Build A Sexy Warchest

A What Now?

The warchest is a bit of inside jargon between Emily and I; it’s a term we came up with to describe the sum total of our “adult” item collection without having to constantly distinguish whether or not we were talking about toys, lubes, oils, or whatever. Lacking a term for our collection made conversations wordy and meandering. Simply put a warchest is whatever you use to enhance your sex lives as a couple represented as a collection. The size and variety of your warchest is personal and arbitrary. Your warchest could be as simple as a single go-to lubricant or it could more closely resemble ours—a varied collection of lubricants, oils, dildos, vibrators, restraints, clothes, candles, incense, and body fragrances—or anything between those two, or in excess of it. The point is, make it yours.

Do We Really Need That?

Need is a strong word but I highly encourage it. I dare you to have less fun with a carefully considered and stocked warchest. Let’s start with something simple, lubricant. Basic female fact, women experience sexual non-concordance far more often than men do. To put that in English, not everyone gets physically aroused with 100% lockstep to their mental arousal state, but women—for whatever reason—seem to experience less body-brain agreement than men. There are several reasons for this, some are biological in nature. Everything from cycle phase to pregnancy to childbirth, anything that effects hormone levels really, can cause vaginal dryness. So can just being sick or having a nutrient imbalance. There’s no sense in trying to force the body to agree with the brain in these circumstances and finding a good lubricant to keep on hand can just make that a non-issue. Suppose you and your SO like back-door fun too, obviously you need a lubricant for that as well. But front and back door lubricants have different needs, now you may need two lubes—we’ll go into specifics farther down. Now what if you wanted one just for fun; something a little slippy-slidey-messy like Bad Dragon’s infamous cumlube? Our example warchest has three items now and we haven’t even left the lubricant department. It’s funny how a little consideration for use case and a few “I want”s can balloon a warchest. Something as simple as keeping condoms around is a warchest too. Don’t box yourself into the fantastic when considering the term.

Couple Talk.

There are a few things that need to get done when planning out any warchest. Primarily, you need to be communicating with your partner openly and honestly. Some of these items can have negative impacts on self-esteem or make your partner uncomfortable. Let’s revisit the lube. What if you showed up at home with all these lubes from the example above in hand without communicating? Your partner may not know about sexual non-concordance. Some women think needing lube is a failing of their womanhood. Some men think it’s their fault if their woman isn’t wet and could take the purchase as an insult too. These issues need to be talked through if they exist and you’ll only know if you ask.

Anecdote time. I spent some time in my late teens working inside a meat packing/processing room in a super market. We always felt pretty isolated from the customers and talked about whatever. The work was hard, cold, and stressful. I’ve seen people lose bits to band saws. Environments like that tend to put more topics on the table than most settings. Sex came up a lot. We were talking about dildos one day and several of the fellas sounded off their opinions. I hadn’t really formed any yet, I wasn’t in a stable sexual relationship with anyone at the time, but I did pay attention to the answers. One answer that particularly struck me was, “toys are fine as long as they’re not bigger than me”. I found later that was a really common sentiment. A lot of guys think all there is to satisfaction is physical dimension, that an artificial object of sufficient endowment could literally replace the need for them. Yes, that’s insecurity, and it says a lot about what they base the relationship on, but it’s also a thing that’s real and an emotion you may need to be aware of. Some men just don’t know that despite hyperbolic reviews on product pages, many women find toys of any efficacy a poor substitute for the real thing. Education can be an issue too. There are a significant number of men and women that don’t really understand vaginal elasticity and think large toys or even above average toys will make someone ‘loose’. It’s good not to assume what your partner does or doesn’t know about sexuality. If you’re already communicating and in tune with each others wants and desires great! We will also be reviewing some books on sexuality soon. On that note, I don’t recommend warchest building with younger unestablished couples. Warchests have the potential to be significant investments and a pain point in a breakup.

We focus mostly on couples seeking or improving long-term committed relationships here however, so from this point on in this blog I’m going to assume that’s you, especially if you’ve gotten this far. We’ve covered the whats and the whys, so let’s dive into the hows.

