Tuesday, August 30, 2016

On the Mystifying Continued Existence of "Love is..."

I was shocked to learn--shocked, I tell you!--that "love is...", the heinously bad 70s cartoon, still runs every day. And not in some Shopper's Weekly in Huntville, Alabama, but in the freakin' Los Angeles Times! I discovered this the other morning and went on a little rant at the breakfast table while my daughters, aged 10 and 11, looked on.

Because I am their parent and, thus, the person they trust to provide them with authoritative information about the world around them, my girls nodded solemnly, taking mental notes on the Important Life Wisdom I was sharing with them. "Love is....," they recorded in their sweet little impressionable brains, "Worst comic ever, someone gets paid for this=totally unfair, running for 41 years=insanity!, continued appeal=completely mystifying."

Actually, "love is..." is completely mystifying in many, many ways. This is why, if you must know, the three of us have become kind of obsessed with it. Sort of in an ironic way, but also sort of not. (My husband, quite reasonably, thinks our "love is..." love is wack and will have nothing to do with it.)

I mean, it's just so fucking weird. There is a male and female, and they sort of look like kids, but maybe they're adults. It is not clear if they are married, or dating, or just neighbors. And they are always naked. Always. The whole always naked thing gives the comic exactly the right surrealistic touch that adds an extra dimension of fuckupedness to each panel.

The other day, the panel read, "love is... when he invites you to come to his place." It was illustrated with the naked guy opening the door of his apartment to the naked girl who was standing in the hall. That a man would eagerly let a naked girl come into his apartment seemed self-explanatory enough, but why was this chick just wandering the halls of the apartment building with no clothes on? She looked clear-headed enough and didn't appear, at least on initial inspection, to be in the midst of a fugue state. And why did this dude think he should answer the door all naked? Did he peek out, see she was naked, then strip? Or does he just greet all visitors in his nude glory? (I use the word "nude" here because it's just so so 70s. Maybe, if you're lucky, I'll use the word "unisex" for you as well.)

And yesterday, the strip read "love is...gazing longingly at each other across a crowded room." The illustration was the guy and girl gazing longingly at each other across a crowded room full of other naked kid/adult people. "There are MORE of them," my 10 year old intoned ominously. Everyone in the drawing looked happy, as I guess people tend to look when they are at a naked party. I, tragically, am never invited to naked parties, so I wouldn't know. Just what kind of free love, public nudity, mushroom-decorated world do these kid/adults live in?

Maybe he'd have better luck if he wore clothes to the Job Center

Oh, so many questions!  And the "love is..." Wikipedia entry just fuels the mystique. Whoever wrote the entry seemed to have closely studied the strip, searching desperately for clues.

The main characters are a male and a female. Their names may be Roberto and Kim, respectively, since in a 1974 episode which says "Love is... your name pronounced by him while sleeping" the male pronounces the name "Kim", the strip's creator's name, and in a 1971 panel the female writes the letter 'R' in the beach sand (the creator's husband's name is Roberto). The male has dark black, short hair while the female has light, waist-length hair. The characters have been featured in various stages of romance: just meeting, boyfriend/girlfriend and husband/wife. They appear to be quite young, looking like toddlers, however, they are apparently supposed to represent adults

Sometimes, the male is seen to be part of the Army, Marines, etc.

When featured as husband and wife, at times a child/children will appear who are much smaller than them, but never more than two children, a boy and a girl. The boy and girl have the hair coloring of their opposite gender parent (i.e., the girl has her father's black hair, while the boy has his mother's light hair). The children have been featured both as infants and as elementary school age; they have not been featured as teenagers.

I love it, it's so... tentative and unsure. I mean, searching for clues in a letter scratched into the beach sand? It's madness! "They appear to be quite young, looking like toddlers, however, they are apparently supposed to represent adults," the entry's writer notes, flummoxed and completely losing the usual authoritative Wikipedia tone.

