30
Nov


Falling in love never grows old. Regardless of your age, a new romance softens the hardest of hearts and awakens long lost regions of the soul.

Clinical psychologist and couples therapist Ayala Pines reflects on the significance love plays in our lives:

Does romantic love ever become a lower priority for people?

I don’t think so. Romantic love is especially important for men and women in midlife. A number of women in their fifties find the great love of their lives. Forty- and fifty-year-old men are connecting to the female side of their personalities and long for greater intimacy with their partners. Even if your sex drive goes down (due to a decline in sex hormones), there is no reason why romantic love should have a lower priority at this age.

How can a couple rekindle a relationship?

When the love in a relationship dies completely, no amount of rekindling will help. But if a few embers are still smoldering, try and inject some adrenaline (the elixir of love) into the relationship by taking a trip abroad, hiking, taking a dance class or going on a spiritual retreat. Couples therapy can also help.

Why do you feel one of the best opportunities for personal growth is within the context of a romantic relationship?

We’ve all been in situations where the things that attract us most in the beginning of a relationship become a great source of stress later on. She loved his sense of humor but later complains they can’t hold a serious conversation, or he was attracted to her sensitivity but complains later that she is too sensitive. If you can control your urge to withdraw when things get tough — a great challenge and opportunity for growth — you can give each other what you need most (or complete the unfinished emotional business of your childhood), and also grow in the direction you need as an individual.

When the love in a relationship dies completely, no amount of rekindling will help. But if a few embers are still smoldering, try and inject some adrenaline (the elixir of love) into the relationship by taking a trip abroad, hiking, taking a dance class or going on a spiritual retreat. Couples therapy can also help.

Popularity: unranked [?]

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.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Category : Blog
13
Jul


Our popular culture offers a constant, apocalyptic vision of sexual danger: AIDS, teen pregnancy, date rape, sexual violence and now cyber sexploitation. Add the anxieties of religion, medicine, psychiatry and the law, and it’s easy to understand why many Americans can’t discuss sexual issues rationally.

With our sexuality poisoned by our history, culture and unrealistic expectations, most of us don’t want fantastic orgasms or unending sensual pleasure — we just want to feel less threatened, less inadequate. As a strategy for reducing sexuality deemed abnormal, censorship appears to provide a solution.

Censorship is more than closing a show or jailing a publisher. Its targets include sex education, contraceptive advertising, sex surveys, the Internet, adult bookstores, public nudity and high school libraries.

Censorship has two primary goals: defining what is sexually normal, and announcing which private decisions relating to sex are of public concern. Historically, censorship has been used to control the sexuality of the less powerful: women, youth, and those whose behavior challenges the status quo. No smart feminist would support censorship, not even of pornography.

Those who censor invariably say they can be trusted to judge wisely. This is false as well as illogical. Societies censor because they fear and thus wish to control. There is no limit to what people fear; therefore there is no limit to what they might wish to control.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that as long as your favorite toy, position, book, Web site or store is tolerated, censorship doesn’t affect you. When others have less freedom of responsible self-expression, our own freedom is more fragile. When public policy is based on judgments that demonize others, each of us is vulnerable to being demonized ourselves.

Living in a world that insists certain forms of sexual expression are dangerous, affects us unconsciously. We sense that we are one erotic choice away from being “abnormal,” one song or video away from being a pervert. What’s truly dangerous is when our culture has us mistrusting ourselves.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Category : Blog
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