Echo's Notorious Sex Blog

Hi my name is Echo, yes that is my birth given name. Well let's see.......I am a Married 29 year old Swinging Bi-Sexual female. I am 100% Irish and have the red hair and green eyes to proove it. I am a smartass I love to joke & laugh,,,,,,laughter is the key to happiness, that and a very sexually healthy life. I did have a Girlfriend until she recently got jealous, so now I am looking for a replacement,,,lol. Hmm what else more can I tell you except...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Rules of The Booty call

Let's start with the definition of a booty call...................................................
A booty call is a telephone call, other communication or visitation made with the sole intent of achieving sex with the person being contacted. Such a call is usually made later in the evening and often after consuming alcohol. Traditionally this phenomenon, especially the term booty call, is associated with a woman calling a man, when both parties are already in a sexual relationship.

The term itself is more likely to be used by the person answering the call or others in his/her company than the person making the call. It is often derisive, but not always. For example, "Did Paul take off?", "Yeah, he had to answer a booty call."

Although traditionally the telephone is used for a booty call, the last ten years have seen the rise of IM/chat/e-mail/text message booty calling, benefitting those more timid and more sk illed at written manipulation than at live conversation due to the according anonymity and, hence, increased license to say anything in these formats.
The booty call should be made on the same day you plan on getting with him/her. The first option is to call right before you want to meet him/her. The second option is to call ahead of time to schedule the meeting for a later time.

To use the second option you need to have a good idea of what his/her usual schedule is like and the best time and way of reaching him/her, whether through cell or home line, so you don't get the answer machine. However, it's always best to use the first option, calling right before meeting.

Most of the calls should be at night, but if you're calling him/her for the first time, the call should definitely be at night.

The majority of the booty calls need to be at his/her place. A good rule of thumb is 3 to 1, average three meetings at her place for every one meeting at your place. One reason for having them mainly at her place is to make it the customary location.

Make sure you sleep over the first time you two have sex, whether it was a booty call or not, and then apply the 2 to 1 sleepover rule when developing a booty call relationship. You should average one sleepover for every two times you don't sleepover.

Since emotional bonds are strengthened faster than they are weakened, the 2 to 1 rule acts as the emotional bond stabilizer for the both of you. If the bond gets too strong or too weak, it will jeopardize the booty call relationship and it may be too late to remedy the situation.

When you call, depending on when you call and when you want to meet him/her, ask if she is doing anything right now, tonight, or later on. If it's the first call, talk for about 5 minutes before asking. If it's not the first call, keep the talk under 3 minutes.

It doesn't matter whether he/she says yes, no, or anything else, the purpose of the question is to prime her for the next question.

The next thing you should ask him/her is if you can come over to his/her place. For example, "Let me come over <right now/tonight/later on>"

If he/she doesn't answer immediately, say "Ok" or "Alright" in order to elicit a similar response from her. He/She will either say ok or give you an excuse. If the excuse is one that you think he/she would be able to get around, then continue with your persuasion. But if the excuse is a serious one, then it's best to say goodnight and call a few days later.

He/She also might ask why you want to come over, in this case say something along the lines of, "I just want to see you for a little while". If she's more of the flirty type, you can say, "Why do you think?"

Common excuses you might encounter:

* He/She is tired -- this excuse borders between one he/she can get around and one he/she can't. You'll have to play this one by ear and listen to his/her tone of voice. If he/she doesn't sound tired, it's a safe bet to pressure her a bit more with the, "I just want to see you for a little bit" line.

* He/She is going out that night -- tell her you'll come by after she gets back, even if she won't be back until late at night. After all, that's how the booty call got its reputation.

* He/She has to do some work (whether for school or her job) -- say something similar to what you would if she says she's going out, say you'll come by right after she's finished.

* He/She simply says she's busy or has to do something -- ask him/her what he/she has to do, if it's an excuse he/she can get around, just say you'll come by after he's/she's finished with whatever he's/she's doing or has to do.

If he/she keeps giving excuses for why he/she doesn't want to meet, then he/she probably isn't interested in you and/or he/she doesn't feel like having sex at the moment.

Keep in mind that some women are reluctant to saying yes right away, especially if it's the first booty call, but if you work for it just a little, they usually cave in to their desires.

Once a woman has experienced the relaxation that comes from no strings attached sex after building up the tension throughout the day, she'll be constantly craving sex without emotional baggage or pre-sex courting and her booty will definitely be giving you calls when it's 'in need'.


The Pre-Booty Call Agreement

This pre-booty call Agreement (hereinafter referred to as "The Agreement") is
entered into on this ___day of ______________, 20 __, by ____________________,
(hereinafter referred to as the "Participant") between ____________________,
(hereinafter referred to as the "Holder of 'The Agreement'") and
____________________ (Participant).

