Archive | relationship

All the things. And sex.

You know what? I forgot that it’s fun posting. So I’m just gonna post some stuff I’ve been seeing and some thoughts. [And actually it turned into more than that, so sorry for the brain dump on this virtual paper.]

 

All the things :: The mish-mash

I’ve been thinking about how we humans learn things the hard way and how life balances us out, eventually, maybe. And how Life will show you your path, consistently, and knock you on your ass as long as you ignore it. Until sometimes you get sick, physically or otherwise, from ignoring your path.

Under this umbrella, I’ve also been thinking about how sometimes you don’t know you want something until it’s gone. And how I have learned this. And how I have learned to get over it. The wisdom and compassion that comes from that. And how hard it is to have the courage to reach out for what we want, even when we want it really badly (sometimes so badly it scares the shit out of us and we run away from it; I’m so guilty of that). My courage sometimes takes weeks to find its shape and motion. But then, back to the original point: how much it sucks to know we want something only when it’s truly gone.

I’ve been thinking about how, when you let go of something, sometimes you get more than you wanted in return. {{ “The moment I let go of it, was the moment I got more than I could handle…” – Our Lady, Alanis Morissette }} This has happened in many ways in my life. And its always interesting to me. I often feel like it’s a test from Life: “Are you sure you don’t want this, now that you’ve done all the work?” But, it’s the last hurdle to freedom, I think. Can you finally let go? Are you finally healed? It’s still really tough work.

And, for whatever reason, I’ve been thinking about how, when you really want something, you go after it. At least until you don’t want it, or don’t want to do the work for it, anymore. And how dedication is a choice, and saying, ‘no more, ‘ is also a choice. At some Buddhist temples, adepts were only admitted after they had stayed at the entrance to the monastery for three days (whatever the circumstances or weather). Their show of mini-dedication deemed them worthy of further connection and instruction. And how much time do we dedicate to what we want or love? Even when no one is answering the door and letting us in? Three days to prove yourself. That’s all it takes. And yet, in this age of instant gratification, even small displays of dedication are rare. I have dedicated myself to many things, mostly my own healing and growth, but I have also learned that sometimes, it’s ‘three strikes and you’re out,’ because Life or other involved people let you know. And that’s also something to reckon with.

These are just things I have been thinking about. Related to my life right now, but also just reflecting on things I’ve been through in my life. Sometimes there are no answers, we can only say, “I lived through this thing and that is the only truth of it.” I wonder how other people deal with these kinds of situations, how they manage the unanswered questions and knowing that all they did was simply keep going some days.

::: ::: ::: :::

I’ve needed music that is quiet but joyful lately. And the album, Static & Silence, by The Sundays has really hit the spot. I especially love “Summertime,” “When I’m Thinking About You,” and “Monochrome.” Just lovely and quiet and fun and a good companion these past few days.

::: ::: ::: :::

I am definitely someone who lives by the moon. I’m not much into other stuff unless is Mercury in Retrograde or something equally impacting. But I read this today from Chani Nicholas and I thought it was lovely. Mercury is moving into Gemini or something and it is a time that requires this guidance, I guess.

I think it is a human thing, not just an astrological thing.

 

And the sex.

I read these two great articles this week:

How To Eat Pussy: A Magical Guide for Evolved People

How To Suck Dick: A Guide for the Awakened Mind

The articles give good advice, but I couldn’t help thinking, “Everyone likes it a little bit different, and that’s what you’ve got to pay attention to.” I’ve also been getting a recurring ad/article on Facebook that asks what women are thinking when they’re going down on a guy. To be honest, I don’t think you should be thinking anything other than, “Is he enjoying this?” and “Am I enjoying this?” If you’re not thinking those things, maybe you shouldn’t be going down on someone.

Oral sex is probably one of the most vulnerable types of sex because: teeth. Teeth that could really do damage to your most sensitive bits. You need trust to have oral sex with someone. But it’s also the most creative sex, I think. Maybe I just like being creative, but that’s one of the reasons I think it’s so much fun. What will delight my lover today? What new thing can I do to elicit a moan, a thrust, a biting of the lip?

