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September 30, 2005

This started as a comment in reply to other comments, but I suppose deserves a fair chance to garner criticism. I’ll think and post more on my options later.

The two most sexually thrilling rides I ever had, with (almost) more sex than I could ever handle were with two women who were divorced. One had two children (ages 2 and 7) the other had one, age 4. Late nights, all nights, the afternoon…whenever. Most of these occured when the kids were with their dads, so there is something to think about there. But I did spend time over when the kids were there, too.

I do believe that attitude was the major factor, and it remains the deciding factor in sexual desire. You can never feel good about someone by treating them badly.

OTOH, I’m not going to casually dismiss birth control, drugs, hormones and poor general health. I’ve seen that first hand and many of your blogs are a testament as to why we should never have a president who isn’t well past menopause. Although Bill Clinton was a pretty good witness for the other side as to what might be less likely with a woman in the Whitehouse.

I miss Bill. I had more and better sex under his administration than any of the republicans before or after.

D.


Tossing the Libido Potato

September 30, 2005

09/29/2005

Thursday

Last night we all went to the Three Wishes concert downtown. One pleasant surprise was the opening act was Hootie and the Blowfish. They played their main hits and exited the stage to make room for Amy Grant. The downside was that it was a school night, and the boys were already tired by the time the thing started at eight. Plus I had to hoist Thomas up so he could see. The boy weighs around 70 pounds and by the end of the first hour I was tired! So was he. Since Arwyn met me downtown, I was able to take him home early. It wasn’t terribly loud, but loud enough that Thomas was covering his ears, mostly as the crowd erupted. He could scream with the best of them and had a good time but had enough by the 9. I took him home, gave him a quick bath and put him to bed. He was out in minutes. Arwyn stayed until the end, about 90 minutes later.

BTW, if these folks come to your town, I advise not wasting a lot of time standing in line to submit a wish. The televised wishes were picked by producers way in advance. Enjoy the concert and excitement.

Reading the various blogs about libidos has been instructive. I was the one who opined that there wasn’t enough input from LL women, and I appreciate the insight.

In Leela’s first post on the subject, she admitted that the idea of a woman not wanting to have sex with the man they claimed to love was a mystery to her. She echoed what most of the guys we read have been saying for quite some time. Lizzie and Wendy also give some insights on the topic from the point of view of ex-LL women. If there is hope to be gleaned, it is the fact that they are presently in recovery. Dewdrop still remains the most current, persistent and reliable member of the LL camp. Most LL women are simply not going to give much coverage to the topic of sex at all. Even in Dewdrop’s case, the sexual conflict and tension makes up only a portion of her content.

In my case, much of the advice given by these helpful friends has proven fruitless. The idea of the man romancing his wife with wine, roses, bubble baths, backrubs, doing more housework and listening unconditionally are all cliche. Granted, they may work in some cases, as such cliche’s have a grain of truth in them. But one needs only reverse the situation to see the absurdity of this approach. C-Marie’s situation is a case in point. Mowing the lawn, changing the oil, wearing sexy lingerie, walking around naked, giving backrubs, frontrubs and talking are getting her nowhere. The plight of a woman married to a LL man highlights the complexity of sexual aversion.

As if we need another example, remember the cage? Arwyn could have had every single thing on Leela’s list of suggestions unconditionally and without a wit of sexual pressure. I would have licked the bottom of her shoes if would have made her happy. The entire premise of the chastity experience is for the man to meet his wife’s needs and desires apart from sexual expectations. In fact, the expectations are that will be *no* sex unless the woman wants it. And the men into this kink absolutely love it.

But women don’t want what they say they want. They want the man to do their bidding, but wants it out of his innate desire to please her. He should do it because he loves her, not because of rewards, being locked in a cage or in exchange for sex.

The exact same thing men want; women who desire their mates out of love, not in exchange for housework, backrubs, money or because they threaten them with walking out or an affair.

What many women say is that they need to be relaxed in order to be intimate. She needs to NOT be tired, stressed and overworked. That is a myth. During the courtship phase, many women are jumping the bones of men they barely know, while maintaining a seperate household and holding a full-time job. They sacrifice sleep, food and whatever other luxuries a married woman says she has to have, in order to get the man’s attention and affection.

