Wednesday, 24 April 2013

So How Do You Ask Someone Out On A Date?

Asking someone out on a date is always daunting, and unless there is a clear spark there, is very rarely easy. But there are a couple of simple things to remember which should make it a little easier.

1. Prepare yourself for rejection: No one likes to be told no, but it's a fact of life and something we have to take in our stride and accept we aren't going to get what we want. This is no more relevant than when asking someone out on a date. By preparing yourself for the worst, you are already getting over the biggest hurdle and in return, getting over your worries which bring on a lack of confidence and affect performance.

2. Avoid straight forward questions: Unless you're 100% sure the answer is going to be 'Yes' avoid asking outright "will you go out with me" as this often leads to a short and simple "No!", knocking your confidence and leaving you with nothing else to come back with. Try making it less formal whilst leaving options. "Hey, I'd really like to get together sometime and do something with you". Not only does this open a conversation of the what's, where's and when's, but it also reduces the possibilities for the other party to simply knock you back.

3. Know when to give up: It should be pretty clear from the outset as to whether the other party is interested in a date or not. If after following the steps above, and you've suggested a couple of dates and you're still getting short, one-word answers of "Not Free", "I'm busy that day" and "sorry, I can't make it", it's now time to cut your losses and give up as each rejection is just going to knock your confidence more and more, making it even harder for the next time, as well as making you look more and more desperate. Know when to give up and move on, and don't take it too personally! After all, it just means that you haven't found the right one yet.

Why not take a look now to see who's free in your area?

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Women Want More S&M In The Bedroom (But Not Because Of '50 Shades Of Grey'), Survey Finds!

Women are opening their minds to the world of S&M, a survey has revealed, as 71% of women confess they wouldn’t mind “a little more pain” to turn them on in the bedroom.
But with only one third of women polled having read E.L. James's '50 Shades Of Grey', it seems the sexual exploits of Christian Grey and Ana Steele may not be the only factor inspiring women between the sheets.
The Time Out magazine poll, which asked more than 10,000 people to share the truth about their sex lives, reveals that two-thirds (66%) of women watch porn and more than half of those want their sex lives to be more similar to what they see on screen.
“Erotica is big news and may explain why women in particular are curious about exploring the world of S&M," says Time Out features editor Caroline McGinn. "It is a sign of our times that people are looking to find new and exciting ways to spice up their sex lives.”
More sexual revelations from the Time Out survey
:: 23% of people polled have had sex at work, with nearly half (46%) of those surveyed having slept with someone they've worked with
:: A whopping three-quarters of men and women (76%) think they're better than average in bed
:: 59% of men and women have had sex due to boredom but 65% think dirty talk is a sure-fire way to get them in the mood
:: More than a third of men and women have slept with someone they met online (34%)
:: One third of straight women (32%) have had a same sex experience
:: 42% of men would cheat on their partner if they could get away with it, versus 22% of women
Time Out London invited readers to participate in a survey hosted on its website. The full results can be viewed online at and in Time Out London magazine.

Interesting survey! How do you fit in with it? http://www/

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

How Women Are Daring to Live Out Their Sex Fantasies a Year on From Fifty Shades

It's nearly a year since Fifty Shades of Grey launched itself at the world, leaving its 70million female readers quivering with either excitement or indignation.

The question now is: what effect, if any, has Fifty Shades had on the sex life of the women worldwide who devoured the trilogy?
Did the antics of Ana and Christian - constantly on heat, having sex in public, spanking up a frenzy and generally stirring up a sexual storm - merely lubricate the imaginings of its readers?

