I’ve been invited to speak on the topic of “sexy being an attitude” more than once. I believe most of us have struggled (or are struggling) with this in life, because it’s hard to open our eyes in this country and NOT see a gazillion images of photoshopped, airbrushed, and filtered images. But, let’s take that out of the picture for a hot sec.
There are some “universal” traits that most humans look for, based on biology and evolution. Things like symmetrical facial structure, hip-to-waist ratio (child-rearing), strength (think hunting and protection), etc. Other than that, there is such a MASSIVE spectrum of what constitutes sexy, and it changes throughout time due to cultural norm shifts. Many of us seem to be “chasing sexy”. By that, I mean we see what the latest trend of beauty is, and then we chase after it. Here’s the problem though…that changes.
Trends change. Cultural norms change. WE, AS HUMANS, CHANGE. Remember when it was all about being thin? I do! I grew up in the 90’s, and that was the ONLY body type to have or you were somehow less attractive by default. Now we see how “thick thighs save lives”, men making TikToks about their love of the FUPA, the “Mom bod” movement, normalizing cellulite, Dad bods, etc. Depending on who you surround yourself with (real people, and social media culture), your body acceptance shifts. This is not rocket science. This is NEUROSCIENCE and SOCIAL SCIENCE. We compare by nature – and when we are surrounding ourselves with certain visuals and messaging, eventually your brain wants you to assimilate.
So, here are a few tips to get ya started on “leaning into sexy”:
1) DANCE NAKED. OFTEN. For no one but yourself. Put on sexy music (or Twerk radio, if you’re me), and just dance naked. At first, your head will mess with you and focus on all the parts you don’t like. So, imagine an audience who paid to see the EXACT type of body you have, and keep dancing.
2) UNFOLLOW accounts that don’t make you feel good. I follow body positive accounts on instagram, and if you want recommendations, just say the word.
3) MOVE. I don’t care if you go to the gym, work out at home, take walks, jump rope, work in the yard, or dance – just MOVE. There is a CHEMICAL reaction in your brain when you exercise. Again, this is not my opinion – this is science.
4) MASTURBATE. Yup, I said it. If you have barriers blocking you from doing so, and you’d like to work through them, reach out – I got you.
And that’s my show for the night. Thank you for attending.
The idea of a soulmate sounds romantic, and some do believe they’re out there – but you know me… I always have to share another perspective. Notice I said PERSPECTIVE, not ultimate TRUTH.
So, if you’re struggling in a relationship, or question the one you’re in, or you’re single and waiting for the “special one” – this post may be for you.
My opinion on the matter goes like this…You CREATE the relationship that works for you. Some can accommodate, some cannot. Considering 50%’ish of marriages end in divorce, I’d like to think there is more than just one person we can spend our life with. Otherwise, those divorced folks are screwed if they want to find love again – and I have EVIDENCE that is not the case. Actually, I know several people who have found INCREDIBLE partners AFTER their divorce (more on my thoughts on that another time).
Thinking that ONE person has to have every single thing you’re looking for will inevitably lead to disappointment, and is truly unfair to your partner (and to you!). Your partner may not be the best lover you’ve ever had, but they have other things that you value more (and you can always hire a sex coach – ahem, ahem ). You may have different parenting styles, but the loyalty and trust you have is in a different league. You may wish you had a partner with a similar family life as you did growing up, but the way they handle your personal struggles is second to none.
Like most things in life, I see relationships as a give and take. Could you find someone else that has some of the things your current partner doesn’t? Of COURSE! But will they ALSO have everything you love about your current partner? Probably not. Additionally, we change. You could be riding along problem free for 10 years, and then someone loses a job, gets sick, changes sexually…and then what? You need to adjust. More than once.
Focus on your core values. If you don’t know what those are, take time to think about them. When I coach recently divorced, or single people, it’s one of the things we always discuss. What are your hard NOs and MUST HAVEs? Most of the peripheral stuff can be pretty malleable if approached correctly. I don’t believe you should settle for some toxic relationship. That’s not the message. The message is that NO relationship is perfect. HUMANS aren’t perfect, so how the hell can putting TWO of them together be perfect? I often wonder if our focus shifted on seeking compatibility versus perfection, we’d fare better?
As I said to a friend earlier today, I believe the pillars of a strong relationship are based on honesty, trust, vulnerability, and communication. And even more importantly – totally aware that shit shows happen, and you both need to grab the wipes to clean it up.
I want you to know something. I personally believe (read: this is an OPINION) that long-term relationships have moments…and even phases (think months, or even years) where you swear you’re alone. Yes – even while you’re IN the relationship. Your sex drives don’t match. Your communication styles are polar opposites. You argue over parenting techniques. You barely recognize each other, and you feel like you’d be better off apart. Then one of two things happens: You either move through it and stay together (and that move through process looks different for everyone), OR one or both decide to go your separate ways. Sound familiar?
