Monthly Archives: February 2013

Marriage and Sex: What’s love got to do with it?

IMAG0523

As we approach year 25 of our time together, we often like to reflect upon what has kept us afloat and, just as importantly, sexually passionate for each other over these many years. We continue to engage in sexual activity regularly (a modest 2-3 times per week of full blown intercourse) despite the stresses of maintaining our financial buoyancy, raising a teenager, and staying physically healthy as our bodies transition to middle age. This may seem a far cry from the 2-3 times per day rate we enjoyed in our first few months together, but our frequency suits us at this current level and the quality of our encounters continues to flourish. Every bit as important as our sexual statistics is the attention we continue to pay to seeing one another as sexually desirable, sexually separate beings, whether across a crowded room, in grubby sleepwear, or performing the most mundane of tasks.

Contrasting our situation is the plague of divorces that has descended upon our quiet Mar Vista community of late, with ten couples we consider friends (to various degrees) either separating or calling it quits entirely over the last 2-3 years, with sexual dissatisfaction being present in virtually every instance. Add in the dozens of couples with whom we come into contact through our business on an ongoing basis (hundreds over the past 10 years) and it would seem – sexually, at least – that long term lust is nothing more than a fantasy enjoyed by a tiny minority. In our case, is it simply blind luck that brought us together as a sexually compatible couple and strong partnership outside the bedroom? Is it really possible to stay sexually connected as years grow into decades?

Therapist Esther Perel, in her well-respected book, Mating In Captivity, finds an interesting paradox that puts forth the premise that sex and domesticity are actually at odds – even war – against each other. In layman’s terms, as we grow closer as couples and invest more of our trust and intimacy toward the end of increased stability, the conditions for passion are reduced, if not eliminated. Sex, Perel believes, needs distance – physically and emotionally – to truly thrive, therefore our reliance on our partners to provide reliability and nurturing short circuits the detachment needed to be sexually independent. This is part of a wider problem of couples depending on their respective spouses or (significant others) to fill in the voids left by splintering  and smaller families, insular communities, and less reliance on outer social networks to provide recreation, etc. In other words, we’ve come to know our husbands and wives too well and this has created conditions antithetical to fostering eroticism. Partners stray not because they need sex, necessarily, but because they need sex with a person whom they don’t know so well as to allow this intimate knowledge inhibit them and, by extension, their pleasure.

As we described in our essay on balance in relationships, modern couplings bear little resemblance to those of only half a century ago, when the divorce rate stood under ten percent and the sexual liberation of the birth control pill had yet to make itself known. Marrying for love, though not unheard of, was not the primary reason for forming lasting unions; however, with female empowerment and employment equality gaining momentum in the late 1950’s and 60’s, divorce laws being relaxed, males performing more traditionally female duties, and Roe vs. Wade eliminating mandatory childbearing, couplings were suddenly in search of compelling reasons for forming, let alone lasting for a lifetime. Likewise sex, now unburdened by parenting ramifications, could be pursued for pleasure alone. Who knew we’d be unprepared for exploring the possibilities – never mind dealing with – the results of sudden sexual freedom?

Which brings us to today and the seeming inability of the majority of couples to enjoy sexual satisfaction alongside long term commitment. With respect to the aforementioned Esther Perel, we continue to lack the ability to separate sexual passion from relationship stability. Add to this combination the concept of “love,” which is the most volatile and misunderstood of all emotions and it’s no wonder so many couples languish in sex-less purgatory as time progresses. We need to somehow discover our sexual selves, independent and without judgement, and somehow relay what we want to our partner, then do the same for him or her. As sex is the most vulnerable – naked – state in which one can find him or herself, the task of detaching erotic pleasure from reassuring companionship is a tall order.

In 1988, we obviously knew none of this when we first met; there was no internet, the sexual revolution of the 60’s and 70’s had been beaten back by Ronald Reagan conservatism and the rise of the religious right, and overall relationship mores were still dictated by leftover traditional frameworks laid out by “Leave It to Beaver, The Brady Bunch,” and similar shows of their day. Indeed, “Happy Days,” which was a generation removed from our Civil Rights and Women’s Liberation era upheaval still provided the comforting portrayal of the stable Howard and Marion Cunningham, who never failed to show respect for what they each brought to the unit, collectively. These were the examples we saw in reruns and the ideal, with regard to marriage and family, to which both of us aspired.

