Q&A: eye candy

Dudes, why did I not try upping my calcium for the clumsy PMS? I know calcium helps if a nursing mom's milk supply drops right before getting her period, so it's worth a try. And thanks to all the other people who admitted to the clumsy thing! I thought it was just my mom and me…

Today's question is from a male friend of mine. He asked me this verbally, so I'm paraphrasing:

How do your readers feel about the who eye candy issue? Specifically, my wife has started exercising to a DVD every night after the kids are in bed, and I'm totally supportive of her feeling good about her health. But the guy in the DVD is very attractive, and I don't know if I should be bothered by that or not. In general, what do we think the borderline is between appreciating a good aesthetic, and inappropriateness?

He was posing the question to me as a philosophical issue, and I don't think he thinks his wife's DVD boyfriend is a problem at all. I don't think so, either, as I know enough about their marriage to know that sometimes a downward dog is just a downward dog.

But I do think it's an interesting question. Where do you cross the line from "Jason from The Bachelor has abs I'd lick Nutella from" to sending naked photos of yourself to members of Maroon 5 and going on online forums to pretend you know them?

I'd argue that it's really all about your emotional health and the health of your primary relationship. If your relationship is good, then things won't go too far. But if focusing on this other person (whether real or famous or a fictional character) is a way of hiding or blocking yourself off from your primary relationship, then it's bad. No matter if it's actual porn or watching too many episodes of "Good Eats."

There are all kinds of ways to escape if your primary relationship is bad. Too much time reading or writing blogs, reality TV, cross-stitching, drinking wine, exercising, pouring all your energies into your kids so you're SuperMom–all these things can let you escape from something that's going off the rails. But if everything's fine, then things probably won't get out of balance.

Opinions? Anecdotes? Favorite eye candy?

86 thoughts on “Q&A: eye candy”

  1. 1. “Too much time reading or writing blogs”? Moxie. What are you trying to tell me?2. “sanjay gupta would be our hottest surgeon general ever” (from the tag)? While true, you have to admit there’s not a lot of competition in that realm.
    3. I often tease my husband because he enjoys all kinds of eye candy in the morning before work. His favorites? (Yes, I know which ones they are.) Heather Tesh of the Weather Channel, especially in a sweater, and Robin Meade of Headline News. When I was feeling insecure about our marriage, post baby #1, I felt threatened by the morning eye candy, but now I don’t. One of the things that helped was figuratively standing next to him and seeing it from his perspective. They *are* beautiful women, and yeah, I rather enjoy looking at them while Heather tells me about the dip in the jet stream and Robin calls me “Sunshine” as she’s coming back from commercial.
    It also helps that he and I talk about who’s attractive on tv all the time. That seems to take the danger out of the dance between eye candy and symptom of a larger problem by making our thoughts available to the other person.

  2. The DVD isn’t Gaiam’s “Rodney Yee and His Enormous Package,” as friends of mine used to call it, is it? Though personally Rodney Yee creeps me out.

  3. Shannon: I remember Patrick Dempsey from “Can’t Buy Me Love” (bad ’80s teen rom-com) and every time I see his (now) handsome mug on a cover of a magazine, I can hardly believe he was that nebbishy, awkward teenage boy.But oh, that Daniel Craig…

  4. Someone once told me “just because I’m satisfied with my dinner doesn’t mean I don’t want to take a look at the dessert cart”, another has said she’d never join an all-female gym because seeing the “man meat” at her gym was her main motivation for working out. I think both are so right – a healthy fantasy life is part of a healthy relationship. Underline the fantasy part. Wanting to act on those urges, I think, signals an underlying dissatisfaction with your relationship.Also, I snorted my Diet Coke through my nose at your mention of “Good Eats” because my husband teases me about my crush on Alton Brown. And now there are the lusty dreams I have after Michael Symon is on Iron Chef….let’s not even talk about the times I see him at his restaurant in my city – the man is HOT!

  5. Hmmm…my husband and I joke about this pretty frequently. He’ll claim the only reason I’ll sit through Action Movie Of The Day is to check out the male lead. I like to accuse him of oggling random female passers by. The point is, it is all in good fun. Nobody’s feelings get hurt. Both my husband and I feel pretty relaxed about the whole eye candy issue generally- I certainly could care less if he finds some lady on TV attractive. Actually, I sort of expect him to.

  6. I think it’s an amusingly sexist question. After all, our American media landscape is littered with images of women whose bodies are widely considered to be both hot and unattainable by normal standards. I’m sure this husband sees these ALL THE TIME; why shouldn’t his wife also get to look at hot and unattainable men?Here’s another thing that’s come up in this house–the men in the media my husband is pretend-worried about me ogling are not the most physically attractive specimens–it’s the ones who are competent at useful skills. So we’ve joked that Handy Andy from BBC’s “Changing Rooms” was really the competition. And let’s face it–in real life (not fantasy), you’d want someone who was more than nice to look at. Preening and moisturizing and working out are not skills that get dinner on the table for most people.

  7. Uhh, Clive Owen is totally hot. Also the actor that plays Luca Kovac in ER. Those two get my blood boiling. I know my hubby has his favourties also and I’m not at all bothered by it. Does having a regular squeeze exempt you from finding others attractive?My mum has always admitted to being in lust with Roger Moore who played Simon Templer back in the 60’s when she was pregnant with my brother, who actully scored the name (not Roger). I can’t imagine ever calling any child of mine Owen though (hope I don’t offend any mothers of Owens out there in Moxie land)

  8. David Rintoul as Darcy.And shouldn’t looking be OK? As long as no one enters a trance while doing so?
    I dunno, maybe the trance is OK too.

  9. My husband and I attend a church in South Beach, and a huge portion of our membership is made up of professional models.We’re constantly faced with all kinds of “eye candy” and it’s not really a big deal.
    I think you hit it right on the head, if your in a healthy relationship, keep your appropriate boundries with people, attractive people shouldn’t be a problem.
    A workout dvd seems like no big deal.

