Thursday, October 11, 2012

Are BJs a Cure-All?

Things have been heating up around my house lately, and for once I'm not talking about in the bedroom. No, I'm in hot water with my husband for crossing the overshare line with my candid posts about our sex life and refusing to end each one by telling you how well-endowed he is. That must mean it's time for me to address the relationship side of this blog about sex and relationships after kids.

A couple days ago an obnoxious and juvenile post from a mommy blogger I follow arrived in my inbox. I won't insult your intelligence by linking to it, but the gist was that women bitch about their husbands too much. We need to stop being nagging harpies and give our men more blow jobs. Did you know that blow jobs are a magical panacea? What a novel idea. I think every 17 year old boy on the face of the planet has that in his arsenal. After I threw up a little in my mouth, I wondered how many blow jobs it would take to restore my thyroid to working order. How many to cure the post-partum depression a couple of my friends suffered from?

Can blow jobs keep my house clean? Hm...

I think you get my point. Sex and oral are amazing gifts two people can share; they certainly can elevate one's mood and smooth over little irritations. I can get behind the idea of not sweating the small stuff, but when's the last time an argument about the dishes was actually about the dishes?

When there are other tensions in a relationship just closing your eyes and thinking of England isn't going to fix anything. Suggesting that keeping your husband happy by putting out is going to solve anything for you sounds like this: "My shoes are too tight so I'm going to buy my husband a bigger pair." "Oh, you have cancer? Well I'll just get radiation and you'll be cured in no time." See? Crazy.

Everyone who is committed to making a relationship last knows that marriage takes hard work. During a difficult time in my marriage I discovered that I didn't really know what that meant. What exactly does that "work" look like? I didn't feel like I was doing anything differently, but my husband and I weren't connecting and resentment and anger were building up.

We went to counseling and were assigned a concrete task to complete. Each of you writes out a schedule of the weekend in one-hour increments, filling in all the things you have to do, as well as the things you want to do. We each did one in Google Docs and then shared with one another. Then you make any necessary adjustments in order to balance the things you have to do with the things you want to do individually, just the two of you, and with the kids. This seemed silly and too simple to change anything, but it really did help by getting us to work toward a common goal that didn't involve our kids. Over the course of doing that exercise every week, we learned that our communication skills were a little rusty and that most of the discord in our marriage came from feeling off-kilter from a lack of balance. In my limited experience, both are common difficulties for couples. We still do a weekend schedule when it starts to feel chaotic and like we aren't getting enough quality time together--a lack of balance between what we want to do and what we have to do.

Oh yes we did schedule sex.
It was probably more like 6:00-6:11 am
Problems in a relationship are best solved out of the bedroom, in my opinion, and the sooner the better so you can get back to the awesome bedroom stuff with an open and trusting heart. The weekend schedule is just one example of a way to work out difficulties without it feeling like you're doing a bunch of unpleasant work.

So, how do you and your partner keep your relationship healthy? Lay it on me!

Have a sexy weekend!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cheeky Pants

I saw these on Pinterest yesterday. Rrrrowwwwwr.

Source here

Have a sexy weekend!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Orgasms Galore!

Lately I've been using KY Intense Arousal Gel and you might want to go out and buy some right now. That stuff has been a life-changer in my bedroom. Here are the things you need to know about it:

       1) It is not a lube.
       2) It is not a lube.

I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but the number of negative reviews out there written by people who clearly used it as a lube is astonishing. It's not a lube and it says so on the packaging, and in all the reviews written by people who aren't dumb. So, with that in mind, don't put it where you would put a lube. Follow the directions and apply 1-2 squirts to the clitoral area.

       3) It works for 75% of the women who try it. It might not work for you, but if it does, you're in for a treat.
       4) It's expensive. The price on the amazon link above is actually half of what I paid from a different place (it was the cheapest I could find at the time) with a $5.00 instant rebate.

So, what's so great about it? For me it guarantees that 100% of the times we have sex, I will have an orgasm. It also makes the orgasms I have very intense. I started using this gel in May and there has been one time when my orgasm was not very intense. One time. The other times have all been exactly as they are depicted in the commercials. Thanks to this gel, I also always climax pretty early on, giving me time to devote to becoming multi-orgasmic. No luck yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Have a sexy weekend!

I think it would even help in this situation.
That's just how magical it is.