Have I talked about this before here? My preference for using the tongue and fingers to give and receive sexual and sensual pleasure? They are super fun. Lips + tongues + fingers + hands can provide so many different kinds of pressure + texture + sensation. I have also only met two women who get off entirely from penetration. TWO. So, yeah, hands, fingers, tongues are dope during sex. Lick, suck, pop, twist, flick, go slow, speed up, moan, laugh, use the tips, flatten the tongue, have enough trust to experiment.

[Generally, female sex writers don’t talk about their preferences because the problematic-desirers tend to come out and start telling you they think it would be great if you’d do that to them, how they’ve been thinking of it, etc. (Go away, creepers. The only person I go down on is someone I trust and want to have a good time with. Creepers and problematic peeps are not on that list because you’re not trustworthy. I will not shame or judge your sexual desires; I will definitely judge how trustworthy you are with my mind and body.) So, yeah, I enjoy both giving and receiving the pleasures of oral sex.]

The spiritual side of oral sex is that it’s about darkness and pleasure. We’re told not to put our mouths on ‘dirty’ things, and for most of us, we were instructed that our genitals were ‘dirty.’ Symbolically, it’s an incredible thing to put what is ‘dirty’ in the place that nourishes us. One of the things I really love about oral sex is that you have to be really hungry for the other person- you must want to have all of them, to eat and taste and enjoy all of who and what they are. It’s ‘eating’ not in the sense of devouring someone and leaving nothing of them behind, but rather of finding nourishment (joy, energy, fulfillment) in them. So oral sex is about enjoying this darkness and wanting it inside us, being willing to do dark things in order to have the entirety of someone. It’s also entirely about pleasure, because oral sex is not procreative sex. Oral sex that doesn’t end with ejaculate in a vagina is a rebellious act: we are only doing it for the pure pleasure of it. Oral sex is one of the first sexual taboos we break (perhaps even before having penetrative sex, if you’re heterosexual). And I think it’s one of the best, because it truly opens up our sexual world beyond the Christian notions of what sex can or should be. (Obviously, there are other religious paths that limit sexual interactions, but this is the one I’m most familiar with.)

And I know I talk a lot here about having big sexual experiences- full-body orgasms, minutes-long orgasms, super slow kisses, sensual pleasures- but they really are not the end-all, be-all of sexual experience. Don’t get me wrong, I love them all and would not go back to tiny orgasms, but good sex is about mutual pleasure. And that doesn’t always look like a giant “O.”

I used to follow this guy who helped men with relationships (because, I wondered what dudes say to dudes) and he said that one thing you should do to ‘catch a man’ was give him oral sex, on your knees, and look up at him. And all I could think was, “Most dudes just want a decent BJ and someone they feel safe enough to tell the truth with.” I don’t want to ‘catch’ a man ever, first of all, but also not one who is so easily swayed by a particular blow job position and doesn’t care about how involved his heart is. Mutual pleasure is what makes a long-term relationship great. I do not believe that ‘the relationship is only as good as the sex,’ I do believe that good sex comes from a good relationship. It’s not a ‘chicken-egg’ deal, it’s a ‘mutually serving and supporting’ deal.

And then, today, I listened to one of my favorite dude relationship coaches, Jayson Gaddis. (Totally a dude’s dude, totally has his shit together on relationships.) And he was talking about how sex is “a vulnerable, tender, intimate place to learn about myself.” (Not just what positions you like, but who you are as a person.) Yes. All of that. That’s what good, enjoyable, long-term sex and relationships are built from.

[He also talked some amazing stuff about men who want to move from the ‘Frat Boy’ stage, where a dude tends to run from his problems (this stage can last a lifetime for some men), to the ‘Warrior’ stage, where a dude begins to face himself and work at what he wants so he earns it. So interesting, so important (and so many chicks want a Warrior). He talked about the three issues that destroy a man’s sex life and relationships, and how to get over them. If you want to know more about these particular topics, check his course “Relational and Sexual Warriorship for Men.” I cannot recommend his work highly enough if you want to feel strong in your self, your relationships, and sex. Pay the money. Do the work. It will get you the sex and relationships you want.]

