Parenting in a Pandemic

Parenting is a 24-hour duty (not job) which keeps you physically and mentally on your toes. We’ve got two children – daughter 11 and son 7. Prior to this global COVID-19 pandemic we were very close to kids. They knew we were always ready to listen to them and provide information/support. This approach worked out quite well because once the virus started spreading and eventually affected life in Jamaica, they had quite a bit to say and ask.

Listen to the experiences of other parents, here in Jamaica and across the world, we realised that we got a few things right in managing our children; this post is about some of those things. Hopefully you may find them useful too.

Maintaining a routine
When school was in, this was easy; but we know it’s important to keep them on a schedule.  So, once homeschooling was the way forward we continued right where we left off – wake, shower, brush teeth, breakfast, dress for school, start classes (online and home-taught) etc. We also knew that this change in approach to school could stress them a bit so they got more time than usual to just ‘be kids’ and do some silly things. As much as possible we had to remind ourselves about balance in their lives.

Being real with them, just not too real
One of the first things we did was have an open, frank conversation with them about how life would change while we worked from home. We explained that our spending habits had to be adjusted. Certain luxury items would be cut from our grocery list and conserving food, water and electricity were of paramount importance. This made them anxious so we had to spend a little time calming them. Nonetheless, we got complete buy-in from them and now they’ve become champions of energy efficiency, even at their grandparents.

Limiting/curating their news intake
Prior to the pandemic, local news headlines and stories could drive fear into adults, let alone children. I recall my daughter asking in the onset of the pandemic reporting, “daddy, does anyone get better or do they all die once they get it?” It then dawned on me that I’ve got to filter the volume and type of news to which they’re both exposed. No child deserves to be stressed by news; children really shouldn’t be stressed at all. While it’s important for us as parents to keep up-to-date, the news has a lot of information that kids just don’t need to know.  It can create more anxiety.

Making time for their friends
There was very little warning if any that school would be suspended until the next academic year. For many children school was an escape from home. Truth is, home isn’t always a sanctuary or solace. In many cases there are children who have more peace of mind away from home. Regardless of the background kids are missing their friends. Our kids are able to connect with their friends online and play games or just talk. Thankfully when we have Sunday dinner with the in-laws they get to see young cousins. In fact, we organised sleepovers at our house with their cousins. It’s nothing short of therapeutic. While they seem to have adapted to online connections, nothing beats face-to-face (in a mask) lol.

#FruitTuesday – Watermelon

Making the most of meals
Depending on the size of your household and other factors you might not be able to always dine together. We prepare meals together often as well which means the food is full of love. Family dinner is a must; we use the meal to celebrate the end of another day together. Our son also insists on us proposing a toast at dinner; so everyday it’s basically finding a reason to be thankful. The attitude of gratitude is alive and well here which is a great characteristic to build in children.

Playing together
This was always a feature of what we do, but it’s proven to be more essential in this time. Nothing helps a family bond like Monopoly, Uno, Chinese Checkers, Chess and Ludo (Ludi); the latter has left egos bruised in our house lol. Ego bruising aside, it brings us together and helps us expose the kids to things like strategy and competition while teaching them to manage the disappointment of a loss and also how to responsibly celebrate victories. In this pandemic it’s helped us reduce our screen time and and stave off the pangs of boredom too.

Teaching/Learning something
Besides the formal homeschooling this pandemic has got us doing new things. Our daughter is into cosmetology, so she’s learning some tips and tricks of the trade from her mom and aunt who are both certified cosmetologists along with the “University of YouTube”. Meanwhile, I’m using my science background to teach farming techniques and useful nuggets about food.

The latter is done via #FruitTuesday. Every Tuesday we try a fruit we’ve never had before or a popular fruit while learning about the benefits and, in some cases, the history of how the fruit came to Jamaica.

My motivators on a morning walk

Caring for our bodies and for each other
From a physical perspective, it’s important that we remain as active as possible and set an example for our children. I restarted a fitness regime which includes, among other things, jogging/walking daily. After a few days my kids joined me in the mornings. They motivate and push me. Our conversations are great and oftentimes provides comic relief.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Williams and I have date nights or as we call it #CovidCocktails. On select nights once the kids have gone to bed then we find a drink recipe online and get busy mixing in the kitchen. There’s nothing quite like chatting over drinks and sometimes (re)discovering each other. If nothing else, it takes the edge off and helps us to cope

These ideas worked for us; they may be helpful for you too. I wish you the best as we all navigate these challenges.

In closing, please follow the health protocols and other guidelines from the government. Stay Safe!

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Homeschooling: what worked for my family

My wife instructing our daughter.

Homeschooling was never at the forefront of my mind or my wife who is an educator in the public school system. However, we were forced to think it through, make a plan and execute a homeschool regime.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced during a press conference on Thursday, March 12, 2020 that the government would be closing schools for 14 days, effective Friday, March 13, in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the island. Since then we have been advised that schools will not reopen until September 2020.

