Category: More sex and relationship

The season of Sex. Great fall date night suggestions to take advantage of snuggling under the covers weather.

Did you know that there is a season for sex? It turns out it’s fall when moose, sheep and apparently people go into mating season and start to rut. There is a Newfie poem with the phrase “when the frost is on the pumpkin now that’s the time for dinky dunking”. It’s not particularly eloquent but it sums up the human reproductive trends.

According to Psychology Today, fertility peaks between 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s definitely fall weather.

“Human physiology indicates that we are also seasonal breeders. To be more specific, sex hormones, including testosterone, peak in the fall and are at their lowest in the summer. Early researchers made the mistake of focusing mainly on men who have a comparatively weak annual cycle. Women emerge as having a more pronounced increase in testosterone production in the fall that is double their lowest level in the summer (2). This suggests that both sexes would have a higher sex drive in the fall. This is particularly true of women, for whom testosterone is used to boost libido, whereas male testosterone has a less reliable effect on sex drive. Similarly, temperatures lingering mostly between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit are optimal for fertilization, and that corresponds to the cooler fall weather in seasonal countries. One way of interpreting the seasonal effects on human fertility is in terms of the suppression of fertilization when it is very hot (in midsummer) or when it is very cold (in winter).”

That means women are much hornier in the fall. It also means you are more likely to conceive this time of year.

So what can you do to take advantage of the increased sexiness and get women more horizontal?

1. Encourage your partner to wear your jacket or dress shirt. I know we often stretch out the sleeves, but putting pheromones and your masculine scent all over her will make her ovaries start to twitch.

2. Take her costume shopping. Any Halloween store this month is a perfect date night place. They have skanky outfits and it’s the one time of year when you are celebrated for wearing them. They have lots of hunky superhero and viking costumes. And I don’t know any woman who hasn’t fantasized about Robert Downey Jr. as Ironman.

3. Try the corn maze hand in hand. It’s on my bucket list to get lost in one and do naughty things.

4. Find a haunted house. Anything that gets your adrenaline up bonds you as a couple. She will hang onto you.

5. Bonfires and snuggling up around them. They are especially good with one of those pumpkin lattes.

6. Giant leaf piles. When was the last time you rolled in one?

7. We just did one of the local dive through parks where you feed the wildlife carrots from your car. The animals were incredibly active compared to a summer visit. And it’s mating season there too and you might see a reproduction nature documentary in real life.

8. Wine tasting. The harvest is in and the wine is flowing. Our favourite local winemaker (Bluegypsywinery.com) has a chocolate caramel mead (a honey wine) that is called “sex in a glass” and is the best panti-remover around.

9. Get one of those new weighted blankets and snuggle under it. It feels like you are being hugged the entire time you are touching. Makes for great foreplay.

10. Hayrides. We just went on a haunted hayride followed by a bonfire with warm cider. That’s a dating Yatzee. Feel free to beat it.

Why the need for women (and many men) to connect personally – before they put out sexually


I’m often asked during one of my counseling sessions by confused men “why their partners aren’t interested in sex?” I hear from men who are frustrated that “they need to give a 2 hour massage before they can get laid”. For many women I speak to they are frustrated and often irked by their partners because of normal life issues. And if they are miffed at their guys, usually the last thing they want to do is to get naked with them.

It may not seem fair but the need to feel close and connected is one of the fundamentals for women to get uninhibited in the bedroom. Yes, passion can flair during a one-night-stand, but if you really want to know what buttons to push then making a partner feel noticed, appreciated, and emotionally close will throw open the doors to really hot sex. I don’t think men have to be perfectly behaved 100% of the time but they do have to hit women’s “connection button” before women become more interested in being the sexually open partner their men remember.
While men can compartmentalize sex, most women can’t. Women like to think they can just have sex for sex’s sake, but those pesky hormones get in the way. In the case of feeling loved to be horny, it’s all about oxytocin – the cuddle hormone. Women need to feel bonded to get in the mood. And if their partners have been dumbasses throughout the day they feel disconnected. And for most (although not all) women, fighting turns down their sex drive significantly. That doesn’t mean you have to do everything she wants in order to get some action. It means that doing things that make her specifically feel close will overcome any of your daily shortcomings. For example, in my case I’m verbal. Telling me you love me- even if we haven’t had much time together, will cause me to melt and feel close. For other women, it’s doing things that make her life easier. Throwing in a load of laundry, or straightening up the bedroom will go a long way in settling down our daily OCD and making us receptive to sex.

