Friday, January 10, 2020

The Death of Passion and What the Hell to Do About It, According to People Who Think About Such Things

They have not worked on their Love Maps
Note: this article ran first on AlterNet then on Salon. Only the (third) best for you, my friend! (update: 1/10/20.  It's come to my attention that Shumley Boteach is pretty much a huge asshole and bigot. I left his thing in though bc I think his thoughts on this, and this alone, are interesting. The shitty bigotry, homophobia, etc...not so much.)


There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, the other is getting it,” said Oscar Wilde.

Passion is a tricky, elusive thing. Once captured, it flounders. But why does it wither when domesticated? Why do sexy intense beginnings so often lead to boring, sexless or otherwise meh middles and ending? Why aren't we having sex with our dear, highly-available partner, like, all the time?

Our senses crave novelty. Any change alerts them, and they send a signal into the brain. If there's no change, no novelty, they doze and register little or nothing. A constant state—even of excitement—in time becomes tedious, fades in the background because our senses have evolved to report only changes,” writes Diane Ackerman in A Natural History of the Senses.*

Or, says my friend Matthew, who thinks deeply on such things: “Once you're with someone, they become your family. And you don't want to have sex with people in your family.” Which is true enough, especially that last bit.

But these Big Thinkers in the field say you can re-find passion, though they offer differing--sometimes wildly so—theories on how to do it. With the right philosophical constructs guiding your behavior, perhaps you'll soon be happily fucking your beloved family member again. Though you'll probably want to phrase that differently in your head.

Corporate lawyer turned writer and speaker on sex, relationships and porn. Co-hosts Your Brain on Porn website with husband Gary Wilson.
The Big Idea: 'Karezza” sex can help hack your neurochemicals, which thanks to the cruel cruel Coolidge Effect, make you feel less satisfied with your partner over time. Even if, actually especially if, they are really great at pleasing you.
The Fix: The neurochemicals that make us so giddy with the first flush of love only last two years, tops. After that, the buzz wears off and couples get habituated (the nicer, more sciencey term for bored). Instead of trying to jack things up with new positions or sexy clown costumes which can further numb response to pleasure, slow things down with karezza sex, a form of affectionate, sensual sex that generally doesn't result in orgasm. This sex, according to Robinson, strengthens lovers' bonds and results in more frequent and satisfying sex. “It's like learning to diet by eating smarter, rather than struggling to eat less,” writes Robinson. “As my husband says, 'My limbic brain stays enchanted because I don't attempt to fertilize you.'” (Her husband, it will not surprise you to learn, is a science professor.)
Test drive: Practice a “bonding behavior” like gazing into each other's eyes for several minutes or lying with your head on your partner's chest and listening to their heartbeat or synchronized breathing.

American Orthodox rabbi, author and TV host.
The Big Idea: Women are deep and endless sources of sexuality. Exploring that eroticism leads to richer, more profound sexual/spiritual connection.
The Fix: A woman's sexuality is “much deeper and longer lasting than a man's. In the face of such intensity, most husbands fear they can't measure up,” writes Boteach in The Kosher Sutra: 8 Sacred Secrets for Reigniting Desire and Restoring Passion for Life. But for the husband who's brave enough to jump in there and explore, there are sublime pleasures to be uncovered. “There is a part of us, a passionate part that is raw, instinctive, animal, visceral, and not attuned to social norms. It's incredibly erotic to witness this side of a person become revealed. A man who can arouse a woman to this level of abandonment witnesses something incredible,” writes Boteach, in perhaps the hottest collection of sentences you'll ever read by a rabbi. This deep sensuality flows into the rest of life, giving everything an “erotic pulse.”
To get to that place, Boteach recommends “Kosher Tantric” sex, including delayed orgasm to prolong sex, making it into “a worship of the divine spark in each other.” He's also against going to the bathroom in front of each other—ruins the mystery.
Test drive: Try the Jewish custom of abstaining from sex for two weeks when the woman starts her period. “Every month, there must be two weeks devoted to physical love, and two weeks devoted to intellectual communication and emotional intimacy," Boteach writes in Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy. It may sound a bit old school and rigid, but the forbiddenness fostered by abstinence can build lust, plus the on/off plan happens to correspond nicely with most women's monthly swings of desire.
Writer, speaker, couples and family therapist.
The Big Idea: We need safety and security in a relationship, yet we also need adventure and excitement. The problem is that satisfying either of these needs sort of negates the other. The trick is riding the wave between security and excitement, figuring out ways to introduce novelty, risk and mystery into the familiar and comfortable.
The Fix: The erotic thrives on power plays, thwarted desire, threats of rivals and other non-safe and lovey ideas. Tap into these rich sources of desire by questioning your ideas about what's “acceptable” to you—for a lot of people their greatest sources of excitement and pleasure have to do with childhood hurts. Being willing to poke around in these dark areas of your erotic brain is a potent natural fuel for pleasure.
Test drive: Embrace the “shadow of the third.” In every relationship, there are other players, whether actual infidelities, flirtations or agreed upon partners. Accepting this and working with it--whether by actually introducing others into your marital sex, negotiating monogamy or just feeling the arousal of a threat (perceived or real) of a romantic rival—beats complacency back and helps you see your mate as the desirable creature that they are.