Following the announcement classes were migrated online, employing greater use of technology than before, especially internet-enabled devices. Many persons were required to work from home where possible.

Let’s take a moment to think of a few things here:
– The scale of the impact resulting from this global pandemic is unprecedented and the last international health event close to this was the “Spanish Flu” 1918 – 1920.
– These are uncharted waters for children, parents, teachers, governments and businesses.
– Everyone has to try remaining nimble and flexible while adjusting to the circumstances.

The overall situation presents quite a challenge to many Jamaicans and has turned the spotlight on some systemic shortcomings in our education system and society as a whole. That’s a separate discussion, so let’s get to how my family adjusted and has been rolling with the proverbial punches.

There are a few features of our family situation which have proved to be helpful in the moment:
– We are tertiary-level graduates who are employed and able to work from home (wife is a government teacher and I’m in the private sector and operate a micro enterprise).
– We live together in a spacious dwelling in a quiet neighbourhood.
– We are active in the education process of the children and the PTA. Both children attend the same government-run primary school.
– We are able to provide a full slate of amenities for our children’s comfort and development.
– Our extended family system is quite supportive.

Highlighting these features is simply to point out that adjusting to the circumstance is less challenging for us than some Jamaicans. A close friend, Marlon Campbell, recently shared, “we are all facing the same storm but our boats different.”

With all this context, here’s what has helped us weather this homeschooling storm:

A parent takes time from working at her restaurant do an assignment sent via cell phone with her daughter.

Getting buy-in from the children
This situation is not business as usual. We had to ensure that the children understood what was happening and what the new situation required of them as well as us as parents. We explained what the way forward would look like and also that we would do everything to make it as fun as possible too.

Mimicking school timetable
Before the online classes were organized, we had to teach the lessons on our own with limited supervision from the teachers. They would send the content and we had to deliver. As creatures of habit it was important to not depart too much from the school regime.

While waking times were relaxed, once the day started there was a structure to include times for classes, breaks and dismissal (their favourite). We outlined the schedule in a clear and timely fashion so there were no surprises. It felt like summer school and that’s made it fun for the children.

Making quiet spaces for learning
While the regular school environment isn’t the quietest, once classes commence then the distraction of noise is usually limited. In addition to a home-office, there are designated spaces for school activities. The stereo is off and we use headsets for playing media. It’s just the four of us at home and we’re all productively engaged.

Strong level of involvement in children’s schooling
We know the curriculum and are aware of the objectives/milestones which should be met at each grade level. We have always paid keen attention to homework, study sessions and projects/assignments. Our children are quite used to us playing the role of “teacher-tutor” at home, so it’s not a strange thing for them in this moment. Also, we know our children’s learning styles as well as their strengths/weaknesses with particular subject areas.

Good, open relationship with teachers
This point is tied to the one above but deserves to be pointed separately. We maintain a healthy relationship with our children’s teachers; one in which information flows freely about our children’s performance in school. At the start of this homeschooling journey we were advised about how best to approach the activities and exercises. The conversations also included setting goals and how to manage our expectations.

Understanding curriculum content
Thankfully our pair is at the primary level so the content they’re learning is simple enough for us to understand. For subject areas which we don’t readily recall, the ‘relearning’ curve is not steep at all. This enables us to respond to queries from the children or to explain in cases where they didn’t quite get what the teacher shared.

Our daughter preparing join an online session.

Keeping a cool head
Giving in to the frustration caused by having to balance working from home or not working at all with delivering lessons is easy. I know some parents still have to work and are now forced to find support to monitor their children – this might come at an extra cost. Others have no choice but to take the children along to work with them. We had to remind ourselves that the current situation this is not the fault of the children so venting on them would be unfair. Keeping a cool head with the kids also preserves the good relationship we have and keeps their minds free of any ‘guilt’.


Switching roles to let kids teach us
There’s a quote attributed to Albert Einstein which says, “if you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough.” Occasionally we ask the children explain a concept. It allows us to gauge their level of understanding/mastery and determine how to proceed.

Keeping it fun and interesting
Our family bond has strengthened since spending more time together, but spending this much time can become monotonous/boring. Our space has to function as both school and home; that’s a delicate balance. If we become overbearing with the school side it could backfire and negatively affect their attitudes towards learning, so we make time for fun. One such activity is #FruitTuesday – on a Tuesday we try ‘new’/exotic fruits or rediscover the ones we eat regularly. In this exercise we discuss the benefits of the fruit, the history (if it’s not native to Jamaica) and recipes with the fruit.

These ideas worked for us; they may be helpful for you too. I wish you the best as we all navigate these challenges.

In closing, please follow the health protocols and other guidelines from the government. Stay Safe!

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The future…

mandela children

It’s been 7 years since I became a father. It put me directly in the driving seat to watch a new human being (now 2 new human beings) grow/develop. The experience has put many things in perspective for me, chief among them is my mortality.

As my children age, so do I. As they get stronger and more active, the opposite will eventually be my fate. A day will come when our roles may be reversed as it relates to care-giving. Whitney Houston penned the words “I believe the children are the future…,” she was spot on. We all have a collective responsibility to secure the future by securing our children.

