The Best Aphrodisiac: Empathy…and a Good Imagination

college-sex-lifeIn America we seem to have a Catch-22 approach to a whole lot of things.  For the most part, we’re all very interested in the subject of sex, BUT…when it comes time to actually say anything, we get embarrassed, make a face and say Ewwww.  Way down deep there’s still a deep, scary, rampant vein of Puritanism.  For the purpose of this article, keep in mind the reality that: Every single person on this planet exists solely because of this…horrible and disgusting little thing that we do…called SEX.

Guess what:  There’s a second double-whammy which comes into play.  Men, as a group, are still not particularly verbal about their emotions, and anything at all that has to do with below-the-belt conversation is out of the question…particularly with the dinosaur-eating, knuckle-dragging generations in their 50s, 60s, 70s….of which I am a member.

Perfect Storm of Non-Communication: Link the two above concepts to the fact that mature women’s hands have been tied until recently about communicating at all on the topic of sex, and you have a scenario for a Perfect Storm of Non-Communication.  Sadly, with the most fun, exciting, misunderstood topic on the planet…all we can do is say….Ewww.  Something is dreadfully wrong and though you, too might go Ewww, we’re going talk about some stuff.  Pour yourself a cup, but keep your hands where I can see them.

Like a gnat attracted to a bug zapper, I feel compelled to address some important topics before I “inherit the earth” so to speak.  Here goes, and… if you still feel uncomfortable with the subject of sex, you could slip on some sunglasses, wear a fedora so no one, (not even you) can prove that you were reading this. Let us reach out together, grab that third rail and fry our brains.

viagra_10829_9_(big)_Erectile Dysfunction vs. Imagination Dysfunction:  When Pfizer Pharmaceutical accidentally discovered Viagra, while searching for a remedy for high blood pressure, some saavy soul in the lab, said, “Hey guys… Woo Hoo!!!  We’re gonna make a trillion bucks on this one!”  They very well may have.  Take a pill and end of problem.  Well…not really.  Read on. Look up the stats on people staying with Viagra.  They aren’t so hot.

The Best Aphrodisiac:  There’s an old commercial, I think it was for cigarettes, that said, “It’s not how long you make it…it’s how you make it long.”  At the time, I didn’t really think about that one but, yup, you can with a little pill artificially give yourself a stiffy, (By the way, I really hate words like erectile, penile, uterine, clitoral.  They seem designed solely to make you feel like a lab rat.)  Yes, you can get a stiffy from a pill…BUT…that doesn’t mean you have engaged your brain…at all.  It just flat-out doesn’t work that way.  By the way, they don’t tell you that because it’s bad for business and God knows, you and I need to help the pharmaceutical companies out financially.)  The thing that they (we) actually need to solve is the root cause.  Truth is, and it’s ALWAYS been this way: THE REAL APHRODISIAC ISN’T BETWEEN YOUR LEGS, BUT BETWEEN YOUR EARS. 

Easy to Say:  If you’ve been on the planet a while, you’ve seen many, many individuals screw-up in a way that makes you scream, “Are you completely insane???”  Take Hugh Grant, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Johnny Carson, Prince Charles…  The list goes on for entire volumes.  They date or are married to smart, beautiful women…and then they screw-around and thus screw-up horribly.  Women, too.  Why?  Why??? WHY?????  It’s because they wanted to regain, if only for a brief moment, that first addictive hook which infatuation gives you.  Or maybe they just got bored.   To be blunt, once the lights are out, we all…pretty much have the same equipment, maybe a little bigger, littler, saggier, bouncier, different colors, but it’s basically the same stuff.  What isn’t the same, however, is MAGIC…or lack thereof.  Viagra does not cure that in any way.

stairsFantasy and Imagination: If you think I’m going to cop-out at this point and adroitly dodge the problem…you are wrong.  For the faint of heart, stop reading right now and go to what congress is not doing, or perhaps, what’s cool in fashion.      For the rest of you, I’m going to attempt, as discreetly as possible, to throw out a tip or two.  When my wife, Pamela, (who’s my editor and may or may not edit-out her real name here)  is snuggled next to me, my mind might drift in its decrepitude to something…a bit more strange.  Oh, in my mind, she’s still Pamela, though perhaps at a different age.  She’s back at Centenary in her micro-mini and high-top boots.  As for me?  Sometimes I’m the new French teacher and Pamela is sitting in the first row, blowing kisses in my direction.    Or…I’m a camp counselor and camper-Pam’s canoe has just capsized.  I leap in to save her.  Her t-shirt is soaked, strangely ripped, and she’s really grateful.  Or…she’s the hot mom of some blonde bimbo I’ve been dating and Pamela gives me the eye.  I have a list a mile long…with details!   She’s wearing Shalimar and she’s shivering from the cold.  She has a slight astigmatism.  Okay, enough.  You get the concept.

