By Josey Vogels
“At the beginning of the night I separate them into the ‘Yes baby, you’re the one’ category right through to ‘Absolutely no way.’ Of course, these categories shift as the evening progresses. By last call, you just want someone to agree you’re there.” - from Ye Olde Book of Bar-stool Philosophy by B. A. Slut.
American biologist Timothy Perper has spent thousands of hours in bars, both gay and straight, researching the fine craft of cruising. In biology lingo, he calls it the “mating ritual” (kinda lends it a legitimacy, don’t you think?). His description is almost poetic, referring to it as a dance, with well-choreographed, calculated moves. You leer at me, I leer back. You move in on me, I continue flirting or I tell you to get a life. Pure art.
As is fashionable these days, Perper started his research by comparing our pathetic behavior with that of animals. Have you ever seen a dog work the park? But Perper doesn’t necessarily buy today’s other fashionable argument that we do this out of duty, as some instinctual way of maintaining our species. (Great excuse, though, huh? “I have to go slutting, the human race is counting on me.”) For one, Perper points out, if reproduction was the main concern, how does one explain the heavy cruising that goes on in gay bars? No, Perper figures, with us modern folk so uprooted and scattered about, we’re simply desperately seeking some kind of human interaction, some contact. In other words, never mind the futile search for this intangible thing we call romantic love, people just wanna get laid.
Now, having spent much of my youth in bars participating in the mating ritual, I have to say, most of the behavior I witnessed would probably leave most animals scratching their heads and heading back to the jungle where it’s safe. For one thing, they don’t serve alcohol in the jungle. Booze fuels the human mating ritual. Picking people up stone cold sober is definitely not in our nature.
And animals can’t talk, so they can’t engage in bad pick-up lines or take a sudden interest in appliance repair or whatever uninteresting topic you manage to come up with when you strike up conversation with a total stranger over a pulsating dance beat.
Of course, we all know that actually ending up in a relationship as a result of a bar encounter is a long-shot. As that old saying goes, “Every relationship that starts in a bar ends in a bar.” If you’re lucky, or, in some cases, simply strategically positioned at the bar, you may land yourself some interactive tongue-diving and, if you’re really lucky - the grand prize - some bad sex at the end of the evening.
My friend Tony offered me the results of his own studies on cruising, gathered from three years of research as a bartender in a popular downtown heterosexual meat market. “Because of the environment, you don’t have to be extra cautious about what you do. You don’t have to be real clever, even be a good flirt. Yes, it’s true, bar cruising has its own special language.
Lecherous drunk guy: “So, where you from?”
Me: “Uhhh... Outer Space.”
Oblivious Guy: “Oh wow, can I have your phone number?”
Yeah, I see what you mean, Tony.
I suppose we could save ourselves all this grief and just line up everyone in the bar and simply pair them off; it’s probably about as meaningful. But then we’d be denying ourselves that wonderful challenge: the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. And something to do on Saturday night!
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Are You Feeling Like You’re A Victim?! Here’s The Reality…NOW!
"Don't Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering."
- Miguel Angel Ruiz
Most people struggle through life simply reacting to events around them, oblivious to the fact that they help to create those events. Like a ship tossed at sea, they see themselves buffeted by external circumstances, a tiny object subject to the whims of chance. Boo Hoo! Too Bad! And don’t forget Poor Me!
But here’s the reality:
While I agree that in many instances individuals were born as victims of circumstances, I don't believe they have to STAY that way. Often we do not have a choice about being victimized - been there, done that - but we do have a choice about STAYING that way and using it as our excuse not to live the life we desire. Been there, and don’t ever want to do that again!
As you read this article, as well as past articles and any that I contribute in the future, you will clearly see in which areas of your life you are or have been living in the Victim Level of Awareness. Having that knowledge is the first step to freedom.
Unlike most people who believe they are victims and have no choice, you know, deep down in your heart of hearts that you can move up the Levels of Awareness through conscious choice. This means that no matter what happens to you, you never have to REMAIN a victim. You never have to live a life by default if you CHOOSE not to!
