Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Men and women are wired differently, everyone agrees with that right? And we're happy that we are so different as that makes us fundamentally interesting and attractive to one another. Of course it also means that the differences could cause difficulty in relating with one another too, that's a given.

Dr. Louann Brizendine is a member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the National Board of Medical Examiners, and a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. Recently she wrote a brief article about the differences in brains between men and women relative to the the size of the male brain when it comes to sexual pursuit. Dr. Brizendine writes:

"Perhaps the biggest difference between the male and female brain is that men have a sexual pursuit area that is 2.5 times larger than the one in the female brain. Not only that, but beginning in their teens, they produce 20 to 25-fold more testosterone than they did during pre-adolescence.

If testosterone were beer, a 9-year-old boy would be getting the equivalent of a cup a day. But a 15-year-old would be getting the equivalent of nearly two gallons a day. This fuels their sexual engines and makes it impossible for them to stop thinking about female body parts and sex".

Does this mean then that men are indelibly programmed to have extra-marital sex. NO. It does mean, according to Dr. Brizendine that "Their visual brain circuits are always on the lookout for fertile mates. Whether or not they intend to pursue a visual enticement, they have to check out the goods". So while a basic difference between our genders might be that men feel compelled to look at other women whether or not they act on how enticing another women looks does not relate to them following through and beginning an affair.

Research shows us that with regard to women on the other hand, that while they may notice or look at other men , they don't have the same amount of driven urge to mate and mate as our male counterparts do. Nevertheless women are not far behind men statistically with regard to infidelity.

The mirror-neuron system in women's brains is more active and larger which allows women to be more insightful and empathic with others, sensing and feeling their feelings or emotions more effectively. This contributes to the desire to feel some safety and trust in a man before having sex with them usually. In general they want to feel that the man will feel something for them that might make him want to call again, be with them again, appreciate and like them.

From the outset, our drives and intentions and needs are different. Most researchers believe that biologically, the male drive, as in animals, is to spread their seed around to as many fertile females as they can, thus producing more of themselves, and females are looking for the biggest, strongest, steadfast and reliable, handsome male to mate with, so that the offspring is the optimum that she can produce. This may actually be at the heart of mate selection.

We are not talking love here. Men can fall in love as much, as often and as fast was women can. And we are not saying that either gender is doomed to having a mate who will not remain exclusive sexually.

Men may not express their emotions as much , but that does not mean they do not run deep. Many times after a divorce, it is the man who is so sensitive and so lonely that their suffering is far more pronounced than that of the wife they parted from.

"Not only is the mature male brain more receptive to closer bonds, but it's also more sensitive to loneliness. Nobody thrives when they're lonely, but it seems to take a major toll on older men. Sixty percent of divorces in couples over the age of 50 are initiated by women, leaving their husbands shell-shocked and devastated". (Brizendine)

Our brains may be different, but learning about how they work and understanding the differences so that we can communicate with one another about those differences is a wise way to tackle issues of concern and to learn how to be more successful in managing relationships that matter to us.

(Reference: Love, Sex and the Male Brain, Louann Brizendine, CNN, 2010)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I like to write and know many people who do also. Getting in a zone and letting your mind roam freely (or subconsciously) while you lay out on paper or on line whatever comes to the forefront is like the flow of a meandering river through fertile grasslands or deep, darker woods. Sometimes it comes upon a waterfall because what is splashing out is so exciting or clever or revealing that it's thrilling to let those visualizations or thinking out in the open. Sharing them with others is fulfillment, and at other times becomes self-discovery and enlightenment, even inviting change within yourself.

I was taught to write three pages a day, and I chose doing this the first thing in the morning before doing anything else. This process is called "clumping". Of course that time does not always work out for me, but when I do it - it sets the tone for more writing. It provides a way to "get in the zone" and let go of all the usual other things you do in order to focus on your writing.

I have also read that other authors write 10 pages a day and fill up notebooks . For example Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down The Bones, (a very cool and wonderful book that helps any would-be writer) refers to doing just that herself. Other authors that I have met in a Writer's club, prefer to get online and just write, or write articles or short stories to build up to writing a book. Some write in long hand and prefer it to typing and some would-be authors write information products before or while writing a book-something I am doing myself, too.

After writing your 3 pages-you can staple them together and put them in a file folder or a folder online. Organization is vital to make progress. Dan Poynter (Writing Nonfiction) suggests making piles for each chapter of the book you are writing and placing them on the floor. Each pile contains the research you have for that chapter. I have a hard time doing this because I don't function well in clutter- so I have big binders where I divide up the research I have gathered for my book. Wherever you keep your clumping pages, you can go back to them at different times and discover material that you can use at another time or in one of the chapters you are writing, or for an article for something else you want to publish.

Scheduling time to write or work on your book or article or story or information product, takes a real effort, especially if you are working or have another profession. You have to commit yourself to accomplishing what you want to write, because it is 'oh, so easy' to get distracted or have life take up an abundance of the time you have awake! There is lots of time management information on line, just go to any search engine and put those two words in. Programs and coaches help further by instructing you more specifically either through the examples of other successful practices, or, as with coaches, by focusing completely on you, the client, and what works or will work sucessfully for you. Having a coach is just an amazing process that is vitally enabling.