Husband and wife psychologists who run the Gottman Institute and the Relationship Research Institute.
The Big Idea: Married people do best when they behave like good friends and handle conflicts in gentle positive ways.
The Fix: The Gottmans are known their Love Labs in which they observed couples and found that future divorcees tended to handle conflict via what the Gottmans call “The 4 Horseman of the Apocalypse”: stonewalling, contempt, defensiveness and withdrawal. So don't do those.
Good behaviors, which lack a catchy 4 Horseman-like name: Respond positively to your partner's “bids” (bids are requests for emotional connections via a question, quick hug and such). Create a love map--a mental list of your partner's preferences, dreams, and sexual proclivities. Create rituals for initiating and refusing sex to minimize miscommunication and feelings of rejection. The resulting atmosphere of kindness and communication is conducive to “personal sex” that's focused on intimacy instead of intercourse.
Test Drive: “Plan time for activities like hot baths, back rubs, touching, holding and simply making each other feel good physically and emotionally. If sex happens, that's fine. But if it doesn't, you'll still have met your expectation of enjoying time together,” advise the Gottmans.
Psychologist, sex therapist and director of the Marriage and Family Health Institute.
The Big Idea: Passion (as well as a healthy relationship) depends on “differentiation,” that is, each partner cultivating a strong sense of self, despite their partner's (very normal) efforts to thwart that growth.
The Fix: When partners work on becoming differentiated, it creates tension and gridlock. This coupled, with what Schnarch delightfully calls “normal marital sadism,” can lead to marital breakdown, but it's actually an opportunity. Gridlock and tension create a dynamic environment for growth and helps passion thrive. Anxiety is also good. Instead of working on anxiety reduction, couples should work on ways to tolerate anxiety via self-soothing. “Anxiety is often part of the best sex we ever have. It's part of growing sexually. Anxiety makes us pay attention to what's going on,” writes Schnarch.
During sex, couples should focus on the connection, working on truly feeling their partner as they touch them. Also good is “hugging til relaxed” which is pretty much what it sounds like.
Test drive: Try for “eyes-open orgasm.” Looking deep into each other's eyes adds intimacy and meaning to sex. The more you do it, the longer you can do it and the deeper the connection.

Let me know if any of this works for you.

*This, however, does not explain why there are so many strip clubs called Deja Vu. "That? Again?"

Friday, November 15, 2019

Holiday Sex Toy Fairy Godmother

As I've mentioned here--and okay here too--I get a lot of sex toys and there are only so many I personally can have sex with. (I'm JUST ONE WOMAN, man.)

I'd like to share the wealth with your ass, or whatever.

