Internal monologue goes something like this:”Holy shit! What did I just say?! I did it again… My loved one triggered something within me and I lost my temper.”   Noooo dear lover — You did not LOSE it. You could not lose that f****r in a Where’s Waldo animation in the event that you tried.You tomahawked it in your loved one’s mind — HARD. You blew up like a bomb (again) and left shrieking shrapnel throughout the goddamn living area.  Bits of rectal blood, guts and gore stuck anywhere. You can not even see your loved one through all of the dripping, gnarly words. It was an articulated assault of viciousness. Extra strength Pine-Sol will not wash their pitted soul readily.Self-recrimination sets in:”I am such a loser. I am an unlovable wart on the ass of an ass. They’re for SURE gonna abandon me today… I just know it. I’d leave me if I could. Why can’t I ever learn?  I hate myself. I am the world’s worst spouse… no, the worst partner in the UNIVERSE! Yeah… I am a entire pile of doo-doo. I’m the sort of caca a coprophagic canine would not even consume on its wretchedly, ravenous moment.” Well dear lover, as soon as you’ve wallowed adequately enough to be covered head to toe in plenty of shame you have to work on it. You lean into the flywheel and begin that heavy shit moving.  (Hard work and the patience of a demi-god is necessary.) You receive therapized, examined, and read each self-help book as quickly as Amazon (with Prime free delivery of course) can get them into a searchable mailbox. You attempt woo-woo energy work, request advice from your hairstylist, gossip and shout with your BFF and pick up some interesting tools along the way your parents forgot to teach you.  (“Thanks mom and dad — way to go… I will send you the invoice in my $150/hr. You eventually track that shitty response to its source, back that small f****r to a corner pointing at it with a long, drawn-out “Youuuuuu…. !” Then stab your finger into its torso as you tell it to”GO AWAY! F**k off and die why not?! Why the hell can not I get over this shit once and for all?!!! GodDAMN IT! I am TIRED.” Alllll-riiiight dear lover… get back to work!  Whining is for toddlers and you wish to be the arbiter of your own fate dontcha? Lean back in the flywheel and twist that good, emotional disc until your back is aching, your tears have run dry and your palms and pits are moist with perspiration. Trust me lover, it is well worth the effort.You may never feel so free as when that wheel starts to spin by itself and you finally have REAL control over your lifetime.  You are gonna love it! Life will no longer happen TO you… you get to make whatever reality you desire. It F***’IN ROCKS!!*Shift to the present — your new reality* Guess what? That activate shit never goes off.  Enjoy never gets neat enough to place on a shelf, you do not suddenly turn into the connection guru dispensing penny advice to all and sundry AND your previous NEVER stops cooperating with your present. I thought it was gonna be simple after I leaned to that flywheel! Sometimes you’re the pigeon and sometimes you’re the statue. Regardless of what we do, when we’re triggered, our mind is so damn fast it’ll take us into the past at a split microsecond.  (Who knew we were such amazing time travellers!?) All we can do is select another response.We start by learning how to identify the start of a rapid heartbeat, nausea in our gut, or the choking feeling in our throat that suggests a cause is on its way up from the depths of our mind. Bodies never lie, dear lover… NEVER. This is our opportunity to choose an alternate reaction. It is a message from our future selves if we hear.Learn how to recognize those body signs and follow this up with two synchronized, learned activities. (Notice I said activity — not REaction.)To begin with, and honestly, most significant — ZIP IT.  Just shut the F**K upward for an instant .  Whatever verbal vitriol you have bubbling behind your uvula can wait till you have had an opportunity to analyze it and then, if you have to, consciously CHOOSE whether or not to unleash the unholy harangue from hell upon your loved one.Trust me fan, a few seconds will not make a little difference in the event you finally continue on your initial anger track.  It is going to do equal harm whether you choose to prematurely upchuck your previous onto your current or if you decide to wait and, after a cursory examination, opt for ultimate relational annihilation vis a vis your flapping jaws. The big difference is you’re taking responsibility with the next option.Let us assume for the moment that you (sensibly ) opt to have a breather and zip it. Second is to acknowledge your cause and then ask yourself this {} question as you’re looking into the eyes of the one you love:”Who would I wish to BE at the moment?”If your response is,”A crying, salivating orc in the pits of Mordor.” Or”An arrogant, self-important know-it-all who’s always perfect.” then by all means, let ‘er rip and consequences be damned — again.However, if you’re able to examine your loved one and decide that you need to BE somebody who calmly, compassionately, maturely expresses how you feel about the cause you just experienced in their unwitting hands, then you may opt to BE just that.It is a choice, people.   No, it will not be simple. Nothing worth having ever is. If you do your inner work, monitor your routines, stories, sorrows and pains back to their roots and wrap that child in a huge, heartfelt hug, participate in primal scream therapy or anything else it is that floats your metaphysical boat then you’ll have the beginnings of a custom of owning your shit and a opportunity to speak your truth like a rockstar.Notice I said”clinic”.  Nobody is born knowing this stuff and practice is the path to sustainable behaviour. More than anything precious lover, be kind to yourself as you begin down the street towards personal accountability.  Nobody ever develops without failure. Consider it, if you are in a heavenly state, why on earth would you change anything?! It’s our screw-ups that create the chance for change.So as you practice grabbing your body’s signs and your reactions, ensure that you allow yourself to chuckle at your own mistakes.After all, laughter IS the best medicine dear lover!–Previously Released on gracegetzen.comShutterstock