This Agreement shall cover the following rules and principles for the Participant:
1. If it is very good we may repeat it in the morning, but don't hold the Holder of The Agreement to any promises.
2. No meeting in public except for dinner or drinks before the events of the evening.
3. No calls before 9 pm. We don't have anything to talk about.
4. None of that "lovemaking" stuff, only mind-blowing sex allowed.
5. No emotional discussions!! i.e. where are we heading with this? Do you love me? If the Holder of The Agreement begins said discussion, shut her up with a kiss a nd remind her that this is a Booty Call.
6. No plans made in advance. That is why you are called "the backup." Unless you are from out-of-town, then an advance arrangement as acceptable.
7. All gifts accepted- dinner is always good.
8. No baby talk- however, dirty talk is encouraged.
9. No asking for comparisons with former lovers; it's really none of your damn business.
10. No calling each other friends with privileges. We are not friends, just sex buddies.
11. Calling out the wrong name during sex is OK. Don't be offended, you mean no less to me than you did before.
12. No extra clothing!! I don't want your ass leaving anything behind when you leave.
13. Falling asleep after sex is ok if the Holder of the Agreement is satisfied with your performance to date.
14. Don't be offended if I don't ask if you enjoyed it. I don't care!!
15. You cannot borrow my car for any reason.
16. If anyone of the opposite sex asks who you are, the standard response will be "A friendly acquaintence."
17. Doggie style preferred. Just hit it hard and right or get the Hell out!!!

*Extra tip for successful booty calls: The holder of the Agreement may only alter the aforementioned rules. If the other party attempts to change or alter any terms of the Agreement, it will automatically become null and void. The Participant will then be removed from the "Possible Future Relationship List" and given minimal Booty Call privileges, and cut off from any communications unless first initiated by the holder of this agreement. If further violations of the Agreement occur the Participant will be deleted from phone memory, email list, and blocked from all communications until the Participant's silly ass understands the rules.
Participant: Holder of the "Agreement":
Signature: ____________________ Signature: ____________________
Date: ____________________ Date: ____________________

Monday, July 17, 2006

Lies We're Told About Sex

The messages we receive about sex from our parents, the media, and our educational, social, and religious institutions tend to be contradictory, and often downright false. One way to combat the lies we're told about sex is to start cataloguing them. Below is a very incomplete list of some of the biggest lies we're told about sex.

Sex is genetic: it's the puppet-master and we're lucky to be getting our strings pulled now and then.

Because procreation is tied to our species survival, evolutionary scientists and pop psychologists alike argue that the most important understanding of sexuality is the one that links our sexual behavior to procreation. Thus we are told that male sexuality is voracious and dangerous, that female sexuality is a side effect of the need for women to have babies, and that the psychological, emotional, and spiritual aspects of sexuality are not as important as the genetic ones.
There is clearly a genetic component to sex, but that doesn't mean that this is either the most useful, or "truest" perspective from which to think about our sexuality.

Sex is natural and simple: you should just know how to do it.

Sex is natural, we're told, because we have to do it to survive. But this doesn't accurately describe what human sexuality has become. Intercourse may be instinctual for some (but clearly not all) of us, but sexuality is much more than intercourse, and none of it actually comes easily. It's it strange that we are taught how to perform most other basic human behaviors (how to eat, how to communicate, how to go to the bathroom) and as we get older we learn the more complicated ones (how to read, write, drive a car, work) and yet we're just supposed to know how to have sex.

Sex is gender: men are from sex crazed mars women are from soft and romantic venus.

This lie takes many forms:
  • Women just want to cuddle, men want to have raunchy sex.
  • Women are sexual communicators, men can't talk about their sexual feelings.
  • "Real sex" takes place between a man and a woman.
  • Men and women can't ever be friends, sex always gets in the way.
  • Men want sex all the time, and women don't.
  • Men are more visual than women when it comes to sexual arousal.
All of these are variations on the big double-shot sex lie; that sex is 100 percent tied to our gender, and we are all only one gender. The fact is that how we think about, feel about, and actually have sex is infinitely more complicated than which door we walk through in a public washroom.

Sex is spontaneous: don't talk about it, just do it.

When you think of it, this lie about sex doesn't make any sense. If sex is meant to be something fun and exciting, something that makes you feel good about your body and yourself, makes you feel loved and attended to, why would planning for sex ever be a bad thing? Wouldn't it actually be nice to know you're going to get to have sex at the end of a particularly hard day? Yet we're told that the most exciting sex is the sex that "just happens". In reality sex rarely "just happens". It's true that many couples never talk about sex beforehand, but that doesn't mean that one (or more likely both) partners aren't thinking about it, wondering when they're going to have it next, and fantasizing about what kind of sex it will be.

Bigger is better, more is better�better is better.

These statements are true for some people, some of the time. The specific lie we're told is that these things are true for everyone, all of the time. In reality people have size preferences that change depending on their mood and what sort of sex they want to have. Similarly, we all have different levels of sexual desire, and these levels can change throughout the month, and over the years. Finally, there is a more contemporary lie that tells us we should always be reaching for better sex, trying new things, pushing ourselves and our partners to attain new heights of great sex. Some researchers have pointed out that this competitive attitude can have the opposite effect, making us anxious and on edge about the sex we're having.

Sex is special: it's a rare transformative moment that only comes once in a while.

On the one hand it's true that sex can be transformative and that some of us don't get to have sex as often as we'd like, but on the other hand, sex is an incredibly common and regular occurrence. Yet many of us are raised to think of sex like it's a non-renewable resource that's about to dry up. If instead we put sex in its place among all our other activities of daily living and all the ways we communicate with the people around us, we might have a lot less anxiety about how we're doing it, when we're doing it, if we're doing it right, and who we're doing it with. Sex doesn't need to be treated with kid gloves, it can take it, if we start to dish it out.

We can make it on our own: sexual agency is the same as sexual independence.

