Advice for Your Vice? The Ins and Outs of an Open Marriage

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Ever since we launched the Summer of Sexiness, friends as well as strangers have been intrigued by our sexploration. While there is, of course, the general titillation of sex and kink, there is also a genuine interest by some in the concept of an open marriage and more specifically, how they might consider something similar for themselves. This has been a very rewarding piece of sharing our story.

Make no mistake, although we are delighted with the way things are going for us, we are not advocates for open marriage, per se. Such an arrangement is not for everyone and I would never simply suggest that someone consider it unless they came to me and explicitly asked about it. But, since people are asking, I thought it might be useful to share my thoughts on why it works for us and what couples might consider if they want to explore such an arrangement for themselves.
Continue reading Advice for Your Vice? The Ins and Outs of an Open Marriage

She Said: The Seasonality of Sex

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To every season, turn, turn, turn…Like the seasons and the moon, our lives are cyclical. We wax and wane. There is growth and death, repeating itself time and time again.

There is a warmth during the Summer fueled by the sun, which nourishes us and allows us to expand. Come Winter, days become darker and shorter, a time to reflect and contract.

In this vein, the launch of the Summer of Sexiness eight months ago marked a huge expansion for me. I pressed edges as I experimented and experienced so much. I felt energized and alive during all of my adventures and explorations.

But, as autumn came and went, I was lethargic and less interested in sex. My desire waned significantly and I wondered if I was done. Then, as I got ready to welcome the Winter Solstice, I was reminded that there is nothing wrong with the need to go inward after such a sustained period of growth.
Continue reading She Said: The Seasonality of Sex

Strange Bedfellows: Reflections on my date with Dan

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In the past several weeks since our date, I have been trying to process what happened and how I feel about it. I was fine in the moment and don’t have any regrets, but I think that I had expected more chemistry between Dan and me, so the fact that it wasn’t as sexually satisfying for me was a surprise. And, more puzzling, when I initially reminisced about the actual events, I had a weird feeling – an embarrassment by the intimacy I shared with Dan. This had faded with time, but was both uncomfortable and  interesting to me as I explored it further.

Although the saying is that familiarity breeds contempt, which isn’t literally applicable, I do wonder if familiarity added to the awkwardness since we do know each so other well. I think it can be a challenge to transition a platonic relationship to a sexual one, after so many years of friendship. And, yet, we don’t actually know each other. Yes, we’ve been friends for decades, but upon reflection, that doesn’t necessarily translate into real intimacy, especially as we previously only saw each other once or twice a year.
Continue reading Strange Bedfellows: Reflections on my date with Dan

An Overnight Date with Dan

black and grey bedspread on bed and pillow

The last time Dan took me out was on a Monday night and while we both had a great time, we had to cut things short since it was a “school night.” Thus, Dan was keen to schedule our next date on a Saturday. We ultimately ended up planning to meet up on the Friday after Thanksgiving, since it served the same purpose in that we didn’t have to wake up early the next day.

I texted Dan a week before our date and noted that I was looking forward to seeing him and wondered if there was a specific plan yet. He asked if a traditional dinner date would be acceptable and I readily agreed since I didn’t have any other ideas at the time.

We arranged to meet at a restaurant called Manhattan Cricket Club that had been recommended to me by a friend. Dan arrived a few minutes ahead of me and scoped out the process of getting upstairs. Thus, we enjoyed a lovely dinner downstairs, replete with oysters and fun cocktails, before we were whisked away to a dark room at the top of the stairs.
Continue reading An Overnight Date with Dan

The Lost Art of R-E-S-P-E-C-T

RespectWe’ve long known that chivalry is dead, but what happened to plain old respect? Aretha Franklin sang about it and Rodney Dangerfield complained that he never got any, but is it really too much to ask?

As we have waded into the dating waters in the past several months (read Viktor’s account), I have encountered numerous instances where people clearly no longer make respect a priority in how they interact with people. And, yes, I know that I have high standards, but I don’t think that in this case I am asking for too much.