Here's what I've got going on:

--vibrating prostate toys
--various arousal gels for women from pleasantly tingly to "am I being injured?"
--Kegel training set
--lubes and toy cleaners
--beginner butt plugs
--curly intermediate butt plugs
--some vibrators for the wimmens
--cock ring
--vibrating cock ring
--nipple/clit clamps that could possibly be hurty (this is their asset)
--remote control vibe
-- a few couples vibrators
--toys that specialize in various clit suckery
--delay spray for penises to reduce sensitivity
--a stroker that looks like a pussy (secret hiding place not included)
--strong as fuck wand vibrator
--largish glass dildo for your butt
--new agey game you can play with your partner

I can send you something specific or you can tell me what you're into and I can put a box together and ship it Priority Mail.  However, you are in charge of paying for shipping and giving me a wildly generous tip for driving my ass to the post office so I don't silently resent you, as is my way. You can email me for more details, if you want butt plug specs or something in private.

Also, and this is entirely off topic, the photo above is from the Cottingley Fairy Hoax, when two girls in England took pictures of themselves supposedly with fairies in 1917. Despite (or perhaps because of) the weight of popular attention and very serious photographic analysis by grown-ups of the time, the girls stuck with their story until 1983.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Melissa: "A Different Way of Being Sexual"

This conversation* started with reader Melissa telling me about a sex toy I'd sent her (the Satisfyer Yummy Sunshine G-spot vibe, if you must know) but our talk quickly evolved into the far more fascinating topic of how she incorporated the toy into sex with a lover who has a spinal cord injury and no physical sensation below the chest.

Andrew Gurza, a totally fucking bad-ass disability awareness consultant and Disability After Dark podcaster tweeted recently, "Imagine if able-bodied people asked each other if their genitals worked at random intervals throughout the day. Weird, right? Then maybe don't ask disabled people. We don't appreciate it either."**

So in one way I absolutely don't want to be a jerky ableist asking about/staring at someone's highly personal bits. Except. I also totally do because being nosy as fuck about peoples' sex lives is kind of the whole point of this blog. So I'm going in, my friends.

Anyway, our talk started off about the vibrator which is the kind that pretty much handles everything, so some men are like, "Um, what is my role in this?" But it ended up being about desire--both physical and psychological, and, my favorite subject, what makes sex sex.

Melissa:  "I use it with this guy I really like. He's beautiful. He has quadriplegia from a spinal cord injury he got when he was about 20. Has no sensation below his chest and has limited use of his arms and hands. He tells me he has the same sex drive as he’s always had. He can get it up, maintain an erection, cum, everything, but he can’t feel it. For him the visuals are extremely important. He LOVES to watch me get off. The Yummy Sunshine vibe is perfect for us because it has a handle. He has enough strength and control in his arms to be able to hold onto it and use it on me. We also fuck. I give him blow jobs. He watches everything. And his eyes! The intensity of his gaze knocks me on my ass (in a good way).”

Me:  Can either of you tell when he’s gonna cum or is it a surprise?

Melissa:  "I can tell because his legs and lower body spasm."

Me:  Does cumming give him a sense of satisfaction?
Melissa: Yes, though we’re careful about overdoing it because he has Autonomic Dysreflexia. Basically what happens is that an irritation below the level of the injury can cause a miscommunication between the brain, the heart and the spinal cord. When the body can’t sort out what’s happening, his blood pressure can get dangerously high. It can become a medical emergency. So I’m gentle and I don’t do anything that could irritate his skin. He has a dominant streak, though, so he can get rough with me. He loves to smack my ass! Next time I see him we’ll play around with dominance some more.

Me: Hmmm. At first I didn’t understand how sex without sensation could be pleasing, but sex is really about the connection or maybe even just the having the experience. Like when I see a good sex scene in a movie, I’m totally satisfied. It’s not like I have to rush and have an orgasm immediately. 

Melissa:  Right, it’s a different way of being sexual. He’s really good at oral sex, too, and loves doing it. And the sensation in his upper body is fine - maybe even intensified. So I can kiss and lick and do all those other things to his head, ears, neck, and shoulders. He loves it.”

Me:  “A different way of being sexual.” Love this. 

Melisssa: “I got involved with another guy with a spinal cord injury a couple of weeks ago. His injury is lower on his spinal cord (and less severe?) He uses a wheelchair, though he has complete sensation and quite a bit of control and strength in his arms and upper body. Both of these guys are beautiful and sexy and a lot of fun to be with. Getting creative with them is such a turn on!


