Monday, April 28, 2008

Shameless Self-Promotion

I had the most wonderful surprise today. While perusing one of my favorite blogs, I came across this post!

Saratoga is one of my favorite blogs and it was quite a thrill to see that I was the protagonist in a piece of fiction. Imagine that!

Once, quite a while ago, I was featured in a set of stories on a diary that, alas, no longer exists. I'm not afraid to say that I love being the subject of a fictional work. Yes, I am shameless.

More importantly, it's a sincere honor to have a fellow blogger use their time to write about you. Thank You, Saratoga, from the bottom of my heart.

The post is a very interesting experiment for a sex writer. I'm not a dominatrix. I'm not dominate. I'm very submissive and so is Saratoga. What the author did was to try and fulfill a fantasy I mentioned in a comment (something that will remain an unfulfilled fantasy), satisfy the dominatrix theme of the blog while being as true to my nature as possible.

That necessitates depth both in desire and motivation. I greatly appreciate that Saratoga didn't just write an out-and-out fantasy without any consideration for my personality. It was deftly handled and I eagerly await the sequel. Hey, maybe it will even be a trilogy!

Would I consider 'acting' the part? Maybe. I love some of the outfits in the photos posted on the blog. Don't think I could pull it off but damn: what women doesn't feel at least slightly empowered in high-heeled leather boots? So, I might consider some role-playing. The problem is, would I be any good at it? It would be acting and frankly, I'm not an actress.

Steve has read the post and will share his thoughts. That should be interesting.

So, to Saratoga, thank you for the time, thoughtfulness and effort you gave me in the post. It was a lot of fun to read!

If you're interested in some edgy topics handled in a thoughtful manner, I highly recommend Saratoga. It's quality goods.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Acquaintances

On Friday night our Circle of Friends had their first get together. Nothing physical happened. It was just a cocktail party hosted by Kit. Steve and I went, as did the usual suspects that I've written about for years.

Kit introduced us to three new people that may or may not be invited to future parties, two men and a woman. All of them were friends of friends.

The first man, who I'll call Tom, was in his forties. I did not like him! It's cliche to say that first impressions are important but it's cliche for a reason. Tom was handsome in a distinguished, middle-aged man way. He had Cassius' lean, hungry look. He was unable to mask his motivation.

Look, I'm not an idiot. People are interested in this type of thing to get laid and to experience something out of the mainstream of sexual life. Still, Kit's party was something of an audition: a get-to-know-you event. If you can't invest time in a two or three hour cocktail party, what could you have to offer in bed?

Aaron, a friend of Jason's was different. He's in his mid-twenties, good-looking but not a guy that would inspire midnight diary entries. Aaron got it! He was polite without being too formal, friendly without being too forward. He spoke and listened, but didn't try and dominate the conversation. I liked him, even if it's only as a friend of a friend.

And, later, Jason told me that Aaron liked me as well. That was not something I picked-up on. I'm usually pretty good at getting the signals. Aaron divided his time fairly equally amongst the women. Actually, I believe he spent the least amount of time speaking with me.

Steve liked Aaron as well and mentioned him on the drive back. Steve wanted to know of there was "anything there." I merely smiled and said, "maybe."

Steve did not like Tom. Steve's always said that entry into a group like ours, especially for a man is like getting the keys to the kingdom. His theory is that if a man isn't smart enough to not screw that up, he doesn't deserve any consideration.

I also noticed something else. Pre-engagement, Steve may have suggested meeting again with someone like Aaron. Post-engagement, he seems more...territorial? Not too territorial, mind you. Which is something I like. I think he'd deny that.

I'll discuss that in more detail in another post.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Counting Calories

Sex is the ultimate personal matter. Well, perhaps not the ultimate. I suppose the one, grand act of life that's more personal than sex is death. After all, we share sex...most of the time. Death? That's a solo trip.

Since sex is so personal, our sexual boundaries are uniquely our own. It's our own country, we set the borders and we decide when to cross the frontier.

I claim to be non-judgmental where sex is involved. It sounds nice, it sounds enlightened and open-minded. I would not care to live in a place where 'enlightened' and 'open-minded' are negatives rather than positives.

A friend of mine discovered (long story) that Steve and I occasionally invite another person or couple into our sex life. We remain good friends despite the fact that she found such behavior odd and 'gross.'

This same friend disclosed to me, after one too many bottles of vino were uncorked, that her greatest turn-on was having her boyfriend (later husband) pee on her. I ask, which is more out of the mainstream: A third warm body or human waste?

That illustrates the relativity of our, or at least my, open-mindedness. As long as you stay in the ballpark, or at least in the vicinity of the ballpark, I'm fine. There remain things that consenting adults do that make me extremely uncomfortable.

The idea of introducing human waste, blood etc. into the act of sex is, in my view, extreme. I suspect the vast majority of people would agree. On the other hand, there are absolutely benign sexual practices that leave me cold as well.

Food. I'm incapable of combining food and sex. I don't care if it's ripe, luscious strawberries or George Costanza and his pastrami on rye with spicy mustard. Blech! A romantic dinner a few hours before lovemaking is wonderful. A few slices of pizza after a round of lovemaking can really hit the spot. In fact, I once heard someone define the perfect lover as "someone who turns into a pizza at 2:00AM." I just can't combine these two pleasure activities.

It's not that I'm neutral on the subject. It actually turns me off. Way off.

Luckily, food and sex isn't one of Steve's things either. Chris thought doggie-style was exotic so I imagine the use of food would not even be a blip on his radar. Some may find it humorous, or ironic, that another man or woman would end up in bed with Steve and I sooner than a bowl of strawberries.

I understand why the extremes I mentioned above would be a turn-off. I find it funny that the mere thought of combining life's two most enjoyable, sensual pleasures leaves me frigid. We all have boundaries. They do not always run true. They are more like the irregular, arbitrary borders of a state, province or nation. Recognize those borders and cross them fully aware of the risks.

Just leave pastrami on rye at home.

Monday, April 14, 2008


I was tagged by Nina, at Lazy Geisha, to pen a six word memoir. I don't usually participate in these types of things. Then again, I'm rarely tagged. Which is ironic because in high school I was voted most likely to be tagged.

Because the invitation comes from such a lovely Lady, I will participate.

The rules of the six word memoir tag are as follows:

Write your own six word memoir

Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like

Link to the person that tagged you in your post

Tag five more blogs with links

And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

I appreciated Nina's memoir:

A little girl and her crayons.

Rather than stringing together six adjectives, Nina sketched a wonderful image using less than twenty-five letters. Ruthless economy, indeed. One sees a young girl, perhaps in front of the television, on her stomach, legs crossed, coloring away, pleasantly adrift in her own world as she contemplates the perfect color choice for her work.

Many people use the terms autobiography and memoir interchangeably. I bring a different set of expectations to an autobiography than I do to a memoir. An autobiography is expected to contain a good deal of verifiable fact, much like a biography. Most contain citations, pointing us to source material. If Henry Kissenger says that he met with Nixon the night before Nixon resigned, we rely upon that fact. Nixon's interpretation of that meeting may differ from Kissenger's but I take for granted that the meeting occurred the night before Nixon resigned.

Memoirs are more forgiving and bring a different set of expectations. Memoir - ultimately from the Latin by way of French, memoria or memory. Memoirs do not typically contain citations. We know that we are mining the depths of recollection and those are often distorted, like reviewing your life through a window coated with a thin pane of ice. Absolute certainty is not required, expected or necessary. If the writer recalls meeting someone on a humid, summer day, in Central Park, it is the reflection of the encounter that matters, not that it occurred at a given time or place. It's more about personal mythology.

As for me, I've always seen myself as 'the girl next door', give or take a few exceptions. Friendly without, hopefully, being cloying; more comfortable in jeans and a sweater than a strapless gown; a love of shopping and shoes but able to enjoy the Superbowl or World Series.

In many ways, I still fell about 18 or 20 years old. The insecure, naive, trusting girl still roams within, like a spirit consigned to the world. On the other hand, I like to think I've also looted the good things from youth, hoarding them for a time when I cannot conjure that young woman. A wide-eyed, sense of wonder at all life delivers. To quote a favorite film, I have maintained the capacity to 'dream large,' even when I have to live life on a scale smaller than some of those dreams.

My six word memoir:

'Dream collector, hanging from a star'

No tagging, but I'd love to see everyone's memoir. Consider yourself tagged.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


A lot has changed since I've become engaged. The most surprising change has been a strange evolution in how I observe other couples.

Hell, that I observe them at all. Before, I could obviously see other couples. Talk to them, know they were dating, engaged, married, what have you. That's where it ended.

Now, I often wonder about what a person's partner says about them. What does it mean when you see a man with a strong, assertive, smart woman? Or maybe he chose a shy, beauty or a the meek, quiet type.

When a man chooses a strong-willed, smart, aggressive woman is it because he is self-confident? If he chooses the quiet, passive type, does he lack self-confidence?

I never thought about it before becoming engaged and I have no idea why my mind has taken such a turn. My mind was designed to ponder such important questions as whether Jim Rice should be in the Hall of Fame (yes) or blonds or brunettes (brunettes). Now this! Thinking about relationships!

Is our partner a mirror? Obviously, since our partner is our choice they are, to some degree, a reflection of us. Is it like standing in front of the bathroom mirror and seeing a clear image? Or is it more like one of those whacky, crazy mirrors that distort your reflection?

Is it all random? My observations, and it hasn't been long since I started observing, is that I rarely see a couple with the same, overall personality. Does this mean we compliment one another or does it mean we choose people who are less likely to compromise our personality?

I don't know if that's important or not. I do know that every day I wake up amazed that I have a girl like Piper.

I should stick to the Jim Rice question.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What's in the Box?

The other day I overheard a mother complain that her 7th-grader was "forced to study mythology" in class and that it was "stupid and a waste of time."

Pity, I thought. I find such pursuits enrich our view of the world and are a wonderful compliment to the more practical disciplines. More ironic was another quote from the woman: The classic line, "When is he ever going to need that stuff."

Ironic because that same night, Steve was watching a snippet of "Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader" and the contestant, with hard cash on the line, was asked: What did Prometheus steal from the gods and give to man?" He, of course, didn't know because he obviously attended a school that emphasized "things he needed to know."

I digress. Bad Influence Girl had a recent, heartfelt post, about being All In. It's a post about believing the 'other' in your relationship is All-In, has shown his cards, anted-up, thrown all his reserves into the game, the battle, the relationship....only to discover that he's held something in reserve, that he's not 'all-in.'

Most of us can relate to throwing all our heart and energy into the fray only to discover that the other person is not giving 100%. I've done it and have grappled with the resulting self-recrimination: I thought he was worth 110% He didn't feel I was worth 100% Why? What is it about me that made him feel I wasn't worth the total effort? The likelihood is that there is a girl out in the world that will cause him to be 'All In.' What quality does she possess that I lack?

Bad Influence Girl wrote:
"as always reality interferes with our sincerest fantasies.

the truth is that you never know where your life will take you but you always think you have a shot at figuring it out. and maybe you do… if you eyes are all the way open all the time.

but whose are? who manages not to let their fantasies cloud their judgement? no one that’s who."

This rings as true as the finest Wedgwood. But what are fantasies (realistic fantasies of course, not fantasies about being Princess Latexia II of Leatheria, Destroyer of faithless, half-hearted men) if not hope? Hope for our future? What human does not hope?

This leads me back to the wisdom found in mythology. Even if it provides no answers, Greek myth certainly certainly had a flare for raising questions about the nature of man, woman and hope.

Pandora was the first human female. Pandora means 'all-gifts' because each God gave Pandora a gift. Pandora did not arrive without baggage because like most women she doesn't go anywhere for more than a day without some fully-packed luggage.

Pandora brought her famous box (and yes, who doesn't love the double-entendre). She couldn't open that box but like any self-respecting woman, she could not help herself. We all know what happened when the box was opened. Out flew all the ills of the world: disease, poverty, Dr. Phil....

