Eye Contact During Sex

Making eye contact can feel very vulnerable, regardless of if the recipient is a loved one or a complete stranger. Looking another person in the eye is intimidating enough, but if they’re looking right back at us, we can feel even more uncomfortable.

On a literal level, making eye contact means being seen by another person. So many of us have fears and insecurities that we would like to keep hidden from other people, and there’s something about eye contact that can feel like we’re totally exposed. Naked, even.

Speaking of naked, eye contact can be particularly vulnerable when it comes to sex. Sleeping with someone is intimate enough as it is, without the added anxiety of looking at each other while you’re doing it.

Most people have sex in the dark, so eye contact isn’t even possible. Even if there is enough light to see, many people will avoid eye contact.

Your faces may be within inches of each others, but odds are you’ll find ways to look at anything except your partners’ eyes. Others will close their eyes during sex. And eye contact during orgasm – forget it! That’s usually way too intense for most people.

While it may seem intimidating at first, getting more comfortable with greater eye contact can have a big effect on your sex life. Here are some of the potential benefits:

– Increases self esteem: Looking people in the eye is a wonderful way to increase your self-esteem and make you feel more confident. It brings you into a stronger and more authentic relationship with yourself. More confidence outside of the bedroom translates to more confidence inside the bedroom.

– Deepens your connection: Making eye contact with a romantic partner deepens your emotional connection. A number of scientific studies have shown that consistent eye contact is one of the best ways to bond with your partner.

– Builds trust: It doesn’t matter if your sexual partner is a casual friends-with-benefits or a long-term romantic partner – having more trust leads to better sex. When you believe that you’re with someone trustworthy, you open yourself up to a wider sexual repertoire and greater pleasure.

– It’s arousing!: Eye contact during sex can be extremely arousing. It’s an amazing experience to watch your partner experience pleasure, and to be witnessed in your own pleasure.

Bottomline… Eye contact is a pretty anxiety-inducing experience for many of us.

Question: Is eye contact during sex important to you?

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Venting…

I remember the first time I tried to describe the physical sensation of menstrual cramps to my dad. His face twisting into a horrified grimace.

Yes. Yes, it can be. And many of us deal with it every month. But unless you’re our SO or close friend, you’ll probably never know about it. Because we still manage to get sh*t done.

There are a lot of similar struggles that women experience all the time — some silly and small, some alarmingly big — that many men might not be aware of or understand. For example we’re always expected to look nice. And to look happy and have a pleasant demeanor. Seriously, sometimes we want to go outside with frizzy hair and no makeup and sweatpants and not talk to or smile at anyone. I also hate white I go to sleep on white sheets, with a white pillow, and wake up with sheets that look like a 1st grader just colored all over them… uggggghhhh.

OMG what about thinking about your safety ALL the time… Where you walk, how dark it is, where you park, who is in your general vicinity at all times. Parking at the mall? Don’t park near a van! Want to stay late studying? Better have someone walk you to your car. It’s exhausting honestly.

See guys dont have these type of thoughts and or problems.

Then you have the petty stuff i.e… painting your nails with the non-dominant hand–how about going-upstairs boobs. Sleeping face down boobs. Hello I’m going to hurt for no reason today boobs. Boob bra knot boobs. We’ve fallen out and going to do our own thing today boobs.

Don’t judge me, I’m venting…

If I happen to run a few errands or God forbid go to school or work without makeup on and I run into someone I know, I get ‘hey are you okay? You look sick.’ And then when I do wear makeup and I look all cute and presentable, I’ll hear, ‘yeah guys definitely like the natural look better.’

Then there’s the stress of an unexpected period, but then also the stress of an unexpected not-period.

Then theres shaving my kneecaps. Twenty-three years of practice and I’m still awful at it.

Finally because I don’t want to bore you with my problems, but ANYTHING and everything you do with the opposite sex can ([and] probably will at some point) be interpreted as being a tease or leading him on.

I could go on-and-on. Sorry, thanks for reading 🙂

Question: What’s something you want to vent about but for whatever reason have not let it out?

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SurveyStud: In the App Store

The Ex

I like designer bags but I don’t necessarily like baggage. Not the “ex” kind of baggage. At my age, it’s more likely than not that anyone I would date/end up with has baggage. It’s a term I don’t like because when you find the right guy, his baggage doesn’t seem so much like “baggage” as it does a “pretty package.”

