Showing posts with label Relationships. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Relationships. Show all posts

February 24, 2017

Why are Trump’s Supporters Waving Russian Flags at CPAC and Other Q’s

A lot of these details about all the questions surrounding Trump and Russia are essentially trivia but they add up to a few big, explosive questions about why the president of the United States keeps needing to distance himself from his own associates, won’t reveal what’s going on with his money, and insists on advancing an unusual foreign policy doctrine.

*Did the Trump campaign, directly or indirectly, actively collaborate with the Russian government over the course of the 2016 campaign?

*Is the Trump Organization benefiting from ongoing or recent financial flows from the Russian government or people close to it?

*Does the Russian government have dirt on Trump, relating to past shady financing or to some of the more salacious blackmail material alleged in the infamous “Steele dossier,” that’s influencing American policy?

The small questions ensure the big questions won’t end
“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” is a good dictum for forestry management but doesn’t really apply to politics.

Politicians try to avoid embarrassment, and a simple desire to own up to something embarrassing — rather than anything illegal or genuinely nefarious — often lies behind mysterious behavior. It’s entirely possible that Page ended up on the roster of Trump advisers simply because a disorganized campaign was taken in by a grifter. Trump’s refusal to engage in standard financial disclosure certainly seems to be about covering up something, but that something could have nothing to do with Russia.

The shifting and inconsistent stories about the Flynn timeline could be nothing more than a disorganized and distrustful White House staff bungling something and then compounding the bungling by not wanting to admit they were bungling.

Trump’s boast about meeting with oligarchs could just be a habitually dishonest person lying for no particular reason.

But especially in light of Trump’s unorthodox policy views on Russia, the sheer quantity of outstanding questions and loose threads is remarkable.

That’s doubly so because the Trump team has repeatedly tried to have it both ways on a number of these fronts — with Stone, Manafort, Page, and Flynn all distanced from Trump once their Russia connections came to light, even as Trump denies there was any underlying wrongdoing and appears not to have fully severed ties.

Trump has repeatedly, and increasingly angrily, suggested that the answer to the three big questions is uniformly no. But his inability to provide satisfactory answers to the myriad other questions means it’s hard to take him at his word.

33 Q’s about Trump and Russia

January 15, 2017

New Study Shows Younger Gays Want Monogamous Relationships


As I spent my single-again social days meeting guys I liked but to be told interested but into hook ups only, not into relationships. This let me into going without it even though donating blood was not my primary intention like the guy on the UK.

 I felt cheap sleeping in different beds or bringing strangers to mine knowing I probably will not see that person again. I knew those days were over for me. Ever since the days of AIDS I felt compelled to be with someone even though alarms were going on that I was may be making a mistake. But I had fooled around long enough and many people like me were dead so I thought I will really try to make a relationship work. That takes two! After those days were spent and after 9 years and a couple of start ups I was certain I would rather take my chances with the wrong guy on a relationship that be alone and dependent on cruising eyes and hook up dates over the net. 

II have change!  I no longer consider a relationship that important but neither being out there like a piece of meat for people to touch and decide wether is good for the night supper. I have other priorities and believe what ever happens, happens. I no longer “actively”look and I would not be with someone just to have a warm body next to me.

However it’s been my understanding younger guys were interested into hook ups mainly but I was nicely surprised to read about this particular survey.


