally there has been a cultural divide between the polyamorous and swinger communities, the former emphasizing the emotional aspects of plural relationships and the latter emphasizing the sexual activities of non-monogamy. It is possible for a person with polyamorous relationships to also engage in traditional swinging and other open relationships. Those in polyamorous relationships who take part in casual sex often see it as separate from the emotional bonds they share with their polyamorous partners. However it is also possible for swingers to develop deep emotional attachments with those they have sex with, and thereby find themselves in polyamory. Such swingers in their new polyamorous relationships may or may not choose to continue swinging with others.

Why choose Polyamory ?

A lot of people in this lifestyle believe that one person can not fulfill all their needs and they are more content and satisfied when they have multiple partners.

The risks

I was about to publish this post when I came across an excellent article in Psychology Today outlining the risks.  Here’s the link: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-without-limits/201301/five-ways-polyamory-can-fail.

As with any relationship there are risks associated with miscommunication and a difference in opinions and values.  Polyamory will not work unless everyone involved has the same understanding of the boundaries of the relationship.

What may start out as clearly defined can slowly become blurry.  I believe each person needs to be aware of both their own needs and the needs of their partner(s).  What happens if the primary partner loses their secondary partner or isn’t as successful at organising sexual liaisons? What happens if one person no longer wants to continue in this lifestyle?

I don’t think Polyamory is the answer to “happiness ever after”.  As with any relationship it has risks and benefits.  And as with every relationship its success depends on the existence of respect, trust, honesty and great communication.

What is Love ?

I love you

How is it possible that “What is Love” was the most searched phrase on Google in 2012 ? I really thought the most popular search would have been something more profound such as, “Why am I here” or “Who am I”. Or if we are specifically referring to “What is” questions then how about “What is Vegemite” or “What is Cheating” ?

Are people that confused about love that they have to Google it?

I can picture a couple dating for a few months when one person says to the other, “I love you” and the other replies, “Hang on, I’m just going to Google that ” !  I’ve NEVER queried what love is. Is it just me or does it seem that the internet is making us lazy and less reliant on our intuition and feelings?  Do people seriously believe that Google would know more about love than they would?

Before I do my own Google search I though I’d share my thoughts on love.  Then I’ll check Google to see if I’m correct. After all, Google is always right !

Love is:

  • a feeling. For some it’s little butterflies in the tummy when you see the person and blushing when you look into their eyes. It’s a feeling of warmth when you think of them, looking forward to seeing them and thinking of them when they are not around;
  • an action.  It’s what we do for another person ranging from the mundane (making dinner, doing the washing) to the special (buying small gifts and surprises).  It’s putting someone else’s needs before your own even if only some of the time and it’s not always wanting to get your own way. It’s being selfless.

I know I love someone when I think about them often and feel a warmth inside.  In contrast I also think a lot about people I dislike but the warmth is absent.

Here’s where love gets confusing.  I can love someone but dislike their actions.  It still means i love them but at that point in time it probably feels like I don’t and the words coming out of my mouth probably makes them feel like I don’t love them either ! Words are so powerful that all our actions of love can be eroded in a few seconds of callous words.

Or what if someone says they love you but their actions seem hostile or destructive. Do they still love you ?

I believe love is like a thermometer there’s various temperatures ranging from freezing to boiling.  It is still love but if can feel very different.

So let’s see what Mr Google says about love.

I had a look at the Google suggestions and even consulted the Master Intellect (I’m being sarcastic), Wikipedia.  And guess what? No one seems to summarise love in one sentence !  Or even one or two paragraphs.  Most of what is said is tedious and repetitive and offers little insight into one of the most powerful emotions in existence.

I was going to repeat snippets from various articles but seriously dear readers I don’t want to bore you !  I guarantee your own insight into love will be as great as that which you can read via Google.  Perhaps I missed some great words of wisdom, please let me know and share them if i did.

Have you expressed your love today ? Why not ? Is it because anger or another emotion is getting in the way ?  If that’s the case then deal with that emotion first then express your love.