The four people who read this blog know that I'm recommending this product because I use it and love it, not because I received anything for doing so.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Seven Year Gift Itch

This November we will have been married 7 years and I'm already in a gift rut with my husband. Gifts for men are interesting; they assume men are drunk, cigar-smoking, NFL Sunday Ticket obsessed sofa surfers whose movements are limited to golf, grilling, and the ones that happen in the bathroom.
The cocktail set from the alternate reality where
Marty's mom marries Biff is a
one-of-a-kind offering from Brookstone.

It only took two years to redenvelope him to death. A guy only needs so many cuff links, especially when his job calls for a more casual wardrobe, he's not a golfer or a cigar smoker, and I don't really understand what whiskey stones are for. The amount of stemware we already have makes pint glasses etched with our monogram or his favorite sports team's logo too ridiculous to contemplate. He's a great cook and griller, but one of these would just end up on someone's butt.
Grill Brand or DIY Tramp Stamp-er?

A search on Pinterest returned three measly pins. I never imagined it would be possible for Pinterest to fail me, but I guess Pinterest is 99% wedding ideas pinned by 17 year old girls. Maybe in 20 years there will be some anniversary pins. On the bright side, there's a spat in the comments on this pin.

One of the best gifts I ever gave him was a memory book I made. I wrote a really cheesy but heartfelt letter commemorating our first date and the things we liked to do together. I divided the letter into 21 parts and wrote each part on one page of the book, which was decorated with a corresponding picture or scrapbooking sticker. I gave him one page every day leading up to our wedding, when I gave him the final page before we went our separate ways to prepare for the day. That was a special gift for that time of our life, but I'm pretty sure he'd rather have a new bike this year. That's too bad, because there's a moratorium on big purchases till we get wood floors.

Got any gift ideas for me?

Oh, brother. I didn't marry an effing hipster, thank you very much.
Vintage distressed typewriter key copper cuff links from here

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sexy Reads That Are Not Fifty Shades of Grey

Hipster Kitty read erotica before it was cool.

Reading something sexy has helped me out of a dry spell more than once. You know that old saw about the brain being the most important sex organ? Well, I guess it's true because there have been many times at the end of a long day that I'm brain-dead and suffering from the over-touching of my wonderful children and the last thing I can possibly consider is having sex. 

Then I read something sexy and, though I haven't slept or spent a week at a luxury spa where no one touches me unless I pay a ridiculous amount of money, voila! My brain has been reset and sex is suddenly more than a possibility. It's happening.

I'm excited about this post because I get to do something I've never done before. I get to say that I did something before it was cool.

Romance literature has been a part of my personal library since I was in middle school. I devoured the Sweet Valley High series because it felt so delicious to read books that were on the Black List for book reports at school. If teachers don't allow it and my mom thinks it's trashy, it must be good, sez PreTeen Me.

Some time in 7th or 8th grade, my family took a trip to Florida to visit my great aunt Margaret. She was one of those beautiful grande dames who took hours to "put on her face" each morning before we could leave the house to actually do anything. Obviously I poked around in all her drawers and closets during the wait. I struck gold one morning when I pulled down a box overflowing with romance novels. I opened up the first, a western, read a few pages and was hooked. From then on, I turned to Romance Lit when I needed a light read; it worked like a palate cleanser from the books I read for school.

When I first heard all the orgasmic rapture over Fifty Shades of Grey, I went on amazon to read the reviews. The critical reviews convinced me to skip it, or wait till the Kindle price dropped below $2.00. Plus, there's something really condescending about the phrase "Mommy Porn," which is how I always heard it described. Then I read this review from Jen at People I Want to Punch in the Throat (Check out her blog. She's hilarious). Twilight FanFic? So not interested. Tampons? Even less. Interior monologue with Inner Goddess? Oh, hell no. But, this silly book is apparently causing many women to reignite the bedroom flames with their husbands or significant others, which is a good thing.

My point in dismissing Fifty Shades of Grey is that Romance/Erotica/Sexy reads have always been out there. Check out the Song of Songs, for pete's sake:

I went down into the garden of nuts
to see the fruits of the valley,
and to see whether the vine flourished,
and the pomegranates budded.

And if you look around a little, you might find prose that is a little less purple than what you find in Fifty Shades. Check out 50 Shades of Suck for excerpts.

I can assure you skeptics out there that Romance Fiction has evolved since the bodice-ripping days of sex scenes that read a little too much like rape scenes (but there is the BDSM sub-genre if you're into that). Now, most Romance Fiction could appropriately fall under a bigger "Women's Fiction" umbrella. I don't think there's any shame in reading about hot people having toe-curling sex or people whose relationship problems can be solved in 300 pages. It's escapism at its finest, and it's largely written by women, for women.