For example, before I met the man I’m now dating, I made it perfectly clear to any man I went out with that I come as a package. If you date me, you’re also, for lack of better description, dating my kid. Meaning, you have to get along with her, she has to like you, and you almost certainly will be my second priority.

When you have a kid, it’s easier to date someone else who has a kid or even children. They usually understand if you have to bail at the last minute because your child is sick, they like children (because they already have them), and they understand why a child can turn from an angel into a sobbing heap on the floor within 10 seconds.

But what I’ve never quite understood is the baggage that is known as “the ex.” Rather, I understand it; I just don’t like to deal with it.

One of my exes had an ex-wife who acted as if she were still his wife. They had no children and it was hard for me to fathom why this woman would still want to go out of her way to decorate his place, ask him to drive her to the airport, and buy him flowers. There is nothing worse than an ex who doesn’t realize she is an ex (at least for the person dating the man/woman.)

The man I’m dating now has gorgeous, kind and sweet children. I thought God was looking down on me, finally, when I fell in love. Plus, his ex lives a 40-minute drive away, is not in my social circle, and we didn’t have any friends in common.

But of course, I was a little naïve. I recently found out that this ex is following my every move on Facebook — which is fine, but, it makes me uncomfortable, especially when exes of the man I am dating, or the men I have dated, check me out. My boyfriend and I are serious, to the point where we both would like to be included in every aspect of each other’s lives. This includes school plays (which he attended with me when my daughter was recently in one) to birthday parties. One of his children has an upcoming birthday party. As we slowly blend our families together, I don’t want there to be any drama.

My ex’s ex-wife (the one with no children) actually wanted to meet and hang out with me. My response was, “Why?” But if I do plan on being a stepmom with my new man, I do understand why I may have to meet my boyfriend’s ex-wife. Do I want to do this? No. Do I think if we can get along at least politely it will be best for the children? Absolutely. Does she have to like me? No.

But if my ex was/is dating another woman who could possibly be my daughter’s stepmother, I would for sure want to meet her, at least once, to make sure that my daughter is safe. My daughter, her safety and her happiness, will always be my first priority, just as I’m sure that’s my boyfriend’s ex-wife priority.

Question: If you have any ex-partner/parent advice… I’d really like to hear your thoughts.

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SurveyStud: In the App Store

Is Barack Obama the Face of America

When you look in the mirror do you see an image staring back at you that reflects your ideal image of beauty? Take a moment to describe the ideal woman’s physical features. What color skin tone does she have? How much does she weigh? What do her eyes look like? What does she wear when she goes out on the town? How is her hair styled?

Now take another moment to figure out the answer to this question: Where did your idea of beauty come from?

Because think about it, even though Donald Trump is now President of The United States, the world still sees Barrack Obama as President–so if the woman you described as ideal does not look like the woman you see in the mirror, chances are along your life journey you were bamboozled by someone’s impression of what a woman or beauty should look like.

Now don’t be upset. In our quest to decipher our purpose and mission in life we often adopt the beliefs and expectations of those around us in order to gauge whether we are living life correctly.

Suppose you were taught at an early age that you were expected to finish high school, go to college, get married, have children and retire by age 55. Those seem like reasonable life expectations don’t they? Well, how do you know that those expectations were the right path for YOU?

Now go back to the woman you described as your ideal image of beauty. Chances are you’ve met her before and it caused you great distress. Where did you meet her? Was she the woman who stole your first boyfriend? Was she the little sister who came along and stole all of the attention away from you when you were a child? Was she the most popular girl in high school? Was she the woman all the boys drooled over as she crooned pop music on television? Was she the girl who won all the awards at school without ever trying?

The point I am making is simple. If the ideal woman you imagined does not look like you, somewhere along the line you compared yourself to another woman and felt that you fell short. Somewhere along your life journey, you decided that there was another woman in existence who had something special that you did not. Somewhere along your life path, you listened to opinions about what is right and wrong and you decided not to decide for yourself.

Question: When is the last time you said to yourself… “I look good.”

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My Mom & Real Estate

Real Estate investments begins with one property at a time. Often, when you hear people talk about real estate investing they are talking big numbers. You hear about the millions to be made in the market, especially now when everyone is buying. You hear stories about the people who own 50 or more single family homes or bought a package of 10 investment properties. You hear about the people who syndicate large apartment deals or buy a smaller apartment complex of their own. What gets lost in the hype is that the vast majority of these investors began with just one property.

