Tag Archives: Relationship Tools

FOR WOMEN: Six Sexuality Facts That May Surprise MEN

Couple having sex - woman on topThe study of women’s sexuality is relatively new in the grand scale of research history, but now science is finding statistics about women’s sexuality that make most women say, “Duh.” Here are a few recent studies that might surprise some men:

1. Women tend to become aroused by erotica involving men, men and women, and just women, indicating a bisexual arousal pattern. This doesn’t mean women all behave in a bisexual manner. It simply means they can be turned on by both thoughts or images of both genders. This is different from most straight men who only become aroused by heterosexual erotica, and gay men who mostly become aroused by homosexual material.

2. Women’s brains can separate mental arousal from genital arousal. For instance, even if she is not mentally stimulated, a woman’s body can have a physiological reaction to sex. (Thus the confusion of some rape victims who experience a spontaneous orgasm during the trauma.) And women can sometimes be mentally aroused and have trouble becoming wet and wild down below.

3. Body image is connected to sexuality for women. Women who feel more positively about their own genitals find it easier to orgasm and are more likely to engage in sexual health promoting behaviors, such as having regular gynecological exams or performing self-examinations.

4. For women, physicality grows out of emotionality. Emotional availability activates their physical sexuality. Women are more apt to show up physically and sexually when their partner is emotionally present, while men tend more to just show up.

5. Women fear emotional infidelity more than physical infidelity and men fear the opposite. In one study women preferred that their husband see a prostitute once per week rather than have platonic, though intimate, lunches with a co-worker. This points to the fact that women fear a diversion of resources that might come with an emotional connection.

6. Women have less ability to have a stand alone physical relationship because their body releases oxytocin during orgasm. Oxytocin, the female bonding hormone, is also released during breastfeeding. For that reason women sometimes become bonded through sex even when they don’t mean to.

Watch my YOUTUBE Video on:

Five Sex Myths That Keep Women Single

FOR COUPLES: Can A Relationship Break Help?

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 12.58.45 PMPlenty of couples, especially young couples wanting to have more relationship experiences, think that taking a relationship break — separating as a test — can help them decide if they are with the one.”Do you believe taking a ‘break’ in a relationship can be a good thing?” is a question posed to me on a website called SixQuestions.com. You can watch my video answer below.

The short answer is no. Generally, when someone in a monogamous relationship suggests “taking a break,” what they are really asking for is a chance to dip their toes in the mating market and see what value they might have outside of their longterm relationship.

That’s not to say it’s always the case. There are circumstantial reasons that a couple might want to take a relationship break, like during a time that one is studying abroad. The difference lies in the intended goals of the person suggesting a break. Is the intended goal to slowly detach yourself from a longterm relationship, but keep that security blanket? Or is the goal to preserve a relationship for the long-term?

FOR MEN: Real Men Hate the Word Love

love-limit-road-sign-trim-black-partsHave you ever noticed that I talk about relationships all day long and I only rarely mention love? And when I do, it is usually to caution that it is a delusion intertwined with sexual attraction. Or, I remind you that love is a verb, not a noun. An action word. Not a state of being. Long term love is an intellectual commitment, I say.

Could I sound any more unromantic?

Hey, and speaking of romance, I normally dismiss flowers, chocolate, fine wine, and high heels simple accoutrements to delusion. I should also tell you that my “brainy” ideas about love have garnered me a group of male readers who say, “finally a woman who gets it.” Men do love to make rational sense of things that are so irrational. And men love to hate the word love. It feels weak to think feelings for a woman might disempower them.

But do I really get it?

I certainly have some textbook notions about how biology and psychology get all tangled up and sometimes make people do things they shouldn’t be doing. Running off with a paramour when a perfectly good spouse is right in front of you. Staying with an abusive spouse because of love. Jumping into bed with a Casanova because you will be the one to change him. Thinking that a loss of sexual energy is a loss of love. And, my favorite transgression of love’s delusion: Dragging children through our delusions.

Could love really be that dangerous? Must it always involve some form of heartbreak, dysfunction, boredom, loss, or even violence? And if that is the case, why do we march right back into the fire when we should know better?

I have some of the answers. But only some.

Psychologists would say that love is a seeking out of early womb experiences and infantile bliss. A baby’s play and cuddling becomes an adult sex life. Parts of our brain consider a lover a kind of mother, a nurturer, a protector, even an executor of boundaries. We feel safe and cared for in a love relationship.

We do it, that is, fall in love because it is the single best chemical high in our lifespan. At least, the best high that both genders can experience. Women also get to do childbirth, which is pretty darn close to experiencing heaven and hell at the same time. But love is different. It is shared with an adult.