A child’s mind is a blank slate waiting to be be filled. How do we fill that slate? 

We live in an age when there so many things competing for our children’s attention, how does a good parent get most of their children’s attention?

What about the external environment? Are we actively engaged in helping to preserve the earth) for them?

How about the society in which they will have to participate? Are we grooming positive, people-centered leaders and critical thinkers? We must raise children who will not only see the proverbial wolves in sheep’s clothing, but can also see the wolves in shepherd’s clothing.

Today’s choices influence tomorrow’s reality. Protect the future, protect the children.

Valentine’s Day… but why though?

So here it comes again, that dreaded (or highly anticipated) day of the year, Valentine’s Day. A lot of us as men feel pressured by Valentine’s Day. We don’t like being expected to do something romantic for the wife or girlfriend(s) on an arbitrary date on the calendar.

Some of my male friends flinch when their mate drops hints in early February about what flowers or candy she prefers, and they cringe when she talks about how somebody else’s husband/man goes over the top for his Valentine’s sweetie.

I criticise the commercialism of the day. It just presents another opportunity to draw the already dwindling funds out of the pockets of the public (this includes our children too). Valentine’s Day in our culture is for new couples who need to affirm their special relationship. I really don’t think secure couples need it.

By now most of the women reading this have started to knit their eyebrows and make notes of disapproval. Please leave your thoughts at the end of the blog, lol. Most women, even if they intellectually agree with these arguments against Valentine’s Day, secretly wish their mate would do something special for them on February 14.

Not wanting to be controlled by a schedule or by their partner’s expectations, many men, especially husbands, end up doing something do something token on Valentine’s Day (a last minute card or candy). Others strike up some “bone of contention” which leads to a quarrel in the days leading up to the 14th and affirm their objection to the whole thing. Admittedly, despite my own opposition to the Valentine’s Day matter I’ve been known to give in and get her something special.

In recent times I’ve opted to invite her over for a candle-light dinner which I prepared from scratch. It saves money and she loves the ‘thoughtfulness’. It certainly beats taking her for a ‘fluorescent-lit” location like KFC just so I can save a few dollars. I’d rather be spontaneously romantic on my own timetable rather than be dictated to by ‘society’ about which days(s) to show love.

My recommendation is that people use every opportunity to bond/connect with their partners – before, during and after V-day. I particularly despise how the day shows up the single people. It’s almost as if you’re single on V-day you’re an outcast of sorts. Where’s the day to celebrate being “free, single and disengaged”? Valentine’s Day should have an alter-ego day also celebrated on Feb 14 – “Single Awareness Day”.

I’m sure a survey will prove that adults not in a committed relationship are the most annoyed people on or around V-day. What about the ‘mateys’ and ‘joe grinds’ who can end up being neglected on that day? What about their feelings? Where’s their day? I now mark the date on my calendar and try to be extraordinarily thoughtful. My wife also has a low-key approach to the day which is perfect for us both. We spontaneously do ‘sweet’ little things for each other so even if all we do on Feb. 14th is wish each other a happy V-day then it’s not a problem.

It won’t be used as ammunition in some future disagreement. In the larger picture, cultural fixtures like Valentine’s Day provide scheduled opportunities to do good things that we could do any day, but usually do not. You should honour your parents on a daily basis but Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ remind you to do something particularly nice for them as a reminder of your love. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with a little forced spontaneity to show a little romantic love once a year? Right? …

I still say NO for V-day, lol. If you’re really into Valentine’s Day, and it is important ritual to you and your partner then just go hard, within reason of course. Make it a big special occasion. Save up and do something special if necessary, don’t let the superficial/commercial nature of the day get in your way. I know it just aint my cup of tea. Maybe I will come around some day, but until then…

Beauty of the Backshot

Sexual intercourse is certainly one of the best parts of human life. It’s even better when the people involved are open-minded and committed to giving pleasure rather than selfishly focusing on “gettn theirs”.

Anyhow, I’m not focusing on sex in general today, I’m talking about the beauty of the Backshot, Backaz, Doggy Style or whichever name you call it.

Lotsa women love it and it seems to be the overwhelming favourite among men regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, socioeconomic standing and any other category of which one can conceive. Why is the backshot such a hit? I chose to reflect on my sexual memories and a few visual aids to try and figure it out, so here goes…

Diversity
Missionary can become monotonous and also puts a bit of pressure on the back as can be cowgirl and reverse cowgirl. Backshot allows for kneeling and standing positions to be engaged thus easing that back pressure. It can be both primal or sensual, tender or rough, nasty or loving. The backshot allows for a quickie when she hikes her skirt and you bend her over a piece of furniture, a vehicle, a tree stump or any other locale as you look out to see if you’re being watched. A good backshot can be the pinnacle of a night of love making or a rip roaring ride when all you want to do is fuck 🙂

Ego stroking
The backshot is a position of dominance and control. She is on her hands and knees, completely submissive. This is not at all degrading to her as she allows me to take her and have my way with her. I dig my fingers into her waist and grip tightly while thrusting into her and simultaneously pulling her back against me. This allows me to control how quickly or slowly she slides over my rock-solid cock.

