Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Questioning Our Relationships and Accepting Nothing

The subject of how I was able to question my faith and became an atheist was briefly discussed in an earlier blog.  Now time for the meat and potatoes of my blog which is to take the questioning and exploration one step further.  We have great minds who have questioned faith in our society endlessly, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Friedrich Nietzsche and John Stuart Mill to name a few.  The material available to people who would like to become more informed in their life and the decisions they are making for their children and generations to come is pretty inspiring.  But what about how we view relationships?

I have briefly touched on the subject of divorce.  We are at record numbers in our divorce rates with almost no end in site.  And I wonder how many people actually question why this is?  I have heard the argument so many times that so and so did this and that, broke my heart, cheated, we grew apart, etc.  But why is this occurring really?  In our society marriage is an institution for monogamy, raising children and in Quebec especially, getting tax breaks.  If you are a person of faith, this goes one step further and is sanctioned by God.  That you promise to be faithful to not only your spouse but to God and to be fruitful and multiply, a sure fire way to bring the next generation into religion.

But oddly this idea of marriage still is not lasting even with the legal expense of divorce and the bond breaking with God.  Could it be that it is time to expand on our limited ideals of what marriage should be and in essence our relationships in general?  If the top three reasons for divorce in Canada are : Communication, Money and Cheating, then perhaps the reasons we get married should be re-evaluated.  Humans have the basics in common, to want to share experiences with fellow humans, eat and have sex.  So now is the time to start questioning why we would ruin meaningful relationships over money and sex, and open up the channels for communication over what actually matters.

I think we can get to a point where money is just money, sex is just sex and we find a partner to share the raising of children and our experiences with, for better and worse.  I am questioning why I was raised to believe that monogamous relationships work, if this is only a myth and is there something much better out there.  Something that fits the human condition much better for men and for women.  I know that mistakes will be made and feelings may get in the way but I am willing to put my fears on hold for the exploration of the most amazing relationship and finding the partner to share that with.   I am trying to explore solutions for the demise of marriage and lasting relationships in our society.

The rampant increase of dating sites and ways to meet people is overwhelming right now, but before we get to a point where speed dating is the normal way to have a relationship, lets accept that the confines of a relationship are becoming broader.  Our society is becoming more educated and with that restrictions must be questioned.  If we start judging people based on a few minutes with a skewed perception of what marriage and a relationship really mean than our next generation is going to have an increase in broken homes and more challenges to face.

Ask the scary question of why your relationship would end right at the beginning, try and get on the same page with open communication and let us start evolving our ideals with education and acceptance.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

My Dreams... Underlying Non Monogamy Fears

I am a very vivid dreamer.  I have been as long as I can remember, and I can usually pick a topic or a theme and fall asleep to those images.  My personal version of meditation, as my mind wanders from that point to whatever result I wake up remembering.  Unfortunately last night my dreams decided to explore the fears I have about not living in monogamy.

So I decided that perhaps I was not alone in these fears and maybe other readers have questions and are dealing with similar things.  Or that maybe they were living in monogamy and had a partner with infidelities that they are trying to work through.  Of course I have already mentioned in a previous blog about physical safety to prevent against STD's and STI's.  But there is the emotional and the human level too, especially for women.

One fear that I have, is running into a female that my partner has recently slept with.  This is a huge one for me and there are so many scenarios that can play out with this especially if the female has developed feelings.  To me this scares me the most because two females under stress can erupt into a volatile situation pretty darn quickly.  Open communication with a partner is so invaluable in this situation.  Personally I ask for the first name of any female he has slept with.  This builds huge trust as well as gives me at least a bit of second should this ever occur.  As well he explains the situation to the female as best he can to help with the female developing feelings.  Still dreams of the bitch fight and slap fest that occurred last night are enough to give my psyche a little jolt.

If a partner is not open and lies when sleeping with someone else, well, the likely hood of unnecessary drama is far too high in my books.  There is almost a comfort in knowing that the man I am with is going to be a man, do what men do, but be honest and safe with me.  Also that him being a man and sleeping with the occasional woman does not mean that he cares any less for me or that we are over.

