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Relationship

Relationship Podcasts to Listen to If You Don’t Have Time for Couple’s Therapy

We’re all imperfect. This truth is well-known. Somehow, when we form a couple, we seem not to be aware of it, and instead of acknowledging that we have created a potentially 200% failure in any field, we tell ourselves that since we are united there is only a 50% risk. Apparently someone didn’t do the math. Sex issues, generic relationship problems, dating confusion – there is truly a lot that can go wrong. Relationship podcasts are one of the solutions.

Relationship Podcasts to Listen to If You Don’t Have Time for Couple’s Therapy

Sometimes you and your S.O. can get in real trouble. Much more than usual. Try not to let the situation send you on a wild-goose chase. How to act? The best you can do is seeing a psychotherapist. These professionals have helped many pairs already. Even the most broken, sad couples managed to resurrect. However, sometimes that’s easier said than done. You might be struggling financially, not having the time or lacking in any other resources. 

Solution? What was the internet made for! A therapist can surely offer good, well-tailored advice, but he or she is not the only one out there! Many professionalists specialized in relationships show themselves online creating relationship podcasts watched regularly by hundreds of thousands of people. 

Trying to figure out how to tell your partner that you started to feel not understood, that you wish your mum to move in, that you’re not ready for marriage? Relationship podcasts have all the answers! Do a little research and you’ll find ones that will address your deepest concerns and burning curiosities.

The curated bunch of podcasts below will show you the never-ending world of online relationship pieces of training (effective advice, thoughtful truths, smart insights). Watch out, it’s addictive! Once you start, it’s hard to stop, so it’s better to kick-off at the weekend! 

Matthew Hussey

This guy is well-known primarily for coaching women to get a man. You heard it. There is constant hunting going on in the dating world. He will tell you how to act and think, to be attractive for a potential long-term partner.

For Any Woman Who’s Ever Had Her Heartbroken – Matthew Hussey, Get The Guy

Mindful Attraction 2.0.

This coach is actually more of a friend. He helps both men and women and specializes in the subject of attraction. He prefers to train women, giving them smart, sometimes even a little manipulative pieces of advice.

7 Unattractive Traits in Women That Turn Men Off

TEDx

If you’re interested in podcasts, there is no way you don’t know TEDx University. Here, you won’t find any semi-truthful ways to seem attractive even if you’re really not. Those podcasts are made for singles and couples who want to go deeper with their interests, spirituality, and love life. 

How To Tell If Someone Truly Loves You | Femi Ogunjinmi | TEDxXavierUniversity

Lilly Singh

A funny and smart one. Some tips on dating, some other on relationships, she’s got you covered. All wrapped in an energetic and funny endeavor. Everyone loves her attitude.

Types of Crushes

Sexy Confidence

Sexy Confidence, as the name of the podcast shows, is about being confident enough to feel sexy and reaching your goals. Relationship goals obviously. 

7 Signs He’s Secretly Attracted to You (#3 Makes NO Sense)

Amy Young

That’s a golden girl that helps other girls. That’s something made for women, devoted to sisterhood. In short, Amy lived through all the possible romantic stories by herself and is now ready to spread the news!

How to Let Go When He Doesn’t Like or Love You Back

Steve TV Show

Good, old Stevey. America loves him because he’s so straight forward, yet, a little too conservative when it comes to men-women romantic relationships.

What He Really Means: She’s Not Having It

Categories
love & life Relationship

Fancy Date Ideas for Your Posh Valentine’s Day

We’ve all been there. Whether you’re single or coupled, everyone is about to be troubled on Valentine’s Day. Let’s face it, as long as you’re single, all you have to do is grumble. As soon as you get yourself an amazing S.O., organizing Valentine’s Day becomes a real challenge. Don’t worry though! This time you are fully covered. We’ve prepared a deluxe list of creative ideas to save you from ruining this day like last year. Mind that ‘creative’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘complicated’ or ‘expensive’! That’s absolutely not the right definition. Trust us and let’s see what the future brings for this year’s Valentine’s Day. Forget the traditional and let’s ride with our creative list! 

Fancy Date Ideas for Your Posh Valentine's Day

1. Take a class – dancing, cocktail, sushi making.

Right… You were thinking rather about leisure time, weren’t you? Valentine’s Day is not going to be a free evening anyway, so why not spend it on doing something fruitful? Something that remains and levels you up? Just think about it. You’ll go through a lesson together and get to know another weak and strong points of your duo. You’ll most probably go out of the course with a piece of new knowledge. Is there anything better than this?

2. A poetry night or art exhibition

There are things you’re not used to doing daily. Let’s face the truth, not even once a week. But Valentine’s Day is a 100% freedom and fun evening, and it’s exceptionally open to the novelty and creativity. It’s all about waking up excitement and passion in a relationship. Say hello to once forgotten love for arts, go and meet new people, have fun talking about things you have no idea about. Be open-minded! P.S. This option involves karaoke or any other type of drunk performing, as well.

3. Dark dinner.

We’ve all heard about it more than once. We bet you have never really taken it seriously, though. If there is any place that business meetings never take place or where friends never really hang out, it’s there, in dark restaurants. Let’s assess the situation – you have no idea who serves your food, where the food is, or even what’s there to eat. Still, it has been a pretty trendy place for dates, for more than a few years already. Do yourself a favor and check out this place. This kind of restaurant is both adventurous and risky, so it’s another kinky way to test the way the two of you handle stressful improvised circumstances.  

4. Pay a visit to the local botanical garden.

We know that it seems more traditional than creative, but you know what? It’s not! The thing is, Valentine’s Day takes place in the middle of the winter. Why bother buying (or receiving) a bunch of boring red roses, if you can see all the possible exotic gardens coming from the whole world in one place, during the season, when every other greenish being was dramatically cut down by the frost? Have yourself a breathtaking floral backdrop on Valentine’s Day. Pump up your imagination about the upcoming holidays! 

