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May 2010
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January 9, 2012

CAN I FALL IN LOVE WITH MY ROBOT SEX PARTNER?

Filed under: Uncategorized — metzman @ 3:51 pm

I once wrote about life-like dolls that functioned as companions for men. Now we seem to have taken this one or more steps further. These dolls are far more sophisticated than I ever dreamed they could be. They are very life-like and designed with custom features that duplicate women accurately – but appear to be the most subservient partner imaginable.

Is this what relationships have come to? Men are willing to shell out approximately $7000.00 or more to have a woman who is designed to answer most sexual whims and needs without emotion or communication? Is a hi-tech sex toy preferable to a sit-down and let’s-talk-it-out human, someone to have a heart-to-heart with or even to indulge in pillow talk?

In the near future, it is conceivable that even women as well may look to robots for sex and to fill emotional voids because the robot has the potential for programming it to be much more emotionally available than men may be generally thought to be. What is going on here?

David Levy wrote a book entitled, Love & Sex with Robots (The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships). Levy is an internationally recognized expert on artificial intelligence.

He said,  “…we examine the reasons people pay for sex with women and men who ply this particular trade. From perspective of sex with robots, what is interesting about the most frequently proffered reasons is that they indicate desires, and not only the desires for the sex act themselves, that could be satisfied by a sophisticated robot just as well as by a human prostitute.

“This being the case, it seems inevitable that just as humans desirous of sex but lacking sufficient opportunity will pay a professional for it, so there will come a time – and that time is almost with us – when people will be paying for sex with robots, either by paying the robot for regular use at home or by renting one by the hour or day.”

I think the time has already arrived. Not very long ago at a trade show, Adult Entertainment Expo, a sexy robot (Roxxxy) was introduced.  She had anatomy in the right places and was capable of changing personalities – most importantly – was sensitive to touch. The inventor, Douglas Hines, is convinced that there is a future for robotics.

I’m drawing up a list of what I consider to be advantages (somewhat tongue in cheek but not entirely): Doesn’t talk back, accepts commands, won’t balk at raunchy suggestions, will never cheat (unless you decide to share) and is cheaper than a wife in the long run. Obviously, there is no need for condoms unless one prefers to wear them (for the sake of reality) and no concerns about pregnancy. Auto-erotic sex for the robot never goes too far and there are no STD’s to worry about unless you lend or rent her – (I imagine one has to keep a store of antibacterial soap around in that case). All types of fetishes and even S & M (if you are so inclined) will be honored by a sexual robot – because she couldn’t care less.

The disadvantages: There’s no feedback, no conversation, no one to take a bubble bath with (can’t wet the components), she can’t drink champagne with you, can’t cook, can’t clean, and can’t dance (yet). For some men the challenge of pursuing a woman is gone – the triumph of winning the lass over is no more. Also, she can’t pick up the kids from school, go to PTA or teacher conferences or Google. Nor can she add a second income to the household budget  – all of which are disadvantages.

On the other hand, in the future she might be programmed to become a robotic surgeon or even a statistician – both well-paying jobs. The gentlemen in possession of one might even consider retiring. If the mechanical damsel were to be really worthwhile then she would have vacuum cleaning components attached to her toes so that she could sweep the carpet as she moved about, and it wouldn’t be unthinkable that she could diagnose your illness, sing you to sleep or give a back massage. Why not embed a computer so you can Google from her abdomen.

She can be programmed to say things like, “You are wonderful, brilliant and a fabulous lover.” “Where have you been all my life, you masterful, handsome creature.” Ahh, the unconditional love we are all looking for. As for not being able to cook? It’s overrated anyway as you can always get take out. Now if they had all those functions with a male robot – I’m in. Maybe I’d call him Moxxxy instead of Roxxxy.

Now, we come to the most complicated part. What if you fall in love with your robot? What if you want to marry your robot? Whew. You might think about changing her name to Sylvia. Remember the play, Sylvia, where a man fell in love with a sheep and cheated on his wife with the animal?

In a Huff Post article entitled, Can Loving a Robot Lead to Divorce, on December 21, 2011, journalist, Vicki Larson writes about the subject and the possible legal ramifications.

Larson interviewed Sonya Ziaja, a San Francisco attorney who answered potential legal issues where a “sexbot” had the potential to fall prey to “heart balm torts” – which I interpret as alienation of affection laws. In a rather loose explanation, it is where a spouse sues someone whom they blame for the demise of their relationship. Only 8 states have this type of tort, but it seems according to Ziaja suggestion that in the states where the law no longer applies they “…can adapt to new technologies by reviving old torts.”

Based on that concept, let’s say a spouse has an affair with a robot and said spouse falls in love with the machine (David Levy suggests that marrying a robot might be common happenstance in 50 years). Now he wants to leave his wife. Do you sue the manufacturer? Ziaja proposes the possibility exists, and that designers and manufacturers need to be mindful of this. Today, this notion is quite humorous – tomorrow? Who knows?

That doesn’t deter me from yearning for the robot that can clean, fold the laundry, do my taxes, budget my money, remind me when I’m overspending, apprise me of the best buy in a car or appliance, do my filing, do my bookkeeping, choose the best rates for insurance policies, advise me of the best mutual funds to buy, wash my hair (very slowly) and rub my feet at night – as well as all the other “stuff.” As a matter of fact, forget the other stuff. The robot can be asexual as long as it performs the other mentioned tasks.

Fran

December 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — metzman @ 2:03 pm

This interview was inspired after reading a fascinating book written by Ken Singer, MSW that is very informative about childhood sexual abuse of males entitled, Evicting the Perpetrator: A Male Survivor’s Guide to Recovery from Childhood Sexual Abuse. The interview was conducted just before the news broke open at Penn State about the alleged sexual abuse of young boys. In view of many horrific abuse situations that have been exposed in recent years, this interview with Singer turns out to be a very timely, if an unfortunate, topic. If the scandal at Penn State turns out to be true, it would then become another hideous case of protecting the abuser. We need to ask, why cover ups of this sort take place – keeping the flow of money coming in, holding on to reputations and/or prestige?

All too often, with many other high-profile cases, those seem to be the reasons why abusers are shielded from exposure. It is an atrocity that protecting children isn’t first and foremost. The trauma and suffering to the victims is beyond calculation. Where is compassion for the children who are being brutalized? If it were the children of the enablers who were being abused, would they take the same stance of silence?

In the case of priests abusing children, many were insulated from punishment of their sexual crimes and were transferred to parishes where the abuse often continued. Those who committed crimes appear to lack the ability to empathize with the torment this type of behavior inflicts on children (which is really the ultimate issue). And setting aside empathy, it appears that victimizers and enablers are insolent enough to think they are above the law. This kind of behavior is an outrage to humanity!

For those reasons, I found Singer’s book to be vitally important. There are some technical aspects that deal with what happens to the brain when one experiences such abuse and he gives the long-term effects on the behavior of those injured. Then there is much about how to deal with the trauma and “evicting the perpetrator” from the effects of the abuse. “Soul murder” is the term Singer has found some survivors use to describe how their lives have been impacted.

What is unusual about Singer’s practice is that he doesn’t only treat men who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, but he seeks to help the abusers as well.

Here are the questions and answers:

Metzman: What are the statistics on child sexual abuse?

Singer:  1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys have experienced unwanted sexual contact from an older person by the time they are 18. 90% of victims know the perpetrators.

Metzman: What drew you to the practice of childhood male sexual abuse?

Singer: When I worked in the field of child protective services in the late 1970’s, I was hired as a supervisor for high risk families. I found out that most workers dumped incest cases on my department. It was frustrating and eventually we developed a model for treating childhood sexual abuse for all the affected family members. At the time the victims were interviewed by police, investigators from the prosecutor’s office, medical personal, and child protective services social workers. Sometimes we had to remove the child from the home if the police didn’t have enough to keep the alleged perpetrator in custody. When you remove a child from his room, house, neighborhood and perhaps change schools and place him in the home of a relative or stranger, it is disruptive to the child.

We developed a model known nationally for child protective services which included treating   offenders as well as the victims. No one wanted to do this at the time.

In grad school around the mid 70’s I took a course in family therapy and chose the topic of incest for a research paper. Again, I found not much information out there. And so my interest was really piqued. Within a few years a guy was accused unfairly but had been abused as a kid. I found no real research on male victimization.

Metzman: Was that the reason you limited your practice to male sex abuse?

Singer:  I’ve been working with adult and juvenile sexual abusers for over thirty years. Many of the abusers were themselves abused in childhood. The work I’ve done with male survivors has been out of necessity – it’s hard for me to turn away someone who’s been abused. There aren’t a lot of male survivor therapists out there.

Metzman: What percentage of abusers were abused as children?

Singer: I would estimate that 10% -15% of this group of offenders state they have been abused. Some might not be saying.

Metzman: That seems far less than what most people guess that percentage to be. Most people think that most abused children grow up to be abusers themselves.

Singer: Abusing others isn’t only an outcome of having been abused. Once bitten you will not necessarily bite back. The overwhelming majority of victims do not go on to abuse others. There are many other reasons for this type of behavior.

Metzman: What are the categories that perpetrators fall into?

Singer: Not all sex offenders are pedophiles. The majority of them are not. The general category-anyone who commits a sexual offense, include voyeurs, possession, distribution or manufacturing child pornography, statutory rape, and rapists of adults. Many priests accused of pedophilia are not necessarily pedophiles unless they are involved with pre-pubescent children – they are sex offenders of a different sort. The various categories of sex offenders are for instance; situational offenders, incest, pedophiles and ephebophilia (this is an attraction to adolescent boys or girls by adults). Pedophilia is a compulsive disorder when a man or woman sexually molests prepubescent children.

Metzman: How do you help patients who come to you?

Singer: I get most of my abuser referrals from the courts, lawyers and probation officers. I work primarily with men. It comes down to seeing only male survivors and offenders for the amount of time I have.

It is a kind of a dance to get patients or clients to open up. It’s not always too difficult as these people have come to me for help. I try to pace the patient and get to the heart of things slowly. Some will dump (their problems) and run and won’t come back because they might feel they unloaded too much. I try to get them to feel safe. I don’t even shake hands unless they ask to do it. Survivors generally back off from physical touch. My practice is exclusively juvenile and adult sexual offenders and male victims of sexual abuse. I’m one of the very few therapists to treat both populations (both abuser and survivor). It gives me better insight to what they’ve experienced and allows me to look deeply into both sides of the problem.

Metzman: Why treat the abuser?

Singer: I’ve adapted the model of treating offenders and survivors because the treatment is fairly similar. It comes from the battering cycle of domestic violence. Stressors, escape fantasies, distortions – all of that can lead to bullying and events of domestic violence. There’s that cycle of domestic violence – committing the deed, the  apologies, the truce and then repeating cycles. My thrust is to heal the guilt of a victim. Knowledge is power and I try to diminish the victimization trauma so that they no longer feel controlled by the perpetrator. Once the perpetrator is mentally evicted , the victim is empowered. It’s all about taking self-control of their environment.

Metzman: What types of therapy do you use?

Singer: My therapeutic approach is to empower the victim and get the abuser to understand the dynamics of his offending and develop alternate approaches to get their needs met. I use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. There is, of course, Psychoanalytic Therapy which is Freudian and used by Freud’s successors. My feeling and the research literature bears out that CBT works best with offenders and survivors.

You are changing the belief systems and behaviors of offenders and survivors. For example, if an offender has had stressful day at work, or feels people are picking on him, he may decide he’s in need of controlling his environment and the result is that he will molest child, or numb out with alcohol or drugs, or some other dysfunctional coping mechanism.

Conversely, a survivor who has same negatives may abuse himself, drink, use drugs or sex and porno to relieve stress. The purpose of CBT is to change cognition of thinking that one is a loser and come up with alternative and better choices like working out at a gym. It’s about trying to get to self-improvement by empowering choices. One must be careful that the more productive choices don’t become a compulsive behavior that interferes with everyday life.

The whole thing for survivors or perpetrators is about controlling their environment. The offender wants control over another human – and it feels good temporarily. But it’s not permanent and generally doesn’t change the problem that he’s facing. Sexual abuse of children is a maladaptive attempt to control life. The offender gets control by controlling other people.

The survivor wants control too. He wants to be able to make love to his partner and be able to perform and have fair amount of environmental control. People want to have control of the environment and life as much as possible.

Metzman: Is sex abuse usually violent?

Singer: Pedophiles, professional child molesters, can spot a kid on playground who seems lonely or a kid whose father is emotionally unavailable. They are knowledgeable about the victim or are in the household or in the family for easy access. Again, most victims know or are acquainted with the abuser. Statistics show that 90% of victims are related or know the abuser.

Kids don’t have strength or knowledge to fight back. Most offenders I’ve dealt with don’t use physical force. They use their authority, bribery, power, coercion and intimidation to molest. It’s often not reported because of the child fearing he will get in trouble, not be believed, break up the family, or retaliation from the abuser. The victim might even fear that people will think he’s gay because “he went along with it” or didn’t report it and experienced sexual arousal.

There’s an excellent organization called CAP (Child Assault Prevention). They go out to schools and train kids to be assertive and recognize inappropriate behaviors. They train children for personal safety. NJ has CAP offices in all 21 counties. CAP also has an anti-bullying campaign and is one of several that is recognized. PTA organizations often bring CAP in.

Metzman: What are the long-term emotional effects on victims?

Singer: Depression, anxiety about certain situations reminiscent of the original trauma and flash-backs. There are also sexual identity issues, lack of trust, and relationship problems.

Metzman: Is this universal with all victims?

Singer: It’s hard to say. We know about the ones in treatment. Those not in treatment might be self-medicating or getting along just fine. In a survey of about 100 kids 13-20 years old in a residential drug/alcohol treatment program that I did a few years ago, 75% of boys and almost all of the girls experienced unwanted sexual touching. The numbers of victims increases with those who are incarcerated, in mental health programs, and drug and alcohol facilities. Often, the problem behaviors are just symptoms of unknown sexual abuse and unless you get to the roots of the behaviors, you are not treating the person.

Metzman: What compelled you to write this book?

Singer: Sexual abuse of boys was fairly much ignored before mid-70’s. Most research was with girls. Men are supposed to be stronger and often falsely believe that they should have fought back. Kids victimized can be sexual aroused. Boys might get an erection or have pleasurable sexual sensations and often times they think they contributed to the abuse.

As stated, not all sex abuse is violent. Offender grooms victim. The perpetrator does something for the victim, makes the victim think he’s special. Or they can blackmail the victim, threaten them or threaten the family.

Metzman: What do you most want to stress in this interview?

Singer: Dispelling the myth that if you’re victimized you will become a perpetrator. I’d also like to stress that prevention of sexual abuse is what every professional working in this field tries to accomplish.

Prevention consists of three points. PRIMARY (focusing on the population who have the potential to become victims). SECONDARY (helping victims to achieve more stable lives, have positive relationships and not become an offender). TERTIARY (working with offenders to prevent re-offense).

I want to change people’s opinions about “stranger danger” because most victims are related to or are acquainted with the perpetrator. Most offenders are not caught so relying on Internet notification of who is already in the legal system is not a good prevention strategy.

The book is important. It’s the only one that adapts the model of working with survivors to also treating the perpetrators. That a monster is preying on them is what I want to diminish and only then can they have empowerment – not live in fear or hold on to resentments.

There is a great website for men who experience sexual abuse in childhood or as adults (adult men as well as women can be sexually assaulted). It is http://www.malesurvivor.org. The website has loads of information for survivors, their partners, parents, and professionals. Another site has a discussion board and chat room where survivors can talk with other survivors. It is: www.stopitnow.org. The organization has a hotline that helps bystanders talk about suspicious behaviors or where potential offenders can talk confidentially before they act on their impulses/feelings.

Contact: Ken will answer at:  Ken.singer@comcast.net

October 27, 2011

DIVORCED MEN REMARRY QUICKER THAN DIVORCED WOMEN

Filed under: Uncategorized — metzman @ 1:29 pm

An article in The New York Times by Sam Roberts, January 16, 2007 said: “For what experts say is probably the first time, more American women are living without a husband than with one, according to a New York Times analysis of census results.

“In 2005, 51 percent of women said they were living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000.”

