Saturday 26 March 2016

What It's Like To Be Over 30, Transgendered — Looking For Love

"No you do not belong on the 'island of dating misfits' !  I see you as a strong courageous woman who should stay true to herself.   You will find love and when that happens you will be able to tell that lucky person your story.  Good luck"     -  Susan

What It's Like To Be Over 30, Transgendered — Looking For Love

Shame hasn't left me any room for love.

If you're a woman in your mid-thirties, the dating scene is challenging enough. You're conscious of feeling older, as wrinkles become a reality and you feel like your stock value as a potential wife is plummeting. So in the past year, I decided it was high time I met a fabulous man.
In my good moments, I feel quite fabulous myself. I feel like an attractive, successful, and snarky strawberry-blond who cooks like a dream and has a joie de vivre ... unlike most. I was open to meeting all sorts of men. But, there's one thing that sets me apart from other women my age — I'm transgender — I am a transsexual woman.
In short, I've always felt like a heterosexual woman. Before surgery, I was attracted to men. But, unfortunately, I also looked just like them. While the topic doesn't pick up as much shock value as it once did, I assure you that a very powerful stigma remains for those who are transgendered.
It's created some emotional baggage (which, let's face facts, we've all got). The thing is, I struggle with my own pain and shame that feels especially sharp in relation to dating, relationships, and sex. 
So while I had hope and assumed I'd eventually find a like-minded guy who would appreciate me for me, it didn't work out as easily as I'd envisioned. 
I truly wish I was divulging to you all that, holding my head high, I summarily rejected each man who clearly wasn't worthy of my love, time, and energy. But to be completely and painfully honest, I gave each multiple chances. I cut guys more slack than most anyone I know. For many reasons, including the secret hope that I clung to — the hope that each of these men would do the same for me. Because, I, like anyone else craved a genuine love to call my own.
Yet, the fact remains, it's impossible for me to ignore my history when it comes to sex and relationships. I know that the only path to true love is truly loving and accepting myself — that means being able to be fully open and honest with everyone in my life, including dating partners.
While I've dated several men — many for just a few weeks, some for a few months, and one (my first love) for over a year — none have ever been worthy of knowing my truth. And, frankly, it's me — it's because I'm terrified. This is the same fear that has paralysed me all of my life. The very obstacle that caused me endless tears through my first five years of therapy.
Because the fact remains that the biggest hurdle I faced when I decided to become a woman wasn't going under, while a surgeon turned the parts I was born with inside out. It wasn't learning to own and operate my brand-new, $25,000, pussy.
It was the bloodcurdling fear that correcting a glitch and becoming who I already felt like I was on the inside subjected me to the possibility that I'd have to live without love. 
I thought I had overcome this obstacle years ago, but sadly the fear persists. And I wish I could continue writing about how I have overcome it. I wish I could write further about how I solved my dating struggles. I wish I could say that I was able to create an opening in my life for a fabulous relationship that is enduring and sustaining. Yet, I am left with this horrible pit in my stomach.
Intellectually, I can see how it would be possible for me to find a partner who is open-minded and fully accepting. Emotionally, I'm still working my ass off in therapy to get there, because the questions that linger won't stop churning away. 
Do I belong on the Island of Dating Misfits? Am I doomed to either superficial, short-term relationships — relationships that force me to keep my history a deep, dark secret — or a life of lonely spinsterhood? I'm not positive, but I can only hope not.

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Friday 25 March 2016


"Its a hard decision but I think I would have to go with the  !  "    -   Susan
© Shutterstock


Choosing between a Bounty and a bonk just doesn't seem fair...

There's a lot to envy about French women - effortless style, sexy accents and a limitless supply of croissants at every corner (yet somehow, French women don't get fat. Freaking mystery). But we're not quite sure we agree with them on the whole sex versus chocolate debate.

According to a recent Harris Interactive Poll, French women said that eating chocolate can be even more pleasurable than the Big O. The 1,000-person survey asked French men and women about sex, food, pleasure, and happiness. Results revealed that, for women at least, chocolate was preferable to a little ooh-la-laaaa.

