Don’t Piss Off Michelangelo

UnknownHow would you like to spend eternity in Hell with a serpent gnawing on your dick? If your answer is ‘no thanks’, then make sure you stay on Michelangelo’s good side.

I am on a family trip to trip in Italy right now, and this morning we toured the Vatican City. I am not a religious person but anyone who reads my blog knows I am fascinated by religion.

I thought I would share a few highlights and interstitial facts I learned

1. Michelangelo, the famous Renaissance artist was a pretty ballsy guy. In painting the Sistine Chapel, he painted the face the most powerful Cardinal onto the body of a man burning in Hell, damned to have a serpent gorge on his penis for eternity Why? Because the Cardinal was critical of how Michelangelo was drawing religious figures like Jesus and Mary, saying he was making them too muscular and realistic.

2. Raphael was worse. Michelangelos contemporary, Raphael, was originally asked by the Pope to paint the Cistine Chapel. Raphael was the most famous artist in the world at that time, but he was too busy to take on the project. But he knew it was a huge deal. So, he recommended Michelangelo, a 20 year old sculptor who had never painted. Why? Because he thought Michaelangelo would screw it up. Quite the opposite, Michelangelo not only created a masterpiece, he transformed Renaissance art and became an inspiration for Raphel’s later work

3. I saw the Pope. It turns out the Pope was having a special mass this morning. We got to see it and, because of we stood, we were about 10 feet from the Pope as he made his entrance.

So… Pretty touristy thing to do, but we loved it. If you ever do it, I would really recommend the Pristine Cistine tour. It leaves at 730 am but you have the place basically to yourself. By 930 the Vatican is a zoo, but our first couple hours were amazing

Bucket List check off – Saw an Erupting Volcano

I had no idea what to expect when a friend told me to make sure I fit in a side trip to Mount Stromboli in the Aolean Islands during my trip to Italy. I was told you could hike to the top of the volcano and see its churning lava and witness an eruption that would spew lava into the air every 20 minutes or so.  

So, after assuring myself that this could be done safely, I hired a guide to take my family and I to the top of Stromboli. The boat ride out was long – about 7 hours – but if i got to see a real live active volcan it would be worth it.  The plan was to begin hiking from the base at 5pm so that we could reach the summit at sunset (about 9). The hike up was nice – varied terrain and pretty steep but easy going. As we got closer to the top, we could hear very regular explosions. Our guide said we should get a good show as Stromboli had been really active during the last two weeks. 

Well, what a show we got. As we approached the summit, we saw bits of very fresh black lava that our guide said was less than 24 hours old. This seemed a little crazy. We donned hard hats and and we’re told to stay alert for flying debrie.  As we crested the summit, the view was amazing.  We looked down 100 meters into three openings that were the mouths of the volcano. You could see red lava bubbling and churning in one of the three craters. And sure enough, five minutes after summitting, there was a huge explosion and lava flew from the middle crater. It flew a good 25 meters into the air and the whole area around the crater became molten red. I’ve never seen anything like it. We stayed on the summit for about 45 minutes and saw 6 or 7 more eruptions. My wife, kids and I were totally exhilarated. This is a once in a lifetime experience

One item crossed off the yet to be written bucket list.  

 

 

 

Meeting Travellers

We are on a family vacation in Italy.

As much as I love exploring new parts of the world, my favorite part of travelling is the friendly, outgoing, travelling culture. Every evening on the terrace of the different hotels we stay at, there are a group of Travellers hanging out, drinking wine and sharing their experience and adventures. 

In just a week, aside from many very hostipatble italians, we have met Russians, Germans, Americans, Aussies and Kiwis, all of hedom had fascinating stories to tell. My daughter (10 years old)  all about international finance from an american central banker over dinner one night.   My wife and i spoke about corruption in the Ukraine with a very shady Russian during that same dinner.  We learned about the human psychology of environmentalism over drinks one evening and got an invitation to visit new friends from Nurrumberg.

 Whenever we travel, we find this.  Open, fun, friendly, interesting people. No matter where we go, it is always the highlight of our travels 

Hiking The Path of the Gods in Amalphi Italy

It is hard to imagine any hike that could live up to the name ‘Path of the Gods’, but this one comes close. 

We arrived on the Amalfi Coast yesterday as part of a family vacation we are doing in Italy. After a day of mostly travel from Rome it felt good to be out hiking. The walk starts with a pretty grueling 1,800 steps up a homemade series of staircases, first to an active convent and then upward to the ridge of the hills that characterize the amalfi coast. 

From there, the hike is a nice rolling 5 to 14 kilometer hike along the ridgeline, depending where younwant to come off.  The views were spectacular – sheer cliffs, villages built into the cliffs and the aqua blue Mediteranian Sea. Honestly, the toughest part of the hike was the steep beginning (and at 1,800 steps it is not to be taken lightly) but aside from that it is a pretty easy hike that is very accessible to anyone in reasonable shape. We were impressed by how many elderly people who were doing it. 

And finishing off with a glass of wine on the beach in Positano — can’t beat that 

 

Sex Is Fun Files — Sexual Negotiation

UnknownWhat is that one little indulgence you would like in your sexual life?  That one fetish or one naughty act you are embarrassed to ask for? Do you want to be bossed around, tied up, talked dirty to?  Maybe its a finger up your ass – or more than a finger.  Or, if you veer more to the edgy, how about a little water sports?

Let face it, for all of us, there are some sexual things we would like to try but we simply have not been able to pull it off in our current relationship.

So, how do you get what you want?

First, you need to be honest about what you want. Any decent sex advice type will tell you that the foundation to a good relationship and getting your sexual needs and desires met is open communication.  Despite this, how many of us have a secret desire that we are embarrassed to share or feel too naughty or deviant to admit wanting.  Many men, for example, would feel emasculated to ask for anything to be inserted in their ass; yet it is a very common male fantasy and, at a purely physical level, it can feel good.  So, within reason (and I will come back to this) be honest and clear about your desires and fantasies.

Second, as this post title would indicate, negotiate.  Even with open communications, you may not get everything you want when you want it.  Some of the things you want, your partner may not want to give you and he/she may not be comfortable with you getting them elsewhere.  My advice on negotiations is (i) on anything that you want sexually, but for which your partner is not fully on board, make sure you are clear that it is not a criticism of them that they are not giving you what you want (you may fantasize about giving you partner a big load in the face; it is no fault of hers that she doesn’t like the idea); (ii) be prepared for baby steps ( is to negotiate baby steps (your desire for dirty talk may start with him reading you some erotica while you masturbate; and (iii) be prepared that sometimes the answer is simply no.

For my third piece of advice; and some of the sex positive people out there don’t like this one…. your sexual desires are not your sexual needs. No matter how much you fantasize about a good, hard anal fisting, you probably don’t need it to be happy in a relationship. I have noticed a trend in the sex advice community toward really owning your sexual desires, to the point that all of our sexual wants transmographie into deal-breakers if not met.  For most of us, there are some deal breakers.  I wold not be satisfied in a sexless relationship would likely be relationship ending to me. Similarly, not feeling loved of appreciated.  But if my partner really, really doesn’t like anal and doesn’t feel ok with me having an anal fuck buddy… well, too bad for me but I can survive without it.

So, it’s worth thinking about — sexually, what do you want, what do you need and how do you get out there and get it.  Good luck!

The Sex is Fun Files G Spot Orgasm

images-2In a continuing series of posts on topics covered by one of my all time favourite podcasts – Sex is Fun – today I will talk about the G-Spot orgasm.

There seem to be three questions that often come up around the G-Spot orgasm – (i) whether they exist; (ii) how to have them; and (iii) exactly what they are.

The first question – whether they exist – seems completely resolved at this point.  They Do.  The Sex is Fun episode on G-Spot orgasms was taped in 2006 and, interestingly, it seems this was still an active debate then. Anecdotally, my wife has then very regularly; in fact almost every time we have sex.  This was not always the case. For the first 1o years of her sexual life she had never had a G-Spot orgasm.  Then, she would have them occasionally.  Now… always.

On the second question – how to have them – I think there are two tricks.  First, the mechanical – it required direct pressure and stimulation inside and to the front of the vaginal canal.  But, will this always result in a G-spot orgasm?  Not always and not for everyone. This the second trick – there is something psychological about mastering the G-Spot orgasm.  I have no idea what it is, but is seems to be a combination of openness to sexual pleasure and begin relaxed enough to let it build and happen.  Again, from my wife’s experience, this took time.

Finally, the third question – what is a G-Spot orgasm.  I have heard that it is a release from stimulating the female prostrate; for those who squirt, it seems that the ‘squirting’ comes from the prostate stimulation.  Others have concluded that the G-Spot orgasm is another form of clitoral orgasm, coming from the long extended legs of the clitoris, that runs inside the vaginal wall.  I am not a scientists, but I find this theory a little tougher to believe, since the g-spot orgasm feels so different from the clitoral orgasm.

Whatever the G-Spot orgasm is, one thing is certain…. they feel great so figuring out a way to have them…. great idea!!

Canada’s New Prostitution Law – Who Are there Laws Protecting…. and From What

UnknownJust months after Canada’s Supreme Court struck down almost all of Canada’s prostitution laws, Prime Minister Harper defied all expectation and announced new anti-prostitution laws. And what a set of laws they are.

Canada’s prostitution laws were always fairly liberal.  Prostitution was legal, but open solicitation, living off the avails and running a bawdy house were illegal.  After the Supreme Court decision, prostitution was, basically, all legalized. At the time of the decision, political pundits were predicting that this would be the end of prostitution laws in Canada.

This put Stephen Harper in a tough spot. As a tough on crime conservative, he didn’t like the courts striking down criminal law. As a conservative christian, he really doesn’t like prostitution. As a quasi-libertarian you would think he would not like state intrusion into what is, fundamentally, a private exchange between consenting adults.

Well… if you are a socially and religious conservative with a libertarian bent, you probably think his new law is just about right.  For anyone else it seems misogynistic and plain nuts.

Canada’s new prostitution makes prostitution illegal. It will also be illegal to advertise and profiting from prostitution.

The law is terrible.

Firstly, it will never survive a constitutional challenge. The infringement on sex workers right was deemed too severe under the old law and this is far more extreme.  Constitutional scholars appear near unanimous in their belief that this law will be struck down.

Secondly, nobody wants it. Both liberal and conservative pundits are coming out against the law. To be fair, the far right religious groups like it and this is Harper’s political base.

Finally, and most importantly, it is dangerous to sex workers.  It forces sex worker deeper underground, where we all know it is more dangerous.

And, in this, is revealed the truth.  Stephen Harper doesn’t care about sex workers and he doesn’t care about johns. As a libertarian, in his heart he believes that evil, sinful people should be free to pursue their evil sinfuls acts, as long as it is completely hidden from god-fearing decent folks.  Whether this sets up a circumstance that endangers those sinners — who cares… they’re going to Hell anyway.

How did we elect this guy??