AskMiriam

Relationship Advice and Columns

Archive for the tag “men”

AskMiriam about Nudity on the Internet

Q: You seem to be sexually “liberated” (if that’s not too old-fashioned a term), and so I’m just curious to know your opinion regarding women who post nude pictures of themselves on the Internet.

(1) Do you believe, as some would assert, that, despite the “average housewife/girl-next-door” image that many websites seek to promote, the majority are in reality professional, or at least semi-professional, prostitutes?

(2) Do you feel that they contribute to – again as some would maintain – a general decline in social morals or are they rather brave pioneers opening the way to a better, sexually freer future?
A: I find this question very interesting for several reasons. First of all, I’ve done nude modelling. I’m fortunate in that, with a few exceptions, I’ve not been made ashamed of my body. As for the first part of the question, I don’t take well to women being categorized as prostitutes. There is nothing wrong with women who choose to be sex workers or women who have lots of sex, and this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with whether they are posting nude photos of themselves or not. I’m sure that there are some sites that use women’s photos to promote sexual services, but I hope that the majority do not. Women should have the choice to post nude photos of themselves without those photos being misappropriated. Women also have to contend with the fact that, as an example, Facebook will not allow photos showing women’s nipples. However, it’s perfectly ok for men to show theirs. This double standard needs to end.
As for the second part, I’m more inclined toward the latter, but it’s a complex issue. Our sexual mores have changed and will continue to change over time. Nude photos are just one part of the equation. Women post and send nude photos for all sorts of reasons; men do the same. Men send pictures of their penises to both men and women all the time, often without being asked to do so. Does this indicate that we are sexually freer? Perhaps, but I also think that being sexually free involves consent. I think that we should all have the freedom to post nude pictures of ourselves without being nervous as to what that could entail. Many people are afraid of the consequences for their careers, their children and other family members, and on their social interactions. As we continue to live in a sex and body negative culture, nudity will be seen as taboo. Will this change as a result of women posting nude photos on the Internet? Maybe. I think it’s a matter of how those women are seen by those close to them, and by society in general.
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AskMiriam about Mediteranean Men

Question: My boyfriend and I are interested in trying poly style relationship but not at home just yet…We are exploring our curiosity, so we recently discussed perhaps planning a summer trip to Europe and try different cultures. I love the Mediterranean, and I would love to meet a Greek guy on one of those beautiful islands. Greek men appear very masculine and I really like that. According to studies and research they are the highest ranked country in terms of love, sex, companionship.

I’d love to travel to the Mediterranean, (perhaps not France,) and meet some masculine men. Do you have any thoughts, suggestions? Where can I look? Have you yourself had any encounters with Greek men?

Answer: I have had the fortune in my life to live in England and I got to spend 3 months in Germany doing research for my Master’s. In terms of the Mediterranean, I have visited Italy, and that’s about it. I haven’t had the fortune to meet a lot of Greek men, so I can’t  answer that part of your question. European countries widely vary in terms of how love, sex, and companionship are constructed and experienced by individual people. Even within countries, just as within Canada, there is variation. I’m sure there are many Greek men who enjoy having sex, and many who don’t. If you visit the Mediterranean, you may find that other men catch your fancy as well!

Your idea of going on holiday and seeing what a non-monogamous or poly relationship might look like is a valid one. There are many couples out there who would prefer to just dip their toes in the water and then have the privilege of going home. What I would recommend is having a discussion with your boyfriend before you go on vacation. You could discuss, for example, whether you want to play together or separately; some couples prefer playing together and some would rather not see their partner being passionate with someone else. Also, you asked where you can look – some countries have places like swinger’s clubs where you can meet other couples who want to play. Greece seems to have a few: http://www.swingersclublist.com/greece-swingers.html  You may also want to try some online dating sites such as OkCupid, which has attracted many non-monogamous people, and see if you can find other likeminded people. Finally, there’s always just meeting people in person. If you decide to, for example, stay at a resort, you’ll meet other tourists who may want similar experiences to the ones you’re seeking. If you go to a beach that locals frequent, you may meet your dream Greek man. However, you may find that if you mention having a boyfriend, they become hesitant. There are plenty of people out there who either have not heard of non-monogamy or do not wish to engage in it at all.

I have found for myself that while abroad, I may feel differently about certain things. I may feel freer, or not; I may feel nervous because I don’t know the culture very well, so I’m not sure how to act. If you find yourself feeling very free, that’s great, but do proceed with caution. It can be easy to get caught up in the romance while forgetting how you are actually feeling. Within polyamory and non-monogamy, communication is one of the most important things, so make sure that the lines of communication are open with your boyfriend. If either of you becomes jealous, talk about it. If you’re having tons of fun, talk about that too! It’s all part of the journey.

Thank you so much for writing in! If you have any relationship questions, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca  I hope you are all having a great start to 2017.

Sweet Surrender

I had an interesting Saturday night last weekend followed by a very interesting day on Wednesday. Last weekend, I went with some colleagues to a gay bar here in Zhengzhou. My colleague’s friend put on a party there. The music was very good and the atmosphere was also great – people weren’t crazily drunk and there wasn’t a lot of smoking. A few hours into the night, I met a woman who I will call Mily. She looked very excitable and had, what I would describe, a nice light in her face. We danced fairly close together and she told me that I’m the first woman she’s ever been attracted to. I told her that I found her attractive as well. She ended up kissing me on the cheek and I kissed hers. I didn’t want to push anything with her, but I did want to kiss her on the lips. I leaned into do that and she shied away. She left for a bit, but then we continued dancing. I was very surprised when she kissed me on the lips! It was a very pleasant kiss. She gave me her number and said, keep in touch. I called her the following day and we arranged to meet on Wednesday. We had coffee at a very nice cafe and had good conversation. I was nervous about telling her about Ben, but then I found out that she has a unique insight into poly. She told me that she was previously married and her husband also happened to be with another woman in Thailand. She considered sending angry messages to that woman, but in the end, they actually became friends. Mily said to me, they are soulmates; I was pretty impressed with that. I told her about Ben and my past and she was very positive about it all. Unfortunately, Mily may not stay in Zhengzhou past May, but I’m sure we’ll at least have a friendship; I also want to move cautiously since Mily has never been with a woman before. She has invited me over to her house next week for lunch and she is keen to meet Ben, which I think are very good signs.

On Wednesday, before I had coffee with Mily, I had lunch with a friend and met a friend of hers, who’s interested in being poly. I think there is some mutual interest and he lives nearby, which is always a bonus. That evening, I talked to Ben about one reason why I like being with guys. I’m a pretty focused and driven person; when I put my mind to something, I can usually achieve it. When I’m with a guy, I feel all of that melt away. As per the title of this post, I can surrender myself to someone else. Of course, this isn’t always a good thing and it’s a very traditional way of looking at relationships. I think it can be traced back to my relationship with my father when I was younger. He was a pretty angry person back then and I never wanted to upset him, so I usually went along with what he wanted. I also lived with a stubborn sister and sometimes stubborn mother, so I’m used to being the one who’s more flexible and does what others want. Now, I often feel like I need to change my relationships with men, and perhaps with women as well. I’ve often been the one who takes initiative in a relationship and I want the people I’m with to take initiative as well. I also feel like I need to be more collaborative – if I have an idea, I want to discuss it more with the other person or people before doing something about it.  I’d also like to have a partner who comes up with the ideas and I can figure out the details, as I’m very detail oriented. I think there’ll be more of that once Ben and I return to Canada, when we’re on more equal footing, and I look forward to it.

Thank you as always for reading! If you have a relationship query, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca

 

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