5. Prepare your very own beer.

Never thought about it, have you? Normally, you would go for wine or champagne. But since we’re all in with creative options, let’s have what we like most! Unless you actually hate these kinds of soft drinks, then you better stay with vodka. If there’s a preference for the two of you to make your own beer at a local brewery and take your own batch home, don’t think twice and go for it! Seen this way, Valentine’s Day doesn’t seem boring and kitschy at all. 

6. Rent an Airbnb cabin.

This option is similar to the actual trip, but in this case, you don’t really have to go anywhere. Remind yourself the craziest renting caprice, and find an amazing cabin or crazy Airbnb in your town! It will stimulate your imagination to the fullest. Also, this way you’re gonna remove yourself from the day-to-day grind. What can you do later? It depends on you. You can both disappear under the sheets or surprise your S.O. with a unique stargazing night option. 

Categories
Relationship

Is Breakup Sex Ever a Good Idea?

The concept of breakup sex sounds so dramatic and like something out of a Hollywood sitcom rather than real life. Nevertheless, breakup sex is a part of real-life that happens fairly regularly in strained relationships. That being said, all sex is good but can lead to some confusing emotional complications when it is in the middle of a breakup period. Let’s consider some of the angles of why breakup sex is bad or good below.

Is Breakup Sex Ever a Good Idea?

Saving the Relationship or a Simple Farewell?

This is one of the aspects to consider when deciding whether to have sex in the middle of a breakup. Because most breakups occur as a result of emotional strain, improving the sex may have a negligible effect. If the individuals feel like they are being lied to, used, or manipulated in any manner, the sex will feel forced.

Trust is what holds relationships together. If one partner is starting to blow the other one off and talking about a breakup, this can cause a great deal of distrust. Is the other partner cheating? What are they hiding? What is the real explanation for this sudden dissatisfaction? The romance is tinged with just a hint of revenge and lots of confusion and frustration.

In the alternative, when a couple is breaking up due to objective and known factors, the sex can be a final farewell. It may be a way of saying that love was there even if the world is coming between us now. In this context, the sex can build an intimate bond and memory that carries the afterthought of the relationship on with hopes of reforming the relationship in the future.

If sex was ever a problem in the relationship, trying to have some great sex may rekindle the passions. The problem is that the hurtful words that are exchanged during many breakups can take an emotional toll. It is hard to get into the “I love you” mood when a bit of malice is still hiding in the heart.

Entertaining the Idea of an Open Relationship

For some couples, the idea of continuing a relationship in a “friends with benefits” mode may be the best of both worlds. They can test the waters and find a new love while still maintaining some level of emotional and mechanical satisfaction. Not everyone believes in a finding “the one” philosophy. While men tend to be more possessive than women, some women are very possessive but may be tolerant of cheating if they respect the other lover.

In this context, having sex after a breakup is simply a transition into more freedom. It is like having your cake and eating it too, enjoying the pleasures of life without any strings attached. While a lover in an open relationship may still lend support when needed, they don’t feel obligated to take care of your daily needs, which can be an overwhelming burden for some individuals.

Conclusion

It is very rare for sex during a breakup to be a bad thing. In many cases, the distrust issues and other problems are solved months later. People break up over misunderstandings and silly things all the time.

Categories
Relationship Safe Sex Sexual Health

10 Reasons You Bleed After Sex, According to Doctors

It’s not exactly a subject you want to talk about. However, many women experience it. If you bleed after sex, there’s a reason for it. In fact, there can be several reasons. Seeing blood freaks out most people, but let’s calm down, and keep reading.

10 Reasons You Bleed After Sex, According to Doctors

At some point, almost 10 percent of all women have experienced post-sex bleeding.

If you’ve ever noticed blood following sex, doctors say there are legitimate causes. Medical experts have listed 10 common explanations, says a report in Best Life.

1. First Sexual Experience. If you’re a virgin and having sex for the first time, bleeding can occur. The hymen is a tissue layer covering part of the vagina. When the hymen is broken through sex, bleeding can result.

2. Vaginal Dryness. Here’s another reason for finding blood after sex. Dryness of the vagina does not produce enough natural lubrication. Penetration can cause tearing. Doctors recommend using personal lubricants and having adequate foreplay first.

3. Rough Sex. Some women notice it after a wild romp in bed and/or with a partner who has a large penis. Both can cause tears in the vagina, pain and some bleeding.

After sex, some medical experts advise taking a cool shower and wearing a pad.

4. STI Disease. A sexually transmitted disease like chlamydia or gonorrhea can lead to inflammation of the cervix area. Bleeding can result along with itching, abnormal vaginal discharge, etc.

A gynecological appointment should be made to treat the condition.

5. Cervix Polyps. This is rarely a malignant condition. It can create bleeding when the penis is pushing up against these growths. The polyps are like fleshy growths, says the Merck manual.

The polyps don’t cause symptoms until after sex. They can be found during a pelvic examination. 

6. Menopause Factor. When a woman reaches menopause, her body goes through various changes. It’s normal for vaginal tissue to become thin and less supple. A menopausal woman can bleed after sex. Medical professionals recommend foreplay and personal lubricants.

7. Eczema/Dermatitis. A genital rash in the vaginal area that comes from eczema or dermatitis can cause you to bleed after sex. If itchy, scaly rashes are noticed around the vagina, a visit to the dermatologist can help.

8. Menstruation. Sometimes, a woman’s period starts during sex. However, it isn’t the sexual act creating the blood. It’s coming from the monthly flow.

9. Cervical Ectropion. Another of the common reasons for post-sex bleeding is a harmless condition called cervical ectropion. It involves the delicate cells of the cervix. Instead of being inside the cervix, these cells appear on the outside. There are treatments to help.

10. Vulvar Condition. Two common culprits could be causing tears at the vaginal opening. Lichen planus and lichen sclerosus are autoimmune diseases that can result in post-sex bleeding.

Doctors advise scheduling a gynecological visit when you experience bleeding post-sexual intercourse. Don’t suffer in silence. There are treatments to relieve symptoms, so you can enjoy a healthy sexual lifestyle.