However, I can judge all I want, but that fact is, at the height of the strip's popularity in the 70s, creator Kim Casali made between £4-5 million a year. I don't know the exact exchange rate into U.S. dollars, but I'm pretty sure it's a fuck of a lot of money. By contrast, this month, on Amazon referrals alone, I have made...let's see here....carry the one...exactly 52¢. Right. So I'll just shut my damn trap now.


(note 8/16): this is a re-run.  this would explain why an oddly high amount of commenters mentioning cock rings. I was having a contest--now edited out--partially so that anyone who decided to search for "Love is..." and "cock ring" would find somewhere to land.

Also, Love is... is still going strong.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

On Exactly The Wrong Person For You

I've been pondering an email from Pamela Madsen, author of Shameless: How I Ditched the Diet, Got Naked, and Found True Pleasure

I'm not sure if it's kinda genius or the Worst Advice Ever. What do you think?

I think the search is for that perfect wrong person. The one whose scars you want to lick and kiss and love. This person who is wrong in all the right ways. That person who has horns on his or her head that fit into the holes in your head. You want to know that they are a problem that you want to have in your life. That wrong person should inspire you to gaze at them with love. To make your body yearn to touch them. And yes, you will shake your head at it all. This wild wrong person! You know, that person who is wrong for you in all the right ways.

The advice sounded a little screwy, not at all sensible or wise, but then she threw me this line: 

You have got to be willing to not only dance with your demons you have to be willing to fuck them.

So. Fucking your demons. What could be more alluring, really?

And yet.

Is succumbing to what (or who) you actually want to do--damn the wisdom or lack thereof--the key to living life fully and passionately? Or is it a complete rationalization for being in a screwed-up relationship?

Anjelica Huston, who dredged up memories of her turbulent years with Jack Nicholson in  Watch Me: A Memoir describes the relationship as having "that kind of faint uncertainty" of being with someone who is never truly yours: "But that doesn't stop one from loving somebody; it just makes it a different kind of negotiation. You can have a hard time with somebody and say, 'That's it,' but you have to be able to leave the room, and I was never able to do that."

Was she wrong to spend 17 non-consecutive, non-monogamous years in a semi-compromised position? Or was that exactly what she was into, and on a very basic level, what she wanted/needed? Is it possible--or even advisable--to avoid someone when they offer compelling mental fuckery, personalized to your exact flavor of vulnerability?

You can make a decent argument for either side, I think. On the one hand, viva life, jump into the fire, go where the passion is. On the other, well, the tension/wrongness aspect can easily veer into much, much darker territory.  A reader once wrote me to say her (ex-, thankfully) husband constantly told her how "ugly" her vagina was so she was looking into surgery so as not to subject some future beau to the supposed horror between her legs.*

I usually think of Wanting the Wrong Person as a gender issue but it's probably a universal condition for any slightly-harmed human. That is, pretty much everyone. Consider this exchange between Marc Maron and Dr. Drew on WTF, on falling for people who put you in a position of repeating traumatic patterns from childhood.
Dr. Drew: "You can't really ever cure this--you're going to be attracted to people that put you in that position. And you just love them. That's just how you're wired. It's your love map. The way to mitigate it is to go after people you're not that excited about--but then you're sort of withholding something from yourself.

Marc Maron: But you can't do that because it's sort of like a phantom limb.

Drew: It's hard. You can also go for people who are very exciting but realize it's going to be traumatic.

Maron: My therapist said that that's they way it's gonna be and the best you can hope for is that [the other person is] willing to do the work.

Drew: Yes. I absolutely agree with that. Because that's life. We're not perfect. We're not healthy all the time. It makes life interesting.

Maron: You can't be with someone that you're not going to connect with on that level.

Drew: You can, but...

Maron: You've got to be very disciplined not to go out and fuck the lunatic!  
Drew: Correct. A lot of people do not understand this and it's where a lot of the craziness comes from. The things that were traumatic in our childhood are the sources of attraction.

