Figuring out why I'm so uncomfortable with my partner's self pleasure

My partner masturbates without my knowing and for some reason it really bothers me. My reaction surprised me and I had to dig into it to understand why. We have had a lot of conversations about how I struggle with the fact that he masturbates. Thankfully he is typically able to be open-minded and not take it personally. He knows that it's my issue, and he knows that I know it's my issue and that I'm not trying to control him. Here's how I'm parsing my feelings…

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Swinging: an insider's perspective (plus how it differs from polyamory!)

I've been seeing lots of awesome posts about polyamory and ethical non-monogamy. I wanted to offer some thoughts on a variation that I haven't seen talked much about yet: swinging.

Swinging or, "the lifestyle," as we often refer to it with each other (sometimes indicated by a black ring on the right ring finger for those who like to advertise their proclivity), is one subculture among many with countless variations and expressions. Here is my personal perspective…

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Let's talk about talking about your "sex number"

The number of people I have slept with is higher than most women I've asked. At the end of the day, I'm not going to lie about my number — I am not ashamed. But I do wonder how I should talk about it in future dating scenarios.

Anyone else with a high sex number want to give me advice about talking open and honestly about it?

Bad Romance part 3: Demanding greater diversity in who gets a happily ever after in romance

One of the big success stories in self-publishing is romance. According to popular platform Smashwords, the genre dominates the market. With a few clicks any writer can become an author. Which makes it possible that a novel most major publishing houses and quite a few small presses would have turned down, one that hasn’t seen an editor’s red pen, or even a proofreader will wind up on Amazon more than in other genres.

There’s an argument for gatekeepers, right? Not so fast. Here's part three in this series on romance as a genre…

Bad Romance part 2: The romance genre needs better critique, not more gatekeepers

Though romance novels have always centered relationships and women, there’s no argument that issues of consent and coercion abound in the genre's shady past. Consider the conflicted relationships readers have with Kathleen Woodwiss’ The Flame
and the Flower
, a novel that is said to have started the modern “bodice ripper” romance genre. Here's part two analyzing the romance genre in books…