Voluntary servitude, the idea of becoming a slave or property to another is abhorrent to most folks… although some of us know this to be commonplace. In the BDSM world there exists Masters & slaves *(M/s)… those that voluntarily give themselves as ‘slaves’ do so with full content and most often with a set of agreements (hopefully conscsious) about what this arrangement holds for both parties.

For those of you in this lifestyle, particularly Y/you other M/s folks… let me ask you:  Do you have your property work and earn for Your household?  Or as a slave, is part of your role to hand over all goods, monies and property to your Owner/Master? Where do Y/you draw the line so to speak?

I laugh at most of the “slave seeking Master” posts I see.  They most always include the many ways that the slave is wanting to be Mastered… the things the slave wants: financial support, room, board… to be wined and dined (REALLY!)… they make Me laugh.

The ideal ad? “slave seeking to serve Master, terms to be determined by Master.”. Think about it, really. What is a slave or property? Anything less then complete surrender… well, it’s something less.

I read Jack Rinella’s Blog this morning… thank you Jack, often So inspiring!  Here’s a link to Jack’s blog entitled: The Perfect or the Good?  Way to go Jack…

In My Household…My slave is Mine… her time, her energy and what I decide to have her do with her body, her mind… is really Mine. My time…My decision to use as I wish…  Does it really matter if Your slave/property is cleaning your shoes, performing acts of sexual depravity, shoveling snow or earning $100k for the household? Well, for many it does…

My suggestion: get past the dichotomy of good/bad… deal with Your own  money issues… and use Your property any way you like… as long as the agreements are in place first.

Namaste

 

 

While watching the movie 2012-A Time for a Change, I saw boys running in the jungle, learning, having fun… What a far cry from sitting in a confining desk while a boring old person goes on and on about things that matter very little to the inquisitive young minds… Of course, these days those powers that be have found a ‘cure’ for those inquisitive young minds… Adderall…to “treat” the A.D.D or A.D.H.D… Did you know some classrooms consist of 38% of the class being medicated? Why not medicate the teacher and speed them up a bit?

We are evolving spiritual beings… or at least, that’s why we are here. We each have our own ‘vibrational energy’, we are physically separate beings and we each evolve at our own rate and speed… or we don’t. For me, I’m a learning maniac… you can ask anyone who knows me well… I’m like a learning machine… just like those boys in the jungle, running, jumping, learning, exploring… sitting at a desk for hours just didn’t work.

I’ve always loved to learn… the little professor, the inquisitor, the explorer, the experimenter. The adults in my world worked really hard to attempt to harness my dancing spirit… Silly adults really…  and there are so many out there that are just as silly; with their judgments, their limiting beliefs and their prejudices.

A common theme in our kink world IS experimentation, exploration, discovery. We are active in giving space for our desires, sexual or otherwise.  Giving space and time to the things that make hot, make us squirm, or just make us giggle… This goes against the teachings most of our parents, our teachers and our culture…who would be a whole lot more comfortable if we would just ‘act normal’.

Normal? Not a chance.

There are many that believe that the majority of people in Western ‘civilization’ who call themselves ‘normal’ are actually asleep… operating out of beliefs, rules and fears they have been taught… and to chase dreams they were taught to have. You…simply by being your kinky self are among the awakening…and I am glad you are!

Normal…not a chance… how about you?

Rock on and get your kink on!

 

Leather and Kink folks are some of the most authentic folks I know… it is a value inherent in so much of what we do in our BDSM world…what an honor to be among you.

What goes on behind closed doors is private… it speaks of trust, honesty and intimate sharing.

I recently presented at the “Behind Closed Doors” conference in Tucson AZ… The weather was fabulous, the hotel and staff were magnificent, and the people… The kinksters that gathered at the conference were beautiful, honest and authentic.

Now, you might wonder why I write about this… Our value and practice of honesty and authenticity is a value spoken of in our larger culture, yet covertly and overtly suppressed and NOT practiced… at least not to the level and degree that W/we do.

Examples:

1.  The Vanilla Networking Meeting: Images are up, personas are on. We are taught to reveal only so much of ourselves…rather, to reveal what we think others will be impressed with. Lots of handshaking, talk about business… authenticity is often left somewhere else. Jockeying for position, business and ego-supporting scripts in support of stories we learned as children.

