DON'T NEGLECT YOUR "BACKDOOR" EROTICISM!

An article about a new national sex survey, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, reveals who's doing what, with whom, and how. It clarifies the prevalence of gay sex, teenage intercourse, and oral gratification. But the big story is the increase in anal sex reported by women and its possible connection to female orgasms.

According to the article, the "big story" is in the stats: "In 1992, 16 percent of women aged 18-24 said they'd tried anal sex. Now 20 percent of women aged 18-19 say they've done it, and by ages 20-24, the number is 40 percent. In 1992, the highest percentage of women in any age group who admitted to anal sex was 33. In 2002, it was 35. Now it's 46."

And check out the study's orgasm data: "Among women who had vaginal sex in their last encounter, the percentage who said they reached orgasm was 65. Among those who received oral sex, it was 81. But among those who had anal sex, it was 94!"

Now, let me clarify what the study is and isn't saying, and then we can consider further what the data suggests.

The women surveyed aren't having orgasms from the anal sex, per se, but rather, they are having orgasms more frequently when anal sex is included in the sexual play.

So, why would that be?

Well, if you'll forgive me for being clinical for a moment, folks, Freud identified the anus as an "erotic zone" a hundred years ago, and he concluded that the source of more than a few psychological disturbances stemmed from early childhood shame around those erotic feelings. Some of Freud's successors explored the connection between suppressed "anal stage" (between ages 1/12 to 2 1/2) feelings and the masochistic character structure.

Yep, human beings are built for pleasure... even in places you might not expect! And denying, suppressing or judging our desires for pleasure always does harm.

Okay, I'll give the last word to Slate Magazine, where I originally ran into this study:

"If anal sex is a trailing indicator of women's sexual satisfaction, then by all means, let's toast the new findings. Here's to you, ladies. Bottoms up!"

"HEREAFTER": A NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE!

Saw Clint Eastwood's new movie recently, "HEREAFTER." I'm not a big Clint fan. His movies are very well made, gorgeously "painted," powerfully acted, and because his filmmaking is so authentic, Eastwood's messages so clearly come through.

That's my problem. His messages.

I'm very partial to "redemption" in movies, those moments when the main character(s) breaks through to a higher place of wisdom, love or some other kind of enlightenment or elevation. Clint is not known for his uplifting messages, let alone happy endings. Whether we're talking "Unforgiven," "Mystic River," "Million Dollar Baby," or even "The Bridges of Madison County," moviegoers can be sure when they leave an Eastwood film, they will feel heavy of heart.

That being said, the message of Hereafter was a positive one... sort of. I mean, it took all of two hours and nine minutes to laboriously get to the movie's ambivalent conclusion that there might actually be life after death! Whew! Go Clint! No rush to get to the 4th Dimension there.

So many people have had so many otherworldy experiences, you'd think by now we'd be asking some more advanced questions than: "Is there life after death?" How about: "Is the death experience even necessary?" or maybe: "Are the tenants of physical reality - like duality and linear time - all an illusion?" You know?

I suppose next, Clint Eastwood will get around to wondering on film if there is life on other planets... probably while the rest of us are actually communicating with ET's!

REPOST: ORGASMIC CHILDBIRTH?!

THINGS DON'T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE ONE WAY, DO THEY? READ ARTICLE HERE: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/11/orgasms-during-childbirth/?hp

REPOST: "MUST WATCH! LOVELESS MARRIAGES OUTLAWED!!"

This beauty was contributed by LOFF56!

CLICK HERE!!

Thanks, L56!!

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"He is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong."
Thomas Jefferson

REPOST: SEX IN THE SECOND HALF!!

I'm actually talking about love, Eros and sex, after fifty! A blog piece I read recently called "7 Reasons Why Sex Is Better After 60," by Jim Selman, spells it out. Older folks have the patience, wisdom, experience and capacity to give, according to Jim Selman, to make the sexual experience a true wonder.

From the article:

"If you believe the research, there is a LOT of sex going on after 60--and a lot of satisfied Elders. According to the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project of the University of Chicago (presented in the August 2007 New England Journal of Medicine), many people remain sexually active well into their 70s and 80s. The following year, ABC News reported on a Swedish study that found sexual satisfaction rising in the over 65 set."

