Join 3,434 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


There's a little quantum mechanics involved.
June 5, 2011 9:06 PM   Subscribe

An easy way to have sex without having to communicate. The Forty Beads method, invented by sex therapist Carolyn Evans, relies on tokens that allow a husband to give his wife a bead (by putting it in her "beadcatcher") when he's "in the mood," with a 24-hour deadline for "redemption." (Evans also says the roles can be reversed for those low-libido husbands/high-libido wives).
posted by emjaybee (257 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
There is SO MUCH SNARK to be had here
posted by Blasdelb at 9:10 PM on June 5, 2011


Those who do not comply are sent for reprocessing.
posted by stbalbach at 9:10 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


like a rosary?
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:11 PM on June 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Er.. if it works for them, I guess. I prefer the foreplay method.
posted by Malice at 9:12 PM on June 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


This is a thing?
posted by birdherder at 9:12 PM on June 5, 2011


WTF?
posted by Windopaene at 9:13 PM on June 5, 2011


I just place the beads in an envelope on the nightstand.
posted by blargerz at 9:15 PM on June 5, 2011 [41 favorites]


WTF?

Totally agree, married couples having sex seems wrong. I thought you got married so you didn't have to do that any longer.
posted by maxwelton at 9:16 PM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


all we need is string and a drill.
posted by clavdivs at 9:16 PM on June 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Those who do not comply are sent for reprocessing."

YOU HAVE TWENTY FOUR HOURS TO DEVELOP A SEXUAL RESPONSE and there are 39 more beads in my Bead HolderTM Prepare to be boarded
posted by Blasdelb at 9:16 PM on June 5, 2011 [66 favorites]


They're just trying to hook you into buying more beads after you've used up the first 40.
posted by ShutterBun at 9:18 PM on June 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


No, no, it's fine. If you don't feel like complying with his request for sex, just turn your BeadcatcherTM over so they all roll out. That'll show him.
posted by subbes at 9:18 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see how this method can be worked with open relationships. Maybe using tokens that stand for "I want to have sex with other people this weekend but I'd rather not talk about it at length." And other different colored beads that signify "All right."
Maybe different colors for the level of urgency or something.
posted by fantodstic at 9:18 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


bead-catchers, dream-catchers, makes me wish that I could be a dog right around :50.
posted by emhutchinson at 9:19 PM on June 5, 2011


...without having to communicate? Seems like there's a world of conversation in each of those beads, all communicated with a single gesture of giving.
posted by hippybear at 9:20 PM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Without having to buy the book, I'm curious about a few things. When the bead recipient redeems the sex within 24 hours, does that bead go away?

What happens if the bead is not redeemed? Does the giver get to take it back? Is the giver just never gonna get any in that case? What's the repercussion for not redeeming? Back to bickering?
posted by erstwhile at 9:20 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hmm... might work if, say, you're very shy about sex.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:21 PM on June 5, 2011


Even if you accept the concept, why the need for forty? Would make much more sense if a couple passed a single bead back and forth. If a husband uses his bead, his wife then holds the right to silently demand sex, unless she throws it in the trash like a reasonable person.
posted by acidic at 9:21 PM on June 5, 2011 [22 favorites]


This is not what I thought you were supposed to do with sex beads.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:24 PM on June 5, 2011 [125 favorites]


What do you do after the first month?
posted by madajb at 9:24 PM on June 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


How does this keep it fun and exciting? It sounds like it makes sex even more of a chore, only now it's a chore that has to be provided on demand.

If you really want to make this interesting, you would start stringing the beads once dropped in the cup . . . Now forty would be fun and exciting!
posted by schroedinger at 9:26 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


posted by erstwhile What happens if the bead is not redeemed? Does the giver get to take it back? Is the giver just never gonna get any in that case? What's the repercussion for not redeeming?/em>

I guess someone just beads off.
posted by mattdidthat at 9:26 PM on June 5, 2011 [19 favorites]


I tried to figure out why this is a thing; here's what I got.

The beads solve the problem of continual negotiation that couples face. You make an up front agreement about what the beads represent, and then you never have to do the whole 'so you wanna have sex or are you too tired' dance again. No more hurt feelings and rejection. With the bead either there or not there, both partners have a day to get themselves in the mood, and they know whether to save a little time and energy at night, or whether they can totally relax and fall asleep in front of the TV. Moods are synched with minimal effort. I have to say, it sounds goofy but I can see the appeal.
posted by PercussivePaul at 9:26 PM on June 5, 2011 [24 favorites]


These beads are made of Viagra?
posted by ryoshu at 9:27 PM on June 5, 2011


When people suggest there is a better way for me than my non-monogamous relationship I assume they aren't talking about this, right?
posted by munchingzombie at 9:27 PM on June 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


I prefer semaphore.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:28 PM on June 5, 2011 [21 favorites]


Is it just me or do the comments on the blog seem kinda sockpuppety?
posted by Blasdelb at 9:29 PM on June 5, 2011


Or save them up for your next trip to New Orleans.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:30 PM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


If both partners are high-libido, they could use a pair of pneumatic tubes to shuttle beads from one side of the bed to the other.
posted by zippy at 9:31 PM on June 5, 2011 [25 favorites]


If it results in more sex for sexless couples, can't see a problem here. People in sexless relationships tend to be in a bad mood more often then not, I would think.
posted by cell divide at 9:33 PM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


his thoughts were brown thoughts
posted by fleetmouse at 9:34 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't get why you need 40 beads either. I'm sure that it doesn't take a whole book to explain this but it sure as hell isn't explained on the site or in the clips.
posted by mike_bling at 9:35 PM on June 5, 2011


This would work better if you were no longer allowed to talk after offering or accepting the bead. So at first the husband and wife are at the kitchen table eating breakfast, and she's trying to make conversation but he just stares. A suspicion arises within her. She glances over. Bead. After a moment's thought, she looks back at him, nods once, and reaches out to take it. He watches her swallow the bead (oh, yeah, my other innovation) and then nods. The silence is complete. They chew their toast and eggs in unison, eyes locked, faces expressionless. The dance has begun. The dance... of the beads.
posted by No-sword at 9:36 PM on June 5, 2011 [119 favorites]


Did anyone else catch the li-bead-o pun?
posted by MrFTBN at 9:37 PM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


And by "work better" I mean "be more like a David Lynch film," obviously.
posted by No-sword at 9:38 PM on June 5, 2011 [20 favorites]


There’s an important little document called The Pre-Beading Covenant in the pages of the book that should be photocopied and signed at the outset of the Beading process.

It's a trap!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:42 PM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


I prefer duly-filled application forms, submitted in triplicate, through registered post.
posted by vidur at 9:42 PM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


The Pre-Beading Covenant states each individual’s intention to RESPECT the Beads.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:43 PM on June 5, 2011


the slow creeping menace of the beads
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:44 PM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm trying to imagine the drama that could ensue if you tried to make this work as exhausted new parents.

"Um..."

"Yes?"

"I... well, didn't you see the bead? It's just that we're coming up on hour 23."

"What bead?"

"I put a bead in your beadcatcher yesterday. While you were wiping baby poop off the couch."

"Didn't see it."

"Really?"

"Yep."

"Huh. 'Cause I put it in there."

"Well, it's not there now."

"Are you sure?"

"Maybe the dog ate it. He did puke in the kitchen earlier. Don't worry, I cleaned it up already."

"..."

"What? If you're going to be annoyed, just go ahead and say it."

"Okay. You want me to say it? Fine. You were the one who wanted to go to therapy. And now you won't even do the work. I hate to say it, but you've changed. When we got married-"

"WHEN WE GOT MARRIED YOU TOLD ME YOU'D MAKE ME HAPPY. I AM NOT HAPPY. I AM NOT HAPPY AT ALL, BUT YOU STILL GET TO HAVE SEX? GO FUCK YOURSELF WITH YOUR 39 BEADS."
posted by thehmsbeagle at 9:45 PM on June 5, 2011 [103 favorites]


"Spousal rape charges were dropped when the defendant was able to produce a bead-catcher containing a single bead..."
posted by ShutterBun at 9:46 PM on June 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


I broke my wife's bead catcher and my sex beads went all over the floor and now the kids have them
posted by the noob at 9:46 PM on June 5, 2011 [16 favorites]


I prefer my invention the "bead gun" which is basically just a toy gun and you load it with beads and then you shoot your partner in the forehead with beads when you want to have sex. Patent pending.
posted by naju at 9:50 PM on June 5, 2011 [49 favorites]


Well a friend of mine demanded a new Beanie Baby from her husband in exchange for sex. True Story. . .
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:51 PM on June 5, 2011


She actually uses the word "beadefits." Er, I guess, "word."
posted by you're a kitty! at 9:53 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I prefer duly-filled application forms, submitted in triplicate, through registered post.
posted by vidur at 2:42 PM on June 6 [+] [!]


We have a live in notary so even the simplest of requests—like 'can you pass the marmalade'—can be properly witnessed and conducted within a framework of optimal domestic harmony and adherence to the rule of law.

Of course we both outsource much of the groundwork to a few international law firms we have on permanent retainer and speed dial. They normally get back to use in a few days.

While the optional arbitration step does add a few months to the process, but eventually I normally end up with the marmalade or at least a reasoned multivolume decision on why I can't have it right now.

The beads would probably be unsuitable in our system as we've recently allowed the UN Special Committee on Non-Procreation Sexual Congress to begin the process with the ultimate aims of composing a timetable. We've asked the Secretary General to ask the Special Rapporteur to expedite the process and barring a veto from Russia should have an initial report in 2019.
posted by oxford blue at 9:54 PM on June 5, 2011 [15 favorites]


What’s interesting with The Forty Beads Method, is that once a couple gets into the flow of it and enjoying all the Beadefits (those tangible and intangible benefits that come from using The Forty Beads Method) neither the man or the woman feel the need to push against the Method that’s making their relationship so good.

Dear Inventor of This Bead Thing,

Beadefits? Beadefits? I mean, I was skimming this for a few minutes, thinking, hey, this sounds like a creative new way to communicate with one's partner, maybe I'll tell my wife about it, but then, no, there's no way, now that you've used the word "beadefits" — there's no way I can take this seriously. I was with you until "beadefits."

I mean, we're adults, right? "Beadefits" sounds like something I'd hear in an Amway seminar. Thanks anyway.

Sincerely,
Ratio
posted by Ratio at 9:54 PM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


beadefit (noun): the temper tantrum your partner makes when you end up taking 25 or 26 hours to get around to fucking them after receiving a bead
posted by hippybear at 9:54 PM on June 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


The testimonials about The Method are interesting.

"Hooray for The Forty Beads Method! Finally, my wife and I are looking at intimacy through a vaguely similar lens!"
- Ben

posted by thehmsbeagle at 9:57 PM on June 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


Finally we can be friends with beadefits.
posted by oxford blue at 9:58 PM on June 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


When I want to make a demand for sex, I just put on the iridescent fox mask and go say "yip" at my SO. I may also lift my skirt. If he's in anything at all vaguely resembling a receptive state, he'll be on his hands and knees Doing Things pretty quickly. If not, well, we negotiate for later.

But hey, if a bowl full of beads work, that's cool too.
posted by egypturnash at 9:59 PM on June 5, 2011 [19 favorites]


HOW is it possible this product hasn't been featured on Oprah?!?

Oh right, Steadman.
posted by ApathyGirl at 10:00 PM on June 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am mildly curious about the theory that the man is expected be into it for the next 24 hours, at any time of the woman's choosing. This totally contradicts my experience with men who like sleeping, eating, and working.