  10. I regularly remind my husband that I’m going to leave him for Jack White from the White Stripes. Either him or Viggo Mortensen. He usually just says, “mmm hmm” and ignores it. We also share our sex dreams with each other, even if they involved people other than each other. We find it kind of hot. Although, I almost KILLED him when he woke me up from a sex dream involving Jonny Lee Miller. I got all pissed and told him, “You just COCK BLOCKED me and JLM! You jerk!” LOL. It also helps that I’m bisexual, so we will often ogle women together.We evidently have few jealousy issues.

  11. “How do your readers feel about the who eye candy issue? “Weee–eeel, I really prefer Christopher Eccleston, tho he’s not strictly handsome, but you gotta dig the ears, anyway, and he’s pretty cool when he’s running, which is most of the time, and devastating when he’s smiling which is rare but choice.
    Tennant is more good-looking, but acts to goofy to drool over.
    The New Doctor (Matt Smith) is very interesting looking but wayyy crosses the line on too young to drool over.
    I’m not familiar with the older ones, Tom Baker, et. al.
    Did I misunderstand the question???? 😉
    FWIW, I think fantasy is fine, good even, and I don’t mind the thought of spouse engaging in it nor chide myself for it. After 31 years together, I’m still not “crush proof,” but the key is, would nevah evah act on it.

  12. If some woman from a workout tape or equivalent real life individual at the gym were enough to get my husband exercising 2-3x a week (once! I’ll take once a week!) to start chipping away at his high blood pressure and depression, I’d be really in favor. A little pride and preening would be great.

  13. My husband always gets sex the nights Jeffrey Donovan is on TV in Burn Notice. He has yet to complain about eye candy. Hee.

  14. cross-stitch? argh! i took this up a few months ago and find it maddeningly addictive sad to say…never thought it could enter the realm of ‘distraction’ like that…better watch how many little x’s i cross!

  15. My husband and I are totally open about it. I fully accept that I am not the most beautiful, sexy woman in the world so it doesn’t bother me if he checks out other women. I might be more insecure about it if I thought he was with me because of my looks because then, presumably, he would prefer to be with someone better looking, but I know that’s not the case.We’ve even adopted the Friends Freebie Five list. (i.e. we each have a list of five celebrity crushes that we have a free pass to hook-up with – if the opportunity should ever arise). We regularly update each other about who is on the list. It’s my bad luck that he’s actually met two of the people on his list. It’s my good luck that both were terribly disappointing in real life 🙂
    @effective nancy, the “usefulness” thing works both ways. My husband crushes on Nigella Lawson (the British cook) but I’m pretty sure it’s 95% because her cooking looks so fantastic and I am completely useless in the kitchen.

  16. Nigel Barker, hands down. No nutella required, I’ll just lick him. Hubby’s all about Kate Beckinsale. Doesn’t really bother me. He also likes Andrea Jackson from the Daily Buzz…to the point he got an autographed photo via the website. I thought that was a little bit much, but…still. Not enough to really worry me. There’s a big difference between hot famous people and someone you’d actually speak to in real life.

  17. All I have to say is I would TOTALLY take home the Take Home Chef.Like others have said, as long as your relationship is healthy, eye candy isn’t bad, and could even be good.
    @Effective Nancy: The Take Home Chef could take over cooking duties! Useful AND hot, I’m digging that.

  18. If you are not hiding anything from your partner, continue to communicate, and both of YOU feel comfortable, then all is good.We personally encourage each other to have crushes… it makes monogamy more interesting, gives us new motivation to preen ourselves, and we talk about it.
    Last night we were watching Stargate Atlantis (I enjoy this mostly for the eye candy) and John Shepard looked pretty hot in some roughed up denim, a dress shirt untucked, and a jacket. That look is so hot.
    We got the wiiFit and you can pick your trainer… I picked male and was going ON and ON about his suggestive comments to my husband…. sometimes a downward dog is just that much nicer 🙂

  19. I’m going to second Daniel Craig. And I think it helps to have a completely unattainable person to fantasize about when DH is being somewhat less than dear. If it were someone from the office, that would be another story. (someday DH will notice that our DVD of Casino Royale — the only DVD I’ve ever purchased — has grooves worn in it from the finger sucking and the emerging from the ocean scenes, but he hasn’t noticed yet)

  20. @ML- you took the comment right out of my mouth re: P Dempsey… every time I see him on a ‘top hotties’ list I have to laugh because I can’t get the dorky image out of my head.@Andrea- TOTALLY Viggo Mortensen. Also, I will watch Christian Bale in Batman as many times as my husband and son want to.
    Does anyone remember that episode of Friends where Ross and Rachael their lists of five famous people they get ‘free passes’ for if they should ever have the chance? DH and I are always joking about our ‘top five lists’, and yes, I agree with Andrea that sharing these fantasies can be hot. My personal top five: Viggo and Christian, of course; Gerard Butler, Antonio Banderas, and Johnny Depp, who I’ve oogled ever since 21 Jump Street.
    I think how confident you are, how secure with your own appearance you are, will have a lot to do with determining how much you are bothered by your partner’s oogling of eye candy. This is a lot easier for me to say now, since I dropped 40 lbs. last year, and now feel way better about my supermodel competition. If you know your spouse may be sensitive to your oogling due to their own insecurities, you should be sensitive to that. I think the line should be drawn when you are doing anything you wouldn’t want your spouse to find out about, unless it’s something like hiding his xmas present or something.

  21. I don’t see any issue with lusting after the Delicious DVD Dude at all. However, I will say that each relationship has to set its own boundaries, and if he really is uncomfortable with it, then that’s a valid point to bring up to his wife. I don’t see a lot of difference between this and porn for example, which is another thing that people are very divided about, but ultimately, I think, just has be navigated by the individuals in the relationship.

