Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Love and Marriage

Hi all. I know, I haven't been here nearly often enough lately but I just had to share this with all of you. Check out this link to one of my other blogs. My husband wrote the and would like to share it as well. It is simply the most genuine, romantic thing you will ever read!

Between the Sheets - Love and Marriage - a Love Letter

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Friday, June 22, 2007

The Games Couples Play

When it comes to building intimacy, or rebuilding it, there's not much better than playing games ~ I don't mean mind games, but games with rules ~ card games and board games.

Movies, watching television, going out to events and bars offer little in the way of interaction, and even restaurants can make conversation difficult. But games? Games were designed to get people interacting and talking!

The games need not be adult or even for couples. A good old fashioned, clean, game of Monopoly can be just the thing to help you reconnect. Why? Because games were created to get people interacting.

Games, with their rules, turn-taking and structure, help get the ball rolling. Couples who find themselves with nothing to say, couples who are just getting to know each other, complete strangers or married couples who feel as if they are strangers, can all find themselves actively participating and talking. That's what games were designed to do!

Even angry couples can use games to break those stony silences. Rather than sitting side by side with nothing nice to say (and so remaining silent), rather than wondering what to say that won't lead back to that same old fight, let the game be your focus. Games were invented to be ice breakers, so let them break that icy silence! Following the game instructions sets your topic, playing the game sets your tone ~ to fun!

Feeling disconnected from your spouse? Why not turn off that TV, break out one of those games sitting in the back of the closet and spend time with one another. You never know where it will lead...

Your game need not be for lovers to turn you into lovers. Some of my personal favorites are Sequence and Uno.

Feeling silly? I have a vintage version of the home version of The Newlywed Game that I got at a rummage sale and answering the corny old 1960's questions always has us rolling. And, to be honest, learning a few (admittedly odd) things about each other. (It's also a great game to play with other couples, so I am always looking for different old versions of those retro games to add to my collection. Now you know ~ one of ~ my shameful dirty secrets.)

Feeling more... playful? Uncork that bottle of wine, light some candles and get out a romantic, erotic game.

Looking for ideas? Here are a few naughty game reviews:

Of A Hot Affair quoth Kat, "What is amazing is that there are so many ways to play this game... with 3 different levels, you can personalize the game according to how you are both feeling."

For you kinky folks, there's the Fetish Board Game. "Having explored plenty of kinks before I was surprised at how well the cards covered bondage and voyeurism, in particular. Although the cards are geared to the initiate, I think old hands will find themselves more than entertained by the cards' instructions as well."

With Lesbian Sex! Game, "Kheper Games, Inc. has come up with a wonderful way to get to know your lover and have some fun in the process. I've been with someone who couldn't talk openly about what they wanted, at least in the beginning. How wonderful this deck would have been!" (There's also a hetero version of Sex! too.)

And Roll 'Em Show 'Em is a fun time exploiting sex, money and drinking ~ and good for groups, you swingers you!

So next 'date night', why not order a new game and plan a special night at home enjoying your time together.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happily Ever After?

In Wedded Blisters, Neely wonders if marriage is something she even wants to enter into. With the media, as she writes, "depicting marriage as this energy-sapping, miserable way of life, where husbands have to practically beg their wives for sex and wives feel like they're not being validated enough by their husbands" she's not enthusiastic:
But what about this daily bombardment of television shows and movies, depicting marriage as the root of all evil? The truth is that these comedies and films play off of real life, and we know this to be the case because we laugh at their humor. We laugh because we recognize truth. People love shows like Everybody Loves Raymond because a depiction of an average guy dealing with the daily struggles of marriage is true to the way it is outside of that rectangular, silver screen. Unmarried couples may not entirely relate to the humor but they understand that this is what they'll eventually encounter once they walk down the aisle. Are we destined for the same path as Ed and Peggy Bundy, we wonder.

So we turn off our televisions, looking elsewhere for signs of encouragement, only to be bombarded by another reality check on the state of marriage today: the nation's divorce rate, which towers over us at all times, giving us very good reason to doubt that we will escape the odds.
The media's reflection of our marital problems may be exaggerated ~ but as Neely points out, it's funny because it's true. Marriage is a tricky thing, and certainly our libidos aren't magically put in sync just because we live together. But if I were to look at our media for answers regarding how we've got to this place where Ed and Peggy Bundy are more typical than representative of our greatest fears, I'd say the problem lies with the fantasy of marriage.

