Archive for January 6, 2009

Romance in Marriage Begins in the Mind

Posted in romance with tags on January 6, 2009 by swingantho

Some of the most successful swingers have the strongest marriages. My husband and I have been married for over 20 years and we are each other’s best friend. Swinging is something we do for fun, but it wouldn’t work if we didn’t have a successful marriage.  If swinging is the only thing keeping your marriage together – you shouldn’t be swinging.  


Romance in Marriage Begins in the Mind

The most powerful romance doesn’t begin with physical action, but rather with mental contemplation and expectation. It starts with a simple idea or fantasy that develops into closer intimacy between two connected partners. Having a satisfying romantic relationship with your husband or wife takes some thought and leg work, but it doesn’t have to be burdensome. In reality, becoming a romantic person can be fun, exciting and fulfilling for you and your spouse.

And if you’re truly committed to making it work, romance will become second nature for you. All you need is:

+ a willing heart to invest the time,

+ access to a computer,

+ and maybe a little creativity.

If you’re a little skeptical, don’t worry, I started with only one of the three too. Here are three keys that have worked for my husband and me.

1. Romance of the mind begins when the sun comes up, not after it goes down. If you want have a successful romance with your husband or wife, start the day thinking about what your partner likes or wants most. Maybe it’s a specific request, a deed, or a special gift. Doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to be relevant to your relationship. Drop hints throughout the day to build expectancy. Some suggestions are short and sweet (or sexy) notes, photos, or voice/text messages. The idea is to show that you’re listening, to give your honey a sense of desirability and to build up his/her receptiveness for affection. (Notice I did not say sex per se.)

2. Romance of the mind is ritualistic, not boring or repetitive, but endearing. I recently read an article about couples who love having fun with each other. The one thing that they all had in common was that they had certain rituals that they enjoyed doing together. When you have a certain ritual that you and your partner share, it gives you something to look forward to throughout the day, week, month or year.

Something my husband and I do to wind down our day is chat over tea, coffee, or chocolate (in the winter) and smoothies (in the summer). Sometimes we have music in the background, sometimes not. Sometimes it leads to more, sometimes not. But this practice has gotten us through some tough times spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally and even professionally.

3. Romance of the mind is well-planned but has a feeling of spontaneity. One of the movies that I truly enjoyed this year was Hitch. He had a way of making romance look easy, but he wasn’t perfect. He planned, but he wasn’t rigid. And when his plans fell apart, he could go with the flow. If only we all could be so talented. I’ll let you in on a little secret: the good news is that we can.

Just plan around what you and your wife or husband like doing. If you like elaborate evenings for two, go for it. If you love to travel, there are plenty of romantic places to see. If you like staying home and playing board games– there are plenty of nice (and some naughty) ones out there. Just plan and see where you’ll end up.

When we lived in Brooklyn, my husband and I used to plan walking dates in Prospect Park (the Central Park of Brooklyn) or near the water along lower Manhattan. We’d have our meeting time and place, but no specific agenda in mind. Sometimes we heard musicians. Sometimes we just enjoyed nature. One time we even had an unexpected fireworks show. It was spectacular against the purple glow cast on the water. I was certain that he knew about it. He denies it to this day.

Hope this post inspires you to make an effort and draws you closer to your spouse.

Keishia Lee-Louis’ work has appeared on,, and in numerous other publications. Currently, she is writing a book on marriage and relationships(Spring 2006). If you’d like to see more of her work, visit

An Interview with Richard Wagner, Ph.D.

Posted in adult, Richard Wagner with tags , , on January 6, 2009 by swingantho

Swing! caught up with Richard Wagner, Ph.D. , owner of Dr. Dick’s Sex Advice and Daddy Oohhh! Productions.


You’ve been working in the sex field for over 25 years, primarily as a therapist. What are the biggest changes (if any) you’ve seen in this field over that time?

I have a two-word answer — The Internet. It’s changed just about everything to do with sex. Not always in a good way, but things will never ever be the same as they once were, before the internet.

People interact socially with one another in a fundamentally different way in the internet age. This is not necessarily an improvement over the way things use to be, but the potential for better is certainly there. Of course, the opposite is also true. The potential for more deception and prevarication also exists.

People are also losing face-to-face social skills. Text messaging and social networking (hook-up sites) seem to short-circuit the art of conversation. Which, to my mind, is one means of foreplay.

