Recently in Love & Sex Category

DM_Heartbreak_9820906.jpgHave you just found out your partner's cheating on you with your best friend? Did someone just dump you by text message? Are you likely to burst into tears every time you hear "Nothing Compares 2 U" on the radio? Then Hime & Company could be your dream employers, since the enlightened Japanese company is offering heartbreak leave as one of its many employee benefits.

The company's website explains that, "Many companies have maternity leave and claim they are kind to women because of this... People may take sick leave, yet not for heartache. But people would find it harder to be at work in such a situation, making simple mistakes, doing strange things."

As anyone who's ever shown up to work red-eyed and fuzzy brained after a particularly heinous row with a loved one knows, heartbreak leave makes sense not only for the employee but for the employer too. The recently heartbroken are in no mental state to make competent decisions, or deal in a cool and collected way with fellow workers or members of the public.

Employers may also want to consider the man-hours lost as co-workers rally round to cheer up the heartbroken. All those serial heart to hearts by the coffee machine add up, making a day or two of official heartbreak leave look like sound economic sense.

Those with perpetually tragic love lives have their heartbreak capped at Hime & Company however. Those in their early 20's are allowed one heartbreak day a year, those in their mid-twenties are allowed two, while those who are thirty-plus are allowed a full three-days heartbreak vacation. (The Japanese are famous for their love hotels, perhaps they should have heartbreak hotels with classic back & white movies, tissues and chocolate on tap too.)

Interestingly, none of Hime & Company's workers have taken advantage of the company's heartbreak holidays, though another benefit has seen a much higher uptake rate. 100% of employees have taken advantage of the company's "bargain leave," which is offered to workers twice a year so they can take advantage of the sales. This leads us to conclude that companionship from coworkers and retail therapy tops solace when it comes to dealing with a broken heart.

Tantra teacher and practitioner Scott Catamas claims that "by combining our sexuality with our spirituality" we can make our "relationships more profound." He also tantalizes with the prospect of never-ending orgasms, which he says make women "very, very happy."

We're sure there's a lot to be said about the benefits of tantric sex. Its focus on eye contact and intimacy is very appealing, but while endless orgasms may sound like a lot of fun, in practice we know that busy schedules (and limited energy levels) rarely allow for never-ending fun (of any kind).

So before we stress out about barely attainable goals and orgasms lasting longer than an MTV Real World marathon, we thought we'd bring some balance into the equation by drawing attention to a recent US study which aims "to dispel unrealistic beliefs among couples that good sex should go on for a long time."

The survey, which was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, found that a modest 13 minutes was considered the most "desirable" amount of time for penetrative sex to last by those interviewed. Intercourse lasting between 3 and 7 minutes was considered "adequate,” less than three minutes was "too short," but over 13 minutes was "too long."

So, while it might be fun to give tantra a whirl, if both partners have the time, energy and inclination, the thrill, timeliness and therapeutic benefits of a 3-minute quickie should not be underestimated. All good things do come to an end, quality can be more important than quantity, and a highly "desirable" 13 minutes should not be underappreciated by those who may just have unrealistic (KY-sponsored) expectations.

Further Reading:
The Art of Sexual Ecstasy by Margot Anand

DM_StopThinking 250_1448922.jpgNew research suggests that clever women are more likely to experience problems climaxing.

A survey, conducted by a German lifestyle website, found that 62% of women who had "completed their education" reported that they often had trouble reaching orgasm. That compared with just 38% of their less qualified colleagues. Over 2,000 women between the ages of 18 and 49 participated in the study.

Experts concluded that intelligent women are "too busy thinking" in bed. Seems like these smarter women may need to clear their minds with a meditation Rx.


It's like one of those jokes. Do you want the good news or the bad news first? The good news is that after a search of epic proportions, a team of scientists led by Dr. Emmanuele A. Jannini of the University of L'Aquila in Italy may have finally come up with a way of reliably locating the sexual holy grail: the hard-to-find G-Spot. The bad news is that the majority of women may not actually have one.

Armed with ultrasound equipment, Jannini's sexual crusaders stormed into the zone, measuring the thickness of tissue in the urethrovaginal terrain where the G-Spot is thought to hide out. A small group of twenty females volunteered for the study, which was published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Nine (blessed) women said they experienced vaginal orgasms, while the remaining eleven said they didn't (better luck in the next life). The researchers found that women in the first group had thicker tissue in the study's hot spot.

Many experts (and even more non-experts) have doubted the existence of the G-Spot, but it now seems that the significant differences in sexual capability amongst women may be due to genetically based anatomical factors (rather than a partner's lousy map reading). Previous research by feminist sex educator Shere Hite found that 70% of women did not experience orgasm by vaginal stimulation alone. Jannini's research might explain why.

"For the first time it is possible to determine by a simple, rapid and inexpensive method if a woman has a G spot or not," says Jannini. "A simple test could tell you if it is time to give up the hunt for your G spot or if your partner just needs to try harder."

A Love Story From The Reality Gap

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DM_The Reality Gap V2.jpgOne of my favorite wits, comedian, author and playwright Ben Elton, came up with the concept of The Reality Gap. Though intended as a comedic device, much truth is said in jest, and an understanding of this concept has served me well in life, especially when I applied it to one of the toughest things to get right in life: Love.

The Reality Gap occupies the territory between the lies we tell ourselves and others, and the way things actually are. To quote the good Doctor House, "Everyone lies." You therefore can't judge a potential mate by what they say, since it'll be peppered with their own misconceptions about themselves, what they think you want to hear, and what they think they need to tell you to get what they want. Actions can also be deceptive, so you need to look at something a little more set in stone as an indication of a potential partner's true self.