No, it will not be simple. Nothing worth having ever is.

The article Dear Lover, I Lost My Temper — Again appeared on The Great Men Project.

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Just what Is Authentic Adult Intimacy?


I’ve done a great deal of therapy in my life. I began in my thirties when my marriage was falling apart. Then 100 and hours to fulfill requirements while I had been going through treatment school. Then I had a complete practice and started getting very busy. Life happened. Basically a lot of excuses.

You’re supposed to find a therapist when you are a therapist but I will be honest, many do not. Including myself. Well, at least not always. I also began dating someone lately so I thought it would be a fantastic time to get back in the room. Process sh*t. Because things come up when you date someone and it is a fantastic chance to turn it in to learning. I believe the start of a relationship and the expiration of a connection would be the richest soil for growth. Assuming you really process and do the job.

Anyhow, I f*cking love treatment with a capital F. And I am not just saying that because I am a therapist. Sip coffee and discuss your life and problems while another person makes it entirely about you for fifty minutes? That is known as being on the right side of a lopsided friendship. Yes, it may be costly. But if you have insurance, milk which sh*t. If you do not, tell yourself you are putting 300 bucks aside monthly to your mental health and do not evaluate every session or you will stop. Some sessions will be life-changing and you will walk out skipping. And others will drag and you will wonder what else you might have bought with that hundy. However, I don’t feel any session is a waste. And at times, it is not even about what is said during the semester. It’s the true relationship with your therapist which can be healing. By way of instance, if you have only been in toxic relationships most of your lifetime, the secure space your therapist supplies gives you a corrective curative experience. You exercise muscles you have not before. But finally, treatment is about self-understanding. Without it, we’re just walking knee jerks. Therapy will help you open the hood of you so that you can see how everything works. Imagine driving a car that does not run well but you never open the hood. You simply pound the steering wheel believing it is going to fix itself. That is how most people live. There’s absolutely no authentic self-betterment without self-understanding. Recognizing why you do what you do, consider how you believe, is expansion soil.

So let us discuss my first back to treatment session. I tell people I had been raised by pop culture. Because my parents were not home. They were always on the job. They also did not give me much psychological milk. “You are valuable. You’re worthy. We love you”. They are from a different generation. They showed love in different ways. But like most of our parents, they did the best they could with what they had. So I received my nurturing from the local kids. But in order to get friends, you had to be trendy. Thank God I had been coordinated. I believe that is why friends have always mattered so much to me. They became the parents that I never had. They give me the psychological milk I had been deprived of. Or a variant of it.

My new therapist is chiefly Psychodynamic, which essentially means helping the customer turn the unconscious conscious, and investigating youth experiences that form our adult character. I believe subconsciously that is why I care so much what my friends think. What I drive. I mean on a deeper subconscious level. Not something I’m aware of on the surface. It is like how many attempt to please and be ideal for their parents. I actually don’t have any desire to impress my parents. However, I do with my friends. It is the other way around for many.

Another GREATER revelation I had was that perhaps I have never experienced true healthy adult intimacy. If somebody was to ask me if I have, my initial reaction would be of course I have. I have been in nothing but relationships most of my life. I’ve experienced all sorts of intimacy. From high school crushes to union. However, if I really look at every one, I am not positive whether they were healthy mature adult intimacy. I mean, I have experienced strong link, chemistry, and epidermis. I have experienced love. Losing myself in somebody. Hot sex. But I’m not positive if I have experienced profound healthy adult intimacy. And I keep saying grownup because you can assert that true intimacy is anything is true for you in the moment. High school love could be true intimacy because at the point all those feels are fair to us. But I am talking mature intimacy, once we know about codependency and enmeshment and what it actually takes to construct a wholesome relationship.