 Other propsreal props now.  Short tight skirts. kilts, standing several steps up a ladder, getting out of a car, they ALWAYS work.  Personally, bikini-clad or even naked photos don’t do it.  I really prefer a sheer black covering over everything.  The point is:  We men are VISUAL creatures. We need to SEE something, and better yet, something we shouldn’t be seeing.  Childish?  Perhaps, but it’s how we men are wired.  We’re all little kids.  We like to see something we really aren’t supposed to be seeing.  I truly love holding the car door for Pamela…for what are obvious and less than altruistic reasons.

Let’s flip now and give some equal time to women.  As we mature, women need more of at least three things:  (1) More TIME to get in the mood, (2) More KY, or olive oil or…saliva. (3) Most of all…they need to know that you are still crazy in love with them.  Take any of one of those three out of the equation and it’s like trying to start a car without gasoline or a battery.

jeansClothes and cleanliness make the man…Sexier.   I learned that Pamela doesn’t like certain kinds of clothes…I have no idea why.  For instance, she hates baggy pants, backwards feed hats, and chinos.  But she loves tight jeans and an expensive black t-shirt. And a good tux can’t be beat.  Guess what’s in my closet.

 Cleanliness:  When Napolean was returning from Waterloo, he sent a message home to Josephine.  It said, “Returning home in three days.  Don’t wash.”  Sounds good, but…I wouldn’t take that one to heart.  Women like a rugged guy in tight jeans, zipper half-way down, but he’d damn well better have clean (and short) fingernails and good breath.  Sweaty is okay, however, as is unshaven, though there’s an asterisk with being clean-shaven or not.  You figure it out.

menMen’s cologne:  Here’s a really valuable tip for men!!!  It’s cheap, and it’s easy.  When picking out a cologne, go into a prestigious,well-stocked store, use those throw-away strips of paper to make your tests, and sample at least seven or eight good ones.  Then…thank the sales lady profusely and go home.  Take a shower.  Use a good normal clean-smelling soap…it’s that simple.  They actually did a study.  A real turn-off?  Too much cologne.  What do women like better than cologne?  The smell of CLEAN (and sometimes woodsmoke.)

White Sound…or a Fan:  Why not music, Henry?  Because….music can backfire.  First off, if you’re using a radio and it goes from Johnny Mathis to the Dow…and  it just went down 20 points…you may, too.  And even a romantic song can inadvertently bring on unwanted memories.

Talking vs. Not Talking:  Candidly?  I don’t think anyone on the planet really wants verbal guidance in the sack…at least not in words, and that’s the key.  Saying, “No…do it faster, or slower or harder or softer,” is likely to backfire.  Mmmms and Ahhhs, panting, squealing, moaning…all good stuff…GREAT stuff, but…no directions please, from either partner.  Afterwards, clapping is sometimes appropriate.  We keep a little bottle of Bailey’s Irish Creme next to the bed for toasting. Vandermint is good, too…and minty!

Pavlovian Lovers: A white sound machine, however, or an AC, or just an old fan masks a multitude of pitfalls.  We have an little round unit the size of a cantaloupe that loops about fifty sounds.  Spring Peepers is for when I write.  Other sounds for other purposes.  We are…Pavlovian Lovers.  Seriously, just the clearing of the throat could be misconstrued.  A grunt, burp…or worse isn’t sexy at all.  Your kid coming in the front door, a call being made downstairs.  The goal is to get rid of every and any acoustic distraction.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it has to be plugged-in.

Duh… I’ve addressed this third rail topic in previous articles, but Duh…  Oral sex is just great on EVERY conceivable level.  You don’t need a blue pill, don’t really need the KY, although olive oil is good for everyone, and if you take the time to become thoughtful, patient and creative, you’ll never have to worry too much about the pool boy or the UPS driver.  Honey is good, too.  Whipped cream…gets me confused.  I get lost and distracted.  The point is to let your freak-flag fly.  To steal from The Animals, It’s your life and you can do what you want.  You’re married for godsakes, or at least adults.

                                                   THE BIG GUNS

Empathy:  This is by far the biggest gun of all.  I have a whole blog dedicated to this one concept and have about seventeen chapters of a manuscript in the drawer next to my right knee.  It’s titled: E-Factor.  But I digress.   I believe I’m pretty safe in saying, if both you and your spouse have a lot of empathy, you’re going to make it through almost anything.  Without empathy, big long-term problems.  In the sack, it’s particularly important.   If you’ve been on the planet a while (are over 40) you know that you can have all of the above that I’ve mentioned just right and you’re still at square one.

