Category Archives: Sexuality

At last, a photo of sex al fresco right here in Northfield

vitamn-sexalfresco-cover-tn sex al fresco in Northfield, MNHidden Valley Park, Northfield

Ever since I first blogged about Sex al fresco in Northfield back in 2007, I’m been waiting to get my own photo of it happening so I didn’t have to keep using’s Summer Love cover image.

A week or so ago, I took the photo of the two bugs going at it on the milkweed pod in the wildflower prairie that surrounds the pond in Hidden Valley Park, right behind our house.

More critter photos from that day:


Sex al fresco redux by the Northfield News: ‘Getting it on in the great outdoors’

Last month, the Northfield News posted this to their Facebook page:

There is something blissfully naughty about getting intimate in public. In high school, we necked in the back seat of our cars on a deserted road because there was no where else to go, I remember back then I had a Mercedes Benz car lease and I used to love my car more than anything. Then, we grew up, got married and forgot about the thrill of fooling around under the threat of getting caught. Plenty of studies suggest a little hanky panky in public is a great way to heat up your sex life. But let’s be real, we’re southern Minnesotans. We don’t do that kind of thing.

Or do we? When the mood hits and you’re looking for a change of scenery, where do you take your partner? A local park with secluded trails? A dead end road with a great view of the sunset? A boat in the middle of a quiet lake? Let us know, SoMinn, where do you go to fool around in the great outdoors? We’ll use as many of the locations as we can in our upcoming edition of our A&E publication, SCENE.

I added a comment in response to Faribault Daily News editor and article author Jaci Smith:

Props, Jaci! I did a “sex al fresco in Northfield” blog post back in 2007 on LoGro, based on a article by Alexis McKinnis. Details:

So MN Scene - April cover 2013 So MN Scene - Getting it on in the great outdoors
The April issue of SouthernMinn SCENE is now out in print and online and Jaci Smith’s article, Getting it on in the great outdoors, is on page 42.  She included this reference to VitaMN and LoGro:

Closer to home, about six years ago, the Star Tribune’s took an informal poll and discovered that there was plenty of outdoor sex going on in the Twin Cities, particularly in some of the more isolated areas of the University of Minnesota-St. Paul campus.

So, Northfield blogger Griff Wigley did his own informal poll on Locally Grown Northfield, and found out that outdoor sex is alive and well in the city Jesse lames made famous. And Wigley makes a great point, too. Sex al fresco has been going on since the Garden of Eden.

For a look back, see my 2007 blog post Sex al fresco in Northfield and attached comment thread.

VitaMN‘s original story by Alexis McKinnis, Sex … al fresco, is still online.


If you’re married and want to stay married, beware hedonic adaptation

New Love The Myths of Happiness

A month ago, I read an article in the NY Times, New Love: A Short Shelf Life by Sonja Lyubomirsky. (Her new book, The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, but Does comes out in a month or so.)

I didn’t expect to learn anything new. I’ve been married 39 years and for the past dozen or more, Robbie and I seem to have figured out how to stay in love.

The good news… is that if couples get past that two-year slump and hang on — for another couple of decades — they may well recover the excitement of the honeymoon period 18 to 20 years later, when children are gone. Then, in the freedom of the so-called empty nest, partners are left to discover one another — and often their early bliss — once again.

That’s us. The problem? Hedonic adaptation never goes away.

… human beings are, as more than a hundred studies show, prone to hedonic adaptation, a measurable and innate capacity to become habituated or inured to most life changes.

Hedonic adaptation is most likely when positive experiences are involved. It’s cruel but true: We’re inclined — psychologically and physiologically — to take positive experiences for granted… Sexual passion and arousal are particularly prone to hedonic adaptation… Familiarity may or may not breed contempt; but research suggests that it breeds indifference.