In a previous study we interviewed 86 long-term male couples who were in mutually consensual non-monogamous relationships. The purpose was to describe what ‘successful’ non-monogamy might look like and to identify helpful behaviors, mecha- nisms, and perspectives. Because we required cou- ples to be together 8+ years, couples skewed older, with the average age being 50 years old.
This current Study targets gay men from 18 – 40 years old. We’ve enlarged the scope of the Study to include monogamous, as well as non-monog- amous couples, in order to get more data about preferences of respondents in this age group. Al- though most of the questions and focus are on respondents who are currently coupled, we also polled younger single men on certain questions, particularly those pertaining to preferences for mo- nogamy or non-monogamy.
Study Objectives
  • Identify the prevalence and attitudes about mo- nogamy and nonmonogamy in the younger gay male population
  • Describe existing monogamous and non-monog- amous couples in terms of viability, relationship health, what works and what’s challenging
  • Identify to what degree gay marriage is desired by younger gay men and the degree to which marriage is associated with monogamy
  • Provide findings that bring greater awareness and information to younger generations of gay men as they make decisions about their relationships
The study consisted of two different online surveys and 30 telephone interviews.
Quantitative Survey
Initially, we conducted an online survey which we advertised on Facebook in September, 2014. (See Quantitative Survey Questions in the Appendix). The Facebook referrals came from diverse parts of the USA, both urban and small town environs and their responses served as our primary quantitative data. We had the following respondents in the FACEBOOK CO- HORT:
  • ○  Singles — 242
  • ○  Monogamous Couples — 290
  • ○  Non-Monogamous Couples — 48
    Since we had so few non-monogamous couples respond to the Facebook ad, we also, placed an ad in Grindr (a gay male sex hook-up app) in late September, 2014. We had the following respondents in the Grindr COHORT:
    Singles — 328
    Monogamous Couples — 42
    Non-Monogamous Couples — 79
    Because we assumed that the Grindr audi- ence skewed toward non-monogamy and the population was urban (Seattle, San Francisco, Portland) we were selective about how we used the data. We added the data from non-mo- nogamous couples responding to the Grindr survey to data from non-monogamous couples responding to the Facebook survey for purpos- es of better understanding non-monogamous
Choices: The Perspectives of Younger Gay Men on Monogamy, Non-Monogamy and Marriage • Blake Spears and Lanz Lowen © 2016 1
Chapter 1
couples. This gave us 127 non-monogamous couples. We purposely omitted the data from Grindr singles and monogamous couples in most of our analysis.
Qualitative Survey
  • ○  632 monogamous couples, of which 161 completed the written comments
  • ○  152 ‘monogamish’ couples, of which 45 completed the written comments
  • ○  48 non-monogamous couples, of which 16 completed the written comments
• Participants answered the open-ended ques- tions that pertained to their ‘orientation toward monogamy.’
• We conducted follow-up interviews with 30 re- spondents that volunteered by self-identification at the end of the second Facebook survey. In- terviews averaged 30 minutes and provided us with additional examples, perspectives and the ability to profile a small number of couples. We interviewed:
  • ○  15 participants involved in a monogamous relationship
  • ○  5 participants involved in a ‘monogamish’ relationship
  • ○  10 participants involved in a non-monoga- mous relationship
As we were analyzing the Facebook and Grin- dr data, we noticed there were a significant number of couples who described themselves as monogamous, even though they had ‘three- ways’ and/or occasional sex with ‘outsiders.’ We were curious about this, and decided to conduct a second survey in October, 2014. The survey, which primarily consisted of open-end- ed questions (See Qualitative Survey Questions in the Appendix), was conducted online using a FACEBOOK advertisement.
In this survey we only enlisted participants who were in relationships (no singles).
page4image19576We instructed participants to identify as:
Strictly monogamous
Monogamous, but held ‘loosely’— ‘monon- gamish’
We had the following number of respondents:
• •

Study Population


*Includes Grindr cohort

September 13, 2016

The Doctor Speaks about Open Relationships


 A  writes “The truth about open relationships” on  I can’t vouch for the Doctor but I can agree with what he writes because it is consistent with everything I’ve read and experienced on the subject. Growing up as the sexual revolution had engulfed this country in the 70’s,  open relationships were an option for many guys I knew. This is way pre gay marriage so you can understand why the option was appealing for many since we felt we were writing the rules as we went along. This option never appealed to me since I grew up in my teens thinking, hoping maybe that I was straight and thus saw myself ‘married with children.’ As I got to make gay friends I learned there was an option and to be completely honest it was a better option than getting involved and then cheating and hiding boyfriends on the side. Particularly when I came out to my mom at 24, I thought it would be such a burden to be in a relationship and then having to keep secrets on the side that the whole process of coming out would have very little meaning to me since I wanted to be honest about who I was and wanted an end to the lies and made up stories. Neither way rep[resented who I was but was open minded enough to accept it on people I surrounded my self with but saw guys who tried to have serious multi relationships and saw them failed at all of them. I thought that one monogamous relationship took a lot of time, commitment and love to make it last.

