Category Archives: Dating
I heard the other that an organization in Hollywood is asking producers to change how they conduct auditions with actresses, obviously a direct result of the #metoo campaign.
Without question, the dynamics of how we relate to each other on a sexual level has been changed by the #metoo movement.
I don’t necessarily mean “sexual” as in “sex” … but it has certainly changed the relationship between men and women. There’s a great deal more caution in the workplace, and I’ve noticed a lot of conversations have become more guarded than they ever were. The flirtations have vanished; the innuendo, squashed …
It’s somewhat disappointing on a personal level. On here, or in my real life, I’ve never made it a secret that I enjoy flirting. I enjoy the mating dance between the sexes, and I enjoy the notion that someone may find me sexually attractive. I’ve said it before; those little nuances – the glances, the winks, the smiles, the attention – provide me with a sense of validation as a woman. Yes, love me for my brain … but don’t stifle the lust you might harbour for my company and my body.
As a woman, I have very mixed feelings about the campaign and how it has morphed from putting an end to sexual exploitation in Hollywood and politics to, dare I say it, a bit of a tornado of gender politics. I realize that is a contentious position to take, especially as a woman. We’ve seen examples of people being accused (let’s cut to the chase – men being accused) of sexual harassment and assault when something on a date went awry. And while the truth of harassment might exist in many of the cases brought forward, there are others where it is nothing more than vengeance.
Some are calling that “collateral damage” … which is outrageously unfair to the innocent lives affected by the accusations. Women who speak out against the #metoo accusers are met with this new strategy of shouting you down … bullying of sorts, and demanding they surrender their “woman card” because they’re obviously not part of the sisterhood.
Misogyny exists. Yes, I have also had my share of “creepy” moments – but I’ve never let that define me. I’ve never felt inspired to whip up a protest placard and march on the streets (Full disclosure, I’m not that motivated anyway). I’ve had to endure awkwardness in the workplace, sexual commentary that bordered on obscene, harassment online and full-on assumptions about my sexual availability for cash simply because I have a naughty hobby. I still receive dozens of unsolicited dick pics, meeting requests and uncensored commentary on what they would like to do to me as an object, as opposed to a person with an intellect.
Men have tried to “exert” their position of power over me, unsuccessfully. At the same time, I’ve often admitted to using my own feminine wiles and charms to advance my own devious distractions and amusement.
In actuality, I feel less safe walking at night than I do in a workplace full of horny men. But that uneasy feeling existed long before Hollywood celebrities started falling from grace. I don’t chalk that up to workplace misogyny. Women have felt that fear for decades, and it’s about a much different and darker kind of gender power if you ask me.
But all that hasn’t turned me against the idea that men and women can relate, can have fun – and that we all should own some responsibility in how we behave. It hasn’t made me anti-man.
As we seen in the #metoo debate, there are many sides to an argument. We’ve seen questionable behaviour from men AND from women in regard to exerting sexual power over another. Judgement has occasionally been lacking, common decency in short supply and mutual respect almost nil.
The dynamics of how we all now relate has been altered forever by this activism and staunch side-taking. We’ve lost the subtle nuances of the flirting, and made relationships that much more difficult.
Yes, it’s easy for me to sit here and hold these opinions, not really having had such “casting couch” experiences – but at the same time, as a mother of two young men, it terrifies me to think their future could be compromised because a spiteful and emboldened young lady didn’t like the lobster bisque.
My teenage son introduced me to a new term recently – “pork roasting”. Now, I like to think that I’m fairly up-to-date on sexual language, particularly the descriptive slang, but this was a new one to me. Of course, I pretty much had the idea in mind of what he meant, but in good mom mode, I played dumb and had him explain it to me.
In a threesome including one woman and two men, the act of having the girl perform fellatio on one man, and being penetrated doggy style by the other man. Seems like a relatively common threesome-type sexual position.
In my world, this is more often referred to as an Eiffel Tower (oh, those French!). And I don’t mind admitting (for the umpteenth time), it’s one of my biggest personal fantasies.
The catch with the “pork roast” though, as I discovered later, was that this term is actually less about sexual conquest and experimentation and more about a description of the woman involved. It’s really kind of derogatory. But it gave me a little insight into the sexual mindset of teenagers today. They’re far more sexually open that I ever was (cue the “why, when I was a kid” soundtrack), and far more willing to share among their peer group without the prerequisite commitment to a relationship … or their parents’ idea of sexual exclusivity.
Of course, that’s an assumption based on my own exposure to the culture my own children exist within. I have no doubt somewhere out there, statistics exist to prove me wrong.
What was truly intriguing about the conversation was that, although I have no fondness for the young female in the alleged “pork roast” my son was telling me about – I couldn’t help think back to my days in high school. How many girls had a reputation based on rumour as opposed to fact…
I saw a headline today that stated “Why swinging has become so popular” and, as a good headline should, it made me stop for a moment and think.
