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  • Green Is the New Red

    February 14, 2013
    Green Is the New Red © PonomarenkoNataly/Shutterstock
    If you want to do something unique this Valentines Day, reconsider your carbon footprint and go green. Not with envy but with love. Romance that is healthy, eco-conscious AND sexy is the way of the future, in case you hadn’t heard.
    One billion Valentine’s Day cards. 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. One hundred million roses. All told, that’s a lot of stuff that ends up in our landfills each Valentine’s Day; enough to “make single people cringe and couples sweat,” as one blogger put it. This year, do the ultra chic thing and romance your partner in ways that are sexy, meaningful and eco-friendly.

    If eco-romance is new to you, I know what you are thinking. Really? We already reuse, recycle and reduce outside of the bedroom. What can possibly be done to sex to make it greener and safer without compromising pleasure and performance?

    The answer is plenty. Eco-sexy loving is the newest trend in intimate encounters, and I’ve spent the last few years sharing my passion for all things that are green and sexy with anyone who will listen. This is the paradigm shift waiting to happen, and it’s time to find your e-spot!

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  • Old-Fashioned Guide for Modern Lovers

    January 09, 2013
    Old-Fashioned Guide for Modern Lovers © shutterstock, Africa Studio
    Is there a place for the quaint rules of old-fashioned courtship in the hook-up generation?
    Coming of sexual age has changed dramatically over the past 100 years. Where once the rules of courtship were clear and defined by religion and social morays, today’s lovers must navigate a different course to love, sex and relationships. The reasons are many. Cars get a lot of the blame for the freedoms we now enjoy en route to sexual intimacy. Prior to the automobile, men were primarily expected to visit a woman in her home, and under the auspices of chaperones, woo their sweethearts on the way to marriage. Sex happened at later ages and stages in the process, and marriage occurred sooner.

    Fast forward to the 21st century, and the dating landscape is remarkably altered, unrecognizable from a century ago. Courtship, with it’s clear emphasis on getting married, is far less common a practice with the exception of religious or traditional communities. Making out in cars has led to making out at all sorts of places that would make Victorian’s swoon.

    Women’s liberation, birth control and advances in reproductive medicine means that women have options denied their grandmothers and generations before. From the perspective of sexual freedom, we have much to be grateful for, including same-sex marriages and acceptance of those whose sexuality doesn’t fit the hetero-normative paradigm.

    I wouldn’t trade what we’ve gained for anything (and we’ve got a long way to go before we’ve fully ensured our sexual and reproductive rights).

    Still, I’d be a big ol’ liar if I didn’t also fess up to something: I like being courted. Having a man open doors for me, pay the tab and give me his arm to lean on always made me feel good. That’s a lie – it turned me on, made me want to come back for more and then some.

    Chivalry especially has always been like sugar for my romance-connoisseurs’ heart. An authentic compliment has earned a few good dates a feathery kiss in response. Flirt with me like I’m the only one in your universe, and who knows what delights await us after that hand-fed chocolate soufflé. I’m that enamored with the art and heart of bonding.

    Here then, in no particular order, are practices from the past that could sweeten the deal for modern lovers.

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  • Erotic Capital: Owning Our Sexuality

    December 13, 2012
    Erotic Capital: Owning Our Sexuality © shutterstock, claudia veja
    The signs are unmistakable. Women are owning sexuality in powerful and disquieting ways. Is the world ready for the future of femininity and feminism?
    Years ago, I posted a playful, heart-in-cheek article about the emerging post-feminist femme fatales (PFF) on a staunchly feminist website. A PFF, I wrote, was both an “accomplished woman in all political, social, environmental and economic arenas,” and an “enchantress.” Confident and graceful, funny and committed to social justice, she wore lingerie, laughed at her whim, ate her cake and shared it, too, without counting calories or flaws.

    She also preferred a world in which men exist as co-creators. “A PFF fancies men – strong and capable, fresh scented or smelly, willing to ask directions or not. You are our husbands and sons, fathers and friends, lovers and muses, and life is infinitely sweeter with you by our sides.”

    Such a woman wanted to be appreciated for her mind, and ability to work hard and succeed in the corporate world. “There’s no need to prove superiority, only a desire to excel,” I suggested. “We don’t want to compete with men; we are empowered and strong in our way, which is quite fierce by any standard.”

    The backlash was pronounced. People were outraged and the vitriol was fierce. A few readers saw the piece as satirical or funny; most did not. Underneath the mountain of first, second and third wave feminism was a dynamite-filled mine laced with booby-traps (forgive the pun). Modern day feminists are feisty advocates for what they believe in; even if the manner by which they offer their view points – beliefs I wholeheartedly share – disengage potential allies, break funny bones or silence meaningful discourse.

    I took the comments to heart, and stored the seeds of the concept away. It wasn’t so much a wound licking moment as a realization that the pendulum has yet to settle. As the saying goes: We’ve come a long way (I’ll drop the patronizing, ‘baby’). We also have a long way to go, and many are rightly indignant that when it comes to women, sex and power, the scales have yet to be balanced.

    We ain’t going get there until we own our ‘Erotic Capital’.