The challenge for most men however, is that they feel loved when they are touched. And touch leads to sexy thoughts. It’s not quite the old adage “that most men want sex to feel close, and women need to feel close to have sex” but there is lots of truth in that statement. The truth is that sex (actually ejaculation) brings down men’s energy and ups their desire to cuddle and connect emotionally. Often the ‘sperm brain phenomenon” gets in the way of the intimacy that women crave. Both men and women need a more accurate, and better communicated list of what they truly need from their mate in order to be sexual.

Doug and Leslie Gustafson have a great quote on the dialogue between men and women before sex.
“Most men have no history of positive role models for how to treat women, what real intimacy looks like and how to translate their needs for closeness into a positive way of pursuing their lover. And this is the rub! Think about it. Women want men who open up their feminine heart and body skillfully. Like a finely wrapped gift, they don’t want the beautiful wrapping paper and ribbon hurriedly ripped off, wadded up and tossed into the garbage. They want to experience profound safety, honor and excitement in how men approach them, hold them and ask to be inside. Men, on the other hand, are quite capable of “paving the way” to intimacy — after the fact. They surrender to their feminine, touchy-feely side during and after sex. During and after!

What a chasm in timing. Men want sex, which helps move them into a deeper connection with all their emotional wants and needs. Women want that deeper connection before the bedroom door opens. Ultimately, they both want the same thing. Passionate, rock-the-bed-stand, earthquake sex with souls bared wide open in tenderness, connection and erotic touch. And orgasms that spell not only physical release, but the intersection of two souls who need a deep kind of love suspended in time, delivered with expertise and boat-floating sexiness.”

So what can you do?

Much of it comes down to self-awareness. Knowing what you need and how to articulate it to your partner. As an example, asking for a hug, or saying “I would really like to fool around later”, or just holding your partner without the expectation of sex can pay big dividends later when you do have time for sex. Alternatively trying to be calm and asking for some gentle touch and eye-gazing (even if you are a bit mad) can close the gap you need to be intimate.

It may seem a bit corny but I really like the research on gratitude statements. A gratitude statement is exactly what it sounds like. Showing appreciation and telling your sweetie what you are grateful for. “One study looked at 36 committed couples. They found that even though relationships have ups and downs, they were reliably marked by one person’s feeling of gratitude. The study concluded that everyday gratitude serves as an important relationship maintenance mechanism, acting as a booster shot to the relationship”. The reverse is also true. When partners (especially men) hear complaints, blame or disrespect, it can have a devastating effect on his testosterone. He then feels neglected and very disconnected.

So praise, touch, gratitude, self-awareness and words of love are some of the best advice I can give people on improving the “disconnected” part of their sex lives. The next time you are being rebuffed for sex, try some praise, and words of love. That may be a better way to get some between the sheets action.

New date night ideas! Pick a suggestion and make a sexy date happen.

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So it’s late summer and the schedules are irregular. Life is good but there are lots of family, and social obligations and chores to be done. Planning a date night with your partner may have gotten lost in the shuffle. It’s definitely time to pick a few ideas and plan something before homework and football games take over.

1.Try a honey tasting! As a beekeeper and honey sommelier I definitely eat my share of honey. Honey has been known for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Honey not only is an excellent sweetener, will never go bad, and can prevent wound infections it also can boost the immune system, relieve seasonal allergies, and improve gut health.
Honey also tastes amazing and has unique flavours based on the geographical location, types of flower nectar sourced by the bees and how the beekeeper has harvested the honey. Time of the year impacts the flavor of honeys. Autumn honeys tend to be darkest and most full-bodied but crystalizes the most quickly. This is the time of year that it is most flavourful and has the most aphrodisiac properties. Buy a few different local honeys (honeys from the grocery store is often cut with other ingredients or pasteurized- killing the healthy enzymes). Blindfold your partner and pour some honey into a glass. Using a clean spoon have them taste the honey and describe the taste. You can kiss them and let them nibble a little green between honeys to cleanse their palates. Have them pick their favourite. Then you get to spread it on you and have them continue the tasting….

2. Send them text bombs or random questions. Make them into paper airplanes, leave them on the bathroom mirror or in their wallets. It’s a fun thing to do if you have some time and want to find something out about your partner you don’t know.
`What’s something you always wanted to do as a child but never got to do it?
`If you were in a witness protection program, what would be your new name and where would you go?
`If you could get away with a crime, would you? If yes, what would it be?
`Who was your first celebrity crush?
`What’s the worst thing you ever did as a child and what was your punishment?
`What is one thing you refuse to share?
`What are two things you would do if you woke up to find yourself completely invisible?
`If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
`If you could be on the cover of any magazine which one would you choose?
`What song would you sing for your American Idol audition?