Remember love doesn’t mean you forgive someone or you will forget what they have done. But love feels wonderful to express.  It’s a great de-stressor, it’s a great connector and it’s free.

Attracted to Married Men

Tattooed woman

I wrote last week about the advertising of an internet site specifically for people in committed relationships looking for affairs (see my post, “Isn’t it time you had an affair”).

I was chatting to a guy today who told me of his experiences on this particular site.  Of the women he’s met from this site, nearly all are single!

I asked him why there’s single women on a site designed for married cheaters.  He told me that these women target married men or those in long term relationships as they don’t want a relationship.  He told me women are looking for men to spoil them, take them out for dinner, possibly buy them gifts, in return for sex.

Seems to me like there’s some pretty messed up thinking out there!  Every woman I’ve met who has been cheated on describes it as the most devastating event in their life.  Yet women are part of the problem.  It’s not simply men.

Here’s an article on why one woman targets married men:

The woman actually claims to be doing men a favour!  She also believes her behaviour is harmless as she’s not forcing the men into cheating.

What this woman doesn’t realise is that she’s not respecting herself.  I wonder what her morals and values are and whether they are being compromised by her actions?

I think this woman and all the other single women cheating with married men are fooling themselves into believing they are in control and “happy”.  In reality their happiness is based on a superficial and meaningless relationship.  The costs are high for everyone.

What are your thoughts on why single women chase married men?

The Four Seasons of Sex Addiction

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After speaking to many sex addicts and cheaters, I’ve noticed a link between their acting out and the weather.  My theory is that summer increases acting out. Of course there’s a bit of a contradiction in this as the definition of addiction indicates a lack of control over the behaviour.  I’m not inferring the addiction goes into hibernation during winter. But I am suggesting the type of acting out my change during the colder months then change again in Spring and peak in Summer.

I don’t have any statistics to support my theory and maybe it’s incorrect but that’s the great thing about blogging; I can propose ideas like this without spending years doing research!

What research has shown is that sex addiction will increase when there are triggers. Triggers include adverts whether in magazines, on T.V or on the radio. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but advertising changes in the warmer months.  There are a lot more adverts for swim wear or filmed on beaches.  In addition people generally wear less clothing, expose more skin etc.  People’s mood improves too.  There’s a reason that Spring has been called the season for love. There’s a reason that in Australia more babies are born in September and October than in other months; nine months after summer!

In Australia summer coincides with Christmas and New Year and the long school and university holiday periods.  There’s lots of people outdoors and at the beach. We are known as a culture that loves the sun and takes advantage of our great weather.  On any given day over summer the beaches will be packed.  Many of our roads wind past long stretches of golden sand with beautiful views of people sunbathing, swimming or boating.

Nearly all the addicts I’ve seen list the beach as one of the places where they act out.  Many have discussed both voyeuristic and exhibitionist behaviours over the warmer months. An example of how summer can further distort an addicts thinking is the commonly stated belief that if women are wearing bikinis and exposing so much skin then they are sending signals of their availability for sex!  Furthermore the beach is the location of many “dogging” spots.  We also have nudist beaches in every State of Australia. Ask an addict and they will know the location of most nudist beaches.  Go to one of these beaches and the number of men far out number the women.

It’s harder to treat sexual addiction in summer. The triggers are everywhere and too hard to totally avoid.  I usually recommend the addict attends therapy more often in summer.  Extra support helps along with a “summer action plan”.

You may be wondering what happens in winter?  The behaviour doesn’t stop but it may change.  Viewing of porn or online chat and “camming” may increase. Exhibitionism and voyeurism decrease. The addict in treatment may think they are cured and then summer comes around and the addiction shows its ugly self all over again.

The SIX-Second KISS

French Kiss

Have you ever timed yourself kissing?  Until recently I hadn’t either.  It sounds rather strange doesn’t it?

Recently I became more focussed on how I kiss.

