Posts Tagged ‘Sex’

I resisted watching Californication for quite a while.  There were a couple reasons why I didn’t want to give the show a chance.  First was the name of the show.  I thought it was a pretentious and juvenile name when the Red Hot Chili Peppers came out with the song years back, and found both the music and lyrics supremely lame.  It didn’t help things that the song was a radio “hit” and I heard it all the time.

Second was that it struck me as weird and strange that the role on its surface seemed to hew so close to star David Duchovny’s personal life.  He was married to Téa Leoni, an actress who I’ve always thought was both beautiful and talented, and his marriage fell apart due to his sex addiction.  Duchovny’s role on Californication, Hank Moody, ruins the most important relationships in his life in large part because of his inability to stop sleeping with any willing woman who crosses his path.  Like, if you’re struggling with sex addiction I’m baffled as to why you would take such a role?

So I resisted for six years, despite quite a few actresses on the show that I find gorgeous (Natascha McElhone, Madeline Zima, Mädchen Amick, Eva Amurri, Carla Gugino, Natalie Zea).  Then about a month ago while channel surfing I ran across some reruns on Showtime and, since there wasn’t anything else on settled in and watched a couple shows.

Somehow, I got hooked and went back and started watching the show from the beginning.  I mean, Hank Moody is an emotional wreck, an alcoholic womanizer, self-destructive and emotionally devastating to the people he loves.  But damn it, David Duchovny is so charming and charismatic in the role that I kept finding myself rooting for him despite his many, many flaws (though I did find out later that it’s not just Duchovny but his acting and the writing together that makes the character appealling– the writing took a noticeable dip in Season 3 and the Hank Moody character wasn’t nearly as good as the 1st two seasons, but thankfully the writing seems to have picked up in Season 4).  And the other main characters are largely quite colorful, engaging and entertaining as well.

As I realized that I really liked the show and was going to be watching all the seasons On Demand, I pondered why the show had really hooked me so and realized that it catches me from a lot of different directions.  The core appeal I think is the relationship Hank has with his daughter Becca, and how much he desperately loves her and attempts to keep that relationship alive despite the chaos he brings into his life.  It appeals to me as a dad who tries hard to stay close to my own children despite not living with them.  It also resonates as the son of  an alcoholic womanizer, who was just as self-destructive and emotionally devastating to the people he loves… only my father didn’t make nearly the effort with his kids that Hank Moody does.  So I can watch Hank Moody from his daughter’s perspect as a sort-of “do over” as to how it might have been if my father had made the effort.

Also, Hank Moody is a writer–  a novelist who has also dabbled in screenwriter.  I have long had aspirations of doing both myself, so it’s nice to see a little bit of writers-craft popping up here and there in the storylines.

He’s also madly, deeply and thoroughly in love with fairer sex and admires everything about them, an outlook that resonates with me as well.  Of course, Hank Moody looks like David Duchovny so with those looks and that attitude the character has women dropping their clothes for him far more often that most of us mere mortals out here in the real world.

There are quite a few layers to Hank Moody that make for a compelling character.  At his core, Hank is a damaged boy looking for love and acceptance, which makes him sympathetic.  Wrapped around that core is a self-destructive alcoholic that doesn’t seem to really want to change his ways, which makes him unsympathetic.  Woven into this layer is the womanizing, which taken as a whole is a bad thing, but individually it generally plays into Hank’s love of women and fascination with every woman he meets, which makes it feel less bad and more sympathetic.  The writers also tend to use his encounters with women to generally wreck major havoc in Hank’s life, often in quite humorous ways.

Draped over top of those layers is a mix of funny stuff — a healthy dose of life knocking you down when things are looking up, life kicking you when you’re down, and a revolving door of hilarious recurring characters and guest stars.  Rob Lowe in particular is fucking brilliant in his over-the-top role as a big name Hollywood actor.  And then there are some people who play twisted versions of themselves– Rick Springfield had a recurring role as a total degenerate version of himself.

Particularly fascinating is watching daughter Becca grow up, from a pre-teen in Season 1 to a college freshman in Season 4, and how her relationship with her father has evolved.

When I started watching the show I thought that the series had ended, but I’ve now learned that there will be a final season next year.  I’m certainly curious to see how the stories end for Hank Moody and the characters in his life.  I suspect there are going to be at least a few sad endings in store, but the eternal optimist in me is hoping for more happy endings in the balance.  It’s been a heckuva ride so far.

