The Teen Girls’ Guide to Guys, Sex, and Relationships…by Keenan Wilde

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Rethinking Marriage

Marriage is not as popular as it once was. The percentage of adults who are married has been dropping for decades around the world. In the United States in 2010, about 51% of adults (over age 18) were married, compared with 72% in 1960. This means about half the adults in the country are not married! That is a big number. Part of the reason is young adults are getting married later in life, on average. Back then, 59% of people ages 18 to 29 were married; in 2010 just 20% were. In 2010, the average age at first marriage for women was over 26, and for men it was nearly 29. So, if you are reading this while in your teens, you might not get married for another 10 years or so. I think this is a good thing. In this section, I’ll tell you why.

First, our society places far too much importance on the event of the marriage ceremony itself. Many, if not most, young girls consider the act of getting married to be the wonderful accomplishment of a primary goal they have held for years among their earliest and most cherished memories. It might easily be the highlight of their lives thus far. I remember my daughters spending countless play hours dressing up as brides with their friends, and I participated in plenty of those mock ceremonies with them, typically as the groom! I recall the Disney princess movies, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and the like, that always concluded with the princess and her prince riding off to the sound of wedding bells to live happily ever after.

As our society embraced this idea of the wedding day as an accomplishment of great merit, we developed a $40 billion a year wedding industry. The average U.S. wedding costs $27,000, not counting the engagement ring, the honeymoon, and all the wedding gifts! If that sounds exorbitant, consider this over-the-top list of items needed for a typical wedding these days:

Attire & Accessories

  • Dress Accessories
  • Headpiece and/or Veil
  • Tuxedo/suit/other Accessories
  • Tuxedo/suit/other Rent/purchase
  • Wedding Dress/es
  • Beauty & Spa
  • Hair Service
  • Makeup Service
  • Manicure & Pedicure

Entertainment

  • DJ
  • Live Band
  • Musician/s, Soloist, or Ensemble

Flowers & Decorations

  • Boutonnieres, Corsages
  • Bridal Bouquet
  • Bridesmaid Bouquets
  • Ceremony Decorations
  • Ceremony Flower Arrangements
  • Flower Girl Flowers
  • Flower Petals
  • Reception Decorations
  • Reception Flower Arrangements
  • Reception Table Centerpieces

Printed Materials

  • Invitations
  • Ceremony Programs
  • Engagement Announcements
  • Guest Book
  • Invitations & Reply Cards
  • Postage
  • Reception Menus
  • Save the Date Cards
  • Table Name and Escort/place Cards
  • Thank You Cards

Gifts & Favors

  • Gift/s for Attendants
  • Gift/s for Parents
  • Tips (for all services)
  • Wedding Favors

Jewelry

  • Engagement Ring
  • Wedding Bands

Photography & Video

  • Digital or Photo cd/dvd
  • Engagement Session
  • Prints and/or Enlargements
  • Traditional Leather Bound Album
  • Wedding Photographer
  • Wedding Videographer

Planners/Consultants

  • A La Carte Services
  • Day of Coordinator
  • For Getting Started
  • Full Service
  • Month of Direction

Transportation

  • Limo Rental
  • Other Transportation

Venue, Catering & Rentals

  • Ceremony Accessories
  • Ceremony Location
  • Ceremony Officiator
  • Hotel Room for After Reception
  • Reception Accessories
  • Reception Bar Service
  • Reception Food Service
  • Reception Location
  • Reception Rentals
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Wedding Cake/desert

Source: The Wedding Report, Inc.

This enormous investment and the tremendous accompanying stress and effort are being dedicated to…what? To the publicly and grandly declared intention of two people to spend their lives together! While this intention is admirable, it is not actually an accomplishment worthy of a $27,000++ celebration. The wedding cost is an upfront cash outlay to honor a relationship commitment which might not endure. Ironically, because we have about one divorce for every two marriages each year, and the divorce attorneys collect $20,000 to $40,000 per case, another $30 billion or more is spent on divorce lawyers each year and an additional $40 billion is paid by divorced spouses every year for spousal/child support. Surprisingly, two-thirds of these divorces are initiated by women.

