Are You Turned On By Both Naked Men and Women?

Straight women who are turned on by both naked men and women are considered to be “bisexual or gay, but never straight,” say researchers. Pixabay, Public Domain

What turns women on? This question has baffled men for ages. A groomed beard, a generous penis size, or a sexy cologne are all tried and true, but science has found something else that sexually arouses women — other women. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, eye tracking devices found videos of both naked men and women caused straight women’s pupils to dilate, signaling sexual arousal.

Even though the majority of women identify as straight, our research clearly demonstrates that when it comes to what turns them on, they are either bisexual or gay, but never straight,” said Dr. Gerulf Rieger, lead researcher of the study from the University of Essex’s Department of Psychology, according to The Telegraph.

Women’s sexual preferences tend to be a gray area. A 2011 study from Boise State University found 60 percent of heterosexual women admitted to being attracted to other women, while 45 percent had kissed another woman. Fifty percent of those participants also reported same-sex sexual fantasies. Based on these results. the researchers suggested women are more affectionate with other women because of their friendlier nature. In turn, this presents an opportunity for intimacy or even romantic feelings to develop.

Although previous research has shown women are sexually aroused by both sexes at varying degrees, the differences in arousal between straight and gay women has been overlooked. Which is where this study comes in.

To clearly define the differences in the physiological sexual responses of straight and gay women, Rieger and his colleagues used eye tracking devices on over 300 women who were shown videos of both naked men and women. The devices were used to capture pupil dilation (or lack thereof) in response to the sexual stimuli.

The findings revealed straight women were strongly sexually aroused by videos of both attractive men and women, even if they chose men as their sexual preference. This was in stark contrast to lesbian women who showed much stronger sexual responses to their preferred sex — women. Lesbians were seen as more “male-typical” in their arousal than women, meaning their responses seemed to align more with those of men, and were therefore distinct from other women.

Prior to the study, the researchers theorized since lesbians can be more masculine in their non-sexual behaviors (like the way they dress), they are also more likely to be masculine in their sexual responses. However, Rieger and his colleagues did not find supporting evidence to prove masculine-behaving lesbians always exhibited male-typical sexual arousal patterns. This suggests how women appear in public does not say anything about their sexual role preferences.

“Although some lesbians were more masculine in their sexual arousal, and others were more masculine in their behaviors, there was no indication that these were the same women,” said Dr. Rieger, in the press release.

The truth is straight women, not just lesbians, ogle at beautiful women. For straight women, these sexual fantasies and feelings of intimacy and romance with another woman may be projected onto their porn viewing habits. A recent study by Pornhub found lesbian content is the most popular among women, with “ebony lesbian” and “girl on girl” among the most common search terms. This highlights women are watching more porn than we might expect.

Remember, these findings should not be generalized because not all women have same-sex fantasies. Rather female sexual desire is a complex subject and unique to each and every woman. After all, “men are simple, but women’s sexual responses remain a mystery,” Rieger said.

Sources: Rieger G, et al. Getting in touch with our female sexuality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2015.

Morgan EM and Thompson EM. Processes of Sexual Orientation Questioning Among Heterosexual Women. Journal of Sex Research . 2011.

Women. Journal of Sex Research. 2011. Pornhub and The Daily Beast. More of What Women Want. 2015.

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Original Article

How to Initiate Sex With Your Man

Jump-start your love life by learning how to put the moves on your man

You’ve heard all about the benefits of having sex—it can improve your health, help you sleep and, obviously, strengthen your relationship. And the best way to have more sex is to ask for it. But for some women, that’s easier said than done. It may be because you can’t figure out a way to get the message across, or you’re exhausted, shy or just plain out of practice, says Aline Zoldbrod, Ph.D., sex therapist and author of Sex Talk. No matter what the reason, if you’re not sure how to give your man the hint, read on for nine tips to initiate romance.

