by Steven | May 19, 2005 | Articles
I’m not going to tell you I’m a master at relationships and that you must follow my advice to be successful. In fact, it’s really hard for anyone to say that because each of us is different and we approach things in our own way. What I can do is share my story, explain what happened, and tell you what I learned. I can also point you in a direction to seek additional information should you so desire.
Growing up I came from a household that ended up broken by the time I turned eight years old. It definitely wasn’t like the glory days of Leave It to Beaver. When you grow up in a family where communication doesn’t exist, it’s almost a given that your entire life will be a challenge in that area. I will say that I continue to struggle, but with personal effort, and understanding from my husband, I’ve been getting much better at it over the years.
Each relationship I’ve had has presented a new learning experience when it comes to communication or lack thereof. Thinking back I can’t really give many quality examples that would benefit anyone reading this article, except for my last experience of five years. The two of us never had a conversation in the beginning about our goals in life or our expectations of the relationship. We also sucked when it came to communicating about problems in the relationship. Now that I look back I realize that I literally spun in circles for five years making no progress in life.
One thing that surfaced early in the relationship was that he was uncomfortable living with me because he had never lived by himself before. I also frequently got the “I’m not sure I’m ready to settle down yet” conversation during the first year of the relationship. With that said it established a crumbling foundation from the beginning. When you’re with someone and they constantly insert doubt in to the relationship, it immediately puts you in caution mode. I’m sure you’re wondering why I stayed in the relationship for five years if it was so rocky. My answer to you is that I don’t know, unless I thought it would get better or improve with time. The problem is that it never did and I always waited for the other shoe to drop.
This article is about communication and why it’s important in order to start and maintain a successful relationship. In my present marriage we started off stating what our expectations were. I knew my husband wanted to eventually have children, and I’m glad it’s something we talked about at the beginning instead of it popping up several years later as a surprise. One of the other things we openly discussed was boundaries within the relationship. The main agreement we made with each other is to avoid the gay scene (bars/clubs) unless we go together. We both trust each other but we don’t trust other people. I think many will agree that it seems like people have a goal of interfering in a relationship when a couple is happy. It’s almost like they have the mentality of Well I’m Single So Everyone Should Be!
We both agreed that we wanted our relationship to be monogamous, so that was never a deep topic of conversation, but it may be something that you will want to openly discuss with your partner. You may also want to determine if you’re going to be in a serious or non-serious relationship. Another important part of our relationship is listening and responding instead of yelling at each other. Yes we’ve had arguments but we don’t have them frequently. We always try very hard to talk to each other, listen to each other, and be fair to each other. This is very hard to do and it’s something I’m still improving on.
There are eight things you can do according to John R. Ballew, M.S., a licensed professional counselor in Atlanta, to improve communication. He specializes in issues related to coming out, sexuality, relationships and spirituality.
1. Make certain that each of you is present for the conversation.
2. Don’t assume you know what the other person is going to say, or that you know what he means.
3. Make sure the questions you ask are real questions.
4. Take responsibility for your feelings.
5. It helps to be considerate of your partner’s feelings.
6. Listen as much as you speak.
7. In disagreements, getting the desired result is more important than proving that your point is the right one.
8. If at all possible, don’t let the conversation end without the issues at hand being clearly resolved.
I found writing this article to be an educational experience for myself. I looked over these eight items and asked myself if I adhere to all of them, and the answer is no! I need to work on being considerate of my partner’s feelings more often. I also need to work on making sure I don’t always feel like I need to be right. I would say that 90% of the time we resolve any conflicts before ending the conversation, but there are times when I will wait to discuss it further due to still learning how to effectively collect and express my thoughts. I feel like I found things I need to work on this week and I hope you did as well!
If you need more information about effective relationship communication, here are the resources I used in writing this article.
Mind, Body, Soul – John R. Ballew, M.S.
Gay Relationships: Improving Communication – John R. Ballew, M.S.
Photo by Moose Photos
Last Updated: 12/20/2022
by Steven | May 12, 2005 | Articles
This week I started thinking about male health and aging because let’s face it, there are a lot of things that start to vary as we get older. I’ve noticed this to be true when I compare myself at age 21 to my current age of 32. As men we go through our teens being packages of uncontrollable hormones to our twenties when things start slowing down a bit.
All men think about their bodies and their performance at all stages of life. We think about everything from the way our bodies look in the mirror to how things seem to be changing in our sexual lives. As gay men we pay attention to even more details, or so it seems in my experience. In gay culture there is a lot of focus on appearance and sexual performance, so when these things start to change, a lot of gay men tend to panic a little.