3. Find the country fairs! Check out the homemade pies, look at the 4 H club livestock judging, go on a merry-go-round, and take in a local band. This is the time of year and there is one on every weekend.

4. Star gazing with foods you haven’t tried before. We like to try mystery fruits. Things like dragonfuit and lychee
and look up at the night sky. This is the best time of year to do this because there aren’t any bugs. You can also do a tailgate picnic in the evening and watch the sun set.

5. Take one of the couple’s cooking classes. Around here the Loblaw’s cooking schools or LCBO classes are fabulous. There is also one every Tuesday night at the Independent at Bank and Somerset where you get a $10 gift card for the $10 class. Loved their pizza making. Playing with dough was sexy.

6. Make a drive-in movie. Lots of people have those projectors that show off computer screens. It can project easily to the side of your house or even a sheet on the wall. But the fun is doing it outside. Run a “drive-in type movie”. Think Indiana Jones, Grease, or The Martian. Sit in the car and make out during it. There is a reason why drive-in’s never go out of style.

How to fall in love (for the first time or again) this Valentine’s Day

fallingHave you noticed that love is in the air this month? It’s that time of year when grocery stores and shopping malls are full of chocolate hearts, red roses and unconditional love seems to be on everyone’s mind. Why is love something that we seem to practice only when Hallmark tells us to? How do we make time for relationships when we are so busy trying to get through work, homework, housework, parenting, elder care, and errands? For many women, it seems like all work and no play. Where did the fun and intimacy go when we fell in love and couldn’t wait to see our partners?

Someone asked me recently what I thought was the secret to great relationships and maintaining the “in love” magic. I said that I thought “it was three hours a week of intimate time where there is sensuous touch, eye contact and conversation that isn’t about work and kids”. I’ve been pushing sensuous date nights for a while with my marriage-counseling clients. It turns out that conversation, touch, and eye gazing really are the secrets to falling (and staying in love) according to the study by Arthur Aron that is getting loads of airplay this Valentine’s season. Aron did a study in 1997 that paired 33 students (who were open to the possibility of falling love with a stranger) and had the couples ask each other 37 personal questions followed by four minutes of eye gazing. The couples in questions felt a tremendous amount of intimacy towards their previously unknown partner. One couple who met during the study actually got married.

So is it that simple? For women, conversation is huge. I used to use random questions from If… the Book of Questions as an ice breaker during my singles and couples workshops. Things like “if you were a carnival ride, which one would you be and why?” Or “What dessert would best describe your personality?” Asking personal questions of someone quickly creates intimacy between individuals and is one of the best ways to rapidly get people talking. And it turns out the type of question you ask helps find the type of relationship you are looking for.

A study by OkCupid.com found more casual questions such as ‘Do you like the taste of beer?’ were more likely to lead to a one-night stand than a long-term relationship. Questions about kids, pets, and favourite books are far more likely to help you find a partner that sticks. So if you are single, make your first dating contact letter full of interest and questions about the other person. That and lots of eye gazing by the third date and you will no doubt stand out from the crowd of many possible suitors.

So what are the elements of great relationships and how do you sustain them? While people have been trying to define love for millennia, as a sex and relationship therapist, in my opinion love is a mix of the pragmatic and the nebulous. I think that in order for love to sustain itself beyond the first year of honeymoon “in love hormones” and to endure, there needs to be a connection in four areas. First there needs to be chemistry. It’s an elusive quality, poorly defined, but critical for great love. Scientists would argue that it is a mixture of pheromones relating to a good genetic match and something else that makes your heart flutter. Secondly, love has a physical component. You need to find that person physically attractive. They don’t need to be body perfect, but there must be some features that really appeal when you see them. There also needs to be a lifestyle and intellectual match. The guy next door or someone most like yourself who becomes your best friend consistently offers the best chance for happiness and longevity in a relationship. Look for someone you have tons in common with even if they don’t seem like “your type” at first glance. Finally the emotional connection of same values leads into bonds that stick even when the going gets tough.

So meet people with commonalties of values, intellect, and lifestyle. You meet a number of them and with one of them the chemistry will hit you between the eyes. For couples who have been together awhile, work on or re-introduce those things that brought you together. Then stir up those cooling embers with intimate conversation and absolutely make time to look into each other’s eyes.