My Mom story, like many successful real estate investors, begins with one small property in Texas. It took her a while to buy or invest in property. My understanding she made lots of offers before one was accepted, and walked away from a few deals for a variety of reasons, most of which had more to do with fear than with the numbers. Finally, one of her mentors looked her in the eye and said, “buy this property or I will buy it myself.” So Mom bought the property that no one else would buy.

My Mom once said, “Every successful investor has a story.” Well truth is most Investors are just like you, and me: scared of making a wrong choice, but are determined to change their finanical situation. Another thing my Mom would say, “find a mentor you can trust;” following their advice, makes that first purchase easier and more successful.”

Her first rental investment property down in Houston was a diamond in the rough. Once cut and polished, she captured $36,000 in equity and a cash flow after all costs of $429.00 month – this from a house that no one wanted to buy! I remember her mentor telling her, “Someone lives in every house on this street and someone will live here too. The question is, will you be the one who profits from it?”

The next house came shortly after with an equity capture of $21,000 and $324.00 month cash flow after all expenses. The third house represents an equity capture of $27,000 and $290 month in cash flow. All of these properties have an ROI of 43% per year or more.

A picture is forming, right? For most of us, it is not one big deal that takes us from a J-O-B to retirement. It is taking the first step and following the correct road map that leads you to the retirement of your dreams. 

Question: What are you working towards?

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Keeping Her A Secret 

It’s obvious that the dynamic of relationships has changed since social media and the Internet. Whether you are in a “situationship”, relationship, or married, the display of being with someone else takes effect on social media platforms. 

Think about it. People are hooking up from online encounters. People are getting married from online connections. Think about any of your previous relationships and what role social media played in it. An important problem that continues to build and tear down relationships with (or without) a social media presence is: The difference between secrecy and privacy.

There is a difference darlings.

– Being secretive means you are hiding something.

– Being private involves acknowledging, but not oversharing.

Seems pretty simple right? Wrong.

There are both men and women who feel as though a relationship should be on full display for others to see. The constant pictures of kissing, holding hands, the status tags, etc. You all know what I’m talking about; the Over-Sharers. Great! We see how in love you all are, and just because people aren’t as gung-ho about your posts as you are, does not mean they are hating. Sometimes, it may actually just be YOU.

I commonly tend to think that this is a direct line coming from insecurities. Don’t be mistaken, this could be any of us at any given time. Like any other human, sometimes we need constant validation about different things. It also depends on the person you are with. If there are behaviors which they/he tends to justify–no “F” that. If there are behaviors causing you to doubt them/him PAY ATTENTION! Truth is you are doubting him for a reason.

Example, whenever $10+ is charged on my debit card, I get an email notification–guess what, I validate every notification. Why because it’s important to me. So when it comes to relationships, if you get a mental “notification,” maybe you should validate what’s going on.

So for those who love a private life, all I’m saying don’t fool yourself. You know if someone is keeping you a secret, and you know if someone just enjoys their privacy.

Question: Has anyone ever tried to keep you a secret?

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The “Print” 👀

Ladies. I know you see it. I KNOW you’ve noticed. You know what time is it.

Just like men have their “Sundress Season” excitement, we have our “Sweatpants Season.”

To me, this is not only the most wonderful time of the year (wink), but it is also common knowledge. ‘Tis the season right? Please don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. I know people usually call this “Sweatpants Season”, but I think it’s important to point out what color is prevalent among these here photos we see! For years, men have anticipated the summertime, where a flowing sundress accentuates every part of a woman’s body. So why can’t we notice and appreciation when a man’s body is being accentuated?

I was told by a man that it was wrong for us women to even be looking at the print of a man in gray sweatpants. His argument is that women do not like to be objectified or glared at by the choice of clothing they choose to wear. While I don’t entirely disagree with what he’s saying, I do see his point. I’ve heard women complain about men staring at their bodies, and it’s usually because they have their own insecurities that they are working on with it. I know women who love wearing sundresses because they love the attention they receive. I think men are no different. Some men hate that they are judged by the print of clothing they choose to wear for comfort. Some men love that they have a good print in their sweatpants. They know it can attract a woman in a way that verbal sexual advances can’t.

