After the wonderful feeling of Gentleman Jack accepting me and allowing me to shine in my previous post, I, unknowingly and completely unintentionally, upset him that same evening.
I unwittingly gave too much information, i.e. was too flirtatious, in a status update. In my head, I thought it was funny. I thought he would find it funny too. Nope. He got a lump in his stomach that men would begin picturing what I was describing....
Aaaaannnnd there I go again. Again, putting my sexuality out where it doesn't belong for the entire world to see.
Thankfully, my man can talk to me. He tells me if something feels uncomfortable, not in an accusatory way, but in a way that says, "This didn't feel good to me. I'm letting you know. I will figure out how to deal with it."
So, we talked about it for 2 1/2 hours. We got a lot of good stuff out there and I felt bad that I'd hurt him again.
We keep getting back to the same thing: He cares. And he doesn't want to share.
Meanwhile, I've spent the past 25 years putting it out there and selecting men who said they didn't care if I put it all out there. I've been with men who wanted to flaunt me like some sexy doll. I've flirted and sexied my way to garnishing all the attention a woman can. I've relished in it. Its also lead to my attracting trouble and/or the wrong men.
When I awoke the next morning after our conversation and felt awful, I asked for spiritual guidance again. What do I need? How do I do this?
The answer? Love Coach Rinatta
I can't explain it but something told me that she would have the answer. I've never even spoken with her before but something told me I needed to. So, I sent her a message on Twitter.
She contacted me right away and we had a wonderful conversation.
Rinatta has been reading my blog for nearly 2 years. She knows the persona of "T". She's seen the struggles and growth. She believes much of the same spiritual principles as me. She was the perfect person to talk to.
"First question," she began after hearing my story, "Do you think he is worth changing this part of yourself?"
I know that I feel healthier in this relationship than any other that came before. But I don't really want to think I'm "changing" myself for someone else. I want to make changes for me.
Rinatta said that in every relationship, we naturally change or alter old habits or bend to be with someone else. Your partner should do the same. We can't be the same people we are when we're single.
"I've been wanting to ask you this for some time," she paused, "Were you ever sexually abused?"
No. I wasn't. But I did grow up the oldest child to a young mom who lived her teenage years vicariously through me and with me. Mom was outgoing and fun. She was sexy and beautiful (still is!). She flirted relentlessly with my male friends.
"That could be considered abusive. Not in the sense that you were physically abused but you were not taught sexual boundaries. That could be considered 'abuse'."
Wow. My head has difficulty wrapping around the word "abuse" but I do know that I wasn't taught boundaries. My mother was in full rebellion from an overly dominate Catholic mother. I had fun right along side her. I learned my flirtatious ways from her. I began flirting as a teenager and it was completely second nature to me. It just came out of me without even trying.
Oy. I guess we unintentionally abuse those we love the most sometimes, don't we?
Rinatta went on to tell me that this is why my relationship with Gentleman Jack is so perfectly fitting for me. And my daughters. I am re-parenting myself to learn these appropriate sexual boundaries and I will therefore raise my daughters the same way.
"Think of it this way," Rinatta said, "How would you parent yourself or your daughters differently if you knew that you were preparing yourself or them for a wonderful relationship like the one you're in now?"
GJ's concern is that he does not want to "stifle" what he considers a big part of me. He knows that I'm sensual. He knows that life turns me on. He's very attracted to that part of me. He loves my sexuality. He wants it behind closed doors but he doesn't want me putting it all out there for everyone else to fantasize about me. I know that I have toned down, a lot, since he's come into my life. This happened without even trying.
My concern is the same as his though. Is this overt sexuality a healthy part of me? Is it simply attention seeking? If I stifle it, will it come roaring back at some future date?
Is it stifling or creating a new, healthier habit?
Rinatta continued: "You've been heavier and lost weight. How did you do that? Do you still binge today?"
No, I don't binge. I joined Weight Watchers and learned a new, healthier way to eat. Now, its such a habit that I don't even think about it.
"Then its the same thing. You're creating a new habit. It won't come roaring back. Eventually it will become second nature. Just as you built boundaries around food, you can do the same thing with sex. Both can be addictions."
Rinatta asked if I was sexually abused and I haven't been. However, many of my girlfriends were. Those same girlfriends have felt stifled in their own marriages because they can't explore their sexuality.
I've done it. I've been involved in all kinds of sexual situations and quite frankly, they're fun and exciting but unfulfilling for me. For some people, this type of lifestyle works for them. I love those people. I link to blogs of people like that. It's intriguing to me but... it just didn't fit me. It didn't work for me. Maybe I'm not built for it emotionally.
I want real intimacy. I think I've been using this wanton sexuality to avoid true intimacy. It allowed me to put on a show to, ironically, avoid exposing all of me. Gentleman Jack is the first person with whom I want to share my true vulnerability. When I share this side of me, he feels closer to me. It also allows him to build trust in me and expose his own vulnerability. Then we get closer and closer.
Vulnerability builds intimacy.
I want real trust. I want the real me. I will continue to be the sexual vixen that my Gentleman loves but I believe I need to curtail the fearless sexual attention seeking outside of our relationship.
I don't know how to do this but I'm working on it. I may be exploring my sexual history here - just as I did with my affair - to look at my motives and process it.
I am naturally a sexual person and will always be. However, I have to learn some respect... for me, for GJ, for sex, for the people around me. I know that many are uncomfortable with my in-yer-face sexual nature. Its not my responsibility for how people react to me but I don't like putting people off. I am learning. Constantly.
I am thankful for Rinatta for her wisdom. I am thankful for Gentleman Jack for his patience.
Now I have to be compassionate and loving to bring out the healthiest me I've ever been.
**Rinatta's words were paraphrased for the context of this post. She is also going to offer a wonderful program to my readers in the next few weeks. I can't recommend her enough. If you want a fulfilling happy relationship and are willing to do the introspective work it takes to get one, you will love her.**