Forget asking for chocolate and flowers. Uninterrupted time, proximity, personal conversation, and face to face touch will pay the biggest dividends this Valentine’s Day.
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Why a New Year’s Mission Statement is so much more effective than resolutions.

I don’t make my own lists of New Year’s resolutions. It’s not that I don’t think they’re relevant — I do, actually. As they say in baseball, “You can’t hit what you can’t see.” Goals are critical. I follow the Warren Buffet school of thought: Set a small number of goals, then focus.

But when you’re one-half of a couple, the targets change. For the last five years I’ve been setting my goals together with my husband — a kind of relationship ‘mission statement’. When you’re in a life partnership with someone you love, I think you need to agree on the big things together.
Not all goals can be shared, of course. (He’s got a healthy eating plan; so do I. But he has a problem with Pop Tarts. I don’t.) But if you want to maintain harmony in the relationship, you need to discuss goals and agree on them together. Maybe you want to start a new business venture, one that would involve a large time commitment. That’s a sacrifice you’re sharing with your partner and family, so the need to be on the same page with them should be obvious. But few couples set out common goals.

In our case, the mission statement is more than just goals or targets. It’s a road map for living together — a statement of shared philosophies and values. I would say that outlining our relationship ‘rules of engagement’ has been one of the single most effective things we’ve done to cement our relationship. (And given the amount of time we spend planning sexy date nights and adventure weekends, that’s saying something.)
Right now we’re on mission statement version 4.0; it’s pasted on the back of our office door. Our mission statements have included things like “stop apologizing for who we are”, “make new friends” and “don’t babysit other adults”. They definitely include a commitment to putting the relationship first — to putting a higher value on home and family than on increased work obligations. We’ve committed to a better quality of ‘quality time’, to date nights, to splitting up the household labour equally. Little things, all of them — but it’s the little things that count in love.

Mr. Buffett and the business school grads would say that our lists don’t follow the classic business format of goal setting, and they’d be right. But that’s the point — these are our values, the things that matter to us.
As a therapist, I often see couples who are drifting apart because they’re losing the interests they once had in common, the things that brought them together in the first place. Setting goals as a couple helps prevent the drift I see as a therapist in couples who have less and less interests in common. The most common reasons for divorce usually surprises most couples. It’s not money problems, extended families or diminished sex or infidelity that are the most common reasons for separation. The most common reason cited to divorce lawyers is absenteeism. This means being either physically or emotionally missing in action. You connect to spend your life with someone, and if they are never there, then well… partners often find themselves looking for a soft place to land. Or they end up in my office on the raggedy edge.

It’s a universal truth that people support what they help to create. Focusing together on a plan that will keep you engaged and pulling in the same direction and defining your core values as a couple is essential. It’s one of the benchmarks I look for as a sign of a healthy relationship. We will be tracking our relationship this holiday. Give it a try. It may make for a great New Years.

How to Celebrate New Year’s With Your Partner

New Years is simply around the corner, in fact it is enough time to create your resolutions (be it more steamy sex, or to get him or her to agree to start trying wilder and crazier things in bed). Most lovers want to move away from the hectic schedules of their life and unwind on New Year’s Eve. In case you are considering about surprising your lover, it is now time to book a fresh Year’s Eve hotel (whether you pay by the hour, or they give you those majestic matching robes).

The easiest method to make your beloved feel special is by focusing on the details. I do invites for romantic evenings with my sweetie. Or, I break out the party panties, the new bottle of massage oil, or just make sure I spend the time looking my best. Lots of people go all out, but I think its paying attention to romance and celebrating the strong emotion between the two of you (eye gazing, hand holding, declarations of love) that make a night like New Year’s memorable. Try to remember to take photos and make videos together which would be considered a joyful memory. Do not forget to kiss at midnight, and mark the early morning hours of the New Year with champagne and sex (maybe get horizontal in your New Years hats)!

I also encourage you to watch the drinking. I used to hate New Year’s Eve because it was just a big drunk. As one friend said, “why do women think they are sexy when they are slurring their words and stumbling around?” Too much alcohol is one of the factors in regular erectile dysfunction. Women can have a couple of drinks to increase your testosterone levels, and help put you in the mood (it really is a panty remover), but too much impairs things for both of you.