  22. “As long as no one enters a trance while doing so?I dunno, maybe the trance is OK too.”
    Nah, trances are bad. I have an ex who would become rapidly entranced by an attractive woman on tv or walking down the street or even in a picture. His excuse was that he was “visually driven.” What it really came down to was that he was always looking for the next thing to come along.
    As long as it’s more of an “eh, he/she is attractive, but hey, it’s just a bit of eye candy,” it’s okay but as soon as it goes into “huh, yeah, um, wow” territory, you’re in trouble.

  23. “As long as no one enters a trance while doing so?I dunno, maybe the trance is OK too.”
    Nah, trances are bad. I have an ex who would become rapidly entranced by an attractive woman on tv or walking down the street or even in a picture. His excuse was that he was “visually driven.” What it really came down to was that he was always looking for the next thing to come along.
    As long as it’s more of an “eh, he/she is attractive, but hey, it’s just a bit of eye candy,” it’s okay but as soon as it goes into “huh, yeah, um, wow” territory, you’re in trouble.

  24. “As long as no one enters a trance while doing so?I dunno, maybe the trance is OK too.”
    Nah, trances are bad. I have an ex who would become rapidly entranced by an attractive woman on tv or walking down the street or even in a picture. His excuse was that he was “visually driven.” What it really came down to was that he was always looking for the next thing to come along.
    As long as it’s more of an “eh, he/she is attractive, but hey, it’s just a bit of eye candy,” it’s okay but as soon as it goes into “huh, yeah, um, wow” territory, you’re in trouble.

  25. my favorite version of this – ep admitting that he was oogling this hot chick in boots walking past our house (we’re in a college town, between dorms and classes, much young eye candy passes by), and then realized that it was me. I was out checking on the garden.We tend to compare notes, on the passersby eye candy thing. I think we’re fine. It’s the stuff that is hidden, not open, that for me is a risk scenario. If I hid my yoga tapes (like I have any – mine are all bellydance) that’d be a sign I was feeling guilty about the issue, and that’s a sign of problems. No guilt, open communication, a little sharing of opinions, all part of flirting with one’s spouse, IMHO.

  26. “…watching too many episodes of Good Eats.” Bawhahahaha! Better watch DH. I think he has a man-crush on Alton.Totally agree with your assessment Moxie. And also agree with the note by one poster that if it’s out in the open (i.e. you joke about it / discuss it), and the conversation is comfortable, chances are things are on the up and up.
    Other than Alton, Laura Calder from French Food at Home (cooking show here in Canada), Amanda Plummer and Cate Blanchett do it for DH (he’s got some weird fascination with kooky women (except for CB)…which, yeah, I don’t want to know how that relates to me).
    For me, hands down, it’s Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Brooding, sideburn-wielding, manly, begrudging superhero…what more could a girl want?!

  27. I TOTALLY agree with Hedra. Its the crushes that are hidden that are dangerous.I’ve been with my DH for 13+ years. I’ve had plenty of crushes that I’ve gladly shared with him, and vice versa. But once, about five years ago, I developed a crush on a co-worker. It was a big crush, red flags all over it. There were several weeks of flirtation. I started to feel really guitly because this was serious flirting, not just harmelss flirting. So I bucked up and told my husband about it. “Honey, the new guy in the mail room is SO cute! I think I have a new crush.” And luckily for me, that was it. The crush sort of dissolved. Plus I was smart and stopped going into the mail room.

  28. Forget eye candy, what about ear candy? My husband acts more pretend jealous because I absolutely love listening to two of the hosts from NPRs Marketplace programs than he ever has about me liking particular tv or movie stars. It cracks me up, because to me, listening to a pleasant voice on the raido is just relaxing (and informative!), nothing remotely sexual about it. But he’ll tease me about turning up the radio to hear my “boyfriend” all the time. Then again, I’ve also had him accuse me of having an affair with a book I was reading when I was more interested in finishing the story than interacting with him, so maybe it’s an attention issue.

  29. Both my DH and I truly appreciate beauty, in all its forms. I admire beautiful women as much as beautiful men. I think Hedra hit it on the head when she said it’s the openness (or lack there of) that’s the issue. I dated someone who ogled when he thought my back was turned, and that’s a *completely* different feeling.I may not be as beautiful as some women out there, but I know that I’m the best person for my DH, and that I know how to make him laugh like no one else. And vice versa. So we have no problem with noticing others.
    If I were the person who asked the original question, I’d be much more concerned if my spouse became very close to someone he/she came into contact with on a daily basis. No one has an affair with the dude on the yoga tape.
    P.S. Patrick Dempsey is soo not hot to me. I can only ever picture him riding that lawnmower with that ridiculous hair. But Viggo, yes, Hugh Jackman, yummy.

  30. @anonforthis-Jeffrey Donovan=Yummy!! He is at the top of my list right now along with Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies and Nathan Fillion. I sort of dig the dorky vibe too! 🙂 My hubby is totally into Allison Hannigan, Jenna Elfman and Drew Barrymore.Doesn’t bother either one of us-totally harmless.

  31. @Chris – Steven Page and Ed and I hung out once upon a time; one of my few claims to fame. 🙂 Never got to kiss either of them for real though.For the larger question I’m not into limiting anyone’s inner life and neither is my husband, but I also have to admit that our relationship has its unusual aspects in that regard, so no clue what ‘normal’ looks like. As long as both parties agree, hey. 🙂

  32. really? this what this discussion forum has come down to? I am really kind of embarrassed now that i send new moms to his site.

  33. @mhati – Amen! I’m hoping that this is a total anomaly. I’ve been pretty disappointed with the last few threads, especially when I recently sent in a desperate plea for help and it has gone unanswered. I assume that all the mothers out there have not all by some miracle of the heavens found themselves without one. single. maternal. concern. and there are more important topics that need to be addressed. This is the kind of stuff I talk about with my neighbor because she’s 25 and has no kids. Not really what I’m looking for on my personal savior of a forum.That being said, I can’t help myself – my DH loves telling people that I have a crush on Brian Williams from The Nightly News. Not a want-to-rip-you-apart kind of crush, but more like a want to sit across from the dinner table with you and admire your perfection kind of crush.
    But I’m still upset that this is what we’re talking about! There are so many more important things!!!

