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How Open Relationships Cure Jealousy

May 7, 2014

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Reader Kristinopolis (who has written in other posts on our site about her experience with open relationships) said the following in response to our post, “Can Open Relationships Cure Jealousy?”

I know why it works. When you are committed to one person, everyone else becomes ‘unattainable’ or maybe ‘unloveable’ in a way. Then there’s the typical wanting what you can’t have, which will breed jealously. If you are open, you can have big trust, because you know if they didn’t want to be by your side, they wouldn’t be. And you also allow them to pursue and focus on their own happiness. In this game, honesty and communication is key. It’s like an investment and a beautiful gamble all in one.

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Every Straight Guy Should Be Sexually Harassed by a Gay Guy Once

April 30, 2014

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photo via Flickr

Our Comment of the Week is from MVP Johnny, in response to the question asked by a gay man, ”How Do I Subtly Find Out My Straight Friend’s Penis Size?“:

Can I presume that sexual attraction, rather than locker-room bro curiosity, has piqued your interest?

Don’t do it, dude. That’s the sort of thing that makes open-minded straight guys not want to be friends with gay guys anymore.

You’re going to creep the guy out. Just whack off to your straight friend, and in your fantasies, his dick can be whatever size you want it to be.

… There is a silver lining to situations like this, though: getting creeped on by gay guys teaches straight guys a valuable lesson in what it’s like.

Thanks to a small handful of inappropriate gay guys, I know what it’s like to be sexually harassed. I know what it’s like to get a totally out-of-line sexual proposition from a grown man. Sometimes when you’re alone, sometimes when it’s dark out.

It’s disgusting and potentially scary. It taught me a lot about what women must go through. Think it’s flattering when you make comments about her body, or how horny she makes you? Think she secretly likes the attention when you hit on her for the tenth time, or when a guy looks her up and down, sneers, and goes, “daaayuum, dat asssss…”? Think again. It makes your skin crawl.

It’s something every straight guy should go through at least once, as sensitivity training. You know what? Fuck it. Ask your straight friend about his dick. It may end your friendship, but you’ll be doing a public service by enlightening the guy.

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4 Early Warning Signs of a Toxic Relationship

April 23, 2014

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Reader Pigeon said the following in response to our post, “Your Call: I Finally Escaped a Toxic 13-Year Marriage. Now What?” What warning signs of a toxic relationship would you add to this list?

Have a bit of time to enjoy your freedom — just remember that you are still young and you don’t have to be married. Find new hobbies and just really get to know yourself in every sense of the word! And take some time to write down what you would consider “warning signs” for a new partner… things like:

1. Isolation: Feeling separated from friends and family.

2. Pressure: Feeling like you’re being pressured into anything, either by force or guilt.

3. Physical: Any form of non-consensual physical contact. This could be a range from actually hitting to grabbing and manipulating you into sex.

4. Sense of Self: If you feel like you’re being made to do what he wants all the time and that you’re losing your own interests just to keep them happy.

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Comment of the Week: A Cautionary Tale About Shame

April 16, 2014

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photo via Flickr

An Em & Lo reader told the following cautionary tale in response to our post “Dear Dr. Joe, Can You Break Your Penis During Sex?” Just one more reason why we need be better, shame-eradicating sex education in this country:

Dr. Joe, very informative post. I’ve always heard that you cannot break it; however, early in high school, I had an injury on a band trip: short version, this girl, an older classmate, started holding my hand and I became so hard, with tight pants on, something broke/popped. I had to be carried off the bus and just said I had stomach pain. The pain was excruciating. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone, including my parents, so I wasn’t examined or treated in anyway. I spent the next several years trying to gradually straighten my penis back to normal. It finally healed back to maybe 80%-90% straight. Unfortunately, my erect penis size since that accident has remained maybe 3/4, at most, what it was before. It may be even more like 1/2 but too long ago to really remember.

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The Three Make-or-Break Issues In Every Relationship

April 9, 2014

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Reader Blah Blah Blacksheep (best username ever, by the way!) said the following in response to our post Your Call – He’s Kinky, She’s Vanilla, Is the Relationship Doomed?

Money, sex, and kids are the three make-or-break things in every relationship. A spender will have a hard time being with a saver. Two dominants or two submissives will have a hard time getting along in the bedroom. A breeder with a non-breeder usually won’t work out. And … a vanilla will have a hard time being with a BDSM’er.

If you are not happy in all three of those major categories (money, sex, kids/parenting style) then there will be major clashes and it won’t last.

It’s better to break it off early, amicably.

Find someone else you click with on those 3 things. Everything else you get along on is just icing on the cake.

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What Made Your Marriage Fail?

April 1, 2014

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Are you separated, divorced, or on your way there? If so, we want to hear from you. (We promise complete anonymity!) We’re working on a new project about happy-ever-afters… and not-so-happy-ever-afters… and we want to interview couples, over email, about the thing that caused their marriage to fail.

If you’re interested in sharing your story anonymously — it’s a chance to vent, or to put it all down for posterity, or to help others avoid the same pitfalls — then send us a message via our contact form here. And we’ll tawk!

