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The Relationship Education We’re Not Given

(Published in AO Magazine – Issue 2)

With a title like that, where do I even start?! There is so much information that’s not taught and even less information that is considered “acceptable” so be prepared for this article to briefly explore things that you may never have heard of, let-a-lone considered; but at the end of the day, it’s here to broaden your perspective and offer a different point of view. If it happens to make you smile, giggle or blush, that’s a bonus!

I’m sitting here in my comfy jammies on a Sunday morning with the best husband in the world beside me, wondering why there are so many couples out there that are just surviving, not thriving. Or single people that are in and out of relationships because they can’t find the right person or have commitment issues. It’s a real shame because thriving relationships have the potential to effect every other area of your life; all the other good is amplified and so much more becomes possible with a solid foundation of love and happiness to launch from. I know, I know, somewhat sappy and cliché but it’s all true.

Part of the problem is a big black hole of education about sexuality, how to create successful and deliriously happy relationships, and what other relationship options are available! Imagine a shoe store with racks and racks of the exact same black shoe (okay yes, I’m a woman who likes shoes so a shoe store analogy works for me), then up the far back corner a small bunch of rainbow coloured shoes with sparkles and shiny bits (ooo shiny).

You ask the store person if there is anything else to choose from since black is well, boring and the same as everyone else is wearing, but the brightly coloured shoes are just a bit much. The store person answers “all of these at the front are perfectly acceptable; those up the back are for those “other” people…” He leans in close, checks that no one is watching and whispers “I have some other shoes I think you might like but shhhh, they’re out the back”. What he fails to mention is that they are popular but nobody wants to be the first to bring them out in the main store!

My husband and I are one of those people, the “in betweens”. The majority of couples today are in a traditional relationship and while some people are well suited to that style, not everyone comfortably fits in that black shoe even though they are wearing them. Then you have gay/lesbian relationships which are well known and becoming more accepted (finally!!!) but again, not everyone fits in that rainbow shoe, as pretty as they are. I occasionally try a pair on, enjoy it for a time and change shoes again.

So how many other shoes are out there? How many other kinds of relationships are available but are not out the front for all to see and choose from? There are heaps! And they don’t necessarily have a label or box you can put them in…

If we were to keep with the shoe analogy I have no idea what these shoes would look like but lets just say that some would look more adventurous, some would look less practical but fun for a night or 2, some would be quite open and less restrictive, and I bet some would downright scare the standard-black-shoe wearer out of their mind! But all would have an owner that fits quite comfortably into them and they’d come in various colours and shapes, not necessarily conforming to any particular style. I’m sure you’re imagining all kinds of things now and yes, I’m sure some of those shoes are dark red knee high boots… or is that just me?

Ok, let’s just look at some of the more major alternative relationship options and see who’s having the most fun:

Swinger – couples inviting others to join them just for some physical fun. Sometimes it’s just one extra to enjoy having a threesome, sometimes it’s another couple or a group. Those are the people that come into work Monday morning wearing that after-sex glow and a cheeky grin that shouts “if only you knew what I really got up to last night…”

It’s purely physical and that’s the distinction, there is no deep emotional connection between playmates, it’s just a way for couples to continue to explore sex and their sexuality (as many engage in same sex play). They catch up, play and go home and they enjoy having sex with other people for the sheer pleasure of it, it’s like having a human toy box! This is a great style of relationship to be able to try new fantasies and explore new sexual experiences as a couple, did you know that? Yeah, I wasn’t told about this one in sex education either…

Open – An open relationship is where a couple have agreed that it’s okay to have additional relationships outside of the partnership. This ranges from just casual sex to having another partner so it’s adultery with permission; not exclusively being with one person but with full disclosure to their partners about the others.

It’s not uncommon for couples to evolve from a swinger style relationship to an open relationship but it’s not a given, and some couples actually start in this style. It’s like having the freedom to be single and in a relationship at the same time, ever want to have your cake and eat it too? Facebook now gives you the option to list yourself in an “open relationship”, so I wonder how many decades it will take for the rest of the world to catch up? Who’s taking bets?