  34. Hmm. We have a male friend who openly ogles women in front of his wife, and I think it shows disrespect. All of us are smart enough to tell when it’s okay and when it isn’t.

  35. Why isn’t talking about what is healthy in an intimate relationship worthwhile? I love that these chats get intermingled with the parenting stuff.George Clooney also gets my vote.

  36. @Jac – DH and I have a similar list! I agree with hedra — it’s the unspoken secrets that do the most harm to a relationship. Fantasy with good boundaries can be a wonderful thing! I’m thinking of course of Vampire Bill Compton from “True Blood.”@mhati – It seems painfully obvious… but perhaps this site is no longer a good fit for you? So now that you finally see how it is, you have a choice to either accept the status quo or move on.
    @nej – Do tell what your urgent issue is. Some folks call that a thread hijack. And yes, we’re aware that there are always “more important things” to discuss — always have been, always will be — but today’s post is a prefect reminder that a healthy life is all about balance. 😉

  37. IMO it’s like asking any one of the above mentioned hotty chefs to make you a grilled cheese sandwhich…a waste of resources.

  38. I didn’t want to be “that” girl – the thread hijacker, but here it goes…I want to know how other mothers reconcile their need for safety and whatnot with the way their husbands parent. I keep my mouth shut and am thankful that my husband is one of the “good” ones, but at the same time, when he’s wrastling our 17 month old and it seems dangerous to me or when I look at the clock and it is well past bedtime and I can still hear them upstairs, or when I come home and the first thing out of my DH’s mouth are “Everything’s ok but…” (this was when Muppet rolled down a flight of concrete metal-edged stairs) or when his idea of watching him on a Sunday is taking him to the Steeler’s bar and letting him throw things because it “kept him busy”…well, you get the point.
    How do other mothers balance their parenting style with their husband’s parenting style without micromanaging or “ruining” it for dad. Is it worth the undoing? For example, it took weeks to get Muppet to stop throwing everything he could get his hands on. Is it worth the good time he had at the bar with his dad and the Coors Light girls (a different topic altogether…eye roll.) Is it worth the bruises, cuts, scrapes and potential concussions to let boys be boys and to let dad feel like he’s an equal?
    Also, I’m curious to see the disparity between the fathers of daughters and the fathers of sons.

  39. The “borderline between [appreciation]… and inappropriateness”, as the post asks, is when you turn another person into a sex object without their explicit (and in-person) consent. The drooling, whether from women or men (when it jumps from “so-and-so is pretty cute” to “omfg I would so hit that”) is obnoxious because of that borderline.

  40. My husband and I both LOVE Law and Order SVU. He loves Mariska Hargitay, I looooooooooove Chris Meloni. It’s a win-win situation. :)For what it’s worth, I find topics like this refreshing. It provides what so many of us moms so desperately need: A break for ourselves to think about something other than breastfeeding woes or dirty diapers!

  41. It’s overcast and cloudy, with slight rain and a cold front moving in here. A perfect day to curl up on the couch with a good book or watch a movie by yourself that no one else in the family would want to watch with you. I can’t remember the last time I had an afternoon like that. But I’m at home today. I was let go from my job yesterday. So in between answering ads and emailing my resume around, I’m reading blogs and today on Ask Moxie it was a fluff topic. There are really serious topics of conversation available for discussion everyday and some days it’s fun to avoid them altogether. Not everybody is always on the same schedule though, so a laid back day for one might be a really intense – need to connect on a deeper level for someone else.NEJ- share your question. someone here is likely to have gone through or is going through the same thing and would gladly offer advice, support or sympathy even off-topic.

  42. Sexuality is part of parenting – both modeling it for our children, as well as that generally speaking that’s how we become parents in the first place (there are of course exceptions – adoption being one of them). Besides, this is timely for me!I recently found out that a college friend whom I have possessed lustful feelings for for pretty much the whole of our acquaintance (so did everyone else, she’s OMG hot, so I’m not at all bothered by that part) makes sex movies. I’m a little bothered that I can now enjoy her in this vicarious fashion… but not so much that it will stop me enjoying her work! Besides, I’m pretty sure DH will happily join me. 😉 So yes, I know the artist in question… and it doesn’t help that she’s an amazingly sweet, smart person… but I know in actual fact that I’d never have gone there in reality anyway, so a little extra-spicy fantasy is just something to make a few nights a little steamier. 🙂
    Is there a line for Viggo? Or are we just going to mob him?

  43. Clive Owen and James McAvoy are my candy and I would have to say sometimes my marital aides. My partner knows this and is all for it…and our relationship is not all its cracked up to be with a one year old in the house. Fantasy can be a great help to a relationship. It can get out of hand yes, but its up to the individual to stay on top of this. Similarly its just as dangerous to be possessive and jealous of your lovers’ fantasies or choice of eye candy. Repression breeds nasty things…so keep to the celluloid screen and enjoy. Its part of a healthy sexuality and a healthy partnership.

  44. @nej: I think that dealing with the differences is sort like parenting, you have to sort of pick your battles.I mean accidents can happen to either parent so I generally don’t hold that against my husband even if the accident occured because he was doing something differently than I would have.
    But spell out what issues are important to you and ask that these concerns/preferences be respected.
    Dads often wrestle with their kiddos so I don’t see a big issue with this even if I wouldn’t do it myself. And a kid staying up 30 minutes past bedtime playing with daddy? Also not a big issue in my mind. But taking a 17 month old to a bar and allowing him to participate in throwing things, yeah that is not ok at all.
    Now I realize whether I see it as a big issue or not is irrelevant but my point was more to pick the areas that really concern you and spell them out to your husband.
    My husband took our 2 boys sledding on Sunday and what was supposed to be an hour or so turned into 4 hours! So our toddler missed his nap. Not at all how I would have done things but I made daddy deal with the cranky toddler when they got home and he went down for the night really early.
    I think mothers often have a tendency to get a little control freak-ish; since obviously our way is the right way. But I think there is room for compromise and trying not to sweat the small stuff.

