January 21, 2007
I was recently asked to do a workshop on erotica. At first, I thought, a piece of cake. All I needed to do is tell the participants â€“ touch me there and how about there. Oh, yes, baby! Let’s get it on. Then I backed up and gave the challenge a more in-depth exploration. There are so many nuances wrapped up in sexual experiences that can make it stunning or spell disaster to a relationship. It’s very tempting to concentrate on the physical when doing a workshop on erotica. But if a couple comes to the act with hidden agendas that are not verbalized (and most times they do), the stage is set for contention. How people make love tells reams about how they function in everyday living. I felt it necessary to deal with all issues.
When I mentioned the complications of doing a workshop on erotica to a much younger, male friend he reminded me that â€œâ€¦men are more into the physical and women into the build-up.â€ That took me back for a minute. I had begun to believe that today, with all the in-your-face hype about sex, there would be no secret as to glories of delectable, sensual foreplay. I would have sworn that wham-bam sex was definitely on the way out even though some recent experiences spoke to the contrary.
I think of sex as more of a learning experience. Spontaneity is fine, but many times it’s not dependable. With some forethought, men and women benefit by experimentation and making new discoveries. Go to your local bookstore and the shelves are filled with how-to-do-it-better books. Movies are replete with tender, exciting love scenes where couples virtually kiss every part of their oiled bodies before passionately devouring each other (I watch with my tongue hanging out).
Cleavage is everywhere. Tight skimpy clothing on men and women exudes sensuality. We see lots of skin, underwear and butt cracks. We are bombarded by sexuality at every turn. So why is there so much dissatisfaction inside the boudoir? And what is the distinction between the sexual needs of men and women? It is inconceivable to me that both genders are not on the same track beneath the early wiring of poor socialization.
In the book, The New Male Sexuality by the psychologist, Bernie Zilbergeld, PhD, (revised trade paperback edition, 1999), he said, â€œNonetheless, we men have a lot to gain from taking greater control over our lives. We don’t have to be at the mercy of our genitals or hormones or traditional sex roles we were brought up on. We don’t have to forgo the incredible benefits of truly loving relationships. We don’t have to put up with boring, joyless, or dysfunctional sex.â€ In the 1970′s, Dr. Zilbergeld was one of the original directors of clinical training in the innovative Human Sexuality Program of the University of California at San Francisco Medical School.
Sometimes when I feel like a wisecracking jerk I’ll say, â€œThere are no frigid women, only bad lovers.â€ Can this be true? Are we back to the men are from Mars and women from Venus bugaboo? Many men are still alarmed by sexually aggressive women. Some surveys suggest that, overall, men prefer a partner that is sexually lukewarm (although he might fantasize about someone ravishing him). Many women complain that men are unwilling to participate in foreplay, and if they do, it is done robotically.
On the other hand, women are sometimes confounded by men who demonstrate a sensitivity normally reserved for females. Yet, without this sensitivity men are clueless and distanced, unable to understand what a women needs.
I believe that the lack emotionality is at the center of difficulties between men and women, whether sexual or in other areas. If you don’t deal on a psychological level, you are left with only the physical act that usually produces an orgasm for the male and, more frequently, not for the female. This invites women to fake an orgasm rather than deal with the issues, and dissatisfaction is in motion.
Anne Hooper’s book, Ultimate Sex (new edition, 2001), contains photographs and ideas that have been derived from the author’s experience as a sexual and marital therapist. In the book she said, â€œIn an ideal world, men would recognize and be sensitive to the sexual needs of their partners and would do their best to ensure that these needs were met. But men are often unaware that their partners are not getting true sexual fulfillment. They don’t notice it, and their partners are too shy, or for some reason reluctant to raise the subject.â€
In my investigation on the subject, I went to the section on erotica and sexuality in a local bookstore. The illustrations, photographs and descriptions couldn’t be more graphic or explicit â€“ and, to tell the truth, I found them quite exciting. There is stroking, touching, massaging, mutual masturbation, kissing areas of high arousal, G spots, erogenous zones, oral sex, various positions and interesting points of penetration. When contemplating making love, the mood may be set with candles, incense, bubble baths, champagne and, taking it one step further, lathering in chocolate sauce (or whatever you prefer). It’s important to involve all the senses.
A common theme runs through many of the books on eroticism â€“ releasing inhibitions and developing creativity in the bedroom. This happens more easily when you understand the basics, are willing to dig into the bedrock of your psyche and be concerned about your partner. Then, the possibilities for pleasure are unlimited.