I’m in full control of how quickly I cum or how long I last. We usually start off slowly, but when the heat of the moment kicks in then we go crazy “jack hammer”; less caressing and in comes the spanking, smacking, hair pulling, head bumping into what’s in front of her lol – some primal type behaviour. Being able to penetrate her deep, hard, and fast is beyond words.

Delivering a proper backaz strokes more than just my cock, my ego gets stroked too. I can last longer than in other positions (that’s important to me as a man). No lie, I feel like a real man when I pound her from behind with vim, vigor and vitality until her knees crumble from the sheer pleasure of it all.

Audio
And then there is the sound. There’s nothing like the sound and rhythm when our respective pelvises connect (clap clap clap clap). Add to the mix her moans and groans of pleasure. Sometimes it’s enough to make me empty myself “ahead of time”. The erotic sounds always inspire me to just thrust harder, faster and deeper, but I gotta resist because she’s not ready for me to cum yet.

Visual
Men are visual creatures. We like to look. A woman’s curves, edges and perfect imperfections are like mobile art to us. There’s nothing to most men I know like staring at a woman’s ass. When she’s positioned for a backshot it’s even more of a pleasure to behold as it makes her round ass look even rounder and more curvy. Then there’s all of her back just exposed for kissing, licking, rubbing, massaging etc.

I love it when she looks over her shoulder in this position and our eyes “make 4”. I just wanna go primal.
In that position she’s quite exposed, I just have to stand and pay homage while staring for a brief moment. Ain’t nothing like staring at a pretty pussy from behind. OMG I don’t even know how to put it in words… round ass, thick thighs, defined calves, pointy toes and that fat snatch with my name all over it.

If she’s wet and her juices are all over that pussy it’s certainly one of the best things to behold. At that point I can hardly wait to get it (or get back in). Each stroke coats my cock with her juices and if the lighting is right I get to glance at my cock glistening as I withdraw and reinsert. Watching her writhe in pleasure, arch her back, slap the bed or furniture etc. is just awesome to witness. I’m thankful for the gift of sight.

More to do
There are so many things I can do with my hands when I take her from behind. Gripping her hips tightly, holding onto her shoulders, tugging or otherwise playing in her hair, running my hands along her sides, reaching around to massage breasts, tweaking nipples, reach down and stimulating that clit, pull her hair to pull her head back or turn her head to give her a kiss, choke her (if she’s into that crazy shit lol), grab her arms and pull them back for leverage. The list goes on…

I think I’ve said enough because I may just end up molesting my laptop… Happy holidays, may they be simply orgasmic.

What do women want?

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Let me start this off with a disclaimer that the views below are simply my opinion and it comes from years of hearing women lament about their intimate/committed relationships mainly with men. I find that my lesbian friends complain a lot less but for reasons that will be shared in a different blog.

I concede as well that not every woman will want the same thing(s) but I don’t think I’ll be too far off with the ideas below. Don’t sue me if you disagree, it’s just a blog, lol.

What women want in relationships is really quite simple… or is it?

Many a man since the beginning of time has questioned “what exactly do women want?” No doubt, they are complex creatures and they operate on a different wavelength than us men.

Women aren’t exactly the great mystery that we often make them to be.

I polled literally hundreds of women – friends, co-workers, family and even strangers. Interestingly, you won’t find diamond rings or other fancy things anywhere on this list. While many women really do want luxury goods from men, when you break it down they are just physical representations of some of the points on this list.

This list is in no particular order…

Communication
Among other things, women are vocal creatures. They know we love them, but this pollster found out they like to hear it too. Believe it or not women too can be insecure. Let them know when you think they’re hot. Compliment them, it helps them feel good.

Plus, when they feel sexy they’re more likely to act sexy. Words of appreciation go a far way with women. It doesn’t have to be over the top; just let them know that you see the effort they have put in, and that you’re grateful.

Respect
Women want us to show through our actions that we respect their opinions, careers, interests, friends, bodies and minds. Truth is that we don’t have to agree with all that they say or do, but try to honour their opinions as valuable contributions. Do onto others as you’d have them do onto you – treat women the way you as a man want to be treated. Be honest, fair, kind, and considerate.

Sex
Yes, women love sex. Apparently there are a number of bases to cover in the bedroom, not just one #NewsFlash. We ought to ‘touch’ each base instead of being so focused on the ‘meat of the matter’. Take my word, they’ll thank you for it! Likewise, remember small physical touches like massages. One can never, ever, give them too many shoulder rubs, foot rubs, scalp massages etc.