Spare me. They’ve simply gotten every bit as lazy as the men they are depriving, and shifted their priorities, same as the men who play a similar game with romance and courtship. Lazy and self-centered. As a man, I can admit my bit in it. Not many women can, tho. I’ve yet to see or hear a woman confess to laziness in romance. She’s working her ass off for all the worong things, getting bitter about the lack of support she’s getting from hubby when she has, in fact, alienated her most potent source of support and comfort.

I credit Phoenix and Leela’s success with some very clear expectations and communication, up front. Phoenix was extraordinarily wise in bypassing the typical bullshit pattern of the rest of us by spelling out what he expected outright. He said that he expected sex on a daily basis and backed it up with a factual admission that there might be consequences if this couldn’t be maintained. It wasn’t an ultimatum, because at that moment Leela had the option of walking away. She didn’t have to accept these terms and a different woman would not have. Another woman might have tried to get him to compromise. Or maybe taken him up on it without delivering and hope he wouldn’t stick to his guns. In anycase, his honesty was rewarded with her honesty. And I don’t hear many regrets coming from her, compared to other female bloggers. It works and apparently works well. Whatever else happens, at least there is no game playing in that regard. They were and are both being smart and realistic. And loving. Her latest really hit it good.

This business of trying to woo the wife back; I’m inspired by those for whom this has worked. But in almost everycase it apparently was the woman who had the change of heart. The man’s perseverance certainly was a key factor. It was necessary but not sufficient. At some point, the LL woman woke up and turned herself around. A man’s capacity to change a woman’s mind is severely limited. We can try to entice, cajole, threaten or whatever, but if she is unwilling it isn’t going to happen.

This is the reality I’m currently facing. Will Arwyn *ever* turn around? Will she ever see what other women have realized? Or will I be too old to function by that time?

Keeping faith is difficult.

D.


Every Man’s Battle and The Penis Poke

September 28, 2005

09/28/2005

Wednesday

It seems that my traffic is getting a bit heavier, if comments are any indication. And since I’m not keeping a hit counter or looking at statistics that’s roughly how I judge. And by the emails I get.

I am a collector of stories by guys that bear any resemblance to mine. The comments, emails and blogs by these guys always inspire me. I’m empowered by the knowledge that even though they suffer, they continue on, and fight the good fight. We assemble and begin to coalesce, doing what men do and always do in the face of adversity: we fight side-by-side and shoulder to shoulder. We inspire each other, drive each other, challenge each other, and even compete with each other. But this is not a catty competition, where one vanquishes each other as in sport. This is a competition where we seek the common good. The one who makes it to the goal hoists the flag and rallies others around him to keep going; the end is near.

Fade to Numbness (FTN) is the newest on my blogroll. His story is just unfolding, so this is a good time to get in, otherwise it gets bothersome trying to read extensive archives and catching up. If he gets the spam taken care of, he’ll have a better idea of who his real audience is. Hopefully a growing readership will inspire him to keep going.

He wrote a recent post discussing his battles and victories over porn and masturbation. Something like 150 days. I’ve also written about this before but it needs to be covered more.

For Christmas, Arwyn bought me the book Every Man’s Battle by Fred Stoeker. This is the only Christian relationship book that I know that she’s read to the end. I’ve bought dozens, some on sex, but others on prayer for couples and basic Christian marriage. Arwyn has looked at few and finished none. Except this one somehow captured her imagination. This book details the struggle and strategies dealing with the issues of sexual temptation. Specifically, porn and masturbation. I would be VERY surprised if FTN hasn’t come across this book, himself. It wouldn’t be a bad idea, if he hasn’t already, to let his wife read it.

After Arwyn read this book, I got sex every week, like clockwork, for the next 7 weeks. It was wonderful and inspired me to be a better person. I felt like things were turning around. I imagined that I had an ally in my wife, for the struggle and endeavored to live up to greater standards of purity. I was ready to go to another level and go the distance. I stopped smoking, thinking that I needed to protect my health as my best days were ahead of me.