Polyamorous – a whole new level of relationship where it’s no longer just a physical thing. It’s having more than one loving, intimate relationship at a time with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved. This is the husband and wife with their boy/girlfriend kind of scenario. Note, that is just one possible configuration…

This kind of relationship holds deeper connections for all involved and requires high levels of honesty and trust to be able to make it work for everyone, as do all of these alternative relationships. You would never know because there was no Relationship Ed at school to teach us how to succeed in a traditional relationship let-a-lone an alternative one with increased complexities! Watch out world if I ever get to create the relationship training for teens, they might learn how to create fulfilling and happy relationships!

We grow up with examples and education that says we should go out into the world, find that “special someone”, get married, have children and grow old together but we were never told that we have the capacity to fully love more than one person at a time in that “soul partner” kind of way. If we were told we could, and that it was okay to, do you think that there’d be more polyamorous and open relationships? If we were given some guidance on how to successfully operate in these relationship styles, do you think there’d be more people in them? And would they be happier? It’s just something to think about.

Now those are really brief descriptions and I haven’t even touched on all of the variations in each. It’s like giving you 3 types of dessert – ice-cream, frozen custard and gelato. They are all different in their own right but inside those are so many different flavours.

And then you can add to the mix the various sexuality’s which are certainly not covered in the sex education program and we have a whole other series of flavours. This is why relationships are fluid and shouldn’t have to be confined to one shoe box or another, or is it flavours… Ok, now I’m mixing my analogies, mmm, shoes and dessert… Doesn’t sound appetising does it. Either way relationships grow, change, evolve and sometimes only periodically fit a particular description, and for some they never do.

We have so many teenagers and young adults going through life being taught that their sexual identity is naturally straight, and that the alternative is being gay/lesbian but they don’t teach them that there are a great number of variations in between, let-a-lone that it’s okay for them to be any one of them. Bi-sexual seems to be the new gay now that gay/lesbian is more recognised and accepted, still not as acceptable as straight apparently, but we’re making progress thankfully.

Then we have inter-sexuals and trans-sexual which is where sexuality starts to become confusing, especially for the person themselves. We have such strong education from the world around us that straight is the only truly acceptable sexuality which alienates everyone who is something different, there are a large number of people out there wondering if something is wrong with them. If our education was to include all the major variations, with a clause teaching that everything is acceptable, we’d have a whole lot less depression, confusion, anxiety, shame, and guilt, and more of a willingness to allow ourselves to explore that side of who we are. When a person can stand tall and say “this is who I am” and “I accept you as you are because you accept me”, what difference will that make to the world?

So my mission, if I choose to accept it, is to educate people so they can create a “conscious relationship”. Now, what the hell does that mean? It’s my way of describing a relationship where the guidelines are determined by the individuals in the relationship and not based on external influences such as society, traditions and the people around them. It’s where they’ve consciously chosen the rules and boundaries in their relationship that are right for them as an individual, and as a couple. They pick their own damn shoes based on what fits best, now doesn’t that sound good?

Just so there is no misunderstanding, my intention is not to “convert” anyone to any particular relationship shoe style or dessert flavour, my intention is to educate people about their options, help them to decide what is actually right for them based on their own truth rather than forcing themselves to fit just one. I don’t know about you, but when there are so many other great shoes and flavours out there to choose from, why would I limit myself to the standard one, vanilla or black? Yes I admit, a traditional relationship for me is the most boring but that’s not the case for everyone.

If after consciously discovering their truth they decide a traditional style relationship is what’s right for them, awesome, that’s exactly what I want for them because they’ve consciously chosen it! But if they are living in a traditional relationship because that’s what they think they should, then I’m here to let them know that it’s okay to want something different; it’s not bad or wrong, and they’re not alone… you’re not alone 🙂

Imagine if they started educating kids about the various options, how different life would be once they reached adulthood. They would likely be at peace with their sexuality, choose a relationship option that worked for them, find someone that was compatible in that style relationship and thrive. They wouldn’t feel guilt over their sexuality or relationship choices or worry about people finding out, or force themselves to be in a traditional relationship because that’s what is acceptable.

People could be open and proud of their sexuality, no more shame or angst over what it could mean to be something other than straight. What a world where people are accepting of who you are and you can be out and proud no matter what your sexuality or relationship choice. Excuse me while I get lost in my image of a perfect world… care to join me?