Safety First.

If you’re new to the warchest market it may surprise you to learn that there are downright dangerous things being sold as safe. Dildos, plugs, and insert-able vibrators in particular are in a bad spot right now. Many of the most popular materials on the market right now—read: cheapest—are made of unstable plastics that break down and leech chemicals into the body. In addition these bargain bin toys are also porous and will collect chemicals, body fluids, bacteria, and all sorts of other nasties over time. I could write quite a bit about the specifics of this but I think it’s more useful to say what is safe.

When it comes to insert-able toys high-quality silicone based toys are top on the list of body-safe materials. Silicone can be cured to have varied textures and hardness to suit individual tastes and can hold a variety of interesting shapes. They’re non-porous, do not break down over time, and are easy to clean. Most are even dishwasher safe if that’s your thing. Properly cared for, a quality silicone based toy can last you decades. There are however counterfeits and ne’er-do-wells in this market, just like any other. Emily and I have two go-to providers for these types of toys. We go to Tantus for more conventional shapes and sizes for dildos and we also prefer them for plugs. We don’t find the ‘bullet’ solution to vibration that Tantus uses to be sufficient for our needs however and we have found a favorite in the Shibari Mini Halo wand. We also have quite the adventurous side and really recommend taking a trip to Bad Dragon if you ever find insert-able toys are starting to get routine. There are certainly other quality reputable manufacturers in this market but these are the ones we have personal experience with. However, I find Dangerous Lily to be a curator of integrity and you can’t go wrong with her. I’m not as strict in my preferences as she is when it comes to external toys but her highly informational deep dives into safe lubricants and toys are indispensable all the same. Seriously check her out.

Glass and metal are also alternatives to silicone and we do own quite a few glass toys. Quality glass toys are expensive however, but that didn’t stop us from falling in love with this unusual twisted piece. I don’t have any recommended manufacturers for metal toys unfortunately.

As for lubricants, look for top shelf brand names and check for ‘paraben free’ lubricants. That’s not the only irritant, that’ll vary person to person, but several manufacturers have started adding ‘natural’ lubes to their line-ups to address these issues. Sliquid offers a wide range of lubricants and is one of my go-to suppliers. When we’re looking to go for the rear we lean on Gun Oil. While the site says it’s ‘for men’ it’s really just specialized in anal friendly lubes. They’ve started a women’s section and while I’m not sure about the toys there the Pink lineup of lubes is quite a selection. I mentioned earlier that there are different lubes to get different jobs done. I’d recommend Dangerous Lily’s lubricant guide if you find all the options dizzying. On a quick note, I’ve recommended silicone toys here. DO NOT use silicone lubricants on silicone toys, you will RUIN them. Always be sure to read manufacturers recommendations and warnings.

That should cover the safety section. Let’s get to the fun stuff.

Oh The Options.

So we’ve covered the whats and whys. We’ve covered issues of safety and I’ve thrown more links at you already than I can shake a stick at. It’s time for some fun stuff.

Mood Setters – Don’t forget these essential parts of your warchest. Properly fragranced candles can double as mood lighting and olfactory pleasers. The brain is the biggest and best pleasure organ in the body, don’t neglect it. Use mood setters to clear away the thoughts that inhibit, well, the mood. This can be smells, the lighting, background noise or music, even which room you’re in. Just about everyone knows about the most ubiquitous mood setter, lingerie. Mood setters can make all the difference.

Lubricants – we already went over these a good bit in the safety section, and for good reason. Anything that goes in someone’s body needs to be thoroughly vetted. Just remember that there are a few basic types. Water based lubricants are easy to clean and typically don’t stain. They’re meant to augment natural lubricant and if they start to dry out can be ‘refreshed’ by a little water or natural moisture. Water based lubes are also condom and toy safe in the vast majority of cases, worry not with water. Thicker oil and silicone based lubricants and gels are better for anal play. The anus and rectum don’t naturally lubricate and lubes that aren’t absorbed by the body and ‘stay put’ better are preferable for this use case, they are harder to clean however and may stain.