But it didn’t last. This bonanza faded, and sex decreased more and more and more. I re-introduced the cage in a valiant attempt to bridge the gulf between us. We had some discussions but they were fruitless. Arwyn became more and more manipulative on the few occasions we actually had sex. My efforts to please her were brushed off. I began to feel the old feeling: my touch was making her skin crawl.

Today, Arwyn is not an ally in my battle for spititual purity. She has joined the other side. Like Job’s wife, who told him he should just curse God and die, Arwyn seems to be absolutely fine with me jerking myself off as long as I’m not pestering her; as long as I just leave her alone.

And the reality is that we are on the brink of just that; me leaving her alone.

As Christians, we are enjoined to be in such a relationship that His grace is supposed to be sufficient. I can think of few situations where this concept is tested more for modern men than being tied and joined to a spouse who is unsupportive and unresponsive. And yet, this is the cross many of us are called to bear. It is difficult because it has the potential for being a life sentence of a sort. I could be in this position for the next 40 years!

“Love your neighbor as yourself…what, am I supposed to jerk him off, too?” – Rodney Dangerfield

I admire FTN’s perseverence and dedication to his faith and the Cause. As for porn, I can take it or leave it and mostly I leave it. But after having a prostate infection aggrevated by congestion, I’ll keep releiving mself until Arwyn can get with the program.

There’s some lively discussions concerning intitiation over at Tajalude’s place. This morning, my wife came in to the bedroom, presumably after sleeping on the couch which she does often. She didn’t sleep in her customary inverted position and actually got between the sheets. It was about 20 or so minutes before she had to get up anyway, so…

I snuggled up to her, with my arms around her. And an obvious erection poking her.

Yes, ladies, your favorite initiation move…the good ‘ole penis poke. For most guys, it at least doesn’t leave you wondering, even if the collective eyes are rolling. Not that I could have kept the thing down if I’d wanted to.

I gave her a snuggle and some small kisses and whispered in her ear, “I’ve missed you.”

“I was up all night.”

Most women keep and maintain a huge closet full of clothes and shoes and accessories. Part of the routine is to pick out what she is going to wear tbat day. Arwyn keeps and maintains a huge closet of excuses, and her routine seems to involve picking one out. Several, if they are available and match the occasion. While her statement might have been true, she has a seemingly endless supply she can fall back on. This one is good for a couple of days, since it gets her out of sex immediately, plus another day as she catches up and recuperates.

Okay. That was that, but since I wasn’t in my right mind I persisted a bit and she got out of bed and went in the shower. I mulled over the possibility of following her and joining her. I went in and brushed my teeth and shaved. Arwyn had finished her shower in record time, and already had the towel. She knew my mind.

So I went back to bed and proceeded to relieve my own frustration and congestion. letting her get on with her day.

So much for winning that battle.

D.


Making a Wish

September 26, 2005

09/26/2005

Monday

The “Redemption” theme of this blog has gotten precious little airplay, compared to the “Reality” part of it. Perhaps that may change.

I did it. I submitted my wish, along with several hundred other people. You can also submit a wish online, which I also did. But I also delivered it in person.

The first phase of this operation was actually picking and writing my wish out. That alone is a worthy exercise, which I highly recommend. The folks at Three Wishes (or 3W) are looking for wishes that are heaertfelt. They also exclude homes and home rennovations since this television concept is already getting plenty of airplay. You only get one, and selection is based upon the worthiness of the potential recipiant as well as the wish itself. You can submit one for yourself, a loved one/friend/relative or an entire community.

Jaunt over to Unlicited Advice and follow the link and submit yours. Or leave one in the comment section. Or both.

There was a light sprinkle as the line meandered through the center of town. I was a bit nervous about this, but gamely joined the line of hopeful wishers. Upon entering the line a group of associate producers were handing out clipboards with the release form and a form to write the wish on. Upon close inspection of the release, I was even more nervous. The word “exploitation” kept popping up. As in everything NBC got on you, or could obtain about you in the process of investigating and filming became their property to be used for their exploitation for as long as tbey wanted in whatever way they saw fit. They could exploit your name, your likeness, your story and about anything else for whatever purpose. That is a bit scary.