Of course, what Selman doesn't cover in this short piece is how one can arrive to be open enough to express these qualities so fully. Our stereotypes of the aging process are rife with images of deterioration, orneriness and depression, not to mention the need for medications to get it up, get to sleep and keep our organs functioning, and unfortunately, those stereotypes are based on a fair amount of anecdotal evidence. Somebody is keeping the drug companies profitable, after all, and judging by the commercials on network TV, it's predominantly older people.

But... it doesn't have to be that way. I wrote a piece not long ago called "DECLINING WITH AGE? NO, WITH TIME!" in which I put it this way:

"As we progress in our lives, assuming we are not fighting our process tooth and nail, we are designed to be absorbing more and more of our souls into our bodies, which can mean less and less flesh. But the more soul force in your body, the more powerful you become, not the weaker. Yes, your priorities change. Playing shortstop or having babies - in other words, focusing intensely on the physical - is appropriate to the early phases of experiencing being human. Depths of passion, pleasure, understanding and wisdom are part of the later phases."

Worth reading Selman's piece, and rereading mine... if you're at all thinking about the trajectory of your sex life!

REPOST: STRONG PROTEST AGAINST PL SUGGESTING PSYCHOPATHS CAN BE TREATED!/PL RESPONDS!

"Anonymous" left this comment on PL's post "THE PSYCHOPATHIC CHARACTER STRUCTURE":

"Wow! I am one of the survivors on 'Aftermath' and your take on providing 'therapy' for these monsters is interesting but woefully misguided. I have to wonder if you have ever been targeted by one, lived with one or have ever been completely devastated personally by their actions. There is NO CURE for having no conscience, no empathy, no remorse. I find your writing about this wreckless as I would hope to God that there isn't someone out there that will 'hang on' because you gave them hope of a cure. The only cure is to run as fast as you can from these sub-humans. The psychopath I was involved with strangled my small son."


Here's PL:

Thank you very much, Anonymous, for writing in. My heart truly goes out to you for enduring such a tragedy.

I actually did write a piece a bit ago, last October, about the "Aftermath" program, which describes itself as follows:

"We are a non-profit organization: a working coallition of psychopathy researchers, mental health professionals, victims and family members of those affected with psychopathy. Our purpose is to provide information and support to those whose lives, health, and/or careers have been placed at risk or negatively impacted by psychopathy."

I have written a great deal about the psychopathic character structure over the years, and I do mention in my writing that the conventional wisdom in psychiatric circles is that people with psychopathic disorders are not considered amenable to psychotherapy.

But there is some confusion here.

First of all, not all psychopathy is found in the same degree in all people with the disorder. At the far end of the spectrum are, of course, the pure "sociopaths," those who are not only without conscience or empathy, but who also cannot relate to other human beings as anything other than objects. These individuals are basically psychotic. Unfortunately these days, sociopathy is not limited to lone serial killers of the Jeffrey Dahmer type, or to hired assassins. This extreme pathology also infects many CEO's and politicians who wantonly destroy lives by the thousands for the purpose of acquiring obscene amounts of wealth or power for its own sake, blithely stealing, lying and killing as a matter of course.

In response to your wondering if I "have ever been targeted" by a psychopath, Anon, well, of course I have. And yes, in a very personal way. In this day and age, sad to say, many of us have.

That being said, on the other hand, there are some people who have a predominantly psychopathic character structure that is less severe, those who can benefit from a holistic psychotherapeutic approach as outlined in my article that you referenced. I have facilitated a successful course of treatment with such individuals, but it is hard work, and both the therapist and patient must be determined in their efforts. Sadly, my profession has demonstrated little desire to do much that isn't easy or lucrative in recent decades.

Perhaps the world of psychotherapy has itself become infected with psychopathy.

Again, thank you for your powerful comment.

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"Events are not things that happen to you. They are materialized experiences formed by you, according to your expectations and beliefs.”
SETH

YOU'RE OUTTA THERE, UMP!!

Okay, I'm talkin' baseball today, since the Yankees start the next leg of their journey to the World Series tonight against the Texas Rangers, a team formerly owned by George W. Bush (which adds a little extra reason for me to root for the Yankees to win).

Specifically, what I would like to address today, though, is not the role of our former worst president in history, but rather the archaic role that umpires currently play in Major League Baseball. There was an editorial piece in the NY Times today called "Accountability Behind the Plate", in which the subject was addressed of the many game changing mistakes that umpires make that could be easily addressed by instant video replay and an extra umpire in the broadcast booth who could be appealed to. Many games, now more than ever it seems, are blown for one team or another not because of a mistake by a player, but by umpire error. Watching a game on TV, we see these flubs in replay all the time, which ironically discredits the umpires who are trying to maintain their respect, authority and importance to the game.