We can thank the mostly positive influence of the women's movement on sexual expression for this subtle lie. What's true is that we all have a right to sexual agency; to experience sexual pleasure on our own terms, think sexual thoughts, and have sexual desires separate from those around us. But the silent lie is that sexual agency equals complete independence. In truth, none of us are completely independent from those around us, and we rely on others in ways few of us acknowledge. Among the few people who have managed to really figure this out are folks living with disabilities who require assistance with regular daily activities. When you rely on others for some form of help it becomes very apparent the way we are all connected. If you don't, you can go through life imagining that you'd be fine without anyone around. Yet even masturbation, whi ch is often fueled by sexual fantasy, requires some external stimulation (even if you're only dreaming of the UPS guy or gal, they're still involved to some extent).

There's a right way and a wrong way to have sex.

Whether we're being told we have to do it with someone else (masturbation isn't "real" sex), we have to do it with someone of the opposite sex, we have to do it in a bed, 2.5 times a week, or some other form of this lie, there are no lack of people who want to feed you the lie that there is only one (or two) right ways to have sex. The truth is that there are no rules (beyond age and consent) to how you can have healthy and fun sex. Whenever you catch someone feeding you this lie, call them on it.

Great sex is all about�

Is it about sexual technique?  Is it sexual communication?  Is it the "spark", or the bed sheets, or the sex toys, or the weather system? Amazon lists over 150 books with great sex in the title, each one offering you an endless stream of advice on what constitutes great sex. It's no lie that great sex can be had, but the lie is that one person's great sex will be your great sex. Great sex probably isn't like a great chocolate chip cookie recipe, which works best if you follow the directions to the letter. Learning more about sex can probably only add to your experience of good sex, but in the absence of any proof, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that great sex happens in the way you uniquely put it all together, not in following a step by step guide book written by someone whose main goal is to sell you a book.

Ask a Sex Question that is bothering you

Ask One Sex Question This Week

This tip was inspired by a website a friend sent me called Question swap. The concept of the site is that you submit a question that has been bothering you for some time, and in return you are sent someone else's question that you have to answer. Then someone answers your question (and the answer gets emailed back to you). Apparently the results are hit and miss, but I love the concept of questions as a conversational building block (even though I don't think that�s the actual concept, it's my interpretive dance version of their concept).

One of the most difficult hurdles to get over when it comes to talking about sex (whether it's talking with a partner, with a family member, with your therapist, etc�) is integrating it into your daily life.

Sex talk is usually so loaded. Either it's a scary thing about sexual difficulties, or you're anxiously awaiting big time rejection, or there's a blood test involved. Talking about sex is rarely casual fun.

When people ask me why I'm so comfortable talking about sex I propose to them that if they spent all day, everyday, talking about sex, they'd be pretty comfortable bringing it up in casual conversation too.

This day's sex tip hopes to take you one step closer to this goal, by giving you the task of asking someone a question about sex this week.

These shouldn't be skill testing questions, and they shouldn't be asked in a mean spirit (designed to embarrass or coerce someone into talking about sex). They are questions designed to let people talk about sex, and also to get you more comfortable breaking the unspoken rule that you aren't supposed to talk about sex.

Ask your best friend, or grandmother, or someone you just met. Be respectful, and consider the fact that for some people a question about sex could be traumatic, or trigger unexpected reactions related to bad sexual experiences. Choose wisely, but at the same time, try to take some risks in who you ask, and what you ask them.

If you're stumped on what to ask, here are some of my favorite questions to ask random people:

Where did you first learn about sex?

When you grew up, what were the names you learned for your sexual body parts?

What was the worst sex you ever had? Did you ever have it again?

In theory, would you ever have sex with me? (note: use this one with caution, and only if you want to know the answer)

That last question is a bit of a joke, and goes against the spirit of this day's sex tip, but it can have fascinating results.

The point of this exercise is definitely not to create stressful conversations, the point is just the opposite. As long as you're pretty sure this is a welcome question, try to ask the question in the same way you might ask about the last movie someone saw, or where they got that great shawl they are wearing.

Have fun!

Monday, July 10, 2006


The gentle buzz of snoring is among the most annoying sounds known to woman.

Especially when it happens shortly after a passionate encounter.

Scientists explained exactly why it is that men have a tendency to nod off after making love.

Apparently, it's nothing to do with wanting to avoid a cosy chat with their partner. According to the scientists, they are simply tired out.

As frustrating as it is for most women that their male partners just roll over and fall asleep after sex, men aren't entirely to blame.

Humans are the only animals in which sleep and sex are linked and while often seen as just a poor excuse, there are scientific reasons why men feel tired after sex.

Physically drained

The blood rush after climax depletes the muscles of energy-producing glycogen, leaving men feeling physically drained.

Because they have more muscle mass than women, men become tired after sex and this subsequently leads to them feeling sleepy.

80 % of men said they felt more relaxed and were able to drift off without any problems after making love, compared with 46 % of women.

The country was found to have the highest number of men who fall asleep after sex.

Men in the city managed on average to stay awake for just three to four minutes, according to the survey.

'Play uplifting music'

Men claimed to take up to 20 minutes before falling asleep with music playing.

For women there are some tips on keeping men awake long enough for a cuddle and chat.

Have sex out of the bedroom, away from the usual sleeping environment, or play uplifting music - not the usual romantic sounds.

Try ~ I Feel Good by James Brown, Elvis Presley's ~ A Little Less Conversation or Britney Spears ~ Toxic.

also recommended is to "talk sex".