The thought that at 44, I might not have experienced true healthy adult intimacy blows my mind.

And so my journey begins…

Here is what I know up to now.

First, both people must have some tools. Self-awareness. Ability to be metacognitive. Process their feelings. Express themselves. Communicate. With this, healthy goes out the window. This means all my relationships before about age thirty-four weren’t really healthy adult relationships, since I had been lacking tools. And she was.

Then I analyzed my relationships article mid-thirties and they were great and powerful but I am not positive when I experienced true adult intimacy. Not that anything was wrong with the connections or another individual. It is more about me. I’m not positive if I have ever allowed someone to genuinely love me. Like on a deeper level. And that is the kicker. Maybe I have never allowed someone to genuinely love me. Maybe I don’t understand what that looks like since it did not’ get it growing up? I don’t understand.

I used to believe closeness was simply physical attraction, chemistry, and gender. And it can be if you are in your teens and twenties. I don’t know if we have the capacity to explore over that in that age. And needless to say, I have learned that intimacy is far more. Now, however, I am discovering that there are more layers. I have always been a late bloomer and I am late to the party once more.

Physical.

I am going into the physical area with new lenses and a different mindset. It is not just about skin. I think adult intimacy ways to turn your dial to research and lock it there. The process of investigating, which is endless, is what creates familiarity. The slow burn over the bonfire. Using all of your senses. Intention and energy behind every touch. Not placing so much weight on the end.

Kissing.

Not as a gateway but a standalone. As self-expression, as though it was a speech. Kissing with intention. Purpose. To discover. To know. Forgotten. A most important brush we have set aside for specialty brushes which weren’t intended to fill in huge spaces of color.

Energy.

Not a word I’d have used earlier in relation to intimacy. However, it’s huge for me today. What is the energy of another person like? Your energy when you are around him/her? The new energy generated by both of you guys? What is it like? Is it claustrophobic? Intimacy is energy. Energy is everything.

Mental.

Conversations. Intellectual stimulation. Idea exchanges. Can you challenge each other emotionally? Allow stretch? Shift perspectives without protection and or hurt feelings? Is there food? Intimacy is learning from each other.

Emotional.

Feelings. A secure space that promotes vulnerability and enables, encourages, and validates your daily feels. What is this space like? Are people being heard? Understood? Validated? Intimacy is swimming in a healthier emotional space.

Spiritual.

Beliefs greater than self, than both. Additionally, the soul in each other. Because we’re all spiritual beings. What is the dance like between your spirits? The connection you can not see or explain. Is it strong? Loose? Vague? Growing? Intimacy is a spiritual procedure.

I believe true adult intimacy is a quilt with all the above patched together, creating a blanket which covers both people. This blanket gives us a feeling of comfort, security, and warmth.

And ultimately what annoys the stop together is —

Passion.

Is there a shared passion for each other’s stories, bodies, direction, business, and purpose? Is there fire lined in the bodily, the kisses, the energy, the mental, the emotional, and spiritual?

I think to experience true adult intimacy, you need to explore these classes but also pull back to get an entire experience rather than measuring parts, as a lot people do. A blanket. Not a scarf. This street leads to being deeply loved.

This is what I am learning so much about adult intimacy. Tomorrow, it can be something entirely different. And that’s the thing about love, it is a living breathing thing which changes as we change.

What is your definition of true adult intimacy?

Have you ever experienced it?


This post was initially published here and is republished with permission from the author.

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Stop the’He Said, She Said’ Arguments On Your Relationship

“He said/she stated” has many meanings in the present world. It plays a big, and frequently unfair, role in determining whether abuse, harassment, or assault has occurred. But it may also make unpleasant exchanges in the best of relationships.

There’s a saying that perception is reality. That is not to say that there’s not any such thing as verifiable fact. Only that without an entirely objective measure, like a sound or video recording, it’s impossible to establish. Unfortunately, lots of people, maybe even you, expend an enormous amount of energy and emotion fighting somebody else’s perception.