Hello? Why isn't this a no-brainer?

Two words: Tradition. Purists.

I was born disliking those two words. Really, I think it was in my soul's seed plan or my genes. Way before I did any kind of self-work or developed a conscious spiritual connection, I uttered those two words with disdain. It's as if I always understood the retrogressive, conservative nature of traditions and the purists who sought to maintain them. Now, as a self-aware being, I abhor the stagnant nature of tradition even more. Tradition's intent is to continue doing things the way they were done in the past for the sake of doing things the way they were done in the past.

As many of my readers are learning, the "past" is neither fixed, nor is it even in the past. The past is created in the present, as is the future. (For more on that, read my post: THE FUTURE WRITES THE PAST) That means that to experience the full thrust of our life force, we must be more and more exclusively focused on the present moment as the source of our reality and experiences.

Traditions, by insisting that we focus on the past, and repeat the rituals of that past, inhibit the full flow of soul energy through us in the present. That is why so many holidays that supposedly are meant to celebrate and honor a past event, end up instead as exhausting or boring affairs in which over-eating, heavy drinking and watching sports on television becomes the norm.

Well, okay, I got a bit off track there. But perhaps not. Anyway, my point is that anyone who is enlightened, and also a baseball fan (Don't know the stats on that, but I'd like to!), doesn't need umpires' human errors as an integral part of the game. We just don't. It's old. Stagnant. Tradition! Ironic, too, that the so-called purists among baseball fans don't want the game to be purely about the way the players play the game.

All right, folks, as we head into the holiday season, and the World Series, don't be afraid to break a few traditions and celebrate something new in the present. And go Yankees!

LOFF56 DISPUTES PL'S CALL!/PL RESPONDS!

Here's LOFF56:

Well, as an equally big fan of the game of Baseball (and the Yankees), I have to
disagree with you on this one, PL. And I wouldn't call myself a "Purist" by any
sense. I'm definitely a big fan of the DH which a lot of "Purists" aren't, I
certainly don't have a problem with all the improvements in equipment in the
recent era of baseball, (lighter bats, batting gloves, better helmets etc...)
nor do I have a problem with "pitch counts" the use of specialty pitchers for
one batter, "small ball", "money ball" etc... I think you're really
oversimplifying the argument by saying that anyone that doesn't like the use of
booth review is a "purist". But that's sort of besides the point.
But here's the actual point I want to make about this. It's absolutely
conceivable that an enterprising individual could devise technology that could
literately do away with the need for umpires entirely. Imagine that they use
that "K-Zone" technology to call balls and strikes instantly, they can probably
devise very small sensors to put in every players gloves as well as the bases to
figure out exactly whether or not the ball reaches the 1st baseman's glove
before the foot hits the bag, or if a tag hits the player before his hand or
foot hits the bag... etc, etc, etc... If someone wanted to do it, I'm sure
there's a way to completely eliminate umpires altogether with technology.
Personally I think this takes a lot away from the game. Human judgment is
such an important part of how a game is played. Pitchers and batters are always
adding in the calculation of where a home plate umpire is apt to call a loose
strike. It makes it more interesting and less static. Even on close plays that
are so hard to judge, an umpire can be swayed by how a player slides into second
or if he's "dogging" it to first. Think about that, there's a sub-concious cog
in the system that actually effects the game, I would think that you'd be all
into that! I think if you start to take that human error out of the game (even
just piece by piece), I think you'll end up with a game that's more about the
numbers than it was before, and less about the "heart" of the game.
Besides, the "fallacy of the pre-determined outcome" states that even if a
blown call is made right, you'd have no idea how or if that would have actually
effected the outcome of the game, there's just too many variables. And I
realize that in the case of the blown call this year that ruined the perfect
game for Galarraga, there's no question if that call was made right he would
definitely have a perfect game versus not having a perfect game. But - I don't
remember the details of the rest of that game, but I'm sure there must have been
a strike call or two or three that the umpire got wrong in Galarraga's favor
that might have saved him a walk which would have also ruined the perfect game,
probably well before it was a big deal that he had a perfect game going. A
layer of technology (booth review) would have given him a perfect game, but
perhaps the next layer of technology, (K-Zone calling balls and strikes), may
have taken it away.
Anyway I disagree that wanting to retain the element of human judgment makes
one a stagnant traditionalist. In fact, I think that these Umpires' abilities
to admit their errors and their dedication to making their craft better in the
face of such criticism is a testament to they're humility and they're ability
to... wait for it... grow as an individual. :-) Qualities, we all should want
to emulate.
Anyway, I'm willing to trade accuracy for humanity. Besides, the "story"
that came out of that just-missed perfect game was fantastic and completely
unique. Do you remember when Gallaraga came out with the line-up the next day?
What a great story of humility and forgiveness. Technology would have robbed us
of that great human story between those two individuals.


