WANT TO WRITE FOR TKB? + 13 Songs You NEED to Start *Doing It* To! + “Dear TKB: Our Relationship Is Falling Apart As We Plan Our Wedding… Help!” {NSFW}

>> Quick update on this: we’ve been sitting here in we’re-not-worthy mode ever since your emails started streaming in last week, and we first want to say a huge thanks.  ¡Thanks!   It’s been so thrilling to see how many interesting people out there – who can also write and/or make cool things – want to write and/or make those things right here on our blog!  *cries*  We’re so happy in fact with your responses so far that we’re putting an end date on this thing, sorry :(  So just a heads up, we won’t be accepting any emails after Monday May 20th at 11:59pm EST.  No presh!   

(drinks entire cup of coffee in one gulp)

LET’S DO THIS!!!!!!!!!111111

First up, happy afternoon everybody.  Missed you.  So here’s the little announcement (which I hinted at over the wknd).  This is for anyone who likes writing or wants to be a wedding blogger.  TKB’s about to take on more contributors!  We’re officially opening up the 2nd annual Knotty Blogger casting call as of today.  So if you are all about this, let me know in the comments and/or via email –> alison@theknottybride.com.  Feel free to tweet me your interest but just make sure you email me whatever you do, as emails will be how we keep track!  Thanks.

Our last casting call explains pretty well what we’re looking for so you can check that out if you’d like.  But here are some examples of what we’re looking for…

Is your voice a great fit for The Knotty Bride blog?

  • Maybe you’re funny and it comes alive in your writing.  You might want to write on random topics that pique your interest (and which you believe will be engaging for Knotty readers).
  • Maybe you’re the kind of person people go to for advice, and you’d like to spread your wings in our advice column.
  • Maybe you’re planning your wedding, and you’re dealing with in-law issues, or relationship issues, or whatever, and you’d like to blog about your journey openly and honestly (and anonymously, if you so desire) so that others might read your column and be relieved to learn they’re not the only ones going through the thing.  Or whatever you get it.
  • Maybe you simply love weddings, and you’d like to become one of our wedding bloggistas, sharing incredible wedding submissions right here on The Knotty.
  • Maybe you excel in graphic design, or you’re a talented stationer, and you’d like to contribute the occasional custom little something-something, which you’ve created with our readers in mind.
  • Or maybe a million other things we haven’t thought of yet!

So that’s the stuff we’re after.  If any of the above describe you, or if you have an even better idea for how you can add your voice to The Knotty Bride… get in touch.  Can’t wait to read your emails you guys!


Next topic, can’t think of a transition sorry.


Did you know it’s International Clitoris Awareness Week?  Yes really.  It’s not what you think tho - it’s better.  It’s like right when you think society’s starting to cave in on itself, Internat’l Clit Awareness becomes a new cause and you feel righted.

Oo speaking of clitorises… here is the blog post I promised you guys with the sex playlist I tested out meticulously curated for you.  If you happen to dig this playlist thing I’m trying out, I’d be happy to make it a thing.  Just let me know.

Now believe it or not, I got too scared to post this post for a very noticeable week and a half, because I got into a headspace where I was convinced the content was far too blunt, far too sex-focused, for the blog.  For The Knotty Bride, a blog titled because of the double entendre of the word “knotty.”  I know, it was very weird.  Meanwhile Cosmopolitan’s publishing dick jokes next to Dakota Fanning’s face.  So I sought intervention.  I talked to a blogger friend of mine about my crippling hesitation to publish, how I thought “my readers may think I’m like, gross.”  She said “are you f**king kidding me? post it. I want to see that list.”

So that got me closer to publishing it.

Then I remembered some things I promised myself when I first started blogging, things like ‘always face your fears’ and  ’blog what scares you’ and that’s when I was like- ok.  Maybe I’ll publish it.

But THEN, I remembered all these things about how sex is the single biggest issue facing relationships second to $$$$//how a lack of physical touching brings down marriages every day//how sex frequently serves as the scapegoat in arguments, when it is actually a diminishing meaningful connection, yadda yadda yadda… I had to post it.