Now, with the benefit of hindsight and experience, we are witnessing firsthand the almost complete obliteration of the once sturdy principles of marriage and family. For better or worse, love is the bedrock upon which we build our relationship foundations, somehow counting on its mysterious powers to not only fuel passionate sex, but carry us through difficult stretches and overcome our myriad incompatibilities. We use love to justify our chosen parenting methods, love to decide which jobs we want, and love to stay connected to family members who drive us crazy. It’s maddening how many couples we see who attach hot sex to intense love, then paradoxically insist love and sex can be separated as libidos decrease and sexual desires wane.

In our relationship, especially in its early stages, we were fortunate to find both sexual and practical common ground – and love – to pull us forward toward a long lasting union. And this is fine; getting together for love and sexual pleasure is a great platform for exploring further possibilities. We used love and attraction to springboard into a wonderful relationship that continues to this very posting and still “love” each other with a giddy excitement reminiscent of our early years. But, and this is a point we can’t stress strongly enough, we did not plunge head first into marriage or commitment beyond the present circumstances. We let our level heads prevail and resisted the temptation to rush into making promises we may not have been able to keep. In fact, it was a full two years after we moved in together that we decided to make things official in the eyes of the our families, the state, and God himself.

In closing, it is our hope that the current crisis in long term relationships, especially when it comes to sex, is simply a result of the growing pains of modern evolution and we will eventually find ways to both rediscover lost passions and make better choices in our partners, initially. Perhaps answers lay in adjusting our “all or nothing” approach to long term commitment and redefining marriage to better reflect today’s realities (short term contracted arrangements with renewal options?). The real lessons here are to approach love, intimacy, and sex cautiously, and with skepticism, attempting to keep sex with your partner at suitable length from cuddling on the couch or taking moonlight walks. Enjoying a flaming romp in the sack means nothing if a few months of familiarity extinguishes it; likewise, a budding male/female friendship is not a prerequisite to a lifetime of unfulfilled desire. Sex, love, and partnerships are wonderful byproducts of being human, however, to believe these gifts will stay healthy relevant as time progresses indicates you are willing to address each on its own terms.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Video: Our calling, being sexy with each other?

A video interview we took part in a couple years ago on what it means to be “sexy.”

Oh, and we also tell the story of how Freddy and Eddy came to be. 🙂

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Sex Positions 101: The Bermuda Triangle

This intermediate sex position allows for deep penetration and a bit of fantasizing as she faces away from her partner.

The person on the bottom should always have a pillow behind his neck for comfort. The female leans back, her knees facing forward and her feet behind her, supporting her weight on her hands.

bermudatriangle

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Product Review: The Tantra Chair

Synopsis: A curved leather furniture piece designed for sexual intimacy. Available in different colors.

Our Review: A while back, a visitor to our message boards posted a sex toy wish list, with the Tantra Chair being at the top. Of course, her description and picture piqued our interest, but such an extravagance (a few hundred dollars) was beyond our means at that point in time and we felt uncomfortable asking someone to send us something so luxurious for free (or even a steep discount). As such, we filed it away in our minds for later consideration and left it at that.

Fast forward and were surprised to find an e-mail from the actual creator of the Tantra Chair asking us if we’d like to HAVE one!!! It seems our man Jordan Dawes, aka the Bonk Master, had talked us up pretty good at a trade show and gotten the gentleman (his name is Al) to consider placing one of his lovely pieces in our newly opened store here in Los Angeles. It was almost too good to be true and we cautiously took him at his word that one would be sent. All that was left to do was pick the color, which we did in all of 60 seconds (tan), and the chair was delivered about a week later.

First, however, some specifics on the Tantra Chair. As you can see from the picture above, the Tantra Chair is a long, double-curved furniture piece, made from of a wooden understructure, measuring approximately 70 inches in length, 15 inches in width, and 24 inches at its tallest point. A leather pad runs its length and is approximately 4 inches thick and the chair weighs approximately 65 pounds. When removing it from its rather large shipping box, the Tantra Chair feels very solid and well constructed and requires no assembly of any kind. We placed the chair in our hard wood floor living room, which would turn out to be a slight mistake (more on that in a moment), and it now resides on the carpet in its permanent location in our bedroom.