Mutual pleasure is more important than amazing orgasms, okay? One of the wonderful things Jayson Gaddis talks about is learning to trust your cock (go look up the article on his site). It is the same thing for women who feel sexual and expressive- we have learned to trust our body and our pussy (or whatever you call yours!). Our pussy tells us when something isn’t right, and when something isn’t right, the sex is no fun. It’s about mutual pleasure. Even in Tantra that’s the goal. It’s the union of energy. How do you suppose energies unite? They unite when there is a space that is safe, trusting, and open for the giving and receiving of pleasure.

Also, and I will say this until dudes get it: make your girl come first. Your cock can bounce back from deflation on a hair-trigger. Her clitoris cannot. Take the time to fill all of it up with sensation, keep touching her clit until her orgasm is done (don’t stop touching once it starts! stay with her and her orgasm!), and gently touch her clit and vulva until she’s all the way done (it’s a super-sensitive time, but also bring her down gently, you know?). You will have a grateful, satiated woman ready to give you the same treatment.

There are a thousand ways to have pleasurable sex. They may involve a long-term partner, they may not. They may involve an orgasm, they may not. But the more you put pleasure and mutual safety and joy as the goal, the more exciting, delicious, and satisfying your sex will be.

::: ::: ::: :::

Okay, so that started out in a completely different place. But, that’s my brain. Eventually it all comes around to sex. Just remember that the desire for sex is the desire for life (I think Pamela Madsen said that). Enjoy it, live it, dig into it.

Big love from here,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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simple sensuality

I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been desiring some experiences in my life lately. Laughter, joy, ease, appreciation, and something I called ‘simple sensuality.’ When I wrote that, I was thinking about ‘simple’ sensuality as something that was opposite of normal? regular? complex? sensuality. But I have been playing with these labels and experiences in my head, and in real life, and I think I’ve got things from the wrong perspective.

‘Complex’ or ‘normal’ sensuality (as a thing that was in opposition to ‘simple’ sensuality) was the heavy, red, Lady Marmalade, lacy, layered, black lingerie kind of sensuality. The things we think of when the word ‘sexy’ is uttered. What modern culture defines as ‘sexuality’ and ‘sensuality.’

And in contrast to that, ‘simple’ sensuality was something lighter, easier. White sheets (just as sexy as black silk, btw), open windows, open spaces, light touches, not grinding but sliding against one another, unbuttoning soft cotton shirts, unzipping denim jeans. Just as pleasurable, but…different.

I’ve been playing with that for the last week or so and I’ve come to remember that these are not distinct or opposing experiences, they are flavors of the same thing. They are complimentary. They are simply colors on the wheel that is the entire rainbow. (Duh, Joanna, duh.)

I’ve also been very much guided by two quotes this week, as I’ve opened to fulfilling my own sensual needs and aligning with my desire (rather than fighting them):

“Any energy that you deny becomes a demon for you. It becomes your inner tormentor. And you don’t get rid of your demons. You embrace them. Not indulge them, but embrace them. And if you embrace them in a way I am talking about they no longer feel like demons. They are just energies that are available to you. They are just part of this whole spectrum of what it is to be conscious and alive and present. And everything becomes joined together back again. A mature emotional life if when all the different parts of yourself emotionally are joined back together. Nothing is put outside, nothing is denied, nothing is hidden. Nothing is unacknowledged. All brought together so that it can all come together.” – Adyashanti

 

“My life is my practice.

To join with myself as I am right here, right now, moment to moment.
To be in union with myself when I am happy and when I am angry.
To be in union with my wounded, imperfect heart. Even if it never heals all the way.
To let that be enough. 

To be here, to be human, to be able to practice, to be able to mess up and forget and start over and remember and do it all again the next hour or the next day.

That is my practice, our practice.

And in this thing called life, nothing is wasted. 
It is all part of the practice.”

– Mindy Scime

I am learning to enjoy my desire. To let go of attachments for outcomes (like, orgasm). It’s hard, honestly. I’m not used to it- letting such things live inside me without fulfilling them. Watching the desire to fulfill get so…passionate (and sometimes angry). Desire ain’t bad. Desire to fulfill can be problematic. So, I’m learning and practicing and seeing how it goes. It’s weird and uncomfortable because it’s new, but I can also definitely feel that it’s so much more useful and enjoyable than forcing it to be fulfilled in the way I want. Life sometimes has better plans for us than we do for ourselves. And there is a certain kind of fun to simply holding the hum of desire inside myself for as long as I can. It is not dissimilar to riding the wave of orgasmic energy (not the same, exactly, but not far off, either).