Having same sex marriage which is a serious commitment with two people and it would take very special people to ignore the vows made to bring others into the circle.


The longer you’re in a relationship, the less sex you’re going to have.“ At least that’s according to sex sociologist and author of The Monogamy Gap, Dr. Eric Anderson. The thing is, he’s right. Ask anyone who’s been in a relationship longer than five years and they can easily point to the decline. Does that mean the relationship is no longer working or the couple needs to “spice things up“? Maybe they should just secretly subscribe to porn sites and hire hookers. This has long been the heterosexual model, but is it the best option?

Monogamy didn’t come into fashion until fairly late in human history, born out of the notion that wives and children were the property of the husband, according to Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá in their book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. Now it’s firmly a part of heterosexual culture (at least the appearance of monogamy is).

Gay couples have long pioneered an alternative route: open relationships. Approximately 50% of gay male relationships are “open“—meaning there is sex outside the relationship with the partner’s knowledge and approval—according to a San Francisco State study published in 2010. But will this number remain the same now that gays can get hitched the way their parents did?

According to the latest Gallop poll, 49% of all gay couples living together are now legally married. But other research has shown those in same-sex marriages often start to copy the “traditional“ hetero mold,  meaning when they say “I do,“ they think they have to say “I don’t“ to sex with others.

Whether gay or straight, couples often see a declining sexual relationship as a negative. But is it? “Instead of recognizing [decreasing sex] as a product of a failed relationship,“ Anderson asserts, “We actually need to recognize [decreasing sex] as a product of an improving relationship.“ Could he be right? Could every long-term relationship in America just be improving?

“Sexually open relationships have better marital happiness rates, longer marriages, greater satisfaction in marriages,“ according to Anderson, to which he adds, “That doesn’t come through spicing up the sex another way with the same partner for year after year. That type of sexual novelty comes with a new body.“

It seems gay couples know just that. According to a 2013 University of Michigan study, 42% of open gay couples are “early adopters“ and open things up in the first three months. But most gay couples move a bit slower, starting out with a period of monogamy, slowly opening up to having sex with others. Most gay couples take an average of five to seven years to make it official.

If things have slowed down in your bedroom and you are thinking about talking with your partner about opening things up, consider the following:

1. Start with a Strong Foundation
Opening things up sexually does not signal a faltering union, but it is a sure-fire way to hasten its demise if the relationship is already in a weakened state. Don’t do it if there is any question about the solidity of your relationship. This is not a remedy; it’s an adventure. Make sure your relationship house is always something that draws both of you back home.

2. Ponder Your Personality
Those who do best in open relationships tend to be more creative, non-conforming and individualistic people who are less concerned about the opinions of others and more concerned about their own values and ethics. But it can’t be all about you. You need to be able to communicate and work out relationship problems—something those in monogamous relationships often struggle with doing effectively.

3. Are You Jealous or Joyous?
Consider how you handle knowing your partner is with another. Does it turn you on and excite you? Or are you threatened and scared? Those who are able to successfully manage multiple partners often have a character trait that those in the polyamory community call compersion. Compersion is really the opposite of jealousy and refers to a feeling of delight when your partner experiences the joy of intimacy with another. If either person feels jealousy or fear, then it’s important to manage it and not blame your partner. If you can’t, an open relationship is not for you.

4. Forge Agreements (Not Demands)
Assume nothing. Rules that two people make together are agreements. Rules that one person makes and assumes the other should follow are demands. Agreements lead to openness and trust and are likely to be followed. Demands lead to lying, hiding and rebellion. Make sure you work together and create only agreements regarding both sexual and emotional boundaries. In addition, figure out how much you are going to tell each other and how much you will share with others about your extra-curricular activities. Be frank and specific about everything.

