4.24.2013 | 0 Comments
4.21.2013 | 2 Comments
which I received from the hand
Of the most charming,
Which she had plucked herself
from a branch
That was as supple as her own body.
And sweet it was
to place my hand upon it
As though it was the breast
of the one who gave it.
Pure was the fragrance of the apple,
Like the breath of the giver.
One could see
the color of her cheek on it,
And I thought I was tasting her lips
When I began to eat the apple.
This 9th century Arabic poem shows how any food can be an aphrodisiac. For me, it’s not so much about the actual food being consumed, as it is about the person I am eating it with and the energy between us.
Linda De Villers, PhD is a sex therapist and a foodie. She combines her expertise in both arenas in her new book Simple Sexy Food: 101 Tasty Aphrodisiac Recipes and Sensual Tips to Stir Your Libido and Feed Your Love (whew, that’s a long title!). Linda’s definition of an aphrodisiac is “any food or drink that contributes to sexual intimacy either through increasing arousal, excitement, playfulness, or enjoyment.”
The first section traces the history of many common foods and their supposed link to sex. Did you know, for instance, that the ancient Greek physician Galen believed olive oil to be such a powerful aphrodisiac that he warned that women who ingested it would abandon their homes in search of sexual satisfaction? (So they had physicians spouting ridiculous claims about women’s sexuality even back in ancient times huh?)
Truth be told, I am not a whiz in the kitchen, so I was relieved to see that the recipes were fairly straight-forward. Reading the first section about the sexual lore of each food definitely got me in the frame of mind where I was excited to get in the kitchen and whip up a recipe or two.
As I stated earlier, and as the poem above illustrates, even a simple apple can be an instrument of arousal. The key is sensuality. Notice in the poem how the writer mentions the look, scent, taste, and feel of the fruit? And also how the writer is present to what is happening in front him? He is in the moment, relaxed, taking it all in, and leaning in to the pleasure.
So whether you are eating Pepper Steak with Cognac or a PB&J, it can be as sexy of an experience as you want it to be.
4.13.2013 | 0 Comments
Another wise and wonderful TED talk from Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity:
- How do you want something you already have?
- When you’re in love, how does it feel? And when you desire, how is that different?
- A crisis of desire is a crisis of imagination.
- Sex is not something you do, it’s a place you go — a space you enter.
- Animals have sex. We are the only ones who have an erotic life.
11.10.2012 | 0 Comments
I watched When Harry Met Sally last weekend for the umpteenth time — So many great scenes and memorable quotes, i.e. “I’ll have what she’s having.”
And now it seems a study has proved Harry was on to something when he said “Men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.” It also shows that he was right about a few other things:
- Men were much more attracted to their female friends than vice versa
- Men were also more likely than women to think that their opposite-sex friends were attracted to them
- Men were more willing to act on this mistakenly perceived mutual attraction.
- Although men were equally as likely to desire “romantic dates” with “taken” friends as with single ones, women were sensitive to their male friends’ relationship status and uninterested in pursuing those who were already involved with someone else.
9.23.2012 | 0 Comments
The fact is, anxiety about being sexually normal creates emotional isolation. That’s why many people are at their loneliest when they’re making love.
For most people, emotional isolation kills genuine sexual desire and pleasure.
Focusing on “normal” sexuality makes sex an enterprise with stakes that are too high. At any moment, our preferences, fantasies, or inhibitions can expose us as unacceptable–to ourselves or to our partner. Being “normal” (in other words, not abnormal) becomes more important than feeling pleasure or closeness. Fearing judgment, we don’t do the things we’d do if we didn’t fear being judged (for example, a man asking to have his nipples pulled). And we do things we otherwise wouldn’t (such as intercourse when we’re not ready) if we didn’t imagine that that’s what normal people do.
So our yearning to be sexually normal, combined with our anxiety that we aren’t, leads us to keep sexual secrets from our partner. Being authentic appears to involve just too much of a gamble.
Neither pleasure nor intimacy can flourish in such an environment.