Keeping track of my SMART goals, and checking off my daily goals on a schedule sheet I made up on Excel- helps me to stay focused. Having an accountability partner (or more than one for different reasons) is extremely valuable also. Blocking out time periods exclusively for writing, works for others and is wonderful if your daily patterns give you the freedom to lay it out that way with little likelihood of your routine being interrupted or postponed.

Bottom line, once you launch yourself into the process, after commiting yourself to accomplishing this goal, writing daily is a key component to success and organization. While difficult for many, it is crucial to learn to do.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


If this is your first time here, I hope you'll scroll down to the first post which explains a bit more about what this book is all about.

I made the decision to do a kind of running journal on this first exploration of what it takes to write a book. I decided that I wanted to write based in part on what I was hearing back from my college students as I taught and interacted in discussion with them about marriage, affairs, hooking up, friends with benefits, the many cases encountered in counseling and coaching individuals and of course the volumes of exposure that well known, married individuals are tagged with once it becomes known that they have been sexually involved with someone else.

I started exploring couples throughout history known for their dalliances, and the biological and psychological make-up of human beings. The more we undertand about how we are wired, and then how culture, religion, values, the media, especially the Internet, physical beauty (or not) and belief systems play into our decisions to act or not to act on our desires, the more we can begin to be prepared for potential possibilities.

I know some of you reading this might be thinking, I would never stray, or my husband/boyfriend better not ever if he wants to keep his parts, or we are above that, etc., etc., but still you might enjoy what this book will entail.

I am using fictionalized versions of actual affairs, told from the point of view of either gender. The affairs vary regarding ages of individuals, occupations, locations, attitudes, emotions (or lack of) sedate relationships, romantic ones, novel flings, quickies, love involved, kinky stuff, dangerous liasons, online and off, people of notoriety and not.

The non-fiction sections take into account not just the history or the controversy involved, but the outcome for marriage itself.

I plan to include same sex partners, emotional intimacy, threesomes, communication about sex, marriage, affairs, counseling or coaching, D/s and/or S&M, spiritual advice, statistics, variations of attitudes in countries other than in the US, where we are headed and possible tools/ideas and information to help your marriage be what you want it to be.

Next I will get into what I'm learning about writing...Oy vey.

Some of The 10 Top Craziest Sex Laws in America
(I have not checked these out yet- way strange)

In Bakersfield , CA., if you're going to have sex with Satan, you've got to use a condom.

In Dryersburg, TN., it is illegal for a lady to call a gentleman for a date.

In Merryvile, MO., wearing a corset is illegal because "the priviledge of admiring the curvaceoous , unencumbered body of a young woman should not be denied to the normal, red-blooded American male", (what if a man wears the corset)?

It is illegal to purchase sex toys in Alabama.

In Washington, D.C. engaging in any sexual position other than missionary is illegal.

In Massachusetts, you cannot consummate your love with a rodeo clown while the horses are still around.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


As a Life & Wellness Coach, a licensed Marriage Family Therapist and Communication college instructor, I launched into writing this book after listening to students, watching reality shows on TV, counseling numerous couples in discord after an affair has taken place, reading articles and doing research which all suggested that revolutionary developments in what being married or even committed means today or would mean in the future.

With newspapers and and paparazzi type television shows and tabloid fodder all reporting on the grievous behavior of many of our top leaders and political representatives, day after day, and knowing that affairs have happened throughout history - not just to notables , but couples on every socio-economic level, in the United States, and every other country, writing about this topic seemed logical.

I began to wonder not just about the person betrayed, but the person who decided to have an affair. I wondered about the biological drives and differences in the way men and women see extra-marital sex. I considered the "friends with benefits" status so familiar to young adults today and how that might play out in future marriages- or if marriage would ever even occur.

This book is not just a primer for people thinking of getting married, after all when one is on a high about the prospect of being in love and planning a marriage- they are not usually considering infidelity, but it is also for those already married , or who are having an affair now, or going through the consequences of having been discovered. Couples, partners, teachers, clergy, psychotherapists, nurses, doctors and curous individuals will all benefit from the discoveries and information of interest within this book.

A variety of scenarios are presented to illustrate situations and events, thoughts and feelings surrounding this human behavior and decision making that occurs at various points. The reader may identify or be interested in similarities to thier own life or that of someone they know. Ultimately awareness and insight brings about ideas and decisions along with practical suggestions for those who wander through these pages.

A few startling statistics to set you thinking:

It is estimated that roughly 30 to 60% of all married individuals (in the United States) will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage ( Buss and Shackelford).

Research consistently shows that 2 to 3% of all children are the product of infidelity. And most of these children are unknowingly raised by men who are not their biological fathers.

Some cultures have adopted extreme measures to combat infidelity: female circumcision, allowing only limited contact between the sexes, and death as a punishment. Many other cultures however, view infidelity as more of a nuance, not a serious marital problem.

And this is just the beginning....