Therapists tell me that men frequently complain they don’t get enough sex. They become angry with their partners when their demands are not met. The word frigid comes up. Women complain that men just want to get into the act immediately. I wonder if men aren’t unconsciously defeating themselves by this attitude and don’t want sex as much as they claim they do. Lack of foreplay is a setup for rejection or indifference during the act. If women give into this lackluster kind of sex to prevent confrontations, they become enablers. Both men and women need to earn precious moments of sizzling intimacy. How is this accomplished?
Communication! For starters, read books on sex together just for the hell of it. The voluptuous illustrations and photography affords a pretty damn good beginning. Fucking with your mind first leads to the kind of excitement and ultimate climax that is far more satisfying then a perfunctory sexual encounter. Sex is one of the most significant ways for adults to play. Make sex play dates with your mate. It’s perfectly fine to plan these sessions rather than depend on impulse. Discuss what you like and don’t like and do it. Make it fun!
Anne Hooper in Ultimate Sex goes on to say, â€œIntimacy is a quality that grows through a sharing of feelings; it heightens all aspects of the relationship and is the main ingredient responsible for turning sex into an ecstatic experience as opposed to a pleasurable but uninspiring one.â€
Women, tell your partners what you like. Men, accommodate these needs and do it with feeling and sincerity! Of course, men should expect the same. With some effort, you will be rewarded with the luscious sensuality of naked skin to naked skin.
From the sexy Grandmom
January 12, 2007
A mature VAMP is a VOLUPTUOUS, ATTRACTIVE, MATURE POWERHOUSE!
If you don’t imagine yourself that way, start computing those thoughts into your brain, and you’ll be shocked at how you can make it come true. Stop dragging the past with you and put yourself smack into the present. Live the moment. As I got older I noticed I was dragging a ragged bundle from the past behind me â€“ kind of like a pacifier. Change seemed too scary. Somewhere along the line, I did a metamorphosis. I got more daring in my travel, making new friendships, and visiting grittier places than I ordinarily might have. I got a bit trendier in my dress, wore more skirts, showed some leg and whatever little cleavage I had. A bit of exotic perfume, a touch of makeup, and I was off and running. I know this helped to change my inner self into thinking more like a VAMP. It garnered some attention, but more importantly, I liked my new image. Miracles are possible.
Mature VAMPS, the time has come to take control of your life. Stop bemoaning what people say about you and trying to mold yourself to what’s proper. Flaunt what you’ve got and imagine you have what you don’t. It will come through to others that you believe in yourself. People will respond to this new, free spirit.
I don’t care what age you are. If you think strictly within traditional confines of behavior, you will stay that way and not become a VAMP. VAMPing can manifest in many different areas such as expressing your hidden, inner self, laughing at yourself, seeking new adventures and discovering insights and behaviors that defy traditions. Express yourself in new ways without fearing what people will say. Will your tombstone say you followed every rule, whether sensible or applicable to you, and you were applauded for that? How boring to go to your grave without having experienced meeting new and different people or seeing first hand a sub-culture you have only read about. Taste the forbidden.
At any age, and especially at an advanced age, we have to make every moment count. You go to the gym and workout unmercifully? Well, here too, you have to discipline yourself to stop thinking within narrow parameters and break out. We have been molded as women to think of ourselves within defined behavioral patterns â€“ demure, lady-like nurturers, slinking in the shadows of men. Many people criticize anything that deviates from what they determine is acceptable. By confining our thoughts and actions in order to be accepted, we become stilted, humorless and predictable and often tend to define ourselves by what men want. Our sense of adventure, of exploring new vistas dies. I now refuse to listen to those edicts demanded by society. I try to make my own rules as I go along within reason. This is after all, The Age of Reasonable Doubt.
Mature single women might be more vulnerable than men to not making waves. They are looked at askance for living alone. Take heart. Things are changing for singles. According to the US Census Bureau in the 1950′s married couples were 80 percent of all households. Today, married couples comprise 50.7 percent of households. Forty-two percent of unmarried Americans make up the workforce, forty percent of home buyers, and thirty-five percent of voters. And, it appears that there is much more personal satisfaction in the lives of singles than ever before â€“ especially for women.
Women are now more financially independent, frequently own their homes and may opt to be single parents. Although more men seem to prefer to be married, women are more hesitant. Too often they encounter the bachelor who took care of himself for many years and suddenly loses all of those skills when he signs the marriage certificate. Women are more likely to refuse to take on most of the domestic responsibility just because they married or are living with a man. They are aware that, many times, emotional changes take place and different expectations occur in a marriage (Those underlying reasons are grist for another blog). We need only to look at our alarming divorce rate!