– Marty Klein’s “Sexual Intelligence: What We Really Want From Sex and How to Get It
7.03.2012 | 0 Comments
by Walt Whitman, from “A Woman Waits for Me”
Sex contains all,
Bodies, Souls, meanings, proofs, purities, delicacies, results, promulgations,
Songs, commands, health, pride, the maternal mystery, the seminal milk;
All hopes, benefactions, bestowals,
All the passions, loves, beauties, delights of the earth,
All the governments, judges, gods, follow’d persons of the earth,
These are contain’d in sex, as parts of itself, and justifications of itself.
5.22.2012 | 2 Comments
I feel like everywhere you look these days there’s some woman reading 50 Shades of Grey — the woman in the doctor’s office blushing behind her e-reader, the woman on the train earnestly trying to cover her book’s jacket, the woman at the park feverishly flipping through the pages — it’s everywhere. Even if you haven’t read it, you’ve certainly heard about it and have maybe even contemplated reading it. What started out as Twilight Fan Fiction has quickly become a NYTimes Bestseller and an eye-opener to those not so well-versed in the world of BDSM.
If the steamy pages of dom/sub play were a new concept for you and you found yourself excited, you should take heed from Anastasia and Christian’s relationship and repeat after them. Maybe you’re not ready for an elaborate sex room, but you can always build up to that. For now, let’s just start small with some Adam and Eve 50 Shades of Grey inspired sex toys.
First up, the Door Jam Cuffs: These are great to simulate suspension and to give your master complete control over you.
Leather plays a consistent role in 50SoG, so take your punishment in style with the Fashionistas Black Glass Riding Crop. You can whip and be whipped right into submission. Note: the name is misleading, it is made of glass and leather.
Remember that Anastasia wasn’t allowed to touch Christian, so work up the same restraint with the Sex and Mischief Bed Bondage Kit. With all four appendages cuffed, you won’t be able to move or touch anything.
While Christian said he hadn’t collared anyone, it doesn’t mean you can’t. Check out Bound by Diamonds Leash & Collar to really know what being “owned” feels like.
Finally, if you really want to create your own sex room, start by getting the sexy Love Swing‚ a playground for all sorts of deliciousness and domination that will never err on the vanilla side.
However, if you decide to explore the world of BDSM, be sure to talk to your partner beforehand. Set up a safe word and move into it slowly. It can be a little scary if it isn’t done with someone you’re comfortable with, so be sure to wait at least until the 2nd date to whip out your door restraints. I kid, but do be ready to be open with your partner and even more open with your mind.
And, if you don’t have a partner to tease and tempt you, don’t worry, there’s still 50 Shades of Grey, your imagination and an endless sea of vibrating goodness.
4.22.2012 | 0 Comments
Neil Cowley is bringing his Mind as Water project to Charlotte this week, and I will be taking the plunge! Not only does Neil take gorgeous wedding photographs, but his portraits of people in water are part of his mission to bring clean water to the world. And along the way, he is reminding people to stop and feel the rain drops…
How did this project come about?
My inspiration came from Chinese wisdom poems:
TAO TE CHING #8
The highest form of goodness is like water.
Water knows how to benefit all things without striving with them.
It stays in places loathed by all men.
Therefore, it comes near the Tao.
The Tao Te Ching are a very old set of wisdom poems who’s origin is Chinese. Reading them, I caught onto the multiple visuals of water used to illustrate their spiritual lessons. To understand the Tao at it’s most basic level, understand them as word puzzles, designed to bring the mind to a place of spirit; or trick the mind away from limiting it’s thinking. Let me translate to show the point: The highest form of goodness [is a formless liquid that fills it's container] So if you are paying attention to what – the why comes to light. The verse says, “water benefits all things without struggling against them”, and the initial photographs were self-portraits from my own meditations. The meditations were my process to confront mountains of negative feelings brought to the surface of my heart during the breakup of my 12 year marriage. At a place in my life where I wanted to retreat, where my emotions told me to retreat, where my expectations told me I was a failure, water stayed in that place of my heart; and was the gateway to healing.
How would you describe the images? They are rather sexy, no?
I dare say they are sexy. And not in the over-wrought, media hyped way that is so rightly criticized in our culture today. I hope that I am able to touch on that raw, creative power of the universe that chooses to create new life with sex. I hope that the sensual joy that every person is capable of in their own body, is accepted in my pictures; and stands as an example of imagery that does not exclude or suggest that an ideal must be achieved to ‘be sexy’. I hope that the entirely natural joy and grace found in water on your skin is as palpable in the photographs as in real life. The challenge is getting out of the way and letting that flow through the pictures.