Youth or appearing youthful seems to be the main concern to many because for some reason gay men fear becoming what some call a troll. Some worry about the fine lines appearing on their face and others worry about their lack of explosive ejaculation during sex. As I’ve entered into my 30’s, I’m starting to realize that a lot of these things don’t really matter much to me, because there’s more to me than appearance and sex. I have to realistic though because my feelings would probably be different if I weren’t married and still had to deal with the gay singles scene.
What are some of the normal changes as we leave our teens and progress to our thirties and beyond?
1. Erections take longer to occur
2. Fewer sperm are produced
3. Erections are less hard
4. Sexual desire may decrease
5. The force of ejaculation decreases (up to 50%)
These issues typically start to arise due to a drop in testosterone as we begin to age, as well as changes in the prostate. Now that we know this, how does it make you feel about getting older? In all reality it shouldn’t make you feel anything negative.
What can we do to make sure these factors limit their impact on our life as we continue to age?
It’s important that everyone regardless of age gets into some kind of physical fitness routine. By exercising and keeping fit you will reduce the likelihood of many minor problems becoming major problems. As we age we typically start gaining weight and sit around a lot. If you eat poorly and never exercise you may end up taking medications to control some conditions, and these medications can possibly impact your body, including your sexual performance.
If you’re in your 20’s and 30’s the risk is relatively low that your prostate will cause problems unless you have a family history of some kind. It’s still recommended that you go ahead and start having exams by your doctor every so often just to be safe. Through my 20’s I never bothered having a full physical because like many of you, I felt invincible. Once I got into my 30’s I finally decided that it is a good idea to take better care of myself, and that included a physical exam. Once you get into your 40’s and 50’s it’s recommended by most physicians that you get yearly exams. If you have a family history of problems they may recommend bi-annual exams.
For all of you out there who are putting off getting a physical, it’s really not that big of a deal. I never had one because of all the stupid stories I heard and silly stuff I saw on television. When I decided to go ahead and do it, there was really not a huge difference between a normal doctor visit. They will check your height, weight and blood pressure and then take you into a private room. You’ll be asked to undress to your underwear and put on a paper robe. The doctor will eventually come in and check your breathing, ears, reflexes, and eventually check your heart with an EKG. They usually save the best for last, and that is the testicular exam for hernias and the dreaded prostate exam. If you have a good doctor he will explain everything to you and make you feel completely comfortable. The prostate exam should be quick and relatively painless. Your doctor may also have blood work done as well to make sure all your levels check out good.
The satisfaction of knowing you’re healthy far outweighs the fears you should have of actually going for an exam. I encourage you all to find a doctor, schedule a full physical exam, eat healthy, exercise, and take care of yourselves. You’ll be happy you did!
Photo by RF._.studio
by Steven | May 11, 2005 | Articles
When it comes to the gay community it’s well known that men of all ages strive to take care of themselves as best as possible. I mean let’s face it, women and straight men turn to gays for advice on clothing and grooming when they are at a complete loss. Okay, to be fair, there are definitely a few of our family out there that have no business or knowledge in this area and would probably be best avoided if you need assistance making yourself more desirable.
In our society today it is totally acceptable for men, both gay and straight, to keep their bodies groomed. This includes trimming their chests and pubic region of excessive hair that can impede or be a nuisance during intimate encounters. However, there is a topic of discussion that is often avoided, skirted around or insinuated that needs to be addressed more directly. It’s alright that your eyebrow just raised slightly – let me explain.
If you watch television at all you will see numerous commercials that are sexual in nature showing hot guys all sweaty but still smelling great because they use something like Axe products.
If you listen to XM Sirius OutQ Radio, you will hear a commercial about Fresh Balls as well. Of the two, Fresh Balls makes it pretty clear what the purpose of the product is and why they’re advertising it.
Alright boys, it’s really simple, even if you shower once or twice daily, your groin is going to get musty at some point because it’s hot down there. But why don’t we give as much attention to that region as we do our armpits? Perhaps it’s because more people have contact with our exposed upper body and there’s less barrier to prevent noses from picking up on a bad scent. What about that moment when your partner or in some cases a hookup decides to explore your manly region and parts? Do you really want to worry about not being completely fresh down there? Maybe you’ve never really gave it much thought since most people are hesitant to say anything to you about it.
The goal is to make you aware that you need to keep your junk and the area around it clean at all times. There are many ways to do this and I’ll give you a list of products and ideas for keeping genitals ready to devour!
