Tag Archives: sex

Love = Friendship + Lust. Keeping ALL the Home Fires Burning (BW)

I’ve previously shared my views of “true love” as a myth in our love-starved society. But I do believe in love and lasting relationships, and strive to infuse all my real relationships (regardless of length or labels) with the qualities that make for lasting relating. Today I was asked to talk about keeping all the fires burning. I just couldn’t stop thinking that people who ask these questions tend to be seeking “an answer” or a How To patch, but instead get stuck with hearing a lot of idealized Harlequin Romance hooey about how relationships are supposed to be, which usually serves to make them feel even worse. [Read my smooshier view on love  (second link above) and please indulge me here.]

Love that is forged of Friendship + Lust isn’t about the Perfect One, heart-shaped candy or wedding planning gone wild — it takes concentration of steel to actively remember the commitment to it. That sort of love means work. That level of love is deeply satisfying in on-off lukewarm cuddliness to sizzling sexiness, the acceptance of unconditional love and nurturing in the security of buddy-companionship — and simultaneously holds great potential for boredom, situational blindness and eh!, apathy. Repeat beginning of this paragraph.

I’m paraphrasing a recent brilliant Diane Sawyer (married to director Mike Leigh for 21 years) comment, “Every marriage (and lasting relationship) is a foreign land. You may enjoy visiting but not want to live in this foreign land, but it works for its inhabitants.” Couldn’t agree more, and against the common “wisdom” that espouses a One Size ideology of what “works” or not in long relationships. Some individual relationships have more sizzle, romance, friendship, or companionship than others, and if they’re truly working (versus stuffed emotions, lazy habits, or excuse-making refuges to hide from not communicating respectfully, or having sex) for its inhabitants then there’s no “wrong way” to how yours works for you.

Dynamics can be a tricky thing. Remember not to check your baggage, because if you can’t hand carry it, it’s way more crap than you need to bring on this trip. Relationships are comprised of individuals who can always stand improvement, and that’s where to focus how to keep all your own fires burning.

Love that love. — BadWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

Share

Speak Up! Affect Change (GW)

I give the best advice. Ask anyone. But the other night when I had to apply my advice to my own life and a new relationship, I stuttered, mumbled and finally, driven insane by my own over-editing mind, I blurt out, “Why am I so shy with you!” Now, in fact, that was not an I want statement. It was not some clear concise, brilliant rambling that would turn a man to jelly in my arms. But it was the truth. And in blurting out that truth, I felt better. Like some cat was finally let out of the bag.

The cat was let out of the bag. Parameters of relationship discussed and a finally “Whew! What a relief” swept over me. Truth was discussed. How I felt. How he felt. Things aligned and clarity was brought into view. Sometimes speaking up is not some declarative statement, “I need…” “I want…” because sometimes you don’t fully know what you need or want, just that something is not right. Something was not working for me—my entire communications system, apparently—and I blurted the truth of how I felt in the moment. Expressing one truth can open the door and beyond that freedom. Embrace it. Speak up and be bold—even in a blurt.  — GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.


Share

Job Offer Relocate or Reject & Stay?

When partners can’t agree on one’s job offer that affects both, the job at hand is to choose the best compromise.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — My wife has a (lateral) job offer from her firm that necessitates our relocating across the country. We know no one in that state, its job prospects for me are on par with most any other state, we could buy a lot of house there by selling ours here, and we have one preschool child. Here’s the kicker, I want her to pull the trigger more than she seems to want to. She seems satisfied with her work but I think they’re trying to save her job with this offer. I fear she will stay and then get laid off and we need both salaries. We’ve talked and talked but just can’t come to agreement. Suggestions?  Worried Hubby

==

Dear Worried Hubby,

Since you say you’ve both talked it through so much, let’s not debate the merits of your wife taking this job as you’d like. Let’s have you two honestly explore your individual fears around both her scenarios: accepting and rejecting the offer.

It sounds simple but I like a good pro/con-type list for such quandries, and especially if I’m in one with someone else. Writing it out will help you two see your own and each other’s underlying fears more clearly and completely, and that allows you both to connect the dots to your actual line items of financial impact, realistic stability of her company/current job,  your age(s) to starting over elsewhere, the tax benefits between your current versus a more inexpensive home, and so much more. I am suggesting this list be developed and written as objectively as possible, and using different color pens will help you see each other’s points all the clearer.

Your primary challenge is not to be right, but to untangle the emotions from this situation, to make the best decision for your family together you know how.

More teamwork, less worry,

BadWitch

==

Dear Worried Hubby,

There is more to moving than the bottom line. I get what your concerns are, and they are valid. However, I think you may be overlooking your wife’s concerns.

