I published this story in 2019 and it is truly one that is close to my heart. I grew up in New Jersey and spent most of my free time in a local pizzeria. My friends and I developed a strong bond with the men who worked there. There were always rumors that the men of the pizza places had mob connections and we used to joke about it all the time but what if it had been true?
While not a true story, Pizza Boys and Jersey Girls does bring back memories for me.
It was a wet and rainy spring night when Bonny first saw the man of her dreams. She was just a kid and he was old enough to be her father but when he touched her hand, the pulse of electricity that ran through her was like nothing she could have ever imagined.
Danny was the manager of Pizza Mia, a local hangout for the kids of this North Jersey town. It was the mid-1980’s and the attached video arcade and one-dollar slices only added to the allure for most, but Bonny only needed one thing to keep her coming back. A smile or a wink from the dreamy-eyed man behind the counter.
Years would pass before the two would actually meet outside the walls of Pizza Mia. She was, after all, too young to touch when they met but Danny had wanted nothing more than to unleash the untapped passion in this girl who worshiped him.
Some dreams don’t always work out as planned and the two are separated soon after their first night together. Legal issues cause Danny to flee for the safer shores or Florence and Bonny goes on to find love with Carlo, who is more her age. Still, the journey isn’t over for these star-crossed lovers whose paths will reconnect in a tangled tale of jealousy, longing, intrigue, and possibly… murder.
If you’ve ever dealt with a man with anger issues you’ve probably wondered why he can be set off so easily? When even life’s minor inconveniences send him into a rage frenzy you might find it childish and if you do, you’re not entirely wrong. According to psychologists anger is a secondary emotion meaning that there is another emotion lying under the surface and the most common underlying emotion for men with anger issues is fear. As children we lash out in angry tantrums when we are feeling insecure, sad, or unhappy. Most of us learn to recognize these underlying emotions for what they are and focus on fixing the issue. Men with anger issues haven’t mastered that process and mask their true feelings behind a wall of anger.
Why do men resort to anger
For many generations, anger was the only acceptable form of expression for men. They were called weak or unmanly if they showed sadness or fear. Women were considered the more emotional sex because anger wasn’t considered an emotion.
Anger is so all encompassing it can be impossible to determine what it’s fueled by and most men with anger issues never try. They call themselves “hot tempered” and when the anger subsides continue about their lives until the next inconvenience causes them to lash out again. Their emotional issues never get addressed and they live their entire lives under the rage cycle which damages their relationships, careers, and overall health.
Why does this happen
Psychologist Avrum Weiss said that anger is often the result of an underlying fear in men. He gave the example of a man getting angry when his partner texts her friends late at night. This anger may be fueled by the fear that his partner doesn’t enjoy his company and that his relationship may be in trouble. Rather than communicating his fears and seeking reassurance, he lashes out in anger and demands that his partner change their behavior.
Clinical Psychologist Thomas J Harbin speculates that most male anger comes from a feeling of inferiority. Masculinity was once defined as the ability to earn an income, to work hard and support a family. Today, women can do virtually every job that men can do and don’t need to depend entirely on a man for support. So, where does a man gain his identity? What makes him feel worthy?
Physical abuse in childhood also causes feelings of inferiority in men. Emotional and physical abuse lead to feelings of unworthiness that can last a lifetime. For some, beating their chests and screaming is the only way they feel powerful and though rational people see this as emotional immaturity. They make themselves believe that their behavior brings them respect.
Many men with anger issues are truly remorseful for their behavior and wish that they had other outlets for their feelings. If you’re dealing with a man who never sees his anger as a problem, this is cause for concern.
How to deal with men with anger issues
Listen and try to demonstrate an understanding. Often validating one’s feelings is the best way to diffuse an emotionally charged situation. This doesn’t mean that you should allow your male partner or family member to abuse you. It just means understanding that someone who is consumed by rage is incapable of thinking rationally or responding to logic until after their feelings subside and putting forth an argument may serve to escalate the situation.