I also encourage you to talk together about what the next year looks like for the two of you. I think traditions are important and what holiday days do is to remind me to take a moment and be grateful. And express that love and gratitude. I say that about Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, and I even do it around Halloween (my favorite time of year). New Year’s is a time to ask if we are pulling in the same direction. Read my blog on couple’s mission statements and give it a try this New Year’s. You make be surprised about how impactful it may be.

If you want to explore more date nights in your area check in to whether or not there are some of the Duckling events near you! The fastest social groups of safe, fun, connected communities. Read about it.

Spring courses, Why love is not enough, and new ideas to keep-it-hot

I interviewed Gretchen Rubin, the author of the Happiness Project and happiness expert a few years ago for my radio show. She offered advice like “make sure you make your bed” and “think about trying meditation” as small things you can do to increase happiness. Happiness needs health, career, and community in order to thrive. But before all of that most people define happiness “as directly related to the quality of their intimate relationships”. How many times have you heard the adage “happy wife, happy life” this summer alone? When you have a great relationship the sun shines brighter, food tastes better and we have a bounce to our step. The challenge is that intimate relationships take a ton of work. Hopefully much of that is fun to do. Gottman’s much quoted research about how to predict a couples eventual divorce with 96% accuracy suggests there are a few things not to do. Those include criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and disengaging. But he also suggests that what works is defusing the stress of the day.What’s the most powerful little exercise to improve a marriage? “Reunite at the end of the day and talk about how it went.” The goal is to bleed off stress from the day so it can’t negatively affect your relationship.

So call out your partner. My challenge doesn’t include a bucket of ice. It’s short, medium and long term work this fall. Make a 21 day commitment to check in with your partner at the end of the day NO MATTER WHAT. Do it by skype if you have to. Consider taking a relationship course. I’ve got the gentle “keeping it hot” PG-13 version as well as the x-rated version listed below. If not mine, then find a tantra, or salsa class you can take together this fall. Finally, commit to getting away for a weekend. Relationships absolutely require uninterrupted, intimate time. Your happiness depends on it.

Couples Workshop on intimacy, keeping it hot, and romance

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The new workshop starting this spring

One of the most common questions I get asked from clients is how do you keep up the passion? Especially for people who have been together for a long time. Finding out what’s new in sex, and exploring things you may not have tried is the theme of this new workshop. So if you are asking questions like; What if we want to try something a little more risqué? or How do we try it with grace and integrity? then you may want to consider this workshop for singles and couples. Sex Therapist Sue McGarvie and her husband Blaik Spratt are presenting a 4 week workshop on outlining all of the mild and wild things you can do to create a smoking hot relationship- all without stepping on relationship landmines. This is for couples (and singles) that know they want to ignite the passion within and to learn about new sexual experiences in a safe, professional atmosphere. Sue McGarvie (sex with Sue) has been talking about sex in Ottawa for close to 25 years. Along with her husband Blaik, they can be your tour guides into what might be the best way to safely spark up your love life.

Find out how amazing your sex life could be this September with topics that include:
What turns you on?
Where are you on the sexual continuum? Where is your partner and what does it all mean?
What is your Love Language and how does your sweetie feel loved?
Sensual touch and Tantric sex.
Burlesque, body image and how to move in a sexy way.
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Why simply being in love isn’t enough to make relationships stick

I tell my clients that simply “being in love” isn’t enough to fix all of their problems. Unfortunately, love doesn’t conquer all. With a 52% divorce rate in this country, couples need more tools besides love in order to make relationships sustainable. Things like attraction, similar interests and values, support systems, courtesy and acceptance. You can go to your grave loving someone but if you can’t live with them the relationship is doomed. So what can you do? There is a great article by Mark Manson talking about why this adage is oh-so-true.
Manson calls them three harsh truths about love:

1. Love does not equal compatibility. Just because you fall in love with someone doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good partner for you to be with over the long term. Love is an emotional process; compatibility is a logical process. And the two don’t bleed into one another very well.
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The Ethical Hedonist 2. From Jealousy to BDSM The advanced workshop.

This workshop is for couples who wish to learn and understand the dynamics in enhanced sexual relationships. This course is also recommended for couples who want more information beyond an introduction to what is out there to experience. So if you are asking questions like; How do I bring up and possibly negotiate expanding our sex life to include new forms of play? and If we do walk that path, how do we maximize the experience while minimizing the risk?, then this may well be for you. (There is no requirement to take EH1 before EH2)
Find out how amazing your sex life could be this spring with topics that include:
Week 1 Jealousy, insecurities, anxiety about alternative sexual adventures. Negotiating sexual experimentation, and understanding interpersonal dynamics.
Read More

Sue McGarvie,

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New Top 5 surprising things you can do to keep your marriage magic.