What does this have to do with the decline of marriage, and why am I even bringing this up? Putting aside the obvious, daunting costs of marriage and divorce, I believe this emphasis on the wedding ceremony itself highlights the fact that people, especially girls, often get married for the wrong reasons. They cherish the act of getting married as the significant accomplishment, the pinnacle of their young lives, when in fact it is just the very beginning of a very challenging endeavor. The act of getting married – like the act of getting pregnant – is the easy part. In both cases, the long term consequences of the act are monumental.

A second reason it is a good idea to delay marriage is, people are living a lot longer than they used to, and a lifetime commitment stretches far longer than it once did. If you get married at 20, you potentially are committing to love and cherish the guy for 60 or 70 years. How confident do you feel about that? Believe me; people can change A LOT in 60 years. Heck, you might not even like the guy he becomes in 10 or 20 years.

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A third reason not to rush into marriage just for the sake of being married is marriage is complicated and challenging. Do you remember all the issues we discussed about relationships in the last chapter? Well, marriage adds a few more to those. Here are just a few examples.

Families. Your family is now his family and his family is now your family. All the wacky relationships in his family now include you, and visa versa. Good luck with that!

Finances. Hopefully, you left home some time before getting married, and you took control of your own finances. Now, you just added another party to your financial record and reputation. I hope he is trustworthy and frugal. If not, you might end up paying his bills. In addition, every dollar you spend is subject to critical review from your mate. You might have to explain, for instance, why it is unavoidable to spend $250 getting your hair styled, dyed, and highlighted, while he spends $15 at SuperCuts. Let’s not even talk about shopping for shoes!

Decisions. All couples of all ages have to make a lot of joint decisions. After marriage, the decisions multiply and their implications can last for decades. Where shall we live; where shall we vacation; do we visit your relatives or mine; shall we buy a house; shall we have kids? Nearly every important decision in your life will be made with significant input from your partner.

Growing apart. The person you fell in love with might not have much in common with the person sharing your bed in ten or twenty years. People do change over the years, and oftentimes their spouses wonder what happened to the person they once were. Some people do change for the better, yet others gradually decline in capabilities and character. You might have committed your life’s energy and devotion to a person whom you no longer respect or even like.

I could go on and on about the challenges of marriage, but I am sure you are getting the point. Rather than just being Debbie Downer, perhaps I have some suggestions? I do, but not the kind you might expect. I’d like to see our society approach marriage in a much different manner. Here are some of my crazy ideas.

First, I think the initial wedding ceremony should be a small, simple affair. No big budget, huge parties with fancy clothes, lots of relatives, plenty of booze, and loud music. Sure, have close family members and a few friends celebrate the initial commitment of two souls to join together, but save the big celebration until the happy couple hits their fifth or even tenth anniversary. Then have a huge bash, because that is an accomplishment worthy of celebrating. Yes, it is OK to have a nice honeymoon after the initial wedding ceremony, but don’t spend a fortune on wedding rings until the five or ten year celebration. (A friend of mine spent $65,000 on an engagement ring. The engagement fell through, and his fiancée returned the ring, but he could only sell the “used” ring for about half its value. OUCH!)

Second, I’d like to see initial marriage contracts expire automatically after three years. If both parties don’t agree to renew, no problem; the marriage automatically dissolves. All the terms and conditions of the separation are spelled out, in advance. That way, folks who decide the marriage relationship is not working for them can gracefully withdraw without the guilt, shame, acrimony, and expense of a messy divorce. I understand, of course, this flies in the face of making a lifelong commitment. THAT IS THE POINT. Let’s start off with a three year commitment and see how that works. Couples can always expand their subsequent marriage contracts. Companies in business rarely make initial business commitments longer than three years, because they know circumstances will change significantly in that time. The same is true in our personal lives.