1. Put it in writing.

Sometimes, saying, “I want you, now” out loud can feel intimidating or embarrassing, especially if that kind of talk doesn’t come naturally to you, says Tammy Nelson, Ph.D., a couples and sex therapist and author of Getting the Sex You Want. But writing down your desires can help shake off your inhibitions, since you can get your point across without face-to-face contact. Pop a note in your husband’s coat pocket before you leave for work, send him an email (to his personal account!) or tap out a quick text message. What you say depends on your relationship, but, “Try to break out of your comfort zone to help build erotic anticipation,” says Dr. Nelson. Texting things like, “Can’t wait until tonight,” or “Having a naughty thought about you right now” can work to build excitement for what’s to come. Or, Dr. Nelson says, you can be more graphic than you might feel comfortable doing in person, saying something like, “Tonight, I’m getting into bed naked and will do XYZ to you…”

2. Establish an “I’m in the mood” code.

Between the two of you, come up with a word or phrase that is a secret call for sex. “Make it something that you can say in front of your kids, or even your in-laws,” says Dr. Nelson. The contrast between how ordinary the code sounds to others and what it really means to you stirs up excitement and fosters intimacy. Try something like, “Honey, can you help me balance the checkbook later?” or, “I really have a headache!”

3. Get—and stay––in the mood.

When it comes to summoning sex, getting yourself in the mood is half the battle. “You are more likely to initiate sex later if you pay attention to your own feelings first,” says Dr. Zoldbrod. Look at some erotic images, such as those in the Kama Sutra, or read a few passages from a favorite romance novel to put you in a sexual state of mind. If that’s not your speed, just spend some time thinking in detail about the last time you had sex, which will help rev your appetite. Dr. Zoldbrod also recommends going for a walk to boost endorphins, wearing lingerie to work or even thinking about your favorite celebrity crush. By reminding yourself to keep sex at the forefront of your mind all day, the positive vibes will last well until bedtime, inspiring you to make a move.

4. Send a nonverbal cue.

If verbal requests for sex are out of your comfort zone, don’t worry: non-verbal initiation can be just as powerful. Try a kiss on his neck or a little ear-nibbling while he’s on the computer or watching TV, suggests Dr. Nelson. Then escalate the gesture by stroking his arm while you’re sitting near each other. Ramping it up slowly like this serves two purposes: First, the element of surprise can boost sexual feelings; secondly, the non-verbal come-on can be unexpected, which could pave the way for spontaneous sex, says Dr. Nelson.

5. Try something new together.

Explore unknown territory as a couple, whether that means attending a free art class at your library, going to see a foreign movie or signing up for a volunteer opportunity in your community. “When couples do new things together they produce more dopamine, the feel-good brain chemical,” which will help make you feel closer, says Dr. Zoldbrod. And if you enjoyed that foreign film or art class and ended up making love when you got home? That tradition will likely catch on, so doing it after any excursion may become a delicious habit.

8 Sweet Things to Say to Your Man That Will Strengthen Your Bond

You love it when he says just the right thing at the right time, don’t you?

Boyfriends love to hear compliments, words of encouragement, and other sweet sayings too. So, don’t be shy – let your man know how much he means to you.

Sweet Things to Say to Him

At Behavior and Relationships, Monica Strobel, author of The Compliment Quotient, explains that, “To give a genuine compliment, couples must refocus their attention onto something positive. A compliment interrupts the patterns of common couples’ gripes and resentments.” She also explains that it’s a way to avoid taking each other for granted. Saying something sweet to your boyfriend will strengthen your bond by making you both feel uplifted.

Thank You

It’s simple, and it’s a common courtesy you’d pay anyone after they did you a favor, but sometimes couples tend to take each other for granted. Stop and thank him for fixing your computer or thank you for giving you a ride to work when your car was in the shop. Toni Coleman, psychotherapist and relationship coach, suggested changing up your routine. Instead of using an accusatory tone, ask him nicely to do something and then thank him.

You’re Talented

lovely couple

Some guys come across as confident enough to know that they’re good at what they do, but that doesn’t mean that they honestly feel that way on the inside. Give him a few words of affirmation; let him know that you think he’s a top-notch chef, drummer, or that he awes you with his understanding of politics or history. Be specific in your compliments. Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, explains on his blog that words of affirmation–compliments–can have a tremendous effect on happiness. In his example, a husband is giving his wife a compliment on her writing skills, but it can work on a guy too, regarding any skill he’s practicing. If you’re boosting your boyfriend’s self-esteem and complimenting him on things he cares about, you’ll strengthen your bond.