The participants were asked to rank the elements of well-being on a scale of 0 to 10, with men rating food at 7.2 and sex at 7.5. Women on the other hand, gave food a 7.0 and sex a lower score of 6.7. Both sexes rated chocolate as the most pleasurable food (followed closely by cheese and foie gras - quelle surprise!).

The majority of women (57 percent) also said that they would cut back on sex before they'd cut back on food (compared to just 39 percent of men). To be fair we're with them there. 

We love a good pain au chocolate, but why choose? With all the health benefits of chocolate and sex, we say enjoy them both! In a 2004 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, Italian researchers concluded that women who ate chocolate had more desire and enjoyed sex more than women who ate no chocolate. It almost makes us want to revisit the idea of chocolate body paint. Almost.

Tuesday 22 March 2016

Five Tips For Relationship Happiness From Existential Philosophers

"I believe that these fundamentals aren't just interesting and insightful but they can also be used as the bedrock and guide book to having good relationships even in todays present modern world as well as in the future tomorrows."        -   Susan

Five Tips For Relationship Happiness From Existential Philosophers

In the western world, lovers are free from arranged marriages. Yet all too often we bring chains to relationships in the form of misplaced expectations and ideals. Skye Cleary, the author of Existentialism and Romantic Love reaches for her existential classics for help, with five philosophical tips for a happy love life.

Max Stirner, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir all dealt with love and existential themes, but they all had different ideas about romantic love. Yet they all loved loving and sought to explore the sources of frustrations in romantic relationships and how relationships could be more meaningful.  Below are five key existential messages for 21st century lovers. 

The best love relationships are those where lovers are free and equal

Too often, lovers use relationships as an escape from the world, according to Simone de Beauvoir. The feeling of security is comforting, but it becomes problematic when lovers make the relationship the only source of meaning in their lives. This is a risky way to be in a relationship because love that lasts a lifetime is the exception, not the rule. 
Relationships would be better if lovers were stronger-willed, mastered their passions, and were better friends.
Instead, de Beauvoir advised lovers not to become so dependent on one another that they can’t exist without each other. Relationships are more interesting and stronger if both lovers pursue rich and diversified lives through their authentic projects. Ideally, adopting common goals shifts lovers’ focus onto something other than themselves, enhancing their understandings of one another.

The best love relationships are those that are free and intimate

De Beauvoir’s lifelong boyfriend Jean-Paul Sartre thought that in order to know ourselves we need to know what other people think of us. Lovers are especially important because the more one cares about another, the more the other’s views matter. The more intimate lovers are, the deeper insights they give each other. Yet lovers can’t know if the other is telling the truth, so they try to capture each other’s freedom to force the truth.  This leads to sadomasochistic power games that can’t be won—we can’t possess another’s freedom. This, Sartre thought, is why love is really conflict. 
Later Sartre said that an authentic love would not try to rob the other of their freedom. Sartre and de Beauvoir attempted this by giving each other the freedom to fall in love with other people. Although their other lovers knew about the agreement, they were hurt when they realised that their love wouldn’t conquer all. It’s possible to view Sartre and de Beauvoir’s commitment to each another and Sartre’s financial and emotional support of many ex-girlfriends as contradicting their freedom. Sartre explained it philosophically as freely choosing his priorities, and practically as preferring ‘to be a fool than a jerk’.  De Beauvoir said that it was his ‘guilty conscience’. 

The best love relationships are based on friendship

Life shouldn’t be comfortable; it should be about challenging ourselves to be better people. Friedrich Nietzsche referred to this as striving towards the ideal of the Übermensch. The problem with love is that it all too often manifests as an egoistic desire for power over another and selfishly seeking to be the centre of each other’s attention. Love distracts—or even worse, actively prevents—lovers from achieving great things. Nietzsche described lovers as becoming like dragons guarding treasure or cooping each other up like exotic birds in a cage. 
Relationships would be better if lovers were stronger-willed, mastered their passions, and were better friends. Then, lovers could focus their energy on concurrent flourishing and supporting each other’s goals instead of holding each other down with petty power games.