  45. I’m all about having a light hearted discussion every now and again! Its what life is about! We can go back to talking about sleep regressions and breast feeding problems (again) tomorrow.

  46. Viggo, circa LOTR, mmm with a spoon.@nej: Much to mull over (and say) on the partners and safety topic. (It goes both ways for us, with each person having different limits in different areas). But alas, a freelance deadline calls. I’ll try to think more and check in later, for what it’s worth…

  47. @nej- my hubby is less concerned about potentially risky things (like climbing on the big girl jungle gym, etc) than I am. On the flip side, he is more likely to want to use a time out to solve a problem like screaming at the dinner table (what is it with toddlers and ear-piercing screams?) whereas I am more likely to want to try ignoring or distracting. We try to discuss our comfort zones on these things at times OTHER than the heat of the parenting moment, so to speak. We don’t always succeed, which leads to weird conversations where we try to present a united front while also arguing about our different opinions. But we do try. When I’m at my wifely/motherly best, I make a note of the thing that we disagree about, and try to bring it up in a non-confrontational way during a later conversation time (we do most of our talking on family walks on the weekend or over Friday night beers after we get Pumpkin to bed).Also, I saw a study once that said it is good for kids’ emotional health to have one parent who tends to be more protective and one who tends to be more permissive- that made us feel a lot better. I can’t remember the details of the study now, though.
    On the eye candy thing- hubby is a kiwi so we watch a lot of rugby. The backs are often quite good looking. The NZ #10 is an underwear model, and it shows…. Hubby teases me about my motivations for watching rugby with him, but neither of us worries much about this sort of thing.

  48. @nej – I’m the one whose 14 month old recently tripped and fell while walking across the kitchen floor… on DH’s watch, so he felt incredibly guilty, and basically for no good reason. It was a freak accident. They happen. Now DH is Mr. Paranoid. I hope that eventually changes, and he goes back to throwing DS in the air and all of that fun stuff. I think it will.I’m the mom who takes my baby skiing & hiking with me, lets him climb all over the couch, lets him eat multiple new foods at the same time… many things that others would probably say are way too risky for their own comfort. We live an active lifestyle. I want to teach my children to be fearless & enjoy life. That’s part of what I bring to the parenting table.
    DH is the more measured one. He’ll teach the health & safety lessons. He’s always thinking of the bad things that might happen. So we balance each other out. It’s good for us, and I think it’s healthy for our son. It’s an ongoing negotiation process. Sometimes we’re out of balance – we try to check ourselves so that we’re making decisions out of love/growth, instead of fear.
    It sounds like you are good about checking yourself for “too much micromanaging.” I like what Michelle said about making the parent who created the mess (skipped nap) clean it up, so to speak. I wonder if the throwing was bound to happen sooner or later at his age, whether or not he took him to the bar. (Yeah, I wouldn’t have been a big fan of that one either!) I don’t love it when DH watches Sunday football for hours while playing with DS. But then I figure he’s the one who will be teaching him how to be a good man, and a little TV with a Daddy who loves him won’t hurt!

  49. I don’t think this is light-hearted at all, this is much more relevant to me than breast-pumps (at this point in motherhood) or playground rules (I don’t live in a big city in the US). If I had read that last paragraph of Moxie’s post two years ago I’d maybe done a little bit of necessary self-reflection.Also, I read Moxie’s blog because she’s Moxie. If I’m only interested in factual information, Google does it for me.
    I spent far too much time reading and writing blogs, fiction and poetry while my child was asleep and pouring all my energy into my kid when he was awake (because OF COURSE I want to be SuperMom) rather than fixing our relationship.
    My boyfriend on the other hand (who did all the laundry/dishes/cooking while I was SuperMom), started chatting online. With girls. And ended up sleeping with one of them, a rather unexciting and not particularly beautiful girl who meant absolutely nothing to him, but she was really nice to him and gave him the positive feedback and confirmation he desparately craved from me and didn’t get.
    (A short and very extracted version of a story I told very differently prior to relationship therapy, believe me. And I don’t think it’s ok to cheat no matter how selfish, rejecting and non-task-sharing your partner is, I just didn’t realise I’d been so unpleasant. And I think I’d have been a lot more prone to cheating too, had I felt the way he did. Oh, and if you’re reading this and have just been cheated on, check out beyondaffairs.com)
    On mere eye-candy: I really don’t mind if he thinks Angelina Jolie looks better than me because, well, she actuallly does, and I think Brad Pitt looks better than him to. Of course, the better I think I look, the easier it is to accept that I’m not the only or prettiest woman in town, so maybe I’ll feel worse about it when I’m 55 and the eye candy is 25? And not born yet…
    And I don’t feel guilty over thinking about how incredibly goodlooking BP is. Or that Mexican actor. It’s when real and reachable people are the object of temporary desire that it becomes not OK.
    Nej: I struggled with this a lot more when the child was younger and more vulnerable. Hope there’s a little dash of comfort in that. There comes a day when he doesn’t fall down stairs because he knows how to walk them.

  50. so i am not welcome here? thats nice? because I dont want to talk about having onscreen crushes with the boys on queer as folk?nej: there certainly differences in parenting and i think in general this is a good thing. However, if your husbands idea of an afternoon activity is to take your son to the bar that is where you to draw the line. There are plenty of other places you can throw things! ow about sharing the list of fun things to do around the neighborhood if he is out of ideas?