You Make Me Smile

Telling him how he makes you smile, lets him know that he’s a good boyfriend, and he can cheer you up no matter what. It means he knows the sweetest things to say to you as well, and probably has a great sense of humor. This statement is several compliments wrapped up into one.

You Are a Fabulous Kisser

Men take pride in the ability to sweep a woman off her feet. Stroke his ego by complimenting him on his kissing skills, and he’ll want to practice with you even more.

You Make Me Feel Safe

Most guys like to protect their ladies and make them feel safe and secure. Let him know he’s doing a good job. Playing up the masculine and feminine differences in your relationship help keep your bond strong, as Lana Holstein, MD, director of sexuality and vitality programs for couples at Miraval Resort said in the Cosmopolitan article. This ties into the kissing compliment as well. Saying sexy things to your guy is one of the sweetest things you can do. Holstein recommends that you, “Save the gab sessions for when you hang out with your girlfriends and your sexy energy for connecting with your guy.”

I Love Your Family

It’s important for you to like the people in his life. There could be tension, hurt feelings, and plenty of awkward moments if you actively dislike the people who are close to him. Let him know that you love him and those he’s surrounded himself with.

You’re Handsome

Men don’t always seem as openly concerned with their appearance as women, but most of them do still care. Compliment his looks and you’re sure to see that smile you love. If you want to take it further, you can compliment him on his eyes, the way he smiles, his biceps, or anything else you really love about the way he looks.

You Are Strong

Men love it when a woman comments on their physical strength. John DeVore at says this is a question your guy won’t mind hearing.

Fill in the Blank

Each guy is different and has his own unique qualities to offer, so try to fill in the blanks and see what you can come up with:

  • I really appreciate it when you ___________________.
  • It means a lot to me when you ___________________.
  • Thank you so much for ___________________.
  • You make me happy because ___________________.
  • You really helped me when you ___________________.

Say Sweet Things at the Right Time

You won’t want to compliment his kissing skills in front of his mother, but he might appreciate it if you compliment him on his strength in front of other people. Use your instincts to know when your guy would most like to hear your compliments–some are better for when you’re alone while others can be advertised.

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Original Article

How Healthy is Masturbation. Can it Make a Difference to Your Sex Life?

It’s a really healthy thing. It releases great endorphins and chemicals into our bodies that help us to feel happier, to feel more creative, to feel braver. It lifts depression and helps with headaches and period cramps.

Smith said masturbation is an important way for women to learn about their own bodies and what they enjoy. She encouraged women to “relax into self love”.

“Carve out a little bit of time and prioritise this because it affects your health, your mental wellbeing and your relationships, both with yourself and with others,” she said. “It’s a really important thing, yet it comes last on our list when we’re knackered and we’ve fallen into bed.”

Smith joined physiotherapist Maeve Whelan, who specialises in women’s health at Milltown Physiotherapy in Dublin, for a conversation about painful sex, the importance of pelvic floor muscles and what all women can do to improve their sex lives.

According to Whelan, there are a number of physiological and emotional reasons women might experience pain during sex.

Smith said: “I don’t know of many women who have an issue with pain that they can do nothing about.”

Also in the sex episode, a discussion about how Irish cultural, educational and social history has shaped women’s sex lives.

Joining that discussion were Dr Mel Duffy, head of the only master’s degree programme in sexuality studies in the country at Dublin City University; Shawna Scott, owner of Sex Siopa, Ireland’s health and design-focused online sex shop; and Hot Press sex columnist Anne Sexton.

According to Sexton, some of the “cultural and economic reasons for prudery and repression” include the country’s Victorian roots, the famine’s strain on the population and the Catholic Church.

The panel also talked about the lack of quality sex education for young people.

“On the one hand, there’s an incredibly massive, overwhelming porn culture which all young people have some experience of. And on the other hand, you have this culture of horrific stories of abuse. There are very few positive messages about sex, and that’s really worrying,” Sexton said.

Also in the podcast, sexual intimacy therapist and Irish Times advice columnist Trish Murphy discussed common sex problems she encounters in her practice and what people can do about them.

The Women’s Podcast question of the week is: Are you making New Years resolutions? If so, what are they? If not, why not?