There is no better time to communicate with one another than after a mutually gratifying sexual experience.


Discuss all the things you enjoyed and found arousing, try to avoid talking about the negatives," he said.

suggested to the more adventurous, is that you could videotape your lovemaking sessions - so you have something to watch afterwards.

Not everyone nods off after sex. The survey found 48%  of men had actually fallen asleep during the act itself.

A mere 11 % of women admitted being guilty of this.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

What is Tantric Sex?

Basics about Tantra

Sex isn't some new thing that was invented in recent history. We all know this, but we tend to imagine that sex has been mainly about procreation and not about enjoyment until recent times. But the idea that sex could be for pleasure, and for personal and spiritual growth, is ancient. There are a wide variety of ways of thinking about sex that are radically different from the current North American approach. One of the oldest approaches is Tantra.

What is Tantra?

One translation of the word Tantra is "tools for expansion." Tantra is over 1500 years old, and like yoga it originated in India. It is a set of teachings and practices that are specifically designed to help us feel more, to increase our awareness of our own energy and the energy around us. The path that Tantra uses to these ends is the exploration of sexual energy.

The goal of Tantric sex is to allow us to experience more depth and breadth in our sexuality. The goal is not necessarily orgasm, but rather enriching the whole sexual experience.

Is Tantra a Religion?

While traditional Tantric teachings refer to concepts such as �universal energy� or �higher power� the teachings are, in many cases, not about stubbornly sticking to one set of beliefs or rules. If you are interested in the idea of sexual expression bringing you closer to a higher power, you will find much in Tantra that speaks to you. If you are looking for a way to enhance or deepen your sexual connection with your partner, Tantra can offer many wonderful opportunities without requiring that you follow any specific set of beliefs.

Who is Tantric Sex Good For?

Many of the teachings are about desire and the experience of sexual energy. Unlike western approaches to improving your sex life, Tantra teachings do not focus on external evaluations of what our body looks like, what kind of car we drive, how we wear our hair. In this way Tantric sex teaching are open to anyone who is interested in exploring a new path to sexual fulfillment.

Incorporating ideas of Tantra into your sex life can be something anyone does, regardless of age, sexual orientation, and what your body looks, like, how it feels, how it moves, etc�


What are Chakras?

Tantra distinguishes many different energy systems within us. One of these that you might have already read about is chakras; energy centers in the body between the pelvis and the top of the head. In this system of thought, there is the idea that the smooth flow of energy in our bodies can get stuck somewhere in the system blocked from moving freely or depleted for a variety of reasons. Tantric practice works toward keeping energy flowing through us smoothly and naturally.

What is Tantric Sex Like?

Tantra is different from western ideas about sex in some other important ways. The western concept of sex is like a story with a clear beginning (sexual excitement), middle (penetration), and end (orgasm). This is the way it�s supposed to be and if you don�t follow the story, something is wrong. Sex without penetration is often viewed as being "not real� or �merely� foreplay.

In Tantric sex the point of sex is not orgasm, the point is to feel. There is no clear cut beginning middle or end. Most of the exercises related to Tantric sex involve slowing things down, trying not to focus on our external body, or orgasm, or anything outside of our experience of the moment.

Without a focus on orgasm, the goal becomes increased awareness leading to greater understanding of ourselves, which eventually leads to enlightenment. There is no pressure to "get over the top". This doesn't mean that orgasm doesn't exist in Tantra, it just isn't the be all and end all. The spiritual practice and the good sexual feelings are inter-related, each leading back to, and improving the other.

What Tantric sex �looks like� will be different for different people. Tantra is taught by many teachers around the world, who have their own take on it, influenced by the cultures they grew up in. Certainly a key feature of Tantric sex is the importance of breathing, and slowing down sexual behavior compared to the hectic, orgasm-focused North American approach.

Tantric Sex: Basic Technique

The fundamental premise in tantric sex is that when the sexual energy travels up the spine (instead of out the penis) the result is greater and more lasting pleasure, a clearer mind, a more creative life, and a source of unlimited love.

Most jokes about sex are related to sexual dysfunction. We can view tantric sex then as aimed at sexual function, or increased function or increased efficiency of action.

As in regular yoga asana (posture), the arrangement of the two bodies, male and female, and the action of the breath (breathing patterns) are fundamental to achieving good results.

1. In hatha yoga classes there is a short series of exercises called "Sun Salutations" or "Salutation to the Sun". Prior to getting into bed, or starting foreplay, but when the energy of desire is high, performi ng (at least) 3 complete sun salutations together in the bedroom is a very useful pre-requisite to encouraging the energy to travel up the spine. This is also very useful in cases where the male tends to ejaculate too soon. Try it! You can find hatha yoga classes just about anywhere, including videos and DVD. You may find that after the short set of yoga the desire seems to cool, don't worry - there's always another wave.

2. The beginning position for tantric sex is called 'yab-yum' , with the man seated in what is called half-lotus position (similar to crossed legs) and the woman straddled over the man. This position is chosen for function (as opposed to dysfunction). This position affords the male greatest control over the ejaculatory response, and by itself can remedy what is considered to be premature ejaculation. The greater control over biology provided by this position also allows the act of lovemaking to be prolonged indefinitely, which allows for ex tended sexual exploration.

