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Jun 27

Why you can’t always get what you want — sexually

Posted on Monday, June 27, 2011 in Happiness, Honesty, Kat, Relationships, Sex/sexuality

I waited until after noon on Saturday to text Sara; Friday was her third date with the OkCupid cutie she was sweet on, and so the first night she figured they’d be sleeping together.

“??!!??” I texted.

She called immediately.


“Well, he’s got a great bod.”


“And he’s, uh, endowed.”

“Nice. And?”

“He likes to go down.”

“Hallelujah and amen! And?

“And, he’s long lasting, like really long.”

“Well, that sounds like a perfect storm!”

“Yeah, it’s just that …”


“I’m not into marathon sex anymore. Not at midlife. Because, you know.

(Yeah, I do know. Midlife. Women. Lubrication. Things happen. Or not.)

“So, did you say something to him?”

“You can’t talk to guys about sex. It freaks them out.”

And isn’t that the sad truth?

Not that you can talk too easily to women, either.

OK — the first date probably isn’t the time to get into it, especially since it may be sexual blip. Maybe he isn’t a marathoner after the first “conquest.” No matter; beside the fact that there’s almost always some sort of back story to sex — guilt, shame, abuse, fear, body-image isues, whatever — why is saying, “Please do this” or “That’s too hard” or “Try it there” so difficult? We often feel weird asking for what we’d like sexually, or get upset or disappointed by hearing what our partner wants — we’re not measuring up!!! — and so a lot of good sex time is being wasted because we’re not expressing our needs, gently, of course.

If you asked people whether they’d want to know exactly want their partner would like sexually, how they could please them, who among us would say they’re not interested in knowing? We all are interested. And yet, we often don’t tell or ask.

It’s important, too since most men — about 85 percent — say their partner’s had an orgasm while only 64 percent of gals say they had the Big O during their last romp. Hmmm ….

Now, if you’re clear about what you want and tell your partner, and your partner consistently doesn’t oblige, then you have another conversation. And believe me, that one is a lot harder!

  • How good are you at expressing your sexual needs?
  • How good are you at hearing your partner expressing his/her sexual needs?

Fotolia © Laurent Hamels

Jun 20

Do you have to work on a marriage?

Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011 in Kat, Marriage, Relationships

Our kids were with their dads yesterday, but as Sara and I hiked up Mt. Tam and then had a post-hike iced tea downtown we were surrounded by young couples and their adorable but mostly boisterous kids. I was exhausted just watching them.

“Remember those days?” I asked.

“Remember? I’m still trying to catch up on my sleep from those days.”

“Yeah, but the couples look so happy, so full of promise.”

“They look tired to me.”

“That’s because you’re jaded.”

“No, that’s because I’m honest.”

“Remember when we were that happy?”

Were we that happy? Are they really happy? Marriage is a lot of work.”     

Marriage is a lot of something, but why do we think it’s work? Work is work, school is work, and while both of those are rewarding, marriage is a bit different, right?

Marriage is about love, intimacy, sex — or at least it should. That sounds like a lot more fun than it is work.

Well, maybe we say it’s work because if we’re
not constantly paying attention to it and tweaking things, it will slide into Groundhog
Day boredom and, eventually, divorce. But, is that inherent in the institution of marriage itself, or is that just how we approach it?

Isn’t that what we agreed to when we said we’d love, honor and cherish our partner. That means it’s just part of the marriage package, understood, accepted and embraced.

Making marriage work takes a lot of the fun out of it — maybe that’s why marriage is getting such a bad rap lately.

On the other hand, maybe having a job description and yearly reviews might make everyone’s expectations clearer. Life is always easier when we know what we’re supposed to do!

But maybe it’s naive of us to think — or demand — that marriage has to keep fulfilling all our dreams and expectations. We don’t continually ask that of our work, although we could always get a better job that pays more and offers new challenges (not lately, of course). Could it be that marriage could just be?

  • Do you consider marriage work?
  • Is that good or bad?
  • Can working on a marriage make it better?
  • Can a marriage survive without working on it.
  • How much work is the right amount?


Photo © Paul Retherford –

Jun 13

Should you tell your partner everything?

Posted on Monday, June 13, 2011 in Advice, Happiness, Honesty, Kat, Relationships

Sean and I were snuggled under the covers, the blissful few moments of naked skin on naked skin before we had to get up and start our day. Despite the cozy scene, my mind was a mess; I kept thinking about the woman at the party the other night who was so sluttily hanging all over him.

She was also very blond, very busty and very pretty, so of course Sean — being a guy —was enjoying the attention.   

So I sighed.

“What?” Sean asked.

“What, what?”

“You sighed.”


“Oh, it sounded like you were about to say something.”

This was my in, my chance to say something about the mate-poaching blonde.

Thankfully, I didn’t. There are some things you just shouldn’t tell your partner. Period.

I’m all for honesty and openness in a relationship, but some things do more damage than good.

Would I “damage” my relationship if I told Sean that I was uncomfortable about how much attention the blonde was lavishing on him, or how much he was clearly loving it?  He’d probably say that I was being insecure, or jealous or making something out of nothing. And, he’d probably be right.

But you can’t— or shouldn’t — be mum about everything. How do you know what to confess and what to keep to yourself?

I think you have to decide which secrets make the relationship more loving and which come from self-interest.

How much and how often you keep mum determines whether you sink or swim as a couple.

I decided to keep us swimming.

“All I was going to say was that I love you so much,” I told Sean as we snuggled even closer.

  • What do you withhold from your relationship? Why?
  • Ever confess something you wish you hadn’t?

Photo © summerdays –