What I like about you
Being in a relationship can be a great boost to your ego… or it can be hell on it, especially if you’ve dated some of the guys I have (what do you mean, change the way I walk so it’ll be sexier?).
The neat thing about being naked around someone new is finding out what it is they like about your body or your personality, because after all, it’s different for everyone.
What they like about it, not your body or personality, that is.
Being regarded as such by different people forces you to look at your body and yourself in a different light. This guy likes my butt, that guy thinks I’m cute, this one loves the fact that I wear glasses, that one loves my freckles, the other thinks I’m smart… all of this adds up to a pretty favourable picture of yourself, don’t you think?
The trick is to date either one guy or girl who sees you in an incredibly flattering light, such that they make you feel terrific about yourself and love every single aspect of you… or date a whole bunch of people that love little individual things about you so you get a good, all around image of yourself.
I find that my favourites about guys have changed over the years. It used to be that I went for what I called “the high school boy” body type; tall, scrawny, bare on the chest. Then I matured a little, and so did my tastes. Instead of the chest being my favourite part of the guy’s body, I got into stomachs (with a little help from someone that had a nice one, if I remember correctly). At the same time, I grew to like guys that were filled out more, and a little on the fuzzy side; guys that had the arms to hold me and the expanse of chest against which I could comfortably lay my head.
Now, I’m even older (and no less wiser, some would say), and what I like in a guy is a bit of furriness, and I’m all about the stomachs. It’s weird, but I really like a furry stomach. I used to love the treasure trail, and it certainly retains its charms for me, but I find the furry stomach fun to rub and pat; it’s usually quite soft, and not too many guys object to having their stomachs rubbed.
It’s this type of behaviour that I like to think might help out someone’s self-confidence. I mean, if I were a guy, I might be a little self-conscious about the fact that I had a hairy stomach, or a stomach that wasn’t perfectly flat (let’s face it, as a girl I’m already super-insecure about the second. I don’t mind my hairy stomach so much), so having someone who obviously loved it might make me feel better about it, and maybe even take a little pride in it. “Hey, look at me!” I’d say, strutting about in a little belly tee or crop top, “I have a hairy stomach! Love the hairy stomach! Pat it! Rub it!” And the girls would flock to me. Either that, or throw things at me. Hrm.
Now, being as rounded as I am (yes, I roll places, rather than walk. It’s really rather disgusting), I am constantly amazed when I get told I’m sexy or whatnot. I figure that these people are all crazy, but it takes all kinds and there’s no accounting for taste. Or whatever. Yet, hearing that I’m sexy – or even getting to see or feel proof that someone finds me sexy – does help boost my confidence and my ego. I feel better about my body, even if I haven’t perfectly perfumed, shaved and exercised it in the last ten minutes before it’s being regarded and appreciated.
And it doesn’t take having a steady boyfriend, girlfriend, or even sex partner to feel good about yourself in this manner. Sometimes all it takes is a smile or a wink from someone on the street or the bus to make you say, “Hey, I’m good-looking!” I know, it’s not very politically correct or feministally good of me to say that, but… I’m only human. I like to be found attractive once in awhile, too.
So, until the next time I get winked at on the street, I’m off to go rub some furry bellies to make some people feel better about themselves.
posted by Jen on 2:29 AM
The Three Rs: Reeling, Writhing and Revealing
Life is a series of experiences from which we learn, and relationships are doubly so.
In my short little life, I have learned a few things; don’t date someone with baggage, don’t date your coworker, and don’t sniff when you’re chewing carrots, or else you get little bits of carrot in your sinuses and it feels really weird until you swallow a few times and they disappear.
Anyhow, foodstuffs aren’t my topic of choice today, so just tuck that one away as a helpful bit of information and I’ll carry on.
There are a number of things that we learn about ourselves and others in the course of a relationship. Some of us learn we don’t like to be hit, degraded to, forced or coerced into having sex, or that we don’t like to be cuddled when there’s a full moon about. Sometimes we learn that we like to be held when we’ve had a bad day at work, or that just telling about what a jerk our coworker has been can make us feel better, or that having someone rub your feet when you’ve had a rough day is fantastic.
