After all of the ridiculous hype over the 50 Shades fiasco, myself, along with many others put a cry out for something a lot more real for us to digest in the realm of truth, sex and intimacy. Something that wasn't degrading, self-loathing or trite. Something with substance, that's well written and thought provoking. Where would such a thing come from in our society that wants women falling in love with psychopaths that they will never change? That we should never marry and have children with!
Author of Official Stories Liam Scheff, heard our call and accepted the task with great fervor.
The weekend after the debut of 50 Shades of Tripe, I was gifted a rough copy of Liam Scheff's new book, The Truth About Sex.
I started reading the book and immediately was in awe of the rawness of his life that he was sharing in this latest work. We're getting the story of his own discovery, something from the male perspective and something very real. I wanted to keep reading, to digest it all. I wanted to know more about what was going through his brain in each instance. I couldn't put the book down. I didn't want to. Reading how he loves, it reminds me of how I am loved, and how I love. You don't have to understand, but I do encourage the experience of the read.
The relationships and situations are all real, they echoed some thoughts and instances I can remember from my own life. The relationship he shared with Helen, the closeness and the comfort, the care and the love. These things are real, without ties or expectations. The confusion felt of trying to know if you like someone, love someone or just want to be near them because of the energy between you. Do we need to be monogamous? Are we monogamous?
Now here I am, a happily married woman who sees how this all makes sense and how maybe some people's lives could be a little bit easier or manageable if they could just be more honest about themselves and their needs and wants in this life. I agree, that not everyone is monogamous, but we're told we have to be a monogamous bunch or people in our own little pods, so far removed from nature or tribal living. When you look at the divorce rates and the broken families, especially through out North America, the 'New World', it's scary and certainly shows a sign of a much deeper issue. Perhaps the pressure from having to fit into this society is finally starting to brim to the point where we can no longer deny that things are not as we've been told they are. Our ideas of love, sex, marriage, life, are all false. Including the idea that we are all to be monogamous creatures who pair off, breed and live and die. Not everyone should do this or even can do this and many are in a way forced into it by overwhelming societal pressure.
Now I said early that I'm a 'happily married woman', and there's a reason for that. I sowed my oats, so to speak. I was not afraid of sex and I often would complain that when all I was looking for was a friend with benefits, I would end up with someone falling in love with me and that was often a problem. That sounds harsh, but it's the truth. I knew where my commitments began and ended and when I was younger the only things that mattered, were life, art and playing, learning, experiencing. I loved the people I was physical with, but not always did I want a full out relationship. Yes there were monogamous relationships ( I felt as if I couldn't ever get passed the 2 years mark) but I, very often, didn't want anything serious. I just wanted a friendship that shared without all the pressures of a relationship, without muddying the waters. That expectation wasn't something that was acceptable, and I didn't care. Friends often told me that I was wrecking my life by 'sleeping around' or that I would never find a husband that way. I remember well, I didn't want a husband at that time. In fact, until I met John, I didn't want any of that traditional, societal stuff. When John and I fell in love, we knew without a doubt that we had found 'our person'. The ones we wanted to spend our lives with.
Because of the way I lived from 16-23 years old, I was able to learn what I liked, who I liked, what I wanted and who I wanted to share what I wanted with. Most times I see couples settling with partners they are not happy with because they are afraid of not fitting into the societal norms. You're supposed to be married by __, own a house by __, have children by __. None of that felt right and to me, it still doesn't. It's all very cookie cutter.
Liam's book offers a glimpse into maybe what could be for people. A chance to be honest with themselves about who they are and what they want in this life. I fell in love with Helen and the words Liam used to describe her and their relationship. There is so much love there, in fact, there wasn't a relationship that he discussed in this book that I didn't get a loving feeling from. I'm not saying that this is the way I want to live my life, but I have lived it this way. I did explore my sexuality, amid strict scrutiny and much to the chagrin of others. None of that mattered to me and I really have to note that most people are too afraid of what others would say to allow themselves the opportunity to figure themselves out. I'm not now and never have been one of those people. In fact, I'm now in the market for a good sister/wife. Say what you will, but a good and trusted friend to share my life and family with, while she shares her life and family, seems less pod-like and more tribal. We're not talking about swapping partners, we're talking about caring for one another so that we're less alone and more supported. So our hard-working husband's have each other as much as their hardworking wives do. Not to mention the idea that having our kids growing together will make life that much more fulfilling together then apart. This is not the norm in North America, but is in Europe. European women are much less uptight about so much that North American women sneer at. Let them sneer, I don't care. When I was in Bali, Indonesia in my 20's, families lived in households of 16+ and the love radiating from those homes cannot be matched. In fact, coming back home to North America, I went through the worst cultural withdrawal and the lifestyle in Bali, has forever since called me back.
There are many layers to the onion that is life. We need to stop painting ourselves into the corners of the boxes that society has fitted us with. We fit in no box! No corners can hold us! We are human with animal instincts and tribal life desires. It's calling to us, we just have to accept that we're not what we've been molded to be. We are not what they'd like us to be. It's time to go back to the tribe.
Author: Cari-Lee Miller
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I am a seed burst forth from its shell. I have mingled and fought in the dirt. I am ready to kiss the Sun. *CLM
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