Dildos – Are you a size queen or a texture fiend? Do you even know yet? Start with the basics and figure out what it is you like. Do you like girth, smoothness, ridges? This varies person to person. Only one way to find out! While a majority of women actually prefer external stimulation for getting off, women like Emily have a hard time making the magic happen without feeling full. If that’s you this is your stop.

Plugs – These are another item that benefit a lot from the qualities of silicone. Metal makes a large appearance here too as some people like their plugs to have a lot of weight. As for whether or not plugs are for you that seems to be one of the more individual tastes. Emily doesn’t really care for them even though she likes a good anal thrusting. Some people, men and women alike, seem to just do much better with some presence there in the same way Emily has a much easier time if there’s something inserted vaginally. Just like with dildos, if you’re curious and inexperienced with these chase things in ‘starter’ size. That’s where the similarities to dildos stop though, don’t treat these that way. For the best experience you need to be well lubricated, and very relaxed. Many women find it useful to get off once or come very close to it prior to anal play. Remember those mood setters.

Vibrators – As I just mentioned above, most women actually prefer getting off on clitoral stimulation and vibrators are designed to achieve that. When I say designed, I mean it, vibrators were originally invented as a medical device to relieve ‘tension’ in under-served wives. Until recently, vibrators haven’t really changed much since they were invented: Stick an electric unbalanced oscillator to a power source and feel the thump. Recently however there’s a new type of vibrator that uses puffs of air. We haven’t had the chance to try one of these yet but most of the reviews are very positive. If a more traditional vibrator is for you, check the reviews. Some are buzzy, some are rumbly, based on the type of motor used. That’ll be a personal preference.

Massage Oils – I could stick this under mood setters but I think massage oils deserve their own special mention. Unless specifically stated these are for external use only, which is a good thing. This lets massage oils be suffused with things that warm, or chill, or tingle, or smell good, or a combination. It’s a real good way to arouse the brain while you arouse the body. If you need to cheap out here, you totally can. Baby oil has a reputation as being a cheap but wonderful go-to here, especially if like me, you have a baby and buy the stuff in large quantities anyway, no one bats an eye!

Restraints – Rope, cuffs, whatever, these items are for couples that are into power play. You likely already know if this is you, but if you’re curious try it out. Besides, knowing how to tie a good quick release knot is a practical skill outside the bedroom too. There are safety concerns with this too. Ropes that are too tight are a bad thing. Check this page out to get started.

Other Considerations.

For long term couples, especially those with children, there are several logistical things to consider when building your own warchest.

  • How and where will the items be cleaned/maintained?
  • Do you need batteries and if so how many?
  • How much physical space can you dedicate to these items and where will they be stored?
  • What are you willing to spend?
  • How obvious are they? (Noise, smell, etc.)
  • How much prep time is involved?
  • How frequently will they be used?

And that’s about it! As this blog goes on we will be reviewing some of these items specifically and in detail, so stay tuned for those. At this point we aren’t taking requests, we’ve got quite a collection to work through first. I hope this has been a practically useful and informational post.

I am not a paid reviewer. My content comes from me and I was not solicited in any manner for this review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have a comment or a question? Is there a topic you’d like discussed? Let me know through my contact page.

What Makes Love Last – Key Takeaways

What Makes Love Last – Key Takeaways

I’ve been reading quite a bit of literature on relationships, marriage, and sex this year. Some were enjoyable easy reads, some were meandering wordy affairs. I’m happy to say What Makes Love Last by Dr. John Gottman fits the former category. We’ll call What Makes Love Last WMLL for the rest of this review for the sake of brevity.

