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Why I’ll miss Candida Royalle – the feminist porn queen

Candida Royalle – the legendary feminist porn director and animal rights activist – has died after long battle with ovarian cancer. Fellow porn director Petra Joy explains what she did for women everywhere

By Petra Joy

Candida Royalle former porn star and film-maker in her New York flat in 1997

Today is a very sad day for many women, feminists and erotic artists around the world. As the news spread that yesterday morning Candida Royalle died at her New York home aged just 64, her Facebook page is being transformed into a colourful kaleidoscope of an amazing life. Every few minutes someone new leaves a tribute for this truly exceptional woman that paved the way for porn from a female perspective and opened doors to the many feminist pornographers – myself included – that followed in her footsteps. All the pictures posted show a radiant woman with a smile that said “I love live, will live it to the full, let’s go and have an adventure!”

Candida was born Candice Vadala on the October 15 1950 in New York. The daughter of a jazz musician, she too was drawn towards a creative lifestyle. She studied music, art and dance and was a flamboyant and beautiful young woman. Experimenting with her sexuality and being drawn to filmmaking, she decided in the seventies to become a porn performer. In the ‘Golden Age’ of porn she starred in over 25 adult films, including titles such as “Kinky Tricks” and “Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls”.

Candida prioritised women’s pleasure and orgasms

As time went on, she grew tired of portraying female sexuality through the eyes of the men that directed her and craved taking the reins of production. In 1984, at a time where the first feminist porn movement was at its peak and when “feminist porn” was also the ultimate oxymoron, she founded her own adult film company, Femme Productions. The old boys club that ran the porn industry at the time was bemused and did not expect what was to come: Candida produced and directed 17 award-winning films, including her debut “Femme”, the “Eyes of Desire” series and “Stud Hunters”. She was way ahead of her time and proved to be right – women were voyeurs too and the moment was ripe and ready to produce porn from a female perspective.

So what made her porn different from mainstream porn, created by men and for men? Put simply – Candida prioritised women’s pleasure and orgasms. And she didn’t end every scene with the male ejaculation – the so called “money shot”. She featured a variety of sensual and sexual play rather than shooting what she used to call “predictable and soulless porn painted by numbers”. Her films showed hot men who were skilled lovers, ran credible storylines that were full of humour and spoke to a large audience who were tired of soulless wham-bam-thank you-mam porn. She was a very skilled business woman but was never motivated by financial gain. She created her films because she had a burning desire to put female sexuality on the map, inspire other women to live out their fantasies, and bring pleasure to people’s bedrooms.

As an activist for feminism and female sexual liberation, she branched out in 1999 when she developed the “Natural Contours” line of body massagers. Candida brought innovation to the sex toy market that was then saturated with giant plastic phallic rods by developing ergonomically shaped toys that hit just the right spots to make a woman orgasm. In 2004 Candida moved into writing – penning “How To Tell A Naked Man What To Do”, encouraging women to ask for what they want long before Nicki Minaj said women should demand orgasms.

Candida Royalle was all about female pleasure long before Nicki Minaj

That was also the year I started shooting my version of porn from a female perspective. In Europe back then, feminist porn was still unheard of. My style is different from Candida’s as I do not feature dialogue, but we shared the vision of porn as art and using is as a vehicle of sexual empowerment for women. It was through the legendary ‘ecosex’ artist Annie Sprinkle that I met Candida Royalle in 2008. Candida kindly viewed my first full length feature “Female Fantasies” and was full of praise. I was humbled by the amount of time she gave me and genuine support when she suggested publishing my films under her coveted “Femme” line in America. Our professional co-operation continued over the years. I published some of Candida’s classic films on my “Her Porn” anthology series and was chuffed when she agreed to be a jury member for the Petra Joy Awards I had set up for up- and coming filmmakers. To discover and mentor new talent was very close to her heart.

We shared many magic moments such as in 2009 when we were both honoured with the first Poryes award in Berlin and then two years ago when we met at the Dusk Porna Award in Amsterdam. I was baffled to win it and asked Candia onto the stage to join me. After I handed her a bunch of flowers to thank her for all she had done for the sisterhood, I walked off stage, only to be called back by her with these words: “I am very happy to step aside and just honour you and all these wonderful filmmakers who are picking it up and doing it now.” I was speechless and we hugged to thundering applause – a moment I will never forget. She was, as someone said on Facebook, the Grace Kelly of porn – a sophisticated and beautiful woman of incredible integrity, big enough to allow others to shine.