Listeners are invited to tweet their answers to the question of the week @ITWomensPodcast, post to our Facebook page or email

Individual episodes of the podcast are available on Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher and on

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Original Article

How to Love Your Man in a More Profound Way

“A man must be prepared to give 100% to his purpose, fulfill his karma or dissolve it, and then let go of that specific form of living. He must be capable of not knowing what to do with his life, entering a period of unknowingness and waiting for a vision or a new form of purpose to emerge. These cycles of strong specific action followed by periods of not knowing what the hell is going on are natural for a man who is shedding layers of karma in his relaxation into truth.” ~ David Deida ‘The Way of The Superior Man’

Love a man whose strength of character precedes him on his journey in life.

Love a man who’s not afraid to stumble and fall, only to pick himself up and face the wind once more.

Love a man who’s made mistakes and whose heart is etched with scars of long lost loves, lingering embraces and kisses that tore at the soul.

Love a man who listens to his inner guides, and not knowing exactly where they lead, picks up his sword and leads his horse into the dark of a forest from where he may never return.

Because he has faith in his dreams, even those that leave him broken and in need of a fresh start.

Because he is the wizard of his own destiny, weaving the strands of the unknown into a tapestry that he can cover himself with when times are hard.

Because he is a warrior and he is hungry for a life that is lived without regrets.

Love a man whose smile is honest and whose eyes fell you to your knees.

Love a man who will turn away from safety, trusting that his passions are a danger he cannot live without.

Love a man whose hands know how to explore your secrets and his body awakens every sin you’ve ever craved—he won’t judge you, he’s a worshiper of the Feminine.

Love a man whose tears are hot, who bathes in the ashes of his mistakes. Love him when his eyes are shadowed, when he walks the beach in search of his muse, when he stands naked in a soul consuming fire; because he’ll come out stronger than before. He’s promised you that and he keeps his word.

How Your Relationship Life Evolves from the Very First One

Your first relationship has a huge effect on the relationship that come afterward.

Having your first relationship is such a steep learning curve — you’re learning how to be a good partner, you may be having sex for the first time, you’re dealing with your first relationships fights, and, inevitably, your first breakup. But even after the breakup, it’s not over. Your first relationship has a huge effect on the relationship that come afterward. Exactly how much varies from relationship to relationship — and how long you have between them.

If you’re like me and tend to wait a long time between relationships, then there’s a better chance that — while you’ll still have some old habits and hangups — baggage may be less present and inform your relationship less. My first boyfriend liked Dungeons and Dragons way more than he liked me, and I’m totally over it. (Totally. Tote. A. Ly.)

It also depends how good or bad your first relationship was. If you had a horrible or traumatic relationship, those cuts may feel even deeper and fresher as you go into your next one, so your first relationship is going to carry over with you more. If your first relationship was more a case of just trying to be a grownup, no training wheels, and it sort of fizzled out, it probably own’t have the same hold on you. But it’s always there, to some degree or another.

Here’s how your first relationship shapes all the ones after:

1. It Can Help Form Your “Type”

Whether your first love is a brunette bombshell, a red head, short or tall— it sticks with you. Even if you don’t mean to do it, or actively seek it out, there’s a good chance that you’ll start to seek out similar types. Maybe that type is nerdy brunettes… maybe, possibly.

2. Or Who You Avoid

… or, if it was a seriously bad relationship, there’s a chance that you’ll end up hating brunettes or blondes and avoiding them for no good reason. Relationships can leave a bad taste in your mouth, bad enough to avoid anything that looks remotely similar.

3. Your Learn Good And Bad Habits

The first time you’re in a relationship is really formative — you learn how relationships work. Or at least you think you do. The good and the bad habits you form during your first relationship are hard to shake. If you learn how to listen and be supportive, that’s great, but if every tiny disagreement turns into a massive fight, so you just stop communicating, then you learn that habit too, and it can be really damaging for future relationships. You have to be sure to take the positive into your future relationships, but be willing to let go of bad habits.

Is He Only Interested in One Thing? Here is How to Tell.

Women, forgive us. When we men are horny, we have a tendency to behave like dogs— pawing, panting, and begging like you’re wagging a bone in front of our faces.

