It seems the last 3 months of the year is a time when we see many relationships ending. It may be related to numerology, where the new numerological year starts to impact from September onwards, it may be that people want to start fresh in the new year or it may be the end of year pressures cause an explosion of frustration with the way things have been in the relationship.
What ever the reason it is hard on all concerned, the person leaving and the person left. The person leaving has often mulled over the idea for a while, they may or may not have clearly communicated their dissatisfaction to their partner, they may have been very clear but their partner may have been in denial, hoping that things would get better when……happened. For many people leaving the relationship has been quite drawn out, possible some denial from them about what was going on, time of self-reflection and often the grieving for the loss of what they had hoped the relationship would be has been done before the actual ending. This can be why they may seem to move on to a new relationship quickly, they have often been out of it for quite a while.
For the person who has been left it can be a big surprise or not unexpected, it can be devastating or a blessed relief. No matter how the person left feels there will also be a grief process for them, time will be needed to grieve and heal, this can be a quick or an extremely long process depending on the depth of their hurt.
When people are hurt they can act in ways that are unexpected, even by the people who think they know them the best. People may become mean and nasty, say things they don’t really mean, behave badly, it is the hurt and anger and not the true person. This does not excuse the behaviour but can explain it, they have a choice whether they act on the thoughts and feelings they have or whether they remain loving and respectful. And it is not only the person who has been left that can react in this way, sometimes the person doing the leaving either wants to hurt as payback for other past wrongdoings or to push the other person away to validate their choices.
So, how do you remain loving and respectful when you feel like your heart has been torn from your chest and stomped all over, when your hopes and dreams for the future are now laying crumbling into dust, when you feel cheated on, lied to or disrespected?
It can be tough, it won’t be easy, but if you can remember the reasons you love this person, accept that things can change, people can change and feelings can change, and that you cannot make someone love you or want to be with you, then it can help the process along.
Respectful endings can and do happen, treating each other with respect, being honest, not laying blame and accepting personal responsibility for your role in the relationship can all contribute to a much easier time for all involved.
I often have some interesting stuff in my inbox and I would like to share this gem from Isiah McKimmie
Heads up: I’m about to bust the biggest myth I hear around relationships and intimacy.
We often have a belief that we ‘should’ just have a great relationship. Because… everyone else does, right?
I don’t need to tell you that’s not really the case.
The truth is: Great relationships are something that we learn - they’re skills.
We learn about relationships from our culture, parents and early caregivers.
What we learn as children about relationships form what we might call ‘our Relationship Blueprints’ - or ‘Attachment Style’ if you’re the science-y type.
Some of us are lucky enough to learn by seeing our parents have a healthy relationship (and if that’s you, congratulations), but honestly, most of us don’t have ideal role models when it comes to relationships!
The result of not having great role models is that you:
Whatever unhealthy pattern or challenge you’re experiencing in your relationship, there’s a reason.
And let me promise you that reason isn’t because there’s something wrong with you.
You’re not broken. You’re not a lost cause.
Trust me on this, please.
Having great relationships is a skill that we learn just like anything else. Whatever our relationship status or stage of life.
What it takes is understanding what we learned in the first place and then taking steps to learn new skills.
Here’s 3 questions to help you begin to understand what you learned about relationships growing up - your ‘Relationship Blueprints’.
1. What was your parents relationship like when you were really young?
(Think about how they communicated, who made the decisions, how affectionate they were to each other.)
2. What were your relationships with your parents like growing up?
(Were you closer to one than the other? Was one (or both) of your parents absent? How did they communicate with you?)
3. What patterns do you notice when you look back on your past relationships?
(Have you had the same arguments or the same feelings in numerous relationships? Do your relationships end for the same reason? Does your current partner do something that a previous partner did that just drives you crazy?)
