Saturday, January 16, 2010

Make Up Sex 101 by Biki

Over and over I hear the same thing, how lucky I am with my relationship with T.H. (The Husband).  And yes, I am lucky to have T.H. in my life.  But, being married happily is never luck, tis at times just plain hard work.  Yea, hard work.....  From the prospective of 31 years of marriage, I have a few insights to share with you.

Any relationship is work, yea yea I know you don't really want to hear that do you?  But, tis all to true.  So, you are sitting there looking at your screen thinking, work?  What on earth is Biki talking about? 

Love, love, love and sex! 

That is what it's all about really, huh?  Many things brought you together at first, one of which might be good ol' fashioned lust.  But, lust isn't enough to hold a relationship, there has to something deeper, more solid to live on.  And that something deeper has to be love.  

At the beginning, fueled with lust and blinded by love, everything is fine fine fine.  But, lust does start to cool a bit, and our eyes start to clear, and then we hit the pavement.  Things that never bothered us about them before, suddenly make us want to scream..... well we can't go around doing that now can we?  

Pick your battles wisely!  

Here is something stupid from our past.... and I do mean stupid.  Ok, so I am like a 5 year old with the toothpaste, I will admit it.  I squeeze the tube from the middle, and am not usually good at putting the cap on straight or tight, and it drove T.H. nuts!  Believe it or not, we would fight about toothpaste....sigh.  Yea, toothpaste.  Then one day my brain finally engaged, and it dawned on me two things that were set in stone.  One, I will not be changing how I use toothpaste.  Two, T.H. will never be ok with it, and it is well weird to fight over TOOTHPASTE!  The next time we grocery shopped, I bought two different type of toothpaste, end of problem.  

If only I had realized how stupid fighting over toothpaste truly was earlier, we might not have used so many tears and anger over something so trivial.  So, while you are pulling in that breath to yell about something?  Stop and think, is this really that important that we need to fight over it?  Will he ever change?  Will I ever change?  If there is an easier way around, like me buying two types of toothpaste, then go that route.  A lot of the stuff couples fight over is just trivial, plain and simple.  How to fold the towels, do we air dry the dishes or wipe them, which way should the toilet paper hang, etc.  All this is just trivial, and doesn't matter at all, unless we blow it all out of proportion with our need to win these trivial battles.

Win to loose!

So, you have decided that this indeed is an important battle.  The lines have been drawn in the sand, and your built up anger is ready to burst right out of your skin.  And the argument is on!  Let's pull back from the battle scene for a moment and look at this shall we?  Ok, you are mad, and that is a valid emotion, and letting it fester inside is a really bad idea to be sure.  However there is a right way to fight, and a wrong way.  

The wrong way is to say things like this.... "You never think about what I want!"  Or... "You didn't even care about what I thought!"  Ok!  That is sure to start a war between you two.  If you attack your guy with those kind of words, what you will get back is him lashing back because he is now hurt.  And you will be hurt by his words and the end result, is that nothing is resolved and everyones feelings have been battered and bruised.  And now that is a whole new problem.

Instead tell the person how their actions make you feel, and yes you can do this loudly.  So the right way would be....."It hurts me when you made decisions without asking me first."  See, the same information is given, but without being quite as combative about it.  Say it loudly if you really must, what you feel inside, not what they have done wrong.  The whole idea of a fight is to get things straight and back on track again.  

Whose job is this anyway?

Some couples divide up the jobs that keep the lights on and the house clean very rigidly, others run with a much more free form manner.  Each of them works well depending on the personalities of the couple.  Having said that tho.... there comes a time and a place to just man up.  

So, he does the dishes, tis his job, ok fine.  However, does that mean you can't carry your after dinner snack plate to the kitchen?  If all of the dishes have been done for the night, give it a quick wash.  Yes, yes I know, tis so not your job.  But, think how happy doing something so small can make him.  Why will it make him feel happy? Because you are giving value to his effort to keep the dishes done and the kitchen clean by washing up what you have dirtied.  By helping out with small things like this, not only are you helping to keep things nice and tidy, but in effect you are saying, "I love you, and I appreciate you!"  Now, doesn't washing that dish sound like a good idea?

We are all busy, but ignoring the housework can lead to disagreements.  To me a messy house is noisy and chaotic, a clean one is quiet and peaceful, even with metal blasting from the speakers.  Rather than having a long slog each weekend of cleaning up the sty formerly know has your home, do a tiny bitty piece each day, because let's be honest who wants to spend their precious weekend mucking out toilets?  Then the weekend work will be down to an hour or so tops, and will only cost the both of you 20 minutes or so tops each night.