5. Make Sure Your Agreements Cover All Bases
WHO are you both allowed to “encounter?“ Other coupled guys? Three-ways only? Anonymous? No friends? WHAT acts are you cool with your partner doing? JO only? Anal? Safer sex? Top or Bottom? Condoms or Bareback? Overnights? WHEN is it OK to have your “extra helpings“? Only when one of you is out of town? Only when together at a bar or bathhouse? Only on Sundays? Anytime? WHERE can you step outside? Only outside the home? Only at home? Everywhere at home but in the bed we share? Only at the Republican Convention? Anywhere? HOW are you allowed to meet others? Apps like Grindr and Scruff? Face pics allowed? Only in bars? Only chance meetings? However the hell we can?!

Don’t stop the talk. Reassess all of your agreements at regular intervals; not everything you set up in the beginning is going to work. This process may take more time than you think, and it may be made easier with the help of an informed and sympathetic therapist.

January 12, 2014

Let’s Talk About Sex (Relationships)

why to talk about sexYour sexuality can change a lot throughout one lifetime. It can even change a lot throughout one relationship. Some of these changes can be for the better. Others can feel like they’re for the worse. When these changes occur, many men and women tend to take the wrong course of action, shutting up or shutting down. You may shy away from talking to your partner or pull away from a physical relationship you valued. You might lose interest in sex altogether or turn against yourself and your body. When people face these challenges, what they’ll often find is that talking about sex, while it may feel uncomfortable at first, can be the key to maintaining a healthy sex life and a positive sense of one’s own sexuality.
So what are some of the changes that impact a person’s sex life? These shifts can be physical or related to age. They can even be caused by medications that strongly affect one’s sexual feelings and performance. Although these are often natural alterations that our bodies go through over time, people tend to view them as embarrassing or something to be kept secret. However, the opposite is true.
Talking about these changes, be it with your partner, a friend or your doctor can lead to more understanding and self-compassion and allows you to maintain a satisfying sex life. As your body changes, you can choose to take a healthy approach to these shifts without turning on yourself and giving in to your “critical inner voices,” allowing them to tear you down or make you feel insecure. It’s important not to listen to what your inner critic tells you about these changes or to allow yourself to shut the door on your sexuality.
In addition to physical adjustments, people of all ages often face an onslaught of psychological influences that can hurt their sexuality. This can have a lot to do with the critical inner voice, which every person possesses. When it comes to sexuality a person’s inner critic often comments on their performance, their bodies or what their partner is feeling or not feeling. This “voice” keeps people in their heads instead of in their bodies.
When it comes to sex, most people tend to feel there are a lot of “supposed to’s,” as if they are supposed to perform this way or feel that way in a sexual encounter. These expectations are fueled by the critical inner voice and can lead people to feel self-conscious, insecure or disconnected when being physically affectionate. Many people can also be critical of their appearance, viewing themselves as too old/fat/unattractive/uncomfortable for sex. With all its input, your inner critic can negatively influence your sexual relationships and eventually prove the false notion that passionate relationships can’t last long-term.
The truth is that intimate relationships don’t have to lose their excitement. However, as people get closer, they tend to struggle with maintaining an alive and satisfying sexual relationship. Many people find it difficult to combine emotional intimacy and deep loving feelings with passionate sexuality. One reason this can occur, albeit mostly unconsciously, is that old issues from their past begin to surface. People may even start to experience “critical inner voices” about their sexuality that hold familiar themes from their past. For example, if you were hurt or rejected by the people who cared for you, you may have grown up feeling there is something wrong with you on a bodily level. You may have thoughts like “you are so unattractive, he/she is repulsed by you.” If you felt a lack of affection as kids, you may feel desperate for affection as an adult, having thoughts like “you need to be aggressive. he/she is not going to come toward you.” If you felt intruded on, you may have a tendency to pull away when someone gets close, thinking “he/she is so hungry towards you; you don’t really want this.”
When people start to get into their heads during sex, they lose a sense of connectedness to their partner. When they feel this distance, the sexual experience often doesn’t feel as satisfying or worthwhile. With their head flooded with self-critiques and attacks on their partner, they may start to think about just getting through the sexual situation instead of enjoying it. Emotional closeness is the most important aspect of physical intimacy. Therefore, it becomes all the more important to bring your struggles to light and talk about what’s going on.
When changes occur in you, be them physical or emotional, it can also affect your partner’s feelings about him or herself. It may trigger critical inner voices in them like, you are bored with them or that they’re unattractive to you, etc. Talking to your partner and exposing the destructive attitudes of your critical inner voices can bring you back to yourselves and can reestablish the closeness between you and your partner. Closeness, self-esteem and open communication are essential to lasting,healthy sexuality. They are also the biggest factors in sexual satisfaction.
When you open up to your partner about what’s going on in your mind in regards to your sexuality, you allow him or her to know you on a deeper level. In a certain sense, conversation can be foreplay, as it allows a couple to feel for each other and get closer. While it may feel awkward or unnatural at first, very often, when they do open up and talk about it, there are major, surprising shifts in a couple’s sexual relationship.
Too often, people let years pass without having a conversation about their sexuality. In addition to talking to your partner, you can confide in a close friend or a therapist. It’s all too easy to feel alone in your struggles, but you’d be surprised at how many people relate to exactly what you’re going through. Staying silent leaves room for your critical inner voices to fester and will make you feel worse and even like giving up on your sexuality. The more you talk, the better you are likely to feel, and the quieter the noise in your head can become.
When it comes to sex, the optimal experience involves feeling emotionally close to your partner, in touch with your body and in the present moment. I have found that by identifying and challenging destructive thought processes or critical inner voices that interfere with closeness and optimal sexual functioning, people can learn to combine love and sexuality and achieve that special combination that is so desirable in an intimate relationship. Taking a chance and talking to your partner can be the first step to achieving this goal.

