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Archive for December, 2011

Hoping For Good Sex During The Holidays…But Disappointed? Here’s Why

December 30th, 2011
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You might have been looking forward to this holiday season as a time for more exciting sex with your partner.  Like many, you might have been hoping that a holiday schedule would create the right atmosphere for some good, maybe even great sex.  But, like many, you may feel disappointed that it hasn’t happened.  And you wonder why.

I’m often asked that question by men and women who feel puzzled about why things didn’t go so well, just when the situation seemed ideal.  It’s ironic, they think, because they’re absorb the flood of advice and prescriptions for having super sex out there.  The magazine covers touting “10 new techniques to drive him/her wild;” the online e-zines like Your Tango or Libido for Life.  Some of the advice is pretty sound, like that from the respected sociologist of sexual relations, Pepper Schwartz, or the advice on sexual matters that’s useful for both straights and gays from Dan Savage.  But there’s so much more that’s not so good.  It touts juvenile-sounding, superficial advice.

In fact, the majority of the advice, strategies and techniques overlook the core of a sustaining, mutually energized sexual connection: It’s Read more…

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Midlife Conflict and Renewal, Modern Love, Sex & Relationships, Psychological health in a post-globalized world , , , , , , ,

Why Our Political Culture Looks Insane

December 17th, 2011
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The ugly spectacle of political gridlock reflects a political culture best described as insane. It’s increasingly disconnected from realities of our current world. We’re living in the midst of massive, worldwide transformation towards a highly intertwined and increasingly transparent world. The impact of this transformation is visible in economic shifts, new political movements, changing social norms and personal values, business practices and in individual behavior.

The products of this transformation call for policies and actions that respond to them in pragmatic, positive ways. But here in the U.S., our political culture of both left and right operates as though these new realities either don’t exist or don’t matter; as though the old order still prevails.

Examples of the political insanity include:

  • From the left, President Obama is attacked for not achieving and pushing for a more progressive agenda, despite a range of accomplishments that he’s achieved. But the greater insanity is that he’s operating with the new “requirement” instituted by Republicans: That every piece of legislation must now be able to overcome a filibuster threat, rather than be hammered out through compromise and then subjected to a majority vote.
  •  On the right, the Republican/Tea Party vilifies Obama’s “socialist,” “anti-American” or — in Newt Gingrich’s description — “Kenyan, anti-colonialist” agenda, despite an ironic reality to the contrary: President Obama’s policies and behavior are much closer to those of a moderate Republican of yore; the kind that doesn’t exist anymore.
  • Then there’s the ongoing clown show — Republican presidential hopefuls who argue for returning to policies that — as data show — have created the economic mess we’re now in. Moreover, they try to outdo each other to embrace anti-science, anti-knowledge positions, whether about climate change or evolution; and they vocally embrace anti-human rights positions when those rights concern gays and lesbians.

Contrast the above positions and policy objectives with some of the transformations whose impact is increasingly visible in everyone’s lives. On the surface, they appear disparate; unrelated. But collectively, you can see a theme: A rising change of mentality. That is, a mixture of values, world outlook, emotional attitudes, and conduct. It’s simultaneously a response to and a driver of the rise of interconnection and interdependency. And it has cascading political, economic and social implications.

Here are some of the seemingly unrelated shifts that reflect the reality of today’s world: Read more…

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Politics, Psychological health in a post-globalized world , , , , , , , ,

Does Your Midlife Feel Like Just “A Long Slide Home?”

December 1st, 2011
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That’s how a man in his 50s described his life to me not long ago: “It’s my long slide home.” He was feeling morose, anticipating the long holiday period from Thanksgiving through the New Year and what he knew it would arouse in him. I often see the “holiday blues” strike people during this time of multiple holidays (Hanukkah and Christmas; as well as AshurahBodhi Day, and Kwanzaa). The tendency to reflect and take stock of one’s life often triggers sadness, regret, or depression — especially during midlife.

For example, this time of year can intensify feelings of losses you’ve experienced as well as fears about change, in general. In a previous post I described how you can become frozen into a mindset and perspective that your life is fixed and will spiral downward from your middle years onward. Such a mentality restricts your vision. You can’t see that it’s possible — and necessary — to continue evolving your life, while reframing your emotional attitudes about the life changes that will continue to occur. I’ve always liked a line from one of Norman Mailer’s novels, “It is a law of life… that one must grow, or else pay more for remaining the same.”

Many of 78 million baby boomers, now in the thick of midlife, are vulnerable to feeling demoralized about their lives. For some Read more…

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Midlife Conflict and Renewal, Modern Love, Sex & Relationships, Psychological health in a post-globalized world , , , ,