Not only will this keep your house clean and weekends free, it will lead to a much happier home.  And if you both are natural slobs?  Then make up a list, and do you bit each night, every night.  Doing it this way will seem more accessible than that weekend long slog filled with, "What in the hell is it with you, do you ever put anything away?"  And the bell rings, "In this corner weighing in with loads of sarcasm is....."

The root of all evil, money.

This, yea this is the tough one to deal with.  Strangely enough money is just not something we use to buy stuff with.  Money has many faces and we really need to listen to what each other is saying here, closely.  

You hate to spend any money, your main focus is to save save save.  Ok, now tell yourself the true reason saving your money is so important to you?  If you understand why saving is so important to you, then explaining it will be so much easier.

So, this is going to be tough to hash out, and one needs to be careful about how we use words here or twill be dragons and fire every where.  This one topic, about something so mundane, and yet so powerful, breaks many couples apart.  More than anything, this needs to be addressed fairly early on.  For some reason, it's so much easier to strip down naked with a complete stranger and have hot sex with them, than to talk to a loved one about money.

Winning this conversation is not what you should be aiming for.  A win for you here, could spell a bigger loss down the road, the end of your relationship.  So, tread carefully or it could all go pear shaped here.  Your money should pay the bills, be saved for emergencies, and for fun.  

Yes!! Fun needs to be added into the budget.  So, there isn't much money left over at the end of each month for fun.  Then learn to stretch your money till it cries.  So what if you can't afford expensive dinners out, or big lavish gifts for birthdays?  What is truly more important here, living large, or love?  I'm hoping you are saying, love.

So, the title of this post was rather deceiving, sorry.  Because if you work it correctly you won't be having make up sex..... but hey, made ya look!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Care and Feeding of the Testicles, a guest post by Aek

So the lovely Biki asked me (as the “medical specialist” in this corner of the blogosphere) to do a post on the following topic, as well as suggest the rather apt title.  I will touch upon 2 topics today: testicular torsion and testicular cancer.
Testicular Torsion

What is testicular torsion?
Testicular torsion is when the spermatic cord (that contains the artery and vein to the testicles) twists on itself and cuts off blood supply to a testicle.  It’s very painful and must be ruled out whenever there’s pain in the scrotum.

How does it happen?
Normally, the testicles are “anchored” to the bottom of the scrotum by the ligament made by the gubernaculum (such a fun word to say, say it with me: gubernaculum).  During fetal development, the gubernaculum pulls the testicles from inside the abdomen down into the scrotum (though no one knows exactly how it does this).  If the ligament made by the gubernaculum weakens/breaks, the testicle “floats” more freely in the scrotum, allowing it to more easily twist around itself.  The most common causes of testicular torsion are trauma to the testicles or strenuous physical activity.

How is it diagnosed?
There are a lot of things that can cause pain in the scrotum, such as inflammation or infection.  A good patient history and physical exam are usually sufficient to diagnose testicular torsion.  Sometimes an ultrasound may be used, if available.

Can it be dangerous?
Aside from extreme pain that can cause nausea and dizziness, testicular torsion can indeed be dangerous. Because the blood supply to the testicle is cut off by the twisting, the testicle is in danger of dying and become gangrenous.  Prompt treatment within hours may be necessary to save the testicle . . . otherwise amputation of the testicle to prevent gangrene infection may be needed.

How is it treated?
Testicular torsion is often treated surgically.  Sometimes it may be manually untwisted or it may even untwist on its own.  Such treatment should be attempted by a trained doctor only.

Take home message:
If you’re experiencing extreme pain in your testicles, see the doctor ASAP.  No excuses.
Testicular Cancer

What is testicular cancer?
That’s rather self-explanatory, lol.  It’s actually really freaky and I won’t go into the weird details of testicular cancer.  o_O

Who gets testicular cancer?
Testicular cancer is odd in that it’s not an “old person’s disease” like most cancers.  It’s the most common cancer of men between the ages of 15 and 34, occurring most often in men between the ages of 20 and 39. Testicular cancer accounts for about 1% of all male cancers in the US.  In 2009, 8400 new cases of testicular cancer were diagnosed in the US and there were 380 deaths from it.  Fortunately, testicular cancer has over a 95% cure rate if detected early.

