Tag Archives: Psychology Today

New Year, New Man, New Approach

1 Jan

By Elizabeth Shore

Happy new year, Sexies! Candles are all blown out on the old year and we’ve lit them brightly for the new one. Adios 2017. Helloooo 2018. How ya doin?

If you’re anything like me, when the commercials come on for whatever TV marathon stuff-your-face-while-in-jammies fest you happen to be watching on new year’s day, you start to ponder. What will the new year bring? New job? New book contract? New slim body? New president?? (one can dream). Or, if you’re like one of my very best girlfriends, hope springs eternal for a new man in the new year.

For many the new year is time for change, which makes it the opportune moment to shed that frustrating loser you’ve been dating and get yourself a real man. Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Onine dating sites see anywhere from a 20 to 60 percent spike in usage during the first month of the year. But for my girlfriend, whom I’ll call Destiny, looking for a new man isn’t just something she does as the calendar turns to January. It’s what she does throughout the year, every year.

Destiny wants love more than she wants health insurance (she has none, but don’t tell), or money (very little), or any other fill-in-the-blank aspirational juggernaut that many of us strive for. Not my Destiny. Forget that other nonsense! Her hope, above all else, is to find her soulmate. Her lover. Her man. The guy with whom she can laugh, and grow old, and love above all others. In her heart of hearts she believes he’s out there; she just has to find him. There is one little catch, however, Destiny’s pool of candidates is pretty selective. It’s not the whole xy 35-55 age range across the globe type deal. Oh, no. Oh, hell no. Destiny’s future man must be tall, dark, and handsome. Literally. ‘Cause for her forever man, she’ll only consider African American guys. Why? It’s who she’s physically attracted to.

Trust me, I get the attraction thing. Let’s say you’re sitting with your besties at a bar and two hot dudes walk in. One’s a tall, fit, blond Swedish-type guy, and the other’s his equal except he’s Latin. Who ya gonna choose? Or maybe it’s more accurate to say, who’s nature gonna choose for you? We all have our types, right? And we can’t help who we’re attracted to, right? It’s nature!

Well, hold on there, pardner. The good folks at Psychology Today have something to say about that. Evolution definitely plays a part in desire. By nature, men are drawn toward women who appear fertile. Emphasis on appear. Even if your childbearing days are far in the rearview mirror, looking young and youthful – as marketers in the annual $64 billion U.S. cosmetics industry are quick to point out – is a must for attracting a mate. The same is true for women toward men. Statistically speaking, we’re far more attracted to strong men who seem like they can provide and protect. It’s evolutionary, my dear.

But what about that whole “type” thing? The fact that Destiny will only consider African American guys. I admire her eternal optimism, but it does seem as if she’s vastly limiting her prospects, no? What if she met a ginger, average height, average looks, but super funny and a fabulous supporter and provider guy, for whom kids and family are equally important for him as they are for her? If she writes him off without a speck of consideration there’s every danger she’s missing out on an amazing future mate.

The Psychology Today article, “Laws of Attraction,” says that when people state they have a type, what they really mean is they have a “preference.” You’d prefer a brunette to a blond, for example, if you could paint a picture of your ultimate guy. But being stuck on a type limits your opportunity for love. Instead, advises Psychology Today, date yourself out of it. Broaden your range. Take chances. Consider potential partners who don’t at first glance make you swoon. What they might do, in the long run, is make you fall in love.

So cheers to 2018 and to expanding our worlds. I’ll drink to that. Happy new year, everyone!

Elizabeth Shore writes contemporary and historical erotic romance. She’s the author of Hot Bayou Nights, Desire Rising, The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires and (as Liz Madison) Season of Splendor and With His Promise. Her next release, Hot Bayou Fire, the second in the Bayou series, will be out in 2018. Release date announced as soon as it’s known. 




Them’s Fightin’ Words: Hot, Sweaty, Make-Up Sex

22 May

By Elizabeth Shore

Couple Fighting

Fights between loved ones really suck. The hurt, the anger, the hurled, biting words that end up being the last thing you should’ve ever said. But among lovers, there is one positive outcome from a down and dirty screaming match, and you know what I’m talking about. The down and dirty make-up sex.Couple in bed

A recent article in Psychology Today states that the basic reason make-up sex can be one of the most intense, enjoyable sex that couples ever have has to do with what author Aaron Ben-Zeév, Ph.D., considered one of the world’s leading experts in the study of emotions, calls “arousal transfer.” He states in his article: “The high arousal state associated with the fight is transferred to a high arousal state during the make-up sex. The fantastic sex that ensues is to some extent due to the change in mood and the (at least temporary) relief at reconciliation with the partner, but it is also the result of arousal transfer from the fight to the sex. Make-up sex takes place after an unpleasant, heated fight with the partner that has created a gulf between the two and threatened the very existence of the relationship; make-up sex then re-establishes their bond in a very tangible manner.”