There is SO MUCH SHAME around relationship struggles. I see it ALL THE TIME. That’s because somewhere along the line, we were taught that relationships/marriages just sorta “happen”- and if it doesn’t, then you’ve “failed” at relationshipping (it’s a word. I just made it up.) Like, if it was a “good” relationship, it would seamlessly happen with no effort required.
Can you imagine how your perspective would be different if we were taught to EXPECT difficult times? To EXPECT to desire other people? To EXPECT to question if we are in the right relationship? To EXPECT to argue over parenting, sex, and money?
Maybe we wouldn’t be so afraid and avoidant when it comes to conflict. Maybe we’d learn more effective communication skills, and focus on self-awareness. Maybe we wouldn’t have as much guilt about totally normal thoughts.
The human experience for most of us (if not all) is a series of shit shows, fu*& ups, and painful lessons. It’s ALSO a series of elation, excitement, awesome sexual experiences, and butterflies in our stomach. It isn’t supposed to be one or the other. You can actually be a totally worthy human being and have BOTH the good and the crappy. Imagine that! 🙄
If a relationship doesn’t work out, you’re not a failure. You’re human – welcome to the damn club. If your relationship is going through a rough phase right now and you want to fight for it, then fight for it. If your relationship has agreements that differ from your friends/family, but works awesome for you guys, rock on!
None of us are immune to relationship struggles. NONE. OF. US. So, can we just sorta throw the shame stuff out the window? It has no place here.
Lately, in both my personal and professional life, I have witnessed men struggling more so than usual, and my heart aches. I am, and will continue, serving ALL HUMAN BEINGS. I will help you challenge belief systems that make you feel anything other than worthy and valid.
Remember that pointing out the pain of one group does not, and never will, diminish the pain of any other group. So, tonight, this one’s for the guys…
“It’s as if you were created only to feel a select number of emotions. Should you need to feel anything else, your default is to go back to the original allowable few. Your only instructions are to keep going long after your batteries have run out. When you break – and you will – you should know how to put yourself back together without any help. You don’t require help. You’ll be ok – you’re a man.
You will experience loss and pain. But don’t speak. People will question your allegiance to societal constructs, and we all know we can’t have that. But, you’ll be ok – you’re a man.
You are to hunt – food, enemies, and women. Hunting anything or anyone else is inherently “wrong”. Should you feel the urge to hunt otherwise, refrain. You’re good at hiding your soul, remember? You’ll be ok – you’re a man.
You are to sexually ravish others. To be ready, willing, and most importantly, able. At all times. Every time. Your handful of allowable emotions can never interfere with this required way of being. Should you struggle, avoid all related conversations and move on. Be silent about your fears, insecurities, and most definitely, your faults. Deny them at all costs, especially in the bedroom. You should easily be able to disconnect and compartmentalize. It’s ok – you’re a man.
You will face confusion, loss, anxiety, hopelessness, depression, intrusive thoughts, sexual shame and guilt, and abuse. Funnel it all into anger. Get angry. Anger is safe. Anger is allowed. You’ll be ok – you’re a man.
So just be a man, and you’ll be ok…until you’re not.
And when that day comes, I urge you to break every damn rule you’ve been prescribed. I beg you to feel all of the forbidden emotions, and feel them as hard as you can. Let anger be your last choice, and no longer allow it to be the sheep in wolves clothing. Break down. Make it known when you DON’T want to have sex, and when you want to relinquish dominance and control. Face trauma and process it with a professional – because you DESERVE healing. Love whoever the hell you want to love. Be afraid. Be a protector one day, and need protecting the next.
Q: I’m a 54 yr. old male. I’ve had numerous partners, and lived out some fantasies. But my biggest one is to do a m/f/m or hot wife scenario. This gets me so hot. Is this common? (heterosexual, male)
A: If I had a nickel for every time I was asked this question…
For context purposes, I’m going to address this question in terms of heterosexual couples. However, partner sharing is by NO means, just a “heterosexual thing”. Also, I might use the term cuckolding and hot wifing interchangeably. Cuckolding is a term that refers to watching your partner have sex with someone else. Side note: “Cuckqueaning” is the female equivalent of cuckolding. It’s when a female enjoys watching her partner being sexual with someone else. Anywho…
I’m happy to report that you are, indeed, “normal”. As a rule, I tend to steer clear from the word “normal” when talking about humans, because it really doesn’t exist – nor does it validate or invalidate any of our emotions.
Back to the fantasy…
On a psychological level, there is so much about this fantasy that makes sense. The bottom line being that it goes against societal expectations. Period. Men are expected to be territorial and not want another man to “win their prize”. I know you can’t see me, but I’m rolling me eyes – big time.
When it comes to our sexuality, it should be common knowledge (although it is SO not) that the more taboo – the more out of the norm a thought is – the MORE arousing it can be. If the norm is that men should never look to share their wives, or actually desire (gasp!) to watch their wives be sexually pleased by another man, then guess what? The OPPOSITE is usually what would be more exciting to fantasize about. Rarely will a man (or anyone, really) tell me that his biggest fantasy is something that he does on a daily basis.