From early on we are fed fantasies wherein once love is found they ride off into the sunset. If the story is supposed to be saying "and they lived happily ever after," they never show it. In film, finding one's mate is the end of the story when in truth it should be just the beginning.

While we often are entertained by (and feed-off of) the drama of 'the chase' and the obstacles faced in the pursuit, we forget that 'ever after' is a story complete with dramas of its own. There are obstacles, chases and pursuits to be found in every marriage and I think we should thank our lucky stars for that ~ for each one is a chance to reaffirm our love and dedication.

In the romantic movies, our heroes and heroines do not crumple at the first (or even the 10th) problem presented ~ instead they keep their eye on the prize and fight for the chance at true love. Shouldn't we view and pursue our marriages with the same ardor, passion and dedication?

Work, bills, children, household chores ~ surely none of these is as difficult as the matter of finding, competing for, and securing your mate. (And in truth, now that we are a couple we can attack these problems together; it's you and me against the world, kid.)

He's a morning person while she's most definitely not, he's stressed out at the job, she's afraid she's not as lovely as she once was ~ surely these will yield to the holding of hands, a quiet shared look in a crowded room, a secret slap on the bottom...

We are presented with a myriad of opportunities to sweep our partners off their feet, seduce and charm our ways into their beds, and show that obstacles mean nothing in light of our love.

We need not be complete drama lovers and go overboard creating chaos or imagining things ready to tear the marriage apart, but we can view the problems, difficulties and obstacles with more passion. We can treat each obstacle as the romantic lead does: as a chance to prove our love and win our mate.

And of course, at the end of the day we should be as eager to fall into bed.

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Sunday, May 6, 2007

Bisexual Married Women

Bisexual Married Women
Inside Jolie's Head - 5/6/2007

Most of this article is a reprint from my article "Bisexuality in Marriage" at Logical Lust. The article was written in 2003. I've changed a few things . (Except for my husband's name, all other names have been changed.)

I'm a bisexual woman, and I've been conscious of this fact for the last 25 of my 44 years. Twenty six years ago, as a freshman, I entered an all girls college. I thought I was straight. But attending this college, I believe, brought out my true sexuality.

Fall, 1981. I was at college, in the dormitory, in one of the elevators. Pat walked in. Except for the mounds on her chest, she could pass for a man. I was terrified and rushed out of the elevator as fast as I could. Two years later, I sent her a love letter. Terror had turned to lust. She exemplified my definition, at the time, of a lesbian, and as a young, burgeoning bisexual woman, I had to have her. It didn't matter that she had a girlfriend. But Pat was a loyal lover, so she acknowledged my long letter with a long letter of her own, gently telling me that she was unavailable and that she planned to stay that way.

My College, I found, was full of women who liked women. It didn't mean we slept with each other, although some, like Pat, did. It meant that we were deeply into each other. When financial difficulties forced the college to begin to accept men, we women protested. We were very comfortable without them.

The entire time I was attracted to Pat ( now a writer for a gay magazine in Chicago, or at least I had heard ) I had a boyfriend, Rob, who's now my husband.

Many have asked how I can be attracted to women while having a man in my life. Well, that's easy - I'm not straight; I'm not gay; I'm bisexual. As Kathy Labriola says in her online article "What is Bisexuality? Who is Bisexual?":

Many people are 100% gay or lesbian, and are drawn sexually and emotionally only to partners of the same sex. Others are completely heterosexual, bonding in sexual and intimate relationships only with people of another sex. But what about everybody else? A significant percentage of people do not fit neatly into either of these categories, because they experience sexual and emotional attractions and feelings for people of different genders at some point during their lives. For lack of a better term, they are called bisexuals, although many people prefer to call themselves "pansexual," "non-preferential," "sexually fluid," "ambisexual," or "omni-sexual."

I've met bisexual women who have husbands or boyfriends and female lovers. I've met bisexual women who have husbands or boyfriends, but do not have female lovers. I've met bisexual women who are celibate. I've met bisexual women who have female lovers, but do not have husbands or boyfriends. We are varied and we are everywhere.

Soon after I graduated from college, after my failed attempt with Pat, I was dying to have a relationship with a woman, dying. I got myself a copy of the Chicago Reader and found an advertisement for Action Bi Women, a now defunct bisexual women's support group in Chicago. Bingo! Call it whatever you want, I was getting laid. It didn't take me long to meet Cindy. I was a bisexual woman with a boyfriend. She was a married bisexual woman. Our men were in support of our dating. It was perfect.