It is like being locked up in a prison cell, but the key is in the door. All you have to do is turn the key and you are free. You are only a prisoner if you choose to be a prisoner. You are only a victim if you choose to remain a victim. Trust and believe…I know!
Today will bring you a new awareness, a lesson or a manifestation that you are making progress - IF YOU LOOK FOR IT! No matter how large or small, or in what form it may appear - a song, something you read or hear, that which appears in nature at just the right moment, or words spoken by friend or stranger alike, I invite you to write it down! It will only take a few moments and will AUTOMATICALLY put you in the flow of your own awareness.
So many of you are ready to be free from your struggles - with weight loss, with unsatisfying & unhappy relationships, with feeling as though you never have enough and living a life of lack, with ill-health & dis-ease - you don't have to be a victim anymore!
Ask yourself: Am I ready to celebrate life? To tune into the life I want now? To your Health, Well-Being & Empowerment…NOW!
With Love, Peace & Blessings!
Your Empowerment Coach
Rhonda M. Farrah, MA, Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, and Spiritual Teacher is dedicated to the practice of Health & Wellness Empowerment, assisting individuals in developing life strategies to help them help themselves. Her creative endeavors are dedicated to individual empowerment and the conscious evolution of humankind...all earthlings... that we may align perfectly with our Creator, fulfilling our Purpose while enjoying its Process.
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How To Be Happy
"There is a mighty Power within you. There is that Spirit of Life, Light, and Love. The more you feast on these ideas and fast from old corrosive ones, the closer you experience the Life you desire."
-Frank Richelieu, The Art of Being Yourself
Rhonda M. Farrah, MA, DRWA
The Wellness Institute International
Call toll free 888.770.7370
Speak Up, The World Is Listening
Skin is our largest organ, and it’s made to feel sensation. If we were destined for anything other than a life of sensation, we would have been formed of some other kind of material, like metal maybe. So what has happened to us regarding sex? We seem to be obsessed with sex, but so few people are actually enjoying themselves sexually.
Many people feel little if any sensation. They live their lives inside thoughts, judgments, evaluations and assessments. When their bodies give them signals, they tend to miss or ignore them, because they have been trained to value only what the mind thinks.
This was not necessarily a conscious choice. Many people are trained away from feeling strongly and passionately. We were taught we had to stay in control of ourselves, of our emotions. We were told: "Why do you feel like that? It's not rational," or “You are too much. Can you tone yourself down?”
Most people learn to bury or suppress feelings and experience life in their heads. There is very little room for pleasure there. Pleasure shows up as anticipation, rather than a sensual experience that is felt in the body. The mind may imagine something will be pleasurable, but it takes the body to actually feel it. In essence, our bodies have become something we do to, or use in certain ways, but not a source of inner knowledge.
But to increase your possibility of staying healthy vibrant and alive, you want to feel all of your feelings. In a sexy and healthy life, we can and want to increase our capacity for pleasure. It's our birthright to feel pleasure, to feel sensations, to let the body inform us. In essence, it's an act of honoring ourselves. When we start paying attention to our sexual energy and to moving it throughout the body, whether by ourselves or with a partner, we will naturally feel better, more passionate and more alive. The operative word here is "naturally." It is our innate nature to feel.
Celibate Tibetan monks have known for centuries that circulating sexual energy would keep them healthy and vital, retarding the aging process and producing a virtual fountain of youth. And did you know that during sexual activity, cold and flu symptoms subside? The point is our sexual health is a part of our overall health. They go hand in hand and actually cannot be separated.
See here is a simple exercise you can do to get back in touch with your body where pleasure resides.
Get In Touch And Turn On
1. Sit quietly on a pillow or a chair with your back straight.
2. Breathe in slowly through the nose and out through the mouth, as you slowly exhale making a sound like a sigh.
3. Notice your thoughts, judgments, evaluations, and assessments (mind chatter). Gather it up as you inhale. Then let it all go as you exhale deeply through the mouth making sound.