Both genders can experience love together. Love. An unconscious handshake between too souls who agree there is more to this world than work, play, and food. It is an exchange of mutual projections that when executed well, is better than any Academy Award winning movie. Love may be a delusion but it is one of the best ones we have. And sometimes it’s all we have. With so many people losing faith in old religions, I wonder if love is becoming our new religion. And what is faith after all? Merely a belief in something that we have little scientific proof of. I would venture to say that we have far more proof of love’s power than many religions do in their folklore. The selfless acts of love that happen every day are real, observable, and can bring us to our knees in awe of the God-like powers within humans.

Now I will really go out on a limb and say that Love (look, I’m using a cap now!) can feel like a spiritual experience. All we can hope for, is that each new love relationship will bring us different challenges. We hope that as we grow we will not become trapped in familiar, unhealthy patterns that get us stuck. Delusion or not, love is something we should all sign up for. It’s an antidote to fear, horrific TV news, sickness, and other suffering. Love is the answer. And when life gets us down, when we feel, shame, loneliness, victimized, pressured, indecisive, or angry, love is the only choice that will work every single time. It won’t always have an instant result and it won’t always come back directly to us with the precision of a ping pong ball, but a loving act will change our biology and change the world. One selfless act at a time. Don’t fear love, nor waste it thoughtlessly. It is the biggest gift you will ever receive. Ya listening guys?

Watch my youtube on:

Is Rational Love Replacing Romantic Love?

FOR SINGLES: Ten Rules for Using Technology to Date

Guy texting girl madText, Email, Facebook, Twitter give the appearance of instant access to your lover. A way to stay connected. But it’s a clever trick. The very things that are designed to keep us closer, if used incorrectly, can brutally tear us apart.

To understand what I mean, let’s think about the things that keep a low-tech relationship sharp — plenty of face-to-face time, long conversations, great sex (with foreplay and after-play), and intimate activities like Sunday morning toe-touching in bed with the New York Times. These practices are the workhorse of intimacy, and they are irreplaceable.

Now let’s consider a modern “high-tech” relationship. A few texts or emails sent during the week to firm up weekend plans. A rendezvous on the weekend that may or may not involve sex (or may involve only sex and no date) and then a Facebook status report on Monday that confirms that your partner is indeed “in a relationship.” You think I’m exaggerating, don’t you? Not a bit. People write to me all the time with questions about the meaning and protocol of Facebook’s “In a Relationship” descriptor. And during the week, those same people hang onto their electronic device like it is a life-line to love. They reread the texts. They count the texts. They interpret the texts. They depend on a string of impulsive digital communications to determine how secure their relationship is!

Sadly, this isn’t compassionate love. It’s a crazy mind game. And it is not communication. It is a poor replacement for healthy communication.

I used the example of text because most people are oblivious to how dangerous a weapon it can be. With text’s brevity and it’s inability to gage the mood of the receiver, those 140 characters can be packed with a power to inflict great pain if taken the wrong way, and read at the wrong time. Of course, email has it’s on list of transgressions. A longer format and a safer place to express feelings, email is still void of eye contact, touch, body language, and voice tone. Could you imagine listening to a recording of your favorite band, with most of the instruments missing? That’s what email is to human communication.

With all that said, in the busy world of convenience and multi-taking, is there, in fact, a way to use technology to grow love verses extinguish it? Well, thank you for asking! Yes, there certainly is. Here’s Dr. Walsh’s list of Do’s and Don’ts for high Tech love:

Ten Rules for Using Technology to Grow Love:

1. Make sure phone calls outnumber emails. Emails are not a substitute for voice-to-voice communication. They are just a side dish.

2. Send texts regularly, every other day or so. If you are dating and growing a relationship, a short, brief text can help you stay in his or her mind. If you are married and/or living together a text every now and then can help keep love alive.

3. Don’t bombard them with texts! (or emails) That’s stalker behavior.

4. Only say positive things in a text. 140 characters is no room to criticize, complain, offer advice, or explain your complicated life. Stick to greeting card slogans: “Thinking of You” and “Wish Your Were Here.”

5. Use tech to schedule a more intimate phone call. This is what all boys and girls like to read in a text or email: “Missing You! What time can we chat?”

6. If you are on Facebook and see that your date or mate is also online, it is always polite to send a IM of hello. In the real world if you both turned up at the same party, you wouldn’t ignore them, right?

7. Tech is meant to be a two-way conversation. If anyone you care about sends you an email or a text, and you are swamped, you still must respond! Even the most busy of us can find a second to send at least a happy face. Keep the line of communication going and the next phone call will be a happy one.