I can’t tell you how often 1 person relating an event to me is interrupted by their spouse with,”That is not what happened? Or, I did not say that.” The first person reiterates their recollection, the spouse denies it, and things continue to spiral out of control unless I measure in.

While this works in my office, unless the couple knows this he said/she stated is obviously an exercise in futility, they will keep getting caught up in this unresolvable loop of trying to be right; not getting to the core of the matter and continuing to feel unheard and invalidated.

The reality is, you can’t encounter an event or conversation the exact same manner as another person. More importantly, you’ll never truly convince them they did not experience it the way that they believe they did. There’s always your version and their version of what occurred. The objective reality is someplace in the middle but, for all useful purposes, that does not matter.

So how can you stop this power struggle? Reduce your end of the rope. As soon as you stop pulling against your spouse, they’ll stop pulling against you. Then, and only then, can you get a real conversation.

The first step in this procedure is determining what’s really going on. You don’t need to justify or defend it, but you do have to understand {} subjective. It’s filtered through the lens of your physical, mental and psychological state in the moment and your previous experiences, both with this individual and everyone else you have encountered in your lifetime.

What you hear is not always what they said or intended. That does not mean you did not hear it like that. It’s what you experienced. Without any more information, you may do it on what you think happened. And, therein, lies the path to ruin, or at least an argument.

However, when you get sidetracked into what was or was not stated, the tone it was or was not said in, what was meant or not intended, you lose control of the situation and, frequently, of yourself. You are convinced you are”right”. Your spouse is convinced they are. Neither will give earth so that it turns into a drop for you, a lose for them, and also a big drop for your connection.

The antidote is to STOP, FEEL, and THINK.

STOP: When you recognize the dialogue is headed in the wrong direction, STOP talking. If you understand you made a wrong turn on the street, you would not keep driving away from where you are trying to go. The identical behaviour makes no more sense in a conversation.

FEEL: Once you’re no longer headed in the wrong direction, cope with the feelings which were stirred up. What you knew your spouse to say, the tone they used, or their facial expression/body speech made a reaction. If you feel anger, there’s probably another emotion in the center that is more applicable.

THINK: This emotion is the basis for the story that you’re telling yourself about what is happening. It’s the filter that determines what you listen to and remember. It’s a reflection of what matters to you. But, it’s just one possible interpretation. Once you are able to identify a few, you have the choice of selecting a different one. This gives you a means from the He said/She said right coat.

If you’re”right”, then your spouse is automatically”incorrect”. If you’re able to have different perspectives, you both can be”right”. This stops the debate over what occurred and permits you to move in the process of finding resolution.

That’s a topic for another day.

Need help now? Click here to contact me to get a free 15-minute laser training session on your main communication issue.

A version of the post was previously published on TheHeroHusbandProject and is republished here with permission from the author.

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You never encounter an event or conversation the exact same manner as another person.

The article Stop the ‘He Said, She Said’ Arguments on Your Relationship appeared first on The Great Men Project.

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Dear Lover, I Promise You This

You and I, and probably much of the rest of the world, spend an inordinate amount of time avoiding emotional intimacy as it scares the sh*t from us.

We tease each other, we evaporate into our computers and mobile phone displays, we escalate conflictswe retreat into silence, we numb ourselves with T.V., and an infinite variety of different ways to prevent the pain we’ve experienced in previous relationships going all of the way back to childhood.

Loving deeply, completely, and intimately requires us to draw upon our guts in huge ways when confronted with the possible suffering that will ultimately happen when relationships end, whether that be in 1 month, 1 year, five decades, or at the end of our lives.

To experience the deepest love and closeness needs a jump into the unknown. Who, but those that are fearlessly terrified, would dare this act?

You and I are brave creatures still deciding daily how vulnerable we are prepared to be with those we would like to know intimately and people we would like to know us. Just how much are we willing to risk for this thing called love?

Our sometimes indecisive steps will need to be pointed out–not to judge ourselves for moving too hesitantly or needing a new procedure, but rather to admit just how much we hazard for this amount of emotional connection and how much we need to bare our true being to another in the hopes of unconditional approval. It’s a risk worth commendation.

So often we choose to examine what mistakes we’ve made, the failures which mess our hearts, the chances supposedly lost. Let’s, rather, give ourselves the gift of gratitude for all that we’ve done well. We deserve kudos for how utterly amazing we are, for our willingness to lean in the discomfort of psychological nudity.