4. Repeat this practice for at least 3 minutes. Keep bringing yourself back to the present by letting it all go as you exhale deeply through the mouth making a sound.
5. Now begin gently squeezing your bottom (your anal sphincter muscles and pubococcygeal muscles). Do this for minimum two minutes.
6. Take a big inhale through the nose, tighten every muscle in the body including those you’ve just been squeezing. Hold your breath with all muscles tightened. Take a sniff and let go by exhaling deeply through the mouth making sound.
7. Notice how you feel – look throughout the body as distinct from what the mind thinks. Look for energy swirls, changes in temperature, tightness, looseness and even seeing color with your eyes closed.
You have just moved your sexual energy away from the genitals spreading it throughout the body. When we move our sexual energy and experience relaxation and/or a different whole-body pleasure the result over time is eradication of feelings of shame, guilt and other traumas we may have experienced earlier in our lives that have been stored in our cellular memory. The outcome is more pleasure, permission for unabashed life at its fullest – body, mind and spirit connected and working in unison forever.
Laurie Handlers, MA, is the author of Sex & Happiness and President of Butterfly Workshops, LLC, a Phoenix, AZ based company currently offering sexual health and awareness courses and leadership courses for corporations and individuals throughout the world. She hosts a weekly radio show about sex and intimacy and has appeared in many articles, books and films. Find out more at www.butterflyworkshops.com.
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She’s beautiful, sweet and the picture of your perfect woman. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty! Every relationship is loaded with unexpected drama, challenges and roadblocks. Some of these come about by accident, some on purpose.
Men face an almost unlimited number of problems in their relationships with women. Then, we often make things worse by committing simple, avoidable mistakes. Most of these mistakes occur because we’re not prepared to deal with the problems we are given. Being ready when they come is 90% of the battle.
In this 3-part series I’m going to explore some of these problems and (if you’re good!) maybe some ways to help deal with and manage them. You’re not going to ever have a problem-free relationship; and in fact, I’d never wish that on you anyway. When things are good, you’re never growing. It’s when things get challenging that all that (painful) improvement happens.
So, let’s get started with…
You can think of this as “drama on purpose”. Why would someone create a relationship problem on purpose? This seems ridiculous to most men. However, women have learned their “dream man” can handle these problems – accidental or purposeful. When problems arise, you want to be the guy that deals with them quickly and effectively. If you don’t you’ll quickly fall into the “also ran” category.
Women create drama for a number of reasons: boredom, feeling insecure, needing attention, acting out unresolved tensions and yes, even fun! In fact, one of my clients told me specifically that creating drama (or “crazy-making”) was a form of recreation for her!
Dealing with drama is confusing to men. We don’t tend to be drama-oriented. Thus, we try to attack it like any other problem. The trick however is to “see through” the drama and to understand why it’s happening. What’s the root cause of this event? Why is this happening right here, right now?
Once you understand that you can go after and deal with the real problem – not the one that was artificially created! Women hate it when men don’t “listen” (their words – meaning “understand what she really wants and why she wants it”) and instead go right to trying to solve the problem.
She wants you to know that the source of the drama – not to try to fix it. Yes, I understand that seems like mind-reading and sometimes it is! The more you practice seeing through the drama to the real problem, the easier it gets – and the happier she’ll be! Soon, that purposeful drama fades away to nothing.
This Woman’s Crazy!
To men, all women seem crazy sometimes. In fairness, most women view men as crazy sometimes too! There is a fine line between a crazy event and a crazy person however. Even sane people do or say crazy things once in a while. The real trick is recognizing the difference!
I have an adage that I live by: I ignore any neurotic statement made by normal people and ANY statement made by neurotic people!