Third, I’d like to see marriage contracts look more like actual business contracts, by spelling out more specifically what each partner agrees to provide in and to the relationship. If our society put half as much effort into detailed marriage contracts as we put into today’s divorce agreements, we would all benefit (even divorce lawyers, who could rebrand themselves as marriage lawyers!). Yes, this does take a lot of the romance out of the more traditional “love, honor, and cherish,” but those vague promises are not really cutting it in today’s society, are they? As I described in the previous chapter, countless unmet expectations suck the life out of many relationships, so let’s be more specific about what each person expects and promises to contribute. The more detail the better, because it forces the participants to discuss their expectations and negotiate compromises before getting married. Boring and frustrating? Yes, but this process is just a snapshot of full length epics that play out later in marriages. As time goes by in the initial term of the contract, if people change their minds about what they are willing to contribute to the marriage, then they won’t renew their contract when it expires. I’d much rather see more nit-picky haggling on the front end and less vitriolic negotiation by divorce lawyers on the back end of marriages.

Fourth, ideally, couples would delay having children until they renew their initial marriage contracts. Instead of encouraging young girls to wait until they are married to have children, we’d advise them to wait until they renew their marriage contracts. This would save untold emotional suffering for many children and their (single) parents. Kids would be born in more stable, truly committed relationships, to more mature parents. Think a bit about the potential implications of this before you rule it out as infeasible or naïve.

Are these four ideas cure-alls for the challenges of marriage? Of course not. Human relationships are fraught with complexities that defy easy solutions. Still, I believe they are worthy of discussion and could lead to innovative approaches to marriage that reduce the number of alienated married couples and spiteful divorces. Because it will take decades (or centuries) for ideas like these to move into the mainstream, you’ll be swimming upstream if you try to implement them yourself. Let me therefore offer a few suggestions if you approach marriage in a more traditional manner.

First, find some couples whose marriage you admire and spend some time with them. Hopefully, you can find two or three relatively happy couples. Ask them to explain candidly how they have been successful. Talk to them individually and together. This is not one short conversation, either. It might take multiple visits to really understand how their marriage works. It will be worth the effort, and I promise some of their words will ring in your ears as the years go.

Second, if you cannot develop a written marriage contract, at least invest adequate time to discuss important, if touchy, subjects with your would-be spouse. Talk honestly about your desires and expectations. How will you handle difficult issues that arise regarding each topic? How will you compromise on issues where you disagree? Here is a short list, and you can add others after visiting with the happily married couples in step one, above: money, careers, sex, children, health and fitness, friends, ex-lovers, common interests, separate interests, living arrangements and location , relatives, travel, honesty, loyalty, tenderness. If you’d like a longer list, track down a copy of 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married by Monica Mendez Leahy.

My third suggestion is to consider living together before getting married. In a way, this concept substitutes for the short term marriage contract I suggested earlier. The idea probably evokes a big yawn, as many, many couples cohabitate today out of wedlock. While it is not an exact proxy for being married, it does give you and your intended spouse a lot of insight into how well you will make the countless, little, every-day decisions required of a married couple. Yes, I know researchers say the divorce rate is no better for couples who lived together before tying the knot, but I still recommend it strongly. It will give you a realistic sense of how your married life will be, at least in the early years.

Perhaps you’ll be afraid to cohabitate because you suspect your guy will be happy enough with the unmarried arrangement and therefore will resist making the ultimate commitment. This does happen all the time. I believe most guys are afraid to get married, and who can blame them? Few men are genetically wired to be monogamous for 50 years. Whether you live with him or not, you might find your guy resisting conversations that pin down exact marriage dates, even – believe it or not – if he already proposed! So, if you do want to be married, I suggest you set a “co-habitation term” that spells out exactly how many months or years you will live together before making the marriage decision and setting the date together. Set this time frame before you move in with your boyfriend, write it down, have both of your sign it, and put it in a safe place for later reference. Chances are, you’ll need it!

