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Awakening Truth – Shaming the Vulva

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Over the last few years I have been working with men, women and couple’s. It has been an amazing path of self discovery for me as I work with everyone. One of many things that I have awoken to is how closed our society really is in the field of pleasure and sexuality. Yet we are over taken by these two things at the same time.  How is that we can constantly be sold merchandise with the appeal that if we get this or that it will make us happier, sexier, more satisfied, increase our love/sex lives and bring us bliss, yet still say that pleasure and yes sexual pleasure is not good; we should not crave it? Yet we do.

At the core of pleasure and sex for many people are our genitals. Our pussies and cocks or those of our lovers. We long to touch, taste, penetrate and feel the deep orgasmic pleasure roll through our bodies and watch this pleasure as well as feel it accumulate and release throughout our lovers. Yet because sex and pleasure are so taboo in society we really have no idea what we are doing and how best to achieve maximum results from ourselves or with a partner(s). This is especially the case with women and their vajaja’s.

It has been statistically stated that over 60% of women say that they know VERY little about their vaginas. And if this is true then how is it possible for men to ever have a sound knowledge of how to please us or our vulvas/vaginas?

edit 1 for websiteThe main reason for us women to not have a strong understanding of our most intimate pleasure palace is because since we were small children our parents and society have been telling us that, “ladies, don’t touch themselves like that.” “Ladies, don’t sit like that, or think those things, eat like that, crave that, act like that, and so on and so forth.” Yet young boys can run around without a shirt on, and touch themselves, groan, grunt, fart, make jokes and even if they get busted masturbating we say as a society, “boy’s will be boy’s.” We assume that because a boy does not have fatty tissue and milk ducts in the same way that a girl does that his bare chest is not obscene.  So why do we find our bodies obscene anyway? Do we find the body of our new born infant something that is grotesque and obscene? Do we look at a baby’s bottom as something that is yucky? NO. We adore these sweet “innocent” moments in our children’s youth. Girl or boy we see the beauty, we embrace the sweetness and we adore each moment, yet as a child ages we shame our children into believing that their flesh is something to feel bad about.  We teach them this and yet they sit down and every underwear, perfume, condom, and even many food, travel and alcohol commercials tell them that the flesh is something to crave and pleasure. The mixed programming causes us to mistrust society, our peers, our lovers and most of all OURSELVES.

Somewhere in the middle of these two opposite messages is the truth of what we as humans NEED. There is nothing wrong, shameful, disgusting, obscene or otherwise ill about anyone’s body or longing to feel pleasure in any form of the sense. What is wrong is to suppress these longings and shun then as though they were demons, causing self-hatred and sexual dysfunctions. Only through self-love can we truly learn to open and love another. And in our self-loving we embrace our human needs and desires for pleasure. We learn to heal through pleasure, both giving and receiving it and we open the doorway to new paradigms of relationship in all areas of our life.

 

Opening My Petals to Shame

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In my youth I was very inquisitive about my vulva and vagina and still am. I was amazed by every aspect of it. To the point that I would get my little boy friend to help me explore all of its petals. I wanted to experience what everything felt like. Much like a baby who puts everything in its mouth to discover what it is, I was playfully experiencing myself. I loved playing doctor or trying to reenact something that I had seen on the television in some movie or something. I was nosey as heck and dug through my father’s “personal” space and found some old Playboys that had beautiful pictures of naked or partially nude women. I adored looking at these pictures and of course even in my youth I compared what mine looked like to the models.

frjfrejgioeLuckily for me I grew up in a household where my mother was an older mom and was from Europe. My father was an out of the box thinker, whom often disagreed with societal norms even though he was extremely logical and programmed by a long genealogy of structure and societal standings. My mother was extremely open about sex with me and was more than willing to share her personal stories and answer any questions I might bring up. Yet, even though she was open about the topic she still was damaged and needed her own healing. She could only answer for me and share with me to the point of her understanding and level of consciousness about sex and pleasure. And because she was my mother, she also had the nurturing worry that goes with the god given job. She wanted my safety and she wanted me to be smart about things.  So there were plenty of times that I experienced shame in my youth from just exploring myself. Each time I got caught playing house or doctor in the nude with my little boyfriend, I felt shame. Every time I was interrupted in my shower masturbation games or bathtub pleasuring acts, I felt shame and embarrassment. When I took one of my dad’s Playboy’s to school in the 4th grade (a parochial Catholic school) and got busted by my teacher, I felt tremendous embarrassment, now I had not only shamed myself but my parents as well.  Each time I played up some steamy hot sex scenes with my barbies and my mom or dad walked in, I felt shame. Slowly as years past I learned that it was not acceptable to look at, touch, play with, explore or share these parts of myself. I became shameful and embarrassed of myself!!! My flesh, my internal word, my desires and my pleasures. So I suppressed them for the most part.