Candida was not just a colleague but became a close friend. In September 2013 I was very happy to entertain her in my home for several days where we shared beach walks, cream teas, and spoke at length about nature and environmental issues, issues close to both of our hearts which served to strengthen our bond even further. Her last post on Twitter was: “Icelandic whalers are about to start harpooning endangered fin whales again but we can stop them! Act now”.

Snettisham Bird Reserve lies on the edge of 'The Wash', one of the most important bird estuaries in the UK, supporting over 300,000 birds. A few times every year higher than average tides force thousands of waders including Knot, Oystercatchers, Sanderlings, Black and Bar Tailed Godwit and Plover to take flight, and advance up the mud flats in search of food. The event is one of the most incredible wildlife spectacles in the UK

She loved her wildlife too and was a passionate animal rights campaigner

We also both loved to feed the wildlife in our gardens and that was always a big concern to her – who would feed her birds when she was gone? She did not want to go and fought over five years a very hard fight against ovarian cancer. Only two weeks ago she was full of optimism and we emailed about her bringing my new film to America and she loved a picture of the starlings in my garden I had sent her.

So how to pay tribute to the feminist icon, animal rights activist and inspirational woman that was Candida Royalle?

Maybe it could be an apt one to start feeding your local wild birds. Alternatively, simply enjoy one of her films or toys and have an amazing orgasm in her name. I think she would like that.

Complete Article HERE!

Casa Rodrigo, Yee-ha!

Hey sex fans,

The summer holidays are over and we’re all back at the old grind. Bummer, I know. But I have what I think is the antidote.  It’s a little something that, I believe, will brighten your day.

  • Ya’ll know how fond I am of smart and smutty erotica, right?
  • Ya’ll know that for nearly seven years I produced a podcast series, The Erotic Mind, right?
  • Ya’ll know that each and every one of these marvelous shows, that feature conversations with erotic artists of every stripe, literary and graphic, are archived right here on my site, right?
  • Ya’ll know that all you have to do is use the pull-down PODCAST menu in the header to find them, right?

Good, I thought so.

Anyhow today I have something that will sure enough make you sit up and say; “oh boy howdy!”Casa Rodrigo cover

I want to introduce you to Casa Rodrigo, the 12 person audio play written and directed by award nominee, and my new friend, Johnny Miles.

Like I said, Casa Rodrigo, an audio play featuring 11 characters and a narrator, as well as an extensive sound engineering that transport us, the listening audience, back to Spain and the Caribbean during the mid-1600s, allowing us to feel the dangers and excitement the era had to offer. Four and a half hours of pure aural experience awaits us. The story is richly layered and textured, with effects to help stimulate our senses. It’s an immersive experience not to be missed.

The good folks at Mania Media, the producers of audio play, believe it is important to provide their audience with a great entertainment experience and Casa Rodrigo certainly fits that bill.

Johnny Miles began his writing career in 1985, when his first erotic short story was published by Numbers magazine. Since then, his work has appeared in various adult magazines. After several decades of working in various careers, Johnny re-entered the world of erotica in 2008 with the release of his first full-length novel, Casa Rodrigo. Published by Loose Id, the controversial story was followed by Lauderdale Hearts, Learning To Samba, The Rosas of Spanish Harlem, Yuletide Knights, and Yuletide Knights: A Spring Frost, and The Last Stop: USA, all of which you can find on Johnny’s site.

Johnny has asked me to share with you the first two chapters of the book. You’ll find the links below. And when you’ve finished the sampler, you can mozie on over to Audible to pick up the whole audio play, or Johnny’s snap up the e-book.

Have a ball, ya’ll!

Review: An Intimate Life: Sex, Love and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner

Hey sex fans!

I have another swell sex-positive book to tell you about today. Anyone who frequents this site will already be familiar with my dear friend and esteemed colleague, Cheryl Cohen Greene. If ya don’t believe me type her name into the search function in the sidebar to your right and PRESTO!

