Does your bedroom need a little fix me up when it comes to transforming it into a “shag den”? Take a quick look around…if you have pictures of your kids, best friends, or parents, think about relocating them to the family room. Do you have candles and matches easily accessible? Do you have sexy music at your finger tips? It doesn’t take much, but the small things will go a long way to boosting your libido.
Yesterday was a crazy day. You know the type where you have to carry a colour-coded schedule just to make it through the day without doing something foolish like, well, forgetting your kid at school??? (Don’t laugh too hard. We did that earlier this week) It was bonkers. Eric and I were flying in different directions, Riley had places to be and needs to be met. We ended the day flopped on the bed together, eating pizza and watching a kid’s movie about enchanted princesses and undying love.
After we put Riley to bed, Eric and I ventured downstairs with ambitious plans to work some more. This is one of the significant pitfalls of working from home. The lines between work and home life get completely blurred and it becomes exceedingly easy to work all the time. There is no such thing as a 9-5 work schedule. That could be a blog post in and of its own!
But on this occasion, we were just too tired to work. Instead, we ended up sitting right next to each other with our computers out. Then we found each other on Facebook. And we starting flirting. Outrageously. Which led to hearty laughter. Then our friends and family started to chime in on the discussion and we giggled even more. At last count, we were up to 32 comments and one “like”. I’m not sure what the record for comments on Facebook is – I am sure that we fell far short of that record – but that was a lot for us!
This interaction led me to think: who is your spouse flirting with on Facebook today? If it’s not you, there is a problem. This is a skill set you might want to pick up.
Realizing that this is a significant issue, I consulted one of my techy guru friends for his hottest tips on ways to use technology to flirt with your spouse. Around here we call him JDog. I think you’ll find him to be as refreshing and enlightening as we do.
J-Dog’s Top Ten List:
J-Dog’s Note: Ok, so Eryn-Faye asked me to come up with ten ways to flirt using technology, and I thought, “Oh, that’s easy!” Turns out that with the steady march of this thing we call ‘convergence’, the lines between various technologies are becoming less and less clear. Some of these suggestions will obviously cross over to others, and some won’t as much. The one commonality should be creativity – as long as you can think of something fun and creative to say to your lover, the technology can help you convey that message. I managed to come up with ten, although the last one is illegal, so don’t do it, ok?
Also, I’ll add the standard disclaimer that I’m a guy, and in spite my attempt to balance this with tips for both sexes, my own biases will show. Whatever.
1. Texting. Most people have mobile phones these days, and many couples each have their own. Texting is usually free, especially between family members (check your rate plan before going crazy with the texts, though!). Send your spouse a short, badly-spelled note informing them of just how hot you think they are. If you’re female, include details about your underwear. While this is quite effective if they are at work, it can be even more fun to do when you’re in the same room as each other. It’s a very good way to build the sexual tension between you when you’re at a party, for example.
A sub-genre of this is known as ‘sexting’, and is generally more risqué (and risky!) and involves sending sexy photos of yourself to your spouse’s cellphone or email. A couple things to keep in mind if you want to try this are that you shouldn’t be stupid and include pictures of your face, because it’s pretty much guaranteed these pictures will not remain entirely private (especially if the recipient is a guy!). Also, be very careful when selecting the recipient from your address book, as a slip of the finger on that tiny keypad means the wrong person gets to see your naughty bits! Again, check your rate plan to make sure it’s not going to bankrupt you to send that picture.
If you don’t have a mobile to send text from, most carriers allow you to send texts from their website, or via email. For example, for Telus Mobility customers, you’d send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check your carrier’s website for details on how to do this.
2. Skype. This would include other kinds of real-time text chat as well, such as MSN, Yahoo! Chat, or Google Chat. Whatever network you both use, put it to good use by turning up the heat now and then. If you are apart from each other during the day, try to get online at the same time now and then, and just talk about how much you love each other, or how much you miss them. Tell him about your underwear. If your network of choice supports video, use it! It’s amazing what a turn on it is just to see your lover’s face while you talk to them. And if you have the opportunity, live video can spice things up in other ways too!
3. Music. It’s long been known that music is a great way to romance a woman. Dudes, fire up iTunes and buy her a gift card or use the Gift This function to send a specific song directly to her inbox. Browse the Latin and Jazz genres, or find a new mix of one of your old favourites. Girls, just send him a song about underwear. There’s lots on there, trust me.
4. Twitter. You can say a lot in 140 characters or less. Tweet about your lover. Let your followers know how much you appreciate them. Just for fun, start a hashtag with their name, and use it lots. And use the private message capabilities to add some spice!
5. Facebook. Eryn-Faye mentioned this one in her post, and I have to say it was a lot of fun watching that conversation go on! Facebook is a great way to publicly flirt with your lover, and letting your friends inject their own humour into the process can result in some hilarious moments. Use your status updates to brag about how great your spouse is – making oblique references to their sexual prowess not only tells them you think they are ‘all that’, but it is a great self esteem booster to have one’s praises sung in public. Doesn’t hurt the libido, either – which is what we’re going for here!
