Getting The Relationship You Want

Get the relationship you want

Are you completely satisfied with the state of your intimate relationship or marriage? If not, how do you demand what you want from your relationship without begging or appearing bossy or worst yet, desperate? The fine art of being at peace in our relationship is a combination of set of core factors. These include knowing our worth, having realistic expectations about our partner, and demonstrating an unwillingness to settle for long-term mediocrity. Of course the glue that holds these factors all together should be  the practice of unconditional love. But I don’t mean to get ahead of myself by suggesting that real love will gloss over or tolerate all wrong doing. So let’s head back to factor one.

Know Your Worth

While unconditional love or loving our spouse in spite of, is very necessary for a successful relationship, even more important is a healthy dose of self love. Love which comes from a place of self worth and value allows us to understand that our love is precious and not to be taken for granted. When we love ourselves, we expect to be treated well. We know when to say “I don’t deserve this”. That self-love and confidence also exudes a level of inner strength which can be very appealing. It can make our partner sit up and take notice when the situation demands it and this can be a pathway to relationship improvement. Of course this attitude can also produce fear or intimidation in a potential abuser but this is why it’s completely necessary to demonstrate this in the early stages of a relationship. It can alert us to common relationship red flags. If we came into self-love later in our relationship or marriage, it gives us options; especially in the case of serious relationship infractions like infidelity or abuse. When we know our worth, it becomes easier to be assertive or to find our voice in terms of articulating our core needs and desires.

Have Realistic Expectations

Many times we’re unhappy in love because we expect too much. We have that old fairy tale etched deeply in our minds and when our partner flops at being our prized prince or princess, we protest; loudly. It’s a great thing to have high relationship expectations but the practice of putting our partner on a pedestal can be fairly problematic. Our relationship peace can be disturbed because we appear to have infantile needs or we approach our needs with a certain level of immaturity. We can expect constant affirmation from our spouse or we expect a relationship that is free from major challenges. But life happens even when we’re in love. We gain weight, we don’t always look our best, sometimes illness interrupts, babies get cranky, teens cause stress, our parents age, we lose jobs and yet we have to adjust. Understanding that your life with your partner will be no bed of roses must then be carefully balanced against knowing what you will not tolerate. Discerning what you will battle out together as a couple, must, therefore, be distinguished from major relationship deal breakers, which yo will not tolerate for the long term.

Don’t Settle

While problems and challenges are unavoidable in an imperfect world, any relationship worth its salt must be buttressed by a healthy set of relationship goals. It’s important that a couple shares what is most important to each of them, in the relationship. Differences in age, sex, religious persuasion and socialization, can often cause a couple to start out on different pages even when the physical or sexual attraction is strong. Starting the conversation towards critical core needs, should ensure that each knows what is most important to the other. Having reached that stage of initial understanding, working towards aligning goals and dreams for the present and future, is a great way to safe guard against settling for relationship mediocrity. Above all else, loving your partner unconditionally, is a great way to be at peace in knowing that in spite of it all, he or she is your chosen number one.

 

 

The Truth About Penis Size

woman-holding-measuring-tape-near-mans-penis_0As sexualized as our culture is, many of us still hold erroneous beliefs with regards to sex. One of those primary beliefs is that a woman needs a man with a big penis to feel sexually satisfied. It has even been said that some women are, at times, unwilling to relinquish a man who on all counts may be a real jerk, simply because his claim to fame is a large penis. While the philosophies which may guide those pursuing casual sex and those interested in commitment and marriage may be entirely different, the idea of the large penis being correlated with great sex, still holds sway in the minds of many, regardless of their relationship status.

There is a standing joke that there really is no need for extra-large condoms because such men who claim to need them, really only have extra-large egos. Whether you agree with this evaluation or not, there is no denying the fact that we live in a phallus-dominant society. From the design of lipsticks, to pens, to gear-shifts and the obvious obelisk, phallic symbols are everywhere. Let’s face it, men are not only seemingly defined by sex but they place great stock in the tool designed to do the job.

Haven’t we noticed how some men, somewhat unconsciously, seem to touch their genitals when talking in social settings, as if there is a constant need to affirm that the penis is still there? While some may think that this behaviour is ample proof of Freud’s “castration anxiety” theory; (the belief in an unconscious fear of penile-loss which develops during childhood and lasts a lifetime), I believe that it also confirms men’s tendency to externalize their sexuality.