Even in my early sexual relationships I could not fully open to the pleasure and love that was before me. I was fearful that my lover would think poorly of my hungers. I was afraid that if I shared in great detail what I really wanted to experience or how I wanted or where I wanted to be touched, kissed, pleasured that my lover would think I was disgusting or crazy. I was concerned over the potential loss of this lover more then I was concerned about sharing pleasure in fullness with them. Of course, my lover would ask me, “What are your fantasies, your desires. How do you want to be touched? Does that feel good?” But I did not know if I could honestly answer and not be judged. And in a few occasions I did allow myself to be revealed and felt tremendous pleasure, but because of my back programs I woke the following morning questioning myself and feeling strange about my pleasure. As if it was wrong.

Healing through the Pleasure Palace

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My story is similar to many women’s tales. Granted there is so much more to all of our stories and programming then this short overview and many of us women have suffered through some sort of sexual trauma that has only supported our shame, embarrassment and self-hatred or misunderstanding.  Yet at some point in all of our lives we find ourselves at a crossroad, asking “What’s wrong with us?”

Why am I not happy?

Why does sex not feel good to me?

Why do I feel addicted to sex yet not satisfied from sex?

Why do I always attract the same type of man?

Why can I not love myself more, feel life more, connect more?

Why am I not getting over ________?

Why is that a good book or movie and bowl of my favorite yummieness is better than sex with my lover?

Why am I so emotionally unstable?

Why can’t I have an orgasm?

Why do I always fake it?

Does any of this really matter anyway?

The answer to these questions and many others can be discovered on a sexual healing path. One that leads us women into the depths of our vaginal canals where we can discover a great pool of self-love, healing, passion, feeling, intimacy and all sorts of forms of pleasure. Only through going into the source of where we store our repressed emotions, our shame and fears can we learn how to release them in a safe and loving fashion and fully except ourselves. By doing this we can call into our lives lovers, friends, and life partners that will except us and support us at the level that we need.

ndsaAny woman who finds the courage to take the step down a sexual healing path will quickly awaken to how powerful the path is and then to how powerful SHE is! In Tantra and many other sexuality practices such as One Taste, the first steps to healing come from revealing our petals and allowing another to actually accept us in a non-sexual, loving fashion. The immense healing energy of having yourself revealed fully, to be naked in every sense of the word in front of another human being and then to hear them say, “ You are beautiful, divine, perfect.” To hear them describe what they see in total acceptance and unconditional love as though they were marveling at some famous painters work. This step on the path to healing starts the opening of our hearts to ourselves. It allows for us to experience ourselves in a way many of us woman have not.

The sexual path of healing is a long and ever changing one. An individual has to be willing to not expect an outcome in any particular time-frame and has to be willing to face their inner darkness as well as their inner beauty within any given moment. The emotions, thoughts, ego and the soul of what comes up for us is something new each time. With each session we open ourselves a crack more and allow for more trauma to be released and greater pleasure to be expanded upon within us. We “clear” slowly the many levels of our psyche and physical blockages to pleasure and within time learn to open up the channels to our souls and heart.

As we walk this orgasmic path of healing we release shame of our vaginas. We learn to embrace our flesh and our desires. We come into communion with our higher selves. Here in the valley of our vagina we discover our pleasure, our truth.

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In the unmasking of this truth we awaken to our divine nature. Through, its unveiling process of sexual healing practices we also open the book of personal knowledge and become that child again, exploring ourselves, giving ourselves permission to feel, to taste, to look, to act, to PLAY and to embrace others to do the same.

We stop fearing and we start living! Living the abundant, orgasmic, pleasurable life that we were intended on having. With our orgasm we gift this world with love and radiance. We increase happiness and connection. With our ability to receive pleasure we gift our lovers with an intensity of passion and creative energy. We reveal to them our self-love and acceptance and thus show them a vast horizon of pleasure, love and acceptance for them as well. Here is the gate of intimacy! Even if it is with a first time lover…

–KW

 

Extra Relationship Energy – By Janet Kira Lessin

1man2womenEarlier this month while Rose, my female lover, furiously rode my husband during a love-in, my body felt that old familiar pain in my gut and my heart once again. I silently collapsed in defeat. Jealousy! When will I ever be done with that ‘ol green-eyed monster?

