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What Is the Etiquette of Saucy Holiday Gifting?

December 16, 2013

2 Comments

photo via flickr

At what point in a relationship is it acceptable to give a gift that is sex-related — a high-end toy, perhaps, or a saucy costume or, say, a beginner’s guide to kink* (to offer a completely random example…)? After you’ve met each other’s parents? After you’ve met each other’s a-holes? After you’ve shared last names? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

* We happen to think that 150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink makes a fantastic holiday gift for booty calls, sisters-in-law, husbands and wives, book club friends, open-minded colleagues, anonymous White Elephant Party recipients… and it’s now under ten dollars!

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Comment of the Week: The Risks of Making Your Fantasy a Reality

December 3, 2013

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Reader Dave posted the following cautionary tale in response to our post, “Your Call: I Want My Wife to Have an Affair; She Thinks I’m Nuts”:

I think you need to tread very carefully here… just to give you my experience…

My wife and I often talked about her being with another guy while we were making love and it really heated things up and she would often get really turned on by the idea (during sex) but afterwards not so much.

One day we were at a nudist beach and walking through the dunes, this guy with a towel wrapped around him flashed his semi-erect penis at my wife. She stopped dead and could hardly believe her eyes, we talked about it for a few secs and decided we would pitch our beach shelter and have some fun with this guy. Once set up, the wife and I started to make love while he watched on, he gradually came closer and touched my wife’s breasts.

She seemed ok with this so we kept going, then I got too horny and had a disconnect between my brain and the rest of me, I took her hand and placed it on his balls. She didn’t really react and started to do more with him.

Eventually, he came on her hand and breast. I was in heaven still making love to her. However, not long after she told me to stop, that she couldn’t continue, and started crying. We packed up said goodbye to the guy and left.

Afterwards we talked about it and it turns out she was happy to be watched but never wanted to touch the guy and after I made her touch him she was upset and just wanted it to finish quickly, which is why she pulled him to make it end as soon as she could. If I hadn’t rushed her in to touching him, she said that she thinks it could have happened naturally when she was ready but that now she no longer wants to think about it or try it again.

That was several years ago and it still causes problems in our relationship and sex life.

Please do not rush in to anything and don’t push her in to doing anything she doesn’t want. Anything you agree to do should be talked about well in advance and clear boundaries set so everyone knows what everyone else is comfortable with.

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Comment of the Week: You Don’t Have to Accept His Porn Habit

November 27, 2013

7 Comments

photo via flickr

Reader Kendra said the following in response to our post, “Comment of the Week: How to Get Past His Porn Habit.”  We have to admit to a little mea culpa upon reading this. Yes, we do tend to tell female readers to find a way to compromise when it comes to their male partners’ porn habit, and perhaps that’s not always the best answer. Anyway, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re posting one reader’s very different take on the issue here, just to prove that you don’t have to kiss our asses in order to get featured here!

Why is no porn not an option on this list, which was created for someone who is not exactly in favor of porn. I find this to be very un-feminist and quite frankly, totally male-dominated advice. Basically, you’re telling the person who’s uncofomfortable with porn use to force themselves to become okay with it. Tell him to “cover his tracks?!” So, hide it and pretend the problem does not exist? Yep, that’ll make for a great relationship. And when he’s out screwin’ someone else, just make sure he covers his tracks well there, too, right?

Why was “if you’re uncomfortable with it, you DON’T HAVE TO PUT UP WITH IT” not an option on the list? That should’ve been first on the list. Nobody should have to make themselves deal with something that hurts them. Nobody should. It’s not okay.

How about some better advice: Don’t put up with it! Know that you are better than that and that you’re better than being second best or even having to share! IMO, it’s either all me and only me (because I’ve realized that I’m that good. I’m worthy and I’m plenty good enough) or no me at all. I don’t do sharing. Some people can stifle the porn pain, others cannot, but advice should include options to not put up with it if you are very, very upset with it.