  51. @nej, no time to read other replies, and really no time to answer, but answering anyway:1) researchers recently showed that having TWO DIFFERENT PARENTING STYLES (where both are warm and respectful, but one is very much ‘oh, you poor thing I’m here for you’ and the other is ‘hey, you fell, you’re fine, get up and shake it off, now what else can you do?’) results in increased emotional resilience, less fragility, more self-assurance. BIG shock to the researchers, who thought it would be best to have two ‘in there’ parents. WRONG. We evolved with two humans as parents (plus assorted others). Different ones.
    Therefore the issue isn’t ‘style’ but ‘warmth and respect’ – that makes it easier for you to allow room for his style, identify what areas of his response are important, and communicate the difference.
    It also means you can learn from him, which makes it easier for him to hear ideas from you, too.
    I have a TON more to say on this, but it will have to wait. Someone is waiting on edits from me, and I MUST go do them.
    More later…

  52. @nej – I think I read the same study as hedra and others mentioned (maybe it was linked here on askmoxie at one point?) and it comforted me greatly. I think the key was mentioned above. You have to discuss these parenting differences when you’re not in the heat of the moment.Oddly enough, my husband is the one worrying about dd climbing on the couch, and I’m the one saying “If she falls she’ll be fine.” However, he’s much more likely to mess with the nap schedule or whatever and not think it’s a big deal while I’m having a meltdown over it. We balance each other I think. Maybe that’s the important part.

  53. @mhati – Who said you aren’t welcome here? I’ll kick ’em! 😉 Could you please go back to the previous page & read what I actually wrote to you? Thank you!!Whether you are welcome or not is not for anyone but you to say! However, when I keep reading negative comments from you that are critical of this space, like you’re banging you head against the wall because you hate the direction she’s taken, then the reasonable person’s conclusion is that clearly, there is a fit issue going on.
    Now in all seriousness, may I please ask you something? You seem angry. Is there something you’d like to talk about today?

  54. @mhati- I won’t speak for hush or the others, but what I find off-putting about your comments is the giant chip you seem to have on your shoulder. It reads like you are coming to a party and telling the host that her dress is ugly and her food tastes bad. Why do you come then?This is Moxie’s blog- she can write about whatever she wants. She put in the hard work and time to build up a community, and as far as I’m concerned, she can take that where she wants. If she puts up a topic you aren’t interested in, just don’t read it and the comments. If the topics are in general not interesting to you, then you probably should find another place to hang out online. Not because you aren’t welcome here, but because it isn’t what you want it to be and like it or not, Moxie doesn’t have to make it what you want it to be.

  55. No time to read the comments… but I’m with you, Moxie. If you have a healthy relationship a little eye candy is no big deal. My husband and I both will admire a pretty woman, and I have no problem doing the same to a handsome man.But, having been in a failing marriage before this one, I know that there are all kinds of ways to escape that have nothing to do with eye candy.
    Anything you do in excess to distract you from your reality–from porn to eating to reading blogs to oggling others–is probably a sign that something is wrong.

  56. It’s funny because when I read this post all I thought about was my eye candy but now that I came back and read it closer I realize how right Moxie is in her last paragraph. I know a couple of moms, both 10-15 years older then me, whose relationships went off the rails when the need to be SuperMom diminished as their kids got older. One eventually realized the relationship issue and divorced and the other has been having one emotional affair (and maybe sexual) affair after another for the past few years and finding any and every reason not to be around her hubby (taking up ballet, tap, scrap-booking weekends away, taking her girls on vacation and “forgetting” to tell hubby about it until it was too late for him to take time off work, etc). It’s kind of sad to watch but divorce isn’t in her vocabulary so she won’t consider it, instead she loses herself in the distraction of the week – whatever it or he might be.

  57. I agree with so much that has been said about healthy relationships having room for eye candy, but secret crushes and addictions (whether porn or Sudoku) are dangerous.I just want to add that eye candy is a little different for my husband and me when it comes to _exercise_. Our Wii Fit “personal trainers” are both opposite-sex. It’s not so much that we enjoy observing a beautiful body while we exercise, though that’s true. It’s that looking at a perfect specimen (even digitally-rendered!) of our own sex while exercising makes us dwell on how not-ideal our own bodies are. Feeling bad about your body is bad exercise mojo.
    So, he doesn’t have to look at Mr. Muscles while working out, and I don’t have to look at Ms. No-Tummy-Flab. And we’re both happy! 🙂

  58. @NejI wish I had actual advice. I have an almost two year old boy and I have a real love/hate relationship with his lack of fear. On the one hand what a wonderful way to lead life without fear of injury-even being able to say whatever you want. On the other hand I want to protect him. I try to step back and decide whether or not my own fears are well grounded. So yes, my son should run, ski, moonbounce, and ride his tricycle at the local skate park during toddler time. Sometimes I even ask my husband to take him to those events because I know he won’t mother him as much as I would. But, there are activities that don’t work for me, not to say that they are bad or that they would cause any damage, just that they would not make me comfortable. You have my sympathy and thank you for making me think about how I deal with it in my own home.
    General thought on topics: I think that discussions are always going to have some topics that interest some people more than others. Parenting happens with all ages of children, there have even been discussions here of parenting adult children. Also, it seems that ultimately, an important part of being a good parent is also being good to yourself, so some degree of introspection, especially at the end of the year. I don’t want my son to have the same issues I have, in order for me to help prevent it, I have to stop and accept what my issues are.

  59. @nej – My mantra is “roots and wings.” You need both, and wings maybe have some risks.To me it’s worth a bit of lost sleep and a few scrapes to have a good relationship… I personally think it’s relationships that sustain our kids when they are older and, say, need to call Dad to pick them up when they are drunk.
    Like other people have said, I pick my battles, and I try to do it calmly and take responsibility like… “this really bothers ME and even if it’s silly can we talk about it?”
    This is how my son had his worst accident and got a scar (after stitches!) on his heel at about 14 months old… he was walking, in the kitchen, with a push-toy. He fell, and kicked his heel up under the counter and split it open. My husband and I were both standing right there, flat surface, what we thought was really safe. Ha.
    Doesn’t keep me from occasionally being the safety police though. 🙂

  60. Back when we were dating, I made a comment to a friend, in front of dh, about how I thought that Chris Cornel was hot. Later, dh told me that it hurt his feelings when I said things like that. Since then, I have never made such comments in front of him, nor has he ever said that another chick was hot. I havent even given it any thought in the last six years until you posted this! Huh. B/c of this, I really, fully trust him to not have wandering eyes & I hope that he trusts me as much!