The externalization of sex involves an emotional disengagement with the sex act by focusing primarily on the sex organ as the “tool” which does the job. In this paradigm of sex, it’s the penis doing the work and not necessarily the man per se. It is this type of thinking which has contributed to the obsession with penis-size. Not only do men believe that the size of their penis relates directly to their ability to give sexual pleasure but many women have themselves bought into this notion. Failure to reach a climax for these women may, therefore, lead to the complaint that the penis was too small.

Actually, the greatest sexual tool needed to enjoy great sex is the brain. How we feel about ourselves; our sexual self-concept, our ease and comfort with our sexuality and our thinking patterns with respect to sex have a greater part to play in our enjoyment of the act than any old penis. It is a medical fact that the vagina is not a gaping hole to be filled or plugged; it is an expandable space. This simply means that it will normally adapt and adjust to the size of the penis which enters it. For women who have had children and who may experience some sense of “slackness” (actually overt stretching of the vaginal wall) this can be remedied by the regular exercising of the pelvic floor muscles (imagine stopping your urine flow) and by the selection of sexual positions which allow the female’s legs to be closed.

The overt reliance on the male penis as the source of all sexual pleasure has also placed an undue sense of responsibility on men for the extent of female pleasure. Focussing on the genitals also restricts the level of ingenuity or creativity a man is able to bring to the bedroom when it comes to lovemaking, as it downplays the skills he may need to develop with his hands and or mouth.

Right thinking women, however, must own their sexuality and understand that the responsibility for their own pleasure first lies with their thinking and attitudes towards sex. By turning her focus inward to her own pleasure-centre, a woman can learn how to surrender and release herself to sexual pleasure and own her sexual experience as an enthusiastic participant. Dwelling more on what she brings to the experience also puts her in a frame of mind to give pleasure to her spouse, as she feels a greater sense of sexual empowerment. For men, a healthy, functional view of sexuality should also mean developing the understanding that women are far more concerned with how they are treated and valued in the context of a relationship, than they are with pure penis-size.

Adapted from How To Have Mind Blowing Sex Without Losing Your Brain by Denise J Charles

What Your Kissing Style Says About You

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to be an endorsement of ‘’indiscriminate kissing” but simply reflects my take on what your kissing-style preferences may say about you. Read with a pinch of salt.

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Self-tests and inventories of different types have all been used to help us delve a bit more into our personality. From our communication habits, to our recreational preferences and even our conflict resolution style, these questions have been used to enable us to understand ourselves a bit better. But have you  ever wondered about the way you kiss?  And have you ever answered a “kissing inventory”? Yes, something as “everydayish” and ordinary as kissing, can tell us and others (if we’re paying attention) quite a bit about ourselves.  And what about the act of kissing; do we even enjoy it in the first place or do we view it as an intrusive, germ-spreading, unnecessary activity? For the purposes of our “lip-locking” analysis I’m going to advance five basic kissing styles and will attempt to explain my own take on what they reveal.

Slatherers

Slatherers tend to use lots of saliva, so these kisses invariably prove to be somewhat wet and slippery. The individual on the receiving end of this kiss may actually feel smothered and a bit overwhelmed by the slatherer’s enthusiasm.  While aesthetically this kissing style may leave a lot to be desired, in the real world, this individual in a relational context is actually big on piling on the love and affection. This style may reveal an openness to love and a willingness to be vulnerable. You see, slatherers aren’t into game-playing, image-presenting or pretense; they’re about as straight up as they come. They wear their hearts on their sleeve and tend to be loyal in their relationships and may actually prove to be excellent spouse material.

Professional Peckers

Professional Peckers (PP’s) thrive on being connoisseurs in the kissing fraternity and love to utilize lip pressure in their performance. They believe they have pretty much mastered the basics and therefore have kissing down to a science. As a consequence, they like to use their “kissing skills” to gauge the barometer of a relationship and believe that it will reveal things like sexual compatibility, chemistry, relationship longevity and the like. PPs, while very concerned about their expertise, are, however, much more into themselves, than into their kissing partner. They also never completely relinquish control or totally drop their guard. It’s all about them and how good they are at what they do. PPs tend to use kissing as more a means to an end, than as an expression of love or intimacy. So they kiss basically to determine what’s in it for them. In a more established relationship, however, their kisses are always self-serving and may become boring and predictable. This is especially so since the focus is always on making sure that they obey a somewhat long list of unspoken kissing rules.

Deep-Sea Divers

Now these kissers love to take the plunge; literally. They believe that kisses should be long, deep, penetrative, exploratory and almost capable of performing a tonsillectomy (just kidding). But I’m sure you get my drift. While such kissing smacks of deep intimacy and of sexual foreplay, it can also be used to reinforce dominance, control or outright seduction; especially if the head of the receiver is held with both hands while the kiss is being “administered”. If this kissing-style is utilized by both participants, it can degenerate, in a worst case scenario, to a competition or kissing match; you know to see who’s acing it the best. Not to be all negative, however, especially for you die-hard fans of this style, it can also reflect deep love, passion and commitment.