Without further ado, here are places you can look for sexy reads that are generally better than Fifty Shades of Grey:

1. See if your area has a Romance Writers of America chapter. Most chapters maintain websites with suggested reading lists and features on chapter members who are published authors. You can also get similar information from the RWA website above.

2. Ask a librarian. Romance is well represented on the shelves of America's libraries, which means someone is curating that collection. Ask for her at the desk. Also check out your local library's website. It might have a "Staff Suggests" section.

3. Check out Ellora's Cave, a publisher of Romance Fiction, though here's a warning that the website is not well-designed. "Naughty Nooners" are very short stories (you can read them on your lunch break, hence the name) that are also very inexpensive, or free. You can download them to read on your eReader or computer. Ellora's Cave has three imprints, Romantica: Erotic Romance; Exotika: Erotic Fiction; and Blush: Mainstream Romance. Be sure to check the reviews because sometimes you get what you pay for.

4. Literotica. Free erotic fiction.

5. Browse the Erotica section on

In general, Romance is broken down into many, many sub-genres and levels of "heat" so it's pretty easy to find a sexy read that you'll be comfortable enjoying.

Feel free to add your own recommendations in the Comments.

Now, go forth and make those "vines flourish"!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lazy Thursday

If I could rap this post for you, I would.

I've been saving this post for a time when I need a go-to post because my brain is fried. Today is that day. If you were always the person named "least likely" to fill out an "about you" survey and send it on to friends, I apologize. I was definitely a "most likely" and I sent the hell out of those things.

Go ahead and post your own answers in the comments. You know you want to. Or, you could just go back to work.

A to Z About Me

A. Age: 29, as far as you know
B. Bed size: queen, would do a lot for a king sleep number
C. Chore that you hate: dishes, especially since my husband has a lot of nice stuff he won't let me put in the dishwasher
D. Dogs: collie or border collie mix. He's a rescue so we aren't sure
E. Essential start to your day: coffee
F. Favorite color: blue
G. Groin? Really?: Well, I could have used "crotch" instead. Or this. Would that have made you happier?
H. Height: about 5'2". One time a Dr. actually recorded my height as 5'2 and 17/18"
I. Instruments you play: my voice, but not much lately
J. Job title: homemaker
K. Kids: 2 sons and aforementioned dog
L. Live: on the far suburban edges of a large midwestern city
M. Memorable books: Middlemarch, Pride & Prejudice, Year of Wonders, Straight Man, Tess of the D'Urbervilles,
N. Nicknames: Punkin' (husband), my brother just calls me "girl"
O. Overnight hospital stays: aside from after childbirth, two stays when I was a little kid for getting really sick and dehydrated.
P. Pet peeves: abuses against the English language (not that I'm perfect)
Q. Quote from a movie: "Don't play dumb. We're better at it than you." --Bring It On
I love this movie but haven't watched it in years so I have no idea why that quotation popped into my head
R. Right or left handed: right
S. Siblings: a younger brother
T. Time you wake up: 1 am (bladder), 4:30 (baby), 5:30 (husband's alarm), 6:00 (3 yo)
U. Underwear: Gap lace-trimmed hipsters. Very comfortable, but still sexy
V. Vegetable you hate: peas
W. What makes you run late: I don't usually, but my mind isn't what it used to be. Sometimes I'll get everything loaded in the car and then remember that I didn't have my older son use the bathroom (and he thinks gas station rest rooms are the neatest), or I left my keys in the house, or forgot a wet bag for the baby's diapers.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: foot, for a stress fracture; breast, for a benign lump when I was too scared to have a biopsy (I was young); head, for sinus infection (ridiculous. This was in Spain. I used to get sinus infections about once a year, but the Dr wouldn't treat me till I had an x-ray); back, to rule out more serious conditions when I strained some muscles
Y. Yummy food that you love: Anything my husband makes. He's the chef in our house and his cooking is amazing. Some of my favorites are Thai chicken w/ peanut sauce, Cuban beef picadillo, and chicken tostadas
Z. Zoo animal: I love the big cats, and the guinea pigs at the Children's Zoo

Have a sexy holiday weekend!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Burn After Reading

This is a replica of a love note from the groin. It was my first attempt at defeating Sex Drought II. The kids and I met my husband at work for lunch and, as he was helping me load the kids in the car, I handed him the note and told him to open it when he got back to his office.