  61. We talk all the time about who we think is hot… we both enjoy some good eye candy. My husband can also be a great girlfriend too though, because I’m 36 weeks pregnant, fat, uncomfortable, bloated…..and instead of saying “wow, she’s hot” he’ll make some snarky girlfriend remark…..so even though I know he’s checking her out it still makes me feel good when I am looking soooooooo bad.@nej I completely understand the difficulty of having some conflict between what you consider appropriate and what your husband thinks is okay/safe/appropriate. It’s SO hard because if your situation is anything like mine, it’s easy to get bent out of shape when they make decisions in the moment that SEEM fun, but will end up impacting YOU later on (like delaying bedtime and getting really silly, which means that they get to have all the fun and then you have to come in later and be the bad cop and settle everyone down for bed again….which will also lead to disruptive sleep because too late to bed means not enough sleep and only Mommy will do in the middle of the night while your dh snores away on the pillow next to you and you are running back and forth getting this and that and trying to comfort a kid who is tired, overstimulated and wants to sleep but JUST CAN’T. For example…ahem. Sorry).
    My advice is to – as best you can – honor their relationship, try to remove yourself from managing it, appreciate the special relationship they are building together – even if that means some inconvennience to you later on. Believe me, it’s worth it. Especially as they get older. As for the throwing stuff (or other things that they think is funny in the moment but ends up causing problems later on) I always try to frame things in the “we” instead of the “you”. That way responsibility is shared for whatever decision is made and no one gets defensive about a bad decision – because we all make them. So “Gosh…this throwing thing is getting out of hand…I guess we shouldn’t have been laughing so much/encouraging it so much. He’s just too young to know yet when it’s appropriate to throw things for fun and when it’s not.”
    @mhati, I’m sorry you are feeling so disappointed in recent threads…perhaps an email to moxie directly would be a better way for you to voice your disappointment? Since she is the one to decide the direction of her blog, you might be more effective going directly to the source and not vent in the comments section. I am also wondering (and am a little concerned) about what it might be that you feel you want to talk about and if there is a way we can address some of your pressing questions so you aren’t so frustrated. You sound like you are at the end of your rope.
    I think this site is evolving as Moxie evolves…which is a good thing. The best thing though is that since she’s been doing this for many years, all of her previous posts are archived, and pretty much any and every baby/toddler/eat/sleep/poop question has been asked and commented on. Maybe send your new mom friends to her archives as a first step? Having been a reader of Moxie for almost 3 years now, I sometimes find topics that do not interest me, are not relevant to me, and I don’t read/comment. And sometimes I find a topic that I feel has been addressed every which way until Tuesday and I think “this problem again???” Because I am familiar with many of the commenters and their philosophies, I can pretty much guess who is going to say what in the comments section. I imagine it is very difficult for Moxie to balance questions that have been asked and answered for one group of people and still keep it fresh and interesting for another group of people who have been along for the ride and read all of it before. At the end of the day, it’s her blog. Like Cloud said, she worked hard to build this community of readers, we enjoy being here or we wouldn’t be here anymore. No one is forcing you to check in every day. Which I think is what Hush’s comment was about. If it’s no longer meeting your needs, why bother? There are tons of resources out there for new moms. Best of luck to you, and I hope you find the answers you are looking for.

  62. Yes I agree that Sanjay Gupta would be really nice to look at and listen to when dispensing his medical advice… sigh… finally good looking men in govt…But I loved Patrick Dempsey when he was in his cute nerd phase..and I totally love him now in his grown up scruffy phase.. but still Eric Dane is nothing to sneeze at…
    Ok wayyyyy too much invested into this whole eye candy thing…
    But seriously as long as the communication thing is there in the primary (aka REAL) relationship then it shouldn’t be threatening if say I love to watch Grey’s Anatomy all the time, or Say have Eric Dane pictures up.. (no i don’t really)…

  63. All this eye candy talk spurred a heck of a dream last night. That’s one thing that an established relationship will not give you: The excitement and rush of a new conquest. The anticipation of the first kiss. So I guess I get that experience in dreams now. I don’t feel guilty whatsoever.My DH never mentions who he thinks is hot, nor does he check out other people in any obvious way. I occasionally mention the hotness of someone, but not in a “I lust for this person” way.
    As for the parenting style question, I’d just echo what others have said. Pick the really important issues, and have a calm talk about it when you’re not in the heat of the moment.
    As for the Ask Moxie content, I sympathize. I’ve asked a parenting question that was pretty urgent and messing up even my work life, and it was passed up. I got frustrated to come here day after day to see Moxie asking her own questions. But I keep coming, because hope springs eternal, and because I still enjoy the direction that comments take, regardless of the original question.
    Now I know that if necessary, I can just hijack a thread 😉

  64. Hugh Jackman as wolverine. But I think he’d have to shave a little, because that hair would totally chafe.I agree with Nancy, who said it’s a bit sexist. Are we expected to believe that the husband in question never/doesn’t/won’t cast an appreciative eye towards attractive women? I would have to call serious bullshit on that idea.
    In light of that, I would advise the husband to treat his wife as he would like to be treated in that situation. If the relationship needs new boundaries drawn, that’s fine, but he has to play by those rules, too.

  65. Oh, and I guess I always have the same reaction to disgruntled readers of any blog:You’re being offered a free service, be it advice, entertainment, recipes, etc. Under the circumstances, it’s tricky to enforce money back guarantees and quality assurance programs. Act accordingly.