A man, confident in who he is, is more sexy than a man who has been emasculated by a female or societal norms.  This is an argument that I have made more times than not over the past year, and I am sure will continue to have in my path.  A man reduced to lying, and losing his family over more than just the indiscretion, but now the mistrust and pain he caused by keeping it a secret and not just maning up?  A woman will always find out, we are very very good at that.  Give many of us a day or two to process and we can be quite reasonable too.  Back us into a corner and let our emotions come flooding out?  Seems like a pretty dangerous and relationship ending move to me.  Respect your partner and keep honesty at the forefront wherever possible and I am sure the divorce rate would start to go down.

Saturday, 20 August 2011


"Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave" - David Bowie, Labyrinth.  This quote is my all time favorite quote.  At different points in my adult life it has meant different things to me and the people I am in relationships with.  Personally I have been in love twice, and in lust twice.  I only was able to recognize the lust in hindsight and the love was never love at first sight.  It was a gradual occurrence where feelings naturally grew and developed.  The funny thing is that none of these four experiences have anything in common.  I would argue that I am fairly perceptive, but I cannot make a list or even explain why these feelings grew.

I was in love for at least a solid half of my 8 year relationship with my ex.  Which statistically they say is really good.   I think the average is 45% of the time you have to love the one you're with.  I wonder how much these stats would increase if people took more accountability for making themselves happy?  At any rate, it took a long time but I can now recognize a lot of great times that were shared during my time with him.  But I failed by forgetting to make myself joyful first, and this contributed greatly towards the less than 50% ratio of joy.

Now I am in a relationship that is so much different.  The feeling of love is present, but there are so few similarities between why I am happy.  It really makes me want to reconsider these many cliches about what love really is and what it means.  Is the English language just too small and ill suited for expressing the word love in the type of society we live in?  I do not commonly hear people say, "oh man am I ever in lust with so and so".  But shouldn't it be more commonplace to hear? There is a natural sugar coating in our society towards these situations.  For example,  how often has someone you know said, "oh the ex wants to hang out, should I?" We translate in our minds that this is a booty call, then try and analyze the mental capacity of both parties, then give our reply.  But why can't the conversation just be more open from the start with both parties expressing what they want?  And more to the point, by being able to say yes or no to the propositions.

I fear it is the same with love.  It is all to easy to mix up love with lust or vice versa, and I personally have had my little feelings trounced on when I mistook lust for love.  It is painful and all too common.  We fear the unknown, love the attention, and lust over the possibilities.  And then we add sex into the equation, where it is the physical act for men, and the emotional connection for women.  So what is the poor heart to make of all this?  Honesty people!  Honesty is the only solution.  If your feelings change, develop, lessen, whatever happens, just communicate.  We have the ability to talk and express ourselves even if the language is not always well suited to making this easy.

I enjoy being in love. It's a great feeling and of course I want it to continue for a long time. Nothing is perfect but happiness is what life is all about.  Chase your dreams and enjoy the people that you take on your journey to reach your potential, whether for the here and now, lust, or the longer term love.

Just Live

"There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it." Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)  Although this quote was written directly against using God or Gods to guide your life, I believe that this quote has so many applications to ones happiness.  I have written specifically about my view to not live life with regret.  Taking responsibility for your own life and the way you live it goes hand in hand.

When I am on my deathbed,  I want to clearly understand that I lived my life with as much happiness and fulfillment as humanly possible.  I do not ever want to be in a position to say, that so and so treated me badly and held me back.  I have heard time and time again that God has judged my friends and that they feel that they let him down.  But what does that really mean?  Are they just to afraid to admit that they let themselves down, or that they did something that made them feel great and are afraid to admit it?

Some of the things I have written on my blog so far, I do not think I would be very pleased if my grandparents read it.  There is a generational gap and a respect that I have for them, also there are just some things that I would not feel comfortable discussing.  I do have to catch my self either over censoring myself or under censoring myself knowing that I do have family members that read this occasionally.  In the long run it does work to keep me honest about everything written.  I will look back with pride that these are truly my thoughts on specific subjects and I can back the information up with knowledge and research.

My dear readers with any religious affiliations, all I can say is please live your lives to please yourself.  Whether God exists or not, you live with you.  Make yourself happy, and know that when you die it will not be God giving your eulogy, it will be your peers and family members.  In a perfect world, we would not need religion to govern the masses and their behaviors.  There would be a free flowing system of ideas and thoughts, and criticism would lead to debates and more research not violence.  I welcome feedback and criticism when it comes to my views on sex and relationships.  Sometimes even male perspective is appreciated :)

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Liars or Cheaters?