When the anger has subsided, calmly express how their outbursts effect you and ask them to reflect upon the reasons that they were so angry then, direct their focus to solving the problem.
Never allow yourself to become the victim of abuse. If their anger becomes physical protect yourself by removing access to you from the abuser.
Anger becomes a habit for some men and old habits are hard to break. If they are incapable of redirecting their emotions, they may need to seek professional help. If they are unwilling to see their anger as a problem, you may need to distance yourself from them.
When we are healing from emotional trauma our behaviors begin to change. As we place a higher priority on our emotional health, we change the way we respond to the world around us.
You no longer argue
There may have been a time when having others acknowledge that we were right would have us arguing our point until we were ready to pull our hair out. We needed this validation to prove to us, more than anyone else, that our memories and knowledge of things weren’t skewed and that, frankly, we weren’t crazy.
As we heal from trauma we need less of this validation and realize that arguing is exhausting, time-consuming, and often unsatisfying. When this happens, we simply allow others to be wrong because we know that we’re right and that’s all that matters.
You no longer react to inconsequential things
Where once we thought that every little thing that wrong in our lives was somehow connected to everything else that has gone wrong in our lives, we grow to understand that sometimes stuff just happens. The Universe isn’t out to get us. We aren’t unlucky. We are human and little annoyances are a part of life.
We may have also had a tendency to react with anger or sadness to things that we read or saw on the internet. Perhaps we made comments and picked fights with people we didn’t even know. As we heal, we realize that nothing good comes from these interactions and simply scroll by the things that used to upset us.
You no longer seek outward validation
We no longer need compliments and praise to fuel our confidence. We may stop posting so many selfies online. We are learning our value and are no longer dependent on the acceptance of others to make us feel worthy.
You don’t wake up to worry
Remember those mornings when you opened your eyes and the first thought that crossed your mind was how everything could go wrong? We worried about everything and started our days rife with negativity. We even invented scenarios to worry about.
As we heal, we see things from a more positive perspective and sleep and wake with a calmer mind.
You care more about your health than your looks
Diet and exercise become lifestyle choices that we make for our health and longevity. Before we healed we may have hopped on fad diets or starved ourselves to look better. Now, we follow regiments that make us stronger and healthier.
You can recognize emotional triggers
When something doesn’t feel right, we can now get ahead of it and prevent panic and emotional outbursts. We know what sets us off and how to cope with or even prevent the situation from occurring.
We have learned to avoid the people and situations that make us feel bad and when we can’t avoid them, we know how to protect ourselves from them.
You trust the process more than the person
Our relationships improve because we have learned that we can’t make someone love us. We no longer spy on or give our partners the third degree. We did those things because we wanted to be sure that the person we wanted wasn’t going to hurt us. We have now realized that we are capable of choosing worthy partners and trust that we will be together only if we are compatible and capable of loving ourselves and each other. We trust the process of falling in love and having a relationship and if we fail, we know it wasn’t meant to be and move on.
Remember that healing doesn’t mean an end to trauma. The circumstances that left us scarred happened and are part of our reality. Healing simply means that the trauma no longer controls our thinking and emotional well-being.
According to the World Health Organization, (WHO) depression and anxiety soared by an astronomical twenty-five percent in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mental health deterioration was most prevalent in the areas worst hit by the virus and spread related restrictions on movement and socialization within the population. I, personally, experienced the first panic attack of my life in the same year.
With the added stressors in the world today many people with no history of clinical depression are having to be more mindful of their mental health and for those suffering from occasional and mild cases of the blues a simple hormone hack may be just what they need to turn things around.
What are “feel good” hormones?
Simply put, hormones are the body’s messengers. When released into the bloodstream they act on organs and tissue to control how they work and also, how we feel. The four feel-good hormones are also neurotransmitters that carry messages across the space between nerve cells. These hormones are mood modifiers and when there are enough of them present in our bloodstream they produce feelings of well-being, calm, happiness, excitement, and even euphoria.