Categories
Relationship Sexual Health

Ask a Sex Therapist: Why Is It So Hard to Make Eye Contact During Sex?

Gazing into your partner’s eyes while making love adds intimacy. Still, for some people, it can cause anxiety. According to sex therapist Vanessa Marin “most people” find it difficult to make eye contact during sex, even for just “a few seconds.” 

Ask a Sex Therapist: Why Is It So Hard to Make Eye Contact During Sex?

She confirms that eye contact during sex is “one of the most vulnerable things” you can do with a lover. Since people reveal a lot about themselves through their facial expressions and in their eyes even nonsexual eye contact with someone can be difficult. People invite interaction, indicate attentiveness, and get the feeling of truly being seen when they make eye contact with others. 

Thus when we make eye contact during sex and pair these two intimate activities it raises the level of intimacy to higher levels. This can be challenging. If you want to get better at eye contact during coitus, there you have options.

First, try making better eye contact with yourself. Try standing in front of a mirror and looking yourself in the eyes. Do this often and try to hold eye contact for a longer period of time for each session. 

Practice with strangers. When you buy your morning coffee, make eye contact with the barista when you say “thank you.” When you go out for a meal, look your server in the eyes when you order. 

If this is too much for you, go on YouTube. Find vlogs where the speaker talks directly to the camera. Practice making eye contact with the speaker. The speaker obviously will not know you’re doing it so it’ll be easy.

Here’s another tip from a sex therapist. Look at the bridge of people’s noses. They’ll think you’re actually looking into their eyes but you’re not so it won’t make you feel vulnerable. 

Finally, ask your lover to discuss making eye contact and say you want to practice. Then, when you’re both ready to practice, find a comfy spot outside of your bedroom and sit facing each other.

Practicing outside the bedroom separates it from the act of sex. You’ll feel less vulnerable. Now take a couple of deep breaths, close your eyes for a moment to clear your mind then open them again and make eye contact. 

Practice working up to a few seconds at a time. Slowly close your eyes if you feel as if you have been making eye contact for too long. Allow yourselves to take brief breaks for a few seconds whenever you need to do so. Allow yourselves to giggle.

Even with these practice sessions, making eye contact might still make you feel very vulnerable. You might only be able to do it for a few seconds at a time. So don’t be too rough on yourself. 

Making eye contact at any time can make you feel vulnerable and very open. Making eye contact while making love can be even harder because you are opening yourself up both body and soul. Just remember, practice makes perfect.

Categories
Relationship Sexual Health

What to Know About Sexsomnia, the Sleep Disorder Where You Have Sex in Your Sleep

Wake up to the reality of sexsomnia, a rare sleep disorder where you have sex in your sleep. It’s one of several parasomnias. Parasomnias are abnormal, disruptive, habitual activities that happen during and between stages of deep sleep. What causes this specific sleep disorder? 

What to Know About Sexsomnia, the Sleep Disorder Where You Have Sex in Your Sleep

Symptoms and triggers
Sexsomnia is more an erotic dream and more than some hot, hazy morning mating. Individuals with this disorder experience regular occurrences of masturbating, moaning, pelvic thrusting, and initiating coitus with whoever’s lying beside them, all while asleep. According to a 2017 study found in the journal “Sleep,” males are more likely to suffer from sexsomnia than females.

Male sexsomniacs will generally attempt to initiate lovemaking with a partner.Female sexsomniacs generally take matters into their own hands and masturbate. The behavior is reportedly amnesic and thus they occur in a confused, partially physically awake state and will not be remembered once the sufferer truly awakens. This particular parasomnia may also occur along with any other parasomnia. 

What triggers sexsomnia?

Any behavior that will interfere with a healthy, normal sleep pattern like too much caffeine too close to one’s bedtime, drinking alcoholic beverages, not getting enough sleep or even just a constant irregular sleep schedule can trigger this disorder. Dr. Alex Dimitriu, the founder of the Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine treatment centerin New Jersey told the press that seizures, sleep apnea, seizures, or REM behavior disorder can also influence it. 

Additionally, anxiety, depression and a lack of sex can impact on the frequency of the episodes. Sleep disorders like this can also be made worse by some psychiatric and other medications. Too much stress can also be a relevant factor and the condition is said to run in families.

Are sexsomniacs cursed?
There’s no real cure. Still, there are things one can take to reduce the frequency of occurrences or even stop it. Those who sleep next to sexsomniacs can frequently halt an episode by either pushing the sufferer away or simply not responding.

Sexsomniacs can make a concentrated effort to improve their sleep quality, lower their stress levels, have more sex while conscious and reduce nighttime alcohol and drug consumption. Prescription medication is another option. Clinical sleep health educator and the founder of the online site Insomnia Coach, Martin Reed reports: 

“Paroxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor . . . may be helpful” because it can reduce nighttime erections, increase deep sleep, and lower the occurrence of nighttime awakenings.” Another potentially helpful drug used for various parasomnias is Clonazepam. Doctor Dimitriu concludes that any treatment should start with eliminating the triggers.

Having sexomnia is nothing of which to be ashamed. Sexomnia makes you have sex in your sleep due more in part to random brain stimulation than something personal. As mammals, one of a human’s strongest biological drives. Choosing to actually treat this sleep disorder comes down to whether these specific animal instincts are an issue for the individuals who have the disorder and the partners they sleep beside every night.

Categories
Lifestyle Relationship

‘Do They Really Think I’m His Mother?’: Life With A Younger, Hotter Boyfriend

How many times have you noticed an older, distinguished-looking man with a hot young blonde on his arm? Probably a lot, right? So tell me, why do people often ask me if I’m the mother when they see me out with my younger man? Sure, “All you need is love,” said The Beatles, but let me tell you what my life with boyfriend – who is younger than I am- is REALLY like.

‘Do They Really Think I'm His Mother?’: Life With A Younger, Hotter Boyfriend

The first time it really hit me that my relationship was looked at differently was in a local restaurant. My boyfriend, who is just about 12-years younger than I am, was waiting for me at a popular Italian restaurant that had just opened up. I was running late and told him to just grab a table before it got too busy. When I finally came running in, hair out of place and definitely out of breath, the server spotted me and headed over as I plopped into the seat across from him.