So I sneakily made it part of my answer to today’s reader-submitted question for Dear TKB.  Like a little baby.

Dear TKB:

I’m worried that my fiance and I are drifting apart while we plan our wedding. We argue a lot more these days than we ever did and it’s always over the dumbest wedding shit. Recently we went a day without talking to each other, I was sure we were breaking up, it was horrible. Never felt farther away from him. 

We’re going through a drought sex-wise right now (ever since we started getting into arguments over the wedding planning) and we can’t seem to escape it. Literally we’ll be sitting right next to each other on the couch, and neither of us will touch the other for the entire evening. I hate it. All I want is to feel his touch, but instead I sit there waiting for him to make the first move. I feel like he does the same thing. I guess that’s what you get when you’re both stubborn people!!

I hate how I’ve changed into this person who feels too insecure to initiate sex or try to talk to him about my feelings. And the only reason I don’t initiate sex anymore is because I’m constantly worried “is he into this? does he even want me touching him?” I used to initiate just as much as him! 

Do you have any tips for getting out of this rut? I would appreciate any advice The Knotty Bride or your readers might have for me. Thank you so much in advance. 


PS – My biggest problem is I have no idea how to broach the subject in a way that will help us talk about it without fighting. I’m pretty sure you might suggest that I just be honest with him about how I feel, but please understand that it’s so hard to talk to him without it turning into him being defensive, or worse, him not even wanting to talk about it anymore and shutting down. Especially when it’s about my feelings. I know this all sounds terrible but I promise you, we really had a good thing before the wedding started causing weird fights. I promise! I’d love to know if any of your readers have been through a similar thing in their relationships, and if it can get better?

Thank you again!

Dear Miss J,

Lots of people think step one of wedding planning is to pick a date; close but no cigar.  It’s to remember to keep the relationship a top priority.

Seven years in, Honey and I are a great match.  I feel pretty comfortable telling him almost everything.  Not everything.  But almost.  For example I’m still getting around to admitting to just how many places hair grows on my body, but time is on our side.  At this point in our relationship he’s my best guy friend, my trusted confidant, in many ways my business partner, and my favorite person to wrestle with in the boudwahh.  But closer to when we first met, it was much more the last part than anything else.  The rest takes time, and often effort!  How many years are you in?

First thing that comes to mind is it’s possible you’re both weirded out by the people you’ve become, as you guys plan this wedding.  Like you, he may be missing the girl who loved to show him affection and often initiated sex, as you indicated. Try out acting more like yourself again for a day, and ignore the big glaring problems you’re so worried about.  See what happens.

Relationships are all different, with all different types of people in them, and with each of those people carrying a different type and amount of baggage into the relationship.  What’s more; many people aren’t even aware of the emotional issues they bring.  And most people think they’re the saner one in a relationship.  It’s that, that right there, that gets most of us into real trouble, connection-wise.

Real connection takes good old hard work.  Time.  It takes trial and error.  It takes the kinds of talks that make you worried before having the talk, because you fear you might be bringing up something that’ll result in you breaking up with one another by the end of the talk.  Because you’re so afraid that what’s really on your mind might make your partner like you less, and want to leave you for a better one.  Someone without your issues.  (Everybody figures out one day that we ALL have our issues; some are just slower to arrive at this realization than others.)

There’s so much stuff we wish we had the strength to tell our partners, and too often we let our insecurities about how our partners may react stop us from sharing our truths.  But imagine how you felt the last time someone told you a secret about themselves, one that made them feel less than.  Did you suddenly hate them and never want to see them again?  Or did you feel closer to them and want to provide a shoulder?  Did it worsen the relationship?  Or bond you?  Refusing to let your insecurities stop you from speaking openly with your partner is KEY to the longevity of your relationship.

Anyway.  As for advice, I do have some.  Tho you pretty much guessed it already.