The length of a kiss definitely makes a difference to the feelings you get.

I’m guessing that like me you hardly notice a peck on the cheek. You may briefly think, “that’s nice” but I doubt you get that heady rush where you want to grab the kisser for a longer passionate embrace.

I associate pecks on the cheek with unfamiliarity or token acknowledgement of affection.

Why is it that many of us get in the habit of “cheek pecking” our partner rather than actual kissing?  There’s no chance that I will buy the excuse of a lack of time.  Are you serious?  A peck probably tacks one second, a kiss about three seconds and a long kiss about SIX SECONDS ! YES, you read correctly…. it takes only SIX SECONDS to create a connection with your partner through kissing!

I can’t think of anything else that can achieve as great a benefit in your relationship in such a short time.

We take longer making a cup of coffee than we do kissing our partner!

The concept of the six second kiss is not new.  It was initially promoted by the relationship pioneer, Dr John Gottman.  If you google “Gottman” or “the Relationship Institute” you’ll find lots of wonderful resources.

I did a little experiment.  I started to count to six when I was kissing my partner.  (The counting was obviously in my head otherwise it would have made kissing rather awkward.) When I stopped being focussed on the counting I noticed the difference.  The six second kiss feels GOOD ! In fact it feels WONDERFUL ! (And no batteries are required!!)

My daughter overheard my conversation about this and started to say, “mummy you haven’t given me my six second kiss today”.  She now complains if I don’t kiss her long enough! I’m guessing she’s also enjoying the positive feelings she gets from the longer kiss.

I like to throw out challenges.  So my next challenge to you is to do the six second kiss with your partner for the next week and tell me what you notice. Then again maybe you just don’t want to confess to how good it feels.

Let’s banish the cheek peck and replace it with a meaningful kiss that leaves us feeling connected, wanted, cared for and loved.

Here’s a big MWAH to you all.  xxxxxx

Relationship Resolutions

English: New Year's Resolutions postcard

Have you made your New Years Resolutions yet ? Is there any point ?  I don’t think so, at least not individual resolutions.

How about Relationship Resolutions ? These are goals you make with your partner.  I don’t recommend you make them for the entire year, perhaps just for the next three months.

Why do them ?

Because it’s important to have open communication with your partner and to take the opportunity to check that you have similar goals and direction for your life together.

Here’s what I suggest you do:

  1. Arrange a time to sit with your partner without distractions (or kids) for approximately one hour;
  2. Grab a note pad and pen and make two columns. On the top of column one write: “What we want in 2013”.  On the top of column two write: “How we will know we have achieved it”.
  3. TOGETHER list TEN ‘things’ you’d like to achieve in your relationship.  Each one has to be agreed upon.  You can’t each list five things…. that’s cheating and doesn’t help with communication.
  4. I’d be surprised if this is a quick and easy task. It’s not meant to be, that’s partly why I suggest you aim for ten things.  The first few will be easy, the last few will require a lot more reflection and discussion.
  5. After you’ve listed the ten, complete column two.  This is equally important as often we identify what we want but don’t recognise when we’ve achieved it.

What are THINGS ?

These can be anything such as greater happiness, less stress, less arguing, more sex, increase our savings, go on a holiday etc. I don’t want to suggest too much or it’ll be my list and not yours !

The important part is column two.  If you decide you want greater happiness then you need to write how you’d know you have achieved it. Tricky isn’t it? What will you look and feel like, how will you act individually and towards each other when you have achieved greater happiness?

Finally, when it’s all finished put the list somewhere it can be easily found and circle a date on your calendar or in your phones with the note, “revisit resolutions”.  I recommend the date be no more than three months away but you may choose to do it monthly.

Still need a reason to make Relationship Resolutions?

Couples often get into a mundane communication pattern, “how was your day”, “did you get the milk and bread” and that’s about it.  A task such as this can re-energise the relationship and give new meaning and purpose.

I challenge you to give it a try.  Let me know how you go.

I hope 2013 is an amazing year for your relationship.

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