Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oral Sex – To Swallow Or Not

Question: I've been married for twenty years and been together twenty-three. My husband and I are just in our early 40's, so we got married when we were still pretty young and "adventurous" and have continued with a great sex life. During our entire relationship I have always been a "catch & spit" kind of girl. Over the years my husband has mentioned swallowing always in a joking manner and always adding it didn't matter to him either way. I have just, within the last year, tried swallowing a couple times but...can't get with it! Does it really matter to most men? And if so, why? ...Jessica

Answer: "To spit or not to spit, that is the question"...and a good one, at that. Many women have been faced with the dilemma of not knowing what to "do" with a mouthful of goo. And to be fair, there is no one "right" answer. I will, however, try to elaborate a bit on the subject and explore why this issue regularly rears its ugly head (no pun intended) in male/female relationships.

First it must be said that while oral sex is quite common a practice in society today, there are still people, both women and men, who adhere to a diet that does not include the "fruit of our loins." In fact, it appears that women in general fall into four categories: 1) Those who don’t engage in oral sex; 2) Those who do, but remove "Mr. Happy" before he reaches the pinnacle of his enthusiasm; 3) Those who "go the distance," but expel their partner's deposit before it can accrue any interest; and 4) Those who ingest their special someone's love liquid. And which category a woman falls into can change from time to time and partner to partner. And frankly, if you fall into any of the latter three categories, you'll probably never hear us complain, because we're just pleased as punch to be getting a little "face time."

But now to the question: Does your swallowing our DNA really matter to us...and why? Quite frankly, for most men, I believe it is more a matter of attitude and less of consumption. If you "get rid of" our semen shooter by sexily dribbling it onto our body (or even better, your own) and then rubbing the sticky sap over any conveniently exposed flesh, most guys will be in heaven, and all thoughts of swallowing will be quickly forgotten. If, on the other hand, you convulsively spit out our stuff as if it were dry cleaning fluid, we’re likely to be a little put off. And while some guys may look at your swallowing their sperm as an unconditional acceptance of them, most men simply don't want to feel like you're completely grossed-out by their emission. We want to believe that you're fond of our ejaculate, because we consider it a close, personal friend, and we like our friends to get along. The bottom line is: We appreciate it when you swallow because we believe it shows you like us, sperm and all, and your willingness to engage in this behavior demonstrates a sexual inhibition that we find enormously appealing.

The most important thing to remember on this subject, however, is that men realize that you may not share our enthusiasm for our semen, and once it leaves our body and enters any part of yours, our jurisdiction ceases, and your rule-of-law applies. So while we might like you to accommodate our desire to savor our seed, it is hardly a deal-breaker. We understand that the final destination of our sperm is often beyond our control. We're just ecstatic that it occasionally has a chance to be out and about. And that's a truth that I hope you'll have no trouble swallowing.

© 2009 David M. Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Men And “Bad Sex”

Today I would like to dispel a lousy rumor; one that persists despite the fact that it is not now, nor ever was true. I’m talking about, of course, the idea that to men there is no such thing as “bad sex.” This is absolutely false. We do recognize bad sex. But like lite beer and arena football, we will grudgingly embrace it if it’s the best of our readily available options. Because what is equally true is that most men feel that some sex, even that of inferior quality, is better than no sex at all.

Now I know that some of you are thinking, “Wait. Guys almost always have orgasms. How ‘bad’ could sex be if they’re erupting all over the place?” Good question. And frankly, it’s easy to understand your confusion, because, for you, orgasm is indicative of achieving a certain level of sexual excitement that doesn’t always happen. Not true for us. For the most part, we consider sex and ejaculation almost synonymous. One naturally follows the other. Like night following day, or summer following spring, or flatulence following a chili cook-off, men are used to orgasm being the dependable conclusion to any sexual interlude. And with rare exceptions this is the case…for us. Men rarely begin a sexual activity wondering if they will climax. We may worry about being unable to get or maintain an erection. We may fret over coming too soon. But we feel pretty confident that if we can get it up and get it in, getting it on will lead to getting us off. It’s that simple.