All of the relationship suggestions I gave you in the last chapter apply to married life, but I won’t repeat them all here. You can review the two sections called the Unachievable Promise and Maximizing Your Chances, especially the discussion on how unmet expectations kill relationships. The only redundant advice I’ll include here is, you cannot change another person. If you are like most of us, you’ll waste a lot of time trying to improve your mate before realizing it is hopeless. Only he can change himself, and the motivation must come from him. A classic mistake is to manipulate a Ladies Man into marrying you because you think he’ll settle down once he has the gold ring on his finger. Not likely, in most cases. (Okay, I was an exception, but I was 41 at the time!) Sure, some percentage of guys do mature significantly as they age, and turn into Truly Good Guys and respectable spouses, but I sincerely doubt it is due to the efforts of a few good woman to change their ways. Most likely, their hormone levels are dropping to manageable levels and the big brain is starting to assume dominance over the little brain. If you are thinking your guy will make a great husband after you remodel his little imperfections to fit your idealized image, put those thoughts out of your mind. Take him as you find him, and love him despite his unique imperfections, or move on to greener pastures.

A corollary to not trying to change a person is to avoid nagging, complaining, criticizing, correcting, sarcasm, and expressing frequent disapproval of your mate. This could be a lengthy topic, but I’ll summarize it by saying there is no quicker way to drive your man into the arms of another woman than by habitually calling out his shortcomings. If you want to keep your fiancée focused on you, be sure to express your appreciation for those (occasional) things he does right. For every bit of nagging you allow yourself, give him at least two or three choice morsels of verbal honey.

In keeping with my habit of offering only five suggestions per topic, here is my last thought on making the marriage decision. Play close attention to your gut, your intuition. It is natural to have fears and doubts before making such a monumental life decision. Some of those will be emotional and a lot will be mental. I believe you can sit quietly and ask your intuition, your inner guidance, what is the best course of action for you. Listen carefully to what it says, and don’t settle for a simple yes or no answer. Ask for more. If you have a bad feeling, stay with it and explore it. For example, you might come up with the following insight: “Everything about him is nearly perfect, but I just don’t like the way he treats his mom and sisters.” While it might be easy to shrug that off, your intuition might bring it up again and again. If it does, please take your intuition seriously, and explore the issues it raises before you rush into a marriage with a lot of high hopes and glowing expectations. After you work through your issues, I hope your gut gives you the green light and you can move forward with true confidence.

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Types of Guys #5 – The Truly Good Guy

Of course, this is the guy you dream about, the guy you often see in “girlie” movies. He’s good looking, but not vain. He’s smart, but not a geek. And he’s a funny, but not a clown. He’s athletic, but not a total jock. He has interests, but not obsessions. He is personable and approachable, and he seems generally well balanced and comfortable being himself. He is not driven by hidden demons. Some might say he is well adjusted. Do such guys exit outside movies and your fantasies? Yes, I think so, although – the human condition being what it is – they are pretty rare.

 The Truly Good Guy

 The Truly Good Guy (TGG) might not be exceptional in any single category – looks, brains, talents – but his lack of annoying traits makes him highly attractive to women. So, there is considerable competition for the TGG’s attention. If you are unwilling to compete, at least on some level, you might have trouble capturing any quality time with the TGG, who tends to partner up early and marry young. If you do decide to pursue a TGG, you have two options:

First, put yourself near him – on the school paper, student government, at the gym, church group, a volunteer effort, etc. – in activities where you can engage him in sincere interactions. Be straightforward, and focus on the issues at hand. Delicately highlight common interests, yet to be willing to engage in spirited debate about topics you have passion for. Be your own person; be your best “truly good gal” and see if something clicks. If he starts to gravitate to you and hangs with you occasionally, the trend is good. If you can keep your cool and not become overly anxious, solicitous, or demanding, he might warm up to you and decide he respects you and feels comfortable with you. You’ll be on your way to a genuine relationship with a Truly Good Guy

Second, a riskier, but still potentially effective, strategy is to play hard to get. This might be the only feasible approach if the TGG is, through no fault of his own, Mr. Popularity. If he is surrounded by attractive females, you might see no way to get into his tent, so to speak. Let’s be realistic: the odds are not good, unless fate has decreed otherwise. Nevertheless, I want to encourage you to embrace life’s challenges and pursue your desires. It is a bit silly for me to advise you on playing hard to get with the TGG, as the average woman is naturally far more cunning and adept at playing interpersonal/relationship games than I ever was. So consider these tips as simply a starting point.