It makes you feel badly? You told the reader that it was THEIR problem to deal with!? Noooo! That is terrible advice. In a relationship, problems are BOTH parties’ problems to “deal with.”

If you don’t like pornography, you can ask your partner to figure out which is more important — you or porn. If he chooses you, fabulous! If not, there are plenty out there who do not need pornography to be turned on.

Plus, why should anyone be told to put up with second best or sharing when there’s a big possibility they could have what they really, really want — to be their partner’s ONLY? Yes, there are plenty of men out there who love their partner enough not to have desires for other’s.

Take it or leave it, but NEVER settle like this awful advice says for you to.

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This Site Is Better Than Therapy (Also: Yay, Strap-Ons)

November 20, 2013

0 Comments

Reader P warmed the cockles of our hearts when she said the following, in response to our post, “Strap-on Sex Won’t Turn You Gay (If You Aren’t Already)”:

The reason I found this site is because I was watching different types of porn to see if I could be stimulated and I found very few did. I am bi, and lesbian porn does little for me, gay porn I love, straight porn is boring all the same. Today I discovered women fucking men with strap-ons, and I am not dead down below.

The reason I looked this up and found this site is because due to sexual emotional and physical abuse, I am very submissive, but have never enjoyed sex with men or women. Watching porn has made me realize that the reason is, I want to do the fucking. I have not been with a man or woman for over fifteen years because of my issues.

Reading your comments make me feel less of a freak. Thanks, you have done more for me than all the therapists I have seen.

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Comment of the Week: Dump Him!

November 13, 2013

0 Comments

photo via Flickr

Sometimes you just need a bunch of total strangers to tell it to you straight. So far everyone agrees that the subject of this week’s “Your Call” query should end things once and for all with her deadbeat dude. Lisa Lisa’s was our favorite delivery of this tough love:

Delete his number; block him on facebook; tell any mutual friends, and your family what a jerk this guy is.  Get rid of him.  You deserve real–even if real for you is polyamory and a farm with goats (or whatever). You deserve better, and odds are, it’s out there for you.

 

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Comment of the Week: Friends with Benefits Starts with Friends

November 6, 2013

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Reader Anathema said the following in response to our post, “Your Call: Is This a FWB Situation or Something More?” We’re pretty sure she’s the most well-adjusted friend-with-benefits we’ve ever heard of!

I had a wonderful FWB thing with a guy for 2 1/2 years. He and I were both in open relationships (which is why it ended–his fiancee decided to change the rules which, fair enough, though sad). B

But when we were first talking about the possibility, he was very nervous because he’d had an FWB thing in the recent past that went very, very badly–basically with a woman who wanted sex and sex only and was just weird and mean to him, didn’t respect his boundaries, etc. I told him that “friends with benefits” starts with “friends” as far as I’m concerned.

We had a lot of great sex but we also went snowboarding, did geeky gaming together, lunch in the park, shopping at Target, etc. He really did become one of my best friends, and blessedly, after some awkwardness and readjustment, that seems to be holding. We already have our ski passes for this winter!

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Comment of the Week: Even Friends with Benefits Spoon

October 23, 2013

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Reader Finikki said the following in response to our post, “Your Call: Is This a FWB Situation or Something More?”

When someone tells you they don’t want a relationship, believe them.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that experiencing intimacy with someone (like cuddling and talking for hours) necessarily means they want a relationship. People who want sex but don’t want relationships can crave intimacy like that just as much as anyone else. Especially if they were recently in a long-term relationship where sex and intimacy often went hand-in-hand. It could be nothing more than habit.

But his actions aren’t the real question here. The question is, what do YOU want? You don’t say that you want a relationship with him, you just sound hopeful that he wants one. If you’re looking for a relationship, be honest with yourself and him and don’t waste your time on someone not interested in that.

If that’s what you want, tell him. If he “doesn’t want to put a label on it” (a common way to continue an FWB relationship when the other party wants something more), you have your answer. Move on and find someone who wants to really be with you. Don’t keep sleeping with him and using him as a surrogate boyfriend if you want a real commitment.