So You Have Feelings for Someone Outside Your Relationship…

This could mean a few different things but either way it’s a neon sign flashing a message at you to say “you need to change something”!

In my first marriage I always said “if either one of us starts to have feelings for someone else, it means there is something wrong here”.  I don’t actually think that anymore but that’s a whole other post… Never in a million years did I think it would be me to have feelings for someone else, but in the end, it was.

You can get into a rut in your relationship and sometimes you don’t realise it. You start to run on auto-pilot mode; doing the same things, going about your day the same way and basically coexisting together rather than being in a relationship with each other. Relationships are a living entity and require constant nourishment, love and attention, and when that stops happening, the relationship slowly dies.

Then along comes someone else who either drop dead gorgeous, and/or may show some interest in you; they represent something new, different, an escape from life as it is, maybe even giving you the attention you’ve been missing whether you realise you’ve been missing it or not. This might happen to you, or it might happen to your partner.

This is not unusual if you’ve grown apart. Over time we change but sometimes in different directions, which means you are no longer ideal for each other and this represents a time where you need to seriously evaluate your relationship.

By the time I realised what was happening it was already too late for me; I was already out of love and the more he tried to fix it, the more I felt smothered and suffocated which only cemented in the feelings of wanting to go. So when this happens, for some people their relationship is truly over and that new person, whether they enter into a new relationship with them or not, was just a catalyst to make massive changes.

For some people though, the feelings are nothing more than just wanting to have a physical experience with someone new, it has no bearing on how much they love their partner. After being together for a long period of time, the newness and initial passion with someone you don’t know is just like a new adventure; it’s thrilling and exciting. Depending on how this is dealt with though, depends what effect it has on the relationship.

Some people go ahead and have fun alone; cheating or having an affair, which has a high probability of destroying the relationship eventually. Often people will take this option if they’re afraid how their partner would react if they suggested the idea having sex with the other person. Sometimes they just don’t think about it and do it because they can… if that’s the case then their partner deserves someone better that will value the relationship and them.

Some couples talk about it openly and either use it as a fantasy to spark up their sex life, and some actually move into a swinging style relationship where they get to explore new sexual experiences and get to have that “new” partner. I’m meeting more and more couples that are taking this road; they don’t want to lose their relationship but they do want to have the experience of adding someone new to the mix, mostly together but for some people where one partner is traveling, it’s a way of having some fun when they can’t be physically together. (To find out more about this kind of relationship before making the jump – read The Essential Guide For Adventurous Couples).

There are a plethora of options and reasons why having feelings for someone else is happening for one or both of you, but the underlying message for you is to take a good look at your current relationship and make changes that are going to move you both in a direction that makes you happy, whatever that direction may be.

Here’s to your relationship and sexual evolution!

Not Feeling the Love?

If you’re reading this then maybe you feel you need this information and even better, that you’re doing something about it so my hat goes off to you. When I learned what I’m going to share with you, it revolutionised how I was relating to my partner and I believe it is a big reason as to why we continue to grow more connected each day.

First things first, guess what? News flash… chances are that your partner is different to you! “Well duh!” I hear you say. And thank God it’s true, who’d want to be with someone who is exactly like them; seriously, where’s the fun in that?

Differences are things to be celebrated but can also be the very things that push people apart, especially when it comes to making their partner feeling loved if neither partner knows how it works. Consider this your introduction.

Ever heard the phrase “in order to receive, you need to give first”? This is exactly the case and regardless of who started it or who did or didn’t do what, if you want to feel more loved, it starts with you.

So the first thing you need to know is what has to happen in order for you to feel loved? Do you need to hear them say “I love you”? Do you need regular physical affection? Do you need them to give you surprises or do things for you (acts of service)? Do you need them to strip naked, paint themselves in chocolate and show up dressed in just a big red bow? Seriously think about that right now, what is it for you? While all those things might make you feel loved, which one is absolutely essential? Here’s a clue: what’s one thing you feel you aren’t getting right now?