The best love relationships are romantic and secure

Romantic loving is beautiful, extraordinary, and intoxicating—the problem is that it tends to be fleeting. Søren Kierkegaard sought to make love secure and lift it out of the realm of lusty, unrestrained and empty hedonism. Relationships would be deeper and more meaningful if lovers would stop letting themselves be pushed around by their animal instincts. He thought that lovers could turn relationships into something more stable and enduring by owning themselves and making commitments. So he recommended that lovers choose despair and marry. 
Nevertheless, Kierkegaard also recognised that marriage is no more secure than romance and risks a boredom ‘worse than death’. This is why he eventually appealed to religious love, that is, to love independently of the object of affection (which isn’t very romantic).

The best love relationships recognise that love is egoistic

Love is a sweet and enjoyable experience that makes life richer. Max Stirner thought lovers should be honest with themselves and realise that love is egoistic because when we love, we actually love loving. While we should relish the frivolity of romance, Stirner thought it a crime to become a slave to love or a lover. There’s no surer way to kill such a beautiful experience than to weigh it down with duties and sacrifices, so he advised not to turn love into an obligation, as Kierkegaard recommended. 
Instead of subordinating themselves to external pressures to be in a relationship, get married, and procreate (or risk eternal loneliness, as Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the US Supreme Court opinion on gay marriage recently), Stirner advocated owning and loving ourselves. This means that lovers create relationships that work for them. He thought the best relationships are where lovers become stronger through their union and achieve more than they could have alone.
The existential philosophers proposed that falling in love throws existence into a new light and opens up new dimensions of possibilities and experiences. They suggest that best relationships are likely to be ones where lovers throw themselves wholeheartedly into romantic loving, but also master their passions, and are mature enough to allow each other the freedom to pursue their own goals and interests.

Previous articles:

Sunday 20 March 2016

Dating Ideas Based On Your Game Plan

"The best love relationships are based on friendship"      -      Susan

Dating Ideas Based On Your Game Plan

5 Date Ideas Based On Your End Goal

You might think that modern dating means you no longer have to take the lead when it comes to relationships, but many experts argue that the courting process between guys and girls not only still exists, but is also still important. While your girlfriend might not have an issue planning a date here and there, more often than not, women value and appreciate the effort it takes to come up with a brilliant evening for the both of you. Especially in the beginning.

“When a man takes control, it lets the woman know that he is interested and is putting effort into starting a relationship,” says matchmaker and dating expert Sarah Patt. “Also as much as women like to eliminate gender roles, it still makes you feel good to know that you’re being pursued.”

So when should you go into a date with a game plan? Sorry guys, but Patt says 100 percent of the time: “Women like men who are decisive and take charge. It’s always good to have a plan when it comes to dating – even just a general idea,” she continues. “Everyone hates ‘I don’t know. What do you want to do?’ Be creative!”

If you want some extra help to get you brainstorming, follow these based on what your end goal is:

It’s the date when you finally want to have sex with her.

Forget the third date rule and go by your gut. If she’s someone you could see yourself getting serious with, and you’re ready to take it to the sexual level, Patt says bringing in the romance – without being over-zealous – is key. “Create an intimate dinner at home with champagne or good wine, and make the scene comfortable and calm,” she says. “Whatever you do, make sure it’s a desired and relaxed environment for both of you so you are mentally and physically in the mood.”

You want to have the DTR talk.

Ready to define the relationship? Awesome. Have this conversation in bed, Patt says. “When you want to talk about this, it doesn’t have to be a formal date – instead it should be in the moment,” she says. “Whether you’re having coffee on a Sunday morning or laying in bed talking, the more organic it feels, the more intimate it will be.”

You want to ask her to meet your family.

Now you’ve been seeing each other for a long time and you’re ready for her to meet some of the most important people in your life. When you’re planning a date to meet your mom and dad, or siblings, you want to make sure the environment for all is comfortable and easy. “Let her know your family is coming into town or you’re visiting them, and you want her to join you. It can be a breakfast, a dinner or going to an event all together – just make sure there is time for everyone to talk and get to know each other,” she says.

You want to say “I love you” for the first time.

