Adolescent Sexuality, Courtship, Free Spirit, Hate, Horniness, Human Nature, Jealousy, Life, Love, Lovers, New Love, People, Relationships, Seduction, Sex, Sexuality

“We’ve Entered Our Dangerous Years, Paul”

(About a 10 minute read)

Chris was one of the prettiest, most shapely beauties in our high school.  She was also one of the few in that category that I actually desired enough to want so much more than a casual friendship with.

You see, Chris was — like me — a bit of an outcast. We had the same bad reputation.  Folks said I had “quite a temper”, a “sharp tongue”, and that I was “contrary” — meaning that I tended to oppose things for no better reason than for the sake of opposing them.

Folks said exactly the same things about Chris.  She had quite a temper,  a sharp tongue, and — of course, being female, the word wasn’t “contrary” — Chris was a “bitch”.

Continue reading ““We’ve Entered Our Dangerous Years, Paul””

Courtship, Fun, God, Human Nature, Ideas, Judgementalism, Life, Love, Lovers, Marissa Callahan, Play

The Manner in Which You and I Resonate

(About a 4 minute read)

FROM: Paul Sunstone
To: Marissa “Free Spirited” Callahan
SUBJECT: I’m Back Like a Tornado to a Trailer Park!

Pray be so kind as to drop your pants.

FROM: Marissa “Free Spirited” Callahan
TO: Paul Sunstone
SUBJECT: Re: I’m Back Like a Tornado to a Trailer Park!

Please specify your initial offer re:  opening negotiations for the friendship of my upper thighs.

FROM: Paul Sunstone
To: Marissa “Free Spirited” Callahan
SUBJECT: Re: I’m Back Like a Tornado to a Trailer Park!

Um…don’t know. Maybe, you’re pretty?

FROM: Marissa “Free Spirited” Callahan
TO: Paul Sunstone
SUBJECT: Re: I’m Back Like a Tornado to a Trailer Park!

Demand clarification at once! Is your aim my upper thighs or my toenail clippings? Please specify!

Continue reading “The Manner in Which You and I Resonate”

Advice, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Courtship, Free Spirit, Freedom, Friends, Fun, Human Nature, Ideas, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Loyalty, Marriage, Oppression, Play, Quality of Life, Relationships, Sex, Values

How an Open Relationship Can be Fun and Exciting for Both You and Your Mail Carrier

“If you love somebody, set them free.  If they return to you, it’s beautiful.” — Anonymous, often falsely attributed to Richard Bach.

SUMMARY:  Open relationships in which the partners are by and large free to do as they please aren’t all roses and sparkles, but they can solve some common enough problems with more conventional relationships.

(About a 7 minute read)

Give me a free spirited woman!  After more than twenty years of being happily celibate, I most certainly wouldn’t know what to do with one, but that does not mean I would not — if the right one came along — seriously consider getting into one of those romantic thingies with her.

You know, one of those friendships where you get to do sexy stuff like…um…I forget now.  Oh yeah!  Like blow up condoms and bounce them around the bedroom together!  At least, that’s what I recall condoms are for.  I’m pretty sure they make lousy garbage can liners, so it’s logically got to be balloons, right?

Continue reading “How an Open Relationship Can be Fun and Exciting for Both You and Your Mail Carrier”

Abuse, Adolescent Sexuality, Advice, Courtship, Erotic Love, Ethics, Human Nature, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Mature Love, Morals, New Love, Relationships, Romantic Love, Sex, Sexuality

How Young is Too Young to Love?

SUMMARY:  I discuss two separate questions.  First, how old must someone be to feel love? Second, how mature should someone be to handle love?  I address the first question — which is a factual question — through science.  I address the second question — which is a matter of opinion or judgement — through five measures or standards for maturity.

(About a 12 minute read)

After I had reached puberty, a number of adults — including my mother and some of my teachers — cautioned me and others my age that we were “too young to love”.  No explanation was ever given for why we were too young for romantic love.  It was just so.  Lucky for me, I bought into the idea.

I say I was lucky because during high school I became deeply infatuated with a girl in my class.  Had I not bought into the notion I was too young to love, I might have fancied myself in love with her — which would not only have been factually untrue, but I can only image the trouble it would have caused me at the time to think I was in love with her.

