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Making a Marriage Work; A Primer For Sexual Success

I’m preparing a workshop for recently engaged couples. I expect there will be about a dozen couples attending. While most of the participants will be preparing for their first marriage, there will be at least two couples working on their second marriage. My experience tells me that regardless of how many turns one takes on the merry-go-round anxiety about sexual compatibility, particularly for the long haul, abounds.

One of the best resources out there for those considering a sexually exclusive traditional marriage is Esther Perel’s controversial book, Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic.  Her thesis is that increased emotional intimacy between partners often leads to less sexual passion. I’ve been preaching the same sermon for nearly 30 years. But I assure you; there are ways around this predictable stumbling block.

Here we have Paige, age 22 from Tulsa. OK.

I am engaged to a wonderful guy. I’m excited about my upcoming marriage, but I’m also afraid that it will fail. I know you are going to think we’re freaks, but my fiancé and I have decided to save ourselves for after we are married. Some of our friends even our recently married friends are having trouble with their relationship and with the divorce rate so high, what are the chances that my marriage will work? Do I just have cold feet or am I not ready to get married?

First off, I don’t think you’re a freak for reserving full sexual expression till after you’re married. It wasn’t too long ago when that was the norm. But even people who enter marriage as established sex partners aren’t assured success.

I caution you to jettison any Pollyanna notion you might have about marriage being a breeze, or that all you need is love. These are dangerous fictions. Your recently married friends have problems because there are always problems in a marriage. It’s the nature of relationships. Hopefully, the problems you guys will face won’t be insurmountable, but sure as shootin’ problems will be your constant companions, even big problems. So count on it and prepare yourself accordingly.

You can also be assured that the problems you will encounter, regardless of their nature, will impact on your sex life together. Money concerns, the stresses of a career, kids, in-laws, you name it will all influence how you perceive your spouse. Nothing dampens ardor like financial difficulties or meddlesome relatives.

So Paige, rather than focus on the nature of your sex life as you enter your marriage, may I suggest that you concentrate on the bigger picture. And in order to do that you need to ask; why do most traditional, sexually exclusive marriages flounder? They crumble because they can’t bear up under the strain of the couple’s expectations for each other. Simply stated, they want too much from their spouse. They expect companionship, economic support and family for sure, but they also expect their partner to be their best friend, confidant and passionate lover. That’s a pretty tall order to fill for a single individual. Who wouldn’t have cool feet, or even be frozen in place, faced with those daunting expectations.

A lot of engaged couples overly concern themselves with the sexual viability or their relationship. My sense is that sexual concerns, by themselves, don’t tax a marriage to the point of breaking. You’ll notice that I said, ’sexual concerns, by themselves’. While sex and intimacy issues are indeed real and sometimes overwhelming, it’s the underpinnings of the relationship that bring these sexual issues into stark relief. Let me give you an example.

Say I’ve just spent 60 hours this past week at work; I get snarled in traffic on my commute every single day. I drag my sorry ass home to a loving partner, who may have been looking forward to an amorous night of sex play. But I’m completely fagged out, so to speak. I simply don’t have an interest in the old slap and tickle. It’s not that I don’t love my spouse; I do! I don’t have the energy to even squeeze one off by myself, let alone please and pleasure my partner.

Or say I’ve been caring for a house full of sick, ornery kids all day; and freaking out about our family’s precarious financial situation. I have barely the time and energy to rustle together some grub for the brood, when my loving partner, who may have been looking forward to an amorous night of sex play, arrives back at the homestead with stars in his/her eyes. I’m exhausted; and the idea of a tussle in the sack is the last thing on my mind. It’s not that I don’t love my spouse; on the contrary. I just don’t feel attractive, interesting, or more importantly, randy.

As these examples point out it’s not that the sexual energy has flown the coop. More often than not couples who face the tribulations of life together redirect their energy into resolving more pressing concerns than gearing up for sex. The reason I know this for certain is, if I were to take this stressed out couple away from the humdrum of their day-to-day, and land them on a tropical beach without a care in the world; I know for certain they’d fuck like bunnies.