I know, a lot of this sounds really obvious, doesn’t it? But those are things that you don’t always fully appreciate until you’ve been in a relationship with someone that does them; or when you’re in a relationship with someone that doesn’t – after you’ve gotten used to having it happen. Going from a girlfriend that tells you how good looking and sexy you are when you’re feeling rough and down on yourself to a girlfriend that doesn’t pick up on your woe-filled comments and give you the ego boost that you crave can be difficult. It’s time to learn that not everyone is the same and sometimes if you need a boost like that, you’ll have to explain it to him or her… some other time, when you’re feeling a bit less vulnerable.
But sometimes it’s the little things that you don’t realize you’ve learned or absorbed until long after the fact; someone else’s appreciation for the genius that is Charlie Chaplin; the wonder that is making love to the strains of U2; or the hilarity that can be had from the pages of a Terry Pratchett novel.
If it weren’t for my ex-boyfriends, I wouldn’t know of or appreciate U2; Cake (my favourite band); Rufus Wainwright; comics; dressing up for sex; MUDding (okay, it was an ex-boyfriend that helped me break the habit through his continuing presence); Gabriel Garcia Marquez; betta fish; coming from sex alone; Luigi’s Mansion (less of an ex-boyfriend thing); shaving; and any other number of things that aren’t coming to mind at the moment.
It’s amazing how much we learn about and appreciate from one another, sometimes consciously, and sometimes not. After I broke up with one boyfriend, I couldn’t bear to hear anything from the U2 canon for quite some time; that, anime and comic books all reminded me of him (and no, I wasn’t twelve when we broke up, either). Another boyfriend got me into the music of Sublime; I still think of it as stoner music, but I still enjoy it.
It’s things like that that make me say that I’ve learned from all of my relationships. I find that the good ones leave me with something tangible – like an appreciation for Thai food or the fun of being tied up – and the bad ones just leave me with another entry on my “what I don’t want in a relationship” list.
I wonder sometimes how much others learn from me. I dated one guy who claimed that he adopted a more liberal attitude towards sex because of me, but based on the way he completely didn’t change while we dated, I have my doubts (he was much more interested in impressing his attitudes and behaviours on me than on being open-minded enough to learn anything from me). I can’t think of much influence I’ve had on anyone, so perhaps I’m more of a sponge than the guys I’ve dated.
Maybe a really good relationship is one where the learning goes both ways; where both members of the couple learn about new things from the other.
posted by Jen on 2:30 AM
Clean up in Aisle Four…
I’ll admit it, weird things fascinate me. Non verbal communication, shiny objects, stationery… and people’s sexual peccadilloes and oddities.
This ranges includes everything from position preferences to turn ons to methods of masturbation and clean up.
For some reason, I find it absolutely fascinating to learn the different ways that guys take care of the “after” product of their self-abuse. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a penis of my own to play with and figure out, but much that has to do with these dingly bits intrigues and entertains me.
A girlfriend and I used to have a “schloop” noise that we’d make in conjunction with an upward cupping/clutching motion; this was meant to represent the effect that a hand had on our gentlemens’ scrota, and we thought it was absolutely hilarious. Sometimes provoking those poor innocent testicles into migrating away from my tender (or something mildly chilled) touch would entertain me for longer than was likely fair.
The process of watching one go from hard to soft or vice versa amuses me, too. Well, amuse has the wrong connotation – so many people feel that laughter has no place in sex because of the delicate egos involved on both sides – but how else could I phrase it? It goes up, it goes down, it changes size, it disappears in cold situations, it provides pleasure – this is nothing short of entertaining and amusing, whether the situation is sexual or asexual.
Most anyone who’s had sex with a guy or is a guy has had to deal with the aftereffects. Many of my guy friends have the same story of beginning to masturbate at an age prior to the production of semen, and getting quite the shock the first time it happened to them; not all of them were aware that their bodies would produce such a thing, and it was a scare, at least at first. Hopefully, the first time that these same guys came in front of someone else, that second (or third and fourth) person was prepared to deal with the result.