Maron: Not only the sources of attraction, but you want to recreate it.

Drew: Well, that's the conscious experience of it. But I think there's something far more profound. When people start talking about it in therapy, they always go, "I guess I want to master it. I guess I want to make it right this time." No, that's your brain trying to make sense of bullshit motivation.

Maron: It's comfortable. It's what you grew up with.

Drew: It's your map. It's love. It's where you find love.

Maron: Is it love?  
Drew: Yes. That's your version of love. It's not the healthiest version. But I've got the same one [he's been with his wife 23 years] so it's all good. I have found in the craziness, passion and renewal.
"I have found in the craziness, passion and renewal." Who knew? Square ol' Dr. Drew embroiled in a crazy passion-based relationship? And advising, basically, "fuck the lunatic"(!)

What do you make of all this? It is wise to seek health and balance (with accompanying possible tepidness) in relationships? Or do you go for the great passion/great trauma combo? And how has that worked out for you?


*Obviously there's a continuum between the delightful frisson of senseless ardor and someone truly hurting you physically and/or mentally and you want to be way way more toward the "delightful" end of it. (If you're not and you're ready, The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Welcome "Sexually Aroused by Foam"!

I feel sorry for Google, I really do. Yes, Google is our current and future Mind-Control Overlord and all that, what with its frighteningly extensive and accurate knowledge of our secret desires and obsessions (see also: Web-Browser History A Chronicle Of Couple's Unspoken Desires in The Onion) and yet...

Well, sometimes I think we just ask too much of Google. I mean, judging by the search terms that land searchers confused and bleary-eyed here at In Bed With Married Women... I can see why Google sent them to me because, honestly, where the hell else should they go?

I mean, take the person who typed in vagina pad for camouflaging fat. Where would you send them?  What the hell do they even want? I think Google tries to meet everyone's needs, but sometimes it must throw its algorithmically-formulated hands into the air like, "Fuck it, I don't know that. Send them over to IBWMW."

Really, what is Google supposed to do with a query like: what toy can make my pussy fat? That is an UNANSWERABLE QUESTION. Google is not a zen master, it's a computer search engine. The answer, which Google is certainly too polite to say, is "Why the fuck do you want a toy that makes your pussy fat? A. It doesn't exist and B. That is stupid. Go away and don't come back around here until you find something reasonable to search for." This also goes for 2050 horse fuck women house as well send them home. Um....what? When Google got that particular query, it just backed away slowly and nudged them in my direction. "Here you go, this nice lady will take real good care of you."

And oh lord, the forbidden little fetishes and excessively specific sexual desires that Google gets to be/has to be privy to. I understand having a bit of a preference for something--I myself like me some big brown eyes--but maybe these folks could expand their horizons a wee bit more so they don't need to be seeing an old man taking a hand job to get off. C'mon, mix it up!  Try "Spanish men taking a hand job" or even just plain old "hand jobs." There's probably only so much porn featuring old men getting hand jobs and at some point you're going to tap it out. And then where will you be?  I'd offer the same (unasked for) advice to the searchers of: strawberry shortcake sex, women who crave big ball sacks, women wearing female condom porn, anal hair plug fake, my little pony sex, fake vagina string, charming tranny bear (as opposed to the uncharming ones who are just kind of dicks), girl using vagisil porn, old ladys who love to fuck animals and, my personal favorite, sexually aroused by foam.  As for the person who typed in free porn having sex with a cucumber hollowed out: Dude, the pay cucumber porn site is worth it--WAY hotter.

Sometimes I think Google just sends certain people to amuse me. I was strangely pleased by Give the images of Indian womans penis in vagina because it sounds like someone addressing a genie in a bottle. "Genie!" they command, clapping smartly. "Give the images of Indian womans penis in vagina!" And I was honored to see that IBWMW was the #8 choice for sex with stuffed animals, because it's always nice to be top-rated in something. (Note to self: Ask Marketing Director about new slogan: "Your #8 Choice in Sex with Stuffed Animals," plus product tie-ins?)  And I like that someone searched for mmm sex ass, though I can't really say why.

