By Mileyda Menéndez Dávila
January 21, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Have you ever wondered if your sexual fantasies and practices are common or can be considered dysfunctional? How can you satisfy them without harming your health or committing crimes?
Dr. Elvia de Dios Blanco, MSc. in Sexuality and Community Sexual Health, and Lic. Lilian Burgos Martínez, therapists from the National Center for Sexual Education, spoke with internet users about these and other topics in an online interview, the first of many initiatives that the Sexo Sentido section, one of the most popular and longest running in our country, has prepared on the occasion of its 20th anniversary.
Keep reading and clarify your doubts.
As an introduction to the discussion, Blanco raises some general aspects about the topic: “sexual fantasies are considered the ideal way to exacerbate sexual excitement, that is, people can feel more excited and, can achieve better erections or lubrication. This is not necessarily the case, because people can feel excited and not accompanied by changes in the genitals because they have a sexual dysfunction.
“There is a myth that by fantasizing about someone other than our sexual partner we are committing infidelity, which is totally false, we can fantasize about anyone we want, known or unknown, famous artists or beings created by our imagination and enjoy it, without any kind of guilt.
“They are only dysfunctional if they cause people discomfort or if they are included in sexual practices with people who have not given their consent, for example, sadomasochists, always remembering that children are not capable of consenting, and any fantasy that is carried out with this is a crime”.
User: I would like that some specialist to touches the topic of the relationships between BDSM couples, explaining about it, because in general there is a lot of ignorance and taboos for many people when speaking about it, accusing of being aberrant or mentally ill to those that we choose within the sexuality for the above-mentioned variant as a consensual, satisfactory option and accepted by many couples in the world. To teach and educate the population sexually about this sector that, although it is a minority, loves, vibrates, feels and leads a working and social life, has children and friends and finds it difficult to talk about the subject without being judged on occasions.
Elvia de Dios: BDSM practices are valid as long as they are part of people’s sexual repertoire and if they comply with BDSM rules they are always consensual, therefore, given the current classification, if sadomasochistic is the only way to achieve sexual excitement is a paraphilia, considered sexual preferences and, as you propose, do not disrupt social life, therefore do not need any psychiatric treatment. Scientific studies have not shown that people with BDSM practices have a higher prevalence of mental illness than the rest of the population. But beware! If you begin to have the desire or urge for such practices with people who do not consent or if you spend so much time with them that you stop attending work or your school, neglect childcare or other tasks that indicate social dysfunction, see a sex therapist because you are moving into a disorder of sadism or sexual masochism.
Ivancito: Well I haven’t really asked myself because I think they are not normal, usually my fantasies are to be with two women and three, I like it a lot as long as the girls also enjoy it. If I’m sick I don’t know, but well, all advice is good now, I’m not looking for a cure jjjjj.
Elvia de Dios If they enjoy it, there are no problems, but beware, you can get hooked and stay with a triolism as the only form of sexual excitement, and maybe at some point you do not want.
JJM: I am 31 years old and recently divorced. After the divorce I’ve had stages of feeling very depressed, lost and with no reason to enjoy it. At times it seemed to get better and I didn’t feel I needed help from a psychologist, but for weeks now I’ve been more depressed than before, I feel I need help.
Lilian. Separations or divorces are significant stages in the cycle of life. Since the international standards of Mental Health it has been stated that there is a considerable time to elaborate on the grief associated with the loss of the relationship (three to six months). During this time it is normal to feel sadness, irritability, depression, lack of appetite, a little anxiety, insomnia, lack of desire for things, etc.
The time of mourning is particular in each case. All people respond differently to separation or loss of loved ones, emotional ties and relationships. That is why emotional responses to these events tend to be varied.
If you have felt the need at some point to seek professional help, you are in the time and position to undertake all the changes that need to be made in your life at this time. There are always lessons to be learned when we are experiencing difficult situations that impact our lives.
Going through this path of sadness that separations imply becomes more enjoyable with the accompaniment and guidance of a mental health professional.
At Cenesex we have a care service to guide and assist therapeutically people who have conflicts, couple’s crisis and grief associated with breakups.
If you are encouraged to seek professional help you can contact us at 78382528 ext 119, in the Community Work department.
Concerned: I have a marriage of about 11 years and two children with my partner. When we started the relationship we were to my opinion super in love, we did not care the opinions as to whether we achieved something or failed, my husband always asked Do you trust me? And the answer was what you do this right. But for the last two years we have been behaving indifferently at times, my faith in him is no longer totally valid and credible, because he says he will do something, and time goes by and he commits to things that are then impossible and he doesn’t even apologize or excuse himself. He only says that it is not possible. About 5 months ago I asked him to look for another relationship because I no longer felt the same as before, because his caresses no longer incited me daily or simply sex was that, only the moment of penetration and already, without crossing words or caresses we returned to the routine and I think it is no longer love. However, despite the fact that he confessed to me about his relationship, I got upset and asked him to leave the house. However, it is a need that depends on him. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t have love that I feel more than love and passion and sexual desire. A need to have him around. Even if it’s without touching us. But I understand that’s selfish of me. During this crisis that we are going through we have talked and sometimes we have also offended either for specific reasons and others not. The sad reality is that I am unsure of wanting to separate myself from him, despite the confessions of the things that have happened. Or to accept that there is no turning back. I wish we could fall in love again as we did before, but seeing each other reminds us of our mistakes and we begin to distrust each other again. If someone calls me, or I don’t call him, he assumes I’m with someone. And then we go back to the hypocritical, treacherous, lying talk, to name a few. My dose of mistrust increases in him, because of my workdays, which are sometimes uneventful. But the crucial thing about the case is that, due to the lack of marital treatment, I have no systematic carnal desires and when it happens it is not by thinking of him. What can he advise me? He tells me that in spite of everything he loves me. But he keeps searching my cell phone. And going out to look for somewhere when I’m late. Sometimes I am really confused by his sense of affection and distrust at the same time. I think I analyze myself and I see in me a feeling of a friend to him but a friend that I want him never to get married or leave me and the children. But I accept that my sexual health is not shared only with him or when he wants it.
Lilian: In the course of a couple’s relationship, crises, disagreements or transitory breaks are signs that something is altered in the functioning of the relationship. It would be important for both of you to arrange a space from the dialogue, where you can agree on what you want to do with regard to the couple’s relationship. If the bet shared by both consists in saving the relationship, they could think about starting a couple therapy with some professional and psychotherapist, if the bet is to end the relationship then they should start to prepare themselves to start the process of breaking up and facing the subjective and objective effects associated to the separation. Perhaps the hardest thing for you to do is to come to this agreement that involves making a decision. Then professional help could help you to achieve greater clarity about what you really want to do about it.
For the time being, it would be advisable for you to rethink what makes you feel better, whether the idea of the break-up or the repair of the relationship.
Lolitacuba: I’ll start by telling you that I’m 48 years old, but I’ve been presenting my problem since I was 47. I’ll tell you: when I turned 46, my periods began at intervals, that is, I had a few months on and off, until I turned 47 and it stopped and I never had another one, which for a moment I thought was good, but it turned into torture, when my intimate parts began to get extremely dry, which has made me lose my libido and my sexual desire. My partner and I are a short time relationship so the enjoyment of a full sex has been very little, the first 3 months was something exceptional, I had never felt like that. I was married for 18 years with the father of my daughters but due to character problems we got divorced and I never felt as much pleasure as with this person, a hardworking and loving man, we have been in a relationship for 8 months, almost the same time that I started with this problem, so you can imagine how I feel. My husband caresses me, he has all the patience in the world to make me feel good, he is a man that I like very much, I feel fulfilled with him and I love him, but I am tired of pretending a desire that disappeared and I do not know why. Every time he caresses me and I feel my dryness, he does not provoke in my body one iota of pleasure, we have tried thousands of ways, we use gel, lubricants, creams, oils, and penetration becomes possible, but it is the desire that I cannot achieve and I do not understand why. I love my husband, so that’s the help I’d like to find. How can I regain my sexual desire? I have searched on the Internet, and tried to realize the advice I have heard on the Internet, but I am still colder and that will end up destroying my relationship and my life, … I know that will happen, because I feel very depressed and distressed. I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my letters and ask you to write to me as soon as possible.
Elvia The vaginal dryness is typical of the climacteric due to the deficit of hormones, which due to the discomfort it causes to the penetration can determine a decrease in sexual desire, but in your particular case that is maintained in time, after the use of lubricants, I recommend you to ask for attention to specialists in Sexology, they can be gynecologists or work in the area of mental health, if you are from Havana you can make an appointment with CENESEX by calling 7 8382528 and 29.
Mariposabruja: Good morning, I have been in a relationship with a married man for two years. At the beginning everything was wonderful, within months, problems appeared. On threee occasions we have split up because of my will and other times because of discussions because of his lack of attention, because he is a man who, when he wants to, is the most loving in the world, but other times he forgets that I need him to be by my side, the reason why we separate, but we always end up coming back because I love him and he always begs me to come back tp him, he promises to love me, to be special, that with me he lives what he has never lived with any other, but then he goes away again. I don’t know if I should continue with him, even though I don’t doubt that he loves me, but sometimes he does things that make me doubt. I don’t know what to do anymore, because when I get upset I think about leaving him, but nothing else that comes with kisses and hugs I forget. He’s 39 and I’m 29.
Elvia: He says he loves you, he comes back, you are the one who suffers, he enjoys when he wants, you could ask yourself: is that the way I want to be loved? Who should make and keep the decision of the separation?
Alberto62: I have been presenting erectile dysfunction for the last few months. My brother says it may be because I have a treatment with atenolol and as he heard on the radio both the medication and hypertension can create impotence. I’ve been meaning to ask the cardiologist, but I’m embarrassed. I’m 62 years old. What other doctors can I ask for help?
Elvia: Atenolol is true that it causes erectile dysfunction, but you have high blood pressure, which can also cause such a condition. But you can get it back and continue to enjoy sexual activity, talk to a cardiologist or a sex therapist.