Not only will you find the fabulous two-part SEX WISDOM podcast we did together, (Part 1 is HERE! And Part 1 is HERE!) you will find a posting about the movie The Sessions. You’ve seen it right? It’s the award-winning film staring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, and William H. Macy. It’s the story of a man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity.  He contacts a professional surrogate partner with the help of his therapist and priest. Ms. Hunt plays Cheryl, the surrogate partner in the movie

Cheryl also contributed a chapter on sex and intimacy concerns for sick, elder and dying people for my book, The Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying.

With all that as a preface, I now offer you Cheryl’s own story: An Intimate Life: Sex, Love, and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner. The first thing I want to say is this book is it’s not a clinical or technical tome. It is an easily accessible memoir. And that, to my mind, is what makes it so fascinating.

She writes in the Introduction:An Intimate Life

I started this work in 1973, and my journey to it spans our society’s sexual revolution and my own. I grew up in the ‘40s and ‘50s, a time when sex education was—to put it mildly— lacking. As I educated myself, I found that most of what I had been taught about sex was distorted or wrong. The lessons came from the playground, the church, and the media. My parents could barely talk about sex, much less inform me about it.

What follows is a candid and often funny look into the personal and professional life of a woman on the cutting edge of our culture’s movement toward sexual wellbeing.

Cheryl comes out of her conservative Catholic upbringing and her often tortured family dynamics with what one would expect—her own sexual awakenings as well as the conspiracy of ignorance and repression that wanted to stifle it. This is a common story, the story of so many of us.

Starting when I was around ten, I masturbated and brought myself to orgasm nearly every night. … If my nights began with anxiety, my days began with guilt. I became convinced that every earache, every toothache, every injury was God punishing me. … I couldn’t escape his gaze or his wrath. Sometimes I imagined my guardian angel looked away in disgust as I touched myself and rocked back and forth in my bed.

The miracle here is that this troubled tween would blossom into the remarkable sexologist she is today.

rsz_1greenecherylSome of the chapters in her book describe one or another of her hands on therapeutic encounters as a surrogate partner, but equally important and compelling are the chapters that describe Cheryl’s own sexual struggles as she moved to adulthood and beyond. Cheryl’s acceptance of her own sexuality enables her to build a career out of helping others do the very same thing.

Everyone has a right to satisfying, loving sex, and, in my experience, that most often flows from strong communication, self-respect, and a willingness to explore.

Despite the frank discussion of sexual topics within the book, there is no prurience or sensationalism. For the most part, Cheryl’s clients are regular people, mostly men, who have pretty ordinary problems—erection and/or ejaculation concerns, dating difficulties, as well as self-esteem, guilt and shame issues. Cheryl helps each of her clients with the efficiency and confidence of the world-class sex educator she is. Most of her interaction involves her supplying her clients with some much-needed information, dispelling myths, and giving them permission to experiment. As she says;

I continue to be amazed at how solid education delivered without judgment can eradicate much of the guilt and shame that turns life in the bedroom into a struggle instead of a pleasure.

Her most famous client, Mark O’Brien, the 36-six-year-old man who had spent most of his life in an iron lung after contracting polio at age 6, was the author of How I Became a Human Being: A Disabled Man’s Quest for Independence, in which he writes about his experience with Cheryl. This, of course, was adapted into a film, The Sessions, which I mentioned above. For her part, Cheryl delivers a most poignant remembrance of Mark early in her book.

I explained Sensual Touch to Mark. Although he was paralyzed, he still had sensation all over his body, so he would feel my hands moving up and down. … I encouraged him to try and recognize four common reactions: feeling neutral, feeling nurtured, feeling sensual and feeling sexual.

An Intimate Life chronicles Cheryl’s life-long interest in human sexuality. Her life and sometimes-turbulent loves are on display, but in the most considerate fashion. She teaches by example. She’s even able to speak with great compassion of her time living with and through cancer.

As I inch toward seventy, I appreciate more and more how much I have to be grateful for and how fortunate I’ve been. I was lucky to find a wonderful career and to be surrounded by so many smart, adventurous, caring people. My personal sexual revolution auspiciously paralleled our culture’s, and in many ways was made possible by it. I am eternally grateful to the pioneers, rebels, and dreamers who made our society a little safer for women who embrace their sexuality.