Yet, the question of whether I was too young to love is ambiguous.  It can be interpreted in at least two ways.  First, was I too young to feel love (had I actually felt it)?  Second, was I too young to cope with love?

Continue reading “How Young is Too Young to Love?”

Abuse, Adolescent Sexuality, Attached Love, Courtship, Emotional Dependency, Erotic Love, Human Nature, Infatuation, Life, Love, Lovers, Marriage, Mature Love, New Love, Sex, Sexuality

Women’s Sexuality and Moral Judgementalism

(About a 4 minute read)

Perhaps significantly more than men’s sexuality, women’s sexuality is typically surrounded and wrapped in moral judgements.  Judgements that seem to me to mostly confuse the issue of exactly what is women’s sexuality?

Science can be of too little help here.  Many or most of the scientists themselves might be getting closer and closer to a firm understanding of women, but there is enough controversy in the field that a layman might find it quite difficult which theory — or even which facts — to trust.

Continue reading “Women’s Sexuality and Moral Judgementalism”

Abuse, Alienation From Self, Bad Ideas, Courtship, Cultural Traits, Culture, Don, Erotic Love, Free Spirit, Fun, Guilt, Late Night Thoughts, New Love

Late Night Thoughts: Buttons and Trolls, Courtship and Regrets, Fake Knowledge, Brick Walls, and More (August 13, 2018)

(About a 3 minute read)

There are so many toxic people and places on the net — villainous people who will jump you, not for money, but out of gratuitous outrage, or for some ideology they’re too dull to know better than to swallow whole.

Bloggers have it best.  Almost no trolls.  Every blog comes with a ban button, you see, in order to put the kids to bed so that the adults can have a conversation.

♦♦♦

If humans had better foresight, there just would not be a whole lot of men who fail to ever ask out that woman.  You know, that woman they’re going to keenly regret never having made an effort for, never having courted at all — regret in about twenty years.

Continue reading “Late Night Thoughts: Buttons and Trolls, Courtship and Regrets, Fake Knowledge, Brick Walls, and More (August 13, 2018)”

Celibacy, Courtship, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Happiness, Honesty, Late Night Thoughts, Lovers, Marriage, Poetry, Relationships, Seduction, Sexuality

Late Night Thoughts: Prose and Poetry, Children and Judgement, Priests and Celibacy, Culture and Change, plus more (July 31, 2018)

(About a 4 minute read)

Some of us who publish our poetry on the internet care more to get an idea across than get it across poetically.

We might break our sentences
Into several lines
As if they were poems
But they really are
Prose.

There’s no crime in it, of course. The gods know life has so many much bigger things to worry about than whether someone likes getting his or her ideas across more than they

Continue reading “Late Night Thoughts: Prose and Poetry, Children and Judgement, Priests and Celibacy, Culture and Change, plus more (July 31, 2018)”

Courtship, Family, Life, Love, Lovers, Marriage, Quality of Life, Relationships, Teresums

Why We Should Marry Someone We Like to Fight With

(About a 4 minute read)

Well, I tried.  I tried to come up with a post title that more accurately described my topic than the one you see, but alas!  The Great Muse of Titles was indifferent to me today, not even responding to my promises to generously sacrifice the annoying Teresums if she gave better than I got.

So to be more precise than my necessarily brief post title, have you ever wondered why so many articles and columns advising people on what to look for in a potential spouse fail to note the full importance of finding someone who fights you — when you do get into fights — in a way that you yourself can accept and respect?

Just yesterday, I overheard a conversation between two extraordinarily knowledgeable and impressively wise authorities on marriage in which both parties raised exactly that point and then went on to agree that actually liking — in the sense of “approving of” — your partner’s style of fighting you is a solid, but quite often overlooked, key to a successful marriage.

That’s to say, my cleaning lady, Evelyn, and I were talking about it with each other.  Moreover, I was listening — really listening — to both of us because  I fully possess the virtue of having great respect for people I deem to be authorities on any given subject, even if one of those people happens to be me.  Call me a “fool” about most things if you must, but I certainly do not tolerate harboring any ugly biases against myself.  Instead, I have standards.  High standards that I passionately and stubbornly enforce.