I have felt complete blind rage a few times in my life.  Each instance resulted from deception or outright being lied to.  Just thinking about the few moments that this happened I can feel my blood pressure rise.  To me there is no worse feeling that having someone respect you so little that they would lie to your face.  As well it raises so many unanswerable questions, why are they lying? For how long have they been lying?  What else is really going on? And so on and so forth.

So that being said, I dislike being lied to, obviously.  I have a hard time giving anything but a direct and honest answer as a I result.  I have adapted a defense mechanism to keep me from being too direct and honest, and that is I do not open up to a lot of people. But that is just me.

Now onto point number two, the cheaters.  No one likes a cheater and the emotion felt when I felt cheated on is heartbreaking.  Now to play devils advocate.  It is interesting that there are men out there who claim that if they are honest about their promiscuity then they are not really cheating.  Which if you go by the letter of the law, is actually correct.  Cheating is an act of deception, and if there is honesty, then poof, no cheating.  So then where does this leave us?  Well it leaves us in a vernacular nightmare. 

Deception is a swift killer of all relationships.  So how do we define acts of sex outside of our partners in a way that isn't 100% negative?  Oddly the English language offers nothing to that point.  We have a very black and white definition of our societal roles in a committed relationship and personally it is difficult to break through this when the language itself binds us.  Open relationships are one way of bringing about communicating the wants and needs of people outside the sphere of cheating on your significant other.  But let us be honest, not many of us have much experience with being open.

So what is a person to do?  Start with honesty, it's the first step to continue our sexual evolution.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

The F&%* Buddy

Firstly I am very excited that this in my first post as a result of a request, which you can e-mail me for.  Some subjects come very naturally to me, but this one is trial and error, (not just my own trials either, I am a great listener and observer).  Firstly, you must not develop feelings other than friendship for the partner.  Secondly, be as open about the situation as possible, lay ground rules for the arrangement and be clear about the intentions.  Thirdly, long term doesn't work! Keep it short, with a time line for ending things in mind, whether this is accomplished by having a few partners on rotation or making it just a 3 week fling.

If you break rule number one, make a clean break as quickly as possible as there is no going back.  One man fell hard for me after only a few times together, and proposed that we start a family based on feelings of lust.  I severed things immediately afterwards but it took a very long time to even get a friendship back.  On the other hand, I have done the falling and first hand I can tell you that it is necessary to back right off and ensure those feelings do not ever come through.  In both my experiences the communication was not clear, and there was no end date, so there was fancy footwork and fast talking needed to ensure that the friendships remained in tact. 

We are all adults and there is no reason I see that sex cannot be a natural expression of being human.  But please show sympathy if the partner shows any feelings outside of your shared moments of lust.  Either try and communicate clearly point number two about the ground rules and your current needs, or you will have to end things very quickly and swiftly.  Dragging out anything is cruel and there will be no way to ever run into the person again, or worse, a nice little stalker might be the result.

The only exception to following the 3 rules above is if with open communication and both parties on board, you try and make an actual go at a relationship.  If not keep it simple, and know that however hard, it will end.  How it ends, is all up to both partners and keeping open about the situation only.  Please never lead a person on to hope that this can continue long term when it can't.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Who Doesn't Love Boobs?

I am a straight woman who loves men very much, but honestly I think it's universally accepted that humanity loves boobs.  Men try not to oggle at that rack walking down the street, and woman look on with envious eyes.  The mesmerizing effect that the chest is challenged by very little else.  It is the power card women have over their male counterpart, boobs trump almost anything.

And this is the very reason that they are feared.  That men in power have tried many ways to repress and keep women in their place, pregnant, and barefoot in the kitchen.  Muslim women covered head to toe in cloth, or skirts past ones ankles in Mennonite colonies.  I am not a feminist or perhaps not a writer of feminist material, but I am against repression of any kind and after much research I am lead to believe that religion has done more to repress the feminine wiles than anything else out there.

I understand that the topic is up for some debate, but there is much research out there by such authors as Baigent, and Jordan which debate the most effective form of repression in woman today.  Turning Mary Magdalene, from a historically accurate wife (Jesus), to that of a prostitute.  Religious men are so fearful of a woman's power that they change history to suit their needs, in this case, keeping a very powerful woman below the men around her.

