Extra-Marital Friendships

We all need a life and interests distinct from our ‘coupled’ life.  Research is increasingly showing that couples with friends and interests that are distinct from the friends and interests they share as a couple have stronger and more enduring relationships. You become more interesting and fulfilled if you have interests and friends that are just yours… as opposed to only doing things or hanging out with people you have in common.

But what’s the right balance? Is there a point at which your outside friends and interests creating too much distance between you and your spouse?

To be clear, I think having friends that are just yours is critical.  But I have seen situations where a couples life became so distinct and separate that they kind of stopped having a relationship with each other.

Here are some danger signs to watch for

1. Is one partner consistently choosing time with their friends over time with their partner?  It is great to have outside friends but you don;t want to lose your connection with your partner.

2. Does one partner have lots of outside friends and interests and the other has none.  This is a recipe for resentment and jealousy

3. Where are you putting your best energy.  This is similar to #1, but I’m a strong believer that you get out of a relationship what you put in.  You need to make sure that, irrespective of outside interests and friends, you are putting energy and enthusiasm into your relationship.  It is the only way to keep things fresh and fun as a relationship matures

4. Watch for signs that a friend-crush is turning into something more.  We all get crushes on friends.  It is fun, flirty and titilating… and fine.  But be careful that it stays at the low-burn level.  Crushes can turn to affairs, and unless you’re in an open relationship… this is not cool.

Have a fun weekend with your friends and/or partners.

Sex Talk with you Partner

Great advice

My Vagina Blog

We all have sex, but we hardly ever talk about it. We all have opinions about our experiences and questions about our delivery but instead we go to sleep in silence. Sex is an activity designed to give pleasure. How will you know if your partner or yourself is getting what each desire, if you don’t talk about it.

I will say, that this conversation will not be an easy one. Choose a time when it makes sense; just after having sex is a goo time and you can start with the following:

  • What about our current sex life do you enjoy?
  • Is there anything you would like me to do to bring you more pleasure?
  • Is there anything that I do now that you do not particularly like?

Now make sure it is a discussion and after your partner has answer, offer your answer to the same question even if…

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Sex: Why It’s Good For You

Bored Wives Club

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What do we want? Sex! When do we want it? OK, maybe not right this second -that might be a little inappropriate 🙂 Anyway, studies into sex show that it can have many health and well-being benefits for you, isn’t that great?

Top 5 Reasons Why We Should Be Having More Sex!

Stress Relief

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Yes Ladies. No need to reach for any anti-anxiety medication- sex is the cure! Recently we discussed that hugging releases oxytocin the happy hormone and findings show that so does sex. Not only this, but it also releases the hormone prolactin which is responsible for relaxation and sleep, so it is not surprising that many people fall asleep straight after doing the deed. Don’t bother renewing your prescription for sleeping tablets, just have more sex.

Exercise

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Sex is a great form of exercise. You can burn as little as 5 calories a minute by taking part in what is now…

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P90X3 – done phase 2

Finished phase 2 of P90X3 this week and got to see the application of the results at the rock climbing gym last night.

So, phase 2 was good.  I skipped a few workouts, usually substituting more rock climbing, but sometimes I just couldn’t get the workout in.  All in all though, the progress felt pretty good.  I was definitely increasing the number of pull ups and pushups I could do, and my measurements all went in the right direction.

I got to see the results put in action last night.  We went rock climbing and I was able to complete two problems (the rock climbing term for routes that you climb) that I was not able to do during a competition just two weeks ago.  I took this as a very good sign.

So, feeling good and onto phase 3!

3 Tips for Gracefully Declining Sex With Your Partner

Sometimes sex just isn’t on the table. The reasons are many and known – tired, not in the mood, not feeling well.  But the solutions to this bear discussion.  All too often the response to temporarily mis-matched desire for sex is frustration and a little bitterness .  And the more often one partner is refused, the more each of these things builds.

Life any couple, we have periods where our sexual desire (or ability) don’t line up.  Here is what we do:

  1. Make masturbation a fun and open option – masturbation can, and should, be a positive part of a sexual relationship.  When I can’t have sex with my wife (or she can’t with me; although this is more rare except during periods of work travel), we see masturbation as a key and positive part of evening out our sexual desire.  Don’t just rub one out to alleviate the pent up energy… make an evening of it.  Find a good movie or erotic novel or magazine (do they still make magazines?) and enjoy it.
  2. Be generous with your hands or mouth.  When you’re not in the mood or temporarily incapacitated, giving your partner a hand job or a lick probably isn’t what you most feel like.  But, hey, we often do things we don’t really feel like (we folded 4 baskets of laundry after the kids went to bed last night).  Helping your partner out with a blow job, a hand job or recounting a dirty story will be super appreciated and, honestly, its not that huge an inconvenience.
  3. If the sexual desire imbalance becomes more permanent, consider opening up the relationship.  This is a tough one for many, but getting some (safe and consensual) sex outside of your relationship may be the best thing for your relationship. Lack of sexual compatibility is one of the most cited reasons for divorce… and (in my mind at least) there is nothing sadder than tearing apart an otherwise great relationship over a sexual incompatibility that can be fixed.