When divorces occur, men are much more likely to remarry than women. At ages 45 and plus, around 1/3 of men remarry and approximately 25% of women. I was intrigued by this statistic and curious as to the reasoning behind it, and looked at it from different angles.

Most women are reluctant to leave a marriage for reasons such as; family, economics, image of stability and fear of traumatizing children. For another thing, they don’t want the stigma of failure as problems in marriages are usually attributed to woman.

I find that women will live with many flaws in their marriage before committing to the heart-rending deed of divorce. There are many women who know their husbands are cheating (either with women or men) who might even be keeping a mistresses. Still, they stick with the marriage.

No doubt, there are women who leave marriages because they are on a mission to find themselves and although the union is good, they leave. I believe they are in the minority. For the most part, when a woman wants out there is good, solid reason. Perhaps once out of a bad marriage many are reluctant to jump in again – especially if they have the means of earning a decent income.

In this modern world where the sexes are supposedly equal, women are still doing the majority of household chores. Tie that into a husband who is unresponsive to their needs, is emotionally distanced and/or underlying it all has little respect for women. Yes, there is still a strong prejudice that women are not as smart as men. It might be a nasty holdover from yesteryear but there it is – in your face.

Tension foments when domestic responsibilities are uneven. I’ve spoken to many married women who have that specific complaint: He lies around, and then when asked to do the tasks on his list, he says he will. When it doesn’t get done she begins to repeat her request over and over, and becomes a nag. Once that occurs he has a complaint about his wife to present to his buddies. The perception of a nagging wife is dangerous to the health of a marriage.

Although that type of situation takes on humorous characteristics with the cartoonish depiction of a nagging wife, the real implications of anger and resentment for both parties go a long way toward the destruction of a relationship. It sets up an infantile domestic setting. A nagging wife might remind the man of his mother and who can go to bed with your mother?

You might tell me I have an outdated notion of the “modern man.” I don’t think so by the numbers of women I’ve spoken to. Look at ads on TV depicting home situations. The wife is frantically running around after work, dragging in bags of groceries while the man sits around clueless until his wife calls everyone in to eat the dinner she’s prepared – usually some food the ad is touting. That type of ad is duplicated in various forms and is repetitive. There’s one where the kids are throwing things across the table and the wife is trying to control them and serve dinner while the man is blissfully unaware and munching happily on a sandwich. I don’t hear an outcry that this is inappropriate to today’s modern world.

In the series “Everyone Loves Raymond” it is no wonder the fictional main character, Raymond, complains about the lack of sex. It appears that the character ducks out of domestic chores when he can and plays golf on weekends while his overtaxed wife takes care of 3 very young children. There are times he exhibits sensitivity, but it seems to be forced out of him – usually by the wife character’s nagging. And this is done as comedy. I don’t find it funny.

We should never underestimate the power of the media and its subliminal influence. Very young children, both boys and girls, see these commercials and gender roles are allocated and imbedded into the unconscious. I believe these gender perceptions start at birth and especially surface later when teens (male and female) become social and all the way up into adulthood.

Haven’t you guys learned that men who participate in the household of their own free will get more and better sex? The man scrubbing the floor or doing the laundry is one hell of a sensuous guy.

In another section of the article above from The New York Times, Roberts said: “Several factors are driving the statistical shift. At one end of the age spectrum, women are marrying later or living with unmarried partners more often and for longer periods. At the other end, women are living longer as widows and, after a divorce, are more likely than men to delay remarriage, sometimes delighting in their newfound freedom.”

Today single women tend to prefer relationships where they see their significant other on weekends, and that goes for some who are married. In that type of arrangement, she has no worries about the division of domestic chores, arguments over bills, contention over time spent with her girlfriends and she might even have gained a sense of freedom she hasn’t experienced in a long time – if ever. The sense of empowerment can be most gratifying and not easily given up.

Of course, men have the option of dating/marrying women of varying ages. They can select women who are many years younger. It is socially acceptable. The flip side for females is that they are generally locked in because the men in their age category are dating younger women. Also, if they have children they might be less desirable to a man who is seeking marriage. He might be more inclined to find a younger woman with no children.

The tendency to rush into marriage too soon after becoming single is risky. Approximately 68% of second marriages fail. The percentages go up with subsequent marriages. Males might be too eager to reenter marriage because they miss the amenities society grants to men in that institution. They might be seeking remarriage because they want an easier and simpler personal life style – aided by the little woman.

When single women marry too soon after a divorce or widowhood, they, too, face a negative impact. If they are only seeking security and/or the image a married woman presents to society they might be overlooking red flags or perhaps recognizing them and putting them aside. There is still the misconception that marriage will change a spouse. This happens infrequently.

Single women often have a good support system with other women. Men usually don’t do that kind of networking. Women are more into making social arrangements than men. Men can become more dependent because they often lack the skills to keep a social life together. In marriage men might find relief from domestic responsibility and daily living decisions, leaving all that sissy stuff to their wives whereas women often feel put upon in taking up more and more tasks.

It might boost the success rate of second plus marriages if all newly single people would become more amenable to waiting longer. That hiatus should be used to discover reasons why the first or second (or more) time around failed. That means unearthing and understanding motivations and behavior. Once one develops insight into themselves, they are in a better position to find a satisfying relationship based on love, commonality of interests, communication, carefully planned blending of families or any other issues of importance in relationships. This is the path to being much more mature in a relationship and therefore better able to find contentment.

September 1, 2011

DO WOMEN INCITE RAPE BY WEARING SEXY CLOTHING?

ron

From the beginning of time, women have been blamed for every conceivable sin including the ousting of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. It’s pretty well accepted that poor, unsuspecting Adam was duped by the undisciplined floozy, Eve. Eve supposedly enticed the lad into breaking God’s commandment. Bad girl, Eve. Adam, you’re off the hook.

Then there’s the ancient myth of the 3 seductresses who lured sailors into wrecking their ships with enchanting music. I dare say these tales were invented by men on the premise that men are not responsible for bad behavior. This precept is woven into the fabric of our society.

In this modern world of evolving culture, it appears, little has changed. To this day, general opinion and, worse, powerful people still hawk the theory that women are the seducers of evil.

Now we have the rattling of testosterone sabers, implying that women encourage rape by the way they dress. In the Philadelphia Weekly, June 21, 2011 Tara Murtha published a column referring to the editor’s letter that Dan Rottenberg wrote in Broad Street Review, an online arts mag:

“…A photograph of Lara Logan, the CBS and 60 Minutes news correspondent who was sexually assaulted by a mob while covering the Egyptian revolution in Tahrir Square in February, illustrates his column. Snapped in 2008 at the Gracie Allen awards, Logan’s smiling bright, wearing a pale gown that sets off her tan cleavage.

“Rottenberg’s column was a response to an earlier Broad Street Review essay by contributor Sara Kay Smullens, who also used the rape of Lara Logan as a jumping-off point to discuss sexual assault in the U.S. But Rottenberg had a different twist. ‘ “Smullens argues that women need to speak up and speak out when they’re victimized, as Lara Logan has done, and of course she is right,” ’ writes Rottenberg. ‘ “But having stumbled across a CBS publicity photo for Lara Logan, I can’t (help) thinking that women also need to take sensible precautions before they’re victimized…Earth to liberated women: When you display legs, thighs or cleavage, some liberated men will see it as a sign that you feel good about yourself and your sexuality. But most men will see it as a sign that you want to get laid.” ’

If someone suggests that a photograph from 2008 is the instigating factor in a sexual assault that occurred in 2011 then this how I picture the traumatic incident:

A screaming mob surrounds the victim who is a reporter wearing ordinary, unreavealing clothing. “Wait,” says one of the men to the rampaging men. “I think I have a picture of that woman.” Everyone stops, scratches their chins and waits. He pulls a stack of magazines and newspapers out of his camel-skin backpack and leafs through them. After half an hour he finds it. “Oh here it is.” He jabs the picture with his finger. “This is very provocative dressing. She must be looking for IT. We must rape her.”

Now here’s a dilemma. Not every man concentrates on boobs and cleavage. What about those who love other parts of women? If a woman is wearing a dress up to her neckline, but her arms are bare. Many men are attracted to the smooth skin of a naked arm, the crook of the elbow, the curve of the shoulder. How about the ankle, once a notable symbol of sexuality? If a woman exposes those parts of her body, is that a reason for rape?

Will a foot fetishist rape women who wear heels or bare their toes? Do we need to throw away our sandals? Should women cover their entire bodies? What about hair? That’s a big-time sexy turn on. As far as I’m concerned that’s one of the reasons why burkas, nun’s habits and shaving women’s heads were invented. In this way, a man declares his property and even if it defaces a woman he hopes to keep other men away from his property. Best of all, he can say he’s following religious rules – kind of like saying Eve made me eat the apple.

Let’s look at populations who are raped: Old women, young children, infants, toddlers, pre-adolescents, adolescents, teenagers, young women, mature women, blind women, women wearing heavy coats or dresses up to their necks, religious women, little boys, young boys wearing choir outfits, mature men, boy scouts, girl scouts, women in burkas, women hiding in huts, or under beds while hordes of invaders seek them out. Then there are the flat-chested women, homeless women, male and female prisoners and women caught in the throes of war. What about incest and pedophiles? And the list goes on.

Looks like every female in the spectrum and large numbers of males get raped. Obviously, cleavage is not a factor in the overwhelming number of the above mentioned victims. Rape is a violent, vile act whether against men or women – plain and simple.

Stu Bykofsky of the Daily News wrote on Monday, August 8, 2011 a response to “…a misguided cop from Toronto.”

The cop echoed Rottenberg’s sentiments. Bykofsky was clear, rational and eloquent (the article dealt mostly with the Slut Walk, a protest against the theory that scantily clad women invite rape).

In his response to Rottenberg’s column Bykofsky said; “…The wrongheaded column managed to blame victims, insinuate that all men are potential rapists and insanely connect the Cairo rape of CBS reporter Lara Logan with a sexy dress she had worn to an awards show in the States three years earlier.”

The people who blame the victim should stop and question the effects of widespread purchases of magazines that show naked, sexy women as well as porno magazines and internet sites that depict vicious sex acts. Why aren’t they taken into account? Could they possibly have a hand in instigating the epidemic of rapes in this country?

What about the men who enhance bulges in their crotches, wear flimsy and clinging pants to expose the outlines of genitals, men posing for sexy underwear ads, butt cracks showing in public, men shirtless, in spandex biking outfits, speedo bathing suits, magazines with naked men, men dirty dancing – is this a stimulus to rape?

This isn’t an anti-porn or male bashing. I’m trying to examine why someone in this day and age would suggest the victims of rape are the perpetrators. That kind of thinking is an insult to the intelligence of woman and most men! To the minority of gentlemen and ladies who buy into this concept, you should realize that it is a wrongheaded misconception. To me, such rhetoric demonstrates that an underlying (and often not subtle) demeaning attitude toward women still exists in our society. We must go more deeply into societal stereotyping – slut or Madonna. It’s time to see women as intelligent people with good minds as well as bodies. If she says no she means NO.

Fran Metzman

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August 4, 2011

The Mystique of Romantic Chemistry

roma

Here we go again, stressing over the old bugaboo of romantic chemistry. This has been going on for centuries. Poems, stories, novels, songs and whatnot have been dedicated to extolling praises of the undying love syndrome. There are many theories about romantic chemistry and falling in love. Some even think they can identify it through modern technology using diagnostic machines. Still, it remains an elusive mystery.

We all know how it works – we’re pulled into the vortex of romantic chemistry for a particular person. The hormones rage. We forget to eat, we can’t sleep, and we hang on that person’s every word. Carefully, we study each sentence they utter to look for clues as to how that person feels about the beginning courtship. We ask ourselves: Do I sense a cooling down? Have I become boring? Do I come across as intelligent? Do I still exude sensuality?

Once struck by cupid’s arrow, we perceive our environment in a different way. The world around us is much brighter, colors more vivid, honking horns sound like tinkling bells and everything, including rank sewers, smells like roses. The object of our desire can do no wrong. We are forgiving, lustful and madly in love.

Given these overt symptoms, I have to ask why so many relationships that started all starry-eyed and with great promise eventually breakup?

Let’s take a delve into romantic chemistry because so many of us depend on that spark and sizzle in order to hook up with an individual. Without that intense draw we would just walk away. Although we rely heavily on our emotions that revolve around love we need to question if this is the best way to select a mate. Despite all the signals and whistles going off in our heads when we meet that special person we must consult our brain as well. Lots of you will disagree, but I’ll spell out my reasoning.

Why, in the game of love, do some people to hit a home run and others strike out? Not only do they strike out, they continue to be attracted, over and over, to the same personality type that is toxic for them? We all know at least one person like that. I know several.

Okay. When you are very young, it is easy to make a mistake. How do you prevent that from happening again – and again – and again as we mature? Sometimes, what is a good romantic fit for one person is another’s poison. Why? If we do depend on our emotions to rule in that department, in my opinion, you  had better be a very stable person. If you know that you have some unresolved issues, then the heart is not enough in making this momentous decision – the head must be involved as well.

Let’s take an in-depth look at what some experts in the field are saying. You might not believe the theories presented, but here goes. For one thing, we’ll look at opposites attracting, keeping in mind the adage that, opposites attract and then kill each other. It’s especially important that when opposites attract there has to be some plan in place for when the novelty of courtship wears off.

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D, marriage counselor and psychotherapist, says online, “…I often see people drawn to their opposite – because it’s new and exciting. However, what’s exciting in the newness of romance often becomes unbearable in the constant contact of a long time relationship.

“…Although times are changing, most men and women are socialized differently as children, and these differences can trip us up in romantic relationships. Women’s and men’s brains, and therefore language processing and reasoning, are organized differently. Cultural anthropologists theorize that it’s because of the different survival skills they needed to learn. They maintain it takes different perception, ideation, cognition and communication skills to raise a baby versus hunting down a mammoth. Whatever the case, the differences can be bridged…women take a meandering mental route, full of emotional (and distracting for men) side trips, which are rich in meaning for the female. It is why research shows that women are so good at multitasking, cooperation and relationship-building, and less focused on reaching a specific goal.

“Men value competency and problem solving. Women value intimacy and emotional connection. Women you may think he’s focused entirely on time, power, or money, but what he’s really trying to do is create enough security that he can feel safe to let his guard down. Men, you might think she’s illogical or irrational, but she’s responding to emotional cues you haven’t been trained to see.”

It is these very issues that introduce the needed component of rational thinking. As the article suggests, not only is it imperative to delve into what makes each individual tick, but we must be aware of the societal impact on us as well.

I firmly believe that when we have had an unstable or dysfunctional upbringing we are more easily driven to choose the wrong person. You must be aware of the red flags flying in your face that tell you this is not a good match, despite the allure. There are almost always signs, but so many choose to ignore them because the adrenaline rush of new love can be addictive.

Now here is a fascinating theory that I believe is true. The emotional gaps we experienced in childhood come into play when we are aroused by someone who is very bad for us. This personality may stimulate buried problems that are unrecognizable on a conscious level. The object of our obsession might remind you of what was lacking in childhood because they have the same flaws as those people who raised you.

Sparks fly because another opportunity is presented to us to make right what was wrong in earlier years. For instance, if we grew up with an emotionally distant parent/s or guardian, then we are likely to select a similar personality in a mate to replay history and attempt to achieve what we missed. In all probability, the present person will not change into a devoted, giving soul, the very thing we are seeking. What we are actually doing is putting ourselves in the same emotionally deprived situation that eventually causes great distress. We’ve all heard it said that we are often attracted to someone who is like one or both parents.

Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., “is a Clinical Counselor and co-originator of Imago Relationship Therapy with his wife, Helen LaKelly Hunt. Dr. Hendrix frequently appears in the media to discuss his ground-breaking therapeutic work with couples, including the concept of “conscious partnership.” His groundbreaking approach to couples therapy has inspired many psychotherapists and received international recognition.

Dr. Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., is the co-author of several highly influential books on relationships, including the New York Times best-sellers Getting the Love You,Want: A Guide for Couples, which has been translated into more than 50 languages, and Keeping the Love You Find: A Personal Guide.

Dr. Harville Hendrix writes:

“Our unconscious need is to have our feelings of aliveness and wholeness restored by someone who reminds us of our caretakers. In other words, we look for someone with the same deficits of care and attention that hurt us in the first place.