What was her greeting, you ask? What did she have the nerve to say?

“Hi there! Awwww, how sweet- are you on a mother-son date?”

The glare and shock in my eyes stopped her from saying anything else, as I think she realized her mistake pretty quickly after she said it. She laughed nervously and launched into a spiel about the dinner specials, cocktails, and how nice of a day it was. My boyfriend, looking all hot and wonderful, was unfazed. But I surely was not.

Unfortunately, that is what they call “life with boyfriend” when he is younger AND hotter than you. While men flaunt their hot, young girlfriends around town with their head held high, prepared for high-fives and winks from other men, us older women pray we aren’t mistaken for the mothers of our younger men. It’s frustrating and quite frankly, demeaning.

We are all so conditioned to think that we have to date within the same general age group as ourselves. While age gaps are a very real part of the dating scene, it is still unusual for the public to react normally when they see a younger man with an older lady. Even if they don’t say anything to our faces, we know that they are likely making comments behind our backs.

This is especially true for women who are dating younger men who are also hot and who have a fit, trim body. Some people look at that type of relationship and wonder why on earth the man picked an older woman for a girlfriend. They must have “mommy issues” or are looking for a free ride. However, let a man walk in with gray in his hair and a young woman holding his hand and no one questions it at all.

What I think is sad is that too many men may not let themselves date an older lady, even if the chemistry is there, because they are worried about how society will perceive their relationship. They won’t want to hear that they could do better from friends and family. I’m just hoping that it’s true that younger men dating older women is on the rise.

But don’t worry. I’m staying with my younger, handsome boyfriend no matter what people think of us. Even if people do think I’m his mother. Because what they don’t know is just how good I have it when the bedroom doors are closed.

Categories
Lifestyle Relationship

If Your Partner Keeps Gaslighting You, Here’s What You Can Do

If you have ever been involved with a gaslighter, then you are well-aware of just how awful it can be. A gaslighter has no problem manipulating and deceiving their way out of any incident, all the while making you doubt your own reality. Gaslighting can happen to men and women of all ages, and it is a form of emotional abuse that can cause a person serious damage.

If Your Partner Keeps Gaslighting You, Here's What You Can Do

You may wonder exactly what the term “gaslighter” means. A person who gaslights another manipulates them into believing they are crazy in some way. The term became popular from a 1944 film known as Gaslight in which a husband begins to trick his new lover into believing she is seeing and hearing things. Gaslighters are manipulators who will lie and deceive you in order to gain power. They want you to believe that things are all in your head or that you are just sensitive.

Stephanie Sarkis is the author of a book about gaslighters. She insists, as do others, that this is a true form of emotional abuse. Is it that serious? Yes, it is. If a person gaslights you, they are trying to make you feel as though you are unstable or crazy. They are attempting to make you doubt your own thoughts and feelings. However, a gaslighter can be subtle at times, so it is important to be able to recognize the signs of one.

A gaslighter is a wounded person, according to Dori Gater, a psychotherapist in Connecticut. They must feel as though they are always right. If they don’t, they feel threatened. This makes them very challenging to deal with. You can’t argue with a person who gaslights you because defensive behavior is another strong quality they have.

How will a person respond to you during an argument or fight if they are a gaslighter? They will convince you that you are acting crazy or are hysterical. The more that you try to defend your words and actions, the more they will throw frustrating statements at you. You’ll begin to feel off-balance and confused from their words, making it seem as if you are, in fact, the problem. You’ll start to feel as though maybe you are overreacting and are being crazy.

So, what can be done? Tell whoever is doing the gaslighting that while you understand what they are saying, it isn’t the experience you are having. You can also try asking them to talk out the problem because you are seeing things much differently. It is important to never second-guess yourself when your gut feeling is telling you what is right and wrong. You may also want to keep written notes if this happens frequently.

Please keep in mind that gaslighting IS a form of abuse. If the gaslighter in your life has made no steps to change, then you should probably get out while you can. An emotionally abusive relationship is in no means healthy. After you have broken up, ignore all forms of communication from the gaslighter in your life. You can also check out the National Domestic Violence Hotline for more information on signs of abuse, both physically and mentally.

We hope you can take this information and make an informed decision when it comes to the people in your life. Don’t let yourself be manipulated any longer

Categories
cheating Relationship

I Was the Other Woman—but I Still Feel Sorrier for Myself Than for Her

I was the other woman. I met Noah* at a popular club one night as I was winding down from a stressful week of college. From the very moment our eyes locked across the room, a chemical attraction came over me. Dark and soulful, his gaze woke something up in me that I didn’t know was there. After talking to him for hours, first at the club and then at a late-night coffee bar, I knew that I had it bad. I had no idea that I would be the other woman at that point. Looking back on the whole ordeal, I still feel sorrier for myself than I do for her.

I Was the Other Woman—but I Still Feel Sorrier for Myself Than for Her

I knew that men are often prone to cheating, especially those in college. According to studies, men are 20% more likely to cheat than women. There are many reasons why people cheat on their partners. I also knew that Noah had a high school girlfriend that was in college two states away. I knew about her, but she had no idea about me. Did that stop me from spending every waking minute with Noah that I could? No, it did not.

Noah and I had one of the most invigorating and intoxicating relationships I have ever had. To this day I still wonder if I will ever feel the same sparks with someone else. His charisma and charm had me hanging on his every word. The times we spent in bed together are forever carved into my brain. Being with Noah was like being addicted to a drug- you know that it is bad for you, but you still keep doing it.

Being the side chick is a strange thing. You know that your man has someone else, but you can sometimes convince yourself that it doesn’t matter. The term “side-chick” has an extremely negative connotation to it, and I hated to dwell on it too much. I tried to convince myself that I was “not like other girls” and that what I was doing was okay. I told myself that she was having just as much fun with other men away at her own college. The lies I told myself only masked the guilt I felt over being the other woman.