2.  The Vanilla Marriage:  Often overtly monogamous and often covertly semi-monogamous; things like sex, physical pleasures, unusual interests are often ‘closeted’.  A mutually agreed upon co-dependence that supports the images we hope to be as husband/wife-man/woman.

3. The Kinksters Relationships… vis-a-vis Behind Closed Doors: An open sharing of who we are with each other; a dropping of images, of competition in lieu of authentic sharing, sometimes coupled with emotional, physical and spiritual connections.

At the end of the conference MasterZ spoke about authenticity.  He referred to the movie “Avatar”… if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll recall how the beings greet each other, they say: “I See You”.  The Avatar beings pause, look and ‘take in’ the experience of the other person, and then greet them with: “I See You”.

In our larger culture it is much more common to work at “not” being seen… which is unfortunate… so many bright lights dimmed.  Not us :)

 Let us keep lighting up our world with our authenticity, our honesty, our truth.  Celebrate who you are… You are better at being You than anyone else, Rock On!

 

www.BDSMcoach.com

Off W/we go to Arizona this weekend presenting “NLP 201-Other Than Conscious Control” at the Behind Closed Doors Conference. 

As a kinky coach I get many “how to” questions… many have to do with how to influence our partners, submissives and slaves. Influence, control… it is so much of what we do in this BDSM lifestyle… Tops/bottoms; Doms/subs; Masters/slaves…

Influence is easy…really.

     A key to ease in influence is #1 You… Your emotional state and skill levels. One cannot expect to ‘Master’ another until they have mastered their self. If You know what you want, and You are confident in your “dominance” then directing or commanding others will come natural.

Then there’s the Other Than Conscious Influence… that’s the skill part. Knowing that all behaviors are communication is part of it; training yourself to observe things like: breathing changes, body movements, skin color changes, eye movements and then Use these behaviors to influence…. without ever saying a word.  That’s some of that NLP stuff. And there’s more.

Then there’s the ability to influence with just a few words… to influence mood, attitude, thoughts, emotions and behavior… with just a few words…  just a few words.

This NLP stuff is really remarkable.  Here’s a link to Learn More about NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programming) training which includes a short video and a short introductory paper for you to learn more: “NLP-Just the Tip of the Iceburg”

 

Kinky…everyday living; is it 24/7?

I laughed recently when a kinky friend of mine said: “Well, I don’t live it 24/7 like you.” Funny because living day in and day out with a slave, one get’s used to things… a new “normal”  begins to settle. I had forgotten that having a slave is a bit different.

Yes, slavery is illegal. Some or many of you are familiar with the M/s dynamic, Master/slave. So when I refer to slave, please know that it is voluntary servitude…. slavery is illegal, and immoral.

I was surprised and taken aback by his statement: “I don’t live it 24/7″.  Well, where do these parts of you go? Are your dominant/submissive characteristics eliminated during daylight?   We all have certain ‘tendencies’ and these are context dependent…. so in some way, aren’t we always living ‘are stuff’ 24/7?

This may or may not be true of some other proclities or preferences: Bondage, extreme masochists, extreme sadists, spanker fetishes… these things may be harder to incorporate in your daily life.

But not so with our Dominent/Submissive characteristics. I’m a Master 24/7…it has to do with who I am and how I approach the world. I also submit, with full decision and consciousness depending on the context; tis part of “Mastering”.  W/we get to be great servants, Masters, Dominants and submissives in our daily lives… 24/7.  Well we get to if we embrace these other aspects of ourselves in our so-called normal lives.

Why not love your life just a bit more… embrace your preferences, experience even more joy.

Trust In Relationships

We learn to trust early in infancy; trusting we will be fed, diapers changed; that we will be kept comfortable and comforted. We learn to trust from our parents, our families and our teachers. We grow up and form relationships, in part all based on the level of trust we have learned from these fine folks. Eventually most of us marry.  We join with a partner, a husband or wife and build a partnership on trust. Or do we? 

Are we “building trust” or building walls with those most important to us?

Statistics will tell us walls are being built, and wars have been waged. Our society has a 67%+ divorce rate.  It is more common or “normal” to divorce than to stay married!  As a society we are not building trust in our most important of relationships…And Why not? because most folks just haven’t learned how.