Here is the key, you will do for your partner what makes you feel loved. It’s human nature to do for the others what works for us. The problem is that everyone is different and if you and your partner were effectively communicating love, you wouldn’t be reading this. So you have likely been showing your partner love in the way you want to be shown it, which means they probably aren’t feeling loved either.

So now that you know what you need, find out what they need. You can either ask them straight out or you can think about some of the conversations you’ve had and work out what they have been asking you do to or say more. Remember that we tend to show love in the way we want it, so how have they been showing their love?

When you know what it takes for them to feel loved, the second most important thing, is to do that for them, even if it feels alien to you and even if they aren’t doing for you what you need right now. Remember what I said before? To get what you want sometimes you need to give it first. The beauty of giving first is that often when the other feels completely loved it produces a desire to show love in return.

All that needs to happen then is to keep doing what makes them feel loved, they keep doing what makes you feel loved and that creates a stable foundation to work other things out along the way. This is one of the basics when it comes to relationships. Like we need water to live, relationships need love to live.

This goes for any relationship type; straight, gay, swinger, polyamorous and everything in between. The relationship basics are the same but somehow they’re an education that’s missing. Often everything starts great and then occasionally it all goes downhill somehow and you don’t know why. That was certainly the case in my first marriage, it wasn’t until it was all over that I worked it out. I wondered how it got to that point when it all started so wonderful.

And you know what, I have an answer. When you first get together, what do you do to show them love? Everything! You tell them you love them, you spend time with them doing things they like, you talk to them about anything and everything, you are intimate with them and probably often (way more often in the first year than any year after that… for most anyway).

It doesn’t matter what needs to happen to make them feel loved because you’ve covered it. But what happens after the “honeymoon” is over? You fall into life and your regular patterns of being, along with your natural way of showing love… Knowing how to continue to making your partner feel loved can mean the difference between a short term and long term, forever type, relationship.

This is just an introduction into communication. I’ll be spending some time focussing more on it because it’s one of the key foundations to a forever relationship. To learn more about this topic, a book I found supremely useful is “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. Read it and use it, I promise you won’t regret it!

Here is to your relationship evolution! May the sexual evolution be involved 🙂

Valentines Day EVERYday!

Valentines day comes once a year and it continues to amaze me how many couples go to an all-out effort to surprise each other, spend quality time together and really be present with each other… for just one day.

I see couples go out and buy nice outfits and lingerie (well she buys the lingerie but hey, whatever you’re into is fine), they shave, pluck and wax everything to look fabulous for their partner (not just the women!). They make dinner plans, buy presents (sometimes ridiculously expensive ones), create ways to surprise each other and “I love you” is the phrase of the day. They spend most of the time being absolutely present, truly listening and communicating with each other… for just one day.

Why not do those things every day? Well not all of them, you don’t need to go and buy presents daily and waxing everyday is more masochism than maintenance, but spending quality time together and really being present with each other, even if for only an hour or so, and the occasional surprise goes a long way.

If couples did this they would be building the love of a life time instead of a lifetime love for a day. So many relationships perish in the long run because the simple stuff isn’t done on a regular basis.

A relationship is a living entity; it requires sustenance on a regular basis and if it’s not fed, loved and nurtured, it dies. Both partners need to feel connected, loved, encouraged and supported. Think of a relationship being a baby; it’s dependent on you always and for everything. Unfortunately while it matures over time it will never “grow up” and be independent.

The danger is that it’s so easy for people to get caught up in life. Between work, kids, the house and the day to day dramas people forget to do the basic things in the relationship. Sometimes realising days later that they’ve barely talked or done anything intimate. Some couples end up going weeks and months just existing together, which is really scary when you think that for every day you don’t do something to nurture, grow and evolve your relationship, it disintegrates and dies a little bit.

To build the love of a life time means building strong foundations on a daily basis, not just a massive effort on one day to last a year. Would you only eat on one day and expect to be fulfilled and satisfied until the next year? Would you have sex for 24 hours and hope you wouldn’t get horny for 12 months? Hell no!

Building a lifetime relationship is easier than some people think; it’s a simple as saying “I love you” or giving affection out of the blue, surprising your partner with something that is meaningful for them, specifically to spend quality time doing things you both like to do, or just taking the time out to sit and talk to them about their thoughts and feelings on anything and everything.