What this all means is that, for guys, our climax doesn’t indicate we had good sex, it just indicates we had…sex. And for most of us, that, in and of itself, is a positive thing. We still recognize different qualitative levels of sexual encounters, but we’re so thrilled to be having sex with someone other than ourselves that we rarely, if ever, bring up the issue, unless it’s to compliment you on your performance or the remarkably hospitable temperament of your vagina (though we probably won’t use those words).
So don’t expect to ever hear us complain or rate our sexual experience with you as less-than-stellar. We’re smart enough to know that a critique or constructive criticism is less likely to lead to better sex, and more likely to lead to the unmistakable thud of your thighs slamming shut – never to be reopened in our presence again. It is a sound that creates terror in our minds, emptiness in our hearts, and inconsolable sadness in parts below. So do guys ever really have “bad sex?” With others, perhaps, but never with you.

© 2009 David M. Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 10, 2010

“Doing It” With A Hernia

Question: We are struggling in our sex life, due to sickness. My husband has developed two hernias. The one in his tummy he has had for years, but the one in his groin is newer and starting to cause him pain, including during sex. Do you have any advice to help us cope and stay connected sexually. We are both still very attracted to each other, but his hernia is causing him pain. I know the quick fix is to repair his hernia, but we are currently without insurance. Kind of an extra question to you: Does a man enjoy a little buzz to his penis, as a woman does with sex toys? Anyway I would appreciate any advice you can give me. We are both frustrated!!!! …Kim

Answer: First, I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that hernias, no matter where there are located, can cause very serious problems if left untreated. Your husband should seek proper medical evaluation and care as soon as he possibly can. I know it may be a financial hardship, but perhaps your physician may have some recommendations as to how this may be treated with a minimum of out-of-pocket expenses. At the very least, it seems worth looking into, if you haven't already done so.

Now to your question: There are many ways for you and your husband to be sexually active without engaging in activities that cause pain. The key is avoiding any movement that puts pressure, stress, or tension on that area of his body. Unfortunately, by its very nature, sexual arousal will naturally cause a tensing in that region, so creativity is a must.

1) If you want to engage in intercourse, try utilizing positions that require a minimum of thrusting on his part. One such position is to straddle your hubby's genital region and carefully insert him inside you. If you are facing him, you are in a great position to kiss and fondle each other. If you sit facing away from him, Reverse Cowgirl-style, you can achieve deep penetration. In either case, as long as you don't get too rambunctious, you're free to yell, "Giddy-up" and ride him to your heart's content (no spurs necessary). And although these positions require you to do all the work, they also allow you to completely set the pace and give you greater ability to orchestrate your pleasure, as well as his.

2) Intercourse aside, there are a number of other sexually intimate activities you can enjoy with a minimum of pain and discomfort. In fact, you might even look at this as an opportunity to more fully explore many forms of sex-play that you might otherwise only consider as foreplay. Rather than engaging in these activities merely to whet your appetite for the “main event,” now what was once an appetizer, becomes a satisfying entrĂ©e in its own right. One such example is mutual masturbation. You should feel free to feel freely. And while this may be something you haven’t engaged in to any great extent in years, it can be a very sexy and satisfying experiencing - giving and getting with this hands-on approach to orgasmic release.

3) Of course, most obviously, oral sex should definitely be on the menu if it is your desire to keep pelvic movement and stress to a minimum. Using your mouth on him should cause him only positive stirrings in his loins. And with a minimal effort on your part, you can help yourself to his loving lingual ministrations by carefully perching astride his face. You may trade off giving and receiving oral attention, or engage in simultaneous mouth-to-genital resuscitation by assuming the traditional “69” position (with you on top, of course). Again, consider this not simply a pre-amble to sex, but a lovely, satisfying sexual feast unto itself.

And to answer your question about men enjoying sex toy vibrations on their penis – I’d have to say that this probably varies to some degree from man to man. That said, however, generally speaking, ANY attention or direct stimulation to the penis is likely to be warmly received. The male member may have no conscience but its sincere appreciation of even the slightest gesture is usually quite obvious.