Let us celebrate how powerful we are–so powerful that we have the ability to surpass our mutual histories and make fresh, ever-changing paradigms together. People who we provide such intimate access will reflect our own perception of ourselves. The purity of this reflection is commensurate with the breadth and depth of trust we present them.

To have chosen a spouse we hope with which to talk about the frightening parts of life–and the fun and lightness–is worthy of applause. I need to admit us for working through a continuous stream of conflicts and choices–their absolute size can, at times, seem overwhelming.

We’re extraordinary in our desires to experience relationships more intimately and vulnerably than any we’ve yet had. Each successive one was a building block upon whose experiences notify (and partly specify ) the upward path of another one.

It’s a very small miracle that happens daily in our decisions to continue to try to find something so ephemeral, so fragile, in the face of all we’ve previously endured. It appears a miracle that we have the guts to set foot on this course more than once given the consequences of failure.

I won’t promise that we’ll remain aware and conscious of what comes out of our mouths.

I won’t guarantee that one day we shall each be free of those internal demons that haunt the hallways of our thoughts.

I won’t promise forever love since there’s only now, right now.

I can, however, assure you that each small step toward vulnerability will bring us both closer to that emotional intimacy we search. I promise to be as clear as I can in my decision to love you daily. I promise to back up my intentions with activities as best as I can. I promise to check the limits of my capacity for emotional investment.

I promise to call you in your bullsh*t, to constantly ask you to appear as your very best self, and to kick you once you encounter self-pity or unconsciousness.

I promise to be compassionate and embrace you once you’re defeated and can’t do this for yourself. I promise to genuinely see your shadow side and understand {} simply a part of who you are. I promise to have compassion for you when you’re hating yourself, to be generous when you mess up big time, and to trust you to recognize your own mistakes when you surface from the depths of hell.

I promise to take on 80 percent when you’re only effective at 20 percent, and to wade with you through your trials and tribulations.

I promise to laugh with you, pick you daily, to risk my heart for you as far as I dare.

I promise to return once I run away in panic, and wait for you once you run away. I promise to let you go if you want something besides what I will give and to allow you to know the exact same for me. I guarantee that nothing will remain the same.

Mostly, though, I promise to be true to who I am so you always know who it is that you’re so bravely picking to be vulnerable to each and every day.

Previously Released on Elephant Journal

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She’s in her hottest lace undies and bra. He stands at the foot of the bed, his shirt off.His enthusiasm to enter is uncontainable. Her desire to get him is palpable. He’s her God. She’s his Goddess.CUT!Is not it awesome when this occurs? The connection. The excitement. She is with the guy she wants. He is with the girl he desires.And yet how can we freeze this moment in time? This superhuman juice, power, link? I used to say to my ex-wife,”When we are connected and on {} team, actually feeding one another, it is like we have given each other superpowers.  We now have more energy for daily. And yet, though we knew it, we fought to live it.  In time, we dropped back into ordinary marital estrangement, too busy with parenting and work to tend to our connection. How and why things finished is a story for another time or a publication . And in the bedroom, it seemed like…She wants to speak. He wants to get physical to feel close to her. She wants to communicate to feel close to him. I remember thinking… God, what a cruel f#*kin’ joke you have played on us!  We are on opposite sides of the world in classic masculine and feminine. This is the way you made us? I see this frequently in different couples.  Who is to blame — him or her? Well, she does not need to feel like a sexual thing. And he does not want to be her girlfriend. I know. But they represent a thread of a frequent power dynamic between the masculine and the feminine, which may traverse sex or sex.In my website last week, I talked to what occurs when a man squeezes all his familiarity needs into sex. It’s bad.  So what happens when a woman seeks all her intimacy needs through speaking?
If one consequence of the supremacy of conversation is that it renders men at a disadvantage, another is that it leaves women trapped in repressed sexuality.
-Esther Perel, “Mating In Captivity” And if you do not speak to me like I need, you are not getting any loving.”And yes, ladies, that means you are not getting any loving either. That can not feel good for a long time.Depriving a guy of sex is a powerful and efficient means to receive his attention. But more often than not, it is also accompanied by a complete shutdown of her heart. She won’t let him, emotionally or physically, for that matter.”I can not do anything right for her,” a man has often said to me, defeated session. “I try but nothing seems to help. Ladies (and this is straight from the playbook of my mentor, writer and couples therapist, Terry Real) —  It is far more difficult to ask for what you want, and actually receive it, than it is to bitch and whine. I know, you have asked a thousand times. But have you actually been open to getting it, even an iota of it, whatever”it” is?When he gets even the smallest attempt, applaud him, cheer him on.  Celebrate his wins. Cease just looking at what he does not do. Trust me. He will be encouraged to do more for you.When it comes to the bedroom, by all means, stand your ground if you don’t want to have sex but keep open emotionally.  Give him a hug, a kiss. Reassure him he is your man.  Tell him you love him and you see how he is trying to appear.Ultimately, wonderful sex and a excellent relationship occur when you build trust with each other and when you know you are each a priority.And that happens when you turn towards one another, towards hard feelings, not away.That is growth. And out there comes an energized and satisfying relationship.   The actual benefit of long term relationship.–Previously Released on stuartmotola.comShutterstock