Sometimes I think Google is just messing with people. A shockingly high number of folks have earnestly typed in the phrase explicit pictures of penis in vagina only to be cruelly directed to my post entitled, Sorry, No Explicit Pictures of "Penis In Vagina". Ha ha, sucker.

And other times I think Google is messing with me. Sending matronly bosoms or pendulous breasts boring sex to me? Hey, thanks a lot, Google. And what were you thinking sending smut mouth married woman to me? Oh, wait, I get it. Right. I'll just let myself out.

image: Aladdin finds the Genie’s lamp in the magic garden. From Aladdin und die Wunderlampe (Aladdin and the Wonder Lamp), illustrated by Max Liebert, 1912. From Project Gutenberg public domain texts.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Real Sex Stories (x 2!), On Pegging and Other Genderfuckery

Of all the articles I've written for Cosmo, I think the most popular have been the two on pegging (here and here).* Between that, and the general tenor of the mail I'm getting lately, I'd say plenty of dudes (at least secretly) are pretty damn interested in pegging and/or screwing around, so to speak, with traditional gender roles in the bedroom.

This seems all good to me. I mean, why stick to your particular birth-given sexual role (i.e. the fucker vs. the fucked, penetrator vs. penetrated, etc...) when you could take on the entire spectrum of possibilities?

If you must know, I also got a lot of weird as fuck letters, which is not related to this subject particularly, but that's just the way it goes around here. But here are two I thought were smart and well written, esp. because one used the phrase "fucked like a boss."


*One Cosmo piece was jerkily plagiarized and used verbatim as the uncredited "script" in a YouTube video, an offense negated slightly by the fact that they acted out the positions with Barbie and Ken dolls and even fashioned a wee little strap-on for Barbie.

First a short one from Anonymous, the most popular name around here.

My GF and I have recently introduced pegging to our sexual repertoire (pegging meet coitus, coitus, pegging. And over there we have cunnilingus, bondage, spanking...) Specifically, I was the one who was proactive in making this happen. I picked up on her interest in mutual anal play and took it another step. My own orgasms are intense because of the physical stimulation, but I really get off on how it transforms her into a wanton teenage boy and makes her appreciate just what a guy has to do physically. Now that she is hooked, I have introduced her to the notion that she needs to be the one to initiate and to seduce me. We are having a lot of fun with this.

And this is from Nick and Sarah, who aren't actually named that so don't be eying the Nick and Sarah you know like you know their business:

I'm trying to bust up some traditional gender programming in my life.

Lately I'm taking on female-traditional work: cooking, cleaning, parenting, while my wife works longer hours. I love cooking for my family! I love looking after my little kids. And when the kids are tucked in - welp, looks like I'm the girl in the bedroom too! Now, I'm quite comfortable with my male body and clothing.. But I want to be treated like a girl sometimes - getting kissed firmly, strong arms around me, felt up, and ultimately put down and fucked like a boss. It feels really really good, and a lot more loving than some of the D/S porn.

I'm conflicted about this - and maybe my wife is too - so I really appreciate your positive articles on your blog and in Cosmo.

This is the story of my recent 5th wedding anniversary. My wife Sarah and I had booked a lovely hotel room facing the ocean. I took her for a nice dinner. I confessed that I was interested in submitting to her more in the bedroom, and that I hoped she would take more leadership.

I've noticed over the years, when I've had sex, sometimes my partners would completely lose it. I don't mean moaning a little bit -  I mean uncontrolled moaning, eye rolling, begging for more. Sometimes women will cry afterward because they are so moved by the experience.