In his newest book: “The Science of Trust-Emotional Attunement for Couples[i]” John Gottman Ph.D. reveals the “how” of trusting as well as the many subtle forms of betrayal that go on in relationship…  

From his book: “A committed romantic relationship is a contract of mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual protection, and mutual nurturance.” (The Science of Trust: p 350)

Dr. Gottman has spent the last 30 years researching ‘couples’. He has developed a theory of marital discord and happiness and with great accuracy can predict divorce or a happy marriage!  Quite simply this remarkable research has led to the development of simple tools that work. There is a science of trust and there are specific components that are inherent in trust, trusting and being trustworthy.

In the article that follows I will share the components of trust and how to build trust. I will also share from Gottman’s “The Science of Trust” the 12 specific ways (other than sexual infidelity) that betrayal shows up in relationships.

You have the opportunity to build love and intimacy instead of walls and wars. You, how you are and what you do matters!  And, as you may already know, loving always works better.  

Trust is the deliberate and delicate balance between hope, belief and reliance.[ii] We are always trusting ourselves and others: sometimes poorly, sometimes adequately and sometimes magnificently! It is the hinge to love,

 

caring and intimacy. Trust cannot be nurtured in a relationship beset with betrayal.

Trust like love, is a verb. When we trust we ‘rely’ on something or someone we are trusting. When we can be relied upon we are being trustworthy. The action of relying upon is inherent in ‘trusting’; we are or we are not ‘trusting’ at some level.

Here are the 4 Components of Trust[iii].

  1. 1.    There must be a beneficial and a harmful result possible.  When we ‘risk’ trusting we are hoping for a potentially beneficial outcome over the possibility of a harmful result. If you tell a friend a secret, the hope is that you can trust your friend to keep the secret rather than to reveal it. If you form a business partnership or marry there is the possibility of beneficial or harmful results.
  2. 2.    The result of risking and trusting depends upon the future.   Whether it is a friend keeping a secret, a partner keeping an agreement or fidelity in marriage, the outcomes are in the future.
  3. 3.    The harm must be potentially more harmful than the benefit is beneficial. Why does this matter?  It has to do with the emotional payoff involved!  When we bet on a horse or play the lottery the belief that we will win is much lower. If we bet $5.00, we are only out $5.00, there is very little risk.

When we are involved in a business venture or are in a marriage there are multiple levels and contexts where trust or walls are built. In business and marriage our livelihood and well-being are “at stake” and “on the line”. We have large emotional, physical, financial and other investments in the outcome. When we share a secret with a friend we are risking more if the secret is revealed than if it is not, and the ‘trust’ is more limited to this specific context.

  1. 4.    We honestly expect the benefit to occur. At a horserace or lottery we would like to win, we might hope to win, yet for most of us that is where it stops. We don’t actually “believe” we will win! When we trust, we have hope with the belief that we can rely on the person or thing to produce the result we want. If it is a business venture then the amount of ‘trust’ we have may have to do with our business abilities accepting a certain amount of risk involved.

 

Specifically for Married Folks

In a marriage the issue of trust is multi-faceted. Some agreements are made consciously while many agreements are made covertly and left unspoken until broken. We learn in our marriages to rely partners in some areas, and not in others: housecleaning, finances, children, future planning, emotional support, sexual satisfaction, and more. Clear agreements are made openly, verbally stated and discussed; they can be agreed upon. Most often each spouse has unspoken beliefs and expectations of how things ‘should be’. They “think” these things are agreed upon as “common sense”. These agreements are only revealed when these unspoken agreements are broken, and one partner feels betrayed.

Gottman’ s research shows how these ‘agreements’ that go on in marriage will indicate trust levels by measuring interactional patterns.  The research also shows great accuracy in predicting potential success in coaching or therapy as well as whether a couple will stay together or divorce. It’s NOT just the ‘big’ betrayals that matter: infidelity, lying, emotional or physical abuse. The results of study after study show that the biggest indicator of a lasting marriage is: The perception of trust in the relationship.

There are many ways that we can actively build trust and love in relationship. Gottman recommends a 5:1 ratio (nice to neutral and “non-nice” interaction to insure of a healthy relationship. I have written elsewhere with ways to do so. (See article: Love is a Verb)

I’ll end the article today with Gottman’s list of 12 ways that partners betray each other in relationship. It is my hope that if you recognize these types of betrayal in your relationship, you can do something to change it… and live happily ever after.

Yes, sleeping around is a big way to ruin a committed relationship but there are others that are as devastating. Gottman has identified 12 more, here they are.