So when we fall in love, when bells ring and the world seems altogether a better place, our old brain is telling us that we’ve found someone with whom we can finally get our needs met. Unfortunately, since we don’t understand what’s going on, we’re shocked when the awful truth of our beloved surfaces, and our first impulse is to run screaming in the opposite direction. (from Imago website).”

If these theories resonate with you, and given that few of us come from a perfectly healthy rearing, we have to be wary of following lethally-tinged, romantic chemistry. How do we do this? Again, I hark back to the need for self-examination. We must explore what it is that attracted us to the wrong person to begin with. Taken one step further, it might help to examine the reasons why we rejected the much nicer person and probably the one who was right.

I believe that by digging deeply into our psyches we can re-route our destructive chemistry into a healthier approach. Once we unearth the issues that have emotionally impoverished us as adults, we can develop the kind of understanding that will improve our mental health. Ask yourself what events helped form your behavior? If we take the answers and apply it to our lives perhaps disastrous relationship failures may be averted.

Blindly following that emotional yank of chemistry might push us off-track into an oncoming train. It is far better to walk away from a potentially bad relationship and avoid the bitterness of dissolution. Insights reaped and reinforced will give you a better chance to a happier ending. No one said the road to love and happiness would be easy! Even the white picket fence can rot through if not cared for.

SexyG

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June 29, 2011

LOOKING FOR MARRIAGE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES

wrong-places

Where have all the marriageable people gone? As we know by now, the statistics from the census found that there were more singles than “marrieds” in the USA. The percentage of households in the U.S. with a husband and wife dropped from 55% twenty years ago to 48% in 2010. This compares with the 1950 statistic where 78% of households were dominated by married people. The average age for men marrying is now 27 years-old.

There is another change that complicates the issue. There is a large increase in single parents, couples cohabitating or those living alone. Celebrities seemed to have set the pace in removing the sin factor of living together rather than marrying. Taking it one step further, they have legitimized having children without the state of wedded bliss.

The online article, As Marriage and Parenthood Drift Apart, Public Is Concerned about Social Impact; Generation Gap in Values, Behaviors from the Pew Research Center Publications, July 1, 2007. The findings are from a telephone survey conducted from February 16 through March 14, 2007.

In their executive summary they said: “A Generation Gap in Behaviors and Values. Younger adults attach far less moral stigma than do their elders to out-of-wedlock births and cohabitation without marriage. They engage in these behaviors at rates unprecedented in U.S. history. Nearly four-in-ten (36.8%) births in this country are to an unmarried woman. Nearly half (47%) of adults in their 30s and 40s have spent a portion of their lives in a cohabiting relationship.”

Okay, so people are marrying and having children later in life, if they have kids at all. They are also having more out-of-wedlock babies. Is this new morality good or bad for society? The more conservative element might tell you it is wrong and harmful for children. Some feel strongly that if you haven’t cemented your relationship by promising to love, honor and cherish with legal sanctification it isn’t a real or lasting commitment.

Some more liberal groups may feel that an atmosphere where the parents aren’t trapped by what they consider an outdated institution is much healthier and so children benefit. If things don’t work out the couple can split without huge legal costs – and still not desert the children.

There is also a belief that couples living together might be better behaved as opposed to those using the shield of marriage to be more verbal about frustrations. Knowing that divorce is so hard for people to endure, a spouse might criticize more within a marriage rather than they would in the courtship phase. The dirty laundry on the bedroom floor at one time didn’t incite anger but once married it may become fuel for contention.

Society appears to be polarized in how we feel about marriage. We really need to dig deeper to understand the undercurrents of these dramatic changes to what we thought was an unalterable tradition.

In some camps it’s felt that it’s the women, not the men, seeking marriage. The reasons given are that males can pretty much have sex on demand with little required in give-backs. Economics plays a part – so some men say. They want to be in better financial shape and even maybe own their own house before marriage. I find this reasoning curious. What happened to two can live as cheaply as one? Don’t working couples provide a household with more income?

On the flip side of the coin, some experts believe that women with demanding careers may be more responsible for putting off marriage than men. The average age for women getting married is now 25, and 27 for those college educated. Go one step further and we find that when a female goes to graduate school and/or becomes a professional the age jumps to 30ish.

Maybe women are no longer romanticizing marriages of yesteryear as much as they once did. Back in the day, marriage was vital for women, not always romantically charged. Overall, women in previous generations rarely had careers and marriage was simply a way to survive. They were dependent on husbands for everything – protection, supporting children and a lifestyle. In an unabashed patriarchal society, marriage was a means of survival. These women had little input into decision making. As a result, idealizing marriage has diminished greatly.

But now we have an interesting phenomenon that has made marriage unpalatable to many women. Even today, domestic responsibilities are still pretty much in a woman’s court. Add that to working a full-time job, as most women do, and it is not an appealing picture to many women. Marriage often means that a woman takes on two major careers – in and out of the home. Women may now be postponing marriage because so many more are able to support themselves and can make choices.

For some odd reason (for exploration in another article) marriage often changes the rules in a relationship. 50% plus of all marriages end in divorce, and that doesn’t take into account the large number of those who choose to remain together but are unhappy. Where once two people were carefree and madly in love during courtship, they find that marriage dampens the relationship with its prescribed rules and regulations.

I think that traditional marriages with its one-size fits all theory is outdated. The way the institution of marriage has been rigidly structured puts people in a box. Once that certificate is signed expectations may and often do change. For instance, no matter how modern we are, the old values of assigned male/female roles come into play because that is still how we are, to this very day, socialized. Without insight, we react to relationships in a traditional manner (granted it is more subtle) and wind up painting ourselves into a corner.

We have to look at marriage with a fresh, more realistic slant and get out-of-the-box. Also, it is not a panacea for curing all ills – past and present. Each individual must take on the responsibility of understanding where they are coming from on their own. If one is unwilling to self-examine, which takes lots of work, then watch out.

To have a healthy and successful relationship one must dissect their individual behavior. Each has to share tasks and make compromises. I believe these are key to keeping love and adoration alive. Unconditional love is not a password here. Everything is conditioned on what we bring to a relationship. Carefree doesn’t mean free. It takes lots of communication and work to achieve that state of mind. But the payoff is superb.

The direction I see for the more successful marriages is that couples have to make their own contract. And I am not referring to open marriages! We have to allow for changing boundaries so that couples can grow and deepen their love and commitment.

For example, if two people are offered jobs that they yearn for, but they are in different states, why does one have to sacrifice? True it is hard to make a long distance marriage work, but with frequently planned get-togethers it can be like a honeymoon. Who is to say geographic distance is not good for a relationship?

Communication is of the utmost importance – both before and after walking down the aisle. Know what you are getting into, what you are giving up and what the positive gains might be. This is especially true when it comes to having children. Many men are especially vulnerable to bad reactions when offspring arrive, probably because they are ill-informed about the emotional toll that being fruitful and multiplying takes. It isn’t for everyone and that includes some women.

Harmoniously working toward common goals can be a wonderfully exhilarating experience. A couple must understand their expectations and share them. Maturity is emotionally freeing. What is better than knowing that you and your beloved care and support each other? The impact of this will infuse every area of your lives – including the bedroom.

SexyG

June 7, 2011

SEXISM IS ALIVE AND WELL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH

sexism1Generally speaking, the present generation of males is supposedly open, generous of spirit, sensitive and gender-blind. Right? Maybe not.

I suspect there is enough awareness to spout the correct verbiage in public that is very PC but there is a definite harboring of old, traditional concepts about women. I would have to say that there are cave men hiding deep inside the sophisticated male brain that frequently sees the world instantaneously through electronics, understands every hi-tech gadget, accepts challenges, and is non-racist. Why are so many men, liberal and conservative so unwilling to look at women as humans with needs as strong as theirs and brains that function on a par with the male population?

Maybe they are reluctant to give up the good, old-fashioned self-serving mores of women doing the dirty work since time began. If one feigns ignorance at where the cereal is kept, someone will jump up and get it – usually a woman. Even a bit of chiding might be welcomed for not remembering where the food pantry is hiding. After all, it’s a female secret.

It’s odd that a bachelor can be very self-sufficient in his own digs until he moves in with a woman and develops partial paralysis. But if he takes the big step of marriage he may very well become a domestic quadriplegic.

In a sea of subtle and not so subtle sexist undercurrents, let me point out just a few:

I was talking to a man who is in his early 40s. He’s single, heterosexual, handsome, intelligent, financially successful and has been around the dating scene a good deal. He is charming and funny. He brought up porno in a casual way because it fit into the conversation. I told him how dreadful I thought it was because it was abusive and brutal to women with undertones rape and sometimes the undertones have clearly moved to be in your face. Porno gives the impression that women loved having violent sex which is not true for most women. He gave me a shocked expression.

“Really?” he asked, mockingly. “What other kind of sex is there?”

A bit tongue in cheek to match his reaction but with sincerity, I proceeded to tell him there is erotica where there is a genuine good feeling between a couple, tenderness, gentle touching, and words of endearment. I said that most sex appeal comes through the mind. That is the most sensual part of the body. When there is open communication, caring, fun-loving teasing and trust – eroticism blossoms naturally.

The man put his chin on his chest and faked snoring. Yes, I know he was kidding, and maybe even defensive, but it says so much. For one thing, there is a great deal of truth in his gesture of humorous, feigned boredom that suggests how he really feels about love and the needs of women. He might very well agree with me, but for the sake of appearing masculine he had to take the macho stance. This is certainly ingrained in our society. If he echoed my words in the locker room the guys would have been all over him about what a sissy he was.

This kind of sexism exists in all generations of men, especially older ones. I see a lot of creative writing and rarely does a man write well about women. They are often either non-existent in a story, one-dimensional, saints or sluts, and when given a significant occupation, those very same female characters are asked to get coffee and donuts.

Recently, I was in a situation where I had a difference of opinion with an older gentleman. His response, rather than challenging me with his slant on the topic, he simply said, “Your opinion is based on being a woman.”

I interpret this as an insult that means a woman’s opinion is more frothy and inconsequential than one coming from a man. Now I know this might sound like an isolated situation where a clueless man didn’t realize how demeaning his statement was, but I have run into this kind of female deprecation often.

For instance, I attended a gathering where we were discussing the danger of the massive deficit. I remarked that before we cut services to medical programs, the poor, and the elderly that perhaps we can reduce the horrific government waste that was estimated at approximately 350 billion dollars some years ago (probably much more now since little has been done to contain that figure nor do we know the full story of the deficit as some parts of the budget are secret). That huge figure takes in money that is misallocated, stolen or falls through the cracks and the cracks can be huge.

A man who is a professional turned to me with a sarcastic smile and said, “Dear, you don’t mean billions. You mean millions.”

No sir, I MEANT BILLIONS. His misguided sexism figured a woman doesn’t know the difference between millions and billions.

Would he have said the same thing in the same way to a man? Hardly. I imagine he would have said… “Hmmm. Interesting.”

In an online video that deals with Disney characters and how they influence children, entitled, Sexism, Strength and Dominance: Masculinity in Disney Films, by sanjaynewton, the Disney male heroes tend to project images of men who are

physically strong with good looks and a willingness to engage in violence. Women appear to be feminine in the traditional sense of conceding to a man’s strength.

Dominance is a theme and violence prevalent in the stories that most of us are familiar with from early childhood. Even when there are female heroes they usually defer to men or wind up as the object of a man. There is little in the way to say a woman who is unattached romantically is worthy. Women, for the most part, appear to be treated as sex objects who are there “… for pleasure or to please men. And heroes are usually handsome, buff males.” – as stated in the same analysis of Disney characters.

There is no question that these images are harmful to girls and difficult for boys who might be made to feel defective because they don’t measure up to how males are depicted. This may cause a large emotional breach from women. From my perspective I see this as a huge division that impacts later in life with adult relationships. What are we doing to the young generation of boys and girls? This perpetuation of artificial and antiquated male/female images has to stop – and soon.

SexyG

May 1, 2011

THE CHANGES IN HOW WE VIEW MARRIAGE

flower-girl

By SexyG

What has happened to the institution of marriage? How has it changed and why? There seems to be a lot attention swirling around this mysterious bugaboo called marriage. We need to carefully examine what changes are taking place because it speaks to attitudes and philosophies among singles. The importance of knowing these types of trends gives us insight into this generation of single people, and in so doing might be a predictor as to what to expect in the near future. These issues impact economics, social security, birth rates and a multitude of other issues.

There is no question that within and around marriage something is brewing. For the first time in census history we have more singles than married. What does this statistic tell us? Upon further investigation we’ve learned that marriage is being put off and many people are not reacting to it in a traditional manner.

I want to make it clear that I am not demeaning the institution of marriage. It means a great deal to those who respect and revere it, and I offer no judgments. When it comes to having children I believe in marrying to make it socially acceptable. Although in today’s age it doesn’t matter for the most part if a child is born out-of-wedlock or not, but the underlying emphasis is on marriage as the better of the ways to go.

For many, marriage is being put off for various reasons; careers, limited means to meet singles, not feeling one has lived as yet, men who are reluctant to commit and fear of dating strangers. The average age of males marrying has upped to a median age of 27 years old (and older for college graduates), the highest age ever. Even though the overwhelming majority, approximately 93%, want to marry at some point in their lives they are holding off on marriage and simply dating or co-habituating. Of course, women marry older as well – 25 is the median. It was 22 in years past. Add to this phenomenon that the US is the most marrying country in the developed countries.

On the flip side, according to national statistics, marriages are failing at an alarming rate and men particularly, are reluctant to jump into the marital fray. Both sexes generally want to marry for love. Yet, when they do, at least 50% end in divorce. We are baffled even though we understand the many reasons. Why do so many marriages land in divorce court? The result of divorce creates havoc for a long period of time even if that is what was wanted. A bitter divorce can be traumatizing for a lifetime.

I want to address the pressures still existing in society that require people to marry, raise a family and move to a suburban house with a white picket fence. These expectations are much more prevalent with women than with men. Males have become more casual about marriage. Yet, this requirement to marry often comes from a society that has yet to pause and seriously examine why marriages are failing at such a high rate. A lot of marital pressure comes from parent who might not have a good marriage themselves – this ambivalence seems to emanate from demands what society deems is normal. That concept is rapidly being dismissed and changes are occurring at an even more rapid pace.

With more pressure placed on women, what is sometimes most ignored is: Are you suited for holy matrimony? Unfortunately, that is a question not asked often enough. Is it possible that 1 in 5 men are not marriage material as it has been observed? You must ask yourself, are you willing to compromise and bend somewhat or do you have requirements that are hard to live up to? What are your expectations? How do they intertwine with the personality of your intended? Are you on the same track or are you in denial that you have totally different goals and needs? These are questions that must be answered upfront.

When an unmarried, fortyish man is clearly heterosexual, in all probability he will be considered a stud, and for many men it is a preferable status that some want to continue as long as they can. In other words, being single and hitting around middle-age is not stigmatizing for a man as it is for a woman.

As far as the unspoken societal rules go, it’s okay for males to delay that magic moment. But an unmarried female is looked at as though she is a reject. If you take this unspoken (or shouted) perception to heart many women might be pushed to marry for the wrong reasons or feel unwanted. They are made to feel guilty as though they are deficient somehow.

Researchers in a study, the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University gave their results in the annual report, “The State of Our Unions” 2002. The study explored men’s attitudes on sex, dating, meeting women, living together, marrying a soul-mate, the timing of marriage, social pressures to marry, divorce, desire for children and about balancing a job and having a family.

The study was entitled, “Why Men Won’t Commit: Exploring Young Men’s Attitudes About Sex, Dating and Marriage.” The co-author, Barbara Defoe Whitehead, co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University founded in 1997, was featured on CBS, The Early Show . The study is based on 8 focus groups with 60 single men between the ages of 25 to 33 in four metropolitan areas; Northern New Jersey, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Houston.

It focused on men since it appears that they have often been excluded in this debate. Maybe it’s because they are essentially calling the shots when it comes to marriage and calling them a lot more slowly than ever before.

Here is how men responded: They had few social pressures to marry. “They are more willing to live together than marry. They can get sex more easily without marriage. They want to avoid the financial fallout of divorce. They are waiting for the perfect soul mate. They fear marriage will require too many changes and compromises. They want to delay having children. They are reluctant to marry a woman who already has children. They want to own a house before they get a wife. They want to enjoy single life as long as they can.”