Society still sends signals that a woman is only half a person if she is single. Despite that, many women have filled their lives with meaningful careers and activities that they truly enjoy. They seek and find new and important friendships. Desperation to be coupled is not driving women as it once did. Pairing is welcomed only when it promises to be a good and will add something worthwhile to a woman’s life. She has too much to lose.
An article in Psychology Today May/June 2006 dealt with many of these issues. The article culled various authorities for their take on the new singledom, Stephanie Coontz, social historian and Bella DePaulo a professor at University of Virginia, and sociologist, E. Kay Trimberger, to name a few, added their insights. My overall impression of the article is that singles are not, by and large, dissatisfied but that they still had a hard time fighting the myths that plague them â€“ being single equates to unhappiness. And they stress that people must fight against the stereotyped single image that dogs us from another era. Being single can offer the same satisfaction as being coupled but with the added feature of being free and unencumbered.
So, if you’re not coupled and you have a fulfilled life what about sex? If you’re reluctant to have casual sex with someone you don’t know very well, think about this. The young have a saying â€“ friends with benefits. I interpret that to mean, you develop a sexual relationship with a good friend whom you aren’t madly in love with but like a lot. I personally have always felt the need for the passionate, searing one-on-one relationship. In my generation, this might be totally unrealistic (although I hope not). Perhaps we can take a lesson from a younger generation and stop yearning for that special lover to sweep into our lives. Why not be satisfied to have sex with a friend â€“ not scorching sizzle but comfortable? Maybe even sex with several friends, if you can handle it.
Men seem to have multiple sex partners without the slightest bit of guilt. After becoming a widow I started dating four years ago, I saw a man for about three months before we became intimate. Once we did, I thought, aha! In my mind, we’d moved to a new plateau. I assumed sex became the interlocking force in our relationship. Naturally, we’d be an item and loyal to each other. And then I woke up. He quickly let me know that going to bed did not move our relationship up a notch, and he thought we should date others. I admit to being naÃ¯ve. I even continued seeing him and gave it a shot â€“ the new, modern woman. But after a while, I felt too much tension between us. I soon discovered he wasn’t the good a friend I thought him to be. I got out. What I realized is that men of my generation have difficulty being good friends with women because, in their minds, it diminishes their masculinity.
Harriet Nelson, MSW, LCSW, a psychotherapist in Cherry Hill, NJ, took another point of view â€“ friends without benefits. She referred to a growing trend of male/female roommates without sex. Good emotional ties can develop and friendships deepen in these situations. Although the physical aspects are not there, many other needs are satisfied.
Now I want to rethink this â€“ friends with benefits concept. It’s not for everyone, but the idea has merit. All I have to do is find that good friend!
From the sexy grandmom
January 2, 2007
What has the women’s liberation movement of the sixties got to do with mature relationships? In my opinion, everything. Lately, I’ve been wondering about what happened to the march toward equality between the sexes. For some time now, the momentum of that movement has been slowed drastically.
There was an article in The New York Times, December 24, 2006, entitled, Gender Pay Gap, Once Narrowing, Is Stuck in Place. â€œWomen in the â€˜90′s earned more than 75 cents for every dollar in hourly pay than men did, up from 65 cents just 15 years earlier.â€
The article went on to say that for college educated women, a slightly widening chasm has developed between their incomes and those of men with comparable educational status. â€œLast year, college-educated women between the ages of 36 and 45 years old earned 74.7 cents in hourly pay for every dollar that men in the same group did, according to Labor Department data analyzed by the Economic Policy Institute. A decade earlier, the women earned 75.7 cents.â€
The University of Maryland also has an article relating to the same issues (last updated on October 10, 2006) entitled, End of the Gender Revolution? They address concerns that gender egalitarian trends has become stymied, cutting across class, race, geographic, political lines. It has impacted on all women in this country. Women gained in the last quarter of the twentieth century â€“ in areas of pay, greater equalizing of gender roles, in the political arena and in positions previously dominated by males, etc. However, there was a slowdown or even backpedaling that occurred somewhere in the mid-1990′s to the present.