 

several trees in a backyard with spring blooms and fall leaves

The rain and the spring blossoms outside my window.

 

I am also feeding myself the simple sensuality I want so much.

Standing at the window and just enjoying how my neighbors’ cherry tree looks in blossom.
Being delighted by how my shirt folds and juxtaposes with my sweater.
I have a cold, so the feel of a cough drop in my mouth is a small surrender to pleasure.
Today’s rain. Just letting my soul fill up on watching it rain. So simple.
Getting to bed on time so I can curl up in my lover’s arms and fall asleep there.
The delight in a good, long drive with a great playlist.
Hugs. From anybody. The good kind. Close and warm and almost never-ending.
Doing two sets of perfect push-ups.
The joy of buying new books and waiting for them to arrive.
Dinner out with good friends and good food.
Two shots of silver tequila.
The badass daffodil in my yard that would not give up even when it was tossed by the wind.
Curling up in a chair and just listening to my life: the kids, the traffic, the sound of my husband’s bike wheels spinning.

I have made a practice of not denying my desires. To say, “yes, I see you and feel you. You are welcome here.” I have also made a practice of purposefully stopping to notice, enjoy, and feed my soul on simple sensual pleasures. I think it’s working. I certainly feel less anxious and frustrated, and far more happy and fulfilled. It’s good, so far. [The astrologers tell me that Pluto is in retrograde and I may be challenged by my shadow in relationships…again. So, we’ll see what happens. Maybe there’s some new infatuation for me to fall into. The question is: will I need to?]

It’s Spring here and I am hopeful. And excited to see where my new practices take me. I can only hope it is towards more truth and health and love. And if this post sounds like something I’ve written about before, perhaps many times, just know that this is what learning looks like. Going over the same ground until it is part of our being- ingrained, embodied- that is the path of learning.

I hope you are all well, fellow travelers.
Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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What I Will Tell My Son

I mentioned in a previous post that I had been thinking about what to tell my son about dating and sex and love recently (besides ‘use condoms no matter what,’ ‘ask permission,’ and ‘be kind’). I mean, I’ve actually thought about it since he came home in 3rd grade with a crush on his teacher, and we’ve been very committed to building the foundations for good relationships and…eventually…sex. But I’ve been thinking about some important wisdom I want to pass on to him. This is what I’ve got so far.

 

Photo by Sabina Ciesielska on Unsplash

 

Date.

I grew up in a time when people actually dated. Two people, going out somewhere together, spending time getting to know each other. I know that the generations coming up behind me brought us the ‘group’ date, where there was a clutch of kids who hung out together and some paired off from time to time. But that’s not the same as dating. And neither is Tinder.

I’m going to tell him to date. To practice asking a person out (and being both accepted and denied). To figure out who pays and how that works with each person. To learn the logistics of how to find fun things to do and how to compromise on what is chosen. To know, from the first few moments, that the date is going to suck and then remain polite and friendly and get out of it quickly. To learn to let someone down when the feeling is not mutual and to accept it when he’s not someone’s cup of tea, either. To enjoy the infatuation stage (because it’s so fun!); to learn to fly and laugh and do silly, stupid stuff in that stage, because it’s good to lose your mind in love sometimes.

But also to practice taking one step at a time. Especially when he first starts out. To go out. To get sweaty palms when you first hold hands. To get all awkward with the first kiss. To learn who the other person is, and let them learn you. To wait…a while…until they have sex. Because sex is an entirely different ball game (sorry) and there is no going back to ‘holding hands’ once you cross the line into sex. From the side of life I’m on, it’s important to have steps between ‘hello’ and ‘I’d like to sleep with you.’ Those steps keep your heart safe, your mind less confused, and your energy less entwined should things fall apart. And, god knows, dating and being a teenager are fucking confusing enough.

 

Sex is energy exchange.