There is so much ancient script where woman could almost reach godly status in their tribe or village.  Woman played key roles in ceremonies and the management of their people.  Why did men turn from adoring their women, to changing history and mandating dress code as forms of oppression?  It's an unfortunate reality that in the 60's a law needed to be passed that if a woman did the same work as a man, she had to be paid the same.  The legal world had to step up and force the populous to give fair wages.  Our elected governing body had more common sense than the entity so many out there entrust their immortal souls to, the church.

The bottom line though is that boobs get their way in many situations and men have little willpower against it.  Religion has guided so many in the direction of gender separation that I am hard pressed to find a religious male out there who knows how the female should be treated.  Either the woman is forced down, or put upon a pedestal possibly out of guilt?  I personally have hidden my own chest many times as I wanted to be judged for my wit and not the cleavage.  So I suppose even I am not yet past religions hold on societal views.  I hope someday woman can be proud to use their assets to benefit both themselves and that of the people around them without shame or judgement.  For now though, as long as we keep educating ourselves and asking why do we do the things we do, we can gain a complete understanding and make the changes necessary to ensure equality.

Religion's First Impact on Me

When I was a little girl, the idea of hell was a very scary place, and I was directed to pray each night before I went to bed.  I tried very hard to be a good Christian when I was entered into the Catholic school system at the age of 8.  As I grew up I was given every opportunity to ask questions, read any book I wanted, and ultimately given freedom with my personal spirituality.

When I was 14, I openly became agnostic, which evolved to atheism as a late teenager.  As an atheist religion has always been a secret fascination of mine.  I first read " A Skeleton in God's Closet" when I was in high school which just blew my mind.  Although it was fiction, it had an unsettling way of ending right where it should have began, it ended with religion being the only answer and all the evidence that riveted me to the contrary in the elaborate hoax.  I realize it is a very cut and dry summation but its meaningful also because it is the last fictional book that I have purchased. This book had such a major impact on the reading material I have chosen from there on in.

As well there are some amazing writers out there who have opened my eyes to the possibility that what the faithful wanted to be a hoax, in the novel above, could actually be a reality.  For example, "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail", which predates any of the fiction that Dan Brown has written.  I truly am of the opinion that each book you read leaves a little bit inside that shapes your reality going forward. I want to be shaped by factual research and well written material and not some dribble about vampires or wizards.

Once I switched to non-fiction the pieces of the puzzle which religion tried to answer for me, were finally answered, by the ironic lack of it.  As a girl trying to be the best Christian I could, I was always trying to please this invisible being. I was constantly seeking signs and reassurances that I was on the correct path in life.  I would find signs in nature, my food, the weather, really anything.  The weird thing was when religion was finally absent from my life, I realized that the only person I needed to please was me.  The idea that I am the only judge and jury of how I live my life, and how I appear to the people I surround myself with has been my own personal salvation.

Religion has caused incredible harm, and bloodshed throughout our history, but unless we research and learn from our past mistakes we are doomed to repeat this cycle and raise children who do not look to themselves or their parents for answers, but rather turn to some invisible being.  I know who I want to raise my children, and it is not the voices in their heads or some pious male preaching at church.  Making mistakes is not sin, it is part of being human, what you learn from those mistakes is the real value to your humanity.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Womanizing Male on our TV

For the last few years we have seen a gradual shift in the media and the goings on of the average male.  Now I am not the most up to date on celebrity gossip, however I know that we are living in a world where cheating men make headlines.  And the frequency is ever increasing, we as a society are fascinated by these womanizers.  There is rarely a day when we do not hear of the mistresses of Tiger Woods, or the child of Arnold and his housekeeper.  These men are socially tried and convicted in the eyes of the populous.  It is portrayed as scandalous, shameful, and we tisk about how they could do that to their families, etc.

On the other hand, isn't it interesting how a womanizer on TV in this fictional world is glorified?  For example, Mad Men, Californication and Nip/Tuck are a few series where the men are complete users of woman, yet loved by almost all?  This dichotomy of the real and fictional male and our reactions to them.  The real life politician cheating on his wife, deplorable! The fictional writer who has to break up with three woman at once, hilarious.  Why is there an underlying love of the character, but the real life situation is scary?  Does the real life just hit a little too close to home?

How many relationships have not been plagued by some sort of indiscretion? Some mis-understanding or plain outright nookie on the side?  I would argue that there are almost none where this underlying human urge does not take over at one time or another.  How as a society do we bridge that gap between what happens in real life, and the sheer entertainment value of the exact same scenarios on TV.  People are not evil for being that which makes us human.  Our sexuality and desire to be attractive plays a huge role in that.