But we’re not always horny. So for the other 98 percent of the time, you have every right to expect us to act like adult humans. Unless you and your guy have decided to stay in the booty-call zone, if you’re sleeping with him, he should at some point show interest in something other than getting you naked. So, worried that you’re with a guy who’s only after a good hookup? Here’s what to look for:

He skimps on foreplay.

You’ve gone down on this guy how many times? And he never repays the favor? Well—it sounds like he’s getting screwed, and you’re getting screwed over.

He doesn’t introduce you to his friends.

If he really wanted to integrate you into his life, he’d start with the dudes he hangs with.

He never asks about your friends. Or your family. Or your job.

Same logic—if a guy’s just looking for a f— buddy, he’ll avoid all the messy stuff. But as soon as he’s ready for a relationship, your personal life won’t seem messy to him.

He’s a little too busy to make plans.

You: “We should do something this weekend.”
Him: “Yeah, we’ll see.”
You: “No seriously! We should go to a movie or something.”
Him: “Well, maybe. I get kind of restless in movies.”
You: “What about dinner? You have to eat, right?”
Him: “Of course, but I might have to do this other thing anyway.”
He’s blowing you off. And even if you haven’t tried to initiate a non-sexual hangout, he should. At some point, he should just sit across from you and talk. No lingerie, no groping, just conversation.

He texts you when he’s out, but he just wants you to meet him back at his place.

A booty call is fine if you’re comfortable with it. But a booty call is not a date. Don’t convince yourself otherwise.

You Are Into Him and He’s Not….How to Say Goodbye

We’ve all heard the saying ‘If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.’

We’ve read this quote in countless magazines or books, or heard it in movies. What we didn’t know then, was how utterly painful it is. Those who have been through it and came out in one piece will tell you they feel they’ve been to a war. Hold on girls, it’s not that morbid, really. I can understand your situation; you love him, he loves you, all is well. Then comes that time when he no longer returns the feelings. That’s got to hurt, but making matters worse is the fact that you can’t seem to stop loving him. Well, here’s some good news, you CAN stop loving him. Just follow our guide, where we’ve laid out the top 12 ways you can get over him-for good especially if you are in a open-relationship.

Fall in love again-with yourself

Remember that person who loved the outdoors, but gave it up for the guy who hated it? Oh, and remember that girl who was the most popular in high school but had to drop out of her social circle to make time for the ‘love’ of her life? Yeah, that’s right. I’m talking about you. When we are with someone, we automatically put our single selves up on a shelf, transforming and molding ourselves into a person who’s easier to date & last but not the least, we try to save the relationship even to impossible extents. Now would be the best time to go back and reach out to all the friends you cut off for your guy. All the stuff that made you happy once when you were single is still out there, waiting for you to come back to it. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, get out there and become the amazing person you used to be. Love yourself first; the rest will fall into place.

Get rid of excess baggage

This one might seem exceptionally hard to do, but once done, you’ll feel like a huge chunk of weight has been lifted off your shoulders. It doesn’t matter how many questions you have asked your boyfriend during the relationship. Delete and get rid of all texts, pictures, emails and anything else that is a constant reminder of him. You’ll question yourself whether you should, but believe me, you’ll thank me later. This doesn’t just apply to your cell phone. Go ahead and delete all your pictures together on Facebook, Instagram or anywhere else you can think of. Believe me, if there’s one thing we girls love doing, its torturing ourselves by going down memory lane, and that is exactly what you’re going to avoid. It was nothing but an abusive emotional relationship.

What to Do When You Want an Honorable Man and You Are With Someone that Keeps You In The Gray

Remember that song, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” by Aretha Franklin in the 60’s? Well, it’s about time you got some. A man will respect you when you respect yourself. If he doesn’t, you shouldn’t be dating him. Period. 