8. Even if you have a good excuse, do not flirt with anyone on Facebook if your status reads “In a Relationship.” That’s a bonehead move.

9. Never Tweet or Facebook Post any information about your real-world relationships (Especially the one with your Ex!) To do so would be inviting a forum to enter your tender relationships. Intimacy must grow in privacy.

10. Never break up using technology. Period. If you were brave enough to enter the relationship with your voice (or any other body part) you can find the cojones to break up with grace and class. Use your words, people. And say it out loud.

For more watch my youtube:

Four Tech Mistakes Single Women Make

FOR SINGLES: 10 Ways to Feel Happy Today!

girlspartyHappiness is good for your mind and your body. It has been scientifically proven that happy people are more optimistic, confident, and have more energy and even more friends. Happy people are also better prepared to deal with difficult situations, are more enjoyable to be around, and achieve their goals better than those prone to sadness. In addition, happy people appear to be healthier and live longer.

So how can we all achieve that elusive quality called happiness? Science has given us some sure-fire tips and tools to improve mood, and to understand how they work, we need to understand happiness. Happiness is part environment and part biology. Everyone has their own set-point level of happiness — and it’s higher than you might imagine. Most people lean toward being happy than unhappy. Temporary boosts of happiness happen when the pleasure center of the brain is stimulated and Dopamine is being released. Endorphins also increase the release of dopamine.

Besides ingesting “dope” (Yes, that’s where the name came from) and suffer the crash, what are the other ways to increase happiness?

Here are my top ten favorites:

1. Be Kind. Do five random-acts of kindness in one day. Acts may include holding the for open for someone, paying for the car behind you at the drive through or gas station, putting lottery tickets on windshields with a good luck note, or writing a letter to a long lost teacher who inspired you. Studies have shown that acts of kindness increase happiness and provide the best boost if done in a clump rather than spread out over a week.

2. Move Your Body. Weather it’s a long walk or a salsa class, moderate exercise produces endorphins that trigger pleasurable feelings in your brain that last for hours.

3. Look Down, Not Up. This is a count your blessings lecture, people. If you find yourself too often looking at the competition and those who appear to be living better than you. Know two things: Appearances are deceiving, and if you’re living in America and reading this on a computer, I promise there are far more people doing worse than you. Being grateful for what you have can bring great feelings of contentment and self pride.

4. Talk. Talk. Talk. Funny thing is, when we talk about our misfortunes with friends we try to make it entertaining to our listeners. In doing so, we often put a humorous slant of the story. Telling your story to a variety of audiences and tailoring it to each of their perspectives helps us reframe our losses and find hope and laughter in our sadness.

5. Find Your Roots. Studies have shown that people who search out and their cultural heritage find feelings of pride and unity with others who have a shared history. Knowing your place in evolutions chain gives meaning to your life and helps you bond with others and develop an appreciation for those of other ethnic groups.

6. Find Your Happy Place. Our brain stores millions of memories, mostly good, so when you are feeling down it can help to return to thoughts where you experienced great pleasure. Learn to scan your memory bank for your strengths, talents, passions, interests, practical coping skills, and earlier potential to glean material that can be used to reinvent yourself to be happier.

7. Listen to Music. Whether regarded as an evolutionary accident as the gateway to our emotions, music activates parts of the brain that can trigger happiness, releasing endorphins similar to the ways that sex and food do. Music can reduce pain during surgical or dental procedures and can inspire us to be more creative.

8. Cuddle with Someone. Human touch ignites our senses and creates a pleasure response in the brain. So, cuddle with your kids, hold hands with an elderly person, stroke a pet, or best of all, get down in the sheets with your lover. All these acts of touch can bring great feelings of euphoria.

9. Eat Well. Depression is partly biological and your brain needs the right nutrients to function at the top of it’s game. Take fish oil and a multivitamin daily and make sure you eat protein at least twice per day. A carb-loaded diet can create highs and lows just like sugar.

10. Meditate and/or Pray. Stop the train of stress and sit down with a candle and twenty minutes of deep breathing. Calming your mind, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, while connecting to your body’s sensations, can create deep feelings of calm, pleasure and peace. And that sure sounds like happiness to me.

Finally, remember that happiness can lead to success, rather than just the other way around. Happy individuals are predisposed to seek out new opportunities and set new goals. After reviewing data of 225 studies gathered from more than 275,000 individuals, a team of psychologists concluded that while previous research assumed that happiness stemmed from success and accomplishment, happiness is often a result of positive emotions. Success is the result of many factors, including physical health, intelligence, family and expertise, all things linked to happiness.

Watch my youtube video: The Four Kinds of Love