A few years ago, we learned the importance of injecting variety into our weekly date nights. But Lyubomirsky contends that variety is not enough:

Although variety and surprise seem similar, they are in fact quite distinct. It’s easy to vary a sequence of events — like choosing a restaurant for a weekly date night — without offering a lot of surprise… Surprise is a potent force. When something novel occurs, we tend to pay attention, to appreciate the experience or circumstance, and to remember it. We are less likely to take our marriage for granted when it continues to deliver strong emotional reactions in us.

And a surprising thing about surprise:

And studies show that in long-term relationships, women are more likely than men to lose interest in sex, and to lose it sooner. Why? Because women’s idea of passionate sex depends far more centrally on novelty than does men’s.

So what to do?

The realization that your marriage no longer supplies the charge it formerly did is then an invitation: eschew predictability in favor of discovery, novelty and opportunities for unpredictable pleasure.

Okay then.

Photos & video: Out of the Silence, Onto the Streets march

Out of the Silence, Onto the StreetsNorthfield area high schoolers and a group of other high school students marched down Hennepin Ave today in Minneapolis from Uptown to Loring Park in an event they titled Out of the Silence, Onto the Streets.

See my Thursday blog post for more background.

View the large slideshow of 36 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

Watch this 30-second video clip:

Cliff and Sofie want you Out of the Silence & Onto the Streets for a LGBT rights march on Sat. May 5

Cliff Martin and Sofie ScheuermanLocal high school students Cliff Martin and Sofie Scheuerman stopped by my office at GBM today to let me know that they and a group of other high school students are leading a LGBT march on Saturday in Minneapolis titled Out of the Silence, Onto the Streets (Facebook event page). 

From the event page:

Out of the Silence, Onto the StreetsWe believe in the safety and equality of all youth; that everyone in the classroom is entitled to a safe environment. We also believe in the importance of the youth voice. We are youth promoting the acceptance of all genders, sexual orientations and gender expressions. This march is driven by our communal beliefs, and it aims to apply our zeal by exposing people to the challenges that face the LGBTQ community. We envision creating a welcoming environment for all voices to be heard.

See this week’s Nfld News: Northfield youth to lead gay rights march




Where have you gone, Joycelyn Elders? We’re still afraid of talking to our kids about masturbation

When I met with mama- and sex blogger Anne Sabo back in January, I asked her if she knew much about the sex education programs at Northfield area schools, and more specifically, whether educators were allowed to talk to kids about masturbation.  She didn’t know but promised to find out.

Her blog post is now up: Talk with Your Kids about Masturbation. It’s primarily aimed at parents but she also includes a section in her post about the National Sexuality Education Standards that were just released in January.

National Sexuality Education Standards 2012New national minimum standards for sex education curriculum are not going to remedy the situation. These non-binding recommendations were recently released to states and school districts in an effort to encourage age-appropriate discussions about sex, bullying and healthy relationships. Though this may seem a positive measure, the recommendations reflect the disappointingly low level of quality sex education we have arrived at today after decades of funding and promoting abstinence-only programs, though abstinence-only programs have proven highly ineffective. The standards really do capture a bare minimum.

Anne didn’t include Northfield-specific sex ed info in her blog post since that blog has a wider audience. But she’s agreed to attach a comment here on what she’s found out.

For those of you wondering about Joycelyn Elders, she was appointed Surgeon General in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. The Wikipedia entry says:

633px-Joycelyn_Elders_official_photo_portraitIn 1994, she was invited to speak at a United Nations conference on AIDS. She was asked whether it would be appropriate to promote masturbation as a means of preventing young people from engaging in riskier forms of sexual activity, and she replied, “I think that it is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught.”

Ironically, Mr. Clinton fired her.