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Great relationships are a gift to everyone else around them. Magic, connected relationships, are what most married couples are hoping to achieve before we go kicking and screaming into the light. Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman come to mind as one such couple (okay, before he died). Conan O’Brien at this week’s White House correspondence dinner suggested that President and Michelle Obama’s marriage is one to emulate. Even old British rockers seem to make it work. Supermodel Iman says about her long time husband David Bowie “my heart still flutters when he walks in the room”.

So what’s the secret to these kind of relationships? According to the survey out this week in Psychology Today, many marriages simply deteriorate because couples allow their relationships to run on ‘autopilot.” Things get stale, but partners somehow expect expect them to stay healthy and exciting without doing the work to keep them that way..
Here are some of the top 5 things you can do to stay the course and have one of those magic marriages.

Sell yourself and your partner on the relationship.
With very few exceptions, we human beings tend to base our sense of self-worth on the things that are most important to us. It’s common to hear people proudly say, “I’m a manager,” or, “I have a really cool car”. But how often do you hear, “I have the world’s greatest partner? Use your words and tell your partner they mean everything to you.

Communicate with three things:
Eye contact, touch and words of love. Ottawa Psychologist Dr. Martin Rovers says these are the most important things we can do with our partners. They emulate our first memories (parents) who give us eye contact, a loving touch, and tell us they love us.

Be clear about how your partner feels love.
It’s the Love Languages message meaning that some people feel love in a different way that you do. I have a friend who needs a hug to feel love, another who lives for the notes her husband puts in her lunch and I desperately need to be told those three little words in order to feel it.

You can’t fix anyone else.
“The more time you spend trying to change your spouse, the less time you have for improving yourself,”. And as I tell my patients, ” I can’t even manage the fish”. You can’t change anyone else, DO NOT think you can. You can only work on yourself. And its time to work.

Date Nights. It’s time to take your sweetie on a date.
When you’re newly in love and in full courtship mode, you do everything you can to spend every free moment with your partner. Eventually though, work, kids, responsibilities, and life in general tend to get in the way of your relationship with your spouse. The two of you stop doing fun things with only one another, and it’s easy to go weeks at a time without having any serious conversations that don’t revolve around work, money, or kids. That’s why it’s imperative to set aside time to date your spouse. Especially date nights. I have a list of 50 sensuous activities to do on a romantic night. Find them on this site and start implementing one a week.

The best new ways to meet the man you can love this spring.

meetingI did a speech this week to a women’s group in a neighboring city. It was a professional women’s association made up of women 35-55. I was doing my talk I like to call “Even Superwomen get Stretchmarks”, about women, intimacy and work/life balance. I was going into the best ways to stay connected with your partner, when one of the women piped up that “she didn’t have a partner so how was she to stay connected?”

The room quickly dissolved into a discussion about being single again (or still). It turns out that in most major metropolitan areas singles constitute over 30% of the population. With a majority of those over the age of 40, being women. Despite being a proponent of smart, targeted online dating, many of the women present had been disappointed by their experiences online dating. So what’s a girl to do?

If you think you are ready to find a relationship I offer up 5 things you have to be aware of, and then a list of the best places to go to meet them.
1. Are you too shallow? Meaning is looks all that matter?
2. Are you are gold digger? Meaning all you care about is how he fills out his wallet?
3. Are you crazy? Is you past issues getting in the way of you finding love?
4. Are you too picky? Do you have a list of partner qualities that even Superman couldn’t fill?
5.Do you have that scent of desperation? Do you already have your wedding planned out and just need to “insert some groom here?” Are you rushing the relationship?
6. Are you a doormat? Are you willing to overlook any poor behavior in order to have a partner?

If you can honestly say that the above questions don’t apply to you then read on. If they do, send me an email at radioshrink@rogers.com and lets work through them either in person or by skype/webcam sessions.

If you’re ready then make an appointment at the spa, look as good as you can be and pick out a man hunting outfit that you feel confident and sexy in. Get up to speed on current events (I read Time Magazine’s website) and find a wingman. A wingman is a girlfriend or buddy you can go to events with.