Twelve Ways (Other than Sexual Infidelity) to Betray Your Partner[iv]:

  1. Violations of commitment. Your commitment is conditional, and some part of you is still waiting for someone better to come along. You may check out other people, flirt, or in other ways suggest you are still available. Illness, arguments, money issues, distance (travel, work)…when the going gets tough you consider going.
  2. Betrayals of emotional exclusivity. Flirtations or secret emotional attachments.
  3. Secrets, lies, deceptions. These include lies of omission, deceptions, and violations of confidence, broken promises, and inconsistencies.
  4. Coalitions against your partner. You form coalitions that hurt or exclude your partner, talk negatively behind their back, etc.
  5. Disinterest. You are disinterested in or rejecting of your partner’s thoughts, feelings or inner life.
  6. Unfairness or lack of care. Resources, time and responsibilities are not shared equally, and partners do not offer emotional support or understanding. They are not “there” for one another.
  7. Betrayal of affection. Coldness, unresponsiveness.
  8. Lack of sexual interest. Ignoring your partner’s need for sexual intimacy, physical closeness and touch.
  9. Abuse. Social isolation, sexual degradation, humiliation, belittling, threats, property damage, physical abuse.
  10. Disrespect. Partners do not cherish each other, express pride, and complement each other. Instead, thy ridicule, denigrate, mock, use sarcasm, contempt.
  11. Not meeting each other’s needs. (Copied verbatim from p 352): A relationship is about legitimating dependency upon each other. Partners violate the principle that they should try to meet each other’s essential needs cooperatively and honestly. This involves agreeing to emotional presence, openness, emotional availability, and responsiveness to the partner. They do not agree, or act as if they do not agree, that the relationship will entail sacrifice at times, putting one’s partner’s needs or the family’s needs ahead of one’s own.
  12. Breaking sacred promises and vows.

 

Brutal? Yes sometimes.

Is it happening in your relationship? In the relationship of close friend?

 If you recognize some of these various ways spouses/partners betray each other, then ouch and good! Recognition is the first step toward change.

 Acknowledge that something is wrong, talk with your beloved then change! Unless of course you’re building those walls before the final battle; intimacy feels so much better!

It’s not easy, not at all. If you are like so many other couples and just need a bit of guidance please contact me. I offer free sample sessions. Here is a testimonial from a fine woman who DID contact me for a free session last year (2010)

“I want to tell you that you were invaluable to me during a very tough time last year. We only spoke on the phone as an intro, but I will be forever grateful for your words to me that day Jim. You helped set me on a very good path. Thank you! Cindy”

Call 847-748-8006 or write Jim@BDSMcoach.com today, I can help you get started; your marriage is worth your time and energy.

 “A committed romantic relationship is a contract of mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual protection, and mutual nurturance.” (The Science of Trust: p 350)

Enjoy building Trust. Here are other sources for you to help you identify less than healthy patterns in your life. I have written elsewhere about the subtle signs of emotional abuse, lethal patterns that can ruin relationship and how we learn them (Normal? Socialization, Domestication and Consensus Hypnosis & Co-Dependency-Our Social Disease)  Blessings.


[i] The Science of Trust, John Gottman, Ph.D

[ii] Quoted Directly from Lazaris audio download: “Synergy of Trust” www.lazaris.com

[iii] ibid

[iv] The Science of Trust, John Gottman, Ph.D

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!   

No, we really can't read each others minds

            I read a post today on Fetlife that suggested we improve our ability to ‘read others’, that it is the crux of social cooperation and emotional closeness. I was stunned.

I mean no offense to those of you who believe this. Instead, I offer you a perspective that will lead to true intimacy. Honest communication. Radically honest communication.

            To be honest to the point of transparency; to communicate our wants and needs; to understand others in our life and truly ‘know’ them, we must communicate, we must talk, we must ask questions, share hard truths, and yes, sometimes the others in our lives feel hurt, pain, sadness.  The honoring of them, of ourselves and our  relationship demands that we are honest, and that we hold those in our lives as creative, resourceful and whole. We do not need to protect them, we need to include them and be honest, open and learn trust. Anything else is simply a degree of co-dependency.

Many of us have been raised to believe it is never right to be part of hurting another persons feelings. In some ways I agree.  It is RARELY right to intentionally hurt someone else (let’s remember, some folks like it or in rare occasions, we need to physically protect ourselves). Yet, in those most heated of moments, we feel hurt, anger; we lash out at those closest to us. One way to avoid this, is to STOP mindreading and enjoy honest conversation.