“I can’t ever possibly compete with that,” I thought as I watched them, peeking between my fingers. “They’re so involved; so wild in their passion, they don’t even notice me and how miserable I feel!”

What chemistry do they experience when they feel that wildness, connection, joy? It looks like, but no, it couldn’t be could it? Could it be … NRE–new relationship energy?

Wait a minute here. My husband had been involved with Coyote and Rose for about 15 years! This was not a new relationship by any means. I met Sash, moved in with and married him. A month later, he introduced me to his lovers, Coyote and Rose. So, if anything, Sasha and I are the ones who possibly still have NRE, not Sasha and Rose!

But here it is, obviously, an energy that is still there for them after all these years.

I had been in two long-term monogamous relationships, 12 years each, spanning 24 years of MY adult life. I know how sexual excitement fades, how lovemaking becomes routine, stale, perhaps even boring. In those monogamous days of my life, I contemplated that “swingers” probably maintained the excitement in their love life by bringing that new, novel energy back home to their beds.

And what of my observations of Sasha and Rose, long, long time lovers? Their energy “felt” to me like NRE. I was jealous. Does he have something different with Rose and not with me-his wife, his buddy, his companion, his lover, his confidant? Perhaps there is a “key” here. What do they have together that Sasha and I don’t have?

Could they be so passionate because they don’t live together? Could it have something to do with the frequency of their encounters? And if there is a different energy for those who are infrequent lovers, perhaps we need to coin yet another phrase?

How about ERE? External Relationship Energy? Extraneous Relationship Energy? Extramarital Relationship Energy? Perhaps OPE: Outside Primary Energy?

Familiarity breeds contempt, doesn’t it? My husband and I counsel couples, triads and moresomes, so I’ve heard all the stories. I’ve also read hundreds of emails and had hundreds of emails, chats and instant messages from people bored with sex with their mates. Many complain “My wife (or husband) won’t make love with me anymore.” The neglected mate often goes out and cheats and feels justified for their actions. “We started out so passionate, so in love. What happened?”

What I think happens is we pent up resentments. Pent-up resentments create distance in our relationships. We always create resentments; we can’t help it. When we’re primary lovers with someone, we inevitably resent them.

We resent our lovers because we’re in the thrall of negative bonding patterns–repeated sour interactions fueled by our childhood conditioning. We react to our lovers as though they were our mothers, fathers or siblings.

We and our partners are imago mates, deeply imprinted, desired soul mates who complete each other, who give touch, sensitivity, intimacy and respect we still need but didn’t get (the way we wanted) from parents. The catch to lovers who could heal our hurts with parents is that our lovers could disappoint us again if they don’t do better than Mom and Dad. Our imago mates resemble our caretakers–not necessarily physically–but emotionally, psychologically and energetically.

Our imago mates mirror us, reflect our disowned subpersonalities, our inner voices. They show us disowned aspects of ourselves we need to use to center ourselves. They mirror underdeveloped parts of our humanity; they do this by what they do or how they are that we envy or hate.

Here’s how this operates for me and Sasha. He snaps at me because he’s scared ex-wife Joan will get our house. He’s upset by that but snaps at me. He morphs into an irritable father. I become withdrawn daughter, then angry mother. He reacts as rebel adolescent. We stick in a parent/adult/parent/adult vicious cycle till we center ourselves, apologize, reconnect and make love wholeheartedly again.

Sometimes partners find that though they forgave each other verbally, resentment lurks within and eventually kills sexual desire. They create internal scoring systems. She hits the “One Too Many Resentments” button and they separate.

We overcome our difficulties and survive in our relationships, react less to our lovers’ predicaments, and learn new ways to enrich ourselves by learning from our lovers. We learn, grow and appreciate our mates more. How do we prevent resenting the heck out of one another over time? How do we keep that passion of NRE or infrequent relationship alive in our primary pair bond?

I suffered jealousy for days; I ranted at Sasha. I penned a 7-page “hate” letter to Rose! (how dare she, that Bitch!). I analyzed my reactions with Sash and Rose when they came over. We’d focused on pleasing them and showing them a good time. But we lost feeling of being connected to each other. I resolved to return to Sasha during water and bathroom breaks. We’d bring each other the passion we’d just shared with our Rose and Coyote. We’d keep returning to each other. Sash enthusiastically agreed.