While Patt says this should happen organically and in the moment, it’s more important to note where you shouldn’t say those three words for the first time. “Steer clear of saying it during or after any activities in the bedroom to avoid raising any red flags for her,” she says. “Remember, most women tend to overthink it!” Meaning, if it comes out in the heat of the moment, she may ask some uncomfortable questions...

You want to ask her to move in with you.

If you’re ready for her to be your roommate she likely already has a few things at your apartment. When she’s coming over after work, cook – or order takeout – and place a key to your place next to her dinner plate. When you sit down to eat and she sees it, Patt says to let her know that whenever she’s ready, so are you.

Studies (Denes, 2012) suggest that revealing positive feelings for one’s partner after intimacy is associated with increased trust, relationship satisfaction, and closeness. So you'll probably get a better response when you're both physically and emotionally naked.

Previous articles:

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Couples Psychologist Reveals The Most Important Quality To Look For In A Partner

Values are what hold a relationship together...they are the glue.
Were values that are important to you missing from past relationships?
If the answer is yes then that's why it didn't work out.         -  Susan

Couples Psychologist Reveals The Most Important Quality To Look For In A Partner

Sexual attraction and similar interests are not as important as this

The most important quality to look for in a partner is not similar interests or how much you want to get into their pants, according to couples psychologist Peter Pearson.

In an interview with Tech Insider, Dr Pearson said that the “holy grail” of relationships is finding a partner who shares the same core values as you.

The initial hormonal rush you feel when you see someone you’re attracted to may feel like the most important and stringent factor at the time, but Dr Pearson says that these chemical reactions are likely to fade with time in a way that your core values will not.

Having similar interests to your partner, though it can be helpful, is not as important as having similar core values because hobbies, interests and activities can be negotiated in a way that your fundamental principles cannot.

"You can negotiate your interests," Dr Pearson says, "but not your values."

If you prefer crime shows to romances and your partner does not, compromises and negotiations can be made to work around this. However, if your life ambition is to get rich while your partner couldn’t care less about money you may well encounter problems.

Dr Pearson, of the Couples Institute in California, told Tech Insider about a couple he had seen that got into a dispute over values.

"He was building this huge house that overlooked a big vista," he said, "and she did not want to waste money on this ostentatious, wasteful shlock. She had so much disdain for his life dream of this house.”

Core values are much more difficult to compromise on than anything else, and so Dr Pearson claims that the most important thing to look for in a potential partner is their holding the same values as you.

If your partner’s core values conflict with yours, Dr Pearson thinks you might need to face up to the idea that you aren’t meant to be.

"It ain't gonna work," he said. "Everything small will grow into huge proportions."

Previous articles:

    Tuesday 15 March 2016

    How to Build Trust in a Relationship: 6 Important Tips

    "Trust in a relationship has got to be one of the most comfortable feelings on earth.  But not everybody is lucky enough to have that luxury. Its so easy to bring past negative emotions into a new relationship, my advice to you is STOP!  when these thoughts come into your mind, take those thoughts and put them straight into the rubbish bin. after all whats the point of worrying about something that has not even happened in your new relationship.  Spend your time and energy on the positive things in life, its less stressful"      -   Susan

    How to Build Trust in a Relationship: 6 Important Tips

    The issue of trust and relationships always focuses on the question of whether the partners are faithful enough to one another. But trust within a relationship encompass much more. All relationships that people build are based on trust on the other person’s true intentions. Without trust, there would be no relationship at all.
    There are various forms of mistrust which can severely strain relationships apart from the cheating partner. Mistrust can occur if a party in the relationships is dishonest and does not keep or follow through on promises. Mistrust does not always arise due to dishonesty. When you don’t believe that your partner has your best interests at heart, a lack of trust will quickly creep into the relationship.  In this case, you may have a feeling that someone you love or trust does not hold the same feelings towards you and may someday abandon you or betray you.
    How the bonds of trust are broken
    Children are inherently trusting when they are born. But they begin losing that natural trust if they are repeatedly betrayed by people around them and are exposed to pain. This creates self-doubt in their minds and can develop into a deep aversion to getting hurt. For many people, a lack of trust is an avoidance of pain. When children go through these experiences early on in life, it can leave an imprint in their minds which they carry forward into their adulthood. It is this fractured trust which many people take into relationships.
    However, lack of trust is not always a pre-existing condition. It can be actually created in the relationship when one partner is not living true to their promises and demonstrating their trust in the other partner through their actions. So when grappling with issues of trust in your relationship, it is also important to determine whether your mistrust was a pre-existing condition or something that developed in the relationship due to the actions of you or your partner.
    There are many other causes of mistrust in relationships such as addiction and money issues. If your partner is not being transparent about their financial situation for example, then mistrust can set in. The question you are likely to ask is: “What else are they hiding?” Once you begin questioning your partner’s intentions and commitment, it can take significant effort to save the relationship.
    If you are grappling with trust issues in your relationships, here are some of the best tips that you can use to build up the trust and put your relationship on a surer footing:

    Better Communication

    Communication is one of the most important factors in building trust between partners. Spend more time communicating about your problems instead of sitting on them and brooding. When it comes to communication, do it face to face. Don’t do it over emails or phone calls, but instead make it more personal and direct.  Do not hold back when faced with relationship issues. When you have something to tell your partner, make sure you do it. Open communication in relationships opens the pathways for trust to develop on.

    Have Some Empathy

    Empathy is different to sympathy. It is one of the most important aspects when it comes to building trust in your relationships. Have some empathy and try to understand where your partner is coming from. Determine if the needs of your partner are being met and try to put yourself in their shoes. Building a relationship is a leap of faith and it is therefore important to approach issues in the relationship from the perspective of understanding. When you can empathize with your partner, it will be possible for you to build the emotional connections which will lead to increased trust in the relationship.

    Foster some Growth in the Relationship

    Growth is an important factor which powers trust in the relationship. Stagnant relationships often gravitate quickly into situations of mistrust.  By creating various scenarios and situations in your relationship where you can do new things and create new memories together, it will not only give you more to talk about but it will be easier for you to predict the behavior of your partner thus develop more trust.
    Try something new, go camping or simply embark on something that is outside your comfort zone.  Don’t hold back on doing something that will inspire, encourage development or inflame your love and trust for each other, be it outside or even inside the bedroom.

    Don’t Stress when the Boundaries of the Relationship are Tested

    This is really crucial in building trust in the relationship. You cannot expect it to be smooth-sailing all the way.  Without going through all those rocky terrains, it will be impossible to see how much strain the relationship can sustain before you reach your breaking point. That isn’t to say that you should go out of your way to create jealously just to see how your partner might react, just be aware that every relationship comes with its ups and downs, and that its totally natural. In many cases, a relationship will meander through a rocky path at some point, due to circumstances beyond your control. Life will create hard choices for you personally that will test your tolerance levels. These situations are great for gauging one another and will lead to a greater sense of understanding.

    Do Not Keep Secrets

    Trust needs openness. If you are planning on building a trusting relationship, you must plan not to keep secrets and be open from the get-go with your partner.  Secrets erode relationships extremely fast, so it’s important to be honest and upfront about issues that arise together or individually. The best way to internalise these qualities is by assuming that all the “secrets” that you know will eventually come out. Keeping a secret also requires energy to keep it. When you keep secrets, you are simply overburdening yourself, which will become apparent to your partner very quickly.

    Learn to Say No

    You don’t have to say yes to everything your partner proposes. If you do not like something, simply say no. When you refuse to be subjugated and create a relationship based on equality, it will be easier for both of you, going forward. Don’t pander to the whim of your partner just to keep him/her happy, as it will set a precedent that will be a nightmare to maintain.

    Sunday 13 March 2016

    10 Commandments for Happy Relationships

    "Definitely 10 Commandments to live by"       -       Susan

    10 Commandments for Happy Relationships

    Love is not just about finding the right person, but creating the right relationship.  It’s not about how much love you have in the beginning, but how much love you build until the end.  A relationship should be healthy, caring, loving, kind, upbeat, and positive.  It should make your smile a little wider and your life a little brighter.
    Happy, healthy personal relationships are one of the greatest joys of life.  So starting today, choose to take control of your relationship with your significant other.  Here are ten commandments to follow together.
    You deserve to be with somebody who makes you smile – somebody who doesn’t take you for granted  somebody who won’t hurt you.