It seems that many of my guy friends develop methods to ‘clean up’ after they’re done: I’ve heard tales of towels kept for that sole purpose and laundered once a week; piles of Kleenex disappearing into the wastebasket; dirty underwear; condoms being put to yet another use; time spent in the shower (with a quote I just have to share: “I only masturbate in the shower when I have time… or when I’m in a hurry.”), or even one guy who, if I interpreted correctly, tended to let it dry on himself overnight and then just wash it off in his morning shower.
Having been on the receiving end of the mess before, I know what a pain it is to clean off, and I wonder if some guys avoid getting it on them. I’ve heard one tale of someone leaning forward a bit too much and getting it in the eye – this is something that he would likely recommend avoiding. It seems it stings quite a bit.
When it dries on the skin, it has a strange kind of cold feeling that it draws – something almost akin to pouring rubbing alcohol on your hand and feeling it evaporate. It’s sticky in the hair and difficult to brush out, and if it’s left on your skin, either fresh or dried, it turns to glue in hot water. Isn’t this a wonderful thing that guys’ bodies produce?
It certainly reminds me at times that I’m glad to be a girl – like when I’m looking at someone trying to finger-comb it out of his pubic hair or frantically check the sheets or couch to see if there’s been any damage done, either in the form of a wet spot or a stain. For the most part, there’s much less mess involved from me, and I kind of like it that way.
Overall, I guess what fascinates me is the fact that everyone has a different method of dealing with it, and aside from Kleenexes, I’ve rarely heard the same thing said twice. Humans are creative people, and apparently that creativity extends right down to the methods we use to clean up come. Aren't we great?
posted by Jen on 5:53 PM
Those Magic Moments
Once upon a time, I started writing a column that attempted to deal with those quiet moments that a couple shares after sex.
That column got away from me, and turned into something that made fun of the wet spot and orgasm faces, among other goonie things that are a fact of sex – but never get mentioned in novels or movies.
Anyhow, what with today being Valentine’s Day and all, the day of romance, love, cuddles, depression and suicide, I thought that I’d try to touch on the subject once more and actually treat it properly this time, and from a different angle.
Most couples that have been together for any length of time, or who are comfortable with one another share a certain amount of connection and intimacy. This isn’t particular to couples, though; a connection of sorts can exist between friends and relatives, as well.
However, when one is part of a couple, there’s something more there. It’s difficult to explain if one hasn’t experienced it, because on the surface it sounds as if it’s the same as a pair of friends who simply happen to see one another naked and do things about it.
You can define the connection as the sharing of inside jokes, caring about seeing one another happy, listening to one another’s stresses, helping each other to relax and feel better after a bad day… and yet, when you look at it that way, those are the same roles that a friend can provide.
However, it seems to have something extra when it’s a boyfriend or girlfriend, doesn’t it? Knowing that you can feel comforted with a big hug from that special someone, or knowing how they’ll react to what you have to say, maybe give you a special comment or squeeze. It’s incredibly comforting and I think sometimes it’s what I miss the most when a good relationship ends.
So today, whether you’re single or in a relationship, find someone that you can be close with, and enjoy your time. If you’re single, get together some friends, watch mushy movies and drink wine and eat cheesecake and trash ‘em… hrrrm, sounds like a good plan, actually. Enjoy the company of your friends – even if you’re not sleeping with them, there is an intimacy to be found in your relationships together and it’s a great one; remember, boyfriends and girlfriends come and go, but your friends will always trash ‘em with you.
If you’re in a relationship, don’t stress too much about making the day special. Today is in reality, just another day, so if you don’t have super extra-special plans, who cares? Sometimes a pizza and a movie can be a hundred times more romantic, fun and special than getting all dressed up and going out to a fancy restaurant with linen tablecloths and people with better manners than I could ever hope to have.
Take the time every once in awhile to make one another feel special, be it with a small gift, a backrub, or just a “hey, I was thinking of you” phone call. It’s touches like that that make a couple’s relationship special and intimate, more than hours of monkey sex and fancy dinners ever could.
posted by Jen on 4:36 PM
Not tonight dear… I have a headache.
There are two base stereotypes that exist in the world of sex that pop up over and over, in advertising, movies, and daily conversations: men are horny all the time, and women rarely want sex.