Another example, say a couple is joined at the hip; you know the ones I’m talking about. Where one or the other partner can hardly take a trip to the loo without their spouse traipsing along. Many couples think this kind of closeness is a sign of their love and fidelity, and it may very well be for them. But I can guarantee this kind of familiarity will also stifle sexual passion. The truth of the matter is erotic fervor is dependent on at least a modicum of mystery. If I know my partner like the back of my hand, I’m less likely to see him/her as a sexual object; in the same sexual way as when we were courting.

This also can be proven. Why is the chick at work, who I have virtually nothing in common with, such a turn on? How is it that my yoga instructor, someone I hardly know and who pays me no attention, make me wet? It’s the mystery or the forbidden that jacks up the sexual tension.

The way I see it is passionate sex is dependent on a good deal of sexual tension. This kind of tension dissipates with time and it takes a great deal of work to keep that tension alive. Most couples don’t invest that kind of energy; even though they may pay lip service to the notion that they want the passion to continue.

Intimacy, on the other hand, is dependent on domestic tranquility, in other words, the elimination of tension in the relationship; regrettably this also includes sexual tension. And since most couples desire intimacy over sex they choose (either consciously or not) the path of domestic tranquility. But the result can be the kind of sexual frustration so many married people report.

I’ve been to a lot of wedding; and I’ve officiated at more than I can count. I’ve helped numerous couples construct their vows. Generally the first thing they want to say to each other is something like: “I promise to be your best friend, your confidant; your constant companion. Sound familiar? I thought it might. What I never hear is: “I promise to always be up for all your hot monkey love.” Not only would that vow be a showstopper; it would be an impossible promise to keep, unless you’re a blow-up doll. Frankly, it’s so much easier being a best friend or confident than the sexual siren that will be the answer to all your erotic dreams after we’re married for a few years.

Sexual exclusivity is at the heart of the romantic ideal. That’s why sexual infidelity is such a bugaboo in our culture. But the truth of the matter is, sustaining a model where marriage is the font from which all fulfillment flows is simply unrealistic. Maybe if we expect sexual exclusivity from our spouse, we ought to manage our other expectations of him/her (best friend, confidant, etc.) more pragmatically.

I am of the mind that since more than 50% of marriages in this country end in divorce; we must look at the relationship model we are laboring under. Maybe the romantic ideal is simply an illusion. I mean we can’t honestly try to explain away the divorce rate by saying all these couples simply married the wrong people. Know what I mean?

The parameters of a healthy, successful marriage will need to expand and contract with the stresses put upon it; it is after all a living entity. The balance between dependence and independence will constantly shift; so will the power dynamic in the relationship. Carve these things in stone and you will be mark a grave, not milestones on a path to growth.

Good luck

Manhandled

Hey sex fans,

We’re back, and we’re sliding into Labor Day weekend, after a couple weeks off, with a couple of swell reviews. Today’s edition of Product Review Friday will be comin at ya in just a second. But first I want to make sure that you’ve all noticed the totally new look of my REVIEW site. It has a brand-spankin-new magazine format that mirrors this, my ADVICE site.

All the functions of the old site — search-ability, your favorite reviewers, the Categories section and Tags are still there, just like on this site. But now you can quickly scan a thumbnail image and a blurb for each review without having to scroll through the whole damn review. There is also a Headline review and a handful of featured reviews. Pretty gal-darn sweet, huh?

Today’s products come to us courtesy of our good friends at Adult Sex Toys .comDr Dick Review Crew members include — Jack & Karen and Greg.

