Sex Is Designed To Be Enjoyable

Athol:  I’ve had a hard time writing today’s post. It all started with this comment left a few days ago…
Dex:  Athol – you might consider also building on the success of MMSL by translating it into Christianese and marketing to churches. I bet you still speak the lingo…
Athol:  I ended up writing a very long post addressing that question, and it’s a great post, but frankly probably only myself is really interested in it. So let me cut out all 1500 words and just get to my Jerry Springer “final thought” on that question…
…once I start cloaking myself in Christianese and “crossing the border” into Christendom, I’m doing so in what many will assume as a covert manner and with evil intentions. Eventually someone is going to be seriously pissed about that, and there will be retaliation. I can cross the border as an Atheist “diplomat” wearing my shiny Atheist uniform with my Science Fair badges pinned to my chest, but I cannot cross the border as a “spy”.
Even more importantly, I simply detest pretending to be something I’m not.
So I let the post rot in the editing folder all day and answered email questions, determined not to write about anything religious in nature.
A few hours ago though, I got an email from a guy in a twenty year marriage. He and his wife are Christians, involved in ministry work for at least some of the time, and he’s basically going batshit crazy because the sex is so awful. Everything apart from lights out, her lying still, quiet sex is right out of the picture. I’m not talking “vanilla sex”, I’m talking bleached and bland instant rice sex. (I just made that up, I don’t even know exactly what “bleached and bland instant rice sex” is, apart from not wanting it.)
It’s not the husband’s fault either. He had pictures in the email, and pretty much has a A+ body. I mean I’d tell him to run the MAP but, great body, 100k+ earnings, house broken, mix of Alpha/Beta, I got nothing much left to tell him. The problem was very clear, she was just highly sexually negative. She could pop out three kids, but it seems kinda like the end justified the means rather than it was something enjoyable for her. By the husbands own statement, he was deeply resentful of “all the Christian teachings on sex”.
But I walked away from the computer just kind of annoyed about it all. If I say something, I’m a religion hating atheist. If I say nothing, I’m not helping anyone. So far not even 2% of my “religious issue” emails hit the blog as a post.
And then I go all Jimmy Neutron and it snaps into focus for me.
When you are born and growing up, your sexuality is a blank slate in terms of your beliefs and socialization, but your physical body is designed to enjoy having sex. So your basic default orientation is going to be that sex is a positive and desirable experience. Unless you have some sort of physical fault that makes sex painful or unpleasant, you’re going to like having sex. If you’re inexperienced at sex, it won’t be crazy wonderful good sex, but you will like it and feel good about it.
So if you don’t like sex, if you think it’s nasty, dirty, disgusting, wrong, bestial, sinful, degrading or frightening, it’s because you have be taught to think that way about sex. And to overcome your own body’s design to find sex the most enjoyable experience possible for a human, that training either needs to be systematic purposeful education to crush sexuality, or as physical sexual abuse as a child. And with deep regret, I have to say that parts of the church specialize in both.
So yes I am angry, and you should be too. And I know and appreciate that vast numbers of Christians are just as angry as I am about these issues.
So whether or not you believe that God created our genitals to vibrate with glorious pleasure during sex, or you think evolution and sexual selection has resulted in extremely pleasurable incentives to propel your genes into the next generation, it doesn’t matter that I am… well… right. Because either way, sex is meant to be just fucking fantastic.
But most of you already know all this, so please bear with me while I try and reach that tiny minority of MMSL readers that don’t.

/clears throat, climbs up on soapbox and strikes a heroic orator pose…

If you find sex with your spouse nasty, dirty, disgusting, wrong, bestial, sinful, degrading or frightening, then you’ve been fed horseshit and told it’s chocolate your whole life. Your right to grow up and experience a normal healthy sex life has been stolen from you. You have been knowingly lied to. It’s also destroying your marriage as your partner dies a little inside every time you flinch from them.

/steps off soapbox to sounds of a recording of thunderous applause

If that makes me an angry religion-hating atheist, then so be it.
There is, however, hope. It’s never too late to learn to enjoy your sex life. Your bodies are designed to experience pleasure, so almost as soon as you stop trying to repress that natural instinct, you can start to discover a whole world of enjoyment. It will take some time to unlearn the old things and enjoy the new, and you will have to experience feeling uncomfortable and weird as some of the boundaries fall away, but it’s possible. I’m not talking about having a threesome on the pitchers mound in Yankee Stadium, I’m talking about married couples getting it on in their bedroom… or on the trampoline in the backyard with an oversupply of blankets hiding them from the passing cars.
Or put another way…
…if you think you’re going to go to hell for giving your husband a blow job, what do you think your husband thinks he’ll be getting when he’s in heaven?