Here's PL:

Well, L56, on the replay, it looks like you have a strong argument for the human element staying a part of baseball's dynamic. Umpires and their flaws do make the game more of a drama than simply a "pure" contest of playing skills. I suppose my issue with umps is part of my overall issue with all "authority figures," especially those who can't be questioned. Being called out without recourse on a third strike, which was clearly a ball, reminds me of getting a parking ticket because in the cop's estimation, I was 14 1/2 feet, not fifteen feet, from a fire hydrant. Without pictures or witnesses, the cop is the final authority, even if he's wrong. But I do agree that the "fallacy of the pre-determined outcome" is indeed a fallacy, and it does tie in with the truth that there is no absolute, static future.

Good to hear your voice again, L56!

THE FUTURE WRITES THE PAST!

Try and stay with this one, folks. It's advanced material. Basically, spiritual masters have been teaching for centuries that time is an illusion, as are all of the things that we feel constrained by. In the past century, science, specifically physics, has finally started catching up to metaphysics.

I recently posted an article indicating that gravity is an illusion, and here's one from today's news entitled: "Does the Past Exist Yet? Evidence Suggests Your Past Isn't Set in Stone" (You can read it HERE) indicating that our notions of linear time, specifically our notions about the past and future are also illusions.

I understand that this pushes our physical brain to its limit, in some respects. It's very hard to wrap our heads around the idea of time as simultaneous instead of linear, because it means is that the only true moment is the present moment, and that our so-called "past" and so-called "future" are always fluctuating depending on what we're creating in the present. In other words, like a screenwriter who decides in the present moment to change the backstory and/or the future outcome of a character's story line, we are capable of rewriting our own past and future in the present.

It's not so important to understand the mechanics of this, though, so don't fret. However, it is major to understand the implications for living. It means that the more we focus on what we're feeling and thinking in the moment, and specifically, in that moment following our highest joy and excitement, and the less we are ruminating about the past and worrying about the future, the better our entire life is going to appear.

Try it out. Do a "five senses-mediation" as often as possible as you go through your day. Whatever you're doing, stay tuned in to what you see, hear, smell, taste and touch, and direct your actions accordingly to your pleasure instinct and see what happens. You'll get through your days just as efficiently, if not moreso, without as much calculation, and you'll be feeling good. And maybe, you'll experience how pliable the past and future really are.

Here's a lyrical clip from a song I wrote 20 years ago as I first began to understand that the boundaries of time weren't real.

INTO MY EYES

Waiting. I'm waiting.

Skirting the edges of a golden world,
Weaving through with tattered threads of silk.
Certain nights, the lines between worlds grow thin.
One moment's like a thousand days,
Strangers with such different ways
Cross over and come in.

Peering through broken panes of memories,
Turning over stones from other lives,
In better days, the future writes the past.
Time is like a magic ride,
Hope moves on a rising tide,
And love will last.

Walk into my eyes,
See the fire there.
Enter through my heart,
And know my dream.
Waiting. I'm waiting.

Time is like a magic ride,
Hope moves on a rising tide,
And love will last.

Peter Loffredo/Barry Saperstein

TIME FLIES WHEN YOU'RE HAVING FUN... AND SLOWS WHEN YOU'RE NOT!

Have you ever been in "The Zone," a moment of creative expression or performance of some sort in which time seems to fly by without you paying attention to it in the "usual" way? Conversely, have you ever been in an accident of some kind or experienced a trauma in which time seemed to move in slow motion?