As a married man standing on the side lines, I must say you single ladies have got to put up better boundaries in your dating relationships! Think: fences, walls, lines in the sand, and some firm non-negotiables. Some of you may even need to put some barbed wire and shards of glass on top of those walls if you know what I mean…

Yes, relationships are two-way streets. Yes, I understand that you want to be loved. But don’t you want to be loved by an honorable man and not a jackass? If you recognize you’re in a lawless, renegade relationship that is going nowhere, it might be time to get some better boundaries, and quick. But first, here are a few clarifying points about boundaries:

1. Setting a boundary is not making a threat

Setting a boundary is not making a threat – it is communicating clearly what the consequences will be if the other person continues to treat you in an unacceptable manner. It is a consequence of the other person disrespecting your wishes. Setting a boundary shows that you respect yourself. Which is a critical piece of communication in the first 3 months of dating.

2. Setting a boundary is not an attempt to control

Setting a boundary is not an attempt to control the other person – although some of the people who you set boundaries with will certainly accuse you of that – just as some will interpret it as a threat. Setting a boundary is part of the process to define what is acceptable to you. It is a major step in taking control of how you allow others to treat you. It is a vital responsibility to yourself and your life.

How to Win at Online Dating

Think back to your last three boyfriends. Are they all over 6 feet tall? Make six figures?

Have you ever watched a straight guy on Tinder? Seriously, it’s amazing. If they find a woman even the slightest bit attractive, they swipe right. I’m talkin’, “I wouldn’t say I’m into the Juggalo scene, but, her lips are kinda hot” swipe right kind of action. I don’t want to say their standards are low, but they are more…realistic.

And here’s the kicker. Those guys are doing it right.

Think back to your last three boyfriends. Are they all over 6 feet tall? Make six figures? Smoke less than a gram of weed a week?

My last serious boyfriend was shorter than me, the one before that had a child, and the one before that one was a virgin. I realize most people don’t put their number of sexual partners on their online dating profiles (the answer is 20, always 20), but the point is, NONE of these guys would have passed my self-imposed dating filters, because they are bullshit. I consider each of those relationships successful in their own right, but had I come across any of them online, they wouldn’t have made it past the damn matching stage.

Before you start whining, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have preferences. That would be insane. If you’re religious and need someone who’s also religious, or if you’re creative and know you’ll only jive with someone who gets that, fine, those are reasonable requirements. But dating online shouldn’t be a free pass to be a jerk and impose unreasonable expectations on other people.

For example, I know for a fact that men under 6 feet tall give the best head. Take a poll between your friends and you will see that this is an undeniable truth. And in general, the most “successful” guys I’ve dated turned out to be least generous. Again, I’m not advocating Bumble-ing with 22 year olds living off their parent’s credit cards, but instead of asking yourself, “When does he make VP at the company?” Ask, “Does he pay his rent? Have some sort of savings account? Have goals and aspirations?” Great. He gets a pass.

A Pageant Dropout’s Guide to Love

I’m a Pageant Dropout.

By that, I mean – I competed in an international beauty pageant, and it was a disaster. It felt like the end of the world…but it wasn’t. My mistakes taught me a lot about love. So here’s what I learned the hard way, in the hopes that you don’t have to.

Like any doomed love affair, this one started with the best intentions.

On paper, it looked like just another casting call. I showed up at the gate, expecting to enter a studio and read a few lines. Instead, a maid buzzed me into a fancy mansion. It was filled with fine china, gilded chairs, and giant antique lamps that probably cost more than my college tuition. Before I knew it, I was sitting in front of a glamorous woman. She looked beautiful, rich. Famous. I wanted to know everything about her.

Instead, she wanted to know all about me.

I stumbled through the conversation, heart pounding like a middle school crush.

“You’re so interesting!” the woman said. “I’d love to have you.”

My heart glowed. Never mind that she was putting me in a beauty pageant I knew nothing about…there was an Emmy award on the desk behind her. This must be it.

I had never really liked pageants. In fact, I remember loathing them on a deep level for…pretty much my whole life. But this might be my only chance at a happy ending. Who was I to refuse?

There would be dozens of graceful bikini models competing for the crown. I was a nerdy, awkward comedian from Alaska. I was not pageant material, by any means. The odds were against me. But I would do anything to make the judges love me most.

I spent the next few months changing everything about myself. I changed what I ate, how I dressed, how I did my hair and makeup. I altered the way I spoke, moved, and laughed. I practically killed myself at the gym for 3+ hours a day, and consumed no more than a thousand calories daily. I became unrecognizable.