Romance
So what if you’re both staying in tonight rather than going out; that doesn’t mean it can’t be a romantic night. Light a few candles and see where the night leads. According to a married friend of mine, “treat us like your girlfriend, even after we become your wife. Date nights, making out in the car, kissing like when we first started dating—all of the things that made us fall in love with you don’t have to stop just because now there are bills to pay, a house to be cleaned, and kids to attend to.”

Women appreciate when you get them flowers for no reason or with no ulterior motive attached lol. The flowers don’t need to be expensive; it could be the result of you relieving someone’s garden of a couple blooms.

Time
Rumour has it that women understand relationships can’t be all wine and roses. My interactions revealed that women appreciate when we simply make the time to be with them. Treating them like our top priority says “love” more than all the fancy gifts ever could. This includes helping around the house.

The realities of a 21st-century relationship are that both partners probably work. Another wife recommended, “if you happen to get home before we do, why not vacuum the living room or throw in a load of laundry?  If you take the garbage out without being asked, chances are you’ll be getting ‘something extra special’ later on despite how tired I am.”

Dinner
Roll out that “kiss the cook” apron. My experience has taught me that women love when we cook for them, especially if it tastes great.  In addition to tasting great, if you can make a low-calorie meal you just may be elevated closer to god status.

As men, we ought to make an effort (outside of her birthday or any other ‘special day’) to learn how to make even the simplest dish in the kitchen. They also appreciate the effort. Never underestimate the value of that old phrase “it’s the thought that counts”.

Consistency
This doesn’t mean being boring and predictable. It means that they want to know we will give them the love and support they need. “Knowing that my man is approaching the relationship with the same desires and energy as I am makes me feel secure. I want us to be on the same page, or at worst just a page apart in the same chapter,” my friend said as she laughed.

Engagement
Mental engagement, not the nuptial type lol. According to most of these women, men don’t have to like everything they do. In fact, if her man likes EVERYTHING she does then that’s a cause for concern. Showing interest in their passions, be it career-related, a sport or a hobby, goes a long way. Listen when women talk to you.

Apparently they’re not speaking just so they can hear their own voices. They want to connect with us.. This also means paying attention to the little things. Whether it’s the name of her best friend’s husband or the fact that she hates Nicolas Cage movies, it’s the little things we remember about them that’s so endearing.

Humor
These two tend to go hand in hand. Not meaning that we gotta be their personal Ity and Fancy Cat or Eddie Murphy. A friend claims that if we’re just able to laugh at ourselves is enough. Men who take themselves too seriously bring everyone down.

Challenge
Not the kind that makes a relationship constant work, but the good kind that surprises and motivates them to do, be or achieve what they desire. Studies show that partners who prod each other to meet goals—in other words, don’t support lazy or bad habits—are ultimately happier than those who don’t hold each other accountable.

Honesty
Women demand and deserve honesty, but in all this a man should be tactful in expressing himself. They actually want us to ‘keep it real’. My advice is to avoid doing things you have to lie about. Go ahead and express yourself, let them know who you are but don’t be a beast in that expression.

I want him to tell me everything. Tell me why you find that girl attractive; tell me why you find me attractive. If you think I look fat then say so, but commit to help me getting toned or slimmer. While you’re at it, let us work together on getting in good shape and keeping fit,” said my friend who works out with her husband and personal trainer twice a week.

Masculinity and Chivalry
Be a man dammit, don’t be a woman except with a pair of balls and a cock. Chase insects and other creepy crawlies, learn to fix things. Be knowledgeable and aware. Dress like a man, so that skinny jeans shit and the tight body blouse crap has to go. With that said though, women like when we keep our bodies clean and good looking. Get a little “man-scaping” done. If they don’t have to navigate through a jungle just to give the ‘jewels’ a special ‘treatment’ then they’d be most appreciative.

Chivalry speaks for itself, show you care by opening her doors, pulling her chairs, sharing your jacket when she’s cold you know, all that sweet stuff. They love that

My list might be incomplete. Ladies, if I have missed out on anything please feel free to share those things in a comment.

I wonder how close I’ve come to outlining what women want in a relationship

Secrets: to keep or not to keep

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It is a widely-held belief/assumption that happiness in a marriage/relationship depends a lot on being completely open to one’s spouse through full disclosure.

We are taught that clear communication is the best policy. Books like Fifty Shades of Grey strongly suggest that sharing our deepest sexual fantasies will improve intimacy. Others say secrets will ultimately destroy your marriage/relationship.

In truth, most successful long-term relationships are based on strong emotional and physical connections. But intimacy isn’t necessarily equated with complete honesty. There are many couples that don’t “tell all,” yet maintain a trusting, fulfilling relationship.

Likewise, there are some couples that suffer a great deal when well-kept secrets (or ultimately revealed ones) lead to mistrust and hurt.

Here are some types of secrets and my recommendation on whether to tell your partner/spouse.

The Affair
Confessing to an on-going affair or sharing one from your past has wreaked havoc in many marriages and long-term relationships. Experts are beginning to understand that not all affairs are a direct path to separation or divorce. Some serve to highlight already existing relationship problems and can actually promote working on them.