Here’s the list of great places to frequent to meet that new partner.
1. Crash a party or wedding. It takes guts but if you’re well dressed and confident you can meet a whole new group of people. The best excuse is that you are scoping the venue as you are planning a future event.
2. Moonlighting. My favorite idea is the contracting desk at Home Depot where all those masculine guys with tool belts hang out. Go work at a sporting event, bar, or somewhere men congregate.
3. Go to as many parties as you can. Every Christmas when I was single four friends and I would swap Xmas party invites. I went to the chiropractic parties, my friend Dirk would come to my medical events, and we both would go to Betina’s law events. The food was always great at those. I met people who’s paths I would seldom cross.
4. Food/wine tasting. I love those things. You may have to diet the week following, but in Ontario the LCBO has lots of classes, as many of the upscale restaurants.
5. Co-ed volleyball. Bar none the best place I’ve heard of to meet fit, interesting men.
6. The same can be said of pool/bowling leagues, and believe it or not, latin dance classes.
7. Car shows. The place is crowded with men, and they are all imagine you lying across the hoods of those shiny vehicles.
8. Dog walking. Borrow a friend’s if you don’t have one. It’s a fabulous way to make friends.
9. Golf club. Take lessons from the pro and get out there. One of life’s social activities like skiing that helps you connect.
10. Investment seminar. Or upscale retirement living seminar if you are of that generation. Don’t commit to anything but get some tips and mingle.

A few years ago my husband and I started The Ducklings- a date night group for singles and couples. It’s now in 3 cities and has over 5,000 members. Our mission statement is about sexy but safe adventures. I like to say that it’s a group of people trying not to turn into their parents. Read about it and join us!

Why women want sex on the beach….. or When in Rome.

Have you ever had sex on a beach?
No, I’m not talking about the cocktail with orange juice and vodka. I’m talking about sand in your bathing suit and fish nibbling on your toes kind of sex. Think of the “From Here to Eternity” scene where the couple is making out, rolling around in the surf and dream about how hot and exciting that looked. Many women associate the shore with spontaneity and vacation memories. The smell of salt, coconut tanning lotion are often triggers to some of our earliest sensuous feelings and are one of the top reasons that beaches are primary travel destinations for women.
So what is it about frolicking in unusual places that seems so enticing? When I speak to women about the best sex of their lives they invariably talk about parking, picnic blankets, or any place outside of the bedroom as their most memorable romps. They also talk to me about long, extended bouts of foreplay and the anticipation and excitement of the situation- rather than the actual deed. Men alternatively, seem to prefer interesting positions and extra long duration as their best sex. For guys, first time (new) partners or crazy new positions are the hottest. That along with spontaneous sex is the basis of most male oriented erotica. But women seem to like to experience sex al fresco. An unusual location allows women “to be carried away by the moment”. Women describe to me that the best sex is where they were able to be truly uninhibited. You aren’t likely to run into your neighbors on holidays, so vacationers are less concerned about knowing someone who might interfere with their day to day lives. The fear of getting caught appeals to some people’s exhibitionist tendencies, while knowing that “what goes on, on vacation, stays on vacation helps to relieve apprehension about being frisky.”
I have one colleague who describes herself as “Clark Kent while at home” and who only wants to travel to adult only vacation resorts where she lets out her wild self with her husband. She claims her “holiday alter ego” keeps her sane and connected through the rest of the year.
It turns out that many Canadian women have a fantasy about beach sex. In a new Ipsos Reid survey done for tripcentral.ca, 43% of women admitted that they had sex outside of their hotel room while on holidays. These women fantasized about sauna sex, hammock sex, public bathroom sex, and just about other private and romantic spot you can think of while on holiday. When I spoke to a number of women at a women’s conference recently, they told me that finding a private, tropical location for intimacy seems hugely romantic. Feeling the breeze on your skin, the sand between your toes—stimuli are very sensual and lends itself well to wild passionate love making. Many women want to be that fun and saucy partner, but clearing your head for sex takes time. It’s hard to do amongst the laundry, work, dishes and homework that make up most women’s day to day lives. One of my patients said “I have to work hard not to think about the grocery list or other mental distractions when getting in the mood. I think everyone needs sexual adventures in their lives. It keeps your sex life fresh, your adrenaline kicking in, and it gives you something to daydream about during those dreary February days sitting at your desk. One of the boot camp activities I do with couples involves “out of your comfort zone” adrenaline encouraging activities. This is everything from salsa dancing to white water rafting. The military uses adrenaline producing activities to bond “a band of brothers”. The same thing can happen during heart-pumping holiday sex. And according to the Ipsos Reid poll, at least 10% of the 1000 women surveyed had sex on a boat or in the hot tub.
I often ask my sex therapy patients how much sex they have on holidays. It’s a great barometer of the health of a couple’s sex life. If you have no outside stress, and your only decision of the day is a Mojito or Margarita, how easy is it to re-kindle some of that waning passion? Given that I think everyone needs sensual adventures, a great romantic holiday is one of the best things you can do for your relationship. It can certainly help your sex life.
And in keeping with the survey results, if you can sneak out for some discreet shagging outside of the hotel room then the vacation ranks up there with the best sex of your life.

