Posts Tagged ‘sex’

Dating For Mature Audiences

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Sane Sex for Singles

Dating 2 Everyone expects younger people to date, but what about Baby Boomers and beyond? With 39% of the population over age 45 single, there are some 49 million single, older adults in America. No wonder senior dating sites such as OurTime.com, DatingAARP.com, BabyBoomerDates.com, and Over40andSingle.com are so prevalent. As you explore these services, consider the following advice I give my more mature clients when they are ready to begin dating:

  • Don’t be pressured or even influenced by what you see in the media about dating today.  Everyone is not having casual sex, and you should not feel compelled to be intimate with anyone until you feel ready.
  • When you are ready, insist that you have safe sex.  (A 2010 study conducted by Indiana University found that about 90% of people over age 45 said they had not used a condom during their past ten experiences (http://www.nationalsexstudy.indiana.edu/).)
  • Please do not lie or misrepresent yourself.  If you’re using an online service, post a clear and recent photograph of yourself.  While you don’t have to announce your age, please don’t lie about it either.  If the relationship progresses the way you hope it will, this will only come back to haunt you.
  • Avoid compromising out of desperation, just to go on a date. A bad date is definitely worse than no date.  Trust your inner guidance.
  • Be yourself, at the age you are now.  Being active, light-hearted, and ready to have fun are good.  Don’t try to compete with a 20- or 30-something because they will always win.
  • Make sure you have disposed of your baggage before you begin dating.  Retain only the lessons, and let being older and wiser this time build your confidence.
  • Finally, be good to yourself.  If you’re not having fun and it can’t be fixed, politely remove yourself from the situation.  You’ve earned your own self-respect.

Navigating the Singles Dance

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Sane Sex for Singles

dance

 

If you’re single, I hope you’re at least thinking about going to the semi-annual Calculated Couples Singles Fair and Ball I wrote about last week.  Don’t let the thought of facing the event alone keep you away.  Here are some tips to get you started:

  • You may want to go to with a friend or two; just don’t hang around with the person you came with. 

  • Read Susan RoAne’s How to Work a Room, Revised Edition: Your Essential Guide to Savvy Socializing (link) to become more comfortable mingling in groups where you don’t know anyone.

  • If you’re more experienced, you’ll find that going alone can be quite fun.  You have to get out there and talk to people, but you can leave when you want (or stay as long as you want).

  • Avoid sitting at a large table with five or more people; make it easy for people to find you and approach you. 

  • Sit with one or two people of the same gender and keep the conversation on small talk – and be positive. 

  • Be interested in what’s happening around you, and make it possible for people to break into your conversation. 

  • Look for someone alone who appearso need someone to talk to; this is your opportunity to approach him or her.

  • Finally, one topic you’re sure to have in common with the others at the dance is being single.  Using this as a conversation starter is a great way to learn about other singles events and groups you could explore.

 

Dance Outside Your Box

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Sane Sex for Singles

Don't miss the 2014 Singles Fair!

Don’t miss the 2014 Singles Fair!

It’s less than a month away – the semi-annual Singles Fair and Ball at the Doubletree Resort in Scottsdale.  On Saturday, September 6, from 6 – 8 p.m. singles will be introduced to a variety of vendors offering services and products specifically for singles.  So often clients complain that society is geared to couples, and I understand this perspective.  I remember how it felt when I was single and found so many activities suited to couples.  That’s why I was always grateful for Calculated Couples and its founder, Dave, who is holding this special event.

After the fair, from 8 – 10 p.m, the lights go down and the dance begins.  While Calculated Couples dances are held almost every Saturday evening around the valley, these fairs and balls draw the largest, most diverse crowds.  I know, because Roger and I present my book at every fair and then stay for the ball.  Visit Dave’s website and check out the entire schedule dances.  You might just meet your special someone there, the way Roger and I did on January 13, 2007.

Should You Schedule Sex?

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Sane Sex for Singles

CalendarI was recently asked if scheduling sex is good or bad for a relationship. Can you guess my answer?  I think it’s a great idea, and I have three reasons. 

First, something that gets scheduled tends to happen.  Sex is worth making it a priority in your life so why not reserve time for it.  When you do, you’re less likely to overlook it or put off due to busyness. 