The most important thing to remember in all this is that despite physical limitations, you both still want to demonstrate your sexual desire for each other. This is where the “for better or for worse” really comes into play. Sexuality is an important part of any long-term male-female relationship, and your mutual desire to keep this part of your relationship alive and thriving, bodes well for many happy years together. Congratulations on having the commitment to doing what is necessary to keeping your marriage loving, vital and intimate.

© 2009 David M. Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 26, 2010

What Your Guy Friends Are Really Thinking

If you are like many women today, in addition to numerous female friends, you also have (or did have at one point in time) several male friends. For the most part, these are guys whose company you enjoy, but who you don’t date. You hang out with them, share what’s going on in your personal lives, get their “male perspective” on things, but that’s about as far as it goes. Sure, you love them…but like brothers. And you wouldn’t even think about ever having sex with them, because that’s not what your relationship is about. And you know they feel exactly the same way. They cherish your company and friendship, but unlike all the other men in your life, they have absolutely no interest in the tropical tempest between your thighs. And I’m here to say that you can be absolutely confident that this is true… if they are either under the age of ten, comatose, or gay. Otherwise, you’re living in a fool’s paradise.

“That’s just a bunch of cynical crap,” I hear you say. “My male friends like me only as a friend…period.” Are you sure? Or are you just assuming because you don’t think of them ‘in that way.’ that they feel similarly? Now I admit that these relationships seem innocent enough. After all, you’ve spent lots of time together and they’ve never once indicated any sexual interest in you. If they were hungering to be enveloped by your womanly flesh, wouldn’t they have said something? Obviously, they are immune to the gravitational pull of your private parts that keep other men orbiting you like hormone-infused asteroids. And I agree that on the surface it appears their interest is purely platonic, but trust me when I tell you that, know it or not, their penises are casting furtive glances at your nether region when it’s not looking.

So why haven’t they said or done anything to let you know how they truly feel? There could be a few reasons: 1) One or both of you might be in a relationship and the timing is wrong; 2) They know you have no sexual interest in them, and any move they make will be met with negativity, anger or serious laughter; or 3) They have no “game” and don’t know how to make a move on you. Whatever the reason, one thing is certain: In their heart-of-hearts, they hope that one magical evening, one or both of you will be so liquored-up that courage will overcome fear of rejection, pesky inhibitions will disappear along with clothing and at last the two of you will be able to allow your genitals some quality time together. Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?

Still think I don’t know what I’m talking about; that your guy friends have no interest in getting physical with you? Fine. Next time you’re alone with one of them, tell him you’ve given it some thought and you’d like to have sex with him. If you’re right, there’ll be a moment of uncomfortable silence, after which you’ll play it all off as a joke and the two of you can have a good laugh. More likely, however, the awkward silence will be replaced by the metallic song of zipper teeth as your friend hurriedly discards his clothing in an effort to show you just how “friendly” he can be.

© 2009 David M. Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Is Hubby’s 20-Something Co-Worker Hot For Her?

Question: I am a woman in my mid forties and I think a 26 year-old co-worker of my husband’s wants to have sex with me. How do I know for sure? What are the signs a man gives? …Joy

Answer: First let me say, that if you suspect that a man you know wants to have sex with you, chances are you're right. For the most part, it is pretty much automatic that if a guy finds you attractive he has at least considered the possibility of having sex with you. Now, of course, if you or he are involved in other relationships, then fantasizing about exploring your "inner space" may be as far as he's willing to take it. There are, however, a large number of men who won't be in the least deterred by your seeming lack of availability, much less their own. To these guys, a wedding ring (yours or theirs) is just another piece of jewelry. It's hardly more than a tiny speed-bump on the road to your vagina.

So what are the specific signs that you are on his "to-do" list? Well, every man is different, but there certainly are some behaviors that are more or less universal to a man-with-a-mission.

