Kickin’ a Sex Bucket

(5/1/16)  You’ve no doubt heard of a “Bucket List:” A summary of things someone would like to do/achieve during their lifetime (or in other words, before they “kick the bucket.”)  It’s a great exercise for a lot of reasons, but few extend the concept to improving their own sex lives.  At Sex Across America, we think it’s time to change that.

Keeping in mind that such a list should be both achievable and in tune with your own particular core values, the steps involved with creating your own sex bucket list are actually pretty straightforward.  Start your list with the “whats” and “whys” and try to make them specific and compelling.  Don’t worry about the “hows” right now.  The means for accomplishing many of your items will often present themselves down the road as a result of clearly defining them and having significant reasons in your thinking.  If you’re unclear about an activity or have a weak reason for it, chances are it won’t fly or you’ll just give up on it at some point.

As a general means for identifying your potential items and their reasons, here are five quick tips to get you going:

1.  Know thyself first.  Some barriers you may have might be the legitimate result of your socialization and/or prior experiences, but perhaps you haven’t consciously figured out why you feel the way you do about some things in your sex life or if you’re now better prepared to change them.  It’s hard to plan when you’re unclear about your own wants and/or limitations, so do a self-assessment to determine your sexual strengths, weaknesses and potential.  Take the time to sort these things out up front and see where there’s some room to explore.  Be candid with yourself regarding areas that you feel are solid or could honestly use some improvement.  Brainstorm a thorough list of things you’re still curious about–and then prepare to safely explore them when an opportunity arises.

2.  Fantasize, fantasize, fantasize.  This tends to be a bit tough because fantasies are often very personal and difficult to communicate fearlessly.  Additionally, there’s a rational risk avoidance in sharing a fantasy because if it’s actually played out–and fails–then there may be tremendous disappointment all around.  Well, true enough, they’re rarely ever as perfect in practice as they are in your perfect thinking, but that’s missing the point.  They’re supposed to be fun, intimate and exciting, so just plan accordingly.  Keep the first few times as simple as possible (the less complex, the better the chances are for success) and even if it falls a little flat, learn from the experience and try again.  Additionally, even if you come up with a fantasy that doesn’t lend itself to playing out in reality, the exercise of imagination will eventually spark other ideas that will work.

3.  Attitude for altitude.  Ramping up a high sense of adventure, especially if you’ve gravitated to a fairly consistent sex routine over time, can be a bit of a challenge but it’s worth it to push the edge of the envelope when developing ideas for your list.  Building your list and then tackling the items on it should be viewed as a major positive as opposed to drudgery or just going through the motions.  Even if you’re taking small steps at first, make each one count and keep reinforcing the attitude that you’ll keep moving up, even if you trip a little along the way.  Remember, even if you involve a particular loved one, this is something you’re doing for your own happiness and well-being.

4.  Knowledge breeds confidence.  Just as you wouldn’t take a road trip without checking a map (or, these days, setting your GPS), doing a little bit of research about a potential activity helps set a more solid foundation to build on.  With the explosion of legitimate sex-positive resources out there these days, it shouldn’t take much effort to find out important details for just about any potential item you’re considering for your list.  (If you’re really stumped about finding useful information, however, feel free to drop us a confidential email and we’ll do our best to help point you in the right direction.  If your concern isn’t necessarily private, or the answer could help others as well, then please consider posting your question below as a response to this article and we’ll try to address it there.)

5.  Give a little to get a lot.  People are much more inclined to be supportive when they feel they’re receiving equal support.  If you’re going to be doing the activities on your list with someone in particular, involve them in this process and find ways to be able to support their ideas whenever you can.  They’ll be much more likely to back your wishes in return (not to mention the potential benefits for improved communication and shared intimacy).  Another strategy is to develop your lists separately and then compare them to see if there’s any overlap.  If so, try starting with those items once you get the proverbial ball rolling.

Bear in mind that while planning is important, you’re not looking for military rigidity and precision (unless, of course, “Shock and Awe” just happen to be your thing).  Adding a spontaneity component affords you flexibility and can add to both the intimacy and excitement of an item on your list.  And while some items may find their way to your list as “once in a lifetime” events, don’t be so quick to push them away from the table once you’ve checked them off.  Just because it seemed like it would be a one-shot deal doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.  If it was fun and satisfying, just use your imagination to work it in again sometime if that’s feasible.