I keep communication lines wide open with Sash as loving, tactful and honest as I can. We stay orgasmic, follow our tantric practices twice daily, we can also enjoy sexual diversity and simultaneously keep linked to each other. Then we bring the electricity of other loves to each other.

 

Original Post

The Health Benefits of Tantra

tantracouplesexWhen people hear the word Tantra, they usually think of kinky sex and sex positions in the Kama Sutra. They find their way to it by desiring to enhance their sex life. That’s okay for starters. However you find your way is however you find your way.

But then to find it to be so much more than enhanced sex gratification – what a surprise! I have found many unexpected health benefits from practicing this ancient form of meditation and related breath practices.

I began Tantra like most people, thinking it would enhance sex making it hotter and maybe even wilder. I had no idea back then how powerful Tantra was to become in every aspect of my life.

Very soon, after embarking on this path, I became aware of a quieting down in the mind, something I had been trying to accomplish for years to no avail. This alone helped me to reduce my stress levels.  But that’s not all; that was only the beginning.

Now, after 14 years of practicing Tantra, I am aware that I am not suffering anymore about anything physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Did I know this would happen to me? No way.

Tantra roughly translated means “to weave” body, mind and spirit. What this literally means is that you can expand your whole being through increased awareness of your senses, feelings and energy. This includes awareness of your breath – the basis of all forms of meditation – with the addition of your sexual energy increasing your ability to feel – specifically feel pleasure – very different from other forms of meditation.

So how can Tantra affect your health?  Why is it a holistic form of healing?

Basically people feel little if anything. They are mostly living their lives inside of their thoughts, judgments, evaluations and assessments: living in their heads. When their bodies give signals, they miss or ignore them because they are trained to value only what the mind thinks. So most people are numb or they do not feel very good. When they do feel, it appears that they feel bad, sick, hurt, victimized. There is very little room for pleasure. As a matter of fact, they feel little to no pleasure at all. Pleasure shows up as anticipation rather than a sensual experience, one that is felt in the body.

Remember really wanting something like a new car? Then when you got it, the pleasure didn’t last very long, maybe until the first scratch. It wasn’t the feeling you expected from acquiring a new car, was it?

The mind can imagine something or other will bring us a feeling of pleasure, but it actually takes the body to feel it. For many people, feeling strongly passionately was discouraged. We were told we had to stay in control of ourselves, of our emotions. Things were said to us like, “Why do you feel like that? That’s not rational.”

So, we learned to bury our feelings and experience life in our heads. Our bodies became useful for wearing decorative adornments (attraction) and for getting us somewhere, like from meeting to meeting (minimal movement). In essence our bodies have become something we do to or use in certain ways, but not a source of inner knowledge. Not bad, just not pleasurable; not healthy either.

Many people have become automatons rushing to work, doing, doing, doing.  But when it comes time to relax, take a breath, we cannot seem to do it. For most people, it’s a little frightening to stop and focus on breathing.

When we look to find our pleasure, even erotic pleasure, there seems to never be enough time. Because we’re so disconnected, sex doesn’t live up to our expectations.  Or maybe, just maybe, all those feelings we’ve been holding down are likely to come rushing up and we can’t have that, can we?

That’s right, feelings, emotions, senses, intuition, memories will often come up during sex. And then what do we do? Who has time for that anyway? What if we go out of control? Who wants to experience that?

You do! I do!

Why is this so important?

You want to feel all of those feelings so you can increase your capacity for pleasure. It’s your birthright to feel pleasure and it’s an aspect of life to feel. In essence, it’s honoring yourself.

When you start this way of breathing and sensing, you will naturally feel better, happier, passionate, more alive. The operative word here is “naturally.” It is our nature to feel.

Okay, how? Why does this have anything to do with Tantra?

In Tantra, we learn to breathe along with doing Kegel exercises and making sounds. So, we learn how to breathe properly. Then we add sphincter muscle and PC muscle contractions to build a charge in our own body using the vital life force – sexual energy. This enables us to feel all our feelings.

Once we feel them, we learn to release stored toxic feelings and memories from the past. We also learn to transmute the sexual energy into a spiritual connection with our “higher selves.”

