Apparently I’m Going to Live Forever…

.. because I like looking at women’s breasts.  Yes… that’s what I said.  Looking at women’s breasts can make you live longer… science says so.

study from Columbia University that was looking at the link between positive mental attitudes and physical health outcomes has found that having a positive attitude can make us healthier, help us live longer and better cope with pain.  And the most intriguing finding… finding little ways during the day to find pleasure – like staring at a women’s breasts – can significantly improve your mental attitude and improve your health.

In Columbia’s defence, the researchers were not specifically suggesting we all shod be googling women’s boobs.  They said that taking the time to appreciate and reflect on small, simple pleasures was all it took.  It was the creative commentaries on study that suggested boob watching as a great way to experience these pleasures .

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.

Sex and Science: Do Open Relationships Make Us Happier?

People tend to have strong feelings about non monogamy.

People in non monogamous relationships are convinced they are the happiest people in the world and the ‘vanilla’s’ are all boring, brooding fools.  People who are monogamously committed, tend to see open relationships as risky, reckless, sinful and doomed.

So who has art right? The sinful swingers or the dutiful monogamists?  According to a new study from the University of Michigan.. both.  A survey of over 2,000 people (a decent sample) found that monogamous and non monogamous couples had almost identical levels of relationship satisfaction.

Interestingly, most of the media reporting on the study focussed on the ‘surprising’ result that non monogamous couples would be as happy as those in monogamous relationships. The assumption being, I suppose, that society would expect monogamists to be happier.  In my experience – knowing many people in open relationships and many on monogamous relationships – I had the exact opposite opening perspective.  In my experience in these two worlds, I certainly would have thought swingers and those in open relationships would be significantly happier than those leading a monogamous lifestyle. In our experience, swingers are the happiest people in the world and enjoy life and relationships at levels unparalleled in the vanilla world.

So I’m wrong.. the vanillas are happier than I thought.  At least (1) they report to be and (2) those in this study are.  I do wonder if, as couples are in their relationships longer, the vanillas have a tougher time of it. This would certainly fit my lived experience.  Many monogamous couples we have known for years had been very happy at one point in their relationship, but many are significant less happy as the years pass.  Our swinger friends, on the other hand, seem to maintain a vitality, happiness and energy as their relationship ages that alludes their monogamous counterparts.  For my wife and I for instance, as we age we are finding we enjoy spending more and more time with our swinger friends… just because they are happier.

So, maybe I’ve been too hard on the vanillas.  Maybe.

Do People Masturbate Less Than We (I) Think?

My wife and I had an interesting conversation last night about how often we thought people masturbated.  We’re both pretty sexually liberal and real, really like sex, so our assumption was that pretty much everyone masturbates pretty regularly.

Maybe not as much as we thought.

We started our search for answers with some of the websites we like best.  Jezelbel did a survey finding that 92% of women masturbate. Mic Network puts the figure in the high 80s.

This was pretty much what we were expecting. But then we considered.. are these really the most objective sources.  These are pretty edgy, sex positive sites.  What if we looked at more traditionally-oriented sources.

Psychology Today – a very respectable main stream publication – cites a very significant University of Chicago study that found only 61% of men and 38% of women had masturbated during the previous year.  Huffington Post – a mainstream and even slightly left of centre news outlet reported similar results.

So, only 60% of men and 40% of men had masturbated during the last year.  This was a surprise.  Until we thought about it more.  As much as my wife and I love sex, we are often flabbergasted at how ambivalent some/many of our friends seem to be about sex.  We are often amazed (and a little disappointed) at how often our friends come up with statements like

  • Sex just isn’t a big part of my life anymore
  • I don’t have the time or energy for sex anymore.. so it has just kind of gone away
  • I don’t really connect anymore with my wife/husband, so my desire for sex is kind of gone
  • Sex… too complicated.. I’m over it

While I’m aways a little saddened when I hear something like this, the truth is I hear it quite often.  For them, the small (or big) pleasure that is sex has become lost to them.  So, while sad, it is a reality for many.

So, when we stated discussing these numbers, while I suspect masturbation is somewhat underreported in surveys, the figure of 60 and 40 percent of men and women masturbate… likely not too far off.

Bi-curious vs Bisexual – What’s the difference?

A Guest Blog by my Wife:

A girl friend of mine recently got into the lifestyle (that is, she and her husband started swinging). She is very bisexual, and had previously dated both women and men. She came over for a drink the other night, and wanted to share a discovery she’d made through the last couple of months on Adult Friend Finder (AFF) … in a loud stage whisper, she leaned toward me and said “Bi-curious and bisexual … not the same thing. Who knew?”