Here is the Fetlife post and my response:

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Mind reading

I was watching TV with *my friend this evening. The baby cried and she said “I know what he is thinking and what he needs.” Oh yea, how do you know? My friend told me that he has different cries for different needs. Hmmm, I have never noticed.

With a baby it is relatively simple. If he ate two hours ago he is probably hungry again but how do we read people?

I am not talking about some kind of superhero power mind reading, but the more we discussed this after dinner the more interesting it became.

When we engage with another human being, even in this medium [at least with people we care about here] we draw on our memories of what we have observed previously. We use the power of reason, observation; we intently collect information in our attempt to better understand the person we are engaging with.

It is a critical human skill; it is the way we make sense of other people. ”Mind reading” gives us the ability to negotiate, cooperate, compete, and have emotional closeness. It lets us know when we are being manipulated or seduced, fooled, appreciated, valued.

This is social intelligence. Do it well, you can get along and function, do it poorly and the consequences are serious, resulting in failed relationships, do it poorly and it incites violence.

There is uneasiness amongst BDSM groups/society/families/etc., all asking, how can we all get along?

How we can improve our ability to read others, even when others may not know their own minds?

.

My Response: **

Baby’s, along with children, adults and animals DO have certain sounds that mean certain things.  Once you KNOW what they mean and you hear them again, it is called calibration. The “knowing the ‘hunger’ cry and the ‘I’m wet’ cry” does happen. Similarly, when we greet others, we outstretch our right hand in hand shake or open our arms for a hug. These are “shared” expressions.  Although in the latter they are “greetings” the subjective meaning of each greeting is likely much different unless they are intimate and have openly discussed and agree on the shared meaning.  This is one of the things that occur in intimate relationships, much like they baby crying. Shared understanding is much different than mind reading. Interesting post… and I must disagree. Mind reading is not helpful at all, in fact, it is a linguistic violation: something taught to ‘watch for’ in dysfunctional relationships and yes, it happens commonly and all the time.

They Say: When we engage with another human being, even in this medium [at least with people we care about here] we draw on our memories of what we have observed previously.

I say: This is called projection. It is a psychological mechanism we use to project our memories onto those in our physical and ethereal worlds. It leads to less intimacy, less self-awareness and living in ‘pretend land’. I highly recommend against it!

They Say: We use the power of reason, observation; we intently collect information in our attempt to better understand the person we are engaging with.

I say: A remnant of chauvinistic thinking: why not use intuition? A felt sense? Or even, ask questions, become involved in meaningful and radically honest conversations?

They Say: It is a critical human skill; it is the way we make sense of other people. ”Mind reading” gives us the ability to negotiate, cooperate, compete, and have emotional closeness. It lets us know when we are being manipulated or seduced, fooled, appreciated, valued.

I Say: Mind reading does not: intuition, felt sense and SOMETIMES observing/hearing inconsistencies in story, word and/or deed.

They Ask: How we can improve our ability to read others, even when others may not know their own minds?

My Response: NOT! Let us improve in our abilities to communicate openly…to stop mind reading and ask questions, delve deeper into relationships. Stop the mind reading… share!

You call it social intelligence, I call it “making nice”… it is a thing I avoid most of the time, it is the kind of socializing that goes on at family events, neighborhood bbq’s and school gatherings. It’s a lot of adults standing around making conversation all for the sake of “making nice”… lots of talking all for the sake of sending the message: we like you, you like us, aren’t we all great together.’. A whole lot of ego stroking, identity confirming and social activity that reeks of surface relationships.

The value of really knowing another is a hallmark of intimacy… the less we live in our own head…well…the less we live in our own head and in the world “with” others.

.Here is a quote from the book “Soulcraft” that speaks to radical communication.

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Namaste Magnificent Soul

Jim

“James Hollis suggests that both the value and process of soulful romance rest in what he calls radical conversation, in which one intends, continuously, to discover more and ever more about oneself and the other.  Through such an exchange between two mysteries, one draws nearer to the central mystery of life.  Hollis lists three components to such a soul-to-soul encounter:

  1. The partners must assume responsibility for their own psychological well-being.
  2. They must commit to sharing the world of their own experience without reproaching the Other for past wounds or future expectations.  Similarly, they are to endeavor to hear, without feeling defensive, the experience of the Other.
  3. They must commit to sustaining such a dialogue over time…Only radical conversation, the full sharing of what it is like to be me while hearing what it is really like to be you, can fulfill the promise of an intimate relationship.  One can only engage in radical conversation if one has taken responsibility for oneself, has some self-awareness, and has the tensile strength to withstand a genuine encounter with the truly Other.