If Your Dad Wanted to Pay a Man to Marry You…

What would you do?

Fathers can be so embarrassing right? How they’re always making hokey dad jokes to the waitresses at dinner, dancing like idiots at weddings, and making public offers to pay a guy millions of dollars to marry you. Uh, come again?

Dads, am I right?

Going way beyond the usual “Oh Dad” groaner, a property developer in Hong Kong with way too much money on his hands has offered the equivalent of $64 million to any man who will marry his daughter, Gigi Chao. And I thought the time my grandma offered my boyfriend a diamond ring to give me was bad! Sheesh.

To be fair, Cecil Chao Sze-tsung did say that his only requirement for potential suitors is that he “loves my daughter, and she loves him,” so maybe his heart is sort of in the right place?

Or maybe not exactly. Adding to the drama, there are reports that the marriage offer is timed to a significant development in Chao’s life. Last week, she may have eloped via civil ceremony in France with her longtime female companion, Sean Eav (a union which would not be recognized in Hong Kong). Ouch. Chao has tactfully declined to talk about her personal life, saying “I’m not afraid to admit anything. But I do want to respect my parents.” She says his proposal to the men of the world is “quite entertaining.”

Well, she sounds like a classy lady who deserves love from any man or woman she chooses, without a multi-million dollar incentive. I’ll choose to follow her dignified path and refrain from any comments except to say how thankful I am for my own dad for never trying to interfere in my love life.

Do you find this dad’s move to marry off his daughter to a man totally horrifying? Or is he just looking out for her happiness? Has your dad ever done anything to interfere in your love life?

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

6 Steps to Create a Breakthrough in Your Love Life

I’ve been helping a dear client through the unraveling of her eleven-year marriage, which is giving me pause to reflect back on the gold of my illuminations surrounding relationship breakups. Six years ago, I was facing the disillusionment of my own marriage, and struggling with a “why me?” belief that life was happening to me. But as the fog of fear slowly began to lift, I caught a glimpse of a gift that would heal my heart and change the relationship I had with Love forever. There is nothing quite like adversity for discovering who we really are at our core. Whilst I had zero control over the behavior, actions and choices of others, I clung to the realization that I had full control over my own, and in that illuminating moment, I realized that life was actually happening for me. What follows is a self-compassion guide of what I learned when I chose Love over fear.

Acknowledge the hurt you feel is very real. There’s a certain brand of pain reserved specifically for the ending of a romantic relationship or marriage and it’s often a bitter tasting cocktail of disappointment, anger, resentment and just plain suckery. So often, we’ll do anything to avoid the taste, but these shadow emotions are just as important for us to feel as the brightness of joy, peace and love. They’re all essential parts of living the whole human experience. Glossing over this critical step not only sets you up for the likelihood of a rinse, repeat heartbreak, it denies you access to the illumination you’ll need for empowering different choices required by your future self.

Take a morning, a weekend or a “Get me outta here” reprieve to sit with the suckery and acknowledge the heft of the blow. Write, rant, cry it out. The pain needs to release. Setting it up and allowing it to do its job doesn’t have to feel like you’re rubbing salt on the wound, its simply a self-honoring act of kindness you can give to yourself.

Be Kind. It’s hard when everything hurts. Lashing out, talking trash, blaming, dissing, judging, and attacking may feel justified and downright entitled, but ultimately we’re adding suffering to the pain, and more pain will surely ensue. I’m a big fan of self -compassion; I like how it softens my edges and the edges of those around me. It sets the bar of what to expect of myself and offers an invitation for others to follow suit. If you have kids, be mindful of their own pain and the fact that they see and feel everything. Our words, and our behavior are the lessons we’re learning and teaching. Kindness takes crappiness to higher ground.

How Soon Should You Divulge Problems From Your Past?

I know that I would not have let my relationship with my husband develop very far if he’d opened with ‘I’m a recovering alcoholic!’