    I.  We will remember that every person and relationship is different.

    People don’t fall in love with what makes you the same; they fall in love with what makes you different.  Be your imperfectly perfect self.  We are not perfect for everyone, we are only perfect for those select few people that really take the time to get to know us and love us for who we really are.  And to those select few, being our imperfectly perfect self is what they love most about us.
    Don’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s – not your parent’s, friend’s, coworker’s, or that random couple whose relationship seems perfect.  Every couple makes their own love rules, love agreements, and love habits.  Just focus on you two, and making your relationship the best it can be.

    II.  We will listen to each other openly, without judgment.

    It’s far too easy to look at someone and make a snap judgment about them.  But you’d be amazed at the pain and tears a smile hides.  What a person shows to the public is only a small fraction of the iceberg hidden from sight.  And more often than not, it’s lined with cracks and scars that run all the way to the foundation of their soul.
    Never judge.  Learn to respect and acknowledge the feelings of your significant other.  Pay close attention to them.  Be present.  We don’t always need advice.  Sometimes all we need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand.  There is a time to speak out and a time to remain silent.  True wisdom comes from knowing the difference.  And this difference can make or break a healthy relationship.  
    III.  We will say what we mean and mean what we say.
    Share what is going on in your mind and heart.  Share your deepest thoughts, needs, wishes, hopes, and dreams.  Open communication and honesty is vital to healthy relationships.  Give the people in your life the information they need, rather than expecting them to know the unknowable.
    Information is the grease that keeps the engine of communication running.  Start communicating clearly.  Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people, especially your significant other, try to read yours.

    IV.  We will support each other through good times and bad.

    Be there through the good, bad, happy, and sad times – no matter what.  Be willing to provide a listening ear, a hug, and emotional support in all circumstances.  Trust that you can count on each other, and be available not only when it’s convenient, but when you need each other the most.

    V.  We will be loyal.

    True love and real friendship aren’t about being inseparable.  These relationships are about two people being true to each other even when they are separated.  When it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option, but a priority.  Loyalty is everything.

    VI.  We will live by the truth.

    Inner peace is being able to rest at night knowing you haven’t used or taken advantage of anyone to get to where you are in life.  Lies run sprints, but the truth runs marathons.  Run a marathon.  Live so that when others think of fairness, integrity and reliability, they think of you. 
    VII.  We will spend quality time with each other.
    Make time for each other.  With our busy schedules we often forget to relax and enjoy the great company we have.  In human relationships distance is not measured in miles, but in affection.  Two people can be right next to each other, yet miles apart.  So don’t ignore someone you care about, because lack of concern hurts more than angry words
    Carve out special time for just the two of you once a week.  Do something fun.  Spend time together talking, going on dates, and making each other laugh.  Not only is it true that laughter is the best medicine, but it’s also true that shared laughter can make a good relationship great.

    VIII.  We will appreciate each other and help each other grow.

    Having an appreciation for how amazing your significant other is leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places.  So be happy for them when they’re making progress.  Cheer for their victories.  Celebrate their accomplishments, and encourage their goals and ambitions.  Challenge them to be the best they can be.  And be thankful for their blessings, openly.

    IX.  We will settle disputes peacefully.

    Not much is worth fighting about.  Heated arguments are a waste of time.  If you can avoid it, don’t fight.  Step back from arguments with your loved ones.
    When you feel anger surging up and you want to yell that vulgar remark on tip of your tongue, just close your mouth and walk away.  Don’t let your anger get the best of you.  You don’t have to be right or win an argument.  It just doesn’t matter that much.  Give yourself some time to calm down and then gently discuss the situation.