Ali: I’m a professional, I work in a high school, I’m 33 years old. The reason for my comment is that I’m very concerned because I had my more or less stable relationship of 14 years, which my parents didn’t approve of because of the way he acted. Three years ago he went abroad, we still communicate, but deep down he is there and I am here. My concern is that since he left I have had no luck in maintaining any relationships, which have always been with married men. I say that I have no luck because everyone who approaches me and is interested in me is in this condition. I go out to the street, I go to parties, I have fun, I am sociable but this is not useful, I NEED YOUR HELP PLEASE, THANK YOU
Elvia: Get up, you’re young, professional, you could include in your criteria for selecting a partner that is with single men; that age is not the limiting factor, you could open your eyes to younger men, the generational differences are in the decade. In life you have to search and you always find.
Yosley: Everything in love is possible as long as your partner allows it, without harming your partner while your partner leaves you, please let your imagination fly and enjoy safe sex as long as you use protection, use a condom.
Elvia: Yosley you are absolutely right let your imagination fly.
Modesto Reyes Canto: Fantasy is nothing but a hidden real desire that always begins in youth with masturbation. Between couples, it’s very valid when they practice it together. The bad part of that fantasy practice is when one of the involved ones escapes the thought and wants to make it real. I hope that they also include men who are specialists in the subject, because we must never forget that to dance a tango it takes two, just as in sex. My respects and greetings.
Elvia: Modest, very good when you propose that for its practice it is valid under consent, but you contradict yourself when you believe that “it is bad” if one of the involved ones wants to make it real; the interchange and practice of sexual fantasies with the couple helps to overcome the routine.
Friend: I have a childhood friend who approached me two days ago about his love affairs and it turns out that he has only had three serious ones in his whole life. The first two ended very badly, according to him, it was a product of his jealousy. In the last one, still present, he has not had problems because he swallows the jealousy, because it seems that he is in love with this girl, he says that he wants to go crazy, it bothers him if someone looks at her, if she looks at another man, even if it is for something harmless, if they call her by phone, if she goes to work, etc. He has no life and no product because this fool with the girl does not want to break what he has created, but he fears that he will not be able to hold it in one day and be able to hurt her verbally. In addition, he says that at times his temper changes for no reason and he cannot control it, that he feels very, very stressed. He is a good person, but I think that he has a serious problem, I recommended him to take medical assistance, but he panicked, he is afraid that they will think that he is a lazy person and they will not take him seriously, besides, he does not know how to acquire this psychological treatment, that I believe that he needs, please if you could help me to see how I can help him.
Lilian: I agree with your assessment that your friend needs professional and psychotherapeutic help. The effect of psychotherapy on him could have a significant impact on his subsequent relationships or on his current relationship. These characteristic traits of jealousy, distrust of partners, and need for control, which are also recognized manifestations of psychological violence, may be caused by inadequate emotional learning that he has been incorporating throughout his life regarding how a man should be and how he should behave. Of course, this has repercussions in her life as a couple. It is very common to find these traits in men who have been educated and socialized from models of hegemonic masculinity that make legitimate the belief that women and couples are a property that must be defended, jealous, controlled, and possessed. When these personality traits are too accentuated they can become a personality disorder or problem. The importance of adopting a critical and pro-change attitude is crucial to modify all these issues that generate so much discomfort. Persuasion in your case may help him decide to seek therapeutic help, but the need for change must be consciously considered by him. No one changes without a real desire to change.
Dr. Elvia de Dios Blanco and Lic. Lilian Burgos Martínez, Cenesex occupational therapists during the online interview at JR. Photo: Roberto Suárez
ElChico: I’m a boy, I’m 56 years old, I don’t have any sugar, cholesterol or altered triglycerides. I’d like to know if you can really help me. I would like to know, please, why my penis doesn’t get hard, fat and long, excuse me again thank you. That’s very kind of you.
Lilian: You may have sexual erectile dysfunction and not be associated with any physical health problems described by you above (diabetes, triglycerides and altered cholesterol, etc). We advise you to seek professional and medical help from a sexologist and sexual orientation and therapy service. In this way, you will be able to find an accurate answer and diagnosis to your problem.
AlejandroBB: I am 26 years old and have been in a hidden but stable relationship for almost 10 months with a 31 year old woman. She, on the other hand, had been with a boy for five months when he had to go on a mission and five months after this trip she began a relationship with me, which at first was just pleasure. I had other relationships as well.
As time went by, everything became more complicated to the point that I only wanted to be with her, and so I did. She tells me the same thing, although she claims that on the phone I couldn’t do that which has to wait for the “man” to arrive. I am in love with her like a dog and I suffer every day thinking about the decision she might make. At the moment we live a super-strong relationship although with limitations; but we have been waiting for the “man” since November and he has not arrived yet. Everything is super complicated because I put her in the situation as if he arrived and she does not know what to do, although she assures me that she will leave him, and even more complicated when I remember that I have nothing to offer her materially, that even if we deny it, it is necessary, because she has a seven-year-old girl to whom she tells that I am her neighbor friend.
Lilian: It’s important that you have a realistic perception of the situation you’re in. They started a relationship that at first was more focused on obtaining sexual pleasure, then it became more sentimental and the affective aspect was more important, as you say. According to the information you provide, she has not yet completely resolved the final decision she must make. You can wait for her time, you can propose a waiting time defined by you and even agreed by both of you, to communicate the situation to this person.
The final decision that she must make to leave you or not is something that, according to your emotional involvement with her, can affect you a lot. To mitigate this, it is important that your current expectations, with respect to her and the relationship, are not above the real relationship which, as you say, has some limitations. You can even help her to carefully manage the breakup, but if you see that the time she sets aside for breaking up with the other person is too long, you should ask yourself if she is really ready and willing to end this relationship. It is not recommended that the uncertainty that this situation creates for you should be so prolonged.
Grey: I would like to know if you are aware of any BDSM association in Cuba for people who practice it.
Elvia: We are not sure, but if they do exist, they are not registered with the National Center for Sex Education.
WC: I have a relationship with a girl a few years younger than me, we live together and after having a child I’m having problems with premature ejaculation that I can’t even control. Even if my partner doesn’t tell me, this can bring problems to the relationship in the future. I am 20 years older.
Elvia To be diagnosed with premature ejaculation you have to attend a consultation of Clinical Sexology, a man can eventually present changes in his ejaculatory time and it is not a dysfunction, to consider it a disorder you have to have maintained it for at least six months. If you are from the capital city, you can ask for attention to the CENESEX by the telephones 7 838 2528 and 29, if you live in another province, call us and we will give you personalized orientation.
Elvia: At any age you can learn and more about sex, maybe at 67 you enjoy things that you didn’t have incorporated into your sexual repertoire or didn’t enjoy because of false beliefs. Your doubts can be clarified by CENESEX specialists, call 7 838 2528 and 29.
Yunior: I have a small and crooked penis. I’ve had couples who say they don’t care, but others laugh with disguise and then don’t come back to me even if it makes them feel good that time. Is it that women care or not about the size? I wonder if I can have an operation so I don’t have to go through this embarrassment every time? I’m 24 years old and I’m good-looking.
Elvia: Yunior’s penis may not be as small as he perceives it, the important thing is that he ensures he gives pleasure to the women he chooses for sexual activity. A crooked penis may or may not be a Peyronie’s Disease and should be evaluated by a Urologist in your area. As for the size, it should be evaluated by Urology specialists with sexological training, who are now at the military hospital in Santiago, at the provincial hospital in Matanzas, and if he is from the capital he could look for a way to get to the Amejeiras hospital.
YD: I’m 27 years old, I’m a bit embarrassed to say this but I want to know if it’s normal that when I’m with my girlfriend and I have sex with her it lasts 1 or 4 minutes on the 1st, then I have to wait 5 minutes to have another erection and on the 2nd I get 40 to 50 minutes and the question is if this is normal or not and they advise me.
Elvia: Is the ejaculatory time relative to establish the diagnosis of premature ejaculation, does that time cause you discomfort? Does it make your partner feel uncomfortable? During the first intercourse the ejaculatory time is shorter than during the second one. If after four minutes your partner feels good and reaches orgasm, everything is fine; 40 or 50 minutes may exhaust her. To satisfy your questions you can call CENESEX 7 8382528 and 29, you will be given personalised advice.
DSC: I am going through a very serious crisis of impotence, I have always suffered from this since I was 15 only it has become more acute some time ago. It’s very strange that I don’t get excited when I start thinking about everything but that. Just thinking about having relationships cuts me off even though I may want to sometimes. In fact, I have woken up in the morning with strong erections and they just disappear, even when I try to prolong the relationship I lose the erection or I can only have one, nothing of the second for a long time. I am married and I know how to please my wife because I am not completely dead and I know how to do it but it is painful even with her, I have other relationships outside of marriage and I must resort to pills to help me not to go through an embarrassment. I feel very little man for that reason the truth I am very desperate to the point that I do not care if the famous Viagra kills me to take it. Please I need help I’m 29 years old.
Elvia: Young, your erectile dysfunction has nothing to do with your manhood, you even have optimal sexual skills when you are able to satisfy your partner, even with erectile dysfunction, which is valid because caresses are the ideal way to excite women and they reach orgasm by stimulating the clitoris. You yourself declare the cause of your dysfunction “is thinking about everything but that”, your fear betrays you, when you are in sexual activity “you have to think about that” or have sexual fantasies, it is the best antidote for the fear of sexual performance; that is the cause of your dysfunction, so much so that during sleep your erections are strong. See a sex therapist, I can assure you that you can stop using Viagra, do not delay in asking for help, because the repeated use of the pill, puts you at risk of creating an addiction.
YC: I am married 23 years ago my husband is 43 years old and I am 40 and thought that this was the best stage of my marriage but my husband was unfaithful to me although it is not the first time, the previous time I have forgiven him, he says he is sorry but I feel that something has been broken in the depths of my heart and I have some words that I heard nailed in my mind and my heart and the worst thing is that I don’t trust him, we have two beautiful children but the truth is that I don’t know what I should do.
Elvia: I understand your discomfort, because infidelity affects self-esteem, but male infidelity is part of the prevailing social model, which gives men permission to be unfaithful, they are not necessarily unfaithful out of love, it is usually only out of sexual attraction; perhaps it is difficult for you to separate it because women are educated to bring together sexual pleasure and love in the same person, however, men are experts in separating it. Your husband probably loves you, but the decision to continue or discontinue the marriage is yours.