Have any of y’all watched the show?

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Two Words

Today a friend posted a fun little meme on her Facebook page, it had a picture of a blank piece of notebook paper and under it the question:

If you could write a note to your younger self, in two words, what would you say?

That was actually quite tough… just two words?  Three words came pretty easy, but this was a challenge!  I thought for a while, and then finally figured out what I would write to Bennie the Younger…


If you could write a note to your younger self, in two words, what would you say?

Thinking back to so many times in my life, if I would have heeded these words rather than the self-doubt that always seemed to plague my thoughts… well, I’ve no doubt life would’ve been a lot more fun 🙂

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I’ve written a couple times before about online dating (Online Chemistry, Research Paper), and while I’ve subscribed to a few dating sites, none of them have really led to any actual dates.  For one thing, most seem to demand a fee for service to actually interact with anyone more than just on a superficial level… which is fine, people are in business to make money.  And to be honest, I hadn’t really found anyone interesting enough who was also interested in me enough to make me want to pull the trigger and pull out my credit card to subscribe.  And so I had really stopped going to any of them for the past few months.

Recently two different podcasts I listen to brought up OK Cupid.  I’m not sure why I didn’t check into the site before — I seem to recall reading someone saying that it catered to a much younger crowd maybe? — but the folks I was listening to spoke very favorably about the site, so I took it as a sign maybe I should check them out.

I’m glad I did– I really like what I found there.  For one thing, there is no subscriber fee other than a “premium” version with a apparently a few more bells and whistles, additional search capacities, but the free side is still very functional and useful, letting you chat with whomever you want (provided they want to chat).  Much like the other sites, you set up a profile telling a little bit about yourself and what you’re looking for, load some pictures… but the part I really like about OKCupid are the questions it asks of you that drives its matching engine.  There’s a minimum amount of questions to answer to prime the matching engine — I think around 20 — but the questions are pretty basic stuff, yes/no or a few multiple choice, and then you get to choose which of the available choices are acceptable in your match, and then you get to rate how important the question is to you (ranked from Irrelevant to Mandatory).  There’s even a little text box where you can expand on your answer.

So you start with 20 or so… but there are thousands and thousands of questions to answer!  Some are silly, some are deep, some are dumb, but most are pretty fun.  I’ve answered over 300 questions so far and there are thousands more.  I could see spending all afternoon answering these questions.


Here’s one I haven’t answered yet…  I think it’s a tough one.  I mean, first I thought about me — what do I want to do with my life?  I mean, I can think of goals, I can think of dreams… The question seems to suggest that a person is either driven or aimless, and I don’t personally feel I fall strictly into either slot but rather somewhere in between.  Who am I to judge someone else in that regard?  See, the questions are interesting!

Anyway, once you answer a bunch of questions, OKCupid’s matching engine figures out where you fall on various personality axes.  They even have a “personality” chart where you can either see how someone else compares to you along those axes, or how you line up among the average OKCupid user.  Here’s my chart and how I compare to the average:


On the one hand, this chart really flatters!  It says that I am (or rather, “might be” — hee, I like the legalese qualifier there), compared to the average, More Laid-Back, More Literary, More Cool, More Compassionate, More Kind… awww, shucks OKCupid you’re making me blush!  And it makes me wonder how in the world does a computer figure out how cool, compassionate or kind someone is from these questions.  See– interesting!

On the other hand though, the length of the bars from the average pushes me out to the margins, which could suggest it might be tough to find a good match out there.  Of course, questions and answers aren’t everything, and there’s a lot to be said for great profile essays and a willingness to chat to get to know each other better.

OKC_States Heat Map

I also got a cool email from OKCupid that sent out this Map of Love “heat map” — showing me the States with a higher density of matches.  As I have always suspected, my outlook on life tends to line up more with West Coasters and New Englanders… but it was nice to see Virginia at least in the right shade.  There just might be hope for me yet! 🙂


If I ever have the desire to look for love out of country, OKCupid was even kind enough to let me know where I should go, and where to avoid!

So I’m curious about other people’s experiences with OKCupid.  I’ve only been on two weeks but I really like what I’ve seen!

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I love my full-time job… May will mark my 12 year anniversary.  I work for a great company and work with great people and make decent money.

My actual work is mostly interesting too… but it does involve a fair amount of redundant work that can be rather tedious.  So to help occupy my mind when I go through the repetition I listen to various podcasts on iTunes.

And I recently discovered a new podcast I really like!  It’s called The Because Show, and it’s three women friends in their mid-30s who live in California talking about whatever—life, love, pop culture, sex, books, TV shows, movies, marriage, parenthood.  One’s a single mom who recently went through a divorce, the other two are married and I believe all have kids.  They’ve got great rapport and great voices… and as someone who loves women, their show is like catnip to me.  Check ‘em out!

I thought it might be fun to share the podcasts I listen to regularly:


Why You Suck in Bed—raw, raunchy and honest, I love listening just to see what crazy topics they may touch upon each week.  In particular I really enjoy the two women co-hosts, Dr. Stacy and Molly, who are both incredibly smart, sexy as hell and are open to talking frankly about anything.

Sex Nerd Sandra—Sandra is such a positive force, listening to her makes me want to pack up and move to California just for the slim chance to make friends with her.  She’s got an exuberance that’s infectious and fun, a driving curiosity to learn everything she can about sex and relationships and then to share it with her listeners.  I just love it!

The Because Show—I wrote about that above.

(The first two shows I don’t actually download and listen at work because they can get rather sexually explicit, so instead I download at home and listen to them during my driving commutes)


The Walking Dead ‘Cast / The Talking Dead / Afterbuzz TV: The Walking Dead:  I’m a huge fan of the TV show and have written about it a few times over on my TV blog (which reminds me, I need to fire that up again).  My favorite is The Walking Dead ‘Cast because there’s a woman  co-host which provides a great female fan perspective on the show, and the chemistry between Karen and Jason is really fun.  The Talking Dead is a good one too, I enjoy the recaps and the news and the geeky side-tracks Chris and Jason take.  Afterbuzz is light and fluffy and fun, and is available the fastest, actually showing up in the feed the morning after the show so I don’t have to wait to hear what people are thinking about this week’s episode.

Firewall & Iceburg Podcast:  two TV reviewers from  Hitfix.com discuss TV shows and occasionally other pop culture items.  They are both whip-smart, clever and often quite funny.

Talking TV With Ryan and Ryan:  Gives a male and female perspective on various TV shows, often with an emphasis on “geek/nerd” shows I love like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.

TV Times Three Podcast:  Three TV critics – two regular hosts and then one host from rotating guests – talk about good and/or popular TV shows each week.  They have good TV news segments too.  The regular hosts have great voices and personality that shines through– especially Amrie who’s such a hyper spazz she just cracks me up listening to her.

Slate’s Spoiler Specials:  I don’t always get to see the movies (and occasional TV shows) these folks talk about, but when I do I like to check in on this podcast afterwards and see what Dana Stevens and her guest think of it.  Warning—the show contains SPOILERS, so listen after you watch.


The Young Turks:  hands-down the absolutely best source of political news, the hosts talk truth to power and unload with both barrels on Republicans and Democrats when its deserved (and it so often is).  They provide deep but easy to understand analysis about what the politicians and policies really mean.  The show has a progressive bent but it’s not biased and has no agenda other than getting at the truth.  They also mix in humor and a dash of pop culture and entertainment news as well.  This show is so good and indispensable that I gladly pay the membership fee so I can listen to the shows in their entirety.  Seriously the best ten dollars I spend each month!

Both Sides Now & KCRW’s Left, Right & Center:  Recaps of the past week’s political issues with smart and thoughtful commenters from the left and right, and a moderator to push back and keep the rants to a minimum.   Arianna Huffington, Mary Matalin, Ron Reagan, Eliot Spitzer, Robert Scheer, and David Frum offer up smart commentary from across the political spectrum.

I’ve actually got quite a few more podcasts I listen to occasionally, but these are the ones I listen to regularly.   How about you?  What podcasts do you listen to, and why?

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“I’m not saying I would put a stop to the project, because I’m sort of a nice guy. When I was a kid, my mother said, ‘Stephen if you were a girl, you’d always be pregnant.’”

I was reading a recent interview with Stephen King where he shares the news that he’s writing a sequel of sorts to The Shining, one of my favorite King books — well, one of my favorite horror books, period!  I wrote a blog post about being a horror fan before, so if you’ve read me a while you probably already know that.

Anyway, I’m reading the interview, smiling at the always amusing and down-to-earth King, and getting excited about the notion of seeing where Danny Torrance is now, 30 years after the horrible things that happened to him as a boy at the Overlook.  And then I get to the quote above, and it gets me thinking about the difference between men and women… in other words, grist for a long overdue blog post!

First off, I found it interesting that King’s Mom would say such a thing to her son as a kid!  It makes me wonder if the anecdote is accurate given how memory works as years go by– god bless him, but it’s been quite a while since King was a kid.  But let’s assume she did say that to a very young Stephen… wouldn’t he respond with “What do you mean?”

And what would Mrs. King say to that question?

The context of the quote was an interview question concerning Warner Brothers potentially developing a prequel to The Shining based on material cut from the beginning of the novel King wrote.  King doesn’t want that to happen — he doesn’t explain why, but we can assume than as an artist he decided to cut that part out of his book and likely feels that his creative decision should stand — but he mentioned that he isn’t sure he’d put up a fight to stop Warner Brothers from going forward with the project.  Then he says:

“I’m not saying I would put a stop to the project, because I’m sort of a nice guy. When I was a kid, my mother said, ‘Stephen if you were a girl, you’d always be pregnant.’”

Which then got me thinking… the whole “nice guy” persona, something I’m very much familiar with, really is pretty much a male phenomenon.  I thought back to the posts I wrote about The Friend Zone, and The Mating Habits of Beta Men, but with an eye on just how different the whole friendly/nice dynamic is different depending on whether you’re the guy or the girl.  Being “the nice guy” really does tend to put you in a place where romantic and sexual contact is pretty rare, whereas being “the nice girl” can get you a fair amount of romantic and sexual contact if you so choose.  I often think about how interesting it must be to be a woman who has that power of choice, the ability to take a friendship with a man and one day just take it to another level if she desires.  How do women feel about having that freedom?  Are they thrilled by it?  Or burdened by it, in a “with great power comes great responsibility” sort of way?

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This dream is just too funny…

I all too rarely have erotic dreams, sadly… but what’s even more sad is that when I do have one my subconscious usually finds some way to fuck it up before it can get to the good stuff.  I wake up with a hard on and irritated with myself.  Seriously, subconscious?!  As if my waking life wasn’t sad enough in the romance and sex department, I can’t even catch a break in my freaking dreams?!

Last night I had a dream that I was hanging out with a female friend I know online.  I recall thinking “wow, this is cool that we’ve gotten to meet in real life, and we’re getting along great!”  So we’re going along, enjoying each other’s company, when I get a sense that she wants me to kiss her.  Now, in the past, my usual response to this sort of thing in real life is “nah, that’s just wishful thinking on my part…”  But I’m an older man now, and heck this is a dream, so I go for it… and it turns out that she did want to kiss me!

So we start making out, and things begin to get hot and heavy, clothes are coming off… and suddenly I start feeling sad, and thinking “man, everyone else always gets the girl...” and I get up and quietly leave the room to the lovebirds…  I walk out of the cabin a large group of us are staying in, go to the fridge, get a beer and step outside into the night air.  I imagine what those two are doing in the bedroom, jealous and sad…

…And suddenly realize– wait a minute, that’s ME in there with her!  So why in the hell am I out here?  I mean, it’s bad enough that my subconscious (not to mention real life) usually finds a way for someone else to get the girl, but this time I actually GET the girl and I can’t even enjoy it first hand!  WTF?!?!

I wake up with a hard on, irritated with myself… but this time I just have to laugh out loud at how absurd my subconscious can be!

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I recently saw this picture meme floating around Facebook:

I’m sure quite a few men out there think this is pretty funny.  To the losers out there, it’s the perfect sour grapes defense:  sure, the “hot broad” may not pay me any attention, but she sucks in bed anyway so I’m not really missing anything.  To the “playas” out there, the ladies-men, they laugh and nod– since I’m god’s gift to women, it doesn’t matter how hot the woman is, she’s not going to keep my interest for long because no woman can measure up to my awesomeness.

Us Beta Men though… we don’t think this is funny at all.  In fact, we think it’s a rather embarrassing example of the male psyche, the need to diminish and belittle women to cover up a man’s own inadequacies.  It’s the sort of thing that women see that confirms for them that men are all dogs.

But not all of us… some of us, we see that picture meme, and we follow it up with this picture meme:

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I’ve written about my first slow dance with a girl, and about my 3 first kisses, so as a follow up to my post about breasts I thought it might be fun to write about my first experiences with actual breasts attached to girls that I knew, as opposed to the breasts attached to the impossible women found in the stash of Playboy magazines I found under the house after my Dad moved out when I was just hitting puberty. (more…)

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So the other day I was listening to the awesome podcast Why You Suck In Bed, Episode 73 “Cali Returns, Part 1.”  They had one of the original hosts, Cali Rose, back on for the night to talk about what she’d been up to, and along with the other original and current host Dr. Stacy, and new host Molly, it was a glorious romp through various sexual topics from the female perspective.

Dr. Stacy from the Why You Suck in Bed podcast

At one point the talk turned to nipple rings.  Dr. Stacy doesn’t have nipple rings and was asking the other two about them; Cali used to have nipple rings, and Molly currently has nipple rings.  Then came this exchange, which piqued my attention:

Dr. Stacy: Do you ladies not agree that the nipples are the most neglected body parts during sex?

Molly: YES!  It’s like you’ve got to force the guy to fucking suck on them.

Doctor Stacy:  It’s like “remember these??”

Molly went on to add another benefit of nipple rings is as a way to get guys to notice and pay attention to the nipples.

I have to admit to being flabbergasted.  What kind of lame guys are these women sleeping with that are ignoring their nipples?!  Women’s breasts are awesome, how can you neglect them when you’ve got a woman offering her body to you?  I mean, sure — there are all sorts of wonderful lady parts to devour that you can get a bit overwhelmed by the yummy choices, but c’mon– the nipples and breasts are cake! (more…)

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Sometimes it boggles my mind to think about modern dating. The last time I was in dating mode was roughly 1995 or so. A lot has really changed since then, not least of which is the technology we have now.  Back then the internet was around but it was clunky and not really used for social networking too much.  Certainly no Facebook or online dating sites.  Cell phones were expensive and generally terrible reception, and there was no texting.  No sexting, no Skyping.  No smartphones that could take flirty pictures and send them to people instantly.  While I’ve certainly kept up with the times and the technology to some degree, I’m a babe in the woods incorporating it into sex and love.

For instance, there’s that commercial where that slimy guy goes on a date and is trying out various lines on the girl, and she keeps busting his lies by checking his Facebook right on the spot on her smartphone —obviously it’s a bit exaggerated, but Facebook (and blogging) offer ways for people to get to know each other quite quickly.  While there are downsides to this—obviously, you lose out some on the mystery and fun of the getting-to-know-you phase – but the upsides strike me as pretty significant.  For one thing, honesty is something that’s reinforced and rewarded.  Sure, you can cook up an online persona that’s different than your own and trick people into thinking you’re something that you’re not, but if you’re actually interested in interacting with people face to face, falsehoods and deceits are going to be discovered.  It’s just way too easy now to bust people in lies.  So while being honest might reduce the number of people who find you interesting on the surface and leave your inbox or chat screen quiet, the people who do find you interesting and connect with you are actually going to find you interesting for real.  For people who don’t have a lot of time to waste flailing around an ocean of Mr. or Ms. Wrongs looking for the Right, that seems quite helpful.

Take Facebook for instance.  My life is so ridiculously busy that I rarely have time to set aside for regular human interaction outside of work and kids.  But thank god for Facebook—it lets me keep in touch with the family and friends who mean a lot to me, and keep me connected and involved, even if it’s just pushing a “like” button or firing off a funny comment.  I imagine whenever I might actually have a woman in my life I’ll be able to carve out some actual face time for her, but the majority of time we’re going to be busy with our separate lives.  I suspect Facebook will help us stay connected and in touch during the times we are apart, and that seems pretty cool.

I’m guessing my smartphone will help do similar things, firing off quick texts just to let each other know they’re on our minds even if we don’t have time for a phone call.  Sending funny – or sexy – pics.  And I’ve read about having virtual dates via Skype which sound intriguing for when you can’t be together face to face.

I know so much about dating in 2012 is going to be really weird from my 1995 frame-of-reference, but I’m pretty excited to experience it!  So have any of you recently gotten back into dating and have had to get acclimated in how technology has impacted love and sex?

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