Yes, more women are choosing to stay home to raise children because the burden of being major caretakers of the family is overwhelming. That becomes a huge handicap to reentering the workforce when children are more self-sufficient. Employers are reluctant to hire those with big gaps in their work history. No credit is given to the enormous task of raising children. Men with families climb the ladder of success with greater ease than women because women are taking on the main thrust of domestic responsibility
So many times I’ve heard a man say that his wife just has to remind him to do his part of household duties. And if he has to be told several times, so what? The problem is she becomes a nag, maybe even like his mother, and how can romance coexist with a nagging mother? This becomes a setup for disaster.
Although much has changed, men, overall, still do not share equally in domestic tasks. Take for instance the man who complained to his hard-working wife when she returned home from work at 9PM that he had to wear swim trunks for underwear because she didn’t do the wash. He had been home for hours.
It wasn’t only the outcry from men about women’s liberations that helped create the stagnation. I believe women became frightened at the chorus of disapproval against the push for equality. Images of the vocal women’s libber described her as too masculine and overbearing. Being stripped of their femininity clashed with how women were wired — to be submissive and demure, especially in my generation. With public sentiment running against the movement, women backed away from demanding full rights. Our society validates the tenacity of men fighting for a cause, even makes them heroes, but labels women who do the same as ball-breaking bitches.
The glass ceiling is firmly in place. Take medicine for instance. Approximately 40% of medical students are women. But when it comes to the highest paid specialists or top departmental positions, men are well in the majority. This disparity is especially prevalent in top positions in the investment world, corporate heads, mutual funds and high technology. In law, although approximately 50% of the students are women, only 16% are partners in firms.
This is what I’m suggesting to get the ball rolling again. We now have an older segment of society with drive, energy, time and better health than ever before. Younger women, struggling with family issues and full-time careers have little energy left to fight for causes. We oldies should make the effort to tear down rigid roles for men and women.
I call for a new organization, called MEOW â€“ Mature Empowering of Women! Much of the old perceived militancy is gone from the new name, MEOW, but none of the objectives. What man can resist a women purring in his ear, MEOW? Men crumble at anything hinting of sex. So, we’ll pander to fragile egos. The goal will be to achieve equality. That’s what’s important. But, we have to leave out bra burning this time around. Not recommended for older women.
This is what older women should push for (and I invite men to join if we can dislodge them from under their rocks):
1. Government day-care programs throughout the country.
2. Legal firms and hospitals offering child care on the premises so that female medical residents can specialize in areas that require more time and study and female lawyers can get on the partnership track. The same applies to big corporations.
3. Equal participation between men and women in domestic responsibilities.
4. Allowing more women to enter jobs and territories usually reserved for males.
5. Programs put in place that aid women in retraining in order to bring them up-to-date when reentering the job market after a long absence.
6. Programs for young children aimed at eradicating the artificial barriers between the sexes.
7. Programs for leaders in industry, medicine, law, teaching etc., demonstrating how they subtly discriminate against women, often unconsciously, and how to eliminate it.
Equality extends into the realm of personal relationships for couples of all ages. Once the element of male entitlement is removed, a more honest exchange of ideas can flourish. A greater openness between the sexes may be one of the greatest benefits to reviving the women’s movement. Women feel put upon when stuck with two careers â€“ working full-time and in charge of the family, the domestic goddess, if you will. This is not a good atmosphere for romance. One study showed that those men who participate fully with their partners have better and more frequent sex and less tension between them. Sadly, men don’t realize (or they do but refuse to process), that if a woman is emotionally and physically supported, an atmosphere of sensuality is created. Warmth bubbles over.
Taking this one step further, don’t forget, mature women have the right to ask a partner to please them sexually. No more faked orgasms or fear of making demands. In return, you’ll be more than willing to please your man beyond his wildest dreams. Total equality means women are entitled to erotic pleasures, too. We older women have to raise our voices â€“ oops. I mean purr in protest without worrying about censure. To hell with the restrictions imposed by society. Let your fantasies rip away and share them with him.
Instead of living our lives around men, break out of that orbit and find your own niche. Center around your own wants and needs and take the little guy along if he really wants to go. If he goes along for the ride, he’ll be adored and respected.
If we all contribute our energies to empowering women of all ages, think about the great lives awaiting your daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters. On the other side of it, sensitizing sons, grandsons and great-grandsons, will allow boys to grow into men that will have better relationships and understanding as adults. Males will be brain-wired from an early age so that it will be easy to participate emotionally with a woman. Once this occurs, the need for MEOW’s will be eliminated. As a matter of fact, men will be so much happier they will be the ones insisting that women be treated no differently from themselves. No, I’m not on LSD!
From the sexy grandmom
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