3. The third unique aspect of tantric sex is the breathing patterns. Again, I refer you to a Hatha yoga 101 and the breathing pattern called 'Ocean Breath'. The man and woman, arrange themselves in the yab-yum position, desire is high, and they begin by breathing in & out of each others bodies: while the man exhales through the nose, the woman draws/sips the mans breath in through her nose. And vice versa. If you have never tried this, you may find it is more intoxicating than kissing. To understand the relationship between breath/desire/pleasure/arousal, this is what you seek.



Friday, July 07, 2006

How To Talk to About Your Sexual Issues

How To Talk to Your Partner About Your Sexual Issues or Concerns
Whether we are in a brand new relationship or have been married for forty years, when it comes to talking with our partners about sex, panic can often set in. We imagine the rejection (usually with great drama) and taking a risk like that with someone we love can often feel too great. This is probably the reason so few of us do take chances with our partners, and try and share the really difficult stuff of our sexual lives. Here are ideas on raising those hard to raise issues.

Here's How:

  1. Clarify the Issue for Yourself:    Sex is complicated, your feelings may have as much to do with your own baggage and history as it does with what your partner is bringing to the table. If something is on your mind, sit with it for a while and clarify what doesn't feel right. Some people find writing a helpful way to do this, others will talk with close friends. The point of this is not to start complaining to others or placing blame, the exercise is all about you and how you feel.
  2. Try to Write it Down:    Don't worry about floral language or grammar. Writing down what you want to talk about is a great step to clarify your issues for yourself and practice the way you might communicate it to your partner. Some people actually write their partner a letter, and end up giving it to them at a later point. Letter writing can be a powerful way to communicate your thoughts and feelings, and if done along with talking it can increase intimacy in a relationship in surprising ways.
  3. Practice the Talk:    If you're nervous about bringing it up, practice. If you have a good friend you can do this with great. Otherwise, practice on your own. Before every major "talk" I've ever had to do I sit down in front of my computer screen and do it. If my monitor could talk, it would probably tell me to get a life, but it's a great tool for me (and I'm pretty sure my monitor is too old a model to be talking).
  4. Consider Your Timing:    One of the most important considerations is when to talk. This will depend a lot on what you are talking about. If you want to raise the idea of trying something new in bed, then raising it just before you're about to be intimate with your partner is probably not a good time. Or raising your dissatisfaction with the frequency of your sex life minutes before your kids are due home (or your in-laws are coming over).
  5. Choose Your Location:    As with timing, location can make a difference. Bringing up sexual dissatisfactions in bed can be a bad move as it may create an association of negativity in your bed. Both you and your partner may also feel more vulnerable in bed than you would having the conversation fully clothed, out for a late night walk.
  6. Allow Time for Processing:    Remember that your partner may be surprised by what you are saying. Give both of you the time and space to respond honestly without having to feel rushed or pressured. You may not be able to completely resolve the issue, or even talk about all the aspects of the issue in one sitting. Think about sexual communication as an ongoing process, not a one shot deal.
  7. Be Generous:    No matter how hard it is for you to bring up your sexual concerns, if you are the only one raising them consider that it may be even harder for your partner. If you can, try to be generous with your partner and try not to place the blame too heavily on either of you. There are two of you in the relationship, and ultimately both of you need to take responsibility for what is happening.
  8. Check In Afterwards:    Sometimes we can make ourselves so anxious about bringing something up with a partner, and then it goes not quite as bad as we thought, and we're relieved, so we want to just move on. Give yourself permission to bring the topic up again. Don't do it in a nagging way, but make it clear that your partner that you care about how they feel and you want to check in with how the conversation went.


  1. Keep in mind that every situation is different. These are general tips and your situation may call for many additional considerations.
  2. Remember that our imaginations can be our worst enemy when it comes to taking risks like this. The reality is that the response is almost never as bad as you think it will be, and talking openly about your sexual feelings, desires, likes and dislikes, can not only improve your sex life with your partner, it can improve other aspects of the relationship.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Is it Infatuation or Love

Are Chemistry and Infatuation the Same?
Does Infatuation Equal Chemistry?
Have you ever been mesmerized by a man/woman standing next to you in line? Is it merely infatuation, a strong shot of chemistry, or budding love: the real thing? Is Cupid being an impish child or bringing you true love forever?
Actually, infatuation and chemistry are essentially the same thing. And they are a very, very long way from real love.

According to Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., in his book Keeping the Love You Find, chemistry or infatuation is actually an attraction to a person who combines:
The worst traits of our parents or childhood care takers to infatuate us;
The negative traits that infatuate us and we possess but deny in ourselves;
The traits that we find infatuating but have been repressed in us by our upbringing;
The infatuating traits that society denies our gender.

The Imago is like a homing device that drives us to repeat ourselves, choosing over and over the facsimiles of our caretakers' worst traits. When we find ourselves saying, "You're just like my father (mother)," this person who infatuates us is our Imago match. For example, a man who is seeking a submissive woman, just like the one that married good ol' Dad, is attracted to a woman at a party. Infatuation strikes!

He is unconsciously attracted to the way the woman demurely lowers her eyes when she is speaking; the way she is so agreeable. He begins a conversation and infatuation strikes them both. She is unconsciously attracted to his power stance and his take-charge air of authority. In short, he reminds her of her father, a no-nonsense, ruler-of-the-realm. You know, the one she could never please. He protectively puts his arm around her; she nestles his head on his shoulder. Together they contemplate true love and happiness forever. Love? No, chemistry and infatuation!
We also seek an Imago who possesses traits of our "Denied Self." These are negative traits from our parents that we cannot bear to recognize in our own behavior.

