Jealousy: The Proverbial ‘Elephant in the Room’ for Many Alternative Relationships

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Jealousy is a natural human emotion.

It can be both a blessing and a curse…strengthening or destroying, our love relationships.

I think of jealousy as more of a “signal”…telling us when our boundaries have been crossed and when we need to check our own insecurities.

For those of us in alternative or polyamorous relationships, jealousy can (if not fully accepted and explored) become a dangerous and ultimately damaging force.

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Recently, I stumbled across a new book, “The Jealousy Workbook: Exercises and Insights for Managing Open Relationships,” by Kathy Labriola (Greenery Press, 2013) that thoughtfully deals with just this issue:

A counselor and nurse specializing in polyamorous singles, couples and groupings, Kathy Labriola has spent many years helping people to understand and manage their jealousy. This book is a compendium of the techniques and exercises she has developed, as well as tips and insights from the polyamory community’s top educators, therapists and authors. These accessible, simple techniques are designed to be easily implemented in the event of an intense jealousy crisis. They are even more useful if undertaken over a period of time before a jealousy crisis happens, to build a skill set that will be at hand to help managing jealousy when and if it does occur. (Available on Amazon)

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Reviews of the book are overwhelmingly positive:

Based on her work with the clients she has seen, it is by necessity focused on people with the problems that come with jealousy. This is only a subset of folks in open relationships, some of whom do not have the kind of problems she deals with. However, if you or your partner(s) are experiencing jealousy, this book is full of good exercises to help you through your rough spots. There are nineteen sections, containing forty-two specific exercises with well laid out instructions and examples from people who are experiencing the kind of problems you might be experiencing. (www.ejhs.org)

This book knocked me out! An essential resource on how to resolve jealousy in polyamorous relationships, and open-minded others. An excellent tool for finding answers that can lead to peaceful hearts and an abundance of love and connection. (Anita Wagner Illig, PracticalPolyamory.com)

For anyone struggling with relationship jealousy or insecurity, and especially for people with multiple loves… will guide you through the labyrinth of jealousy and bring you safely out to your widest possible selection of lifestyle choices. (Dossie Easton, MFT, co-author, The Ethical Slut)

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Given the tumult that jealousy can and will evoke if not honestly and compassionately dealt with, I think that this workbook is potentially an essential tool for anyone in open an relationship…relationships they wish to maintain as healthy, happy, and…MUTUALLY (for ALL parties) SATISFYING.

Love…sex…relationships…are never easy, and the more partners we include the more complex negotiating balance can become, but alternative relationships can also be very satisfying…it all depends (honestly) on how hard your willing to work, together.

xxx

dr.c.

HumpDay Reading: (A) Guide to Getting it On!

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There is a new sex-manual out (Guide to Getting it On, by Paul Joannides) there with some very “deep” (pun intended) intensions…this new edition includes:

15 new illustrations, five new chapters, 48 additional pages and 2,753 updates, this fully revised and expanded 6th edition of the Guide To Getting It On is the best ever. You will be hard-pressed to find a single page of this down-to-earth sex book that doesn’t bring a smile, a blush of crimson, or a moment of awe. Few books on sex are as satisfying. (Amazon review)

And the accolades continue:

No other how-to book on sex has won as many awards or is used in as many college sex-ed courses as the Guide To Getting It On.

You’ve never read a manual as warm, friendly,  liberating, thorough and potentially sex-life-changing as the Guide To Getting It On. Neither had anyone in our office, which may be why our copies keep disappearing. – OPRAH MAGAZINE

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AWARDS

I haven’t read this book…but I definitely intend to (and will provide my full review here)…if you are interested in purchasing the book, it is available through the author’s website (http://guide2getting.com) in addition to the regular avenues (Amazon, B&N, etc.). The author’s credentials are impressive:

Dr. Paul Joannides is a training & supervising psychoanalyst and author of the Guide To Getting It On. He is on the editorial board of theJournal of Sexual Medicine and was formerly on the editorial board of the American Journal of Sexuality Education. He also writes the As You Like It blog for Psychology Today. Paul is a guest speaker on college campuses and he is an NCAA-approved speaker for college athletes on human sexuality.

The manual certainly has the ingredients to be satisfying…I am excited to see if it lives up to the fantasy!

xxx

c.

All the World’s a Stage, You Just Have to…OPEN UP!

This bed is your stage,” Rochester had said. “From such a stage you could do anything.”

“Do you not understand? what power there is in that mouth, these sumptuous tits, that tight cunny of yours?”

“Power to do what?”

“Almost anything. now you can give a man a quick ride that leaves him happy or a night of play that tires him. but there is more to learn. you can give a man pleasure, not just in his body but in his mind, his soul, that you become a drug. So that he will crave you. So that his bullocks will ache and give him no peace until his prick is once more the master of that smooth warmth. And I can train you, pretty pet. Do you want that?”

“Yes my lord.”

“Good. On your knees. No, off the bed. for this is your god, and you must worship it.”

(She is instructed in fellatio.)

“Do you love my cock?”

Nell found that she did.

“Do you worship it, my arbor vitae, my tree of life?”

Yes, that, too.

“And do you wish for holy communion?”

…Nell did wish for it.

“Then you shall have it.” Rochester came deep in her throat…

-From, “The Darling Strumpet: A Novel of Nell Gwynn, Who Captured the Heart of England and King Charles II” by Gillian Bagwell (set in 17th Century London).

There is an indescribable quality to the experience of The Lover who turned-you-out, who taught you the value of control through worship and the immeasurable pleasure derived from pushing your erotic prowess to unimaginable limits.

It is…

The lover who invites you to perform…for him, for her, for them.

The lover who shows you how to be open…completely.

When I refer to OPENNESS, I am not (simply) referring to pleasure, I also mean the deeper, dirty, nastier emotions:

humiliation

fear

anger

jealousy

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and then…from those depths…it is the lover who lifts you up…who raises you to ecstasy, previously unimaginable.

I believe that it is only through that level of honesty that we derive true satisfaction…of an unbound nature, freedom.

Not an easy experience.

Not a pretty one

(true experiences rarely are).

Yet, it is THE ONE you need to become The Star…Not in someone else’s performance though.

The lover only sets the stage, the show is all yours.

Now, are you ready for your close-up?

Indeed, I think you are.

xxx c.

(image by Shutterbugboudoir.com for Pastease.com )

Why I AM (Unapologetically) a Whore

She’s now the darling strumpet of the crowd,

Forgets her state, and talks to them aloud,

Lay by her greatness and descents to prate

With those ‘bove whom she rais’d by wond’rous

Fate.

From “A Panegyrick Upon Nelly”

Anonymous, 1681

I recently started, and have nearly finished, reading, The Darling Strumpet: A Novel of Nell Gwynn, Who Captured the Heart of England and Kind Charles II, by Gillian Bagwell (2011), a historical fact-based fiction novel, set in 17th century London. It’s the true story of an oyster-seller, turned child-prostitute, turned stage actress, and in her final metamorphosis…arguably, the century’s most famous courtesan.

I am consuming this book (at a rapid pace), which caused a moment of self-reflection.

Give me the true story of a whore…made good (as in this work), or not (I am thinking of Emma Donogue’s touchingly raw, Slammerskin), and I am engrossed, mesmerized, and slightly aroused from…beginning to end.

Why?

Undoubtedly there have been times in my life where I felt like a whore. Not in the sense of being sexually promiscuous, rather I felt like a prostitute…being paid for intimacy—not necessarily sex, although these situations were always of a sexual nature.

A few times, when I was younger, I was paid to do a photo shoot (erotic) while a man paid to either watched or be included. Very often these involved nudity and touching, and sometimes the man would masturbate himself…or not. I was in school and needed the money, and thought, “It’s not like I’m having sex with them!”

But the feeling afterward, suggested something disparate…

SHAME.

Then (and now) I fought against that feeling of shame, which is why I never stopped repeating these interludes, again and again…over the course of my adult life…

At sex parties, as a hostess.

Working in the dungeon, as a dominatrix.

Even when I didn’t “need the money”…the desire compelled me to continue.

I enjoyed it.

I ENJOY IT.

A natural performer, an easy tease, and born hostess…I get-off, giving myself to another purely for pleasure.

I am a true prostitute.

A WHORE.

Setting the obvious socio-political differences between myself and someone who earns their living from prostitution aside, pleasing others for money adds to the emotional impact of the experience.

The understanding that my pay is contingent upon my performance…drives me.

It doesn’t make the feeling behind the act any less…rather it intensifies it…you, a stranger, are showing me that you value my time…my skill…my ability to bring you pleasure.

This tension, this agreement, is the reason I love to pay for lap dances in strip clubs…as the client, it secures my “hold” on her…it is power…hers or mine? It’s never clear who truly has the power in these exchanges of sexual gratification, only that this particular dynamic adds to the excitement.

And therein, in that moment of tension, is also where I believe the SHAME resides:

I enjoy this exchange, yet I know it’s wrong…which in turn makes it me wrong for wanting it…and therefore makes it all

SO VERY RIGHT!

It is the oldest profession, is it not?

And its dialectic continues to compel me…

Happy Whoring!

xxx, c.

(image by: Michelle Wild Photography)

For All My Goddesses

“…but there was something else. An intelligence. A knowingness in his eyes. It was as if, when he looked at her, he knew exactly what she was and what she was like. A witch. A goddess. Someone not of this earth but not apart from it either. A woman to be loved and feared and adored.”

(Witches of East End, by Melissa de la Cruz)

Happy Friday to my goddesses, and those of us who love them! xxx c.

Showing My Age

Lately…I have been “feeling my age”…not meaning I feel bad, or done, or “ova” as they say…rather I FEEL it…it feels good…comfortable…it feels like “the right age,” and so it makes sense that I should show it…no?

‘I’m showing my age’ said Anne, looking at herself in the small tarnished mirror in their bedroom at Bognor.

‘Rubbish,’ said Mary, ‘your hair’s as brown as ever.’

‘It’s the skin that gives it away.’

‘Where?’ asked Mary coming closer.

Anne pointed to various soft faint lines on her face and places where her neck looked stretched.

‘That’s only you…what’s the word? What does one say of statues when they’ve gained in charm over the years?’

‘Patina?’ said Anne, amused. ‘Like the yellowing of ivory.’

‘Exactly,’ said Mary. ‘Who wants their masterpiece to look new?’

Life Mask, Emma Donoghue

xxx

conchita.

(image by Michelle Wild Photography)

A Fragmented Woman, Like Many of Us (Book Review)

Fragments by Richard Schickel is a rare opportunity to see into the unconscious psyche of America’s sex symbol…a collections of notes, doodles, poems, letters…this work attempts to capture Marilyn not as we would have seen her, but as she saw herself…it is amazing. I high recommend it…and images of the actual handwritten scrawls are included…beautifully compelling!…xxx c