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                 Friday, February 22, 2008
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A very warm welcome from Carmen Sutra:  

Welcome to our super-long Reader Comments edition about 
monogamy...or lack thereof, in some cases. I received SO many
letters regarding this controversial subject that I decided
to dedicate the entire issue to your responses today. This
remains a very sensitive subject for some, but I am glad
we have this anonymous forum so we can all benefit from each
other's experiences. 

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Today's Topic: Reader Comments

Carmen,

I read your column on monogamy with great interest & I would 
like to respond with my own experiences. I am a middle age 
male married 20+ years with 3 teenage children. Throughout my 
marriage, remaining monogomous has always been a big struggle 
for me. I love my wife very much & even though she has put on 
a few pounds I still find her attractive & a great partner in 
bed as well as having other qualities that no man could ever 
ask for more. Despite this I have always found it difficult 
not to stray. I have had several female friends over the years, 
some of which I have formed a strong emotional bond with. 

Although I never crossed the line of having sexual relations 
I am guilty of having spent time going out for coffee with 
some of them or keeping in touch by phone or E-Mail & I must 
admit have fantasized having sex with them. What stops me is 
that taking that final step is that I do not want to hurt my 
wife & I don't think that I could live with myself. My wife 
who is far from naive has been aware of some of my indiscretions 
& she has communicated to me about how much this hurts her & 
how she finds it so disrepectful. She has even expressed the 
belief that I have been unfaithful sexually yet she stays 
with me & tells me how much she loves me. I am working on 
changing these behaviors as I'm beginning to realize what I 
have @ home & I don't want to lose it. It hasn't been easy 
though but I beleive the struggle is worth it. I hope this 
letter made sense.

Dear Carmen, 

i feel like you do, it isn't a hard thing for me to stay true 
to my mate, or atleast when I have one. Unlike my mate, it 
was extremely hard for him to stay true to me. Needless to 
say that is why we are no longer together. I give my all to 
a relationship, no waves, no stress, no problems, I love to 
spoil my man. even if he doesn't understand it. Little pres-
ents and surprises spice the romance up. any other questions 
please make them harder next time. 

Hey Carmen,

Quick story to relate: On Saturday nights, myself and several 
co-workers get together for a drink in the bar of the rest-
aurant we work in. On a particularly long Saturday night, us 
'marrieds' silenced our cell phones on the first round of 
calls -- we figured our counter-parts knew where we were, 
what we were doing.....

Our fun continued much longer than it usually did (it was 
Christmas Eve weekend) and we silenced the second round of 
calls. The group was joking about the 'leashes' us 'marrieds' 
endure when *Steve's (not his real name) phone rang for the 
third time @ 1 am. We went our ways and come Monday we found 
out Steve was in serious trouble for Sat nite's longevity.
My hubby (we've been married 10+ yrs) wasn't especially happy
with me over that night, but he didn't punish me either. He 
doesn't hang with guy friends but yet respects my need for 
time with friends, even if a few of them are guys.....(if my 
circle of friends were all guys, I'm sure an eyebrow'd be 
raised)....and has always been generous about this.

Bottom line: yes, it is about TRUST, but also CHOICE. At the 
end of the day I want to get home to him, and he wants to get 
home to me. We're best buds, fun-natured lovers, and secure 
in the time-tested value of being together for 14 years (we 
keep it new with sexy texts and random character role playing 
when it's agreed upon). I've been tempted by too cute, way 
accessible co-workers but ultimately always decide my hubby's 
not worth losing to a two minute orgasm :) Monogamy works, 
if one chooses it to. Luvsya Carmen!

Carmen-

In response to your monogamy letter: As a guy, I would have 
to agree that we are probably more easily drawn into sexual 
situations than the average gal. We've all heard the joke 
about not enough blood flow to use both heads at once. Cer-
tainly, in situations where a woman was making it clear she 
was interested, I have been momentarily tempted. But I think 
about how much I love my wife, and how much it would hurt her 
(and ME, if she left me!), and the temptation goes away! I 
have never cheated on my wife, and never would. Even if I 
knew without a doubt, that I could get away with it, I 
couldn't do it, because I would know!

Carmen,

I have no problem with a monogamist relationship. I can say 
this because I was married and a traveling musician. The bands 
I traveled with always had their share of groupies, and yes 
a lot of them looked fine and sexy. I just respected my wife 
enough to look but no touching. Limits go for me I can verb-
ally flirt, in the music business it is expected to verbally 
flirt at times. I might even give a hug or two to those who 
really need one. There are those times when hugs works wond-
ers, but to go farther I would not. This was even after I 
found out my wife was cheating on me. I still honored our 
agreement.

Carmen,

Love you, Love your column! For me, monogomy is easy. I wasn't 
always this way and it took the right man to make it this 
simple. I love him and am not interested in anyone else. How-
ever, I don't think it's easier for women to be monogamous. 
My theory is that men want variety, biologically they are 
designed this way. Women want to be the "ultimate woman" to 
the highest quality man. I think this is also a biological 
design. It's for futhering the species. Men want all the women 
and women want the best man out of the bunch. So it's almost 
natural for a woman to be intersted in a man who might be 
"better" than her man, and natural for a man to want "a differ-
ent" woman who is not his woman. What maintains happy, success-
ful monogamy is communication, commitment, understanding, love, 
and a willingness to work hard for yourself, your relationship, 
and your partner.

Carmen,

My ability to be happy in monogamy is directly related to how 
fulfilled I am at the time. As horrible as it sounds, when I 
am at odds with my wife and not getting any the hormones bub-
ble up and approaching her isn't even an option. That's when 
my eye wonders and thoughts cross my mind that would never 
dare cross it during the periods when were are blissful and 
sharing passion frequently.

Oprah once said "... no one ever cheated on their spouse just 
because they found someone more attractive, they cheat because 
there is a need not being met, whatever it may be."

But that's what makes love so amazing, the fact that you fight 
back the desires even during the rough times. I think women 
are more loving by nature and men are more carnal and have 
stronger hormone driven responses, but we all have judgement 
and know how far we should let a thought go, it is the willful 
suspension of control that leads to breaching monogamy, no 
mater what is going on in your relationship, if you both have 
pledged or committed to monogamy then you do not have a right 
to go outside of that relationship for any reason.

Carmen,

I think monogamy is not a reality for a large portion of the 
population, especially with males. I personally know some 
women who feel as strongly about this topic as I do since I 
am intimate with a number of women who have no problem being 
"unfaithful" to their spouses. They say it adds to their 
relationship with their spouses, and a little variety never 
hurt. Of course I always use protection since we aren't sure, 
if, or who else their spouses may be having relations with. 

We usually meet during the day, while they are on a supposedly,  
"shopping trip." I have occasionally meet them at their homes, 
but prefer to avoid this, for obvious reasons. We have meet 
at my place but they seem to like the idea of checking into a 
nice hotel, having lunch, them going to the suite for the 
afternoon. They especially enjoy the "THEME" suites and we 
try to diversify whenever possible.

With a few of them they say I offer them something their 
spouse doesn't. I'm considered large, "in that area," and 
they do say "size does matter!" Nearly all of these women do 
this without their spouses knowledge, but one in particular 
has an "open" relationship with her female partner and we 
generally engage in a three way. There are no regrets from 
either of them after. 

Carmen asked for all the "nitty gritty details" but I'm sure 
you know what goes on behind closed doors! Maybe being single, 
I can look at this as normal behavior, but I believe that, 
even if I was in a relationship with someone, I'd accept her 
desire to fulfill her fantasies knowing that she would be 
coming home to me maybe even with some new ideas for us to try. 

Hello Carmen,

This is a very touchy subject for me. As a woman I believe 
that if you are in a relationship, both sides should give 100 
percent to that relationship. I am in love with my partner, 
and can honestly say that other people hold no interest for 
me. However,  I am not sure what he feels for me. I notice 
attractive people, but it usually doesn't have any effect on 
me. However, my partner goes out of his way to flirt with 
every attractive skirt he sees-even when I am with him! It 
really pulls my chain when they flirt back! I agree that 
women deal with monogamy way easier. Women are emotional 
creatures, at least I am. 

Men act like they are God's gift to woman and it is their 
right to flirt and act the way they do. (I am sure to get a 
lot of hate mail about that stance) Do you feel that age has 
a lot to do with it too? My partner is 18 years younger than 
me. As for how I define monogamy? I equate it with faithful-
ness in all things. Cheating to me means: erasing cell phone 
numbers dialed, passwords on computers, my space full of 
women friends, browsing for "unmarried single women looking 
for a dating, friendship, serious relationship" on MYSPACE. 

Going on a date with someone you are engaged to, and sitting 
there flirting with the waitress, going to the bar to "smoke" 
and spending the entire dinner hour flirting with the attract-
ive bartender and other women at the bar. I am against tying 
my guy to my side, female contact is okay. However, I am 
against deliberately seeking another girl out and leaving your 
partner high and dry. If a guy does not want to act as if he is 
in a relationship, maybe he should rethink the one he is in now.  
By the way-we have a child together who sees how daddy acts and 
it has brought on the questions.... Sorry for the soapbox, but 
I am sure there are women out there going through the same thing. 
Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy email.

Carmen,

I have been with my boyfriend for 6 years, we know we will 
get married and have children and we are both waiting for him 
to finish his advanced degree and have a full time job so we 
can tie the knot. I LOVE LOVE LOVE monogamy! There is nothing 
better than knowing, loving and accepting a person for all 
the layers and depth that they are and knowing that someone 
knows you that well too. I have always dated monogamously 
regardless of the length of the relationship or seriousness 
level so I have seen monogamy in action in many forms. 

I have never cheated on a partner nor been cheated on BUT I 
was in a 3 year relationship that ended as my partner became 
too into "hanging out" with a co-worker, while there was no 
sex it felt like I had been cheated on and I don't buy for a 
second that the flirting/hanging out/emotional closeness with 
a co-worker isn't damaging. I think that monogamous relation-
ships succeed or fail for multiple reasons BUT it's all about 
the implementation of monogamy, how do you communicate, are 
you invested enough in the longevity of the relationship to 
revel in the monogamy and not feel constrained by it, or are 
you with one person until you find another so as to not be 
alone. 

I am with a man who loves me and only me, doesn't have wander-
ing eyes and I am the same way. When I meet a co-worker (male 
or not) who I connect to really well and enjoy the company of, 
I find a way to incorporate my relationship into this new 
friendship (pub trivia, movie, dinners) to enrich my life 
with this new friend and be open, honest and faithful to my 
mate. I see it this way, if I find someone who has a personal-
ity I really like and enjoy my partner would probably also 
benefit and enjoy hanging out with this new person so why not 
expand our social life as a couple and bring in new friends to 
hang out with. Sometimes being in a relationship makes you feel 
like you are the only 2 people in the world and you don't need 
others to fulfill social needs but that can feel a little lonely 
at times, so bringing in new friends to hang with can bond you 
more as a couple, reduce that lonely feeling and increase your 
fun, I also feel it prevents you from having that feeling that 
you are hiding a relationship/friendship at work that your mate 
doesn't get to see or understand and can damage the relationship 
you have built at home. 

Carmen,

My wife can be monogamous because she doesn't like sex as 
much as I do. I want it much, much more and think of straying 
all the time. 

[Continued...]

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Hi Carmen;

My husband and I have been married almost 30 years. There has 
never been a problem being faithful, until recently. 2 years 
ago, my husband told me he wanted a trial separation; that 
there was no other woman; he just wanted to "be happy." At 
the last minute, he changed his mind, and decided to stay with 
me, and make our marriage work. A few months after that, I 
accidentally found out that he had had an "emotional affair" 
with a co-worker. When I told him I knew, he insisted it had 
been over for almost a year before he'd even decided he wanted 
the separation. He had lost alot of weight; and started taking 
pride in his appearance; the typical signs of a cheating hus-
band. Now he is with me, is faithful, says he will never let 
his feelings get involed again, is in our marriage forever. 
He still flirts with women; is way too friendly (in my opinion) 
I feel that he gives them the idea that he is interested, even 
tho he says he does not. So I feel that he is tempted frequently 
because of his actions. At this point tho, he is staying faith-
ful to me, I believe. I'm in love with him, and am not tempted.

Hey Carmen,

First off....WAYYY TOO MANY QUESTIONS so I'm not even going 
to try to answer them all. But let me just say that monogamy 
is not HARD at all when you have someone you can communicate 
with and be open and yourself. It's not hard when there is 
that serious connection and finishing one another's sentences 
or knowing exactly what your partner will do when faced with 
a situation. However, if you are in a situation where you 
have nothing but abuse and personality disordered people who 
take medications ALL THE TIME DAY AND NIGHT.  

Of course you are going to have serious issues with that part-
ner. It's all about love and trust. LOVE=TRUST and without 
it you have NOTHING. I love that I can look at the menu but 
to summarize it. I'm a one-on-one person. I'm tooo busy in 
my regular work day to be a "player" like some people can. I 
don't ever want to have to worry about my partner evey second 
I'm not around him. And remember, what you ask from your part-
ner...you should have to give back what you expect from them 
as well.  And every conflict is a POWER STRUGGLE and most of 
the time when do something wrong...you already know the answer.  
It's actually very simple for me to be with one person.  I can 
only handle one human at a time with my busy schedule.  And my 
partner is the same way. We both work over 14 hours a day so 
we surely do not have time for each other let alone TONS OF 
OTHER WHACKOS....lolololol


----------

I think this just might be our longest issue ever! Thank you
so much for your honest answers and for sharing your "nitty
gritty". I won't bore you with more Carmen talk, that's a
wrap, folks! Have a yummy weekend and be generous with the
lovin'! As always, I remain...

Devotedly yours,   

Carmen Sutra   


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