Monthly Archives: February 2014
The morning show on one of the radio stations I listen to featured a segment that left me shaking my head again at the unwavering commitment some men have to juvenile behaviour. They had read a blog by Katie Heaney (no, I’m not linking to it) that featured 19 ways to damage a man’s ego. Naturally, the all-male show was having a field day.
Now, I’m not adverse to a little funniness in life; and truth be told, they were provided some sarcastic insight into Heaney’s perspective. I think she probably just got dumped prior to writing it; or is one of those “writers” who imagines they’re going to be the next Carrie Bradshaw and is attempting to craft a satirical look at the fragility of men’s egos.
Either way, it did little more than demonstrate that if the article was flipped and it was 19 ways to damage a woman’s ego, there would be a nuclear detonation of venomous responses about sexism.
Beyond the drivel from someone who had to submit her 400 words to get paid her $4 for blogging, what provided great insight into the debate was the reaction of the male callers. Granted, the hosts did not do a good job at identifying the piece was an attempt at satire. It seems that a lot of men have some pretty fragile perspectives on what it means to be a man.
I remain perplexed that a man’s view of himself is dependent on the opinion of the men he surrounds himself with … and I’m not talking about leadership roles. Men seem to need the constant reinforcement of their fragile male ego from the likes of their beer league hockey teammates, or garage-sitter pals. They seek the validation of their “man card” at every turn.
Of course, I’m being just as guilty here with my assumptions based on the radio show’s listeners, and I can only hope that a lot the reaction was nonsensical fun.
As the mother of two teenage boys, I recognize there will be many times in their life when silliness dictates. I hope when my sons grow older they come to realize that it’s not what other men think of your masculinity, but rather what women believe of your character.
I think I’ve spent the better part of six weeks wrapping my brain around the question of “setting sexual goals.” It was a question that had been posed to me in the past, and with the turn of the year, came back to mind with the whole idea of resolutions and goals for 2014.
I’ve never really been a big resolution maker. I try to take advantage of the mood around me to focus on a renewed spirit of being a better person, etc. It doesn’t always work, but since I have very few true vices, it’s hard to make resolutions to quit something I don’t already do.
For me, my sex life was the one area in life that I never really considered setting goals. I mean, we’re constantly told to have a financial plan for retirement, a savings plan for a rainy day and career goals. Then there’s the bucket list for those crazy ideas that occasional pop into mind when someone close to you has a life-altering scare or you see that horrible bitch from high school on Facebook posting new photos from her latest excursion to somewhere sunny and exotic. But to have a plan for sex?
A small part of me thinks that implies developing guidelines and removing some of the spontaneity in the bedroom. And even then, what exactly would be a sexual goal for me? Is it about working towards a better sex life? Or is it about making that idea of a threesome become a reality and not just a talking point anymore?
Dr. Trina Reid wrote a relationship-oriented piece on setting sex goals to restore some of the passion and intimacy in a marriage; a lot of which sounded like decent advice. She touches on a lot of key actions that couples can focus on to restore the connection – mostly by recognizing and eliminating the daily distractions and working on communication. One her strategies is to create smaller moments in the plan – mini-goals – that would allow you to refocus and reconnect.
But it still wasn’t taking my imagination to the naughty little corner of my mind where most of my devious sexual thoughts reside. I felt I needed more clarity on my idea of sex goals … so I kept reading and thinking about how the idea of sexual goals applied to me.
This year has proven to be more of a conscious effort, though. Having spent two months around the Christmas and New Year festive season out of sexual commission, I had lots of time to consider and evaluate my status. I won’t say that it led me to create any specific goals around sex – other than to make it through to when I had clearance from the doctor to start up again. But, when have time to think, your thoughts evolve at a much deeper level.
Then it occurred to me: my first true “goal” was to ensure I could still achieve an orgasm.
Now, that might sound silly to some; but it was something that terrified me the most about the change my body was about to undergo. As my surgery date loomed, I looked forward to the notion that I would finally be pain-free, that my dignity for one week every month would not be in jeopardy; but there was a lingering fear. This is something only a woman would truly appreciate – and understand.
Without question, the biggest part of my sexual journey is my orgasm. It’s also the biggest frustration, having already been permanently altered following the carnage that child birth brings to a woman’s body. Don’t misinterpret that as regret, because I would do it again in a heartbeat. I’m just enlightening those who don’t already know that the greatest gifts in life often come with sacrifice. Mine was the demise of my ability to achieve a vaginal orgasm.
So, after years of perfecting the clitoral delight that would reverberate throughout my nether regions, I was faced with the prospect of yet another challenge in finding that new orgasm; learning how my body now reacts to sexual stimulation and the altered sensations that have come as a result. Things are dramatically different – especially because a big part of my pre-op orgasm involved uterine contractions.
My new orgasm is coming along (pun intended, yes) just fine; as is my body knowledge in how everything south of the border will react at the peak. So, I guess you could say that I’m close to achieving my sexual goal.