I’ve heard some statistics that say the average man thinks about sex every seven seconds, but I’ve never heard any to say how often women do. A fair number of my male friends say seven seconds is a very conservative estimate, but sometimes I have a hard time believing that. Sure, I think about sex a lot, but it’s in bursts, and I’ll admit I distract easily. A sampling:
…oooh, I’d like to have my nipples played with while someone’s going down on me, maybe have my hands tied above my head, pulling at the bonds tying me, oh look a shiny quarter!, what in my room would work best for tying someone to? I could go for some chocolate right now, rub myself back and forth across someone all covered in baby oil, geez, my ear’s really itchy, have him sitting on a couch while I go down on him and torture him, I need to remember to call to book the cat’s vet appointment…
And that might occupy me for a half hour or so, depending on how thoroughly I flush out those concepts. I mean, calling to book the vet appointment is a pretty involved process, and I need to think it through rather carefully. But I digress (ooh, shiny object!).
Sure, it can be pretty concentrated sex thoughts for some time, but then it’s off to grab the bus to work or chat with friends or sleep through class, and my mind tunes elsewhere.
While I think (and talk and write) about sex an awful lot, I’m not in the mood for it as often as most would think, or as often as many of my friends are – guys and girls alike. I’ve always figured I must have a somewhat low sex drive; I’d likely be perfectly happy getting some two or three times a week, on average.
At the same time, while I’m not always necessarily in the mood, I can usually either be convinced into it, or I can think myself into it; the imagination is a wonderful thing, as is someone who knows what I like and knows what they’re doing.
But that’s neither here nor there, and it’s the king of rambling that comes from writing late at night (and being easily distracted, not that I am… oooh, Clodhoppers). What I wanted to vaguely address this week was the factors that go into determining what makes one “not in the mood,” and reactions to them, good and bad.
It was said be one ex-boyfriend of mine that nothing short of losing a limb would cause him to not want sex, and even then he could likely be persuaded. I don’t make the claim to speak for anyone by myself, but I can be put off sex much more easily than that.
Ironically, a headache isn’t usually one of the culprits. It’s usually more the ailments that leave me feeling ill-at-ease overall and uninterested in bouncing around all over someone; stomach upsets, backaches, death… those are more the kinds of things that will have me saying somewhat cautiously, “Umm… could we just cuddle tonight?”
I should rephrase; saying it “cautiously” makes it seem as if I fear retaliation in some form of another from my current paramour, and that’s not the case. It’s more a matter of conditioning after the first boyfriend I slept with (the one responsible for the terrible, awful, no-good first time), for he was prone to whining at great lengths and until I gave in when I ventured, “How about another time?”
This is a course of action I do not
recommend when your partner, be they male or female, asks if you can just cuddle tonight; it’s far from an endearing trait, believe me.
Nonetheless, what do you do if you’re raring to go and your partner would rather just sleep, or vice versa? Personally, I have a few courses of action, and it all depends on your comfort level with your partner, and how he or she would react to your chosen actions.
Take care of your own business: If your partner would be okay just holding and kissing you while you get yourself off, then by all means enjoy. I’ve asked boyfriends in the past to get themselves off while I cheered from the sidelines, and generally somewhere through the procedure I wind up turned on enough to jump in and turn it into an entire event. Whether this happens to you or not, your partner is getting an orgasm, you’re getting a break, and it’s a win-win situation all around.
Give it up and just go to sleep: A course of action I’ve employed in the past, and occasionally wished that partners would do as well. It’s not as if the two of you will never have sex again, right? What’s going one night without?
Whine until your partner gives in: Oh, wait. We covered this one. Bad idea, leads to resentment on your partner’s part, and likely bad sex on yours. Moving on.
Storm out in a huff, go down to the bar and start drinking, then bitch and moan to all who’ll listen (or happen to be within unfortunate earshot) about what a selfish, unloving partner you have. Be sure to sulk the next time you see them, too.
Well, it’s difficult for me to sit down and tell you what the causes are for being out of the mood; they’re circumstantial, they’re arbitrary, they’re the parents coming home at the really wrong moment. Once again, my writing appears to have gotten away from me – really what I wanted to talk about was the different things that men and women think about when they think about sex, but no one wanted to give me a straight answer. No matter.