December 7, 2012

Nine Things You Should Never Tell Your Partner

 The ideas that this article by Linda Bernstein [More by this author]  shows could help us all be more attuned on how we can hurt someone that would be the last person we would want to hurt, particularly unnecessarily. 

Bite your tongue — unless you're looking for an out:

“Maybe you should try Rogaine,” my friend Anne cheerfully suggested to Mel, her husband of 33 years.
Mel turned around and snapped, “Are you insinuating that I’m getting bald?”
I watched Anne face-palm. “Mel,you’re the one who's always complaining about losing your hair. I wouldn’t care if you pulled a Yul Brynner. I think you’re handsome and sexy even if your hair is thinning.”
Mel smiled weakly. Then he chortled so hard at the idea of looking like Yul Brynner that he spit out beer.
All was well with my friends.
But this exchange reminded me that even happily married couples can get into verbal spats. Yet even if in the middle of a fight, there are certain questions we should not ask and specific words we ought never use.
Relationship expert Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle and a columnist for AARP, cautions that innocent utterances can be misinterpreted — and if you unwittingly touch a nerve, you can open a Pandora’s box of hurt.
These nine unintentional common utterances can do a world of damage in a relationship. So think before you speak.
Things Not to Say to Your Dearly Beloved
1. “Should,” as in “You should do this … .” “Hearing the word ‘should’ feels like someone is pressing a thumb into your chest,” Schwartz says. When you tell your partner that he should be (or not be) doing something, you come across like an angry parent or boss waiting to dish out punishment. Your partner feels picked on, and rightfully so. Result: Whatever helpfulness your advice might have delivered is now lost and gone forever. A better approach is asking if your partner is open to a suggestion.
2. “You used to be so hot.” We age, we sag, we widen; get over it. But when you point it out with denigrating language, Schwartz warns, “you’re showing contempt and being hurtful.” Addressing appearance issues is difficult. We need to walk that fine line between assuring our partners that we still love them and letting them know that we might be just a smidge more turned on if they took just a smidge more pride in their looks.
3. “You really don’t remember that?” True? Probably — but more to the point, it’s upsetting. “As we get older, we forget stuff,” Schwartz says. No one wants her diminishing capacities given a shout-out. Some couples make light of it in a good-humored, teasing way, but that’s as rough as it should ever get. (Of course, if you suspect a serious problem, you’ll want to find a gentle, loving way to bring it up.)
(MORE: 6 Memory Problems That Shouldn't Worry You)
4. “Are you really going out in that?” When you put it that way, you’re giving a pretty harsh reminder that the self-image in your partner’s mind’s eye doesn’t necessarily jibe with what others see. If it’s a matter of taste — e.g., he loves Hawaiian shirts, you can’t abide them — Schwartz says to try to live with it. But if the outfit is unflattering (or worse), Schwartz recommends saying something like, “Honey, I love the way you look in that baby blue shirt and your khakis. Would you wear them for me?”