You know you’ve built good solid foundations in your relationship when it can evolve and grow to involve others for sexual exploration. In fact, a solid relationship that starts swinging only grows deeper and stronger with new experiences and the sharing of fantasies together. Many people don’t realise it’s an option that can take the relationship to a whole new level of intimacy and connection which is the reason I wrote “The Ultimate Swingers Guide”. Not sure if you’re relationship is ready for it? Don’t worry, the book takes you through everything you need to look at and consider before you get naked and jump into it.

So don’t let Valentines day be the only day you really and truly love your partner. Become an expert on making your partner feel loved daily; make it Valentines Day every day and ask yourself what you can do tomorrow, the next day, and every day after that to make your partner feel as loved as they are?

Here’s to your relationship evolution (your sexual evolution is just a bonus)!

Why Do We Hold on Tighter When We Should Let Go?

Ever noticed yourself doing that? It’s usually triggered when we think we are going to lose something… Like when a relationship starts to show signs of ending. My first marriage got to that point and my husband at the time realised he might lose me, so the tightening began… More “I love you”‘s, more hugs, more spending time with me… more in my space at the time when I needed space the most!

The end of a relationship is never easy for either party but here it the thing, the more you try to hold on the more you close off the oxygen feeding it. I felt suffocated, trapped and even more guilt because all I wanted to do was run. The more he tried to be with me, the more I wanted to go because it was TOO much. In the end all it did was kill any chance of me reconnecting with him; I didn’t have the space to think through things or to miss him because he made sure he was there all the time.

Parents do it with children too, usually when they get to that age… you know, the age where they start to try and be an adult but the parents still think of them as children?? Now as parents we know they are just trying to keep them safe, but to the teenager they are just trying to keep them a child and spoil all their fun!!!! So what happens when a teenager has a parent who puts more rules and restrictions on them… they rebel!!!

The age old saying of “if you love someone set them free, if they were meant to be yours, they’ll come back to you” is more than true in most cases. It’s even true while you are IN the relationship. For a relationship to truly thrive both people need to be given the freedom to grow, change, feel, dream, experience and express who they really are. Shut them down or box them in and eventually they will have to get out.

To “let go” is to encourage and support rather than to demand and rule. Encourage your partner (child/friend/whoever) to experience the new things they express a desire to do; support them in their dreams and aspirations. If they say they want to do something, tell them it’s great, to shut them down would be to say “what do you want to do that for?” or “that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard” and then to carry on with all reasons YOU think it’s a waste of time.

My boss was telling the team just yesterday about his wife wanting to go to a national event and then he ranted on about all the reasons he thought it was pointless and a waste of time and everything else he said to her… my first thought was “the poor woman, she tells him something she feels the need to do and he belittles it” I could just imagine how deflated she would have felt… and I don’t know about you but, do you reckon that built stronger foundations in the relationship or just took another chip away from it???

Ok, enough of a ramble from me… I think you get my point, hold on too tightly to someone and they want to go in the opposite direction, allow them the freedom and they’ll more likely choose to stay around you :o)

How Do You Know When it’s "Love"?

This going to sound so cliche but you just know! For me, if you have to ask “is this love?” then it’s not, well at least not yet as it can certainly grow into it!

I’ve been married twice and the first time I thought I was in love but it wasn’t until Mr Wonderful came along that I realised what true love is! This is normally how you work it out, you have someone else as a benchmark.

Here are some ways to tell if it’s really love, keeping in mind that this is just my opinion:

1. Their happiness is very important to you to the point where if they were happier being with someone else, you’d let them go (a hard one for most to swallow)
2. You encourage them to go for the things they want and support them in their goals
3. You have a feeling of complete and utter gratitude for having them in your life
4. The depth of feeling you have for them can sometimes give you “happy tears”

5. You accept them as they are; you don’t try to mold them into something you want them to be…
6. You give them the choice and freedom to be with you; you don’t try to control them or hold them back

Notice how most of those are “them” focussed? Not what you get out of it… Well, except for happy tears and that unbelieveably grateful feeling!!! I believe that’s the difference, or at least one of the major ones. It’s really love when it’s not all about you. This not to say you need to be a martyr and sacrifice everything you want and need but there is a balance. If they truly love you they’ll do the same and together you’ll find ways to achieve your individual goals as well as the ones you have for both of you. It’s all collaboration!!!