I’d like you to talk to him about what’s on your mind, and be honest.  You need to tell him how you feel.  Without blaming him; that’s essential.  Try to keep in mind that your perception is your reality, and that you might be off.  So talk it out, replace your agonizing wondering with knowing.  Don’t drift with the current of your relationship.  Act.  Replace your arguments with conversations, and don’t let it get out of hand.  This is about your bond together; you may think it’s unraveling but it’s very likely that it’s your first true test as a couple.  Getting through the muck successfully means a closer bond in the end.  I have confidence in you!  You’re clearly smart, I can tell.  Plus, I know in my heart that you know in your heart that this is what you have to do.  So don’t be afraid, it’s just talking.

Speaking of talking–

  1. Don’t talk too much.
  2. Listen.
  3. Don’t pile it all on like this is your one opportunity to work through your entire list of grievances.  What’s bothering you most about your relationship right now?  Go with that one and avoid going off-topic (even if you think you can segue into another of your grievances beautifully, killing two birds.. still don’t do it).
  4. Listen.
  5. The key to communication is brevity (SHOUT OUT ‘A DIFFERENT WORLD’).
  6. Listen.
  7. Speak with purpose and never attack, no matter what.
  8. Listen.
  9. Don’t start what might be a long, difficult conversation on an empty stomach.  That goes for both of you.
  10. Listen. to. what. he. has. to. saaaay.
  11. Do not I repeat do not complain about the less frequent sex you’ve been having.  Tah-RUST me, he has noticed it.
  12. Listen listen listen to the words that are comin outta his mouth!
  13. At the risk of sounding old fashioned, try preparing dinner and having a real conversation as you two eat together.  Eating makes for great conversation.  Much better than Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on mute.
Working through your issues means talking more often and openly.  Talking more openly means improving your communication.  Improving your communication means getting along better/meeting one another’s needs more effectively.  Getting along/feeling like you’re meeting one another’s needs means sex.

Ok time to hide ya kids.  This is the Sex Mix part.  SERIOUS FACE, about the kids.

Ladies and germs, please enjoy this list of songs that won’t make you start laughing in the middle of delivering the gift of Orel Hershiser (very disruptive for both involved), or while engaged in your typical sesh of full-throttle love-making…….

(I’d say a few John Mayer albums as well, but I will admit I’ve broken out in laughter at the fact that I’m trying to have sex to a John Mayer album, so it’s iffy)

……. Because:

We need to start taking control of our sex lives.  More and better sex, now.  And the best way to do that?  Set the right mood, and maaaaiiintaaaaaiinn that sonofabeach… with a carefully curated song list.

Y’know, it’s funny.  They say it’s a good thing to be able to laugh during sex.  That it means you’re closer.  Yes, fine, that’s fine and I agree on some level with it.  But consider… sex is a place of escape; laughter brings you back to reality.  Sex is meant to be a safe space for the exploration and discovery of the body, raw and real.  It is most personal.  As you may remember from Dr. Perel‘s TED Talk, it’s about “not only pleasure of the physical, but of the internally arousing.”  And that requires a bit of concentration, AMIRITE LADIES.

So by all means have fun and laugh if something laughable happens.  It’s a healthy response.  But really who wants to pull a muscle being yanked out of a sexually inspiring moment because John Mayer’s “Daughters” came on the radio?  Songs can kill focus just as badly as body insecurity.  You’re just starting to feel like you might be getting into the zone with your partner?  Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond.  You’re finally in a place, mentally, where you can let yourself enjoy a little downtime, courtesy of your honey?  Good job keeping a straight face and not bucking his head out of your lap when Miley Cyrus shows up.  Finally turned on enough not to focus on how you look down there, and if he’s happy with how you look down there, and just enjoy the moment?  Anything sung by a Disney Channel star and you’re back to square one.

What a tragedy it is.  To lose the momentum of your sexual experience right in the middle of the experience.  And with nothing but a crappy song to blame.  That is why I encourage you to come with me my children.  Children’s the wrong word.  Come with me, my friends!  Come is the wrong word.

Just listen to me, play those tunes Honey and I have already tested out I MEAN ARRANGED, ARRANGED for you.  And all that’s left for you to do is bang. (Is this weird?)

For discussion today:

1. Do you have any thoughts or advice for our lovely reader, Miss J?

2. When it comes to being intimate… would you say you prefer having the music on? or are you into the sounds of silence?  Would love to hear your song suggestions too, if you have any you wanna share!

