Saturday, 30 April 2011

Menopause, female libido and sex

Most of my mates are very clever and successful men. As youngsters we were a little like the Big Bang Theory bunch, except little Penny (Candice) was dark haired, almond-eyed and writing a research thesis! I could never equal their innate technical brilliance (I was better with words and cooking), but could at least be in awe of it and feed them!  These days I can provide value by helping them understand the women in their lives.

Most of us understand others by reflecting on our own experiences. It is therefore very hard for men to understand  menopause and its impact.  Even I really only have my own experience to draw on along with what I read. I believe that some marriages are stronger as a result of my advice and in other cases, at least the husband understands enough to be more compassionate.

Most men in middle life have realised how a woman's cycle affects her libido with increased desire and enjoyment of sex coinciding with ovulation. My experience of menopause not suprisingly has been that the peaks that coincided with ovulation have dissappeared and most of the times I feel like I did post ovulation (lower libido, more fatigued) and I have next to none of the high moods I experienced in the pre ovulation period of my cycle. 

The impact of hormone change on my libido has thus been that I am less likely to feel like initiating sex and need more foreplay to become aroused.  In effect, my desire for sex has become more responsive than proactive.  I believe a lot of ladies have responsive desire before menopause, so responsive desire should be understood by men if they want to contribute to the best sex life for their wife and themselves.

Chameleon mini rose

Friends last longer than spouses

Over the past few days I’ve been talking to an old friend – we’ve known each other for over 30 years. Back then he looked after me like a sister and he continues to show the same generosity of spirit. He’s now a CEO of an international company (I’m so proud of him!), yet he still takes the time out of his day to call me and share his journey to success and tactics and strategies for achievement.

Lately several of us have come to realize that friends do last longer than partners or spouses. We’ve supported each other through various numbers of separations and divorces and our friendship provides a constant in life. It’s very difficult to burden family with your interpersonal problems and fellow travelers can often provide insights they can’t.  

Today I am thankful for old and new friends and for the wonderful people I have met online. You’ve widened my horizons and helped me understand relationships and life in much more depth. Thank you!   
Still standing together and reaching for the sun ...

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Compassion for fellow travellers

Divorce and separation are traumatic events and often leave people emotionally and financially damaged. Often custody and property settlements are unfair and a life time of hope and work is destroyed. It’s understandable that people are distressed, angry and bitter and that they are desperately searching for reasons.

If someone has recently divorced they need our support and a friendly ear, not to be told that “there are two sides” or generally confronted over what they say while grieving and angry. Most of us have been there or will go there. We need to show compassion and empathy, not provide pretentious advice.

So….to all those suffering… please accept a cyber-hug!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Menopause is great!

There are a lot of very wonderful and great things about menopause! The absence of nasty painful periods is fantastic! No more crippling pain and blood going everywhere! My breasts which used to hug close to my chest like fried swan's eggs (bird chosen for size comparison) now hang a little and therefore look bigger especially if I lean over. Of course, all worry of a welcome but unexpected pregnancy is over and condoms are only for safety, not birth control.

With the chance of a family passed, I've moved onto focus on self-development without duties to children or hoped for children. I've therefore a lot more freedom than before. As my grandmother used to say, "I am old, I can do what I want".  I've just claimed that space 25 years earlier!

Perhaps the best aspect of menopause is self-awareness. I savour every moment and every new experience. I am freer in my mind than when I was 20 and I leverage that freedom and I take calculated risks.

.....looking upward to heaven with hope....
Thank you God for alllowing me to get this far, for standing by me in the hard times when no other person had the courage to stand up to a bully and protect a helpless child. Thank you for my education and the chance to learn.  Thank you for all those people that have shared their wisdom. Thank you.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Relationship advice for men by men

I'm very excited - I've just found there is a whole network of blogs published by men to explore and discuss how they might better manage their relationships. I'm sure I can learn a lot.  Here's my annotated bibliography which I am sure will grow!

Married man sex life - relationship advice - the author has written books which he promotes on the blog.  He is very ready to reply to comments, so the blog is pleasingly interactive. There are many edifying comments.

MarriageCoach1 - sex and relationship advice from a professional advisor to couples.  Great articles, interesting Christian perspective and some good comments.

Nightscape - Brisbane 2010

Friday, 22 April 2011

Anal sex - for the queasy!

Anal sex seems to be something people have fantasies about, but which many people don’t have the chance to explore, especially very conservative people like us.  I never thought  I’d get the chance and was quite surprised when my partner skipped the part in the article that I wanted him to read and went straight to the anal sex part and asked me straight out if I was interested.  I was shy of course, but shy does not have to be a problem.  He enjoyed persuading me to tell the details of my long term fascination with the idea….and because he is the practical one, he set about working out how we could explore what was becoming a mutual fascination.

