"If analysis works, you find out that the awful truths about yourself are not so awful.
At the very least, you find out they're not original."

~ Betty Rollin (1976)

Mind Caviar, Vol. 2 Summer Issue, 2001

Remote Control
by Jamie Joy Gatto

A Mind Caviar reader is concerned that she is only 26 and doesn't feel very sexy, or even horny anymore. Jamie Joy tells her how to deal with control issues, and how to create a Sexual Discovery Journal, and how you can create one, too:

"Look at yourself in the mirror and imagine you are a lover looking at you at a sexual way-- forget the cellulite-- what makes you horny about that hot gal in the mirror? What do you see? Write it down. You will surprise yourself. Write yourself a love letter. Woo yourself with sexual poetry written only to you. Not a poet? That's ok! Remember how you once flirted with a new lover? Flirt with yourself on paper... I know it sounds silly, but not only is it healing, it can truly be hot!"
Read on for more advice...

Reader's Question:

Dear Jamie Joy,

I have been with my fiancee for 6 years now. For the last four years we have been going to school for the same degree, so we have literally been together 24-7 during this time. I love him very much; he is truly the love of my life! My problem? I am 26, and I don't feel very sexy or horny anymore. What is wrong with me? I know I am a little overweight, and even though my lover worships me, I don't seem to be able to really believe him. Intellectually, I know I am just letting my personal mental image get the better of me. However, overcoming how I feel about myself is another thing entirely.

I want to get past this problem; I can't believe I am only 26, and sometimes I feel as prudish as an old maid. I wasn't always like this, but I feel like I am letting my man down, and it makes me sad. I know what buttons of his to press, but I don't seem to be able to let him press any of my buttons. I control myself too tightly when we are making love, and I can't seem to get engaged in the heat of the moment. My lover tries very hard to turn me on, and slowly I do get warm, but I never seem able to reach the fever-pitch of when we first met. Of course, I know that a relationship changes to another level of fire as time goes on-- that the first flame of lust and love can't burn so hotly all the time.

Am I just too controlled? Too uptight? I just don't feel sexy. I'm even trying to lose weight, but that is also a difficult and disheartening battle at the moment. What should I do? I really want to be the "devil in the bedroom" I once was, and which my man truly deserves. I now feel like most times I go through the motions just to please him, and I hate this. He deserves more, and so do I.

I have also tried to relax more, and to be more open to my lover's touch; sometimes we have a drink or two which seems to help me "unfocus" myself and let myself drift, in order to focus on what my lover is doing to my body. However, I know I should be able to achieve this without the help of alcohol. Why can't I relax? Why, at 26, is my libido nearly zilch?

Please HELP! Thank you!

Jamie Joy Says:

Dear Reader,

Thank you for having the courage to write. I admire your strong, self preserving attitude, and the fact that you realize that you do deserve more, and that you are ready to receive more from your love life and sex life. I also realize that sexual issues are private and personal, so I appreciate that you are reaching out for guidance. 

In your case, it seems to me that your primary issues are less about sex, and more about control, even though the issues seem to culminate in a sexual way. You frequently mention the idea of control, and the inability to relax this state of control. You also mention an extreme closeness that you and your lover share, one that seems to be cloistering, cloying and rather unhealthy. Being with another person twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week would be enough to make any person want a bit of legroom, a taste of freedom, and quite possibly to seek, however possible, a means of personal space, and personal self-expression, a means of control. 

You may be acting out sexually in order to distance yourself from other aspects of this relationship. Sexual intimacy is a way of sharing one's innermost emotions, as well as the body-- which is exposed, nude and vulnerable during sex. Perhaps you feel too intimate in all other aspects of your relationship, and the fear of merging even closer is subconsciously threatening to you. 

My first suggestion is to take a break from seeing one another so much, and to find or create a time and space only for yourself, to learn to be with and to love yourself. If this means going to the library alone to study, or to a park to read, even for an hour a day, try it. Make the time. If you don't have a means of transportation, or for whatever reason you can't get out of the house, announce to your lover a personal time-out, a mini-vacation, take a Walkman with you into a separate room, close and lock the door, and make your own little world, if only for one hour a day. Do activities that you personally enjoy, whether it is drawing, reading, writing, or listening to music. Do something personally creative. Avoid passive activities like watching television or playing video games. Do something that engages your mind. Take whatever time you may need, as often as you need it.

Discover Unconditional Love

Control is not all bad; control can be healthy. Control issues are a way of coping with stress. When stress gets overwhelming, sometimes our coping mechanisms become dangerous instead of helpful, unhealthy instead of healthy. Please visit this website to learn more about control issues, and how to deal with them, as well as a primary issue of accepting unconditional love. 

