Theatrics, Rough-Housing And Safe Words


Em & Lo suggest a few dramatic gestures to reignite the fire.

Love isn't always iced cream and puppy dogs. "Sometimes," it is said, "love don't feel like it should." Before you throw your computer out of the window in disgust at another Chris BrownRihanna editorial, chillax my main damee, I have nothing to add to that clusterfark. I'm here to talk about introducing a little crazy into your relationship (Seal crazy, not Manson crazy).

Two of the best writers in the relationships biz, Em & Lo, have a recurring feature called "Do It Tonight!" ("or else" is implied, "and thank us later" is understood). Last week they suggested getting aggressive with each other's clothing. I love it. It feels like everything is so buttoned down (some pun intended) and antiseptic today that a little drama, even if mildly contrived, is a total breath of fresh air. Good crazy is awesome.

Epic, dramatic gestures only seen in bodice-ripping novellas and vaudevillian melodramas are rad. Try sweeping the dishes from a tabletop and tossing your significant other (or hopping yourself) onto that sucker for a little make out action and not feeling an intense closeness. Seriously, I'm waiting. Fine. Do it after you finish reading this. Wrestling is not the most homoerotic sport for nothing (just ahead of baseball). Sure, the ancient Grecians (thanks, Dubya) were greased up and nude while they were wrestling but that kind of intimate proximity (to someone you're, you know, in love with) and physicality can really get some of those lazy hormones blazing. Plus a display of physical strength (remember, we're all animals) is a nice reminder to your partner of how safe they are with you (provided you don't have a serious screw loose).

Bad crazy is awful. A little rough-housing is fun. But, as one of Eliot Spitzer gals can allegedly attest, there are limits. Reciprocated respect and trust are paramount to making a little light kooky work. Knowing that you're not going to get hurt, lose valuable family artifacts or have your pants thrown somewhere wholly inaccessible really makes aggressive loving possible. Anything else and you're a couple of strangers who may or not be trying to vandalize each other's person and property.

What's the punch line of all of this rough-housing advocacy? Breaking out of routine (and breaking a few buttons) is a great way to rekindle the fire and let your partner know that you have a couple of tricks left up your sleeve.

Note: It's unbelievably important to maintain control, both in terms of perception and in your person. A good smell test is, "Would Mark Wahlberg have done this in Fear?" and then not doing it if the answer is "yes." A safe word is probably a good idea and, "you ripped my favorite shirt, assface," doesn't work. At all.