I grew up in a fairly religious household and I was told to wait until I was married to have sex. I obviously didn’t, but one thing I recognize as being part of this rule is that sex is important because it is an energy exchange. Tantra is very clear about this- when we engage in sex, we are connecting to some of the most intense (sometimes hidden) energy of the person we’re with. And that can be great, but it can also be a mess. (I spoke about this some in this post– beware, it is about rape.)

I want my son to know that whoever he sleeps with will leave some of their energy with him. Even if it’s just a little. Even if he barely remembers sleeping with them. Some part of them will stay with him. And therefore to choose his lovers wisely. This is not to say that everything has to be deep- sometimes a good one-night stand or a quick fuck can be a fantastic energy exchange. But just to understand that some part of it will stick with him. And to think about that before getting it on.

 

It’s good to have your heart broken at least once. 

Because, my god, does it give you compassion for people. Whether it’s unrequited love or a full-on break up from a much loved relationship, we all need to do it. We need to feel the pain of having our heart smashed to smithereens and learn how to heal from it. That is probably the most important piece- for him to learn how he handles a break-up and to learn to take care of himself when it happens. Whether that’s a bit of depression (more than 2 weeks and you need to see the doctor, okay?), or a fuck ton of Doritos and Netflix, I don’t care. But he needs to learn this.

Also, a good break-up can help us learn how to be better at loving and relating the next time around. I will do my damnedest to help him figure out what went wrong, take responsibility for his part in it, and learn to do better next time. But only after the Doritos and the sad songs and the weeks in sweat pants.

 

Learn from good men.

My son has a very good role model in his father. A man who communicates and grows and listens and isn’t afraid of his own needs or soft side. I am grateful for this. My son also has other types of men who he admires and respects. I know he will learn good things from them about relationships (of all kinds).

But I’m also going to point him towards people like Jayson Gaddis and Bryan Reeves, who know their shit when it comes to being in long-term relationships, how to fight well, and how to learn and grow in relationships. I will tell my son that the most important things he can do and learn for romantic relationships is communication and personal growth. Because men who don’t grow will get left behind in love. I believe the men in his life will also show him how to be courageous in relationship, which is also important.

 

If it’s wishy-washy, let it go. 

If there is a relationship where my son gets together, breaks up, and rinse, repeat x 10,  I will tell him what I know as a minister: these relationships never do well in the long run; let it go. I’ve performed marriages for a fair amount of people, and the ones who decided to get married because they’d been engaged and broken up 3 times already or because they needed to ‘fish or cut bait’ don’t end up married for long. It almost never works out in a healthy, happy way. There is a subtle but hugely important difference between someone who wants you and someone who just doesn’t like the feeling of your absence.

So I will tell my son to let her go. To go through not only the break up, but also the understanding that someday she may invite him to her wedding, and he will have to revisit this shit all over again. Or that she may call him in five years, a different person, and he’ll have to go through all the receipts from the fist time and say no with a heavy heart. I will hold him and help him as he goes through the birthing of himself out of that relationship (because there is a lot of crying and gnashing of teeth and ‘I don’t know which way to turn’- I’ve been there) because that’s how it goes. The heart is a house with many rooms, and some we have to leave unwillingly (this is how we develop strength). Because wishy-washy is not what works; knowing and choosing is.

 

When you know, choose her. 

The men I know who are happiest in their marriages had two things happen when they chose their mate: 1- they ‘knew’ sometime within the first few weeks or months that ‘s/he was the one’ and 2- they chose their mate, clearly and purposefully. My husband says he ‘knew’ because he felt so good around me, he felt lifted up and supported and seen. We had our rocky spots, but he knew he wanted to choose me, and he did. One other man I know said his wife smelled right to him. Whether that’s biology and pheromones or just a hint of cinnamon because she’s a cook, I don’t know. But he ‘knew’ and he picked her.

The other item is so important I cannot tell you. Some men choose their partners based on practicality or ‘shoulds’ (‘I should choose her, she’s so smart and pretty and x, y, z’), but those relationships tend to go sour after a while. I think it’s because they aren’t choosing the other person from their gut or from their own truth or knowing or deepest desire; they are choosing from some outside metric and that’s no good. The men who have chosen a woman from something they sense inside themselves (it’s sometimes as simple as a clear, deep ‘I want to be with HER’), those are the relationships that last. And I think it’s because when a guy chooses, he sticks to that commitment. (I could be wrong, but that’s my experience.)