For example, at Sally’s recent party, we had the pleasure of meeting Marni. She enjoyed spending time with Viktor at the event and expressed that she was bi-curious. Viktor and I agreed that we were interested in seeing where things might lead, so we invited her out to dinner so we all could get to know one another better.

Continue reading The Lost Art of R-E-S-P-E-C-T

She Said: Shame? Shame!

As always, I am in awe of Viktor and his vulnerability in sharing his personal thoughts and experiences with shame.

However, his post, as beautiful as it is, leaves out an element of shame that I think is an important aspect that should also be added to the conversation — namely, that of internal shame. I don’t know if men experience sexual shame in the same way (I questioned Viktor about it and this hasn’t been his personal experience), but I see for myself that I still harbor so much internal shame around sex and desire.

Like Viktor, I obviously can only write from my own experiences, but I do think that much of the cultural conditioning that I received as a child will have been similar, if not the same as many other women. In this regard, as young girls in the American culture, we are generally raised to think of sex as something sinful that we do solely for procreation or out of duty for our husbands. Continue reading She Said: Shame? Shame!

Eyes Wide Open

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With an All Hallow’s Eve theme and mandate to don masks, the third erotic party I attended had a different feel to it from the very start. The hostess further suggested more formal attire than she had previously done, which imbued the event with an Eyes Wide Shut vibe. And, as an added dimension, she underscored the importance of being unmasked, revealing what lies beneath and exposing what is hidden from others.

Also, this was my first time attending this party with Viktor (I had attended the two previous ones without him — see Let’s Get this Party Started and Return to the Scene ) and with my friend, Dan. Their attendance added both excitement and anxiety as I considered their needs as well as my own. Continue reading Eyes Wide Open

Illuminating exits and entrances

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During the safety briefing on a plane, we are advised that lights on the floor will illuminate the exits, making them easy to find in the dark. In some ways, exits themselves can be illuminating, making us more explicitly aware of what we do and don’t want. In the course of two-plus months, the appearance and disappearance of several people did just that and I am thankful for the lessons they provided as I continue along this journey.

Ever since our date at the Standard Hotel, Andy continued to text and occasionally telephone me. His texts and conversations were almost always overtly sexual and while I enjoyed the tantalizing nature of them, it was a bit intense for me to receive from someone I didn’t know well. Continue reading Illuminating exits and entrances

All Tied Up … a busy birthday weekend!

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My birthday is very important to me and I consider it to be my favorite holiday. Given its importance, Viktor knows how much I appreciate his attention to planning something special. This year, we decided to use rewards points to splurge on a stay at an upscale hotel. I booked the room for the Saturday night after my birthday, but, beyond that, I left the planning up to Viktor.

We are generally very open with one another and don’t keep secrets, so if one of us wants to plan anything clandestine, we have to be explicit in this intent. For example, on any given day, we receive a variety of packages from Amazon. Most of them are boring: dog food, undershirts, laundry detergent, etc. Given the mundane nature of such parcels, I usually open them upon receipt. However, when Viktor is up to something, he advises me not to open any packages, and I am happy to oblige. Continue reading All Tied Up … a busy birthday weekend!

Desperately seeking desire…initial thoughts

Desperately seeking desireI had been trying to write this post for weeks, then months, but it continually seemed to elude me. Throughout the Summer of Sexiness, I have learned so much about the concept of desire, but have also discovered that there is so much more to it. I had initially thought that I was just seeking desire – the desire to have sex – but, as I proceed in my sexploration, I feel certain that desire is actually enmeshed in turn-on and arousal, so it is challenging to tease out the individual strands of this issue.

In this regard, I began this pursuit thinking that it was just a lack of desire – aka low libido – that was the root cause of my “problem.” But, I now see that it is much more layered and nuanced and that libido is important, but insufficient. There is more to unpack and learn here… Continue reading Desperately seeking desire…initial thoughts