Information about sexuality is way more readily available to a vast number of people on the planet nowadays. Alas, not that everyone is taking advantage of the bonanza. But of course, with this explosion of information comes the inevitable proliferation of myths and misconceptions about sex.

The tag line for your column, Dr. Dick Sex Advice, is “Sex advice with an edge”. What gives your column its’ edge and how is it different from other sex advice columns?

I focus on human sexuality particularly as it intersects with art, religion, the popular culture, relationships, our health and wellbeing, entertainment, shopping and politics. Few if any of my professional peers take as wide an aim.

• As one would guess I respond to questions submitted to me online.
• I offer my advice in written form as well as in podcasts.
• My site is peppered with provocative imagery. I do not shy away from sexually explicit photos. This is a big no-no for other professional advice sites.
• I chat with interesting and controversial guests — authors, artists, sex workers, pundits and porn stars.
• I investigate the sexual underground and bring my audience fascinating people on the cutting edge of the sex-positive world.
• The Dr Dick Review Crew and I review adult products and talk with those who work in the adult novelty industry.
• I offer tips to my audience on staying healthy, enriching their sex life and growing their relationships.

And I do it all with a sense of humor.

Although people seem to be more open to talking about sex than in the past, are there any taboos? And what are a few of the most common questions you’re asked as a sex therapist and columnist?

Yeah, there are still plenty of taboos.

Some of my correspondents just want to see if they can get their question answered. I often hear from people who try to shock me. I pretty much can tell when someone is trying to pull my leg. Ya gotta give ’em credit for originality, but they’re not always so clever when it comes to presenting a plausible situation.

The most common questions I receive are about sexual performance issues, both from women and men. People may be more sexually active then ever before, but they often exhibit a tragic lack of even the most basic information about how their bodies work. This unfamiliarity with their own body only complicates their encounters with a partner.

Men are obsessed with the size of their dick and women are still faking it a lot. And that pretty much sums it up the state of thing for many in my audience.

What are the most important factors in creating a good, healthy sex life?

Affirm the fundamental goodness of sexuality, both as a personal need and as an interpersonal bond.

Sexual wellbeing is more than simply being able to perform. It is also taking responsibility for one’s eroticism as an integral part of one’s personality and involvement with others.

A basic working knowledge of one’s body and how it functions is essential; familiarity with one’s sexual response cycle — what’s pleasurable and what’s not; good communication skills; and a really big fat dildo.

Ok, so I made the last one up.

You also produce a line of gay porn, right? How in the world did you get involved in that?

I came to that in a most unorthodox fashion. It is certainly not something I ever aspired to do.

I was a Catholic priest for 20 years. (I am the only Catholic priest in the world with a doctorate in Clinical Sexology.) I completed my post-graduate work with the publication of my doctoral thesis concerning the sexual attitudes and behaviors of gay Catholic priests in the active ministry in 1981. This was unprecedented research back then (and even now, for that matter). There was a firestorm of international publicity. I was soon to be known as “The Gay Priest”. Like if I was the only one. Needless to say, this notoriety (some say infamy) effectively ended my priesthood. I fought the Vatican for the next 15 years, from 1981-1996, in an attempt to salvage my ministry, but in the end it was a lost cause. No surprise there, I suppose.

My career as a therapist in San Francisco coincided with the advent of HIV/AIDS (1981). My practice evolved into working primarily with sick and dying people. In the mid-90’s I founded a nonprofit organization, PARADIGM, Enhancing Life Near Death. It was an outreach for terminally ill, chronically ill, elder and dying people. This was brilliant cutting-edge work. Alas, I couldn’t find the funding to continue. This precipitated a rather sudden move to Seattle in 1999.

I continued to work with sick and dying people here, in Seattle. I started to develop programming for women newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer and men with prostate cancer. I wanted to create videos for people experiencing life threatening and/or disfiguring illnesses to help them deal with reintegrating sex and intimacy into their lives post diagnosis. I soon realized that I would need to fund this project on my own. No mainline foundation would touch the issue of sex. Faced with how I might do that, friends prevailed on me to start by making porn. I would make loads of money and I could then fund my heart’s desire. Thus Daddy Oohhh! Productions was born.

Unfortunately, the “load of money” part has yet to materialize. But at the time, I figured that, since I was actually shooting porn, I would create projects that were different in style and tone from what currently rules the marketplace. The Daddy Oohhh line features a whole lot more romance, allure and seduction rather than just bumping parts.

Swing interviewer – Veronica Arch