6. Telephone. Sure, it’s old-school, but sometimes, it’s just what the doctor ordered. The ability to hear your lover in real-time, with no delays, jitter, or dropped packets can be very refreshing. Call her up and let them know exactly what you’d like to do with her when you get home. Or, call him up and tell him about your underwear.
7. Voicemail. If your lover works in an office, you can call the switchboard and ask the receptionist to transfer you directly to their voicemail, rather than ringing their extension. This way, you can leave them a surprise message – be sure to preface it with “Darling, please make sure your speakerphone is off”!
8. Email. Even those of us without mobile phones have access to email, and this can be put to great use in the flirting game. Guidelines involve not using corporate email accounts for naughty exchanges (get a gmail account – it’s free, already!), and remembering to be careful about sending incriminating photos. Underwear shots are great, as long as your face isn’t visible.
9. Video. The availability of video recording technology such as camcorders, cell phones, and webcams means that it’s easier than ever to create a visual delight for your lover. This can be a lot of fun, especially because it’s so very ‘naughty’. You know what makes your lover tick, so include those things in your video. As with other forms of electronic flirting, it’s very important that you ensure the privacy of your material: no faces or identifiable markings such as tattoos; don’t use workplace networks to send private files (most log everything, and copies can be made for auditors or investigators upon request); and make sure that your personal computer is secure, both from outside penetration (hur, hur) as well as from family members (especially children, for heaven’s sake!). I would suggest getting PGP encryption keys and using them to lock all your private files.
10. Hack one of those roadside construction signs with the big digital displays. Replace the warning message about the bridge washing out or whatever with something that tells passersby how amazing awesome your lover is. You have fewer characters than Twitter, here – so use shorthand! And wear gloves so you don’t leave fingerprints, ok? I’m just sayin’…
As with all types of flirting, it’s important to remember that the most effective methods will employ your lover’s Love Language. Once you have that figured out, technology and gadgets can really help you push those buttons!
Eryn-Faye’s note: Ladies, for what it’s worth, underwear seems to be a consistent theme!
In the course of my business as a Passion Coach, I have had the privilege of talking to hundreds of women about passion, sensuality, and sexuality. In all of these conversations, the best way I have heard “passion” defined was by a dear friend in California. She said to me,
“Passion is what allows me to breathe, and yet it is passion that takes my breath away.”
In that simple, and yet profound statement, she summed up the two sides of passion. On one hand, it is the essence of life because it makes us feel alive and connected. It underpins our hopes and dreams. It is the “why” to our “what” and “how”. It is the inner compass that we were given so that we wouldn’t lose our way on the journey of life. It points to the unique direction that we are supposed to go. Robin Williams’ character in the movie Dead Poet’s Society described it as “sucking the marrow out of life”. Bon Jovi described it as waking up to “French kiss the morning.” It allows us to breathe.
But passion can also be a lightening bolt that hits us out of the blue. Being blown away by a performance. Bursting into tears while listening to a song on the radio. That “ah-ha” moment where everything is just snaps into focus and is crystal clear. A look across the room that just makes your knees weak. It takes our breath away.
Unfortunately, we often allow passion to drop to the bottom of our priority list. It gets drowned out by the details of life. We sacrifice it on the alter of the convenient, the immediate, the proper, the conventional, the expected.
And so now it is…
…Simpler to make sure that little Susie gets to school on time than to realize that something that we dreamed of in our own childhood has been neglected for years … safer to plop down in front of the tube and see other people’s passions play out on screen than giving life to our own passions … easier to become roommates with our spouse rather than putting in the effort to reignite that spark that drew us together in the first place.
I am an adamant believer that passion doesn’t have to disappear. But, in order to stay alive, it must be nurtured. Or, as the author Erwin McManus puts it, “the better world you keep waiting for needs you to accept your life’s calling and responsibility, and then to create it.”
If it has been so long since you paid heed to the inner compass of your passion, you might need some help rediscovering it. Here are some exercises that you can do:
1. Spend an hour at the park with a journal. Watch the kids on the playground and remember what you were like as a child. What did you dream about? What made you most happy? What did you want to be when you grew up? What captured your imagination? What did you find interesting?
2. Watch your favorite movie. What do you love about it? Why? What draws you to its characters? Why do you like/hate them? How does this movie inspire you to live? Does it reflect anything that you would like to emulate?
3. Listen to music that deeply moves you. Reflect on the meaning of the words to you. What is it that evokes emotion within you? Why do you cry or laugh when you hear it? Not sure which song to choose? Here is a suggestion: “I Hope you Dance” by Lee Ann Womack.
4. Remember your first date with your spouse. What did you enjoy the most? What did you laugh about together? Where did you go? Have you ever gone back to that place? What did you talk about? Why did you decide to go on a second date?