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Comment of the Week: You CAN Handle the Truth!

October 16, 2013

0 Comments

 

If you know us, you know that we are not averse to a little self promotion now and then, nor are we immune to flattery — in fact, it will get you everywhere. Hence, a little positive reinforcement of a short but sweet note we got recently validating all we do around these here parts:

I have been reading your responses and I think you are so fucking honest. Keep pumping us with true realities.



Confession: My Husband Has No Penis

October 15, 2013

3 Comments


photo via Flickr

Amy Bronwen Zemser — “writer, squirrel hunter, breastfeeder, homosexual” — just launched her new, provocative blog, AmyBronwenZemser.com. We have the honor of publishing an abridged version of one of her recent hilarious posts about coming out, homophilia, and cases of mistaken sexual identity (read the unabridged version here). Enjoy!

***

I’ll tell you a secret.

I still have some internalized homophobia.  So I get squeamish when I have to come out.

I don’t have to come out very often, but the situation does arise if I have to say, switch opthamologists.  Or if Ray wants to play with a child whose parent I do not know. Just recently, after I told the mother of a child in Ray’s Suzuki violin class that I was one of two moms, she looked at me with a completely straight face and said,  “There was a girl in my daughter’s class who had that.”

Had what?  The malaise of homosexuality?  The disfiguring disease of conjoined motherhood?

Once, when I was adjuncting at St. John’s university, the topic of homosexuality came up.

“I heard it runs in families,” an English professor said.

“Oh yes,” I chimed in.  “My brother and I both inherited homophilia.  Haven’t you heard?  It’s very catching.  Do you want your spoon back?”

I don’t want to be labeled, see.  Who does?  Even if only a portion of the lesbian population have wiffles,  I still have trouble coming out with it in ordinary conversation.  I hate the word “lesbian” because it makes me think of a bunch of women wearing patchouli and making out with each other on some Greek island.  Gay is generally a term for the boys (although I do use it) and queer still means strange to a lot of people.  I do love the word homosexual because there’s a whiff of the scientific there, and it’s funny, but admittedly I say the word in a humorous way as a coping mechanism.

Hi, I’m Amy, and I’m a homosexual.  A HOMOsexual.

To call oneself any one thing — a homosexual or a writer or a parent or a squirrel killer, for that matter, is just plain reductive. Nobody want to be any one thing.  I am the sum of all my complicated and contradictory parts.

But sometimes, as with the Suzuki violin mother, introductions occur, and you have to come up with something better than same-sex touchmonkey or Zena warrior.

I have found a solution to this issue, though.  I have my own special little stock phrase that I integrate into a conversation, when I have to let someone know that my spouse is female, and so far it has worked out beautifully:

My husband has no penis.

This is a very effective strategy.  It is funny, it is fast, and you don’t have to use the words transgender or queer.

Fine, I give you that it’s a lot longer than the word gay, but it’s infinitely more original, especially when you are at a gas station having a cigarette and you can casually blow smoke out the side of your mouth and say, oh, you know, my husband has no penis, so we just use the same rest room at the truck stop.

When Lynn and I were first trying to get pregnant, we spent a lot of time at the fertility clinic.  We spoke to many physicians at the outset who tried to convince me that we needed to use medical intervention in order to get pregnant, even though we had no idea whether, at 37, I was infertile or not.  Conversations would invariably get to this point:

Me: I’ve never tried to get pregnant before. I don’t know if I’m infertile.  I mean, do you have any statistics?

Fancy Fertility Doctor: What kind of statistics?

Me: Like, how many women come to the infertility office to get pregnant not because of low sperm count or advanced maternal age, but because, you know, their husband has no penis.   Ha ha.  HA HA HA HA HA.

FFD: (silence)

Me: My husband has no penis!  HA HA HA HA HA HA

I can’t get pregnant, I’d go on, pointing to Lynn.  We try and try but something must be very wrong with him, doctor, I really do think something is terribly wrong.