First things first, I highly recommend picking up WMLL for any couple at any stage of their relationship. You can use the information in this book not only to assess your current relationship and make improvements, but you can also use this book to improve your ability to form stable relationships in the first place. Dr. Gottman will show you how to avoid behaviors that break trust and tear down the foundation for long lasting relationships. Dr. Gottman also gives us a convincing argument for relationships as trust-based. I already viewed relationships as fundamentally trust based but WMLL helped provide me with evidence and arguments to defend that position, so those of you who are already high-trust types should definitely pick this up and give it a read. Ultimately, WMLL is a book for anyone that is currently in, or has plans to be in, a long term relationship and thinks the quality of that relationship and its success matters. That’s you right? You wouldn’t be reading a blog like this if you weren’t.

The primary feature that makes this book so attractive and such an easy recommendation is how it delivers its content. WMLL is a straightforward piece that trusts the reader to have some basic intelligence and the ability to make decisions that benefit them, which is something I find oddly lacking in the self-help genre as a whole. WMLL definitely deserves the phrase, page turner. WMLL also avoids having too few or too many pages, the content is delivered succinctly but without being abridged and it’s friendly to busy lifestyles. Gottman also avoids sugar-coating and sets reasonable expectations. You’ll get clear boundaries for when you can rely on the book to self-help and when to consult a professional. For example, there’s a warning on page 66 that cautions against trying to use the book to repair an abusive relationship.

Please note: The worst kind of betrayal-physical or emotional abuse perpetrated to control the victim of the violence-is not on this list. Do not use this book to improve such a relationship. Any kind of unwanted touch signals physical abuse, including forced,  unwanted touch in the bedroom. Emotional abuse includes social isolation, sexual coercion, extreme jealousy, public humiliation, belittling or degrading, threats of violence or other acts that induce fear, or damage to property, pets, or children. If your partner is abusive, acknowledge to yourself that you don’t deserve such treatment and enlist help…You deserve support.

What Makes Love Last? pg. 66-67

WMLL also goes through plenty of examples of how things can and often do go wrong. Dr. Gottman avoids the trap of painting this picturesque unobtainable storybook marriage in the delivery of his message of self improvement, he just draws clear lines for when bad is too bad. You’re not going to feel like WMLL is trying to make you into something impossible by the end of the reading. Dr. Gottman makes sure to mention when people are speaking strangely due to having been in therapy a while and notes that couples don’t typically speak to each other that way. This disclaimer is lacking in other books on marriage and the impression I got from those other books was the authors wanted to turn my house into an episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. I always said no thanks to that. So if you’ve ever felt like the road to relationship improvement was to be an emotional robot with a conversation tree you’ll find WMLL is a breath of fresh air.

Now let’s judge this book by its cover. Well, let’s judge the genre anyway. While WMLL‘s cover is far from the most cringe worthy cover I’ve seen in the relationship self-help genre I have to wonder where publishers think people read these days. Is it too much to ask the self-help genre to take itself seriously? Like I said before, Gottman’s book isn’t the worst about this, but as these reviews continue you’re going to see what I mean about the subject failing to take itself seriously. Fortunately, if you invest in an e-reader or e-book service you can avoid all these embarrassing cover woes. I like to have physical copy though so it’s a bother for me.

Minor cover gripes aside, I have to reiterate my emphatic recommendation that anyone with so much as a tertiary interest in improving their relationship pick this book up and read it cover to cover.

I am not a paid reviewer. My content comes from me and I was not solicited in any manner for this review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have a comment or a question? Is there a topic you’d like discussed? Let me know through my contact page.

Surround Yourself With Support

Communication is a big part of all relationships. I’m sure no matter how much we agree with that statement that we’re all about tired of hearing it. Let me take this one on from a different angle however. Lets talk about how your relationship is communicated with your social networks both real and imagined.

In general, people are social creatures. Being social serves several important functions in helping us make decisions in our lives and our romantic relationships are no different. People take for granted how much influence comes from our social circles however. Many of us like to assume we’re a little above being influenced so trivially. We aren’t above it, and it isn’t trivial.