Men, generally, are dragging their feet about walking down the aisle while women are still yielding to pressure. Societal traditions may be far more embedded than we can ever imagine and women might give in or compromise in order to play by the rules. Because of that women may become less cautious about their potential mate.

Women tend to avoid being forthcoming about changes they want a future spouse to make because they might chase him away. This grocery list of demands is presented after marriage. More than likely there will be resistance on the part of the male. Suppressing honesty can create misdirected anger that will ultimately rear its ugly head, probably in inappropriate ways. That is a fast track for divorce. I suspect that men sense this hidden agenda or see other couples who have wound up in explosive situations because of it. Men are therefore encouraged to remain in the single mode. If you fear that straight talking before the big day will make him walk then you might consider taking the risk.

Marrying for the right reasons, of course, makes perfectly good sense. You love each other, aren’t afraid to say what’s on your mind in a kind way, share some interests (not necessarily all) and understand where each of you is coming from.

My advice for women who are eager to marry yet can’t find a mate: You are not half a person because you have no partner. You must be your own best friend, learn to enjoy life and like yourself even if you are alone. Stand strong against the labels society brands you with.

Dig in now and deal with who you are. Hopefully, it will be a great journey for the rest of your life.

SexyG

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March 24, 2011

WHO IS GETTING MARRIED AND WHY

Filed under: Uncategorized — metzman @ 4:21 pm

cake

By SexyG

In two previous blogs I asked two questions. Is marriage obsolete and secondly, why people marry when they see a conflagration during courtship. In too many cases, it seems they hope to douse the raging fire once they say “I do.” That reversal rarely comes to pass.

In that vein, I’d like pursue the reason why marriages (including long-term relationships without marriage) fail or succeed. We spend an inordinate amount of time on the trials and travails of love in poems, songs, stories, novels, how-to books, psychological and sociological studies. We are in a constant state of romanticizing whether attached or unattached.

I’d love to see a study done that tells how often in a day people think about their relationships in a serious vein. We have statistics (that might be disputed) on how often men and women think about sex. Why not try to research the number of times someone thinks about the relationship they are presently in, evaluating the emotional and intellectual qualities. I suspect more thought is given to past romances like the one who got away, or the guy/gal someone still hopes to snag.

What is sorely needed is reflection to delve below the surface to exploit previous errors and attempt to come up with rational, intelligent answers for oneself. This is when romantic chemistry has to be set aside. In too many instances we have become overly dependent on chemistry to guide our happiness. Let us not forget the times chemistry has led us astray. If we possess unhealthy chemistry then a train wreck awaits.

When relationships go bad, it can throw us into a mental sink hole. Trying to breathe life into a relationship that has gone on life supports is a very sorry state. Look at art and music We are forever inventing poems that laud or scorn a significant other and singing songs of love-angst. What happens all too often is we find ourselves scraping the bottom of our hearts for those passionate flames when what actually remain are ashes of a burnt-out love.

I know we like to think of love as spontaneous. That can be very dangerous. We have to use our intellect way before meeting someone and as well as throughout the romance. It’s imperative that past failed choices be carefully scrutinized and mulled over thoughtfully. Otherwise we are open to repeat mistakes. There are certain steps to take before allowing ourselves to become inundated with anger and resentment from a failed relationship. Both people involved need to concentrate on the good qualities and be able to express what we perceive as annoying in order to avoid going through emotional hell when the end is in sight.

For starters let’s see who is getting married, who is not and all the reasons why. The New York Times, on March 2, 2010, published an article entitled, Study Finds Cohabitating Doesn’t Make a Union Last, by Sam Roberts. “Couples who live together before they get married are less likely to stay married, a new study has found. But their chances improve if they were already engaged when they began living together.

“The study of men and women ages 15 to 44 was done by the National Center for Health Statistics using data from the National Survey of Family Growth conducted in 2002. The authors define cohabitation as people who live with a sexual partner of the opposite sex.”

Yet, living together has become, generally, a ritual prior to marriage. We have gotten used to thinking that if we successfully live together we have a better shot at marriage. I have seen many situations where a couple live together for anywhere from a year to ten years and divorce within the first year of marriage. The article states that the proportion of women in their late 30s who had ever cohabited had doubled in 15 years to 61%.

Roberts goes on to say; “The study found that, over all, 62 percent of women ages 25 to 44 were married and 8 percent were cohabiting. Among men, the comparable figures were 59 percent and 10 percent.

“In general, one in five marriages will dissolve within five years. One in three will last less than 10 years. Those figures varied by race, ethnicity and sex. The likelihood of black men and women remaining married for 10 years or more was 50 percent. The probability for Hispanic men was the highest, 75 percent. Among women, the odds are 50-50 that their marriage will last less than 20 years.”

What is the upshot of all the statistics? I think they are instructive but they leave out the human equation. In all the years since formalizing relationships by marrying, it would seem that we have not learned much from past history.

Why are their more divorces now than years ago? I think people in marriages stuck it out because, by and large, women were not trained to earn money and it was more economical for the couple to hang together. I feel certain that their children sensed the tension and unhappiness even if there was not outright fighting.

The easy answer is that the offspring of feuding couples should have developed insights and dissected the reasons for parental discontent. In this way, they should attain the skills that allow them to avoid the pitfalls in their own relationships. The parental unhappiness they were exposed to should be the learning experience whereby one acquires the ability to choose relatively stable mates. That makes for a potentially happier marriage.

In most instances, these choices are left to chance, romantic chemistry or spontaneous combustion or whatever you choose to call it. It appears that when we do that we tend to repeat mistakes. If we don’t use rational thought and self-exploration, we go into marriage with the same poor emotional baggage that we absorbed from our mentor/parents throughout childhood. We must be cognizant of learning positive qualities rather than coming to adulthood with the negatives wired into our crippled emotional intelligence. The lack of self-exploration makes for bad mental health which ups the ante drastically to make a mistake in choosing a mate.

Denial creates a void that allows dysfunctional to overflow until it reaches its own level. That happens when a combination of universal issues such as power struggles along with issues unique to the individuals are ignored. And this can occur repeatedly in every relationship that an individual enters. It is a difficult task to unearth motives behind destructive behavior but quite doable – or should I say a necessity.

I know some serial wedders and they often come from an unhealthy background. They tend to marry their parents in disguise. Poor mate selection may duplicate personalities and an atmosphere similar to what we saw during our childhoods. The illusion is that we have another chance to attract the love we didn’t get from our parents. Unfortunately, the mate we picked just like the parents, is incapable of showing love. And the outcome is another broken marriage. We haven’t learned to listen to the warnings of our inner voice.

But the situation isn’t hopeless. If our parents have serious inadequacies, we need to look around to find better mentors. Watch the couples who speak to each other with obvious interest, and those who cultivate a healthy, affectionate, caring relationship. These are the qualities that create staying power for a deeper more romantic relationship. You have much more control over your relationships than you realize.

We must be cognizant of these factors if we want love and happiness with a spouse. You’ll have a much better shot at reversing what you’ve simply been calling bad luck in choices.

SexyG

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March 3, 2011

WHEN RED FLAGS TELL YOU NOT TO MARRY THE PERSON

flags

-The Sexy G

I’m directing this article to mainly women because they seem to be a tad more at fault in this area. But since it does apply to both genders, both men and women – listen up.

Okay. You’re a woman or a man in a relationship. There are red flags cautioning you to beware. There are irritating personality traits in the person you’re with and you’re not even married yet. Sometimes the red flags are so numerous it looks like a hemorrhage.

But still you marry. Why?

The reasons are numerous, but here are some of the ones I hear most often; your family expects you to marry him, you’ve been together so long that starting to date again is repugnant, you think your love will grow stronger after marriage, all of your friends are married, you think you’ll change those irritating habits once married, and/or your biological clock is ticking. These rationalizations are insidious.

Here’s how it works. You weren’t totally happy during the courtship, but you feared that making too many demands would drive him away. Now, armed with a wedding band glinting up at you and waving a little piece of paper in your sweaty hand, you think you can safely proceed in trying to fix that faulty man of yours. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact he’s established a style of living during the courtship that he thinks is perfectly fine, and you haven’t contradicted that notion. Based on that, he figures you accept him as he is. He isn’t usually about to change.

Fact and fantasy intermingle into a muddied pool of misconceptions when one looks to marriage as a cure to problems in the relationship. That sort of thinking will drop you into a quagmire of quicksand, something detrimental in the long-term. Somehow, we think that there is something magical in becoming “legal” in the eyes of the law and we will be protected from all that is harmful in life. All that was wrong will turn right. Ha!

Once you declare, “I do,” many develop new expectations in addition to attempting to alter your mate. Maybe in the back of your mind you have some romanticized ideal of what your spouse should be – kind of like kissing a frog and turning him into a prince. You may expect your guy to morph into this idealized notion of what a husband should be. And your husband may also have a new set of expectations for his blushing bride. In the real world these expectations can’t be met.

Attention! Neither one of you isn’t about to change.

To all you who have fallen into this trap we know that if a partner was amenable to change, chances are you would have spoken to him before the big bang. For instance, if a woman waits until marriage to make changes, you probably sensed that it would be near impossible to get  him to suddenly pick up his underwear from the floor, help with domestic chores, stop eating in bed, convince him children are necessary when he already said he didn’t want them – or whatever it is that you want to achieve in a relationship but haven’t gotten there yet.

So, despite those warning bells clanging in your head, telling your the man that you are dating, living with, engaged to or about to become engaged to isn’t for you, you shove that aside and marry him. You might even be fully aware that divorce is somewhere down the line. Often, when a woman hits her late thirties to late forties, and hasn’t been married she will think that being divorced is less stigmatizing than never having been married. She’ll even marry the wrong man. But divorce is too traumatic to take so lightly. It’s up there on the list of the major top 10 life stresses.

In an article published online taken from USA Today and written by Sharon Jayson, entitled, ‘With this doubt, I thee wed’: Some know marriage will fail, updated 10/14/10, she talks about real characters who knew they were going into marriage with a strong sensibility it will probably fail. Jayson says: “Stories of people entering marriages they felt were doomed from the start intrigued Carl Weisman of Torrance, Calif., whose book, So Why Have You Never Been Married? 10 Insights Into Why He Hasn’t Wed arrived last year. He says a divorced woman he knows said something he thought was quite profound” ‘ “I didn’t listen to my inner voice. I knew I was going to divorce him before I even married him.” ’

That’s startling. She knew she was making a mistake and still felt compelled to marry. Why didn’t she listen to her inner voice? It’s absolutely necessary to heed the warnings of every red flags or whatever you want to call it.

Someone I know said to me she resented a marriage counselor telling her how to behave in order to improve her relationship. She was thoroughly annoyed that the counselor didn’t address what she called the marriage, and instead she felt that he picked on her. Why didn’t she see that the marriage should be about two people seeking a deep friendship within a union – two people who are willing to compromise and find ways to engage in meaningful listening and conversation that go below the surface.

This friend talked about the marriage as though it were some mystical pairing that was supposed to plug in the missing pieces within her. That is flimsy thinking and buys into the smoke and mirror myth that you are desired and important if someone will commit to you in marriage, and it happens without a lick of work.

So, how do you avoid this disaster waiting to happen?

You must have in-depth conversations before getting married, ones that dredge up all that is in your mind. Tell each other about your notions of marriage, expectations and what it means to you. Only then can you start the process of coming to grips with reality.

Delaying honest conversations by thinking you’ll change him after marriage is perhaps the most significant reason for a break-up later. You’d better be upfront, hear what he’s saying without second guessing him, and both participate in laying ground rules for the future. If you don’t, you have inadvertently given him the impression that he’s fine the way he is. You must parade all your cards out in the open.

Every time I talk to a woman who is divorced I ask what she saw in that person prior to marriage that might represent some barrier to happiness. Many admit to having seen one to one hundred or more issues that might impede the relationship. That’s where reasoning has to supersede the heart (or call it outfoxing your own chemistry). You intervene beforehand.

One needs to get past the old bugaboo of denial and use some rational thinking like asking yourself – are there personality traits here that aren’t working for me? Will I be able to live with them or will I attempt to change them after marriage. That’s where the mental stop sign comes in. You can’t go into wedded bliss with blinders. If by some chance you have married an accommodating or compromising male who actually listens and wants to change, indeed, you have a bonus. But don’t count on it. You need to discuss these niggling problems prior to marching down the aisle, and it’s imperative that you do.

The love between you has to be strong to withstand a myriad of marital issues that will arise under the best of circumstances within a marriage. There must be stability and strength between you to make it for the long-term. Put a questionable relationship into the mix and there is big trouble unless you both face the facts. It’s easy to depend on some vague notion that romantic chemistry will sail you through the major barriers of a relationship. Not so. Like it or not, you have to roll up your sleeves and work on it.

You also need to make sure you don’t duplicate the mistakes in choosing a mate like you did with all the past dudes who were so wrong for you. It takes fortitude and courage to dig deeply into oneself for insights into your own behavior, but do it you must!

SexyG

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December 17, 2008

WHAT IF YOU MET SANTA AT A SINGLES BAR?

bar

By The Sexy G

The holiday season put me into a contemplative mood. I imagined driving alone through the deserted, hushed streets the day after Christmas. Everyone inside, all warm and cozy with their gifts while I wander around the city.

I began to think about one of the blogs I wrote – do women
really want sensitive men, those
special men in touch with their feminine side? Or, are women unconsciously
repelled by the very same qualities they say they desperately need in a partner? Then I thought that the
image of Santa Claus gives him the ambiance of a sensitive man. He’s a
philanthropist of the highest order, making sure every child get a gift. He is
applauded and adored around the world and never even took an income tax break
for charity.

So, I thought, what if Santa walked into a bar where the older
set hangs out and sat next to me? How would I react? Here’s the picture:

I’m sitting in an upscale bar in Center City Philadelphia.
The bar is carved oak with a black marble counter top. Behind the bar are brightly
lit, glass shelves with top-drawer bottles of liquor. There are very few
patrons. I’m drinking an icy vodka martini and chilling out. A man, two seats
down, is staring at me. I give him a small smile. He moves over and sits next
to me.

“Want to buy me a drink, sweetheart?” he asks.

“Not really.” I say.

“Just kidding.” He looks up. “Hey, barkeep, give this nice
lady another, whatever she’s drinking.”

I look over at this brash man who didn’t even ask me if I
wanted another drink and find his appearance pleasing. He’s wearing a navy,
cable knit sweater and tan slacks. His salt and pepper hair is cut short, but
several strands sweep over a high forehead. His nose is large but quite
appropriate for his tall, thick size. He’s solidly built and in his early
sixties.

“I’m Jimmy.”

He extends his hand, and I shake it. It is cool and smooth
to the touch, not a hand that belongs to a manual worker. It’s how I picture
Jimmy to be – plastic. “Okay. Are you married or otherwise engaged?” I ask

“Nope. Been there, done that a couple of times and have
given it up for Lent. Just want to have fun now.”

At least he’s honest. Do I dare sound corny and tell him
that I’ve been there, too, but want to have a terrific committed relationship
now? I decide to keep quiet.

“You’re a pleasant looking lass, he says peering down my
v-neckline at my cleavage.

Well, can’t say that wearing this outfit was accidental. We’re
smack in the era of displaying cleavage and the tops of backsides. The latter is definitely not for me, but a little cleavage works wonders for a little attention. Oh,
sometimes men are simplistic.

“Do you know why your marriage or marriages didn’t last?” I
ask him.

“I wasn’t home much because I’m a workaholic and when I was
around I watched sports on TV. What man doesn’t do that? I just didn’t get the kind
of woman who tolerates it. Then she cheated on me. But I’m not changing.”

“When you and your wife were together, did you enjoy
intimacy? Were you a good listener and did you give your wife some quality
time?”

“Hey, that’s chick stuff. I’m sure I was a good husband. I’m
not great with domestic stuff. As a provider I did the best I could and loved my
kids. Isn’t that enough?” He shook his head. “Look, let’s not talk serious
stuff. If you want to have fun, I’m your guy.” He looks at me sideways. “I’m
good in the sack.”

So, I’m face to face with a man who has the bad boy syndrome, and, I must say, it
has some appeal. Why not be carefree and enjoy every second? No strings
attached. Hey, next year arthritis might get me or some other damned illness.

