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First, But Not Last: On Finding, Navigating, and Losing First Loves

In the throes of first love? Did your first love just break up with you, or are you terrified they will? This is your article. Whatever your circumstances with your first love, let's process some of this stuff together.

Letters to My-Body-Of-Yesteryear and to Yours-of-Right-Now

I saw a young woman the other day who was in her late teens.

I had a moment of admiring how strong her legs looked, how able her shoulders; where she had curves and where she didn't, how kind of mixed-up and funky some of her coloring and parts were, a study in contrasts. It was a moment of appreciating what, in my eyes and perspective, her beauty was and how aesthetically beautiful I found her. As someone who's worked in art and photography, who looks at people and their details deeply and richly out of habit, I didn't think anything of it until I realized something about her was really resonating in a big way with me. I was having a hard time looking away.

Then it struck me: the things I was admiring about her and taking in so much of? Those were all ways my own body looked at her same age. It was like looking in a mirror that traveled through time.

But when I was her age, and my body and its parts looked like hers, I didn't appreciate them this way; I didn't find them so interestin

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Loving Vs Lusting

emmelyne asks:

How do I know if my relationship is purely based on lust? I am unsure about the difference between "love" and "lust". I really really adore my boyfriend, but I wouldn't call it love yet. We've been together almost a couple of months now and I already trust him a lot, he is such a gentleman to me and I even feel ready to have sex with him. But I wouldn't say I was in love yet. How do I know? Thanks :)

I decided not to continue an LDR, but now I'm not so sure.

zombiess asks:

I have been in a long distance relationship for about 7 months. We were never official, but all the feelings were there between the two of us. Neither of us wanted it to end but we did so anyways, because of money and distance.

Now I regret it, and he's just doing what he thinks is right, not what he wants. We have so much in common and we both agreed when we are with each other it makes it all worth it. HELP! What do I do? How do I move on? He wants me to be the one he runs to, and he wants to be the one I run to. He also still wants to fly me out there and still see me. And we both say the two of us never kissing is hard to deal with. I'm at a loss.

Five Things I Learned Dating a Girl

Dating this wonderful person pushed me to think about some things in new and challenging ways. Here are some of my favorite lessons that I learned when I dated a woman.

Kisses and Snuggles FTW!

Kissing and snuggling sure seem awfully underrated. Check out why we think what some folks consider only "first base" can be home runs all their own.

It's My Birthday: What I Want Is For You To Tell the Truth

Today is my birthday.

If you've been a reader here for more than a year or two, you might have noticed that some years, I ask for something for my birthday here, and not usually something that's a thing, like a pony, a fire hoop, a scooter with a sidecar for my little dog, or a life-sized Fozzie Bear I could tell bad jokes to while going wokka-wokka (though I'd oh-so-gladly accept all of those things, for the record).

If and when I have a birthday where I blow out candles, the wish I make when I do is usually something around positive social change, and often positive social change in regard to sexuality. In a word, what I usually really, really want for my birthday is for people to have happier, healthier sexual lives, to feel better about sex and whatever their sexualities are, and to be more accepting and supportive of the diverse sexualities of all people.

One of the very biggest problems we have in most of our cultures and communities around sex and sexuality is silence, secrecy

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Big love, but an equally big sexual disconnect

Dan10 asks:

I'm 20 and I've been talking to this girl for a couple months and she's amazing. When I'm with her all of my pain and suffering that I go through daily is gone. She takes it away with a little smile. She says I'm everything she wants in a guy and I make her happy except when we start becoming intimate. She says the sexual attraction isn't there, and I can't get her to reach an orgasm with my penis. It's normal sized but she says she wishes it was bigger. We had sex 3 weeks after we met and she says if we would have waited until she had deeper feelings for me, it wouldn't matter. I've never had a girl make me feel likes she does. I'm not some dumb young guy, I have a house and a car and a job but all I want is her. But I don't know what to do from here. I can't hit her spot, and I've tried putting her legs on my shoulder. What should I do?

For 2013: More, Not Less.

I don't celebrate most holidays, but I've always been a fan of New Year's. New Year's Day, actually, more than New Year's Eve. I relish fresh starts and new beginnings.

I even like New Year's resolutions. I know, they're cliche, and that much of the time, when we make them, we don't stick with them or know where that list is come February. But even just the practice of taking stock of where we've been and where we're at, thinking about what we want for ourselves and our lives in a new year; thinking out or writing down ideas or mantras to help support us in living the life we want? I'm a big fan of that kind of self-evaluation, meditation and positive affirmation.

However, so much of the time, the leading words in resolution lists look a whole lot like these:

  • Quit...
  • Stop...
  • Lose...
  • Get rid of...
  • Renounce...
  • Dump...
  • Ditch...
  • No more...
  • Don't be...

Obviously, none of that's exactly the language of shiny beginnings. They're negatives, rather than positives. But even more so, those are

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