It’s a sad thing to reach the end of one’s life with regret over missed opportunities.  It doesn’t have to be that way at all.  A little bit of thought and planning now will not only help open previously unforeseen prospects through sharpened focus, but also go a long way towards ensuring a fulfilling and exciting sex life.  Start that journey right now–and make your own destiny.

Sex Across America: Beyond the Series

Chronicling the exciting and intimate sexual escapades of people around the country was the basic focus of Sex Across America during its successful five-year run as a series.  Produced by Fallen Angel in association with our friends at Adam & Eve, the idea was that each episode would feature a sampling of the erotic landscape in various locations.  Many of these places were what you might expect in this kind of program, for example:  New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Las Vegas.  Others, such as Aspen, Virginia Beach and Sturgis were perhaps not as obvious on the surface, but certainly no less worthy when it came to painting a complete portrait of the subject.

Even though each episode met its intended mark individually, we felt the overall picture was left incomplete as the series came to a close.  Perhaps a simple casualty of pragmatic programming when the focus was on entertainment, the producers nevertheless recognized that a lot of pertinent material didn’t make the final cuts.  As a result, the idea of evolving the core concept of the series into a more expansive project was born–and that development begins here.

As we progress in our topical coverage, we intend to focus on information that’s both useful and productive for our readers with an occasional nod towards some irreverence and satire as warranted.  After all, the broad subject of “sex” in the US does provoke some pretty goofy points of view at times, so why not just embrace the reality of that and make it part of the discussion?  In any event, in order to home in on what’s most useful to a pretty diverse audience, we hope you will actively let us know what’s important to you–and we’ll try to make it part of the subject matter we spotlight.

For us, this is a labor of love–a means for highlighting things that are fundamental to the human experience in a positive and intelligent way (even if tackling controversy at times).  For you, it’s a free resource that we hope you’ll enjoy often as we grow.  So, please bookmark us, chat us up on your social media fix(es) of choice and, most of all, enjoy our grand adventure that is Sex Across America.

Regards,
Luc Wylder & Alexandra Silk,
Executive Producers of Sex Across America

Defining Sex in America: Can It Be Done?

(2/1/16)  Larry Flynt is a genius.  Having taken a $2,000 investment in an Ohio bar and turned it into a publishing empire valued in the hundreds of millions would be reason enough to hang the G-label on him, but the more valuable accomplishments of Mr. Flynt’s career are found in the social and legal battles he initiated to protect expressive and sexual freedoms in America.  It wasn’t always pretty–and there were certainly tragic casualties along the way–but his inspired efforts helped an entire generation (and hopefully, many more to come) define a clear line between personal rights and government interference.  He could have just let his bar go bankrupt, but no, he had a different idea instead.  Genius.

Ironically, while a lot of progress has been made in defining sexual freedoms, Americans still cannot agree on what “sex” itself is.  Images of a U.S. President wagging his finger and fiercely proclaiming, “Ah did nawt have sex-shul relations with that woman” might be a semi-humorous example of this dilemma in practice (even if just a self-serving one), but apparently it’s just the tip of something bigger.

Among a wide range of adult males and females, a recent study by the Kinsey Institute found that there was a significant lack of consensus on what kind of behaviors are actually being defined as sex.  While the basic peg-A-into-slot-B notion (penile-vaginal contact) seems safely inside the bin, all bets are off when it comes to just about anything else.

For example, fewer people concurred that it constituted having sex even in penile-vaginal scenarios if the male didn’t orgasm.  Additionally, the study found that 20% didn’t agree that anal intercourse constituted sex and 30% felt that oral activities shouldn’t be included in the definition.  Perhaps not so surprisingly, about 50% of those surveyed stated that masturbatory behaviors did not qualify as sex, even if the contact was performed by someone else.  The bottom line:  What seems to be a fairly simple concept in principle is apparently anything but.  The question is:  Is that a “good” or a “bad” thing?  While there are certainly medical and educational ramifications in these findings, the social and legal aspects merit attention and serious discussion as well.

Diversity is a productive ingredient in any evolved society, but divisiveness tends to create a vacuum that is often filled with reactive shortsightedness–and sometimes worse.  Just ask Larry Flynt.

What say you?