We had a good laugh over that, and it got me thinking about the difference between bi-curiosity and bisexuality. I’d say bi-curious women can be divided into 3 camps:

Camp 1 – This Feels Naughty and The Guys Like It

The title kind of says it all. These women are open to light experimentation because it feels like they’re doing something taboo, and they love the reaction they get from their men. They’re into kissing and fondling, but have NO interest in going further and never will. I’ve heard this called “Bi for Guy” because it’s all about the reaction. This is not the group my friend is looking for.

Camp 2 – Exploring Uncharted Territory 

This group of women have figured out somehow (let’s be honest … likely through porn) that they’re turned on by women, and want to explore this. As they start to play with other women, they’ll end up figuring out how much they like the experience compared with how much they thought they’d like it. Each person will end up somewhere on a spectrum ranging from “this is okay, but I really don’t want to touch someone else’s pussy, and maybe I’ll stick to fantasizing” to “OMG, women’s bodies are so sexy and this opens up a huge world of possibility and I want to try everything”. Admittedly, this isn’t a very refined spectrum, but you get the idea. This camp really doesn’t know what they’ll find on their journey, but call themselves bi-curious as the entry ticket that allows them explore, experiment, and figure this out. Some of these women would get along very well with my friend; others, not so much.

Camp 3 – Fighting the Label

The third camp are women who are at the far right of the spectrum I talked about in camp 2 (the OMG end), but who still shy away from calling themselves bisexual. They’re not comfortable with this label, and who can blame them … bisexuality still isn’t widely understood, talked about and accepted by society. So accepting this label proclaims that you’re not part of the mainstream, and this can feel uncomfortable for many people. But they love bisexual play in practice. Many women in this camp may one day graduate to calling themselves bisexual, but for now they play it safe and stick with bi-curious, a term that leaves you undeclared. This sub-set of the bi-curious may be tough to find, but are worth looking for!

The good news in all of this is that many women are starting to explore their sexuality, and are recognizing that sexuality is a continuous scale (not just straight or gay). Young people are way ahead in this: a recent YouGov survey (https://today.yougov.com/news/2015/08/20/third-young-americans-exclusively-heterosexual) asking people to place their sexuality on a scale of 0 to 6, where 0 is completely heterosexual and 6 is completely homosexual, found that 29% of millennials placed themselves somewhere other than 0 or 6 on the scale (i.e. indicated they have some degree of bisexuality), compared with only 8% of baby boomers. So while down the road we’ll likely hear the term bi-curious a lot less, for now it’s important to recognize it can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and that’s okay.

So if my friend is looking for a true bisexual experience, she may need to ask a few more questions to figure out what camp the other person is in.

 

Forced Abstinence

4 days

Did you know that when you have a vasectomy you need to go 4 days without sex in order to have your semen tested to make sure it no longer contains sperm?

This means 4 days of forced abstinence.  Not to sound like a whining baby, but I’m pretty unhappy about it… and really wondering what lack of wisdom caused me to decide to do this over a weekend.. in spring. Is there any worse time to go without sex?

But it has caused me to think about a few things.  Firstly, non-sexual forms of intimacy… My wife and I had an awesome, fun, romantic evening last night.  Any other evening like this would certainly end in sex.  But last night we couldn’t.  So we had an awesome time but just made out and could not have sex.  A part of me says that was really nice.. another part of me (a bigger part) thought ‘boy, I sure would love to have sex right now’.

Secondly, and maybe this is good, does a short period of denial make the desire all the stronger.  I can say a heartfelt yes.  I pretty much take daily or near-daily sex for granted.  Having to wait for it has certainly built some anticipation… in both me and my wife.  And this anticipation is probably good for us… allowing the pressure to build will, I suspect, make the release all the sweeter.

 

Underwear — Optional?

My 13 year old daughter proudly proclaimed yesterday, in front of her grandparents, “I hate underwear… I haven’t worn any all week”.

I was wise enough to keep my mouth shut, but I don’t like underwear either. I don’t really see the point. It just seems constraining. And since I wash my pants after I wear them, the hygiene argument doesn’t hold.

So, in an age of modern clothes washing appliances, has underwear become obsolete?  Yes and no.

In the yes column, as a fashion accessory, I’m still a big fan. There is nothing sexier than a nice outfit with sexy underwear underneath.  Both my wife and I (her more than I) try to make sure that our underwear are sexy and slightly provocative… as part of the overall sexy package we try to present to one another.

As well, sometimes underwear are necessary to provide some discretion. I will admit, as I write this, I am wearing underwear.  The white linen pants I am wearing right now had a discernible bulge when I put them on this morning with no underwear… no one needs to see that outline all day as I walk around downtown.

And.. sometimes… comfort requires.  I’m told that sometimes, of women in particular, you need them??

But on the no… boring, sexless, shapeless underwear… why bother?  If you’re only doing it to add another layer… no need.