Of course, time constraints being what they are in the lives of a busy family, days went by without us so much as even sitting in our new “friend,” and we had to call upon a neighbor to give us a break to do our, um, “work.” Yeah, that’s it – work. Our child in the safe environment of his friends, television, and junk food, we made our way to the living room to give it the Tantra Chair a try.

Unfortunately, we happened to pick a very HOT day for this adventure and the fact our home has no air conditioning left our space broiling and stuffy. This makes sex in any form a tad uncomfortable for both of us, let alone on a baking leather chair; but, ever the determined couple, we pressed on and encountered a second issue, which was that we were in the process of replacing our old curtains, leaving our living room window wide open for all the world to see inside. This had us scrambling for ways to cover the windows to prevent a live sex show for people walking by the front of our home. As crazy as this sounds, we had NOTHING to cover the windows with, leaving us with no other solution except to maneuver the Tantra Chair into the bedroom, which offered complete privacy. Lugging almost 70 pounds down the hallway wasn’t too appealing at that point, so we entertained the idea of giving up and waiting until the new curtains were installed.

No sooner had that thought crossed our minds than Alicia had every article of clothing off and had that look of determination that demonstrated she was willing to give the folks a show if that’s what was necessary to get this review done. 60 seconds later and there we were, naked for all the world to see if they’d managed to get too close. So, if there are any lessons to be learned here, it’s that broiling temperatures, lack of window coverings, and the chance of sex on a cool piece of furniture are simply not enough to deter a horny wife and husband.

As for using the Tantra Chair, let’s just say it’s everything we thought it would be – and then some. One word of caution, though; using it on the aforementioned hardwood flooring proved to be difficult, due to the slippery nature of the surface. This caused the Tantra Chair to slide and move as we used it and we have since installed small, non-stick rubber “feet” at the four corners of its base to prevent it from sliding. On that day, though, we were forced to move it to our library room, which is carpeted, and that solved the problem. Once in place, we tried several positions, our favorite being simple rear entry off the taller end, and we have since tried just about every position shown on the Tantra Chair website with great success and, more importantly, lots of fun. One thing we’d love to see is some sort of manual included with more ideas and positions, which would be especially helpful to inexperienced couples who might need a little help to fully maximize this product’s possibilities. This is a minor quibble, of course, as one can simply use an internet connected phone or tablet to gain ideas.

The original Tantra Chair, released in 2004.

In summation, this is a great product and the manufacturer warranties the Tantra Chair for 5 full years against any defects. It’s made completely of thick, solid hard woods that should last a lifetime and you can purchase the leather is very easy to clean (that said, we usually add a moisture proof Fascinator blanket as added protection). We look forward to many more years of enjoyment from our newest furniture piece – sexually and otherwise – and can’t recommend it highly enough.

For more information on this fine product, visit the Tantra Chair website by clicking hereor on the links above.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Product Review: Sybian Sex Machine

Synopsis: A very high-end sex machine, whereby a woman mounts it and rides to orgasm.

Our Review: The Sybian was a major purchase without a doubt. We had never dreamed that we would pay so much for a sex toy. We had also never dreamed that we would be in a great relationship with that would actually appreciate such an extravagant sex toy (I am sure Sybian would not want to hear us call it a “toy” but we mean no disrespect to their product at all).

It comes in a few pieces:

There is the main piece that is designed to be straddled by the woman. It is about 14” square and the top is rounded off (looks kind of like a “Quonset hut”). On the top is a small “receiver” that you place attachments on and just in front of that is a raised area that provides clitoral stimulation. It is directional, in that you orient yourself so that you get vaginal and clitoral stimulation at the same time.

The main unit also has the control box connected to it with a 3’ cable so you can sit back and control it while she is on it or she can control it. It has two on-off switches on it to turn on rotation and vibration and then a speed control knob for each as well.

It doesn’t come in different sizes but SW is 5’3” and it seems to fit her with no problem.