I hope you never have to see this in person, but given the divorce rates not only in the United States but around the globe I have a feeling you will or have. Someone in your circle of friends gets divorced, then as if dominoes were being knocked over, more of them split. It can feel like your world is coming apart as your entire social network self-destructs, begging you and your spouse to pick sides, trying to turn each of you against old friends. Divorced friends may even try to convince you that you should leave your partner too and it’s not unheard of that the newly lonely divorcee, disenfranchised with the ‘sanctity’ of marriage, may try to poach yours. More than mere coincidence or happenstance, this domino effect is part of a social phenomenon called social contagion. There’s a fascinating new piece of research on divorce as a social contagion that Pew Research has been kind enough to summarize.

In short, all sorts of behaviors spread through social circles by proximity, both positive and negative. Yes, your siblings really do mimic you and have their own kids after you do—or perhaps you were the copy cat. Even obesity seems to spread socially. The effect is huge. Close friends of a divorcee are 75% more likely to divorce themselves and being a friend of a friend comes with a 33% increase in the likelihood of divorce. With first-time marriages already flirting with a 50% divorce rate you are looking at dire numbers indeed if your inner circle goes south. The suspected reasons are many and I suggest reading the Pew article linked above if you are curious.

It’s important to regularly take stock of your social situation and be aware of it. My own father was affected by toxic co-workers and a good dose of stress led to him levying an outrageous charge of lesbian infidelity against my mother. Their marriage survived that, but it’s an example of how our social circles can get us to do crazy and irrational things. So make sure that you are surrounding yourself with good people, and those relationships do not go bad. Don’t let your friends do things that inject unwanted negativity into your relationship. Good friends will stop negative behaviors when asked. Make sure you aren’t prompting this from them, friends like to echo the sentiments of their friends and if you are complaining about your partner you may be signaling them to echo those complaints and validate them. Don’t invite people you hardly know to your social media. Regularly cull negative or absent influences from social media too. Strive to be a positive influence, since that’s also contagious, you could be helping keep your friendships healthy by stopping them from going negative. You can follow my example and get rid of your personal social media all together, it’s good for you. For those of us that can’t abandon social media, for instance your social media accounts are part of your work as well, keep in mind that these social circles affect you just much as real relationships do and curate them accordingly.

I find that my close relationships outside of my marriage are not outside my marriage at all. All marriages hit stress points and everyone gets stressed. It can damage your relationship to constantly be complaining about your job or some other source of negativity in your life. Many times it’s beneficial for the both of you not to know absolutely everything that goes on in your day to day grinds. You can direct these energies at your close friends, especially at those who share similar frustrations. In my case, it’s better to direct my frustrations inside of the IT world to my IT buddies rather than at my spouse. Not only would I be directing negativity at her that she can hardly process, but a lot of what I’d complain to her about wouldn’t even make sense due to all the vague jargon and specialized language. She’d be doubly frustrated that she could hardly make sense of what I was saying, much less empathize with it and perhaps tell me I was being whiny or affirm my feelings and say ‘yeah that really does suck’ the way my colleagues can. That doesn’t even cover when the source of the frustration is our spouse themselves.

When our spouse is the source of our frustration a positive and supportive network of friends can be there to call us out when we’re wrong, help us to resolve things when we have legitimate grievances, and help us to just vent and dispose of the small frustrations that come with marriage and child rearing. They can respond with positive stories about their relationship and how they got through similar troubles, show us that these things really aren’t so bad, or point out that other stresses may be making mountains out of molehills. We can similarly be these positive reflectors for our close friends and together in that network, curating these friendships and investing in them, we can distribute the load and diminish negativity. Having a more open dialogue with your friends about your relationship and about relationships in general will help them perform this task and vice versa. If you’re a more private person or couple this can still work but you have to take extra care to reach out when you need to. Your friends likely know your privacy preferences and are less likely to speak up when they observe something troubling or even when they’re prompted for feedback.