 

Loving the otherness of the partner is a transcendent event, for one enters the true mystery of relationship in which one is taken to the third place—not you plus me, but we who are more than ourselves with each other. .

Radical conversation has emotional, imaginal, sexual, and spiritual dimensions as well as verbal ones.  And the conversation is approached not only with skill and intent but with innocence and wonder.  Neither the other nor the self is a fixed thing.  The bottom is never reached. One hopes to be forever surprised.”

From: Soulcraft, pages 284-285

For a NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP™) reference to Mind Reading, see my article: Mind Reading

Authentic Relationships: Kinky Folks Lead the Way!

Authenticity in relationship is something that you might hear any and every couple talk about as important.  Well, there is that thing about talking… and then there’s the doing.

     Average American couples are beset with co-dependent patterns that are anathema to authenticity. .   Refer to writings on co-dependency by Pia Mellody, Charles WhItfield Ph.D., and Karen Horney to start!

 Being authentic about our sexuality and kinky preferences first with ourselves then with other/s  is a hallmark of what we do. Authentic, real, honest, visceral, primal… ok, I get excited…

 But we are real!  And what a relief.

 Yet, even within our wonderful sexually open world, there are many that hide. I invite you to come on  out… you matter.

 I started to write today about “Accepted Forms of Sadism vis-à-vis Television” and got Jack Rinella’s most recent article “Liberation”. I’ll post later about the sadism…Jack’s work is great, I have read his work for years and he truly is a “Kink Relationship Expert”…  His opinions are reflection of what many relationship experts speak of when they speak of relationship health.

 And he ends his blog post with this comment:

 “If this essay shines light on the need to improve your relationship, do so carefully and gently. Perhaps you might even be better off seeking professional help, rather than do it yourself.”

***I am a professional, I can help, please  write me for a free consultation:  Jim@BDSMCoach.com

Today I offer resources for you:

  • A link to Jacks blog and recent writing:  “Liberation: by Jack Rinella”;
  • Excerpts from his article along with agreement and commentary about many of his points about “healthy relationship”.
  • Articles are linked and books referenced  for you throughout my blog, free. If you should you be seeking some answers, you may find them here.
  • I also offer two other article links at the end of the blog along with the resource links throughout.

 Enjoy!!

 Included here is a section of Jack’s article with my commentary.  My comments are starred *** and boldly italicized.

 Honesty

      Honesty involves truth-telling. Ah hah! Even with that I am in a trap. For the truth is that some partners don’t want to know all the details of the other’s life. Still, I think that deception cuts off a part of oneself from the other and over time this separation leads the partners along individual paths culminating in the disintegration of the relationship.

                 It is honest to agree not to discuss a topic. It is not honest to hide a topic because one doesn’t like the expected reaction the honesty will bring.

 ***It is honest to agree to not discuss a topic. As well, it defines the level  of intimacy by limiting the level of “knowing” of the other, a major component of intimacy.

 Openness

 Akin to honesty, openness means that we are willing to share ourselves, our whole selves, with the other. It also means that we are willing to listen to the other with an open mind. It means that we can talk freely without fear of reprisal or ridicule and grant our partner the same kind of respect.

 ***So often I have read posts asking: “Does your Sir allow for times for you to share…blah, blah….”.  One cannot have an intimate relationship without the space for open communication! Now, careful here:  there has been many a verbal attack made in the guise of “openness” and “just sharing my feelings”… That’s not openness, it’s dishonest. Here are two links related to abusive communication:

  1. 1.       What is Emotional Abuse?
  2. 2.       The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Lethal Communication Patterns and their Antidotes

 Empowerment

 I firmly believe that the reason the author of Genesis wrote “It is not good for man to be alone” is that two people can accomplish so much more than one working alone. Some tasks in fact cannot be done alone and most are more enjoyable when done with a partner.

 Empowerment means we aid the other in becoming all that he or she can be.