So a week post V Day, here are some tips from the lovely Dr Patti Britton
Whether you are a fan of the Cupid story—if you believe in the arrows of eros hitting their mark on February 14th or not—love, if not pure erotic energy, is in the air for the middle of the shortest month of the year. February is that time when fragrant pink roses, aromatic wax candles, fine Belgian chocolates, sappy red hearts, sweet silly cards, and magical expensive dinner dates abound.
Maybe it’s time for you to focus on finding romance for yourself: Alone or with a beloved.
Here are some tips if you are single and haven’t yet met Mr/Ms/M Right yet; or if you’ve been with your partner for a few decades and want to honor that commitment and get grooving back into those warm lovin’ feelings:
I have been absent on my website for almost 18 months, that's a long time for a small business. If you have followed me on Facebook you will have an idea of where I have been and what I have been up to.
So since June 2017 I have started and completed a research dissertation and graduated with me Masters in Sexology; I have ended and started relationships; I have had some terrible experiences and suffered PTSD; I have had some amazing experiences and rediscovered myself; I have moved states after 25 years leaving family and friends; I have left a career after 10 years in the one role and 12 years, in one way or another, with the same organisation; I have really become serious about my new career as a sexologist and am laying the foundations for the future, so I will be a lot more active on here.
Currently I have been in my new location for 7 weeks, and have done lots of networking, finding out who does what and where my skills will fit amongst others here. I have met some lovely people and am slowly getting a feel for where what I offer will compliment what is already here.
So 2018 has been a year of massive change, ups and downs, tears and laughter ....... watch this space as the journey continues into 2019.
I was recently contacted by Paloqueth to do some sex toy reviews, I had not heard of them and was a bit unsure, but agreed anyway. A couple of days ago a lovely box arrived in the mail and the reviewing has begun. To see my first product review click HERE
I am not sure why, but this last week I have seen so much hatred towards Bi people, not sure if it is with it being Pride in many countries where we come together to celebrate who we are that the division becomes more apparent.
But whatever the reason, it is not ok.
I have seen so many myths and stereotypes thrown around and it is time to bust some:
*BI PEOPLE WILL WANT TO BE WITH THE OTHER GENDER WHEN WITH YOU
Bi people can be monogamous, they often do not even think about being with anyone else when they are with you, they do not necessarily lust for the other gender.
*BI PEOPLE CARRY DISEASE
Bi people are just as capable of having safer sex as is anyone else
*I DONT WANT TO BE WITH A WOMEN WHO HAS BEEN WITH A MAN OR A MAN WHO HAS BEEN WITH A WOMEN
It is usually more graphic than this and about dicks and pussies. I am not sure what the issue is with certain body parts, but I am sure they have had a wash since they last had sex with the other gender.
*BI PEOPLE WANT THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS/HAVE THEIR CAKE AND EAT IT/GREEDY
Bi people can be faithful, they do not want to have both at the same time, they are not greedy, they can decide.
*BI PEOPLE WILL LEAVE YOU FOR THE OTHER GENDER
Anyone can leave you, why is it any worse if they leave you for the other gender. Personally I would find this easier to take as I am very different from a man so I cannot offer what he can.
*BISEXUALITY IS NOT A TRUE SEXUALITY, THEY ARE REALLY CONFUSED
Bi people know who they are and who they are attracted to, they can love more than one gender, it does not have to be at the same time.....bisexuality is a valid identity in its own right
Lets stop tearing each other apart, being judgemental and discriminating within ourselves. How can we expect acceptance from others when we can even accept each other....one love, one heart, one community....Happy Pride
Change.......a word that elicits fear or excitement in people depending on how you see it.
Personally I see change as an opportunity to do something new and exciting but I know many others see it as something to be feared, resulting in anxiety about the unknown future.
Change has been a common theme throughout my life, moving every few years as a kid, new schools, new friends, my parents breaking up resulting in another move and new family members. The 80s saw me leave school and get married and move yet again, then life was quiet, nearly every day was the same, except along came 3 kids. There was a final move, with the husband and kids, to QLD in the early 1990s, then my marriage ending, 6 years on my own, building a life as a single mum and starting a business. The 2000s saw a new life with a new sexuality, a thriving business, going to uni as a mature age student, my first (of 3) relationships with a woman, more new homes and new jobs and finally a career and direction I was passionate about.