And yes, sometimes my mind is just barely at the elevation of a "That's what she said". But, hey, it worked.

The thing about love notes, sexts, or any other method you choose to employ, is that they create anticipation. Anticipation is foreplay for your brain, which, as the women's magazines constantly remind us, is our most important sex organ.

At the end of every day, I'm still as tired as ever from trying to keep up with two kids, a dog, and a house, but if I've scheduled sex and invited my husband to the party, I find I can access the energy reserves. I haven't regretted it yet. There are a lot of things I've done that were not worth the loss of even 5 minutes of sleep, but good sex with my husband isn't one of them.

Now that's ambitious.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lower Your Standards

We aren't fancy romance-y people.

One thing that has really facilitated our having sex more often is setting the bar ridiculously low for our sexcapades. While we were never the sort of people who felt like we were slumming if we weren't doing it on a bearskin rug in front of the fire with a cut crystal glass of champagne in one hand and caviar on toast points in the other, we did have our version of an ideal setting. Mostly, we wanted the time to do what we pleased without fear of interruption, and to break out the sex furniture every once in a while. (Remember this? That right there is why there will never been any photographic evidence of what goes on in my bedroom.)

It took a while to come out of Sex Drought I for the simple reason that we couldn't figure out when to have sex. We had a lot of excuses: we were too tired at night, which was our familiar time, and I wasn't usually in the mood upon first waking. Once our son could get out of his bed, we were afraid he'd walk in because the bedroom door at our old house didn't close all the way, much less lock. It would be weird to have sex in the middle of the day when the kid was taking a nap, blah blah blah.

After we added a second kid to the mix, necessity forced us to drop all our inhibitions, get out of our comfort zone, and just do it. Also, we bought a house with locking doors.

Our older son turned 3 about a month ago and we have never had sex while he was awake. The other day changed all that. We woke up on Saturday morning, both of us ready to go, when at 6:10 our 3 year old alarm clock peeked his adorable head around the door. He always wins the race to morning, and I draw the line at setting an alarm for 5:30 on a Saturday just to beat him to it and have some alone time with my husband.

As the boys went downstairs to start coffee and breakfast, I asked my husband, with a significant glance, to wake me up in a bit. A while later I heard my son coming up the stairs, which was seriously awkward because I had been this close to just taking care of business myself. Turns out my husband, who came upstairs with our son to deliver my coffee, thought I really just wanted more sleep. I can't say the man doesn't know me well. Once we straightened that out, he plunked the kid in front of Sesame Street with his cereal and raced back upstairs.

So, yada yada yada, we had a fun morning and were happy all day. Baby steps!

A door that locks has eliminated one scenario
 in which we have to see this face. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Today's Spongetastrophe

Have you ever watched a snake eat and wondered how a snack so big could fit down that relatively small gullet? (If you think snakes are cool, you might want to watch this video of a Burmese python eating a freaking alligator.)  The snake's jaw disarticulates (unhinges) so a snake with a head the size of a quarter can easily eat a big rat.

Last month I decided to try a new birth control method during the transition time before my husband gets a vasectomy. Instead of calling my OB for recommendations, like a smart person who was really serious about not having more kids would do, I turned to one of my favorite shows for ideas.

I love "The Sponge" episode of Seinfeld, but for most of the time the show was a regular part of the viewing line-up in my house, the Sponge was off the market. Happily, it's out there again and I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

The fuss is that the Sponge is very easy to use. You wet it, squeeze it, place it over your cervix, and forget about it for 24 hours. Piece of cake. Except that it wasn't. Let's go back to the image of the snake's jaw unhinging. Childbirth is like that, but in reverse. My OB once made a comment that being able to deliver vaginally was all about having a "big butt." I'm dragging a pretty big wagon, so I was like, "Great! My butt is huge!" And she said something about the inner mechanism. Probably having to do with the spread and angle of the pelvic bones and other anatomical things like that. Anyway, I'm very scientific, so I think of my body unhinging on the inside like a snake's mouth so something the size of a watermelon can pass through an opening the size of a lemon. The only difference is, unless she happens to give birth in France, a woman's body will not re-hinge exactly the way it was before. This is not a problem for anyone (except for some very small men). Or so I thought.

So, I placed my Sponge and puttered around the bathroom and bedroom for a little while until I had to go pee. When I sat down, I felt some alarming movement where there should be none.

And that's when I gave birth to the Sponge.

In looking over the instructions to see where I'd gone wrong, I came across the table of birth control methods and their effectiveness. I've studied that table many times in my life, but I definitely missed some pertinent information about the Sponge. Specifically, that twice as many women got pregnant in the first year of use if they'd borne a child before. Damn you, Postpartum Expanded Vagitis!*

I'm not up for a user error pregnancy so that's it for me. If I can't figure out how to use it correctly on the first try, then I am definitely not Sponge-worthy.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

They know what moms want

*Incidentally, the Today Sponge website says Postpartum Expanded Vagitis is not the cause of the higher incidence of pregnancy among parous women.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lube Up

My OB recommends olive oil as a great natural lubricant. I have never tried it because we cook with olive oil every day and I think the smell would trigger weird reactions--first our salivary glands and the next thing you know, it would be the Costanza Trifecta and we wouldn't be able to eat anything without a When Harry Met Sally diner scene.

If diamonds are a girl's best friend, lube is a woman's, especially after having kids. I literally do not care if my husband never buys me another jewel, but if the dog eats my lube (he's eaten much worse), he's for the glue factory and I might actually resort to olive oil.

The first time I ever bought a lubricant was at a Passion Party for a friend's wedding shower. I bought a sample size each of the Ultra Glide liquid and the gel. I have a decided preference for the gel. The liquid is very runny; the times I've tried to dispense it in the dark, I've ended up with a puddle in my palm and running through my fingers. It's also sticky. Yuck. The gel comes out in a firmer dollop and is therefore not messy. It lasts a long time and feels totally natural. Be advised that a little goes a long way. The only thing I don't love about the Passion Parties lube is that it's cold. I've recently tried K-Y's warming gel, which solved that problem.

What's scarier than salted, cured meats in the bedroom?
This guy in the bedroom.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Marge Maintenance

Do you remember the "Marge Maintenance" part of The Talented Mr. Ripley? Dickie, Marge, Tom, and Freddie are sailing and Marge goes below deck because she and Dickie have been arguing. Dickie shrugs to the other two men and follows her below for a little afternoon delight. In case you haven't seen the movie, Marge Maintenance is what Dickie calls the sex with Marge that he uses to soften her up, or manipulate her.

I remember being so outraged when I saw that scene. I was in college, not having a lot of sex (okay-- not having any), and I was highly susceptible to the suggestions about relationships between men and women that I saw in movies and read about in books. This was one instance of many in which I internalized the message that sex was a tool, a way to win a fight.

Much to my chagrin, I've realized that sex is indeed a softening agent in my life. I have a hard edge and if I don't have sex with my husband, I pick fights with him and get irritated over stupid things. A couple weeks ago, when I was really ready to come out of Sex Drought II, but my efforts at getting some were frustrated, I sat him down and said, "I need to have sex. It makes me a nicer person. Haven't you noticed how I walk around all sweet and docile for days after we do it?" Bless the man for looking like that was news to him.

So how did I get from angry, uninformed feminist to being able to live with sex being an essential part of Me Maintenance? More on Monday.

What does she see in him anyway? Oh, wait...

Monday, April 30, 2012


The first time I entertained the thought of sending a love note from the groin via text, I was pretty apprehensive about accidentally sending it to my dad or my husband forwarding it to a business contact. So my first sext was pretty oblique, which I thought was an advantage because it would provoke a response from my husband.

Here's what I envisioned:

Me: Don't mind if I do.
Him: Huh?
Me: What? Oh! I was replying. Didn't you just ask if I was in the mood for getting down tonight?
Him: Rrrrrowwwrrrr

Here's how it could have happened:

Me: Don't mind if I do.
Him: Huh?
Me: What? Oh! I was replying. Didn't you just ask if I was in the mood for getting down tonight?
Him: WTF!?!? Who were you texting??? R U CHEATING?!?!?

How it actually happened:

Me: Don't mind if I do.
NO REPLY. No mention of text during subsequent phone conversations.

Hours later, at dinner:

Me: Did you get my text?
Him: What text? Hang on.
Checks phone.
Him: Huh? What were we talking about? I can't remember what this is in reference to.
Me: Siiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sex Drought

Hi. I'm Caroline and I'm trying to get out of a Sex Drought.

I entered the dreaded Sex Drought for the first time (Sex Drought I) after the birth of my first child. A few years later I had another baby and entered Sex Drought II. This blog is about sex and relationships after having kids. Because sometimes getting back in the saddle is hard.

Just so we're clear, I do plan to mix my metaphors and resort to juvenile sexual innuendo with alarming frequency.