Dating Bradford: Sugar Is Free


I spent the weekend upstate New York in the charming little town of
New Paltz, where this couple I know had just opened a restaurant called
Rock Da Pasta.
They're a dynamic duo whom I've known a long time, always very lively
and openly sexual with each other in that Scorpio-meets-Sagittarian
kind of way.

This time, however, I noticed a little ice had
formed on their wings of romance. "Well, you know, since we opened the
business nine months ago," said the rambunctious redhead, "things have
been a little stressful -- especially financially."

"Well, I know one way to relieve tension." I said with a wink-wink, only to get a sigh-sigh in return.

"We work so late and start so early that ... " They didn't need to go on.

Hmmm, I thought, perhaps in their troublesome turmoil they might have forgotten the easiest way to clear their heads?

at the Salvation Armani, on our grand shopping tour of New Paltz, I
noticed that whenever there was something one of them wanted to buy,
they looked at each other, shaking their heads with remorse, before
putting it back on the rack.

"You're not alone in freaking the
financial frenzy these days," I said over 50-cent soft-serve cones.
"But don't let it melt your mojo. Here's a thought: Whenever you want
something you can't justify spending money on, figuratively, find a way to agree that sugar is free.

laughed and hugged each other, silently saying, "Come on baby, gimme
some sugar." Immediately their spark returned and they felt

What I know of boys is that when we're satisfied
in the sack, we're less prone to get pissed off when we can't obtain a
new toy, or the contractor's a crackhead, or taxes are tumultuous.

single, I'm always amazed that couples often take it for granted they
have a partner. Most single people yearn for the feeling of a
connection with a lover, and the knowledge that once they find it they
won't have to search elsewhere for affection. The problem is, in a
relationship, when we are confused or angry at each other, we don't
always want to be physically intimate. This only makes problems worse.
When trying to problem solve as a couple, it usually helps to feel together instead of apart.

like masturbation," I told them. "You always feel better afterward,
only couples often forget it's OK to masturbate with each other. When
one does it alone, it's a less rewarding kind of maintenance 'cuz it's
like covertly cavorting, and can breed resentment that the other person
isn't fulfilling our sexual needs. For sanity's sake, if you don't feel
like riding the train into the tunnel, at least find a way to get off

"That way, while out shopping as you shake your heads 'no,' you can
at least smile at each other and nod 'yes,' in an 'I-owe-you-one' kind
of way. Perhaps preempting the pressure of your problems."

whole thing got me thinking: Would I be so quick to soft-serve my
wisdom in my own relationship? Or am I just skimming off the cream of

So for all those un-copiously copulating couples out
there feeling the financial pinch, I ask you: When belts are tightened
and each other is biting, how do you find ways to agree that sugar is free?

(Photo: Bradford Noble)