In my both admittedly limited experience and just as admittedly unlimited opinions, a whole lot of new couples simply cannot image they will ever get into a serious fight with each other — let alone a fair number of serious fights over the years.  Such idealism!

Actually,  my own mother believed that for quite some years.  Her mother and father were quite adamant about never fighting in front of their children.  Never.  They’d send her and her sister off to play, then retreat to their bedroom where, behind the closed door, they’d fight without raising their voices loud enough to be overheard.

Mom grew up thinking her parents never fought, but of course, she eventually figured out that all couples fight sooner or later — which I too believe to be true.  As does my cleaning lady.  There you have it — a three person consensus of experts in the field.  What more do you want?

I’ve had two wives, but never a wife I was truly compatible with when it came to fighting — and I think that tells you one of the reasons I am now twice divorced.

I was least compatible with my second wife.  Despite that I loved and cherished her, she was abusive, and so I involuntarily lost a bit of respect for her each time we fought, until there wasn’t enough respect left to glue us together.  When I left her, I didn’t emotionally suffer even for a day.

Make no mistake:  Respect was key.  Not love — I loved her long after I left her for, among other things, she was as brilliant as she was cruel.  But respect, more than love, is what solidifies a couple.

Or so the scientists tell us.  Following a series of somewhat controversial studies, John Gottman theorized that contempt — the opposite of respect — was the signal most significant factor leading to divorce in young couples.   Gottman is considered by some to be the leading scientist on the subject of why couples divorce, and he seems quite confident that a lack of respect is more telling than even a lack of love in determining whether a relatively young couple will make it together for more than a few years.

I think it’s a fair presumption that a man as well informed and wise on the subject as Gottman is bound to agree with Evelyn and me that folks should definitely not get married unless and until they know just how their potential spouse fights, and they approve of his or her style well enough to still respect them afterwards.

Comments?  Questions?  Unholy offers to email me tasteful, but subversive, nude selfies in order to poignantly remind me of what I’m missing by remaining voluntarily celibate?  Self-flattering screeds on how your natural body orders are a pleasing stench in the nostrils of the gods?

Attached Love, Coffee Shop Folks, Courtship, Erotic Love, Happiness, Infatuation, Jackie, Love, Lovers, Marriage, New Love, Quality of Life, Relationships, Romantic Love, Sexuality

Should You be Friends Before You Become Lovers?

(About a 3 minute read)

“I’m here, sir, to ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage.”

“Do you like her, boy?”

“Sir, I love her more than I love anything else in the world!”

“I didn’t ask if you loved her, I asked if you liked her. Love is wonderful, but love isn’t enough by itself to get you though the arguments and tough times any husband and wife will have.”

(An old movie, the title of which I’ve forgotten.)​

There was a comet in the sky that fall, and ostensibly, Jackie and I had come out on the porch at dusk to sit under a blanket and watch it. But Jackie soon began talking about “boys”.

She was 17 that year, and though she hadn’t much experience of boys, she went into great detail about her relationships with them. It took her two hours to cover the topic, and she wrapped things up with a simple question, “What do I have to do to keep a boy? I’ll do anything you tell me to do. I’ll change myself in any way. But tell me what I have to do.”

I suggested she was looking at it the wrong way. It might not be best for her to think about changing herself to suit boys, but rather best for her to be true to herself. The boys who really loved her for who she was would appreciate that. She politely thanked me and we wandered off our separate ways.

About ten months later, Jackie stopped me on the street one day to tell me my advice had not made immediate sense to her. But she had thought about it, and over the past month or so, it had begun to click.

I think Jackie had a point. It can be hard to fully understand what it means to be true to oneself, and even more so, see the importance of that in our sexual relationships with people. But my advice didn’t really go far enough.

Had I been thinking that night of the comet, I would have gone on to suggest to Jackie that she pick her lovers from among her friends. That is, that she become friends with someone before becoming a lover to them, when at all possible.

Now, tons of folks might disagree with me there. They tell me they don’t want to do that because they’re scared of “ruining a good friendship”. Normally, I’d respect that, but in this case, I think that’s crazy talk. You can’t ruin a good friendship by becoming lovers. You can only reveal or unmask a “good” friendship for what it really is — a bad friendship. Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s your choice whether you want to risk that.