Yes, you can have more house, but your salary in this new place is not guaranteed. And the amount of that salary will probably be commensurate with the state, as opposed to what you are making now where you are. Also, you will have no support.  That may not seem like much now, but no one to ask for last minute help. No one to invite over for pizza, beer and communing that you know you can let down all your pretenses with and just hang. Babysitters, schools, friends will all have to be vetted again in the hopes of carving out a niche in a community you can really feel at home in. You are ready to make this leap, but my guess is, your wife may not be as ready to be cut adrift in a strange new place.

Perhaps you two can work out how you are both feeling about your options in a couple of lists. One lists is your pro and con list on moving, another is hers. The next list is ideas for making it work if you stay and she gets laid off. Another may be lists of possible job opportunities and starting salaries in the new state. Get a better sense of all the factors. Do you know % of joblessness in the new state vs. where you are? Do you know whether there are more jobs in your wife’s field or yours? Who will have an easier time finding new work?

Both of you should start applying to jobs—she should look where you are now and you should look in this new place. See who starts to get positive feedback. Maybe she finds work where you are now, doesn’t have to give up her community and you two don’t need to incorporate the chaos of moving into your lives. Or maybe you get some great results from your new job search and spark her interest. Seems like you both need more real world research to know what the best choice is.

I know you are worried and looking for the best possible outcome for your family. Trust that your wife is as well. Now, investigate so you can make decisions based on real world opportunities rather than unrealized fears. It’s the best way to put that worry energy to good use and limit regret.

Mantra: We both want what is best for the family. We will not react from fear, but from knowns. If we act together, we can make it through whatever changes are ahead because we are a family.

Happy researching,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

Share

Texts, Dating & Making You Wait

I’m updating ‘Sex, Lies & Videotape’ because that women-men connection thing has always been shaky.What’s the dating etiquette around texting, again? If it weren’t for that new toughie, dating would be so much easier. Guys that make you go Hold— BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I went on a date with this great guy. I know we shouldn’t have, but we slept together on the first date. Now he only texts me. I like him, what do I do? Sex Before Texting

==

Dear Sex Before Texting,

LOL, this is sadly super common these days. As if dating weren’t hard enough, now the faceless ability to be potentially shady is thrown in the mix. I don’t know if you’re 20 or 50, but who hasn’t experienced being misunderstood in a full email with a good acquaintance, never mind texting a newbie? It’d be easy to say don’t text, but It’s Complicated is closer to useful.

What’s a gal to do? When it comes to dating and all things romantically social, there’s so much conflicting advice out there raging from the throwback Harlequin-leaning The Rules to the more balanced look of Dating For Dummies. I am not endorsing a book I never finished reading (uh, and that’s all three of these titles), but I like the basic truth-telling message of He’s Just Not That Into You . So nach, the way I see it is that the flood of dating titles on book shelves and online reflects the tendency of so many women to spend a whole lot of time thinking about any man (some of that’s natural, some unhealthy). I would like more of us to start thinking more often of ourselves. When you work on knowing yourself, you’ll start to understand your true needs (sex included), and suddenly you’re attracting the situations and people who most tend to support those needs (and values they’re based on), until that day when you start meeting your own most basic (then beyond) needs, instead of giving away that power to a guy who might have only ever been meant to be a good hang out time. Then when some asshole texts you a “Not in mkt 2 buy cow”-equivalent, it’ll be because you’re a live stock trader. And if you’re not, then you can Delete his contact quick style and move on…To your next night out where you will have gained the ability to faster identify his bromancing, man-code abiding, man cave-dwelling brahs, and avoid any behavior (you brought up sex on the first date, and BTW my forte is not moralizing, but do be safe) that doesn’t seem to have worked/be working for you and contributes to being treated in a way you don’t appreciate.

OK now I’m good whew! — yet I know you still like this cool fool. So go ahead and call him, see if he’s more than that. Actually talking will up your chances of better assessing his intentions (with you specifically) and character by how that conversation, or (chronically un-)returned voice mail goes. If you continue to get his VM, I personally wouldn’t call more than once a week and for no more than two weeks before moving on. If your phone chat is (actually; do not make excuses or rationalize on his behalf) a good start, then keep talking and grow the larger convo. Ladies, I love men and hubster knows I’m even friendly with some exes. One of the reasons I’m so partial to them is because they are simple creatures who basically say (and act) what they mean. I’m saying, no need to waste your precious life force endlessly scrutinizing, over-analyzing, hypothesizing and then making bat crap up about “what he really means” — 99% of the time, they just told you, but you have to shut up your mind chatter to fully listen much less hear. Towards getting to “meet your own needs,” date texting-only is a rocky road.