Friends can help us with more tangible annoyances in our relationships. Trusted friends can help give us nights away from the kids. It doesn’t matter how good you are at slipping some romance in on the sly, knowing for a fact that you have a few hours or even a whole evening to yourself is freeing. You can take your time, you can be loud, you can make romantic plans that the chaos of kids would likely derail. You can break out the fancy china and candles, you can pay enough attention to home cook a meal. You can steal away to your favorite restaurant or go to that bar you haven’t been able to venture to in ages. Duck into that adult store you can never visit anymore. Heck, go see your other friends. Repay these favors in kind when your friends have children too. Sleepovers and child-swaps can take 2 couples that can’t get time to themselves and let them breathe again. Let me tell you from experience that between two adults there’s not much difference between watching 2 kids and watching 5, but the difference between watching even 1 child and zero children is a world of difference. Alternate weekends, come up with a plan, you can give yourself and your friends alone time you’d not get at all otherwise. 

Sometimes conversations with our friends can be awkward. We can take steps to create environments where more open conversations are easier. Having a game night or other regular social gathering between friends can help us create an environment where we regularly and comfortably express things we might not say on the street. Emily and I love using Cards Against Humanity for this purpose, as it breaks the ice in ways that frequently lead to questions about sensitive topics in a comfortable environment. Whatever you do, make sure it fits you and your friendships. Notice that social media friends don’t help when we need to meet someone in person. The lack of physical availability can hinder our social media relationships and the steps we take to keep them healthy—one of the reasons I encourage avoiding them. Use social media to keep in touch with the people you actually know. A social media friend thousands of miles away isn’t going to help you with that emergency eviction or having both your cars break down at the same time.

a barn raising
Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

We can also get closer to our friends by supporting each other during ‘barn raising moments’. Friends can team up and share expertise which strengthens bonds through inter-dependency. Share your housekeeping skills, your automotive skills, your technology talents, the list goes on. Inconvenience yourself for your friends and watch for reciprocation; let your friends know that’s part of the deal. As you deepen bonds with friends you can get more comfortable saying no to each other, and saying how you actually feel. Your friendships will be based on more than just being nice to each other and will survive disagreements. Pay attention to friends’ bids for help and answer them as much as is reasonable—just keep an eye on whether that’s getting one sided.

A strong network of friends is important for getting into a good relationship too. Introductions through friends is still the number one way couples meet as of the last HCMST (How Couples Meet and Stay Together) survey. While online couplings are catching up, the study also shows that people with a wide network of friends benefit the least from online interaction. New results are due soon and I’m really curious how those trends will continue. Take a look.

We’ve all seen the stereotype, a person gets married and all their time for friends goes away. If this is you, cut it out. If your partner is doing this to you, it’s a sign you may not be the best match. Cutting people off from their support networks is one of the first stages of relationship abuse. Make sure you aren’t doing this to yourself as well, you could be inadvertently creating negative feelings towards your SO in your social circles, and that’s not something that typically goes well.

Photo by Steve Long on Unsplash

If you end up the victim of relationship abuse a strong network of friends can help you escape(Good friends will rarely let you get into that situation in the first place, but things happen). Never let your SO demand you cut yourself off from your support networks—that’s a red flag. Make sure you maintain friendships that are more than superficial. Do not be ashamed to ask for help and tell the situation like it is, it may save your life. Good close friendships are safe harbors in even the worst storms.

So don’t think of a close circle of friends as something that has to fall by the wayside when you start getting serious in a relationship, instead recognize that a close circle of friends is your best chance of beating the odds and staying in a long committed relationship together. Keep your friendships healthy, keep your marriage healthy.

Have a comment or a question? Is there a topic you’d like discussed? Let me know through my contact page.

Why I Started This Blog

Why I Started This Blog

I have always been the shoulder to cry on. People just always seemed to trust me. I’m the person people go to when they’re disturbed but afraid to tell their spouse or boyfriend. I’ve always been the person people come to when they need a pick-me-up. I still haven’t figured out why that is. I don’t know why I’m the person people tell secrets they haven’t told their friends, their family, or their significant others but I always have been that person.

I’ve been a close confidant to people who have really needed one over the years. I’ve seen some unique situations. I’ve seen some patterns too. The first time I thought of starting a project like this was in 2016 as a result of noticing those patterns. In 2018 one of those patterns asserted itself in a terrible way and I had to help a close friend out of a terrible situation. It wasn’t without risk to either of us. There were friendships forged in that ordeal that I’m going to carry for the rest of my life and I am grateful for them.