Beyond that, befriending someone before becoming their lover is perhaps the best way to get to intimately know who they are as a person before you get so involved with them that it becomes hard to extricate yourself from the relationship, should that be wise to do.

Moreover, it’s much easier to see who someone is when you are not sexually passionate about them. But perhaps the best reason to pick your lovers from among your friends is that love is seldom if ever enough on which to base a committed, long term relationship.

It’s not just that, soon enough, giddy-headed romantic love wears off. Romantic love is usually replaced by a deeper bond. It’s that friendship is insurance of a more comprehensive relationship than love. You can love someone without actually liking them, but when that happens, your relationship tends to come down to little more than sex. Friendship guards against that.

Of course,  plenty of couples come together as lovers before they develop friendships for each other.  I’m not arguing that folks should absolutely forgo any romantic relationships unless they’re friends first.  But I do believe there are advantages to first being friends.

So, ideally speaking, should you be friends with someone before you become lovers?

Abuse, Alienation From Self, Authenticity, Bad Ideas, Being True To Yourself, Courtship, Family, Fatherless Daughters, Fatherless Girls, Happiness, Life, Love, Lovers, Marriage, New Love, Quality of Life, Relationships, Romantic Love, Sexuality

Seven Key Things You Should Do to Find the Right Lover (For Young Women Especially)

(About a 17 minute read)

It is only natural that, as we get older, our tastes in entertainment change.  Mine sure have.  At sixty, the days when I enjoyed showing up at church socials disguised as a United States Department of Agriculture Dairy Products Inspector in order to plausibly announce that I had discovered salmonella in the ice cream are long gone.  So, too, are the hours I once spent calling random strangers at suppertime pretending to be a telemarketer selling “the most exciting brand of mint flavored dental floss you and your family will ever enjoy in your whole lifetimes! Can I put you down for six cases?”.

Nowadays, I have adopted more dignified entertainments, the chief of which is corrupting the youth.  For I have found — like so many people before me — that corrupting the youth is the natural joy and bliss of old people.

I confess, however, that I’m something of a snob about it.  That is, I’m very picky about the ways in which I endeavor to corrupt the youth.  For instance, I disdain giving the traditional advice:  “Work hard, become a cog in the machine, support the status quo, and you too will become your own man.”  Or, “Dress modestly, keep your eyes downcast, and walk in a way that does not tempt men to look at you with lust in their hearts and you too will be rewarded with a wonderful husband devoted to making you happy and blessed.”

No, while I do find such old fashioned advice an effective way to corrupt the youth, I also find it much too cliché for an advice-snob like me.  Consequently, I have specialized in — to put it indelicately — advising young people on how to get laid by someone they want to get laid by.   Just yesterday, for instance, on this very blog I published, The Most Basic Way to Find a Lover (For Men) — for, as everyone knows, nothing corrupts young men like getting laid.

So today I aim to do the same disservice to young women with this post.  Of course, nothing is more scandalously corrupting for a young woman than for her to empower herself to get laid on her own terms.  So precisely that is the real core of this post.  This is all about how to empower yourself by doing seven key things that will dramatically increase your chances of finding the right lover for you.

Naturally, I am eminently unqualified to be offering this advice.  After all, I am an old man here advising young women!  But an excess of sanity has never been one of my weaknesses.  Hence, I must caution any young women reading this that the advice they are about to receive should be embraced with due caution.  Obviously, my advice is not based on personal experience.  Most of it comes from observation, a little of it comes from science, and some of it comes from women close to my own age who’ve told me things they wish they’d known when they themselves were younger.

The only claim I make about the quality of this advice is that it’s stuff I’ve considered and mulled over for years — decades in some cases.   Life can be very strange at times, and — in a way — one of the strangest things that ever happened to me was to have once served as the confident of dozens of young women (and young men, too).   That was about twenty years ago.  Circumstances put me in a position that I did not intend to find myself in, but which eventually resulted in my thinking long and hard about many of things I’ll be writing about today.  Now, with that said, let’s gallop on to the first golden nugget of wisdom  bit of wise advice   insightful observation  old fart’s opinion about what many young women should and should not be doing.

