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Oct 10

Do unrealistic expectations ruin marriage?

Posted on Monday, October 10, 2011 in Happiness, Honesty, Kat, love, Marriage, Relationships, Women

“Was marriage what you expected it would be?” Mia asked, not quite directed to anyone in particular as we sat at Sam’s, enjoying the post-rain sun.

“No way! I had no idea how mind-numbingly boring it could be,” Sara said. “Like ‘Groundhog Day.'”

“Mine wasn’t boring, well it had its boring moments. We just stopped being nice to each other I think,” Mia said. “What about you, Kat?”

“I didn’t have many expectations. I don’t think I knew what I wanted it to be; I just knew what I didn’t want it to be — my parents’ marriage.”

“I hear that!” Mia exclaimed. “But, did ours turn out any better?”

That was a good question. All our parents have been married for 60-some years. Mia, Sara and me? All divorced in under 20 years.  

Who’s happier? Our parents didn’t shake it up but we sure did at midlife. After divorce, we threw ourselves into our careers, our friends, our passions. Still, we all wanted love, too. And we’ve found our way, sorta kinda. Mia was happy with Rex, until that ended horribly and she’s been floundering since, including dating a man who’s newly separated. Sara has been floundering, too, striking out with Yoga Man, who was just too emo for her, but then she met Todd — a nice guy who wants a threesome (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and who has a pretty cool ex. I’ve been incredibly happy with Sean, a great guy whom I adore — and not just because he thinks my small breasts are perfect. But we don’t and probably won’t ever live together (which may actually be why we’ve lasted this long).

Our parents? As kids, then sharp-eyed teens and eventually cynical adults, we’ve seen a bit (or more) of their marital dysfunction — and who knows the secrets they’ve kept from us? But they toughed it out, for better or worse, probably without any of the expectations we had when we married. Of course, our moms didn’t have the same choices we women have today. Neither did our dads — a stay-at-home dad in the ’50s? I don’t think so!

I honestly don’t know who’s had it better or easier. Do we want too much from a marriage? Did our parents expect too little?

Experts are blaming our 50 percent divorce rate and the increasingly loud chorus of those who think marriage is obsolete on our unrealistic expectations of marriages.

I didn’t have those expectations, but I guess I had a picture in my head of what a happy marriage looked like. You know, a little Norman Rockwellish because I’m a sentimental romantic at heart. But my observations of my own marriage is pretty much like my observation of life — there’s a lot of mundane stuff interrupted by some really nice stuff. I embrace the nice stuff, accept the mundane stuff and try to make the mundane parts a little less boring and get more of the nice stuff. And, I can’t really count on someone else doing that for me.

I’m not sure if that’s a sustainable model for a marriage — you obviously have to pick the right person from the beginning and some of us really don’t. Plus, you really do have to want to be married — some of us are just not cut out to be in a long-term, monogamous relationships. And, that’s OK.

Maybe we need to go into a marriage with no expectations — then we’d be constantly surprised!

  • What expectations did you have in your marriage?
  • Were they “unrealistic”?




© Volker Gerstenberg –

Aug 1

Ready for an erotic vacation?

Posted on Monday, August 1, 2011 in Happiness, hookups, Relationships, Sex/sexuality, Singles

“I have the perfect vacation for us!” Sara said as she burst into my front door before we took a (cold!) ride over Mount Tam.

“Oh really? The last ‘perfect’ vacation you had for us I was left alone for pretty much the whole weekend while you had crazy sex all over Austin with that hottie you met the night we arrived. Remember?”

“Oh, Kat — he was so cute, and you know I was desperate for sex back then. It had been, like, months!”


“OK, OK. This won’t be like that, I promise.”

“So, what do you have in mind?”

“Hedonism II.”

“The erotic resort? You’re kidding me!”

“No, it will be awesome. People interested in sensual things. All sorts of sexy activities. Decadence and debauchery. Naked people — think!”

