1
Feb


While the subject of infidelity has always been of interest, modern changes in technology and social arrangements have made the issue more complicated than ever.

One prominent change, of course, is that almost all environments in America are now mixed-gender: workplaces, shopping malls, gyms, cultural and social institutions.

In addition, technology has given us many new ways of communicating and connecting erotically with others, such as the telephone, VCR, computer, Internet and digital camera. Thus, questions such as “is it an affair?” and “is it infidelity?” are no longer easily answered.

For example, say you’re having phone sex with a paid stranger, or cyber sex with someone you just “met” online. Your mate walks in, sees this, and becomes hurt or angry, accusing you of infidelity. In the hundreds of stories I’ve heard like this, responses range from “it isn’t sex, so I wasn’t unfaithful” to “since it didn’t involve touching, don’t be upset.”

When couples bring such a dilemma to me, I never define whether one of them has been unfaithful. Such a judgment can only be made in the context of an agreement. Clearly, some couples have a contract in which even looking at a Victoria’s Secret catalog is a violation. Other relationships tolerate even erotic touching of others, as long as there is no emotional involvement. So the first — and scariest — question is how each partner interprets the couple’s fundamental agreement.

Couples in distress frequently ask me what kind of arrangement I think they should have: strictly monogamous, slightly open, technologically open (cyber-sex OK, neighbor-sex forbidden), etc. This is another question I rarely answer, although I encourage people to talk about what they really want, as opposed to what they’re willing to settle for.

Ultimately, the actual agreement couples reach is less important than the fact that both partners agree to it enthusiastically, and feel optimistic about keeping it. People who feel pushed into accepting a relationship that’s either more or less restrictive than they want often find themselves undermining the agreement, consciously or not.

Couples who have the courage to face their disagreements in this area eventually end up with a stronger relationship — whether with each other or with someone else.

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Category : Blog
16
Nov


The single most common question people ask me about sex is, “Am I normal?” Young and old, coupled and single, men and women worry that their desires, preferences, fantasies, body and curiosity are normal — that is, like everyone else’s.

I used to answer most people reassuringly, “Yes, lots of people are into that, you’re normal.” But if you define normal as what most people do, most of us aren’t normal. True, worrying about your sexual normality is normal. But most people go their own way after that. Sure, there’s an average frequency that people make love, an average position, an average penis size. But you’re not making love with the average person — you’re making love with a single, unique individual. Besides, averages aren’t always meaningful. Sampling men and women, you conclude that the average person has one testicle and one ovary — a meaningless statistic.

So what do we do that isn’t so normal?

Some of us are monogamous; many aren’t. Some of us are strictly heterosexual; many aren’t. There are about as many different sexual fantasies as there are people fantasizing. The arrangement of body parts during sex ranges from the predictable to the laughable and the improbable, and includes things you may not even consider sexual.

Some lovers wear costumes; some hide their bodies. Some people shut the door and turn off the lights; others seek high-exposure places like elevators. Some people like their sex polite; while others get nasty in language, lingerie or their fingers’ destination.

In fact, the number of ways people are sexually unconventional is so large, it can’t even be fully described. While you’re reading this, someone, someplace, is experimenting with new places to put their tongue.

That person may be worried that he or she is too kinky.

If only he or she knew what you do.

Don’t take all of this as a subtle statement that you’re a sexual freak, or that you’re isolated in your perverse eroticism. Anything sexual that you imagine, want, or do is being imagined, wanted, or done by someone somewhere.

You know, we’re each alone in this together.

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Category : Blog
17
Aug


People should try having sex early in the morning instead of trying to shoehorn lovemaking into the end of a long, trying workday, suggests sex and couples counselor Eleanor Hamilton, 90.

Hamilton, who hung out her shingle in Manhattan in the early ’70s, celebrated her 90thbirthday yesterday by continuing to dispense motherly advice on sex and intimacy through the Pt. Reyes Light, a Marin County, Calif., newspaper which has carried her column since the mid-’80s.

Hamilton sees how harried and busy couples are these days, and knows how tough it is to maintain interest in a fulfilling sexual relationship. “I think you need to focus fully and shut out the rest of the world for good sex,” she says. “You need to literally go someplace, where you know there will be no telephone, and no interruptions.”

Take advantage of hours when your energy level is at its peak, she adds.

“The more appreciative you are of the other person, the better your sex life will be,” says Hamilton. “In the business world, people get torn down all day long; it’s wonderful to come home and have someone that’s there especially for you. My husband used to always bring me breakfast in bed and that was just a delight to me.”

Hamilton feels that a relationship goes dead when people lose their passion for each other. A relationships with no passion leaves both men and women ripe for an affair. “So many people stop listening to each other in relationships and that’s what erodes intimacy.”

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Category : Blog
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