Remember the exquisite pain of your first long-term relationship break up? Going through the ending of a significant relationship can be exponentially more difficult for LGBTQ people, having been rejected, demeaned and devalued by society-at-large and too often by our family of origin.
Case in point: At age 20, I was kicked out of my home for being gay and for being in-love with my first boyfriend. I moved in with him and over the six years we were together, his family became my adopted family.
Toxic relationships are not based on love and respect.
They often sound like this:
I have been sucked into the black of hole of texting with a potential date for the last time. Online dating would surely send me to a therapist's office before it actually produced the result I was hoping for. If I ever met this guy in person, I’d surely ask him for a thumb massage.
Like many, I signed up for the quest of love and a (very) serious long-term relationship only to find myself continually fatigued from texting. DELETE.
My relationships have made me realize, I am not as strong as I think I am. Through the immense joys and upheavals that is inevitably part of loving someone besides yourself, I have come to realize---I am tender hearted...and I hate it.
“Be kind to your heart,” she said to me several times, as an equal, a mentor and woman who was once broken-hearted too. Until that moment, I thought I had been.
We tell ourselves that it’s tough being the victim.
We are in a long term relationship where we are always made to feel wrong. We make emotional sacrifices for our partner we know we shouldn't do but, we can't help ourselves. Or, we experience the pain of another long term relationship ending, when we lose all hope for the future we had imagined together, we’re bawling our eyes out again...trying to understand what happened.
There is a surge in holiday hook-ups every year from November to February. For singles it often starts at the end of summer with a rush to find someone before we are inundated with family and holiday social events where everyone is inevitably paired off or married. With hoards of people getting off work for the holidays there is plenty of time to date, be with your mate and even take a vacation. The combination of social pressure and time makes for perfect "time-to-find-a-mate" scenario.
Did you ever have a friend from long ago who calls to reconnect with you only to realize she has something to sell…I mean tell you about your life (the one she has not been apart of for years) that could be helpful?
As I chatted with my one-time friend after we played the speed dating version of catch-up, I received, “let-me-help-you-I’m-a-dating-expert-now” sales pitch. I was suddenly regretting I had shared I was single. She had no idea (nor did she ask) that I had spent over a decade as a serial monogamist hoping to get to "I do" only to discover I had a penchant for dating lying narcissists.
Losing someone we love is never easy. But, what if we never really lose anyone?
By the time I was 10 I had been to five funerals while most fifth graders I knew hadn't even been to one or thought about death at all. I had learned at a young age that no matter how much we know about dying, whether we are given the chance to prepare or are shocked by a sudden loss, losing someone we love hurts.
Being ghosted sucks. It's emotionally debilitating and disorientating. It's even worse when we've known the person for months or years only to discover they've disappeared without a trace.
I am a successful personal transformation coach, healer and yoga therapist and I was ghosted.
I felt ashamed, confused, depressed and terrified. Feeling this way lead me to subsequently become so disconnected from myself I wound up getting physically injured. I suspected my physical injuries were tied to my emotional upheavals. In my profession I am more than aware the body and emotions are a package deal, effecting the health of one another.
Online dating has a serious bias: our age. In reality (or the denial thereof), the entire world has a problem with aging. Which is ironic given the alternative to aging isn't so great.
The majority of us are using dating apps supposedly searching for the love of our lives or soul mates. Yet, with our instantaneous swipe right or left dating culture, most of us make a judgment about a potential date based solely on age and a photograph. . You’d think we would take a little more time and care on the search for love instead of making snap judgments based on a number.
The wrath of the unappreciated mother can be quite intense. That's why holidays like Mother’s Day should be a day of gratitude for all involved. Yeah, even if our parent wasn’t perfect, cut the lady a little slack, parenting courses are a relatively new phenomenon.
It's also important that our mom's remember...our partner's aren't psychic or perfect.
I finally got someone I was seriously dating to join me in a Tantra workshop. The mere suggestion lit up my boyfriend's eyes with excitement. Images of naked people (more specifically us) in erotic, sometimes hard to perform positions flashed through his head. The primal lure of sensual pleasure and the most amazing orgasms ever fed his lust-filled imagination.
If I told him the reality of the workshop, I'd never get him there. So, I lied.
I felt bad when we arrived to the tantra class and watched him become utterly confused—deflated. It was a bit more therapeutic than he realized. There was no perfectly defined naked Playboy or Playgirl model to greet us with a fruit plate, a cocktail or sex enhancing drugs. The room is filled with regular people—old and young, with various body types and sexual preferences, wearing comfortable, loose clothing.
Friends with benefits (FWB's) can be a sticky situation...and not necessarily in a sexy way. It seems ideal. We get all the pleasures of sex and snuggling without any of the nagging, laundry and airport pick ups.
FWB's always starts out with good intentions. The benefits of convenient sex with no commitments between two people who already have a pre-existing emotional bond can be very alluring. It's an emotionally safe situation, with a lower risk of contracting STI's (assuming our friend doesn't lie to us or has not been recently tested). The transaction between two people who have very busy lives, have given up on relationships in the traditional sense or have grown impatient (and too horny) while trying to find their soul mate could be the right situation for us.
I love a great meal.