Why Do We Carry So Much Baggage from One Relationship to the Next?

It’s a natural thing to compare our new partner to our previous partner or partners, because they are our baseline, they are what we know when it comes to relationships and how they work. The issue is when the new partner does something that is similar to something the ex did and you react with all of the emotion pent up from being with them… which is unfair to the new partner who may not be doing that at all, or at least this might be the first offence. What happens then? You get the “you’re over-reacting” label! Ouch!

Relationships never “fail”, they just come and go leaving you with an education for next time. For me, I learnt some great stuff from my first serious relationship such as;
1. You need to keep a life of your own and be an individual sharing a life with another individual
2. You have to be true to who you are
3. Men don’t have ESP!

That’s not all but I took a lot of positive learnings from the experience. When I met Mr Wonderful I implemented those in our relationship which only made ours phenomenal (and continuing to evolve). I know many people who have a “bad” relationship and take other learnings such as:
1. Men/women can’t be trusted

2. I’m not lovable/not good enough/ugly…
3. I can’t make relationships work

Now if you know anything about universal laws or how the unconscious mind works, people wandering around with beliefs like these will attract or unconsciously seek people that will prove them right; people that can’t be trusted, that themselves are not good at relationships, or that will be detrimental to their self esteem.

Ever had this happen? I decided on the next car I wanted, a yellow Mazda 6 Luxury Sport, once I focused on having it, they showed up everywhere! Your unconscious mind works like that for anything you focus on – GOOD or BAD! It doesn’t discriminate. So if you are spending time thinking about all the things that went wrong in your last relationships (or what’s wrong with your life for that matter), you’ll see it and experience it again and again… the baggage that you carry is what you keep focusing on that is “wrong” with you and relationships in general…

Turning it around is as easy as changing your focus, but since 95% of who we are is unconscious, there are a lot of destructive patterns and beliefs that people don’t realise they have. So engaging someone who works with the unconscious mind is a really good place to start!

What is a 21st Century Relationship?

Probably one that would make our parents blush! Well, for a good number of us it is…

This is how I see it… when my grandparents got married it was for life. She took care of the house and children, and he did the “man-ly” thing and went to work. Men were strong and women nurtured. Through thick and thin they stayed together and to be honest, I think my Pa is a saint for hanging in so long! But that’s what they did; they saw the vow of marriage as this sacred contract that couldn’t be broken. Absolute loyalty! Only one partner for the rest of their lives and sex was not talked about… ooo, that would be a dirty word…

By the time my parents got married the women were forced into the workforce yet still being the nurturer of children, and men were encouraged to “feel” their emotions and be more nurturing. Divorce was starting to become an option for those who weren’t happy with their first choice, enabling them to go out and find someone else who was more “right” for them than the last. Sometimes 2 or 3 times! This was frowned upon by the generation before them who were still waiting for “until death do us part” to kick in! And sex was a topic that some people talked about and others, with more traditional views, didn’t.

Now it’s my time and it’s more about focusing on our own happiness, so if we’re not happy we cut our losses and move on. Men are now SNAG’s (Sensitive New Age Guys) and some have more PMS then us women! Women are finding their own power and are asserting their wants, needs and desires. We’re also in a time where sexuality is ok to talk about, and we’re almost encouraged to explore it… I say almost… there is still some “taboo’s” to break through…

In the 60′s they went through a “hippy free love” period which was an all-in affair; sharing is caring sort of thing… which in some ways pioneered the whole sexuality exploration era (is there such an era?? bugger it, there is now!) It’s been an ongoing evolution since then to the point where even though some exploration is still considered “taboo”, it seems like there are a great number of people exploring! Go figure!

So in the 21st century, just to recap and get to a point, women and men both work, marriage is not necessarily the done thing and if it lasts more than 10 years then you’re doing well! Sex is a big part of the relationship and in some, what makes it or breaks it! We are exploring our sexuality, which for a lot of people is their “bisexuality”… we have a plethora of ideas, toys and paraphernalia to assist us in having great sex, and many couples are now seeking other ways to both explore their sex life and have fun doing it!