Second, we’re much more likely to have safe sex when it’s scheduled because we can be prepared.  Spontaneity is not as much fun as the media would have us believe, and there’s nothing enjoyable about an STD! 

Finally, and most importantly, we have the anticipation factor.  Sex therapists tell us that it’s the thought of having sex that sex addicts are actually addicted to, not the act itself. The anticipation of the experience is very powerful and fun, so we get a lot more out the experience when we can anticipate it.

Why not get with your beloved now, and bring your calendar with you!

Be Your Best

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Sane Sex for Singles

Singles frequently lament that they lack dates because they are overweight or aren’t attractive enough.  I can understand their reaching these conclusions based on the emphasis placed on appearance by the media.  Add to that how easy it is to edit a photo today, and the images of “perfection” we’re bombarded with can be overwhelming.  But take a good look around.  How many supermodels do you see?  Roger and I go to a well-attended singles dance every six months, and what we see there are nice looking men and women, not the images of perfection folks hold ourselves to.

Rollerblading 256x330Studies show that while people notice and are attracted to good looking people, they also find them intimidating. They fear being unable to measure up in the long run and worry that they will be left for someone better looking. People are much more likely to approach and attempt to forge a relationship with an average, pleasant looking individual than a movie star type.

I encourage my clients to focus on being their best in health, appearance, intellect, and attitude.  Here are some of my tips for staying healthy and positive, someone others will want to be around.

  • Stop dwelling on and talking about your ailments and illnesses, and don’t hang around people who make illness a hobby.  Sadly, I saw my wonderful parents obsess over their diagnoses, overlooking the many blessings they still retained.  I vowed to learn from this, and I encourage you to do the same. Focus on and give thanks every day for what you have that’s healthy.  If you left foot hurts, praise the right one!
  • Be as active as possible most days of the week, and strive to do more than just taking a walk, if you can.  Find something fun, such as Zumba or Jazzercise, and make friends in the class.  This will meet your physical need for activity and keep you engaged socially.  Many times it’s seeing their friends in class that keeps people coming.
  • Stop watching the news on television.  If you get the newspaper, just scan the headlines of the news sections. I’ve done this for years, and I promise you that you’ll hear the major news just being out in the world.  That’s all you need to know.
  • Regarding television and the movies and their impact on your frame of mind, I’ll repeat my rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t invite it into your home or life, don’t watch it.  This rule is simple to apply.  For example, do you want yellow crime scene tape around your house?  No, of course not, so don’t watch anything with CSI in the title.  Yes, this rule will eliminate 50% of television and most R rated movies, but your peace of mind will be greatly enhanced.  It will also give you time for the next tip.
  • Read every day.  To enhance learning, spend five to ten minutes writing about what you read, especially if it relates to a behavior change you’d like to make.  In addition to keeping your mind sharp, this practice will also give you something interesting to talk about since you’re no longer discussing your latest ache and pain.
  • Check out your community college for a surprising array of class subjects at an affordable price.  You never know who you’ll meet there, and this will enhance your mental acuity and conversation skills.
  • Practice moderation in eating and drinking.  It’s generally not healthy (and for most people not necessary) to eliminate entire food groups or adopt a boring diet.  Maintaining moderation in all things will enable you to stay well and enjoy going out to most restaurants, making you a more enjoyable date.
  • Trust reliable websites for your health information online, such as WebMD and mayoclinic.org.  Get your routine exams and screenings to be healthy and catch any issues early. 

Finally, choose clothes that you feel good in and accessorize them with a confident smile.  That way you will look and be your very best, and that will be more than enough to face the world.

How Much Work Should a Relationship Take?

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Sane Sex for Singles

It’s often said that marriage takes work.  If that’s the case, the same can be said about a relationship.  But what is meant by “work” and how much work should it take?  These are important questions to consider because I’ve seen times when singles think that it’s right and good that they have to work really hard (too hard) at a relationship.

RelationshipSynonyms for work include effort, exertion, labor, toil, grind, and drudgery.  The only terms I’d recommend to have a successful relationship are the first two. Beyond these, I would say the words in the list are increasingly inappropriate.  Hopefully no one would expect to have a relationship be a grind or drudgery, but having given birth, I would say even “labor” is more work than I’d expect on a typical day.

Certainly it requires effort to take the risks and demonstrate the commitment a relationship needs.  There may be sacrifice and putting the needs or desires of our beloved ahead of own at times, which we could call exertion.  When the effort gets so great that it becomes exhausting or a constant struggle, or when we continually acquiesce, we need to reexamine things.  Caring for and communicating with our partner should be joyful and energy-creating and generally not feel like work, but rather an act of love.  Misunderstandings happen, especially early on, but they will be atypical if the relationship is meant to be, not something we’re constantly trying to prevent.

A strong, healthy relationship is worth the effort.  Periodically step back and assess if that describes your relationship: strong, healthy, and worth the effort you put in.  If it is, then you’re doing the right kind and right amount of work.

Buddha’s Approach to Sane Sex

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Sane Sex for Singles

I was delighted to learn recently that the sane sex approach to dating is in alignment with the third of Buddhism’s Five Mindfulness Trainings dating back to the 5th century B.C.E.  As you may recall, sane sex is always safe and results from combining attraction with emotional intimacy.  It happens in the context of an exclusive, loving relationship. 

The Third Training states:  Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I vow to cultivate responsibility and learn ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society. I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without love and a long-term commitment.  To preserve the happiness of myself and others, I am determined to respect my commitments and the commitments of others.

People often suggest that things have changed today. Love and sex have not changed.  The way we meet, connect, and communicate will change over time, but the sane sex approach, while assigned different labels, stands as a sweet, effective, and honorable way to conduct our most intimate relationships.

Turn Your Thinking Inside Out When Dating

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Sane Sex for Singles

When I was a leader for Weight Watchers, my favorite meeting topic was “What would you do if you wanted to gain weight?” The members listed many items and then we discussed how often they actually did those things – the exact opposite of what they knew they should be doing.  It was a real eye-opener.  Let’s try that here: what would you do if you didn’t want to meet anyone?

  • Stay at home and complain that you never meet anyone.
  • Go to a singles event, but stay hidden in the back.
  • Refuse to consider the suggestions of friends and family, saying you’ve already tried those things.
  • Go to a dance and either turn down every offer to dance or not ask anyone to dance.
  • Resist trying anything new to you, such as speed dating, taking a non-credit class, or volunteering.
  • Keep seeing the same person who you’ve told friends repeatedly is not the one for you.

What would you add to this list?  Try doing the opposite and see what happens.

Is a “Friends with Benefits” Relationship for You?

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Sane Sex for Singles

CandleI’ve written before about a “friends with benefits” arrangement where the benefits are sex and the partners are friends. Romantic love is not part of the arrangement, and the parties may or may not be exclusive. A friends with benefits relationship is more than a one-night stand, as it typically involves people who began as friends and decided to add a sexual component to the relationship. This gives the partners the opportunity to have sex with someone each is comfortable with and at least likes.

I was asked recently what I think about this approach.  It’s not a path I would choose – but I’m not you.  I encourage you to be mindful if you make such an agreement and to be clear with your partner what your intention is.  You may want to consider these questions:

  • How likely is it that you’ll fall in love with your partner?  If you think it’s possible, please don’t assume that your feelings will be reciprocated.
  • Should you meet your beloved, will you be disappointed and feel that you have nothing special to share only with them?
  • Will you two be exclusive?  Is it by chance or by choice?
  • If you’re not to be exclusive, how would feel if you saw your partner with someone else tomorrow?

That last question is the one that does it for me.  I don’t care what we agreed to.  Being physically intimate with someone today and running into him on a date tomorrow would be not just awkward, but outright painful.  Whatever you decide, be sure to be safe and take care of your heart.

Add Depth to Your Dating with MeetMindful.com

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Sane Sex for Singles

IntimacyI’m excited to report that I’m now a featured writer for MeetMindful.com, a community-based online dating site that serves the mindful lifestyle and attracts people who all share an essential value of dedication to self-awareness and self-improvement.  Through this site, you’ll not only will you find like-minded matches but also have access to self-development courses and other content from nationally recognized dating and relationship experts.  I love being part of the meetmindful.com community because when we become the best version of ourselves, we naturally experience more success in relationships.  See my article on Fostering Emotional Intimacy.