The Biggest Sex and Intimacy Killer: Anger

frommtvtomommy

You might think that adultery or excessive drinking or maybe even traveling for work would be the biggest sex and intimacy killer in your relationship, but it’s not.

Well, yes those 3 things will kill intimacy (temporarily one hopes), the biggest erection and orgasm downer is anger.

If either you or your partner is angry enough to say, “I don’t want to deal with you right now,” it opens the floodgates to a world of no-intimacy, no sex, and no fun.

Here’s why and here’s how:

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1/3 of Moms Have “Gone Years” Without Sex

Featured Image -- 4066A new survey from Family Circle reports that 1/3 of  women surveyed have gone years without sex after having a baby.

I was really curious about this result. After speaking with my wife about it, I guess I am not surprised by the result, but it still made me a little sad.  We were lucky.. my wife stayed very healthy through both of her pregnancies and got her energy and sexual desire back pretty quickly.  I understand this is not always the case.  Of our circle of friends, we know many whose sex drive diminished dramatically post-kids.

Given that sex is, for many, an important part of a relationship, what can be done to make sure that sex, while it may take a bad seat, does not wither and die with the arrival of babies?

P90X3 – update

ImageI haven’t done a P90X3 update in a couple of weeks.  This is because we have been on a family vacation and I have not been able to keep as strictly to the program as I otherwise would have.  

Where I left off: I had just finished the transition week between Blocks 2 and 3 and had done the first three workouts in Block 3 – Decelerator, Agility and the Challenge.  On those quickly:

Decelerator had some really tough moves, so I would say 80% of it went really well and was a great workout, but a couple moves kicked my ass (think crane cracker pushups and elevator pull ups — they are insane)

Agility X – this was back from Block 1 – love this workout

The Challenge: this was the highlight.  I found this really tough during Block 1 and could never keep my goal of 12 pull-ups; 25 pushups per move.  This time I came in at 12 and 25 on virtually every one.  It is great to see progress

Since starting vacation 9 dye ago, I have been working out – MMX, Pilates, Triometrics, lots of swimming (which is fun – i used to be a competitive swimmer but haven’t doe much in years), some beach runs, but it has been more what is convenient on a particular day.  There has been no program.

I have decided to restart block 3 when I get back home – in a week.  Will update again then. 

Finding Common Ground: Healthcare

images-26Watching the US healthcare debate, from Clinton to Bush to Obama makes me weep.  Second only to environment, in my opinion, health care has been a pawn in the right/left political debate, where both sides have allowed short term political positioning to trump advances on an issue critical to our lives.  And it is, literally, killing us.

First a couple of facts

  • the US spends more per capita on health care than any other country in the world, by a lot.  At 8,500 per person he US spends 50% more than the second highest speeder (Norway)and almost twice as much as my home country Canada.
  • for this enormous investment, the US isn’t getting a great return.  The Word Health Organization ranked the US healthcare system 37th in terms of efficiency.  That’s efficiency – value for dollar.  In terms of outcomes, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that in nearly every major cause of premature death – from heart disease to interpersonal violence – the US does worse than its economic peers.

So, clearly there’s room for improvement.

I believe there are some core principles we can all agree on (some of these are a little controversial, but I believe they make sense if you think about them).

  • every American should have the right to basic healthcare, no matter their socio-economic situation;
  • given the level of US prosperity, this “basic’ healthcare should be pretty good and it should include treatment of pre-existing conditions and it should include end-of-life care;
  • given the aging US population and the high cost of healthcare (17% of GDP), costs must be controlled
  • health service providers (doctors, nurses, etc) must be provided with reasonable compensation
  • The perfect cannot be the enemy of the good. The status quo is both horrible and unaffordable.  Yet every reform package (think Obamacare) is torn apart because it is sub-optimal in comparison to some idealized gold standard; we must except that not every healthcare issue or individual citizen will be ideally treated by any health care system and the media and political tendency to exploit every failure is simply a recipe for the status quo.
  • finally, politicians cannot design the details: heath care reform is simply to complicated and too easy to manipulate for political short-termism.   Politicians should articulate the principles and a bi-partisan, blue ribbon panel of experts should design the details.  Government should then implement whatever they come up with.

You may notice I took a different tact in this Common Grounds Blog.  I didn’t highlight where the religious right and progressive left disagree. This is because I honestly don’ think they really disagree on anything that is important.  This is why Romneys’s healthcare plan became Obama’s.  What has happened is this: the right and left wing politicians have convinced their constituencies that they disagree because it is an amazing wedge political issue.  What do they disagree on:  whatever the the other side proposed.

Raising Determined Kids

ImageOur youngest daughter has never been what you would call a ‘water baby’. Both of our daughters grew up around water, but while our oldest  (now 12) would spend hours swimming in the pool, the ocean, the lake… a shallow puddle. Our youngest (now 10), on the other had, would be out within 30 minutes.  In her defence, while she is a strong swimmer and had fun, she is rail thin and gets cold very easily. But, all this to say, swimming was not really her thing.

Imaging our surprise, when vacationing this winter, when our youngest decided she wanted to swim 1,000 laps in the pool over the course of our two week vacation.  Even more surprising, we are only on day 4 and she has already surpassed 600 laps, knocking off 307 yesterday afternoon.

My wife and I are trying to figure out what has given rise to this.  It is not love of swimming. While she, honestly, is a beautiful swimmer, it has never been a passion. When I step back, I think two rethinks are going on:

1.  She loves attention and she adores the adulation she is getting by being an ‘extreme’ swimmer. But this is not the whole thing; I know she is a bit of a drama pig, but there are only a few of us around and the attention she is getting is pretty light

2. She is a really determined kid.  When she puts her mind to something, on her own terms, she is relentless.

I really like to see this determination come out in her.  Both my wife and I have always worried a bit that, in a sincere effort to show balance and be good parents, we sometimes hide from our kids how seriously we take our work and other commitments.  We actually do have very demanding jobs and put ourselves through very strenuous and serious health and fitness regimes; but we don’t play this up with our kids.  With our kids, we focus on fun, learning and family.  While this has given us an amazing, balanced family life, I have always worried that out kids would not develop the seriousness required to commit to tough things and see them through.

I am thrilled to see this determination come out.

Teaching Sex in a Healthy Way: How I Hope to Keep my Kids From Growing up Naked and Ashamed….

Very balanced

Work.in.Progress

In her essay, Naked and Ashamed, Amanda Barbee critiques the way the Christian Church has dealt with the physical body and sexuality. Amanda discusses the ambiguity with which the Church has handled the human body in general, and then presses in to discuss the consistency with which women’s bodies have been maligned in Christian tradition. She lands more recently upon recent research that reveals  abstinence curricula like “True Love Waits,” increases shame responses for children/adolescents. This shame has been found to have similar effects on intimacy later in life to childhood sexual abuse.

Wow.

Shame is a potent tool and one that has been used by parents, churches, and teachers–especially in the realm of sexual development/exploration–far too often. It worked, or at least appeared to on the front end. I’d like to believe that those pushing for abstinence only sexual education may not have known of the damaging effects…

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