Expect men to actually talk to you, not text — except to confirm dates, plural — so you can have fun as much as cut the thread on the ones that aren’t ready to handle the bright light that is your once-in-a-lifetime uniqueness.

TTYL,

BadWitch

==

(Call me an Old Fogie, but the following advice is intended for those 18 yrs or older. Frankly, if you’re under 18, whether or not to have sex can have a myriad of other consequences I am not getting into here, from reputation and emotional trauma to disease and pregnancy. Doesn’t mean you can’t read it. Just means you should know I am not taking in the factors of high school.)

Dear Texting,

Ah, young love. What is there to do? Stop, reassess where you are and what you want out of this relationship and take back your power!

For starters, what is this “not suppose to”? ‘Kay, true my sexual history has more in common with SATC Samantha Jones, than Sandra Dee, but come on, what year are we living in? You met him. You liked him. Clearly, there was chemistry and you let that take you forward on what I am hoping for you was a fiery, festive good time. Where do you hope to take this relationship? Decide. Then act.

If you are already planning the wedding—STOP! The idea is to get to know someone, not predetermine the course of your relationship. Get to know him, biblically and personally if that is what you want to do. But be clear about what you are hoping/ looking for first. Then act appropriately. If you’re in it for fun, but need some human connection to fuel that (which I think is quite valid considering how women are wired), then text, phone or date should be fine as long as there is real communication afoot.

If you are seeking the future father of your kids, again, STOP!!! Not enough date time to see if there is connection and if he cannot connect as you would like him to, thank him for making that known now. And thank yourself for being clear with what you are looking for —for yourself. Maybe you don’t want to be the first date girl. But you have to know who you are and what you want, not what society has said you should or shouldn’t do.

If you are going along with this text only relationship either some part of you thinks you must acquiesce in order to keep your man—uh, he’s not your man. Yuck. If, however, you are holding onto some rule that he must call you—Gossip Girl dating tips—but you want to actually talk to him, either say it on your next get together or dial the phone. Now, don’t go calling in high emo-mode looking “To Talk.”. If your interest is connecting then call and connect. Laugh, talk, find out about each other’s day. If you are looking for connection beyond the phone, make it by putting yourself (that’s the vulnerable heart/personality not the body) out there.

Personally, as a writer, I love texting. It is like foreplay—all wit and factoids. I get to see if I’m dealing with someone who can spell and understands punctuation. OK, geeking out, but that stuff matters to me. Now, if you are sexting, clearly you are uncomfortable with this physically focused relationship. Stop It! Keep the texts about you the vibrant person, not your boobs or what you’d like to do with them.

I guess what I’m saying is, your boy is still communicating with you. Decide how to use that as a means to connect in a personal way so that you can connect personally with each other—beyond the physical. After all, at this stage of a relationship, that’s all you can really hope for. Getting to know each other and finding connection and joy.

Happy Connecting,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

Share

Cheating Boyfriend, Third Wheel Jealousy

This is IT. GWBW is taking a break all August. Please RSS or EM subscribe now. SEE YOU BACK HERE MON, SEPT 13 — that’s a new date.

Not all coffee and emails are created equally. How to tell if you’re a wronged third wheel or worrying needlessly.      — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Do you two consider coffee and emailing an ex- cheating on a current? My partner says I have nothing to worry about, but an ex- found him at a social and they’ve been chatting ever since, and I seriously think they met for the coffee they kept talking about. I’m trying not to be jealous but he complained about me to this guy! WTF? Third Wheel

==

Dear Third Wheel,

If both of you are under the impression you’re in a committed exclusive relationship at the same time, I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to know, and if your partner treats you as an equal, then you shouldn’t be left out of (the understanding about) this supposedly innocent coffee. I think your instincts are right about the complaining, unless he’s a total gossip (and maybe he is) — why is he seeing this person he’s supposedly done with and whom he still has complaints? Something sounds cheesy in Danish land. Danger, Will Robinson!

Ask and don’t worry about sounding jealous. Being reasonable is being responsible to yourself, Wheelie.

No lumps,

BadWitch

==

Dear Third Wheel,

Don’t put yourself in the outsider looking in position. You are the current and the ex is the ex. First and foremost keep your positioning straight in your head. This is not the time to come off like the jealous mate who’s ready to assume the position of second fiddle. First and foremost believe in you and that no one has the ability to take away what is yours. Remember, if it flies away of its own accord, you can do better.