Now, full disclosure, I read the article and learned almost nothing from it. No statistical data to support the position – and worse, the photos used were of women, all under 25, in a party atmosphere. No men, no diversity; if it wasn’t for the champagne glasses the same images could have been used to promote a Sweet 16 party. In fact, the whole piece (other than being click-bait for a swingers’ organization and their subscription-based profile directories) contained no information on the lifestyle than anyone who has a reasonable sense of what “swinging” is could explain in a five-minute conversation.
Here’s why I don’t think “swinging is becoming so popular” …
My husband and I fall into a bit of awkward generation; combined with the nearly nine years difference in our ages. That, in itself, has made our lifestyle exploration a challenge. We both grew up in a time when the kind of youthful sexual openness generations below us seem to enjoy today did not exist. Our demographic had guilt-plagued one-night stands, while younger generations now have no-strings “hook-ups.” Our sexual discovery during our youth was halted by the discovery of AIDS, and a sudden realization that sex could now be dangerous. Condoms weren’t sexy, they were awkwardly necessary.
And these days I also suspect that our mindset is probably one shared by many couples – “are we attractive enough to be doing this?” If you consider the promotion material for the swinging lifestyle, then no, we don’t fit into the target demographic. Which may be one of its biggest downfalls – from the breast-implanted gorgeous blonde in the Jamaican resort pool flirting with the 0% body-fat bodybuilder dude through to the night club images of 20-somethings grinding on the dance floor – the perception of the lifestyle may scare many people away. It would take me a year of hardcore fitness training before I’d consider an island vacation at such a place, if that’s the expectation of what swingers are.
Our first foray into the lifestyle began – after a few years of healthy sexual conversation – with what I would believe to be a fairly common method of introduction: a visit to a “swingers club.” Far from what we expected, but not necessarily a bad thing.
In all honesty, the clubs we have attended – and it has been a little while since our last visit to one – I can’t say that there was wildly open atmosphere. What a lot of people who write about swinging don’t tell you is that it’s an exceptionally difficult lifestyle to become involved with … and I don’t mean the concept of physical intimacy. Our experience, spread out over a six-year period, really just revealed that swinging is a massively cliquey lifestyle. And even when you try to take the initiative to immerse yourself in the experience, it’s a challenge to find a degree of comfort.
What we did experience was that, if and when you find another couple with whom you can experiment and explore, the lifestyle clubs provide a space to turn up the heat. And truth be told, I never got the impression that the clubs in our area were anything more than that: a meeting place to go and feel sexually free for an evening. Just don’t go expecting to be welcomed into the fold with open arms. The responsibility to mingle falls solely on your own shoulders – which brings things full circle back to trying to crack the clique.
Some will say these clubs offer a sexual freedom that traditional night clubs don’t; that women are free and safe from the boorish behaviour some men can exhibit in other establishments. And, for the most part, that is true. However, our experience in the clubs also showed that while the “scenery” is more interesting, the socialization isn’t on the same level.
Adding to challenge of the atmosphere is that the majority of clubs we attended employed DJs who somehow thought “retro” meant early-2000s hip hop. On many nights the dance floor would offer more space than a bulldozer needed because only a few women and almost no men would attempt to groove to the temple-pounding “thump” of songs no one knew. Conversation was made even more difficult because of the volume, with the exception of the occasional ice-breaking line of “What the fuck is this? Music?”
And there’s a persistent skepticism about the lifestyle outside of the night clubs. We’ve met couples online – again, not a horrible experience, but as I have said in my blog many times: it’s hard enough when dating to find the chemistry between two people, never mind four. Most of the couples we met were lovely people – just not sexually compatible.
But, the online experience requires even more diligence than the in-person social events. Many times we have encountered couples where when “push comes to shove” you learn that the wife in the arrangement hasn’t exactly been apprised of all the details. Makes for an awkward “first date.”
Keep in mind that this is only my personal experience, based on a somewhat “brief” tenure in exploring a sexual interest. I can’t say we’ve given up on the idea, but certainly have put it on the back burner while we focus on other aspects of life.
Which brings me to the question the headline should really answer: Is swinging becoming more popular? I certainly can’t say for sure – but what I have discovered over the past year is that from a statistical point of view, the number of people willing to openly admit they are in the lifestyle hasn’t really peaked past four per cent of those surveyed. I can say this much, swinging is a commitment – and a commitment beyond your relationship with your partner. It’s not a lifestyle that I think most people just “fall into.” From what I’ve seen and experienced, it takes a very healthy and determined amount of extrovertism to make it work; and an understanding that many “swingers” you encounter along the way may harbour a slight reluctance to open themselves up to you on a social level long before they’ll consider things on a sexual level.
Maybe the lifestyle is evolving in these modern times; as the sexually-free youth grow into adults and take their college habits with them. I only see it as a lifestyle that remains a mystery to a small town girl with big city sexual ambitions.
Hookups — brief uncommitted sexual encounters between individuals who are not romantic partners or dating each other.