Anne’s blog post includes this YouTube video, a hilarious scene in an episode from the TV series Weeds in which “uncle Andy gives a lesson in how to masturbate well to one of his nephews.”  For those of you reluctant to watch/listen/click, I’ve included the transcript below the video, courtesy of IMDB:


Alright, listen closely. I’m not going to beat around the bush. Ha ha ha. Your little body’s changing – it’s all good, believe me. Problem now is… every time we jerk the gerkin, we get a lot of unwanted sticky white stuff everywhere, right? Right. So… First order of business – no more socks. They’re expensive, gumming up the works plumming-wise. Now you might be thinking to yourself, “But, Uncle Andy, what do I do with all that pearl jam if I can’t spew it into Mr. Sock?” Glad you asked… You can have a lovely time tugging the tiger under the rain shower head each morning – that eliminates the need for a goo glove. But, the day is long, masturbation’s fun, so unless we want to take 4 or 5 showers every day, we’re gonna need some other options.

So let’s start with the basics. Tissues. Perfectly acceptable backstop for all that Creamy Italian. They can be rough and dry on such soft, sensitive skin and it can stick to your dick head like a fuckin’ band-aid – ouch. From there we move on to more lubricated flack-catchers – specificially, bananas. Step one: Peel the banana. Step two: Slip the peel over your Randy Johnson and start pitching. Now for extra credit, warm up the peel in the microwave. Not too hot! Serious yowza. Also, olive oil, moisturizer, honey, spit, butter, hair conditioner, and Vaseline can all be used for lube. In my opinion, the best lube… is lube. So save your allowance and invest in some soon. Alright, moving on – when you tug your Thomas on the toilet – ffft – shoot right into the bowl. In bed – soft t-shirt, perhaps a downy hand towel of your very own that you don’t mind tossing after tossing. There’s no such thing as polishing the raised scepter of love too much. It reduces stress, it enhances immune function. Also, practice makes perfect. So work on your control now, while you’re a solo artist – you’ll be playing some long, happy duets in the future. Ok – class dismissed.

Anne Sabo, a mama- and sex blogger right here in River City

Anne Sabo, Griff WigleyA couple of weeks ago, I noticed a blog entry in the citizens widget on the right sidebar of‘s home page aggregator by someone named Quizzical mama.

A few clicks later led me to Northfielder Anne Sabo who, it turns out, is a former St. Olaf prof who now maintains three active blogs.

Northfield has a lot of bloggers but not many with more than one so I knew I needed to know more.  We had coffee yesterday morning at GBM and we’re now exploring ways to collaborate.

Anne’s sites:

Home page of Anne Sabo
Anne Sabo home page

Quizzical mama
Quizzical mama

Love, Sex, and Family
Love, Sex, and Family

New porn by women

Delfin Bautista to speak on LGBT issues at UU Fellowship’s 3rd Annual Equal Rights Rainbow Dinner

Suzannah Ciernia 3rd Annual Equal Rights Rainbow Dinner Press Release 3rd Annual Equal Rights Rainbow Dinner Flyer 

I arranged to meet with Suzannah Ciernia, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northfield, at the HideAway Coffeehouse & Winebar this afternoon. I wanted to hear about their 3rd Annual Equal Rights Rainbow Dinner that’s coming up on Saturday night. Proceeds from the dinner help support local education efforts on LGBT issues.

Delfin Bautista, national coordinator for the Unitarian Universalist Association LGBT program ministries, is the keynote speaker. From the press release:

Delfin BautistaBautista’s talk will address what it means to be advocates of faith in the face of oppression against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender persons. How do we ‘stand on the side of love’ in our congregations, our communities, and the larger world? The evening’s presentation, and his sermon the following morning, are part of the Northfield church’s ‘Welcoming Congregation’ series…

The event is open to the public and doors open at 5:30. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased at $12 for adults and $6 for students. The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is located on the corner of West Second and Linden Street in Northfield.

For more on the series, see the article in the Jan. 28 Nfld News: LGBT issues on the minds of students, Unitarians

Is it safe to be a gay or lesbian teen in Northfield?

I just saw an AP story on the NY Times website titled Gay Councilman’s Plea to Bullied Teens Goes Viral about this YouTube video (“Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns reaches out to GLBT teens with a personal story and a message of hope.”)

This video should be shown to all our middle and high school-aged kids in all our area schools. It’s the best suicide prevention tool I can imagine.