Now, it could be that the ex is just moving into the realm of friend. I currently have two exes on my Facebook. Of course, there are other exes who did not get friended—despite the messages—because, well, the vibe was not right. Before you hit freak-out that there is an ex on the screen, make sure the vibe has actually crossed into something beyond friendship. Coffee does not necessarily mean the line has been crossed.

Now, how do you know you’ve been complained about? I mean, was this some kind of public wall post (which would have its own comments regarding propriety)? Or have you been peeking in message folders and email? Be sure before you defend reasonable boundaries of your relationship, you are respecting reasonable boundaries of privacy. That being said, I guess I wonder at what was said. Is it a light jab at your cooking or actual complaints about deal breaking issues that are better left out of convos with exes? Either way, if you are uncomfortable with your relationship particulars being on the table for conversation, tell your partner. Honest communication will do best. Of course, if there is some illegal search and seizure involved in the acquisition of this information, be prepared to deal with the backlash.

All I can suggest is honest communication. Speak up where you feel uncomfortable. Ask for what you want. But remember, if you are doing some jealous shrew act rather than the trusting and trustworthy (to not invade privacy) partner, you have more issues to discuss.

If you feel uncomfortable, ask. Ask about the relationship. Ask about the new found friendship, what broke them up and what feels good about friending this person now. Don’t ask like a jealous partner. Ask like an interested partner. “I noticed you friended…” Let your partner know that you are interested by who is let into the Facebook inner circle and why.

I know why my exes are there. One is funny as hell and his day-to-day is more interesting then most peoples super happy incredible moments. The other is brilliant, seriously. He rarely posts but each one makes you think. My guess, is your partner knows why this person is back on the wallposts. Don’t fret in silence. Ask for the whys.

Fret less, know more,

GoodWitch

==

Image: Third Wheel

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.


Share

Talk. Safe Sex. Awkward…!

As everyone knows, men looove to share their feelings and talk…sometimes too much. What do they mostly want to talk about? Why, safe sex of course! Another ‘Safety Dance’ we can thank the ’80s for.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — It’s not always easy to bring up the safe sex subject when I’m with a guy…  — Safe and Sorry

==

Dear Safe and Sorry,

Sex and feeling sexy is all in the head – literally. Women already know that the brain is the organ where sex starts and the rest is mechanics. Bringing most guys up to speed about the importance of the brain in sex has been a historic challenge for us gals (I’m not discounting safe sex for boys who like boys, but as this question was posed, feels uniquely female to me), but keeping their big head engaged long enough to talk safe sex is a very small window, indeed.

Add to your arsenal!, cultivate another sexual habit: find the place where your safe sex talk makes the most sense for you personally, somewhere between the reuniting greeting, “Hey!” and the thin line after the hot macking session that makes this conversation necessary. Make that point in time Pavlovian for yourself. When X happens, you talk that talk. Period. Without fail (no pun intended but, hey!, a happy side effect on average). Work on your content and personal style and — stick with this until it’s a pattern/habit that you just pull out of your dating tool box like anything else that works for you.

Parents talking to kids about safe sex is another great first step to all this. For already active daters, this was a fabulous article I saw a while back and still absolutely love for its well-roundedness than some on the same topic that I’ve seen in mags for girls. Some of those focus far more on pleasing him (reeeally??) than taking care of you first — the best aphrodisiac that not only can be made playful and hot, it will keep you ultimately “sustainable.”

Safety first,

BadWitch

==

Dear Safe and Sorry,

Not easy, but as you value your life—literally—this conversation is a must-have.

Listen, it’s not easy to take control of your sexuality, to express what feels good and what really isn’t working for you. But all these conversations, like the Safe Sex Talk are essentials for a truly freeing, personally affirming sexual experience. Remember, if you are not comfortable, the sex just won’t be very good for you. And if it’s not god for you, it’s not going to be great for him either.

Remember Brigit Jones having that conversation with herself about whether a date required stomach reducing Spanx or “genuinely tiny knickers”? In that same timeframe before your date, power yourself up. The ore you can stand in your power, the more sexy you will be to everyone you have contact with—especially your date. Try the following Power Up exercise and get connected to your sexiest you!

Power Up Exercise

Imagine a yellow/gold ball of light that accumulates in your hand. This is the energy of your free will. Light, sunny and full of its own energy. Rub this energy over your belly—from pubic bone up. As you rub this energy in imagine it sinking into your skin, energizing and updating you sense of free will. Repeat to yourself: “It is my right to decide what I do with my body. It is my body and mine alone. I stand up for myself.” Take your time and repeat this as many times as necessary. Really feel yourself gaining energy and ownership over yourself.