Oh, and if your marriage is a gloriously happy one? Or at least reasonably satisfying? No discrimination: We want to hear from you, too. Again, anonymity is guaranteed. Just send us a message via our contact form here.

Thanks, as always, for sharing…. and over-sharing.

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Confession: The Problem with Bisexuality

April 1, 2014

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Yesterday, Nathaniel Frank gave us a male perspective on bisexuality; today, we’re getting a female perspective. In honor of the culmination of Bisexual Awareness Month yesterday, our long-time contributor Ariel E.M. Servadio wrote the following article on her recently relaunched Cephaloblog about her own bisexuality, which she’s graciously allowing us to reprint here today. 

 

Make up your mind already.

My problem with bisexuality is not that “they just can’t decide.” My problem is not that “they’re confused.” My problem is not that “they’re being greedy”. My problem is that “they” are me, and you probably didn’t know that.

Really, it’s just not fair – bisexuals can live under the guise of being straight, and therefore conform more nicely into society somewhat unintentionally, if they just happen to only meet and date people of the opposite sex. I know this, because it’s what I’ve done all of my life.

 

It makes me feel guilty. In a culture where LGBTetc. rights are finally getting the respect and legal recognition that they deserve, and more people than ever are truly “out and proud,” I am hiding in plain sight. I guess I’m not out – but truthfully, I was never really in. Because I’m gay. And I’m straight. Once, in complimenting my outfit, my friend told me “You kind of look like a lesbian”1 and I replied, “that’s funny, because I am kind of a lesbian!” Jokingly, I’ve described myself as half-lesbian, or half-gay.

Growing up, I just thought I was very open minded. I felt that for me personally, it was more about the person inside than their genitalia. I realize that’s not the case for everyone and that’s fine – that’s just how I’ve always felt. But it never really occurred to me that that person would ever be a woman, because I was only ever attracted to and dated men. Although I occasionally found myself sexually attracted to women throughout my post-pubescent life, no one needed to know about it, because I had no intentions of acting on it. I never met a woman I wanted to date. It just didn’t happen. Once, much later, I finally did meet a woman that I wanted to date, and we ended up becoming great friends instead.2

And this is really where the problem with bisexuality comes in: the truth of the matter is, I have a choice.

Let me affirm that I do not believe sexual orientation is a lifestyle choice in any way, shape or form. To quote Lady GaGa, “I was born this way, baby.” But I do, perhaps to the detriment of our already quavering reputation, think that bisexuals have a choice in the way they live their lives. Regardless of whether I’m born with an attraction to both men and women or not, if I only seek romantic relationships with the opposite sex out of societal conditioning, convenience, fear or utter cluelessness, I can live an easier, more socially acceptable, straight life.

I could spend the rest of my life choosing not to pursue romantic relationships with the same sex and live as a heterosexual, as far as everyone else knows. If federal and state laws don’t go my way and don’t respect homosexuals as human beings that deserve the same rights as all other human beings, no sweat – I can marry a man, adopt a child with him, whatever I want, and everyone will be 1) none the wiser and 2) never disgusted by how I live my life.

And that’s just not fucking fair.

You can’t help who you fall in love with, that is true – I mean, hey, I’m as big a fan of Chasing Amy as anyone. But is it unrealistic to think that I can, and have, influenced my sexual orientation over the years by unconsciously not considering women dateable? Being straight is so easy, so smiled upon, so normal – who would choose to live any other way?

No one would, and that is why it is a certainty that sexuality is inherent. I guess in a sense, we all do have a choice when it comes to sexuality: to be happy and live as who we truly are, or to be unhappy and socially acceptable. And anyone who chooses unhappiness, despite how much society shits on you otherwise, is choosing wrong. Your happiness is everything. The entire point of life is to be happy – why choose anything else?

What my problem ultimately comes down to is this – if I never date and fall in love with a girl, I could live the rest of my life as a straight woman. But I’m not going to. Because whether I ever end up doing so or not, I know that I would, and I won’t limit myself with a binary label. I’ve made up my mind: I’m bisexual.

1. She sincerely meant this in the best way possible – she loves lesbians. 

2. This can be a problem with women, I’ve found – real crushes can turn into friend crushes which can turn into incredible friendships with no romantic possibility, ever. Sigh, the sapphic life. 

Craig Ferguson perfectly articulates my feelings about coffee, tea and bisexuality:

Craig, where do yo come down on the tea vs. coffee debate?
There is no tea vs. coffee debate!
You're making it up!
I like tea, I like coffee!
I like milk chocolate, I like dark chocolate!
I like penises, I like vaginas!