Jennifer: It’s all true.  It’s really okay to like (okay loooove) sex with your husband. What he wants most is you being excited to be naked with him.

Dealing With Her Time Release Brain Bombs

I don’t want to give away the punchline, so watch the video first, and then we’ll get to the reader question. The video is about ten minutes long, and is not safe for work, but it’s basically only so for a bunch of F-Bombs.
So the reader question…
Reader:  This morning we got into a fight about responsibilities and getting things done in and around the house. Six months ago, I would have given in just to avoid the fight, but nowadays I stand my ground. Especially when I’m absolutely sure that I’m right.
This seems to be really difficult for her and for me too actually. Standing my ground feels very unnatural for me, especially since it escalates the fight. So I’m hoping that this tactic will prove its worth in the long run. Anyway, she was still quite mad when she left for work and the last thing she said was “You’re starting to be more like your father every day”.
It’s the first time she ever said that. When someone used to say that I was a bit like my father or even looked like him, I used to take that as in insult (my father was an alcoholic that was never really around). But my father is also quite the alpha male (a bit too much even).  So the fact that she said that wasn’t insulting to me, it was more of an acknowledgement that she sees the change. So I guess that all in all things are progressing in a positive way, even if we seem to have more fights nowadays.
Athol:  So yeah… here’s why comparing you to your father is always going to be a below the belt punch.
Whether you like it or not, you have an enormously strong emotional tie to your father. That may be a strong positive, a strong negative, or a strong reaction to the fact that there isn’t a strong connection to your father. You’re pretty much locked into him emotionally somehow.
So when she said “You’re just like your father”, it’s going to tap a deep emotional well. If you happen to react negatively to your father, it’s going to be a vicious insult because in at least some ways, you’re actually going to be like your father. So it’s a cutting statement in no small part because… well, because it’s true.
If you happen to react positively to your father, it’s going to rile you up because she’s making a clear insinuation that your father isn’t that great, and by implication you aren’t that great. So then there’s this thing where she’s implying that you’re kinda destined to suck on a biological level. You’re not even Mr. Suck Sr, you’re Mr. Suck Jr.
So there’s usually not much way around having a bad reaction to her statement. It’s exactly as Dane Cook says, designed to screw with your head. What you have to do, is see it for what it is designed to do, and respond to that, rather than to the actual comment.
The good news is that if she is reaching for the emotional terrorism as a tactic, it means she hasn’t managed to achieve her objectives by her usual tactics. Or in plain English, she throws out the “You’re just like your father” as a line when she’s losing the war.
So my reader is exactly right. He’s making progress on the whole MAP front and his Sex Rank is going up and the relationship power balance is starting to swing toward him and away from her. He’s not just folding up like a wet napkin over everything. She’s getting freaked out by that change and has been pushing back on his pushing back on her, so yes fights will have increased in the short term. But the whole “You’re just like your father.” line implies that she’s getting to the end of thinking pushing back on him will work.
What should be done now, is he should claim victory, and an immediate end to this round of arguments. “Your whole line about how I’m just like my father has nothing to do about whatever our current issue is, which means I won this argument, and you said that simply for the purpose of hurting me. Now I am totally fine with the idea of us having disagreements, and talking them through, but if you want to turn this relationship into one where purposely hurting each other is acceptable, you’re standing on the wrong side of the front door.”  Say it with total commitment and hardcore eye contact with her. Don’t yell it, just controlled anger. You’re looking to create that “Oh shit!” reaction in her.
The frame is that you are in charge of this relationship, and there is simply no purposeful hurting of each other allowed.
Of course this is all going to mess with her head, as you just announced her relationship just switched from ME/him to HIM/me. She’s going to be pretty sure that you’re cheating on her, but likely have zero evidence that you are. She wants to be in charge to ensure she can’t be hurt by you, but you just took charge to ensure that there would be no hurting. So she’s going to be seriously confused as to what is going on. At some point you may have to unveil MMSL to avoid her totally freaking out on you. But in the meantime, use this line…
“I just feel like a stronger person now.”
…which of course doesn’t really mean anything immediately. But she’ll be thinking about it for days to come lol. What the hell he did mean by that?  Detonation in 5.. 4.. 3… 2…
Jennifer: Even saying “You’re like your father.” as a compliment is going to potentially backfire on you. I agree it’s a low blow. I like the “I’m a stronger person” line too. Because if it’s true, she can’t really argue it can she.