At this point Lynn turns purple and looks out the window.  Sometimes she’ll smile meekly and say this is Amy from the Catskills Resort, and her next joke will be….

For some reason I find my little joke absolutely hysterical.  I realize it sounds inane and embarrassing and puerile, like I’m in the seventh grade in Gloria Vanderbilts and feathered hair.  But every time I say it, it just gets funnier.  More importantly, it also makes real sense.  What could be a more banal, a more pedestrian and reasonable way to work into a conversation that you are gay than to say that your husband has no penis?

Since my husband has no penis, we don’t have federal marriage protection under the law.

My husband has no penis — of course we love the Indigo Girls.

Sure do wish my husband had a penis.  If he did, he surely wouldn’t need to adopt his own three kids.

Since my husband has no penis I had to drive all the way to Mt. Kisco to get my ovaries fluffed before Tuesday’s insemination in Manhattan.

Usually nobody laughs at my private joke, but I am always happy to have it.  It means I don’t have to say lesbian.  Gay.  HOMOsexual.

I hate the label, so I make a joke.  I don’t want to be reduced, so I make a joke.  I make a joke, I make a joke, I make a joke.

One time, at one of my poker games, my friend Melissa, a dentist, told me that after I had gone in for a cleaning, her administrative assistant shook her head sadly after me, saying, “That poor woman.  Did she tell you? Her husband,” and here she lowered her voice to a whisper, “Her husband has no penis.”

It took Melissa a while to explain to the woman that I was a lesbian, and that I didn’t have a husband at all.

“But what about the penis,” she insisted.  “What happened to it?  How did it come off?  How terribly painful that must have been.  For both of them.  In different ways, of course.”

Melissa said they had to go around a few times before it was all straightened out and the next patient could go in for his bite wings.

At this point most of the women around my Texas Hold ‘em table were wiping their eyes and crying over this poor office assistant who  seriously thought the reason I was having trouble conceiving was because, despite vigorous attempts, my penis-less husband was unable to squeeze any seeds from his fruitless loins.

I must admit that I would love to know if any of you use different terms to get around the discomfort of coming out.  If you are reading this and you are not a homosexual, then try and drum up a gay memory or two, perhaps the time you made out with your best friend in college.  Please share your experiences and thoughts on my very public forum.  What do you have to lose?  At worst you’ll be deeply humiliated. At best there is always deep shame.  It’s all good.  Everybody wins.

***

For more hilarity on artificial insemination, gay parenting and squirrel hunting (for real!), check out  AmyBronwenZemser.com.

 



Comment of the Week: BDSM Is More About Trust Than Ropes & Chains

October 10, 2013

0 Comments

Sutra Chainlink Cuffs by LELO
Reader sex_is_weird_thats_all said the following in response to our post, “Wise Guys: Do Men Have Rape Fantasies, Too?”

Despite the people who end up in the news, there is usually in any metropolitan area a very legit BDSM community. I have a group of friends that includes a sizable chunk of people who are into that sort of thing. In my experience these people are excellent communicators, emphasizing trust and safety above all. I really have been blown away by just how much class they demonstrate. They are careful about who they let in (no one who is unbalanced/nuts). Start researching it online and you will know when you find what I am talking about… one thing to remember is that BDSM does not always involve ropes and chains, sometimes it is just “realistic costumes” (i.e. like a ski mask and heavy clothes for a “male rapist”). The wikipedia article is excellent BTW, relatively thorough:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BDSM

One thing that I hear a LOT from people who are in that classy/safe BDSM community is that everything in what they do is trust, trust, trust. Not just on the part of someone who is tied up or being “ravished/raped,” but talking before and afterwards about what they like and don’t like. They usually get together in groups and do what they call a “scene” which is acting out some kind of fantasy that always has a “safe word” to stop the scene. There is usually a host who knows and verifies the background of everyone there. Despite a scene being private they usually have someone who is designated to keep tabs on everything making sure that the “safe word” stays sacrosanct.

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