Magic Bullet Does Not = Magic Wand

J and I are visiting with family this week for our spring break. Here is one exchange that almost made me pee my pants, and gave me stomach cramps and asthma.

Mom (on the phone with sister-in-law, talking about babies and baby food): Oh, we need to blend up the food? You use a magic bullet? I think I only have a blender. (turning to me): Do you have a magic bullet? Do your parents ever use one?

Jeffrey (looking at me from across the room): Uh,…. (frickin’ huge smile)… no, just a blender.

Me: (too big of a smile for talking about baby food and blenders) Uh,… no, just a blender. (I don’t even know what the hell a magic bullet IS, besides maybe a term for an awesome bullet vibrator!)

I had to literally leave the room. I sat on our bed with the door closed, cracking up, looking at MY “magic bullet” (my Hitachi magic wand). J walks in, cracking up. “Yeah, maybe you should go hand her YOUR magic bullet!!” as he turns it on high and throws it on me.


I just have to ponder… why have I not been reading erotica on a regular basis? A good friend from school (thank you, A!) sent me Fifty Shades of Grey, and so far… I just can’t stop reading it!

Reading details of characters, their motivations, desires, the way they talk and breathe… it is all just too much for me! No wonder these books are New York Times bestsellers… there are a lot of happy, happy readers all across America 🙂

The Sex Diaries Project

I just finished The Sex Diaries Project by Arianne Cohen… it was a fabulous read! The format of the book was easy for me to get used to- I love reading more stream of consciousness diary entries. As J’s mom said, Reading other people’s diaries is pretty fun! Yes, it is 🙂

Cohen has some fascinating insights regarding relationship styles. Her theory, after reading 1,500 diaries from across the country, is that there are priorities that divide relationships into three main styles. These priorities dictate how partners live together, and the amount of priorities sexual, physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual connection receives. She categorizes these three main relationship styles as Lovers, Partners, and Aspirers. Lovers place a high priority on sexual and physical exploration and fulfillment, intellectual or spiritual soulmate connection, and creative communion. Partners place a high priority on having a life partner, religious partnership, daily companionship, and long-term familiarity and habit. Aspirers place a high priority on financial security, professional partnership, parenthood and family, and division of labor. She makes the point that couples can move in and out of relationship styles, but conflict comes when two individuals have different relationship priorities. Two people can make excellent day-to-day companions, but if they have different priorities, their relationship can become very unsatisfying for both people.

Because Cohen herself has an open relationship, she gives a very fair and engaging discussion of open relationships, quoting Helen Fisher and Christopher Ryan. She also gives fair room to kink relationships, the benefits of masturbation and defining sex as a broad experience (not just penis-in-vagina), and the context of cheating (and how cheating can be redefined depending on the relationship and people).

Throughout reading this book, I have continually tried to fit J and I into these boxes. I am not so sure I can. If anything I would put us squarely in between Lovers and Partners. However, if we define sexual exploration as an activity or hobby that J and I enjoy as a couple, I would label us as Partners. Because we enjoy so many other daily activities,  enjoy our day-to-day living together and habits, and view each other as life partners, labeling ourselves as Partners makes sense. After talking about it this weekend, we also agreed that we probably fit more of the Lovers role at the beginning of our relationship, when we were head over heels for each other and in the honeymoon stage of our relationship. We also have been thinking about our parents’ relationships… I think my parents are definitely Partners, and I definitely see J’s parents as Aspirers. 

I really enjoyed Cohen’s take on relationships, and I also recognize that this is one way to organize our understanding of relationships. She read 1,500 diaries, and organized them into ways that made sense to her. She also offers some basic insights: the happiest diarists know what their needs are, they feel they are on the path to getting them met, and structure their romantic relationships in a way that best supports their needs and connection. In addition, she offers this wonderful statement: “Monogamy is less common than you think.” She sees three basic states of relationships that diarists find themselves in: solo, partnered, and poly. One of her most helpful and insightful pieces is the idea that relationships are not static. We are raised to believe that once we find our “one” we will be with that person forever. That idea induces high pressure for many people, especially younger couples who see the rest of their lives vastly stretched out before them. Is it really realistic to think that we will have one primary partner our whole life? She makes an excellent point that I love: all relationships change and all relationships end (through some kind of separation, including divorce and death); some relationships stick around for a few months while some stick around for decades. 

If you are looking for a highly entertaining and thought-provoking read to fly through over a weekend, pick this one up! The myriad diaries offer so many different viewpoints and orientations toward romance, sex, parenting, financial responsibilities, work, and love; you are bound to read diaries that are completely opposite of your experience and ideas, and so you are bound to learn something new and exciting.