Which makes my next sexual goal to reach a point where that orgasm is incredibly familiar…
I guess I can’t really open with the tired ol’ “It’s funny …” because there isn’t really much that is “funny” about the antics of a certain Canadian “pop star.”
And it’s not that I want to reference the “little turd from Stratford” as he is known in these parts, but he was responsible for a recent conversation that I was involved with. It began as a discussion over recent headlines about the only-now post-pubescent buffoon, and how he and the former Hannah Montana seemed to be working very hard at earning themselves new reputations.
From a celebrity perspective, it makes sense. The smart people out there will recognize it as Madonna’s primary marketing model – shock for attention and sales will follow. Of course, she built her reputation strategy on those that came before her – rocks stars from as far back as the 50s; who built their “shock value” on the same platform as risqué actresses from the dawn of moving pictures.
Simply, artists must create a counter-culture reputation in order to succeed. It’s the “nice guys finish last” cliché and “nice guy” musicians only sell so many records.
Away from the spotlight, the conversation of the day evolved into one of how women can craft a reputation – good, bad or naughty (because there is a difference between bad and naughty). The reality behind a reputation is often a distant truth from what people believe. How many girls did you know in high school that carried peer-assigned labels but showed little evidence of fulfilling the prophecy?
At work, a reputation is basically how much your coworkers and employer trusts you. It’s probably not the place you want a bad reputation … you know, for something like lap-dancing at the staff Christmas party or recreating the From Here to Eternity beach sex scene in a sand trap during the annual customer appreciation golf tournament.
As adults – as long as one has an open mind – some reputations can be fun to create. Naughty isn’t about action, it’s about innuendo; it’s playful and for the most part, harmless.
Play the flirt card properly
People struggle with flirting. Some do it exceptionally well, while for others it can be an awkward moment of mumbled compliments and miscued innuendos. Human Resource departments love those who feel awkward at flirting – it minimizes the need for policies that seemingly separate the sexes like a pride of lions separate a sick gazelle from the herd. HR types hate expert flirters.
The difference between provocative and inappropriate
One of the things that I pride myself in is knowing exactly where the line is between office attire and haute couture. Mostly I have my fashion conscious husband to thank; but that said, the hemlines I take to tease my office guys are always exactly the right length to reveal enough leg to cause a distraction, while not waking the slumbering HR types.
The same goes for heels … those five-inch stiletto pumps might look great pointing at the ceiling of a hotel room, but not so much when you’re delivering a key business strategy to a board room full of decision-makers.
Show some brain as well as some skin
Wit, charm, humour … where have we heard all this before? Hmm … the top qualities that women find attractive in men and vice versa? There’s is nothing sexier than brains; and the ability to twist something seemingly so innocent into a sexual innuendo without bursting a blood vessel is a key trait when it comes to establishing a naughty reputation.
It’s all in the “ayes”
The truth is, sometimes you’re going to have to say “yes.” Not necessarily to Jeff from finance who wants to review your figures in the supply room … but you’re going to have to hang with the boys every once in a while. At my old job, my main thing was going for street meat in the summer. No salads, no dainty sandwiches and excuses about diets; nope, every so often I’d hang with the Office Guys, hit the food truck and make rude comments about the sausage.
For men it is equally difficult to be tread between naughty and bad. Girls in their 20s with silicone tits and plastic personalities like bad boys; after that, bad boys just become creepy old men you wouldn’t trust around your daughter … Think of any aging singer from an 1980s hairband. They’re now in their 50s, still bleaching the frizz, wearing skin-tight jeans and hanging around ditzy blonde doughnuts clinging to a promise of fame, fortune and probably a sandwich after the show. That’s why as we get older we appreciate the man who can pull off naughty without even raising our eyebrow in disgust.
Axe the after-shave
My teenage sons have discovered the power of the post-shower pepper spray known as “AXE.” The only thing that makes this sensory assault remotely tolerable is that they are teenage boys … and the stench from the scented fog is the best birth control method out there. Read that carefully, fellas … anything that comes in a spray can is never going to get you laid. I don’t care if you just came from the gym…
Suck it up and visit the cologne counter at a reputable retail outlet and have a professional help you select a scent that will turn heads as opposed to stomachs. A great smelling man already has a huge advantage when it comes to attracting her attention and holding it in a good way. If she likes how you smell, she might stick around to hear what you have to say.
And since she stuck around, tell her in your charming way how you managed to talk the perfume professional into leaning so close you could feel her breath on your neck while she sniffed the cologne you chose. We love a man of persuasion without perversion.
Be one with the mall
I hate shopping … I hate trying to find clothes for myself and I don’t understand fashion. But you’d never know it, except for my work-required scrubs. My girlfriends cringe with jealousy and disgust when I show up at work or for a night out looking like a million bucks for one reason: I married a man who knows how to dress a woman. They want him, bad. If you want your woman to dress in a way that turns your crank, you better learn to love the mall … after that, your woman will look after the rest of your reputation when it comes to style and reputation with other women. While you’re at it, polish your own style – something that says “I care about how I look.”