These types of relationships are not destined to last. As much fun as I was having, we could not make it work out. Noah was still committed to his actual girlfriend and had no desire to leave her. After months and months of hooking up and spending nights together, it came to a fiery end over too much whiskey and cocaine. We were through. I was left alone while Noah still had his girlfriend to lean on, even though she had no idea what had happened.

After being the other woman for so long, I still feel sorrier for myself. Why? I had to endure being second-best at all times. She had no idea what happened to her, but I was left alone and miserable after the end of the relationship. Worst of all, I was left with the knowledge that I had been the “bad” one. It is still affecting my relationships to this very day.

Categories
Relationship

The Common Type of Relationship You Might Not Realize is Abusive

Do you view abusive relationships as physical marks and overtly cruel verbalizations? If yes, then you may not realize this common type of relationship is abusive. The main objective of abuse is an imbalance of control and power. Abusers achieve this control and power in many ways beyond straightforward cruelty and harm. Let’s explore the control and power of coercive relationships.

The Common Type of Relationship You Might Not Realize is Abusive

What Is A Coercive Relationship?

Coercive control is a term coined by professor and forensic social worker Dr. Evan Stark. It describes strategically ongoing and oppressive behaviors used to abuse in relationships. Its design is to instill fear and compliance in you.

Stark says 86 percent of reported domestic abuse cases involve coercive control. He also points out the vast majority of coercive relationship abuse is male on female.

Domestic violence expert Beth Hassett says women in coercive relationships rarely initially describe them as such. Why? Psychological relationship red flags are easier ignored when physical violence is absent. If you don’t realize you’re even in a coercive situation, it becomes all the more difficult to identify it as abuse.

Lisa Aronson Fontes, Ph.D. and author of “Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship,” describes coercive control as a web. You become anxious and fearful as coercion tactics strip your rights and independence. Factors like disorientation, self-blame, and love delay you from connecting what you feel and experience with your partner’s coercive behaviors.

By the time the connection is made, your life isn’t even recognizable. You’ve often made financial, social, work, and other decisions leaving you dependent upon the abuser. The result of this web can ultimately leave you feeling powerless to escape the relationship. This is why early identification of coercion is so crucial to your health and well-being.

Early Identification That You May Be In A Coercive Relationship

Remember that coercion relationships occur in patterns, not isolated events. A partner being a little jealous or pushy doesn’t equate to coercion. Look at the following list of red flags against two factors. Look at the repetition of occurrence first. Second, you’ll look at how that red flag makes you feel and act contrary to what you actually want.

• Monitoring your actions, whereabouts, and interactions with others.

• Setting time limits, restrictions, and banning actions, people, places, and things.

• Questioning your everyday behaviors and choices.

• Restricting or limiting access to communication and mobility.

• Belittling, demeaning, and degrading your actions and personality.

• Demanding control over your personal decisions, such as hairstyle, dress, and diet.

• Demanding control over your professional decisions, such as workplace and paycheck.

• Demanding control over your social decisions, such as time with family and friends.

• Denying your right to privacy.

• Destroying your personal property.

• Assuming control over how things or done.

• Devaluing your needs, personality, and human rights.

• Using threats against our access to loved ones as leverage to force your compliance.

• Intimidation.

• Humiliation.

• Accusations.

• Manipulation.

• Gaslighting.

• Angering when any of the above are argued against or strayed from.

Coercive behaviors are often masked as initial acts of care and concern. You’ll eventually see them as abusive control. The problem is the gradual and subtle nature of a coercive type relationship. Without early recognition, you’re often left holding a series of decisions that’s backed you in a corner. Heed those red flags today so they don’t leave you feeling powerless tomorrow.

Categories
Relationship Sex Sexual Health

When and Why is Pain Pleasurable?

The relatively recent commercial success of E. L. James’ fan fiction-come-franchise Fifty Shades of Grey has fueled a new interest in the idea of finding pleasure in pain. Fact is, lots of people have long drawn a connection between the two. The question is when and why is pain considered pleasurable?

When and Why is Pain Pleasurable?

“Hurts So Good”
The relationship between these two involves such explicit acts as dominance and submission, sadism and masochism, and bondage and discipline. These various sexual practices are more commonly known as BDSM. These practices contain an overlapping of both physical discomfort and sexual satisfaction.

Because people who enjoy rough play in the boudoir are often the subject of unwanted attention, the subject has been almost mythologized and even shrouded in mystery. Still, there are psychological and physiological explanations for this phenomenon.

It shouldn’t hurt unless you want it to . . .
It should go without saying that unless you specifically desire to experience physical discomfort as a planned part of your sexual gratification, coitus should never be painful. Unintentional physical distress could be caused by a number of different health-related reasons. These reasons include such conditions as infections or injuries of the vulva, vaginismus, and infections or injuries of the male genitalia. Should you experience any unintentional discomfort or painful sensations, consult a physician as soon as possible.

Some mutually consenting adults enjoy experiencing painful sensations during foreplay and lovemaking because they feel it enhances both their arousal and pleasure. This generally occurs during various regular BDSM activities or simply as part of an attempt to add spice to one’s love life.

How?
How can something painful be pleasurable? Human evolutionary theory notes that painful feelings are part of a warning system that signals a potential physical threat. For example, getting burned discourages you from walking into a fire.

Pleasure and pain have a lot in common. Scientific studies have revealed that both these sensations set off the same neural mechanisms within your brain. They’re
both connected to the interacting opioid and dopamine systems inside your brain, which controls your neurotransmitters related to motivation- or reward-driven behaviors such as drinking, eating, and lovemaking.

Both painful and pleasurable sensations trigger such brain regions as the amygdala, the pallidum, and the nucleus accumbens. These areas are concerned with controlling motivation-driven behaviors and the brain’s reward system. People who find painful sensations sexually arousing feel a “high” that’s much like the “high” that athletes experience when they push themselves to their physical limit.