RM: Some time ago I had a relationship with a girl that lasted 7 years. Then because of the distance the relationship was losing sense although we were looking for solutions to solve the problem she asked me to separate for a time which lasted almost 8 years, now I have another relationship and the same thing happens to me I’m in love but the distance continues to create problems, I ask for advice: I do the same or what I do.
Lilian: You have to repeat in a certain way the situation of having relationships strongly influenced by distance. Perhaps you could ask yourself why this becomes a problem that comes up a second time in the course of a relationship you want to sustain?
Assuming that you are referring to physical and geographical distance as a strongly influential factor in your relationships, you might consider that distance becomes a problem for the couple, as long as both of them do not find adequate resources and strategies to handle it. It is true that people experience emotional needs that often require constant physical and sexual contact, but currently it is happening that with the benefits associated with the development of technologies, new digital platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp) allow to channel many of the needs related to the emotional bond and therefore, it is possible to maintain relationships at a distance if they are used responsibly and safely, digital media with romantic purposes.
A couple’s relationship can survive at a distance as long as the emotional bond remains active, which makes her continue to bet on you and you continue to bet on her in that joint project that makes the couple possible. I also believe that distance cannot be perpetual because in vital moments people also need to experience all the benefits that condition contact and physical proximity.
Lili: Good morning, I have never had sentimental or sexual relations with any woman. Nor have I fallen in love with any girl for fear of her reaction, because I don’t think I’m physically very attractive. My family and friends tell me that it’s time for me to have a relationship and I think it’s also true that in the future I want to start a family. Now there is a 22-year-old girl that I like a lot, sometimes she has passed by me and has looked at me and smiled, I do not understand what that means, several times I have wanted to tell her something nice but I have not dared. Tell me what to do. How to approach her. I’m 27 years old.
Lilian: Beyond the need that you can experience as a human being to have a family in the future and beyond the social and family advice that leads you to think about the possibility of having a partner, it would be very good and very nice for you to experience the need and desire that leads you to approach another person. If the personal characteristics that you describe (feeling of inferiority, shyness, and introversion) make it difficult for you to approach the person you want effectively, perhaps you should consider seeking guidance and help from a professional. The effects that you can obtain from the establishment of a professional relationship would help you learn and incorporate new social and communication skills to approach the person, as well as reduce these beliefs or thoughts of disability that you have about yourself.
Mariana F: I have a fairly recent relationship, we are both divorced with children and we are over 40 years old. From the beginning, he’s been proposing to me to go to a club of people who exchange partners, something like swingers. I think that if he proposes that he doesn’t want me, and he says he does it so that the relationship doesn’t end because of boredom, like previous marriages. I could please him, but I’m afraid he’ll like others more and end up losing it
Lilian: Mariana, when one of the basic questions that you are taking into account to evaluate the possibility of accepting the proposal that your partner has made to go to a swinger’s club, is the need to please him/her and not the real need or desire of yours to have new sexual experiences. It is good that you think about what you want, what experiences do you want to incorporate into your sexual life in your 40-something years of life? Pleasing the other person who is your partner is not always the way to happiness. There must be a consensus, an agreement, and a compromise between the two of you. Both you and he can find ways to tune into the modes of sexual satisfaction that are pleasing to each other. That means considering both what he likes and what you like in the realm of sexuality.
Group swapping experiences are practices that have become frequent and that many couples consider appropriate to renew and revitalize the libido of the relationship, but you must be psychologically prepared and willing to live the experience: it can be a satisfying or dissatisfying experience, depending on how much you want it or not.
Lisandra: I consider myself heterosexual, I like men, not women, but sometimes, especially when I’m making love, I get excited to see or think about women who are excited, even once I performed a threesome MHM [woman-man-woman] and enjoyed, both my stable partner (a man) and the other woman … At first, I was a little cut off, but then I got uninhibited and enjoyed everything at that moment… Is that why I can consider myself a homo or a bisexual?
Lilian: Sexual orientation is dynamic and can change over the course of a lifetime. If you define yourself as a heterosexual person, it may be because you have felt that the sexual attraction and inclination towards men is predominant in you. Your fantasies may have increased after a sexual experience that included the novelty of being with a woman. From this, you may have discovered new forms of satisfaction that may lead you to prefer both, or you may reaffirm your heterosexual preference. It is not enough to have only one sexual experience in a threesome to be considered bisexual. If from this experience desire moves you not only to fantasize, but to experience relationships with women and men alike, then there may be a gap opening up for you to consider bisexuality. To try to value it only from what is happening to you would be to anticipate it.
Mari: I am 41 years old and have been with my husband and father of my two children for 12 years. Since I started working in a travel agency he has had the ghost of infidelity in his head, to the point that two years ago he accused me in front of friends and family that I was cheating on him and left the house, but after 3 months I forgave him, because he is the man I chose to start a family and I really love him. A short time ago he came in drunk when I was asleep, saw a black shadow under my eyes and asked in an inquisitive tone why I was painted at that hour. I got so upset that I lost control and even hit him with a closed fist on the chest (he never hits me). He didn’t leave, but my kids woke up crying and telling me not to say those things to their dad. I hope he will advise me what I can do, because I love him anyway.
Lilian: It seems you’re both going through a relationship crisis. Violence as a response to the demands and insecurities he may experience about you should never be a major option. Violence occurs when other resources in the couple fail, such as communication, empathy, understanding, etc., and it has detrimental effects on the relationship at all times. It’s good that you reflect on this and that in the future you will opt for other more constructive and effective ways of responding to the conflict you may have with him and with other people.
If the ghost of infidelity emerges in him right after you start a job, which means having economic improvements and indeed having a more economically independent position from him, I think you should talk about it. Many men experience a feeling that leads them to express insecurity when they feel they have to share that place of provider that gave them a place at the head of the family. This is one possible hypothesis, there may be others. What is certain is that it would be appropriate for him to work on this discomfort, this insecurity and this emotional lack of control that leads him to have accusatory thoughts and behavior towards you, by means of professional help. The possibility that you can build a healthier couple’s relationship is facilitated if you both share the feeling of love, despite the latent conflict.
Omer: I am 35 years old and have been married for 15 years. I’ve always been gay, my wife doesn’t know it. Although sometimes I think she suspects. I still have relationships with men. Now there is a young man who drove me crazy. He became my friend and when I confessed to him that I liked him he said that I was his only and best friend, that he was not interested in my feelings. He says that he is not gay and that it doesn’t bother him that I am, but even his family suspects him of being gay. Even after knowing my tastes and how I feel about him he changes his clothes in front of me, has shown himself naked and even allowed me to touch his penis on top of his clothes. He even tells me how and how often he masturbates and has even shown me pictures of his penis and we have watched pornography together. He insists that none of that is important to him. Although sometimes I think it’s impossible he comes over and gives me a kiss and a hug and I turn silk. For him I was willing to give up everything, to recognize who I am. I fell in love like never before, for him I have felt things that I have never felt for anyone. Sometimes I think that the best thing is to get away, but he is very dependent on me although he doesn’t want anything else but friendship (according to him) he has even told me to leave my wife that I am worth more than her and she doesn’t deserve me.
Lilian: Defending your true sexual orientation and preparing yourself psychologically to make it public, could be a way to your true psychological well-being and happiness. Regardless of this very close relationship, you have with this friend, I believe that your choice to really say and demonstrate who you are, what you prefer and what you like sexually in life, should be the first thing to consider. Revealing this truth that you have kept hidden for so many years can be a painful process for your family initially, but think about it: Is it legitimate to maintain the appearance of a happy family and partner when your feelings and desires are elsewhere? When are you going to give yourself the chance to have and live the life that you really prefer?
The ignored: Well, I just want something simple, to be with a woman… just one, I don’t ask for more… and no, I’m not homosexual, nor am I confused (I’m already imagining that 95% think so, and that’s the most frustrating thing because THEY do too)… I’m just an introverted, poor and regular guy. And I’m on the edge of the abyss…
Lilian: Having your desire well-identified is an important step to get closer to its achievement. Relationships can be sustained beyond financial shortcomings and personal difficulties such as introversion and moderate shyness. It is very important to feel capable of sustaining a relationship and to have first experienced the feeling of love for yourself, and then to be able to extend this feeling to your partner and to others. You may need to seek professional help to identify the beliefs and thoughts that stand in the way of your feelings of security when trying to start a relationship. Love and enjoyment of sexuality is a possibility we should give each other every day.
Danny: Hello, collective, first of all, happy anniversary, I would like to talk more about trans and rights. We still see that society and especially the PNR in our country still do not understand that it is a right of every human being in one of the sexual and reproductive rights of the international association of WAS sexuality, to express their sexuality freely regardless of their sexual orientation. Greetings and successes, LGBTIQ+ community activist in Cuba
Elvia: We are very pleased that you have made the need to work and defend the rights of LGBTIQ+ people, especially trans people, present in this space. It is important to develop activism in all areas of society and nowadays it is a challenge to deploy activism in virtual networks and media.
Trans people, beyond the political and social efforts that have been championed by CENESEX, are still prone to experience situations of risk that accentuate their social, psychological and legal vulnerability. It is important to defend these sexual rights in the media that contribute to the awareness of the Cuban population and of the workers who work in institutions such as you mentioned (PNR, Fiscalía) which have a decisive role in guaranteeing the protection of these rights.
Eulalia: I have a 16-year-old nephew who in my opinion is a transvestite or transsexual, but my brother doesn’t even want to hear about it, even though his wife and I insist on it. The little boy suffers, he can’t even grow his hair long like other boys, or pluck his eyebrows. We are from the countryside and he says that when he finishes the technological one he goes to Havana to make his life as he wants. That’s going to kill my brother, we don’t know what to do.
Elvia: It is excellent that you and the father’s wife support him and it is imperative that the father understands that gender identity in adolescence in most cases does not change, your child has an identity that does not correspond to that assigned at birth based on the appearance of their genitals, which is what is called transidentity, your nephew suffers greatly by the misunderstanding by one part of the father and another of society, the important thing is not migration to the capital, the important thing is understanding and respect for the family. For any other orientation, you can call CENESEX 7 838 2528 and 29.