Woman love to hate the womanizer on our prime time, and hate to love the man sleeping on the couch.  The parallels are there, and they are real whether society wants to admit it or not.  But individuals need to start recognizing the similarities and learn to find peace and happiness from just living and loving the best we possibly can.

Happily Ever After...?

When I was a little girl I always dreamed of falling in love and getting married.  I don't think I understood what marriage really was, but I knew I wanted to wear a wedding dress and have the ring.  The odd part was that all through my teens I was convinced that I did not want children, and being an only child I really put my mom through the ringer with that.  Now in my mid 20's my views have almost flipped completely.  I want children, and a family but perhaps not the whole marriage part? Getting married is a confusing topic in my little coconut, especially when divorce is almost guaranteed and costs a flipping fortune.

I worked with a woman who would joke that her husband and her signed a 25 year contract when they got married. At the end of the 25 years they could renew for an additional 25 years or they could both go their separate ways.  Thinking outside the box like that really makes a lot of sense in this day and age.  25 years together would ensure that their children grow up with stability and security, but that the adults could still be adults when all was said and done.

I was engaged for 4 months, and my personal experience was that the fairy tale of getting married was much more pleasant than the reality. And of course the amount of work and money involved in the whole process seemed unnecessary.  The cards are stacked against marriage, a small fortune to get in, and a large fortune to get out.  The moral, in plain black and white, don't get married.

But there is that fairy tale aspect, that little girls dream to be a princess for one day, and get carried off by prince charming and live happily ever after.  From an emotional standpoint I know first hand how frustrating it was living my teen years with unmarried parents.  It felt like our house was less secure and stable somehow.  Also I had the last name of my biological father and not that of my step dad which I think played towards the lost sense of belonging at times.  That sense of what family meant for my friends versus what I had seemed different especially on paper.

The idea of marriage is one that I am very curious what I will end up deciding in a few years.  I know the emotional ties to it, and I am well aware of the black and white reality for the institution.  Also I vividly know that trapped feeling when I was planning my own and I am not sure I can entirely rule out that it was not for more reasons than just the wrong man.  Perhaps the only answer is small little contracts of time, with agreed upon renewal dates where ever children come into play.  If no children, just live and enjoy who you are with for as long as it works for both parties then end things regret free with a mind full of knowledge and memories.

Monday, 1 August 2011

My Experience In Monogamy

I gave my best shot at an 8 year long monogamous happily ever after type relationship.  The house, the ring, the dog and cat, and the future of children all with one man.  I should point out that the man loved me in his own way, and that was made even more apparent after I ended things, but back to the point.  He was strong, intimidating, opinionated and a very sociable male.  I slowly turned into a woman who no longer felt attractive and free, but rather just a woman on a pedestal whose life was turning into that of woman in the 50's.

Let me explain, we had many mutual friends and friends of friends which happens when you are together that long.  Each and everyone of them was afraid of flirting or taking anything too far with me for fear that the ex would "kill" them (melodramatic I know).  I was only around these same men, over and over with absolutely bare minimum attention from anyone, and in public even less from the man I was with.  So I had to make the first move to get that ego boost with these men.  I was not looking to cheat, just to get a high that flirting gives.  That adrenaline burst,  or better put, that rush and excitement.

I found myself in compromising positions that I initiated and the guilt and remorse that followed was unbelievable, but the longer I went without that rush the worse I felt.  Well lets just say I ended things around year 7 to chase what I needed and keep myself from "cheating".  I was getting that much needed attentiveness and kindness from a male friend who was not a fan of the ex.  It was exhilarating to have something new, something fresh, someone seeing you with whole new eyes.  However shortly afterwards the ex and I got back together, but inevitably ended things a year later, permanently.

It took me a long time to add everything up about why that relationship failed so miserably.  He was jealous every time I was alone or slightly flirty with any other male resulting in my complete isolation.  The only male giving me affection was him, and he was bad at it.  The self esteem and confidence was being replaced by an emotionally starved stranger whom I hardly recognized in the mirror. And I now know why.  Men and woman need that extra in life, that something new, fresh and exciting.  It also strengthens and keeps fresh that love you have at home.  That love that I am missing terribly right now.