3. For those of you interested in joining our newest crop of bloggers – I can’t wait to hear from you.  This is exciting, I loved it so much last time!  Yay to new friendships, too (best part).

xx! Alison

Label(s): "DEAR TKB..." Advice Column, Knotty Bloggista Casting Call!, Sex

Love all of this...


  1. Alicia on May 7, 2013

    I haven’t commented in what feels like FOR. EV. ER. But you had me at sex playlist so here I am. Back in action.

    I do have some advice for Miss J and here it goes… You stated that all this madness started when you started wedding planning. Which is great — great in that you know what started it and you can look to that to try to get out of the rut and start being that fab couple that I know you are. What are you fighting about and why? Is it colors, linens, guests? Pinpoint what sets each of you off and ask yourself how much said thing really matters and how you can avoid repeated fights. Do you want him to be involved but shut down all of his ideas? Does he not want not to be involved but is criticizing decisions? Do you just not agree at all? Is the stress of everything taking a toll on your patience? Let’s face it wedding planning is stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. Focus on what you are doing and why. You aren’t planning a wedding for the rest of your life, you are planning a celebration for a marriage that you will have for the rest of your life. SO focus more on the marriage part of it and less on the wedding part of it. That means connecting, sex, being nice, spending time, loving each other, etc. Don’t let your wedding and your marriage be plagued by an awful planning experience. Your relationship is the KEY to this wedding, don’t sacrifice that for details. Step back, walk away and regroup. Sure, stuff has to get done but it doesn’t have to take over your life. And in the end people are attending to see you get MARRIED. As long as you do that, that is all that really matters. If you are spending more time planning your wedding than you are working on your relationship and thus your marriage, you are doing it wrong. Best of luck!

    • Alison on May 7, 2013

      Always loved your insight on these types of posts, I’m so glad I bated you with my copulation playlist. You are the best, girl :)

  2. Lena on May 7, 2013

    CONFESSION: I made John watch Dr Perel’s TED talk and completely missed that the reason he was trying to shut the damn thing off was because he wanted to ravage me, NOT because he hated her and her accent. Which is what I thought.

    So you say communication will get you sex, huh?

  3. Tracy on May 7, 2013

    I’ll throw in my 2 cents for Miss J. I definitely agree that you HAVE to talk to him about how you feel. As I say all the time, secrets don’t make friends. But here’s a handy little trick I read on some random website that I found actually works. A good way to prevent him from feeling attacked and going on the defensive, is to avoid saying “you.” For example, instead of saying “you don’t touch me anymore and you don’t listen to anything I’m saying,” try “I feel like we aren’t interacting like we used, and I feel I’m not being heard.” It sorta deflects the negativity away from him and makes it more of a conversation. I started approaching those sensitive topics with that mindset, because my BF also likes to get all cracked out and get defensive sometimes. Worked beautifully. He didn’t feel like he was being blamed for stuff, and it forced me to pause and think about what I really wanted to get across. Good luck!!

    • Alison on May 7, 2013

      Beautifully said, Tracy, beautifully said.

  4. Jessica Schaefer on May 7, 2013

    I am not one to listen to music while having sexy times. Music before hand, dancing, etc is all great, but if music is on while we’re doing the deed, all I’ll be thinking about is the lyrics or the beat, not my man. With that said, my husband has stated many times that Pearl Jam’s Versus is the best album to have sex to. (He appreciates your Eddie Vedder suggestion.) I suppose one day I’ll have to indulge him & give Verus a go.

  5. Tatiana D. on May 29, 2013

    I TOTALLY feel Miss J on this! I think it was about a couple months after my fiance & I moved in together, I felt like I was initiating sex more and he was doing it less. This pissed me off but I didn’t know how to articulate my feelings without pouting so it came off as pouting…fast forward to a few months later, not much has changed, I still feel like I’m initiating more! Now that we’re deep into wedding planning (we have 5 more months to go), stress is rising. This was a great article though, lotta gems & sex jamz dropped on me. And I thought I knew it all!

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