To be quite frank, I want to feel that way. As a man, I feel the burden of having to be in control and avoiding expressing feelings that are too strong.  I told Sarah wanted to drop the mask for her. I wanted to give it up to her and feel a strong connection.

When we got home she held me in her strong arms. We looked at the sun setting over the harbor. We kissed each other passionately. She told me firmly that we weren't going to have sex tonight, and that I was getting a spanking. And did I ever!

Sarah put me on the bed, naked, on all fours, ass to the open drapes. My legs are still shaking as I think about what happened. She spanked me firmly, and thoroughly. I looked back at her and felt that connection I'd hoped for.  Here I was, giving it up to a determined, smart, and successful woman - the mother of my children, and my life partner.

She didn't give me any of her body except her strong right arm, but that was all I needed.  I submitted to her like a Catholic girl on prom night, moaning her name loudly into the pillows. When she finished, I was red at both ends..

We collapsed into each other's arms and slept - she held me tightly to her chest as we drifted off to sleep.

Love your blog. xo

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

True Sex Tale: Cici, "We have made love five times this year."

I was working on some boring-ass other thing when this plinked into my in-box from "Cici Sparkle." Holy fuck, this chick can write. Her story is so...dark and true. (Displaced/unfullfilled passion, it is motivating...)

I am just gonna run it without comment except to say that if you want to tell your own true sex story, face up to what's going on and send it in.

Here then, Cici Sparkle:

A “sexless marriage” is defined as one where the couple has sex fewer than 10 times in a year. We may have made love five times this year. It’s September. We have been married for 15 years.

I find him attractive, cute, boyishly, geek-ily sexy. I'm independent, feminist, loud, fun, reformed wild-and-crazy; he is passive, quiet, thoughtful, brilliant.

He doesn’t look at my body, doesn’t try to touch me, never sneaks in while I’m showering or grabs my ass while I’m cooking or talking on the telephone. He has never seduced me; has never unhooked my bra or looked at my body as he removed my panties. Sexy pictures and suggestive text messages make him uncomfortable and angry. He accuses me of being unstable - to whom else are you sending these photos? - and unsafe with technology when all I want is to tap into the primal, animal instinct that he must have… doesn’t he?

I approach him while wearing lingerie, bluesy-sexy music playing in the background, feeling lascivious and tasty, and he turns on the TV. I wrap my arms around him, throw my legs over his lap, gently nibble his earlobe and he freezes, almost as if he is afraid of what I may “do” to him.

He stays up all night either consciously or unconsciously to avoid coming to bed. Lovemaking, when it happens, is only in the morning. That way he can pull away from me afterwards, bounding out of bed to get showered and dressed immediately so I won’t have further expectations to be held or kissed or, heaven forbid, to reach climax. I make him feel dirty, I suppose, but not in a good way. If I’m on top - most times - he doesn’t move, save to hold my hips lightly. Occasionally he’ll cup my breasts and kiss them tenderly if they are right in his face, otherwise there is no foreplay. Perhaps this is my own fault. I am so easily - physically - turned on, so he never had to try very hard.

I can’t help but keep track. very Monday morning, after another weekend that we didn’t make love, I pick a fight. When he is sick or we have overnight weekend guests, I am irrationally angry and bitter: another lost opportunity for intimacy. Every time my period starts I rage, the pain and exhaustion mocking me, Mother Nature marking another month that he hasn’t even tried. When we do make love successfully, I am angry, too, because I know that the next time could be months away.

I don’t think he’s vindictive. He somehow doesn’t know what else to do, can’t read my body language, and follows instruction poorly. We used to have a good time together, even after our children were born. I had a lot of experience with men and sex but not with love. Our relationship was never passionate, but there was always deep caring and trust and a desire to please.