Thudding footsteps sound behind me. I turn. Santa Claus is
standing in the middle of the marble floor, removing his big, white mittens. I’m
in shock. He walks over and sits next to me.

“Can I buy you a drink?” He asks. His beard has tiny icicles
hanging from it.

“Sure, Santa. What are you doing here?”

“No one is home. I haven’t publicized it because it will
upset millions of children, but Mrs. Claus passed away last year. The elves
have gone to their own families. I was lonely.”

“Santa, you’re a super star. Thousands of people would
invite you to dinner.” Jimmy, seemingly unaffected by Santa’s presence, moves
away and sits next to an attractive woman.

“It’s one of those oddities. You see, because I was busy
pleasing everyone, I never developed close relationships. Children love me,
parents love me, but with limits. It’s sweet and pleasant, but I’m not really
an integral part of their lives.”

The bartender delivers the drinks. Santa had ordered a mint
martini. We click glasses.

“I realize since my wife died I was remiss in our
relationship. I used my enormous fame and generosity as a ploy to keep from
being close to her. We only talked about my work and the stresses that go with
it. If my wife complained, I didn’t listen to her. It even made me angry.

“I insisted that making toys for the children superseded her
demands for attention. So many people depend on me.” His expression turns weary.
“It’s only since she’s gone that I see blaming work for my failings was dumb. I
feared love because it would make me vulnerable. The woman of my life meant so
much to me, gave me everything within her capacity. I cut her off emotionally
so that I might devote myself to the world. Giving my all to others was easier
than working on my marriage with the one person who mattered most in my life.”

I finish my drink, grab his unfinished cocktail and down
that quickly. Was this real? Or was I having a psychotic episode? I admit to
being a bit strung out from guzzling bourbon eggnogs yesterday, but this was
beyond hallucinating.

“I opened up to one woman since my dear wife’s passing,”
Santa continues. “She had champagne waiting for me when I came down her chimney.
She’d heard about Mrs. Claus’ demise and thought we’d get along. I poured my
heart out, telling her that I’d reevaluated my life and knew I’d missed so much
in the pursuit of success. I wanted to change now, discover who I really was
under this hand-tailored, red suit. I wanted to discover poetry and learn to
cook. I let myself cry in front of her, told her how upsetting it was to always
act strong even when I don’t feel it. I had always lived in constant terror
someone might not like me and I became the epitome of a crowd pleaser. Now I want
my image off of all those greeting cards. I would willingly trade my celebrity for
love, passion and obscurity.

“Suddenly, this woman got a look of horror. She told me I’d
be a nobody. What did she want with someone like that? I said I’m looking for a
woman who wants to be friends first, before we’re intimate.

“She thought the idea of being friends first was gay. She
asked if I had sexual relationships with the elves? That did it. With a
clatter, I zipped back up the chimney. As I sailed through the air in my
sleigh, I decided that I wouldn’t let her attitude stop me from seeking answers
within myself. Somewhere, a woman exists who truly wants a sensitive man. I’ll
search even if I have to miss next Christmas.” He sighs and his blue eyes get a
mischievous twinkle. “When I first saw you, I thought you might be that kind of
woman.”

I look over at Jimmy. He sits alone now and gives me a big
smile and a small wave.

I stare at Santa, little beads of water from melted icicles
cling to his brilliant, white beard.

“I’d love for you to dance through life with me until the
music stops,” he says

Or my tits fall off
- whichever comes first.
I say a
little prayer that Santa is a vegetarian. Then I remember his fondness for his
pet reindeers. He’d never eat meat.

“Santa, want to come back to my place?” I ask.

SexyG

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April 21, 2010

WHAT DOES SEXUALITY LOOK LIKE IN THE FUTURE?

by the Sexy G

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An article entitled, Reinventing Sex: New Technologies and Changing Attitudes published in Integrative Spirituality, 3/24/10, and written by Eric Garland (a futurist and competitive intelligence expert) dealt with many real issues of today that appeared to influence his predictions. The topics are:

“New technologies will promote pleasure, simulate reality, improve performance, and thwart disease/Waning Church Influence/Swinging Seniors/Television and the Internet/

Pornography and Voyeurism/Disease Prevention/Sex Toys.


Garland opened the article with, “Trends in family, religion, health, education, and technology are changing how we view and discuss sexual matters – including marriage, courtship, and the act itself – and what they mean in our lives. Though new confusions will arise from increasing freedoms, sex in 2025 will be healthier and safer than ever before. There will be less shame, more tolerance, and less violence. Sexual activity will even become widely accepted as an important aspect of healthy aging and a regular component of geriatric life.”


At first, I thought some of what was predicted was voodoo? But after carefully reading the article (which was originally published in the November-December 2004 issue of the THE FUTURIST) I became a believer. Garland seems to have based his futuristic predictions on social and technological trends which he discusses separately.


Garland says: “Waning Church Influence. Without church structures to lay down rules, individuals have more choices than ever before on morality issues such as sex, and they will have even more choices in the future. Formal church structures have been telling people what they can do sexually and how they should feel about it. It is natural that sexual activity will be judged by society, as this behavior fundamentally affects the health and prosperity of social groups from the tribe to the nation-state. Historically, formal churches have dictated these rules, but their authority in modern society seems to be slipping, along with church attendance.”


This article was first written in 2004. The Catholic Church scandals were already flooding the media at that time. Just think of the world-wide explosion of exposes that have beset the church since then? And I’m sure that many people are looking into their own denominations and clergy for such aberrations of behavior. Whether they find them or not, the behavior of a minority of priests has in all probability set off a tsunami of disbelief and distrust of the clergy by many people.


To my thinking it would stand to reason that a good portion of the population will become doubters. If we look at the sexual precepts that most religions espouse, we might do a double take in view of the often large disparity between the content of pulpit lectures and the behavior of some clergymen. There is no way to reconcile the two. There have been numerous well-known and lesser known clergy caught in sex scandals which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t preach family values, scream fire and brimstone – you’re going straight to hell for sexual misconduct type of sermons.


Garland says, “This lack of religious structure is resulting in an increase in individual spiritual structures. While church attendance is down, more people identify themselves as simply “spiritual.” The desire to be close to God had not waned, but traditional structures may not fit every person. As there are more individual spiritual structures, so will there be more people deciding what in their behavior is right and wrong – especially as it pertains to sex.”


Another influence in the march into the future is, as Garland says, “The impact of the aging of the baby boom generation is staggering. In 2000, 35 million people were 65 years of age or older. By 2020, that number will increase to 70 million people. The United States will be remade in the image of its aging citizens.

“If you only paid attention to the media, you would think that sex is only the dominion of the young – unless you count superstars like Jack Nicholson and Michael Douglas, who always seem to fall in love with younger actresses both onscreen and off. The media give the impression that young people have most of the sex out there. In reality, most of the sex in the coming decades will be enjoyed by people older than 50.”


This information has been demonstrated in studies done in recent years that address the myth that people over 55 tend to lose their sexual desire. Not so! As a matter of fact, the older population is almost as sexually active as younger people.


Garland went even further, “People will enjoy more sex for more of their lives than anytime in history. If medical technologies extend the normal life span into the 90s or 100s, then the average person will be sexually active for 80 years. That’s a lot of time to explore sex, and many decades to explore and enjoy after the kids are out of the house.”


There is much more to explore in this fascinating article dealing with sexual trends and fetishes. We’ll do that in the next blog.

SexyG

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April 30, 2010

MORE AND BETTER SEX IN THE FUTURE?

By the Sexy G.

soldier

To continue delving into the article, Reinventing Sex: New Technologies and Changing Attitudes, by Eric Garland, published in Integrative Spirituality 3/24/10, and I quote: “While a great deal of published research on sex today covers pregnancy, disease, and violence, comparatively little expert literature available deals with how sex will change in coming decades, according to a 2003 white paper by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. This makes sense, because these topics pose the greatest risks to health and society. Very little research shows positive trends in human interaction. Not enough understanding exists to show how the basic human function of sexual behavior will shift along with trends in society and technology.

“The mainstream media cover changes in divorce and dating, but the ways in which sexuality and attitudes toward sex will change in coming decades are topics that require more investigation. Indeed, the media will cover many of these shifts, leaving fewer people to feel isolated about their natural inclinations. Unfortunately, few sexuality topics are deemed appropriate to discuss forthrightly, despite the fact that so much regarding sex is changing right under our noses.”

Wow, that’s potent stuff, but what does it mean for us? We already are aware that many people both men and women 55+ are engaging and thinking about sex into their advanced years. How has television and the internet affected us and how will it continue to have impact? Of course, porn on the internet is rampant. Even people in the workplace spend hours a day downloading porn. We’ve seen a some exposes of this happening in breaking news recently.

To continue what Eric Garland said in his article: “One arbiter of loosening public attitudes toward sex is that censors are relaxing on television. Television has come a long way from the days when married characters shocked viewers by sleeping in the same double bed. Clearly, television censors now allow much more frank discussion of sexual behavior…On an episode of CBS’s popular detective show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, a murder victim is shown to be in a community of “plushies,” a group of people who enjoy sex while dressed up like stuffed animals. Never before has there been such an open discussion on the fetishes, proclivities, and preferences that are part of all human diversity. ”

I’ll never forget the first time I heard an ad for erectile dysfunction. I was kind of lackadaisical about it until I heard them say that a four hour erection could send a man to the ER. My first thought was that the man in that situation could hire himself out to several women for a period of time before heading to the ER.

But a world of revelation about sexuality and choices has emerged from the loosening of censorship which is a healthy thing I believe. Even sex toys have evolved into the electronic age (this for a later blog) for multiple and super orgasms.

Again Garland states: “Researchers are working hard to realize Woody Allen’s “orgasmatron” as visualized in his futuristic film Sleeper (1973). One U.S. surgeon has already patented a pacemaker-sized device implanted under the skin that triggers an orgasm, and begun a clinical trial approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” (I wonder how that will work if you forget to turn it off during a job interview).

Hey, obviously from the blogs I’ve written I’m no prude and all of these new devices and changes are fine with me. But what does this say for the future? I’m looking for enhancement of the old-fashioned approach – one-on-one and person-to-person. Why isn’t there talk of improving and increasing personal intimacy? It all seems to be more in mechanical development where strides are being made. To me none of what I’m reading appears to improve actual relationships.


Why aren’t we talking about ways to minimize the different approaches as to how we socialize boys and girls? How can we make boys more sensitive and able to empathize, especially with a woman? Society encourages men to minimize or even demean emotion. Then when feelings are out of his realm of understanding we applaud that as he’s from Mars. Bull. It is so encoded in our rearing habits we don’t even notice when we do it to our children. There are unpleasant names for men who respond with emotion. This makes genders divisive and contributes to divorces.

I’m all for increasing sexual pleasure, but we have to be cognizant that we still want two humans involved. It reminds me of how frustrated we’ve become to being answered and helped by computers on the telephone. When we finally get a human voice on the line (if that’s even possible) it’s like a bright new world opening up and colors are much brighter. Same with good sex between two people.

The SexyG

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May 21, 2010

LOOKING FOR NEW TOYS?

By the Sexy Gma.

super1

I have been further perusing Eric Garland’s article, Reinventing Sex: New Technologies and Changing Attitudes, published in the online publication, Integrative Spirituality, March 24, 2010 with great interest. The title says it all. So, let’s talk about future expectations of sex in our society.

Believing that Garland has reached the apex of predictions, I read on to find it only gets wilder. In the section labeled: “Pornography and Voyeurism,” he mentions, “Specifically, there will be more pornography everywhere. For the first time, everyone will be only a click away from explicit hard-core pornography, potentially from inexpensive handheld devices that most, if not all, consumers can afford.”

Just when you thought the market for porno was saturated and had no other place to go – a new horizon is seen. Before, I likened porno to creative writing in which there are only a certain amount of plots available; (revenge, lust, love, hero saves the earth, etc.). I thought sexual positions, too, had certain creative limitations. There are so many sexual positions, variations on dildos and all those accessories. Hasn’t it all been done and said? It seems not so.

Garland talks of voyeurism and how popular a theme it is in television programing. Look at the popularity of reality shows. Everyone wants to see how other people behave in certain environments and in their own homes. Perhaps people find it exciting to compare their own lives with others. Maybe they get off on watching people in difficult or dysfunctional roles.

This great interest in wanting to know how other people live brings to mind the flip side of the coin of voyeurism. Some people, including some celebrities, enjoy taping their sexual experiences. And somehow the videos hit the internet and the world watches these people in the sack. A world-wide market is created to peek into your boudoir. Why would anyone want such a beautiful, intimate act to be sent across the globe? Is it exhibitionism at its highest (or lowest) point? This tendency of humans to enjoy voyeurism and even exhibitionism will dovetail with the coming trends. In the future it seems that cyberspace will have the capability of duplicating reality, making one feel they are participating in sexual experiences.

For instance: Garland continues: “Physical toys could improve with materials science producing substances that feel more like skin and with greater viscosity. Pornographic movies, the most popular form of sexual entertainment will see technological improvements on two fronts: computer graphic displays and haptics or “telefeel” technology that stimulates the body to create a sensation offered by the software. Both of these approaches intend to create more-realistic simulations.”

I interpret Garland’s description of haptics (and telefeel) to mean that the computer will telegraph and stimulate the senses. Telecommunication in this sense will telegraph “…pressure, vibration, texture, and heat back to a person to simulate the physical sensations of real objects.”

Again Garland says, “Once eye-fooling graphics are combined with haptics that simulate virtual physical worlds, technicians will create software to better simulate people’s sexual fantasies, approaching the limit of fooling us into believing they are really happening.”

So, this will simulate a sexual experience. There is a far-reaching road to hoe (no pun intended) when following the future porno path to ecstasy. What is the downside?

We have to ask ourselves what the effect of this ever-closer link to porno means to adults as well as children. Mature adults know the good and bad associated with pornography and may choose to watch at certain moments, perhaps to sexually stimulate a stable relationship or at intermittent unattached times in their lives. But to use the videos, toys and graphics on a steady basis to avoid a real relationship is questionable at best. Children exposed to this might grow up encouraged to think it is perfectly fine to negate the emotional component and lack of human connection in sex.

There are already large numbers of people addicted to porno and with easier and more elaborate access we may see the numbers multiply greatly. That obsession can only be seen as very questionable for good mental health. Watching porno for hours upon hours can serve to isolate people into their own worlds, disdaining conversation and intimacy. As a matter of fact, any obsession can have a debilitating effect on those who are caught up in it. (But if you are a cleaning addict I might be able to help when you see my apartment J). Just kidding.

What about the life-size dolls that have skin-like feel? Just think- you are having sex with a doll/woman who has a model number, can’t speak or think and might cost $5000 to $8000 and be made in China at a factory. YIKES! Then again, some might really like the – can’t speak or think part.

I can see using these toys for practice, occasional fun, if there is no chance someone will ever have a partner or there is a neurological problem that limits someone’s social interaction abilities. But for those who appear to be engaged socially and/or have a mate, reliance on these stimulators for physical needs on a long-term basis seems to me to be flawed. The most important aspect of sex is the mind and the emotional connection with another human. Yes, I said a good, old-fashioned human.

Well, bring on the future with all the gadgets and we’ll see.

The SexyG

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May 27, 2010

HOW DOES MALE ENTITLEMENT TURN TO MURDER

Filed under: Uncategorized — metzman @ 2:04 pm

Painting by Paul Gordon

Tenors at Lunch, by Paul Gordon

By the Sexy G.

I looked at the picture of two college students, Yeardley Love and George Huguely. The two look like clean-cut, all American types, gifted in academics and athletics and both played lacrosse. He also excelled in football before heading to college, having come from an economically comfortable background. Nothing about the very good-looking pair spoke of the brutality behind the sweet-faced, innocent appearing senior students at University of Virginia.

Not long ago, Huguely was arrested for allegedly murdering Love, an ex-girlfriend. Supposedly, court documents state that he kicked her door in and shook her as her head repeatedly hit the wall. A short time before Love’s body was found, the pair had an altercation at a bar and Hugely had to be physically separated from her.