Huh, maybe I'm the bead-giver.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:01 PM on June 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


I have to say, this bead thing sounds a little passive-aggressive. Couples need to have honest and open communication, and when you're in the mood, a bead in a bowl just doesn't have the sexy panache of yelling, "To the cloud!"

I guess I'm a little uncomfortable about this. I'm an open-minded guy, and I like Alec Baldwin, but he just left a bead in the bowl on my nightstand and I'm not really sure how to respond. Earlier, I finished off the last box of cereal, and I left a Trix puff in Alec's nightstand bowl. That'll give us both something to discuss at breakfast.
posted by George Clooney at 10:03 PM on June 5, 2011 [20 favorites]


These beads, why don't they vibrate?
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 10:06 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


You lost me at "quantum mechanics".
posted by daniel_charms at 10:06 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm just 'hey would you like to have coffee sometime' and if it doesn't work out at least I get some coffee.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:08 PM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


For the people who are wondering, "Why 40?" my initial thought was: 52 weeks in a year, minus approximately 12 weeks where women are icky and gross and menstrual (not my opinion! My possibly ignorant assumption about what people with weird, passive aggressive attitudes toward sex think about women's bodies!) = 40 beads.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 10:10 PM on June 5, 2011


I think the 40 beads thing is because... well... The Stranger's commenters explained it best. Compliments of #41:

"Duh: The husband gets 40 beads per year because the other 12 weeks per year the ladywife has her period and is UNCLEAN!"

posted by SakuraK at 10:11 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I suppose some would see "once a week" as a triumph, of sorts.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:12 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


what about several different bowls labelled with different activities you'd like from your SO in the next twenty-four hours? i.e. sex, make dinner, do laundry, etc... the bead could indicate which is highest on your priority list...or a bunch more beads for something you REALLY want done, etc.

'cuz it seems to me like this bead-bowl thing is just putting sex on a slightly low-key to-do list...
posted by daisystomper at 10:13 PM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Or you could refer to it as a "Beady Call"...
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:15 PM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Giving Bead"?
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:16 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just try to avoid "Surprise Deadsecks"...
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:17 PM on June 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


BEADsecks... aargh
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:18 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


tmi, oneswellfoop
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 10:18 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I feel the need...the need for bead.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:21 PM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


no just too many puns... I need to be less o-pun-minded...
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:21 PM on June 5, 2011


The only advice I've ever heard about sex beads was to, "Go slow! You're not starting a lawn mower!"

I don't know if that's helpful or not....
posted by lattiboy at 10:22 PM on June 5, 2011 [36 favorites]


Wait, this is 40 a year? I thought it was per month for some reason. Also it's weird that if the wife uses a nudge card (isn't that a magic the gathering thing?) , there still needs be a bead exchange. That monetizes sex in a creepy way.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 10:23 PM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Just try to avoid "Surprise Deadsecks"...

Yeah, that too.
posted by vidur at 10:24 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh well, I guess I can suffer through sex 40 more times. Wait... it's per year? Fuck that.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:28 PM on June 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


This...seems like a kink to me. A fairly vanilla one, but a kink nonetheless.
posted by Theodore Sign at 10:31 PM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Life is even more sad than I realized.
posted by elektrotechnicus at 10:33 PM on June 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


What would be cooler is if the bead was placed into an elaborate marble run that sent it through a series of amusing tableaux before depositing it in the bowl.

Like this, except sexier. And more-than-once-every-35-years-ier.
posted by breath at 10:36 PM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Noooo! Not the beads! Not the beads!!!!!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 10:36 PM on June 5, 2011 [18 favorites]


Ugh, I am so tired of relationship books aimed solely at women (she mentions she's never actually heard firsthand from a man as all her workshops are women only). It puts all the responsibility for maintaining the relationship on the woman while allowing the man to neatly side-step any responsibility for her low libido. I believe for a lot of long-term married women the hottest foreplay is help with chores, childcare and a few minutes of non-sexual affectionate attention.
posted by saucysault at 10:38 PM on June 5, 2011 [22 favorites]


The Forty Beads method, invented by sex therapist Carolyn Evans, relies on tokens that allow a husband to give his wife a bead (by putting it in her "beadcatcher") when he's "in the mood," with a 24-hour deadline for "redemption."

So basically, "sex therapists" are at the same level as that dude in his underwear and cowboy boots yelling about whatever in any urban metropolis.

I always knew it. Now I have evidence.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:39 PM on June 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


*Already planning how to spend the millions he will make after he creates a BeadaVagazzler*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:40 PM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm annoyed at this you-go-girl, giggle giggle, kind of stance that we're all so grudging with the sex0r post-marriage that we have to play these little games to get ourselves to give it up - rather than, I dunno, examining the relationship and personal issues that lead to being out-of-sync with our partners? Also, how irritating is the ongoing idea that a majority of marriages have this bright line, someone's always wanting it more than someone's partner, and someone's partner is only going to dole it out on special occasions, like birthdays, and after their third drink...? It's too simple. Where is the give-and-take, sometimes one person's more in the mood, sometimes the other person is, sometimes you're both right in line with each other, that I don't think is uncommon despite what stand-up comics and throwaway self-helpy-Mars/Venus-type books want to pitch to us?

I mean, you'd have to be on fairly good terms to agree to this whole bead game anyway, right? Otherwise it'd likely be all resentment-laden like thehmsbeagle's scenario, above. So if you're on fairly good terms anyway, you don't really need the game, do you? And if you're not, a bead game probably isn't going to help you much, is it?
posted by flex at 10:47 PM on June 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


"Where did I come from?"
"It's time we had a talk about the birds and the beads."
(...)
"So you used monetised transactions supported by a contract most likely signed under duress to coerce my mother into sex?"
"It's a beautiful thing, son."
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:47 PM on June 5, 2011 [27 favorites]


That monetizes sex in a creepy way.

Wait until you see my new website, a bitcoin to sex bead currency exchange.

The exchange rate is favorable people! Buy buy buy!
posted by formless at 10:49 PM on June 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


This rather changes my understanding of Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 10:51 PM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Heh, heh. You single, childless people have no idea, really, do you?

My wife and I share each other's schedules on Google calendar. I once got laid because one of us had entered "intercourse" at 9 pm on a Wednesday night that was miraculously free of meetings, classes, or other social engagements.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:52 PM on June 5, 2011 [49 favorites]


and because you can only schedule 30 minute events on Google, I still had time to start the taxes afterward...
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:54 PM on June 5, 2011 [24 favorites]


Now you can schedule them down to the minute. Google Calendar also has a feature where it'll find the best time for 'meetings' 'lunches' or other things given an existing schedule.
...
Google Sex Scheduler. Skynet? I fear yet am intrigued by thee.
posted by CrystalDave at 10:57 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


This bead crap is apparently a way of trying to keep you from having to be vulnerable when you want to be intimate. But having to make yourself vulnerable by communicating your needs is an essential part of intimacy that can't be abrogated.

What a bunch of self-help crud.
posted by koeselitz at 10:59 PM on June 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


Now you can schedule them down to the minute. Google Calendar also has a feature where it'll find the best time for 'meetings' 'lunches' or other things given an existing schedule.

You have no idea how much you've just improved my marriage.

8:30-8:49 Read to child before bed
8:50-8:53 Microwave dinner plate
8:54-9:00 Eat dinner while reading Metafilter
9:01-9:05 Casual inquiry about spouse's day
9:06-9:08 Dental hygiene
9:09-9:13 Foreplay
9:13-9:14 Intercourse
9:15-9:17 Snuggling and discussion of how we should do this more often
9:18-9:31 Log back in to work server and attempt at completion of day's tasks
9:32-? Respond to child's crying and attempt to return him to sleep state
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:15 PM on June 5, 2011 [14 favorites]


They were inspired by the famous 7th-century Northumbrian scholar-monk, the Venereal Bead. He never got any either, what with the vows and all.
posted by Abiezer at 11:17 PM on June 5, 2011 [16 favorites]


saucysault: "Ugh, I am so tired of relationship books aimed solely at women ..."

If I were writing a book -- and hoping to sell a few copies -- I'd almost certainly aim the content of said book at the only people who would ever buy books on the topic.
posted by dancestoblue at 11:18 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone in this discussion has obviously mistaken a Bead for a Beard...
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:22 PM on June 5, 2011


Earlier today, my husband and I were cuddling in bed. I was all, "Want to have sex?" and he said, "Sure" and there was much sexing.

I can't even imagine how stupid this exchange would have been according to their script. I would have had to put a nudge card next to my beadcatcher, and then he would have had to drop a bead in and then I would have had to redeem it, and all this before the sex?! So much work. Man, makes me feel bad for prudes.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:24 PM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


I think it's a lot easier to get in the habit of just doing it regularly. Even if you're not particularly "in the mood" it's still fun once you get started. And that sperm has gotta go somewhere -- might as well go to the party who can use it as an antidepressant.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:36 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone in this discussion has obviously mistaken a Bead for a Beard...

You mean this post isn't about sex-beards?
posted by daniel_charms at 11:37 PM on June 5, 2011


Ah, thank goodness, I was worried I would have to actually get creative in my coercions of my trapped-in-a-living-death wife.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:42 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metaflter : Looking at intimacy through a vaguely similar lens!
posted by fullerine at 11:43 PM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Someone in this discussion has obviously mistaken a Bead for a Beard...

You mean this post isn't about sex-beards


All beards are sex beards. So says my girlfriend, anyway.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:47 PM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Earlier today, my husband and I were cuddling in bed. I was all, "Want to have sex?" and he said, "Sure" and there was much sexing.

Have you considered writing a book? Apparently, there's a market for it.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:47 PM on June 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Matt says:
May 9, 2011 at 7:52 pm
I showed my wife your website and she order the book via overnight delivery! Everything I read lines up directly with our life. We’re a young couple (30 and 28) with extremely busy schedules and a 5 month old and are excited about how this could help!

Matt

Reply

Carolyn Evans says:
May 9, 2011 at 8:16 pm
Yay! Overnight delivery? You’re soooo getting Beads! I’m so excited for you two! The Method is such a great way to get focused back on each other. Wish I’d been Beading when my kids were babies! ::C


It probably has to be so annoyingly chipper to keep from sounding erotic.

"We are so excited by your method. We want to know. Tell us exactly how you want us to use the beads. My wife and I both want to know. We can hardly wait these twenty-four long hours for your advice to arrive."

"Oh, yes, I will tell you how. I will tell you and your wife just how to love each other. I am so excited for you two young lovers... You're soooooo getting beads."
posted by salvia at 11:51 PM on June 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


SO, uh, like Mardi Gras?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:57 PM on June 5, 2011


Yeah, like ONE bead will get you laid at Mardi Gras.
posted by Casimir at 12:01 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe this helps people have sex, and well anything that helps people have sex is alright for me. Also, Chipper Earnestness is a turn on.

ase
posted by PinkMoose at 12:07 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wasn't Chipper Earnestness on the Braves?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:10 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Chipper Earnestness: The Carl Showalter Story
posted by mintcake! at 12:15 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


All beards are sex beards. So says my girlfriend, anyway.