That ordeal wasn’t the first time I had been told I had an enviable marriage, I’ve been hearing that message from one person or another throughout the 10 years Emily and I have been married, but it was when I really, truly started to believe it. I was able to be a positive anchor for someone who didn’t really know what a good relationship even looked like. This wasn’t just a person who could improve in this area or that, this was a friend who fundamentally needed to be shown that there was a bright spot to all this and that relationships did exist that were good. I was surprised over and over at how things I took for granted in my wife’s behavior and in my own could be the stuff of fairy tales for others. I was told my experiences and advice had value, and for once I believed it.

When I was helping my friend out of her long-term and highly abusive relationship I also cracked open a book or two—or five. I did a lot of research for her benefit, between books and web research, this wasn’t something I was going to screw up. When I first discovered her situation she wouldn’t even call the way she’d been treated abuse. I encouraged her to get professional help, but she felt trapped in her own home, like she’d be retaliated against if she tried, and she didn’t have a job—part of the entrapment—to pay for one anyway. Her siblings were reached out to, and they failed to live up to their duties. Even her mother didn’t recognize the need to do something. So it came down to me, untrained and going by instinct, nothing to lean on but my experience as a husband and father and the patterns I had seen before. Against the odds everything turned out for the best.

We had many conversations during and after incident. I talked about the patterns I’d seen and we talked about our mutual experiences, we still do. My friend encouraged me to pursue my interests with more vigor and conscientiousness and to be more confident in my convictions. So I started making plans to start this blog and after a half year of making plans, scratching them out, having ideas and crumpling them up and tossing them in the bin, to the drawing board over and over but finally I came up with something I liked.

I decided I wanted to write a blog for myself, for my friend, and especially for all the people that fit the pattern I mentioned earlier. It’s time to name the pattern.


As people came to me over the years the biggest theme I noticed in their problems was a self-denial of how they felt in order to please some sort of social order that had little to do with them. I’m not talking about things as relevant as parents and family who’s considerations may be reasonably taken into account; I am talking about things like social media, Facebook, Twitter, work gossips, and so on. Particularly in trouble are those people who have what I’d call normal desires for their life goals, convinced by outside forces that it’s wrong to want those things. One friend that stands out in particular is a feminist that had to be convinced that it wasn’t wrong for her to want children and live at home with them.

This kind of perverse conformity is what we’re going to tackle here. I’m going to tackle those things by doing what I do best. I’m going to share my experiences, the good and the bad, I’m going to talk about those in the context of the research I’ve done, and that I continue to do. I am not however, going to ask you to just simply take my word for it, that was one of the discomforts that delayed creating this blog in the first place. So as part of this endeavor I’m also going to be referring you to books and other media that I have found extraordinarily helpful to myself and others. We’re also going to have a bit of fun here. This is going to be a sex positive place, and we’re going to talk about that. My wife in particular finds sex toy and accessory reviews utterly lacking in larger contexts, especially in married contexts, and we’ll be doing some of those too. Hell, the whole subject of even having marital aides can be touchy, we’re tackling that too.

Then there’s the inspiration for the title of the blog. Many of the people I talk to have never really gotten advice on what to do after they’ve committed. It seems all media focuses on at the moment is the chase, whether it’s for short term pleasure or ‘finding the one’ no one really seems to talk about what to do afterwards unless there’s a big problem. To put it another way, pundits and commentators don’t seem to be really into ‘preventative treatment’ for relationships. They seem more interested in starting them and charging for the fix when they go bad. We’re going to talk about the blogs namesake, what to do after the yes, what to do before problems.

I really hope you enjoy your stay here, whether that’s to learn something new, expose yourself to a different perspective on marriage or be affirmed in ideas long held, or just to stick around and have fun.

I am here because some special people believed in me. I intend to pay that forward and help you believe in you.

Have a comment or a question? Is there a topic you’d like discussed? Let me know through my contact page.