First, consider using a body wash that has odor control such as products from Lume or Fresh Body. This product is for men and works great at keeping all manly scents under control for several hours. Second, keep your pubic hair trimmed short in all areas of your groin because hair holds odor. If there’s less hair that means less odor, plus it looks nicer too! Third, consider using a product like Fresh Balls if you want more odor control. After your shower, dry off, put some in your palm and apply it around your groin and between your legs. It’s an all day product that is very effective at controlling musk and odor. Fourth, use Axe body spray or something similar to control any unwelcome scents. Axe body spray is effective, but you should wait a few minutes after your shower to apply it or you will find yourself experiencing unwelcome heat in your groin area. This is the curse of aerosol products being sprayed on or around the genitals. Last but not least, use stick deodorant on your groin. I say stick because the gel can cause some to develop a rash on their sensitive boy parts. After a shower, rub your stick deodorant around the penis, next to both sides of the testicles, and apply between your legs around your taint. Use your hand to rub it all in and you’re set for hours of odor control and dryness in your undies. The only downfall to using deodorant in your pubic region is it can cause an unpleasant taste for the person going down on you, especially if they do so too soon after you apply it.
There it is all spelled out for you men out there, gay or straight! Be aware and keep your twig and berries clean and it’ll keep your boyfriend or partner coming back for more, or staying down there even longer!
For more information, visit the websites below!
Lume Body Care
SiriusXM Progress Channel 127
Axe Body Spray
Photo by Kindel Media
Last Updated: 12/20/2022
by Steven | May 4, 2005 | Articles
You’re a culinary expert getting ready to have the biggest night of your life at your restaurant and your husband calls to tell you he’s not showing up. Throughout your relationship there’s baggage that both of you carry and this time it’s surfacing at the same time for you both. You want to be in the spotlight tonight and you want to share it with your partner. Your partner is battling problems in his own life and tells you a meeting is running later than expected. Little do you know his meeting is over and he’s sitting at a bar by himself, drinking, and wallowing in self pity. You feel unimportant and not loved. You feel hurt and crushed that your husband is not sharing the most important moment of your life with you. You have a lapse in judgment after having a server at the party flirt with you, and ultimately you end up cheating on your partner that night.
If you watch Brothers and Sisters on ABC each week this story will sound familiar to you. It’s been the show topic the last couple of weeks as partners Kevin and Scotty go through the battles of infidelity in their relationship. The event happened one time while they were going through a rough period in their relationship. After finding out about it Kevin and Scotty break up and the family goes into full swing trying to get them back together, because they’re supposed to have the perfect marriage.
My husband and I have had brief conversations about cheating throughout our relationship as well. Usually these chats consist of, “if you ever do something like that, I’m gone.” I can’t say I can blame him for feeling that way though because it’s the ultimate violation of trust to cheat on the person you’ve committed yourself to. At the same time I don’t worry about it because I’d never do that to my husband in a million years. I respect and love him far too much to ever put him through such pain and hurt.
After watching Brothers and Sisters the last couple of weeks it made wonder what everyone else thinks about the subject. If you were faced with the horror of infidelity, would you be able to forgive your partner for the mistake? If so, would it be a one-time exception or would you give him or her multiple chances? The show really gave its viewers something to think about. Kevin and Scotty have been together for a long time and Scotty made a bad decision. Even though Kevin is crushed and heart-broken he still loves Scotty and wants to continue to grow with him. At first he’s absolutely unwilling to forgive Scotty for his actions, but in the end it appears that Kevin has re-evaluated the situation and may be taking him back to make things work. Obviously it’s not as simple as forgiving and forgetting, but I think the point that is being made here is not to be so quick to abandon your relationship because one person makes a mistake.
With that said, I asked myself what I would do if I were put in the same situation. After giving it some thought I’d like to believe that I would be able to forgive my husband if something like this were to happen. At the same time I really can’t fathom my husband ever doing something like this to me. Honestly, it’s really hard to say how I’d react to a situation like this until the problem presented itself.
After doing some research online, I found some interesting information about infidelity that I thought I’d share. Men are typically more likely to cheat, so it’s fair to assume that this issue could be a problem in male relationships. It is believed that cheating is usually not a rational choice but one that is made when an individual is experiencing emotional distress of some kind. That information alone leads me to believe that infidelity is avoidable if you vow to keep your relationship healthy.
A healthy relationship is a lot of hard work and involves open communication and compromise between the partners. Each person has to be willing to give and understand what the other person needs. If you’re able to be open and honest with your partner, there is no reason why you can’t have a lasting relationship. When communication breaks down, lack of respect surfaces, and each person fails to genuinely care about what the other needs, and that’s when a relationship will fall apart. Since there’s already a complete lack of communication, one partner won’t say anything but instead will resort to infidelity. It’s all a chain reaction of events which is completely avoidable if both agree to openly work on having a healthy relationship.
If you desire more information about infidelity, including statistics, please visit the Truth About Deception website!
Photo by Karolina Grabowska