There's a point in a relationship when you feel like a nuclear bomb is about to explode inside your throat. Like you’ve swallowed liters of Pepsi and chased them with Alka-Seltzer. Like Miley Cyrus is swinging on that good old wrecking ball of hers, aiming for your pathetic little heart. This is the horrifying instant, in which the words “I love you,” want to pull a geographic from your mouth, and into the perfectly shaped ears of your beloved.
Some of us relish hearing and saying these words. We feel brave, uplifted, open, and closer to our partners. Brene Brown defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.”If this isn’t it, I don’t know what is.
TO OTHERS, HOWEVER, THE THOUGHT OF TELLING SOMEONE WE LOVE THEM IS ON PAR WITH WATCHING A HOME VIDEO OF OUR OWN CONCEPTION, WHICH OUR PARENTS ADMIT, GOT PRETTY WILD.
HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR PARTNER'S SEXUAL PAST!
It's probably safe to assume that the person you're currently sleeping with, slept with someone else before you. In fact, she might have slept with someone else immediately before sleeping with you, if you're not monogamous. It's also probably safe to assume that she perfected that Rock-a-Bye-Booty you like so much with someone else, and that she realized she was into light spanking with yep, you got it, her Brazilian ex who as she puts it, "helped the flower of her sexuality blossom." (p.s. puke)
I for one, learned the hard way that La Isla Bonita is a silly song to have sex to. That's the kind of invaluable information that I know for sure has been appreciated by my partners.
Some of us don't worry too much about what, (or who) came before us. My own partner, for example, says infuriatingly reasonable things like "It's none of my business," or "It had nothing to do with me." Comments to which I soundly reply by walking away indignantly and cracking open my copy of When Things Fall Apart.
THERE'S ONLY ONE RULE AND IT WILL SAVE YOUR LOVE LIFE.
So I'm having a conversation the other day with a lovely human being. She and I are in her car, blithely arguing about systems theory or flash mobs. I'm almost certain that I'm right and she's wrong, as is so often the case between us.
Thanks to my interest in neuroscience, I happened to know that my autonomic nervous system was doing it’s thing, via my sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems which were regulating my cardiac and vasomotor activity, balancing my cortisol levels, and integrating input from my limbic system. In a nutshell, keeping it real.
SUDDENLY, THIS LOVELY HUMAN ACCUSES ME OF GETTING DEFENSIVE.
I was doing no such thing, so I might have snapped back and told her that the British woman inside the GPS system was better attuned to me than she was, and that her ability to be wrong so many times in a row was as impressive as it was sad.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU AND YOUR SEX PARTNERS TALK ABOUT THE SEX YOU'RE HAVING?
- Do you talk more about Justing Bieber than about your own beaver?
- More about Law and Order than about the way the law regulates our bedrooms?
- More about whether you should get bangs, than how you are (or aren't) getting banged?
- More about Glee than about experiencing actual pleasure in the bedroom?
Allow me to digress.
This past weekend, I attended the 2012 Good Vibrations Sex Summit, among the likes of Carol Queen, trans activist Yosenio V. Lewis and the sexysmart Emily Morse. Tucked in the honeymoon (conference) suite of the Marriot Marquis, icons and iconoclasts of sex, pop culture, media, academic research and scientific inquiry got in bed together and did it.
And by did it, I mean they came together and started ridiculously poignant conversations, that we should all be getting in on.
HOW BOUNDARIES WILL KEEP YOUR RELATIONSHIP TOGETHER AND YOUR HEART FROM FALLING OUT.
No is the most powerful word in the English language. It is the kindest, best, and most versatile utterance in the history of utterances, and only the smartest people know how to use it.
It is mom's cautious hand against our chest, protecting us from oncoming traffic as we cross the street. It's a quick punch in the nose, or a talk to the hand. It can be fast or slow; a bullhorn or whisper, rolling over you like San Francisco fog. It can feel so fucking good to say and sometimes terrible to hear.
If "no" was a russian tea doll, you'd find another word just inside. That word is "boundaries," as essential to our lives as the morning after pill is to ABC's Bachelor Pad.
What if I told you that having good boundaries will improve your sex life, make you happier, healthier, and prevent your relationships from catching lesbian bed death, sexuality notwithstanding?
LESSONS FROM POLYAMORY THAT YOUR MONOGAMOUS RELATIONSHIP CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT.
Call me selfish, but I get a little upset when someone asks to borrow a book or if they can have a sip of my coffee. I'm not really into sharing. I prefer monogamous relationships to pretty much all other relationship structures; with my personal belongings AND my intimate partners. I can be jealous, manipulative, and possessive. And then on the 2nd date, my true colors really come out.
But it got me thinking: Why throw out the polyamorous baby with the bathwater?
For all intents and purposes, we successfully sustain polyamorous relationships in many areas of our lives. We share the love of our parents. We share love for our kids, our friends, our pets. Why then are we told how "natural" it is to be monogamous in romance? So I thought I'd take a tour of the Land of Poly...
I love Facebook. It helps me build community, make friends outside my normal social circles, or stay in touch with folks I might otherwise never see but for high school reunions (that I would go to over my dead and rotting body). It also lets me stay connected to family and friends, updating me on first words, last Friday nights, engagements and estrangements, feeding my concern and my sometimes morbid curiosity.
I also, however, hate Facebook. When my inner critic logs on, my newsfeed displays nothing but evidence of everyone else's perfect life: weekend farmers markets, impromptu picnics in the park, triathlons, and vintage flea markets. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone I know is hanging out with Gwyneth Paltrow.
But like it or not, with more than 845 million users, Facebook is here to stay.