I will tell my son to listen to his own knowing. And when he finds the one who smells right or makes him feel the best or whatever, when he knows, to pick her. And to do it over and over again.

 

True love changes.

True love is when the type of love Person 1 gives most easily is exactly the type of love Person 2 is craving *and* when the type of love Person 2 gives most easily is the type of love Person 1 is craving. It is a heady fucking combo and it feels like safety and flying all at once because it’s so easy to give and it feels so good to get exactly what you want. And if he should find that, I will tell him to hold on to it and do the work of a lifetime so that it doesn’t leave him.

How we give and receive love changes with age and healing (if we do our work!), which is why communication and personal growth are so important. But the couple who can honestly discuss what’s going on for each of them, even when it hurts them or the other person, is the couple that will last. Going through the growth together is what counts. Certainly, it may not last. Humans are made to have 2-3 long-term relationships over the course of their life. But if he can communicate and grow and seek to grow together, he can be proud of what happens, even if that is the dissolution of the relationship.

I will tell him I know this because it is the work his father and I have done for 22 years now. We fell into this kind of love- true love- but we also became best friends and decided to do the work (sometimes the really fucking hard, painful work) of staying together and growing together. We always want the best for each other, and that is what has made it work for us. Our happiness is somewhat linked to the other’s happiness (it’s a healthy dose of co-dependency, not the hurtful kind) and we take the other person’s needs and dreams seriously. And we have also had three fights where we almost got divorced and handful of other fights where one or the both of us figured out we needed therapy (because the root of our problem was not ‘us’ but our personal past or trauma). Sometimes keeping the couple alive means healing individual wounds. I will tell my son this.

 

Be yourself and find the one who loves that.

There are ideas (and memes) floating around that say we have to love ourselves before someone else can love us or that we have to somehow get over all our shit before we can be good in a relationship. These ideas are both bollocks. Because while a decent level of self-respect and self-esteem are pretty key, being in relationship is going to bring up a person’s shit and there is no way around that and no way to preempt it with therapy or self growth. There just isn’t. Relationship is its own cauldron and you have to let the fire of it change you (hopefully into something more refined).

There are hard things I am going to have to let my son learn on his own. He will learn boundaries by not having good ones, which is okay as long as he has a good community safety net to help him. He will learn to not play games by playing and getting tired of it. He will have to learn that being honest with himself and his partner is paramount by fucking that up, too.

Jayson Gaddis taught me that life and relationships are a struggle between wanting to be ourselves and wanting to be loved. And we sometimes hide pieces of ourselves so that we can be loved. So I will tell my son: find someone you can be as much of yourself with as possible, find someone who will listen to and love the truth of you. Provide the same in return. Stay communicating and honest about who you are and who you are becoming so that you can have both a strong sense of yourself and feel loved.

::: ::: ::: :::

I’m sure this isn’t all I’ll have to tell him. And certainly these lessons will come as they come- some at 14, some at 24. But I want him to learn these things earlier than I did so he can have a better chance at longer love.

What wisdom do you have for the young-and-in-love?

With gratitude,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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Lessons in Love + Desire

Or, what I learned from this last Mercury in Retrograde. (If you want some good info on Mercury in Retrograde, please check this post from The Tarot Lady. Her tarot and astrology info is informative, funny, and practical.)

Over the years, and over the course of many relationships, I have come to believe that the heart is a house with many rooms. For me, there is a floor for friendships, another for family, and, of course, an entire floor (or maybe a wing) for romantic relationships. The first room on that floor belongs to a blonde name Mark who I fell for in 6th grade. I felt so giggly and silly and could barely do anything but smile when I saw him in class. We moved to a new city at Christmas that year, so I don’t know what became of him. But he was my first real crush.

There are probably 8 or 10 more rooms on the romantic floor. Wait, let me count…it’s 16. Damn. Sixteen rooms between my first crush and the room where I hold the relationship with my husband. Not all of those other rooms were relationships, but they all helped me learn something about being in romantic relationships.