*This is third in a series of email conversations with readers (see also: Alaska man has crazy-ass p-spot orgasms and the guy who is a dominant). 

** In another sense, maybe we should all be asking each other about our genitals*** at random intervals throughout the day.  As Phoebe Waller-Bridge put it on SNL:  "For a world obsessed with sex, it's incredible how little attention we pay our genitals. When we focus on them, or when they get sick or something, it's all about them. But the rest of the time, they're just sitting there. They're just... sitting there. Patiently."

So yeah. Heyyyyyy genitals.  U up?

***Christ, I hate that word.


Yo, if you've ever liked even one word you read here like, say, "genitals," please show you value the blog with a donation small or, if you've been drinking, really really big. One reader, J, gives a recurring donation one dollar a month and dear A donates 5 bucks a month and these two make me happy every damn month, a good value for not too much money, I'd say.  

Become a Friend of the Blog with a monthly donation or a one-time tip kind of deal. It's billed innocuously as IBWMW. My Paypal is 

You heard me. Do it.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Conversation With a Dom, Plus Help! Reader Needs Sexing Advice!

I recently talked with a dominant, K.* He's pretty hardcore in that he would be happy to use an electro-stimulation wand on someone.

I wanted to know what it was about being a Dom that did it for him. So, I just asked him because I'm quite nosy. Here, come and eavesdrop:

K:  As a Dom - I am strict, but very reasonable.  I enjoy training those that are sincere--watching them grow as a person and a submissive and seeing their world expand around them as they learn what they are truly capable of feeling and experiencing. 

I look for someone who truly wants to submit, and please. And I will make sure they are pleased as well.

Me:  What turns you on about it? I mean, you sort of have to do all the work as far as prep goes.

K:  For me it really depends on the person I am with and our relationship, and what it is that turns them on. Knowing you are turning the other person on - that is the biggest turn on. I love being in charge. I enjoy thinking about what to do to a person. How I will do it? What will affect them the most? There is creativity there. How will they react when I make them wear a butt plug to a restaurant? Or Ben wa balls out to a club? Watching the thoughts play across their face. Thinking about, planning the order in which I spank them. Flog them. Use a vibrator on them. So many options. 

I love surprising them, keeping them on the edge. Building. Each subsequent sensation adding to the previous. Pushing them. Getting to know their bodies. Their minds. Paying attention to how they react. Seeing when they start to doubt. Knowing they are seconds away from using a safe word. Then watching them melt as I give them pleasure. Such a rush.  

It is incredible watching how some get so turned on by the right amount of pain. Had one submissive that got to the point she could orgasm and squirt from being spanked. That was amazing. Yes, knowing that they would do basically anything for me - that is an aphrodisiac.

Me:  What is it about the pain?

K:  I have never been into the truly sadistic side. Never driven primarily by fear. But I do use pain to accentuate the pleasure and to train.  I am into all types of restraints, blindfolding - to make you wonder what is coming next. Will it be soft and pleasurable? Or will it sting? Alternating between the two, slowly building up the pleasure until you are begging to cum. You will hold it till I tell you that you can cum.

I want a sub to crave me and be willing to do anything for me because they want to please and because they know I will give them incredible pleasure (along with pain). But never driven by the fear I will whip them bloody. That is too...simple? crass? Yes, I use the threat of things like the cane or whip to keep their attention. Or to ensure they follow certain rules. But that is all.

The vast majority is honestly giving them what they want, sometimes whether they know it themselves or not. And conveniently it is usually what I want to do to them as well.

It is all fascinating.

It IS pretty fucking fascinating.  Thank you K.

Help! Reader Needs Sex Advice! "I'm on Zoloft and can't have an orgasm w/ my partner to save my life.  I can when I masturbate on my own and so I'm defaulting to that cause it's a sure thing. But I want some new ideas we can try cause I really wanna find a reliable partner orgasm situation again like I used to have pre-Zoloft.