“Hookups have emerged from more general social shifts taking place during the last century. Hookups began to become more frequent in the 1920s, with the upsurge of automobiles and novel entertainment, such as movie theaters. Instead of courting at home under a parent’s watchful eye, young adults left the home and were able to explore their sexuality more freely.
By the 1960s, young adults became even more sexually liberated, with the rise of feminism, widespread availability of birth control and growth of sex-integrated college party events. Today, sexual behavior outside of traditional committed romantic pair-bonds has become increasingly typical and socially acceptable (Bogle, 2007, 2008).” — Source
This is, quite easily, one of the more difficult TMI Tuesdays for me. Having been in a committed relationship now for almost 25 years, there isn’t a vast amount of “hook-up” dishing to be had. However, the idea captivates my attention because of the very nature of it – the pure sexual freedom and no emotional attachment. There’s a lot of potential in that.
There is a great debate somewhere in all of this – people of my generation and older may see these encounters as the old “one-night stand.” Whereas, as mentioned above, today’s youth may very well see these “sex for sex sake” encounters as normal behaviour.
1. When was your last hook-up?
So, here is where we will begin with my own twist on the concept. I can’t say that my encounter is a hook-up in the truest of senses, mainly because it was carefully planned, my husband was present for the entire encounter … and the only outcome was the exchange of oral sex.
But that wonderful encounter took place in March 2012
2. Briefly describe the hook-up?
I had invested about three years of really committed flirting and teasing of the guy before making the leap. It’s described in great detail in another blog entry.
3. How did you feel physically and emotionally after your last hook-up?
Physically, it was an incredible moment in my adult life. The orgasm I experienced left me weak in the knees for hours. Emotionally was more of a challenge. There was no guilt on my behalf, I had the unbelievable support and encouragement from my husband to go ahead with the encounter, so my conscience was clear. But in the days after, I still felt confused. I had an intense desire (and still do) to take the next step and push the sexual envelope a bit more, but I also had to accept that the freedom I enjoyed was not shared for my partner. For him it was very much an “affair” and he had to make some tough decisions based on reality as opposed to sexual fantasy.
4. Are you still acquainted with the person from your hook-up?
We are still friends, although I don’t hear from him as much as I would like. We no longer work together and have since taken different paths in life.
5. How often do you engage in hook-ups?
This was the one and only time … so far.
6. What do you like most about engaging in hook-ups?
Well, outside of the previously stated lack of experience, I like the idea of being able to sexually explore without an emotional commitment. There’s something to be said for the sense of freedom.
Bonus: Are you married and having hook-ups?
Um … see above. But yes, I am married – happily, lovingly married.
The great thing about catching on to a subject like sexual freedom is that the conversation can literally go on and on. And with the idea of sharing intriguing perspectives from both sides of the debate, often the level of intellectual deliciousness heats up. Is it voyeurism? Cuckolding? Just ol’ fashioned swinging?
Such is the case with my most recent blogs about men watching their wives having sex with other men, and the like. From that comes the counter perspective, as challenged by someone who I chat with every now and then on Twitter:
Can you have a great, long-lasting sex life with the same partner?
I can only answer this from a personal – and feminine – perspective: absolutely.
For women, or at least me, the idea of great sex isn’t founded on the equipment a man brings to the bedroom – his looks, the size of his penis, his paycheque. What matters most is the connection between us, the bond and how you capture my imagination and my soul more than how deeply you tickle my vagina.
Good sex – hot, steamy, toe-curling, mattress-grabbing sex – can be founded on the vanity of what a man has to offer physically and the marvels of what he can do between my legs. For some, I’m sure that is the definition of great sex. But after the two minute mark has passed and he’s pretty much done and snoring on his side of the bed, there remains the hollow feeling; the feeling of something missing.
What takes things to the next level to great sex is what happens between my ears. It’s the essential “mind fuck” that I want as much as the physical fuck. I need to feel a connection with my lover to make it happen; an emotional connection that burns deeply. And despite what many may think about my online life, that kind of connection only comes from a committed, long-term relationship.
Now, to throw a real twist into all of this …
Great sex also requires a feeling of sexual freedom. Even in marriage, there are times when you fear judgement for your sexual thoughts. That is just natural in any intimate relationship. And if those fears hold you back sexually … well, it takes time to let go of them and grow into being more open and understanding. A healthy long-term relationship will allow that time to pass, and foster sexual and emotional growth of each partner.
Sexual freedom allows your mind and body to surrender to the moment, without any hesitation or guilt because you have invested in that personal growth within the relationship. It removes those psychological barriers – most of which are the cause of bad sex. A study I read not long ago hit on some of the issues surrounding those barriers in non-monogamous relationships – men struggled with erection issues, while women struggled with lubrication issues during those moments of infidelity.
So, for all the stockings, lingerie and secretive rendezvous at sketchy motels – research suggests great sex was not on the room service card.
Sexual freedom + deep emotional connection = great sex. At least for me, and I’m not convinced that’s something you can find with a one-night stand. But I am convinced it’s something you can have for life with the right partner.