John the marriage coach provides instructions for successful anal sex, and there are many other articles online offering advice. I’d suggest you start with the Wikipedia article to get some good background information. You need to research and then negotiate with your partner to develop the best approach for you both.  As with any mutual partner activity, I would not try to force anyone to do anything.

  • There is a risk of spreading disease with anal sex – diseases like HIV can be picked up from unsafe anal sex and anything that touches the anus and then the vulva can cause thrush or another infection.  Need I mention how poo can cause stomach upsets?  
  • The anus and colon are not as robust as the vagina. There should NEVER be strong pain or bleeding. Pulling out fast when there is pain can make things heaps worse – so stop, wait and gently withdraw. See your doctor if pain or bleeding persists.
We’re pretty concerned with hygiene, so John’s suggestion for the man to lick the lady’s anus went down like a lead balloon! We are very happy with using fingers and toys, such as butt plugs, to prepare the anus.  We also use condoms and thin plastic gloves (you can buy them in boxes of 50 for food preparation of first aid) for anything that goes on or in the anus.  These can then be shed (pull back over themselves and put into a waste bin) and the finger, penis or toy does not have to be washed before it touches anything else. Moreover, plastic toys don’t pick up strange smells!  

John suggests a position where the lady (i.e. the one that is penetrated) controls the thrusting – in this way she avoids being hurt.  However, we much prefer that he does the moving.  We find that a rear entry spoons position works well for us and usually go with that.

Pain upon entry can be practically eliminated by lots of foreplay with a vibrator or butt plug or fingers.  We usually work up to two fingers inserted before inserting his penis.  Then he pushes firmly for a little bit and stops when I say it hurts, then he waits until I give him permission to push again.  Once he’s cleared my two sphincter muscles I feel very comfortable and he can start thrusting gently.  When things are going well he can thrust deeply and faster, according to his preference. 

Here are some tips:
  • Prepare well beforehand and have everything you need at hand – condoms, lube, plastic gloves, tissues, sex toys, waste bin.
  • Make sure you have plenty of time to experiment and that there will be no interruptions.
  • Watch your diet (eat fibre etc) so that you poo regularly and in soft but firm parcels – don’t have anal sex if there is something in your large colon or the poo is really sticky - then there is little likelihood of encountering anything yucky.
  • Use a thick lubricant that is condom friendly and use heaps of it renewing it frequently.
  • Make sure the penis is really firm and that it will stay that way.
  • Stop if there is pain and don’t withdraw suddenly – let the person that is penetrated control the action.
  • Concentrate on being very relaxed, especially if there is pain due to the sphincter muscle tightening.
 OK - good luck with your experiments!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Great technique, romance and ...and affection?

John the marriage coach recommends technique improvement and romance to improve the frequencey and enjoyability of sex for couples within relationships. All good of course!

May I add to the mix love, connection and AFFECTION?

Great technique creates the reward of pleasure and therefore, logically, when rewarded, someone is more likely to have sex more often.

Romance is great foreplay and as John writes, its possible to do it even if you don't really enjoy it!

Love and connection are basics that are not easily turned on or learnt. However, affection is ...perhaps...reasonably under our control?  

Just imagine he comes home thinking only of a shower and dinner and you cuddle into his chest thinking only of greeting him and then serving dinner, hold him close and say "love you gorgeous" ... and he says "love you too"..and you kiss his lips softly ... and he kisses back...and before you know it you're naked and having sex...and he thinks "goodness she just seduced me AGAIN" ...and you think "goodness he seduced me AGAIN" ... and years later you work out that you had sex so often because HE always interpreted affection as seduction...and you don't mind a bit!   

Myth busters: guys should always be ready to up and go

There is a myth that, within reason, men can have sex with any woman any time. Because… you know… men are animals with an insatiable sex drive. Not only is this stereotype demeaning to men, it also places undue pressure on them.

Men, even young men with totally functional bodies, may use performance enhancing drugs to prove they are “studs” or to impress a lady. I REALLY, REALLY, feel men should not feel they HAVE to do this or indeed HAVE to have sex with anyone that asks.

What we have here is a terrible double standard. Women are able to refuse sex without losing face and men feel they have to perform with whomever, whenever.  Of course, they physically can’t gain and maintain an erection on command and then they feel bad.  Even worse, they may feel badly about having unwanted sex or risk catching a disease.      