A friend recommended this book kinda She Comes First: A Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman but I have two kids and a job and will only read a book if it's close to a sure thing. I also know it's something of a mind game as I can have lucid dream orgasms without even touching myself. But those are less now w/ ye olde Zoloft. This married woman wants to come in the presence of her partner again!!! H-E-L-P, Jill!"

Here are some ideas from me, Little Miss No Medical Degree:
--Switch drugs. Celexa cured my ails but made my sexuality die.
--Drug holiday.  Stop a couple days before doing IT. (If you're going insane, abort mission.)
--Bring on a fuckton of toys.  There are wearable vibes to wear during penetration (haven't tried--anyone?), vibrating cock rings, clit sucking things (this one's good), and if you just want to have an orgasm in someone's presence, I'm all over Doc Johnson's iRock.**
--Get super turned on before--watch porn, jerk off a little, whatever.  You might also try a CBD or THC-based arousal gel like Foria Awaken or Foria Pleasure. You have to massage it in for 15 minutes ahead of time, so maybe the enforced foreplay is what does it, but it seems to do something.  (I think I have a sample packet I can send if you email me your address.)

What say you, orgasm-having reader?

Contest Winner:  The winner of the Prostate Silicone Perineum Tickler and muy importante accompanying Wicked Aqua Sensual Care lube donated by Ella Paradis is a reader named, er, "Fred" who wrote:  Really interested in the Pspot massager and possibilities, kinda skeptical about the orgasm potential. You would think if it were so easy and incredible every guy on the planet would be having one! It reminds me of trying to give yourself a blowjob by becoming more flexible, intriguing but not really practical. I promise that if I win I will shout from the rooftops about my journey into my nether regions.  

Consider yourself warned.


*I'm running a series of off-blog conversations I've had with some among you about the odd corners and crannies of the sexual experience (sometimes literal crannies--see also: the last one on M from Alaska's truly stellar prostate orgasms).

**If you buy any of this stuff through those links, IBWMW gets a kickback but I'd recommend them anyway.

Friday, August 30, 2019

New Contest, Old Contest and a Decent Argument Why You Should Put Something in Your Butt

Actual O-Face From "O-Face"
Even though I've been barely attentive to most of y'all (sorry!), I've been having some completely fascinating email correspondence with some among you. I'll be sharing some of it...whenever, I guess...I'm not a particularly dependable chick. But keep a look out.*

For now, here's the first one:

A Decent Argument Why You Should Put Something Up Your Butt, according to reader M from Alaska

I've been corresponding with previously mentioned M from Alaska (see also:  "OH.MY.FUCKING.GOD! Ummm…WOW!"), a recipient of a prostate vibrator under my non-Government funded Sex Toy Fairy Godmother program.

I have taken a probably unseemly interest in the vagaries of M's orgasms with the toy because I don't possess a prostate (though I do have all the symptoms of prostate cancer. #hypochondriac), plus he's super articulate about his experiences and also possibly/mainly because I'm sort of into the fact that I semi-helped some random dude have unprecedented orgasms.

Here, you can eavesdrop:

M:  It’s been awhile but just wanted to let you know that I use that toy easily 3-5 times a week. Multiple Os, better each time I use it.
For the record, when I’m using this toy my dick never gets hard nor do I ejaculate, unless of course I’m stimulating that as well.
Truly life-changing and has enriched my sex life even further.

Me, pervishly:  I am so fascinated by this. Like how did men have this capability this whole time but most of us didn’t seem to realize it?  Do the orgasms feel different than ye olde cock-based ones?

MRight?! I think I because of the stigma of ass play being “dirty” and “taboo,” combined w/the notion that if a man sticks something up his ass and likes it, he’s obviously gay;)

All I can say is after witnessing my wife’s reactions (shaking, tensing up, primal sounds, etc.)  to her Magic Wand and other favorite sex toys, and watching her experience orgasm after orgasm…it’s the same thing. No lie, I inserted that toy, sat down in my work chair, and rattled off at least 5 in a row as I cycled through the settings. The euphoria that lingers afterwards is absolutely incredible!