1) If he goes out of his way to initiate lengthy conversation with you and seems to hang on your every word

2) If he compliments you excessively

3) If he is overtly flirtatious

4) If he guides your conversation into a provocative or sexual area

5) If he touches you frequently while talking to you

6) If he makes suggestive remarks to you that you wouldn’t feel comfortable having your husband hear

7) If he suggests you “get together” to “talk” sometime

8) If his eyes have been surveying your body like a thief trying to find your most vulnerable “point-of-entry”

Of course any of these things could be innocent, but more-often-than-not they indicate a sexually motivated agenda: He finds you attractive for any number of reasons and wants to get naked with you.

The question then becomes, “What should you do about it? Should you throw caution to the wind and go for it?” My advice would be a resounding “no.” I’ll forgo moralizing over the betrayal of your marriage vows, which may or may not be important to you. That’s between you and your conscience. On a more practical level, however, other than a short-lived “sexual high,” what’s in this for you? Twenty-six-year-old men aren’t typically interested in long-term relationships. He is likely looking for a hot, sweaty encounter with an “older” woman. Very exotic for him, but not something that will have any longevity or depth. Are you willing to risk your relationship with your husband to taste that forbidden fruit? Sure, people do it all the time (especially men), but the fallout can devastate a marriage.

But maybe you’re thinking, “If we’re careful, nobody will find out.” Good luck with that. Since you indicated he is a co-worker of your husband’s, I am not optimistic about your chances of keeping a clandestine fling secret. Your admirer’s regular workplace interaction with your husband creates an enormous risk of exposure of any covert “under-cover” work you and your lover are engaged in. And even if he and you are vigilant in your efforts not to “slip up” in front of your husband, you still have to manage to stay under the radar of that incredibly effective information super highway - the office gossip machine. This all-knowing, all-seeing, shadowy web of intelligence-gathering should never be underestimated. Their information, though often based primarily on speculation and conjecture, is still uncannily accurate, and can undermine your best efforts to “keep a lid” on your extracurricular activities. And that kind of exposure may not only jeopardize your relationship with both men, it can cause such disruption in the workplace that it could possibly lead to one or both men having to terminate their employment.

My best advice is to be flattered by the attention and let it go at that. If you give him no encouragement, he is likely to move on. Both of you will still be free to fantasize about what “could have been,” which in many cases is a lot steamier (and certainly safer) than the tawdry reality of “taking a walk on the wild side.”

© 2009 David M. Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, March 8, 2010

She Wants Sex...But He's Not Interested

Question: I am 43 and I think I look pretty hot! My husband hardly touches me, but I see him touching his private part when I am not there and when I catch him and he looks at me, he does not look like he wants to even try to have sex with me…Why is he doing that? And he says he loves me and blah, blah, blah...I am about to give up! …Pam

Answer: Generally speaking, if a man is sexually able to perform, he will not turn down sex with his partner. Why then is your guy avoiding you, even though you're hot AND hot-to-trot? There could be several reasons:

1) There is something else within your relationship that he is very unhappy about and is avoiding sex with you because of it. Although this is more common with women than with men, there are still some men who won't perform if they're feeling alienated or angry.

2) You've changed in some major way (either physically or attitudinally) and he is unhappy or uncomfortable with that change.

3) He has performance anxiety due to some condition that he hasn't disclosed to you.

4) He's "getting it" somewhere else.

5) He finds sex with you less-than-fulfilling. This is usually not the case, since for most men, any sex, even bad sex, is better than no sex.

6) He has questions about his sexual preferences.
Any of the above could, in fact, be the cause of his avoidance of intimacy with you. And the fact that you discovered him masturbating means nothing. He's just pleasuring himself because he needs the release, and for whatever reason is unwilling to approach you. So my advice is that YOU approach HIM. Take the initiative and seduce him and see how he reacts. Tell him you want to please him and ask him to tell you as graphically as possible how you can do that. Then follow his instructions to the letter. If that doesn't re-awaken his desire for you, then it's time for you to initiate a serious talk to find out what is going on. So one way or another, at least you'll know where you stand.