But I still signed. Even people coming just for tickets to the concert had to sign, and the back of the tickets had the same ominous waiver of all rights included. They were going to be filming the concert, as well, apparently. One exploitation deserves another, I suppose. So I’ll just exploit this experience for my and your entertainment.

I folded my wish and the release and put it in the envelope and waited in the long line. The film crews wasted no time in beginning their exploitation as they wheeled the boom camera around filming the long line.

The line moved slowly toward a group of tents where they were filming people and their wishes. As we got closer, excitment picked up a bit as Amy Grant herself came out and interviewed some people herself. She was dressed casually in some designer blue jeans and a top similar to one Tajalude had mentioned in one of her posts awhile back. Maybe they have a psychic connection. In anycase, Ms. Amy is a very fine looking 44 year-old. Surrounded by the lights and cameras, she was definitely the center of attention. She appeared very relaxed, talking to the folks from around town. Twenty years after recording Age to Age, she is still as stunning as she ever was.

Our line crept to the row of tents, and after over two hours I was almost there. A crew member had our line wheel around and drew a crowd around the main tent so they could get a crowd/mob shot. The result was that we lost our place in line. The lady behind me about lost it. She found another staff member and complained.

For my part, I had mixed feelings at the prospect of being interviewed on camera. While being around the filming was exciting, I was not up for the bright lights. It got alot more real as were close enough that we could see and hear the director in the tent, loudly giving instructions to everyone.

“PLACES! EVERYONE STANDBYE! SETTLE! ROLL!”

I should’ve brought my own camera.

I couldn’t do it. There was no way I was going to stand in front of a potential national audience and proclaim my marriage a train wreck in need of help the likes of that FEMA has yet to see. So I handed my envelope to a crew member and walked away. Other folks were doing likewise, but those I had shared the line with gave me a disappointed “Awww! You’re so close!”

True. But it says right on the release form that those who are not interviewed will not necessarily be excluded from having their wish granted. Truth be known, the three wishes that will be televised were selected before the crew hit town. They apparently intend on granting more than just those three, though. Or at least that’s what the press release said.

It was a memorable experience, all around and I did get 4 tickets to the concert. It’s on a school night so it’s not known if we’ll be able to go. The boys may not be up for a long night of loudness, even if it is Amy Grant. I’d like to go, but it would be counter productive to my wish to not have the family there with me, in the unlikely event they picked mine.

When I got home, Arwen asked me what my wish was. I had an extra copy printed out and gave it to her to read. She started reading it and then took it to the other room so that she could cry. I guess I hit the “heartfelt” part, at least where she is concerned. I’ll tack on an edited version below.

While it is comparatively easy with you all, me being pseudo-anonymous and all, doing it on-camera was a frightening reality that I was not quite ready to face, especially considering the odds were not in my favor to even have the wish granted. Still, the process was instructive. While in line, I saw folks pushing wheelchairs, and others bringing their young children and I knew that there were a lot of well deserved wishes out there. Even with the rich promise of exploitation, NBC couldn’t possibly grant them all. I admire the efforts of Amy Grant and the producers of the show to attempt to make a difference in communities around the country.

D.

The Letter:

Dear Three Wishes,

My main wish is to have a better and more intimate relationship with my wife, Arwyn. That’s a tall order, even for Hollywood. My wife and I have been married for 9 years, with our 10th anniversary coming up in August of 2006. We have two children. Thomas, age 6 and Elmo, age 3. Thomas has an autism spectrum disorder, but he is doing extremely well. Elmo has not been diagnosed with any disorders but has shown signs of delays.

I would not characterize or marriage as very strong, but we are both strong people and are both good Christians. But we seem to struggle with each other. The stress of raising the boys, one who has special needs, has strained both of us and we have no family close by for help or support. We are both a bit on the proud side which makes even a letter like this one difficult. We are not good at asking for help.

Arwyn stays home with the boys and I work with children who have severe physical, emotional and mental disabilities. We are far from rich but we have been able to get by. But just getting by does not afford us any extras.