I grew up in one of those families where food was a thing. My mom is a great cook, my brother managed to get those skills too and my and I loved to eat. My dad also loved taking us all out for great gourmet meals. He may not have been able to cook but he was a master appreciator, absorbing every succulent morsel of his fabulous culinary experience.
If a young man is a virgin by a certain age, he’s a loser and needs to get laid. If a young girl who’s the same age is a virgin, she’s angelic and innocent.
If a grown man is having sex with many women, he get’s high-fives from his buddies for his conquests and virility. If a woman were to behave the same way she gets called a slut by both men and women alike.
The hypocrisy of slut shaming women for their real or presumed sexual activity and expression is an insult to us all. Slut shaming attacks and humiliates the way women dress, flirt or how many people they choose to date or be sexually intimate with. Slut Shaming is dangerous to our mental health and well-being as it induces shame, fear and anger into its target---women.
Ever consider wearing a merkin?
The American Apparel advertising campaign created quite the uproar with the use of these pubic hair wigs on their nude mannequins. The reality is, they have been around a very long time. During the 15th century having no hair was a sign you had been treated for syphilis or had pubic lice, hence the popularity of the merkin if you wanted to avoid scorn or a life unwanted celibacy.
There was a time I remember thinking I liked sex too much. I began to wonder if I was a sex addict. Or, if being addicted to sex was even possible.
Given my preference for long-term monogamous relationships, it took a few break-ups to realize I just needed to be with someone who shared a similar libido to me. In the process I learned that there are a lot of falsehoods that pertain to the myth of sex addiction, falsehoods I was more than happy to share with my clients as they journeyed their way to self-empowered lives.
Sex addiction is a popular and lucrative business.
We all know that being physically fit has numerous health benefits---especially in the bedroom.
Ever notice your partner wanting to get it on after he or she exercises? That's because exercise stimulates the release of sex hormones! After we’re done working out our mood is elevated, the heart rate and blood pressure are lower, stress is down and the mood is elevated making us primed and ready for some serious love making!
Personally I prefer a good shower before all of that goes down, but don't be surprised if your lover disagrees! Those sexual pheromones, that can drive our guy or gal wild, get some serious exposure when we sweat.
What if a person wrote, “Whites only”, “No Asians” or “No Blacks” on their dating profile? I had a Mulatto friend who told me they were asked out on a date after being told he looked white enough.
Would that be considered sexually racist?
There are several dating sites like wherewhitepeoplemeet.com, asiansingles.com, or blackpeoplemeet.com for those that prefer a specific ethnicity. But if we are on a site that welcomes and encourages all ethnicities at what point are statements like, “No chinks” no longer a preference but are in fact racist.
Even though I was raised in a monogamous home my parents were very liberal minded. As baby boomers who found their financial success (and the freedoms that came with it) in the 1980's they enjoyed letting go. Nothing made my parents happier when the work week was done and their familial responsibilities were taken care of, than getting together with their friends to socialize and party in ways that mirrored what was going on in Studio 54.
Years later when I was older and talking with my parents about my struggles in my own relationships as I tried desperately to date my way toward, " I do" they shared with me some of their wisdom from their youth. Their participation in the sexual liberation experienced by many of their generation in 70's and 80's left a lasting impression.
In the 19th century when women were suffering from hysteria (aka sexual frustration) the prescription was to have the doctor stimulate them to orgasm. Which of course wasn’t even termed orgasm because women were supposedly unable to climax like their male counterparts. We sure proved them wrong!
This treatment was super popular for the ladies but the doctor's really suffered —hand fatigue. Given how primitive Western medicine was I can't even imagine what the treatment for carpal tunnel must have been.
"It's alive! It's alive!" Frankenstein hysterically screamed.
Sexual arousal is our bodies response to being sexually stimulated. When our five senses (touch, sound, taste, smell, see) get stimulated either in reality or fantasy we experience the feelings of pleasure that come along with it.
Pleasure is personal, not universal. Thus making one gal’s passion for pleasure can be another's poison. Successful sexual arousal asks the we learn the language of our partner's bodies and mind with the same interest in detail we give to ourselves. If we've been neglecting getting to know ourselves now would be a great time to start!
The search for "the one" can be an arduous task. For some people it happens in a moment, "I knew she was the one the moment I laid eyes on her." For others it feels like we're stuck in our version of the story of Sisyphus who was punished to repeatedly roll a huge boulder up a hill only to watch it come back down and hit him again and again.
Happiness is the ultimate game of hide-n-seek and most of us believe if we can just find the one, the person of our dreams, the ultimate relationship and love of our loves...then we'll be happy.
The sexbots are coming! The sexbots are coming! It's a sexapocolypse! There is a real fear by some individuals that we may find ourselves at risk by being sexed to death by an inexhaustible robot!
I saw my first version of a sexbot in the 80's when I was a pre-pubescent child watching Cherry 2000, starring Melanie Griffith. It took a long time for the sex industry to take us from sci-fi fantasy films about sexual robots to the reality of Real Dolls and now Sexbots.
We all know our routine when it comes to how we like our sex. Being single and hooking up can be very different from relationship sex in terms of what we are willing to compromise on in the bedroom. Finding and maintaining sexual compatibly with our partners in a world of ever changing libidos that affect desire can be tricky.
When it comes to sex there are those of us who can't live without, those of us who can take it or leave it and a few people who don't like or need sex at all.