Fantasy to reality
Studies show that sexual fantasies about rough or unusual sex play are actually quite common. A significant number of these individuals choose to make these intimate fantasies real in the privacy of their own bedrooms. Should you and your partner choose to move beyond what some would call “normal” intercourse and experiment, have no fear.

There is nothing inherently wrong with that. Just be certain to be in total agreement. Decide on a “safe word” that you can speak in order to stop things if either of you gets uncomfortable. Otherwise, have a good time!

Categories
Relationship

How Secrets Can Destroy a Relationship

Entering into a new relationship can be rather scary for many people. Opening up your heart and home to someone based primarily upon what they have told about themselves is a major step to building trust and living a happy life together. But what happens when you wake up one morning to find that the person you thought you knew was someone opposite of who you fell in love with? 

How Secrets Can Destroy a Relationship

Many times in relationships, one partner may decide to withhold information for one reason or another. Whether it is a secret of the past, current financial standing, or behavior that has taken place during the union, not being forthright in all aspects of one’s life can ultimately damage relationships beyond repair. Almost anyone who has ever experienced the loss of trust can attest to the fact that it is extremely difficult to move on or to get things back to the way they once were.

Once that trust is lost, it is nearly impossible to regain, leaving the relationship in disarray. With this knowledge, why do people still choose to be dishonest or not forthcoming to others? Or is it okay to hold on to information that one thinks the other should not know? 

The Center For Thriving Relationships lists three ways that secrets can destroy relationships

  • They can create a barrier to connection.
  • They will wear away at trust.
  • Gaslighting occurs and it’s psychologically abusive.

When information is withheld or fabricated, the one who is holding on to such knowledge may tend to hide their true feelings in other areas. Because they know the truth, it can become difficult to display their authentic selves when interacting with their partner. 

Conversely, when the secret is uncovered, the partner who is finding out this new information most often feels betrayed. They will most likely question everything about their partner moving forward, to include if they really ever loved them at all. The connection that was once felt is now broken.

Trust issues are inevitable when lies are revealed. There is nothing worse than finding out that you have been lied to and betrayed by the one you love. Breaking the trust with someone will almost always drive a wedge, especially between lovers. 

Gaslighting often happens when the secret-keeper refuses to take responsibility of their actions, but will rather find a way to make the other feel bad or guilty for their reaction. This is the salt in the wound, so to speak. As if it were not enough to be lied to, following it up with being accused by the one who is actually guilty has to be the ultimate betrayal. 

Anyone of these aforementioned outcomes are destructive to relationships and should be considered whenever one is making the decision to keep information from their partners. While some may overlook such issues depending upon the level of betrayal that was committed, there will always be a lingering feeling that your partner may be lying. 

Additionally, a secret can be damaging to any type of relationship, not just romantic. Therefore, in order to create a solid foundation and interact freely with others, it is always best to be forthright with information and allow the other person to choose whether or not they want to continue on the journey with you.

Categories
health Relationship

How to Get Out of an Abusive Relationship

If your partner is abusing you, it can be quite challenging to leave. However, the relief you feel when you are no longer being hurt, manipulated, or controlled is worth it. Follow these steps to get out of an abusive relationship.

How to Get Out of an Abusive Relationship

Decide to Leave

Just deciding to leave an abuser is one of the hardest parts of leaving. It is important to realize that abusive people will never change. Even if they promise, they will not stop hurting you. You also need to realize that you do not deserve the abuse. Regardless of what your partner says, you deserve to feel safe, avoid pain, be happy, and live a fulfilling life.

Have an Emergency Plan

In an ideal situation, you could plan the perfect way to leave an abusive relationship. However, the reality is that this is not always an option. If you are being hurt right now, you need to call your local emergency services. Know the number and address for a few local shelters if you have to get away in a hurry.

Make a Plan to Leave

If you are not in immediate danger, you may want to take a little longer to plan your escape. This can help you prepare how to safely leave the relationship. To avoid being found out during this stage, use safe electronics. Consider going to the library to search for things on their computer, or get a second phone. Work to find a new place to stay and look into local laws about child custody if necessary.

Pack the Essentials

Gather your belongings without making it obvious you are packing. Essentials include documents like birth certificates and social security cards. You may also want heirlooms, electronics, valuable jewelry, and changes of clothing. Remember no belongings are worth your life. If you cannot safely take them with you, leave them.

Know Your Legal Rights

If you have children or pets, it is helpful to know what the law has to say. This can keep your abuser from trying to control you through kids or pets. It may be helpful to seek advice from a lawyer in these situations.

Skip a Confrontation

The most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when leave. Avoid giving the abusive partner the chance to change your mind or hurt you more. If possible, plan to leave when they are out of town or at work. Leave a note or send them a single message saying you are gone, then block them.

Hide Your New Location

It is important to keep your new location secret. Unlist your phone number and only use a P.O box. Cancel all shared credit cards and accounts. Try to avoid following typical routines. Check your car, belongings, and phone for any tracking devices or apps. You may want to consider a restraining order.

These steps help you get the courage to leave and stay safe afterward. Once you are finally safe, you can start taking steps to heal and start a new life.

Categories
Relationship

How To Find The Best Birth Control For You

Ages ago, a woman only laid with her partner for procreation. People learned that they could pull out, but that wasn’t very effective. Luckily, we now have birth control to help us enjoy time with our partner without the fear of bringing a life into this world if we don’t want to. However, how do you know what contraceptive is right for you? There are so many options out there now! Well, here are some things to consider when picking your birth control method. 

How To Find The Best Birth Control For You

1. What have you tried before? 
If you’ve had birth control before, your previous experience can help your doctor determine what would be best for you this time around. If your last contraceptive raised any concerns, be sure to mention that to your doctor. If things went smoothly, be sure to tell your doctor that, too. If you’re interested in trying another method, your previous experience may help your doctor suggest another option. 

2. How long do you want to be covered? 
Are you planning on having a baby soon? Are you unsure? Or do you know that you won’t have kids for years? Your life plan makes a big difference in what method is best for you. Some contraceptives, such as the implant or IUD can last years. The shot and ring last monthly. The patch lasts weekly. Finally, the pill only works for a day. 
You want to pick an option that falls into your schedule. Of course, you can always change your mind. However, it’s easier to just go with the best birth control for your age and career goals. 