Hendrix states, "The anger that is so unsettling in your partner was unconsciously chosen by you not only because it reminds you of your mother, but to substitute for the anger you cannot admit to in yourself. Your perception of that anger is at least in part a projection onto your partner of your own inadmissible anger."

By choosing a partner with the traits we deny in ourselves such as compassion or aggression, we can be a whole person without having to take responsibility for aspects of ourselves that make us uncomfortable. We seek in another person those traits that have been buried and repressed in ourselves.

Romantic love or infatuation is really the "king of self-love." It stems from a desire for self-gratification, not love. Part of what we fall in love with is our lost or buried self.
In short, romantic infatuation is an illusion of being in love with another person. In reality, we are in love with our missing selves. We are seeking fulfillment of our expectations by what our mate/lover can give us through association.

We unconsciously want our parents back. We then strive to get the desired results we missed as children and make whole our lost or denied selves.

In other words, chemistry is quite insulting.
Other psychologists have added that at least part of infatuation is buried memories of the first times we had actual contact of a sexual nature, even a quick fondle behind the barn.
We all recall our first dance. As women, we remember the way his hair was combed back from his forehead and the way he held us kind-of close. As men, we remember the way she smiled so sweetly and how she felt in our arms. Long after names are forgotten, those memories become part of "chemistry" or infatuation. Psychologists have said for years that behavior that is learned can be unlearned. However, most psychologists agree that the illusions that cause us to become infatuated are quite powerful and would not be easy to relearn.
Even if chemistry is actually insulting, it certainly feels good, and is probably in our life to stay! We're in love with infatuation!

Here is a poem that will get you thinking!~

Love or Infatuation?
Infatuation is instant desire. It is one set of glands calling to another.
Love is a friendship that has caught fire. It takes root and grows, one day at a time.
Infatuation is marked by a feeling of insecurity. You are excited and eager, but not genuinely happy. There are nagging doubts, unanswered questions, little bits and places about your beloved that you would just as soon not examine too closely. It might spoil the dream.
Love is quiet understanding and the mature acceptance of imperfection. It is real. It gives you strength and grows beyond you to bolster your beloved. You are warmed by his/her presence even when he/she is away. Miles do not separate you. You want him/her nearer, but near or far, you know he/she is yours and you can wait.
Infatuation says, "We must get married right away! I can't risk losing you!"
Love says, "Be patient. Do not panic. Plan your future with confidence."
Infatuation has an element of sexual excitement. If you are honest, you can admit it is difficult to be in one another's company unless you are sure it will end ---- in intimacy.
Love is the maturation of friendship. You must be friends before you can be lovers.
Infatuation lacks confidence. When he/she is away you wonder if he/she is cheating. Sometimes you check.
Love means trust. You are calm, secure and unthreatened. Your beloved feels that also and that makes them even more trustworthy.
Infatuation might lead you to do things you will regret later, but love never will.
Love is an upper. It makes you look up. It makes you think up.
It makes you a better person.

Sexuality and Body Image

Sexuality and Body Image

Body image, like sexuality, is one of those very broad terms that everyone uses but few take the time to analyze for themselves. While most research on body image focuses on how we feel about the shape and weight of our bodies, body image can incorporate:

  • How we think and feel about our bodies
  • How important our physical appearance is to us
  • How we see our "real" bodies (what happens when we look in the mirror, touch ourselves, smell ourselves, etc�)
  • How we imagine our body looks
  • How we imagine other people look at our bodies

One of the most important things to remember is that body image is largely an effect of the unrealistic ideals of beauty that are specific to this time and place. Different societies at different times had ideals of beauty that were radically different than the skinny, practically emaciated bodies we hold up today as the perfect body. The impact of body image is experienced by most of us in deeply personal ways but it's important to remember that we are not born with poor body images, it's something we learn.

Often body image and sexuality are thrown together in the media, but what do we know about the relationship between sexuality and body image?

Body image can impact sexuality.

When we think about body image and sexuality we tend to think about it as a fairly simple relationship. If you grow up with positive messages about your body, you'll be more comfortable in your body, and probably more comfortable having sex, and therefore have better sex. If you feel bad about your body, the opposite will be true.

But it isn't that simple. Our body image and our sexuality can impact each other in unexpected ways. Consider a recent study that examined the connection between body image and risky sexual practices. The study found that:

  • Men with more positive body image were more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors.
  • Women with more positive body image were less likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors.

This study reveals two important aspects about the relationship between sexuality and body image. First, body image can have a different impact on different people. Second, having a "positive" body image doesn't always mean positive sexual effects.

Sexuality can impact body image.

Since the 60s, feminist therapists and sex educators have been working with women to help them have more positive sexual experiences, specifically helping them learn how to sexually satisfy themselves and teach their partners how to sexually satisfy them. One of the things this work, and the many books it has spawned, reveals is the way that sexual exploration and sexual behavior can have a positive impact on body image.

Positive body image and sexual satisfaction do not always come together.

Many people assume that those with positive body image reap the rewards in the bedroom. But the connection between the two is more complicated.

A recent study of women between 35 and 55 for example showed that poor body image was related to a reduction in sexual desire and sexual activity. But the same study found that when the women were having sex, their satisfaction was very high. 72 percent of women in the study reported being physically and emotionally satisfied in their sexual relationship and 71 percent reported general sexual satisfaction.