While a double life will certainly put distance between you and your partner, it may be more important to discuss why the desire for a lover began in the first place, rather than focus on the affair itself.

For most couples, affairs suggest disconnection, not just sexually but emotionally as well. If you decide to talk to your partner — whether about an actual affair, a fantasy about one or one you had years ago — think about how to use the discussion to heal your current situation or how it can serve to push you toward an inevitable separation.

Neither option is simple, but the most important thing is to be aware of the impact either choice may have on your relationship.

Your Debt
Keeping a partner in the dark about debt is never a good thing. Many couples today enter long-term relationships burdened with student loans, credit card debt or little money in the bank. Learning about these money matters later almost always leads to feelings of betrayal and mistrust.

Being upfront and clear about what you have, what you owe and your plan for how to deal with it will gain you much more respect and trust than learning about it later.

Lack of Libido and Impotence
Sad truth is this, many women keep their disinterest in sex a secret and some even fake their orgasms. Many men keep their Viagra/Cialis etc. in a super-secret hiding place. While these particular issues tend to appear round about “mid-life” when hormonal activity may impact sexual performance/desire, research has shown that younger couples tend to avoid intimacy altogether rather than reveal their lack of interest.

We live in a time when matters dealing with about eroticism are less taboo and pornography is increasingly popular. In today’s culture, sexual secrets are often kept between partners. Some view a lack of arousal as an inadequacy, a lack of femininity or masculinity. Yet partners can misinterpret physical disinterest as lack of emotional interest.

I encourage both men and women who feel low — or loss of — libido to talk to their health care providers first. Most often, discussing the issue with a professional paves the way to a more productive discussion with a partner.

Note carefully that not talking about sexual intimacy doesn’t make the issue disappear. Ultimately, it will impact the relationship. It’s more about how you tell your partner than whether or not you tell them. One way or another, your partner will know. And once the elephant in the room is talked about, connection most often improves.

Past ‘Bad’ Behaviour
I could write a book on this, in fact, I probably should. Anyway, the decision to share past illegal or immoral activities is complicated. Some are no-brainers — crimes and jail time are best revealed and explained, as they are available on public record. Keeping them hidden can create tremendous guilt, and if exposed, can cause a deep fear in your partner that the behaviour could be repeated.

Here’s where it gets a little unclear because many of us have had wild experiences during adolescence and young adulthood that led to trouble with the law — speeding, rampant promiscuity, cheating, fist fights, drug use, shop-lifting — activities we know will never recur and are best forgotten.

We all want our partners to think the best of us and these ‘childish’ activities were often not the best of times. I’m sure most of us have a list of actions we are not proud of, but hopefully we have learned from them.

Past ‘bad’ behaviours that are clearly no longer part of our present are secrets that exist even among couples that are intimate about most everything else in their lives. They can lie dormant, safely kept between you and you. This leads me to my next point…

Health disorders/Diseases/Sexually Transmitted Infections
If you’re in a long-term relationship, especially if you’re heading towards marriage there should be no health secrets (for the most part). Your partner deserves to know about your health, after all, their role may just become that of primary caregiver if/when things go wrong.

If making a family is on the cards, discussions about health must be thorough.
On the matter of sexually transmitted infections honesty is the best policy especially if you’re carrying something incurable such as HIV or Herpes. There is a school of thought which strongly recommends remaining tight-lipped about sexually transmitted infections which you contracted and subsequently had treated prior to meeting your current partner.

I say, you should know your partner well enough to determine their likely reaction to such a confession and whether you can handle such a reaction.

Eating Disorders, Alcohol or Drug Use
Quite often these disorders remain hidden from even best friends, husbands and wives. Many couples fear that their addiction — past or present — will cause a loss of respect, while often it’s the secrecy which causes the loss of respect.

On-going substance abuse will almost always interfere with a couple’s intimacy, as the object of desire is something other than your partner. Unless addressed, addiction will ultimately destroy most relationships

Closing note
Intimacy and complete openness are not one and the same. A successful long-term relationship means being willing to share your vulnerabilities and strengths, but requires sensitivity to the consequences that sharing brings.

Sometimes you have to keep calm and keep(or share) a secret 🙂

Joe Grind Notes

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This little blog will deal with some ideas for all to consider, but it’s primarily aimed at those men who play the role of “Joseph P. Grind” aka “Joe Grind”. As always, let me publicly declare that I do not endorse cheating/infidelity of any sort.

Now onto the meat of the matter; if you’re doing something then might as well do it right and with your best abilities. Having played the Joe Grind role in a former life I thought it would be good to advise those men who are currently engaged in the role or considering such an engagement.

ALWAYS use a condom
This point needs no explanation, but here goes anyway. Condoms are effective means of protection from Sexually Transmitted Infections and preventing pregnancy. Further, it lessens the likely hood of her freezing your sperm and using it for god-only-knows-what (watch NCIS or Law & Order SVU).

Bone her like you own her
Handle your business like a boss, word of mouth is the best recommendation. There are lotsa women out there who keep it real and just want to have a good time; some don’t even mind bangin the same man as their friend as long as he’s great in bed.