Pirate: I am 35 years old and married…but a little more than 2 years ago I met a woman who, in order not to go around so much…I fell in love with her, in love as I have never felt before with anyone, she also loves me, but she is married…we have many things in common as a couple that we are sentimentally speaking we are a perfect couple, we understand and listen to each other at all times and that trust has led to the sexual part between us acquiring a dimension that for me had never been explored, together with her I have brought to light fantasies that I myself rejected because I thought it was wrong…I have discovered pleasure with her in parts of my body that until that moment had been untouchable… the pleasure at her side is infinite… I have never experienced so much pleasure with a woman… she has also confessed her fetishes to me… and I love them… as much as I love them…we have decided to have a relationship between 3…for now she another girl and me…we don’t rule out anything….we are open to experience everything that is pleasurable without limits…by her side, I feel this way…SEXUALLY COMPLETE… ETERNALLY A MAN IN LOVE WITH HIS PARTNER… For me, it has been the loving experience of my life….since I have known her I have come to understand that in a couple’s relationship there are no limits to pleasure, if the couple wants it, it is to the infinite and beyond, this is how I feel by her side, we have not achieved more things because of inexperience although we both die of desire we find it difficult to find that person…as for us… What to say….in sex we are the same being, without limits or prejudices as we are partners, friends, lovers…I think ours are the kind of relationship that every person has dreamed of, since I have known her my life has changed for the better.
Elvia: It seems that in this bond that you have had for two years with this married woman, you have found great satisfaction and experienced sexual relations to the full. This harmony and erotic-sexual combination, when experienced, contributes considerably to psychological and personal well-being. If for you experiencing a new dimension of sexual relationship, incorporating satisfaction and enjoyment with another person is an option to consider, you can make it possible. That person you are looking for may or may not show up, but it is good for you to enjoy everything you have gained so far.
Friday 24 January 2020 | 02:21:41 am
Everything in love is possible as long as your partner allows it if you harm your partner while your partner leaves you please let your imagination fly and enjoy safe sex always wear protection use a condom
Modesto Reyes Canto
Sunday, January 26, 2020 | 08:45:06 am.
Fantasy is nothing more than a hidden real desire that always begins in youth with masturbation. Between couples it is very valid when they practice it by mutual agreement. The bad stop of this fantasy practice is when one of those involved escapes the thought and wants to make it happen. I hope that they also include men specialized in the subject, because we must never forget that to dance a tango it takes two, just like in sex. My regards and regards: Modesto Reyes Canto.
Tuesday 28 January 2020 | 10:46:39 am
and why do you think that putting it into practice is a negative thing … if both members agree I think it’s wonderful, edifying …..
Sunday, January 26, 2020 | 06:15:29 pm.
I would like some specialist to address the issue of relationships between BDSM couples, explain about it, because in general there is a lot of ignorance and taboo in many people when talking about it, accusing those who choose sexuality as aberrated or mentally ill for this variant as an option agreed, satisfactory and accepted by many couples in the world. Teaching and educating the population sexually about this sector, although minority; love, live, feel and lead a work, social life, have children, friends and it is difficult to talk about the subject without being judged on occasions.
Monday, January 27, 2020 | 08:21:04 am.
The sexual fantasies? The reason for the relationship to last! They are those details that sometimes by modesty seek ecstaticly instead of reasoning with our partner. I am BDSM and I have done very well with regard to role-playing games, fantasies, paraphilias, fetishes, something very common in our minority subculture. Morality remains a vague concept between four walls, provided there is consensus, desire and passion.
Tuesday 28 January 2020 | 11:14:01 a.m.
Sorry for my ignorance, could you explain what BDSM is.
Tuesday 28 January 2020 | 05:14:57 pm.
The acronym BDSM refers to Bondage and Discipline; Domination and Submission; Sadism and Masochism
Tuesday 28 January 2020 | 02:27:54 pm.
I would like to know if you are aware of whether there is any BDSM association in Cuba for people who practice it.
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 | 02:14:40 pm.
Well I really have not asked because I think they are not normal, usually my fantasies are to be with two women and 3, I like it very much as long as the girls also enjoy it, if I am sick I do not know but well all advice is good now , I’m not looking to heal myself jjjjj
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 | 04:23:44 pm.
Greetings I would like to know if you have already been able to realize your fantasy
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 09:16:55 am
My sexual fantasy is to have more than three women in my bed
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 02:42:32 pm.
Let’s see … maybe I couldn’t explain myself, what I want to know and what you can tell me if you can and want to know how you found that other girl … I want you to tell me how you did it … if you can give me some contact to make the talk with more privacy would appreciate it …..
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 07:33:22 pm.
This comment is for Lizandra to answer us, erroneously came out in response to danger, but what the pirate and I want is that she guides us, transmits her experience of how she achieved it, preferably if it could be in private
Friday, January 31, 2020 | 08:51:34 am.
sorry buddy … this was not for you … but for Lizandra …. greetings!
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 10:53:53 am
I consider myself heterosexual, I like men, not women, but sometimes, especially when I am making love, I am excited to see or think of excited women, even once I do an MHM trio and enjoy both my stable partner ( a man) like the other woman … at the beginning I was a little cut, but then I was disinhibited and enjoy everything at that time … is that why I can consider myself homo or bisexual?
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 12:58:26 pm.
Hello, good afternoon … my partner and I are interested in having this kind of relationship … we both want it, but we don’t know how to find the other girl … it’s a daughter-in-law 1st time … help us? ??
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 01:50:37 pm.
First is that we do not know each other, I do not know where they are from, I do not know if they are attractive to me, I also have a husband as I said, it would be between the 4, or I participate and then you let your wife participate with us …
Danny Almeida Blackberry
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 10:55:34 am
hello collective, first of all happy anniversary, I would like it to be more about the trans and rights issue we still see that society and especially the PNR in our country still does not understand that it is a right for each human being in one of the rights sexual and reproductive of the international sexuality association WAS, express your sexuality freely regardless of your sexual orientation. greetings and success, activist of the LGBTIQ + community in Cuba
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 11:11:14 am
I am 31 years old and I am recently divorced. After the divorce I have had stages of feeling very depressed, lost and without reasons to enjoy. At times it seemed that I was improving and I didn’t feel that I needed help from a psychologist, but for weeks I have been more depressed than before, I feel I need help.
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 11:14:02 am
I have a marriage of about 11 years and two children with my partner. When we started the relationship we were in my opinion super in love, we did not care about the opinions as to whether we achieved something or failed, my husband always asked? Do you trust me? And the answer was what you do is fine. But for two years we have been behaving on indifferent occasions, my faith in him is no longer totally valid and credible, because he says that he will do something, and time passes and he commits to things that then become impossible and he does not even apologize or He excuses himself. Just state that it is not possible. About 5 months ago I asked him to look for another relationship because he no longer felt the same as before, because his caresses no longer encouraged me daily or simply sex was that just the moment of penetration and without crossing words or caresses we returned to the routine and I think it is no longer love. However, despite the fact that he confessed to me about his relationship, I bothered him and asked him to leave the house. However, it is a necessity dependent on him. I do not know if for not having and affection is that I feel more than love and passion and sexual desire. A need to have it close. Even if it’s not touching us. But I understand that this is selfishness on my part. During this crisis we are going through, we have spoken and sometimes we have also been offended, either for specific reasons and sometimes not. The sad reality is that I am unsure of wanting to separate myself from him, despite the confessions of the things that have happened. Or accept that there is no going back. I would like to fall in love again like ntea but seeing us reminds us of our mistakes and we begin to distrust again. If someone calls me, or I don’t call him, he assumes that I am with someone. And then we return to the talk of hypocrites, treacherous, liar, to name a few. My dose in distrust increases in him, due to my work days that sometimes work. But the crucial thing about the case is that due to the lack of marriage treatment. I have no systematic carnal desires and when it happens it is not thinking about him. That you can advise me. He tells me that despite everything he loves me. But I still register my mobile. And going out to look somewhere when I delay. I am sometimes confused by his sense of affection and distrust at the same time. I think I self-analyze and I see in me a feeling of friend towards him but a friend that I want to never marry or get away from me and the children. But accept that my sexual health is not shared only with him or whenever he wants.
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 11:26:03 am
My congratulations especially to Mileyda for her permanence, perseverance and sapiensa in the arduous task of teaching us to sex. My comment is not about sexing because we discuss these issues in the Peñas. Because after they changed the design of the JR page it has become very difficult to comment and look for the topics that interest me in the Supplement
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 01:20:40 pm.
you know? I love your comments, I always read them, you seem to me a bold woman in every way, I think we have a lot in common, I would like to be your friend … or well who knows if more than friends …
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 08:22:54 pm.
For Wild, thank you, it is a pleasure to make friends. Nice to write to firstname.lastname@example.org. I only offer you my friendship for now
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 11:39:28 am
I will start by telling you that I am 48 years old, but I am presenting my problem since I was 47. I tell you: when I turned 46, my periods began at intervals, that is, they gave me a few months if and others did not, until I turned 47 and He withdrew me and I never fell again, which for a moment I thought was good became a torture, when my intimate parts began with an extreme dryness that has made me lose my libido and along with that my sexual desire. My partner and I are a short time relationship so the enjoyment of full sex has been very little, the first 3 months was something exceptional, I had never felt this way. I was married for 18 years with the father of my daughters but because of character problems we got divorced and I never felt as much pleasure as with this person, a hardworking and caring man, We have been in the relationship for 8 months, almost the same time I started with this problem, so you can imagine how I feel. My husband caresses me, he has all the patience in the world so that I feel good, he is a man that I like very much, I feel fulfilled with him and I love him, but I’m tired of faking a desire that disappeared and I don’t know why. Every time he caresses me and I feel my dryness, it does not provoke in my body an iota of pleasure, we have tried thousands of ways, we use gel, lubricants, creams, oils, and penetration becomes possible, but it is desire that does not I manage to get and I don’t understand why. I love my husband, so that is the help I would like to find, how to recover sexual desire? I have searched the Internet, and tried to perform the advice I have heard on the Internet, but I’m still colder and that will end my relationship and my life, … I know that will happen, because I feel very depressed and distressed. I WANT to thank you for your time reading my letters and asking you to write to me as soon as possible, regards.