Now imagine a beautiful blue ball of energy in your hands. Rub this all over your throat, chin, mouth and ears. This is the energy of communication. Allow this energy to sink into your skin. Feel the lines of communication with yourself and with others opening and clearing. Repeat to yourself: “ I have the right to speak up for what I need and want. I speak for myself. I speak up for myself.” Take your time and repeat this as many times as necessary. Really feel yourself gaining energy and ownership over your communications.

Now, take a ball of orange energy into your hands. This is the energy of creativity and sexuality. Rub this energy over the lower region of your stomach. See yourself as a sexy, confident person. Imagine the sexy confident celebrities that inspire you. Allow yourself to see those qualities that you admire—sassy speech, devil may care attitude, self-assuredness—float into you through this orange energy. Feel yourself standing straighter, feeling more sexy and more in control of yourself.

Repeat any of these as needed.

Now, all powered up, feeling sexy and confident, get dressed. Look in the mirror and practice your safe sex speech. Maybe it’s just a sentence, “I am really attracted to you, but you should know I only practice safe sex.” Whatever your version of this sentiment, practice it. Own it. Reapply your Power Up energy as needed, so when you say it you feel in your power and ready to express yourself. Then go have fun.

Just remember, people want to date people who are individuals with their own thoughts and ideas. Express those thoughts and ideas. The more you are truly who you are, the sexier you are.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

The Break Up: Hurt Feelings Included

It’s not you, it’s me…Can we just be friends? Is it written in some sort of cultural code that breaking up is hard to do? When a perfectly good relationship has run its course, but…    — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I’m a very mature 17 but want to break up with my 2 year long boyfriend but don’t know how. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, we didn’t have some big fight, but I don’t know how to let him down nicely and still be friends. — Can We Be Friends?

==

Dear Can We Be Friends,

Ah!, to be 17 and self-serving again. It’s a good time for these lessons, don’t forget it. This (being self-serving) doesn’t have to be a bad thing if you focus on doing no harm to yourself or others. Life is nothing but paradox, and the sooner you can wrap your mind around and accept it, the happier you will be.

Lil sister, you’re ready to move on but probably feel equally guilty for wanting to leave a guy who’s been very good to you; bitchy for wanting to date other guys who’ve shown interest in the hottie you are; and tired of his clinginess or inability to see you that what you have in common at 17 isn’t likely going to serve you post-college and into Real Life of your 20s and beyond (yes!, you will likely live even past your ancient 30s yikes). There are so many Tips On Dumping Mr. Wrong, so go find those if you need ‘em. Here, instead, I’m going to ask you to break up with him the way you’d like anyone to break up with you.

Sit him down in a neutral place, and tell him you two are going to talk today. You start. This is your convo, Ms. Thang. Try to be and stay very clear and succinct, “We’ve had a great run but it’s time to move on. But you’re important to me, so I want to tell you why I feel like this.” When it’s his turn to talk, listen, really listen. Try your best not to deviate, or let him, from the main purpose of this meeting: to break up civilly (and no reason why not, if all the rest you report is true). Ending by asking him to be friends may be a bit too much to outright stupid of you, so just see how the talk goes and allow him room to let him feel all his feelings over the next few days. Before parting this meeting, if you can manage it, set a phone date to check in and make sure you two are still ok and civil — about one week (7 whole days) seems right to me, and is about 6 months in teen years.

Much love to both your long treks,

BadWitch

==

Dear Can We Be Friends,

Maintaining a friendship past the break-up is not an easy thing to do—but definitely not impossible. Just remember to be respectful of whatever boundaries he puts up after the fact, while letting him know that you care about him and will always be there for him if he needs you.

Now as for “the conversation,” take the following into consideration:

1. No guilt. Remember that all relationships are not meant to last forever. If you feel that now is the time to split, respect your feelings..

2. Have compassion. Maybe the other person understands or maybe he was looking forward to a long future. No matter what, make an effort to understand where he is coming from.

3. Be clear. Talking around the point will only cause more confusion and hurt feelings. Think of it like ripping off the band-aid. Be straight-forward. There is time to discuss once the truth is out on the table.

4. Do not use the old standard, “It’s not you. It’s me.” It will only bring up every bad break-up seen before on TV or the movies. Will not help the “let him down nicely,” intention.

5. Speak your truth. Tell him from your heart how you feel. Let him know you care and have hopes for your future friendship. Let him know the truth behind his biggest question, “why?”

This probably won’t be the last time you have this conversation with someone you are dating. Sometimes you will give the speech, other times you will listen to it being delivered to you. No matter, remember every relationship will offer valuable information on who you are, what type of person you are attracted to and how you share yourself with others.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.