Know this: unless you’re a trained psychological professional, you’re not going to be able to save a crazy woman. If you are a professional, you’ll know better than to try! (You’d be far too close to the game to do any good.) In general, you’re better leaving this one alone and moving on.
Most of the time, she will begin to see the two of you as a monogamous couple before you will. This is fine unless you just met “Ms. Stripper.” Further, this usually happens without any previous warning - no discussion, no agreement, just the expectation of monogamy. Now, you’re taken by surprise and don’t know what to do.
Where this takes a nasty turn is the instant she realizes you’re not on the same page. You’re not going to like the answer to this, but it’s pretty simple: communication. By being clear, specific and direct early on about your interests, you’ll avoid a lot of problems down the road.
Women have a special tool in their arsenal I call “The Test” that they use to evaluate a potential mate. I’ll discuss “The Test” in an upcoming article. Suffice it to say that men often misinterpret “The Test” as a game. It really is a type of game – but with a very important outcome.
How you deal with The Test may determine the outcome of your relationship. At the very least, it will set the tone and direction from this point on.
Outside of this critical relationship-based event (and trust me on this: you will be tested!) there are many other games women play.
You see, women know they aren’t going to get you to do what they want through brute-force. Instead, they’ve evolved a complicated system of tools to make things happen. These are so ingrained in the female psyche by the way that most women don’t even know they’re doing these things!
Ex-Husbands And Boyfriends
You’ve been dating this woman for a few months, and all of a sudden her ex is back in the picture. If she has children, you may have no other option but to deal with their father. On the other hand, if she is childless, why is the ex hanging around? You have the right to grow your relationship with her without undue influence or competition.
Keep in mind that women rarely go looking for additional confusion like this unless they aren’t getting what they need. This should be a sign to step-up your game.
There you are, enjoying the game with your buddies when the doorbell rings. You answer and it’s her – the girl you just started dating. You weren’t ready to introduce her to your friends yet, but here she is! Now, you’ve got a problem. If you let her in, you’re going to appear controlled by her to your friends, (this is often the goal!) If you send her away, won’t she be angry? Heads up: your friends have the right to your time and attention just like your new gal.
Even worse, your friends have no idea what the situation between you and the new girl is. Thus, they’re going to be overly polite and will likely even take her side if she draws them into things.
What I do is this: I invite her in specifically to say “hello” and then to leave so I can call her later. I’ll say to my friends, “This is Karen. She’s not staying but just wanted to say hello.” This tells everyone what’s going on. I’ll then say to her, “Thanks for coming over. I’ll call you later.” And then walk her back to the door.
When The Rules Change
Everything was going great. You’ve been dating for a few months, the sex is terrific, and you’ve even introduced her to your friends. Now, she calls and tells you that she thinks you both should date other people.
Or, you’ve always exchanged telephone calls and texts. Now, you’ve called her twice and texted her but she won’t return the calls. However, everything else is going fine! What’s up?
Or, you’ve been dating for about 6 months and when you first got together, you were banging it out every night. Now, you’re down to once or twice a month or less and you’re getting more and more frustrated!
Obviously something’s up and you need to address it. (Again, communication). If she won’t return your calls or texts, it may be impossible to do that. In a case like that I recommend you send her one more text indicating it will be your last and if you don’t hear from her you’ll consider yourself free.
In other cases the most common problem is simply that guys don’t realize they have rights – not just responsibilities – in relationships! I can’t tell you how many guys I’ve talked to who spend all their time dealing with their girlfriends’ or wives’ rights only to ignore their own!
This often comes down to having basic “standards” for yourself. Knowing what you want and what you expect becomes the foundation of not only keeping your own rights but in managing these rule changes.
For example, if the sex drops off in your relationship and you’re not happy with it (and why would you be?) it’s something that needs to be dealt with. Why is it happening? You don’t have to just tolerate it and put on that stupid grin you use! Is it a health problem? Is it emotional? The source of this problem can be easily handled if so. If not and it’s a performance or quality issue you have a different situation on your hands. This is where your rights come into play.