© 2008 David M. Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Why Men Cheat

Generally speaking, men cheat because they have the opportunity. That doesn’t mean that a guy will definitely cheat just because he has the chance, but rather that availability of a ready and willing partner is the primary motivator in moving men toward infidelity. And they may be unfaithful, even if they are perfectly content in their relationship with their significant other. In other words, their cheating is not reflective of how they feel about you. It simply indicates their unwillingness to exercise a little discipline and resist temptation – no matter how into you they may be. I repeat, they may cheat even if they are incredibly happy in their relationship with you and you have an incredible sex life. It is not a failing on your part or indication that there is something fundamentally wrong in your relationship. It has to do with the fact that monogamy is counter-intuitive for men, and therefore committing to have sex forever-after with one woman and only one woman is a challenge. And that challenge is one that many men are just not up to.

So what can you do to absolutely insure your guy won’t stray? Precious little. There is no product warranty on guys. His fidelity is based on his ability to embrace monogamy, no matter how unnatural it may seem to him. If he wins that battle, you have a faithful partner. It’s as simple as that.

That being said, not all men are equal in the potential-for-cheating department. Guys tend to fall into one of three groups: 1) Those who are open to the possibility, itching to cheat, or actively pursuing “extracurricular activity”; 2) Those who like to think they wouldn’t cheat, but who can and do succumb when opportunity knocks (by far, the largest group); and 3) Those who have the discipline to resist temptation…even when opportunity is present. For this group, remaining faithful is a matter of honor. Betraying you would be betraying themselves, and they will avoid doing that at almost any cost.

Obviously, the men in group number one are a lost cause. These unrepentant horndogs will cheat. Period. If there is no opportunity they will make one. What you do or don’t do is of no consequence. It is not, however, so cut-and-dried for group number two. While they are certainly vulnerable to temptation, if they are satisfied in their relationships they are unlikely to go on the prowl. Sure, if something (or someone) drops into their laps, they may give in to their desire, but their happiness with you and their relationship (and to no small extent, their sex life) may give them strong incentive to resist. Conversely, if they feel unfulfilled in their relationship, they are likely to use their dissatisfaction as an excuse to cheat. While this is obviously a rationalization, it is all many men in this group need to justify doing what their penis is prompting them to do anyway. In group number three, however, the opposite is the case. Short of physical and mental abuse, these guys will remain faithful almost to a fault. And while that is certainly an admirable quality, their dogged adherence to a strict moral code could annoying extend to other parts of their life, including areas in which you might rightly wish they were a bit more flexible.

So, as you see, groups one and three are virtually unfazed by what you say or do. Group two, however, may be influenced by lack of contentment in their relationship, but contentment alone is not enough to guarantee their fidelity. This group would be wise to avoid situations that would test their ability to resist temptation. And while I know this may not be what you wanted to hear, knowing the truth about men allows you to make informed decisions about who you choose to associate with and what you can reasonably expect from them.

© 2008 David M. Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Changing A Relationship's Ground Rules

Question: I have been seeing an entertainer almost 3 years now. The first year was really rocky - full of attraction and the chase (by him) but I had just gotten out of a 6 year relationship and it was merely 3 years after the death of my father and I wasn't trying to jump right back into another relationship or emotional commitment. He too, was apparently getting out of something which I found out about because a woman called me 'protecting her territory'. I confronted him about the call and the caller and he was honest. It only happened once and never since.

The second year, we started getting closer. He started trusting me with very personal things (although he lied about his age) and I felt like we were going along a road that could lead to a sensible relationship. We haven't spent any holidays together - sometimes he is touring and since he has kids, sometimes he is with his family. My friends think I am crazy that after 3 years we should be more of a 'couple' and spend holidays together but at first, I really didn't want that. He travels a lot which strangely I have gotten used to (and his ex cheated on him for that reason so he has trust issues there); at first I complained that he was not very communicative when he left - and now he will call every single time he is leaving and email/text/call when he is gone. Anytime I express displeasure at something - he does make an effort to rectify. I did ask for an HIV & STD test - which he willingly did and supplied the results. Now, I have never been to his house. I have never met his family - although we have spoken about them (and he has met my brother). We have similar friends but because of who he is and the industry, we keep our relationship on the low to protect our privacy - for as long as we can.