I find it interesting that some men tend to be completely insecure about what women think of them in sweatpants. These same men either bash women if they don’t have the perfect figure, or they can’t understand why women have their own body insecurities. When I asked a male about this he explained it in a way that I guess I can kind of understand. Women can work on their bodies and change its shape overtime. The print is something that can’t be changed with exercise and a good diet. Of course there are cosmetic enhancements that can be made to any body, but for the most part, men don’t believe in getting it done, and if it has been done, they are not vocal about it.

It’s easy to say you don’t objectify one sex or the other, but I think it is something we all do. Let’s not take life so seriously! Enjoy the beauty of one another’s bodies. Compliment each other! Enjoy the season, whichever it may be!

Question: Ladies, how many thirst traps have you seen in sweatpants at the gym?

I, too, have been a victim of the salacious images of men in sweatpants.

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SurveyStud: In the ApAp Store

When You simply… exist

In a relationship, it’s easy to fall into a pattern. And I’m not saying there’s something wrong with routine. It’s really quite lovely to be with someone who makes you feel so secure that you can go through life unfazed by the bullsh*t.

But you have to be careful in love. Sometimes, you can confuse being comfortable with being happy.

All too often, we find ourselves in long-term relationships that don’t excite us. We stay because we’re terrified of the alternative, but we don’t have the energy to start something new.

Our everyday routines make us complacent and satisfied, and it’s too late before we realize what’s happening.

After months, years and perhaps even decades, you wake up beside your partner and don’t even know how you ended up there.

Though the differences between “happy” and “comfortable” can be slight, they’re very real.

Being happy means butterflies; being comfortable means complacency.

When you’re happy, you’re in a state of euphoria. And “euphoria” doesn’t mean unrealistic romantic bliss. It just means your stomach flips every time you see your lover. There’s a spark and an excitement that doesn’t die down, because that’s how happy you are.

But when you’re comfortable, you go with things. You don’t question it. You’re not affected by your partner’s presence. You’re checked out.

You’re not precisely unhappy, but you’re not joyous, either. You simply… exist.

But if you “simply exist” for too long, you’ll find yourself completely suffocated.

Think I will stop here because this is making me feel very sad… I just wiped a tear off my iphone screen–I’m really talking about myself. Dang.

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Emotionally Slutty

At this very moment I feel emotionally slutty. I’m looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.  Yet, the only consistent thing in my life is my dildo, and a daily 48 minute commute to work–unpaid work at that.

I’m at a place in life where I truly believe when men attempt bold gestures, generally it’s considered romantic. When women do it, it’s often considered desperate or psychotic. TIMEOUT how is this remotly fair, and or possible that I can feel like this in 2017?!

Maybe my/our emotional mistakes as women dictate our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives? Perhaps if we never veered off course we wouldn’t fall in love, or have babies, or be who we are. After all, seasons change. So do cities. People come into your life and people go. But it’s comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart–regardless if they’re a thousand miles away.

Life gives me/you lots of chances to screw up which means we have just as many chances to get it right. So look at it like this, the universe may not always play fair, but at least it’s got a hell of a sense of humor. If this is the case, then maybe the past is like an anchor holding us back. Maybe we have to let go of who we were to become who you will be.

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SurveuStud: In the App Store

Am I Petty…

There’s no class in high school on how to not be a shitty boyfriend or girlfriend. Sure, they teach us the biology of sex, the legality of marriage, and maybe we read a few obscure love stories from the 19th century on how not to be.

But when it comes down to actually handling the nitty-gritty of relationships, we’re given no pointers… or worse, we’re given advice columns in women’s magazines or this blogg. Yes, it’s trial-and-error from the get-go. And if you’re like most people, it’s been mostly error.

But part of the problem is that many unhealthy relationship habits are baked into our culture. We worship romantic love — you know, that dizzying and irrational romantic love that somehow finds breaking china plates on the wall in a fit of tears somewhat endearing — and scoff at practicality or unconventional sexualities.

Men and women are raised to objectify each other and to objectify their relationships. Thus, our partners are often seen as assets rather than someone to share mutual emotional support.

A lot of the self-help literature out there isn’t helpful either (no, men and women are not from different planets, you over-generalizing prick.) And for most of us, mom and dad surely weren’t the best examples either.

Fortunately, there’s been a lot of psychological research into healthy and happy relationships the past few decades and there are some general principles that keep popping up consistently that most people are unaware of or don’t follow. In fact, some of these principles actually go against what is traditionally considered “romantic” or normal in a relationship.

Below are tendencies (based on research from the folks at SurveyStud)in relationships that many couples think are healthy and normal, but are actually toxic and destroying everything you hold dear.