How is it diagnosed?  What’re the symptoms?
Taken from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the following are common symptoms of testicular cancer:
- painless lump/swelling in a testicle
- pain/discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum
- enlargement of a testicle or changes to how it feels
- dull ache in the abdomen, back, or groin
- sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum

How is testicular cancer treated?
The same as any other cancer, more or less: surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.  Fortunately, treatment for testicular cancer tends to be less aggressive than for many other cancers.

What about prevention?
As with many cancers, prevention = early detection.  To detect testicular cancer early, guys should do monthly testicular self-exams.  It’s very easy to do.  During/immediately after a shower, when the scrotum is relaxed, gently hold one testicle and feel for lumps or anything different (such as tenderness, increased firmness, or buildup of fluid).  Then repeat with the other testicle.  Compare the two testicles for any changes in size.  Since many will forget to do this (I’m just as guilty), it may be a better idea to pseudo-incorporate this into masturbation sessions once in a while.  Just a thought.  o_O

Now for something amusing/interesting.  Guys have a special reflex called the “cremaster reflex.”  There’s a muscle in the spermatic cord called the cremaster muscle, that pulls the testicles closer to the body.  The nerve that innervates the cremaster muscle (the genito-femoral nerve) splits in the abdomen and also goes to the inner thigh.  So if you stroke your inner thigh, you’ll cause your testicles to pull towards your body.  Nifty, eh?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Being Gay in God's Eyes A guest post by Ryan

An Introduction To Sin
What causes people to go to hell is sin. Pure and simple, Sin is the reason we cannot share an eternal life with God in heaven. We were created to be beings of worship unto God, to live our life in the service of Him and to spread His good word (Bible) to the other people of the world. This task of spreading God's word is called the Great Commission.

When we do something that is against God or His word, that is a sin. Now the Bible says that all sin is equal. If you sleep with 14 men in one night or if you shoot your next door neighbor, or if you steal a loaf of bread or even if you use God's name in vain. These are all sin's and although our society has placed different values and punishments on these acts (or none at all), God sees them all equally bad: They are all sins.

The Bible also says that EVERYONE sins. There will never be anyone, in our lives, that does not sin. Nobody is perfect. Some are notably better than others by example. Some people are ravaged drug users who kill people all the time and some people live fairly decent lives but might slip up every once in a while. Both parties have sinned and both must repent.

Repenting is easy and hard at the same time. All you need do to remove a sin from your slate is to ask God to forgive you for it by naming Jesus Christ as your personal savior and thank him for dying for your sins. God will forgive you of your sin no problem, but you MUST mean it! And God knows whether you mean it or not. If you say you're sorry, but then you turn around and do it again, well you are then sinful again. Back to square one.

Introducing Homosexuality
Now that I have covered the basics of sin, let's talk about homosexuality and bisexuality.  For The Bible doesn't really address Bisexuality too much other than when it is addressing homosexuality, but since bisexuality would still involve two people of the same sex interacting in a sexual way, we are going to deal only with homosexual acts and the Bible's take on them.

You no doubt have heard from someone in your life that the Bible, and thus God, does not like homosexual behavior. Black and White right? No room for argument? You have probably heard of Sodom and Gomorrah, Romans, Corinthians, and Leviticus and you no doubt have felt persecuted because of the things they books say about being homosexual. Well the time for the guilty feeling is over. Before I go into the reason it is over you need to understand a few rules about discussing the Bible:

1. The Bible, while conceived by God and written with His guidance has not always been interpreted using His guidance. It has also not always been interpreted for the purposes of good people.

2.Some things in the Bible refer to cultural topics that are not relatable to present day life in a word for word sense. My example is this: in First Corinthians is says that women should not cut their hair. This was because back then, if women cut their hair, they were viewed to be whores and evil doers and that is not the kind of people that God wants spreading his gospel. If a whore came up to you and said, "Repent!" You would laugh and walk away, but in today's world, cutting women's hair does not have this same effect. But some things do. The lesson can still be applied to our lives and thus it IS relevant, but it should not be applied word for word.

3.No person on the planet can be 100% sure that something they read in the Bible is perfectly translated and that they understand that translation perfectly. Only through much study and reading can you begin to unravel the true meanings behind every word written in the Bible, but through this guide you can gain some understanding and get a good idea of where to start reading!

Being Open To New Ideas
Most people in the Christian world are set in their ways. Some are accepting of homosexuality, some are not but all seem locked into what they believe. This is not always a bad thing when it comes to being a spiritual person, but knowing that you could always be wrong is what leads us to continue studying and learning. So do not push your beliefs, whatever they may come to be, on other Christians, but offer what you have learned to them and if they seem open to learn and discuss, share your opinions and what you believe.