• We start today with what might possibly be the weirdest, most unconventional, bit of dating advice you’ll ever hear from the mouth of an old man:  Ladies, get a hobby!

It doesn’t matter what your hobby is.   So long as it fits you, it can be anything from mud wrestling to sewing your own clothing.  By “fits you”, I simply mean that it should be something you can become good at.   Becoming good at it is key.  But you should get a hobby even if that means putting a lot of time and effort into it.

One young woman I know — a woman I once nannied for a few years — had few interests outside of babysitting.  But she nearly turned babysitting into an art.  She read up on her subject.  She planned her sessions with extraordinary care and creativity.  She kept a diary of how her sessions went, and of the lessons she learned from them.  You can turn just about anything into a hobby, but you should pick something you can become excellent at.

My advice here isn’t based on any grand theory of human psychology.  It’s based on observation.  I have noticed over the years that women who have some interest, something outside of — or apart from — men, that they are passionate about are much more likely to weather the ups and downs of finding a decent lover than women who don’t.  They are not only more resilient, but so far as I can tell, they are happier.  And — for some reason — this is especially true of fatherless girls.

• A friend of mine — a woman a few years older than me — once told me, “If young women understood their ‘pussy power’, they’d rule the world.  The trouble is, it’s only us older women who understand it, and then not even all of us.”   And she’s not the only older woman who has told me much the same thing.  But even if no one had told me about it, I could still testify to the “power of the pussy” based on my own experience as a young man.   The thing is, most young women strike me as nearly clueless about it.

All else being equal, women usually — not always, but usually — have the upper hand in the early stages of any relationship.  Especially in the very early stages.  That is, if they recognize their power and act on it.  Yet so many young women behave as if the terms of their relationship are up to the man.  All too often, they are reluctant to express their legitimate wants and needs; they “compromise” by caving in, perhaps with the expectation that they’ll work things out more to their favor later on in the relationship; and they do not enforce clear and consistent boundaries, among other things.

There are probably dozens of reasons — both biological and social — that women do not take full advantage of their pussy power.  But rather than get into those here, let’s just say that anytime a man wants a woman, even if it’s only for a one night stand, the woman has at least some significant degree of leverage over him.  There is an excellent little book called, You Can Negotiate Anything.  Buy it, borrow it, steal it — but read it.

To be perfectly clear, pussy power is not about using sex to manipulate a man.  Giving or withholding sex in order to get your way is poison to any healthy relationship.  Both men and women are fools if they do it while still expecting to have a loving relationship.  But that’s not what pussy power is about.  Pussy power is about recognizing that you have the leverage — as a woman, an individual, and a human — to negotiate the terms of your relationship as at least an equal to your partner, and quite possibly a bit more than equal (especially early on in a relationship, when it can count the most).  This is an important thing to realize because so often young women imagine they are either relatively weak or powerless in a relationship.

I know some people will think I’m offering pretty cold advice here, but it only seems that way.  With few exceptions, there is no genuine romance or warmth in a one-sided relationship.  If you think you can get what you need — much less what you want — by leaving everything up to the man, by surrendering all control and initiative in the relationship to him, you should deeply ponder just how likely that is to work out well for you.

Society trains women to defer to men, to put men’s wants and needs above their own.  But that’s not how a true partnership works.  You have every right — and every happy reason — to be the equal of your partner.  Are you worried a man might not like that? Then accept the fact that, regardless of whatever tough-guy front he might put on, he’s basically a weak, insecure man, and either chose a different partner, or at the very least, realize you’re going to have to pay for his insecurities one way or another.

If you want to make things exciting for a man, be a person in her own right. Do him a favor — give him something to cherish and love that’s more than a doormat.  If he’s a genuinely strong man, being a genuinely strong woman isn’t going to dismay him — it’s going to excite him, challenge him to be the best he can be.  As long as you don’t use your pussy power to actually abuse a man, you will do just fine to use it.

• One of the hardest things for anyone — regardless of age or sex — to do is to be true to themselves.  And just about no one is perfect at it.  But failing to be substantially true to yourself when looking for a lover can have catastrophic consequences.

It’s easy to understand why.  If you put on a false front with people you will (1) attract folks who like the false you, but probably not the real you; and (2) you will repel folks who don’t like the false you, but might have liked the real you.   In either case, you are increasing the odds of ending up with a lover who really doesn’t like you.  Not the real you.   And few things are more problematic than that.