We have not done counseling mainly because of cost and we haven’t found anyone to watch the boys. We have not had a weekend away without kids since Thomas was born, almost 7 years ago. And we are struggling to keep our family intact.

I am not going to go into all the details of exactly how we are struggling here, but our marriage is a ship foundering at sea, and heading for the reef. I love my children and I want to realize the deep, intimate relationship with my wife that I dreamed of 9 years ago. I’ve tried everything I know how to do, and even many things I don’t know how to do in order to turn things around. It hurts me to think that this may be our last ditch effort. I am sending up the proverbial flare and sending out an S.O.S.

Can you help us?

We thought going on a cruise would be helpful (hence the nautical hyperbole) but we really need more than just a vacation. We need real and substantial help. If Dr. Phil was available, maybe he could join us on a voyage. Or we could join him.

If I had one wish, it would be that I would never have had to make this one. But since I do, this is as close as I can get to my heart’s desire.

All my prayers,

Digger Jones


Back in the Tent

September 26, 2005

Back in the Tent

Arwyn is jealous. “Of who?” you might ask.

Of you.

She has no idea of who you are, but there is an awareness that my time and mind are spent elsewhere. She sees me reading my PDA and occasionally writing on it. My time on the computer isn’t as much because I can copy and paste my favorite reads onto my flash card fairly quickly and then read when and where I want. She has, in fact, come to richly dislike this thing.

Can’t blame her. Much. I mean this is where I go to vent, to share, to complain and to generally hobnob with a virtual playgroup. I vent my heart here and sometimes my spleen. You have all been mostly supportive. Afterall, you generally do the same thing. So there is a sort of intimate reciprocity in this place that I simply have not been able to find in my own house. If it were available, I would seek it there. In fact, much of this blog has been devoted to my attempts at getting it. But my strength and my will fail me.

The subtheme of the cage was one such attempt. As time goes on, a gulf seperates Arwyn and I. It gets deeper and wider as time goes on. The wider the chasm, the more frightening the prospect of swimming, bridging or jumping it becomes. The obstacle becomes too formidible. The cage provided the energy boost and the imperative I needed to get to the other side. As Satan once put it, I got so jizzed up, that I would do anything. And she is also the one to point out that without me making an effort, it was not going to happen. Arwyn has yet to reach out to me in trying to traverse these obstacles. Sometimes she hides behind them. Getting jizzed up enough turned me into some sort of relational Incredible Hulk, bashing down these barriers. “Don’t make me horny. You won’t like it if you make me horny!”LOL!

So there is no meeting half-way, here. Unless I am willing to carry the load (figuratively and literally) and go the entire distance, things only deteriorate further. And, yes, it does have an adverse effect on the boys.

This morning, she said it would be okay if our oldest camped out with me. He was So looking forward to it, and so was I. He only quit talking about it sometime early afternoon. So, Arwyn gave the boys their baths, and then proceeded to put them to bed. Huh? I reminded her that we had planned on camping out and she said no, with an obscene amount of hostility in her voice. As she made herself a bowl of cereal, I persued her, asking her what the deal was. She was mad at me about several things, among them not spending enough time with the boys.

“So you’re mad at me about not spending enough time with them, so when I want to spend time with them, you’ll say no.;

“Yeah, something like that.”

Egad.

Her other greivance happens to be that I haven’t applied to the Three Wishes people. Yeah. She pointed out that I should do it because I’m the better writer. Maybe so, but there is some inborn objection I have to her pimping out my writing ability. Maybe that is totally silly.

Alright, I’ll give it a shot. But she may not like it. But Hollywood might.

D.


My Wish

September 26, 2005

09/25/2005

Sunday

On Unsolicited Advice I breifly give coverage of a show that is being filmed in towns around the country, where wishes were granted.

To answer my own question, I decided that I would wish for a 3 or 4 night cruise with Arwyn, sans children. Preferably a cruise put on by Dr. Phil…or the Sex Dectives. We have not had a kid-free overnight for the past 7 years, since having children. And you all are witnesses to the ensuing disintegration of our marriage. A year or so ago we did attend a little marriage-type seminar put on by our church. It was very, very light in content consisting mostly of a game show format.