Year three - here we still are together. I know now definitely that I love him and I genuinely care for him. I wanted to be sure that past emotional baggage was out of the way first. We enjoy our time together but it’s so random and short; I want more and I feel like he can give more - but I don't know how much. I suppose, we would have to go more public with our relationship if I wanted to spend more time with him that is not quite so private; I know he depends on coming home to me but there is a part of me that wonders why he hasn't taken me to his home? I haven't insisted since I think it’s inappropriate, and I know his kids do not live with him; How do I tell him that I am ready for more and need more from him without demanding it although. I don't want some patterned relationship of him coming to my apartment and making love, him leaving at 4am and then we speak on the phone the rest of the time. Unfortunately, it’s a pattern I started because I didn't want the closeness and now I want it, I am not sure how to get it. Help. ...Ms. Dating the Entertainer

Answer: Yours is a very interesting letter. Basically, what you're asking is: How do you change the ground rules of a relationship without seeming demanding? That's a very good question.
Here are a few issues that I think you should consider:

1) Men are generally comfortable with the status quo and will usually take little initiative to change it. Conversely, women generally like to set up guidelines and alter them to accommodate the complex and changing nature of relationships. You and he once had similar needs and desires and your "ground rules" reflected this. Now, your love has grown, so your desires have changed and you want to re-visit the parameters of your relationship. The question is: Has his love grown, too? And if so, are the changes you want, things that he might be amenable to?

2) By your vagueness in describing him as "an entertainer," I will assume that he has a certain amount of celebrity status and would like to keep his liaison with you out of the headlines. Is there any other reason that he might want to keep your relationship a secret?

3) Be careful not to let your friends define how your relationship "should" be. Friends mean well, but generally their advice is biased toward you and not particularly objective. What is acceptable behavior in your relationship can only be defined by you and your man. Don't let your friends' issues be your own.

4) What specifically are you looking for? You say you want "closeness," but I'm not sure what that means. Are you looking for a traditional relationship, where you spend time with each other's friends and families periodically, go out to public places, and generally do the whole "boyfriend-girlfriend" thing? Are you desiring some sort of public acknowledgement of your importance in his life? Are you hoping to make the relationship more permanent - get engaged, move in together, get married? First and foremost, in order to get what you want, you have to clearly know what that is and be able to ask for it - regardless of the consequences. Yes, there's always the possibility he doesn't want what you now want, and you will scare him off/push him away. But if you don't let your desires be known, in time, you will likely grow resentful of him, and that will not bode well for the long term success of your relationship.

The bottom line is this: You need to summon up your courage and clear the air. Talk to him. Tell him how you're feeling. Tell him you're not trying to pressure him, just "taking his temperature." Then together you can decide just where you are BOTH comfortable in taking this relationship. I wish you the best of luck and hope everything works out the way you want.

© 2008 David M. Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 1, 2010

3 Ways To Divorce-Proof Your Marriage

At a time when fifty percent (or more) of marriages end in divorce, it is no surprise that one of the most frequent questions I am asked is, “Is there anything I can do to keep my marriage/relationship from falling apart?” The good news is, yes, if you and your partner really want your relationship to “go the distance” and avoid being just another sad, divorce statistic, there are three specific, and deceptively simple things you can do right now to start divorce-proofing your marriage.

1) Treat each other politely. What I mean by this is: You should treat your partner with at least the same degree of common courtesy you use with friends, business associates or strangers you come into contact with on a daily basis. I’m talking about simple good manners: Saying “please” and “thank you” and excusing yourself when your gastro-intestinal tract suddenly expels noxious fumes at either end. This is so basic to any successful encounter, let alone a significant relationship, that you would think this would be second nature to most people. Alas, it is not. As we get more and more comfortable in a relationship we often “relax” into patterns of interaction that could be described as barely civil, at best, and down-right rude, at worst. And the saddest part is that we’re usually completely unaware of our behavior. We’re just “being ourselves.” Well, STOP! Studies show that couples who make a point of employing good manners and treating each other politely, are overwhelmingly more successful and _happier_ in their relationships than their less-civil counterparts. Bottom line is: Play nice – and you'll be playmates for a long time.