And as an aside, that cute little retail clerk … she’ll give you her undivided miniskirted attention if you know how to shop in her store; giving you the chance to flirt shamelessly with someone other than your partner.
Learn to say lingerie with confidence
Pretty much every guy I know (in person) carries on like a teenage boy when it comes to “underwear.” The ones who earn way more of my flirtation attention are the ones who can openly talk about lingerie and the appeal of it – without being crass. Personally, I’m OK with men who can be honest about their likes and dislikes when it comes to what a woman wears under their clothes; lingerie wasn’t strictly created just to be hidden and forgotten, in my opinion. These guys know how to hint at the “naughty” of ideas like modern-day women wearing stockings or the importance of matching bra and panties … and they save the “nude beach” humour for the guys at the gym.
Size matters … when it comes to ego
This should be logical. Innuendo from a man who is cocky, arrogant and full of himself comes across as creepy 100% of the time. Innuendo from a man who is charmingly self-depreciating, somewhat reserved and gentlemanly will earn my attention in a hurry – and gain him a reputation of being something a little more than what appears. Creepy is just obvious; and word spreads faster than a cheetah on the chase.
Fine line between smartass and dumbass
Much like the above, it can be a delicate balance between flirtatiously playful jibes and uncalled for jabs. Learn to be clever; learn to use language to your advantage. And here’s a hint, that creepy guy from above … he’s crass. The naughty guy knows 86 ways to tease us about our underwear choices without ever using the expressions “get in your pants” or “going commando” … or even “butt-floss” for that matter.
There’s intelligence in creativity
This week has been a bit of a chatter about “porn” … especially after my earlier post on how some perceive porn as being the root of all destruction in a relationship.
I’ve always said, like many other aspects of life, porn can play a positive role in enhancing a relationship. Moderation, honesty and openness all are keys to that … just like any other vice. If you can find the right balance, then you’ll find the fun in being a sexual being.
The other day I noticed yet another headline about how “porn” destroys relationships. Having already been given close to 12 years of unsolicited advice on the subject, I decided to skip another religious-tinged rant about it (either that or more drivel from a ‘relationship expert’) and lend my own highly unscientific and definitely not-supported-by-proven-research views.
Obviously, as someone who creates “porn” in her spare time, I can’t take the perspective that it destroys relationships. In fact, I have yet to hear from anyone who has spent any time with my version of “porn” that it ruined their life. I’m grateful for that. I would find it exceptionally hurtful to learn my naked pictures and amateur videos have caused destruction of any kind. Well, except a few Kleenex tissues … I’m OK if my stuff has led to that kind of tissue damage 😉
But seriously …
I’ve said it many times in the 12 years I’ve been online – the primary reason for me getting into “porn” was because of how much fun and excitement it brought to my own marriage. A lot of times, the end product of what you see in the photos and videos isn’t even the purpose of how they came to be. The numerous photo sessions and naughty encounters have provided some of the most intimate and sexually connecting moments in my marriage.
But, I also think my husband and I are somewhat unique. At great risk, we share that with millions of people … hence the “porn” moniker; and ultimately, the judgemental attitude mentioned at the start of this rant.
In my own mind, what I think is more damaging to relationships is the secret behind someone’s porn habit. Porn is only the medium, not the cause. It’s the same as how addictions to Gilligan’s Island reruns have caused relationships to fail … it’s not the program, it’s the staying up all hours watching the Mary Ann marathon. The secrets … and the inability to distinguish the reality from the fantasy.
When you withhold something from your spouse, whether it’s your porn-surfing preference or the fact you spent a little more on those Laboutin’s than you said you did, you risk the level of trust that exists between partners. The discovery of the secret only serves to create a larger emotional barrier.
I know my husband surfs porn. He’s admitted to it. He’s even playfully tried to describe it as “research” for my own website. But the reality is he surfs porn. So do I; not as much as him, but I still do. I’m just as curious as the next person … about research for my own website. But, he’s learned that it’s OK within our relationship to open up about his late-night antics.
And then there is the argument about how porn objectifies women, yada yada. Sorry, but these days, with the vast amount of amateur content out there, I tend to think that Hollywood is guiltier of objectifying women than porn; corporations, more guilty of exploitation. In this modern age, the Internet and the digital technologies at our fingertips have brought more sexual freedom to us – as long as you are of the mind that sexual freedom is a good thing.
I tend to believe there are less women being exploited by porn than there were a couple decades ago. The power of technology has put the ability to exploit in our hands, and softened its control at the hands of sleazy movie producers, strip club owners and pimps. The majority of us have a choice.
Is that a good thing? I suppose that depends on your outlook. But keeping your outlook a secret is more liable to ruin a relationship than being open about it.