I’ve heard some women say they’ll pick a fight just to get the make-up sex afterwards. Certainly, as an author, it can be fun to write those intensely passionate scenes, which are much different than writing scenes of, say, newly discovered love. Those scenes can be fun to write as well but the sex is, you know, beautiful. Make-up sex is hot, and sweaty, and can be downright feral in intensity.

In the midst of a fight, we get some of the same physical reactions as we do when we’re turned on. Cheeks flush. Eyes get bright. Emotions are through the roof. Those nasty looks couples give each other when they’re fighting suddenly start looking nasty in a goooood sorta way. And how about that feistiness when we lash out at each other. Hmmm . . . bring that feisty temper to the bedroom, I say, and have at it with each other’s clothes. Yeah, that’s right. Rip ’em right off.

An article by David Strovny at askmen.com advises guys who are in a fight with their gals and get smacked to handle it like this: If she does (smack him), then take it like a man. After she’s done or if she doesn’t smack you around at all, hold her face firmly with your hands and kiss her deep and hard. Don’t let her anger dissolve completely — that’s probably the best part of the sex altogether. There’s nothing like a horny, angry woman…

There are, naturally, consequences of make-up sex that one needs to be conscientious of. If there are serious problems in the relationship, make-up sex only serves as a drug to mask the issues. The unresolved situation is still there and will need to be addressed. But in the usual garden-variety fights that most couples have in the coarse of a relationship, there’s nothing like putting an end to them by flinging those heated emotions at each other in the bedroom and having a hot and sweaty brawl. While naked.

The Complexity Of Desire

1 Feb

Sexy coupleAn interesting statistic published in the most recent issue of Psychology Today states that 50% of men aged 18-25 think about sex at least once every five minutes. Yowza! The drive to copulate stays pretty healthy as men age, too. According to that same study, only 25% of men still couldn’t go five minutes without sex coming to mind. That’s a whole lotta sex going on in our heads, although not necessarily in our beds. I wonder why this might be. If men are thinking about sex that much, there’s gotta be a certain percentage of the gals who are thinking about it, too. But how come there’s all this thinking without as much doing. How come we’re not having as much sex as we apparently want, or having exactly the kind of sex we truly desire?

British philospher Alain de Botton has a theory. In his new book,  How To Think More About Sex, he states that most people lie about their true desires. We’re not gettin’ it the way we want it, because we’re not being honest about exactly what we want.

The problem, according to de Botton, is complicated. What’s erotic to one person can just as easily be disgusting to another. Revealing what we desire sexually to our partners makes us vulnerable and open to ridicule. A guy who longs to give his gal a facial might be met with a look of revolt and annoyance. How could he even consider such a thing?! And just like that, revealing his desire gets him nothing more than a big fat reject slip. But let’s say that the girl is cool with having her face sprayed with his cum; in fact, thinks it’s the most intimate thing she’s ever heard. That’s what makes moments of true eroticism so intense, says de Botton, because the revealed desire is accepted and welcomed rather than scorned and rejected.

Sex is a wonderful thing, but it’s also exceedingly complicated. De Botton says that it’s always going to cause us angst because we often suffer privately with our sexual thoughts. Well, that in itself is kind of dismal, but I can see where he’s going with it. Sex isn’t just one thing. It’s not merely the psysiological act of intercourse. It’s the whole ball o’ wax. The longing, the arousal, the shared intimacies, the (hopefully) shared desires which all lead to sex.

This is another reason why I love erotic romance. The stories reflect how we feel, how we struggle, how we perform the dance of love and sex. It doesn’t all have to be a journey of sugar-coated happiness. Our characters can be put through their paces, they can be tested, they can suffer. But along the way they have really hot sex where no one is rejected, where women always achieve orgasm, and they end up happily together in the end. Fantasy? Sure. Escapism? Absolutely. But if, in real life, we have to suffer through everything including our own desires, then I’m cool with leaving those struggles behind when I open the pages of a hot erotic romance.

Hmm, I think I’ve got some reading to do. Have a great weekend!

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