Or did it inspire women to actually act on those awakened desires and fantasies?
Judging by the massive spike in the sale of sex toys (my kegel toner balls and bondage tape sold out pretty much instantly the second the book hit) and the eye-wateringly explicit secrets told to me for my new book, Dare: What Happens When Fantasies Come True, the answer is that Fifty Shadesdid more than just liberate women's minds. It's made them bolder, more experimental, keener to turn those erotic daydreams into real life adventures.
Women are doing one hell of a lot more than simply locking themselves in the bedroom while "mummy has a little lie-down".
Sex with virgins, sex outside, sex on a plane, sex with a male escort, on stage, live on a webcam, threesomes, foursomes, moresomes - you name it, women today are doing it... and telling me.
Dare is a collection of 30 women's real life experiences detailing what happened when they decided to take their sexual fantasies - something that existed perfectly in their heads - through to the often brutal reality of their beds.
The result is a selection of stories that blows the woefully outdated belief that women only like 'romantic' sex to smithereens.
These aren't all young, 'out there' twentysomethings, by the way. I'm talking bright, 'normal' women spanning all age groups. Their confessions might be anonymous and their names fictional but their age, profession and experiences are real.
Writing the book was quite the eye-opener - and I've been writing about sex and listening to people talk about it for over two decades.
The end result of their fantasy reenactments is an eclectic mix of steamy success stories, giggly disasters and out-and-out cock-ups of spectacular proportions. Entertaining and endlessly fascinating.
I was so impressed by this proudly brazen new attitude to sex, it was also the inspiration for mynew product range of the same name, Dare!
Fifty Shades didn't just revitalise publishing - showing that yes, people do buy books still, after all - it's revolutionised the way women behave in the bedroom. We're pluckier, spunkier, more daring, more likely to open our mouths and own up to wanting to try stuff that would make our grandmothers leave the country, let alone faint. Which, quite frankly, is the best news I've heard in years.
Whatever you think of Fifty Shades (and does it really matter if it's not written terribly well?), it woke millions of women from a bored, sexual stupor and reminded them of how astonishingly good great sex can be. For that, EL James, we shall all be grateful.
Dare: What Happens When Fantasies Come True, by Tracey Cox, is out now (Hodder and Stoughton, £7.99 paperback, £4.99 kindle); her Dare product range is now available from

So have your sexual preferences changed over the last year? We'd love to know!
Or if you are looking for a new friend, try

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Mature Dating Means Changing The Way You Think About Love

For all the positive stories of long lost loves and happily married couples we post on Huff/Post50, we know that many are finding themselves back in the dating game for the first time in years.
While you would think your age would translate into mature dating experiences, many women (and men) find themselves reliving their teen years when it comes to the dating world. Unreliability and confusion do not have to be a part of your dating-over-50 experience, dating coach Bobbi Palmer told Huff/Post50.
"A lot of people who are dating in their 50s probably haven't dated since they were [in their 20s] -- they're paralyzed, they still have the old vision of themselves and the old vision of the boys they were dating," Palmer said. "We all mature -- most of us -- and this is the best time for anyone to date."
Though there are new realities to deal with if you're dating after 50 (illness, sandwich generation concerns, menopause or impotence), it shouldn't dampen your love life or make you settle for anyone less than who you deserve.
"It's about undoing 35 years of thoughts, beliefs and truths that don't work anymore," Palmer said.
The relationship expert shared her six-step plan to help women start dating like a grown-up. Tell us what you think of her advice -- and your own experiences dating after 50 -- in the comments below.
1. Fall in love with yourself. 
If you find yourself dating again in your 50s, chances are a major life event -- whether it be divorce or losing your loved one -- has given you quite the beating. So before you rush out looking for love again, it's important to be ok with who you are, said Palmer. "It's about reacquainting yourself with who you are today and what value you hold in a partnership," she said. "A lot of people are still holding on to the old vision of themselves."
2. Getting past your list. 
You know what Palmer is talking about. The internal list we all have that makes finding your perfect partner as hard as lassoing a unicorn. But holding on to that impossible list isn't fair to you or the men you date, Palmer said. Instead of focusing on things like appearance, the type of car he drives and "all the adjectives you've had since you were 24," she says, "really [figure] out the feelings you want to feel in a partnership and what that looks like in real life. Women of maturity learn that there are so many different attributes of a man that count so much more."
3. "I'm fabulous, so what's the damn problem?"
There's still more "me work" to be done when dating like a grown-up. There's still the matter of erasing "those recordings that play in your head about men and relationships," Palmer said. "'Men only want sex, men don't want relationships...' It's about getting past your limiting beliefs."
Palmer acknowledges that these beliefs can become as automatic as "blinking," but said it's a matter of first recognizing that those beliefs exist and working through why you feel that way. "It's about being intellectual with your beliefs and realizing they aren't true," instead of being completely emotional, she said.
4. Casting the net. 
"Make a plan of where and how you're going to meet the right men and how to get a date," Palmer advised. Whether it's getting online (which is how Palmer met her husband), classes, or social meetups for post 50s, "get out of your house, because a lot of us do the same routine everyday at [this] point in our lives," she said. "We need to be proactive in going places where you're going to potentially meet eligible men."
Once you've reeled in a man of interest, there are a few things the mature woman dating over 50 needs to know.
"Men don't want to chase women," Palmer said, laughing. "The whole Rules thing ... men in their 50s and 60s know what they want, they know how to get it, so they don't go for the hard to get stuff."
That doesn't mean you have to take the lead, Palmer said, but it does mean it's ok to show you're interested in the person. "Men love that," Palmer said. "They've been rejected since they were 14 years old at the dance. We think we have to deal with rejection, but they've had it 100 times worse. Compassion is the key to having an enjoyable time when you're dating. They're just like us and we're all people."
5. "Rendezvous to romance." 
So you've fallen in love with yourself, created a more realistic and flexible list of the traits you'd like in a partner, broadened your social circle and got the date with a man you're attracted to... now what?
"On a first and second date you're not trying to figure out if you're going to marry him," Palmer said with a chuckle. "You want to put your best foot forward [and] you want to show personality."
And putting your best foot forward means knowing what "baggage" needs to be checked at the door.
"You don't need to share about your kids who are ungrateful, your bankruptcy case from five years ago or your gout," Palmer said. "And never talk about exes or previous dates. Don't even go there."
6. "Should I stay or should I go?" 
Fast forward to a future version of yourself who's a few dates in with this new man. You've reached the final step of dating like a grown-up: after all the self-reflection and open conversation "[apply] that to making the decision if they're still a good partner," Palmer said. "Is he giving you the feelings that you've identified [are important to you] in your list? It's about getting that intellect back and making good choices."
If the person you've found continues to hit all the new and approved adult checkmarks you've made for yourself, great! See how the relationship unfolds and revisit that list often. But if not, don't be afraid to start all over again.
"You're really special and you have a lot to give," Palmer said. "The right man will totally dig it and the wrong man won't but that's ok."
It'll be easier this time around -- now that you know how to date like a grown-up.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Crossing Over to the After-(married)Life

