What’s your legacy?

Opening scene:

Man in obvious distress after having a massive stroke. Unable to talk. 

Behind the man is his family who have discovered his secret life. 

Looking at his bank account and seeing a steady flow of money into another girl’s account for the last 10 years.

Sifting through a box of photos, some of them 20 years old, memories of good times their father, husband, grandfather had with other women.

A ‘faithful’, loving, husband, father, grandfather whose family meant ALL to him.

A hard-working, generous soul who always wanted to help others.

A man with serious health challenges who realized life is too short not to live it to the fullest.

A man who wanted to feel fulfilled so he could be a more loving husband, father and grandfather.

However, a man whose wife did not want to explore his bucket list of travel and sexual fantasies with him. A woman who was happy living in her bubble of existence – the church, family, volunteer work.

He loved to travel. She preferred to stay home. 

So he found travel companions and others who helped him live his bucket list and enabled him to fulfill his fantasies, at the same time as keeping him ‘faithful’ to his family and wife. 

Not a threat really. Actually a way this person was able to be a loving husband, father and grandfather, yet also honor his own desires, in a safe, non-threatening way.

Can this family ever understand the complexities of this man’s life and why he did what he did?

Will they continue to honor and love him as the awesome father, husband, and grandfather he is?

What will be his legacy?

Born in the Midwest into a family who rescued people on the side of the road – a tow truck company. He was born into a life of servitude to others, helping others, being the Knight in Shining Armor.

He fought for our freedom in the Vietnam war.

He helped so many people over the years with his amazing ability to fix machinery and build race cars. 

He even helped a young woman who suddenly found herself pregnant with no idea of who the father was, who discovered her child had autism and struggled to live her life. 

In return she got to live her dream of being a mother who was there for her son. And to be able to travel the world and see places and things she would never have been able to see otherwise.

This man, lying there, struggling to express his feelings, who probably wishes he had died when he had the stroke.

But instead he gets to witness the chaos created by leaving behind evidence of his infidelities, in photos, text messages and bank accounts.

Moral of the story. If you can’t be honest with the ones you love at least think about what you leave behind. 

If you feel you need to have other experiences outside of your relationship without their knowledge then think ahead to what would they find out if for some reason you die suddenly. 

What is your legacy?

Go through your phone, your emails, your photos, your bank accounts and make sure you leave no trace.

This is a cornerstone of Burning Man – a festival this man used to love to attend. Yet, he didn’t incorporate it into his personal life. Leave no trace. Clean up after yourself so others don’t need to.

I know this topic will raise a lot of discussion and comments.

As a sexologist this man’s story is quite common. In my work I encounter countless individuals that struggle with their day to day life and how to incorporate their ‘other’ life into it. 

These type of scenarios have been in existence for ions. This is not new. 

What needs to change is our judgement around these types of behaviors and realize that this is quite normal.

Ultimately, if there was no fear in this world, we would encourage each other to experience ALL that there is to experience in this life that help fulfill our human existence and this life on earth in these bodies. 

No fear of losing someone. Just a joy in helping them experience everything their heart desires, and more. Lovingly encouraging each other to explore sexually. To be open to honoring ourselves and each other and our sexual desires as a normal part of life and relationships. 

I feel blessed that so many individuals and couples have found me and that I have been able to help so many feel more sexually fulfilled within themselves and in their relationships and who have become better individuals, partners, parents and grandparents because they honored themselves and their heart’s desires and were willing to explore more sexually. The sexual adventurers. They are the people who gravitate to me and my work. I, too, am a sexual adventurer and love to share my freedom and love of life with those I meet. 

And on a bigger scale, what is your legacy? What will you leave behind? What have you done to benefit humanity? Your communities? Your families?

My aim is to make this world more sexually joyful. To encourage people to see the joys and benefits of an active sexual life. To be more adventurous and to push their own boundaries and experience all that there is to experience in their lives, especially sexually. To live and love and enjoy this physical experience on this planet while we can. Life is so short. Make the most of it…

Dr Shelley