What’s the experience like for those who are brave enough to get in the shower for you?
Many of the subjects are artist friends, so they are comfortable in front of the camera. But spraying water over themselves, they can become as awkward and lost as you might be imagining. As I began to describe, I believe that my role in the photography is to guide them into a meditation in the water – not to make an astounding picture. So let me describe what that experience may be like for someone. Bob comes to the shoot excited by the images he has seen on my site and eager to showoff how cool and arty he is on Facebook. Oh, and maybe he’s been working out too, so this is an opportunity to show off a little. Water can’t hurt right – well: “Water overcomes the stone” so it’s not going to have any problem with your eyeballs. Bob thinks in his head how he might look if he moves his arm this way, or his shoulders that way, and asks for my opinion. I just sidestep the question and ask if he can keep his eyes open and look into the camera. Because I can see that he can’t, and he’s absorbed in his own thoughts. So when I think he’s learned all he’s going to on his own, I step in with a few suggestions like “start with the water on your right shoulder, and pay attention to how it runs down your back”. So Bob’s attention is drawn to the water on his skin, and away from how he thinks he looks. From there, if practiced – he will have a tremendous experience managing himself among the water drops.
That sounds similar to what I see people doing in their sexual relationships – becoming more of a spectator instead of a participant. They are more concerned about how they look to the other than how they feel. Instead of experiencing their sensuality, they are performing.
Besides taking stunning photographs, what are you aiming for with this project? You are hoping to fund wells in Uganda correct?
I believe that sharing the joy of the experience of water is the start to a wholehearted awareness that will produce global change. I hope that you can’t look at the images without being confronted with the immediacy of life, the fragile strength of the human spirit, the specifically unique experience of each person, and the universal involvement of people not like yourself. If I can capture all that, present it in a gallery show, and convert your gratitude into a water tank in Uganda; maybe I will become that master that the chinese speak of who “benefit without action”.
To schedule a time with Neil this weekend, join the Facebook event page.
3.25.2012 | 1 Comment
by Marge Piercy
What magic does touch create
that we crave it so. That babies
do not thrive without it. That
the nurse who cuts tough nails
and sands calluses on the elderly
tells me sometimes men weep
as she rubs lotion on their feet.
Yet the touch of a stranger
the bumping or predatory thrust
in the subway is like a slap.
We long for the familiar, the open
palm of love, its tender fingers.
It is our hands that tamed cats
into pets, not our food.
The widow looks in the mirror
thinking, no one will ever touch
me again, never. Not hold me.
Not caress the softness of my
breasts, my inner thighs, the swell
of my belly. Do I still live
if no one knows my body?
We touch each other so many
ways, in curiosity, in anger,
to command attention, to soothe,
to quiet, to rouse, to cure.
Touch is our first language
and often, our last as the breath
ebbs and a hand closes our eyes.
3.17.2012 | 0 Comments
In preparation for a workshop I did in Los Angeles last weekend, I was reading Talking Sex with Your Kids by Amber Madison. It’s a great book for parents and covers a lot of important information. However, the section that really caught my attention was the following:
Why Your Daughter Needs to Know Boys Aren’t Assholes
… Now, imagine that we were able to convince all young women that guys were decent human beings who want more than “just one thing.” Suppose girls were taught that guys like relationships and that they value intelligence, a sense of humor, and a kind soul. For one, romantic relationships would seem much more obtainable and appealing. But secondly, girls would have an easier time learning to value those traits in themselves. When we tell girls that guys only want them for their vaginas, they get the message that their value lies solely within their sexuality. Wonder why so many teen girls seem overly consumed with their bodies, clothing and makeup? Because we inadvertently support the notion that a girl’s biggest asset is her sex appeal. If girls were raised hearing “what guys want is a girl who’s ambitious,” then to impress a guy, they would be hitting their books, not jumping in the sack.
What you tell your daughter about the opposite sex matters. It affects both how she will approach romantic relationships and what she will value in herself. Illuminating the fact that guys are real people with real emotions makes them less intimidating and makes it easier for girls to know what they should expect out of a relationship. If you let your daughter believe that guys are assholes, how can you insist she have standards for the type of guys she dates? Why not date losers–if all guys are jerks anyway.