No-show Kissers

No-show Kissers understand the power of the kiss but because they believe it may reveal too much, try to avoid it like the plague. While this type may actually be a distinct minority, they do exist and actually don’t like to pucker up. Kissing for them is intrusive, time-consuming and not worth the trouble; especially since they love to focus on the fact that it carries germs. (I’ve actually met such a woman who didn’t kiss her husband because of such beliefs). No-showers believe that kissing is grossly over-rated and steer clear of it as much as possible.

Kissers and Tellers

For these, the kiss is never an end in itself but is simply a powerful back-up for what already has been said or will be expressed at some time in the future of the relationship. KATs actually have no preference for any one physical style but live in the kissing moment and allow each kiss’s magic to do its work. At the end of the day, KAT’s ensure that there’s congruence between what they do with their lips and what they say. They also love to focus on the kiss as an act of giving in the relationship.

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While some of you may not want to take me entirely seriously, there may actually be some grain of truth to my kissing analysis. The fact is that for most of us, there may be bits of all these traits, based on where we are as individuals, our past experiences, where we may be in a relationship and of course our “kissing occasion”. The underlying thread, however, is that kissing isn’t something we should take lightly. Just ask the prostitutes who will give up sex while refusing to kiss (remember the movie Pretty Woman?)

Though we may never admit it, some of us are intuitively aware that kissing is a physical intimacy which carries with it some weight and the power to expose who we really are. In a committed relationship like marriage, the absence of kissing can actually say a lot about the state of the relationship. While the novelty will admittedly wear off in the long term, its outright absence can be quite telling. All things being considered, no matter what we like or do when we kiss, lets ensure that our kiss tells the story our partner wants to hear.

 

The Secrets: Should We Tell All?

There is nothing like meeting a sexy guy for the first time and wanting to impress. For you unattached girls out there who are longing for someone to really call your own, meeting new guys can, however, get really technical; or so I have been told. It’s been said that the ratio of women to men is somewhat alarming; In other words, there seems to be a marked shortage of guys to match all the girls out there looking to settle down with one. For the woman who feels desperate, this often means that she thinks she needs to employ a few “relationship contortions” in order to nail the guy of her interest. In other words, she feels a need to plot, scheme and manipulate in order to “win” the competition for the most eligible bachelor. This often means packaging herself as the woman of every guy’s dreams, while beating all other girls into extinction.

As women, many of us have mastered the fine art of creating a great first impression. It just comes with the territory of being female and is something which we do almost instinctively. We definitely know how to dress to impress. At another level, the array of “enhancements” available for today’s woman means that when a guy meets a gal for the first time, he really must assess whether what he is seeing is what he will be hopefully getting (that is, if the relationship gets that far).

These “enhancements” run the gamut from false hair, to false nails, to false lashes, to coloured lens (changed eye colour), to false breasts and even padded hips. Yes, these are all fashion practices that many of us women have grown accustomed to using at some level, from time to time. As a lover of fashion and beauty trends myself, I do identify with that feminine need to creatively reinvent ourselves on occasion.Where it can get tricky, however, is when we allow our true selves to be masked into oblivion and this then spills over into our love lives.

Today’s practice of hiding or masking who we really are, may actually speak to deeper issues which can impact on our intimate relationship. The woman, who fears exposing what she perceives to be her physical flaws, may also be harbouring a deeper fear of being exposed in other areas of her life. This then leads us to the question of secrets. When a woman is bent on impressing and perhaps keeping a man for the long haul, should she spill it all? Should she expose all of her shortcomings, weaknesses and past relationship issues as her new relationship progresses or should some information remain off limits? Just as she seeks to hide her body’s imperfections, should she continue this trend by also concealing the things from her past (or present) which she thinks might make her appear less attractive to her new love interest, or should she expose all of her emotional and sexual stuff in a bid to “keep it real” in the relationship?

Women at different stages of their emotional development will no doubt answer these questions differently. A woman’s sense of self, inner confidence and her ability to balance strength with vulnerability, will to some degree, determine how she chooses to handle self-exposure when a new man comes along. This is also likely to be affected by things like her age and relationship experience.