2) Don’t criticize or berate each other. Instead, be complimentary and supportive. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Again, this is a very simple and straight-forward concept that so many people forget once they are comfortably entrenched in their marriage. Negativity undermines the foundation of many relationships. And this is doubly true of critical invectives flung at your spouse in the presence of others. Yet how many times have you been out in public and heard one of your friends speak to their significant other in a critical or derogatory manner (e.g. “Don’t be such an asshole!” or “Why are you being such a bitch?”)? Conversely, if you get in the habit of dealing with your spouse in a loving, complimentary manner, you create an environment of support that inspires cooperation and harmony and helps ensure that “happily ever after” isn’t an impossible dream.

3) Touch each other on a regular basis. This one is incredibly important. And I’m not referring here to sexual touch (although I’m a strong proponent of that, as well). I’m talking about simple contact: Putting a reassuring hand on your mate’s shoulder; squeezing their hand supportively; touching their arm warmly as you pass by. Do this with purpose or for no particular reason, but do it…several times a day every day. It’s an incredibly bonding experience which establishes a level of caring and intimacy that reinforces the physical and emotional closeness of your relationship. Plus, it just feels really good.

As I stated above, these suggestions are things you can initiate immediately, that combined, will have a surprisingly positive effect on your relationship. And though these “quick fixes” may seem too simplistic to be effective, what do you have to lose giving them a try? Just do it. The marriage you save may be your own.

© 2008 David M. Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

When Men Say "I'll Call You"

One thing you can usually depend on with men (other than leaving the toilet seat up), is that you can take our words at face value. Our speech is primarily goal-oriented and our words can be taken literary. One important example to the contrary, however, is the phrase, “I’ll call you.” On the surface, this phrase sounds simple enough: Three little words that seem to promise a future interaction. But the truth is, more often than not, when uttered by a guy at the close of a first date, all they really mean is “good-bye.”

So why do guys break with their usual direct (some might call blunt) language usage and opt for a pleasantry that is intentionally misleading, and has left more than a few women wondering if their phone service, hearing, or understanding of the English language is faulty? The answer may surprise you. It is primarily because the end of a date is a particularly stressful time for men, and we’re looking for an exit line that is both brief and vaguely upbeat. “I’ll call you,” fills the bill to a “t.”

You see, for a man, the end of a date is the culmination of a serious amount of effort on his part. First he had to risk rejection to ask you out. Then he had to spend the evening trying to impress you with his wit, intelligence, charm and accomplishments, while avoiding alienating you with his opinions, arrogance, poor conversational skills or lack of proper table etiquette. He wants to make sure everything goes right so at the end of the evening your clothing will magically melt away and the two of you will be joined in a sweaty, undulating mass of ecstatically-intertwined flesh, knowing all the while that, at best, he’ll likely have to settle for a little tongue and a quick feel. But he is also aware that he may fall far short of his goal. His attempt to initiate physical interaction may subject him to rejection, ridicule or being seriously laughed at. Or, horror of horrors, when he goes in for a lip lock, you might shift the target at the last moment causing him the ultimate humiliation – a close encounter with your cheek.

So the pressure is on. And if he is unsure of how well the date went, how much you liked him, how much he liked you or all of the above, and your parting kiss, hug, handshake or fist-bump was unfulfilling and/or gut-wrenchingly awkward, he may be hard-pressed to come up with some succinct witticism to bid you an appropriate farewell. And at this point, though he may be uncertain about the future of your relationship, he still doesn’t want to ruin any possible potential with you by abruptly saying, “Ciao,” “It’s been real,” or “See ya’.” Thus he trots out that trusty old chestnut, “I’ll call you,” which allows him to quickly extricate himself from an uncomfortable situation with optimism and a little dignity. If he actually is satisfied with your evening together, he will probably be true to those words and dial, email, fax or text you for a repeat performance. If, on the other hand, he is undecided about his feelings or deflated, disappointed or depressed by your encounter, he can now safely retreat to the sanctuary of his abode and engage in quiet introspection to determine how he really feels about you and a potential second date. Or he can just get drunk and watch internet porn.

© 2008 David M. Matthews. All Rights Reserved.