Body image is general, sexual satisfaction is specific.

One possible explanation for the above finding is that body image doesn't account for the unique and personal experience of having sex. Some people may be shy and self-conscious about their bodies when they are out in the world, but they may be uninhibited and comfortable while having sex with a partner they trust. Thus a woman who is bombarded with messages that her aging body is no longer beautiful may feel the weight of that through a decrease in how "sexy" she feels or how often she wants sex, but when she's having sex, the satisfaction may be unrelated to her body image.
Where do male body image issues originate?

There are many professional theories that pin-point modern advertisements and media campaigns that portray the ideal man as lean, muscular and fat-free, much in the same way women have been pressured over the years. Majority of magazine covers (such as Men's Health) and billboards (like Calvin Klein) give the perception of the ideal and desired man as one perfectly fit. For years women have lived with the pressure to be as thin as a Vogue or runway model. Males are also more likely to have a body image disorder due to the pressures of sports and are more likely to induce vomiting because dieting is not a socially acceptable method of weight loss. If you find your anxiety and stress levels increasing over the way you feel about your physical appearance, consult a medical professional and seek help. Preoccupation with body image can lead to dangerous disorders such as anorexia.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

What is Sexual Response?

  Explaining Sexual Response

The term sexual response is just a clinical way to say "the things that happen to you while you're being sexual".

Sexual response is usually understood to mean things that we don't consciously control. So, for example, choosing to take your clothes off because you're partner is calling you to bed to have sex isn't, strictly speaking, sexual response. Pouring a drink on someone who is being sexually inappropriate, while also a "response" to (unwanted) sexual advances, also isn't, strictly speaking, part of sexual response.

Sexual response is usually measured in the body. Things like increased heart rate, flushed skin, dilation of the pupils, heightened awareness, are all parts of sexual response. Sex researchers have also traditionally defined male sexual response as distinct and different from female sexual response.

What is a Sexual Response Cycle?

Sexual response cycles were first devised as a way for scientists, doctors, and therapists to try and make sense of how our bodies respond to sexual stimulation. The idea of there being a predictable cycle, one that is similar for everyone, is an artificial creation, but it can be helpful when studying or trying to treat sexual complaints and dissatisfaction. The original research that proposed sexual response cycles is over thirty years old, and for the most part the theory has gone unchallenged, with a few notable exceptions.

The original sexual response cycle as defined by Masters and Johnson in 1966 described a process for both men and women of increasing arousal to climax, and included four phases:

  1. Excitement phase
  2. Plateau phase
  3. Orgasm phase
  4. Resolution phase

Helen Singer Kaplan, a prominent sex therapist and author working around the same time as Masters and Johnson, proposed a slightly different model of sexual response. Her proposal grew not out of physiological research in a laboratory, but out of her clinical experience as a sex therapist. For Kaplan, sexual response included:

  • Desire
  • Excitement
  • Orgasm

One of the most important parts of this model is the addition of desire, which is primarily psychological. Nowadays "disorders of desire" are all the rage among pharmaceutical companies looking for a female version of Viagra.

Benefits of the Sexual Response Cycle Concept

Sexuality is so complicated, and is deeply connected to our physical, psychological, and spiritual selves. Because of this, it can be difficult to see the forest from the trees when it comes to our own sex lives.

Sexual response cycles can be a helpful way to start teasing apart sexual experiences, and thinking about sexual behavior in terms of a cycle of sexual response can give people clarity and help them better understand what's going on for them. But it is important not to let the idea of a "typical" or "normal" sexual response cycle make you feel bad if you're experience doesn't match what it says in a textbook (or on a website).

In reality, the sexual response is an imposition on a very fluid process of excitement, arousal, tension, release, and more. At times there may be a "typical" pattern, but other times things will be completely different. Our sexual response flows and changes, and often the descriptions you hear won't exactly match your experience. This doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you, it is just an example of how sexual response is truly unique to each of us.

Problems with Traditional Descriptions of Sexual Response

Most of the teaching about sexual response is based on the research of Masters and Johnson first published in 1966, and Helen Singer Kaplan's alternate model developed in the early 1970s. There are a number of potential problems with the way that sexual response has traditionally been defined:
  • Early research had several limitations, not least of which is the fact that the sexual response of individuals willing and able to be observed and monitored while having sex may differ in many ways from the general public.
  • Sexual response is traditionally only described in terms of physical events (heart rate, blood pressure, engorgement, etc...). While sexual response may be observed in the body, it is experienced cognitively and psychologically, and our subjective experience of sexual response should be included in descriptions.
  • Creating artificial stages of sexual response ends up informing both research and clinical practice, and by encouraging us to focus on small parts of our sexual experience may create a problem of "not seeing the forest from the trees".


Four phase model of female sexual response

Masters and Johnson were the first researchers to propose a "four phase" model of sexual response. They conducted experimental research with adults, both observing adults engaging in sexual behaviors, and measuring what happens to the body during sexual behaviors.

While this description of female sexual response can be a helpful way to start thinking about your own sexual response, try not to use it as a strict guide to measure yourself against. For one thing, the description only deals with physical changes in your body. Your sexual response is much more than blood flow and lubrication.

If you're experience is different it doesn't necessarily mean there is anything wrong with you. While there are some generalities, the reality is that everyone is different, and everyone's sexual response may be a bit different too. There are limitations to the research that Masters and Johnson conducted, and some researchers argue that separating sexual response into stages doesn't make any sense at all.