The article Ladies, Keep Your Heart Open appeared on The Great Men Project.

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Men, Sex Won’t Make You Whole

Every man has felt it.

Yes, he’s felt it. I’ve felt it. He’s inside of her.

“Ooh baby, you are so remarkable. I love you. I love you. I love you!’

He’s gone back to his infancy, to his roots, to the uterus.   As Robin Williams once said, a guy spends trying to escape and the rest of his life trying to reunite in.

“Ooh baby, if I could stay inside of you forever…”

He seeks the entering, the being indoors, the thrusting, the loving, and then… the moment of orgasm, when he gives himself away.

How good it seems to give it all away.

To say”f*#k it” with all his energy, after an entire day of keeping it together.   The best freedom.  The little death, “la petite mort,” as the French say.

As much as he needs to sustain the bliss, it all ends in a split second.  And frequently he feels empty then — exhausted, depleted, half dead.

He no longer wants to remain inside of her forever. His member is taken.

His illusion is dismantled. He knows it’s not possible to stay inside.  She can’t make him whole.  He feels empty.

“Tell me how much you love me,” she says.

“Huh?” he says.

And in the moment, he crashes into reality. He’s pulled from his myopia, the nearsightedness of his own pleasure.  He’s alerted to another. And he might even feel like a boy who has been found out.

“You mean, you do not really love me. You were only pleasuring yourself in my body.”

And sure, there are girls that are fine with a man pleasuring himself in her body. But that is a fling, not a serious long term relationship.

Nevertheless, a day or even an hour after, his appetite rises again. To re-engage the illusion that life and all things will be perfect once he is back inside of her. And the words come from his mouth.

“Awww baby, I adore you! If only…”

He is back to where he began. What is going on here?

Well, he has been removed — worked by his libido, his testosterone, his desire, or love. He’s not the master of it.  He doesn’t operate with his sexual energy, but has worked by it.

And he does not feel the price of the cycle until he is in his late twenties and frequently elderly. The relational cost to himself and his spouse. The expense of eventual…

Disconnection.
Apathy.
An interior relational deadness.

In the absence of facing the issue, many men develop bitter. Job, blamebark. “Frigid Bitch.”

Or they spend years, searching for other girls, chasing the same”make me whole, baby” booty call. Many men finally just resign themselves to a sexless marriage or dating.

Rather, a person may answer the telephone.

The call to discover what he really seeks in sex — link and intimacy — and the way to experience those things, incorporated with his sexuality, rather than in lieu of.

The call to see her vagina as a sacred part of her that enhances familiarity, rather than a vehicle by which to simply delight himself.

The call to learn his own sexual energy, rather than something which masters him.

And this takes training.

To challenge the complacent pieces of himself.
To grow.
To become more relational.
To get larger in his capacity as a lover and ally to his spouse.

Sex alone will not make him whole.

But most guys won’t do the job until they’re forced to, until their marriage or relationship is near an end.

Yes, women’s sexuality is strong. Super powerful. The Yoni. The origin of all life. How can a person not be in awe?

Sex in a long term relationship ceases for a single reason.  Since there’s been a kink in the relationship between spouses.

It will not only get turned back magically.  It requires work — speaking hard truths, risking vulnerability, rebuilding trust, and frequently even risking divorce or separation.

Am I just wanting to party men?

Hell no.  I wish to help men, and women, have an energized and satisfying relationship.  And decent sex is definitely a part of that.

And let us be clear, girls have their role in the dynamic also. More on this next week.

Previously Released on stuartmotola.com

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Men, Do You Know How Sexy You Are When You Are Vulnerable?

Six decades ago, I opted to leave a guy who would not talk. When things got emotional, he would work and work and work. I didn’t pester him to speak. I thought if I let him be, he would emerge with words and we would feel connected once more.

But he never arose.

We had an 18-month-old and he was the breadwinner. Our initial agreement was that he would carry the majority of the financial responsibility until our daughter was 3, and then we would contribute equally. That meant he worked long hours during the summer for his contracting company. Finally, his long hours out the home led him to invest more long hours in front of his computer doing book-keeping when he arrived home. It meant I spent 10 to 12 hours {} with my daughter, whom he played for an hour once he got home so that I could shower and have some me time (which meant binging on Netflix to my very depleted self). We barely interacted. I needed to talk or hang out after our daughter went to bed and he would complain that he was too tired and it was not a fantastic time.

It was never a fantastic time.

Finally, our communication only revolved around what needed to get done around the house. I recall the night I left him. It was only after Memorial day and a significant heatwave hit Upstate NY. I recall I had asked him a couple of days before if he would set the air conditioner in our bedroom and he said he had been too busy. I was putting my daughter down for a nap, beads of sweat dripping down both of our faces as he passed from the bedroom on the way to his basement workshop. “Can you set the AC unit in now? It is too hot in here for her to sleep.”

So quickly I began to shake. My infant was shaking in my arms also. I hugged her in tight. He stood there with wide-eyes and a gaping mouth holding his hands.

I sped down the stairs and out to the porch stoop with my little girl in my arms. Taking deep breaths, I looked up in the bird’s nest on the porch. My daughter said, “Bid” in her toddler’s voice. That is how you got your name. You are named after a very special little songbird.” As I was saying this, my insides were piercing each mobile with shards of dread. My words were soothing me over my daughter. I was desperately hoping she did not sense my fear too much. The baby birds provided a wonderful diversion for a few silent minutes.

He then walked to the porch, his face filled with pity; his head hanging low. “I’m sorry,” he whispered in a barely audible tone.

The minute he spoke words which had a hint of feeling in them a rage rushed through me. It was a motivating, energizing type of force. It was a mama bear kind of ferocity. I stood up, tightening my loving grip in my daughter. “What you did is not okay. I am done.” I began to walk to the vehicle.

“I am going to my parents.

This was not the first time he had an angry outburst that broke his hands. He had done the exact same thing to the wall in our living room almost exactly a year before. But just for a couple of days. He came to my parents, filled with guilt, with a bouquet of wildflowers in his hands. The blossoms and guilt won me over. So did the fact that our daughter, that was 6 months at the time did not witness the event.

But this time was different. I knew our baby would hold of memory of the day in her subconscious forever. And while I knew he’d never put a hand on me, I felt in my bones that this was the grand finale of our connection. We were getting my parents and I did not want that for my little one. There was a pattern forming which couldn’t be changed if I had been the only one willing to perform the job.

I didn’t want my daughter to be raised in a family full of tension and silence and emotional repression combined with bouts of angry outbursts. I experienced that in my youth and I did not want my daughter re-living my family history.

Months before we attempted. Hard. We went to treatment. But nothing could change at home. He opened up on the therapist’s couch after much poking and prodding on her role. With me, he just shut down. I felt helpless and hopeless and very, very lonely. I felt disrespected and perplexed. I wasted a lot of hours wondering what was wrong with me and trying to determine how I could be a better partner for him to open up. I emptied myself by trying to do his job for him.

What I wanted is exactly what many women not only need but also crave desperately: my guy to open me up.

When I left my daughter’s dad, I felt like I was leaving a stranger. I didn’t really know him. I just knew parts of him. His shut-down self put up such a enormous wall, it prevented me from getting close. I, like most people in relationships, simply wanted closeness.

This world needs most are partnerships which are oozing with vulnerability. The sort of vulnerability that’s mixed with the salty tears of emotional release and the juices of lovemaking. The sort of vulnerability that leads to breakthroughs rather than breakdowns.

I closed down my heart for quite a long time after I left my ex. I lost faith in the opposite sex. I lost hope that guys who may open up and share their hurts or fears or insecurities, even if it scared them shitless to do so even existed.

I recently met a guy that had the guts to take a deep dip to his insecurities with me. At a moment of anxiety, as he stood there, averting his gaze. I gently asked,”What is going on for you.” “You don’t need to tell me if you do not need to. I meant what I said. According to my past, I knew I could not force a man to start up if he did not wish to. I knew he would open up to me and when he was ready. I was only hoping this could be a when-man rather than an if-man.

My entire being lit up when he began to stutter out his feelings. In moments, I felt closer to him than ever. I knew why he was holding back; he was feeling insecure. When he gave voice to his feelings, his entire body relaxed. His eyes met mine with fresh confidence. As our eyes locked, years of despair washed from me. I smiled at him and felt like my entire being had a glow. It was the type of smile you get when something you have been dreaming of suddenly appears right in front of you.

Vulnerability is just the expression of our feelings, as they are, right here and right now. It is that simple stuff quiz tunes are made of. But grown-up people make it so complex. Songs move from the pure expression of the here and now to ballads about being misunderstood and rejected.

Our civilization has made expressing feelings much more complicated for men. I have talked to so many men that have said they’d be seen as weak or effeminate when they spoke in their authentic feelings with”the boys.” Rather, they make fun of the feelings. Or they numb them by getting high or drunk with the men. Or they get into competitive sports and let them out at a war-like, somewhat aggressive fashion.

If men knew how much of a twist on exposure is, there are a great deal less relationship tension and far more connected sex in this world.

If men allowed themselves to soften and open to the raw feelings of the moment, they would tap into a well of deep confidence and enthusiasm than they ever knew existed inside them.

But most men dread opening up, not because they fear that their partner will reject them, but because they fear society will. What is going to happen when feelings begin to become acknowledged and your spouse loves you more for it rather than less? Are you going to feel less apt to get drunk with the guys? Will your bike start rusting? Will your sarcasm melt off?

I don’t know what is going to happen inside your social circles as soon as you start losing your layers of shame and protection, but I do understand that your lover will thank you. And I can almost guarantee you’ll experience a level of emotional intimacy that’s far better than an orgasm. For real. Better, not simply because it is going to feel amazing, but since it’ll be a long-lasting sort of amazing.

I may also share that I have known guys who’ve shed their layers of security by beginning to open up; to be fair. It began with one minute of courage where they walked through the fear of sharing what was in their mind and in their own center and risked everything. And once they pushed through that very first moment and got love and approval rather than the rejection they felt so terrified of, they wanted more. A number of them told me their relationships with their male friends changed — for the better. They became the light-bearer. When they dropped their sarcasm for sensitivity, their friends felt fascination and respect.

“What do you do otherwise, man? I like your vibe. It feels as if you are really present and more relaxed. Tell me how I could feel this way also.”

Well, maybe the discussions did not go down just like that. But even an inkling of that can open the floodgates for a new kind of man: the so confident with his own emotions that it is sexy type of male. I am swooning just writing it out.

We love your nude bodies adoring on ours. The more you reveal what is in your mind and in your heart, the more turned on we will get.

And we both know what happens when you turn us on.

Now go get emotionally nude for your woman.

Now.

There’ll never be a fantastic time or the ideal time.

Get emotionally naked.

Now.

You can thank me later.

Previously Published on Moderate

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To the parts of you that fear being viewed.Come with me.I will free you. Be your beacon.Be your light. Who speaks?When you go deep in your heart…When you touch the area within…Where you’re not willing to hide? If you emphasise your precious you…Out of your beloved, from the world, out of yourself? Who speaks?When you come out of the dark…When you feel what you’ve feared…When you let down your guard? When you depart from replies…When you anticipate pain as a manual…From the past? When you risk? When you’re there for you? Be seen. This isn’t a trick. I’ve been waiting for you.I’m an ally, a friend, a lover. A beacon of light. I am you.You are me. We have always been. In the atmosphere of our lungs.From the air we breathe. From the life force of”we.” You remain connected to you.I to me. And together we will know. It is good to come homeTo the pieces of usThat we have locked up for so long. It’s great to come home to you, my dear.– Inspired by my previous week spent at Planet Bluegrass'”The Song School” in Lyons, CO, a songwriting retreat and multi-day workshop.   For four days, 175 people shared our love of music and songwriting. We did it together, supporting one another in our collective enthusiasm. For a lot of us, it felt just like home.  A location stripped of ego, competition, and judgment. An area without concern for — Who’s got an audience? Who is making it? We relaxed into a community of fellow human beings. We forged relationships that might have otherwise been blocked. We arrived home to ourselves and one another. –Previously Released on stuartmotola.comShutterstock

To the parts of you that fear being viewed.

The article Unlock Your Precious Heart appeared on The Great Men Project.

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