Yet Another Reason to Drink Wine

Science is awesome… especially when it validates our vices.

With wine, things keep getting better and better. First, The Mayo Clinic reveals that red wine can reduce the risk of health disease. And now the the Yale School of Medicine says that wine may help make is smarter as well.

It’s a little complicated but apparently wine, in order for us to experience taste from it, must engage the brain differently than others foods and drinks to.  The molecules in wine, rather than stimulating out taste buds, make our brains create the flavours we experience.

So, as we drink wine, our brain works really hard to create the favours we experience.  And, as is well established, exercising your brain develops new or deeper neural pathways and makes us smarter and makes our brain healthier… just like doing crosswords or math puzzles.

I fucking love science.

In My Defence… I Was left Unsupervised

This was a funny T-Shirt I saw other night, but it made me think.. and caused me to do a survey amongst friends I’ve been out with recently to ask them “What do you do when you are home alone.. unsupervised”.  The answers were interesting and I found many of them pretty insightful of the people who have them.  Here is a smattering:

  • Put away my phone and read a good book – I like this one.. Life is busy and we often don’t allow ourselves to unplug and just lose yourself in a book.
  • Go out and do … whatever.  One guy confided that he loves to go to strip clubs when he’s alone and ‘unsupervised’. Its not something he does often or something that fits into his regular life.. but when he gets to cut loose he loves it.  Another said, similar, he likes to go to a bar and have a few drinks with strangers.
  • Commune with nature.  One friend, who I would consider someone who never likes to be alone said she can’t be alone in her house, but loves to go on long walks and think
  • Masturbate and watch porn too much — I can relate to this.  Its kind of a like a lazy, guilty indulgence you give yourself when your alone and have no responsibilities.  Two friends gave me this one.  One, a guy, I can totally see it – he’s a busy guy with lots of responsibilities; this is a way be indulges.  The other was a women and, frankly, I think she said it to impress me; I’m pretty sure she watches porn and masturbates every once in a long while but I’m pretty sure that she really juts watched TV and eats popcorn when she’s home alone… But that brings me to the next one
  • Watch TV and veg.  A few people said this, and it really disappointed me.  To think, when you have no responsibilities and time.. you do nothing.  Not to reveal my biases too much, but that sucks.
  • And my favourite, by my favourite person and the person who inspired me to blog on this topic and who I first thought of when I saw that T-Shirt ‘in my defence I was left unsupervised’… her answer… ‘I text you dirty things that I shouldn’t”.  I love her.

When does it Become Prostitution?

A close female friend of mine recently announced to be that she wants a ‘patron’. She was referring to victorian times, when most of the major artists and entertainers had someone who provided for them financially, so that they could be free to work on their craft… be it painting, music, writing.

My friend is a very talented person. But her talent lies in many areas that are difficult to make a living at… especially in a mid sized Canadian city.  She’s a comedian, an artists and an all around fun person to be around.

So, she wants a patron.  Someone who will give her a modest – or even a generous – stipend that allows her the financial freedom to do her thing.  As opposed to her current situation – where she’s working as a waitress at a steakhouse and doing part time government contracts to pay off the massive debt she’s accrued in the last few years where she was trying to make it as a comedian.

She was joking, but I tried to convince her that there are probably some wealthy people who have seen her perform who would consider giving her a little financial help to assist her in pursuing her dream.  She agreed, but added quickly “they would want sex”.  I should add that my friend is very attractive.

This is probably true.  They might want sex to be a part of the ‘patron’ deal. She said “I’ve been broke before, but I’ve always drawn the line at prostitution”. But it got us taking about whether an arrangement like that would really be a problem.

Someone – a man most likely – would be providing her with financial assistance that allows her to pursue the arts and most likely be his sexual and social companion.  How is this different from many relationships?

Let’s break down the components.  Whoever would enter into this relationship with her will most likely appreciate what she does – he will, as a precondition for her, have an appreciation of both her talent and her company.   She could easily set the bar high enough to only screen in people who show a genuine interest in her talent and her company.  And then, in addition, they will enjoy the time they send sexually.  Lets me frank – this is more compatibility and sharing of interests than some/many marriages I know.

It sounds outrageous, but I think that’s only because we tend to draw pretty sharp – yet incorrect – distinctions between what one can and cannot do for sex.  Paying for sex.. wrong.  Having sex begrudgingly as part of a relationship that kind of makes you miserable but you’re staying in because you can’t afford to leave or you can’t be bothered to leave… ok??

Sex is one of the many, many things that each of us bring to a relationship.  And there is nothing wrong with getting some personal benefit from that element of what you bring to the game.  I hope she finds her patron.

A Little Sexy Spice for the Holidays

I blogged recently on keeping your sex life a priority during the bust holiday season.  In that spirit I wanted to share an experience my wife and I had last year that created a fun and sexy memory for us.

We were in the height of holiday seasons mayhem.   We had just dropped the kids at a birthday party (who does December birthday parties?!?!?) and where frantically catching up on our Christmas shopping.  On or way to the next stop, we drove by a massage parlour that we had gone to occasionally for couple’s erotic massages.

Erotic massages are something we do very occasionally… kind of like a light threesome.  Usually when we do it, it is a date night, planned well in addable.  This time, we just drove by but the location clearly registered for both of us. Half a mile later, my wife looked at me and said ‘lets go back’.  Even though there were 50 things we needed to get gone during the three hours we had while the kids were at a birthday party, I did not hesitate.

An hour later, we had a happy, sexy glow that we knew would see us through the family-intensive holiday season.  Sure, we didn’t get all our shopping done that afternoon.  But SO WORTH IT!

Would You Try A ‘Nakation’?

The number of Americans taking naked vacations is on the rise.

While the numbers are, admittedly, pretty hard to nail down and verify –  according to a TripAdvisor survey, there has been a significant increase in the number of people that would consider, and are actually indulging in, naked vacations.

Is this surprising?  That more people are vacationing naked? (My own bias – I think its a great thing; I Iike nudism and naked vacations). But am I surprised their popularity is rising?  I don’t know.

– On the one hand, the cynical side of me feels that society is becoming more polarized and judging. If this is the case, I would think that nudism may be repressed. But this cynicism is, I hope, unwarranted and just a bi-product of my fixation on politics and political news media.

– The more optimistic side of my spirit likes what it sees. People seem less hung up about unimportant differences and choices.  Young people, especially, seem much more tolerant of differences amongst us… different cultures, sexual orientation, beliefs… it all seems ok.  And with this, if you like to vacation naked – go for it — I may join you!

So, would you do it?  Go on a ‘nakation’? As I said, I have. My wife and I did it once on a lark and have since been back to the same clothing optional report 8 times.  There is something completely relaxing, distressing and freeing, the moment you drop your clothes.

Time For Pleasure

I received an email today from an over-busy, over-programmed friend complaining about how over-busy and over-programmed her life is. She has reason to complain. Her kids are in a lot of stuff, she has a part time business that eats up a lot of time and energy and she is not all that well organized, so stuff takes her a lot of time.

And she is miserable.

I have tried to be sympathetic in the past, but the more I listen, the more I realize — WE MAKE CHOICES!

As adults, we have the capacity to choose how we spend our 24 hours a day. I am getting ever more frustrated with those who choose to allow their loves to get overly programmed and overly busy and either wear it as a badge of pride, or, worse, expect pity.

Granted, some have to work ridiculously long hours just to make ends meet. I am fortunate that I, and most of my friends, are not in this camp. We are professionals and many of us work long hours, but it is not because we need the extra hours to get by.

I am proud that my wife and I a careful in the choices we make about how to spend our time. We don’t do a lot of housework, but we have lots of quality couple time – as a result our sex lives are great and we are a very happy couple. We don’t put our kids in activities all over town, but we spend tons of time playing with them, as opposed to chauffeuring them all over the place.

Having a balanced life is easy to say, and easy to achieve. It is about the choices we make — we have more control than many seem to believe we have.

The Power of Yes

What does it take to be a fun, interesting person? Sometimes its as easy as giving yourself permission.

A close friend of mine recently recovered from a pretty serious illness and one of his resolutions, upon returning to health, was to say yes more often. His rationale: as a busy guy and a working parent of two, he often would reject offers to go out or to do things simply out of a sense of ‘negative inertia’. For example, a friend would suggest going out for drinks after work and he would say no because he had to get home and help get dinner and homework ready. Someone would suggest something after dinner and he would say no simply because he was ‘settled in’ for the evening.

But he resolved to change that. He said that, for a year, he would say yes to anything… within reason.

And he’s had some great times. I should lead with the caveat that he is not – REPEAT NOT – a wild and crazy guy. He hasn’t gone out on coke-fueled binges or indulged in orgies. But he has had a lot of fun. He’s gotten into alternative cinema, he’s played bingo at a local super-seedy bingo hall a few times, he’s made lots of new friends and he’s become, by and large, a way funner person to be around.

I should be clear – it has not always been easy. Although he doesn’t go out all that often, it did take an adjustment at home. He and his wife had to get used to the fact that they would sometimes do bedtime and homework rituals on their own. On the up side, however, they will both admit that they find one another more interesting as a result of the more frequent absences.

So, what could you do to be more fun. If you resolved to say yes more frequently, what would you find yourself doing more of?