You have to hook TGG’s attention, so he is forced to actually consider you as a person, a female, however briefly. Maybe you trip and fall into him at a party, you back into him in the hall, you ask to borrow his pen, anything that allows you to get close to him – ideally, some form of touching – and make eye contact. Then say something conspiratorial in a lighthearted way. Think in advance about something you might say, based on his interests, that would amuse or intrigue him. It could be something as simple as, “Pardon me, TGG.” (If he asks what TGG stands for, look him in the eyes and tell him.) Then go on about your business. Don’t hang around.

If you hooked his attention, he might well initiate the next interaction, just to see if it has the same twinkle of interest as the last one. If he does, mix it up again, just a line or two, and again turn your attention elsewhere. If you can be one female in his environment who is not pursuing him, but is attractive (not a sourpuss or cool-bitch) and fun, you might do what guys are programmed to do by their hormones and DNA – come closer for a better look.

Now, you if you truly are playing the game, it is like the old mouse-on-a-string game you play with your cat. Keep it close enough that he can almost a snatch it, but not quite. As the very old saying goes, “He chased her and chased her until she caught him.” I won’t tell you how to keep him engaged in pursuing you, except to say there has to be some intrigue, some unrevealed, undisclosed part of you. In other words, you might have to keep your true feelings/attraction/lust for him to yourself for a few weeks. Let him woo you, draw you out. He will appreciate a bit of mystery and challenge, especially if other girls are throwing themselves at him. In playing hard-to-get, avoid two common mistakes. First, don’t be snide or caustic; don’t criticize or put him down. Second, don’t be too hard to get, or the cat could lose interest in the mouse. Be appreciative, amused, engaged, but a bit aloof, even distracted.

There is a subset of Truly Good Guys that can be troublesome for you, and I believe a significant percentage of TGG’s fit this profile. In a nutshell, this is a TGG who is very selective about whom he pairs up with. He knows, without excessive pride, that he is a good catch, and he is holding out for a very special gal. He might never find her. You cannot blame him for his super high standards, but they will surely lead to a string of broken hearts. Be careful one of them is not yours. There is another very old saying, “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” IMHO, this is highly debatable…I am pretty sure I don’t agree.

I hope you attract a Truly Good Guy and win his enduring love without having to resort to game playing. If so, you will be one of the lucky ones who gets to “live the dream.” In case you are not initially so lucky, we will next discuss some other key topics such as attracting guys you want, fending off guys you don’t want, and dealing with relationship issues – between and among you, your boyfriends, and your best girlfriends.

The Wild Man

There is one special personality type that deserves discussion:  the Wild Man. While the five types of guys we just discussed are categorized based on how they relate to women, the Wild Man is an overarching personality type. This personality is found typically in guys in their late teens and early twenties, when their brain chemicals are swirling and fomenting madly. The Wild Man most often is a Guy’s Guy or Ladies’ Man, but he could be any of the five types. I call him Wild Man because his defining characteristic is multi-dimensional wildness. He is the young rebel who renounces the mores of society and loves taking unbridled risks – with you in his company. He’ll cut school, drink excessively and do hard drugs, rebel against authority, break the law, denounce adults, rock climb un-tethered, motocross with no helmet, and insist blithely on unprotected sex.

Your mind might tell you the Wild Man is a bad dream that will end sadly for you, but there is something incredibly attractive about him. Some girls will find him utterly irresistible. Why is this? I believe it is because the Wild Man possesses what’s known as the unconflicted mind – he holds zero doubts about his point of view. He is so confident and self-assured about his (admittedly dangerous) world view that other impressionable young folks will be pulled to him by some mysterious gravitational force.