I was thinking. And my thought was, no way! I’m hardly a prude but it’s just that erotic destination getaways seem so, I don’t know — calculated. Showing up at a music club in Austin, spontaneously meeting someone cute and having fantastic sex for the weekend seems so much better. If you can swing it, that is.

But maybe you can’t. Maybe Sara was just lucky that time. Maybe it isn’t all that easy to meet someone for fun (unless you’re going to go on Craiglist’s “casual encounters” once you get to town). Maybe it’s better to vacation at a place that’s custom-made to find you a lover — or at least the potential for one — for a few days if that’s where your head is at. (Although I have to imagine that there have to be some less-than-satisfied customers at exotic hot spots; since you’re still you wherever you go, if you have a hard time attracting people in your everyday life, you may not have much luck at an adults-only resort, either!)

Back in the ’80s, Club Med was the “it” place if you were a swinging single. Since the late ’90s, it’s become into a family destination. Makes sense; if you were a swinging single back in the ’80s, you most likely have been towing a few kids by now. Of course, that’s exactly when you may need an erotic vacation!

I can’t say adults-only resorts are good or bad because I’ve never been. And, I’m never going to go; I can’t see Sean and me packing up for four-days-three-nights at some place where the pressure is on to be romantic. What if we just want to sleep?

A former boyfriend once booked us a room at a hotel with a round bed and mirrors on the ceiling — I burst out laughing when we walked in the room. (You’ll notice I said “former” boyfriend …)

But, if you’re single and looking to score — or at least have some sensual fun — is an adults-only resort a good idea?

  • Would you ever go to an adults-only resort?
  • Why or why not?
  • Have you ever been to an adults-only resort?
  • As a single or a couple?
  • And … ????

Photo © Nathalie P –



Jul 18

Is a threesome one person too many?

Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 in Happiness, Honesty, Kat, Relationships, Sex/sexuality

It was pure coincidence that Sean and I ran into Sara and Todd, her OKcupid date, in line to for the movies. After, we went out for drinks and we got to know him better.

I liked him. He, evidently, liked me, too.

“So, Todd thinks you’re pretty hot,” Sara told me on the phone yesterday.

“He’s cute, Sara. Don’t mess this one up!”

“Ha! Believe me; I’m trying not to! He said he thought it would pretty cool having a threesome with you.”

“A threesome? That’s funny — doesn’t he know I’ve already seen you naked?”

“Whatever, but I’m serious. I mean, I think he’s serious.” 

“Really? Now that would be weird. I don’t think I could ever look at you the same way again, Sara. Plus there’s the matter of Sean.”

“He could watch.”

“True. But …”

“Don’t worry — I don’t want to sleep with you, either. If any third person’s hopping into my bed, it will be someone who looks like Johnny Depp and has the stamina of Tiger Woods.”

I’d have to agree.

Most guys love the idea of a threesome. If one hot, naked babe in your bed sounds good, doesn’t two hot, naked babes sound even better? About every guy I’ve ever know has either mentioned a threesome as a fantasy or has done it, sometimes more than once.

Obviously some women are into threesomes, too, although I have no idea how many prefer two babes and a guy or two guys and their naked self. Not that I have any problem with women’s bodies — I think they can be beautiful (as long as they’re not Botoxed and fake boobed, or fat). I’d just rather have another man and his package attending to my, uh, needs.

But for every happy threesome I’ve heard about, there’s been at least one unhappy one — the guy was more into babe No. 2,  neither gal was into each other, both gals were too into each other, etc. — and a relationship that thought it was hedonistically open-minded became a very frail version of itself.

Which begs the question — is a ménage-a-trois better as a fantasy than as a reality? Is it worth the risk?

I think it’s nice to know that having a threesome an option, same like like retiring early, traveling around the world for a year and then settling in Tahiti.

What about you?


Photo © Lourdes Tamés –