Earlier this week, I wrote about a new study which says women can not only achieve orgasm physically, but can also achieve it just by thinking about it. And naturally, this is just too good a topic to leave well enough alone. I want to talk about this more. And then think about it. A lot. However, to Dr. Carol Queen, a Good Vibrations staff sexologist, this new study isn’t that really all that new, seeing as how she’s encountered women with this ability several times before. More
Topic: Sex Advice
I read an interesting post this morning on Betty Confidential about whether or not lap dances can be considered cheating, which got me thinking about all the other murky, gray areas surrounding infidelity. Of course, when you or your partner actually have sex with someone outside your relationship, that’s generally recognized as being unfaithful, but are there other things we do all the time (perhaps without even realizing it) that border on having an affair? To find out, I caught up with Dr. Julie Elledge, a psychotherapist, sexpert, and friend of Blisstree who loves giving us the goods on solutions to all kinds of relationship dramas from her professional point of view: More
Recently, I’ve talked to renowned psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig (you’ve probably seen her on TV more than once) about several sticky relationship issues that resulted in these posts: Good News for Cheaters: You Can Lie to Your Partner About Your Affairs! and Celibacy In Marriage: Pros and Cons. But today I wanted to get her expert take on the quagmire of couples counseling for married folks, as a follow-up to a personal essay post we recently ran called: Why Every Married Couple Should Be In Couples Counseling. So who should go? When and why? How long should you stay in couples counseling? How do you know when to call it quits? Here are Dr. Robi’s often surprising answers: More
Migraine: n. A severe recurring headache (check), usually affecting only one side of the head (yep), characterized by sharp pain (understatement) and often accompanied by nausea, vomiting (a la Regan MacNeil), and visual disturbances (sounds like a peyote hangover, but, check, check, check).
My migraines date back to (surprise!) starting my first real job after college – in the federal government. One night, I awoke to find the right side of my head throbbing and seemingly on fire. I couldn’t have lights on. I was nauseous. Noises and smells of any kind exacerbated the pain. Way back in high school, I had been convinced that I had every disease and disorder on the planet; I was perhaps the world’s youngest and most prolific hypochondriac. Instead of brushing up on my Edith Hamilton, I was researching bone cancer in the library. I could be heard diagnosing not only myself, but friends with any symptom in the hallways between classes. Eventually, I got over it with a little help from my parents’ threats to really give me a reason to want to kick off.
That is, until that night when I got my first migraine. More
Recently, psychotherapist, sexpert, and Blisstree friend Dr. Julie Elledge has talked to us about a slew of subjects relating to relationships including sexless marriages, open marriages, and sex addiction, not to mention other fun stuff like lying, cheating, and infidelity. Today I have some questions for her on sex and intimacy in a committed, long-term relationship including the deal with acting out sexual fantasies, and whether the term “meaningful sex” is always a part of marriage — and how maybe it really shouldn’t be. And because the weekend is almost upon us, I hope you’ll have the opportunity to personally experiment with some of Julie’s suggestions in the privacy of your own bedroom — and sexual fantasyland. More
If you’re married, engaged, thinking about getting married, unmarried, divorced, or never want to get married ever, you really should read a funny, controversial, and enlightening new book by co-authors Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson, two Wall Street Journal and New York Times journalists, respectively. It’s called Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage, and Dirty Dishes and it’s the closest thing to an actual strategic relationship and marriage manual that you’ll likely ever find. And if you think that a healthy, lasting marriage has absolutely nothing to do with Economics 101, think again. (And if you think a book about marriage and economics sounds dull and boring, really think again.) Then check out my Q&A with Paula and Jenny: More
Among the many relationship dilemmas we’ve tackled here at Blisstree, recently we’ve brought you When to Tell a White Lie: 10 Situations Where Honesty Doesn’t Pay, My Marriage Survived a Cheating Affair and So Can Yours, and, just yesterday, An Affair May Be the Best Thing That Happens to Your Marriage. You might say we’re a little obsessed with the idea of infidelity in a relationship, whether or not couples can ever get past it, and, perhaps more controversially, whether or not you should always admit an infidelity to your partner. Because if you don’t, that pretty much counts as lying, doesn’t it? And we’re never supposed to lie to our partners or spouses. Or are we? I have to admit that I found myself more than a little confused about these relationship rules, so I asked renowned psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig (you’ve probably seen her on TV) to weigh in on what place, if any, lies have in a marriage or otherwise serious, committed relationship. More
We recently published two controversial posts here on Blisstree, Domestic Violence Debate: It’s Not Wrong for Women to Hit Men and the follow-up, Women vs. Men: The Domestic Violence Double-Standard, but your heated comments told us that we weren’t quite finished with this often-taboo subject. However, I knew we needed a specific type of expert to weigh in on the tricky debates that surround issues of domestic violence. So, based on the recommendation of a clinical psychologist friend, I tracked down Dr. Linda G. Mills, who’s a professor of social work, public policy, and law at NYU, as well as a recognized authority on the subjects of violence and recovery. I asked her eight questions that challenge the typical perception of domestic violence (she prefers the term “intimate abuse”), and whether or not relationships and marriages can ever survive and thrive after such traumatic incidents. Here’s what the doctor ordered: More
A few weeks ago, Blisstree contributor Rebecca Dawson wrote a brave and honest post for us called My Marriage Survived a Cheating Affair and So Can Yours. Sure, that was just one person’s personal experience, but I’ve always wondered if there were any hard and fast rules about infidelity in serious, committed relationships. Is screwing around always a dealbreaker? Or can couples use unfortunate sexual indiscretions to actually strengthen their bonds of matrimony? I’ve seen both examples in real life (as I’m sure you have), so I asked psychotherapist, sexpert, and Blisstree contributor Dr. Julie Elledge six questions about the cheating heart, and how an affair may be the best thing that ever happens to your marriage. More
It happened again. Last night, as I was channel-surfing between Bravo’s Pregnant In Heels (to watch my personal trainer Lacey Stone make an appearance) and the season finale of NBC’s Parenthood, I was reminded of just how often art can imitate life and vice versa. (And yes, I realize that calling Parenthood “art” is a bit of a stretch. Humor me.) As the complicated relationship saga of Crosby and Jasmine came to a head last night (which I’ve previously blogged about here), I was discomfited to find that their complicated situation mirrored one of my serious romantic relationships, albeit before I was married. (Crosby and Jasmine had been engaged.)