When you're a divorced woman in her forties or older, the odds go down for many things. Going down is a good thing in back seats, bedrooms, and elevators. It is not such a good thing when odds go down for things like finding a bathing suit that you can wear in public, keeping your neck from looking like a sagging scrotum, and finding genuine love, to name a few.
I never thought I'd be divorced, but there I was, approaching the big 5-0 and flying in at 1.21 gigawatts coming back to the future where Mars and Venus had merged in ways I would soon discover.
I had been married for almost 20 years and was facing not only the reinvention of myself, but also the transformation of the world of dating. To say the least, I was very intimidated and nervous. It was the first time I had ever felt that my future was a complete unknown and scary place. I was experiencing life after death... of a marriage.
My marriage, that lasted a little less than half the number of years I had been alive, was pronounced dead. Exact time of death remains uncertain, as there were many near death experiences. We were terminal for a long while, in remission several times, then the problems finally metastasized and we flatlined.
Now it was time to experience the after(married)life. Aside from tremendous fear and anxiety of how I would make a living once my support ended, and feeling uncomfortably vulnerable knowing I had to put one foot in front of the other with no idea of which direction to step; I felt like I had found the golden ticket and walked into Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Visions of sweet, sumptuous, tasty treats surrounded me, vying for my attention. It was a veritable buffet of male sweet stuff. Which ones to taste, and which to devour?
My intuition barometer was a bit rusty so my adventures led me down a road paved with big dips (can't tell you their names), black ice (you don't know how dangerous they are until you get closer), and many bumps. Admittedly, not all were the smartest choices, but none-the-less they were my choices. And they were my consequences.
I was conned by a man who was courting me and evidently at least five other women in different states. But wait, there's more! I dated a mental health professional who I discovered was sleeping with his patient. Another man flipped out when I wouldn't sleep with him on the second date. Needless to say, there were many times I second-guessed my decision to divorce my husband.
When our comfort zone isn't so comfortable but merely a confined space surrounded by yellow caution tape keeping us from living life, it's time to break through. I could have stayed in my marriage where I felt secure, but that would have meant continuing to live without emotional connection. I knew I needed and deserved to feel heard and understood, appreciated, and acknowledged; to be looked in the eye by my husband and feel cherished and adored.
I've interviewed so many people who are unhappy with their partners but are too afraid to make the leap -- to defy the gravity of whatever fears are keeping them from soaring in a life they know they desire. Ending a marriage is a big decision and one not to be made without much thought and effort. If divorce is the answer, it will have its costs, but living a life of our choosing, even with its challenges: priceless.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Trusting Relationships - How Do you Create Them?

Here are some smart ways to create trusting relationships:

• Gain confidence in your own perceptions by paying attention to your doubts and instincts.

• Ask yourself -- does your partner keep important promises or agreements

• If your partner lets you down, don't always assume that a failure in competence is intentional -- sometimes people simply make a mistake. 

• Listen to your partner's side of the story. Make sure your words and tone of voice are consistent with your goal of rebuilding trust.

• Keep in mind that learning to trust is a slow process. You were born with a propensity to trust others but through your life experience you may have become less trusting as a way of protecting yourself.