Some of these changes were scary, but exciting, they saw me grow, learn new things about myself and become the woman I am today. The times I found the most difficult were when I had no control over the changes, they were not my decision and there was nothing I could do about them. For a while I would stress about what to do and what was going to happen but I realised that the only thing I could control was the way I reacted to the change.
For me change also brings choice, the choice to go along with the change in a positive way and to see it as an exciting opportunity or the choice to see it as something to be feared and anxiety inducing. Most times I choose to see change as an opportunity but I have had times when that has been hard, when it was out of my control, none of the options for choices were ones I wanted, when it was hard to find the win/win in the situation....all I could see were the lose/lose. But once again I came back to the way I reacted to the change and the choice....grab life with both hands and ride the hell out of it no matter where it took me.
And even now as I approach my 60s I am in my final year of uni, yet again, looking towards another new career in a few years time and hopefully, eventually, to a final move to my happy place, a house near the ocean.
So how do you view change and the choices you can make.....welcoming it in with excitement or anxious and fearful of what it will bring?
The choice is up to you
To the butches in my life.....thank you
While looking for journal articles on Queer Femme for my masters research I have come across a lot of research on the butch identity. Today I saw the film below and it got me thinking about the butches in my life....and I need to say THANK YOU.
To watch the film follow the link below:
To the butches in my life:
Thank you for seeing me as the queer woman I am even though others say I don't 'look' like a lesbian (whatever that is)
Thank you for opening the door, walking on the road side, holding my arm as we cross the road, pulling out my chair....all of the old fashioned signs of respect
Thank you for seeing my strength and knowing that I can do things for myself but offering anyway in case today is the day I need you to do them for me
Thank you for looking at me with eyes of desire, not objectification, knowing that I illicit that response in you fills my femme heart (and other places) to overflowing
Thank you for placing enough trust in me to show me your vulnerable side, when you do this you hold me in the palm of your hand
Thank you for being my protector when I need it, never underestimating that I can stand up for myself in a verbal stand-off and knowing I can cut someone down with a few words or a look
Thank you for being the masculine-of-centre woman that you are, without the misogynistic, privileged and patriarchal outlook that sometimes can go with masculinity
Thank you for being true to yourself, even though society pressures you to be more like me
Thank you for being you even with all misgendering, double takes and rudeness from others
Thank you for loving me in my femininity
I see you
I feel you
I understand you
I respect you
I get you
I love you
Last week I attended the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) conference in Sydney and some workshops looking at your sexuality coming form the perspective of mind, body, heart and soul.
It was an interesting week of academia and self journey. You may wonder why I am going on this journey as I approach 56 years of age. I went on the journey to discover who I was and why I was on this earth back in 2001 after leaving a several decade long relationship, where I had lost who I was. So over 15 years later I decided I needed to explore myself again before I go into full time practice as a sexologist, it is always a good idea to look at your own stuff and how it will impact on your work.
What did I learn about myself last week?
I learnt that the work I did all those years ago was still having a positive impact, I may have changed an incredible amount since then but the journey was still continuing as my life experiences informed who I am today.
I am still making good choices with my heart and who I share it with, I do not expect my partner to fulfil all my needs, I can do this for myself and with the other people I have in my life. It certainly takes the pressure off them and the relationship.
We looked at our parents, our relationship with them, and their qualities and how we continue to look for the qualities about them in the people we choose to have in our lives. We explored what we wanted in a partner, in our relationships with them and in life in general, what we bring to the relationship and what actions we will do to bring about what we know is best for us.
I looked at the patterns of relationships in my life, with others and with myself, and I could see a continuing theme of passion and desire....looking for it in others, requiring validation of it in myself from others and finally being in a place where I can do it for myself.....I have come home to ME.