The result is eradication of feelings of shame and guilt as well as any other trauma we may have experienced earlier in our lives that’s has been stored in our cellular memory.

The outcome = pleasure, permission for unabashed life at it’s fullest – body, mind and spirit connected working in union.

Remember I began Tantra thinking it would enhance sex. I had no idea how my life would really change. Had I known, I would have become interested in Tantra earlier in life. Is sex hotter? Yes. Is that all? No. It’s so much more.

The Holistic Benefits Of Practicing Tantra:

1. Feel great about yourself – more attractive, self-confident, increase your capacity for more pleasure, experience joy and fulfillment as a way of life.

2. Empower your well-being – eliminate toxins, eliminate stress – accept yourself for who you are & release deep painful cellular memories; feel safe and whole.

3. Focus – set your intentions, do the practices and watch the laws of attraction bring what you want i.e. life partner, more money, career change

4. Uplift your relationships – see others for who they really are, relate to their deep divine nature and trust your intuition

5. Experience the expression of your deepest emotions. Know rapture, love, passion and beyond! Become your own beloved!

By Laurie Handlers:

www.ButterflyWorkshops.com is a sex educator, author, and intimacy coach. She holds a Masters in Education and a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology. Her career includes over thirty years as a corporate change consultant, individual empowerment coach and international seminar leader. She’s a dynamic speaker, facilitator and has taught transformational workshops for women, men, couples, singles, parents and teens since 1978 on communication techniques and secrets that are the basis of healing the body, releasing past emotional trauma, stopping the aging process, and reducing stress. Pod casts from her show Sex and Happiness can be found atwww.WebTalkRadio.net. Laurie stars in a hilarious indie documentary “Tantric Tourists” and her new film “Beyond Dinner” just won best short feature award at the Erotikos Film Festival 2012. Her book Sex & Happiness: The Tantric Laws of Intimacy and her CD “Shamanic Release & Latihan” are samples of her offerings.

 

Original Posting

DOUBLE PENETRATION: A PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT by Janet Kira Lessin

tantricloveWhen you experience, as I did, two or more of your male poly lovers simultaneous entering you in tantric oneness, you open your inner stargate, touch the face of  God and remember your source. As you embrace two or even three magic wands, the  lingams (as we call penises) with your most sensitive inner sensual shrines, you  feel ecstasy, get total personal and transpersonal recall. You drop concepts of  physics, science and religion and instead zoom, as your multidimensional self,  through space and time. You and the beloveds entering you merge with divinity,  source of all inchoate forms. Home, you experience everything everyone told you  as illusion and, at the same time, truth.

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I had my double penetration satori the third night at a month-long love-in Sasha  and I hosted for nine lovers (five women and four men) on Maui. We’d filled half  our spacious living room with colorfully-covered mattresses. Two of the women  were new to us, but we’d vetted them carefully and knew we’d go deep with them.

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Awkward at first, all nine of us eased into nude housekeeping and, by the third  evening, lovemaking.

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Up to that third evening together, I’d shared some tantric breath, fondling,  kissing and genital honoring with some, but I mostly made passionate love with  Sash. We nine morphed from one kamasutra-like sexual configuration to the next.

. As Sasha lay on his back, I lowered myself onto his wand. We held each other’s gaze, then tongue-kissed; our tongues stroked sacred erotic sectors in each  other’s mouths.

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As I opened my cave and took him inside, hugging his wand with my yoni (vagina),  I again got who Sash and I truly are: ancient lovers in modern form. I saw, in  the mirror, my tiny, porcelain-like body draped over his deeply tanned athletic  form.

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As we moved our pelvises in our eternal rhythm, Sash delicately tapped, then probed my rosebud (as we call the anal opening) with his finger, preparing me  for delights to come. My amrita (female ejaculate) flowed and we sang out in  the rising momentum of our lovemaking.

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Then new hands, not Sasha’s, reverently caressed my bottom. I turned and saw  Woody–our beautiful slender, blond, long-time lover ask me with his eyes to  join us. “Yes, please,” I invited.

