So grateful for true friends who call you out on your sh**! They are truly the friends one wants. A person who is not afraid to point things out to you, in a loving way, with the only intention being that of growth – personally and relationship wise.
One of my best girlfriends gave me an awesome insight into myself recently. Sometimes, I don’t respect a “no” and try to push too hard. She said it’s because I specialize in pushing people’s boundaries. Thats my job!
Encouraging people to become their best selves and to open up to all of life’s sexual possibilities is what I do. But I am learning to realize that “no” really does mean “no.” Sometimes my loved ones simply don’t want to, or can’t do what I suggest/ask. Not because they wouldn’t like to but because physically or mentally they are not in the space right then and there to do so. It is important for me to honor them for where they are at.
My lifetime partner agreed whole heartedly! He said, “I’ve been trying to get her to realize “no” means “no” for 25 years!!”
So now we have come up with a code word which means, “Shelley, we’ve had this conversation many, many times before… I am 100% certain I do not want to do this (or eat this, or go somewhere right now).”
The code word is “100%!”
Now, hopefully, instead of getting pissed off at me for not accepting their response the first time, if they say “100%” then that will trigger my memory of the conversation and my commitment not to push a “yes” out of a “no.”
Hard habits are difficult to break. Like smoking. I feel it is important to take self-responsibility but not to be too harsh on yourself either. If you truly feel like having one cigarette when you are trying to quit, then do it! And if I catch myself trying to overly persuade someone to do something even if they really do not want to, then I will not be too hard on myself but make a mental note not to repeat the same of behavior, so I can learn from my idiosyncrasies.
Having been in a long term, open, polyamorous relationship for many years there are also many life lessons to be learned about being in relationship not just with yourself, but your long term partner and other significant others! It’s a lot of work. But fascinating and insightful. I love it!
My primary male partner I have been with for 25 years. He’s super cool. We have a very solid base on all levels and he encourages me to be me, to go out, flirt, dance, connect with others. But sometimes I get too caught up in the fun and new friends that he feels ignored or left out. So now, when I get like that he says, “Fencepost!” to me which is our code word for him feeling left out, ignored, unappreciated, dishonored or disrespected. It’s actually been very helpful!!!
So I encourage you to encourage your friends and lovers to have these types of conversations. Maybe it will help salvage a relationship that has faded or help avoid a misunderstanding and possible breakup. Think up some of your own code words for behavioral situations that come up often that you would like to become more aware of.
Another important life lesson I learned recently from my girlfriend was, “Don’t talk deep and meaningful before sex! Talk after!”
For me, as a sexologist I have to remember that too as it is very easy for me to fall into sexologist mode and ask deep and meaningful questions especially about sex and relationships. But if I am in a social setting, especially a sexual social setting, best not to have those types of conversations straight up. Shifts the energy to the big head, not the little head, which is where you want it!
Plus, sometimes I have noticed when I mention I have a PhD specializing in human sexuality it can be a little intimidating! I don’t mean it that way, it’s just what I do so, when people ask me what I do then that’s what I say. Am thinking of changing my response to, “Not much really… I travel around the world, have fun, enjoy my life to the max, and get paid for it!” That would certainly justify why I travel so much and always have a smile on my face.
It really is a great job, being a traveling sexologist, and I truly do love my life and live it fully and passionately.
A new friend recently was introduced to my world and commented, “Wow. Thank you for inviting me into your life. It is so nice to see people living the lifestyle I have always envisaged for myself.”
Not saying I have it all sorted. None of us do. But if we choose to look at what life brings us as a chance to learn a life lesson and grow and become better people, then this life will be have been well worth it.