The O’s feel different but more intense (not in a bad way) w/each climax. I have on a couple occasions stroked my cock while using the toy and that orgasm is insane and does cause me to ejaculate; although the size of the load doesn’t seem any different than the traditional method(s).  If I employ that technique (stroke and vibe) I’m done after 1. 
So yeah. I really do find it absolutely fascinating that men (not all men, blah blah blah) can do this completely new thing with their bodies and most straight dudes had no idea for centuries and centuries. It's like when no one could break the 4 minute mile, then once people realized it could be done, like 1,400 have done it since. But with butts.

Anyway if you want to become thus buttally experienced as well, see also: 

New Contest!  

Prostate Tickler
In highly related news, our new advertiser Ella Paradis has offered to send one of y'all a vibrating Prostate Silicone Perineum Tickler and a bottle of Wicked Aqua Sensual Care lube because as I've typed approximately 8 billion times for Cosmopolitan, the bum is not naturally lubricating.  (And if it is--you've got a whole different thing going on.)

To win, tell me the worst thing someone said to you during sex. You can comment below or email me secretly, then I'll tell everyone like I did to poor M of Alaska. (Actually, he did consent. I'm not that much of a jerk. At least in this arena.)  I'll pick a winner by magic incantation. Deadline to enter is September 12, 2019.  

And if you wish for nothing in your butt, but want to tell me the worst thing anyone said to you during sex, I am so here for that too because I am endlessly curious/nosy.

Happy Rabbit G-Spot Vibrator

Old Contest!  

Meanwhile, the winner of the highly fuckable looking Happy Rabbit G-Spot Vibrator courtesy of dear Andy at Good Vibrations is... Markus because he entered on behalf of his wife. "Poor soul doesn't have a vibrating toy," he wrote, in the manner of a husband who knows how to please a woman. Markus:  email me your mailing address and have your  wife prepare her vaginal chambers.

Anyway, later.

 *If you have a subscription to the blog through Amazon's Kindle blogging things, you will be waiting forever because Amazon abruptly cancelled the program last week because they are dicks. Guess 70 PERCENT of the take wasn't enough for Jeff Bezos who, even though he looks kind of like a cute, round-headed baby and owns the Washington Post, which ain't nothing, is still pretty fucking evil.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A New Contest! (Because ERA Yes!)

it's a metaphor
So this whole sex toy fairy godmother thing* has been pretty rewarding, as such things go.

My most recent beneficiary/victim was a cool guy in Alaska with whom I immediately started discussing highly personal butt toy stuff, as is my way. Which was lovely, of course, but the best part is that he loved his new toy! (The toy was this, if you must know. Christ, you're nosy.)

His follow-up report, in part:

OH.MY.FUCKING.GOD! Ummm…WOW!  You are a scholar, a saint, a (whatever description you prefer), etc...[IBWMW note:  I prefer all compliments] It arrived Sat. early-afternoon and I’ve used it 3x already... I’m already experiencing pleasure I didn’t know was possible for a man!

Mission accomplished, my friends.

Now I want a vagina-haver to get something fun to put in, on or near their own highly personal orifice and dear Andy at Good Vibrations let me pick out something for you. Well, one of you, the rest of y'all are fucked (or in this case, unfucked. At least by this toy.)

Behold, your new possible lover, the Happy Rabbit G-Spot.
Pleased to meet you.

I have something similar to this toy and I like it very much (it? Him? Probably a him, but they get to chose.)

To be entered to win:
1.  Tell me what your favorite sex toy is via comment below or top secret email.
2.  Prepare your bedchamber for possible rabbit love.

If you are chosen, Andy will pack up your silicone lover and sent it your way. (Sorry, you have to live in the U.S. because insane shipping costs, not xenophobia.)  Drawing will be next week sometime. Probably.

Anyway, I love you. Not in the creepy way.  At least not at this moment.  Still time. 


* My fairy godmother box is a little low right now. I have a few tingly arousal gels for women (use at your peril/delight), a strap-on penis designed to be worn over an existing penis, a small vibe, a mini clit toy and some wee butt plugs. Yours for the shipping and possibly a decent tip from driving my ass to the post office so I don't secretly resent you. (As a fairy godmother, I'm kind of a dick.)

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