An interesting report on NPR recently explained the phenomenon in terms of brain functioning. According to neuroscientist David Eagleman, a Baylor College of Medicine professor, "The brain records more sensory information in traumatic experiences. Time isn't slowing down, but the hyper-memory makes it seem like it is by processing and storing all this additional information."

But is that it? Is that all there is to it?

Einstein once said this about the apparent movement of time: "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity."

Many people would assume that Einstein's joke was simply about perception, but what if in fact the amount of time there is in any given moment is relative? What if we actually are, through our state of consciousness, slowing down or speeding up time, or put another way, changing the amount of time there is?

Here's "Seth," being channeled by Jane Roberts: "As I have said many times, time as you think of it does not exist. The fact is that all ‘time’ is simultaneous. Events are not things that happen to you. They are materialized experiences formed by you, according to your expectations and beliefs.”

In other words, time is a construct of the human mind, a framework within which we experience things in a linear sequence for the sake of having that experience, but it is not the true nature of the greater reality in which we exist.

Okay, how many readers have I lost at this point? And anyway, why is this information useful?

Well, so many of us feel trapped or pressured by time, or the notion of it. Clocks are always ticking in our brains, measuring how much time we have, or don't have, for various activities and experiences, and that creates a lot of stress, which in turn creates many negative consequences in our lives. But if time isn't really "real," and if its movement is literally relative, flexible, malleable, then time can become a tool rather than a tormentor.

Think about it. If we become able to understand and use time in this way, we can choose to "spend" more or less of it according to our desires and preferences without worrying about it running out, or dragging on. We can create more time to do the things we love to do, and "use up" less time doing things we don't prefer to do. People have asked me how I am able to work as a therapist, write movie and TV scripts, and this blog, be in a love relationship, while raising two kids and acting as landlord of my building, and still have time to meditate, make home cooked meals, walk in the park and watch the Yankees. My answer is always the same - when you're not spending any time worrying or obsessing about how much time you have, there is an endless amount of it. Because it's all relative.

Think about it.

Okay, time to go back to bed... Happy Sunday everyone!

CATCH THE WAVE IN PARK SLOPE?!

A resident actually measured the hail stones that crashed down in Park Slope last night.STAY AWAKE, FOLKS!

HAPPY SEVENTIETH BIRTHDAY, JOHN!

REVOLUTION

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're all doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right...

JOHN LENNON

REPOST: NOWHERE YOU CAN BE THAT ISN'T WHERE YOU'RE MEANT TO BE - IT'S EASY!!

A musical reality show host named Tamara Conniff asks the question: "WHY ARE WE SUBJECT TO BEATLEMANIA, AGAIN?" Her simplistic, and somewhat cynical answer is that it somehow is being engineered by the remaining Beatles, and more specifically their label group EMI, who want to exploit the recordings as much as they can before they become public property and can be used free of charge when the 50-year copyright expires.

Well, first of all, Tamara, artists in so many areas for years and years, if not ages, were exploited for their art by moneyed people. It has been so common that there is actually a term - "starving artist" - that is part of our lexicon. I've yet to hear anyone refer to the typical "starving record company executive" or "suffering music publisher." Why shouldn't an artist and his or her family enjoy the financial benefits of that art for at least the course of one lifetime?

But beyond that issue, there's the separate question of why Beatlemania transcends economics, and even time. My two kids have discovered and love the Beatles, 40 years after I discovered them and loved them for the first time. And that's not a typical generational thing. I didn't love Tommy Dorsey or Bing Crosby when I was a kid in the Sixties, even though people from my parent's generation loved that music in the Forties.

The Beatles were rarified air in the realm of popular music. Like Mozart, Bach and Beethoven in the sphere of classical music, listening to what they created gets better and brings forth even more appreciation over time. They were channeling something from the soul, something that planet earth needed to help with the next movement forward in consciousness. It's not that the prodigious number of songs, if deconstructed technically, were always profound or masterful, though some certainly were. It's that the melding of sounds, the harmonies, the joy and mirth, the admonitions and observations, and the loosening of boundaries combined with the synergy of four souls riding the wave of a dawning new age came together in a perfect storm of music, music that could uplift all but the most hardened personalities, and absolutely could speak to the natural optimism and care of young people.

And it still does.

All you need is love!

TODAY'S DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSION (WTF) NEWS ITEM!

A Southern Baptist leader is calling for Christians to avoid yoga and its spiritual attachments.

No joke!

Read more HERE.
 

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