5. “What did you do to your hair?” If you like the 'do, come out and say so directly. If you’re trying to be diplomatic (that is, not saying “OMG, your hair looks horrible”), this is where the proverbial little white lie comes in handy. If you’re on the receiving end of this kind of backhanded compliment (or veiled insult), do as Schwartz suggests and “diffuse it by saying, ‘Well, I like it, and my stylist loves it, so I hope you can get used to it.’”
6. “Have you considered Spanx?” “We’re all a little tender about way we look,” Schwartz says. But while it’s one thing for us to look in the mirror and think, “Maybe I should do something about these love handles,” it’s quite another to suggest Spanx to your partner. Remember: No underclothing is going to turn a 50+ body into a Baywatch babe or stud. A nice suggestion, and one that doesn't put undue pressure on your partner, is to suggest getting a joint membership at the local gym.  
7. “Oh, by the way, I just bought a $5,000 rug.” If you’re in the enviable position to drop this kind of dough without consulting your partner, then ignore the rest of this paragraph. But if you and your spouse have agreed to make major financial decisions together, then a statement like this can threaten the whole concept of marriage as “contract” founded upon mutual decisions, Schwartz explains. So don’t be shocked if your mate is upset.
The problem here is not only in the words, but in the action that spurred them. “To spend a lot of money and then treat it as a trifle by mentioning it in an offhand way — that’s acting out and may signal a deeper problem,” Schwartz warns.
8. “You’re just like your mother (or father).” Generally parental comparisons — at least in this context — are meant to be negative, and we know it. “There’s a kind of hopelessness surrounding statements like these; you’re saying ‘your genetic coding’ is showing, and, really, what can someone do about that?” Schwartz points out. If you don’t like your in-laws, it’s likely your partner already knows. “It’s an unnecessary zinger,” Schwartz says, “so don’t even pretend it’s ‘constructive criticism.’”
9. “It might be time for a little blue pill.” “As men get older, they may well need Viagra,” Schwartz says. “Yet many either don’t realize their sexual performance has slipped or are willing to compromise their sex life instead of addressing the issue.” If you think your partner could benefit from a performance-enhancing medication, be very careful how you suggest it. You are treading on very sensitive ground here, so don’t make him feel unmanned or unwanted. “The last thing you want to do is put him on the defensive,” Schwartz says. “That’s not going to lead to behavior that can strengthen your marriage.” So maybe the next time you're together and a commercial for an ED drug comes on, casually mention that you've heard great things about them.
But do say: “Thank you. I love you. I appreciate you — often.” As Schwartz reminds us: “We all need reassurance and appreciation. We need to know we’re loved, especially by the people that we love. These are words that we can never say too much in a relationship, and when we have by chance, or even in a moment of anger, said something hurtful, these are the words to which we need to return.”
With all this in mind, I think I’ll pop into the living room where my husband is likely to be snoozing in front of some sporting event. But instead of saying, “How can you lie around on your butt for hours?” I’ll sit down next to him, wait for him to wake up and tell him how comforting it is to know he’s in the next room while I’m working.

December 4, 2012

How Deep Do You Intend to Go in Your Sexual Relationships?

Explaining superficial casual sex

Anand Gay man's mobile blog - casual sex“How deep is your love, I really need to learn, Cause were living in a world of fools, Breaking us down, When they all should let us be, We belong to you and me.” Bee Gees
"Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home; I'm tired.” Mae West
Casual sex, which consists of sexual encounters outside committed relationships, is common in modern Western societies. Such encounters range from a one-time experience to ongoing sexual relationships. The different types of casual sexual activities can be located along the profound-superficial axis. Another feature distinguishing the various sexual encounters is whether sex is done for its own sake. Discerning the various types of casual sex may shed light on such prevailing experience.
Both intrinsic and extrinsic activities can be either profound or superficial. Profound activities are essential for our development and well-being. They have a lingering impact on our life and may also shape ourpersonality. Superficial activities affect only the surface of our lives—they are more limited in their scope and immediate impact. Their impact on our life can become significant if we engage in them frequently.
Casual sex as a superficial activity
The notion of profound satisfaction is related to Aristotle’s notion of human flourishing (eudaimonia). Human flourishing is something essentially dynamic, and fulfilling praiseworthy activities are its actual constituents. Aristotle takes intrinsic activities to be the most important constituent in human flourishing, though he also acknowledges the importance of extrinsic activities in human flourishing. Such flourishing is not a temporary state of superficial pleasure; it refers to a longer period involving the fulfillment of the human natural capacities.In addition to profound intrinsic activities, there are also superficial intrinsic activities, such as casual sex, watching television, going to a movie, or having dinner, in which for a brief period of time people enjoy the activity for its own sake, even though such activities may not contribute much to the development and flourishing of the agent’s capacities. Superficial pleasure is an immediately rewarding, relatively short-lived experience requiring few or no profound human capacities; such pleasure merely sustains the individual’s interest and joy, but does not profoundly satisfy it for the long-run. This is the difference between a fleeting pleasure and a lasting treasure.In characterizing a profound, intrinsic activity, two main criteria may be used: (a) the agent’s attitude is that of considering the activity to be valuable for its own sake; (b) the activity involves optimal functioning and development of the agent’s essential capacities and attitudes over a sustained period of time. The first criterion is subjective, as it refers to the subject’s attitude; the second criterion is more objective, as it refers to thenature of the given activity. A profound intrinsic activity is one that fulfills both criteria. A superficial intrinsic activity is one that fulfills the subjective criterion only. An activity that merely fulfills the objective criterion is a profound but not an intrinsic activity.Intrinsic activities characterized by merely the subjective criterion are typically pleasant. When we consider the activity to be valuable for its own sake, we can perform it in a pleasant enjoyable manner. Often the only value of such activities is simply that they are pleasant. Watching television typically has no other benefits except for the pleasure associated with it. However, intrinsic activities are not necessarily pleasant. Thus, writing and painting are not necessarily pleasant at the time they occur—some writers and artists experience a lot of agony in the process of creating their work. In such cases, the value of the activity does not stem from its pleasant process but from its profoundness—it utilizes the agent’s most distinctive human capacities.A sexual activity can be intrinsically valuable in the superficial sense of providing fleeting pleasure to the participants. It can be intrinsically valuable in the profound sense when it is part of the more profound attitude of romantic love.The difference between the experience of profound love and that of superficial, casual sex is not merely limited to the length of each experience but is also expressed in other features. Thus, it was foundthat when in love, people typically focus on a long-term perspective, which enhances holistic thinking and thereby creative thought, whereas when experiencing sexual encounters, they focus on the present and on concrete details that enhance analytic thinking.In addition to superficial, intrinsic sexual relationships, such as casual sex, we may also speak about superficial, extrinsic sexual relationships, such as mechanical sex. The agent is involved in such sex in order to gain an external goal, such as pleasing the partner or gaining money. The agent does not enjoy the sex and often even suffers during such sex.Consider, for instance, pity sex, which is an extreme example of mechanical sex. Pity sex (which is sometimes called, “duty fuck” or “mercy fuck”) is not an intrinsic activity as we do not enjoy it, nor does it satisfy us. It is an extrinsic activity that is performed in order to please someone else. Mechanical, superficial sex is often compared to literal death. We speak about “dead marriages,” “cold husbands,” and “frigid wives” (see here). And after romantic separation, “Love seems dead and so unreal, all that’s left is loneliness, there’s nothing left to feel” (Dusty Springfield).Pity sex clearly illustrates the extrinsic nature of mechanical sex. Pity sex is an experience in which a woman (or a man) is not particularly attracted to someone who is in love with her and wishes to have sex with her; she sleeps with him because she feels sorry for him. Many people (probably more so women) have sex because they think they “should” rather than because they actually want to. This can be a kind of guilt-induced sex. Like in other extrinsic activities, people suffer while engaging in pity sex. Consider the following description by a woman who had just had pity sex: “I would say my sex drive is about 0 right now. Last night we had sex. I couldn’t wait for it to be over. Even kissing made me nauseous.”Types of casual sexual relationshipsThe various types of casual sexual relationships can be arranged in light of the extent of their superficiality. Jocelyn Wentland and Elke Reissingdiscern four major types of casual sexual relationships: One Nights Stands, Booty Calls, Fuck Buddies, and Friends with Benefits. The degree of superficiality of each type is an essential feature in distinguishing each experience from another.
Aristotle distinguishes between extrinsically and intrinsically valuable activities. An extrinsic activity is a means to an external goal; its value lies in achieving that goal. Examples of such activities are building a house, paying bills, cleaning the house, and attending job interviews. The value of an intrinsic activity is found in the activity itself, not in its results. Many instances of intellectual thinking,moral behavior and listening to music are examples of intrinsic activities.

Wentland and Reissing suggest that out of those types, one-night stands are the most superficial encounter. They involve the least emotionally intimate experience and often take place between strangers or after brief acquaintance. One-night stands occur only once and the relationship usually ends when the individuals part company. Booty calls refer to a communication initiated with the urgent intent of having a sexual encounter. Unlike one-night stands, the purpose of booty calls is to engage in repeated sexual activity with an acquaintance. Despite the acquaintance, individuals participating in booty calls do not consider each other to be friends, they typically do not stay overnight, and they share minimal affections. Booty calls are not planned in advance. Their unpredictability and spontaneity are one of their characteristics. When booty calls become too regular or frequent, the participants are considered to be fuck buddies. Fuck buddies are already friends but their friendship is largely limited to sexual interactions. Friends with benefits involve the most profound activity from among casual sexual relationships. In this type, the partners are first of all friends and then add the bonus of the sexual benefit.

study examining long-term love found that among the individuals who reported no physical affection, not a single individual reported being intensely in love. However, couples with marital problems sometimes report excellent sexual interactions and strong feelings of love. Despite the great sex and physical attraction, their overall level of marital satisfaction is not particularly high. Good sexual interaction is often an expression of profound love, but sex is not everything—other, more profound, features are significant as well.
Like the ladder of intimacy that characterizes casual sex, one can propose a similar ladder within committed relationships. It is beyond the scope of this post to discuss such a ladder here. It seems probable that in this realm we would find a more gradual slope rather than distinct steps. At the top we would place profound passionate love that has maintained its intensity over many years. At the bottom we would put a couple who are living together without any apparent surge of feeling. In between, we would find a companionate love with no passionate sex, passionate desire with no profound caring, and a comfortable living arrangement.
A Latin saying has it that every creature is sad after coitus. This may be true concerning superficial sexual relationships. In such a case, onceorgasm is achieved, there is no value in being with the other person. If the relationship with the other person is that of profound love, after orgasm you still remain within a loving framework. Accordingly, lyingnaked in the arms of the beloved after orgasm is of great pleasure only in the case of profound love; in superficial sex, such post-coital intimacy offers little if any pleasure.

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