I had a guy contact me once because his wife of 11 years decided that she was going to become celibate (I kid you not!) and wanted to know what to do.
I explained to him about his rights and told him to talk to his wife with that new concept. If she chose to be celibate there wasn’t much he could do for her, but that didn’t mean he had to be celibate along with her! She was also going to have to understand that if he met someone else and fell in love that she would bear the burden of the divorce – not him. That turned things around pretty quickly!
In the next articles we’ll look at a few other types of problems men face and how to handle them.
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Have a love, dating, sex or relationship question? You can write to me or get more information about “Being a Man in a Woman’s World tm” by going to: http://BeingAMan.com. Follow me on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/cas4w9) and Twitter (http://tinyurl.com/d3pecs).
Copyright (c) 2013, Dr. Dennis W. Neder
All rights reserved.
By Mari Wils
‘Be sustainable. Be bold. Be fulfilled.’
Sustainability…Keep Your Cash
Saving your money is the most obvious reason to elope, hands down. But along with the wise choice of using wedding funds for a down payment, a retirement fund or a spectacular vacation adventure there are some deeper benefits to choosing to ‘marry small.’ I’m sure you got the memo that it’s now 2013. That means there shouldn’t be a single one of you, bride or groom, who remains ignorant to the economic, social and environmental realities of our world. It has become exceedingly challenging to rationalize spending $30,000 - $100,000 or more on a one day party that is expected to define and permanently establish healthy self-esteem when there are so many more important world issues to tackle. The awkwardness that many wedding attendees experience can be palpable for a reason. It feels wonky to be behaving like it’s 1999, because it is wonky to be behaving like it’s 1999!
There are so many more nourishing ways to use the wedding money. You could spend the loot on solar panels for your new home or an adventure to Africa to help build an orphanage or a community well. If that’s not your thing, you could set aside $20,000 and have a killer party every year for the next ten years to celebrate with all your favorite folks. Yes, there will be groans from the peanut gallery but who cares! You’re an adult, last I checked the marriage laws. Stand tall and be part of the solution. Create a wedding that truly stands the test of time for more than one reason.
If on the other hand you are still believing that a one day party with you at the center of it will define you and satisfy your childhood dreams of being the prince or princess for 24 hours there are thousands of people happy to help create that 24 hour fantasy…for at least 23 out of 24 of those hours for the low, low average cost of $27, 021 – rings not included!
Harmony…Keep The Peace
A friend and former director of catering for a major hotel group relayed to me that in the hundreds of weddings that she oversaw there was not a single one that didn’t enjoy major conflicts among the bride, mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom. The disagreements inevitably resulted in brides and mothers in heaps of tears over decisions to have peas or broccoli, roasted or scalloped potatoes and peonies or pansies. Another commonality was that the grooms were never involved, other than having to deal with a stressed out fiancée during the 6-12 months of pre-wedding preparations. How is that a fun way to spend a year? Nothing like a year of a disappointed and complaining woman to bring a couple closer together!
Personally I have yet to find a couple who share enthusiasm for their long engagement and big conventional wedding. Every husband, without exception, has confided that he wished he had eloped. The most common truth I hear is ‘It’s just not worth it. We had more fights planning the wedding…and then there was the massive let down for her when it was all over the next day. There are so many better uses of our time. Oh well. She got to be a princess for a day.’
Eloping doesn’t have to mean that the two of you are alone in your ceremony. You could arrange a very last minute, impromptu gathering of your most important people. You could show up on the doorstep of your parents with your in-laws in tow and announce that the two of you have decided to get married that day and that you have an officiant arriving any minute. You’ll all be together, truly present and ‘in the moment’ that’s for sure! No one will be wondering if the flowers are arriving on time or if the band is going to show up or if the groom got stuck on a roof in Las Vegas during his bachelor party! The most important people involved will able to enjoy the moment in the moment!
Elope. He’ll be happy. You’ll be happy. Sure the parents may have a nose or four out of alignment for a while but they’ll get over it. You have to set the new tone at some point if you want to have any semblance of harmony in your marriage. You guys are what’s important. Create your new boundaries. You’re the leaders of your own team now. You set the rules. Pursue your vision for your lives together, not the vision your parents have for you. Eloping is a great way to get the new show on the road…literally!
Intimacy…Keep Your Marriage!
Although there may be a few million of you out there who still believe that passion is the result of conflict and tension, I know there are many more who have discovered the treasures of a harmonious relationship. Harmony and unconditional love allows each person to truly fly and be the best they can be without thinking some big drama will suddenly show up and ruin everything. So if you’re dedicated to ‘keeping the peace and finding harmony’ for your wedding, you’ll be setting the stage to experience deep intimacy in your marriage.
When two people are present and no longer find themselves defined by others, there is an entirely new level of relationship available to them. If you can manage to release yourself from the societal and family pressures to have a traditional wedding, to spend months deliberating over peas, broccoli, napkins, flowers, music, the wedding party, the shower, the location…I’m exhausted just writing the list!...then you have a shot at creating a truly custom tailored life and relationship for you and your favorite person.
You’ll be the sexiest woman on the planet if you allow him a year of bliss BEFORE the wedding! And yes, if you elope, you can remind him that you saved him a year of major grief so, YES, you do want flowers every week!!
Remember, your marriage is YOUR MARRIAGE. It’s between two people. Defy the urging to believe that it is a marriage of families. If you, the two of you, are not bonded and unified, you’ll never make it. So why not begin at the beginning. Be honest with yourself, with each other and with all the people who expect so much.
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By Dani Alpert
I think it’s safe to say that we all have friends who are more financially well endowed, so to speak, than we are, but we can also say that the converse is also true. For the most part, I don’t think about this. I’ve never been one to count anyone’s money, because I prefer that people don’t count mine, and I like to keep my eyes on my own paper.
However, sometimes the disparity rises to the surface and just like that, you are face to face with a “you have and I don’t have as much” situation.
Picking Up The Check In Restaurants
This can be a source of angst and awkwardness for the parties involved. When men are involved, it is usually about dick size and power tripping. When it is a mixed gender meal, things aren’t as clear cut. Who pays when it’s you and your wealthier married couple friends?
I went out to dinner last week with my married couple friends, who I’ve known for over twenty years. They’re very successful as well as generous, thoughtful, modest and they’ve never flaunted their material wealth around.
When we’ve gone out to dinner in the past, they have always insisted on picking up the check. Like I said, generous. I always offer but it is always denied. Last week, however, it really affected me. I am a grown independent woman, who can afford to pay for her meal. If I couldn’t afford it, I would not have accepted the invitation. This made me feel like a charity case and a child. A poor child.
How do I tell them how it makes me feel, without it sounding like a therapy session? The older I get, the more troubling this becomes. Is it a comment on how others see us? I started to wonder why these friends feel compelled to constantly pick up the check. Is there something else going on besides generosity? Is it a control issue? Is it simply easier than dividing the check?
I didn’t want to make a scene but I also had to put an end to it. I am your equal. I’m not living on the streets and singing for my supper in the subway. Let me pay for my salmon.
When the bill came, we exchanged the cursory, “No, let me get it.” “No, don’t be silly, how much do I owe.” “Really, it’s fine.” And on it went until we were both a bit embarrassed. We settled on me paying the tip. Maybe these innocent transactions are metaphors for where we stand in the hierarchy of our friendships and relationships.
How can everyone be happy?
1. Discuss the parameters before you go out. This isn’t always possible and it depends on how close the individuals are.
2. You can tell them that dinner out is your treat and pick out the restaurant.
3. Give the hostess your credit card before you sit down at the table.
4. Insist on going dutch and throw a wad of cash at your friend’s head and then get up and walk out. They’ll be too flummoxed by your behavior to do anything about it.
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