Confession: (My) Bisexuality Is Really Not That Complicated

March 31, 2014

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In honor of the last day of Bisexuality Awareness Month (it’s sort of ironically fitting, given how overlooked bisexuality so often is, that we only just realized March was Bisexual Awareness Month), we’re publishing an essay by our friend Nathaniel Frank, originally posted on Slate. He is best known as the author of the book Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America, and was an expert witness in two Constitutional challenges to “don’t ask, don’t tell,” whose success helped end the policy. And though he’s been a friend for years, until he published this essay, we’d always assumed he was gay. Which is one of many reasons why we wanted to publish it…

Bisexuality has been the subject of chatter lately, since the New York Times Magazine ran a cover story on the quest to prove it exists. There was a time when I used to dread this topic. I’m one of those people who, when pressed, identifies as bi, but far more often says I’m gay. And I’m not alone: When surveyed, a majority of LGB people say they’re “B,” but how many self-identified bisexuals do you know? Most Americans have gay or lesbian friends and associates, but many fewer seem to have bisexual ones that they know of, despite their statistical ubiquity among LGB people.

Why don’t bisexuals like me come out more? Part of it is laziness. But you don’t find many gay or straight people identifying as something other than who they really are just because they’re lazy. Part of it is stigma. As discussed in (and, some say, perpetuated by) the Times Magazine piece, bisexuals get little respect, not only from the world at large, but specifically from gays and lesbians, some of whom have long insisted they don’t exist. There is a widespread belief that those who identify as bi are either in a transitional stage or are lying (to themselves or others)—trying to savor the status of straightitude while enjoying the pleasures of gaydom. And this suspicion of the enduring reality of bisexuality contributes to “bisexual erasure,” which the Times piece defines as “the idea that bisexuality is systematically minimized and dismissed.” Read the rest of this entry »



Tell Us Your Viagra Story!

March 28, 2014

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Does your partner use Viagra for erectile dysfunction or just recreationally? Have you used it yourself, for whatever reason? If so, we want to hear from you! We’re working on an article for a new national health and wellbeing magazine about the pros and cons of Viagra use in relationships and marriages. ANONYMITY GUARANTEED! If you’ve got some experience with this drug, please write to us via our contact form, selecting “Interview Me for Your Article!” from the pull down menu — and be sure to include your age, relationship-status, a sentence or two about your experience, and your email address so we can reach you directly (we will not share your address with anyone). Looking forward to hearing from you!

Share your Viagra story with us!



Comment of the Week: BDSM Destroyed My Marriage

March 26, 2014

5 Comments

photo via flickr

Reader Nancy told the following heartbreaking story in response to our post, “Your Call – He’s Kinky, She’s Vanilla, Is the Relationship Doomed?” Sometimes, it turns out, love just isn’t enough…

I have been married for 17 years and recently discovered my husband’s infidelity. He started with a porn addiction which affected our sex life negatively and now is in pretty deep in the BDSM world–of course never communicating to me about his desires. I knew something was “up” for about six months, and then started having him followed. Such a sad way for me to discover his alternative lifestyle. I had to have answers for his behavior and mood changes so I am not really sorry I did the surveillance thing.

His personality changed in a negative way. He became very disengaged from our children and myself. Irritable, self-centered and defensive about any kind of inquiries about his life. (I realize these are behaviors that anyone would demonstrate if having an affair). After I confronted him about his activities, we had huge communication sessions about what led up to this. We love each other dearly and have three wonderful children who deserve both parents in a loving household. It probably won’t be possible to continue with our relationship. He cries and says he wants a committed, loving, monogamous relationship with me, but knows in his heart the BDSD charge is very strong and admits it will be next to impossible to maintain fidelity in our marriage.

I am sick about this, but don’t have an answer for any of it. I was sexually, emotionally, and verbally abused much of my childhood by an abusive stepfather. My mother was an extremely submissive person who “looked the other way” and accused me of lying when I would complain. I have worked extraordinarily hard to overcome the scars and damage from this. I am proud of myself for who I have become. I look for the light and positive in everything I do. My life is devoted to helping other people. BDSM has cast a very dark shadow over my children, my marriage and my future.

Yes, I did try and be open to my husband and play the “sub role.” It sucked. Sorry, I don’t want to be spanked, tied up and blindfolded. I don’t want my husband to stick his penis in my mouth when I am in a vulnerable position. Doesn’t do it for me. I am not excited by the “confusion” that BDSM brings into the complicated division of “power” between a man and a wife. So, we will be divorcing soon. It is a no-win situation. My husband cries every day and says he knows he will not find happiness with a sub, but he is “just in too deep.” I have a hunch he is not going to make BDSM a lifetime commitment. I am looking forward to getting out of this mess and beginning a life either on my own or with someone who will love me in a way that shares gentleness, warmth, care light and love. I want my children to experience what a relationship looks like from that perspective.

I always wonder if people that are so enthusiastic about BDSM would want their children involved with this. Would you really want your daughter being a sex slave or sub to a dom? Would you want your son whipping his wife? Not me. Life is so full of wonderful things that include kindness and gentleness. I have walked both sides of the fence and there is nothing to me more exciting than a gentle caress, a supportive hug, a loving gaze, a meeting of the eyes while love-making, my husband’s head on my breasts, an equal say in decisions involving the household etc. It is not a boring vanilla lifestyle to experience these things, I promise you.

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