The woman who is really on the look-out for a long term relationship with the possibility of marriage is likely to value openness and honesty. This is likely to be so because more often than not, this is what she also expects from her partner. With an acknowledged shortage of men, however, a woman may fear losing a romantic prospect if certain elements of her past are laid bare. While I am one who steadfastly promotes intimacy in relationships, I do not believe that it can be forced by indiscriminate exposure of everything, just for the sake of it.

Yes, we live in an age of reality shows where we have grown accustomed to being exposed to everyone’s business. The concept of privacy as we know it, will soon become a thing of the past. Even prime time television has jumped on the bandwagon with not only the portrayal of intimate sex scenes but even treks to the bathroom have now become standard television fare. So to some extent, we are accustomed to “baring it all”. This public trend of exposure, however, does not necessarily transfer to our romantic relationships where the stakes are high for disapproval and rejection.

What then are some of the major secrets a woman would perhaps seek to hide in her relationship? I’ve thought deeply about this and have arranged what I think would be some critical issues in order of their assumed importance:

  • The number of men she has slept with
  • Her participation in any sexual activities that would be considered risqué, for example, group sex or a ménage a trios
  • Her involvement in a lesbian affair
  • Her hatred of sex
  • Her love of sex
  • Her experience of sexual abuse
  • An experience of rape
  • Enormous, enormous debt
  • A deep connection to her ex
  • Past infidelity
  • An addiction to shopping
  • An addiction to illegal drugs
  • An addiction to prescription medication
  • Chronic depression
  • Her very large salary

This list is not exhaustive by any means but I think you get the idea. These issues admittedly are diverse and cannot all be lumped together. An issue of a sexual nature will tend to be treated with far more seriousness than an issue of over-spending.  A woman often knows from experience, that a man can be intimidated if she earns significantly more money than he does. If she appears to love sex too much, or had many partners, she may fear that he thinks her a slut. If her debt is really high, he may think she’s really on the look-out for a “Sugar Daddy” or that she lacks personal discipline and the list goes on. In spite of the diversity among these issues, each has the potential to break or harm a relationship if left unresolved.

The woman who has endured painful experiences from her childhood or from past relationships, may choose not to share if these issues are still painful to her. If she has experienced emotional healing, has extended forgiveness to those who hurt her or has decided to change some shame-based element of her lifestyle, then sharing her life-story may just be a matter of course. At the same time, if she feels close enough to her guy, she may seek comfort in sharing matters which for her still remain unresolved. Talking about her sense of shame over some past behaviour or delving into a past hurt, may actually be therapeutic and can serve to deepen the bond between her and her guy.

At another level, the woman in her twenties, who is still basically “finding herself”, may respond differently to the idea of total self-exposure, than the woman in her forties who possesses a lot more self-confidence and has experienced a bit of life. The younger woman is likely to panic and to be a lot more secretive in a bid to hold on to new relationship. Conversely, the older woman’s attitude might very well be one of, “been there, done that, take me as I am or go look elsewhere”.

This woman knows exactly what she wants in a man and is not so much sold on the idea of impressing others, as she is on the idea of self-acceptance and personal growth. In other words she may have learnt from her past mistakes and may simply want to re-write her life-script on her own terms. She may also feel no regret for some of her past actions and this is where the aligning of a couples’ value system becomes critical to the life of that relationship. If for example, one partner has cheated in the past, but is not remorseful, then this may hold implications for how much he/she values fidelity. If you plan to be a faithful spouse, then having a spouse with an identical belief system will be paramount.

Issues like substance abuse, addictions or chronic depression can also impact on the quality of the relationship. While none of us are perfect, the more emotionally healthy we are, the better the prospects for a long and healthy relationship. When significant elements are kept hidden, the danger is that they can rear their ugly heads at an inopportune time and can cause friction and emotional estrangement. If, for example, a divorcee has not severed emotional ties with her ex, this baggage can haunt her current relationship and she can easily project her anger towards her current partner or husband. Knowledge and understanding on her partner’s end can only be applied if he is made aware of her issue in the first place.

Am I suggesting then that a tell-all session is always vital to a good relationship? Not necessarily. I believe that a woman must assess the true status of her relationship and the maturity of her partner before she decides to divulge all. Even then, exposing her past is not an end in itself, nor should it be forced. It should also never occur in the early, uncertain phase of a relationship when commitment has not yet been voiced. In fact, premature exposure can actually destroy the prospects of a relationship even getting off the ground.

Don’t scare the guy away before he even has a chance to say hello. Be wise, weigh the situation and ensure that your end of the table is not the only one from which a detailed life-story is forthcoming; intimacy is after all, a two-way street.  There are no guarantees that it will all pan out as you like but true love is often worth the risk.