Dopamine evokes feelings of pleasure in our bodies because it is the hormone most associated with the reward and reinforcement system of the brain. Dopamine plays a role in other bodily functions as well including, learning, attention, mood, kidney function, pain processing, blood vessel function, sleep, and lactation.
We release dopamine when we anticipate a reward, like when we smell our favorite meal cooking and dopamine reinforces the feeling again once we eat causing us to want seconds.
One of the easiest ways to hack dopamine is by achieving goals. You can activate dopamine production every day by simply setting easily achievable goals and meeting them.
Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus and released by the pituitary gland and is commonly called the love hormone. Its primary function is to facilitate childbirth. Oxytocin stimulates uterine muscles to cause contractions and increases prostaglandins to make contractions come faster. Once the child is born oxytocin helps to move milk during lactation and facilitates the bonding of parent to child.
We secrete oxytocin when our partner sexually gratifies us and through the simple process of being touched by someone we love.
We can hack oxytocin by petting a dog, holding hands with our partners, or hugging our children.
Serotonin is a natural mood booster. It can stave off depression and cause feelings of euphoria. Serotonin is produced in the brain stem and moves to other parts of the brain to affect memory, sleep, body temperature, sexuality, breathing, fear and stress responses, and digestion.
We can hack serotonin by simply getting outside into the sunlight for an hour or two per day. Serotonin production also increases when we maintain healthy gut bacteria so taking soluble fiber, probiotics, and eating a healthy diet can boost serotonin. Exercise also boosts serotonin which is the hormone responsible for what is known as a runner’s high.
Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers but they also promote a feeling of well-being and relieve stress. Endorphins can be hacked in many ways including exercise, sex, meditation, and exposure to sunshine but one of the easiest endorphin hacks is to do something that scares us like watching a horror movie with the lights off. Endorphins are also released when we eat spicy food so replacing the popcorn with chips and salsa on a scary movie night will also give an endorphin boost.
The pelvic floor is comprised of a group of muscles located between the tail bone and pelvic bone. These muscles support the bowel, bladder, uterus, and vagina. Muscular bands called sphincters encircle the urethra, vagina, and anus as they pass through the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor muscles work in conjunction with deep back muscles and the diaphragm to support the spine. They also control the pressure inside the abdomen to assist us when lifting or straining. They assist in both bladder and bowel control and have a large role to play in sexual function and satisfaction.
Some people are born with pelvic floor issues but, for most, the issues arise after certain life changesincluding:
Weight gain and obesity
Pregnancy and childbirth
Pelvic injuries from falls
Aging and menopause
The pelvic floor and orgasms
During the pre-orgasm stage of sexual activity the pelvic floor muscles contract. When these muscles relax, orgasm occurs. Having a strong pelvic floor increases blood flow to the penis and vagina prolonging the duration and sensation during orgasm.
Toning the pelvic floor also tightens the vagina providing increased stimulation for both partners.
For men, a healthy pelvic floor leads to stronger erections and improved erectile function.
How to test your pelvic floor health
For women, press your finger against the wall of the vagina and tense the muscles in the buttocks and upper thighs. If your pelvic floor is healthy, you’ll feel the vaginal wall push back against your finger.
For men, mimic the actions you would take to stop urination mid-stream. If the pelvic floor muscles are healthy, the tip of the pens will rise toward the abdomen during this exercise.
Symptoms of a weak pelvic floor include:
Leaking urine while straining, laughing, or coughing
Abdominal pain or pressure
Lower back pain
A decline in sexual stimulation
How to strengthen the pelvic floor
Like all muscles, the pelvic floor muscles are strengthened through exercises that contract and relax them repetitively. Pelvic floor exercises including Kegels, certain yoga poses, and some breathing exercises help to strengthen the pelvic floor.
The key is to squeeze and release the muscles located between the buttocks and penis for a man and the buttocks and inside the walls of the vagina for women.
The best news is that having frequent orgasms also strengthens the pelvic floor!
Healthy sexual activity reduces stress and cortisol levels and is a key part of establishing intimacy and bonding with our romantic partners. Having a strong pelvic floor can make sex more enjoyable for both partners.