The gist is this: He and I were together for a long while. Things were good. We were happy. But then something changed; I’m still not entirely sure what. We fought. He kind of acted like a big jerk. (Although in our case, infidelity wasn’t involved as it was for Crosby and Jasmine.) We broke up. I attempted to move on. He realized his mistake and launched an unrelenting quest to win me back. I rejected him. (And I dated someone else for quite a while; but Jasmine hasn’t had time to do that, what with the challenges of seasonal TV programming and all.) He persisted. I told him to forget it, that it was too late. He persisted some more. More
Recently, psychotherapist and sexpert Dr. Julie Elledge has given us her take on controversial subjects including open marriages (yike) and sexless marriages (eww). Today I’m grilling her about that trendy new condition which the likes of David Duchovny, Tiger Woods, and Russell Brand have made famous (or infamous, as the case may be): Sex addiction. Personally, I think the whole concept of sex addiction is a fabricated scam perpetuated by serial philanderers who need a crutch on which to lean their lame-o domestic and relationship habits. Now let’s see what the good doctor has to say when we talk about being addicted to love: More
Magazines like to teach us weird sex positions, most of which we’ll never try. But when Cosmopolitan recently found its way to my table in a cafe, I was still surprised by what was inside. The cover alone made me laugh: Currently, it features a young starlet I don’t recognize (nothing like a magazine to make you feel old), and headlines that sound like a joke: Look Sexy! Makeup That Flirts For You and This Sex Position Increases Female Orgasm by 56%. (I realize their headlines need to be catchy, not scientific, but what does that even mean?) The header that really caught my eye was 75 Sex Moves Men Crave; frankly, I was skeptical they could deliver the goods. (75? Come on.) The article raised my eyebrows, but not because of groundbreaking news about sex. Instead of explicit diagrams of sex moves I’ll never do, it was full of quotes from men (aged about 18-35) about what they wish their exes had done better in bed. It wasn’t just useless; it was actually damaging for sexual health. Instead of giving me 75 great tips, Cosmo set set me back about 75 years. More
Last night on NBC’s Parenthood, Crosby learned a valuable life lesson the hard way. Or, rather, Crosby didn’t learn a valuable life lesson at all. He had cheated on his fiancee, Jasmine, in a sloppy one-night stand, which caused her to kick him out of their apartment, and pretty much say: It’s over. Crosby then reacted by doing what most men do when they realize that they’ve been caught or they messed up or they understand that they’re about to lose someone or something that’s very important to them: He panicked. When this kind of thing happens, the cheater (in this case a man, but could easily be a woman) tends to overcompensate. He acts rashly — kind of like he did when he had the one-night-stand in the first place. He’s suddenly convinced that his only mission in life is to win his partner back, whatever it takes, whatever the cost. After all, a thief is almost always sorry after he gets caught. The problem is, once someone has fallen out of love with you, it’s pretty damn near impossible to make that someone love you again. More
Last week I ran a post called An Open Marriage Can Save Your Relationship, which featured a Q&A with and advice from psychotherapist and sexpert Dr. Julie Elledge, who maintained that truly healthy open marriages are possible. But even though I published the post (and asked her the questions), I have to disagree with the good doctor about one thing and say: You open marriage will never work. And here’s why.
I am married. But that doesn’t mean I think that lifelong monogamy is the only normal, healthy, feasible option out there. I don’t. In fact, on its worst day, lifelong monogamy seems pretty damn unsustainable; on its best day, it’s an utterly bizarre concept. Still, in most “unopened” (that is, not open) marriages, like mine, the monogamy issue is a choice – as is picking the person you want to marry in the first place.
Sure, an open marriage is also a valid, legal choice, but it’s not one that makes logistical or emotional sense. An open marriage is just too damn hard. How so? It requires too much advance planning, research, and foll0w-through. You have to do twice as much communicating. Résumés must be collected. You need to take more showers and shave your legs more often. Medical records must be procured, released, and shared. And your scouting and interviewing skills really need to be top-notch. It’s basically like having another full-time job (with benefits, depending on your point of view). Exhausting. More