Each room is unique, of course. Each one has a particular shape and size. Some have a lot of stuff in them. Some are almost bare. Some are dark. Some are almost forgotten. But they are rooms with memories and feelings and experiences, and I can visit them if I need to. Lately, I’ve found myself revisiting the earliest rooms on the romantic floor because my son is starting to notice girls and watch his peers begin to date. I’m having to remember those times in my own adolescence so I can (hopefully) help him navigate them better.

For most people, the rooms on the romantic floor of their heart house stop at the one where the relationship that eventually lead to their marriage exists. I will talk about that as part of this journey, but I want to talk about the two rooms that came after my marriage relationship room.

The first room was gorgeous and sexy- dark red paint, four poster bed, silk sheets, red velvet curtains, black lace, chaise lounge, candles everywhere, closed curtains, and plenty of dark corners for dark deeds. It was a room almost entirely full of passion. It is the room where I desired the man who I was attracted to during the Sex Surge (when my libido went way up and I basically could not stop thinking about sex all day- it was fun and horrible). All the desires and fantasies and stupid things I did, said, and wrote live in that room.

This is how the room started out, anyhow. If you go look at it today, it’s very different. There are burn marks on the floor and walls from emotional bombs I set off myself. There are water marks on the walls from the inches of tears of frustration I cried. The curtains are open now, there’s nothing on the walls. The bed is a shambles, desperately broken; I took an axe to it so I could finally leave. There is a photo book with the important memories that I can flip through, when I need to. I learned a lot in that room- about sex, desire, passion, fear- and it took me forever to finally leave it. It took so much strength and practice and pain and energy, but I did it- because I knew my life, my heart, and my soul would be better for it. [I was not so much addicted to him, because he just wasn’t around, as I was addicted to desire and hope. And weaning yourself off emotions can take a lot of effort.]

The room after that is very small. It’s full of windows and white curtains and the sun shines right through so the light almost looks yellow. There is only one thing in the room: a simple bed with white sheets, pillows, comfy blankets. And while desire lived in this room, too, it was much simpler and a lot more infatuation than passion. I took the lessons from the passionate room and learned to leave this one faster. Not to say I didn’t make a bit of a mess along the way (messes are for learning!), but I got out much faster and much easier. I still sometimes visit this room – it’s really quite lovely and calming. (I realized the other day that it is what I was envisioning when I first began to feel into my Wild Heart stage.)

The men I was attracted to in these rooms still walk by and throw virtual pebbles at the window, which is fine. I send them metta.

 

Photo by Valentina Locatelli on Unsplash

 

The guy from the sunshine room is the interesting one because there was almost a possibility of an affair with him. Maybe. Almost. Sorta. (I’m quite sure he thought about it.) And I wanted one- after years, I wanted one again. And this is where Mercury in Retrograde set me down and had a good, long talk with me.

When I was in the Sex Surge, part of what I learned was how to channel passion and desire into other places in my life when I couldn’t connect with the guy I was interested in. I learned how to pour it into art, dance, my kids, decorating, erotica. I also changed my marriage in terms of communication, sex, touch, sensual expression, and time away from kids (more of that, please!). I really did fix holes in my marriage and myself. I healed some old wounds and learned how to let that passionate part of myself out to play. (I’m still learning this, honestly.)

This time around, what I discovered is that sometimes there is nothing wrong with a marriage. Sometimes there is not really anything to heal, personally. Sometimes we just desire. We just get infatuated. We just want to jump into the fun of connection. For the first time, in this Mercury in retrograde, I considered the idea that I didn’t need to fight my desire or fix anything about it. Because there is nothing wrong with my marriage. And there is far less brokenness in me than before. I decided, instead of fighting my desire (coming at it perpendicular) to accept it (to run parallel with it). It’s not something I need to fight anymore, I can just let it be.