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double-vaginal-penetration-1_1I leaned forward, breasts against Sasha’s chest. Woody, from behind me, eased  his wand to where Sasha and I joined genitals. I opened  my amrita-lubricated  yoni to let Woody’s wand snuggle in, a millimeter at a time, next to Sasha’s  Both lingams fully inside, I squeezed my pc muscles on them and they both  swelled within me. I felt the electricity of Woody’s and Sasha’s wands against each other as both gradually expanded deeper into me. I quivered as waves of  bliss radiated from my yoni where my guys’ penises pulsed. Waves of bliss  became a continuously pulse of pleasure for all three of us as Sasha and Woody’s penises reached my A- spot, the erogenous area next to my cervix. The  three of us lost our separate self-senses, experienced triadic consciousness.

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I’d heard that some sages achieve pure grace, but never believed I could while  alive. But here I was in continuous euphoric bliss, one unending Oneness.

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Allness engulfed not only Sash, Woody and me, but also the others on our giant  mattress. All nine of us shared this divine space and joined our sacred worship  of the magnificence of the Universe. I felt the cosmos open. Floor, walls,  ceiling, all physical things dissolved. We nine shed the time/space continuum  and stood in the stars. The void embraced us, absorbed us in the magnificence of creation and simultaneous stillness. Even the solar winds paused to hear the  divine prayer in the form of our loving congress. All that there is, was and  will be witnessed us as we reunited with Source. I was the orgasm, the  orgiastic energy, the divine spark that created us all.

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You too can use group synergy, tantric lovemaking, polyamorous merging and  multiple penetration to achieve the state of pure Sex Magick necessary to take  women to this divine state needed to heal the world. With the intention of pure  love and respect for life and all consciousness, we can shift the Morphogenic  Field and create higher love and light. Together we stop war, pollution,  overpopulation, disease and hunger. Our natural state is loving oneness.

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Multiple loving allows us to feel oneness and is instrumental in providing Earth  and all her peoples a civilized civilization that respects all life. Through  our love, we give every one of us the peace, love, dignity and grace we deserve.

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Excerpt from Janet’s book: POLYAMORY, MANY LOVES: The Poly-Tantric Lifestyle

Between the Sheets: When one boyfriend just isn’t enough

DoublePenetrationNoJeansWe’re getting into our 20s — that time society deems suitable for graduating college, getting a good job and settling down with a partner. Just one, and preferably of the opposite sex. Just one partner to meet your social, sexual and emotional needs until the day you leave this earth.
Is it just me, or is that a little daunting?

Monogamy is sold to us everywhere we go — in the media, in the Bible and in our own households. The pairing of man and woman is, to some, the glue that holds our nation together.

But with the United States marriage rate at an all-time low of 51 percent (compared to 72 percent in 1960), it seems our generation is reconsidering its commitment to monogamy. In its place, a few alternative lifestyles have come to light — everything from cohabitation to civil unions to eternal spinsterdom. I’d like to introduce a relationship structure I find particularly intriguing and under-reported — polyamory.

Polyamory, according to Polyamorous NYC, means participation in long-term, romantically committed, multiple-partner relationships. For example, two women and two men all date one another. Each group member involved carries on romantic and sexual endeavors with whichever other group member he or she chooses, provided the person has the full consent of the group before the act is committed. They aren’t swingers or polygamists — just little clusters of folks all around the country for whom one partner is not enough.

A 2009 Newsweek article speculates there are more than half a million polyamorists living in the U.S., and they’ll be rising to the mainstream in the near future. There are now blogs, non-fiction books, Showtime specials and match-up networks dedicated to polyamory.

mfm-kissingDr. Kenneth Haslam, poly-activist and author of “The Twelve Pillars of Polyamory,” attributes the emergence of polyamory to a human need for variance. Take, for example, a long-term couple in which only one party is interested in bondage. Does the interested party repress that desire in an effort to preserve the sanctity of their monogamous relationship? Or does the person work with his or her partner to find a solution that’s acceptable to everyone? Perhaps a solution involves the consensual incorporation of an outside party.

You might think embracing this idea means sacrificing the unconditional love and trust one builds from sharing a life with another human. And maybe it does. But there are a large number of people out there, including former French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, who have declared monogamy doesn’t work for them. And if you’re one of those people, it might be time to look into something a little further from the beaten path.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m not discrediting monogamous relationships. I, too, have apron-donning, childbearing, husband-loving fantasies about my future self. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t inform ourselves about the alternatives. Doing so on a wide scale will foster the eventual acceptance of polyamory — and similar lifestyles — into the mainstream. Experts say that after the battle for gay marriage is won, the battle for multiple partner marriage could be next. So suit up and keep your mind and eyes open as we ride into 2013.

By TONYA STARR in The Daily Midwestern