Put differently, you should be as  true as possible to yourself in order to give those people who like you a chance to like you, and also in order to get rid of those people who do not like you.  It’s really that simple.  But how important it is to be true to yourself is easily overlooked.  For much more information on being true to yourself, see my post here.

•  There is a sense or way in which a very large number of people put less time and effort into choosing a lover than they do into choosing a laundry detergent.  That is, they might try, compare, and weigh a half dozen laundry detergents before settling on one brand of detergent that meets their needs, but nevertheless rush headlong into a partnership with the first or second person that comes along.

This seems to be especially true when sex is involved.  I’m all for sex.  I think it’s a great thing yada yada yada.  But I’m appalled at how many people stick with someone simply because he (or she) was “the first”.

To be sure, sometimes the first or second person happens to be the best bet.  But the odds of your knowing that without doing some comparative shopping, so to speak, seem to me to be fairly low.  You don’t have to ditch the first or second person who comes along in order to do some shopping.  You just have to refuse to immediately commit to a monogamous relationship with them.  Don’t think you have the leverage to do that?  Remember pussy power.

You should ask yourself whether you want a mediocre love life, or something better, even much better.  If all you’re looking for is “passably good enough”, then by all means, jump on the first boat leaving the dock.  But if you want more than that, prepare yourself for some serious comparative shopping.  After all, there are approximately 3.5 billion men in this world.  What do you think are your chances you can’t find a stellar lover out of that large of a pool of candidates?

•  Every young woman these days knows that Prince Charming is a myth, right?  We’re way past the age in which young women waited patiently for Him to come along, sweep them off their feet, and make them forever and ever happy, right?  But if that’s the case, then how come so many young women are still waiting for their prince?  You don’t need to consciously profess to believe in a Prince Charming to unconsciously be waiting for one.

It seems to me that one of the biggest myths our society teaches us about a woman’s role in finding the right lover for her is that her role is essentially passive.  I think most men believe that myth, and at least all too many young women do as well.  The myth, however, is diddly-do-squat, to use the technical term for it.

About forty years ago, a study — perhaps the first scientific study — was done on courtship behavior in humans.  If I recall, a group of graduate students were sent to the bars to observe what really happens between men and women meeting for the first time.  After hours and hours of observation, the students reported back that their hang overs were killing them it is actually the women who most often initiate the contacts!

What happens is that a woman in effect signals a man to approach her by any of several means, the most common of which is to simply smile at him while making eye contact.  After being signaled, often repeatedly, the man most likely approaches the woman, introduces himself, and the two of them then sort out their chemistry or lack thereof.  In other words, courtship behavior in humans is typically initiated by the woman.

Every single relevant study of human courtship behavior (that I’m aware of) since that first one has found pretty much the same thing.  Up to 90% of the time, the woman initiates contact.

Yes, it sometimes does happen that a really good lover comes along to a woman who has taken no more initiative to find him than to wait patiently for his arrival.  But just about anything “sometimes happens”.  What I’ve seen much more often is that a poor fit comes along and that poor fit is then blown up way out of proportion by the woman’s hopes and dreams that he’s a prince.

Your odds of finding a great lover dramatically improve if you put yourself out there and make things happen.  Yes it requires time and effort to meet people, but look at the potential pay off!  People complain over and over about how frustrating and grueling the “dating scene” is.  But that’s life.  Most things don’t fall in your lap: You have to work for them.

•  This might be the single most important bit of advice I can give you.   It’s simple in theory, but often hard to do in practice.  Yet do it you must if you are going to be happy.

When you meet an abuser, move on.  Don’t try to reform him.  Don’t try to save him.  Don’t try to change him.  You aren’t going to win that one.   Move on just as soon as you safely can after identifying him as an abuser, and regardless of any excuses you or he can think of for you to stay.