Let me parallel this for a hot sec. I am OBSESSED with prison and death row documentaries. Why? Because I have never been to prison or death row, and it’s a life that is so foreign to the one I lead. Does it mean I am secretly some serial killer who wants to be read my last rights as I sit strapped in a chair? Negative Ghost Rider. It actually has LESS to do with the ACTUAL content of the documentary, and MORE to do with the fact that it is so far from my reality. Sexual fantasies are no different.
There are a number of directions this could go as far as explaining why a man might have this fantasy (all valid, by the way), but what really matters most is that there should be ZERO shame around it. So, let me try to shed some light on this fantasy for anyone else who has it (and I know there are many).
Especially in long term relationships, men can start to see their female partner in a light that doesn’t scream naughty vixen (don’t be fooled, women are HIGHLY sexual). Often, their wife might also be the mother of their children. This dives into the Madonna/Whore complex – where men have a hard time seeing their wives as sexual.
With that in mind, seeing their wife with another man is like seeing her in a totally different light! It reminds the husband that his wife is indeed a sexual being, can easily shed that pure and innocent hat, and turn into the object of desire very quickly. Additionally, there may be a surge of competition that comes up for the husband while he’s enjoying the view of his oh-so-innocent wife getting manhandled from behind by another man (you’re welcome for the visual). There could also be an ego and pride aspect to it. You have this super hot wife, and other men want her. You’re the “King”, and all of these men are looking to you as this lucky SOB who has the hot wife (*pats yourself on the back*).
Another reason could be compersion. Compersion is finding joy in witnessing another person’s enjoyment of something. A non-sexual example would be watching your child having a blast on the swing set, or seeing them win an award and being ecstatic about it. However, we’re clearly not talking about non-sexual things right now. Sexually speaking, compersion is finding happiness in witnessing your partner have a joyful sexual or romantic experience with someone else. This term is common in the polyamorous community, but is also a valid term in this hot wife example.
You wanna get clinical for a minute? Let’s talk evolutionary theory. Sounds fun, right?
Sperm competition is an evolutionary theory that when men suspect (or know) that their female partner is having sex with other men, it increases their desire to ejaculate inside their partner to, quite literally, compete with the other men’s sperm. It’s like a race to the egg! In the early 2000’s, there were two different studies done regarding sperm competition. One found that there was actually more sperm in the ejaculate when men watched cuckolding porn . The other study found that when men suspected their female partner to be unfaithful, they tended to thrust harder during penetrative sex . Some scientists argue that this may be a subconscious effort to force the other men’s sperm out of the woman’s vagina – or at least force the other sperm out of the damn way!
So, here you are thinking there is something “wrong” with you for being turned on by hot wifing/cucklolding, when in reality it may be an evolutionary response!
The moral of the story is this: Underneath the psychobabble rant I just went on, and far beyond the evolutionary theory that I just vomited, please know that YOU. ARE. HUMAN. Your fantasies are valid whether or not they are “normal”. Normal is not the goal with our sexuality. As a matter of fact, the word has ZERO place in the human experience at all. You know what is the goal, though? Consensual, safe, authentic, vulnerable, fulfilling, pleasure – and that will look different for all of us.
There is no beating around the bush here. Being held hostage in your home with your partner is no walk in the park. And, if you’re like me, you also have kids to (pretend to) homeschool, all while working and trying to keep everyone alive. Nothing about this situation screams sexy. As a matter of fact, everything seems like ONE. BIG. LIBIDO. BLOCKER. Sound familiar? You’re not alone.
When disaster happens in life, regardless of what it is, we tend to focus all of our energy on it, and neglect everything else…even our relationships. It’s sort of backwards, considering what we need MOST right now are our relationships – intimate, and platonic. So, how do we stay connected to our partners during a time of high stress and internal (and external) chaos? Here are a few tips.
Carve out time for yourself, without your partner. I know it seems counterproductive, but living on top of each other is more of a desire smasher than you think. Absence makes the loins grow fonder…or is it heart? or both? Color, paint your nails, shave, take a hot bath, read, clean out your closet, watch Netflix, etc. If you have kids, take turns doing this.
If you have children, keeping life as “normal” as possible will not only help them with their anxiety, but also you with yours. Getting them to sleep at the regular time gives you and your partner time alone. This leads me to my next tip…
Make time to connect. To be honest, if your sex drive isn’t off the charts right now, (understandable) do something together that doesn’t necessarily involve sex. Maybe watch a movie together. Laugh at your favorite YouTube clips. Play a fun couples question game (there are thousands online). Set up an adult friend virtual hangout on Skype, Zoom, or Facebook messenger!