3. Have you considered him using contraception? 
Generally speaking, women are the ones expected to worry about conception. However, men can get involved, too. Men have the option to wear condoms or go through a vasectomy if you are truly done having children. Talk to your partner about whether either of these options might be the best birth control for you as a couple. Plus, condoms are the only contraception that will protect you and your partner from STDs. 

4. Will the contraception fit your lifestyle? 
The pill requires you to take a pill at the same time every single day. Many women set an alarm and do just fine, but this can be difficult for forgetful people. On the other hand, the shot will require you to get to the doctor every three months. Is that feasible? Pick a method that you will actually do. 

5. Are you sensitive to hormones? 
Some people do just fine with methods that enhance hormones. Other people who are more sensitive may experience unsavory side effects. Different pills have different levels of hormones to help accommodate your needs. You can also choose an IUD with hormones or without hormones. Your doctor will start you with a low or no hormone option if you’re unsure. 

Your choice of the contraceptive can determine how regularly you take it and how effective it is. Get one that works for you, and you will be able to worry about the other aspects of your life. 

Categories
love & life Relationship

6 Times You Should Give Your Partner A Second Chance

Every person has a list of dealbreakers in a relationship. Even the most dedicated ride-or-die types can find themselves walking out the door when their S.O. crosses a certain boundary. But how do you know when to stay and when to walk away? When you’re single, it’s easy to have a long list of reasons why you would end a relationship. The reality of being with someone that you love and care for is a different story. 

While every couple will face their unique challenges, there are certain instances that you should definitely give your significant other a second chance. You may have struggled with forgiving too much in the past and now, you cut people off the second they do something you deem offensive. While this is a surefire way to safeguard your heart, it’s also a good way to wind up twinged with regret and wondering, “What if?” 

6 Times You Should Give Your Partner A SecondChance

Here are six definitive times you should give your partner a second chance and how to go about it.

1. When You Have More Than Just Love

Love itself is a difficult concept for many people to define, especially during the early stages of a relationship. There are different psychological theories that address the various stages of love, but all of them agree that love itself is not enough to sustain a relationship.

You can love someone and still not be the right match for them. But if you and your partner have a deeper level of intimacy, trust, attachment, and connection, there may be a bigger reason to stay and work things out.

Obviously, this doesn’t hold true in instances of domestic violence, emotional abuse or chronic infidelity. But many of the smaller squabbles that get blown out of proportion in relationships can become lessons that bring you closer together. 

2. When You Know This Isn’t That Big of a Deal

When a relationship begins to become more serious and integrated into your daily life, there will be times that you really don’t want to compromise. Maybe your partner is way messier than you and you just can’t see yourself picking up their dirty clothes the rest of your life. Or maybe they don’t want a cat, and you really, really want a cat and have ever since you started idolizing Taylor Swift. 

Listen. This isn’t always easy, and there are absolutely certain things you should never compromise: Think your personal values and morals. But if you truly care for someone and want them to be in your life, you will have to be more flexible and understand that getting close to another person requires attention, adaption, and appreciation on both ends. 
Get a hamper. Rotate chores. Pick a pet you both like. There are plenty of relationship challenges that can be mutually resolved. 

3. When You Can Tell They’re Trying to Improve

Don’t focus on apologies, focus on actions. Does your partner only treat you well when they’re trying to get back on your good side, or do they take your emotions to heart and make a continual effort to improve your relationship? 
You’ll have to put your ego aside and level with reality. It’s not always fun, but it can make the difference between staying with a partner you love and ending things prematurely. 

4. When You Are Both Committed

An unbalanced level of commitment in a relationship will always lead to heartbreak and frustration. If you and your partner are both committed to overcoming whatever problems you’re facing together, there’s hope, and it’s okay to believe in it.

5. When They’ve Learned Their Lesson

Don’t make someone repent for the same mistake endlessly. No one deserves that. If your partner has demonstrated that they truly understand their past transgressions, allow yourself to freedom to forgive. 

6. They Are Truly Sorry

An apology doesn’t always fix a situation. Is your partner sorry that they hurt you, or are they sorry they got reprimanded? Every situation is different, but it’s important to address each circumstance and cast aside your own pride. You can accept someone’s sincere apology and still be angry. Emotions take time. You can work through them. But think twice before you sacrifice an entire relationship over something someone genuinely regrets doing. 

Sometimes, it’s easy to answer the question, “Should I break up with my partner?” But every couple is different, and there are always unique circumstances to consider. Talk with your partner and, if possible, go to therapy. It can help each of you grow as individuals as well as a couple. Even if things don’t work out, you’ll be able to rest assured with the knowledge that you made the most informed decision and put forth your greatest effort.

Categories
psychology Relationship

Russian Vogue Model Shares Shocking Photos of Her Battered Face After Alleged Assault by Boyfriend

Kira Dice, a famous model who has shot for Russian Vogue magazine, shocked and upset her fans in November 2018. Using social media, she revealed that her boyfriend attacked her in her home in Moscow, throwing chairs and hitting her. Kira says she hopes her pain can help to raise awareness over the issue of domestic violence.

Russian Vogue Model Shares Shocking Photos of Her Bottered Face After Alleged Assault By Boyfriend

Because she was afraid to upset her boyfriend even more, and maybe encourage another attack, Kira says she did not report the beating to the police when it initially happened. This is a common experience. As the advocacy group, Domesticshelters.org has reported, most women do not report their abusers to the police.

The model described the graphic abuse, opening up about the details of the violence. Her boyfriend attempted to rape her, stuffed money in her mouth to make her chew it, and knocked her unconscious. The incident was so loud that neighbors knocked on the door and an ambulance came to help her.

Writing on Facebook, Kira said, “I ask you not to be indifferent to domestic violence.” Many women do not speak up or do not have an audience to hear their stores, Ms. Dice is using her large online platform to spread awareness of the issue. She hopes to reduce the amount of domestic violence around the world. She encourages women who are victims to seek help.