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 11:44:29 am
Good morning, 2 years ago I have a relationship with a married man. At the beginning everything was wonderful, with the months the problems appeared. On 3 occasions we have ended by my will and others by arguments for his lack of attention, because he is a man who when he wants is the most affectionate in the world, but others forget that I need him to be by my side, which is why we separate , but we always end up coming back because I love him and he always begs me to return with him, he promises to love me, to be special, that with me he lives what he has never lived with any other, but then he goes away again. I no longer know whether to continue with him, although he does not doubt that he loves me, but sometimes he does things that make me doubt. I don’t know what to do anymore, because when I get upset I think about quitting, but nothing else that comes with kisses and hugs I forget. He is 39 years old and I am 29.
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 11:48:42 am
I have been presenting erectile dysfunction in recent months. My brother says it may be because I have a treatment with atenolol and as he heard on the radio both the medication and hypertension can create impotence. I wanted to ask the cardiologist, but I’m ashamed. I am 62 years old. What other doctor can I ask for help?
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 11:50:48 am
Well, I just want something simple, being with a woman … just one, I don’t ask for more … and no, I’m not homosexual, nor am I confused (I’m already imagining that 95% think so, and that’s the most frustrating because they do too) … I’m just an introverted guy, poor and regular. And I am on the edge of the abyss …
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 11:52:14 am
My wife is a bit rough and I think she likes women. It’s something new because it wasn’t like that when young. Is there a way to know if you are changing sides? If so, but I don’t want to separate myself from it, what can I do to keep the family from criticizing me?
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 01:23:03 pm.
as I envy you brother … nothing, don’t leave her, let her come to bed with her friend and enjoy …
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 12:00:11 pm
I am 67 years old and I think that at my age there is not much to learn about sex, what do you think of that, doctors?
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 12:02:06 pm
I have a childhood friend who two days ago approached me to talk about their love relationships and it turns out that he has only had three serious in his life. The first two ended very badly, according to him, was a product of his jealousy. In the last one, still present, he has not had problems because he swallows jealousy, because it seems that he is in love with this girl, he says he wants to go crazy, it bothers him if someone looks at her, if she looks at another man, although it is for something harmless, if they call her on the phone, if she goes to work, etc. She has no life and product that this fool with the girl does not want to break what she has created, but she fears not holding out one day and being able to hurt her verbally. In addition, he says that at times his temper changes without reason and he cannot control it, that he feels very, very stressed. He is a good person,
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 12:10:04 pm
I have a fairly recent relationship. We are both divorced with children and we are over 40 years old. From the beginning he is proposing me to go to a club of people who exchange partners, something like suinger. I think that if he proposes that to me, he doesn’t love me, and he says he does it so that the relationship doesn’t end because of boredom, like previous marriages. I could please him, but I’m afraid that others like him more and I end up losing him
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 12:17:11 pm
I have a small and crooked penis. I have had couples who say they don’t care, but others laugh with disguise and then they are not back with me even if it makes them feel good that time. Is it that women care about size or not? Can I have surgery to avoid going through this embarrassment forever? I’m 24 years old and I’m good looking
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 12:18:10 pm
ElChico: I’m a boy, I’m 56 years old, I don’t have any sugar, cholesterol or altered triglycerides. I would like to know if you can help me seriously and really. I would like to know, please, why my penis does not get hard, fat and long, forgive again thanks. Very friendly.
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 12:33:15 pm.
and I love them … as much as mine do them … we have decided to have a relationship between 3 … for now she another girl and I … we do not discard anything … we are open to experience everything that is pleasant without limits … next to me I feel this way… .SEXUALLY COMPLETE… ETERNALLY A MAN IN LOVE OF HIS COUPLE…. For me it has been the love experience of my life…. Since I know her, I come to understand that in a relationship of a couple not to the limits of pleasure… .if the couple wants… it is to infinity and beyond, that’s how I feel at her On the other hand, we have not achieved more things because of inexperience… although we both die of desire, we find it hard to find that person… as for us…. What to say … In sex we are the same being, without limits or prejudices … as we are partners, friends, lovers … I think we are that kind of relationship that every person has dreamed …
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 12:39:00 pm.
AlejandroBB: I am 26 years old and almost 10 months ago I have a hidden but stable relationship with a 31-year-old woman. She, meanwhile, had been with a boy for five months when he had to go on a mission and after 5 months of traveling she began a relationship with me, which at first was just pleasure, at first. I also had other relationships. Over time everything got complicated to the point that I just wanted to be with her, and I did so. She, for her part, tells me the same thing, although she claims that on the phone I could not do what the “man” has to wait for. I am in love like a dog with her and suffer daily thinking about the decision she can make. We currently live a super strong relationship although with limitations; but we wait for the «man» since November and to date it does not arrive.
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 01:06:25 pm.
What better therapy than enjoying the attractive Lilian Burgos even in a photo …
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 01:22:55 pm.
I have a 16-year-old nephew who in my opinion is transvestite or transsexual, but my brother does not even want to hear about it, as much as the wife and I insist. the boy suffers, you can’t even leave long hair like other boys, or take off his eyebrows. We are from the countryside and he says that when he finishes the technology he goes to Havana to make his life as he wants. that’s going to kill my brother from disgust, we don’t know what to do
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 01:55:18 pm.
Check it out!! my 11:50 comment has had no reactions … I imagine why they think it’s a joke …, I wish it were like that
Modesto Reyes Canto
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 05:02:52 pm.
Dear Dr. Elvia De Dios Blanco: When I see symptoms of routine sexual intercourse, from my partner or my own, I immediately end the union and look for them elsewhere. I do not know any couple who have put a third person in their sexual acts and then remain as if nothing had happened. One of the two will be very damaged and forever. But as I say (somewhat cynically) that for a marriage to work perfectly one of the two must love very much and the other be unfaithful, the latter is the only one who will not suffer anything because it has been turning into routine what should be love .. My regards and Regards: Modesto Reyes Canto
Saturday 01 February 2020 | 10:35:17 am
Hello, Very entertaining and instructive the subject, as well as the comments and doubts, both diverse and indispensable in the wide field of the relationship of couples. Congratulations to the group and the specialists! Let’s continue contributing to greater and better sexual development.
Friday 07 February 2020 | 01:00:54 pm.
I am very interested in what they say about the trios; of all kinds, but my boyfriend is not motivated by that. How do I get it involved?
Thursday, February 13, 2020 | 09:17:35 am
Hello Bi88 my partner and I are interested ….. can we start by knowing the 4 you think ?? Cheers!!
Friday 07 February 2020 | 02:59:44 pm.
Very good this super meeting, congratulations for making it possible although I had no opportunity to comment, I hope they do it more frequently.
By Graziella Pogolotti
Published: Saturday 15 February 2020 | 08:54:32 pm.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
While still a child, that Indian, moved by the desire to improve himself, left the countryside and went to the city. There he learned Spanish, took possession of Latin and modern languages and entered the complex world of law, animated by the search for principles of justice. From his legendary carriage, Benito Juárez faced the anachronistic French invasion promoted by Napoleon III -Napoleon the Lessar, according to Victor Hugo-, destined to impose on the Mexican Government Maximilian of Austria, who was shot in Querétaro.
For Mexico and Latin America as a whole, Juarez proposed, as a fundamental notion for the coexistence between nations, the indispensable need for mutual respect, that is, non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, a concept that, except for brief blinks of an eye, has presided over his country’s foreign policy, a safe haven for exiles from all over, of exemplary conduct with the victims of the war in Spain and with those condemned for McCarthyism in the United States.
Because of his civic stature, Benito Juarez has been named Benemérito de las Américas. [Benemerito is Latin, roughly “Meritorious” wl]The evocation of the Mexican hero is timely these days, when, at a dizzying pace, human principles and aspirations are subverted and the most unabashed interventionism in the field of international politics is naturally assumed.
In the 20th century, two world wars produced real holocausts. Picasso, who had condemned with his Guernica the bombing of an unarmed civilian population, then designed his dove of peace, the symbol of universal hope. At the end of the first great conflagration, the failed League of Nations attempted to interpose negotiations on the use of arms. Throughout the ages, regulations had been established with a view to formulating rules of the game regarding international relations.
Nothing was done, however, to contain the arrogant expansion of Nazi Germany into its neighboring territories. In the name of Aryan supremacy, racism was institutionalized. National sentiment became aggressive chauvinism. Devastated territories accompanied the sadism of the gas chambers and concentration camps. The diary of Anne Frank, a little girl who had taken refuge with her family in the basement of the house until she fell into the hands of her victimizers, shocked millions of readers. On the eve of the surrender of the axis formed by Germany, Italy and Japan, Hiroshima and Nagasaki announced a terrible threat to the future of the planet.
The complex architecture of the UN was supposed to provide a space for negotiations, shared by the great powers and the emerging countries. It was intended to sponsor science, education, and culture and to provide platforms for the development of the most disadvantaged. Another global conflagration has not [yet] been triggered, although localized clashes at strategic points have not ceased. Big industry continues to manufacture increasingly sophisticated weaponry.
Under the pretext of the Cold War, the empire multiplied military bases on all continents. So much is the load of dynamite in the world’s precarious balance that one spark can produce an atrocious explosion. Yesterday, colonies inhabited by mixed cultures, the lands of underdeveloped countries hold strategically important minerals and water reserves. Plundering is once again looming over them. Hegemonic discourse legitimizes interventionism with the aim of securing a new world order.
In recent years, the human cost has been enormous. In addition to those who have died in war, there are the migrants who have disappeared in the ocean cemeteries. The survivors of these waves become outcasts. Rejected, their presence encourages xenophobia in rich countries, where adjustment policies reduce the benefits previously promoted by the welfare state.
Having lived a long time, always aware of what is happening inside and outside the island, gives one a perspective on the future of the opposing forces that are making history. After the horrors suffered in the Second World War, everything indicated that the generalized demand for a never again [to war] had been reached. In conjunction with the process of decolonization, specialists recognized the intrinsic value of each culture. They threw into the attic of the useless the old opposition between civilization and barbarism, which justified the adventures of conquest and the oppression of the bearers of a memory and a different color of skin.
However, under the cover of financial power, right-wing thinking was gradually recomposed. The crudest and most ominous expression is found in the speech of the President of the United States. He is appealing to the darkest atavistic feelings that remain in his nation. Manifest Destiny is projected with planetary reach. It justifies interventionism and the imposition of a model of domination.