There is also a small “stool” that comes with it. We were wondering about this at first but it comes in quite handy. You can place it in front and let her lean over and rest her arms on it or you can sit on it and put your arms around her. You can also slide it back and receive oral while she is riding it.

Both pieces are well padded and covered with black, soft vinyl. The power cord is a separate piece and it uses a standard 120VAC connection to the unit so it would be very easy to replace if it was lost (I used a spare one that I had for my computer when I couldn’t find ours).

First impression was really good. The quality of workmanship, “fit and finish” of the product was about as good as you could get. Everything was well constructed, heavy and solid.

It is designed to use attachments that come in a multitude of sizes and shapes. Most are shaped to penetrate the vagina with everything from as big as your finger to gargantuan. Any attachment that is designed to penetrate can be attached to the main unit with either a stiff spring that offers some “give” or a stiff plastic rod that does not flex. We found we like the spring in most of the attachments as opposed to the rod. The attachments also cover the clitoral stimulation part of the main unit. Some attachments are smooth where they contact the clitoris and some have raised, soft rubber “nubs”.

The unit also comes with a “clitoral wedge”, a piece of hard plastic that attaches to the clitoral stimulation area of the main unit with Velcro (already installed on the main unit). It is about 2” long and raises the area of clitoral stimulation by about ¾”. This is optional and based on personal preference. All of the attachments will fit over the clitoral wedge so all body contact is still covered with the soft rubber of the attachment. We found we really liked it better when the wedge was in place.

There seems to be three main points of stimulation that you can get from this device, clitoral, vaginal opening and G-spot. You can get pretty much any combination of the three or just one (or two) depending on which attachment you use and how you use the controller.

Clitoral stimulation is probably the most intense of any device we have ever used, if you want it to be. The controller has a very wide range of adjustment and is “infinitely” adjustable from 0 to top speed. S noted how smoothly the speed range changed which just intensified her orgasms. There were no abrupt changes even if you turn the speed knob very quickly. We can only think that this comes from using very high quality controls and motors. On our first try, We slowly built it up to about half speed over about 3 minutes. S thought it was all the way up because she had never felt any other device vibrate this fast. Our female half was in for a surprise as it kept getting faster and faster. As you become accustomed to the controls, you will learn what feels best for your partner and you can start getting creative. That is a lot of fun. In our experience, We can get it up to about half speed and get her very close to orgasm, then increase it about 1/10th of a turn. It increases the intensity but changes just enough that she doesn’t come immediately (kind of like changing the motion of your tongue at the last minute when you are giving her oral sex). You do this 4 or 5 times until it is almost up to full speed and then put it wide open. We thought the neighbors were going to call the police and the windows of the house were going to shatter. We have a great sex life but have NEVER seen her have such an intense orgasm.

Vaginal opening stimulation is best achieved by the “dildo” shaped attachments. This would be just like attaching a dildo to something your partner could straddle and “ride” (like a suction cup based dildo). Also, if the vibration is turned on it also vibrates up the shaft of the attachment which adds a nice sensation. The rotation control also provides some vaginal opening stimulation with the dildo shaped attachments but we found if that she was in the mood for that, she just rode it up and down while varying the vibration (S claims this is like her being on top and me having a pocket rocket on my pelvic bone…..VERY intense).

G-spot stimulation is also a great feature of this device. Some of the attachments have larger heads and smaller shafts. Once inserted, the contact to the vaginal opening is minimal. The tops of these attachments are of varying diameters and have small, soft “ribs” running from top to bottom. When using one of these, you turn on the rotation and it spins in small circles inside the vagina rubbing the “ribs” of the attachment on the g-spot. This is where you will need to try both the spring and rod inserts to see what she likes best. Again, this is where the quality of components comes in. Very smooth speed transitions from fast to slow. Once you find the right combination of attachment size, rotation speed and type of attachment (spring or rod) this device will produce some HUGE g-spot orgasms.

There are some other attachments that are also fun. One is just a soft cover (like the insertion part was cut off). This can be used for just clitoral stimulation and leaves her open for either another toy or you from behind. The height of the unit is great for doggy-style with this attachment. Also, it is a great way for her to get intense clitoral stimulation while receiving anal sex.

