Thursday, December 18, 2008

Suburban Sex - Part 3 of 7

Every suburban doctor, psychologist, therapist, or clergyman I spoke to said that sex is—or should be—a good, healthy activity. Sex and related activities can also be the theme of some good, clean fun, too.

The Loft, a unique dance and fitness space in Yonkers, NY, offers not only classes in hip-hop, salsa, and the tango, but in belly dancing and strip tease as well. The strip tease class draws about twenty women aged 19 to 68 every week, according to owner Jacqueline Bouet.

“It’s a sexy, feminine dance class,” she explains. “The dancing occurs in the dark, so it creates an atmosphere with fewer inhibitions. With the mirrors and everything, we stress dancing for yourself. It’s about self-esteem and self-acceptance.”
Dancers don’t actually take their clothes off, she says, although they practice the moves. Every three or four months, you’ll also get a light supper with a sex toy demonstration thrown in for your edification and amusement. That night, Bouet says, usually draws about 40 women.

You can also bring the sex toy demonstrations right into your home. Marion DiPippo, a work-at-home mother of three in Mahopac, NY, is a Passion Party hostess, which is kind of like selling Tupperware only a whole lot more exciting. She offers a huge selection of lotions, potions, ticklers, lingerie, vibrators, fantasy games, passion edibles, and toys for boys and girls like you’ll never find at FAO Schwartz. The usual crowd is a dozen or so women (although there are parties for groups of couples, too) who often provide theme-appropriate refreshments (anatomically correct cakes are a big hit) and come ready for a good time.
“My customers love the games we play at the beginning of a party,” DiPippo explains.
To break the ice, she starts with games like Erotic Bingo where the winner doesn’t shout "Bingo", but whatever they say when they reach orgasm. Another is the Alphabet game, where she holds up letters and the players shout out whatever sex-related word comes to mind. “A tricky one is ‘Z’,” she says, “There is one answer—but I am NOT giving that away.”

Partygoers occasionally go a little too far, DePippo admits, but it’s usually just a case of irrational exuberance.
“I instructed a woman at a party in Westchester to reach down her top and put a product on her nipple,” she says. “Instead, she just lifted up her shirt and exposed her breasts to everyone in the room!”
Read more about Suburban Sex in this seven-part series.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Suburban Sex - Part 2 of 7

Think the suburbs are too straight-laced to breathe? The next time you and your significant other dine out with another couple, consider this: odds are close that one of the four people at your table may have had an affair with someone other than their dinner partner. A national survey by The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) reported that 15 percent of wives and 25 percent of husbands have experienced extramarital intercourse. When emotional affairs or sexual intimacies without intercourse are included, the numbers rise to 18 and 30 percent respectively.

“The amount of extramarital affairs has increased in Westchester—as it has across the nation—because men aren’t the only ones doing it,” Dr. Robert Filewich, director of The Center for Behavior Therapy in White Plains, reports.
He has been treating sexual problems as a cognitive behavior therapist for 27 years and estimates that the ratio of men to women having affairs in the county is close to one-to-one.

Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus couldn’t agree more.
“More women are having affairs--and it’s not with their tennis instructor or personal trainer. It’s the guy working on their house! The contractor, the sprinkler guy, the plumber, the painter, the gardener.”
It’s not just the professionals who notice the up-tick, either:
“I’d say two out of five married people are fooling around,” says M, a hairdresser in mid-Westchester who insists on anonymity (as did several others interviewed for this article for obvious reasons). She adds, “I had one married guy proposition me—very seriously—while I was doing his hair!”
Read more about Suburban Sex in this seven-part series.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Heart of Diamonds Brings Congo To Connecticut

"...this enticing tale of suspense and romance sounds like a great premise for a fictional thriller," says the Litchfield County Times. "...the book finds itself jumping between literary invention, reality and that opaque area in between the two."

I'll be reading from Heart of Diamonds, displaying photos from my trips to Central Africa, and discussing the current situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo at 6:30 PM, Tuesday, December 9, at Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Friday, December 5, 2008

Heart of Diamonds "Action Packed Thriller"

Book Reviewer Debra Gaynor had this to say about Heart of Diamonds:

Heart of Diamonds has something for almost every reader: a touch of romance, suspense, and intrigue; this is an action-packed thriller. Donelson captured my attention early in this tale, and he held my attention to the very last page.
You can read the full review on

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Suburban Sex - Part 1 of 7

“This is a pretty buttoned-up county,” declares Dr. Wayne Gersh. “We’re not known as a hot bed of sexuality.” Then he thinks for a minute and adds with a smile:

“But if we could have a dominatrix in Pound Ridge, anything is possible in Westchester.”
Gersh is clinical director of the Westchester Center for Behavior Therapy in White Plains. The dominatrix, arrested last year, lived Westchester-style in a stately century-old white clapboard house with black shutters on four acres in Bedford Hills, NY.

Let’s face it, anything must be possible in an age when New York’s governor, otherwise known as Client #9, is run out of office for playing hide the subpoena with $5,000 call girls—and his successor holds a press conference the day after he takes office just to make sure everybody is okay with the fact that he and his wife were serial adulterers.

Or how about a place where three teenage girls recite a poem about vaginas at John Jay High School and are widely hailed for having thereby secured their tickets to Harvard? Looking for some exercise? Enroll in a Yonkers striptease class. Planning a party? Order up a genital-shaped cake and call the Passion Party hostess. Westchester may appear buttoned-up, but beneath our Donna Karan frocks and Armani suits, we’re wearing edible underwear.

Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus, Clinical Director of the Medical Center for Female Sexuality in Purchase, says the obvious:
“There is a very wide range of sexual activities in Westchester. It goes from people who’ve been married for thirty years and have only had sex with one person to couples who swing.”
Read more about Suburban Sex in this seven-part series.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Monday, December 1, 2008

Congo On World AIDS Day

Bloggers UniteThe spread of HIV/AIDS is among the many deplorable effects of the continuous violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While the country as a whole has an estimated adult HIV prevalence of 3.2%, UNAIDS reports that prevalence of the infection among women who have suffered sexual violence in areas of armed conflict may be as high as 20%.

The eastern provinces have seen an astounding number of terror rapes--one every half hour, 24 hours every day--with a corresponding rise in HIV/AIDS.

Children are affected, too, both by infections through mother-to-child transmission and the loss of a parent to the disease. According to UNAIDS, 120,000 children under the age of 15 are infected with HIV.

While Congolese government efforts to fight the epidemic are not inconsiderable and the US provided $10.6 million specifically for essential HIV/AIDS programs to the DRC through USAID in fiscal 2008, getting assistance to the war zones is all but impossible. Over 1,000,000 people are homeless as a direct result of the fighting in the region, further complicating the delivery of essential medical services of all types.

While there is little we as individuals can do to stop the violence in the DRC, we can help its victims. One organization I support is Women For Women International, a leading force in helping women and their families re-establish their lives.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the