Dealing With The Yelling

Screaming matches. Don’t have them.
When you are having a screaming match, it’s more often that not your Rationalization Hamster and her Rationalization Hamster squaring off against each other and trying to win their point of view through sheer force of emotion. There may be a short term peace as one side backs down, but whoever wins the argument, also learns that the screaming fit is a strategy that will get them what they want in the relationship. So it pretty much sets a path where more screaming matches will take place.
Women are more verbally skilled than men on average, and wives that outclass their husbands’ verbal skills can find the verbal tirade a stock-in-trade strategy to get their husbands to do what they want. Of course if a husband launched into repeated tirades against his wife, that would be immediately understood as verbal abuse.
That being said, rather than complain that women verbally abuse men, I think it’s far more helpful to see it as simply her employing a strategy that is proving to be effective. We could probably spend a few hundred hours trying to convince a screeching wife she is in fact engaging in verbal abuse, to little effect. But if it suddenly proves to be a ineffective strategy, she’ll probably just stop it very quickly anyway.
It’s very obvious that there’s a communication strategy involved when you witness women in the middle of very normal lighthearted conversations with friends, suddenly switch to the “Go-fuck-yourself” tone and issue sharp retorts or directives at their husbands, and then immediately switch back to light banter with their friends. Which means they are in control of their emotions the entire time and are employing a deliberate strategy with him. They aren’t actually all that angry with him, they are simply trained to act angry with him any time they want something.
The trouble with dealing with this strategy though is that any attempt to be polite, cooperative or simply evade them, is seen as a submission display, and that empowers them to bully you further. Actually completing the assigned task is even worse as that is a direct payoff to them for yelling at you. What you have to do is render the yelling an ineffective tactic to get what she wants.
Some responses:
(1)  Ignore the content of her speech, and draw attention to the fact that she is yelling at you for no good reason.
(2)  If she’s asking you to perform a task, just calmly say “No.”
(3)  Completely ignore that she is even talking to you.
(4)  Say, “Are you finished yelling?” When she says she is, then say, “Is there something you would like to talk about?”  Emphasis on the word “talk.”
(5)  Say “I’m not interested in having this discussion with you while you are like this.” and then either you leave where ever you are, or you ask her to leave.
Whatever it is that she is trying to achieve by this tactic, just ensure that she doesn’t get it by using it. At first she will blow up at you even harder and louder, testing to see if you continue to hold your ground, but if you do, eventually she will discontinue using the tactic.
Importantly… bear in mind that what she is asking of you may well be a reasonable request, you’re dealing with her unreasonable tone and tactic. Once she can restate her reasonable request appropriately, it’s fine to do what she is asking of you. If she makes a reasonable request, in a reasonable tone of voice, it’s generally the behavior you want from her to continue, so you reward it by doing what she wants you to do.
Though do bear in mind it’s not a reasonable request that you are her servant 24/7… even if she does ask nicely. Heck Jennifer and I have the whole Captain and First Officer thing going on, and while she does play more of a support role, she’s nowhere near being my servant 24/7. Jennifer pulls her own weight for sure, but if she asks for my help, I help her.
Jennifer: I can’t stand yelling lol.