4 tips to keep your relationship hot by dealing with your emotional baggage

Everyone comes into a relationship with sensitivities from a previous relationship. Even if it is your first great love you may have dealt with tempers, substance abuse, parental infidelities that impact yor current relationship.

The key to keeping it hot going forward is to own your past and not to let it get the best of you going forward.

1. You have an ex with a bad temper.
This means you are skittish about conflict. Realize conflict happens in all relationships. It’s about how you fight- not that you fight. You need to stop it before it gets ugly or anyone says something you don’t want to say. But you also have to understand that running away or pulling back at the first sign of frustration also doesn’t work. I remind my patients of the adage “the calmest person in the room always wins”.

2. Your previous partner cheated.
This means you are going to be distrustful and look into anything that might not seem kosher overly closely. Declare this upfront. And mention that ambivalent of wishy-washy information will cause your antennae to come up. Even if they are completely innocent.

3. Your ex made negative comments about how you looked.
Remind yourself that person was a dweeb. Usually it was because they are insecure and needed to put you down in order to feel better. If you don’t have a guy that tells you that you are beautiful LEAVE. Hwever don’t be insecure with your new one always fishing for compliments. Do go to the gym, the spa and do things to look good. It’s important to feel good in you own skin. The opposite sex finds that sexier above all.

4. Your past relationships have hit the bottle too hard.
You have to understand your values in this department. In my books there is a zero tolerance for things like being impaired at work, or when you have to drive, or being responsible for kids. On the other hand drinking responsibly with friends is fine. You need to outline your comfort level and remove yourself if you aren’t comfortable. Be realistic and don’t project. But also know that substance abuse is a deal breaker in any relationship as the partner will be at the emotional age of a teenager.

I’m working on a blog about “best hacks that psychologists use on themselves to fix their own emotional issues”.
A quick cheat sheet is that my top three are:
1. Emotional Freedom technique. Tapping on the trigger points to have your brain re-process emotion. Read about it.

2. Meditation. I’m a big fan of Dan Harris and his model about pulling together both sides of the brain in 5 minutes a day. Check out his book called Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.

3. Passion pursuits. Find something, anything that gives you a charge. I’m a beekeeper. I have a friend who is in a ukulele band. It keeps you from being boring.

Best sites and places to go for a quick hook up. Casual sex R us, more options than you may be aware of.

So you are just out of a relationship, are married with no sex at home, want some variety or are to busy for a relationship.  You don’t want complications, but would love to get your oil changed. Where do you go if you are simply looking for a quick hook up?

How does one go out finding a casual sex partner? As a sex therapist I try to be in the know. I talk to thousands of people (in my practice and on radio) all looking for options for what I call “inconsequential sex”.

This is beyond the three free sites that seem to be the most popular. www.okcupid.com, www.plentyoffish.com, andthe ever famous www.craigslist.com. There used to be singles on kijiji (which ere very effective) and the is a free “lifestyle” (read swingers) site at www.swinglifestyle.com.  Other sites that seem to work are ashleymadison.com (if you are already in a relationship and want something on the side) or I was just reading about a new one for students called eduhookups.com. You have to show proof of enrollment (IE. student email address to be a member) but it offers clear suggestions for taking a break from studying…

“After signing up, students are can post listings to search for their ideal casual hookups — note that there is a section dedicated for those looking for something “platonic” or “serious” as well — and participate in a member-only live chat.”

If you are more adventurous, you can try any of the adult clubs in most of the major cities or either the ontariocoupes.com groups or the tabota.com site. Swing clubs are legal in Canada and very popular as small “house settings” in the US.  you are clean, attractive, not creepy or too aggressive your chances for hooking up on any given night seem strong.

My advice is be clear, and sell yourself as a friend (albeit with benefits). Your ad needs to be spectacular. I’ve written over 200 for patients and have been tracking the stats about what pulls. No nudity, a sense of humour, self deprecating language, well written (with a spell check), smiling photo for women (and mischievous one for men) and you should at least get the coffee date.

Good luck and I hope you get the summer of love you are seeking.