Communicate. Holy hell, communicate. Everyone deals with anxiety and fear differently – especially within heterosexual relationships. What may come out as anger, might really be underlying anxiety, fear, or overwhelm. Sometimes just checking in with your partner is a nice opening to a vulnerable conversation. Something as easy as, “Hey – how are you holding up with all of this? I know we haven’t talked about our personal feelings much. Is there anything I can do to help you (and ultimately us) get through this with less anxiety?” Especially with kids, we tend to focus on how they are adjusting, and we forget that adults are just as impacted by the disruption in our “normal” life.
If your sex drive is there but you require a bit more to get in the mood due to so many blockers, you can use this time to up your game! Buy a new toy! (Bellesa is having a 20% off sale right now, but when it’s over you can always use my code NINA15 for 15% off AND free shipping! Just sayin’…). Try out a new genre of porn together. Read erotica. Write your own erotica and share it with your partner (this can be super hot, by the way.) If you are both still working, or not together for any reason, sexting is a big YES in my book. Just make sure your partner is ok with receiving messages of that nature while at work (NSFW, anyone?).
Try to get some exercise. Yes, sex is exercise, but beyond that, too! Go for a walk, do some fun YouTube dance fitness classes, hell – some of these TikTok fads I’m seeing are practically cardio!
Bottom line is this – give yourself a break, go easy on yourself, and go easy on your partner(s). It’s all one big cluster fu*% at the moment, and we may be here for a little bit before things settle. Anytime there is a disruption in our norm, our brain spazzes out a bit. It’s OK. It’s Friday – grab a drink with your partner tonight and do something after the kids go to sleep. If you’re sober, nix the drink and do the rest. After all, we really are all in this together.
Q: I am a 45 yr old female and have been with my husband for 15 years. The missionary position is the only position I can have an orgasm. I tense everything up in order to have an orgasm. I have always done this. I’m in pretty good physical shape, but my hips are always sore the day after we have sex. I’ve tried to stay relaxed and it either takes much longer or doesn’t happen. I’m not complaining, but just curious. My question is: Why do we tense up our muscles in order to orgasm?
A: First and foremost – it’s AMAZING that you’re having orgasms during intercourse! Many women cannot, so kudos!
Let me preface this by owning that I am not a Doctor or medical professional. However, I am a woman with a vulva/vagina, and I research and read about sexuality for both personal AND professional reasons, so there’s that…#sexgeek.
Most people actually DO tense up as they build to orgasm! You are not experiencing anything abnormal or uncommon, whatsoever. Self disclosure: I am the same way! There are a few reasons this might be the case. First, when our bodies are aroused and working towards orgasm, blood flow increases to our genitals. By tensing our muscles, it helps that process happen faster. Many people (penis AND vagina owners) tighten their muscles – often from the waist down. There are, however, people who find themselves tensing their upper body as well!
On a totally different and possibly unscientific note (aka: me just speculating and making something up that COULD be true): When a woman tightens her Kegel muscles (think, the muscle that can stop us from peeing midstream), the glans of her clitoris (the man in the boat that we all see on the outside) sort of retracts a tad. I’ll give you a sec to try it…
Ok…we’re back. Now, follow me here for a hot minute…
Sometimes, if the pressure of the stimulus (tongue, fingers, toy, etc.) is too much for the clitoris and you clench to retract it a bit, the clitoral hood sort of buffers the stimulation to make it more tolerable to receive the clitoral stimulation.
How amazing are orgasms, right?! It’s as if our body innately does what it needs to do for our specific orgasm – “specific” being the definitive word. Women (with vaginas) tend to differ greatly in the manner in which they orgasm. From what arouses them, to the environment that needs to be created, to the actual mechanics. And it’s allllllll good!
In terms of your hips being sore, that is most likely from the constant tension during arousal while you’re working towards an orgasm. That may mean you’re tensing your butt as well (also super common) as one of the muscle groups to aid in orgasm. By tensing your butt muscles, your hips sort of drive forward as well.
Because I am not there in person to see how your hips move during sex, my other thought is how you’re moving your hips (or if you are moving them at all). Women often like to grind against the pelvic region of their partner during penetrative sex to make clitoral contact. If that’s the case, you may want to try asking your husband if he can position himself differently where HE is doing the grinding of his pelvis on your clit, versus the other way around.
Lastly, you could experiment with allowing yourself to go back and forth between tensing and then relaxing, versus staying tense consistently. It depends on how uncomfortable your hips are, and how much you want to change that outcome. I understand wanting to cut down on the time it takes, but if your sore hips are bothering you enough to want to switch things up a bit, then go for it!
Regardless of what you choose to try, just know that each of us has our own unique “orgasm formula”, and the ONLY goal is to make it work for YOU. It sounds like you’re ahead of the game! ENJOY!
Q: Hey Nina. So my husband and I have been married for 15 yrs and together for 22. Very recently, he’s talked to me more about me having either like a boyfriend or just another person that I have sex with and then come home to him. He has mentioned that he thinks it would be so hot to watch someone have sex with me. We’ve been talking about it more and more.