As for me, I’m off to bed. Believe it or not, I really do have a headache… so tonight, is it okay if we just cuddle?
posted by Jen on 1:06 AM
Ready… or not?
There comes a time in all (most?) of our lives when we decide it’s time to have sex. For those of us who are fortunate, after the first time, this time comes more often. And so do we.
Sorry, had to take that bad, bad opening right there. As I was saying, most people are fortunate enough to have sex a few times in their lives; either for the first time as a virgin, or after that, with (a) new partner(s). Sometimes this is an easy decision – I mean, c’mon? Hugh Jackman offering himself to me? In a minute! – other times, it’s not so easy.
I wrote awhile back about making the decision to be someone’s “first” – it’s a pretty big responsibility, and one that I think requires a decent amount of thought on both people’s parts (hehehe – I said parts). But what isn’t always talked about is the decision to sleep with a new partner.
There are all kinds of factors that can go into the decision to sleep with someone; “I’m horny and I want sex and this person is offering/interested/unconscious”; “It’s been two years and I think I’ve forgotten how”; “I’m trying to get a better position (hehehe) at work”; “I’m trying to increase my overall number.” Sometimes it’s something, “I really like this person, I’m really attracted to him/her, I’d really like to share that experience with him/her,” but really, how often does that happen?
Okay, so I’m being facetious. I’m also being rather immature this article, if you hadn’t already noticed. *grin*
Moving on… it’s an interesting that physically one can be ready for sex, yet mentally completely unprepared. I’ve been in situations whereby I was attracted to someone, but unwilling to have sex because I knew I wasn’t “ready” – as ambiguous a term as that can be. I’ve also been in situations where I felt that I did want to sleep with someone, but I wanted to wait until we were both ready – being comfortable together, enjoying all the preliminary activities and practicing them, the moon and the stars were in proper alignment – before actually getting naked and having fun together.
I was having this discussion with a friend of mine the other day; he stated that he was ready for sex at 9, even if he didn’t actually have it until later in life. It’s one thing to say we’re ready for sex at such-and-such an age, but how many of us, given the opportunity, would have actually had it that young?
I was offered the opportunity to have sex for the first time at 13, if memory serves; I knew that I certainly wasn’t ready at that point. When I actually had sex for the first time, did I feel I was more ready then? Looking back, I’d have to say probably not, but what’s done is done, so I can’t regret it… at least, not too much.
If you’re a regular reader or you’ve read the archives, you’ll note that I talked before about my first time and how crappy it was. I suppose it could have been worse; I didn’t lose any limbs or have anything break off, but overall, it was pretty sad. Would it have been better if I’d been ready? I think so. I think I might’ve taken a more active role in the proceedings and probably had a lot more fun in the whole event.
That whole incident helped to prompt the article I wrote about losing one’s virginity, or being asked to be someone’s first. My whole life is a mine for these articles, and an event too many years ago, or one that was only two years ago, can turn into the 700-900 words that you get to read. A good friend of mine got inducted into the world of sex fairly recently, and all I can hope is that this friend’s first time was better than mine, and that (s)he happened to feel ready, mentally as well as physically.
Anyhow… sometimes when I think that sex is a possibility with a new partner, there’s a bunch of mental weighing that I do. Am I attracted? Am I interested in a relationship? Do I think we’d show one another a good time? Sadly, one of the other questions that runs through my head is, “Do I want to increase my number?” That one is usually more when I’m really uncertain about the possibility; it’s a bit of an indicator to me that maybe, just maybe, I don’t want to get involved with this person as much as I think I do… which means that I’m just not ready.
I think it’s important to try to avoid doing something you’ll regret. Sure, it’s not something that you can predict; after all, how was I to know that I’d regret having slept with that particular guy? But it’s certainly something to keep in mind, as much as your hormones might be trying to overrule your head (and no, it’s not just men that are ruled by their nether parts). Just ‘cause your tender parts might be ready doesn’t mean that you are… and we were all created with two hands for a reason. Don’t be afraid to make use of ‘em; I can’t think of a time I woke up saying to myself, “Dammit, I wish I hadn’t gotten myself off last night.”
posted by Jen on 2:43 AM