We were sitting on her couch, and since I had never been with a woman, I was scared to death. Who would make the first move? Certainly not me. And then out of the blue, she kissed me. The first kiss I have ever received from a woman. I can't count how many women I've kissed since then, but I will never forget that first kiss. It was heaven. During some heavy necking, her husband walked in - so we never made it to home plate. I wanted to see her again, and I wanted a relationship - she didn't.

Soon after I was unceremoniously dumped by Cindy, I put on a sexy outfit and marched off to one of the lesbian bars in Chicago that's no longer open, Aukie and Ck's. I was scared, but I tried not to show it. I played a few games of pool with some butches and then Melanie appeared, also butch. She turned me on (most butch women did at that time) and she was full of stories, all true. Like the time she was thrown out of the army for being gay. She was a lesbian, but I didn't care. That week we got a cheap motel room and spent hours in bed. The very first time I was ever fucked by a girl. You couldn't get me into that cheap motel today, but spending time in that dump with Melanie I will never forget.

But there was a problem, something that I knew would present itself at some point, Melanie could not deal with the fact that I had a boyfriend. So, now it was my turn to dump. Later, I dumped women because I found it difficult to give my heart to someone other than my husband. Much later, when I became a writer, I dumped women because of lack of time. Today, I've reconnected with a woman from seven years ago. We're friends again and that friendship is strong based on what we went through in our past together.

My husband has always been supportive of who I am. Is he unusual? Not really. Every bisexual woman that I became involved with had a boyfriend or a husband that was supportive. Sometimes the men were involved, like the occasional three-way, but that didn't happen very often. Other times I never met the men.

The reality is - married bisexual women, and bisexual women with boyfriends, are all over the place.


On Sunday, May 20, I will post the thoughts and experiences of other bisexual married women I've contacted. I will also post any support groups that I'm aware of. If you are a married, bisexual woman, I hope that you will visit this site to read their words. We are not alone.

Jolie du Pre is an author of lesbian erotica and erotic romance.
Music for 5/6/2007 blogging - Jonathan Chambers

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Sex and Commitments

Marriage is a commitment and anyone who sticks to their commitment should be commended. But there are many who forget that just staying in the relationship because you have a commitment isn't necessarily healthy. When certain aspects slide, it doesn't matter how committed you are - the relationship can be over without either party actually physically leaving. One of those aspects is sex.

Yes, I said sex. I know that there are other important facets of a relationship but without sex, the other facets will slide as well. Without sex, intimacy drops. When intimacy declines you lose that special feeling of closeness. Then you grow apart and start doing your own thing more often than you do things together. You start sharing more with your girlfriends than you do with your partner. Then you might start to wonder why he doesn't talk to you anymore. And he wonders ... well, I'm not really sure what he wonders but I'm sure he does.

So, yes, sex is a very important factor.

Women should never feel responsible for their mate's sexual satisfaction, nor should a man feel responsible for his wife's. But each should feel responsible for the maintenance of their relationship. The have duty to each other to keep the intimacy alive. When you start letting it slip, it just gets easier in easier and pretty soon, it's gone.

It's like I told my daughter, if you come in 10 minutes late for curfew one night, it's so much easier to come in 15 minutes late next week. And then it's half an hour and and two hours and before you know it, you're staying out all night long. And ya, there are consequences, but you learn to live with them and you move on. The first time you tell your mate, "Not tonight - I'm just not in the mood," it's kinda hard because you don't want to her their feelings. But then a couple nights later, you say it again. And again and again. And pretty soon, months have gone by and it's easier to say the words than it is to make an effort and make love to your partner.

What can you do about it? Well, first you both need to agree that you need to stop the I'm-not-in-the-mood cycle. Talk about why you use those words, how you feel when the other says them, and why you want to break the cycle. Then make a date.

Find a time when the kids can be away for the night. Set the mood. Spend an afternoon enjoying each other's company, holding hands, and laughing. Laughter is a great aphrodisiac. Then go home and get down to business. You might not feel "it" at first, but you will. Tell each other what's working. Don't get all serious. Try to keep it light. But the main thing is to get naked and intimate.

Keep this up at least once a week. You might feel like it is kind of forced at first but soon you'll get into it. And the more sex you have, the more you want it so keep at it. Practice makes perfect.

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