She's merkin that up.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:23 AM on June 6, 2011 [17 favorites]


Mildly disappointed that the title of this post was not 'The beadings will continue until morale improves.'
posted by NMcCoy at 12:25 AM on June 6, 2011 [67 favorites]


So, we're calling vaginas "beadcatchers" now, huh?
posted by klangklangston at 12:34 AM on June 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


I actually thought ::C might be an emoticon for "my beadcatcher awaits your beads" until I remembered the author's name was Carolyn.
posted by salvia at 12:37 AM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Earlier today, my husband and I were cuddling in bed. I was all, "Want to have sex?" and he said, "Sure" and there was much sexing.

Wait, you can just ask that? huh.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:40 AM on June 6, 2011


You know if you use pearls, after your spouse collects 40 they can string them together to make a pearl necklace.
posted by dibblda at 12:46 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, you can just ask that? huh.

Not being in your early 20s anymore is actually pretty awesome.
posted by flaterik at 12:48 AM on June 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


PhoBWanKenobi: "Earlier today, my husband and I were cuddling in bed. I was all, "Want to have sex?" and he said, "Sure" and there was much sexing."

Thank goodness all human relations are exactly the same and what works for one couple will also work for another couple.

Just because it's a silly or unnecessary system for one set of people does not mean it is silly or unnecessary for another set of people. It's arrogant to suggest otherwise.

I think PinkMoose has the right idea: this system doesn't seem like it could hurt anyone, and if a relationship is at the stage where this is a viable way forward it might actually help.
posted by oxford blue at 12:50 AM on June 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


WELCOME TO THE APERTURE SCIENCE MARTIAL INTIMACY ENRICHMENT CENTER

PLEASE USE THE BEAD DELIVERY BUTTON TO DISPENSE AN INTIMACY TOKEN.

GOOD. PLEASE PLACE THE INTIMACY TOKEN IN THE APERTURE SCIENCE INTIMACY SIGNAL CONTAINER.

GOOD. PLEASE ASSUME A COMFORTABLE POSITION ON THE PLATFORM PROVIDED> TRAINED APERTURE SCIENCE MARTIAL TECHNICIANS WILL BE WITH YOU SLOWLY.

*Smooth Jazz plays*
posted by The Whelk at 12:55 AM on June 6, 2011 [69 favorites]


This is a cynical ploy to wring dollars out of insecure people who will blame it on themselves when the "method" fails to make them feel better. The only way in which this thing "works" is in generating revenue for the rat bastards who are behind it.
posted by eeeeeez at 12:57 AM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


On a more humorless and obvious note, I've decided I think this sucks from a feminist perspective. There's too much still out there in US culture implying that women owe men sex. The Today Show has a huge audience, including kids. I would have liked to see that clip include a question like "well what if the person decides they don't want to?" I also wish that they balanced which gender does the bead-giving. Given the various kinds of "don't try this at home" advice those shows give, it doesn't seem like too much to ask.
posted by salvia at 1:09 AM on June 6, 2011 [18 favorites]


You've only got 21 hours left to get to Canberra, Lovecraft. Promise you'll be gentle, because this new 'BROOKLYN' tattoo still smarts like a sonofabitch.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:14 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


For the people who are wondering, "Why 40?" my initial thought was: 52 weeks in a year, minus approximately 12 weeks where women are icky and gross and menstrual (not my opinion! My possibly ignorant assumption about what people with weird, passive aggressive attitudes toward sex think about women's bodies!) = 40 beads.

This makes sense (though, as you said, not in the "my opinion!" sense, but in the "I can see how that thought process could occur" sense), but the author says she initially conceived shaddap of this as a way of increasing intimacy post menopause. Or something like that. So while "all the weeks she's not menstruating" might work for the younger couples who are now supposedly doing this, it kinda doesn't fit with her initial scenario, right?
posted by spaceman_spiff at 1:27 AM on June 6, 2011


If you're talking about creating a currency for sex amongst married couples, wouldn't that pretty much be a fiat currency by default? (i.e. backed by vague promises from the "bank", but not really all there. (Except, of course, that it's easier to pull out than actually put anything in.)

What's the point of creating a new currency like this, if you can't use it with everyone?! Why not stick with paper currency and credit cards? I'm pretty sure that both still work.

If this fiat currency idea is worth bothering about because some people would actually prefer to be celebate monogamous, then shouldn't there be more security? The Federal Reserve could insure it, perhaps?
posted by markkraft at 2:10 AM on June 6, 2011


Fortunately my wife and I don't need these beads, as we already have sex at least twice a year.
posted by verstegan at 2:22 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Of course, for women with sexual dysfunction, abuse issues, or sheer lack of desire for your spouse, the proper response to your husband constant attempts at forcing beads upon you is to thread them all onto a non-porous cord, attach your wedding ring at one end, and to tell him that he can stick it up his arse.
posted by markkraft at 2:23 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow, so many sexless, unhappy couples in the thread.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:40 AM on June 6, 2011


Beeeees? (Gob's not on board...)
posted by disillusioned at 2:49 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


"It's a trap"

IT'S A COOKBOOK!
posted by wittgenstein at 3:06 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lovecraft in Brooklyn: I'm just 'hey would you like to have coffee sometime' and if it doesn't work out at least I get some coffee.

They were friends...

[Sunglasses]

With beanefits.

YEEEEEAAAHHHHHHHHH!
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:08 AM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Bean there = done that.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:18 AM on June 6, 2011


If you're talking about creating a currency for sex amongst married couples, wouldn't that pretty much be a fiat currency by default? (i.e. backed by vague promises from the "bank", but not really all there. (Except, of course, that it's easier to pull out than actually put anything in.)


I thought the concept was that each bead (by explicit or implicit contract) was exactly redeemable for one sexual act.... a gold standard of sorts.

GOOGLE RON PAUL.
posted by ennui.bz at 3:46 AM on June 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Damn it, I have just taken up beading -- and by "beading" I mean the practice of knotting small twinkly semiprecious objects hitherto lacking in sexual significance onto silk or poly nylon cording with the goal of increasing my options for personal adornment -- and now I'm gonna have to find a new verb for it until this thing blows over.
posted by timeo danaos at 3:51 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


But where is the romance? Where is the joy of seduction? Where is the " 'ow about it then, luv?"
posted by Decani at 4:20 AM on June 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


If science can inscribe the Bible on a grain of rice, half an hour of wheedling, cajoling and veiled threats of infidelity on a bead should be a breeze.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:23 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Accumulate 20 unredeemed beads and it's good for one bit on the side.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:27 AM on June 6, 2011


Can these be loaded up into a shotgun like bird shot? That would be helpful.
posted by FunkyHelix at 4:31 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sounds like Club Med, with sex.

OK, sounds exactly like Club Med, then.
posted by Skeptic at 4:32 AM on June 6, 2011


I think what gets me about this is that some enterprising soul actually had the chutzpah to put together an actual bead-and-"receptacle" kit for sale. The beads even come in a handy-dandy little leather pouch!

It's obvious from the site that this thing has been monetized out the wazoo, but that's just the icing on the cake.

Look, I'm not married, but if I were and somehow decided to spend forty bucks on sex toys... this is not how I'd spend my forty bucks.
posted by valkyryn at 4:48 AM on June 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Something something COVERED IN BEADS something something.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:49 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


STOP LOOKING AT ME WITH YOUR BEADY EYES!!!
posted by Elmore at 4:59 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


But where is the romance? Where is the joy of seduction? Where is the " 'ow about it then, luv?"

Oh, if only I could favourite more than once.
posted by jaduncan at 5:13 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I tribed to gibe by wibe a bead but she rabbed it up by node.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:13 AM on June 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


Ew. What about the sacred, intimate way married couples are supposed to initiate sex? By which I mean one partner asking the other "So...should I kick the cat out?"
posted by JoanArkham at 5:18 AM on June 6, 2011 [18 favorites]


So is the wife supposed to fashion the redeemed beads into a necklace? Perhaps the husband slips it on some days as a communication-free way to brag about his sex life...
posted by mantecol at 5:18 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a thing?
posted by birdherder at 12:12 AM on June 6


Rule 34
posted by fuzzypantalones at 5:31 AM on June 6, 2011


I've got a better idea: a chastity belt with an embedded magic 8 ball and a quarter slot. Best out of 3 gets you the prize. Even better if both partners are wearing them because then it turns into a quasi-erotic fest of quarter insertions in each other's groins. It's like an arcade where the video games put quarters back in you!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 5:37 AM on June 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is really going to add another layer to our Pente games.
posted by Shohn at 5:38 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I may be doing something wrong here, because after "placing" the 40 beads into my "bowl", I've only been able to retrieve 23 of them.
posted by orme at 5:45 AM on June 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


Slightly more seriously, this seems like another process to encourage affectionate but physically estranged couples to have sex without the process of scheduling, negotiation, wondering if the other party really wants to and so on that is often identified as a cause of dwindling intimacy. A couple of people have already got book deals and chat show placings based on a similar idea, of pre-negotiating mandatory (or near-mandatory) sex every day for a month, three months or a year - e.g. here.

I'm assuming the book goes into more detail about what happens if the beadee genuinely does not want to have sex with the beader within that 24-hour period. I certainly _hope_ so. That said:

The Method dissolves the negative tension that builds around sex in a marriage and replaces it with the sex life you always thought you should have, which in turn creates the relationship you've always wanted.

That's just icky. Although only as icky as similar promises made by The Secret and The Rules, I guess. Set up a system, sell the books, tell people whose lives are not changed for the better that they must have failed to follow all the rules closely enough, or failed to live the system. The rules are either fluffy enough or arcane enough to make this very hard to disprove. Lather, rinse, repeat.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:51 AM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


This seems like a good way to rocket the tension and resentment levels around a poor sex life right to divorce with minimal effort! Well played!
posted by winna at 6:05 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


40 Beads, 1 Cup Beadcatcher.
posted by Fizz at 6:12 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


and now I'm gonna have to find a new verb for it until this thing blows over.

Hmm. They're often round, call it balling.
posted by eriko at 6:18 AM on June 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


Seems to me that amassing a pile of unrequited beads would simply illustrate who really wears the pants in this house, buster.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:20 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here is my System, you can have it for free!

If more than 36 hours has gone by with no nookie, I look him right in the eye and say, "When are you going to fuck your wife?" His method is to hoover about me, maybe kiss me on the neck or put his hands around my waist. He doesn't have to speak because I know what he wants. I also know that if I am not in the mood right at that moment, I soon will be because he is very, very good at foreplay and I can trust him to rev my motor- so to speak.

But it helps to be childless.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:22 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, would it be wrong to put five beads in the bead catcher and leave a picture of the Harlem Globetrotters?
posted by eriko at 6:25 AM on June 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


So...this "40 not 52" beads thing is because period sex is not okay?
posted by roboton666 at 6:27 AM on June 6, 2011


I don't get why you need 40 beads either.

Because this is 33% weirder than Judas' betrayal of Jesus. DUH.

Once you have all 40 beads in her "beadcatcher," do you get to yank them out like you are starting a chainsaw? How does she know to make the "vroom" noise if you aren't communicating?

Jokes aside, if this helps a sexless couple get it on more, I'm happy for them. It seems kind of passive and weird to me, but I'm not struggling with those issues and don't have a need for tools like this. A lot of people have trouble with communication and intimacy -- just look at any week of relationship AskMe questions -- and I think that, easy as it is to say "communicate more," having non-verbal options will help some people in some situations.
posted by Forktine at 6:28 AM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Doesn't everyone know that you are supposed to put sugar in her bowl?

Put honestly sometimes as loving spouses one has to do things that one may not be that into. I have even been to musicals!
posted by The Violet Cypher at 6:29 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is all very droll.