There is so much I loved about this book, but mostly it’s the humanity I found in abundance. Cheryl’sdr.-cheryl-cohen-greene enlightened soul shines brightly from every page. Her no nonsense approach to all things sexual is an inspiration. And her perseverance to bring surrogate partner therapy into the mainstream is laudable.

…what separates surrogates from prostitutes is significant. When people have difficulties grasping [that], I turn to my beloved and late friend Steven Brown’s cooking analogy that I’ve so often relied on to help me through that question: Seeing a prostitute is like going to a restaurant. Seeing a surrogate is like going to culinary school.

Finally, An Intimate Life is the culmination of Cheryl’s life as a sex educator, her surrogate partner therapy practice being just part of that mission. I highly recommend you read this book. You will, I assure you, come away from it as I have, a better person—enriched, informed, as well as entertained.

Cheryl, thank you for being in my life and being such an abiding inspiration. Thank you too for this marvelous book; now you can be in the lives of so many others who need you so that you can inspire them along their way.

Be sure to visit Cheryl on her site HERE!

The Suppressing Gag Reflex — A Tutorial

Arguably, the humble blowjob is the most common partnered sexual activity for men — straight, bi or gay.

It’s pretty obvious why the gays like to suck cock. But nowadays loads of straight women have taken to smokin’ some pole too. Let’s face it; it’s a great way to give pleasure. Regardless of whether it’s part of foreplay, after play, or the main event — like relieving the Commander in Chief in the oval office after a long day of commandering and chiefing, don’t cha know.


Certain skills are essential for mind-blowing oral sex. The preeminent skill, of course, is mastering the gag reflex. But close behind that is keeping your partner’s spooge off your blue dress.

Did you know that the gag response is least active in the morning? That’s right, my pretties, you’re gonna have to know things like this if you aspire to getting a gold medal in cock sucking. Besides, tidbits like this also make for the most charming dinner party trivia.

Today we’re gonna look at three important aspects of understanding and suppressing that nasty gag reflex when chowin’ down on some love muscle.


So let’s take a semi-serious look at the gag response and why we have it. Millions of years of evolution have Epiglottisprovided us the anatomical function we call the gag reflex to protect our throat. And as all you rocket scientists know an obstruction in your throat — in either your larynx, which connects to your lungs or the pharynx, which connects to your stomach could be deadly. And since us humans breathe more often than we swallow, the larynx is always open. We all have a piece of cartilage known as the epiglottis at the back of our throat that responds to swallowing. This is not to be confused with the uvula, which is that little thingy that hangs down from the back of your mouth.

Isn’t this fascinating? Aren’t you delighted you stopped by today? Hold on, there’s more!

The passageway to the stomach is fairly narrow, although you’d never guess that from the way some folks wolf down their food. The gag reflex protects us from getting something stuck in there. If the object being swallowed — a big old cock or a piece of cold pizza — can’t easily pass the opening of the pharynx, the epiglottis flaps triggering the gag response. This forces the foreign object — big old cock or cold pizza — out. This is a lifesaving reflex because it protects us from literally biting off more than he can swallow. And since there’s not gonna be a whole lot of biting off and chewing when we blow some dude, the gag reflex can be pretty pronounced.

bjbw.jpgThe object of this tutorial is to help us subdue this lifesaving reflex when needed. The first thing we should know is when suckin’ cock, the dick in question can’t get stuck in our pharynx because, happily it’s attached to the dude we’re blowin’. It can, therefore, be removed without the coughing and choking associated with the garden variety of gagging.

Let’s review, shall we? Your tongue, your salivary glands, your hard palate, your soft palate, your uvula, your epiglottis, your tonsils, and your pharynx are all parts of the sensory experience for you as well as your partner with his dick in your mouth. When you deep throat his johnson, your uvula and the epiglottis tickle his dickhead. I guess that’s why us mens like getting’ head so much.

Like anything worth doing, mastering the gag reflex takes practice. The most important thing to remember is that we cannot simultaneously inhale and swallow. Also the epiglottis is very flexible, while the pharynx is relatively rigid.

