Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kiss--It's That Simple

Here’s the research: If you want to be more sexually satisfied, kiss more!
Every study, every time shows that kissing is the essential building block of intimacy.

So how sad is it that kissing is the first thing to go after marriage even for couples that are having sex on a regular basis? Yes, sex without kissing; it happens. You know it. In the book “The Normal Bar” I read that, “the absence of kissing as an affectionate act could be a danger sign in a relationship.”

And this: “24% of men say their partners never kiss them outside of actual lovemaking.” But, I ask, how can it be lovemaking without kissing?

How do you get kissing back in your relationship? You have to be very deliberate about it. Maybe it feels fake or corny at first but it’s like making any new habit: Just do it for three or six or 10 weeks. Ellen Kriedman, my favorite relationship writer, says make a pact: kiss on every greeting and departure and one ten-second kiss every day. Time it: a ten-second kiss is a long kiss. Long enough to trigger the release of oxytocin—the love and intimacy hormone.

Your relationship is worth ten seconds a day. And it is so much cheaper than therapy.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Regrets Non Regrets--Sex and Regrets

This is a blog about cancer, relationships, love and sex. So when I find new research on sexual matters I can’t wait to share it with you. Today’s post is about sexual regrets and how they are different for men and women.

Researchers at The University of Texas and at UCLA have been studying sexual regrets for many years and here is some of what they have learned: Both men and women experience sexual regrets—sometimes quite profound. Most illuminating were the gender differences and the explanations for the “why” of those regrets.

Women tend to regret sexual decisions such as a one-night stand or losing their virginity to the wrong person—or a sexual encounter that involves infidelity. Men tend to regret missed sexual opportunities.

The researchers who looked at this suggest that these  “regret differences” are based in evolution. Men, they say regret not being more sexually adventurous because they are hard-wired to seek mates. “For men throughout evolutionary history, every missed opportunity to have sex with a new partner is potentially a missed reproductive opportunity—a costly loss from a evolutionary perspective,” says Martie Haselton, professor of social psychology at UCLA.

“But for women, reproduction required more investment in each offspring, including nine months of pregnancy. The consequences of casual sex were much higher for women than men, and this is likely to have shaped emotional reactions to sexual encounters even today.”

Interestingly, the researchers found that the findings were replicated with gay men and women who participated in the research: missed opportunities were more of a regret for gay men and decisions to have sex generating more regrets for gay women.

This helps to explain a lot of those early relationship dilemmas and that classic, much spoofed, “Where is this relationship going?” conversation that woman tend to initiate.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Late Fragment from Raymond Carver

And did you get what
 you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved,
to feel myself 
beloved on the earth.

                                    --Raymond Carver

Monday, February 17, 2014

There is Freedom

Every day I know now that this
is not for keeps. Every day I know
that one of us will die.
And with the terror that
this brings
comes a deep clarity,
and a kind of freedom.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Head Into Heart

On Valentine’s Day we think of hearts. Sometimes we let our head rule our heart and sometimes it’s the other way around.

Maybe the best advice I have ever received is about moving a loved one from head to heart. And not just a loved one—maybe this advice is even better for a “non-loved” one.

The next time you feel resentment or are irritated by someone try this: Move that person or that thought from your head to your heart. Visualize a tiny “them” in your heart. Put your hand there and press them in. Feel it get warm around them.

Most of our anger, rants and criticisms take place in our heads. But heart is body and physical. Cozy the person into your heart, give them a pat and let them rest there. Let your warm blood surround them.

When they come back to your head return them—like a toddler—to the nesting place in your heart. You will begin to feel the shift. I promise.

Cross my heart.