“Any energy that you deny becomes a demon for you. It becomes your inner tormentor. And you don’t get rid of your demons. You embrace them. Not indulge them, but embrace them. And if you embrace them in a way I am talking about they no longer feel like demons. They are just energies that are available to you. They are just part of this whole spectrum of what it is to be conscious and alive and present. And everything becomes joined together back again. A mature emotional life if when all the different parts of yourself emotionally are joined back together. Nothing is put outside, nothing is denied, nothing is hidden. Nothing is unacknowledged. All brought together so that it can all come together.” – Adyashanti

Of course, there are choices to make when desire comes up again (as it surely will). One thing I am learning since I have accepted my own beauty is that I am attracted to dudes with a lot of potential and a fair amount of brokenness (or emotional immaturity). That is not a standard I want to uphold in the future. (Now I know my worth. Now I know my healing is spectacular. Now I know my energy and time is worth a lot.) I can make choices around that, even in the midst of infatuation. Which actually means I probably will never have an affair, because dudes have got to be as quality as my husband. And he’s one of a kind.

Which leads me to tell you about the room our relationship grows in on the romantic floor of my heart house. It’s a huge room. We’ve been together 22 years. It has decorations and pictures from all the countries we’ve visited (and we lived in England the first year of our marriage). It’s got some bomb blasts, too, but those have been cleaned up and now plants and children and love grow there. There are tears of both pain and joy. (My engagement ring is made of pearls, which symbolize tears- I wanted all this emotion.) There is a bed with a headboard of beautiful Moroccan scroll work, rich, warm sheets, and a fireplace, a huge couch. There is light and color and so much comfort and safety I cannot tell you. There are everyday places to connect and touch and get it on. There is passion here, too- it’s the only room I’ve had 3-minute orgasms in! There is trust and joy and so many levels of intimacy and love I’m not sure I can describe them. We have worked through everything in this room. Just this morning, when I was sweaty from working out, and frightened because of a health issue, he lay down on the floor (because: ab workout) and held me as I cried. The room we have built is magical, and I want to live in it forever.

One of the most important tools I learned in the Sex Surge was to ask, “What do I think I will get or experience if I sleep with this person?” (or connect, or whatever). The answer to that question is full of gold, because we don’t need that other person (usually) to get those experiences. It’s simply that they ‘flip the switch’ for us to be or have or experience those things more easily than we can do for ourselves. The sunshine room was a place where I wanted lack of responsibility, joy, infatuation, recognition, appreciation, playfulness, laughter, relaxation, rest, and a simple kind of sensuality and pleasure. But these are all things I can give myself. They don’t require anyone else.

So, this Mercury in Retrograde taught me two important lessons: that I can align with my desire instead of fight it and that I can have what I most want without taking another lover*.

You know what this means? It’s time for a new tattoo. :o)

Big love from the trail, my people,
Joanna :: xoxo

*If you see me refer to a ‘lover’ or ‘boyfriend’ that’s my husband. He has many different roles in my life, those are just two. I mean, why limit yourself ?

 

 

 

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Daring to Love a Wild Woman

“Men may think a wild woman is a woman to be feared. They think, “Oh, she’s a wild woman, that must mean she’s dangerous. She’s probably crazy, too much to handle.” And in a sense, it’s true. She’s too much for someone who isn’t ready to show up fully and check their ego at the door.  She’s too much for someone who would rather have small talk than go deep. She’s too much if you expect her to hold back her anger or sadness or pain to protect you from seeing her in her chaos. But trust this: a wild woman is the safest type of woman you’ll ever meet. She doesn’t hold back. There are no surprises. You’ll meet her and she’ll let you see her for who she is. She trusts her own worthiness enough to reveal herself to you and let you decide whether or not you would like to walk with her. She doesn’t hide parts of herself in an attempt to keep your love because she doesn’t have time for connections that lack depth and meaning. A wild woman will invite you to love all parts of yourself. She’ll accept you in that place, because she has done the work to accept herself there.” 

| Sheleana Aiyana |

::: ::: ::: :::

How nice it is to be seen and described. My lover and I were talking about this on Sunday. He said these exact things to me, but I think it applies even if you just want to hang out or be friends with a wild woman (applies 100x more if you want to love her or get with her). I am wild, yes. I am too much for those who don’t want to show up. But for those who do? Oh, baby, you get my whole heart + mind + soul. It takes guts and courage to be a person who shows up for a wild woman, though. Which a lot of people don’t have. (And that is okay. We are all where we are.) I’m learning a lot about myself and relationships and love with this Mercury in retrograde. When it’s all over, I’ll share more. (Don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, less Life smack me, again.)

Big love, you brave and courageous souls,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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