Let’s do some math. The depth of our mouth — from the lips to the curve in the pharynx just in the back of the throat is three of four to inches. The pharynx runs another five and half inches or so before the esophagus begins, which continues another eight or nine inches. That makes for total passageway available for swallowing cock between seventeen and nineteen inches long. How’s that for adaptability? Your throat is not just for sword-swallowing any more! As long as your partner’s prick is neither too wide nor too stiff to make the turn in the pharynx, an average cocksucker can completely swallow just about anyone for a short period of time while holding his or her breath.


deepthroat-humor-pictureProbably you’ve already guessed that positioning the cock your sucking at just the right angle down your throat is crucial. Check it out. Take a deep breath; insert two fingers as far as possible into your mouth. Your fingers will bend easily downward. While you’re rootin’ around inside there, you’ll immediately have a sense of internal capacity of your oral cavity. Carefully placing a couple fingers at the back of your mouth shouldn’t cause you to gag, but moving them around might. This will underscore the importance of having the willie you’re about to swallow go in the right direction.

So let’s say you’re on your knees, with the intended cock right in front of you. If it’s rock-hard and/or curved upward, as some of those darling things are, that dick is gonna go pounding against your tonsils, making you gag, sure as shootin’. The dude’s cock has to go in and then down your throat, not up and against the roof of your mouth. Got it? Jamming his member against your hard palate will also be pretty unpleasant for the owner of the said cock. This could easily give his dickhead a real owie!

This brings us to the ever-popular sixty-nine position. It’s so popular because it points the dude’s rod toward the base of your tongue, thereby successfully navigating of the curve in your throat.


bananaA proper breathing technique is as important as position to happy deep throating. The aquatic minded among us already have the key. Swimmers know that synchronizing one’s breathing with the motion one is making with his or her arms and legs makes for less effort and more stamina. The same is true for the person gulping a big one…or even a small one for that matter. You’ll want to inhale while doing down on his cock, exhale quickly while coming up, then inhale again going back down. The deeper you inhale on the down stroke, the longer you’ll be able to hold your breath. And PRESTO! The longer you’re able to hold your breath the deeper your partner’s baloney pony will disappear down your gullet. So you see, it’s exactly like swimming, only completely different.

For the non-athletes in my audience there is another way to learn to control the gag reflex. Simply practice holding your breath and swallowing at the same time.

We could all learn a lot from the little piggie cocksucker among us. They’re in this whole blowjob thing for the long haul, and they know that pacing one’s self is crucial. They know how important it is to pull off the cock from time to time, at least far enough to take in some air before going down on it again. If you try this you could make some yummy sounds while you pull off his cock. Or you could take it out of your mouth and look at it admiringly. He’ll be impressed that you like his rigid piece of art, and only you’ll know that what you’re actually doing is simply catching your breath.

You should know that deep throating a pleasure prong is gonna make a lot of saliva. This is a double-edged deep_throat_640_03sword. Great for keeping things lubed up, but problematic if that abundant saliva falls into the larynx and makes you cough and choke. If your saliva becomes a problem rather than an asset try relaxing for a bit with his cock in the forward of your mouth so that your larynx will open for breathing. This shallow sucking is a delightful counterpoint to deep throat sucking. You can also practice relaxing and stretching the muscles that regulate swallowing by opening your mouth wide, like in a yawn.

Whichever technique or combination of techniques works for you, remember to breathe. Accumulation of mucous will sometimes mean you have to take a break to spit. If you try to continue without spitting, it will just make your uncomfortable. And who need that?

Also when you deep throat your nose will run and your eyes will water. So if you’re wearing a lot of makeup when you’re blowin’ your guy, you’ll look like a raccoon with a clown face by the time you’re through. Some guys really like this. It suggests to them that they have a really big dick to have wreaked so much havoc.’ll probably want to keep at least one of your hands on his pole while you’re sucking it. This will give you more control, especially when he starts pelvic thrusting.

It is a good idea to keep a hand on his balls too, as they are usually a good indicator of how close your man is to cuming. As he gets closer to shooting, the skin on his scrotum tightens and pulls his balls towards his body to warm them up. You can let this happen on its own, or help out by stimulating his jewels with your hand, tongue, or mouth.

Finally, common mistake most women and some men make while blowin their guy is using only their mouth to repeatedly bob up and down his weener. This is neither pretty or particularly helpful! Some folks continue doing this until they get a sore jaw or neck. A good deep-throatin’ blowjob should not be too repetitive. The wise cocksucker will keep her/his hands busy throughout. She’ll include stroking his dick, exploring balls, thighs and asshole. By mixing things up, he’ll allow his mouth and throat muscles to relax. This will improve one’s performance and will subdue one’s gag reflex.