What should you do if you feel yourself succumbing to the spell of a Wild Man? The trick is to enlist your mind in defense of your heart, which could end up broken by the Wild Man, even if unintentionally. It will be tempting, and even fun, to debate with him about the advisability of his rebelliousness and risk taking. However, don’t be surprised if he seems to win the debate with the apparent clarity of his iconoclastic perspective. Your best bet is simply to observe the Wild Man (from some emotional distance) for two or three weeks before letting him pull you into his juggernaut. When you believe you have a clear picture of him, ask yourself, “Where is this guy likely to be in 10 years? Where am I likely to be if I jump wholeheartedly on board his Midnight Express with him?” Most likely, your answer will sober you up and help you stay in control of yourself.

Orgasms – Part 2

Picking up on our discussion of female orgasms – recall there are three basic types:  clitoral, vaginal, and posty-o’s.

Clitoral orgasms result primarily from stimulation of the clitoris (duh). The clitoris, of course, is the little nubby thing that sits at the top of the yoni. Sometimes it hides away and is hard to find, but then it gets a little excited and starts to grow and harden a bit. There are lots of ways to stimulate the clitoris, and each gal has her own preferences. The key point is that clitoral orgasms are the easiest to create, especially if the gal spends some time alone with her little clit and figures out how to do it herself. A reasonable portion of foreplay should be devoted to making the clitoris happy. Guys ignore the clitoris at their own peril.

The clitoris can be stimulated with the palm or finger(s), with the lips and tongue (more on this later), by rubbing against the guy’s leg while dancing or caressing, etc., and even by the guy’s shaft during sex. As with most sexual encounters, it is advisable to start slow and increase the tempo as the excitement builds. There is no need at all to rush, and in time, the same pressure builds in the woman as it does in the man. In the beginning, in fact, a gal’s first clitoral orgasms might seem a lot like a man’s. One big bam and it’s over. In time, however, multiple orgasms start to flow. A gal can have two, three, four, and more, all piled up on each other until she loses any ability to tell where one lets off and the other one starts. They can come like waves, in sets. They cause ripples of pleasure throughout her whole body.

Vaginal orgasms are a bit more unpredictable, in my experience. Some women have them fairly easily, while others believe they do not even exist. Those that have them report they are definitely different from clitoral orgasms. Some say they are more powerful, while others say they are not as intense. They typically occur during intercourse itself, although they can occur from stimulation by the fingers during foreplay. I have seen statistics saying that 60 to 70 percent of women do not have vaginal orgasms. This surprises me.  In my experience, a woman is more likely to have vaginal orgasm(s) if she had one or more clitoral orgasms to warm up. And, yes, multiple vaginal orgasms are possible and even likely.

One probable contributor to vaginal orgasms is the G Spot. As I mentioned earlier, this is a slightly raised little clump of nerve endings an inch or two into the upper part of the yoni. If it is pressed or stimulated at the right time, the G Spot definitely contributes to orgasms. Again, some people say there is no such thing, but I assure you that, for many women, the G Spot is very much alive. I’ll also say, yes, it is quite possible to have simultaneous clitoral and vaginal orgasms, especially if the gal is rubbing her clit during intercourse. What is it like? Oh, let’s just say…..INTENSE!

It is natural and common for vaginal orgasms to secrete additional fluids into the vagina. This is a good thing and can help to prolong the fun. A more rare form of secretion is a vaginal ejaculation, which shoots an intense stream of fluid from the vagina.  It can appear as if the gal is urinating, except the color of the fluid is white/clear and it has a different scent. One of my first girlfriends in college had very intense vaginal orgasms with long streams of vaginal ejaculation. It was amazing! These are pretty rare, in my experience, so consider yourself lucky if you have them.

Posty O’s are the third type of female orgasm.  These are less common (in the sense that fewer women have them) and less powerful than clitoral or vaginal orgasms, but they are still delightful when they do occur. At the term implies, Posty O’s occur after the partners have climaxed and they are still coupled. The guy has to remain pretty still. Waves of pleasure ripple through the gal’s body, even though nobody is moving. These can last for up to a minute or so.

My next entry will cover two important questions:

1.  Can any woman have orgasms?

2.  Should you fake orgasms if you are not having them?

Until then,

bee wilde!