One such area of relative permanence is our homes; How we decorate them can serve as a visual indication of the reality gap hidden within. A living room is intended for public view and represents how we want to be seen by the world. Conversely, a bedroom is a more personal space, which is often seen by few, its décor representing more faithfully how we see ourselves. The gap between these two rooms represents the gap between how we see ourselves and what we want others to see, and thus it is a tangible metaphorical illustration of our inner reality gap.

A reality gap is not necessarily a bad thing though, since we all have our interior and exterior worlds, but the nature of these differences speaks volumes. Dating is an exercise in exploring this space, whether it be a crack or a chasm. When we first meet someone, we do the emotional equivalent of tidying the living room from top to bottom and putting a fresh vase of flowers on the coffee table before a guest arrives in order to give a good impression. As we get to know someone, our clutter is left exposed. Eventually, if the relationship is moving forward we move into the proverbial and literal bedroom, where, however much we may try to hide, more of our true selves is revealed.

After many years of unsuccessful dating, I began to apply my understanding of The Reality Gap. Rather than concentrating on what a date said, I'd look for the underlying intension. When possible, I'd apply my living room/bedroom litmus test, perhaps by poking my head around the door while paying a bathroom visit, or by taking a more direct approach and asking for a tour of a date's home (which many people like to give).

One man I dated failed the test miserably, having a sensible blue-grey Draylon couch in the living room, and silk sheets and a gold plated bed (14 carat - I kid you not!) in his boudoir, illustrating quite a reality gulf. Against my better instincts, on the advice of a friend who felt "everyone deserves a chance," I went out with him. Needles to say, the relationship was as brief as The Reality Gap was wide.

A little older and a lot wiser, the next man I went out with lived, worked and slept in one studio room, and showed a marked lack of any Reality Gap. What he said and I saw was definitely what I got. We've been together over a decade now, and have been married for eight of those years. Thus, like a washing machine in Consumer Reports, my theory is tried, tested and approved. I promised you a love story.

DM_Aniston Jolie on W.jpgBreaking up is hard to do, and the pain lingers long after your ex is gone – especially if you’re Jennifer Aniston. It’s been close to three years since she split from her Ken doll Brad Pitt, and over two since their divorce was finalized, but she’s still being compared to the woman who ran off with her man. Style bible W, in a very unstylish move, have put the rival women on the two covers of their November issue, so the public can vote with their $4.50 cover price. As the rag hit the stand, E Online conducted their own web poll. As we’re writing this story Aniston is winning with 56.6% of the vote versus Angelina Jolie’s 43.4%.

Using this cheap stunt for the cover of their Art Issue seems to be somewhat of a stretch, though a group of Balkan artists who are making an artistic statement about heartbreak might disagree. The Museum of Broken Relationships is a touring exhibition of break up memorabilia, much of it donated by members of the public who visit the show. One women donated her wedding dress, another a pair of pink furry handcuffs that had lost their playful air, and another an axe which she’d used to chop up the furniture of a cheating ex.

“Memories and the emotional heritage stored in the most varied objects, messages, songs or photographs, are truly an invaluable part of individual emotional history,” explains Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic, the Zagreb-based artists behind the project. “It is only the new context of a broken relationship that makes them unwanted and turns them into victims of affected vandalism.”

“Unlike the destructive self-help instructions for recovery from broken relationship, the Museum offers every individual the chance to overcome the emotional collapse through creation, by contributing holdings to the Museum,” their manifesto explains. The Daily Mantra will be sending along a copy of W, and wonders if Aniston has anything else she’d like us to include in our package.

British Rabbit enthusiasts are being offered a new recycling service by eco-friendly sex toy company Love Honey. Users who send their worn out toys to the company, are being offered a half-price replacement Rabbit in return. The tired toys are sent out for recycling and £1 ($2) is donated to The World Land Trust for each retired love bunny. Donors are also asked to take a pledge to promote cleaner, greener orgasms. Key points in the eco-orgasm manifesto include removing batteries when your sex toys are not in use, and disposing of all electrical equipment in a responsible way.

After a cameo appearance on the popular TV series Sex and The City, the one time cult sex toy became the world’s best selling vibrator. In June of this year Rabbit Fever, a mockumentary film about the toy was released. The flick follows a group of Rabbit addicts as they try and kick their habit. It features Tom Conti, Stefanie Powers, Emma Buckley, Germaine Greer and Richard Branson. Prince William’s girlfriend, Kate Middleton, joined other Rabbit aficionados at an exclusive party in London to celebrate the film’s release. Guests were sent home with a commemorative Rabbit in a swag bag that created quite a buzz.

Sexual Provocation

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Following the commerce with a conscience example of their mother, Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, daughters Sam and Justine started their own two-store empire of luxury erotic emporiums called Coco de Mer. The siblings keenly follow their mom’s philosophy, trying to ethically source as many of their wares as possible for their London and Los Angeles boutiques. Products, such as their trademark silk blindfold embroidered with the provocative mantra “Freedom is deciding whose slave you want to be,” are dedicated to the celebration of sexual pleasure, empowerment, dignity and discovery.

One of the store's hottest products is a pheromone enhancer by Escentric Molecules, which they exclusively distribute in the US. It comes in two blends. The first, Molecule 01, is an almost aroma-free “aura” entirely based on a perfumers ingredient called Iso E Super. The synthetic liquid is said to work with your body’s heat and unique natural chemistry to bring out a subtle yet powerful scent about 15 minutes after it is first applied. The second concoction, Escentric 01, is a 65% blend of Iso E Super mixed with pink pepper, lime and incense for a hybrid experience.

Fans of the fragrance include Elton John, Dita von Teese and Kate Moss. According to Andrea Ferrante, the supervisor of the West Hollywood store, the product definitely works. “People never approach me in bars,” say Andrea, “but people have followed me when I wear this.”