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  • Thanksgiving Aphrodisiacs

    November 14, 2012
    Thanksgiving Aphrodisiacs
    I am a foodie, a self-declared lover of languid meals cooked with intention and loads of flavor. An intuitive eater, I have for the most part chosen real, sometimes raw, mostly colorful cuisine, a testament to my European upbringing and preference for Mediterranean delicacies regardless of food fashion.
    I call my dishes appeteasers, inter-courses and happy endings, a testament to the double purpose each colorful and flavorful dish serves in my home. Everything must be delicious. The meals in my home satisfy tummies. They must also nourish a lifetime of vital living and carnal joy. My kitchen is the wellspring of sensual foods and nourished libidos. After all, true health reform starts in the pantry.

    In this way, I join a movement with a venerated history. From Cleopatra to the Mayan Kings, palates have consumed lust-inspiring herbs, spices and foods.
    Modern science may question the value that specific foods have any real aphrodisiac properties, but as fans of chocolate and oysters – two famous edibles that delight palate and privates – will attest, the suggestive nature is satisfaction enough (“Sometimes a cigar is more than a cigar”).

    The phallic form of bananas; the ripe lushness of avocado; the heady scent of rosemary: these are just some of nature’s gifts to our sexual well-being. Before the advent of Vitamin-V and contraptions to encourage Mr. Limpy, or lotions to lubricate her more delicate parts, humankind turned to foods and herbs to improve procreative health.

    Next week, while you are busy preparing a feast for family and friends, lovers will find pleasure in the fact that many traditional foods served on this scrumptious day are believed to enhance the libido. Who knew that cranberries and nutmeg could spice up your love life?

    For curious cooks and lovers, here are all time favorite Thanksgiving foods and spices and their aphrodisiac properties to make sure your dinner pleases more than your taste buds.

    Bon appetite, and of course, save time for dessert. Moderation is the key with food, and sometimes, when it comes to making love too…

    Cranberries: Good urinary health is a must for the plumbing to work. Cranberries are packed with Vitamin C, vital for the vitality of the sex glands, and Vitamin A, an important aid to the circulatory system. Getting your blood pumping, and your bodies thumping, cranberries are little jewels of health and pleasure. What a shame that Thanksgiving’s most famous side dish is relegated to once a year status. Makes you almost feel like relishing the love year round.

    Celery: Besides its phallic form, celery is actually packed with nutrients that aid the pituitary gland, a key player in hormone secretion and regulations. It also contains androsterone, a hormone men secrete that turns women on. Whether the 'pheromone' properties will make your sweetheart swoon at the table has yet to be seen, but at least you know that the crunch in your stuffing from the healthy goodness of this green giant will go good with….

    Nuts: I do mean those that grow on trees. They're beneficial for many reasons. Many are rich in zinc, a lack of which is linked to impotence. Ginkgo nuts are proven to stimulate blood circulation, and the Romans believed that walnuts improved fertility. Pine nuts and almonds get high marks for nourishing libidos with the right kind of fat and zinc, so top off those green beans with toasted goodness – do what you must to eat those nuts.

    Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a versatile spice that goes with sweet and savory temptations. A very little bit of this potent ‘warming’ flavor and it’s yummy goodness goes a long way to tickle your fancy – in your pumpkin pie, hot cider, cup of tea or your favorite sensual oil. Cinnamon also plays nicely in the sandbox with that other temptation called…

    Nutmeg: For 5000 years, nutmeg has been known for its medicinal and sensual properties. In large quantities, it can be hallucinogenic, but what you add to your favorite pies, soups, vegetables or stuffing can sweeten the breathe (for those after-dinner kisses), and we know how delicious it is with the following holiday favorite.

    Apples: What is Thanksgiving without pie from apples, venerated fruit with a lavish history. Long accused of being the temptress of knowledge, apples may indeed cause a sin or two. As super foods high in antioxidants, apples have lots of free-radical fighters that keep our bodies healthy and youthful. Sustain your after dinner activities with the energy from baked apples as a nutritious alternative to pie, and see what sweetness you’ll cook up all weekend long.

    Pumpkin: Who knew that before our puritan forefathers established this holiday, the world was eating pumpkin to treat low libido? That’s enough to make those starched shirts squirm! Indeed, pumpkin blossoms have been used medicinally to treat fertility and the flesh packs a healthy dose of sex-friendly antioxidants. The smell is also seductive; along with vanilla and lavender, it’s one of a few tested scents that is arousing to men. Not that we are suggesting you bathe in the raw stuff, though you may love eating the zinc-rich seeds (good for getting blood pumping).

    Hungry for More?

    In general, aphrodisiacs can be classified into two categories:

    They either look like certain body parts and therefore inspire erotic thoughts, or they feed specific organs and improve overall health to enhance erotic deeds.
    When it comes to the latter, there are two organs we most want to feed: the heart and the brain. The latter is our primary sex organ, and it needs lots of healthy fats (think Omega 6) to cook up our fantasies and function at top form.

    What’s interesting to note is that our heart sends more signals to the brain than the other way around. While science figures the meaning of that out, the rest of us can concur that when it comes to making love, a healthy heart is key.

    As someone once told me, ‘Our skin may be the largest organ, and the one that experiences most of the sexy fun, but it is our heart that we most want touched when we are engaged in nocturnal pleasures.’

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