THE RELATIONSHIP SCORECARD. What It Is: The “keeping score” phenomenon is when someone you’re dating continues to blame you for past mistakes you made in the relationship. If both people in the relationship do this it devolves into what I call “the relationship scorecard,” where it becomes a battle to see who has screwed up the most over the months or years, and therefore who owes the other one more.

You were an asshole at Amy’s 28th birthday party back in 2010 and it has proceeded to ruin your life ever since. Why? Because there’s not a week that goes by that you’re not reminded of it. But that’s OK, because that time you caught her sending flirtatious text messages to her co-worker immediately removes her right to get jealous, so it’s kind of even, right?

Wrong.

Why It’s Toxic: The relationship scorecard develops over time because one or both people in a relationship use past wrongdoings in order to try and justify current righteousness. This is a double-whammy of suckage. Not only are you deflecting the current issue itself, but you’re ginning up guilt and bitterness from the past to manipulate your partner into feeling wrong in the present.

If this goes on long enough, both partners eventually spend most of their energy trying to prove that they’re less culpable than the other, rather than solving the current problem. People spend all of their time trying to be less wrong for each other instead of being more right for each other.

What You Should Do Instead: Deal with issues individually unless they are legitimately connected. If someone habitually cheats, then that’s obviously a recurring problem. But the fact that she embarrassed you in 2010 and now she got sad and ignored you today in 2013 have nothing to do with each other, so don’t bring it up.

You must recognize that by choosing to be with your significant other, you are choosing to be with all of their prior actions and behaviors. If you don’t accept those, then ultimately, you are not accepting them. If something bothered you that much a year ago, you should have dealt with it a year ago.

DROPPING “HINTS” AND OTHER PASSIVE-AGGRESSION. What It Is: Instead of stating a desire or thought overtly, your partner tries to nudge you in the right direction of figuring it out yourself. Instead of saying what’s actually upsetting you, you find small and petty ways to piss your partner off so you’ll then feel justified in complaining to them.

Why It’s Toxic: Because it shows that you two are not comfortable communicating openly and clearly with one another. A person has no reason to be passive-aggressive if they feel safe expressing any anger or insecurity within the relationship. A person will never feel a need to drop “hints” if they feel like they won’t be judged or criticized for it.

What You Should Do Instead: State your feelings and desires openly. And make it clear that the other person is not necessarily responsible or obligated to them but that you’d love to have their support. If they love you, they’ll almost always be able to give it.

BLAMING YOUR PARTNER FOR YOUR OWN EMOTIONS. What It Is: Let’s say you’re having a crappy day and your partner isn’t exactly being super sympathetic or supportive at the moment. They’ve been on the phone all day with some people from work. They got distracted when you hugged them. You want to lay around at home together and just watch a movie tonight, but they have plans to go out and see their friends.

So you lash out at them for being so insensitive and callous toward you. You’ve been having a shitty day and they have done nothing about it. Sure, you never asked, but they should just know to make you feel better. They should have gotten off the phone and ditched their plans based on your lousy emotional state.

Why It’s Toxic: Blaming our partners for our emotions is a subtle form of selfishness, and a classic example of the poor maintenance of personal boundaries. When you set a precedent that your partner is responsible for how you feel at all times (and vice-versa), you will develop codependent tendencies. Suddenly, they’re not allowed to plan activities without checking with you first. All activities at home — even the mundane ones like reading books or watching TV — must be negotiated and compromised. When someone begins to get upset, all personal desires go out the window because it is now your responsibility to make one another feel better.

The biggest problem of developing these codependent tendencies is that they breed resentment. Sure, if my girlfriend gets mad at me once because she’s had a shitty day and is frustrated and needs attention, that’s understandable. But if it becomes an expectation that my life revolves around her emotional well-being at all times, then I’m soon going to become very bitter and even manipulative towards her feelings and desires.

What You Should Do Instead: Take responsibility for your own emotions and expect your partner to be responsible for theirs. There’s a subtle yet important difference between being supportive of your partner and being obligated to your partner. Any sacrifices should be made as an autonomous choice and not seen as an expectation. As soon as both people in a relationship become culpable for each other’s moods and downswings, it gives them both incentives to hide their true feelings and manipulate one another.

Let me stop because my bath water is getting cold, and I realize Im really talking about myself. Am I petty?

Question: Are you petty?

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