One exercise involved recalling a memorable time we had together. I can’t even remember what ours was. I think it was when we went back to Iowa for Christmas a couple years ago, and the boys had a chance to meet their cousins for the first time. Other couples also mentioned trips, and always it was some memory of getting away without the kids. We have no experiences like that, so no memories.

Another exercise at that church seminar was to share a time or something that we admired about our spouse. Most couples mentioned something about being a good father or mother. One guy did say that his wife was good in bed! I said that Arwyn had a gentle and giving spirit, which is generally true. I also mentioned that she was a budding amatuer photographer.

Arwyns contribution? That afternoon, hours before going to this thing, I had bought and assembled materials for a compost bin. And that was what she said. That I built a compost bin. A compost bin was built by me. That was what she most admired about me. That I hammered together a container for rotting garbage. Probably with some thought of me winding up there eventually. Actually, she probably was surprised that I might be able to use power and hand tools to make something even as simple as that.

Still, it would have been nice if she put just a bit more thought into it. She could have said something to the effect that when it comes to the food she puts into her mouth, I have everything to do with it, and she has little. I either buy it or I grow it. Then I process it, where processing is needed in the way of cleaning, freezing, picking or shelling. Then I actually cook it. Those of you who actually do this on a daily basis know that this is a challenge simply because it is done on a daily basis. Within hours of the last meal you have to go through the process again. But not everyone has the ability (or desire) to grow their own stuff. The compost bin was just a small part of the entire process that would be readily apparent to someone willing to reach back in their memories more than a couple of hours.

Incidently, the compost bin wasn’t really even a compost bin. I decided to make another raised bed, using one end for compost while putting the other half in production.

In anycase, we are in sore need of a good memory, which means a good experience together is what I would wish for.

D.


Retreat

September 25, 2005

09/24/2005

Saturday

Why didn’t I think of this earlier?

What a day. We’re too broke to go anywhere, except Arwyn took our oldest to his karate class. I goofed around a bit on the computer and then played with our youngest. I never did eat lunch. When Arwyn cooks, she’ll cook enough for her and the boys, but I’m on my own. Heaven forbid I do likewise.

The boys were also bored, so what to when bored? Usually I’d go and fool around the garden, but all I have is a few pole beans and some tomatoes which I got yesterday. So I did the next best thing. I made cookies. The boys were all excited and all over me, which was okay. It kept them occupied. Arwyn vacuumed a bit while I did dishes and otherwise played spider solitaire all day. I made snickerdoodles, which my oldest saw written and misread “snoodle-doodles”. I also made some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. By the time I finished the cookies it was about time to make dinner so I made biscuits and gravy. On my feet pretty much all afternoon. Arwyn was on her ass all afternoon. She doesn’t buy the food, doesn’t contribute to the grocery bill and doesn’t cook beyond nuking hot dogs for the kids.

So I laid on the couch after dinner, reading on my PDA. The boys were pestering her in the kitchen while she was trying to do dishes and clean the kitchen. She started grumbling about me laying around. I about lost it. She whined about her throat hurting and how tired she was. Granted, she did get out of bed before me by an hour or so.

As the kids began to fuss about going to bed, I suggested that I camp with our oldest in the backyard. I know he’d love it, but he’s never been. She said maybe after the ragweed was gone.

December?

She has a habit of projecting her allergies and disabilities on the boys. He does have allergies, so maybe she has a point. But this is the woman, allergic to everything, who told someone before we were married that she dated me because I had more time to go camping. This same woman, who often went camping and hiking and claimed to love the outdoors and nature, is going ballistic because we have a few ants in the house, mainly in our bedroom. When she put her pillow and blanket on the couch, I knew I was on my own, in anycase for the evening.

So, I blew up the air mattress, set up the tent, got my stuff and set myself up in the backyard. So yes, I’m typing this in the tent! Cool, huh? Not exactly roughing it, but there is something about being out of the house that changes my state of mind. I feel freer. I might just take Governor Perdue up on his suggestion of an extended weekend, saving a bit of gas and energy to boot.

And I’m taking my cookies with me.

D.