Avoid outdoing the hubby/boyfriend
If you stroke her better than her hubby/boyfriend you run the risk of her becoming more attached to you than you want. This point is almost the opposite of the 1above, but you have to carefully determine how well you put it on – if she seems like the type to get clingy then she’s not the candidate for that mind-blowing, Oh God I’m in heaven kinda sex

Use a pseudo name
Don’t let her save your contact details in any of her devices or email under your real (Gov’t) name. Your identity must be protected at all costs. For all intents and purposes you’re a phantom, a figment of all imagination – in essence you don’t exist, so keep it that way.

Watch the ‘paper trail’
No matter how much she’s into you or vice versa DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT keep text messages, call records, videos, pics and incriminating emails on any device of yours. Ensure she removes any/every incriminating evidence from anything electronic she owns, especially if the hubby/boyfriend has access to them. Further ask her to be careful when using a credit card on any outings involving you.

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No sleepovers
Hey, wake yo ass up and leave. There’s absolutely no need for you to sleep by her place. What if hubby/boyfren pops a surprise visit? What if 1 of his associates is on duty watching the location without her knowledge? Do your do and leave… She doesn’t need to sleep over by you either; her vehicle could be trailed or worse have a tracking device. Sure I might sound extreme, but anything is possible in these technologically advanced times. Best bet is to meet at random locations using ‘unmarked’ vehicles.

No need for jealousy
If she sleeps with another man, don’t get mad or jealous. Wake up bro. she’s OPP(Other People’s Property) NOT YOURS. It’s hers to share with as many as she desires, so if you don’t like that she sleeps with some other Joe Grind then stop bangin her and find another hole to water.

Client confidentiality pt 1
As a Joe Grind it is likely that you’ll be servicing multiple accounts. No client needs to know the identitiy of the others; in fact, no client even needs to know if there are ‘others’ like her. Women don’t like being compared so just shut up about any other experiences you may be having. If, however, you’ve got clients who are interested in a ‘group experience’ then by all means go right ahead to ‘mix and match’.

Client confidentiality pt2
No one needs to know who you’re bangin. The world is small and you don’t know who to trust. The last thing you want is for hubby/boyfren to get word about you being the man up in his woman. Ask her to keep your identity secret from her frenz and relatives as well. As Bob Marley once said, “only your friend knows your secret, so only s/he could reveal it…”

Good manners
In your mind she might be a slut, in fact, she may even think of herself like that but she still deserves to be treated with respect. Be courteous, open her doors, pull her chairs and just be an all round gentleman, she deserves it. Make her feel special.

NEVER fall
Your heart is not to get involved. Be dominated by logic and not emotion. Here’s the simple reason, it’s a matter of trust. Bear this in mind, if she’s cheating on him with you, there’s nothing to stop her from cheating on you with someone else if you both decide to commit to each other. Ok, ok, people can change; so she could become a new person with no intention of cheating on her partner in future, but I don’t think it’s a likely occurrence.

Calling it quits
This is no fairytale, so it’s not meant to last forever and surely not “happily ever after” either.  All things must come to an end, so be wise and know when to call it quits. You can’t bone her forever –truth is, the longer you keep it up, the more likely it s that both your covers will get blown. A smart man knows when to pull out, pardon the pun.

So there you have it, 12 ideas to bear in mind when you’re role playing as Joseph P. Grind.

I welcome your feedback.

Matey by choice – women chasing forbidden fruit

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Life is filled with duality – good v evil, left wing v right wing and matey v wifey among others; so let’s talk about this wifey v matey matter, focusing on the matey.

For the purpose of this blog let’s focus particularly on the mateys who weren’t tricked into the relationship with the man. Instead I want to share my view about those mateys who knew the man had a ‘wife’ and still decided to go for him. Let me also add that I don’t endorse cheating.

So now I’ve got that out the way let me get into this matter. Truth is that most women don’t seek out or pursue interest in unavailable men, but more women do it than many of us would like to admit. I’m pretty sure that most of you reading this blog have seen examples of this in reality, some of you may have been in the situation playing either the role of wifey, matey or the ‘husband.

Based on my personal observation and discussions I’ve come to the position that women who go for unavailable men usually feel that they are more committed to the relationship than the men are. These women usually feel that the men have all the power and control in the relationship. Women in relationships with unavailable men feel that they have to work hard to keep the man interested, and often try to change themselves into being whatever they think the man is looking for.

Simply put, relationships with unavailable men are frustrating and unsatisfying, yet too many women try-try-try to stick it out and make things work… but why????

I think the women who go for unavailable men have some serious insecurity and self esteem issues. They put so much time and effort into being with this ‘emotionally unavailable’ man, while he has his cake and eats it too.

Part of the motivation for these women is the belief that if the unavailable man finally comes around and commits, they’ll finally have evidence that they are a ‘worthy woman’. Sadly, if he never commits to them their self-worth is left hanging in the wind. Another motivating factor for these women’s pursuits is that they’ve invested so much and waited so long for the unavailable man to come around that the thought of leaving without any payoff is almost unthinkable.