When the box was closed only hope remained.

I love the magnificent ambiguity of this tale. Was hope saved for mankind by keeping it in the box? Or, because the things that were released from the box became part of our world, does this mean hope is not in the world? That hope is an illusion?

I don't know the answer or even if an answer exists. I appreciate ambiguity. My romantic nature leads me to believe that the first woman brought hope to man, that women are the progenitors of hope.

As for being 'All In?' There are things beyond our control. We can't make anyone commit 100% to anything. I do believe that there is a nobility in knowing this and still taking the risk that feelings may not be reciprocated. The love we bestow should never be conditioned on reciprocity. This attitude makes love difficult. The joy is doubled, as is the pain when things fall apart.

And when things do fall apart, there's always hope.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Good Lovers

Someone recently asked: What makes a good lover?

Sorry, I can't recall which blogger was discussing this topic. My apologies to them.

It is an interesting question, trying to pinpoint those attributes that make one a good, or even great, lover.

Being a good lover must be distinguished from being merely "good in bed." Technical proficiency, while often appreciated, does not make for a good or great lover. Nor does experience, the handmaiden of skill. A good lover may have these attributes but they are not required. Indeed, a high degree of sexual skill can often be a detriment in a lover.

Since most of life can be distilled to a baseball analogy, bear with me. There are players who appear statistically invaluable: They hit for average and for power and are frequently the darlings of the sportscasters. Yet, their team never seems to win.

In these matters, I'm Roman, rather than Greek. While the Greeks far surpassed the Romans in cultural achievements and individual greatness, their city states ultimately fell before the Roman legions. Why? The Romans knew that a good team almost always defeats a collection of brilliant individuals.

Achilles may have been the greatest warrior in all of epic poetry but he was selfish, like those star athletes that never seem to lead their team to victory.

This is all to say that sometimes, those highly skilled in the art of sex are more interested in impressing themselves than pleasing others. I'm sure many of us have had partners that seemed driven to bring us to as many orgasms as possible. Sounds wonderful, right? Yes, until you realize that he's doing it for his own ego, his own satisfaction.

So lets try to determine what elements make for an excellent, or at least good, lover.

Mutual Attraction: At the most primal level we probably aren't in bed together but for attraction. That attraction is usually physical at first but ultimately will be based more on personality than beauty. In fact, sometimes the best looking men are lazy in bed, as if resting on their beauty laurels.

Desire to Please: This is huge. The best lovers have an over-arching desire to please their mate for the sake of the mate, not their own egos. If you and your partner have ever spent an evening (or morning or afternoon) desperately trying to out-please one another you know what I'm talking about.

Enthusiasm: A crucial element, related to the Desire to Please. We've all been with people who go through the motions. This is especially true when doing something you may like but they don't. If you don't like something, don't do it and concentrate on something you both like. I'd rather forgo an act than have it performed half-hearted. Know your limits and your partners limits. Eagerness and enthusiasm can make up for any deficiency in your game.

Try New Things: The willingness to experiment is a wonderful attribute for any lover. This could be as extreme as inviting another woman into bed with you and your man or something less extreme. If your typical tryst location is the bedroom, try the living room. If you typically lay on the bed to give him a blow job, try breaking-up the routine by dropping to your knees.

Don't Leave it in the Bedroom: A lover that flirts when your clothes are on. In the kitchen, living room, car. Hearing or sensing a man's desire is powerful, heady stuff.

Leave it in the Bedroom: Never use what happened in the bedroom as a weapon. When you argue, you have many arrows in your quiver. What occurs in the bedroom should not be one of them. I once heard a couple arguing and, in a rage, she mentioned all the "dirty things" she did for him. That's a bad lover. Aside from the fact that one should take responsibility for what they do during sex, you don't need a lover that's distracted because of possible, future recriminations.

Variety: No one wants a lover that's bi-polar. However, a good lover can be hot and passionate as well as light and silly, depending on the mood.

I'm not sure that will make a great lover, but it will go far in making for a very good lover. At least for me and I suspect for many of us. And, the elements set forth above do not require great experience or technical proficiency.