When you get into a wonderful new relationship, everything seems fantastic. That’s how it felt for me, when I met my husband. The world, I felt, was coming together to give me and my children good things. I was delighted. However, I now know that this time of wonder was tainted for him with a worry at the back of his mind that all of this loveliness could come crashing down at any moment. You see, he was (still is!) a recovering alcoholic. For the first few weeks, he kept this hidden from me, petrified that I’d run a mile if I knew, but equally torn up with the feeling that he was somehow ‘deceiving’ me by not disclosing.  Ultimately, as you’ve probably guessed by my use of the word ‘husband’, this story has a happy ending. Before things got too deep, he invited me round to his house for dinner, and openly and honestly laid his cards on the table. I loved him anyway. Indeed, his mature ownership and acceptance of his past played a big part in convincing me that this was the man for me. However, that in no small way stemmed from his own willingness to take responsibility from his past and move on – he’d reached a place of healing, from which disclosure was appropriate, and no longer had to damage. It may not be the same for everyone. What should you do if you have a murky past, and are embarking on a new relationship? Well, in essence, it’s entirely up to you – but here is some advice which may help you out.

Omission, Deception, and Telling the Truth

Your past is your own, and you are under no obligation to reveal it if you do not want to. However, if your ‘secret’ is something which will require lies or an elaborate framework of deception to conceal, it may be best to reveal it. My husband told me about his alcoholic past after a few weeks of deliberately constructing dates to avoid alcohol, hoping that I wouldn’t notice. Luckily, he ‘came clean’ before this got to the point of actual deception, and we laugh now about our early dates (plenty of wilderness walks with no bars in sight!) – but I think I’d have had reservations about him if he had gone to greater lengths to deceive me in this matter. You may not have to reveal everything straight away, but letting your SO know that there are reasons why you are behaving in this manner, or that your life is the way it is is far better than lying to them about it. After all, should your relationship become serious, chances are that they’re going to find out about your deception in the end – at which point they’re likely to be a lot more upset at your lies than they are about the secret which the lies hid. I know that, for a recovering alcoholic, dating can be a time of turmoil. Alcohol is everywhere! In this situation, doing what my husband did, and explaining that you’re a recovering alcoholic is a far better solution to this problem than making endless false excuses for not drinking or, worse, lying about your history with alcohol and hitting the bottle with your date. And if they reject you for your past – well, it wouldn’t have been a great future together anyway. All of this naturally depends on the problem you’re struggling with – but, as a general rule, the truth is far better than a lie. If you can’t keep your secret without resorting to lies, then tell the truth.

Pushing Your Man to Be Who You Want Him to Be Won’t Change Who He Is

Ok, so this is a LONG one.  You may want to sit down with a cup of tea or coffee, or maybe a glass of wine or, my favorite, a shot of top-shelf tequila.  Ready?

How often, ladies,  do you end up looking at the man that you are in a relationship with or married to and thinking that you wish he could be a certain way, or that he would do something that you’ve always longed for him to do or the big one,  things he used to do?

I was reflecting on something in a conversation I was having with a friend of mine about the reality that as women, in our current modern world, we have a tendency at the beginning of our relationship to try to lead the man that we are getting involved with and who we are attracted to in the direction that we want to go.  It feels natural, because we all want  what we want, especially in relationship,  but this is our fatal mistake.  Because you can lead a horse to water, but as the adage goes,  you can’t make him drink.

Now when he is very thirsty, he will drink. Using that as a metaphor for early on in relationship where men are inclined to give us what we want in order for them to bed us.   This is true, ladies, even of men who care about us or love us or who will love us.  That’s BIG motivation for them to deliver all the goods we want.

So let me give you some examples of what I’m speaking to so that I can make what’s clear in my mind, clear to you as well.

Let’s say early on in a relationship, we want the man in our life to know that we love to be spoiled.   Now that means different things to different women, but let’s just say for the sake of this piece( and for simplicity’s sake) that we want our guy to know that we love to be taken out to dinner three or four times a week, (ok, so it’s a shallow example but that’s the way it’s coming through!)  and we want to be able to spend a certain amount of time together each week.

But when we start booking the reservations for the restaurant, or saying to him, “why don’t we go out to dinner tonight,”  rather than allowing him to suggest what he would like to do, we just go ahead and take charge and make it happen. and this is leading the horse to water, or in this case to the restaurant table.   So in those early stages you end up thinking all this is so romantic and he takes me out to dinner. But the reality is you set it up.