There is a double penetration insert which is pretty much how you would imagine it. The vaginal part of this gets the rod for rotation and the anal insertion part is static.

Some of the larger dildo type attachments (called “covers”) actually slip on over the medium sized attachment. You need to use a little lube on the inside of these to get these on as they are a tight fit. Also, the material of the “covers” is a little more firm than the other attachments. They don’t “give” as much and therefore you might need to use one that is a little smaller than you are used to.

There are two attachments that we are still working up to. The G-Max is a ball about the size of a small orange and does just what it names implies, maximum g-spot stimulation. This one is doable, eventually. The Jumbo “cover” is just plain huge. We like large toys but this one might be too much even for us, especially because of the harder material it is made out of.

All in all, it is a great device that is built so well that you can feel comfortable using for many, many years. It seems sturdy enough that you might want to leave it in your will to someone. It could be the first “heirloom” sex device. HA!

We only had one negative thing to say about this device and it is not about the device itself. Do NOT, under any circumstances, watch the demo movie that comes with it. Especially if you want to start using it right then. It looks like poorly done, 70’s amateur porn and we found it to be an instant cold shower. Bikini waxing was not in these people’s vocabularies. If you want a good laugh, you can look at the part that demo’s their Venus 2000 product which is a male masturbation machine. It is good for a laugh. Not knocking that product at all (no, I have not tried it) but watching it in action will have you rolling on the floor.

We have thoroughly enjoyed this device and will continue to do so for years. It seems to us that it would also be a great item for a woman that has a hard time having an orgasm but it would be hard to see someone like that shelling out this kind of money for it. It seems to be pretty popular with internet porn companies. They can make the investment once allow different girls to use brand new attachments so they feel safe. I have seen several amateur porn sites that use a sybian. At first I thought the girls were faking because it looked to “over the top” to be real but now that we have had ours for 2 years, I know they are not faking when they are on this thing.

 Want to know more? Click here or on the links above to go to the Sybian website.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Sex Positions 101: Batter’s Up

A bit on the advanced side, we admit, but this sex position is great for dining room play…

The female should place both knees on top of the seat of the chair, with both legs together. The male then straddles her legs and places his hands on her waist. The chair back can be used for support.

battersup

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Product Review: Snap Leather Cock Ring

Synopsis: An adjustable leather cock ring.

Our Review: If you’ve visited our website with any regularity, you may have noticed I have a huge fascination with all manner of cock rings. In fact, as the years have passed, rarely is the time I haven’t had an adornment of some kind ringing my (ahem) thing. Metal, wood, silicone, elastomer, I’ve tried them all.

Of course, with so much experience one would imagine I’d have the whole installation process licked. True, I can certainly get most rings on and off without too much hassle, there is hassle, nevertheless. One must squeeze quite a bit through a fixed size ring, oftentimes not without some pain involved, all the while adjusting for different fits due to temperature, weight, and width. Wouldn’t it be nice if one could easily just snap one into place?

Glad I asked! The 5-Speed (or snap) leather ring solves the problem not only of installation – it easily wraps around and one simply snaps it to fit, accordingly – but of function. What that means, exactly, is that if one simply wants to wear the ring out and about (as I often do), one simply snaps it snugly into place and off he goes. If you wish to assist in sexual performance, however, which is a cock ring’s greatest benefit (traps blood in, resulting in longer lasting, harder erections), then simply go one snap tighter and you’ve mimicked the effect of a stretchy ring. Removal is – pardon the cliche’ – a snap, as one just unsnaps the leather device for instant retrieval. The high quality leather means years of use as well, so plan on this handy product becoming a regular visitor to your package in no time.

In summation, I love this ring and plan to explore other leather cock and ball items in the near future.

To ring your thing, please click on the links above or here to visit our online store.

To view a slide show of how to put a cock ring on, click here.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Esther Perel: The secret to desire in a long term relationship…

In long-term relationships, we often expect our beloved to be both best friend and erotic partner. But as Esther Perel argues, good and committed sex draws on two conflicting needs: our need for security and our need for surprise. So how do you sustain desire? With wit and eloquence, Perel lets us in on the mystery of erotic intelligence.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS