Flying out of New Orleans, I am seated next to a gynecologist that I didn’t meet at the ACOG yearly meeting. I share my story about love products and my work about making love sustainable. He shares his story about how limited his time with each patient is and how awkward it is to discuss sexual intimacy. We talk about how little education and language we are given in our childhood and youth to understand our sexual nature and honor this part of ourselves. We even talk about masturbation and its dirty history of torture and shame and how difficult it is for so many women to touch themselves or in turn, to allow themselves to feel pleasure when someone else does. We talk about how important it is to honor your partnership as the center of your family and not to let your children’s needs overtake your marriage. He shares the pain of the early divorce he lived through in medical school. I share how much I struggled in my own marriage while my husband was in medical school. We talk about the incredibly high statistics of failed marriages in medicine- and then in life in general. I share my dreams of making a chair of loveology at a university. We have a real conversation.
Archive for the 'Air' Category
It seems incredulous to me that I am grieving a goldfish. My past experiences of gold fish were always short lived and I warned my young daughter that her new fish probably wouldn’t last a week. But as week after week and month after month went by, she loved to tease me about Bubble’s longevity. A year into his tenure on the kitchen counter, we gave him some little frog friends, who he never took to and who didn’t nearly match his longevity. Watching him circle his little world, I often contemplated life in a fishbowl, but as he would always come to the side of the bowl I was standing near with his fish pouting looks, I often wondered who was watching who. Bubbles’ life was a long one in fish time; I was informed by pet store experts as I searched for a cure to his life ending illness. It was his time.
Animal friends live on a different time line than we humans. They teach us about the pureness of presence and their love for us is immediate and unconditional. We need them at least as much as they need us and not just for their companionship, but for the chance they give us, in their brief intervals on earth to let go. Their departures whether premature or timely given their size and breed are some of the most gut wrenching good byes that we have the opportunity to grieve. It is easy to love animals; they see the best in us and are devoted in their distinct and primitive ways. If you are lucky, you get to keep your own animal heaven in your heart which can call forth smiles and tears easily.
My husband is a man of very few words but this is what he said to me when I told him that sometimes I don’t know what I am fighting for in my life. Often when I return home from time away, the reentry is full of rebellion. The multiple demands of a complex family life feels like an intrusion rather than the life that I chose. Sometimes I can slide so deep into the rejection of these demands of marriage and children that the outcome of the story I am envisioning becomes unrecognizable. Spinning an internal story that blames your relationship repeatedly for some personal unresolved issue, or even for the frustrations and transitions that arise from aging will create a failed relationship.
I read this survey that was included in the Ladies Home Journal the other day asking a wide variety of questions about intimacy and relationships. I was in the doctor’s office with my two teenagers and was sharing the results of the survey with them. The question that still stays with me and shocked them as much as me was. If you had to choose between conversation and sex with your guy for a month what would you give up? Can you believe a whopping 80% would give up sex?
Censorship is defined in the dictionary as an official with the power to examine movies, books, television programming and to remove or prohibit anything considered obscene, politically objectionable, etc. There is some general agreement about what constitutes sexual obscenity and objectionable sexual content. I have in the course of my work been faced with situations and people who have very different views of appropriate sexuality. I have had conversations about issues like censorship with these same people and listened openly to their fight to have their content not be banned or even made illegal, which the government has threatened.
The cover of the Wall St. Journal today had a fascinating article about an Arab sex therapist who is gaining quite a bit of attention (both negative and positive) by combining a correspondence class in Sex Therapy with teachings from the Koran. As an Islamic woman, Mrs Heba Kotb is taking on the gigantic task of “lifting the veil on a touchy subject.” If that is not the understatement of the year…