Have I mentioned that my husband is an alcoholic? Over the years he has progressed from being a social/heavy drinker to being a drunk, an habitual drinker, a selfish fuck of a man who drinks steadily until he passes out or until all of the beer is gone. He doesn’t yell or throw punches; instead he leaves a trail of beer cans and potato chip crumbs for me to find the following day, falls asleep in front of the blaring TV, lights blazing, with a beer can in his hand, spilling on the couch and the carpet. He wakes up sticky-eyed and confused just before dawn and rambles to bed as quietly as his lanky 200 pounds can be. He sleeps through his alarm, occasionally getting up in time to walk the kids to the bus stop with pungent, yeasty sweat coming out of his pores. My favorite mornings happen every few months when I wake up to him having pissed on his side of the bed.

Al-Anon tells the enabler not to manipulate situations so the alcoholic will pay bills, eat, go to work, or sleep. We are essentially told to get out of the way and let the train wreck happen. I have stopped fighting with him about his drinking and sleep habits and our terrible, sad sex life. He has worn me down and I can’t bear to be rejected any more. “You know I’ll never leave so the pressure is off. I’m trapped and unhappy and you don’t care. So, you win. I will not pursue you any more.”

There is a specific point in his drunkenness when he can be coaxed into bed. Too little alcohol and he wants to stay up later and party; too much and he is sloppy. Thursday was one of those nights. I was asleep although not soundly, too dead tired at this late hour to greet him but alert enough to hear him close the door and lock it. He crawled into bed and put his arms around me, my back to him. I lay uncharacteristically still and hoped he would get the hint to leave me alone. My instincts told me that if I woke up fully and encouraged him I would be disappointed, left aroused, alone, and wide awake. He nudged and snuggled me until he finally persuaded me to turn over on to my back. Despite myself, my arms went around his neck ... he is my husband, after all, and I love him in an unrequited, desperate way.

We lay quietly, close together. His tongue slithered into my ear, big and wet and invasive. I shuddered and pulled my head away. He kissed my neck and my face with lips that felt flabby and loose, smacking noisily. I tried to kiss him the way we used to - a light touch, gingerly sucking his bottom lip, gentle, tentative tongue - but he was too drunk to follow my lead. Instead he pressed my lips too hard with his mouth, hurting them against my teeth, jamming his tongue inside my mouth, licking and swirling with the finesse of a sixteen-year-old. He tasted like beer and smokeless tobacco, which he probably flipped out of his mouth when he came to bed. My skin crawled and I pulled my face away. He reached his hand between my legs and pushed them open gently, then used one finger to part the outer lips of my labia as he began recklessly jamming his hips into mine, not guiding himself or exploring, just poking until he found a warm spot.

He is well-endowed and was hard enough to penetrate me but I knew immediately that he wouldn’t finish. For several long minutes his efforts were on straight fucking, all pelvis and cock, pressing his full weight on me, banging away and breathing heavily. The alcohol rendered him incapable of multitasking so I raised my hips, moving with him, encouraging him, but also reaching for the tiniest bit of pleasure for myself. I was wet but not fully aroused so I wasn’t “open” enough to take his full length; I winced and tried to move away every time he thrust and hit my cervix. Tears rose in my throat as I whispered to him to slow down. He feels claustrophobic when I hold him too closely or wrap my legs around his hips so I lay my open hands lightly on his shoulders, my feet firmly planted on the bed, waiting for him to exhaust himself.

Finally I could feel him getting tired, losing his erection, breathing heavily, slowing down and stopping, at last, to catch his breath. He stumbled out of bed and went to the kitchen for glasses of ice water. When he returned and deposited my glass on the nightstand, I pretended to be asleep and made a small noise when he patted my head. Wide awake now, my back to him in the darkness, feeling light-years away, listening to his breathing as it became deeper, I thought about all of the reasons that I hate him.

Hope you can use this ... thank you for your beautiful blog.

Thank you for being such a bad-ass, Cici. And yes, of course, I can use it. Hope it finds its way to who(m?)ever might be needing it in their day today.


(photo source)