For some it’s engaging in role play, having sex in different places, different positions, using toys, watching porn, or for some it means bringing other people into their sex lives to live out the dreams and fantasies that they can’t do with just their partner. How do you have a 3some with just 2 of you? And how do you explore bi-sexuality with the just opposite sex?? Toys are only good to a point and for some, that’s as far as they want to take it, for others they want to try the real thing and does it matter? Hell no!

Now my grandparents, and I’m pretty sure my parents, would think there was something wrong with the relationship, and me for that matter, to be out there swinging around, lol… But you know what? The 21st century is all about self discovery; finding out what is right for you, challenging traditions that were passed down for the sake of passing them down and working out what is relevant to you in this era. So if you’re exploring your sexuality; deciding what is right for you and your partner, then I doubt lightning is going to strike you down! Besides, if you’re both consenting adults, who cares? Get out and be who you are, discover and explore, try something new… your sex life will thank you…

If you want to check out more about this whole swinging caper, check out my book “The Essential Guide for Adventurous Couples“, it will be an eye opener but it’s a great how-to guide if you decide it’s for you. Until then…

Here’s to your sexual evolution!

Why do We Give Up Who We Are when We’re In "Love"?

I’m not the only person to do this but it baffles me as to why we do…

I’ve been married twice, the second time to Mr Wonderful (as he shall be known as forever on this blog!). My first marriage was also my first long term relationship and at the time I thought I was in love, as we tend to think until we actually do fall in love and then know the difference (but that’s a whole other blog!).

Now see if any of this sounds familiar… in that relationship I took on a lot of his likes and hobbies, as I thought you should do so you had things in common; so trail bike riding, water skiing, wakeboarding etc. I made friends with all of his friends and his couple friends became “our” couple friends. I ended up seeing less and less of my friends, partly because he didn’t like some of them and also because our time was spent with “our” friends.

I made sure I didn’t do things he didn’t like to the point where I wasn’t being me. He was a jealous person and I’m a natural flirt, but when we were out I was careful not to do it because it would upset him. So I buried my natural urges for the sake of the relationship. Now, you can only do that for so long before who you really are, screams to be free (trust me on that one).

He was a dominant kind of person but more of a protector than an equal lover. I did the “good wife” thing and was a good mother in that I tended to do most things for our daughter (you really get to know someone when a. you live with them, and b. you breed with them!) He knew exactly what he wanted and me being the wonderful wife, would encourage and support his every decision, no matter much debt it got us into!

I don’t know if other people do this but I made it look so great and perfect on the outside that I almost convinced myself that the relationship itself was perfect too. My realisation came when someone else came into my life. This gorgeous hunk of a man started working in my area and we really hit it off. I was gobsmacked to say the least when I realised that I had more than just benign feelings for him and him for me.

To be honest, hubby number 1 wasn’t that great looking physically and I didn’t think I was good enough to find someone with model looks that would like me, so when that happened I think it made me realise that maybe I could do better. And I had always said that if you start to have “feelings” for someone outside the relationship that there was something wrong with the relationship, so that was my red flag. I didn’t realise there was something seriously wrong with it until this gorgeous man came in and swept me off my feet.

Inutition is your greatest gift. It knows things you don’t, it can tell you what’s right for you and what isn’t… and for sometime I’d had this niggling feeling that didn’t sit right but I ignored it. Ever heard of the feather – brick – truck theory? If your intuition wants to let you know something it will tickle you with a feather, if you ignore it you get the brick (the real icky feeling) and if you STILL don’t pay attention, it hits you with the truck! This was my truck! Within 3 days of realising something was wrong, I’d decided to “give it a break” and I was gone.

My intuition was screaming so loudly that I couldn’t ignore it and I didn’t understand it. I was talking to a friend about my feelings and the dilemma I was in and she asked one simple question… “so what do you feel you should do now” and when I paid attention to my intuition, all it was saying was “I have to go”. At that point I didn’t know why, how or anything, I was so full of emotion I was numb, it made no sense and I had no answers for anyone that asked, including my then husband… all I could say was “I have to go”… that’s all I knew.