We, Latin Americans, have a tradition of thought that deserves to be rescued. In the current circumstances, it is the source of an emancipatory proposal based on peace and mutual respect. It constitutes a space of convergence for the whole of humanity in its struggle for its well-being and for resistance in the face of the accelerated depredation of the Earth’s resources.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
There could only be one winner in the Super Bowl of American football, a game held in Miami, Florida, on February 2 this year between the San Francisco Lakers and the Kansas Chiefs. However, the biggest losers were, as always, the hundreds of girls and boys – some as young as 9 – who are bought and sold for sex during the course of the great game of football that ends the season of this extremely popular sport in the United States.
This evil practice has become the fastest growing business in American organized crime. Child sex trafficking is the most lucrative commodity traded illegally, after drugs and guns.
Children are targeted and sold for sex every day in the United States,” says John W. Whitehead, founder and current president of the Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties and human rights organization based in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. John Ryan, speaking on behalf of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, has reported that “adults buy children for sex at least 2.5 million times a year in the United States.
According to research by USA TODAY newspaper, not only are girls vulnerable to these predators “60% are female and just under 5% are male and transgendered, but about 36% of the children caught in the U.S. sex industry are boys.
The newspaper notes that every two minutes, a child is brought into the sex industry. On average, over a five-year period, 6,000 children are raped by adult men.
It is estimated that at least 100,000 young boys and girls are bought and sold for sex in the United States each year, and up to 300,000 children are at risk of being trafficked each year. Some of these children are forcibly abducted, others are runaways seeking refuge, and the rest are sold into the system by relatives and acquaintances.
The rape of children has become a big business in the United States of America. It is basically an industry that revolves around cheap sex with girls and very young women sold, on average, for between $50 and $25 each to adult men, while their manipulators make between $150,000 and $200,000 each year.
This is not a problem that is limited only to the big American cities, their suburbs and towns across the country. According to Ernie Allen of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: “The only way not to observe it in any American city is simply not to look for it.”
And don’t be fooled into thinking this is only a concern in low-income communities or among immigrants, says Whitehead.
“There are an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 underage sex workers in the United States. Don’t think of them as girls who volunteer to be sex slaves either. They are being lured, forced and trafficked. In most cases, they have no choice and in every transaction, there is a rape.
To avoid detection (in some cases with the help or instigation of the police) and to meet the demand from male buyers of sex with women, pimps, gangs and crime syndicates have made sex trafficking a highly mobile enterprise. Trafficked girls, boys and women are constantly being moved from city to city, state to state and country to country.
Sex trafficking is a highly profitable, highly organized and highly sophisticated business that operates in cities large and small. In the United States alone, it raises more than $9.5 billion a year by kidnapping and selling young girls for sex.
The girls who are bought and sold are getting younger and younger. The average age of those trafficked is 13, which means that there are 10-, 9-, and even 8-year-olds.
For every 10 women who are rescued, there are 50 to 100 more women who are caught by traffickers.
But what or who is driving this evil appetite for young meat? Who buys a child for sex?
Catholic and Protestant churches have been singled out in recent years for harboring these sexual predators. Twenty years after the clergy sexual abuse scandal rocked the Catholic Church, hundreds of sexual predators – priests, deacons, monks and lay people – are still turning up.
*This article may be reproduced by citing the newspaper POR ESTO! as the source.
February 15, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
This is the 80th anniversary of the release of one of the most famous cartoons of all time: Tom and Jerry.
How did this story come about? The plot is simple: fed up with the mouse that wanders around his house, a cat sets up a plan to throw him out with a trap loaded with cheese.
But the mouse, who is very lively, manages to get his favorite food out without any problem and then continues to walk around the corridors – and rooms, and so on – very happily. The cat insists on catching him, but always fails.
The friendly animal duo was created, as they say, in a moment of desperation.
The animation department of the Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studio (MGM), where the creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera worked, had tried unsuccessfully to imitate other studios that had created successful characters like Mickey Mouse and the Porky Pig.
The animators, both under 30, began to think of their own ideas.
Barbera said he liked the simple concept of a caricature of a cat and mouse, with conflict and persecution, even though it had been done before.
Puss Gets the Boot (translated into Spanish as “El gato se gana el zapatazo”) was the first animated short film they released in February 1940.
The debut was very good and earned the studio an Oscar nomination for best animated short.
And the success deepened when a letter arrived from an influential figure in the entertainment industry from Texas asking when he was going to see another one of those “wonderful cat and mouse cartoons.”
Jasper and Jinx, as they were originally called, then became Tom and Jerry.
According to Barbera, there was never any discussion about the characters not talking.
Having grown up with silent films starring Charlie Chaplin, the creators knew that the cat and mouse could be fun without any dialogue.
The music, composed by Scott Bradley, highlighted the action of the plot, and Tom’s “human” cry was played by Hanna himself.
For most of the next two decades, Hanna and Barbera supervised the production of more than 100 of these short films.
In the world, these Tom and Jerry films are considered the best, because of their excellent hand-drawn animation.
In the mid-1950s, when producer Fred Quimby retired, Hanna and Barbera took over the MGM cartoon department. It was a time of budget cuts.
Tom and Jerry is still very popular around the world. It can be found on children’s television everywhere from Japan to Pakistan, and a new game about them for cell phones has over 100 million users in China.
(With information from La República)
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
I have written a great deal about the desirability and necessity of the international community’s categorical definition of the term terrorism. Since there is no universally-accepted definition
of the term for use by international humanitarian law, and no such formulation has been reached in international bodies, apparently, because of the impossibility of doing so without including the terrorist actions of nation-states.
In 1937, the League of Nations referred to terrorism as: “Any criminal act directed against a State, intended or calculated to create a state of terror in the minds of private persons, a group of persons or the general public. In 1988, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution reiterating that “…criminal acts directed or calculated to provoke a state of terror in a group of persons or in particular persons in the general public, for political purposes, are unjustifiable in all circumstances, whatever the political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other considerations that may be invoked to justify them”.
Dictionaries more or less agree in identifying terrorism as “the systematic use of violence, or threat of violence, against individuals or larger groups, to achieve a political objective whose scope often transcends boundaries national.”
Although it is common to specify that it refers to actions carried out by non-governmental groups, there is also admitted, as another concept, that of “state terrorism”. This is is that exercised by a government against communities under siege or that it seeks to conquer, or against its own subjects as a means of subjecting them to its excesses and arbitrariness.
It has become a tradition, and it is still a systematic practice today, that the great powers and tyrannical governments, use their vast media resources to make the term “terrorists” be applied to the methods of struggle chosen by revolutionaries and patriots in their emancipatory clashes.
The U.S. superpower has imposed the label “terrorist” on the fighters who have made their actions felt. Its immense media power describes as terrorism the actions of the patriotic resistance, whose clear military inferiority is imposed to organize in secret or irregular units that fight outside the universally accepted military parameters when facing the superior armed forces of the invader or occupier.
Hence the need to avoid this trap by clearly distinguishing revolutionary methods of struggle from terrorist methods. On the basis of my own personal experience, as a combatant in the ranks of the insurrectional movement that defeated the dictatorship that ruled Cuba until the last day of 1958 and took power on a day like today in 1959, I perceive several clear differences:
Revolutionary methods are identified with the aspirations of the people while the terrorists are almost always strongly rejected by the population. This is because the former seek to innovate the scenario and the asymmetrical conditions of the struggle in order to raise the combative morale of the people. They also promote the incorporation of new armies, to ridicule the unpopular repressive forces of the tyrannical regime.
Their goal is to call the world’s attention to the revolutionary war being waged and to denounce the anti-popular character of the oppressive government. Revolutionary forms of underground struggle are intended to increase the support of the people for their cause and therefore are not intended to provoke panic but to promote the adherence of the people. Terrorist procedures are typical of the gangs of drug criminals, mafias, extreme right-wing paramilitary organizations and, in general, mercenaries at the service of powerful economic interests.
They seek to impose their authority on the basis of the population’s fear of the cruelty of their actions. These may take the form of threats, warnings or they may be directly punitive. They do not aspire to attract the people to their cause but to impose their authority on the basis of fear, on fear.
Terrorism generates panic and causes suffering and death to innocent people. Revolutionary methods engender admiration for the selflessness of those who carry out the actions and call for struggle and sacrifice for a just cause that identifies with the aspirations of broad sections of the people,
During the insurrectionary uprising in Cuba against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista supported by Washington, along with the guerrilla warfare that was being waged in the mountains, another very risky underground struggle was being fought in Cuba in the urban areas of the country that contributed decisively to the popular triumph of 1959.
The main actors in the urban revolutionary struggle were combatants from the same revolutionary organizations as when the war ended in the fullness of a process of unification of their ranks. These were the July 26th Movement led by Fidel Castro; the clandestine members of the Revolutionary Directorate created by the University Student Federation and led by its president, the architecture student José Antonio Echevarría, and the forces of the Socialist Youth, the formation of the People’s Socialist Party (Marxist-Leninist), many of whose members supported the line of armed struggle before this was the main form of combat drawn up by the national leadership of the PSP.
These three major political formations arose separately, but were united as the identity of their revolutionary objectives became more and more evident and as the awareness of the advantages that such unity brought to the struggle grew. They acted in a growing number of cities, carrying out political propaganda to promote the patriotic armed struggle. They carried out armed propaganda that included detonations with explosives, sabotage of production and services. They interrupted communications and transportatipm to harm the economic activity of the big businessmen who were unaware of the patriotic effort against the dictatorial regime. They collected resources through voluntary contributions of economic funds to supply the guerrilla fronts and urban combat activity, This was done taking care that the contributions were not contaminated with ill-gotten money. They collected taxes from entities located in areas that were being liberated and directly confronted the armed forces of the police and the army, among many other functions.
It was certainly an extremely dangerous activity for revolutionaries, and not only because of the brutal retaliation by the police forces against the tyranny that included barbaric torture of those we captured. In addition, this was also because of the risks involved in handling explosives.
The underground fighters had to mourn the deaths of some of their bravest and most determined comrades in arms or explosives handling accidents. But there were never, to my knowledge, cases of civilians (non-combatants) being killed or injured because of their own irresponsibility, thanks to their belief that it was a matter of principle to avoid actions too risky for non-combatants.