At first, I thought this might be a way of him getting to have sex with someone else. I’m the only person he’s ever been with. He says it’s not, and that he hasn’t really found anyone that he would be interested in anyway. He works with a bunch of people who are younger than us, in their 20’s, and I guess this is more of a thing with the younger generation. He says we have our relationship and our love and this would be just a pleasure/fun thing.
I’ve been thinking about it more and more and was confiding in a male friend of mine that doesn’t know my husband. He thought it was interesting too and we wound up sexting the other night. I must admit, it was really hot. And my husband thought it was hot too! I think I’m into it now and my friend and I are working on a meetup time to kinda Netflix and chill. He says there is no pressure.
My husband is an analytical person and says he has thought this through thoroughly. What are your thoughts on this? I’ve expressed my fear to my husband about this possibly ruining our marriage, but he says no. Is this just another way to spice up a long term marriage as long as all parties involved know the terms and agree to them?
A: Hi there! Ahhhh…the infamous hotwife fantasy! The desire for a man to see his wife with another man is usually referred to as “cuckolding”, or being a “hot wife”. It can take many forms depending on what you and your husband are seeking out of the sexual experience. Some men enjoy being humiliated as they watch their wife with another man. Some men love to see their wife as the object of desire of another man, knowing she is “his” to reclaim afterwards. My best advice for this is to think about what exactly you want out of this. If it is to “fix” a marriage, I would advise against – big time. If it’s to spice up a marriage, I would think about what could go wrong and see how you would both handle it.
Questions like: What sort of contact is allowed with the other men afterwards? Does your husband want to know these men, or do they have to be strangers? What happens if you start to have feelings for another man? How will you navigate it if you start to feel that this is pulling you further from your husband, rather than closer? How will you communicate negative feelings?
Bottom line is this – consensual non-monogamy is becoming more openly discussed as we learn more about human sexuality. It can absolutely spice up your current relationship and enhance communication. On the flip side, there is also a risk that it can go south (and not in a good way), and you want to be prepared for that before jumping in. I would suggest starting slowly. If you are both comfortable with sexting other people and sharing that together, then go for it! Talk about the next steps as you go. Always communicate about your feelings and be honest about what does and does not work for you.
Q: We have been seriously talking about opening up our marriage and I think I’m ok with it now. At 40 and having been out of the dating scene for 20+ years, I’m not even sure how to go about finding someone. I’ve been talking to a friend of a friend that may be interested and we have sexted once, but I’m not sure if he’s really down or not. Do you know other people that have open marriages? I’ve been hearing that the younger generation is more ok with open relationships. What are your thoughts?
A: Consensual non-monogamy seems to be getting quite the press lately, and I think a lot has to do with the internet. Although the idea of having multiple partners has been around for ages (think concubines, harems, etc.), it’s becoming less taboo because of the ability to connect virtually with so many others who are curious as well. I also believe that as we evolve, we are always looking to better “adapt” to new knowledge that we acquire.
A brief history lesson, shall we?
The truth, whether it’s easy to hear or not, is that sexual monogamy is not a biological “thing”. It’s a cultural and religious construct that many are content to align with. Marriage was more of a business/logistical decision to protect and preserve property and assets – it did not begin for love and sexual pleasure. Sexual monogamy was born out of wanting to control who women slept with so there was never a question as to who the child belonged to – again – this was important in terms of lineage and the passing down of assets.
So, here’s my own take on what’s happened to monogamous relationships…
The main reasons for creating marriage and monogamy have sort of gone away for most of us, yet the expectations have remained. If someone is royalty or insanely wealthy and they want to know who their biological child is, we have paternity tests now. So….there’s that.
Now, we have monogamous couples who are married and wondering where lust and passion have gone, or why they are struggling to be satisfied with one person for a lifetime. Humans are not designed to be sexually monogamous. As a matter of fact, there’s only about 3%-5% of mammal species (humans included!) that are monogamous for life.
The urge to stray will be there because of human nature, but what we choose to do with that urge is what makes the difference. I speak to so many people who are riddled with guilt over lusting after someone else, and I have to explain to them that I would actually be MORE surprised if they weren’t! So, what do we do?
We make a choice. Sexual monogamy is a daily choice that we make – oftentimes without thinking. The truth is, we all have the free will to walk out and be sexual with someone else. So, what keeps us from doing it? Well, we already know that there are many who DO choose to act on the urges, and the consequences can be devastating to the relationship. Some may remain sexually monogamous but feel bored and resentful, and others may not have any issues with being sexually monogamous at all! Then there’s the rest…
If you haven’t watched the Ted Talk by Dr. Jess O’Reilly, titled “Monogamish”, do yourself a favor and watch it. This is where I believe most people fall in terms of monogamy. Research has found that very few relationships THRIVE in 100% monogamous relationships, and very few THRIVE in 100% open relationships. The majority of us actually exist somewhere along the spectrum. Now, before you take that the wrong way, let’s talk about what I actually mean by “spectrum”. Relationships aren’t always black and white in terms of sexual behavior.
So, what sort of behaviors can be found on this spectrum? Mind you, these would all have to be CONSENSUAL and AGREED UPON or else you’re risking betrayal, infidelity, and ultimately, the end of a relationship. To give you some examples (from more vanilla to less vanilla):
Flirting with other people (with your partner knowing)
Discussing people that you both find sexy, and maybe using it as fuel in the bedroom
Going to a strip club together and watching your partner get a lap dance
Sexting a third party (again, with your partner either participating or knowing that you’re doing it)
Exchanging videos or pictures with another couple online (there are safety tips to this, so please don’t do this if you haven’t thought it through. The internet can be amazing, but also very dangerous.)
Going to sex clubs to watch others have sex
Occasional make-out sessions with a mutually agreed-upon third person
Agreeing on specific parameters for consensual non-monogamy (i.e. must be in a different state or certain distance away, certain sexual behaviors being off-limits, not engaging in sexual behaviors with the same person more than once, no exchanging of contact information, etc.)
To answer the other questions – yes, I do know people who have open relationships. Does it work for them? Yes. Does it work for everyone? Nope. The younger generation seems to be more open to it, but they are also more open to other non-traditional lifestyle choices as well. So, I think as a general rule, younger folks seem to be likely to challenge the status quo, rather than roll with it.
My personal thoughts…
I think it can be a viable option for some long term relationships to keep the spice alive, and satisfy the sexual and emotional urge for variety.
I think people sometimes jump into it way too quickly, and unfortunately, it’s not something that can be erased. Remember that fantasy is almost always better than reality.
There MUST be agreements and parameters along the way
Take it step-by-step, and don’t go from sexual monogamy directly into sex with others – try the smaller steps first (see the list of monogamy spectrum examples above) and build a foundation as you go.
Communication is non-negotiable. Jealousy is a human emotion and not to be ignored. Just talk about it.
Opening up a marriage should never be done to save a failing one.
To remotely begin to navigate an open marriage, your CURRENT relationship should be as foundationally sound as possible.
I urge you to do your research first. Check out online communities of others who have been in the lifestyle for a while, and pick their brain. Sometimes, we get so excited about something sexual, that we neglect to think about what could go wrong. Seeking a sex therapist is also another option to help navigate this process.
Q: I love tickling women in bondage. It’s a huge sexual fantasy for me. My wife isn’t into it at all. I’ve sat down with her and told her how much it means to me but she really doesn’t want to try it. If I tickle other women and just not tell her about it, am I justified?
A: Good for you for being open about what you want! The downside is, our partners are not always going to be game for what we want, and that’s ok. There are a plethora of fantasies that we have, and to expect our partners to entertain them all would just set us up for disappointment, right?
So, here’s where we make choices in relationships. In my personal opinion (and that’s all it is…an opinion), I would highly discourage engaging in behaviors behind your partner’s back. That rarely, if ever, ends well. It also starts to place a massive wedge between the two of you, and intimacy is about connection, not betrayal.
When I work with clients, I try to get to the psychological experience they are seeking. After all, sexuality is actually more about our psyche than anything else. So, what about tickling a woman in bondage gets you excited? What feeling does it create that is arousing? Often we can find several other activities that can elicit a similar response that your partner may be up for!
I would also be curious as to the reasons your partner is not comfortable doing it. Is it being tied up? Is it being tickled? Maybe there’s a middle ground that you can meet on. For example, let’s say she doesn’t like the idea of being tickled, but she is ok being tied up. Maybe you can use a feather on her to cause pleasure, but not tickle her. Maybe you can use temperature play and rub an ice cube on her body.
Often we are uncomfortable with what we don’t know. If this is something foreign to her, maybe show her what it looks like. Show her a clip of the fantasy you’re seeking. I’d also challenge you to think about how you would react if she wanted something sexual that you were not comfortable with. What sort of ways would you try to navigate the situation to try to satisfy her desires without doing something that makes you uncomfortable?
My first line of defense will always be honest and open communication with your partner. If she is adamantly against it, and you feel like this is a deal-breaker for your marriage, I would explain to her that your desire for this is strong, and you want to work together to figure out a way to experience this without jeopardizing your marriage.
If it’s something that isn’t a deal-breaker for your marriage, I would either try to find a happy medium, or you may just have to chalk it up to the fact that our partners aren’t always going to be up for what we want sexually! I’m pretty confident that if you can try to dig and figure out exactly the feeling you’re looking to experience, you’ll find a million other sexual things you can do to get that desired feeling – and who knows – she may be ready to explore it with you!
Question: I watch porn 2-3 times a day, and get off as well. Is that considered a porn addiction?
My usual caveat here, folks: I am not a Psychiatrist or Therapist. I am, however, a human being with very strong feelings about being exactly that…HUMAN. My opinions are not gospel, but if they provide a different perspective that helps you reduce or get rid of shame and guilt, then I’ve done my job.
Porn Addiction. Is that a thing? All the stuff out there on this, in my opinion, is just that – opinions. You want mine? Here it is…
I don’t care if you watch porn 763 times in an hour, or once a day. The ONLY question that should ever come up is whether or not it is negatively impacting your daily life – and I don’t mean some moral dilemma you’re having based on outside influences. I’m talking whether or not you are literally missing out on life because of it. Are you staying home from work just to watch porn? Are you skipping all social events just to stay home and watch porn? Have your expectations changed so much that you no longer find pleasure in non-porn activities? Has your view of your current sex life plummeted because of the unrealistic portrayal of sex in porn? Even if you answered yes to any of these – it just means that you need to reevaluate your porn-watching habits. It doesn’t mean you’re some sexual deviant who needs to be quarantined. And if that IS what it means, then you’ll have millions of other “deviants” right next to you in the cell (insert sarcasm and eye roll).
Do I think that porn contains chemicals that are addictive when ingested? Clearly not. Although, that would be pretty cool if you could actually ingest porn…but I digress. Do I believe that your brain enjoys the good vibes (pun intended) that it gets when watching porn? Absofreakinlutely. However, if you watching porn gets you horny, feeling good, into orgasm land, and no one is hurt in the process – WHY. THE. HELL. NOT?
You want to watch porn while peeing? Go for it. Doing the laundry? Then, too! While you’re on a conference call? Sure – live on the edge! (ok…maybe go easy on that one due to potential screen share accidents.)
So much of our guilt from watching porn is instilled in us via outside influences (religion, family, culture, etc.). However, if you remove all of that and take it for what it ACTUALLY is, it’s pretty straightforward. Porn can be exciting, stimulating, and for many, a NECESSARY component in orgasmic sessions. So, go ahead – keep rocking it. If you find it starts to negatively impact your life, take a step back and make some changes. Maybe it’s the type of porn you’re watching. Maybe it’s the types of bodies you’re getting used to seeing.
When I work with clients who openly enjoy porn but are having trouble separating it from reality, the first thing I tell them to do is to watch homemade porn for a while and see if that shifts. Additionally, I recommend (especially for those who have a vagina), to watch porn that you can actually connect with. If you typically orgasm by using a toy, then watch porn where the performers are using toys. If you have a curvier or softer body (all genders), then search for porn with similar body types. If you want to take a break for a little bit completely, then go ahead and take a break! It will be there when you return from your porn hiatus, so never fear.
So go easy on yourself, ok? Getting off 2-3 times a day is an amazing self-care routine and one that is both physically AND mentally healthy for you.
Question: How do we start anal play? I want to make sure it doesn’t hurt and that we do it correctly.
The awkward hurdle of bringing up the topic of anal play has been cleared…now what? Aside from the mental uneasiness surrounding the idea of anal play, many fear the physical “uneasiness” as well. This is a legitimate concern and one that absolutely needs to be considered. The downside? It can be uncomfortable if not approached carefully. Upside? There are ways to make anal play extremely pleasurable. Let’s be honest…that’s the goal here, right?
The anus is naturally tight and does not lubricate in the
same way a vagina does, for example. I know what you’re thinking…how can tight and dry ever work together? And you’re right – if left alone,
those two adjectives do not lend themselves to pleasurable anal play. However, with a few other “ingredients”, you
have the makings of one HELL of a recipe!
Anal play can be mind-blowing if done correctly. What’s “correctly”? Well, here are a few tips to help ensure a pleasurable experience and one which your partner just might be open (pun intended) to trying.
1) WAIT: Yes, you read that correctly. Rushing right into anal play is not the best idea. Getting worked up and waiting for your inhibitions to fall away is when your mind and body will be more receptive to engaging in something that may be new or uncomfortable. Pay attention to your partner’s body movements. Are they tense and reserved or are they relaxed and inviting?
*Caveat* I’m a huge believer in trying things on yourself before trying with a partner. There are many anal “starter kits” that can help you adjust to the sensation and figure out how you like it, which can then be explained to your partner.
2) BABY STEPS: When you and your partner have been going at it for a while and you can tell they are totally into the moment, start by grabbing and/or rubbing their ass. That simple move will start to wake up that area on their body. Next, try licking your finger to lubricate it and slowly rub up and down the crack of their ass and over their anus. The anus has a high concentration of nerve endings, so rubbing gently over it is rarely protested. Again, you’re moving slowly to gauge their level of comfort each step of the way. If you get the green light, then it’s time for your next move. When in doubt, ASK! Consent. Is. Sexy.
3) OPTIONS: To take it to the next level, you have several options. Your next move will depend on your ultimate goal at the moment (oral-anal, genital-anal, toy-anal, digital (fingers)-anal, etc.). The “safest” bet is to start with one finger – the thinner the better. Making sure it’s lubricated (saliva works and doesn’t interrupt the moment, but lube is preferred!) and start to focus on rubbing directly around the anus applying a small amount of pressure. Slowly (keyword here!) insert the tip of your finger inside. Their natural reaction will be to tense up – that’s ok. Leaving your finger in there as you continue to kiss will allow their body (and mind) to begin to relax around it. If you’re looking to add another finger or move to something larger, just ASK! It doesn’t have to be clinical or corny. It can be sexy! Like, “Are you ready for something bigger?” “Do you want more, baby?”
Too often, I feel people believe that asking for consent has to be this super professional and formal moment. Not true! You are technically asking for a level of consent to do something/continue to do something every time you ask your partner if something feels good!
4) TALK: Aside from paying attention and being in tune with your partner’s body language, check in with your partner. A simple, “Does that feel good?”, “Do you like that?” or “How’s this?” can not only add to the sexual atmosphere, but it allows your partner the chance to let you know how they’re feeling. Remember that anal play does not have to be painful and, if done right, can be immensely pleasurable. Take your time, check in with your partner, make sure to lubricate, and ENJOY!
Introducing anal play into the bedroom requires sensitivity and tact. Best case scenario, you are 100% positive that your partner is down for it and, in that case, what the hell are you waiting for? Stop reading this and go play!
However, if you are one of the many who are in a
relationship where the idea of anal play has not come up yet or it’s come up
but you’re still unsure about your partner’s feelings on the topic, then listen
Let’s take an all too common situation and break it down. You’re with your partner and it’s getting heavy. You’re both turned on and crawling out of your skin. Clothes are off, moans are loud and the smell of sex is surrounding you. In the midst of your animalistic lust, your senses are on overload. You’re enjoying touching each other’s “fun parts” and all of a sudden…WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?! Your partner decides that it was a good time to slowly slip the tip of their finger into your ass. No warning, no preparation, nothing. Your body tenses up, you laugh awkwardly, panic sets in and the mood is…well…gone. Nothing like ruining a porn style moment with an unexpected finger in the ass. This, my friends, can be avoided (and it really should be avoided…).
Here are some tips for communicating about anal play:
1) Bring it up OUTSIDE
of the bedroom. If you’re in a relationship and comfortable enough to be
sexually active, you’re probably comfortable talking about sexual topics. Even something as simple as asking if
your partner has ever done anything anally (not just anal sex). If the answer
is yes, they will most likely say how they felt about it. If they don’t
volunteer the information right away, it would be totally natural to respond
with, “Oh really? What did you think?”
If the answer is no, it would also be completely ok to
follow up with a question like, “Oh really? Not your thing, huh?” Approaching
the topic without judgmental statements or opinions is crucial here. You can even use THIS BLOG as a conversation
starter and feel out their reaction.
2) DO NOT attempt to try
it and just, “see what happens”. Not only can this cause some serious
awkwardness, but with a topic that is as sensitive (pun intended) as anal, it
really is important to respect the fact that your partner may not be
comfortable with it at all. Contrary to what you may see while watching porn,
the stealth ass hole poke is not highly recommended.
3) Be careful with your response. Regardless of your partner’s answer, be conscious about how you respond. If you find that they are open to it, don’t automatically assume they are ready for it right then and there, or even that night. I know, I know…you’re excited and I just popped your bubble, but trust me – there are ways to initiate anal play that are more successful than others. Contrarily, if your partner is not interested in it, do not attempt to shame them into it or make them feel bad. “Different strokes for different folks” is spot on when it comes to sex, and getting your partner to do something by pressuring them with guilt is a surefire way to negatively affect your relationship (and then anal will be the LEAST of your worries). There are plenty of people who have started out being uncomfortable with it and, over time, the tides change. If the tides don’t change, you may just have to accept that and find other fun ways to enjoy each other.
Let’s review, shall we? The topic of anal play can be uncomfortable for many people for a variety of reasons. So, approach the conversation in a neutral environment, steer clear of the spontaneous finger jab and love on your partner regardless of where they sit (get it?) on the anal comfort continuum.
Ahhh…the infamous threesome question. First and foremost, you are NOT ALONE whatsoever in your desire to have a threesome. This is one of the more common porn scene searches for both men AND women, and a fantasy that most have had at one point or another. Whenever you’re discussing fantasies with a partner, the most important piece is to go slow (don’t spring it on them the moment they walk in the door). Timing. Is. Everything.
One “rule” I try to stick with is not to have uncomfortable sex chats in the bedroom, or directly following a sexual session. We tend to be super vulnerable during and after, and we want to approach the topic at a neutral time (and even a neutral location!). If you’ve already watched porn together, try watching threesome porn together and see how your partner reacts. Maybe even ask them, “What are your thoughts on threesomes? Did you think that clip was sexy, or no?” Sometimes it’s easier to have a laid back conversation about the idea in general, versus flat out asking them for a threesome.
Their answer will determine whether or not to take the conversation to the next “phase”. If your partner says that they think it’s sexy, you can say something like, “Yeah, I think so, too. Would you ever do that in real life, or is it more of a fantasy thing?”
If you ever decide to have a threesome, there are a number of questions you want to ask yourself before making it happen. But that’s for another blog post…