It took me a good 12 months to work it out and here’s what I learnt: I had spent so much time being someone I wasn’t that I completely forgot who I was. By the time I left, I had no clue as to what I wanted, what I liked or who I wanted to be; I was completely lost. I had to go through a process of questioning why I was doing things, was it because I wanted it or was I doing it because it was something he liked and therefore I should get into…

After that I was adamant, no matter who came into my life, that I would have my own life! I would know who I was and I would decide for myself where I was going to go and what I was going to do with it. I would still support and encourage my partner in their pursuits but would expect the same from them… I found my power when I started living my life for me, and by doing that I also found true happiness. On, and I found hubby number 2; my Mr Wonderful who is everything I asked for :o)

The moral to the story? Be who you are!

Are We Naturally Monogamous?

… nah…. lol

I have a theory on this (note: this is just my theory, although shared by many)… I say “absolutely no, we’re not!” Here’s why: We don’t marry and stay with the first person we have sex with (and thank god!) It’s also natural for us to be walking along in our own little world, checking out the scenery and to have our attention captured by some gorgeous looking model specimen of a human being. Anyone who says they “don’t look” is either lying to their partner so they don’t get upset, or blind!

Now I for one am the first to comment on some sexy man or woman that is within view, if hubby hasn’t made some comment about them first. We both accept that this is natural behaviour and attach no meaning to it other than we can appreciate someone that looks good. We might notice them and point out how hot they are but looks aren’t everything and we know we are still going home together… besides, if he didn’t notice other sexy women, I’d be worried there was something wrong with him.

So what is it that says we should be monogamous? Well, its become a tradition in our society… we are supposed to marry someone and the sacred sacrament of marriage dictates that they will be our only partner from then till death do you part! Who’s idea was that? Were we always like this? Hmmm, religion has a lot to answer for! There are societies in the world where this is not the case (don’t ask me which ones, I don’t have time for research, I just recall reading something somewhere that talked about it).

So we are sheep to some extent; we followed what our parents did, what society expects and we marry with the intention (in most cases) that this will be our partner for life. I accept that, but here is something else I have confirmed and have proven – you will not get struck down with lightning if you swing! If you are a consenting adult, married or with another consenting adult and you both consent to adding more consenting adults to your relationship, then I say good on you! There is nothing “wrong” and you aren’t going to get into trouble doing so.

When we take ourselves out of the traditions and conditioned thinking that we will only fall in love with one person and that will be our partner in life, we open ourselves up to our real capacity for loving (ok, now we’re sounding hippy, but just ponder the thought)… we have the capacity to love more than we let ourselves. There are other people out there who get this concept and while I don’t necessarily agree with their choices of marrying multiple partners without them knowing, some of them will tell you that they love them all.

Now for me I have worked out that you can love people at different depths and in different ways, yet still call it “love”. I love Mr Wonderful with greatest depth I have ever known and truly believe we are “soul mates”, but I also “love” some of my playmates, not to be confused as the same love I feel for my husband but a type of love all the same. Am I weird? Maybe but by allowing myself to feel things for other people, I increase my capacity to love in general…

Ok, done with the really sappy stuff… another reason we’re not meant to be monogamous – we like variety! Well 90% of us do, some more than others. One sexual partner for the rest of your life? No way, there is only so much you can do with one person!!! Where is the fun in that? So bring in an extra person ,or at the very least, some new toys and stories about other people to spice it up! If your sex life isn’t satisfying, look at the effect it has on the rest of your life… Think about a time where the sex was hot and passionate, how was the rest of life then? I swear they are interlinked, so if you’re bored in bed… how’s life?

At the end of they day, you’re consenting adults and whatever is right for you, is right for you.. my purpose here was to get you thinking and potentially questioning why you don’t follow your natural urges and whether or not you are living traditionally because you want to (which is perfectly fine) or if you are just doing it because that’s “how it’s done”… Just a thought, and probably a controversial one, lol!

If you are curious and want to learn more about a swinging lifestyle, or have already decided to get into it, check out a book I wrote just for you; “The Essential Guide for Adventurous Couples“. Until then…

Here’s to your sexual evolution!