We are all aware of the sense of entitlement some talented male athletes have about what is due them and that decent behavior or having boundaries doesn’t exist for them. This public acceptance and even applause of rude, uncivil actions has been accorded male celebrities, male athletes and the male population in general. My impression is that society and the media treat celebrity women who misbehave as flaky, trivial, and dumb.

For instance, when Rihanna was allegedly beaten by Chris Brown not that long ago, a man I know said that he had no doubt that the woman making that claim was probably a nobody looking to make some money. Obviously, he had no idea that Rihanna was a star in her own right. The person who made the statement was bright, generally well-informed and not known as a macho man. He seemed to respect his wife. But what he gave was an instantaneous opinion without knowing anything about the case that might well have come from a deep-rooted, deeply-embedded societal induced belief about women. From the beginning, Eve was responsible for Adam’s irresponsibility. That core belief never seems to have gone away.

I believe that an underground prejudice toward women is woven into the fabric of our lives that is very hard to detect but is insidious and shows itself in many way. For the most part, men and women tell me that there is equality out there. I believe that is a fallacy.

What are we missing here? What part of the puzzle allows a man to believe he owns a woman like real estate and that it is all right to abuse, maim or rape her because she’s asking for it? It wasn’t that long ago that the authorities considered battering a woman a domestic dispute, not a police matter, leaving the woman open for more beatings and in some instances death. I believe, that attitude not only still persists openly but for many others exists quietly in the deepest recesses of male sensibilities. How many times have we heard the statement that if a woman is raped she must have asked for it? How many ways does it take to tell someone no? No means NO! Women are asked to behave responsibly by society and are castigated if they don’t while men are just acting the way they “are supposed to.”

It seems that society generally allows men a wide swath in which to be naughty. I’ve heard many men and women say boys will be boys, and we have to pander to their immaturities because it’s in their nature – in the genes. Hogwash. I find this a very dangerous belief system. It suggests men don’t need to grow up. This kind of thinking has encouraged women, too often, to forgive outrageous behavior in men to the point where they have sometimes wound up maimed or dead.

Let’s talk about Roman Polanski. Here’s a man who allegedly raped a 13 year old child anally and vaginally after plying her with liquor and drugs. It is reported that the child begged him to stop. He went on the run before his sentencing and has been living what appears to be a very good life in Europe making movies.

Many years have passed and the US wants to extradite him so the courts can complete the legal portion of a man who admitted raping the child. But now we have many celebrities making appeals to free Roman Polanski such as Woody Allen (no surprise there), Tilda Swinton, Martin Scorsese and many others.

Yet, teachers who have inappropriate sex with younger students do jail time. A Burbank teacher, Amy Beck, who confessed to having sex with a fourteen year-old male student turned herself in and was given a two year sentence. She didn’t go on the run and live a luxurious life and then have celebrities asking for her exoneration.

In my opinion there is much disdain for women, and it isn’t in the genes because even women fall into the trap. And if I’m mistaken and it is wired into men’s brains, it is strongly reinforced by society telling men that conquests and money are the most important issues. It’s sissy to give a woman the tiniest sliver of power. For the most part, this kind of thinking just makes for bad relationships. Taken to extremes, this sense of entitlement can cause a woman to be beaten, raped or killed. It might be a huge leap from naughty to murder, but it happens all too often. Entitlement can slip into an overwhelming need for control or an intense sense that women are property.

According to UCSC Rape Prevention Education http://www2.ucsc.edu/rape-prevention/statistics.html, : “Around the world at least 1 in 3 women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Most often the abuser is a member of her own family. (John Hopkins School of Public Health 2000)

“77% of rapes are committed by someone known to the person raped. (Bureau of Justice Statistics 1997)

“According to the National Victim Center, 683,000 women are raped each year. (1992)

There were many red flags where Huguely was concerned beside public altercations with Love. According to reports, he’s had difficulties in the past with explosive anger and a sense he could behave as badly as he wanted and still not be accountable.

Supposedly, he had run-ins with over-intoxication, resisting arrest, attacking a male student for allegedly kissing Love, cursing and aggressive behavior. Although the responsibility was on Huguely to rein in his anger, I can’t help but think that one or two teammates or adults who were privy to these outbursts should have reported it. As far as I can determine this didn’t happen. Huguely appears to have been protected by those around him and perhaps he came to believe he answered to no one but himself.

Many times the woman knows her rapist, but might be prone to thinking she deserves being abused, or did something to bring it on. From an early age women are given the notion that if a marriage/relationship fails, they are responsible. The burden of making it work is on a woman who must work hard to keep the relationship together. Even today women tell me that men dangle the fear of abandonment. If they are not good girls and do what they are told, he’s out of there. It might be a milder form of abuse, but is abusive nonetheless.

“Only 2% of rapists are convicted and imprisoned. (US Senate Judiciary Committee 1993). That last statistic is alarming. There is also a tendency for many women to not report being raped. FBI estimates that only 37% of rapes are reported to the police while US Justice Department approximates that only 26% are reported. The US Justice Department also estimates that in the US a woman is raped every 2 minutes.

We must ask ourselves some important questions. Our society gives unconditional adoration to male celebrities and athletes — college and professional- Are we giving them leeway to think they can have whatever it is they want when they want it? We pay exorbitant prices for tickets to their games whether we can afford it or not. Our TV’s are often tuned in to them. We cheer them on, venerate them. Then do we have the right to be shocked when they act outrageously or dangerously toward women? We must ask these men to control their urges just like anyone else. Despite the scary joke about male brains existing in their private parts we must demand that the population of loose cannons act responsibly. Most men do. Why can’t we demand the same for all?

The Sexy G

Image provided by Dr. Paul Gordon and can be viewed and purchased on his site, Mr. Mozart.

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June 21, 2010

What is Worse: Emotional or Sexual Infidelity?

Filed under: Uncategorized — metzman @ 8:34 pm

distant

By the Sexy G.

Let me start by saying that June is Celibacy month. On the flip side, prostitution flourishes. Is it because men, more than ever, need the emotional disconnect that sex with a prostitutes allows?

A friend of mine likes to hold high tea, and so not long ago I found myself sitting at a table with a lovely group of women, sipping out of china and nibbling on cucumber finger sandwiches.  The women ranged in age from approximately 19 to 70, and it was such a diverse group. We didn’t start out by talking about men and infidelity, but by the time we were served our petite butter cookies, we had gotten around to it.

The youngest of the group had only ever had a single date throughout her entire high school career. She said the boys were interested in one thing – sex. Conversation and getting to know each other seemed not to be a part of what those young men wanted. Another women who had multiple marriages said that each husband had been emotionally distant. The future divorcé across the table from her agreed. These intelligent, good-looking women, from the outside looking in, seemed to have it all – including wonderful relationships with great guys. Obviously, not.

When prompted by the trouble maker, yours truly, each gal seated at the table spoke about her personal life and, amazingly, six of these seven women further admitted to having a father who was also emotionally detached (my own dad marched in that parade of emotional robots, too).  The ladies were very honest and open, and easily jumped right into the fray.  I have to ask, if you sat with seven men around the table would it be the same?

Our tea chatter echoed conversations I’ve heard throughout my whole life; from student to wife to parenthood, and now into grandparenthood.  Now, those hundreds of conversations run through my head – women’s voices bemoaning male detachment, although they’ll put it differently: He doesn’t talk to me…  He works so much I never see him…  He comes home and goes straight to sports… He doesn’t listen… But what it comes down to is how many men behave with emotional detachment and, predictably, that brings me to the topic of gender-role socialization with a sprinkling of infidelity.

I believe that with emotional fortifications people have an easier time cheating. A person who lacks the ability to empathize with another not only distances themselves from the feelings of their partner, but also from whomever they are sleeping with at the moment. Perhaps they lack a respect for close, connected relationships, or worse- fear them. One man who has been married four times once told me he literally chokes when a woman gets too close to him.

If you like cheating without any strings of respect for others attached, a prostitute can be a good solution. At least six percent of men admit to using a prostitute and, categorically, most men who visit prostitutes often have girlfriends or wives, according to an article from Love & Relationships. Pay-for-sex is definitely on the rise worldwide.

I’ve heard men say that a one-night stand with a prostitute is good for them because it is devoid of emotion- it’s just about the sex – and that is the appeal. Let me get this straight- you perform one of the most humanly intimate acts with another person, and maintain that the appeal was the lack of any necessary connection?

Why is this idea that men enjoy sex, robot style, with another person such a widely accepted phenomenon? Generally, we are taught to believe that men have difficulty connecting emotionally and cheat permissibly as if it were like breathing air or eating their morning bowl of cereal. We are taught that it is in their biological wiring. But, there has been new research with surprising results.

In a News Release from APS (Association for Psychological Science, January 26, 2010, Catherine Allen-West states:

“Pennsylvania State University psychological scientists Kenneth Levy and Kristen Kelly doubted the prevailing evolutionary explanation because there is a conspicuous subset of men who like most women find emotional betrayal more distressing than sexual infidelity.”

So, by and large, it is only a “conspicuous subset of men” who, like most women, view emotional infidelity as on a par with sexual infidelity. Yet these men exist. To me, this means that emotional detachment is not hard-wired.

The study suggests that “…the prevailing evolutionary explanation” might not be the answer. In other words, male macho behavior is not necessarily coded into the genes. This harkens back to images of early childhood, when boys and girls are socialized differently. For instance, they are not allowed to cry and told they are sissies if they interact equally with a girl rather than immerse themselves in sports.

On the other hand, women have it ingrained into their brains from an early age that they must be the nurturer and made to feel guilty if not playing that role. These concepts are alive and well even though it might be deeply buried in the psyche. I know you’ve heard all this before and may argue how it’s different today, but sorry folks. In my contacts with people of all ages, it strongly appears not to have changed all that much, especially if you talk to enough women. It is a learned process.

So men, on the whole, are taught to value sexual loyalty in their partners over emotional loyalty. “But why would this be?”, our scientists ask.  So, back to the study.

“The researchers suspected that it might have to do with trust and emotional attachment. Some people – men and women alike – are more secure in their attachments to others, while others tend to be more dismissive of the need for close attachment relationships. Psychologists see this compulsive self-reliance as a defensive strategy – protection against deep-seated feelings of vulnerability. Levy and Kelly hypothesized that these individuals would tend to be concerned with the sexual aspects of relationships rather than emotional intimacy.”

So overall, men are dismissive of the need for “close attachment relationships.” Those men who fall into the realm of emotional detachment (and they are in the majority) use that lack of connection to explain away the guilt of cheating. I’ve heard them say to wives or partners when they are caught that having indifferent sex with another woman is less than a kiss on a cheek. The supposed funny line that I’ve been told is- Going to a prostitute means you don’t even have to say goodbye. And I might add … you don’t ever have to say you’re sorry.

For the sake of better relationships we need to bring more men into the fold of confronting their emotional side (heaven forbid we call it their feminine side). They need to be encouraged to be fearless in the face of societal and peer pressure that tells them they must bury emotions. With healthier relationships, I believe, there will be far less reason to worry about infidelity – either emotional or sexual.

By the way, how many of you have been celibate this month? I think I see one hand in the back of the room. Ooops. He’s wearing a collar.

The sexy Gma

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July 21, 2010

DO WOMEN DELIBERATELY DRESS SLUTTY?

sexy1

By the Sexy Gma

Recently, the tennis star, Venus Williams, got critically torn up in the press when she walked out on the court for the Australian Open dressed somewhat unconventionally in an unusually skimpy tennis outfit. Whenever she smacked the ball, the audience got a look at her flesh-colored panties. Personally, I thought it was really cute; she designed the outfit herself for her new line of clothing.  What seemed to offend people, though, was that, supposedly, it looked like Venus wore nothing underneath her skirt.

Venus answered on Twitter: “I am wearing undershorts the same color as my skin, so it gives the slits in my dress the full effect.” Venus who has a fashion line called Eleven continued: “My dress for the Australian Open has been one of my best designs ever!”

So, if it was meant to look like she wasn’t wearing panties- So what? What’s new about looking at women’s butts during matches? Men have been watching women’s tennis to see cleavage, short skirts, and panty flashes for years. It seems to me, the camera men are waiting for those shots. Many of the photos taken during women’s matches seemed deliberately designed to capture the most anatomical parts.

I don’t hear complaints about men wearing speedos in swimming matches – much less clothing than Venus wore. Oh, right. The men get better speed in the water with those bikini-like swim trunks. Well, maybe skimpy tennis outfits make women more aerodynamic as well. No sleeves or skirts to get caught in the wind like a kite that might slow the star down or be distracting.

Venus was vilified for her immodesty. There were even some catcalls from the audience. This seems a bit hypocritical to me as the streets are full of women wearing postage stamp-sized dresses that are so clingy that I can sometimes see where women have moles that are in more private places. And the v-necks leave little to the imagination.

We’ve all heard the phrase that women who dress like that are looking for “it.” Listen up – these women are trying to attract men, not get raped. Usually, it works. Not long ago, I walked behind a couple – the woman wore a dress that ended and curve into the crease between thigh and buttocks. The man holding her hand was drawling into her cleavage. She certainly got his attention. I honestly thought it was a fine and found it amusing.

We have to ask the question: Are men who show their butt cracks looking to be raped, either by a man or woman? No, they are treated humorously and said to be “in” with the new styles. Who knows, maybe looking like a hard working plumber is all the rage.

Another example of over concentration on what women are wearing was exemplified in an article reported on msnbc.com, June 24, 2010, Woman: Bank fired me for being sexy. “…The single mom used to work for Citibank as a business banker at their branch inside the Chrysler building. She says her outfits for work were deemed “too distracting” by her male managers. They allegedly pointed to her rear and said her pants were too tight.”

It was said that she never showed cleavage, and after reporting the incident to human resources, management retaliated, giving her assignments with little preparation to perform the new tasks. Then she was fired.

Isn’t it incumbent on men to deal with female colleagues on a business level rather than look upon them as a sex symbol? Don’t males need to be in control of their behavior? Why does a woman have to be responsible for keeping the men she works with in line? Do we hear about men who are fired for wearing tight pants and leaving the top buttons undone on their shirts?

I once went to an art auction and the auctioneer wore sheer tight pants, no underwear and one could see, not only the outline of his penis, but the colors as well. His see-through pants didn’t bother me. I was just amazed that he had the guts to wear them, especially with a couple dozen people in the front row who couldn’t help but stare at his pubic area. Amazingly, no one reported him or made a fuss.

It’s a challenge for most women to find clothing today without plunging necklines or isn’t outrageously sexy. Remember, the fashion industry is dominated by men, trying for the combination that makes women’s clothing attractive to men like a bee to a flower.

On the flip side, we have another fashion dilemma. At Citibank the woman was approximately 5’ 6” and weighed 125 lbs. But in this new hullabaloo bigger women are caught in a controversy. In a Philadelphia Inquirer article by Maria Panaritis on June 4, 2010, entitled, Plus-Size Dustup, she said: “…A commercial featuring a plus-size model in slinky lingerie aired during American Idol in late April and May, but only after a full-blown dustup over whether the ad, with skin shots galore, should be edited.” It seems that plus size women have more cleavage, or so it was thought. I have to differ with that as implants have given small women large breasts.

Panaritis continues: “In the 20-second spot, a buxom woman is seen in Cacique brand bra and panties as she gussies for a lunch date with a man.” In my opinion, more skin shows when thinner women wear bikini bathing suits or underwear on TV than was shown by these ads.

It was reported that Fox at first refused to run the ad and then asked that all shots showing the upper torso be edited out. In the same Inquirer article they discussed how Lane Bryant, the store that features plus sizes, fought back. They used the internet for a marketing campaign that started a national debate as to whether “sexy skivvies” on a small-sized women is more acceptable than when put on a “bodaciously curvy Size 14?” This campaign was remarkably successful and drew 2.3 million online views at one point. We do have large numbers of women who qualify for being somewhat larger than what society deems is an appropriate size for women – namely skinny. Fox finally gave in and said they would run the unedited ad in the last 15 minutes of American Idol’s Wednesday night show, starting April 28 until May 19.

We never hear such a fuss being made when a beer ad on TV shows a pot-bellied man, lounging in an armchair in messy briefs. He might even scratch his butt as he calls for his woman to bring him refreshments. It draws laughs when, in fact, such images perpetuates male immaturity and disdain for women. But try to show a plus-sized woman in revealing clothing and editing is demanded and becomes a public issue.