That is why it is advisable to be wary of information linking popular resistance movements anywhere in the world to terrorism. In each situation, it’s necessary to examine each case in the light of the motivations and objectives of its combatants, as well as the circumstances in which the struggle is waged.
Washington unabashedly approves of “friendly dictatorships” while applauding, promoting and financing terrorist actions by its allies and its own intelligence and counter-intelligence organizations. At the same time Washington presents itself as the leader of a war against terrorism that is increasingly rejected or distrusted by the people.
Terrorism could never be a method of revolutionary struggle because it is contrary to the interests and aspirations of the people and so could never be identified with a popular cause. That is why it is increasingly easy and possible to identify the difference between terrorism and the irregular methods of revolutionary struggle that oppressive regimes cynically try to equate. True revolutions must be characterized by the admiration of their own people for their humanism. That is why they are respected even by those they fight.
It should be a source of pride for Cubans and admiration for other peoples that, despite the fact that Cuba had suffered thousands of deaths as a result of acts of terrorism organized and financed from United States territory, the island’s authorities had never resorted to such despicable methods of defense or counterattack, even in the most extreme situations.
The fact is that terrorism, as a method of struggle, is typical of fanatics or criminals who seek their own good to the detriment of the common good, or of those ambitious for power and wealth who despise others. The torture of prisoners could never be the method of revolutionaries, who only deserve such a label if they are fighters for human welfare and dignity.
January 5, 2020
Originally published in two parts.
As part of the 29th edition of the Book Fair, Cuban writer Leonardo Padura’s Past Perfect and Winds of Lent were presented. Afterwards, Ediciones Unión will publish a second volume with Máscaras y Paisaje de otoño
Published: Friday 14 February 2020 | 12:36:15 pm.
By Dailene Dovale de la Cruz email@example.com
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
I woke up today with a book in my hands. I read it when I wake up, while I have breakfast, in the bathroom, before getting dressed, when I walk, inside the bus -sweaty and stress- in the Faculty… I lined it with an old magazine to take care of it among so many adventures. He’s my first literary love at this Book Fair.
It was Sunday, February 9, 2020. I had arrived at the entrance of Morro Cabaña. A friend of mine – curly hair, a skinny, ungainly body – greeted me. That day they were presenting Padura’s book, and I suddenly found a direction for my absent-minded steps.
The Alejo Carpentier room received passionate readers, who arrived hours before the meeting, sat down, lined up in a very long queue to buy the book, waited, got excited. Leonardo Padura presented the first two parts of Tetralogía de La Habana: Pasado Perfecto and Vientos de Cuaresma. Later, Ediciones Unión will publish a second volume with Masks and Autumn Landscape.
What is the Count up to, people ask him in the street. Your Mario Conde has transcended printed paper and is no longer yours, or perhaps he never was at all. For Francisco López Sacha this is the Cuban character of the 20th century, just as Cecilia Valdés was in the 19th century.
Leonardo Padura looked confident, proud of his work and of Conde in particular. The afternoon passed peacefully. And the space, small and warm, was full but in total silence. They listened.
Padura spoke of his need to narrate so as not to go crazy in the early 1990s and how his favorite reader is the Cuban public, the one he thinks about while writing in his native Mantilla.
After the immense queue, of passing and paying – “one book per person”-, of receiving with emotion the dedication, the individual is left in front of the work. Why do so many people follow and adore Mario Conde and Padura? That could be the first classic question.
Padura’s novels burst onto the literary scene, to change some fixed judgments especially regarding the crime novel. They are very Cuban novels, in the author’s own words, without imitating some somewhat predictable patterns that characterized part of the detective novel published in the country during the 1970s (with its exceptions).
See here this Timeline (Scroll down for slide show)
In Past Perfect, for example, the “hero” accumulates defects, vices, incurs a compartment that we could call immoral or that borders on such classification. Nevertheless, it is he who gets up to work – even after a drunken, haggard and exhausted bout. It is he who feels and loves his city, with all its defects… On the obverse side, there are the unpolluted, perfect and false. On them, after the typical characterization (an impeccable man), little dirty rags begin to fall (which in the end are a whole dump).
These novels are social criticism, still valid and necessary. The kind of book that catches you on a Sunday afternoon, and accompanies you during your breakfast/lunchtime meals, when you wake up or after you go to sleep. All that remains is to invite you to let yourself be caught. Conde, a little bit disheveled, will teach you the well-known phrase about deceptive appearances and will make you reflect a little bit on Cuba, Havana and how each one assumes and builds life, in the middle of their circumstances.
By Julio Martínez Molina
February 8, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
Three very recent films on the international scene, two of them exceptional and one of less artistic importance, are interconnected by both the sensitivity and the tenderness with which they have focused the love between two women. Their stories among the most beautiful provided by this thematic plot in the history of the screen. And to affirm it on a slope that has illuminated masterpieces like Carol and wonders like Disobedience is no small thing.
There are certain gay films with male characters who emulate rabbits in their animalistic urge to fornicate at all times, in any space, with anyone, through the vicissitudes of many bodily fluids and little love. On the other hand, these three stories of lesbian romance stand out in contrast, by celebrating the union of a couple with the understanding of an absolute physical and mental communion, one that dispenses with third parties. Then there’s the finding in the person loved the supreme enjoyment in the physical and spiritual, the acceptance of the other with all its burden of differences, their respect as a human being. This does not imply the overflow of eroticism and passion inherent in every bond that also possesses flesh and desire, manifested in the plots of these three filmic pieces bordered by intense sexual passages.
The first two are the Spanish Elisa and Marcela (Isabel Coixet, 2019) and the French Portrait of a Woman on Fire (Céline Sciamma, 2019); the other is the English The Secret of the Bees (Annabel Jankel, 2018). All of them have been directed by women and perhaps that is where the depth of the formation of the six central characters and their human richness lies; fundamentally the complicity in the approach to their sentimental and moral universes.
Co-written and directed by the Catalan Coixet, Elisa and Marcela, is based on true events that took place in primitive Spain, the first homosexual marriage in the history of that country. It occurred in 1901 by two Galician girls, albeit under the premise of a lie: one of them disguised herself as a man. Although it is still valid today, as they could never undo it, in the absence or flight of their spouses.
Teachers Elisa (Natalia de Molina, in another of the notable compositions of a career in ascent) and Marcela (Greta Fernández, the revelation actress of the moment in the Spanish Peninsula) fight at arm’s length to maintain their relationship in a patriarchal scene of ecclesiastical omnipotence. It is still far from being prepared in the psychological and cultural orders to metabolize such a bond. Misunderstood, rejected and ridiculed, the two young women must leave three countries on two continents in order to continue to be together.
The kernel of the story has to be peeled off in the lyricism by which Coixet approaches a love story. It’s shaped, seen and told from the presupposition of that incomparable beauty arising from loving and honoring being the object of veneration and desire. The intimate scenes of the two central characters are carefully beautiful, and they testify to their mime, to the carnality and spirituality of their passion, to the joint desire to please and love each other; in spite of the hatred and ignorance that hangs over both of them. De Molina and Fernandez, especially the first one, were great.
The visual splendor of black and white photography, great in several shots of interiors, enhances the film.
Portrait of a Woman on Fire, is sensory as the three previous works of its director, garments the model gradualness through which Sciamma works the romantic attraction of its protagonists. In the first hour of the film, which is calm in its progression and full of details, references and subtleties (those furtive or frontal glances of Héloïse, the lady to be painted, towards Marianne, the painter!
The two are also in conflict with each other. It was 1770 and the beautiful young bourgeois Héloïse had to be painted, in order to send the canvas to the rich Milanese man who was to marry her. Marianne represents, there is no other, given the time and the conventions, an episode that – although probably the most important thing in her life and never forgotten by her – has to be closed within itself once the lady travels to Italy with her husband.
Noémi Merlant (Marianne) and Adèle Haenel (Héloïse) compose two memorable characterizations. This is decisive in the sense of capturing their characters’ attempt to curb an instantaneous drive and the vehemence with which they accept it and give themselves over to the love affair after realizing how futile the commitment is. The stylization of Portrait of a Woman on Fire is largely due to the observation of the bodies and the close-ups. It’s pure filmic visual poetry that dialogues and transmutes with the pictorial space of the story. Thanks to the mailbox of Claire Mathom, the director of photography.
Despite being weighed down by dramatic and visually mellifluous decisions in the resolution, as well as appeals to misplaced magical realism and less nuance, The Secret of the Bees is also another tender female story. It is the 1950s in a rural Scotland that does not forgive the “lesbian” Dr. Jean (Anna Paquin, in a work of introversion unaccustomed to the actress in recent times), much less its clandestine union with the young worker Lydia (Holliday Grainger). The relationship between the two, despite their desire for anonymity, will be revealed in the air of a closed atmosphere of intolerance.
In director Jankel’s eyes, this love is marked by tenderness. Although the observation of the two women’s intimate space never reaches the degree of visual sophistication of the films of La Coixet and La Sciamma, such scenes are also very beautiful. Perhaps they are less stylized, but not all of them need to be assumed in such a way.
Author: Leslie Díaz Monserrat | firstname.lastname@example.org
February 9, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Sometimes life is heavy. Problems sit on your shoulders, like a burden trying to sink you. In those moments, some hang up their hopes, sit in a corner of their own life and cover their face with their hands.
They don’t know it, but right then and there they have lost, because there is no sadder defeat than the one that comes after you stop fighting.
That’s why I admire the women in my family so much. I admire my mother and her integrity, that ability to stand up after losses, after the deepest pain, after so many things.
That is why I am proud of my country. This is because we have in our blood the lineage of men and women who never saw an option in the word surrender. Men and women who continue to fight, even when everyday life becomes complex.
I admire people who do not lie in bed and watch their problems devour them. I admire people who are scared out of their wits every day when they wake up.
In the end, that’s what life is all about, imposing oneself, drawing paths, not letting time go by without doing at least one good deed.
Life has the taste of the kisses you give, the warmth of the hugs, the color of the people who love you.
Life is built on the footprints you leave on others every time you help them.
Life is not about piling up things, awards, titles. There is an infinite pleasure in seasoning nostalgia with irreplaceable memories.
Life rewards those beings who do not bend to boredom, those who every morning inject themselves with high doses of energy and go out into the street and open the door of their car to those who wait at the bus stop, and give a medicine to those who need it and share a cup of coffee even with a stranger.