Matey characteristics
Even though their behavior can lead to a host of problems, these women aren’t fools. They display tremendous strength and perseverance. If a woman sets her mind on getting the attention and affection of an unavailable man, she may go to great lengths to keep giving him chances. At the same time, she’ll often fall into the rut of making excuses for his negligent behavior. Though this approach isn’t ideal, her behavior reflects the fact that she is patient, hard working, and committed to something she cares about. Those are good qualities!

Let me add that there’s also the characteristic of bravery/courage – because if the wife finds out about the affair there can be hell to pay especially if the wife is confrontational. In that case it’s a matter of beat or be beaten – rarely does wife focus her energy on the man, she heads straight to fighting matey.

A bit of advice
For women who find themselves in a relationship with an unavailable man, you don’t need to change everything about yourself, just switch your focus. Stop trying to get his attention and/or affection and instead focus on your own emotional needs.

Focus on trying to get those emotional needs met by a man who’s willing to be a MAN and not just a GROWN BOY. If you’re willing to do the work to explore your behavior, motivations, and needs, you could find yourself in the near future in a relationship with a man who’s actually worth it. Imagine that!

Sexual A.D.D.

I caught up with an old university friend of mine who lived on campus circa 2002. We started recounting our days of sharing ourselves with the lovely ladies on campus, it brought back many laughable memories but it also made me think.

ImageMy thoughts led me to coin a phrase which I hoped would have been original – Sexual ADD. Apparently the phrase isn’t new and urbandictionary.com provides this definition along with another:

Sexual ADD – A description of a person’s attitude towards sexual activity that generally involves moving from partner to partner in a short timespan, or cheating, and is used to describe the activity when there is no other explanation.

Most men can relate to the following even if not as a result of a personal experience…

It’s Thursday evening, so technically the weekend has begun. Ping ping ping – it’s your blackberry with a couple messages from that supremely sexy woman you met the night before at Medusa’s (a local watering hole). She’s available tonight but there’s just one small problem – you made movie plans with another woman who you think will finally make you “close the deal” after the movie and a few drinks at your place.

A big man never worries here because “Ms. Movie date” can wait; afterall you both have been waiting to hit the sack so one more night of not seeing each other won’t rule out the sex anyway. So you send her a text (or make a call) explaining the urgent need to reschedule the movie date due to “unforeseen circumstances”. The new girl must get priority here.

In the middle of rescheduling girl #1 and flirting via messenger with girl #2 comes a call from a third girl who you’ve been ‘gettn it on’ with for a couple months now. The sex is great and she wants no commitments so it’s perfect, but tonight she NEEDS you (your genitals) lol. Now you have a decision to make, thankfully it’s an easy one – take out new girl for drinks early and tell the 1 who NEEDS you that you’ll swing by round midnight. All this is done with the proviso that if new girl wants to get laid then “Ms. Need you tonight” will have to have that need met tomorrow night – she can wait, neither of you have anything to lose.

This type of situation is no longer applicable to just a “gyallis” (Cassanova/Player) but probably most men – average men. I strongly believe more and more men are putting themselves in these types of situations and end up suffering from Sexual ADD (Affection Deficit Disorder) due mainly to how technology allows us to connect with people with an abundance of sexual opportunity.

Back in the day people were most likely to marry or just date someone within probably a 10mile radius of where they live. These days with the internet and smartphones permeating virtually every living space, dating (or just gettn laid) isn’t limited to just those who live nearby, it could even be another country.

I think women get the shitty end of the stick in this regard because they have to compete heavily for a man’s complete/undivided attention and affection more now than ever before. Men are naturally wired to spread their seed and therefore auto-response system ready to kick in when new or potential sexual opportunities appear.

On the downside though there are negative side effects of this ‘game’ we play – broken hearts, unplanned pregnancies, drama and women who have an apathetic view of men are but a few of the side effects. Even further though is the fact that most men don’t seem to know when to settle down and treat women in a way they would want their moms, sisters or aunts to be treated. In defense of the specie though, men are always considering some of the following:
1. “Am I making the right choice in committing to a particular woman?”
2. “How will I know if she’s the right one if I don’t simultaneously compare and contrast her with other women?
3. “Could there be a hotter, kinder, smarter, wealthier girl who comes along after I commit to this particular one?”

Those thoughts are the biggest dangers of Sexual ADD. It leaves most men unable to make decisions/commitments.

A man’s craving for (promiscuous) sex is a lot like our addiction to salt, fat and sugar. We crave it but too much can ruin our chance of making future generations have meaningful, long-lasting, wholesome relationships.

Our only hope as men is to make an intellectual decision to moderate our intake and stick to a healthy diet of open, honest relations where no one is fooled or played.

This blog isn’t written to provide solutions, but to provoke thought and inspire you to seek or create solutions to relationship problems.

What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments section and share this with a friend.

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