  66. I haven’t yet read through all of the comments, but has anyone mentioned President-elect Obama and the future First Lady? Oh, such a fine looking First Couple. My husband and I have talked numerous times about how this will be the best looking White House in ages. 🙂

  67. nejIn the grand scheme of things, yeah, what other people have said about different parenting styles, blah blah blah
    On the other hand, I have a peerless spouse whose peerlessness does not preclude what I think of as cluenessness. Do not rile up the kids just before bed! Do not tune out early-stage bickering right before dinner, when things can go so sour, so quickly. Gah!
    I had a talk with him one evening after something I thought was a Really Bad Idea did indeed have Really Bad Results. I said that if I saw him doing something I thought might go inconveniently awry, I would give him a sign, but after that, I would be leaving him to clean up his mess, in effect: You figure out how to get wound-up kids to sleep, because I am going to step out. And sometimes he heeds warnings and sometimes he doesn’t, but I don’t get bothered now that I know there’s something in it for me.
    If he were doing something that was really unsafe, I would speak up more — “Watch out for the coffee table!” — but again, unless it’s a knife-throwing contest, I am working on the fine art of shutting up.

  68. @Chris and Shandra, I am so glad there are other people who appreciate the men of BNL like I do!I tend to vary between funny, sweet guys like Zachary Levi and John Krasinski to the dark, brooding guys like Milo Ventimiglia, Johnny Depp and Julian McMahon. Yum.
    A general appreciation for an attractive person isn’t a bad thing. When it becomes a hinderance to your relationship is where you have the problem.

  69. @slim, that’s one of the other things I was going to bring in – the fine art of not stepping in, either to solve, or to clean up, at least while working out the boundaries of the relationships. NOW, after years of practice, we tend to spot the weak points on the other, and step in, but in a team style. That’s 11 years in, though.The thing that I learn on the stepping out part is that I have to assume that he can handle everything if I was hit by a bus. Which means I need to let him handle everything, as if I was periodically totally unavailable. I cannot step in. I cannot rescue. I cannot smugly stand by and watch the catastrophe, knowing the’s going to have to suck it up afterwards and gloating about the lesson he’s about to learn. I did that one time, and found out it was me who was about to learn a lesson – my methods were actually less effective than his. Uh, whoops?
    I practiced intentionally pretty early on, letting him take the full range of responses to all situations, because he was quitting his job to stay home. It is something I could wish on every couple, that the dad must care for a baby or toddler or preschooler nonstop for at least a few weeks. It sets the reality, and it sets the skills. They start trusting themselves, and we start trusting them.
    On the roughhousing, we have certain principles (Safe Respectful Kind, for instance), and we have some rules that have come from those – no throwing things not meant to be thrown (trucks, china, siblings), and no throwing in places where throwing is not intended (kitchen, church, bathtub). If you have a ball, you may roll it in the house, but you may not throw it. Etc. Last night we had the discussion that soccer is not an inside game (at least not in a tiny house like ours).
    Do we break the rules? Yes. Judiciously, but yes. Silliness is allowed.
    We also allow more rough play than I initially was comfortable with. That’s because of the OT workup done with both older kids (and Miss M, too). With the elder two, they were each assessed for sensory issues, and it turned out that the compulsive leaping on each other and tearing around and flinging themselves off things and throwing and wrestling and dogpile-on-the-brother stuff was all part of sensory processing development. Nearly everything I’d told them to STOP DOING was on the list I was given of things they SHOULD DO. Um. Whoops, again? The problem became not ‘how to keep them from trying to stimulate their sensory processing’ and instead morphed into ‘how to help them stimulate those systems SAFELY ENOUGH that I don’t cause my brain to melt’. We got a mini trampoline. We let the kids race around in circles and careen into each other. We notice (or try) when they’re particularly jumpy/kicky/throwy/hitty, and encourage them to go jump on the trampoline or swing on the swings or climb something or carry around something heavy or push chairs or be squashed under sofa cushions by their siblings. If it comes down to a fight between my authority and their vestibular system’s demands, I know who wins, and it ain’t me. I can’t beat them, so I adjust the rules so they can win safely, no more than that.
    For us, the winding up before bed isn’t the problem – we NEED them to race around and be crazy before bed, the problem comes in only if we stop them too soon or don’t provide enough large-motor activity in the process. Just racing around isn’t good enough – a long round of jumping on the mini tramp until they’re actually TIRED is what is needed. Get them started and their bodies will remember that they’re starving for the sensory input, and will not stop until they’re full. The dad roughousing thing can work for you, if you make sure it has a full range of spinning, rolling, squashing, pulling on joints, bouncing, and weight lifting, and in the right range of time (they do still need to come down a bit, but it takes less time if they did the full bore effort instead of just getting into it before being told to stop).
    For other issues, I agree with talking when calm, not when there’s a problem still beating at me. And just like problem-solving with a child, put the problem on the other side of the line, and you and your spouse on the same side together. WE have a problem. I need this, you enjoy that, I worry because I forsee problem, you definitely need something else, I’m SURE we can find a solution that suits us all, but I’m going to need your help finding it. Do you have any ideas?
    That sort of thing. Good luck!

  70. Any other sci fi dorks out there? Well if not Battlestar Galactica has tons of hotties of both genders. My husband sweats over Cylon #6 while I ogle whoever the actor is that plays Helo… The storyline is great and thought provoking, the acting is mediocre, but oh the eye candy…Totally healthy and it’s sort of exciting to remember that my husband is still fundamentally a man even though he does the laundry and is a nurse.

  71. Like Amy mentions above, I was going to observe that my husband and I chuckle together over our collective eye candy. I think it’s the one he DIDN’T tell me about, or the one I suddently didn’t feel I could talk to him about, so we could laugh over it, that I’d be worrying about!

  72. Enu — HAHAHAHA, you’re so right…Christopher Eccleston all the way! I think, of the old Who, Peter Davison is definitely the runner up!

  73. @Jac – I credit “True Blood” & The Sookie Stackhouse novels (which I started reading after the first episode of the show) with causing a very significant spike in my libido ever since September. After the infamous graveyard scene, I NEEDED DH to give it to me! Naturally, DH encourages my Bill obsession, and likewise, I encourage his for Jessica Biel. Her derriere is one for the record books. 😉

  74. I can’t have just one piece of candy at a time, so I’m going to say Hugh Jackman, David Beckham, and my all-time-favorite Jon Bon Jovi.

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