How do you know he’s an abuser?  Early on, it can be hard to tell in many cases because abusers tend to be quite charming up until they sense you have become committed to them.  Then they unleash hell on you.  But if you find someone who:

  • Fails to keep in check any possessiveness or jealousy they feel
  • Believes that you — and not they — are responsible for their feelings, especially any feelings they have of possessiveness, jealousy, and lust.
  • Bad-mouths their ex’s (especially in a one-sided manner, as if there was never anything good about the people they’ve been with in the past)
  • Tells you you’re not like all the rest, meaning you’re not as bad as the rest
  • Has a low opinion of women in general, and plenty of “reasons” to excuse his low opinion
  • Makes you feel uncomfortable to be yourself
  • Freely and sincerely criticizes you in front of others
  • Tries to isolate you from your friends and family
  • Wants to control you, especially your sexuality, but also in any other way tries to control you (influence you, yes; control you, no)
  • Attempts to change you into a person you are not.  That is, change you against your nature, against who you are as a person

If any of the above are true of someone, then the chances are good you’ve got hold of an abuser.  However, the surest sign is the last: They want to change you in ways that go against your nature, against who you are as a person.  That is, they want you to not be true to yourself.  And the only exceptions to that rule are if and when they try to change you because being true to yourself would genuinely harm you or harm others.

If you had a poor relationship with your primary care giver (mother, father, grandparent, etc), or you are a fatherless girl, then please be especially cautious about the potential of getting into an abusive relationship.

It can be difficult to leave an abuser, but the longer you stay with him, the harder it will get.  Seek professional help if you are having difficulty leaving him — your situation is that serious, whether you fully realize it or not.

• Keep up your relationships with your friends and family.  It always surprises me how many woman, once they find a lover, suddenly disappear — or all but disappear — from the lives of their friends and family.  That’s a mistake.

Early on in a relationship, your lover might seem like someone who can be everything to you — friend, confident, companion, partner, etc — but as time goes on, you’ll almost certainly find that he simply cannot be excellent at all those things.

Moreover, it’s not fair to expect him to be everything to you.  That sort of expectation belongs to fairy tales, and imposes on him a huge burden that, if he takes it seriously, will probably drive him to alcohol, drugs, or even blogging.  Do both him and you a huge favor by keeping up with your family and friends.

Besides, if worse comes to worse, they are your lifelines.  They are the people who — if the relationship doesn’t work out — you will need to help you pick yourself up and bounce back from the thing.

That pretty much wraps up all the advice I’ve got for you today.  To recap, here are the seven points in bullet form:

  • Get a hobby (Cultivate a passion in life apart from men)
  • Understand and use your pussy power
  • Be true to yourself
  • Shop around a bit
  • Seize the initiative by putting yourself out there
  • Move on from abusers ASAP
  • Keep in touch with your friends and family

I’m acutely aware of the fact that my advice is not comprehensive — that’s there plenty of good advice for young women I haven’t covered here.  I am hoping that my readers will chip in and offer their own sage advice.  Please feel free to do so!

If you feel grateful to me for this post (unlikely) or feel grateful to me for finally ending it (very likely), then you should consider buying from me a case or two of the gosh darn best, most exciting mint flavored dental floss you’re apt to ever enjoy during your whole lifetime!  Why go yet another dreary day without the tingling, fresh gums you know you deserve as a human?  Simply call me, your Uncle Sunstone, at 1-888-SCAM.  Please have your credit card handy!


EDIT: Sheri Kennedy has offered some excellent advice in the comments to this post.  See her advice here.

Courtship, Family, Love, Marriage, Quality of Life, Relationships, Sexuality

Courtship in Humans

Is heterosexual courtship and mating behavior naturally initiated and controlled mostly by the man or mostly by the woman?

In a way, the question is an easy one to answer.  It has been suspected by science since at least the 1970s, and known to science since at least the 1980s, that in humans, women naturally initiate and control courtship and mating behaviors.  But what complicates that answer to our question is the perhaps better known fact that humans have, in one society after the other,  and through-out our history, employed various methods to severely limit, and to even destroy, women’s ability to initiate and control sexual relationships.  Consequently, anyone who looks around the world today is apt to find the question at least a little confusing.

In some societies, they will find women possess a great deal of power over courtship and mating.  In other societies, they will find child brides forced against their wills into marriages with much older men.   And then they will find everything in between those extremes.  So what is really the case, here?  Is it more natural for women or for men to initiate and control courtship and mating behavior?

