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Jul 5 2012

Girls Mature Faster…Not!

Summary: Only women think men mature late. From a man’s point of view some women never mature at all.

It’s often said that girls mature faster than boys. I don’t mean physically as that’s undisputed – girls start puberty earlier and finish sooner than boys. I’m referring to the common use of the term as it’s often applied to boys by women, which refers to their mental and emotional maturity. It’s often used in a dismissive manner, as a way to establish one’s superiority, and this “fact” is based on a female centric viewpoint on what is considered mature and what traits are most valued. But what if we didn’t used female centered values as the sole judge on a male’s maturity level. How would they fair?

If one were to place a premium on self-confidence, self-esteem, the ability to control your emotions in a crisis, the strength to separate personal issues and business decisions, appreciation of and self acceptance of your body, and the knowledge that you can’t change others, one could say that boys mature by age twelve and girls take till their mid forties – if ever.

I’m not saying this to be mean or even in a reactionary backlash way. It’s just that men and women both bring something to the table and their skills and perspectives are equally valid and useful. Neither is more “mature” than the other unless the test for maturity is biased in favor of one gender or the other.

Most men think being able to separate your emotions and personal feelings from business is a sign of maturity and sophistication. If a man was to refuse to sign a multi-million dollar contract with a company just because the CEO from said company hit on his wife at a party, it would be a sign of weakness and immaturity. You would be seen as someone who couldn’t be counted on to handle complicated stuff that could get messy. His loyalty and principles would probably also be in question. For most men, the situation is clear – sign the contact first, then kick the guys ass on your free time if that’s what you need to do. Or, pull him aside the next day and threaten to kick his ass. But definitely sign the contract first.

However most women would see that same refusal as a sign of maturity. That man would be seen as principled, strong, and loyal. Of course you shouldn’t do business with people like that. To choose money over your wife is appalling.

This is why the classic fantasy dilemma of  “I’ll give you a million dollars to sleep with your wife” is not a dilemma at all to most men. The first thing that pops into a man’s head is “Does he have the money or is he bull shitting me?” The second though is “if this guy turns out to be a psycho could I take him?”

Men see it as a business transaction. Sex with my wife for one million dollars. Sounds like great deal! A man would mentally suspend his wife’s status as his marriage partner for the duration of the transaction – business is business and it’s not personal. Her having sex with the stranger would not be viewed as a betrayal in this situation. The real question is would you be able to able to control the situation in a worse case scenario.

However most women would see this same situation as a conflict. How could he agree to let me have sex with another man just for money? What does that say about me? What does that say about our relationship. For a woman the decision will be wrapped in layers of symbolism and deeper meaning.

Well, to a man it says I love you so much that I’ll support this because a million dollars will change our lives. This million dollars is for us and our future, and that is way more important than a night of meaningless sex with a stranger. In fact, because the husband gets to keep his wife and the million dollars, it’s quite a triumph. The man who paid the million would be seen as a fool and a sucker.

Depending on your point of view, a man letting his wife have sex with a stranger for a million dollars can be seen as heroic or shameful. Most men would probably choose heroic. Many women would choose shameful or at least a 9.5 on the creepy scale.

So to label men as developmentally stunted because they fail to live up to female centric values is as pointless as it sexist. While most men and women agree on the basics, we also have different standards in some very specific areas. This is fine, healthy and desired. It only becomes a problem when we call the other weak, stupid, thoughtless, and inconsiderate because of these differences.

File Under: Debunking the Girls Mature faster Than Boys Myth.

Jun 21 2010

The Paradox of the Perfect Relationship – Long Term Relationship Conflicts and Appreciating Your Partner’s Differences

Summary: The things you admire most about your partner may very well be the things that will ultimately bug you the most. That’s the paradox part.

My partner is a freak of nature. Her morals and values are unshakable. She always does the right thing without hesitation. Most people do the right thing as well but only after thinking about it first and weighing the options. For her, there are no options and nothing to consider. Right is right and wrong is wrong. End of story.

And I love her for it. Continue reading

Jun 14 2010

Romance in a Long Term Relationship – Redefining The Romantic Gesture

Summary: Forget what you’ve been taught about romance. It’s not about chocolates, candlelight or bubble baths. In a long-term relationship being romantic is doing anything practical that shows you care and are thinking about the other person.

“What’s going on in here?”

“Uh, I prepared a bubble bath for you.”

“You know I don’t care for baths. Plus our tub is so uncomfortable and small. Did you even rinse it down before you filled it?

“Huh? You mean wash the bath tub?”

“Yes, you need to wash the tub first before filling it otherwise the water will be dirty.”

“But it’s a bathtub. We shower in it everyday. It’s like the cleanest thing in the house.”

“No, it’s one of the dirtiest because we’re always standing in it with dirty feet and rinsing our bodies in it! And what the hell are all these candles doing in here? Is the light broken?”

“No, I just thought it would nice to have a bath by candlelight…”

“Great, now there’s going to be wax over everything. You didn’t even put candle holders or plates underneath all of them. There must be like twenty! Do you have any idea how hard it is to get wax off? I already have to deal with bits of your surf wax getting everywhere now I have to deal with this.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll clean it up, just enjoy your bath.”

“One, I don’t want to take a bath and two, even if I did I couldn’t enjoy it because I’d be thinking about the mess I’d need to clean up afterwards. That’s hardly relaxing. You want to help me relax? Try not messing up the house for once!” Continue reading

Jun 10 2010

Keeping Your Sex Life Alive After Having Kids – How to Have A Great Sex Life After Marriage and Children

Summary: If you want a good sex life, and you are in a long-term relationship with children, you need to make having sex at least as high a priority as brushing your teeth.

So Joe bumps into Bob at the gym.

“How’s it going Bob?

“Not so good Joe. I almost got fired from my job yesterday.”

“Dude, why?”

“They said I haven’t  been coming to work over the last two weeks.”

“What? You mean you just don’t show up?”

“Well I’d like to but I don’t think you should force these things. Working should come naturally. It should be spontaneous or it ruins its specialness. Lately it just hasn’t been happening.”

“You’re shitting me right? Like you don’t even set an alarm clock?”

“No, of course not. I don’t want to force it. If I’m supposed to go to work it will just happen. It will feel right.”

“Ok, I’m not going to argue with you on that one because you are either whacked in the head or you’re fucking with me. Either way, I’m done. But what’s up with your teeth? They’ll all yellow and crusty and your breath stinks like a sewer!”

“Well I haven’t brushed in like a month or so…”

“Huh? Are you crazy. Your teeth are going to rot out!”

“Well I’d like to have clean teeth but I just haven’t been in the mood. It’s not natural to force yourself to brush your teeth. It’s not like I don’t try. I’ll get out the toothbrush and even put it on the counter. Sometime I’ll even put some toothpaste on it.  But then something else just comes up, the kids distract me, or I get too tired and just go to bed instead.”

“Look, if you want to have healthy teeth you need to brush them. That’s it. You can’t wait around for it to happen. You need to make a schedule.”

“I just don’t believe that. My body will tell me when the time is right. God didn’t put me on earth to act like some robot that just brushes their teeth on command or forces themselves to go to work. These things are intimate and special. If it was meant to be, it will be.”

“Dude. I’m outta here.” Continue reading

Feb 4 2010

The Myth of Fair and the 50/50 Relationship Split

Summary: Fairness is subjective and not everything in life can be divided 50/50. What counts is you both feel your overall contribution is balanced.

Fairness issues are nothing new. In this painting a woman is contemplating the fairness of the relationship as a stressed out father waits anxiously for the verdict while their disgruntled child does her chores.

My partner and I have slightly different views on fairness. She’s more likely to favor a literal 50/50 split as a way to insure fairness. I’m more inclined to follow a “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” philosophy. That’s an over simplification but it illustrates our general tendencies. Continue reading

Jan 1 2010

Soulmates Are Bullshit – How to Find a Real Relationship

Summary: Fantasies of the perfect soulmate will kill any good relationship.

Is my partner of 21 years, the mother of my child, the one I trust with absolutely everything in my life, my soulmate? Puuuleeeze. Don’t be such a sentimental dope.

We weren’t “made” for each other. Magical forces were not afoot. Nor was this part of some cosmic plan. We had the opportunity to meet by being near the same age, in close geographic proximity to each other, while we were both young and single, and by having mutual friends. Eliminate any one of those factors and it probably never would have happened. Especially since we weren’t all that impressed with each other in the first place. Sure, we found each other attractive, but I thought she was too naive and wishy-washy intellectually and she though I was just too weird. Over time I realized that she wasn’t wishy-washy at all, she was just super sweet. She also had a strong moral core and a wicked sense of humor. These are non negotiable. If you’re not a kind person at your core, if you aren’t a beacon of goodness and moral character, if you can’t make me laugh, then it’s not going to work. Sorry. All the rest is just fluff. Continue reading

Dec 18 2009

Men and Sex – 7 Things Every Woman Should Know About How Their Boyfriend or Husband Thinks About Sex

Summary – Men like to watch porn, look at other women and judge the health of their relationships by the frequency and quality of the sex. This is how things are and it’s not going to change.

If a man had these  eight things to do in a day, this is how he would put them in order of importance. Copyright 2009

If a man had these eight things to do in a day, this is how he would put them in order of importance. And honestly, everything after the time machine is purely optional.

I’m going to paint in broad strokes here. Every man is different but the odds are that most, if not all of these seven points, are fundamentally true for the man your are with right now. This is how your steak and potatoes philistine macho-man husband thinks. This how your artsy-fartsy feminist boyfriend thinks. This is how your brother, father, grandfather and every man you’ve ever come into contact with thinks. Continue reading

Nov 20 2009

The Day I Discovered Unconditional Love

Summary: I love my partner deeply and would do almost anything for her…but she’s still my equal. My daughter, on the other hand is in another category of devotion entirely.

My daughter trying out her new face. I had no idea that a newbord will show such a complete range of human emotion straight out of the womb. I figured it took a week at least.

My daughter trying out her new face. I had no idea that a newborn will show such a complete range of human emotion straight out of the womb. I figured it took a week at least.

Would I risk my life for my partner? You bet. Would I give my life for her? Well, that’s a bit more complicated. I would do whatever I could to keep her safe, to help her achieve her goals, to provide everything she needs to thrive, but if one of us has to die I’d prefer it was her instead of me. Sounds harsh, but she feels the same way about me.

Though we are devoted to each other our love has its limits because we view each other as equals with our own agendas, desires, and dreams. We could also survive without each other just fine. Not to say that it wouldn’t be devastating and sad for a while, but we’d move on and the pain would subside with time.

Our daughter is a different story entirely. If she were to die tomorrow,  it would leave a permanent whole that would never heal. Continue reading

Nov 14 2009

I’m a Father, Not a Babysitter – Debunking the Mr. Mom Stereotype

Summary: It’s insulting to both dads and moms to call it babysitting when a father is taking care of his children. Breaking the stereotype of dad as substitute parent.

When I’m out and about with my daughter I hear two typical comments. One falls in the “you’re such a good father” category. The other falls into the “so you’re babysitting today?” category. Moms never hear these. Ever.

Underlining these two statements are the same concepts. Women are just expected to devote their lives to their children, therefore any praise or acknowledgment is redundant and unnecessary. Fathers on the other hand are either inept or just have more important things to do than parent. Therefore any contribution to the raising of their own children is to be praised and acknowledged.

Both are insulting to men and women. Why is a man called a Mr. Mom when parenting his own children? It’s simple really. When raising children is classified exclusively as women’s work, any contribution from a man is considered an anomaly and a feminization of his manhood.

This is, of course, poppycock. Yeah, you read that right, I said poppycock! Continue reading

Oct 27 2007

Date Night – How to Keep The Love Alive In A Long Term Relationship

Summary: Never stop dating your partner. Unless you want to turn into roommates you better plan something special, just for the two of you, at least once a week.

My partner and I were friends for about a year and a half before we officially started dating. I had been in love with her a while and made my feelings clear. However she had accidentally placed me in the “friend” category. Arrgh! Lucky be the man that escapes this fate! (Use a pirate’s voice for best effect)

As the months went by it looked like I may never climb out of the “friend” trap. So naturally, I started to look at my options. Fortunately my dad just landed a job in a town where I’d much prefer to live. Since I was still living at home at the time and not in a hurry to find my own place, I decided to tag along.

I guess the idea of me not being around anymore was just the nudge needed to get me out of the friends box. A month before I was to move away she decided to give me a try.

I think my exact words were “Uhhh, are you serious? Now? I’m moving in a month?” Continue reading

Oct 18 2007

Get More Sex From Your Wife or Partner…Starting Now!

Summary: The More You Help Around the House, the More You Help with the Kids, the More Sex You Will Get.

Note: This essay assumes that your wife or partner actually wants to have a sex life and has an otherwise healthy libido. It also assumes that you are a typical guy who’s slacking a bit in the family and home department. For deep sexual or marital problems these techniques probably won’t achieve the desired results, but they will make you a better father.

Not getting enough sex? Then do something about it. For a woman, foreplay begins the moment you wake up. This means every decision you make, starting a breakfast, will increase or decrease the odds of getting laid that night.

Moms, whether they stay at home or have an additional job outside the house, are generally overburdened with housework and child raising duties.

Imagine a dog that constantly needed to be petted and wanted to lick your hands. And no matter how much you petted or let them lick, it was never enough. You can be sure that by the end of the day you wouldn’t want to pet anything or be licked by anyone. This is what’s it’s like to be around a young child the whole day. So it’s little wonder moms tend to feel everyone “expects” or “wants” something from them 24/7. Unfortunately, to an exhausted, over stimulated mom, your sexual needs can feel like just another “demand”.

So what are you gonna do about it? Continue reading

Oct 7 2007

Nope, Not Married

Summary: There are many ways to define commitment. A marriage certificate is just one of them.

No matter how many times I explain to someone that my partner and I aren’t married, most married people still revert to calling her my wife and refer to us as being married. It’s really bizarre.

Seriously, if I told you I was an accountant you wouldn’t keep saying I was biologist just because that happened to be your profession would you? How about if I told you I was Jewish? Would you keep calling me a Catholic just because you like to go to mass? I hope not.

I used to spend more time pointing out to people who thought we were married that we weren’t. But after nineteen years I’m just kind of tired of the whole thing. Especially the follow-up question of why not? It’s not that I don’t mind explaining why we’re not married it’s just that I’m tired of the people who asked in the first place getting all defensive about it. Usually they follow-up with “oh well, it’s just like you’re married anyways” Well no, actually it’s not. And if you believe it’s true that my nineteen year relationship is just like being married, then your marriage must be just like my relationship. So in a way it’s practically like you’re not even married yourself!

Here’s the theorem: If A equals B, then B must equal A.

Of course that person would quickly point out that being married is different. I would agree; although these differences are largely legal or symbolic. The actual work that you need to put into a committed relationship to make it successful is the same. If just getting a wedding ring could make somebody love and honor you, then the world would be a very different place indeed. Continue reading