How do you feel when you receive unconditional love and acceptance? When you are the recipient of unconditional acceptance and love from others, you feel: 

 Free to be yourself. 

 You have value and worth. 

 Wanted and desired for you as you rather than for what you do. 

 Listened to and understood. 

 That you have yourself to offer others, which in itself is worthwhile. 

 Warmth, cared for, and nurtured. 

 You are OK just the way you are. 

 That there is no need to wear a mask or to act in any way just to please another. 

 Free to be yourself and to open up your feelings with no fear of rejection or non-approval. 

 That it is possible to take the risk to be vulnerable with others in order to have open and honest relationships with them. 

 No fear of retribution or reprisal from others if you should make a mistake or experience a failure. 

 That there are no conditions set on your relationships with others.

While we all can't feel this way all the time, most people in a healthy relationship will feel this way most of the time. If you feel you are not able or not comfortable with receiving unconditional love, please visit this webpage to learn all about how this is a control issue, and what can be done to create a healthier outlook. 

Make a Sexual Discovery Journal

Here's a great idea: start a journal that only belongs to you, a place where your thoughts can be private, your words can be healing. Express yourself freely and openly, without the fear of judgment, and without the tethers to conversation with any other human being. You are not being graded on this, it's not a class project. This is just for you! Create a sexual journal that can be healing, and a way to learn more about yourself sexually. Write down what turns you on the most; write down your most subversive, taboo fantasies; write down exactly why you think you are, or can be the greatest lover on earth! Bitch about why you are not, then find a way you can be. Express your sexual fears and self-doubts. It's ok to explore the dark side, too. 

Another way of dealing with sexual body image distortion is to see yourself through the eyes of another person. Look at yourself in the mirror and imagine you are a lover looking at you at a sexual way-- forget the cellulite-- what makes you horny about that hot gal in the mirror? What do you see? Write it down. You will surprise yourself. Write yourself a love letter. Woo yourself with sexual poetry written only to you. Not a poet? That's ok! Remember how you once flirted with a new lover? Flirt with yourself on paper, offer yourself your wittiest pick up line, tell yourself why you are hot in your sexual discovery journal. I know it sounds silly, but not only is it healing, it can truly be hot!

Repair Your Body Image

While we are on the subject of sexual self image, I don't think I need to tell you that losing weight and gaining weight has little or nothing to do with your sexual attractiveness. If you are truly troubled by your body weight, to the point where you feel you are basing your self-image and self-worth on your size, joining a body image workshop or visiting with a counselor may be in order. Many women suffer from these feelings either sporadically or to the point of emotional, spiritual and physical debilitation. This is also another control issue. Stop it before it turns into a monster! If you are a college student, you can likely get free or low cost counseling on campus. Sign up for it, go to it, and take care of yourself. You deserve it!

My second advice is to THROW AWAY FASHION MAGAZINES. Just don't read them. You simply don't need them. Don't tell me you can't go to clothing store and figure out what you think is hot or not while shopping. Instead of torturing yourself and your ego with so-called "women's magazines" which do nothing but promote poor self-esteem to women, and impose unjust ideals and frivolous goals to women, pick up a mail-order subscription to GRACE magazine, where all sizes of women-- tall, short, round, thin, curvy, chunky are represented and portrayed as glamorous and beautiful. Another FANTASTIC book is called Wild Succulent Woman by Sark. Treat yourself to this delightful book and read it during one of your private mini-vacations. 

My last advice on this issue is to stop dieting. Diets don't work. They never work permanently, anyway, and often cause a backlash of greater future weight gain. Eat what you need, eat what you like, and enjoy your food; learn to delight in it. Food is what keeps you alive and healthy, what gives you the energy you need to live and to have great sex. And so what if you gain weight? Not all beautiful, sexy women are thin. The "power of thin" is a myth. Again, eating and diet can often be a strong control issue. I suggest you explore all these issues with a certified counselor, and learn to love your sexual body, your physical body, yourself. Don't waste your gorgeous youth thinking you are ugly. You are not, you are beautiful! Still don't belive me? Check out the Mind Caviar Summer Issue's Gallery where sexy and voluptuous are completely synonymous. 

Copyright © 2001-2002 Jamie Joy Gatto. All rights reserved.

Got a Sex Question? Ask Jamie Joy

Sex Noir by Jamie Joy Gatto AVN praises Jamie Joy's latest collection: "Sex Noir... delivers a sexy, yet moody slice of erotic fiction that should please fans of the genre. Gatto's tales range from sexy to harrowing, from tragic to optimistic, and from hardcore to sugary sweet-- sometimes all within the same story."

Click on the book to learn more about Jamie Joy Gatto's collection of dark erotica, Sex Noir published by Circlet Press. 

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