One of the big things I realised was the relationship I had with my body. Just like everyone else my body has changed considerably as I have aged and menopause certainly has had an impact, there were many things I was not comfortable with. But my lightbulb moment was with the fact that yes I am now about 18kg heavier than I was most of my life and certainly 15kg than I was at my previous heaviest, but my concerns about my changing body were more related to how it functioned than what it looks like. I can still find pleasure in my body, I am still a sensual being and I am still desirable, there is just more of me to desire. Maybe it does not work the same way as it used to but I will learn to work my way around that.
We also explored our past, present and future and what were our general needs, wants and desires in life. Once again patterns emerged and we looked at how we could manifest our needs and desires. This showed me that I was already on the path to have all this and more, I had put things in place to increase my passion for life, to have fun and adventure. Part of the journey was actually attending the workshop and I have more self exploring workshops planned through out the year.
I have also put in place ways to increase the passion, desire, fun and adventure in all aspects of my world. Work/life balance, trips away with my partner, time with my friends and family, reconnecting with my community, continuing and completing my studies, laying the foundations for my future career, learning and loving life in general.
The journey to yourself can be tough at times, as we may realise things about our self we don't like, we may look at things that have caused us hurt in the past....but it is all part of our growth as a human and well worth the effort and any pain that may come with it. I am glad I did all that painful work so many years ago and will continue to unpack where I am now so that I can be a better practitioner and person for may years to come.
So I am more mindful, living in the moment, being grateful and looking at life with fresh eyes.
Bring on 2017 I say....it is looking grand.
BDSM......what, where, why and how
BDSM or kink is often brought up and with the new 50 shades movie about to launch I am sure there will be more people curious. This will be a brief explanation and there are some great books to read, fetlife is a good website to learn more and connect with people and find out about play parties and munches (a meet and greet in a public place, often for a meal and a chance to chat and get to know people)
As you can see above when broken up the letters are actually like this: BD, DS, SM
BD- bondage and discipline
DS- dominance and submission
SM- sadism and masochism
Bondage and Discipline
Just what it says, bondage is restraint with ropes, chains or whatever you have handy while discipline can be impact play such as flogging and whipping or any other form of discipline as negotiated, with limits and safewords
Dominance and Submission
This is about power exchange and power play and quite explanatory, one person dominates while the other submits, all this is negotiated with limits, both soft and hard discussed and agreed upon and safewords
Sadism and masochism
This is about giving and receiving pain, the sadists gives and the masochists receives, once again this is negotiated between those involved with limits and safewords.
You will see that all aspects include negotiation and in some cases even a contract, limits are discussed (what you are willing and not willing to do) and the most common safe words are green (this is good, I enjoy this, keep going), yellow (maintain that level, do not go any harder) and red (stop right now). When playing where you are unable to speak (using a gag) then a sign is used, that the person giving can see and know what the receivers wishes are.
The key words when talk BDSM are SAFE, SANE and CONSENSUAL(SSC) and sometimes RISK AWARE CONSENSUAL KINK (RACK). It is important to keep this in mind when negotiating and playing:
SAFE- always play safely taking precautions to ensure that there is no permanent harm (physical or psychological)
SANE- be aware of risk, do not play under the influence of substances
CONSENSUAL- consent is sought in neogtiation and throughout play and play can be changed at any time by the use of safewords
RAK is self explanatory: when you play you are aware of the risk and engage in play consensually
The person who is on the receiving end of the play always has control of the situation, through what was previously negotiated and their safewords.
So if you are thinking of getting out there and engaging in BDSM or kink play then educate yourself, pop onto websites where you can learn and chat, attend a play party and see what you think and above all.....have fun
For more information check out Lifestyles and Sexual Practices
Richelle has had a passion for sexuality and sexual health since 2001. She has worked in the field since 2006, providing sexuality education in schools, and adult education in the topics of diverse sexualities and gender identities, LGBT health issues, sexual health and LGBT relationships.
This is a space for me to share with you my journey as a Sexologist, the things I learn and the people I meet and what I think and feel along the way.