Good Lick…I mean Luck…ya’ll.

Tricks Of The Trade — Part 4

Today I conclude this four part series that I started back in October. (You can Find the first three parts of this series HERE and HERE and HERE!

As you may recall, a friend of mine, who is writing a book about male sexuality for women, asked me if I could be her go-to-guy for a bunch of questions she had about pleasuring a man which she wants to include in her book. I think it is only fair that you, my loyal audience, should get this information before anyone else does.


Have you ever suggested to your clients that they use sex toys for men either solo or during (hetero) partner play?

Absolutely! And yes, for both solo play and for play with a partner.she didn't come

Sometimes it’s difficult getting straight men to warm up to the idea of incorporating toys in partnered play. They can also be resistant to toys for solo play. Some straight men think toys are gay, or only for women. Some haven’t a large enough sexual repertoire to even imagine how toys could assist them or be fun. So generally I have my work cut out for me in this regard.

What are some benefits of using sex toys for men?

First off, they increase one’s sexual repertoire. They increase body awareness. Take prostate massage, for example. It’s fun, it’s healthful, and it’s enriching. The guy becomes less cock-centric and less ass-phobic.

And another toy I often recommend is a cockring. Check out my tutorial: Cockring Crash Course HERE!  This is a low-tech aid for keeping it up and keeping it hard.

What are some of your favorite sex toys for men and why?

Orbit BodyFit Vibrating Stimulator blackGosh, there are so many. Probably my favorite manufacturer of sex toys for men these days is Perfect Fit Brand. Every one of their products that we’ve reviewed over the years is a winner. Want to know more about them? Perfect! Visit Dr Dick’s Sex Toy Reviews, use the search function in the sidebar, type in “Perfect Fit Brand” and PRESTO!

Then there are the granddaddies of sex toys for men, the Fleshlight and FleshJack.   Guys can actually learn how to last longer using one of these. And you know how I keep talkin’ about the mutual joys and the important information shared when a couple masturbates together, right? Well, this is the ideal masturbation toy for him.

The Aneros products are designed and developed by folks who are as serious about prostate health as they are about prostate pleasure. Listen, I’m all in favor of toys that have no other purpose than to dispense a good dose of the jollies. But if a fella can pleasure himself AND do himself some good health-wise…all at the same time; well that just about beats the pants off diddlin’ just for fun.

Check out the Zini Donut for couple play.  It’s shaped like a doughnut or bagel if you prefer. It’s about the same size too. It’s very unassuming when you see it sitting in its box, in fact you’d never guess at its versatility by just looking at it. A closer look reveals that it’s actually an amazing C-shaped vibe and both ends of the thing vibrate with independent motors, but they vibrate in unison.

What’s the correlation between sticking a massager up your butt and prostate health? What good does this do?

Why is massaging any part of the body beneficial? It increases blood flow, relaxes, stimulates, reduces stress, (in the case of prostate massage, it reduces the discomfort associated with prostatitis). prostate_massage_copy.jpgMassage also aids in healthy function of one’s prostate and associated glands, in the same way general massage assists other parts of one’s body in range of motion and overall limberness.

You’ve probably heard of the tee-shirt study that showed women have an attraction to men based on scent/pheromones/immune system variance. However I’m wondering if you can think of any studies where men were shown as being attracted to women on a similar basis.

I’ve read in a couple spots that men may not be influenced by pheromones/DNA variance because their goal is to spread their seed far and wide and hope for a good crop, whereas women need to be more selective since they will be carrying and ultimately caring for the offspring. This is all biologically speaking of course. I’m not sure if I buy that…do you?

I can’t point to any studies that show pheromones play an equally important part in male to female attraction and bonding. It is a very interesting question though. There’s got to be some studies out there on the effect of a woman’s perfume on men, wouldn’t you think? I mean, imagine if there is no connection at all; the multi-billion dollar perfume industry would be a joke.

I think that male pack animals are, for the most part, only interested in the scent of estrus. Since only dominant males get to breed, they don’t concern themselves with individual females, except in as much as they are part of his harem. Males who pair-bond for life may have other interests. But in that situation it is generally the female who does the choosing of a mate, not the male.