The Rough Plan For 2012

Catching up on the polls on the right side bar. Had them up for around five days, roughly two hundred readers answered, of the just over six thousand unique visitors over that period. So around one reader per thirty visitors voted which is an exciting response. It would be fun to mentally multiply all the votes by thirty to inflate results, but lets not worry about that.
Has MMSL Helped?  (multiple votes possible so won’t equal 100%)
Pretty much averted us divorcing  9%
The sex is much better now  40%
We feel closer emotionally now  25%
There’s less fighting and we get on better now  35%
I think I found MMSL too late to really help  16%
No real changes good or bad  15%
MMSL made things worse  4%
Overall I think that shows a positive response to what I’m doing. For most people MMSL has some sort of positive effect. For 9% of people its a huge result.
In terms of the “What do you want to see on the blog?” question, there’s not much point trying to analyse it as the result was very clear. People want more posting and longer posts, which in my mind just adds up to “more”. Which was kind of a surprise to me in that I already felt posts were overly long!
The other desire is a forum, which is something I’ve wanted for a while, but several commentors voiced concern that it would turn into a massive time sink for me moderating it and dealing with spam. It’s very important to me that a forum stays productive and positive in tone, and I’d rather be smaller and on point, than huge and a quagmire of troll. I believe the solution is a forum that requires a nominal fee to become a member. Again, nominal fee, just a small qualifying hurdle to keep 99% of the trolls on the other side of the fence.
Coming to the “What would you like to see Athol do next?” question, there was a total lack of clarity lol. A very even spread of interest from weekend or day seminars for men or couples, DVDs, coaching and books on tape. Some of that stuff would overlap obviously, a seminar could be taped and made into a DVD etc. The books on tape interest always surprises me, but apparently there really is some interest.
As to whether or not I’m going to offer advice to single women and men, the answer is “not directly”. I plan to stay focused on married men as the primary target, but that automatically drags married women into the mix. So I’m always going to have a lot of overlap with what women are interested in. Even talking about Girl Game helps explain how Alpha and Beta Traits for men work for example. Likewise married people and single people aren’t wildly different biologically… so there will be overlap, but I’m not planning on writing a book about how to pick up chicks in bars.
Besides that, women love MMSL and there’s such an explosion of wet panties for the Captain and First Officer model, that I’d be just crazy to not tap that… er… market.
Jennifer… you guys don’t need to convince me that Jennifer is great. As far as Jennifer is concerned  I’m like that CEO/pitchman from the 80’s for Remington shavers. “I liked her shaved so much, I bought her company.”
I’m actually trying to convince Jennifer about how beloved of MMSL readers she is, as a way of encouraging her to come out and play a little more. She doesn’t understand how I can spend hours a day doing MMSL stuff and there’s a small percentage of people that would rather meet her than me. I understand it, she just needs to accept it lol.
Which comes to an idea floated that I round up a bunch of guys, train them, endorse them as trainers and turn them loose onto the world and take a cut of their earnings. It’s tempting on one level, and would ideally be run from an underground lair equipped with sharks with frickin’ lasers attached to their heads. However for the moment I don’t have those plans. For better or for worse, much of MMSL isn’t just the words, but it is the relationship of Jennifer and myself.
The most important question was the coaching one at the end. I completely expected the overwhelming majority of people to say “Not Interested”, but the breakdown between people wanting something weekly (six votes), monthly (nineteen votes) and just a “one and done” (twenty-six votes) was very useful indeed. Those numbers seem very small, but it doesn’t take that many people to turn into a reasonable and steady income flow. I do have an idea for a “one and done” appointment, that would double as the intro for weekly and monthly coaching.
The one remaining suggestion in the comments was a donation option. This seems reasonable and easy enough. Now I just have to figure out how to do it lol.
Looking ahead, it will take some time to get everything I could do, in place. Right now I have a couple of shorter books I need to finish off and push out the door, and then focus on the 2012 Primer. Then in rough order – the donation button, forum, books on tape, coaching, seminars, DVDs and on into the future.
So 2012 will be crazy busy, but it’s the transition year from “Blog Guy” to “Guy that feeds his family doing something he likes doing, and actually makes a positive difference in the world.”   As I’ve said before, MMSL is a long project for me, it’s a marathon and not a sprint. A few more years to go before I become an overnight success.
As always, I’m touched that so many people care about MMSL and want to see it succeed.
Jennifer: It was very interesting to see the poll results so far…okay, yes I did check them obsessively.  And yes, Athol does spend literally two to four hours each day on MMSL stuff..reading, writing, responding to emails, etc so it’s nice to see that it is making a difference for so many people!

Reader Polls and a Short Break

I’m going to take a short break from writing the blog. I’m exhausted and Christmas is coming so need to step away for a little bit, probably a week or so. I’m off next week and really need to work on completing a couple of shorter book projects before turning my sights on the 2012 Primer for real.
I’m at that awkward point where MMSL is earning quite well for a new blog/book earner, but it’s not nearly enough to quit my regular job just yet. But I can’t really push MMSL along the path of creating a bigger income, because I have to spend so much time working my regular job. There’s a sort of quantum leap that has to happen from one to the other.
As such, I have put up a few reader polls in the right hand sidebar, and would love to hear your feedback for what I should do next. I have books I can do now, but the next MMSL product needs to do reasonably well as I’ll probably only have the time to pick one new area in the first half of 2012. So I’d like to get that choice right. A couple of the polls allow multiple answers.
As an aside, there is a blog upgrade / switch to WordPress coming in the near future, so don’t hammer me on that one. And yes, future books will have better covers. And please add whatever comments and suggestions you have to this post. The reader polls are fairly general.
As always, I am grateful and excited to have so many people interested in what I have to say. This is a long project I’m committed to, and it is my sincere hope you are helped by it. – Athol