Assisted Loving: Words of Inspiration for the New Year

By Ginger Manley | Posted: Monday January 12, 2015

Dear Readers,

For the second month, I have had no questions, so I am going to start off the New Year highlighting some of my favorite inspirations about healthy sexuality at all ages.

A colleague of mine, Alexandra Katehakis, is founder and clinical director of the Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles. Much as I did in the 1980s, ‘90s and beyond until 2005, she and her colleagues treat not only couples and individuals with the usual array of sexual performance issues, but also folks whose sexual behavior is out of control, commonly called sexual addiction, and people whose background as a victim of sexual abuse or violence has left them wounded and limping in their adult sexual roles. The basic question, “What compromises hot, healthy sex?” set Alex and her colleague Tom Bliss on a quest to find the underpinnings of healthy sexuality, and from that journey they have now published “Mirror of Intimacy: Daily Reflections on Emotional and Erotic Intelligence,” available at Amazon and other retailers.

The authors state, “‘Mirror of Intimacy’ contains a year’s worth of daily reflections that explore and support the range of human sexualities as a divine gift and a human right. The reflections reference a rich array of approaches: attachment theory, mind/body nexus, neurobiology, 12-step principles, meditation techniques, Eastern and Western philosophy and ancient world myths. Unfettered by cultural, social or religious norms, we set our intention to examine 366 topics related to sex and sexuality.”

These reflections have been available one at a time for more than a year on their webpage, to which I have been a subscriber almost from day one. Each reflection begins with a quote from someone famous or not-so-famous and ends with a homework assignment. Almost every day, something they have written grabs my attention and helps me focus on ways I need to step back and be intentional in my own sexual journey. Here are snippets from six that have been especially meaningful to me.

April 1, 2014: Laughter

“Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, now that’s a real treat.” Joanne Woodward

Laughter is a spontaneous and full-bodied expression of aliveness and amusement that transports us into an altered state of joy and, sometimes, glee. The body heaves in expression releasing sounds and movements that instinctively express and communicate that we are attuned with the sources of our entertainment … When was the last time you had a good belly laugh?

March 18, 2014: Confidence

During times of profound emotional pain we all depend on our beloved to show up for us in a way that’s firm and steadfast. We need the soothing knowledge that the person we love most in the world will be present to care for us. Confidence in relationship builds when we make ourselves vulnerable enough to receive, for when we receive we have the fortifying experience of being loved.

December 25, 2013:Happiness

“Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.” Háfez

We do know that true inner happiness is an act of communion because it results in identification and connection to the flow of life. This happiness must involve intimacy, the ability to make oneself known. Receptivity to the experience of personal happiness is a form of self-knowledge. To be capable of self-knowledge, intimacy and communion manifests fulfillment, a deeply enduring happiness.

December 16, 2013: Excitement

Life can seem to lose its luster as we age, leaving us thinking that excitement lives only in the domain of youth. We may wax nostalgic for the lightning-bolt arousal of our feelings, ranging from exuberance to agitation. But taking it slow and becoming present with what and who’s in front of us can create a different, more mature kind of excitement.

December 17, 2013: Love

“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.” Oscar Wilde

In the game of tennis “love” is a score of zero, suggesting that when we’re in love the score is even and all is well … Keep the score zero in your love relationship: Give generous doses of gratitude, make caring gestures to your partner daily and watch the passion and abundance grow.

June 5, 2014: Cherishing

“Cherish all your happy moments; they make a fine cushion for old age.” Booth Tarkington

A significant predictor of love’s endurance i show we cherish one another … Cherishing real human beings … requires a willingness to see the beauty of their imperfection and to adore them all the same … Life is filled with little disappointments and conflicts, and romantic interactions can easily become tainted with resignation and buried resentment. But that’s why expressing true feelings and needs is so crucial to love’s survival … For cherishing requires a clean slate … There isn’t a fixed amount of love, such that cherishing another depletes us of personal power. That’s not how love and blessings work. If anything, when it comes to affection and appreciation, to give endlessly makes it possible endlessly to receive.

As I begin my 71st year, blessed to be in an enduring relationship of almost 48 years, I am choosing to focus on these principles to guide me. I realize these are sometimes really difficult for me because I was reared to be strong and independent, and most of these guidelines require a degree of vulnerability that does not come to me naturally. In the relationship with my beloved, though, I am continuing to learn to be more resilient, trusting, creative, receptive and vulnerable.

I invite you to pay attention to whatever guidelines you may need as you move through 2015. Each of us has enough room in our souls for more growth towards love.

Happy New Year!

Search:

Recent Posts:

Assisted Loving Archive:


2016

March

Proud Flesh--coming soon

2015

September

Assisted Loving revised, expanded

Parting is such sweet sorrw

Wise words on long relationships

January

Assisted Loving: Words of Inspiration for the New Year

2014

December

Some harsh truths about radical prostate surgery

October

Seeking out new relationship

Causes of ED can vary with age, individual

Tune in and talk to target turn-ons

Do politics really make strange bedfellows?

Long-term loving not without challenges

Purported 'epidemic' of senior STD's misleading

March

The science behind aphrodisiacs

Combating prostate enlargement

2013

October

Later life weddings are breaking the mold

ED medications 101

Taking time to learn to love yourself

July

Kissing never goes out of style

Assisted Loving available at Nashville area booksellers--and more

June

Protecting your grandchildren online

Assisted Loving now available in print and electronic forms

May

First copies of Assisted Loving roll off the presses today

April

Assisted Loving: It's never too late to learn something new

March

Assisted Loving--the book. Coming soon!

Penile rehabilitation

February

Accurate diagnoses important in alleviating pain

January

Hysterectomy fears are normal

2012

December

Alternative Approaches to ED

November

Hope Springs eternal but not without concerns

October

With honest conversation, "Hope Springs" for all

September

What is Assisted Loving?

The anatomy of an affair

August

Assisted Loving: Dealing with mismatched desire

July

Assisted Loving: Alcohol and libido

May

Assisted Loving: Shaking things up

Assisted Loving: Communication key to better love life

March

Assisted Loving: Current research on long-term hormone use

February

Assisted Loving: Tackling depression is a matter of the heart

January

Assisted Loving: New Beginnings

2011

December

Assisted Loving: Guess who's coming to Christmas dinner?

November

Assisted Loving: How to Approach Sexual Matters with Spouse with Early Stage Dementia

October

Assisted Loving: Lack of Attention Causing Lack of Attraction

September

Assisted Loving: Personalized Treatment for ED & PE

Archive page >