    X.  We will love and respect ourselves as individuals too.

    Our first and last love is self-love.  Don’t rely on your significant other, or anyone else, for your happiness and self worth.  Only you can be responsible for that.  If you can’t love and respect yourself, no one else will be able to either.
    Accept who you are completely – the good and the bad.  And make changes in your life as YOU see fit – not because you think anyone else wants you to be different, but because you know it’s the right thing to do, for you. 
    Previous articles:
    The Perfect Romantic Massage to Turn Your Lover On...
    7 Subtle Ways Shy People Flirt (So Pay Attention!)...
    5 Signs It Really, Truly IS Love at First Sight
    What Are The Early Signs That She's Cheating
    5 Signs Your Deceased Loved One Is Nearby (And Sti...

    Thursday 10 March 2016

    The Perfect Romantic Massage to Turn Your Lover On

    "This sounds like fun!"         -    Susan

    The Perfect Romantic Massage to Turn Your Lover On

    What better way to relax and turn your partner on at the same time than with a sensual massage that can lead to hotter, naughtier activities?

    The Big Bang Theory’s Leonard professes to be the King of Foreplay and Penny seems to agree. We bet he knew how to use a sensual massage to prolong his foreplay. Here’s how you can give sensual massages to your partner, and maybe you’ll hook your own Penny to stay.
    What comes to mind when you think of sensual massages? Gentle hands warmed with scented oils touching your skin, while lying on your stomach in a room filled with a relaxing, ambient tune? It makes you want to just succumb to the allures of utter relaxation, doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t take a genius *or a brilliant physicist with a PhD* to realize that these are the same ingredients to a sensual night in bed with your partner.
    Sensual massage is the art of giving pleasure, while allowing your partner to release the tensions of a hard day’s work or a stressful week. Moreover, it primes them for a sensual night with you, their caring and sensitive partner.
    What you need for the perfect sensual massage experience
    Before you embark in this sensual endeavour, you need to make sure you have everything that you need. To give the perfect sensual massage, you have to set the mood. That means getting the right music, setting the room ambience, choosing the oils, and preparing the bed.
    The best music for a sensual massage
    #1 Nature music is a staple in massage salons and spas. However, instead of using typical forest sounds, try one with ocean waves or rain sounds. Who hasn’t fantasized about having sex on the sand with the ocean waves providing the backdrop for their sexual abandon? With their eyes closed, your partner is sure to have this picture in mind.
    #2 Spanish guitar music. If you think nature music is too cliché, try a little Spanish guitar music. It conjures visions of a dashing Spaniard with a silky voice, strumming a sexy acoustic guitar, while a sultry Spanish woman with golden tanned skin sways to the music. It is soothing but with a hint of passion, priming your partner to a passion-filled night with you.
    #3 Tantric music. For a more direct approach, try sensual music designed especially for lovers like Tantric Heart. It’s a music collection inspired by the ancient tantric cultures of the east. It is sure to unleash the Tantric god or goddess in your partner.
    Setting up the room for a sensual massage
    If you’re giving the massage in the bedroom, get some scented candles to light up the room. If you’re wary about all that open flame, opt for scented oils warmed in an incense burner. Mix 3 parts of water with 1 part oil to maximize the scent. Choose from some warm scents like vanilla or rose or a combination of the two. You may also choose a soothing scent like mint. Throw some colored scarves over the light fixtures to give the room a warm glow. Make sure the room temperature is not too cold, but not so warm either. You want your session steamy, not your partner sweaty. 
    Preparing the massage surface
    Your bed can be the perfect setting for a sensual massage if you don’t want to kill the mood while switching rooms or positions when you get to the steamy part. However, if your bed is so soft that it yields to your weight easily, the floor next to your bed could be a good place to start with. Line the floor neatly with thick fluffy towels so your lover’s comfortable, and don’t worry about getting messy!
    You may also opt to use a massage bed if one is available. Prepare a soft thin pillow so your partner can rest their head on it when they’re lying down. Make sure you have extra towels to cover the exposed parts you are not massaging. You want your partner warmed, not chilled.
    The best oils to use for massaging your partner
    Some people suggest using organic massage oils, such as almond oil or sandalwood oil. They are great for massages, as they feel luxurious on the skin and glides on easily. However, the downside to this is that most organic oils can cause latex condoms to weaken and break. They can also upset the sensitive Ph balance inside the vagina, causing unpleasant reactions.
    For a perfect sensual massage, use “body safe” massage oils. These are massage oils that can double as lubricants, perfect for what you have in mind for later. Choose one with a thinner consistency for a smoother glide, but one with silicone or glycerin, so they do not dry out quickly. Some oils also have a cooling or warming effect, which can be nice to experiment with. Just remember, a little goes a long way.
    How to give the ultimate sensual massage
    Giving a perfect sensual massage can be daunting for beginners with no massage experience. I would suggest you get a regular massage first to know the basic motions, such as rubbing and kneading, as well as what motions work for certain areas of the body.
    Nonetheless, what’s important when giving a sensual massage is keeping in touch with your partner’s reactions, what motions work for them, what makes them sigh with pleasure, and what intensity they feel comfortable with.
    #1 Head massage. A head massage is a perfect introduction to the sensual treat you have prepared for them. Stripped down, lying on their stomach with only a towel covering them, it can be nerve-wracking for a partner you haven’t been intimate with. The head massage will make them forget any misgivings they may have had at first.
    With their head on a pillow and facing up, start rubbing the temples in a circular motion. From the forehead, apply gentle pressure towards the scalp, like combing their hair with your fingers. Do this for about a minute, then move on to the other side. You can also run your fingers gently, applying some pressure towards the nape and the neck, as a precursor for the back and shoulder massage. 
    #2 Back and shoulder massage. Apply some oil on your hand and warm it, before rubbing it on your partner’s back. Start with the middle of the shoulders, below the nape. Rub your partner’s back from the middle, towards the shoulders. Drizzle a few drops of oil on their back, so your hands can glide against their back sensually, without sacrificing pressure.
    Move your hands along their back, and experiment with a few Shiatsu strokes from the top of their back to the bottom. It’s an easy move to slide your hands along your lover’s back, but you’ll soon see that this simple move can turn out to be one of the most sensual and yet relaxing moves. Get on top of your partner and sit down gently on their lower back or their butt, so you can reach out everywhere without uncomfortable stretches. Bonus: If you’re a man, your partner gets to feel your bulging cock as you massage them. Scorching hot, right?
    #3 Legs and arms massage. While they’re still lying on their stomach, massage the arms by gently stroking the muscles. Focus on the hands, particularly the palms and the fingers. When massaging the legs, move your hands softly in circular motions, paying more attention to the thighs and the calves.
    Don’t forget to massage the feet as these are easily the most stressed part of the body. Massage the heels, toes, and the pads of their feet. Be gentle, but not too gentle as you might end up tickling them.
    #4 Buttocks massage. This is when it gets a little steamy. From the legs, work your hands up to their butt. Circle your palms against their butt cheeks as you spread the sensual oils all around. With your palms on the butt, work your hands around in circular motions. Lightly knead the buttocks and press it upwards. Make sure to apply slight pressure only, as this can be painful.
    To test the waters, ever-so-lightly graze a finger in between the buttocks towards the dip on the back. If they don’t tell you to mind your fingers, then they’re ready for the next stage.
    #5 Sensual massage as foreplay. Have them lie on their back with their head lying on your lap, as you sit facing their feet. Start with a few circular motions on the temples, then gently stroke the nape towards the scalp. Comb the hair from the back of the head towards you, with your fingers, applying a bit of pressure. Lightly stroke the neck and the nape.
    From the sides of the chest, make gentle upward strokes towards the underarm and arching towards the top of the breast *not the nipples* or the chest area and the cleavage. You don’t want to go directly towards the nipples. Instead, build anticipation and focus on the areas surrounding the breasts, as well as the stomach area. Be gentle!
    Lightly massage the hips and the sides of the waist. Make gentle stroking motions instead of kneading, then massage the breasts, gently kneading them. Your partner should be writhing in pleasure by now. Top with a kiss on the nipples and a gentle finger graze in between the lips of her vagina, and… Well surely, you don’t need me to give you directions from here! 

    A sensual massage need not be as long as an hour to have the desired effect. A 10-minute rubdown, if done correctly, can send your partner into relaxation heaven, primed and eager to engage in a sensual adventure with their Tantric sex god or goddess: YOU.

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