We have so many sexy TV, movies, and ads with butts and breasts showing. There are even a series of ads with seemingly very young girls who pose in very seductive positions. But when a full-sized woman reveals skin there is a panic?

The saga continues. Whenever a woman is in the spotlight, no matter how esteemed her position, the focus is on her looks or size of her thighs or her hair style. And if she’s assertive and dressed conservatively she is often called a lesbian.

Come on people! Let’s not put the entire burden on women for their clothing choices, portraying them as bitches that lure men into dangerous situations by exposing tits and ass and promises of great sex. Concentrate on what’s below the skin line and under the skull. Then, when a good friendship is in place you will probably have a much better time. If done in that order, it might (or not) lead to hotter sex. Your chances are good.

Sexy Gma

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August 12, 2010

Why Are So Many Men Into Porn?

watch

By the Sexy G

We appear to have an epidemic of men watching computer porno sites, even during working hours. To illustrate that, I use the Washington Post article: SEC porn investigation nets dozens. As reported on April 23, 2010 by Ed O’Keefe, the SEC probed 33 people for watching porn at work and several senior positions were involved.

One senior official working at headquarters admitted watching porn for as much as 8 hours a day on an office computer. I ask you, when did he work? In a regional office a staff member admitted to viewing porno on an office computer and on an SEC issued laptop while on official business. The list goes on. We are in serious trouble financially in this country, yet this disgraceful behavior continues, unchecked, for long periods of time. Haven’t these employees heard about our recession? The real insult is that the average salaries of these people averages in the $150,000 range.

Similar allegations appeared at the National Science Foundation, the National Park Service and even a judge of a US Circuit Court of Appeals. And then this woman working at Citibank, as she reported, is reprimanded for wearing tight-fitting clothing and told that her outfits were too distracting at the workplace? Is this the Jezebel Syndrome or the Adam and Eve debacle? Why are we blaming women for out-of-control men? Come on guys! So many of you watch hours of porn and then accuse a woman for being distracting in the workplace? Is she supposed to wear a nun’s habit or burka? Get the message?

This excessive viewing of porn begs the question: How do men view women? Do they just think they are sex objects? Is it more enticing to view porn alone and indulge in the usual masturbation that accompanies it than to be with a woman, or are they just addicts? I have to believe that pornography plays into how men are socialized – to be unemotional because it is too sissy to reveal a more vulnerable side to the world. I suspect men believe that distracts from society’s concept of masculinity and dovetails into his fear of not being in control. It stands to reason that a woman who is looking for sexual as well as emotional satisfaction presents a threat to those men who are trying so hard not to appear feminine. For these, I believe, insecure men it is much easier to have phantom sex with a monitor than with a woman.

I saw a play recently by a very well-known author. There were several men and two women actors. The female protagonist of the play was portrayed as a screaming diva with almost no redeeming qualities. The other woman was slutty.

I imagine if the man put his mother in the play she’d be the Madonna. What was startling about the drama was that the demanding bitch designated as the main character and (according to the title of the play) was supposed to be about her life, took a background position. It became a story about the men and their dilemmas as minorities, their sad backgrounds and their bravery in surviving the daily grind of life.

I find this play and its view of women telling. I do believe there exists underneath the layers of denial in many men a strong disdain for women. Often women in literature are portrayed by male writers in a similar manner. Either she is a bitch, a slut or servile no matter how intelligent or accomplished she is. Are these myths perpetuated by those men who feel that emotionally “surrendering” to a woman traps him and damages his pride (at least in his mind)?

I think that is why, in my experience, men turn a deaf ear to what a woman says she wants or needs as it pertains to sex cuddling or affection. No matter how many times a male may ask a woman what she likes sexually and otherwise, once she tells him, it is thereafter avoided. This type of male either tries to speed up the sexual process in order to disengage quicker and/or protects his manliness by never taking what he thinks are orders from a woman even though he asked.

To paraphrase Ethel Spector Person, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University from her book, Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters, there is a dread of loss of self that presents a big fear. Sometimes after sex or other intimate moments he might start a fight in order to distance himself emotionally.

The plethora of porn that is available 24/7 has created difficulties in many relationships. Men who become addicted to pornography take many hours away from the family, wife or a partner. It is like the old boy’s club where men can’t understand why a woman would object to their numerous hours of watching porn. After all, didn’t parents look upon boys’ reading girly and pornographic magazines as a rite of passage? Why then as an adult is he asked to stop the habit? It’s all part of being a man. Isn’t it?

The kind of porno available now is hurting young boys in their attitudes toward women, and they take that with them into adulthood. In porno we know women are objectified and that’s how young minds become wired. Even women are affected as they try to make their bodies more like the porn stars by having breast implants and in being submissive.

In an article (Health) that came out January 19, 2004 in Time Magazine, entitled, The Porn Factor, written by Pamela Paul. “In the Internet age, pornography is almost everywhere you look. But what is it doing to real-life relationships?” Paul continues, “Sometimes pornography tears couples apart. At the 2003 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two-thirds of the 350 divorce lawyers who attended said the Internet played a significant role in divorces in the past year, with excessive interest in online porn contributing to more than half of such cases.”
Paul quoted Mark Schwartz, director of the Masters and Johnson clinic in St. Louis, Mo. Essentially, he said there are several reasons why porn is bad. It objectifies women as nothing more than breasts, legs and buttocks and creates a need for visual stimulation for arousal. “The image of a lonely, isolated man masturbating to his computer is the Willy Loman metaphor of our decade.”
Yet, Paul writes, “Still, couples therapists sometimes suggest pornography as a way to refresh relationships or spark desire. Increasingly, women are game. Sociologist Michael Kimmel has found that each year more of his female college students approve of porn, which may reflect women’s increased sexual empowerment.”
But to paraphrase some of those findings, it is suggested that erotic material, rather than straight out porn may be used. While porn objectifies and debases women, egalitarian erotica can be shared and enjoyed by both.
Come on guys, put in some work, change your mindset so that you and your partner can be on the same page – face to face, skin to skin. Go for the real deal but really hear what she has to say. It’s not much fun spending hours upon hours alone and isolated. In my opinion, prostitution may be looking pretty warm and cozy when compared to the phantom sex of porn.

Sexy Gma

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September 19, 2010

SEX IS EVERYWHERE BUT NOT MUCH IN THE BEDROOM

flowerBy the Sexy G

A strange phenomenon is taking hold in our society — marriages that survive without sex or very little of it. Pornography is rampant, books on the topic everywhere, sexy billboards abound and sexual innuendos are everywhere. Yet, lovemaking in the bedroom is on the decline and is sometimes totally missing for years. Although images of sex are replete throughout our society, couples seem to be losing interest.

Now, on a casual stroll down any city street, or stepping into a bar, restaurant or movie you will find one to several couples kissing passionately right out in the open. No hiding in corners. I am tempted to tell them to get a room (kidding, of course – don’t really mind).

So, what is the issue here? Why the huge decline of interest in sex? Part of this dilemma is that women and men are tired and out of fuel. Resentment is the locked gate to good sex.

Years ago, before it was respectable for women to work, women performed their prescribed duties in the domestic realm and the bedroom. It tended to be perfunctory and many times without much erotic play and enjoyment for her; it mostly meant being as still as possible until it was over. Unspoken but in the air like smoke she knew not to display enjoyment as he might interpret that as her being a nymphomaniac or an indication she was cheating on him. This didn’t apply to all couples, but it was a thick vein running through society. Then the feminist revolution occurred and along with it the need or the perceived need for a second income.

Men and women saw this as a positive move as they were able to buy more goods and live more comfortably, but essentially, not much changed in dividing domestic responsibilities despite many claims. There are surface attempts for the man to pitch in, but usually each of his tasks involve the woman of the house. If he cooks often the dishes, pots and pans remain in the sink. If he bathes the children, towels and dirty clothes hit the floor. If she has to nag him about these situations he is annoyed and she is furious. The man feels he’s done some domestic things and that his wife is ungrateful. She fumes when she has to clean up after him. And that can be after both have had a grueling workday.

As Caitlin Flanagan wrote in an article online for the Atlantic magazine, entitled, The Wifely Duty, “When a professional person crosses the threshold at the end of the day, the commute hasn’t provided a transition from work; it has been a continuation of it, thanks to the array of pagers, phones, and even Internet connections available to the modern driver. And—here’s the kicker—there isn’t just one spouse who has had such a punishing day, there are two of them.”

It is no wonder that couples don’t feel very seductive after work. And then it’s a rush of preparing food, cleaning up, perhaps homework for the children and getting them off to sleep. By bedtime for the adults, exhaustion sets in and it’s off to dreamland. Yet, the shadow of who is responsible for each task and if the person performing them did so creeps into the bedroom and seems to have been one of the major reasons for shutting down the libido.

Another complication has entered the sexual picture. As opposed to an earlier time and perhaps with the advent of Women’s Liberation, many women feel they have the right to be pleasured sexually just like a man. The ideal is having both partners seducing and stimulating each other willingly and happily. But either resentment, fatigue or both enter the picture.

Another issue that Flanagan brings up is, “For many couples child-rearing has become not merely one aspect of marriage but its entire purpose and function. Spouses regard each other not as principally lovers and companions but as sharers of the great, unending burden of taking care of the children. And make no mistake about it: American middle-class families have made child-rearing a dauntingly complex enterprise. My children are still small, but it has been made abundantly clear to me by friends and acquaintances that I had better get in the market for an SUV or a minivan, because I am soon enough going to be shuttling the children and their friends to a bewildering series of soccer games, soccer parties, soccer tournaments.”

There are many concerns for this child-obsessed generation. With two people working hard and nearly totally focused on their offspring there is still shopping, cooking and cleaning. Something has to go on the back burner and it appears to be sex. The other worry is what happens when the children leave home? Do these couples still have things to talk about outside the world of child-rearing? Many divorces happen at this point for that very reason – the partners have grown so far apart and have had such little physical contact that they can become virtual strangers.

If the major source of conversation revolves around children, it’s hard to feel sexy. From what I have observed, today’s parents are the most child-oriented population of all times. I thought I did a lot of car-pooling and was devoted to children, but my husband and I went on some vacations without kids and did many Saturday nights by ourselves. I think the answer to this issue is being a concerned and good parent but making time each week to converse with your partner about each other to the exclusion of the kids.

There is no question in my mind that the dearth of activity in the bedroom feeds into the epidemic of media/computer pornography. No doubt it is a substitute for the real thing. Is it easier for two weary people to use porno to avoid expending the energy needed for mutual eroticism and pleasuring? Do men become addicts with their wives approval as an easy way out? Avoidance may be the path of least resistance, but we can see what it does to a relationship – wives pointing a finger at their men as being perverted and men saying their wives are frigid.

Are we in a spiral of defeat? I don’t believe so. We can make changes. The responsibility for each task in the domestic arena have to be worked out up front and perhaps even put in writing. If she needs her husband to clean up after performing a domestic task – do it for heaven’s sake. Do you like her to resent you and then hate the sight of you? It’s not much to ask to cement your relationship. If a man asks his wife to make time for him one night a week exclusively, do it. It’s vital to have those precious moments together. Put those kids to bed early and insist on no calling out. Spend that time together by yourselves. Catch up and find out what it is your partner needs, is thinking and would like to talk about. Touch, kiss and then have a glass of wine. Talk some more. Play music. Take a bubble bath together. Soon, the mood will change and the only porno you’ll want is in your own bedroom between your own sheets.

The sexy G, Fran

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October 20, 2010

NATIONAL SEX SURVEY TELLS ALL: What are the hidden implications?

Filed under: Uncategorized — metzman @ 10:56 am

Bedroom Scene

By The Sexy G

A dynamic, comprehensive national survey of the sexual behavior of Americans filled a 130 page issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine. The study, National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB) conducted by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, Bloomington, was quite revealing for many reasons.The survey interviewed 5,865 adolescents and adults, ages 14 to 94. *(SEE ASTERISK BELOW FOR RESEARCHERS OF THIS STUDY)

This study was sponsored by Church & Dwight Co., the manufacturers of Trojan condoms. Condoms figured prominently in the study, but it seems not to have played any part in the outcome of the survey which was conducted online. The idea was that an anonymous survey would elicit a more honest reply to the intimate sexual questions asked, than would occur if the interviews were done face-to-face. My point in all this is that when reading these surveys we should try to address the results that don’t quite connect.

Below is an abbreviated version of the list of findings. I selected those that I thought were most relevant for this audience. Then, of course, I’ll put my 2 cents in after each of the outcomes listed:

“There is enormous variability in the sexual repertoires of U.S. adults, with more than 40 combinations of sexual activity described at adults’ most recent sexual event.”

It was suggested that there could be many more combinations since the study didn’t cover all possibilities. WOW! Where have I been?

This brings me to the question – why are so many men and women complaining they can’t get their partners to deviate from the mission position, won’t get into oral sex, and refuse to experiment? These are among some of the reasons men give for watching porn. And there might be some validity to that since porn viewing is increasing at an enormous rate.

Come on people, sex and money are the places where people might tend to tell the biggest whoppers. I’m certainly not implying any problems with the study. I’m positive it was conducted most conscientiously with the best scientific models. I’m also sure the study shows very valid and, for the most part, honest answers. But between the lines, we see what presents as the deep-rooted problems we, as a society, don’t seem to be dealing with. For instance, look at the following statistic:

“About 85% of men report that their partners achieved orgasm at the most recent sexual event; this compares to the 64% of women who report having had an orgasm at their most recent sexual event. (A difference that is too large to be accounted for by some of the men having had male partners at their most recent event.)”

What is wrong with these skewed numbers? Are women faking it? Are men assuming a woman had an orgasm when she didn’t because when it’s over for him, it’s over? Are women not asking for the kinds of sex that works better for them? Are gals intimidated by society’s implication that sexually assertive women are looked at askance – in other words, kind of slutty? Perhaps some women are unaware of their own needs. If a woman doesn’t or can’t convey to her partner what works better for her, he might not understand what is wrong.

I picture (purely imagined) some men using blow-up dolls that have a perpetual plastic smile on their lips, and when asked, “Was it good for you?” a recording lets out a big, contented sigh. Maybe these dolls need to be trained to smoke afterward. They can be given a smokeless cigarette. One wouldn’t want to harm or burn a life-like doll that may have cost $5000.00 to $8000.00.

Let’s take a look at another finding:

“Men are more likely to orgasm when sex includes vaginal intercourse; women are more likely to orgasm when they engage in a variety of sex acts and when oral sex or vaginal intercourse is included.”

BOING! It’s seems a most matter-of-fact finding, couched in somewhat academic words. Yet, the statement is pivotal. I interpret that statement to mean that men tend to climax quicker in vaginal intercourse. For women, more acts are called for to reach the same result. Let me think about this. Aha. Why don’t we just say that women need more foreplay? What a surprise. We’ve known this for how long? When sex is mutually satisfactory, a comfortable feeling seeps out beyond the bedroom. It’s so basic.

There is another potential damaging implication in reading the results of a sexual survey. We might use them as a comparison to our own level of sexual prowess. And if we do that will we feel diminished as to our own abilities? It can possibly give us a sense of inferiority. We must be wary of allowing that to happen. Each of us must try to face the reality for ourselves, delve deeper and open up communication with your partner.

These are some issues that have repeatedly run through my columns which, I believe, are so important to all aspects of relationships. When people are forthright and open with their partners, each listening to the other, there is less stress, higher levels of contentment and pleasure. It brings an atmosphere of being eager to please one another. Maybe paying attention to the needs of each other will decrease the number of frigid women and frustrated men. Partners need get on the same track. It’s a “tough” job but someone has to do it. Now get to work and think of all the fun you’ll both have reaching your goal.

SexyG

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*Michael Reece, Ph.D, Debby Herbenick, Ph.D, Dennis Fortenberry, MD – co-authors: Stephanie Sanders of The Kensey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction and the Departmetn of Gender Studies at IU, Vanessa Schick, Brian Dodge, and Susan Middlestadt of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at IU. The study was funded by Church & Dwight Co. Inc., maiker of Trojan®brand health products.