PS: If you go to the website, you can register to record and submit your own diary online, which is totally fun! and read other submissions not in the book! In fact, I am starting the week-long project tomorrow 🙂

February was a Busy Month!

Yikes! I can’t believe I haven’t posted in a month and a half! That is way too long… and it’s not because we haven’t been pursuing open opportunities, communicating, negotiating, and having fun… that is precisely why I haven’t posted in so long (that, and school has literally been steam-rolling me. speaking of which, I am procrastinating from writing a take-home final, but I just can’t concentrate on that anymore right now!)… but now for an update!!

So… Valentine’s Day=awesome. J got some “X-Rated Valentine’s Candy Hearts,” the Tenga Air-Flip sleeve, and a subscription to Cosmo. Yes, Cosmo. He likes to read the insane pieces of advice and “insight” into the male brain. For example: you can tell how much a guy is into you by how he holds your hand. If you and your sweetie hold hands and you hold onto each other with your free hand, that means he is really into you- the possessiveness is a key (positive) indicator that he is into you. Whoa.

Dun-dun-dun-dun!! We got engaged! February 18, baby! (officially) We had a very long pre-engagement, as we got my ring right before Thanksgiving. Because we wanted to exchange rings (and yes, believe us, our families do not get it), we had to wait until J’s got made. His ring finally arrived on Valentine’s Day, and we had a lovely weekend going out to dinner and proposing to each other with letters we wrote to each other. Cute, right?!?

We have had a few ups and downs over the past month and a half, mostly related to unknown expectations and communication issues. For the most part, we have retained our sense of cool and gotten through them much more smoothly than bumps in the past. I think the more experiences we have where something might trigger one of us, our refractory periods of needing time to process and think and get over an insecurity or jealousy shortens. For example, my last “bump” so to speak only set me back a few hours. If this situation had happened a few months ago, I think it would have lasted a day or so. Progress!! I have also identified some of our most common communication errors: insufficient information about a partner or interest in a partner, and selective hearing (not really listening to something the other one is saying, but hearing what we want to hear). Identifying these common slips is helpful when communicating, so we can both do it better.

I have continued my vagina quest.. In fact, I met a lovely lady a couple of weeks ago through CL, and she’s pretty awesome. It hasn’t gone very far very fast, but that is fine. We are having a good time so far, so that counts!

J and I have continued to explore our fantasies together… including very dirty dirty talk, spanking, and hair pulling. All in all, I have been burning the candle at both ends…and really need more sleep (who am I kidding?? I would WAY rather get an hour or two less of sleep if I am having kinky, hot sex!)

Another thing that has happened recently that I feel compelled to share is that a very near and dear person to me came out to me in a couple of different ways. She recently started dating women, and is creating an open relationship with a new primary partner. How much she shared with me is completely breathtaking, and I just feel so honored that she included me. I had told her about our relationship last summer, and I remember feeling so nervous to. I hadn’t told a lot of people at that point yet, but I had a feeling she would be open, receptive, and respectful of it. J and I are continually amazed at how if we are honest with people, people usually respond with honesty. I think it is wonderful that I was able to share so much of myself with her, and she in return trusted me enough to share her experiences with me.

We recently hosted some vanilla friends. In fact, it was a friend I had in elementary school that I hadn’t seen since. She and her husband live not too far away from us, and decided they wanted to check out our neck of the woods. I thought it would be great if they stayed with us (despite my uber-stress over school- not a great decision), and it ended up being pretty fun to see them. However, it made both of us realize how open we are with our lives, and how open we love to be with our sexy friends. I remembered that not every couple will disclose their sex life, kinks, fantasies, values, etc with us… J and I were even a little embarrassed when our friends found us in the sex section at the bookstore (not really-we know that is nothing to be embarrassed about-but it was a shock to remember that not everyone talks about sex, haha).

Looking forward… I can’t believe that J and I have been open almost a year. April 1 is our anniversary of opening up, and I am planning on posting a reflection of the past year. I am also taking an independent class next quarter on human sexuality, and the instructor gave me some great stuff to read! I’m sure those books will make their way into the blog. She is also having me present to her undergrad class on a couple of topics of my choice… I will definitely present on alternatives to monogamy 🙂 I also bought “The Sex Diaries Project” and “Sexual Intelligence” and am hoping to read them over our spring break- look for reviews of those, too!!

Happy March!