Many times in the Bible various leaders have been shown that what they thought was God's will, was truly not correct. It took a blinding light and a voice from heaven to help the apostle Paul change his mind about certain Hebrew texts. A sheet lowered from the sky filled with all kinds of animals helped the apostle Peter gain new insights into Jewish law. These men were Godly and just, but they were wrong. So if the Apostle Paul could be wrong, if you are faced with an argument from another Christian, simply inform them that they could be as well!

Always have your mind open to what God can show you and teach you. The word of God is a powerful tool, but it can be misunderstood and hard to read at times. Take your time and study it, seek advice, but seek literary advice. Ask what words mean and what the original translations were, but do not seek out teachings on what scriptures mean for your life. That is something only God can tell you through prayer and study.

The Scriptures
When people talk about Homosexuality in the bible they refer to a certain set of scriptures scattered throughout the various books. I have taken the liberty to compile these scriptures here to save yourself the time of looking them all up!
Leviticus 18:22 - "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." (NIV)
Leviticus 20:13 - "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." (NIV)
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (NIV).
1 Corinthians 6:11 - "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (NIV)

Romans 1:26-27 - "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." (NIV)

In addition to the above scriptures in the book of Genesis, Chapter 19 is talks about God destroying Sodom and Gomorrah.

The Debate
I am not going to tell you what is right and what is wrong. I will nto tell you because I do not know for sure. I only know what feels right to me after studying this topic for many years I can only assume to believe what God has led me to believe, but you must study His word and decide for yourself.

The scriptures listed before have been used harshly by the church in the past. Many people have been shunned, discriminated against, hated and attacked on the basis of these scriptures. You are reading words that infuriate people, that drive them to become angry and forceful. Because of this I caution you not to take these words lightly: Do not force your beliefs or what you read here onto other people.

When looking at the Leviticus scriptures the debate it something fierce. Some scholars believe as the church does, that these scriptures indicate homosexuality to be an abomination. Some believe otherwise that these scriptures talk, when taken down to their Greek translations, refer more to pagan temple rituals than common sexual acts.

As far as the Corinthian scriptures are concerned a similar debate rages on. Some believe that the Greek translation for Homosexual Offenders is actually male prostitutes. However, some argue that this would be a repeat, as Paul had already written male prostitutes into the verse.

The Romans scripture is also believed by some to refer to prostitution and not necessarily homosexual acts.

Most leading scholars outside major denominations believe that Sodom and Gomorrah's demise was caused by incest like relationships, bestiality and orgies and group sex.

Something To Think About
Jesus never talks about same sex relationships during his entire time on Earth, he does say to love everyone though. Jewish prophets are silent about homosexuality meaning that they offer no opinion or guidance whatsoever. Out of over one million verses in the entire Bible, only six or seven mention homosexuality in any way and they do not speak of it in the context we know it in today.

You can see by the information I have presented that the topic is far from black and white. Nobody can tell you that being gay is wrong because it never says being attracted to another man is a sin. So as far as your feelings go, they are fine and dandy. As for your actions, you have to read the Bible and study what it says, then you need to pray.

Only God can tell you what is right and wrong. But I can tell you what I prayed every night when I was a teenager dealing with the guilt of loving God and wanting to be a good Christian, but also being attracted to guys.

"Dear lord, you know my heart. You know the desires within me and the dreams I have. I love you Lord more than anything and I want your will to be done in my life. But I feel as though I have a burden upon me that I cannot remove without help. If it is sinful and wrong for me to feel this way and want these things than help me to ignore them or rid my heart of them completely, but if it is not a sin then put that feeling upon my heart so that I may love someone and be with someone I care about. In your name I pray, Amen."

Know this: The Bible never says anything bad about two people loving each other and wanting to be together. Nowhere in the whole book of books does it say that a man should not love another man, or a woman another woman. Love is what God is all about. Of hope faith and love the greatest is love! And God never makes you to be something he does not like.

It is my time to present to you my findings, or what I have decided is the right course for me. What God has led me to believe is that a monogamous relationship with a man who cares for me and that I care for in return is a wonderful thing. I have come to believe that the Bible was translated in a time when two men were not meant to be together and thus the translation reflected that. But now I think that if God created me to love another man then as long as it is not lustful, and it is not promiscuous, that it is just and that I will not be judged sinful for doing so.

So live your life in a decent way, be a good person and love who you are with. Ask for forgiveness when you mess up and read the Bible for yourself so that you can form a whole hearted faith in the Lord.

Thanks for your time

Written by Ryan from Ryan's Portal
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