December 4, 2010

DIVORCING AFTER LONG-TERM MARRIAGE

By The Sexy G

We’ve all heard of those couples that survive many years of marriage, even decades, only to end in divorce. Al and Tipper Gore are the quintessential example of this phenomenon. I have to admit that although I have seen this before in my own circle of acquaintances, it was still a shocker when I first heard the Gores had separated after 40 years of marriage. I thought they were the poster adults for good marriages. Their explanation? They just grew apart.

Now, how does that happen?

To the observant outsider, it always appeared that Tipper was right there by Al’s side throughout his political career. But then, once the political life diminished and he went on to another area of life, she seemed somewhat less involved. Perhaps she excluded herself. To me she seemed to be searching for her own path and independence.

My question is – did the difficulty occur because the focus of politics was what held the marriage together? So, once that diminished that was it? Why weren’t there other emotional supports?

Too often, the demise of romance occurs when two people are on different career paths or don’t share the same interests. You would think that such diversity would keep the marriage intriguing and fresh if each brought something new and different to discuss. It is an opportunity to learn from each other, to find an entrée to other worlds and even sub-cultures.

Obviously, the break doesn’t come suddenly. For many who have been married over a long period of time, the cracks, in all probability, formed long before separation was an issue. What then causes the cracks to widen into huge chasms? Sudden change or a crisis, involving issues like; career flips, job loss, difficulty with children, retirement, illness, or even good things like a large bonus or inheritance may impact a relationship already limping along.

Trust me on this one. If a couple has not meshed on a deeper level other than children and careers, then they might find they have very little to talk about once the hullaballoo of the daily grind dies down. Suddenly, you have a Silver Divorce when there should have been a Silver Anniversary.

Whether the problems come over time in small increments or with big red flags waving wildly down the cobblestone path of a marriage, the result is the same. People experience a hollowness and loneliness in each other’s company.

But why do troubled couples stay together in the first place? Children? Economics? Fear of being single? A need to hate one another yet remain neurotically attached?

AARP did a study: The Divorce Experience A Study of Divorce at Midlife and Beyond. The Report was by Xenia P. Montenegro, PhD, National Member Research, Knowledge Management. Survey was conducted by Knowledge Networks, Inc. 2004. “At the time of their divorce, 76% of people ages 40 to 79 who divorced later in life had children, the majority of whom were under 18 years old…” They cite statistics on the reactions of children. The answers varied from declaring that (37%) of their children were supportive down to (18%) who said their children were very upset about their divorce.

They also said, “Along with emotional turmoil, people report other difficulties. Foremost among these is dealing with uncertainty or not knowing what’s ahead, cited by 40 percent. Many suffer from loneliness or depression (29%), as well as feelings of desertion or betrayal (25%), a sense of failure (23%), feeling unloved (22%), and feelings of inadequacy (20%).”

We all know about the syndrome in some mature men (so called mid-life crisis, and in my opinion it can happen at any age) who leave older wives for women, many times much younger. Often these men are trying to get back to their youth and a fresh new romance, especially with a younger woman, makes them feel that way – at least for a short time. Another reason is often because they are seeking another person to make them happy. What they don’t realize is that can’t happen. One has to find happiness in themselves. Dependence on an outside source will lead to trouble.

When everyday living enters that new relationship, which it inevitably does, there is usually trouble. Of all the remarriages I’ve known only one man in ten actually admitted to having made the right decision. That being said, the startling revelation in this AARP report about what is called “gray divorce” is that the scales have tipped, “… women usually initiate divorce, many times surprising their spouses.”

The data shows that once the children are grown more women now are asking for divorces. They tend to do this despite the fact that they will probably become destitute, but they can no longer take abuse, be controlled, live with an addicted person or walk on eggshells fearing abandonment. The AARP study indicated that verbal, physical, or emotional abuse tops the list of reasons to decide to get out of a marriage. Cheaters are high up there, but I would tend to equate that in the category of abuse.

This is not to say that everyone is ecstatic after divorcing a long-term spouse. It is still a traumatic experience. We well know of the difficulties to be faced when alone – sadness, loneliness, depression and anxiety. Yet, most often, the difficult decision to split after being together for a long time seems to outweigh the misery of staying in an unhappy relationship.

Before couples reach the point of no return why not try to halt the progression of anger, resentment and abuse in relationships. What could be worse than living with these factors on a daily basis? I implore people in this situation to stop and think. Dig deeply for insight into the issues that brought you to this place. For example, was there a power play? Is there resentment because the presence of traditional gender roles? Have the qualities that once attracted you become irritants? Do you push each other’s buttons deliberately?

Hopefully, you’ll come up with some answers. Then, if willing to attempt to save the marriage, think about reasonable solutions. Do you have some good history together? There must have been segments of the relationship where interaction worked well. Was love a factor in getting together in the first place? Can you both look carefully then stretch out emotionally and together rekindle those emotions.

Get rid of expectations and resentments of what you’re not getting. Together make a list of how you could reach a higher plane devoid of all that has brought the marriage tumbling down. No finger pointing allowed.

If you can put it back together piece by piece, like a puzzle, mightn’t you regain some of the love you once had for each other? It’s worth a try. Despite images of what a new relationship might bring it could be highly unrealistic to think it will fill in the holes of what you were missing. Unless you have honestly delved into yourself to determine what part you had in the deterioration of the marriage, and why you chose the mate you did in the first place, you might be prone to repeating the same error. Go for the reconciliation – try to live for the moment.

SexyG

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December 15, 2010

What If You Met Santa at a Singles’ Bar?

bar

By The Sexy G

The holiday season put me into a contemplative mood. I imagined driving alone through the deserted, hushed streets the day after Christmas. Everyone inside, all warm and cozy with their gifts while I wander around the city.

I began to think about one of the blogs I wrote – do women really want sensitive men, those special men in touch with their feminine side? Or, are women unconsciously repelled by the very same qualities they say they desperately need in a partner? Then I thought that the image of Santa Claus gives him the ambiance of a sensitive man. He’s a philanthropist of the highest order, making sure every child get a gift. He is applauded and adored around the world and never even took an income tax break for charity.

So, I thought, what if Santa walked into a bar where the older set hangs out and sat next to me? How would I react? Here’s the picture:

I’m sitting in an upscale bar in Center City Philadelphia.

The bar is carved oak with a black marble counter top. Behind the bar are brightly lit, glass shelves with top-drawer bottles of liquor. There are very few patrons. I’m drinking an icy vodka martini and chilling out. A man, two seats down, is staring at me. I give him a small smile. He moves over and sits next to me.

“Want to buy me a drink, sweetheart?” he asks.

“Not really.” I say. ”Just kidding.”

He looks up.

“Hey, barkeep, give this nice lady another, whatever she’s drinking.”

I look over at this brash man who didn’t even ask me if I wanted another drink and find his appearance pleasing. He’s wearing a navy, cable knit sweater and tan slacks. His salt and pepper hair is cut short, but several strands sweep over a high forehead. His nose is large but quite appropriate for his tall, thick size. He’s solidly built and in his early sixties.

“I’m Jimmy.”

He extends his hand, and I shake it. It is cool and smooth to the touch, not a hand that belongs to a manual worker. It’s how I picture Jimmy to be – plastic.

“Okay. Are you married or otherwise engaged?” I ask

“Nope. Been there, done that a couple of times and have given it up for Lent. Just want to have fun now.”

At least he’s honest. Do I dare sound corny and tell him that I’ve been there, too, but want to have a terrific committed relationship now? I decide to keep quiet.

“You’re a pleasant looking lass, he says peering down my v-neckline at my cleavage.

Well, can’t say that wearing this outfit was accidental. We’re smack in the era of displaying cleavage and the tops of backsides. The latter is definitely not for me, but a little cleavage works wonders for a little attention. Oh, sometimes men are simplistic.

“Do you know why your marriage or marriages didn’t last?” I ask him.

“I wasn’t home much because I’m a workaholic and when I was around I watched sports on TV. What man doesn’t do that? I just didn’t get the kind
of woman who tolerates it. Then she cheated on me. But I’m not changing.”

“When you and your wife were together, did you enjoy intimacy? Were you a good listener and did you give your wife some quality time?”

“Hey, that’s chick stuff. I’m sure I was a good husband. I’m not great with domestic stuff. As a provider I did the best I could and loved my kids. Isn’t that enough?” He shook his head. “Look, let’s not talk serious stuff. If you want to have fun, I’m your guy.” He looks at me sideways. “I’m good in the sack.”

So, I’m face to face with a man who has the bad boy syndrome, and, I must say, it has some appeal. Why not be carefree and enjoy every second? No strings attached. Hey, next year arthritis might get me or some other damned illness.

Thudding footsteps sound behind me. I turn. Santa Claus is standing in the middle of the marble floor, removing his big, white mittens. I’m in shock. He walks over and sits next to me.

“Can I buy you a drink?” He asks. His beard has tiny icicles hanging from it.

“Sure, Santa. What are you doing here?”

“No one is home. I haven’t publicized it because it will upset millions of children, but Mrs. Claus passed away last year. The elves have gone to their own families. I was lonely.”

“Santa, you’re a super star. Thousands of people would invite you to dinner.”

Jimmy, seemingly unaffected by Santa’s presence, moves away and sits next to an attractive woman.

“It’s one of those oddities. You see, because I was busy pleasing everyone, I never developed close relationships. Children love me, parents love me, but with limits. It’s sweet and pleasant, but I’m not really an integral part of their lives.”

The bartender delivers the drinks. Santa had ordered a mint martini. We click glasses.

“I realized since my wife died that I was remiss in our relationship. I used my enormous fame and generosity as a ploy to keep from being close to her. We only talked about my work and the stresses that go with it. If my wife complained, I didn’t listen to her.”

…This even made me angry.

“I insisted that making toys for the children superseded herdemands for attention. So many people depend on me.” His expression turns weary. ”It’s only since she’s gone that I see blaming work for my failings was dumb. I feared love because it would make me vulnerable. The woman of my life meant so much to me, gave me everything within her capacity. I cut her off emotionally so that I might devote myself to the world. Giving my all to others was easier than working on my marriage with the one person who mattered most in my life.”

I finish my drink, grab his unfinished cocktail and down that quickly. Was this real? Or was I having a psychotic episode? I admit to
being a bit strung out from guzzling bourbon eggnogs yesterday, but this was beyond hallucinating.

“I opened up to one woman since my dear wife’s passing,” Santa continues. “She had champagne waiting for me when I came down her chimney. She’d heard about Mrs. Claus’ demise and thought we’d get along. I poured my heart out, telling her that I’d reevaluated my life and knew I’d missed so much in the pursuit of success. I wanted to change now, discover who I really was under this hand-tailored, red suit. I wanted to discover poetry and learn to cook. I let myself cry in front of her, told her how upsetting it was to always act strong even when I don’t feel it. I had always lived in constant terror someone might not like me and I became the epitome of a crowd pleaser. Now I want my image off of all those greeting cards. I would willingly trade my celebrity for love, passion and obscurity.”

He sighs.

“Suddenly, this woman got a look of horror. She told me I’d be a nobody. What did she want with someone like that? I said I’m looking for a woman who wants to be friends first, before we’re intimate.”

He blinks at me.

“She thought the idea of being friends first was gay. She asked if I had sexual relationships with the elves? That did it. With a clatter, I zipped back up the chimney. As I sailed through the air in my sleigh, I decided that I wouldn’t let her attitude stop me from seeking answers within myself. Somewhere, a woman exists who truly wants a sensitive man. I’ll search even if I have to miss next Christmas.”

He sighs and his blue eyes get a mischievous twinkle.

“When I first saw you, I thought you might be that kind of
woman.”

I look over at Jimmy. He sits alone now and gives me a big smile and a small wave. I stare at Santa, little beads of water from melted icicles cling to his brilliant, white beard.

“I’d love for you to dance through life with me until the music stops,” he says.

Or my tits fall off
- whichever comes first.

I say a little prayer that Santa is a vegetarian. Then I remember his fondness for his pet reindeers. He’d never eat meat.

“Santa, want to come back to my place?” I ask.

SexyG

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February 2, 2011

IS MARRIAGE NECESSARY

Filed under: Uncategorized — metzman @ 8:57 am

b01

By the Sexy G

At one time marriage was sacrosanct, and only children born of such a union were considered legitimate. Today, divorce is rampant – approximately 50% of all marriages end in divorce and perhaps as many as 80% report being unhappily married – we must question why is this happening or in other words, is marriage necessary. And despite the fact there has been a small drop in the number of marriages of recent times, we don’t know if the recession is to blame. Are people waiting it out so that once people become more gainfully employed there will be a return to the very eye of the divorce tornado?

There are numerous reasons for this. Women are working and not as dependent on a husband for income. More women initiate divorce than men. Whereas a female might have put up with verbal or physical abuse at one time, because of economics, many are opting out of marriages that make them unhappy. Men who have been married and divorced become gun shy. Also, if a spouse is unhappy, marriage is an easy target to blame rather than working it out.

For the first time in the census history there are more single people than married. The numbers of unusual coupling, non-traditional families, reluctance to marry because of the high divorce rate and cohabitating have added greatly to this statistic. It comes down to the wide-spread development of new coupling configurations and a high incidence of singledom.

The Pew Research Center, Social and Demographic Trends, published an article appearing online. This report, entitle: The Decline of Marriage And Rise of New Families, was presented by the Pew Social Trends Staff, in an executive summary, on November 18, 2010. Interestingly, it states that “Marriage, while declining among all groups, remains the norm for adults with a college education and good income but is now markedly less prevalent among those on the lower rungs of the social-economic ladder.”

The statistics in just two generations have changed dramatically. People are marrying at older ages. As I walk the sidewalks of Center City Philadelphia, I often can’t tell the difference if the people, happily wheeling the children, are the kids’ parents or grandparents.

There is something to be said for waiting until one develops a career and has life experiences under their belt in order to, hopefully, make a wiser decision as it concerns a mate. Around 30 years ago, the approximate average age for marriage was 25 for men and 22 for women. Today, it is approximately 27.5 for men and nearly 26 for women. Tellingly, divorces occur most frequently in men between 30 and 34 and for women 25-29.

And, while I applaud a person’s good sense in waiting for Mr./Ms. Right until they are educated and self-sufficient, there can be a down side to waiting too. In my own experience and talking to many women I found there is a fairly large population of women in the range of approximately early 30’s to late 40’s who are unmarried but anxiously seeking to connect with someone. It is possible that many men in the available pool of singles in that age range are not considering the marital state until much later or not at all – especially if they have already had a divorce. Also, these men are able to date much younger women, leaving a wide swath of women who want marriage and families but are unable to find eligible men who are willing and ready.

In the same article as mentioned above (Pew Research Center) continues, “Is Marriage Becoming Obsolete? Nearly four-in-ten survey respondents (39%) say that it is; in 1978 when Time magazine posed this question to registered voters, just 28% agreed. Those most likely to agree include those who are part of the phenomenon (62% of cohabitating parents) as well as those most likely to be troubled by it (42%) of self-described conservatives). Despite these growing uncertainties, Americans are more upbeat about the future of marriage and family (67%) say they are optimistic) than about the future of the country’s educations system (50% optimistic), its economic system (46% optimistic) or its morals and ethics (41% optimistic).”

The article talks about an ambivalent public that accepts non-traditional families and yet there is still unease about many issues like unwed mothers. Do we need to broaden our idea of marriage to save it as an institution? I think, yes.

Younger, more liberal and less religious people are seemingly more amenable to changes in the old norms of what constitutes a family. They welcome unmarried, inter-racial or gay couples raising children. But many still won’t accept these changes in society.

In general, we need to unlock our minds and hearts and be more receptive to the new family structures. Who is to say whether a traditional family is the only way to go? Having a mother and father is the idealized arrangement of family in our society and when it works it’s fine. But haven’t deeply troubled children come from what is considered a seemingly “normal” household? Not that parents are necessarily to blame, but those events do happen.

Many people I know who come from these more “typical” unions speak about their dysfunctional families. Of course, there are varying degrees of dysfunction and some can be funny while others hideous and debilitating for children. Non-traditional families are occurring at a fast pace and the offspring of these unions should not be the object of ridicule.

Often, I find that when someone says they don’t object to unusual unions that produce offspring, they simultaneously have strong reservations about them citing a harder road to hoe in life. That makes me bristle. Preventing children from getting hurt by making sure they are born to socially acceptable couples is not the answer. Educating people to accept such differences is where we have to go. So, let’s go!

SexyG

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