The Best Sex a Married Person Can Buy for $100

How much do you pay for good sex? Would you pay $100 a month to keep it going strong? For double the results, would you pay $200 a month? What if I told you that your spouse wouldn’t be mad at you?

Over a year ago, my wife and I made a deliberate and valuable decision. We decided to start seriously dating again. I mean with each other. We e had a healthy marriage for fourteen years, but it seemed to be warranting a higher level of attention and maintenance. Life always gets more demanding doesn’t it? It wasn’t that we had stopped dating, it was just that it only occurred by happenstance, when the calendar happened to allow it. It also never really had a conscious purpose.

We needed each other more than life was allowing. Between raising four children under ten years old, homeschooling, and running multiple businesses, life had gotten busy. You all know what I mean. We all get consumed with responsibilities and get stuck in a tiring routine. Our best is given away all day to everyone else, and our spouse gets the leftovers, if there are any. 

After some honest evaluation, we both decided that we needed more time together without any distractions. We haphazardly planned to spend some quality time together when we had time, but it never became predictably available. We realized that other people, events, and organizations were controlling our schedule, and therefore, our relationship. In short, it wasn’t enough of a priority. Boy scouts, tee-ball, dinner with friends, birthday parties, and Netflix should not be higher on the list that our marriage.  

So we took decisive action and blocked off the calendar way in advance. The babysitter was reserved for one night per month for six months, and the square was marked “Date Night” in permanent marker. It was all laid out, which meant it could now actually happen.

For six months, the dates happened on schedule. We didn’t bump it when something else came up. It was a sacred space that could not receive an “I owe you” from another pressing need. It was a top priority. We didn’t double date with other couples. We gave ourselves three whole hours just to go out to eat and have conversation. Sometimes it was work and sometimes it was play. Both were big wins. Both were necessary. 
          
Having a nice dinner and paying for a sitter costs about $100 a pop, but we quickly realized that the time and money were worth way more than that. We needed more time, and desired it. We disconnected our cable TV at home, saving about $100 a month, and doubled down on the investment that was paying big dividends. We altered the schedule, and reserved another babysitter for six months, making the date nights happen every two weeks. We’ve kept that going for two years now.

What happened? You already know: laughter, tears, memories, good times, deep connection, growth, stress relief, and real intimacy. This simple act of planning and discipline produces invaluable results. 

We enjoy the break from the grind and from the kids. We bask in the non-hurried conversation and enjoy a slow dessert. We learn what fear, stress, excitement, joy, and desire are on each other’s mind. We work together to make future plans and to sort out problems. We enjoy ourselves and are reminded that we are in this together, and that we’re a pretty good team.

There are 720 hours in a given month. Reserving 6 of them for relationship maintenance is reasonable, right?

I can honestly say that this standing reservation is probably the most beneficial thing we have done in the last decade. I cannot recommend it enough. For the price of cable TV or unlimited text messaging, you can buy steroids for your marriage, or at least life insurance for it.

If you don’t already do something similar, try it out. If it’s a bust, dinner is on me.

Article published by Nate Dallas. All rights reserved.

We Are Not Afraid of Failure, Just Each Other

People overuse the term “fear of failure.” However, Atychiphobia may be a huge misnomer. I don’t think men are afraid of the failure itself (noun) or the act of failing (verb). You don’t agree?

The thing we are actually afraid of is the potential result of the perceived failure. We are not worried about what the thing will do to us or how we will react to it. What we really cower away from is how other people could potentially react to our actions.

Being afraid of an unclear, non-tangible thing is crippling, and ridiculous. Think about it. We are afraid of something that doesn’t even exist. More than likely, it’s not even just one thing. There are many mythical foes we can contrive that will never manifest. How many scenarios can be crafted in fear. We are nervous and subdued about a potential idea. More specifically, we fear the possibility that people may find out about our failure and that we will look ignorant, incapable, or weak once we are exposed.

Regardless of others’ reaction, how we process their reaction is really the key issue at hand. This realization is empowering because it gives us back the control of the fear, and therefore, the end outcome.

We must look at the failure itself through another lens, even if we struggle to look at ourselves in a new way. Even with an undesirable outcome, the process of failing is adventurous, educational, and potentially enjoyable if accompanied by a mature frame of mind. It produces growth and leads to personal progress, which produces a rare and valuable commodity known as satisfaction.

Seasoned creatives and successful people love the process. The ultimate teacher is experience, but if we don’t take on the experience, we remain unchanged. Failure is often the only way to grow.

Humans are crippled by their fear of rejection. We have an innate desire to be liked and to be included. Our fraternal nature craves acceptance, especially from those we admire most. If people find out we failed, we are paralyzed with the thought of being excommunicated from the group. This fear leaves us feeling wildly insecure and vulnerable because we actually need to belong to a tribe.

Insecurity breeds obsession, and being visibly obsessed makes us more likely to fit in with a similarly obsessed group. Obsessing about one thing is often an attempt to cover another. Men are obsessed with football, not because they merely love the game, but because they love belonging to the club of other football enthusiasts. Males have a need to compete and desire to compete together because we doubt our own abilities and want to hedge our bets. Losing together doesn’t hurt as badly, and winning together is exhilarating.

Men love CrossFit, golf, motorcycles, civic organizations, and business success for the same reasons. We are constantly saying, “Look. I am obsessed too. I am one of you! Please invite me to play with you.”

We cannot avoid failure, nor can we mask it or lie about it forever.

Courage is necessary to be successful. Courage is not a lack of fear, but a willingness to do what we need to do, despite the fear.

Security is the ultimate combatant to fear. If we factor in the worst case scenario from the venture and can still live unscathed with that outcome, then we have real security. Then we have real freedom. What’s the worst that can happen? Think about it: Do you aggressively and immediately delete people from your life if they don’t perform perfectly or if they have a losing record? Would they do the same to you? If so, you are living your life alongside imposters and liars, and you will be better served with another group, or maybe even alone for a while until finding the right group.

If I see you bomb at something courageous, with good intent, I will likely admire you, not reject you. I hope the people that you legitimately care about would do the same. Our primary goal should be a secure self that learns how to fail well, with dignity, confidence, and purpose, conscious, grateful, and mindful along the entire journey. Our secondary desire may be to join a secure group of people to experience failures with, but the former is certainly not contingent on the latter.

Our competition should be with life itself and with the man we were yesterday, not the man across the street.

To be effective in life, we must have the freedom to fail. Failing to get a promotion, to win a national championship, to double your money on an investment, or to deliver the perfect toast won’t kill you. Instead, it is the very agent that will produce a more educated, tempered, compassionate, stronger, wiser, and better man.

Seek it. Love it. Own it!

Fail on.

Article published by Nate Dallas. All rights reserved.