Lesbian Relationships and Friends

One of the most difficult challenges, particularly in a same-sex relationship, is establishing boundaries with friends and blending with each others’ friends. Plus, doing this while remaining secure and making each other feel like she is the most important person in the world!

Ordinarily in lesbian relationships, the majority of friends are the same-sex. Friends can be intrusive, meddlesome, opinionated, jealous, rude and inconsiderate; however, they can also be fun, supportive, considerate, helpful, and great sounding boards. There is no doubt, friends will either play havoc on a relationship or be accepting and considerate.

Let’s work from the premise that the relationship is the top priority and friends are not (but still very important). There are several key areas to focus on that can immediately bolster the relationship. These areas need to be mutually established and respected:

Boundaries – Agree on parameters that are manageable. Determine what the negotiable and non-negotiable items are. Examples: Agree to both be home by 8pm, unless otherwise discussed; no answering phones during dinnertime; cell phones are off-limits when you crawl into bed. If you go to happy hour, invite the other to join or at least communicate plans and be home on time. Remember, these boundaries must be agreed upon. If you end up policing and penalizing because of the boundaries, what you have in place is not working. The boundaries are to be and feel respectful of each other, not to hold you hostage.

Communication – Make each other feel special, loved, secure and safe. Talk to each other about everything. Find out about what is important to each other, feelings, favorite things, pet peeves, goals and dreams, fears and phobias, food, children, families, etc. Get to really know each other better than anyone else. Build trust and respect. Make each other feel valued and important.

Common Interests – Explore what you enjoy doing together such as projects, travel, entertaining friends, cooking, golf, fishing, hiking, etc. It is not necessary to do everything together, but it is healthy to do some (enough) things together. It is important to have fun together and feel connected. Orchestrate your relationship so that you are not always running parallel, but have enough intersecting times that keep you in sync with each other.

Host social occasions – One way to blend with each other’s friends is to jointly host social times at your home such as dinners and game nights. Another is to plan outings with joint friends such as happy hours, going to dinner and movies, so forth. The key is to become more comfortable with each other’s friends. Make efforts to blend friends and be more inclusive.

Spontaneity – Surprise each other in ways that you know are appreciated and liked. Break the routine and break away from all others and do for each other. Make each other feel exceptional.

Happy, long-term relationships are to be nurtured treated as top priority. Focus on enjoying your time together. Include friends when it’s appropriate and mutually agreed upon. There should be no feeling of competing for time, attention and love! Friends are to be fun additions.

Can Watching Porn Affect Your Sex Life?

Is watching porn okay? If a guy likes to watch porn should his sex partner be concerned? Is it healthy or normal for a guy to watch porn frequently when he has a girl friend and a great sex life?

These are very common questions and concerns in men-women relationships. Let us first clear away some confusion about porn and its effects on building a healthy sexual relationship. A study by a group of scientists at the University of Montreal found that men watched porn that matched their own image of sexuality, and quickly discarded material they found offensive or distasteful. Porn did not have a negative effect on men’s sexuality. Porn hasn’t changed their perception of women or their relationship, which they all want to be as harmonious and fulfilling as possible. Thus there is nothing abnormal or unhealthy with watching porn as long as we do not get too obsessive to the point that we choose porn over sex with our partner.

If this happens you should consider your feelings about porn. What makes you so obsessive about porn that your partner feels left out? Is it something about your partner that you are not happy with? Is it due to boredom or an escape from a relationship that is steadily losing some “sparks”?

In this case, you need to sit down to talk with your partner about the issues and concerns in the relationship. The talk must be in such a way that it does not lead to the pinning of blame or assigning the causes of the problems in relationship on her. The goal here is to work together with her to solve the problem. Putting the blame on her will only cause her to get defensive and leading to argument. If you find yourself unable to work this out alone, it could be helpful to talk to a counselor or sex therapist.

However in situation when you have a normal sex relationship and both of you has different views on porn and she is not satisfied with the role of porn in your relationship, there is also a need for both of you to sit down and talk. You need to ask yourself what you like about porn. Is it due to fantasy? Are there things you see from porn that you want both to try together? At the same time, she can also sort out her thoughts about porn. Is it something that interests her at all? If so, she can pick those adult movies that meet her individual taste which can later progress to the stage that both of you can together choose the type of porn to watch together. If she does not like the idea of having porn a part of the sexual relationship, she needs to explain the reasons and a compromise is needed in order to break this deadlock. If both of you can honestly share with each other feelings about porn and porn watching, the concern about the effects of porn on relationship can go away.

Sex Addiction – Is It Really a Disease?

Perhaps you have heard about sex addiction but don’t know too much about it. People hear about different stereotypes that fit the disease and many assume it’s a made up disease that perverts or overly sexual people use as an excuse for their behavior. But, NO! Sex addiction is a real, recognized medical condition that has only come to light in recent years within the psychological and medical profession.

Another reason many people don’t know much about the disease is because most addicts don’t freely talk about sexual disorders. They are either too embarrassed, uncomfortable or ignorant about the topic to discuss it openly with family, friends, or others. As a result, there are many misconceptions and stereotypes about sex addiction that are completely untrue.

When someone hears the term sex addict… Many different thoughts come… Are they thinking about the person who kidnaps and rapes children, the spouse who has multiple affairs, the person who exposes themselves or peeps in windows… or is the person who views pornography at work, or stays online for hours on end… or is the person who has sex with underage partners… or is the “pervert” in the raincoat with the long beard who lives in the scary house at the end of the street… And the example go on… There are so many misconceptions of the term sex addiction.

The National Council on Sex Addiction and Compulsive defines sexual addiction as the “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.” Essentially, this means that addicts are so strongly compelled to carry out their addictive behaviors they are willing to risk their:

Health
Relationships
Financial well-being
Employment
Freedom
and in some cases criminal charges.

This disease is much more than someone using it as an excuse for reckless sexual activities. It is a disease, much like alcohol or drug addiction.

In fact, clinicians and researchers have defined the disorder based on criteria used for chemical dependency literature. According to Psych Central, these criteria include the following:

— Frequently engaging in more sex with more partners than intended

— Being preoccupied with or persistently craving sex; wanting to cut down and unsuccessfully attempting to limit sexual activity.

— Thinking of sex to the detriment of other activities or continually engaging in excessive sexual practices despite a desire to stop.

— Spending considerable time in activities related to sex, such as cruising for partners or spending hours online visiting pornographic websites.

— Neglecting obligations such as work, school or family in pursuit of sex.

— Continually engaging in the sexual behavior despite negative consequences, such as broken relationships or potential health risks.

— Escalating scope or frequency of sexual activity to achieve a desired effect, such as more frequent visits to prostitutes or more sex partners.

— Feeling irritable when unable to engage in the desired behavior.

As you can see, all of the criteria focus on repetitive activities that are carried out continually by the sex addict. The nature of the activities also is defined by escalation, which is also typical of any addiction. Professionals feel that if a person engages in three or more of the above criteria for a period of at least six months that they are a suffering from sex addiction.

The American Psychiatric Association has issued its own set of preliminary criteria for what they call “Hypersexual Disorder.” Essentially, it is another term for sexual addiction. The symptoms are similar to the above criteria and can be used by medical professionals to help identify sex addiction in people who are seeking help or are in desperate need of care.

It is important that the level of awareness about sexual addiction increases among the general public because there are myriad people suffering from this disease in silence. If it were better understood, addicts would feel more comfortable to come forward and seek treatment. As it is right now, addicts are often ashamed, embarrassed and afraid of how people would react to their sex addiction.