BOW DOWN! I AM KANYE, SUCKERS! What Causes Narcissism and Ways to Deal with a Narcissist (Besides Running)

Monday, October 27, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Sexuality/Relationships

Narcissism is a word that gets thrown around a lot, often to describe those with high self worth. But as anyone who has been in a relationship with an actual narcissist knows, it is not the self worth that is the problem but rather a personality style that can be overbearing, attention seeking, grandiose and even downright abusive2. Narcissists may be bullies, show offs or addictive self-soothers2. They may show up as martyrs, workaholics or as rescuers proclaiming that they can “save” you if only you listen to them2. Narcissists may also use ploys such as vanishing when you need them or confuse you by switching from protector to jerk face at the drop of a hat. 

All of these traits add up to partners feeling powerless, resentful, intimidated or flat-out depressed. But partners are not the only ones with emotional issues. Narcissism is often related to early attachment difficulties and trouble with self regulation. Those with narcissistic traits tend to be victims of their past as much as they make others victims in the present. But this explanation IS NOT a way to excuse those behaviors. Nothing in this post is to suggest that someone in an abusive relationship should stay. Regardless of cause, there is no excuse for physical or emotional violence; a partner cannot use their past as a way to justify the present. 

But as much as we don’t want to admit it, narcissism doesn’t develop in a vacuum. And by understanding why it does come about, we may be able to identify better ways to avoid it, treat it, and even use some narcissistic traits to enhance society as opposed to hinder it.

Enhance society? What in the actual fuck, Meg?

Trust me guys, you don’t want to miss this post....  continue reading

Do I Have Borderline Personality Disorder? The Signs and Symptoms of BPD

Monday, September 22, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Sexuality/Relationships

When people talk about codependent relationships, they often refer to traits seen in Borderline Personality Disorder (or BPD). Borderline Personality Disorder usually emerges in adolescence or early adulthood, though some symptoms may emerge sooner. It can be a difficult condition to treat due to the intense emotions inherent in the personality and the depression, anxiety and panic that tend to crop up at any hint of abandonment. For additional reading, Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified, Mindfulness for Borderline Personality Disorder, The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide and Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder are all great resources. 

But you're here because you want more information RIGHT THE HECK NOW. So  I invited a friend to give you a run down of what Borderline Personality Disorder looks like from inside couples counseling sessions. Because despite the name calling often endured by those with this issue, having Borderline Personality Disorder does not make you “crazy”.  But overcoming it usually requires professional assistance in order to strengthen adult attachment patterns and provide a base of safety upon which individuals can build healthier relationships.

Help is available. Don't go it alone....  continue reading

Ray Rice and Johnny Depp: Victim Blaming and Why Women Stay

Monday, September 15, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Sexuality/Relationships

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have recently hit the news media for something other than illegally bringing their dogs into Australia: Heard has alleged that Depp abused her. Immediately following these allegations came the public retaliation: Heard is a gold digger. Heard is making it up. Let's be clear: I don't know much about this particular case. The issue that concerns me is that our first response to domestic violence is generally: "She probably deserved it."

Other abused woman out there aren't looking at whether Depp is innocent. They're seeing a society that won't believe them if they do come forward. That's a problem. And the issue hasn't changed since the first time I wrote about domestic violence, when it was Ray Rice beating his partner in an elevator.  ...  continue reading

Whips, Chains and Penises, OH MY! Fantasy and the Feminist Argument for Bondage

Friday, August 01, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Sexuality/Relationships

A teenager's mother finds an S&M bondage magazine in her room. The mother, very upset, shows the magazine to her husband. "What do you think we should do about this?" she asks him. 

He looks at her and says, "Well, I definitely don't think you should spank her!"

(Ba dum dum, ching)

Fantasy may evolve as a way to combat early childhood insecurities or as a way to explore sexuality. From wild woman fantasies, to playing the victim, women are highly sexual creatures equipped with the ability to use fantasy in a variety of ways. We may use it to explore our own femininity, rehearse future possibilities or enhance self esteem. We may also use fantasy as a way to reduce guilt and enhance pleasure or as a coping skill to deal with past trauma. All of these issues are discussed in more detail in the last post: Can Fantasy Be Useful? Fantasy Roots, Functions and Fifty Shades of Awesome. 

But in recent months, our fascination with Fifty Shades of Grey has become an antifeminist scapegoat among mounting concerns that perhaps such depictions of submission are a disservice to women. Through this series, I hope to show that while some elements of our fantasy lives may come from a society bent on patriarchy, the way we use them is not shameful or wrong. Some of them are even evolutionarily relevant....  continue reading

Can Fantasy Be Useful? Fantasy Roots, Functions and Fifty Shades of Awesome

Monday, July 28, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Sexuality/Relationships

Fantasy is a funny thing. Most everyone engages in it, though some won't admit it. When we do discuss it, it is in hushed whispers over wine amidst nervous giggles punctuated by the occasional, "Me too!" or "Ewww!"

But there are some fantasies that are far more taboo than others. The fantasies of rape, submission and sadomasochistic practices are among them.  

I know, I am late to the whole Fifty Shades of Grey party. 

"WAIT...THERE WAS A PARTY!?" Not that kind of party, people. Simmer down.

Since the trailer came out, I have listened to Fifty Shades being reduced to an antifeminist conspiracy, with many encouraging a boycott of the movie. I have heard things like, “It’s a glorification of rape, which increases the notion that women are asking for it.” I have heard others, male and female alike, ponder how we can stand idly by and allow a movie that depicts violence against women to become a box office hit. I assume they are just upset because sex in elevators is wrong on many levels. (Hey-O!)

At any rate, in emails and personal conversations, my opinions have been sought by those who believed that I would, in my decidedly feminist way, be pissed at anything that shows male dominance. 

Right? 

I am late to this party because I am a thinker. And in my pondering, I have decided that I like this whole Fifty Shades of Grey thing. I do not believe that Fifty Shades of Grey is a disservice to women, though I do believe that those who shame women for their arousal might be contributing to more female shame responses than the movie itself. If anything, Fifty Shades gives us a platform to discuss these issues and normalize the process for those who feel ashamed of their responses. In addition, bondage is not rape, though rape fantasies are also common. And whether it's bondage, submission or wild orgy sex, our fantasies change over time due to hormones, aging, attempts to conquer subconscious fears or guilt, or in response to new insecurities. There can be healing and beauty inherent in these fantasies even if the reasons for this are not immediately obvious. And all these fantasy elements can play a positive role in the female psyche....  continue reading

Talk Dirty To Me: But First, Tell Your Husband

Friday, June 20, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Sexuality/Relationships

Sometimes, happy couples have shitty sex lives because of a disconnect between what partners are thinking and what they say. 

“I want her to be happy, but everything just gets so…hard. And I never know when it’s going to be hard and when it isn’t.”

“That’s what she said.”

He laughed. 

“No, seriously, sir, that's what she said. You guys need to talk more.”

“That’s what she said” is a phrase I want to say more often. Not because I love a good sexual innuendo (which I obviously do), but because if she actually “said” it , I wouldn’t feel obliged to....  continue reading