Weekend Sexy Discussion Topic – Taking 50 Shades to a Better Place

As you prepare for your weekend, if you are seeing friends and want to try some sexy of edgy discussion, how about…

Imagine a scenario… you’ve just watched 50 Shades of Grey with some friends (let’s say you are with two other couples). It is the first time one of the other couples has been exposed to BDSM and power-play lifestyle.  They are intrigued.

But the movie.. the discussion after the movie is that it is a pretty poor depiction of BDSM and not a great movie.  One of the other couples says.. “if you liked that, we have some BDSM movies that are way better better – sexier, better stories, better movies.”  Want to come over and watch them?

Do You?

Valuing Freedom

Do we value our freedom? Are we willing to pay (literally or figuratively) for this freedom? Well.. yes and no.

This post is a little off-topic for me… but it’s something I have been thinking about since Canada’s recently introduced legislation to protect against terror threats and a play I saw recently (Stuff Happens) about the British and American political decision to start the Iraq war. I worry for us.

Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, there was a lot of talk about the importance of not allowing these attacks ‘to change us’.  If we allowed these attacks to change our democratic and market models.. and the way we lived out freedom and liberty… ‘the terrorists would win’.  We all believed this very deeply.  We got the stock market reopened the week following the attacks; we gathered for memorials at the sites of attacks, defying potential attackers who would wish to see us cowering inside our homes; we defended ourselves through military attacks on the terrorists and those who enabled them. In the months immediately following the attacks we were, as Charlie Sheen would said, winning.

But then we went off track. Way off track.

We got scarred and paranoid.  We lost our ability to understand risk and put it in context.  We forgot the value of our liberty…in a nutshell, in the pursuit of ‘eternal vigilance in the defence of liberty’, we have been all to willing to forget (and give up) the very thing we are defending. Americans will hate this, but we have warped Jefferson’s noble proclamation — “The price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance’ has become “The Price of Safety is Our Liberty”.

In the years following 9/11,

– we have allowed ungodly sums of money to be spent on all forms of security – border security, intelligence capacity, military operations.  Have these made us safer?  Probably… a bit.  But at am an amazing cost.. the billions and billions of dollars could have done so much more – incentivizing small business, reducing taxes, helping the poor, meeting our climate change responsibilities – we would argue about how this money could be used, but the list is long.

– we have forsaken our personal liberty – Bill after Bill is passed that expands the authority of security agencies.. allowing them to tap our phones, monitor our online and real life activities, interrogate and detain us on the loosest of pretence.  This is the liberty we, in the days following 9/11, promised to protect.  Has the made us safer? Probably… a bit.  But at an amazing cost.

– we have become less tolerant.  America – a country built on immigrants is now building walls – real and legal – to keep these scary foreigners out.  America – a country built on religious plurality is now reverting to its (made up) foundation as a Christian nation. America – the creator and home of the United Nation is pridefully reinventing itself as a ‘go it alone nation’. Has this made us safer?  Probably… a bit. But at an amazing cost.

– we are killing innocent people. American and allied soldiers, ‘enemy’ soldiers and countless (and uncounted) innocent bi-standers in the countries with which we are waging war. Has this made us safer? No! But it has made us lots more enemies.

Our instinct post 9/11 was the right one.  But it has been perverted. We went from defenders of liberty (aggressive and militaristic defenders when necessary) to defenders of safety (irrespective of the degree of real risk and cost of that heightened safety).

Americans say: you can’t understand – you’re not American. Bull*&it. Virtually every country has known what it is to be attacked. Don’t tell the French – who were twice invaded and completely overrun by the Germans during the world wars – that they don’t know what its like to be under attack… to feel threatened. For Great Britain, 9/11 was a daily occurrence during the Blitz.

I realize this is a complicated issue, but like all complex issues, we resolve them by leading with our values.  America – and western democracy – works best we are best when value individual freedom and when we act with confidence and compassion.  We are not doing that now.

The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance. And Liberty is worth the price.. even if it is scary and sometimes a little unsafe.