5. Go to a card shop. Browse through the aisles and read cards for various people and occasions. Who are the people dearest to you? What are your fondest memories with those people? Have you slowed down enough to truly let them know how much they mean to you?
6. Park near the airport in a place where the planes are visible. Watch them taking off or landing and think about places you have wanted to visit, things you have wanted to see, and people you have wanted to meet. (Hint: this makes a great date too!)
7. Take an art class. I recently had a friend tell me that she had taken an oil painting class. While she does not consider herself an artist and would not classify what she did during the class as “good” in the retail sense of the word, it was an amazing eye-opener for her as to what art can draw forth. She took the class during a difficult time and her emotions came out on the canvass. It enabled her to express herself at a time when this was very difficult.
8. Think about the messages your parents gave you about passion. Was it important in your household? Were you told that you were being silly, or did they open doors to help you discover your passions? How have you incorporated these messages into the way you think now? What are the messages that you send to your children? Are they the messages that you want to be sending?
9. Buy an article of clothing that makes you feel incredible. How does it feel against your skin? What do you love about it – is it the colour, the shape, the fabric, the way you look in it? How does your lover respond when you wear it?
10. Take a moment to think about your spouse’s passion. What have you done to nurture it? Have you actively campaigned against it? Do you even know what his/her passion is? What type of person would your spouse be if he/she was fully living out his/her passions?
 P. 19, Wide Awake: The Future is Waiting Within You.
My husband and I have been trying to have a second child now for three years. It took us a year and a half to conceive our daughter, and we figured that since we had obviously figured out how to do it, it would be easy the second time. WRONG! Although all our tests are clean, we have not been able to “get one past the goalie” as my husband so eloquently puts it.
Not too long ago, we decided that we would take our trying to the next level and follow our doctor’s advice to go on Clomid, the fertility drug that is prescribed to a lot of women in my situation. As we were chatting with the doctor, I decided to be frank and asked, “So, doc, is this the drug that will turn me into a raving lunatic?” She laughed and diplomatically said, “Well, there can be some side effects with the increase of hormones in your system.” She then proceeded to give us the instructions on how to take the drugs. “Take them from days 3-7 and then have sex on days 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18.” Turning to my husband, she then said, “If you have any business trips to take, schedule them for the rest of her cycle.” And then she gave him a very sympathetic smile. Humm. I suppose this was her way of being more direct to my earlier question. We got a good giggle and left the office to follow her instructions.
Now, for all of you out there who are thinking “I wish I could have sex that often!” let me say that doctor prescribed sex is not all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it is awful. It turns something that is supposed to be fun, pleasurable and even spiritual into a chore that needs to be ticked off your “to-do” list. You have to do it (or else you feel guilty for not doing your best to get pregnant), you can’t use lubricant (it kills the sperm), and there is no cuddling afterwards (your bum is stuck up in the air on a pillow). Add that to the hormonal changes you go through if you are on the fertility drugs, and ups and downs you feel as you hope, hope, hope and then are disappointed, and the whole experience can really make your sex life take a nose-dive.
In my business as a Passion Coach, many women have come to me to discuss the ramifications of infertility on their sex lives. Their stories are remarkably similar. They speak about the fact that their minds are constantly on getting pregnant, which makes it very difficult to be romantic and stay in the mood because their mind keeps wandering to whether or not this will be the time that they conceive. They are constantly thinking about what day it is, and whether their period is going to come this month or not. Some husbands feel so much pressure that they cannot get and maintain an erection (which, of course, frustrates both them and their wives!). And underling all of their experiences – the waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting.
So, how do we maintain good sex lives in the midst of all of this? Here are a few suggestions:
- Add variety to love-making (change rooms or the time of day that you have sex, add candles or music, play strip poker, etc.)
- Make sure to have sex even on days which are not “doctor prescribed” so that your sexual relationship isn’t completely tied to the task of procreation
- Find some friends or a support group to talk to so that you don’t feel isolated during this time
- Try to find the humor in the midst of attempts to conceive (ie: read a funny yet honest blog, allow yourself to laugh)
- Take steps to reduce stress in your life (ie: physical exercise, learn stress reduction techniques such as yoga, choose to try to conceive during times of lower stress in your career, and laugh (see point above)
- Explore other options like adoption, IVF, or acupuncture
- Set a time period of “trying” interspersed with a period of taking a break (and really take the break – toss out the charts, put away the thermometer, stop tracking your cycle)
- As best as possible, make peace with the concept of not having a biological child
But at the end of the day, the thing to remember through this is what originally drove this whole thing – a desire to come together as a couple in the deepest of ways. I say that we need to remember that because in the midst of “baby making sex” it is easy to forget to make love. And that is what this is all about really. The intent of the exercise is to fall deeper in love with your spouse, so don’t let it become a wedge that drives you apart.