In addition to the sexual benefits of having a strong pelvic floor, you may also see improved balance, core stabilization, better spinal support, and pain management in the back, legs, and ankles.
There’s a lot of talk on the internet concerning whether or not women should chase men. Most sources tell you that chasing a man makes you look desperate and can bruise your ego if the chase doesn’t end in capturing his affection. Some sources add that chasing is biologically programmed in men and that they like hunting down and winning their prized partner and when the woman becomes the pursuer, her value drops and she is no longer worth winning to him.
Sure, there is some truth to the concept that men like to pursue women, but most men also enjoy it when a woman reaches out to let him know that she’s thinking of him. In the vastly confusing world of dating, it seems that women are being told to turn “the chase” into a well-orchestrated cat and mouse game. They’re told to count his calls and only answer after he’s called two or three times. They’re told to wait before answering texts and to never text first. If this seems a bit manipulative and deceitful, it’s because it is.
The first step to building a relationship is to be clear on your feelings and expectations. The other person deserves to know how you feel about them and what you’re looking for. If you’re truthful from the start and he stops reaching out or responding, you have your answer. He isn’t looking for the same things from you, at least, for right now.
If you want to send a text or make a call, do it. You don’t have to wait for him to make the first move. If he responds great. If not, pull back. He may be busy or he may not be interested.
Think of a text conversation as if it were happening face to face. If you speak to someone and they don’t reply, you don’t just keep talking so don’t keep texting. If he answers, great. If not, consider yourself ghosted and move on.
Life would be so much easier if there was a magic formula for meeting someone and making them fall in love with you. Sadly, there isn’t and as more women start following the advice they see on social media, more men become aware of the signs of gameplay. Just as we figured out fuck boy language, men are figuring out the ways that women manipulate.
What you want is commitment and that comes from honest connection. If you’re using subversive tactics to win a man, when do you stop and become your true self? Gameplay is exhausting because the cycle never ends. Once you have his attention, you modify the game to keep his attention. Before you know it, you’re playing games to keep him faithful because you can’t be certain what his true intentions are. You never allowed him an opportunity to show you.
If you listen with the intent to understand, you’ll have a pretty good idea of where your relationship is going. Too often we take what men say and try to interpret it like it’s a foreign language. If he tells us that he isn’t interested in a committed relationship we tell ourselves that he’s been hurt and we need to prove that we’re different and worthy of his commitment when the correct thing to do is to take his words at face value.
Express your truth
If the man you’re interested in doesn’t share your values or feelings, tell him. Let him know that you’re not on the same page. Chances are he won’t change his mind for you and that’s okay. That’s when you value yourself enough to move on.
There’s an amazing sense of confidence that comes from living your authentic truth. Having solid boundaries and upholding your values is an empowering stance that high-value men find very attractive. Choosing to not play games may limit the number of players on your field but the quality of those players will increase exponentially.
The best way to attract an honest, confident, strong man will always be to be an honest, confident, strong woman
This article isn’t about those naughty nine-hundred numbers for ninety-nine cents per minute. This is about flirty to filthy phone banter with a partner or, perspective partner. It’s about those conversations that happen when two people are separated for a time and simply want to turn each other on.
What happened to phone sex?
I call it a lost art because the internet came along and, for many couples, this form of bonding became obsolete. Why call when you can Snap or FaceTime, right? While pictures and video calls can be hot, they leave nothing to the imagination and that’s what phone sex was all about; fantasy and imagination. We’ve become a society driven by immediate gratification and the desire to see more.
What’s so great about phone sex?
There’s something to be said about hearing the longing in your lovers’ voice and knowing that when they close their eyes, they see themselves doing unspeakable things to you. For those who are a bit modest about showing their bodies online, telling instead puts them in a more comfortable space allowing them to express their desires more openly.
I would be remiss not to mention the permanence and potential risk of exposure that comes from sending nudes, explicit video content, or even racy text messages. Phone sex generally ends when the call is ended leaving far less risk that anyone other than your partner will know about your interlude.