Anal Invader With Cock Cage —— $15.35

Jack & Karen
Jack: “Probably ya’ll know I’m still pretty new at the whole butt sex, right? I’ve been experimenting with several toys and I am discovering that I really like butt plugs.”
Karen: “I got a very nice strap-on that I get to use on this man’s tush every now and again. And I have to tell you, it is a fuckin turn on.”
Jack: “It’s true; she gets off on being the top. I mean, who could blame her? So when I’m in the mood to get pegged, I warm myself up with one of my plugs and it’s pretty much smooth sailing from there.”
Karen: “He can wear a plug for hours prior to my ass-ault.”
Jack: “The newest addition to my growing collection is the Anal Invader With Cock Cage. It’s made of black latex. (If you have a latex allergy, this toy is definitely not for you.) It’s 4.5″ long with an insertable length of just over 3″. A super-sized bullet vibe slips into the base and it is powered by one AA battery. (Battery not included.) A dial on the base of the vibe controls the vibration intensity. This dial setup is only ok; it isn’t the ideal controller for a butt plug.”
Karen: “Tell them about the cock cage part.”
Jack: “Oh yeah! Honestly, I couldn’t get into this…both literally and figuratively. It seemed to me to be a completely unnecessary addition to the butt plug. Besides, it’s one of those, ‘one size fits all’ set ups and it was both awkward and uncomfortable. In the end, I wound up cutting the cage doohickey off and just using the plug.”
Karen: “You also said that with the cage attached, the plug pointed the wrong way in your bum, right?”
Jack: “That’s right! The plug is supposed to hit my prostate, but with the cage attached, the head of the plug pointed away from my P-spot. But the gradually increasing sized bumps on the plug are great for warming yourself up for the full insertion. And once you have it fully inserted it stays in place nicely, as any good butt plug should. I love walking around with a plug in my ass. It makes me super hard.”
Full Review HERE

Naughty Boy Blue —— $68.41

Greg
I have the pleasure of introducing you to a fantastic toy, the Naughty Boy. Made by the same people who gave us the Rude Boy. Look for Dr Dick’s review of that puppy HERE!

The Naughty Boy is officially my new favorite ass play toy. Mine is blue, but it also comes in black. It has a very masculine design; it provides a very nice prostate massage as well as perineum massage. The one-speed bullet vibe in the base is powered by a couple of those small round watch batteries (the first set comes with the toy). They do a pretty good job delivering the sensations I am looking for in an anal toy. It has a very modest insertable length of just over 4″ with a slender diameter that starts out not bigger that your middle finger. This flairs slightly to a bulge of just over an inch. It’s great for an ass play beginner. But it also works for me, and I’m no novice to anal insertions, I can tell you.

The things I like most about the Naughty Boy is that it is made of 100% silicone and it is waterproof. Both of these features are really important to me. I don’t like sticking anything in my ass that is not of the highest quality. So silicone is the material for choice for me. It is soft and pliable, phthalates free, hypo-allergenic and latex free. And since this is a toy that goes where the sun don’t shine, it is essential that I have the ability to clean and sanitize it. I’m able to do this with soap and hot water, and then wiping it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution.

Be sure to use a lot of lube for anal insertions of any kind. And in this case, only water-based lube will do. A silicone-based lube will degrade this beautiful silicone toy; and you don’t want that.
Full Review HERE

ENJOY!

The Erotic Mind of John Woods & Cass King – Podcast #213 – 06/21/10

Hey sex fans,

HAPPY SOLSTICE EVERYONE! Damn, this year is flying by. It seems like it was only a couple of weeks ago that we were welcoming spring. Sheesh!

So remember how I promised you a knock-you-out line up of guests for our special Pride month shows? Well then, I got something for you today that’ll sure enough make you sit up and take note. In fact, we’re off on another audio field trip, one that will take us to the Theater Off Jackson, here in Seattle. We’re gonna visit with John Woods & Cass King, the exceptional talent behind the wildly popular and deliciously sexy vaudevillians known as The Wet Spots.

John & Cass are in town to produce their first full-fledged musical stage production called SHINE: A Burlesque Musical, which will run from JULY 8th through the 18th. They’ve invited us to drop by to visit with them between rehearsals. And I don’t mind telling you that I’m more than a little stage struck. I mean give me the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd and I’m a happy guy.

Besides the sparkling conversation, which brings a whole new dimension to The Erotic Mind podcast series, our guests will share with us one of their brand new songs, written expressly for the show. Get ready to be bowled over!

John & Cass and I discuss:

  • Vulgarity, filth and perversion? Maybe not so much!
  • The Wet Spots — a husband and wife team from the golden age of comedy.
  • How they got their act together.
  • The universal appeal of sex humor.
  • Their queer following.
  • The intensity of living and working together and their polly marriage.
  • Producing SHINE: A Burlesque Musical.
  • Their new songs for the show.
  • The creative process.
  • A musical about show business — a very old tradition.

John & Cass invite you to visit the SHINE: A Burlesque Musical website HERE! Or the Wet Spots website HERE! They’re on Facebook too, HERE and HERE!

 

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s Dr Dick’s toll free podcast voicemail HOTLINE. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll fine me in the podcast section, obviously, or just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

I wanna take a moment to remind you to check out another great website in the Dr Dick family of sites. It’s my new PRODUCT REVIEW site — drdicksextoyreviews.com

That’s right, sex fans, now it’s so easy to see what hot and what’s not in the world of adult products. I review of all kinds of adult related goodies — sex toys for sure, but also condoms, lubes, herbal products, fetish gear as well as educational and enrichment videos. DON’T MISS A SINGLE ONE!

Look for the drdicksextoyreviews.com. You’ll be so glad you did.

 

More of Mark Zedler – Podcast #189 – 03/03/10

Hey sex fans,

We’re back with sex historian, Mark Zedler, and more of his fascinating SEX WISDOM. This is Part 2 of our enlightening conversation about some of our culture’s sexual taboos.

If you somehow missed Part 1 of this thought-provoking expose, which premiered at this time last week, you’ll find it in the podcast archive here on my site. All ya have to do is use the site’s search function in the sidebar to your right, type in Podcast #187 and Voilà. It’s that simple. But don’t forget to use the #sign when you search.

Mark and I discuss:

  • Same sex sexual expression integrated into the social fabric of the ancient world.
  • How social stigma become attached to same sex sexual expression.
  • Philo of Alexandria reinterprets the Sodom and Gomorrah story.
  • The repressive theology of John Chrysostom.
  • The power of the dominant culture to dictate social norms.
  • His passion for Female Ejaculation.
  • Does female ejaculation cause performance anxiety?
  • How information about FE was suppressed.

Mark invites you to visit him on his site HERE! Explore themes like alternative lifestyles, erotica, adult humor, taboos and the history of sex.

Mark put together a little slide show for you

[nggallery id=60]

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s Dr Dick’s toll free podcast voicemail HOTLINE. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for all my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll find me in the podcast section, obviously. Just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Today’s podcast is bought to you by: : Dr Dick’s Stockroom.

drdicksstockroom.jpg

Sex Wisdom with Mark Zedler – Podcast #187 – 02/24/10

Hey sex fans,

I have some absolutely fascinating SEX WISDOM in store for you today. This is just the second installment in this new podcast series. We’re all about connecting with some of the movers and shakers in the field of human sexuality. We’re talking with researchers, educators, clinicians, pundits and philosophers who are making news and reshaping how we look at our sexual selves.

My guest today is Mark Zedler. He’s a sex historian, don’t cha know. And he’s here to help us demythologize some of our culture’s sexual taboos. He believes, as do I, that once we have a historical perspective, we are less likely to be manipulated by those who want to keep us from the truth. This is very interesting stuff, sex fans! Please stay tuned.

Mark and I discuss:

  • Being a sex historian.
  • Exploring the origins of sexual taboos and myths.
  • The history of the Bacchanalia — its zenith, persecution and downfall.
  • What this story tells us about what happens.
  • The resurgence of sacred sexuality.
  • The Sin of Sodom.
  • Comparing ancient Hebrew and early Christian interpretations.

Mark invites you to visit him on his site HERE! Explore themes like alternative lifestyles, erotica, adult humor, taboos and the history of sex.

Mark put together a little slide show for you

[nggallery id=59]

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s Dr Dick’s toll free podcast voicemail HOTLINE. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for all my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll find me in the podcast section, obviously. Just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

 

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