If, however, you love your spouse enough to actively empathize, you are already 90% of the way there.  Example:  Men tend to be goal-oriented.  Honey, our goal today is the big “O.” Do or die, We WILL make it!  Women, however, are set up…pretty much exactly the opposite.  Keep that in mind.  Or…  Your spouse tells you, “Sorry, my brain’s too clogged.  There’s just no way…”  Sometimes they’re telling you the truth.  But sometimes, they don’t even know what they want…need.  The two of you need to be on the same wavelength to know the difference.  It would be impossible to give an adequate listing of all the ways to be empathetic in bed.  And what works one day, possibly won’t work the next.

marijuana-bud-and-joint-640x480-300x225Pot.  The country is finally beginning to realize that pot is, for the most part, one helluva lot less dangerous than scotch, vodka, gin, beer, etc. etc. etc.  I have never ever, ever, encountered a dangerous, nasty guy who’d just toked-up.  Plenty of nasty drunks out there.  But here’s the thing:  Think that martini is gonna get you in the mood?  Well, it might do that, but it’s gonna work against you in the sack.  That’s a medical fact.  Pot, however…(you just need a tiny hit…half a puff) and you get a reasonable return to that wonderful concept of infatuation.  It’s a cliche to say it, but a nice toke and to quote the song, “It Feels Like the First Time.”  Not only that, it feels like time stands still.  That big “O” lasts forever and this is a very, very good thing.  Plus, no hangover.  Just try to stay out of the kitchen afterwards.  Even Cheerios look pretty tasty.

vibratorVibrators:   Did you know that nearly 70% of America has one or more vibrators in the house?  Imagine that.  Also, did you know that vibrators are THE most common appliance in America?

They just now came out with a really new gadget.  Pam and I have been  turning the ad upside-down and have had a discussion to try to discover what it actually does.  Bottom line is: it’s supposed to take care of both of you at the same time…costs about $35 or so depending on the bells and whistles (figurative bells and whistles).  Though we still aren’t sure what it does…we’re gonna go for a test drive very soon.

Time of the Day:  When you’re 22, any time of the day is the time of the day.  As you mature, that begins to change.  You want everything going for you.  And what’s a good time for you, might not be the best time for your mate.  You gotta talk.  Speak candidly. Tell the truth.  It could be that neither one of you prefers the time of the day you’re at.  There was a song that came out a long while back.  It was entitled, Afternoon Delight and the lyrics bouncy, cheerful, and right on the money.  Take a shower, build a fire, half-glass of wine…or one puff, get those tight jeans on and hand your mate her Black Stewart kilt, the short one.  And…’re her French instructor and she’s just about to flunk French 101.  What can be done???

pam flattened finalWhat’s it all About...Alfie….Henry?  This is what it’s all about: Having a mate, a grand amour for over 40 years, and she’s still your trophy wife…you’re still chatting like two magpies, still playing grab-ass.  Took this shot 20 minutes ago.  As usual, Pamela hates every picture I’ve ever taken, but….c’mon.


P.S.  “The Only Normal People are the Ones You Don’t Know Very Well.”    Joe Ancis


8 Responses to "The Best Aphrodisiac: Empathy…and a Good Imagination"

  1. Henry Harvey says:

    Thanks for the after shave tip. My kids sometimes make a face when I splash it on in the morning. Used to smoke a pipe. That works, too.

    Ted B.

  2. Enjoyed this one. Boy what a candid face to face discussion on this topic would be like…
    The little blue pills…ah, another discussion.
    The guy with the jeans, well were those your abs last month? Good workout routine I want to emulate.

    All in all a great sense of humor punctuated with your own personal best: 40+ years with a bride for life. Wow.
    Thanks for the words and more.

    Richard B.

  3. Henry Harvey says:

    For Rich B. my old roomie from F&M, I NEVER had abs like that, not even in OTS…nor in my wildest dreams.
    And you’re right, my friend, about my personal best…with Pamela, and I do believe you and Carol have been married slightly longer…but we’re talkin’ months. Congrats to you as well. H

  4. What’s the difference between love and infatuation? At the moment, I’m not sure.
    Terry G.

  5. Carly Madison says:

    Keeping romance fresh is the ultimate skill in long term relationship. You have to keep reinventing yourself to keep things interesting, but not so radically that it scares off your mate. It is a very fine line indeed and miscommunication can occur.

    Communication, though essential, can also be a land mine if not handled delicately. Too much info can be a giant buzz kill. I totally agree with using empathy and taking your time to set the mood. And…there is the super important factor of playfulness that adults seem to either dismiss due to daily pressures or embarrassment.
    Try to enjoy each other and stock-up on olive oil.

    Carly M.

  6. Henry Harvey says:

    For Terry G… I believe a dead give-away for infatuation is urgency and insecurity and perhaps a slight fever. It’s sorta like you’ve got the flu, but you’re horny/happy/miserable all at once.
    Not to sound corny, but real love is drastically different. You’re in it for the long haul. A good yardstick? The prospect of having to give a lung or a kidney, or take a bullet wouldn’t make you bat an eye. It’s a long slow, confident heat, not uncertain, but warm and empathetic. You’re down deep happy when you’re really in love.

  7. Chris Mercer says:

    Ha Ha,Ha, Amen to that!

    C. Mercer

  8. Ha Ha, Henry,
    You’re a riot… and thank you. Now I know. Nancy

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