 ***Empowerment… personal, spiritual, emotional, physical. Yes, we all need solitude and the only true work on one’s self is thru relationship.  The book: “Embracing the Beloved” speaks to this, I believe it.

 Authenticity

 Empowerment primarily means that we aid the other in becoming authentic, that is to discover, realize, and live their true self-hood. We help each other arrive at our innate, fundamental, and essential integrity. Authenticity, in light of the often oppressive nature of society, is often difficult but it is the only true path to happiness.

 ***An amazing truth and much more “normal” in our kinky word than then the less than healthy  “normal relationship/s”  in our society.   Refer to writings on co-dependency by Pia Mellody, Charles WhItfield Ph.D. and Karen Horney to start!

Liberation

It is sad that the author who wrote the post above had to leave her relationship in order to become liberated. Relationships, by empowering authenticity, ought to liberate the real self. That is the most important liberation. A relationship that lacks liberation is one that needs work.

***Are you in a relationship that helps you to celebrate who you are? So many folks I talk with have quite unconsciously and sometimes with intention, given up parts of their self in order to ‘fit’ into the relationship. See above reference to co-dependency literature. Here is a link for some notions of “liberating one’s real self” that I refer to as Shadow Work.

Enjoyment

As my friend Race Bannon writes, fun is important. Here we use the word enjoyment in its widest sense. Not only do we need to enjoy doing things together but there ought to be enjoyment in just being together. If we don’t find enjoyment in our relationship, then something probably needs to change.

***A big clue:   are you having fun? In my first marriage it took some coaching for me to realize what had been missing for some time was fun!  Having fun together doing things and simply enjoying each other’s company is a big deal.

Peace

     Simply put, the relationship should engender feelings of peace and security. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ups and downs and “for better and for worse.” It means that there a sense of contentment with one another, the ability to relax and be oneself, and generally agreement on the everyday ways we live.

 ***This is beautiful.  A growing peace for me speaks to a growing trust and confidence that goes along with a reduced fear of hurt and loss. A result of intimate actions!

Affection

     Face it, you have to like each other and feel an attraction to one another. Though there are many different ways to express affection, I think that each of us needs to remember to do so.

 ***Books are written specifically pointing to “how” to show affection.  The Book: The 5 Love Languages gives you a great start, here’s a link to a summary in article form: LINK

Understanding

     Relationships work because partners understand one another and can feel what the other feels.

 ***This speaks to responding, respecting, knowing and caring. I hear Jack refer to an empathy associated with this, a knowing of the other person well enough so that the persons experience has emotional impact. Everyone matters in ways that work for them.

Stability

     And lastly, like peace, the ups and downs of life are experienced because of external forces, not because the partners are ambivalent about each other. Stability assures us that the relationship can be depended upon and that one’s partner is dependable as well.

 ***Back to trusting, knowing, understanding…things that are built over time. Continuity of love, connection, understanding and caring among the ups and downs builds stability.

So what?

This is not an essay to challenge partners to evaluate their relationship as much as it is a challenge for people who expect to partner, or who are beginning to do so, to evaluate their own expectations for the relationship and to make their needs known one to another.

***Ah… I do challenge you!  I am a personal relationship expert and I want you to LOVE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS AND LOVE YOUR LIFE!

If this essay shines light on the need to improve your relationship, do so carefully and gently. Perhaps you might even be better off seeking professional help, rather than do it yourself.

 ***Yes…I agree Jack! Write me  Jim@BDSMCoach.com

 thus end my article commentary

 Resources:

I have written elsewhere about “Authentic Relationships” and include that link here.

I have also included a link to another article: “Finding and keeping a life partner” by Neil Mnemonic on Sunday, October 3, 2010 which posits these qualities:

WHAT KEEPS A RELATIONSHIP STRONG IS:

1. TRUST

2. COMMUNICATION

3. INTIMACY

4. A SENSE OF HUMOR

5. SHARING TASKS

6. SOME GETAWAY TIME WITHOUT BUSINESS OR CHILDREN

7. DAILY EXCHANGES (meal, shared activity, hugs, calls, touching, notes, etc.)

8. SHARING COMMON GOALS AND INTERESTS

9. GIVING EACH OTHER SPACE TO GROW WITHOUT FEELING INSECURE

10. GIVING EACH OTHER A SENSE OF BELONGING

View my 10 minute video: Building Positivity in Relationship Here

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