The pain caused by an abusive partner can go well beyond the healing of the bruises. Psychological pain can stay after the physical wounds have healed. The National Domestic Violence Hotline, in a study, reported that “81% of women who experienced rape, stalking, or physical violence by an intimate partner reported significant short- or long-term impacts such as post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and injury.” Also, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety found that abuse can cause many mental health problems. They say “Anxiety disorders made up the greatest proportion of this attributable burden (35%), followed by depressive disorders (32%) and suicide & self-inflicted injuries (19%).”

Kira’s story is sad, but it is hardly unique. Many other women have similar experiences. With an organized effort, she believes the problem can be addressed. When celebrities like Kira, with her strong base of support, speak out, then the issue of domestic violence can gain more media attention. Kira hopes this is the lasting impact of her devastating situation will be the empowerment of women to overcome these types of abusive situations.

Categories
Marriage Relationship

Should You Have Sex With Your Spouse When You Don’t Want To?

If you are in a long term relationship say marriage, you can reminisce those early “honeymoon” days when you and your spouse could literally not take your hands off each other. Unfortunately, no matter how exciting these escapades were, there come days, weeks, months or even years when you don’t feel like putting in the effort to make love to your spouse anymore. 

Should You Have Sex With Your Spouse When You Don't Want To


In this piece, we beg to engage in a controversial discussion of whether one should make love to their spouse when they don’t want to.  
A decrease in libido in men and women is very normal, so don’t fret. As a matter of fact, WebMD and University of Chicago Professor Edward O. Laumann offers plausible culprits that have driven a wedge between spouses romantically over the years including finances, lack of communication, sleep, busy schedules, stress etc. 
We cannot magically make you feel aroused by the sight of your spouse but we can encourage you to go on the path of rediscovery. 

What do we mean? 

Take the plunge– Take your time to rediscover what turns you on, configure new things you would like to try and re-ignite the ecstasy and adventure in your bedroom. Therefore, the next time your spouse wants to make love and you are not in the mood, simply think of some exciting things to try igniting the passion. 
In addition, in the event you feel overwhelmed with work, demands of others or the kids, try talking to your spouse about what you are facing as this can help ease the pressure. In fact, research shows that spouses who talk about the issues they are dealing with on the regular help elevate their desire and drive and thus improving their lovemaking. 

You can also try to switch up things by taking up different roles in the bedroom.

How you may ask? 

Simple, try changing your status quo in the bedroom, by playing a different role from the one you have been previously accustomed to. This is guaranteed to make you excited not to mention spice up things for you and your partner even if you don’t want to engage in lovemaking at first. 

Remind yourself of your spouse’s positive virtues, character, and love for you. Studies have shown that spouses with a high love making communal strength – being motivated to fulfill their partners’ needs even when not in the mood or without a prompt reciprocation often make their spouses feel more satisfied with their relationship. 
This means that spouses who engage in lovemaking to please their partners gained numerous benefits including satisfaction and delight in seeing their spouse happy which in turn led to their satisfaction. 

Final Thoughts 

As libido inevitably waxes and wanes over the course of any relationship, it is important for all spouses to be mutually responsive to each other’s desires in the relationship to help ensure satisfaction.

Categories
Relationship

Are You The Manipulator in Your Relationship?

Is it your way or the highway? Your partner may have been drawn to your bold, confident personality, but your way with words and unwavering nature could be ruining your relationship. Manipulation is the act of saying or doing certain things to get people to think and behave exactly as you want. Manipulators often believe that their way is the best. In their minds, if others would just listen to them, everything would be fine. 

In a healthy relationship, couples accept differing opinions and find a satisfactory compromise. While, In a manipulative relationship, one partner always winds up changing their mind, in the end, to make the other happy. 

Are You The Manipulator in Your Relationship

Why do people manipulate others? It could be because you come from a past of unhealthy relationships that made you feel small and helpless. When you finally gained independence, you were standing on your own but still felt like the same vulnerable person inside. 

The vulnerability is a wonderful thing; without being vulnerable, we cannot form close, long-lasting relationships without it. The vulnerability is a double-edged sword to a manipulative person. It’s a weakness in themselves and an exploitable asset in their partner. 

Controlling Rejection

At the core of a manipulator is a scared person who fears they are unlovable. While some people who feel this way tend to be insecure and anxious in relationships, others will use manipulation to mask their insecurity. Rather than trying to mend their wounds, they hide them with bravado and false confidence. 

Manipulation allows people to control rejection. Everything is on their terms, so they never feel subjected to the will of someone else’s opinion. Do you shy away from listening to your partner’s honest opinion on things? You may feel like if they don’t have something good to say, they shouldn’t speak at all. 

You may brush them off as being ridiculous, unreasonable or even stupid. If you looked more closely, you may notice that you avoid listening to them because you’re afraid of what they’ll say. 

A contrary or negative opinion to a manipulator is like a personal blow. Anytime their partner disagrees with them or doesn’t do what they want, they feel rejected. Instead of acknowledging that each of us is unique individuals entitled to our own free will, a manipulator defends a soft, wounded ego that needs to be nurtured at all times. 

There’s a caveat, though. Manipulators will never truly feel loved. If you have to force someone’s hand or wear them down to get what you want, that is not loved. Love is a choice. Love is made every single day, and true love does not vanish in the presence of natural emotions like anger or sadness. 

You Don’t Have to Always Call the Shots

The best way to stop manipulating a partner is to start working on yourself. You may have become manipulative as a defense mechanism. Perhaps you had parents who made you constantly question or doubt the legitimacy of your thoughts and feelings. You may have been manipulated in the past and vowed to never let that happen again. 

You long to be loved, but you’re afraid to trust someone. In order to heal and enjoy the warmth, comfort, and fulfillment of a healthy relationship, you must first address the insecurity and fears that are rooted deep inside. 

Speaking to a therapist is a good way to begin your transformation into a more kin, more accepting person, starting with yourself.