Well, if the science is to be believed, it is more natural for women to initiate and control courtship and mating behavior.  As one scientist somewhere says, “Men seek sex and women control the access to it.”

Of course, if women did not — ever — initiate and control courtship and mating, then why would some societies ever find it necessary to oppress women’s ability to initiate and control it?  I think it can be reasonably argued that the fact so many societies and cultures find it necessary to oppress women’s choice in this matter is moderate evidence that women — unlike the females of some species — are naturally prone to managing their own courtship and mating.

I suppose that someday we will know precisely which gene or genes are responsible for the ubiquitous courting behaviors — the behaviors that are found the world over as opposed to the behaviors that are found only in certain cultures or societies.  It seems highly implausible to me that the ubiquitous courting behaviors would lack a genetic basis.   In other words, I think we can expect women to be genetically predisposed to managing their own courtship and mating.   After all, the ubiquitous courting behaviors — as opposed to those found only in specific societies and cultures — are almost always initiated and controlled by the woman.

Some of the ubiquitous courtship behaviors were first described as long ago as 1971:

Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1971) used two approaches to describe flirting behavior in people from diverse cultural backgrounds (Balinese, Papuans, French, and Wakiu Indians). Employing a camera fitted with right-angle lenses to film people without their knowledge, he found that an eyebrow flash combined with a smile was a common courtship behavior. Secondly, through comments made to women, Eibl-Eibesfeldt was able to elicit the “coy glance”–an expression combining a half-smile and lowered eyes. Looking at a variety of cultures, he found flirting to be prevalent and very much the same the world over. People attracted to one another also made small touching movements, moved closer together than normal, nodded in agreement, used their hands to emphasize points, moistened their lips often, and held the other’s gaze.

By the middle of the decade, it was beginning to be documented that the woman, and not the man, initiated and controlled the behaviors:

Kendon (1975) then covertly filmed a couple seated on a park bench in order to record the role of facial expressions during a kissing round. It was the woman’s behaviors, particularly her facial expressions, that functioned as a determinant in modulating the behaviors of the man. Similarly, Cary (1976) showed that it was the woman’s behavior that was important in initiating conversation between strangers. Both in laboratory settings and in singles’ bars or dance clubs, conversation was initiated only after the woman glanced at the man more than once. Cary argued that experienced men looked for the woman who signaled her interest in them and that her glances and smiles, in essence, granted them permission to start a conversation.

Later studies confirmed the earlier observations.   So much so that, by 1989, scientists were able to reliably predict the outcome of courtships based on observations of the woman’s behavior alone.

To be sure, there is evidence that courtship and mating behaviors are not entirely controlled by the woman.  At least one study has suggested that, during the late phases of courtship, immediately prior to sex, the woman typically hands off control to the man and he takes over.

Just how important is courtship to humans?  Every generation or so, someone rises up to declare “courtship is dead”.  In America, this has been going on since at least the 1800s.  But what such people mean by “courtship” is almost always the sort of courtship behavior that is determined by culture, rather than by genes.

Such culturally determined courtship behaviors are not nearly so important to us humans as our genetically predisposed behaviors.   It does not seem to profoundly matter to us whether we receive chocolate instead of sugar plums,  or roses instead of orchids.   But that we receive some kind of gifts is far more crucial to the human psyche.  So, fundamentally, courtship does matter.  Two psychologists, after studying the issue for some time, concluded thatdysfunctional courtships led directly to dysfunctional relationships.”

All of the above has strong implications for any ideology of marriage and family life.  While it cannot be said that anything which is natural is morally right, it can be said that one is wise to oppose nature only reluctantly and with great caution.  If women naturally initiate and control the early to middle stages of courtship and mating, then that does not mean any and all efforts to limit women’s management of those things are automatically immoral — but I think it certainly does mean that the burden of proving such limits are right and moral lies with those who propose such limits.   Recall, the price for going against nature in this case might well be a twisted, dysfunctional marriage.

We should not mess with nature lightly.

 

Art, Courtship, Erotic Love, Giving, Love, Mature Love, New Love, Poetry, Relationships, Romantic Love, Sexuality

“Valentine” by Carol Ann Duffy

VALENTINE

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

Here.
It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
A wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Carol Ann Duffy