The weather has been perfect in New York City the past few days--warm, sunny afternoons, cool crisp evenings--and I have been savoring every minute of my remaining days. On Saturday night, Mel and Lorraine took me to see "Arias with a Twist" featuring drag diva Joey Arias, clever puppets and smashing sets. What a brilliant and sophisticated show it was. Surveying the eclectic mix of ages, genders and sexual persuasions that made up the audience, I felt back in the "real" Manhattan again. Going out has become--with the exception of Harlem, the most diverse part of the city--a segregated experience, venue choices targeted to drunken boys and girls; richer drunken boys and girls; the wealthy old, the women with plastic faces; the younger old, checking strollers that don't belong to grandchildren--and many other groups claiming their hard drinking or fine dining territory. Unbelievably, one must look for diversity in the city while across the Hudson in Montclair, New Jersey, Diversity is the primary article of community faith.
I've been busy on both sides of the river, seeing old friends and making new ones. Bonus: My hometown St. Louis Cardinals are national league champions to the nephew Harry's delight. With so much going on, I've been too busy for the Republican debates, but I catch up on Friday nights watching Bill Maher on HBO.
To the questions--
Photo Credit: The Sex Bible
Q. "My wife and I are coming up on our twentieth anniversary. In the beginning, we were mutually hot to shag, then I was more hot for her than she was for me--and now she is a wild cat and I am the aging lion who has his moments when he is not sunning himself on a rock looking the alpha cat (i. e., working 50 hours a week as a barrister.) She laughingly says that ours is not The War of the Roses but The Libido Wars. How can I satisfy her in new and creative ways that save my energy--besides asking her to be on top, our fall-back position?" Clive, London.
A. People who can giggle at their bedroom issues can fix almost anything. You don't take yourselves too seriously--thank god, because I no longer suffer fools who do. Some ideas:
1. Vibrators! Expand her sex toy collection. Make it a "rule" that she try out new vibes with you. My favorite U.K. site: Wicked Tickles where there is also appealing lingerie. In the U.S., of course, my allegiance is to BABELAND.
Short form: She sits with her back against the headboard; you sit between her legs with your penis at the edge of her vagina. Stimulate her clitoris while stroking her vagina with the head of your penis.
Q. "I've had a lover for five years, more than a friend with benefits, but not a committed relationship. I'm going to marry another man-- a wonderful man who shares my values and wants to have a family with me. Is it wrong to want to keep the lover, though see him less frequently? I've been reading that a good affair could have a marriage. What do you think?" SueLynne, a California girl.
A. Two of my guy pals, Michael and Steven Otero, Sexy Spirits, sent me an article from The Daily Beast: "Is Cheating The Secret To A Happy Marriage?" (I will review the book, The Secret Lives of Wives later his week.) Yes, a case can be made that discreet affairs may help a marriage.
I don't advise people on whether they should "cheat" or not. That's not my job. BUT you are going into the marriage planning to have a lover. Your fiance needs to know that. Find a good therapist. Then have a conversation with your man. Let me know what happens.
Q. "My husband's ex-wife has killed our sex life. They've been divorced five years, but she won't let go. She holds their son over his head as she tries to control our lives. And she writes nasty emails about me--that our relatives and friends forward--and posts mean comments on Facebook. I am under such stress because of her that I can't have sex. My husband says that is no excuse. Can't stress lead to loss of desire? Ironically, he says she is a sexual prude and he didn't get much sex in that marriage either," Second-Hand Wife Janet, Michigan.
A. None of us can control the behavior of others; we can only control our responses to that behavior.
In the past few years, I have antagonized a man who threatened via email to "bring me down." I filed it under Internet Threats and sent to my lawyer who said, "He'd better hope you don't have an accident." And I antagonized a woman who speaks ill of me to professional associates and may or may not have cost me a job. Lawyer says that is grounds for a law suit. I have a full plate; and I don't care what she says. If people listen to hateful diatribes without even asking the target of the hate for her side of the story--they are ignorant. On the other hand, those who pass on the emails and Facebook posts are petty.
You, my dear Second-Hand Wife, tell the whole story in your signature. You have ceded your sex life to a bitter, jealous prude. If we let the prudes dominate us, the terrorists have won.
Yes, stress can be a factor in low libido. YOU need to learn how to manage your responses and your stress level. Learn how to meditate. Buy this book: Buddha's Brain: hapiness, love & wisdom. Buy a new vibrator. And have you considered couples therapy?
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