Here is what Masters and Johnson found to happen during the four phases of the sexual response cycle for women.

Phase 1 of the Female Sexual Response -- Excitement

In response to sexual stimuli (whether psychological in the form of sexual thoughts or fantasies, or physical in the form of physical stimulation) vaginal lubrication will usually begin. There are many reasons why women may have less (or no) vaginal lubrication, even when there is excitement and arousal. Other physical changes may include:

  • Vasocongestion will result in the clitoris becoming engorged.
  • The size and shape of the labia may change.
  • The inner two thirds of the vagina may expand.
  • There may be an enlargement of the breasts.
  • The skin may become flushed, women may experience heightened sensitivity in parts of their body, like the nipples.
  • Some increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension.

Phase 2 of the Female Sexual Response -- Plateau

With continued sexual stimulation this phase represents the time between the initial arousal and excitement, up until orgasm. Physical changes during this phase may include:

  • A continued swelling of the tissues in the vagina, which may be accompanied by contractions of the vaginal opening.
  • The clitoris can withdraw into the clitoral hood and the external clitoris can shorten in size.
  • The labia minora increase in size and turn a reddish-purple.
  • There may be a sex flush, muscle tension, increase in heart rate and rising blood pressure.

Phase 3 of the Female Sexual Response -- Orgasm

Masters and Johnson description of female orgasm does not include any information about female ejaculation accompanying orgasm. Physical changes involved in female orgasm may include:

  • Contractions of the pelvic muscles around the vagina.
  • The uterus and anal sphincter also contract in a throbbing or rhythmic way.
  • Muscles may spasm, blood pressure and heart rate reach a peak.
  • The contractions (which occur at different speeds, and in different amounts) are usually what are experienced as highly pleasurable feelings of release.

Phase 4 of the Female Sexual Response -- Resolution

Resolution phase refers to the period of time immediately following an orgasm, when the body begins to return to its "normal" state. This phase includes:

  • Blood that had engorged areas of the body now flows out, swelling decreases, and eventually muscle tension and skin flush go away.
  • A general feeling of relaxation.


Four phase model of male sexual response

Masters and Johnson were the first researchers to propose a "four phase" model of sexual response. They conducted experimental research with adults, both observing adults engaging in sexual behaviors, and measuring what happens to the body during sexual behaviors.

While this description of male sexual response can be a helpful way to start thinking about your own sexual response, try not to use it as a strict guide to measure yourself against. For one thing, the description only deals with physical changes in your body. Your sexual response is much more than blood flow and lubrication.

If you're experience is different it doesn't necessarily mean there is anything wrong with you. While there are some generalities, the reality is that everyone is different, and everyone's sexual response may be a bit different too. There are limitations to the research that Masters and Johnson conducted, and some researchers argue that separating sexual response into stages doesn't make any sense at all.

Here is what Masters and Johnson found to happen during the four phases of the sexual response cycle for men.

Phase 1 of the Male Sexual Response -- Excitement

In response to sexual stimuli (whether psychological in the form of sexual thoughts or fantasies, or physical in the form of physical stimulation) the process of vasocongestion occurs, where more blood flows into the penis than is flowing out, and the result will usually be that a man will get an erection. How long this takes, and what the erection feels like will differ from man to man, and for the same man over time. Physical changes may include:

  • There are also changes in the scrotum and testes, with the testes increasing in size and the scrotum elevating, coming closer to the body.
  • The skin may become flushed, men may experience heightened sensitivity in parts of their body, like the nipples.
  • Some increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension.

Phase 2 of the Male Sexual Response -- Plateau

With continued sexual stimulation this phase represents the time between the initial arousal and excitement, up until orgasm. For many men the plateau phase is very short, but this is the phase that men can extend as a way of controlling premature ejaculation. Physical changes during this phase may include:

  • An increase in the size of the head of the penis, and the head may also change color, becoming purplish.
  • The Cowper's gland secretes fluid, often referred to as pre-cum, which comes out of the tip of the penis.
  • The testes move further in towards the body, and increase in size.
  • There may be a sex flush, muscle tension, increase in heart rate and rising blood pressure.

Phase 3 of the Male Sexual Response -- Orgasm

Masters and Johnson further divided the orgasmic phase for men into two separate stages. In the first stage:

  • Contractions in the vas deferens, seminal vesicles, and the prostate causes seminal fluid ("cum" or ejaculate) to collect in a pool at the base of the penis, in the urethra.
  • This collection is usually felt as a "tickling" type sensation.

In the second stage of the orgasmic phase:

  • Contractions of muscles occur in a "throbbing" manner around the urethra, and propel ejaculate (cum) through the urethra and out of the body.
  • These contractions (which occur at different speeds, and in different amounts) are usually what are experienced as highly pleasurable feelings of release.

Phase 4 of the Male Sexual Response -- Resolution

Resolution phase refers to the period of time immediately following an orgasm, when the body begins to return to its "normal" state. This phase includes:

  • The loss of the erection as the blood flows out of the penis, which happens in two stages over the period of a few minutes.
  • The scrotum and testes return to normal size.
  • A general feeling of relaxation.
  • There is also a refractory period following ejaculation when a man is physically incapable of getting another erection. This period may be from a few minutes to much longer. It seems to be longer in older men, although there are many possible individual differences.