I certainly don’t feel inadequate if I don’t want to have sex with anyone, especially a first date! Why should a man? Gentlemen – it’s your body – you have every right to decide how it’s used!   

My advice to men is that if they don’t want to have sex, they should feel totally comfortable saying they don’t want to.  I suggest for first dates (when they especially may get propositioned by women looking for hook ups) men use my tactic.  I merely say firmly “I’m sorry, I don’t kiss or have sex on first dates.”  In this way the other person is not disrespected or demeaned by the refusal.

If a person, any person, continues to beg, plead, use emotional blackmail or otherwise try to persuade or coerce someone to have sex when they do not want to, then they have the problem and are impolite, not the person refusing. This is the same for both men and women. Women should not think that men are always ready to up and go and then offend by pressing them to do something they do not want to do.       

Monday, 11 April 2011

Wonderful article on men's health!

It is unusual to find a good article on men's health and how to maintain sexual function. Twenty five years ago I looked for long hours and found nothing at all - today I found this totally awesome article by Joanna Cake, Midlife Crisis - Men! She suggests ways that men can maintain their sexual function into later life and maintain prostate health, as well as how they can manage the dynamic that occurs as both they and their partner travel together through midlife.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Recognition at last!

After some days, a search in Google for "Candidly Candice" returns this blog in first place! What better way to celebrate than with a picture of pink flowering tree? 

Brisbane Botanic Gardens before the big flood of 2011!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

A small adventure ....

Today I went walking in the local forest just on dusk when most people had gone home. I so treasure times when the forest is deserted! I used to often walk on my own when I was quite young, but then that was on the family property and I'd often take a canine companion to protect me. Now it's just me and there could be dangerous humans around!

While looking for the formed path, I found a place where people had walked quite a few times - the grass and leaf litter were quite crushed.  I figured that the pathway must emerge at the bottom of the hill and that where ever that was, I could find my way home. Also, I was unlikely to meet anyone at this late hour, so it would be very safe.

The forest was green and lush from the recent rains and it was a lovely experience to at last be alone in the deep forest again. I found some lovely rocks and a running stream. I may go there again to read and think, but I will make sure I am hidden from the pathway!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Consent (and respect and consideration) are oh sooo sexy!

Oh I do so love gentle, respectful,, passionate and totally awesome men! Consent does not have to be boring or dithering! It can be ever so romantic and totally arousing!

Consent can be talking long hours about what you want to do or checking in while you are doing something or both! Baby would it be OK if I touched you there? ...I so love touching your skin! Do you like me touching you?.... Totally awesome verbal foreplay!

Rather than treading on feelings to rush ahead to a goal, it's so much better to respect each other's moving boundaries and enjoy the journey!

Monday, 4 April 2011

My journey 2: I peek outside my burrow and turn my face to the wind

Many years ago I took a tentative step outside my very circumscribed life. I had read mountains of text books and researched academic databases, but rarely left my home office. When I did, it was usually via the Internet to communicate with clients.  The new service being offered - "Internet dating" - took my eye, and never being one to do things the same way as other people, I saw my chance to meet new people. Never mind that most subscribers had sex on their agenda! Here's what I wrote:  

Looking for pen pals to exchange views, debate issues and fill gaps in my existence and hopefully in theirs.
I am looking for pen pals as a way of expanding my view of the world (I work at home so don't meet many people). I am interested in business studies, once studied science, love animals and flowers and like good conversation and learning from others. In fact, I crave contact with professional people and would be very interested in finding out how other people live. I will answer all contacts, but while I am sure I will make a good friend, please don't expect more than that.

I come from a diverse background and live on the cutting edge of multicultural society, so culture is also an interest of mine, be it ethnic, subgroup etc.

Like many intelligent people I enjoy play even at work and have a keen sense of the ridiculous, but on the other hand I can also handle stressful and challenging situations in a professional and mature fashion.

I have an analytical personality and people describe me as gentle, quiet, tolerant and mature. I am deeply religious and respect and am interested in the beliefs of others.

I have several degrees and have now realised that I can learn what I need to know now more cheaply and quickly by myself (and from other people like yourself).

I don't offer a photo because I believe appearance is irrelevant to the relationship I am seeking. However, if it matters to you, I can offer that I am normal looking and of slightly Asian appearance (long black hair, brown eyes, off white colour) - not remarkable, inoffensive, not highly fashionable.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

My journey 1: Sailing on the cool winds of cyberspace

I’ve got great plans for this blog!  After reading and learning for so long, I hope to create my own little corner of the Internet where I can give something back. I may be typing from an office that is literally my wardrobe, but my window opens to the world!