With these people, you can build a country, a family. These are the indispensable, necessary beings, those who never give up.
By Leyla M. Mancebo Bada, journalism student
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Isabel and Pedro have been dating for almost a year and say they are very much in love. They both showed up at a party, liked each other and then gradually got to know each other better. However, they do not have the traditional relationship of a couple, they “according to the current times and new trends of love”, as they defined it, they have an open relationship.
Yes, open. It is a relationship in which both can meet other people and its members have the freedom to have sexual or affective relationships with third parties, this without including their partner in them and respecting that the greatest source of affection and commitment is maintained in the closed bond of the couple.
They tell us that they are satisfied with their relationship, “there are no complaints, sometimes a little jealousy appears but it soon passes, and the best thing is the freedom to enjoy and live – in a safe and clear way – our spaces, they add. None of this means that there are less moments that we share together as a couple, on the contrary, explains Isabel.
And it is as the Spanish therapist Antonio Bolinches says, in an open relationship, both members agree that they can have other short or lasting relationships. But it is the primary couple that structures their affective life, and where love resides with a capital letter.
“Today there are many open couples,” explains Pedro. We young people experience a lot, and that lack of commitment is more interesting, it gives you more assurance that you won’t be hurt. Who knows, and one day we will no longer want to follow this trend and we will become official in the most traditional way, but in the meantime, we feel good about it”.[To expand on the topic, listen to the Podcast: Open Couples, Does Love Die?], where JR’s radio show More Than Paper addressed the phenomenon. JR PODCAST: http://www.juventudrebelde.cu/cuba/2017-02-13/jr-podcast-parejas-abiertas-muere-el-amor
This is just one of the many examples of love and relationships that are practiced today. With the great social opening to the free development of sexuality, it is normal that new definitions and ways of exploring human identity and personality exist.
Likewise, with the arrival of iconic dates such as February 14, known as Valentine’s Day or Valentine’s Day, a whole horde of references to love in its maximum expression is unleashed in society. And I wonder if in the post-modern era we can assume that love is only a matter of two?
Both the officialisation of the LGBTIQ+ community and the emergence of new consensual forms of stable relationships have given way to terms such as polyamory or open relationship. Where monogamous canons are abandoned in order to live love fully, according to the affective needs of each individual.
Another very fashionable practice in these times are swinging couples, in which the members of two couples exchange their members for a defined and pre-established time. About this, Mileyda Menéndez Dávila, editor of the Sex Sense section of this newspaper, explains that these are not irresponsible orgies or tasteless youthful discargas (which also proliferate, sadly).
“In addition to the swinging encounters, there are mostly adults with happy marriages, people willing to oxygenate their erotic life without the disparate hypocrisy of infidelity or the renunciation of love cultivated in harmonious coexistence.
“There is a whole code of good conduct in these groups, which includes everything from protection against pregnancy and STIs to the essential reserve in terms of handling private information. One of their passwords is usually inscribed in large letters in the usual meeting places: NO is NO, to make it clear that individual freedom is inviolable in any circumstance” he says.
There are also polyamorous relationships. As the word indicates, it literally refers to many loves and is conditioned by the scientific fact that monogamy is not a question of genetics or inherent in the human condition, but is the product of the historical and social evolution of interpersonal relationships.
In practice, polyamorous relationships are those in which their members have a consensual right to maintain more than one love relationship, and in many cases their members share lifestyles, homes and even assume collectively the raising of children. One of the characteristics of these relationships is the commitment of all parties involved.
Photo: Taken from the Internet
For some, choosing someone exclusively, among so many, to lead an ordinary life is contradictory, because sexual and emotional interest occurs naturally towards more than one person. There are those who say that the main obstacle to enjoying this type of relationship is jealousy, but control of it is a question of acceptance and self-esteem.
All these terms, practices, modernities, or whatever they are called, show us that each individual lives in his own way and has the right to his intellectual and emotional growth, but the openness of the ways of thinking and feeling, helps to achieve empathy with our fellow beings, even when we do not share their practices.
When it comes to love, anything that enriches us without harming others is valid. If loving a person is beautiful and pleasant, and if we also agree to do it in a safe way, then between you and me, there can be one more.
And do young people today still fall in love?
21st Century Couples
By Liudmila Peña Herrera
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The dark room lights up with every jump of the stage on the big screen. When that happens, even from the back chairs, you can guess the romance. She, with her rebellious curly hair; he, too, with a cascade of hair that spreads across his back.
She whispers something in his ear; he nods without moving his eyes from the big screen. There is a sui generis complicity between these two lovers who whisper so much in their seats. They seem to talk more than they see. They roll the credits, turn on the light and there she is, squeezing her left hand and avoiding him to stumble in the crowd that comes out of the Santiago de Cuba cinema.
Her name is Irela Casañas Hijuelos, she studies Sociology and is not disabled. He is Hugo González Diéguez, future psychologist, and blind due to retinitis pigmentosa as a child. They are holguineros and live the hard 90’s at the Universidad de Oriente. When they can, they escape to the cinema or to a concert at the Sala Dolores.
“At that time Almodóvar’s films were released and she always described them to me.” Hugo speaks as if he were recalling passages from a life he is grateful for. Twenty-two years have passed, his hair is no longer long, but he does not forget Irela’s words in his ear: “They were those other eyes that are needed to enjoy a good work of art”.
When they met, Irela was starting her first year and Hugo was in third. They shared a taste for rock and literature, had common friends and met in the Peña de los Raros.
“The first qualities that attracted me to him were the freshness of his character, his positivity, his spirit,so warlike, but at the same time so ethical, generous, that he faced life with a lot of peace and courage. That’s why I began to admire him and the friendship began to turn into love. Without any kind of prejudice, he did not limit himself to telling me that he loved me. I didn’t limit myself either and let that be born.
He listens to her every word with patience, and assures us that he fell in love with “her sensitivity, her intelligence, her joy, and also her naturalness, her desire for knowledge and life experiences. He could not see her, and yet he saw her.
It wasn’t love at first sight. Logically. Hugo had never even touched her to know what she looked like, but her voice and her personality bewitched him.
“Saint-Exupéry said that the essential is invisible to the eyes; that one can only see well with the heart. For me, above all, love is sympathy, a connection between two souls who find points in common. I liked her voice very much because it was pleasant and feminine, without resorting to subterfuge to please. And it is scientifically proven that smell is very important in attraction. That, and our affinities, were fundamental”.
Irela says no, that she was never afraid, that “it is society, with its hostile views and labels, that tells you, ‘Look, there is fear. You have to know it.” But I wasn’t afraid to let the relationship flow. It was something so natural, so beautiful, that we didn’t question anything and started to grow together, to enjoy each other.
Hugo, on the other hand, was afraid. But his was not the fear of others, of the questioning of others. He was afraid of the possibility of rejection. “When you care for someone very much, as I did for her, that’s what happens. It was very important that she accepted me and felt for me what I was feeling for her.
Irela was always a determined young woman, free as her curls, and judicious, confident. She cared about the acceptance of her own – who wouldn’t? – but that was not what would define the future of her relationship with Hugo.
“There was a little fear in my family, but when they realized that our relationship was very serious, that I was not going to give up, they began to accept my decision. Besides, with Hugo’s character, his authenticity and his noble and positive spirit, it is impossible not to admire him.
And they admired him. Or better yet, they admire him. Hugo is as grateful as he acknowledges his parents for never having been an obstacle: “I was always independent. They saw that step of mine as another sign of my way of being, and they supported me”.
At home, Irela reads you the subtitled films, and describes the visual works when they go to an exhibition. They almost always hang out together, except when she goes to La Mezquita publishing house, where she works, and he enters her office as a clinical psychologist at the Pediatric Hospital.
But what unites them most – besides love – are words. They both write. Their passion for literature is another bond, another link, and it has helped them to drive each other forward.
“I dedicated my first book to Hugo; although I read since I was a child, he helped me rediscover literature and start writing”.
Irela has published two books of poetry and one of essays. Some time ago she was a literary editor at Ediciones La Luz, and her professional experience has been vital to him as well: “Because of her work, she is an implacable critic of my texts when she has to be”.
Hugo published a book of poetry and has another one in the process of being edited. He says that Irela does not praise without reason. He knows her and she inspires him: “She is my fiercest critic and, at the same time, my best muse”.
“Many people have asked me, ‘Are you two brothers? They do not understand how it is possible that, with my disability, I have such a beautiful and intelligent woman. They also ask me if she is blind or visually impaired; but there is no doubt that, in the eyes of society, she is more exposed because she is a woman and because she does not have the disability.
Hugo’s reflection is sharp. For Irela, it certainly seems to have been more difficult: “I have suffered harassment from unknown men who have seen me with him and said unpleasant things to me. But what struck me most, at the beginning of my return to Holguín, was that some people, supposedly very liberal because of their cultural work, said indirect phrases to me that denoted prejudice; although it is important to clarify that we have always received many more signs of friendship than of prejudice”.
“We try to make everyday life not just mean staying alive, but that life is beautiful, diverse. Thanks to the support of his family, we have our own house, in which we share the housework. He, for example, likes coffee because it gives him the exact amount of sugar that we both like. I sometimes go a little overboard,” Irela accepts and laughs happily.
Hugo laughs too. And both confess that they try to read, enjoy an audio-commented film, and be surrounded by friends… but together, always together, without untimely jealousy, because “they show little confidence in themselves. We are not jealous and that security protects us. For me it’s not a problem that she can watch and that I don’t notice. I know what I am worth and how important I am to her.
They walk the Holguin streets talking, laughing, waving… They go hand in hand looking for the shadow, if there is one. They transmit serenity, and also something unusual, difficult to translate with words, which perhaps has to do with their way of understanding life.
“We enrich the routine: I practice yoga and he does the Tibetan rites. Besides literature, he loves football: he’s a Real Madrid fan,” she says, and Hugo adds other ingredients to a love recipe they have been perfecting for more than two decades:
“Irela and I have built a couple without secrets. There is trust, respect and complicity. She’s not just my wife: she’s my partner, my accomplice. We love each other, but we are also friends.
And the confession brings them back to that Santiago cinema of his youth, where she narrated the film to him in a low voice while he felt that love spoke to his ear.