When you’re getting comfortable with your partner and need to spice things up, phone sex can be a welcome novelty. Whether you’re in a long distance relationship or simply separated for a day or two, phone sex can keep the intimacy continuous despite being apart.
How to keep it from being awkward
Talking dirty is a definite step outside of many peoples’ comfort zones but expressing your fantasies in a way that excites your partner can be easy.
If you’re certain that your partner will be a willing participant, just go for it but if there’s any doubt, discuss it and get their consent.
You may want to start by sending teaser texts during the day. Something like, “I’ve been thinking about you naked,” or “I can’t wait to tell you about the sexy dream I had about you.”
To prepare, you might read an erotic novel or watch a little porn to get the imagination flowing. Then, dress sexy and ready the area where you’ll be making the call. It’s easier to describe your outfit and the scene if it’s real. For example, “I’m wearing a red teddy,” or “You lay me down on the satin sheets,”.
You don’t have to jump right in with the dirty talk. Sometimes, it’s better to ease into it. Discuss your day and tell your partner how many times you thought about them. Then, when you’re both at ease, lay out your fantasy.
Keep in mind that in most cases you’ll be having a two way dialogue as your partner seeks the details that will make them the most excited. If you are the more submissive partner, you might find that your lover takes control of the conversation leaving you to simply describe how they make you feel.
Remember that the more descriptive you are, the better. You’re relying on your words to paint a picture in your partners’ head.
Listen to your partners’ words and breathing. This is the best way to know if you’re hitting the right buttons and remember to respond. Your partner will be relying on your words, moans, and heavy breathing, too.
Don’t be afraid to pleasure yourself
That is, after all, the point. If you fake it, they’ll probably know.
There is no doubt that kissing is an expression of love. It doesn’t matter if it’s a peck on the cheek between friends or a passionate tongue twister that lasts several minutes.. It is the best way to connect with someone both mentally and emotionally on a deep level.
Kissing demonstrates a willingness to bring someone into your personal space. It signifies acceptance of another and that in itself is a powerful message. Depending on the type of kiss, we can express a desire for physical intimacy or other emotions like joy, thankfulness, empathy, or sympathy. A mother’s kiss can soothe a crying child while an “aggressive kiss” born of sheer passion and animal lust can knock us off our feet and send us to the heights of ecstasy.
Kissing activates the brain’s reward system. The act results in the release of the feel-good hormones oxytocin and the bonding hormone vasopressin. It also releases endogenous opioids and dopamine. These hormones reduce stress and facilitate healing. Kissing also activates adrenaline and noradrenaline which make you more alert and responsive.
In a relationship, kissing builds bonds, creates and demonstrates trust, and increases intimacy. Kissing in the early stages of a relationship can help to determine compatibility.
If you’re just getting involved with someone and want to move the relationship along, kissing your partner frequently and consistently will keep the vasopressin flowing causing each of you to form a tighter bond.
If you’re already in a committed relationship ask yourself, “When was the last time I kissed my partner passionately without it leading to sex?”
You might be surprised to learn that a passionate kiss goodbye in the morning can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on your partner’s day. Who wouldn’t want to start their day filled with feel-good, stress-relieving hormones?
That passionate good morning kiss tells your partner that you are in love with them and will cause them to think of you more frequently when you’re apart. It can leave them feeling more confident and tremendously boost their self-esteem.
When Someone Doesn’t Like Kissing
Some people are turned off by the idea of kissing. Others may just not want to be kissed by you. If your partner is always cutting your kisses short, kissing you on the cheek, or avoiding lip contact all together, you need to find out why.
For some, kissing doesn’t have the kind of pair-bonding significance that it does for others and still, other people consider kissing gross or unsanitary. If you are a kisser and your partner isn’t, you may need to find other ways to physically bond like hand holding or hugging.
Some people consider kissing more intimate than sex and only kiss people whom they are certain will be around for the long haul. In this case, kissing or the lack of mouth-to-mouth contact will let you know where you stand in the relationship.