Doing Life Together

The headline in USA Today asks if hypersexuality is the new normal in Hollywood.

Miley Cyrus and the class of 2013 have decided to answer that question with a big YES. To make it big, you become raunchy and show all. We used to call this soft porn.

Now being raunchy is touted as the new strategy to stay on top of the business. I was told this by a Hollywood producer recently. He said, “You don’t understand. This is just business. It is a strategy for these women to bare all and act in provocative ways.”

I told him I do understand. I just don’t agree with making people commodities in order to sell product. Does it work? YES. That doesn’t mean it is a healthy strategy. Drug dealers are effective sales people, but we still don’t allow them to sell a deadly product.

Where is our self respect? How does all this hypersexuality impact real relationships? We have some data on this and it is not positive.

And  does anyone in Hollywood care about the messages this sends to young women and men? Apparently not! It is just business!

Congratulations Hollywood. You have lowered the bar for women. One argument is that people seem to enjoy this lower standard. Yes, people do enjoy porn! But let’s not forget the destructive process that porn has over a person’s life and relationships. I see that side. Hmmm… pleasure in sin. Now, there is a novel idea! These women are delusional to think that what they are doing is anything more than objectifying and commodifying their sexuality. If they separate their sexuality from their personal lives, that is called dissociation. We treat that as a psychiatric condition.

Sex is being bought and sold on the celebrity market. Don’t ask me to celebrate this or think for a moment that this is what people have to do to be successful. Look at Adele, or young Selena Gomez. At her  concert last week she said, “Let me tell you one thing, the sexiest thing I think — actually, I know — is class.” Here here!

The money makers are driving this new normal and women are becoming slaves to the dollar. You can reframe this all you want, but in the end, women who take this route are pimping themselves. And there is no respect in that.



Oreos have been around since I was a child. Like me, do you split the cookie and eat the center first?

Harmless right? Maybe not!

What if you gave a mouse a cookie? Could that cookie be addictive?

Now, I’m not suggesting you find a 12-step program to deal with your impulse purchase of Oreos, but neuroscience is interesting when it comes to why we eat these high fat, high sugar foods. There is more to the cookie than meets the eye or taste bud for that matter.

Researchers actually studied the brain effects of eating Oreos in rats! I know, who thinks of these studies? And I love the fact that  rice cakes were used as the control group food for the rats. Rice cakes or Oreos? The rats were not stupid. They went for the cookies!

What the researchers found was that Oreos activate the same pleasure centers in the brain that cocaine and morphine do. Specifically, they looked at how many cells were turned on in a specific part of the brain when rats ate Oreos or were given drugs. More were activated by the cookies than the drugs.

While the jury is still out on whether or not foods can be addictive, this study gives support for addictive properties in high fat, high sugar foods.

So for some of you, walk past that cookie aisle and go directly to the fruit section of the store.

Will you get a high from the cookies? Last time I looked you could drive while under the influence of Oreos! But, one of the reasons we LOVE our cookies is that they activate those pleasure centers of the brain. Just how much pleasure we get may encourage us to eat more than we want to eat.

Food for thought!

a coupleGrace was really tired and knew her husband would approach her in bed. She just wasn’t in the mood, but thought she should probably have sex and get it over with–not the best motivation to be intimate. At least, she was honest with herself. But admitting that to her husband would just raise issues, so she dutifully complied.

Did it matter what her motivation was for having sex? Wasn’t it just important to keep having sex in her marriage?

New research says, YES, motivation matters and it affects your marital satisfaction. Studies at the University of Toronto concluded that couples who want to improve their intimacy, feel closer, or have what is called an APPROACH motive for sex  are more satisfied long-term than couples who have sex to AVOID issues like not feeling guilty, not having conflict over sex, etc.

Motive matters!

Survey data from couples found that when the motive for sex is more positively oriented than negative, there was more marital satisfaction and a higher level of desire. The opposite was also true. Having sex for negative reasons like avoiding a hassle or just getting it over with resulted in more negative feelings. Apparently, it matters to your partner WHY you have sex. And the negative can build up over time.

So how can you motive yourself positively? Think about what you want in the relationship–more intimacy, closeness, desire and then let that motivate your approach. Work on enjoying each other and making the experience positive. Since you now know that your motivation affects your relationship, positivity goes a long way towards feeling more satisfied with your partner and increasing desire.

couple in loveRelationships are such an important part of our lives. How do you measure up in your partner relationship? Check your emotional intelligence here:

Answer YES OR NO to each question.

1) When your partner does something that bothers you, do you think, “There must be a good reason for this. I am sure we can work it out?”

2) Are you free to express your dreams, values and viewpoints?

3) Do you manage your emotions during conflict and try to understand what is happening?

4) When distressed, are you able to talk about your fears and worries?

5) Can you calm yourself down when you feel defensive and believe your partner may feel attacked too?

6) When an argument is repeated, do you think about what the bigger issue may be?

7) No matter how distressed or conflicted, do you maintain connection with your partner?

8) Do you regularly tell your partner how much he or she is appreciated?

9) Do you show on-going interest in what your partner says?

10) Do  you both have common goals, dreams and hopes?




If you answered YES to most of these questions, congratulations! You are doing great at making your relationship work!

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