I'm genuinely glad that nobody here has been sufficiently starved for physical affection in their marriage that they would have gladly—gladly—engaged in something as absurdly hokey as this, with its promise to ameliorate the constant background frustration and disappointment that characterizes the sexless marriage.
posted by pts at 6:33 AM on June 6, 2011


(caveat: I've never been married, but I spent a number of years in a relationship that might as well have been)

This sort of thing always freaked me out about marriage, but the same thing seems to happen with long term relationships; where sex becomes this giant favor that one partner has to beg the other for, or is used as control (reward system / withholding when upset for an unrelated reason). It's so common that it's a long running joke, that sex is something that just goes away when people get married, and not always because of children, but because everything else takes priority over intimacy, and sex becomes yet another chore.

It'd be easy to spout off some lazy sitcom tropes about marriage and sex and how they seem to be incongruous, but I struggle to understand, honestly: where does this level of resentment come from? I've BEEN in that relationship: I can relate all too well to the frustrated, emasculated men who will resort to dropping a silly bead into a bowl if it means that there's a chance that sex may occur tonight/ this week/this month; I've been the guy having to sit up in bed while night after night the woman I loved, who filled my every thought, to whom I'd literally had a statue built of in admiration, denies me physical affection yet again.

Someone upthread mentioned "just ask for it", and that would rule, if they're on the same page; except when you resort to just asking for it instead of it happening organically like it used to, back when you two couldn't keep your hands off each other until every single thing in life took priority; you can only ask so many times and be told no so many times before it DOES become presenting her with a chore, there are only so many times you can deal with someone pretending to be asleep until you leave them alone, or flinching at what used to be a playful or loving touch. Communication is great, so long as people are both acting in good faith, but when one would rather make excuses than be honest, it's worthless.

From an objective standpoint, this seems like a silly gimmick, but I can see how it would feel like a completely rational alternative to getting emasculated to the point of the inevitable "If you're so fucking physically repulsed by me, what the hell are we still doing together?" conversation that tends to be even less fruitful or helpful than beads in bowls.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:34 AM on June 6, 2011 [17 favorites]


Marbles?
posted by bleary at 6:35 AM on June 6, 2011


Things I Learned From Reading This Thread:

1. It is entirely possible to use up all of your favorites in one thread.
2. That I love my girlfriend far, far more than I ever thought possible, because "possible" now has to include some hideous, passive-aggressive creepshow beading ritual.
3. There is something more disturbing and sad to me in today's FPP than another Juggalo convention.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:39 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Funny story about this: I kept putting beads in my wife's jar until one day she gets fed up and gives me Manhattan Island. I was like, "hey I just wanted a BJ!"
posted by Mister_A at 6:44 AM on June 6, 2011 [21 favorites]


How do people that don't want to talk to each other end up married in the first place? I mean, first we found out we liked talking, then we found out we liked sex, and now here we are, bugs in a rug. Does it work another way?
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:53 AM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


It'd be easy to spout off some lazy sitcom tropes about marriage and sex and how they seem to be incongruous, but I struggle to understand, honestly: where does this level of resentment come from? I've BEEN in that relationship:

Honestly, for me it's popular culture that makes me really not want to have it off - has very little to do with chores or emotional intimacy and everything to do with the fact that once the thrill of novelty is gone I can no longer shut out the whole pop culture "almost all women are ugly and fat LOL / men always want newer younger partners / women should love sex except not anything their partner doesn't want to do / old women are gross but old men have character / women's bodies are disgusting unless they're shaved and waxed and toned into plasticity / don't think you're attractive ever unless you're a working supermodel / your partner almost certainly wants to cheat on you with someone hotter and totally would if he could". When I'm with guys, no matter what the guys are like, the pop culture messaging gets in and makes me absolutely hate being touched, because being touched reminds me of all the "you're ugly and worthless" stuff I have to fight to shut out in order to get through the day.
posted by Frowner at 6:54 AM on June 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


That sounds truly awful, though I admit I cannot understand why you would cling to pop culture concepts vs. a flesh and blood human being that is trying to communicate the opposite directly to you.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:06 AM on June 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


When I saw this, I assumed we were here to point and laugh at someone uncovering some archaic advice from a magazine article from the seventies.

I'm still having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that this book is current.

Here's my pitch for my upcoming relationship book: "Open, direct communication is a ridiculous and unattainable goal. The perfect is the enemy of the good. I'll explain how to save your marriage with a series of grunts and gestures!"
posted by Zed at 7:08 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess someone had to pick up the slack after all those key parties stopped.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:13 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Open, direct communication is a ridiculous and unattainable goal.

That's pretty much the core principle of The Rules.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:13 AM on June 6, 2011


women in committed, heterosexual, romantic/sexual relationships do owe men sex -- only the one man, of course. He owes his partner sex too. Unless the couple have agreed to be celibate, the vows imply that you need to address your partners sexual needs. And the beading system is a further commitment -- both partners wish to have more sex, but they need deadlines (just like writing works better with deadlines).

this is actually a great system for partners who have had issues about asking for sex or scheduling sex. It means one partner can indicate interest/desire, and the other partner does not have to either a) reject their loved one or b) have sex right this minute when they aren't up to it. They have time to make time (and find energy) for their partner and themselves. And meanwhile, the asking partner doesn't face rejection which can seriously damage sexual relationships.

I was pissed off at Dan Savage's response. I thought he would have been all for something which helped couples have better sex lives. But he really has little or no understanding for people with low libidoes. They may be totally into their partner, but they just can't "get it up" instantly. But making a commitment to try to get it up for someone they love and do like having sex with -- this is important to a good relationship.

Obviously, once serious medical conditions/other barriers to sex are in place, beading isn't a good idea. It is for couples who both want to find more time for sex, and it's a nice scheduling system which aims to balance the needs of the higher libido partner with that of the lower by finding a middle ground.
posted by jb at 7:19 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


She says on that Today Show that she discovered this for her husband's 40th birthday. So it seems that's where the 40 came from.
posted by salvia at 7:21 AM on June 6, 2011


I'm not even going to try and master this until I've learned how to use the three seashells.
posted by mnfn at 7:22 AM on June 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


This seems like it would only be good for people who do not have any TRUE intimacy or communication issues, more like it's good for people who are more on the puritan side.

For those who truly have intimacy issues, I can only imagine the beads proposal going extremely poor, as there are usually much greater roots than being able to talk about sex with each other.

I'm there right now, and while I'm looking for any answers, I'd have to say that this will NOT be an answer in our household. If we have to exchange fucking beads to communicate, we have no business being married whatsoever. If this is the sort of "revelation" passed along via therapy, then I totally understand why so many are loathe to consider the option.

This actually makes me pretty angry, if that's not apparent. To consider marriage is a very grave thing - You are saying "I would like to be bound to this person." This day and age, while it's much different than it was in the past, it's still a "big deal." You've asked this person to commit to you, you've probably said vows - That, and everything else involved, takes a hell of a lot of gumption. If you've been reduced to bead exchange to communicate then you've fallen pretty far.

If I was paying good money to a therapist and they proposed this, I would immediately look elsewhere and stop the check. If my wife and I were to go to someone and they proposed this, they'd be luck to come out alive between the both of us. But hey, we'd be cooperating and communicating enough to work together on that, so maybe it's a net positive.

i've been off the blue for a few months now as i've been so occupied by other things, this sort of opened the floodgates for me.
posted by MysticMCJ at 7:29 AM on June 6, 2011


This thread makes me sad.
posted by SPUTNIK at 7:39 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


The sad truth is that sex with the same person over long periods of time can come with a whole lot of baggage: difficulty communicating, feelings about yourself, feelings about your partner, remembrance of things past. The bead method in its own special way cuts through the first barrier but it won't work if there are more barriers in place. If I were a sex counselor I would work on three areas:

Does your partner think you are sexy and desirable? Do you make sure to convey just how sexy and desirable your partner is?

Do you make sure your partner has mind-blowing orgasms?

Do you spend time after the mutual mind-blowing orgasms basking in the glow together, talking and caressing, and storing up the memory of how fucking fantastic this moment is and how easily you can recreate this moment tomorrow?

The bottom line is, sex feels good. It should always feel good, and if it doesn't feel good then something needs work. If it does feel good, what are you waiting for?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:49 AM on June 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


So wait... is this, like, how Tea Partiers reproduce or something?

WHY ARE THERE NOT TWO BOWLS? His and hers bowls? (Or his and his or hers and hers or whatever?) Oh right; because one partner is always desperate and deprived and the other is always punitive and withholding. It's never, like... everyone is busy, everyone is tired, everyone is distracted and stressed out, everyone just wants to hold hands and eat ice cream because sometimes that's enough to light the connection up and make a little bubble of intimate happy.

I keep forgetting that! (Note to self: Must. Fix. Marriage.)
posted by DarlingBri at 7:56 AM on June 6, 2011 [13 favorites]




Totally agree, married couples having sex seems wrong. I thought you got married so you didn't have to do that any longer.


But you're not bitter. . .
posted by Danf at 7:58 AM on June 6, 2011


(Also, if I am now expected to trade sex for material goods, you better believe my going rate is a lot higher than a PLASTIC MARBLE.)
posted by DarlingBri at 8:02 AM on June 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


On a more serious/sad note: why would anyone want to have sex with someone who was only doing it because they felt like they "had" to?
posted by JoanArkham at 8:09 AM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also, if I am now expected to trade sex for material goods, you better believe my going rate is a lot higher than a PLASTIC MARBLE.

I mean, seriously. Couldn't we at least go for those little glass stones? Or maybe an actual tiger-eye?
posted by valkyryn at 8:09 AM on June 6, 2011


This reminds me of the hilarious "Tonight"/"Not Tonight" pillow set I saw at a discount store.
posted by Jonathan Harford at 8:12 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why is this presented as some type of self help/therapy deal? Why can't it just be a fun game?

I found this all really yucky in that its probably only reasonable for couples who haven't reached the point where one partner isn't into it and who can't communicate. It seems that to set this kind of game up there has to be a level of trust and communication between the pair.

The open communication about their sex life is then turned around and subverted into a game - without acknowledging that its a sex toy/game because that would be far to titillating. So the whole thing gets obfuscated into some kind of idiotic self help system (which is marketable) and OK to discuss because its not really about sex and desire.

In doing so it also reinforces the stereotype that women don't really like sex and have to be convinced to "give it up" and even worse ideas like they go into marriage so they don't have to "put out".

Because you're not really supposed to enjoy sex and hey I'm sure the whole element of coercion and hiding desire behind a system makes it sexier in the same way underage drinking was always more fun because it was something prohibited.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 8:14 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The thoughtful husband would replace the Cheap-N-Nasty Beads with pearls. Or, if his pocketbook is not up to that level, chocolate truffles. Hmmm, maybe I will suddenly develop a need to be cajoled......

(ugh I can't even joke about this, the thought makes me a little ill.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:15 AM on June 6, 2011


I'm pretty sure she went with 40 primarily because an earlier writing of hers also used 40 (# of days in a row having sex), so there's some continuity from one audience to another? Maybe she just likes the number, or has some affinity for it because of biblical appeal (is she a Christian author?)
posted by bizzyb at 8:16 AM on June 6, 2011


I figured it was more along the lines of "here's help getting back to f*ckin' — after 40 times you should be able to do it without the beads"
posted by papercake at 8:21 AM on June 6, 2011


pearls... chocolate truffles...
...tastefully engraved portraits of presidents...
posted by Wolfdog at 8:21 AM on June 6, 2011


WHY ARE THERE NOT TWO BOWLS? His and hers bowls? (Or his and his or hers and hers or whatever?) Oh right; because one partner is always desperate and deprived and the other is always punitive and withholding.

In the author's defence, she is very clear that this is an approach she took with her husband to address a specific problem - that he wanted sex more often than she did. It's specifically intended as an approach to dealing with problems in a relationship caused by one party wanting sex more often than the other. So, the situations you describe are outside the scope of the solution. Where I think the problem lies is that she's using the fact that it worked with her husband to promise:

The Method dissolves the negative tension that builds around sex in a marriage and replaces it with the sex life you always thought you should have, which in turn creates the relationship you've always wanted.


That is making a promise that cannot be made - and which might lead people who find that it does not solve their problems to blame themselves or give up. It's the problem with all miracle cures: if the miracle does not happen it has to be because of a problem with the patient, not the cure. But "this might work for you, but if it doesn't it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you - but you should maybe talk to a qualified sex therapist about your unique situation" probably wouldn't look as good on a book jacket. I very much hope it says something to that effect on the inside, though.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:24 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I suddenly have an unwelcome mental image of Captain Kangaroo as Mister Moose tricks him once again into dropping a cascade of beads...er...ping pong balls on the poor Captain's head.
posted by Billiken at 8:30 AM on June 6, 2011


I agree with the people who are thoughtfully pointing out, essentially, how fucking difficult it can be to have a low libido in a monogamous relationship. Because I went through a period like that, and at the time, something like this
His method is to hoover about me, maybe kiss me on the neck or put his hands around my waist.
only exacerbated my lack of libido. It made me feel like an object, whose most important job was to fulfill my partner's transient desires - my own mood didn't apparently matter. I felt like I had to grant him access to my body at all times to keep him happy, even if it was physically or emotionally uncomfortable to me. And on my partner's part, when I was continually pushing him away or asking him to stop, he understandably felt completely undesireable.

Personally, I am a huuuge fan of scheduled sex (I don't want or need to be "seduced" - I need to be a comfortable and consenting agent), and this rather corny Bead Method is one (commercialized) way to facilitate that.
posted by muddgirl at 8:32 AM on June 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


Calling all low libido women. I'm your guy!
posted by mrhappy at 8:33 AM on June 6, 2011


Thank goodness all human relations are exactly the same and what works for one couple will also work for another couple.

Just because it's a silly or unnecessary system for one set of people does not mean it is silly or unnecessary for another set of people. It's arrogant to suggest otherwise.

I think PinkMoose has the right idea: this system doesn't seem like it could hurt anyone, and if a relationship is at the stage where this is a viable way forward it might actually help.


Sorry, but buying a sack of plastic beads is silly. And it plays into the idea that Desire Is Not a Thing We Speak Of. Which is damaging, too.

It's not that I'm not glad that this couple found something that worked for them--it's that I think that monetizing it in this way is creepy and plays into unhealthy societal ideas about sex. That it's transactional. That good girls--and boys--don't talk about it directly. I get the whole "differences in desire is a problem" thing. I really do--I'm a high desire wife with a more-or-less low desire husband. Early in our relationship, there was a lot of misery and unhappiness about that kind of thing. I'd flirt. He'd withdraw. I'd sulk. We'd fight. Realizing that I could ask for it directly, and that we could talk about it directly, too ("Hey, haven't had sex in a few days. Maybe sex?" "I'm kind of tired right now. But let's try tomorrow morning") has left both of us feeling a lot happier and less put out. And it's cost nothing!

So yeah, in my book, love means never having to say "beadcatcher."
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:37 AM on June 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Watching that Today Show clip and thinking about women sharing this method in clusters at Starbucks across the country, coyly instituting this mass-marketed, one-sided, sex-on-demand bead system to better please their man while Katie Couric or whoever laughs suggestively... It gave me flashbacks to high school and made me remember why I wanted to shave my head, Sharpie black Xs on my hand, and wear "stay away from me" spiky jewelry. All that militancy and asceticism went away as it dawned on me how easy it was to say no and that nobody I was dealing with believed all the caricatures of women as cock teases or men as unable to survive "blue balls" or whatever. But that took a while (like many years).

That's why this product's marketing needs more context and to be less gender-specific. Like "sometimes, after years of being together, gradually saying 'no' to sex more than 'yes,' people in a relationship realize that they would like to have sex more but don't know how to shift the momentum." Otherwise it irresponsibly reinforces all that other background bullshit.
posted by salvia at 8:37 AM on June 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


This whole technique is just an act of sympathetic magic.

You cast a spell to get what you want by doing something which has a symbolic resemblance to the thing you're trying to bring about.

Putting a bead in a "bead catcher" is like the husband ejaculating in his wife's vagina, with the bead as the ejaculate and the husband's hand standing in for his penis.

I wish I could know if the inventor put it together with this in mind.

I wonder how Christian evangelicals would feel if they suddenly realized they were performing sex magic.
posted by jamjam at 8:40 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I totally read this quickly as "The Forty Bees Method". Help, I can't have sex, I'm covered in beeeeeees!
posted by iamabot at 9:00 AM on June 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


Why don't you just put them in your BeeCatcher?
posted by salvia at 9:12 AM on June 6, 2011


By which I mean one partner asking the other "So...should I kick the cat out?"

We never have to do that with our cats. One of them will come trotting into the bedroom like "O HAI, I've come to sleep on your pillow as usual and--what are you doing? Ew! Ewwwwww!" and trot right back out again.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:14 AM on June 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


This almost seems like an IRL SEO scam (IMO).

If it results in more sex for sexless couples, can't see a problem here.

I agree. This is just Variation X, or a very chaste "sex game.

Or yeah: This...seems like a kink to me. A fairly vanilla one, but a kink nonetheless.

I watched the trailer for the book and thought the traditional gender expectations were kida offensive in their assumptions.

For low-sex marriages, I recommend the book When Your Sex Drives Don't Match: Discover Your Libido Types to Create a Mutually Satisfying Sex Life by Sandra Pertot.

I just can't believe it's all about frequency for either men or women. More sex is usually a good thing, but not when it's sex that one partner does not want or enjoy. my2c.

"Earlier today, my husband and I were cuddling in bed. I was all, "Want to have sex?" and he said, "Sure" and there was much sexing."

The 40-bead game seems pretty damn silly to me (I don't begrudge anyone's consensual kinks), but to pretend that every couple can just have the kind of sexing both partners want whenever either partner wants to do the sexing with no fuss or injured feelings is perhaps even more ridiculous.

From an objective standpoint, this seems like a silly gimmick, but I can see how it would feel like a completely rational alternative to getting emasculated to the point of the inevitable "If you're so fucking physically repulsed by me, what the hell are we still doing together?" conversation that tends to be even less fruitful or helpful than beads in bowls.

And therein lies the appeal.

I do think anything that encourages conversation about sex or actual sex is a good thing, provided both partners are into it.

The subject is obviously far vaster and more complex than a single book, method, or discussion will ever resolve. Weird thread.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:18 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


What a waste of beads -- just make a damned bracelet, find a partner who actually wants you, and stop acting like a doofus.

So many bad marriages to exploit -- you just have to find the right no-effort, no-brainer hook to get that much-needed publicity to launch that career!
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 9:19 AM on June 6, 2011


It's obvious from the site that this thing has been monetized out the wazoo...

I think we've established that these beads don't go in or out of the wazoo.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:24 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


"So... should I let the dog in?"
posted by Wolfdog at 9:26 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's why this product's marketing needs more context and to be less gender-specific. Like "sometimes, after years of being together, gradually saying 'no' to sex more than 'yes,' people in a relationship realize that they would like to have sex more but don't know how to shift the momentum." Otherwise it irresponsibly reinforces all that other background bullshit.

I admittedly haven't read the book, but in my experience, just defining what sort of sex my partner and I have and learning how we both like to have sex (which is constantly evolving of course) is hard enough. Making these massive assumptions about gender and sex only makes it worse. There are men who like to cuddle and be seduced and women who like to stalk sexual partners and dominate them. That is obvious, I think.

The committment to actually "have sex" (whatever that means for you) is essential, though, and I think that's the big appeal of this bead game. It's like asking your toddler to choose between the blue shoes or the pink shoes. It's getting "buy in" on the (sometimes ridiculously frustrating) action of putting on the fucking shoes.

As a parent of a toddler, it's fascinating to see how critical routine is to adult lives as well, even (particularly?) as we get older.

To me, the dependence on the traditional gender roles (again, assumed, as I haven't read the book) are disappointing. The gimmick/kink seems more engineered to sell books than to actually help anyone (i.e. why would you want to lose customers?) The whole book seems inundated with "background bullshit" - if the game is as simple as 40 beads a year, what else is there to write about?

find a partner who actually wants you

Finding a partner who actually wants you is the easy (ok, easier) part. Maintaining a functional fucking relationship after 20 years (and the bumps, bruises, bellies, and fake hips that go along with it) is the very hard part.

Its a cliched male perspective, but I have a feeling that non-monagamous relationships are going to be a growing trend.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:30 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The 40-bead game seems pretty damn silly to me (I don't begrudge anyone's consensual kinks), but to pretend that every couple can just have the kind of sexing both partners want whenever either partner wants to do the sexing with no fuss or injured feelings is perhaps even more ridiculous.

If you'll read my follow-up, I don't actually think that's the case. But I think open and respectful conversation about it normalizes desire and sex and takes a lot of the scary, intimidating, ego-entrenched mystery out of it. I actually don't think this mystery is a good thing, though our society treats it like it is. I don't think men who get rejected for sex are less men or women less women and I think that most low desire partners would agree that a conversation about it would be better than their partners coyly insinuating desire, then feeling terrible about their (often unrelated) rejection of them. And I think the beads get couples farther away from honest communication about sexual desire, instead substituting a lot of giggling innuendo via beads.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:31 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dammit. Now we all have to learn how to overthink a plate of beads.
posted by 8dot3 at 9:39 AM on June 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


something like this

His method is to hoover about me, maybe kiss me on the neck or put his hands around my waist.

only exacerbated my lack of libido. It made me feel like an object,


I totally understand. I have been there. I went through menopause 2 years ago and there were moments when instead of feeling good, I went into a white hot rage. "How dare he!" But I never let it show, because I knew that would crush him. Instead my internal dialog went like this: "Ugh!!!! No way! It's sweet that he still wants me. I wish I wanted him as much. Well...why not. It will be cool in our bedroom. He will make me feel very good. It will be a nice time out from domestic chores and in fact, what the fuck am I doing standing here when I could be in there with this fine, fine hunk of a man???!!!"

In all fairness I should point out that my husband never fails me in the bedroom and I never pretend to have a good time so we can just get it over with. No matter how long it takes, we both end up in a euphoric state and that is double plus good. I also understand that not all couples have the luxury of a cool, quiet bedroom all to themselves with as much time as they want.

And the sad truth is women generally do have more difficulty achieving orgasms. We can short-circuit ourselves in so many ways. Too much on our mind. Uncomfortable or painful sex. Remembering sex in the past that was uncomfortable or painful. Worrying about our bodies. Feeling like it is all too much trouble and there are other things we should be doing. Men (unless there is a problem with sexual dysfunction) usually have an easier time so in their minds asking them to have sex (as long as the asker is desirable) is like asking them, 'Do you want to have an orgasm?' whereas with some women the question is really, "Do you want to humor me by wasting the few precious moments you have to yourself by doing something hot and messy and a little uncomfortable?"

YMMV-- I'm speaking in broad, broad generalities and I know we are all special snowflakes.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:48 AM on June 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


find a partner who actually wants you

I mentioned before that I am in a monogamous relationship, and that in the past I have gone through periods of having an extremely low libido.

In that context, I find this really really insulting. In my case, the initial low libido had no mental component to it - I found my partner very aesthetically and sexuall pleasing. Saying that my problem was that I "didn't want my partner" just reduces a complex emotional and physical relationship to one dimension - whether or not I was letting him put his penis in my vagina. And thought patterns like this just, as I said, added mental barriers on top of physical ones.
posted by muddgirl at 9:49 AM on June 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


will nobody think of the anal beads?!
posted by LMGM at 10:00 AM on June 6, 2011


There's an app for this: Abacus.
posted by Kabanos at 10:42 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Personally, I think a lot of the problem here is that responsible non-monogamy is taken off the table.

Buying into the "one person who can make you happy forever" schtick isn't a very fair expectation to put on anyone, really... and, quite likely, it's not being entirely true to yourself, or even to them.

By all means, get a great relationship with a compatible person, settle down, have kids, buy a house... and love them enough to realize that not only the desire to have sex regularly -- and sometimes with others -- is perfectly natural, but that the act is as well.
posted by markkraft at 10:48 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


DAS GLASPERLENSPIEL

my wife calls me Magister Ludi oh yeahhhhh
posted by everichon at 10:49 AM on June 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:04 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


This just sounds like a silly game to play with a spouse.

Now the mailman, that's got possibilities.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:06 AM on June 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Why 40 beads?

In looking around the websites about this, Carolyn Evans says that she originally wanted a special birthday gift for her husband on his fortieth birthday.

She came up with the idea of giving him 40 consecutive days of sex. And then she balked, realizing that she, personally, just couldn't handle the commitment, based on physical and mental and emotional issues, etc.

So she came up with the 40 beads concept as a way for her husband to to "redeem" those 40 days of sex at times of his choosing, giving her 24 hours to, I guess, prepare herself for each encounter in case she needed that time, and spacing out the 40 sex dates.

Which is a nice idea, and although I kinda feel I have this pact with my husband that we're going to have sex because that's who we are and what we want, I guess for her it was a way to get specific about how often that sex is going to take place.

Having more sex in a relationship is usually a good thing, so I'm glad she found a way to do that in a way that worked for her and her partner.

I do think that more communication is also good for a relationship, though. And also, maybe, more variety in what constitutes "sex". Are we just talking penis-in-vagina here, or when those beads go in that beadcatcher (nice evocative phrase there, just ripe for innuendo), is everything sexual on the table?

If the beads start the couple on the road to being more adventurous or open them up to more spontaneity, great. And if this is a relationship where one partner is almost always the initiator, I could see some value to that partner not feeling like he/she is having to deal with regular rejection, or constantly begging for attention, etc.

But in a low libido situation, you are not helping the partner with the low libido at all by putting demands like this on the table, which just adds more pressure to an already-fraught situation.

Realistically, I'd like to see healthy communication of each person's needs and desires lead to better sex for everyone, and not rely on gimmicks like beads in a bowl.
posted by misha at 11:17 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can one just like...stick ones penis in the beadcatcher?
posted by Skygazer at 11:24 AM on June 6, 2011


Or cereal bowl in the morning, with milk and Cap'n Crunch (TM).
posted by Skygazer at 11:26 AM on June 6, 2011


Is this the thread where we make bad jokes about other people's attempt's to improve their sex lives, or the one where we brag about our own sex lives? Because either way this is not so great.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:29 AM on June 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Why not use Milk Duds (TM), and have a nice snack after that sweet sweeet lovemaking
posted by Skygazer at 11:31 AM on June 6, 2011


But in a low libido situation, you are not helping the partner with the low libido at all by putting demands like this on the table, which just adds more pressure to an already-fraught situation.

In the case of the author, it was the low-libido partner who started it, and who decided that they wanted to have sex more often. It's less pressuring to agree to sex within 24 hours than have to decide whether to have sex at that exact moment - it's about changing a demand to a promise which the low libido partner has already made.

I think it's clear that any couple trying this method have to both want to have more sex, and both be okay with having sex within 24 hours. Or they could make it 48 hours, or 72 hours - depending on how often each of them want to. But having agreed to it, it's a nice way to send messages back and forth to each other without the pressure of standing right there; it's also a committment on behalf of the low-libido partner to try to act to encourage their own libido and a way for the high libido partner to be aware that this is a special committment and effort.

As for the "not-attracted" or "try non-monogamy" suggestions: those are not the issues. As muddgirl pointed out, attraction is not the issue, it's about whether you are emotionally and physically prepared to do something kind of complicated and involved. You might really be attracted, even seriously horny, but it's still 1:30am and you have no energy. And the partner who is interested doesn't want to have sex with other people; they want to have sex with their partner. There are people who are physically monogamous, in that it's part of their sexual orientation to bond to one person and not be very attracted to other people; there are people who are emotionally or culturally monogamous, in that they could perhaps be attracted to other people but who would find it extremely emotionally stressful or morally wrong (or both) to be non-monogamous. Non-monogamy is not an option for any of these people - what they want are better monogamous relationships.
posted by jb at 11:32 AM on June 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is the thread where we talk openly and frankly about our sexual expectations and experiences in a monogamous partnership. By sharing maybe some questions are answered and new questions are asked. If someone is interested in ways to make their sexual relationship better this thread could point them in the right direction: Put down the beads and start talking.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:36 AM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is this the thread where we make bad jokes about other people's attempt's to improve their sex lives, or the one where we brag about our own sex lives?

I think it's the thread in which I am skeptical that a bead-exchange scheme would make for a generally useful substitute for clear, direct communication. Libido disparity is a complicated problem tied into a whole network of other complicated issues. If a couple's in a place where they're grasping for a solution, I expect many of them will find that a solution this facile doesn't cut it.
posted by Zed at 11:38 AM on June 6, 2011


How convenient not having to communicate. Relationships should be all about substitutions to conversation.
posted by JJ86 at 11:41 AM on June 6, 2011


And the sad truth is women generally do have more difficulty achieving orgasms.

It's honestly really hard for me to describe what it felt like, because right now I have a relatively "normal" libido - so I can understand that this is probably difficult for people who've never experienced it to grasp. At the time, every touch just felt annoying, not arousing. No amount of sexual skill would have helped - if an orgasm is like falling off the 20th floor, I was stuck in the lobby, and any amount of sexy touching put me on an elevator going down.

The nice thing about scheduling is that (1) it took pressure of my dude to "get me in the mood" and put the onus on me to work out where the disconnect between brain and body was, and (2) it took pressure off me to have to turn him down every day and put the onus on him to be responsible for his own sexual needs. Of course it was only one part of the "solution" (and honestly not even the most important part) and I hope anyone using the Bead Method views it as just one part of a complete breakfast.
posted by muddgirl at 11:45 AM on June 6, 2011


How convenient not having to communicate.

It's extremely primitive, but it is a form of communication (again, as I understand it). Much important communication does not include words.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:45 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


The fact that there are so many relationships out there where this passes as the pinnacle of communication around something so intimate and dear is actually sobering and a bit heartbreaking. However, the love of my life and I have followed Dan Savage's advice and bought a necklace. That is kind of like beads, right?
posted by jason says at 12:07 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Potomac Avenue: “Is this the thread where we make bad jokes about other people's attempt's to improve their sex lives, or the one where we brag about our own sex lives? Because either way this is not so great.”

Neither. This is the thread where we mercilessly mock another snakeoil self-help guru trying to make a billion selling useless bullshit that will not work in the long term to people who just need help communicating in their marriages. This is the thread where we tear down yet another in the long line of "The Secret"-type consumerist nonsense designed to wring as many dollars as possible from the hapless masses. This is the thread where we encourage people to stop spending money on useless crap and start making a constructive effort to communicate with their partner, though it isn't always easy, and though it sometimes requires finding a therapist and talking through all kinds of other issues first.

This is the thread where we say "no more!" to all this Oprah-peddling, product-tie-in hawking bullshit.
posted by koeselitz at 12:11 PM on June 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


However, the love of my life and I have followed Dan Savage's advice and bought a necklace. That is kind of like beads, right?

It is, and I'm not entirely sure how or why you would then disparage this bead system. It's not that different (aside from the traditional genderification, which could be adjusted)--you're essentially using a non-verbal system to indicate when you want sex (or more specifically, assume a specific sex role)? The parameters have changed (for the better, imo), but the concept is similar.

I admit I do like that necklace idea (even for non-sub/dom relationships) much more than the bead system. I actually think it would work well for my partner (female), who definitely does want sex from time to time but is also self-described low-libido (not sure I totally agree) and inexperienced at seduction. A flirty accessory (even better, something particular to my preferences) would be an easy way for her to let me know when she is on without having to risk open rejection (though I'm not sure that the covert rejection, i.e. getting no action when the necklace is on, would be much different) ...

Anyway, I cut this bead system a little slack, because sexual relationships aren't easy for long-time companions. Sometimes my partner wants to cuddle, sometimes she wants an orgasm--it's pretty hard to tell which (which could be my fault) by the way she is behaving. Likewise, I am too sensitive. If I interpret wrong and am corrected, there goes my sexual desire ...

A non-verbal system with no commitment or pressure could work.

However, what happens when she wears the necklace 10 straight times and gets no response ... or when I sit around for weeks on end, desperately waiting for the necklace to appear ... ^_^

The only system that will work for you is one that you devise yourself with your partner(s) ...

This is the thread where we say "no more!" to all this Oprah-peddling, product-tie-in hawking bullshit.

I also take the fact that someone is marketing and selling something so strongly as a sign that it's probably bullshit. At its worst, it is a system probably designed to separate sex-starved partners from their hard-earned cash for an illusion of more and better sex.

The whole anytime-within-24-hours concept seems weird to me (perhaps in line with the "I took my Cialis 3 hours ago so let's get cooking!" pharmaceutical approach ...?). My level of sexual arousal will rise and fall quite a bit in 24 hours.

I like the on/off necklace switch better, b/c even if it's not on, that doesn't mean you can't be the initiator if you want to try.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:36 PM on June 6, 2011


This thread proves to me that long term relationships should not and cannot be monogamous.

It's sad, but there it is. Love is just a great big biological high that gets the race to reproduce, and after that, well, it's pretty much over, it's really all about your kids and sex becomes a game, or a sport, or a transaction or a chore or a duty. A solitary affair really, and one that if you haven't done to well in the genetics lotto and/or taken care of yourself as you've gotten older you're screwed. But not in a good way.

It's pretty sad that all relationships follow that sad arc. Even the closest marriages all hit that crisis point where there is love, but it becomes a familial love.
posted by Skygazer at 12:47 PM on June 6, 2011


Sad, sad, sad...
posted by Skygazer at 12:48 PM on June 6, 2011


This thread proves to me that long term relationships should not and cannot be monogamous.

My grandfather just died after celebrating his 70th wedding anniversary. There was never any hint that either of he or my grandmother ever had an affair (and both were relatively anti-social, spending time primarily with each other). Since his death, my grandmother has kept a photo of him beside her chair, a periodically takes it out and kisses it.

I'm in a 6 year long marriage myself, and have been monogamous with my partner for 13 years. Neither of us want to look elsewhere - we want to have a better relationship with each other.

Monogamy is like sexual orientation; some people feel one way, others feel another. I'm pro-polyamory for polyamorous people, but saying that monogamous people ought to be polyamorous is like telling straight people they ought to be bi or gay. We just don't work that way.
posted by jb at 12:52 PM on June 6, 2011 [20 favorites]


My partner and I saw this on Today and rolled our eyes and joked "silly straight people", but in talking it out started thinking about (and knowing from our own experiences both apart and together) that you can have an open and honest relationship full of communication where both partners are still attracted to one another, but still, because of life getting in the way, physical intimacy just gets complicated. It can be a difference-in-libido situation, it can be a feeling-bad-about-one's-self-so-don't-want-to-initiate situation, it can be a I-know-my-partner-is-feeling-bad-so-I-don't-want-to-pressure-him/her-even-though-I'm-expected-to-initiate.

You can be intelligent people and talk and talk and talk these problems to death but for whatever reason, if Ask Metafilter is to be believed, sex is still an issue. Lack of talking isn't always the problem. In fact, sometimes too much talking can be the problem. Sometimes thoughtful high-libido-having/non-body-issue-having partners who know every reason why the low libido/body issue having partner might still be attracted but might not always feel like having sex (and certainly never like initiating it) and knowing all of that information can mane the non-issue having partner feel guilty have wanting the sex.

Sometimes it seems, folks need tricks to get over that hump (pun intended) And though I want to hate this and mock it for all the reasons I hashed out above: why can't people talk?, it's sexist, beads should only be used during sex for ass play... but while I do on principle, I can't in practice. It's sort of like that Christian couple who did the same media rounds when they did the "fuck every day for a year" thing. I can make fun of it, but given the choice between (a) people not fucking and (b) stupid thing that gets people fucking, I choose (b).
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:15 PM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Do the beads vibrate? If the beads vibrate, you can just give a few out of your bowl and then you can go watch the game.
posted by Kokopuff at 1:15 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Beadplating.
posted by nicodine at 1:38 PM on June 6, 2011


This thread proves to me that long term relationships should not and cannot be monogamous.

The advice to try non-monogamy doesn't seem to be as universally helpful as some people assume. For my partner, what hurt him was not the fact that he couldn't get his rocks off inside someone's vagina. The problem was that in his mind I was sexually rejecting him. Sexual acceptance from someone else might fix his problem, but it wouldn't fix our problem.

Again, this is entirely us. I would never advocate for universal monogamy, and I know within some of my activist communities there are couples which are non-monogamous for reasons related to low libido or other barriers to sexual intimacy. I am also lucky in that my period of low libido was relatively short (around 6 months) and due to changeable environmental and biological factors.
posted by muddgirl at 1:38 PM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sexual acceptance from someone else might fix his problem, but it wouldn't fix our problem.

I understand that, but perhaps a reduced expectation of oneself and ones long-term partner's desire for monogamy or continued sexual activity might help. It would seem less hurtful and less destructive if the idea of a shelf life being part and parcel of a relationship was accepted from the get go.

I realize this sounds unrealistic considering the power of emotional ties, but I'm at a point where I'm pretty much down on relationships as a whole. It really seems mostly to be a power equation and one person is always going to be left wanting, therefore, don't be the person left wanting...
posted by Skygazer at 1:57 PM on June 6, 2011


It would seem less hurtful and less destructive if the idea of a shelf life being part and parcel of a relationship was accepted from the get go.

Oh, we have no illusions about "happily ever after" or "till death do you part." I think that's actually been really helpful when we face problems like mismatched libidos because we don't have set any internal pressure to succeed - either it's worked out to our satisfaction or it isn't.

I don't see what that has to do with non-monogamy, though. I would consider both of us to be serial monogamists who are only moderately sex-motivated. Again, everything I've posted is about me and perhaps people like me.
posted by muddgirl at 2:07 PM on June 6, 2011


Those who think that the beads take the intimacy out of the relationship should use their imaginations. Men, replace that bead with a creative selection of your choice! One day you could put in a compact fluorescent light bulb (request for environmental sex), another day a bowling ball (request for bowling sex), or a Rubiks cube (request for mathematical sex).
Women, don't be left behind. Replace your nudge letter, with excerpts from the Magna Carta (request for Parliamentary sex), or Robert's Rules of Order (request for motion from the floor) and the ever reliable Oxford English Dictionary (request for lookup sex).
posted by storybored at 2:08 PM on June 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


another day a bowling ball (request for bowling sex)

Please, keep the comments out of the gutter.
posted by Skygazer at 3:11 PM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


I guess I don't see why I wouldn't drop all 40 beads in the bowl the first day.
posted by jenkinsEar at 3:20 PM on June 6, 2011


On a serious note, this made me think of Bettina Arndt's revolting and offensive 'How dare women think they have the right to say no to sex' remarks:

"Forty years after liberated women felt able to say “no” to their partners’ demands for sex, they have been urged to say “yes” more often to keep their men happy.

Sex therapist and psychologist Bettina Arndt said different libidos were creating a generation of men who were “miserable, angry and really disappointed” that their need for sex was “being totally disregarded in their relationship”. [...]

'The notion that women have to want sex to enjoy it has been a really misguided idea that has caused havoc in relationships over the last 40 years.' "
posted by Year of meteors at 4:50 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


like a rosary?

I know right? Any of these people ever heard of Pavlov? "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with th-...oh dear I have an erection."
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:58 PM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh dear. I have little glass bowls heaped with scented beads all over my house. What the neighbors must think...
posted by dejah420 at 6:11 PM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


At first reading I assumed that both partners gave beads. Seemed harmless; a little mechanical but whatever works. As I realized it was the male bead game it became clear that it was a way for the man to be protected from rejection- probably what men hate most (?)

But it's also a way for the woman to have some time to warm up to the idea of sex when it's not something that is first on her list of things to do.

Some men have been known to become rather perfunctory about foreplay after many years with the same partner. But the bead can act like dropping the idea into conversation would. She doesn't have to accept (or reject) right away but can let the idea develop, create some anticipation, receptivity - the beginning of foreplay - imagination.

And she can, practically speaking, prepare, if one of the reasons for her lower libido is lack of confidence (take a long bath first or get whatever might be on her mind squared away beforehand). My married friends often say "He always wants sex at the most inconvenient times." The delay allows the couple's timing to come into sync.

Maybe the women should also have a jar, filled with little slips of paper with ideas of things she'd like him to do to her, or say, or wear, or smell like, or whatever. Then they both get to choose something and if she has to adjust her libido, then he might expand his repertoire of seduction or approach. Seems fair, no? Even if a bit overly organized.

What is communication but give and take, shared ideas, an exchange, an adjustment of perspective? Sorry to take this all so seriously and have no witty riposte but though the bead game sounds silly at first it makes a kind of sense when you think about the people for whom the whole go-with-the-flow-thing isn't working. After a while they may get used to just whispering these things to each other, or developing a kind of code for their sex life that is all their own and no longer need beads.
posted by ofelia at 7:21 PM on June 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Year of meteors, did you actually read Bettina Arndt's words, or just the interpretation of them that you linked to? It might be helpful to have full context before we judge them.

In The Sex Diaries (you can actually download the first chapter for free in pdf form, btw), Arndt says that, "Women’s right to say ‘no’ has been enshrined in our cultural history for nearly fifty years. It was one of the outstanding achievements of the women’s movement to outlaw rape in marriage and teach women to resist unwanted advances."

However, she contends (based on diary entries 98 couples wrote about their sex lives over a period of 6 to 9 months for this book), "The right to say ‘no’ needs to give way to saying ‘yes’ more often—provided both men and women end up enjoying the experience." That's a far cry from "How dare women think they should have the right to say no to sex."

And the quote about, "The notion that women have to want sex to enjoy it has been a really misguided idea that has caused havoc in relationships over the last 40 years," is in response to research that suggests that women's desire works on a different timeline than men's. Where physical arousal precedes lovemaking for men, that isn't always the case for women, who can become aroused during or as a result of lovemaking.

Notice that I use the term lovemaking rather than sex, because it is an important distinction. "According to leading sexologists, the type of sex that fuels desire is leisurely, playful, sensual lovemaking based on whole-body massage that includes the genitals but is not limited to them. This is the lovestyle that many surveys show women prefer, but often don't get."

No one (no, not even Arndt) suggests women should have sex with anyone they don't want to have sex with. Just that they should not rule out occasionally making love when they are not as eager as their partners. "With the right approach from a loving partner, if women were willing to be receptive "and allow themselves to relax … they would enjoy it", she said.

And in case you think the burden is falling unfairly on women, in her study mostly the women were the lower libido partners, which isn't always the case, of course (only 10 percent of the women in her book had higher sex drives than the men).

And some cases were (at least to me) really extreme:
'...One man, a 66-year-old from Darwin, eventually gave up and told his wife: "I'll make no advances or ask for sex until you ask me."

The result?

"In the last eight years there has been no sex in our marriage at all," he wrote.' via
posted by misha at 6:46 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't have the time to fully deconstruct everything in the comment, but this part jumped out at me:
Where physical arousal precedes lovemaking for men, that isn't always the case for women, who can become aroused during or as a result of lovemaking.
I am not familiar with Arendt's work, so perhaps this is a misinterpretation? Because this seems to be claiming that men can't become aroused during or as a result of lovemaking - that physical arousal always precedes "lovemaking". And clearly there is no biological reason for this - indeed, many male rape victims report that they experienced unwanted signs of physical arousal, such as erections.

Either that, or there's no real difference between men and women? Or I'm misunderstanding the terms being used?
posted by muddgirl at 7:29 PM on June 7, 2011


No one (no, not even Arndt) suggests women should have sex with anyone they don't want to have sex with

I don't mean to take your word too literally, misha, but there are people -- even entire attitudes -- that still suggest women should feel obligated to have sex with people they're not necessarily into, or before they're ready to have sex with those people, in a way that pressures women and leads them to saying yes for fear of social disapproval (don't be a prude, don't be a cocktease). I'm not trying to overstate the case here. But it's my opinion that there should be more caution and social responsibility shown around how this product is marketed to keep the importance of women's volition at the forefront. I feel like I must be misunderstanding you because I can't think of anything I'd add to this comment that I don't think you already know.
posted by salvia at 7:31 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whoops, hit post accidentally. But I was almost done, so I'll just ask people to forgive the mild incoherence and rambling in my comment.
posted by salvia at 7:34 PM on June 7, 2011


"The right to say ‘no’ needs to give way to saying ‘yes’ more often—provided both men and women end up enjoying the experience."

She's the one conflating the two! No wonder people misinterpret it. Why should the right to say no have to give way? What about consenting to have sex without being aroused is in any way related to the right to withhold consent? They are two different thing.

The whole thing comes across as a bizarre and unnecessary contrast between women having bodily autonomy and women having happy marriages.

I have to say, too, that your anecdote about a couple not having sex for 8 years puzzles me as well. We don't know that couple, and if they were similar in age, the woman was probably menopausal or post-menopausal when they stopped having sex. That is one of many hormonal changes that normal, functional women will go through in their lifetimes (including the changes around pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding...) and I think that to some extent, rolling with those physical changes is part of being married to a woman. It comes with benefits, and it comes with drawbacks.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:41 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and in one of the articles linked they talked about men lacking libido due to heart disease or diabetes--I hope that if my partner had a condition that killed his libido I would deal with it gracefully. That's kinda how aging works. It's not a tragedy that somehow relates to me not being able to rape him.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:46 PM on June 7, 2011


There's a world of difference between rape and being open to having sex with your partner even if you aren't yet horny, but will become aroused if you begin. What they are saying is that many women become aroused by the foreplay, rather than beginning aroused.

There really is a commitment that partners make to each other to at least try to be open sexually to the other person's needs. It's not explicitly in the marriage vows, but it's there implicitly. My husband has read rabbinical teachings which even state how often men should have sex with their wives for her sake; for sailors, every 6 months or so, for scholars and others in non-physical jobs it was a lot more often.

No one has said women should have sex when they are in pain, when it's really not working for them. They are saying that many women will become aroused if only they open themselves to it, make time for it. And maybe it won't always be orgasmic, but it can good even when it's not orgasmic and it's an important thing for your partnership.

relationships are like improv, they work better when the default answer is yes.
posted by jb at 6:05 AM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


young rope-rider: the woman may have been menopausal when they stopped having sex, but the point was that she had never asked him in eight years since. And straight sex does not always have to include vaginal intercourse.
posted by jb at 6:07 AM on June 8, 2011


There's a world of difference between rape and being open to having sex with your partner even if you aren't yet horny, but will become aroused if you begin. What they are saying is that many women become aroused by the foreplay, rather than beginning aroused.

My point is that men can become aroused, whether physically or emotionally, by foreplay. Arendt seems to take it as a given that men always enter sex in some kind of aroused state. So I don't see why women need some kind of special instruction to make sure they have sex when they're not aroused.

Furthermore, it seems to completely ignore women like me, who couldn't become aroused by any kind of foreplay. Is it OK for me to say no to sex, if I knew I wasn't going to be aroused? How does Arendt know that the women in her anecdote was a Secret Life of Gravy type or a Muddgirl type? She can't.
posted by muddgirl at 6:57 AM on June 8, 2011


Is it OK for me to say no to sex, if I knew I wasn't going to be aroused?

Not speaking for the bead-method, but I would say, if you were my partner, that it's not OK for you to say that you know that you aren't going to be aroused. I think that you have to at least try sometimes, or at least establish that at some point or at certain times you will be willing to try. (Or else agree to have a temporary or permanently asexual relationship with your partner.) Also, if it's an issue of "I have tried X times, and I know I can't do it" then of course you do what you must do, which is get through it however it works best for you.

They are saying that many women will become aroused if only they open themselves to it, make time for it.

A corollary here (from my experiences) is that some women will only become aroused if they open themselves to it and make time for it, e.g. my partner generally only gets aroused after we get into foreplay for a few minutes. She wants to have sex because she knows she likes it and she wants us to be close, but she does not actually get sexually aroused (or so she says) outside of the sexual act. We haven't tried pornography yet (but I'm considering introducing her to some ...)

Also, as a man, there have been plenty of times (OK, maybe not plenty, but certainly some) when I have not been aroused yet gotten my partner off, i.e. we started fooling around, she got turned on and I didn't. Probably more than the other way around, to be honest (with only a hint of bitterness ;)

Or what jb said.

In the end, everyone is different and, as always, there's no one-size-fits-all answer.

The only thing I can add is that child-raising sure as hell throws a mighty wrench into the works, and not (only) for the reasons you would expect.

So I don't see why women need some kind of special instruction to make sure they have sex when they're not aroused.

They don't. The problem affects men and women, but I think it's fairly accepted that it affects women more, for whatever reason.

This is sort of a weird book and odd (Christian) author, but I really enjoyed The Sexually Confident Wife. Shannon Ethridge provides a very interesting counterweight to other sex-positive writers I enjoy like Susie Bright (probably NSFW).
posted by mrgrimm at 9:13 AM on June 8, 2011


As an aside, it sort of weirds me out when people flip from talking about relationships to talking about vows. Not all relationships involve vows.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:45 AM on June 8, 2011


They don't. The problem affects men and women, but I think it's fairly accepted that it affects women more, for whatever reason.

It may be "accepted", but I don't tend to take conventional wisdom at face value. The frigid wife and frustrated husband is certainly a cultural trope, but I find it dissatisfactory for many reasons.
posted by muddgirl at 11:12 AM on June 8, 2011


Also, if one reads what I've written, I've already talked about the value of scheduling intimate time. I just think there's a huge leap between scheduling sex and asserting that low-libido people should treat their relationship like improv and say yes every time sex is initiated. I think it's dangerous to generally tell people that they have an obligation to subvert their own needs, because such advice can and is weilded by abusive partners.
posted by muddgirl at 11:16 AM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's interesting that when I applied context to a writer who was quoted out of context, I was attacked as if her beliefs were my own. I never said I agreed with Arndt. I just made the point that she deserves to be linked to directly and her views taken in context.

In fact, the only real opinion I put forth was that the man who went eight years without sex seemed like an extreme case to me. I'm amazed that others apparently don't think so.

the young rope-rider: "the woman was probably menopausal or post-menopausal when they stopped having sex. That is one of many hormonal changes that normal, functional women will go through in their lifetimes (including the changes around pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding...) and I think that to some extent, rolling with those physical changes is part of being married to a woman. It comes with benefits, and it comes with drawbacks."

I'm post-menopausal, and have been for nine years (total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy at 36 after stage 3 endometriosis), so I feel qualified to address how it can affect your sex life.

The thing about surgical menopause is that there is no gradual process of hormonal changes you mention as a natural part of a woman's life.

Instead it's BAM! Instant. Hormonal. Chaos.

And just like that you're having night sweats, hot flashes, and a host of other issues. Things you take as given, like the ability to just spontaneous have sexy, can radically change, and suddenly you're learning about "personal lubrication" products and hormone replacement therapy and topical testosterone and sildenafil creme for that libido you lost. Addressing your own sexuality is like navigating an alien landscape for a while.

It would be really easy, I guess, to just throw my hands up in the air and tell my partner, "Hey, I'm menopausal. That's the end to sex. Roll with it." No more doctor visits for me, no more struggling to find the right balance with HRT and all the rest.

There's two reasons that course of action didn't occur to me.

One, because just existing is not the same as living, and I'm damned if I'm going to let my surgery keep me from having a satisfying sex life.

And two, because I'm in a relationship, and I care about my partner. And our sex life is important to him, too. And relationships involve compromise.

Which is also why sometimes I say yes when I'm not quite there yet, and we go with it. I can always change my mind if something's not working for me. But at least I'm willing.

And I can't see any good reason why women who have gone through those changes as a result of natural menopause should just give up on their sex lives, either.

the young rope-rider: "Oh, and in one of the articles linked they talked about men lacking libido due to heart disease or diabetes--I hope that if my partner had a condition that killed his libido I would deal with it gracefully. That's kinda how aging works. "

Honestly, you might want to read up some more on sex and aging. Heart disease and diabetes are not a given just because you get older. And lacking libido is not synonymous with "no more sex"! It's easier to treat the condition in men than women, but it is treatable. Would you just ignore any other life-changing symptom, or would you go to a doctor and try to figure out what was wrong?

It's not a tragedy that somehow relates to me not being able to rape him.

You know, I don't think it is appropriate to lightly throw around the word "rape" like that in this thread. I feel that if a man did that, he would rightly be chastised for it, and so a woman shouldn't get a free pass, either.

muddgirl: "this seems to be claiming that men can't become aroused during or as a result of lovemaking - that physical arousal always precedes "lovemaking". "

I think you are putting the "always" in there, and that's the problem. It's more likely for men to enter into lovemaking already aroused than it is for women, that's all the contention is.

And, muddgirl, I definitely hear you about the lack of libido issue. Been there, done that, you and I should have shirts made up.
posted by misha at 2:25 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Which is also why sometimes I say yes when I'm not quite there yet, and we go with it. I can always change my mind if something's not working for me. But at least I'm willing.

I agree with the differentiation (as mentioned in one of the many links in this thread) between "gift giving" and "mercy/duty sex" imo.

If it's coming from a place of obligation and pressure, that's icky. If it's coming from a general desire to give something of yourself to your partner, that's a whole different thing. (I admit those distinctions are not easy to maintain.)
posted by mrgrimm at 2:34 PM on June 8, 2011


In fact, the only real opinion I put forth was that the man who went eight years without sex seemed like an extreme case to me. I'm amazed that others apparently don't think so.

No, I don't find it strange for people in general to live in sexless partnerships (much less 8 years without sex). I simply have a hard time judging based on one short anecdote - were there medical issues? Was his wife asexual? Were either of them (or both of them) getting something on the side?
posted by muddgirl at 2:42 PM on June 8, 2011


It's more likely for men to enter into lovemaking already aroused than it is for women, that's all the contention is.

I already stated that I was not familiar with Arendt's work, and was only speaking to the representation given in this thread. The contention as given was that women are uniquely capable of becoming aroused during lovemaking, and that just doesn't compute.
posted by muddgirl at 2:43 PM on June 8, 2011


muddgirl, I'm not sure what or who you are disagreeing with?

muddgirl: "I already stated that I was not familiar with Arendt's work, and was only speaking to the representation given in this thread. The contention as given was that women are uniquely capable of becoming aroused during lovemaking, and that just doesn't compute."

Very first line of one of my links in this thread, Not Arndt's work: The conventional wisdom is that desire precedes sexual arousal. This works for most men. (Not all, not always, not only.)

Also from that same link: Contrary to the conventional model, for many women, desire is not the cause of lovemaking, but rather, its result. (Again, many, not all)

muddgirl: "They don't. The problem affects men and women, but I think it's fairly accepted that it affects women more, for whatever reason.

It may be "accepted", but I don't tend to take conventional wisdom at face value. The frigid wife and frustrated husband is certainly a cultural trope, but I find it dissatisfactory for many reasons.
"

1999 University of Chicago study found that among respondents, lack of libido was a problem for 30% of women and 15% of men.
posted by misha at 3:36 PM on June 8, 2011


You know, I don't think it is appropriate to lightly throw around the word "rape" like that in this thread. I feel that if a man did that, he would rightly be chastised for it, and so a woman shouldn't get a free pass, either.

I'm obviously not communicating well, and I apologize for that. I certainly never intended to attack you. I know that you're not the person who wrote the things I'm criticizing right now.

I did not bring rape into this discussion. In fact, I am completely puzzled why marital rape is even involved in a discussion about consensual marital sex, which is a point I made (perhaps hamhandedly) upthread. It pushes a lot of buttons and implies a lot of nasty things about women taking their ability to withhold consent too far (as though that is possible!)

It's like saying "now police take domestic violence seriously, but more women should think about saying yes to household chores!" ....what? It doesn't make sense. Why bring a violent act into a conversation about how to have a healthy relationship?

Some of what she writes does make sense and is based on research that might or might not be solid (haven't checked it out). But randomly throwing rape into things is really not a great way to frame things because it implies that the kind of sex she is suggesting is somehow on the same continuum as rape, which it is not.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:05 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, misha, thank you for calling me out. Two X chromosones or not, contributing to rape culture is not cool nor is dropping random references to rape in unrelated threads and I'm glad we have a chance to discuss it further so I could clarify my hackneyed commentary.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:35 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


You're right, it was actually my quote of Arndt that brought marital rape into all this in the first place.

Which, when it segues into her, "Hey, relax and enjoy sex" advice, does come across way too much like, "Close your eyes and think of England," doesn't it? Don't know that she quite deserved the pile-on she got on some of the blogs, but she definitely could have expressed herself better.

Anyway, she's the one who comes across as ham-handed, not you.

Thanks for being so cool about this.
posted by misha at 7:09 PM on June 8, 2011


« Older Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain S...  |  Like a lot of people, I grew u... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments