Tag Archives: respect

Don’t be sexualised.

6 Mar

On my way to work everyday, I walk past an advert telling me to detox. Promoting the detox product is a thin blonde girl with large breasts and a tiny waist wearing nothing but a skimpy bikini. The advert tells me I can loose weight and look like this by detoxing. But what it is really telling me is that I need to look like this girl and if I don’t, then I need to detox and loose weight. Basically, I’m not attractive unless I have a body like her…..Gee, thanks for building up my self-esteem!

Everywhere we go, in today’s culture, we are being sexualised. The concerning thing is that we don’t even know it. It has become normal to see sexualised images everywhere. We accept it. We don’t challenge it. Without even consciously knowing it, it is framing our value systems. It is framing the way we see the opposite sex, it is framing our expectations about relationships, it is framing what we wear and the behaviour we need to display to find love and acceptance.

The lie is you have to be sexually attractive to have power, to attract men to you, to be successful. Your intelligence, wisdom, personality, experience, gifts and talents do not mean anything. It’s just about being sexually hot and being sexually ready!

Music in today’s culture is objectifying women and promoting them as sexually ready. Video clips don’t show women saying ‘no’ to sex or not wanting sex – all it promotes is that women and girls are sexually ready.

Lets take Rihanna’s song ‘S&M’

Feels so good being bad
There’s no way I’m turning back
Now the pain is my pleasure
Cause nothing could measure

Love is great, love is fine
Out the box, out of line
The affliction of the feeling
Leaves me wanting more

Cause I may be bad
But I’m perfectly good at it
Sex in the air
I don’t care
I love the smell of it

Sticks and stones
May break my bones
But chains and whips
Excite me

This song promotes sex and bondage. How can we get a healthy understanding of sexuality when music artists are influencing young people in an unhealthy way – life is all about being bad and using sex as power.

Lily Allen song ‘Its Not Fair’ is another example. The song is about how she has a really great boyfriend but there is just one thing, he is really bad in bed. She explains what they do together in bed and how it’s ‘just not fair.’

What kind of message is this telling their audience? Sex is more important than having a guy that treats you well. Try before you buy, you have to make sure they are good in bed first. Another lie!

Having a good sex life takes work, time, effort and communication. Judging people on their sexual technique cheapens what sex was designed for – intimacy, equality, love, respect, bonding, uniting two people together, celebrating the journey of “two becoming one”, an act that is so beautiful nothing can compare to it. Pornography is no comparison.

Rather than going along with the ‘norm’, I challenge you to think about how our society is influencing our sexuality in an unhealthy way and speak up about it. Lobby below and make a difference.

Collective Shout – http://collectiveshout.org
Kids Free 2B Kids – www.kf2bk.com
Report inappropriate music videos, programs or ads – www.freeTV.com.au

What songs/advertising/magazines do you think portray an unhealthy perspective of sexuality?
How can we address this issue?
Comment below. Let’s start talking about this.

What are you wearing?

21 Jan

Whilst doing my weekly grocery shop, I noticed a girl in front of me cruising the aisles at Coles with her boyfriend dressed in shorts so short her butt cheeks were hanging out! Not something I really want to be seeing while shopping for bread and milk…. then driving through the city the other night on every street I saw girls hitting the town, walking to clubs dressed in the shortest of skirts and the highest of heels. Their legs were accentuated but their walk was awkward and unstable. Every step they took was a struggle. They looked so uncomfortable whilst trying hard to appear cool, confident and sexy. How comfortable can it be walking the city in 10-inch heels? But seriously, nothing was left to a person’s imagination, everything they had, was on display for all to see.

It made me think, do girls even have the slightest idea what message they are portraying? ‘I’m easy!’, ‘Take a look – do you like what you see?’, ‘Yep, I am up for whatever you are thinking’, ‘I’m really off limits but I can flirt with you’
& if they do, why do they not care what message they are giving off?

Let’s be honest, if you value and respect yourself and are confident in who you are as a unique one-of-a-kind individual, you wouldn’t need to dress in a way that cheapens who you really are. Girls, you don’t need to portray yourselves in a way that discounts your true worth – you are a valuable, precious daughter, a treasure worth protecting.

Provocative: tending or serving to provoke, inciting, stimulating, to stir up & arouse.

Dressing provocatively affects guys. It stimulates, stirs up and arouses guys and their sexual obsession takes over their mind and body. If you are wondering why guys only want one thing from you, you might want to think about what you are wearing, how you are acting and what you are speaking. Flirting, throwing yourself at guys and talking about sex all the time will give a certain message to guys. Is that the message you want to give off?

Remember some guys are trying to keep their thought life clean & pure and this can be extremely difficult when your body is on display and in their full view.

Everything about you, including what you wear, sends a message to others about who you really are. Attract people to who you are, not to what you wear.

Your sexuality is valuable. Protect it. Respect yourself. Cover that butt. Hide that cleavage.

Frame Your Life: Part III

23 Oct

Guard your heart

for out of it flows

the issues of life

Frame your life with what you want, don’t let others do it for you.  What your life will look like will depend on what you are willing to let in your life and what you will not accept.

IDENTITY IS NOT JUST ‘US’

Some of us when we get into a relationship can loose who we are. We don’t like what we used to like and we don’t do what we used to do. Our values, goals and vision for our life changes to be like the person we are dating.

Your individual identity is so unique, don’t loose it just because you are in a relationship. You are a person outside of your relationship.

CHEATING

Not a nice word hey. Betrayal. Disloyalty. Deception. Also not nice words. Unfortunately though, it is some people’s reality.

What are you boundaries around cheating? Is it ok if they were sorry? Blind drunk and didn’t know what they were doing? Ok because the other person took advantage of your partner or you? What about if you were on ‘a break’? Or if you don’t get caught, is that ok then?

If he/she cheated on you once, how will you know they won’t do it again? If you were cheated on while you were dating, why wouldn’t it happen when you’re married?

Faithfulness starts while dating & continues on through marriage. Marriage doesn’t fix someone’s faithfulness. It’s an active choice to be faithful.

KEEP YOUR FRIENDS

Ever had a friend that’s dropped you to hang out with their new boyfriend/girlfriend Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday! Before they know it….they haven’t spoken to you in weeks! What’s with that?!

You can have the relationship and keep your friends. It’s a choice and a wise choice to make cos what happens if you break up down the track and you have no friends to turn too?

Also, don’t be so insecure that you both have to be joined to the hip. You have goals, dreams, friends, family, education, work, hobbies and interests (just to name a few). There is GOLD inside you. Be confident in who you are as a unique one-of-a-kind individual. If you break up, your world won’t fall apart. There is so much more to you than just your relationship.

SECOND BEST

Why do people settle for second best? They are not prepared to wait for the right person, they don’t believe there is anyone better out there or they don’t believe they will find someone else, they would rather be ‘with someone’ than be alone or they think they can change or fix the person. Whatever the reason, it is generally motivated by personal fears and insecurities.

You are WORTH far more than to just settle for second best! Settling for second best is simply not trusting that there is better out there for you.

To avoid settling – know what you want and be prepared to wait. Go, hang out and get to know people but don’t jump into the first relationship on offer without considering if that person is right for you. View my post on ‘Is this person the ‘right’ one for me?’ for thoughts on knowing if they are the right one.

In the long run, you will be thanking yourself that you waited and are with the right person and happy.

VERBAL & EMOTIONAL GARBAGE

The words we speak have an impact on people’s lives around us. Sometimes we can tend to take for granted and not appreciate the people closest to us. Nevertheless, it’s not an excuse to mistreat people.

Maybe you find yourself in a relationship that is not very encouraging. Things might be great sometimes but other times it can get nasty…you might cop verbal, emotional or physical abuse. Regardless of the circumstance, abuse is NOT ok. It can start with name calling when an argument erupts and can lead to so much more.

If you are experiencing physical abuse, get out of that relationship now! It is not always an easy thing to do, so tell someone and ask for help. Don’t do it alone.

Draw a line on what verbal or emotional abuse you will or will not tolerate. E.g. should a girl accept being called a ‘bitch’ by her boyfriend?

Be aware of what emotional manipulation is. It is playing with your emotions so the other person can get what they want. E.g. “If you don’t have sex with me, you don’t love me.” You can love someone and not have sex with them.

GIRLS should be treated with value, respect and honour. GUYS should be treated with value, respect and honour. There is no difference if you are a guy or a girl. People are incredibly valuable and deserve respect and honour.

SHARING WITH YOUR FRIENDS

What do you tell your friends about your partner or relationship? Be careful how much intimate and personal information you share about your partner. They are telling YOU because they are building a trusting relationship with you. What they tell you is not always for you to tell others. Why break the trust that you have been working hard to build? It’s much harder to build trust back up again when it has been broken. We are often only vulnerable to one or a few people in our lives because we trust them. Don’t take that trust for granted.

& hey, why do we like to bag out our partners ex’s? Or our ex’s new partners? We think it will make us feel better but who really feels good after tearing someone else apart with horrible words. It doesn’t make us look good, in fact we look hurt, insecure or jealous. And here’s another thought, the ‘ex’ could actually be a nice person! Gossip is no conversation builder and doesn’t make anyone feel encouraged or empowered. You can be the bigger person – don’t go there in your conversations.

Frame Your Life: Part I

28 Sep

GUARD YOUR HEART
FOR OUT OF IT FLOWS
THE ISSUES OF LIFE 

 

When it comes to friendships, dating and relationships……. What is ok by you and what is not ok? How do you know things have gone too far? Where do you draw the line? Do you just go with the flow or are you certain about what you want?

What is a boundary?

A boundary is a balcony in a high-rise apartment to protect people from falling over the edge.
A boundary is a yellow line at a train station platform for people to stand behind to stop people from falling onto the tracks or get hit by an oncoming train.
A boundary is a signed marriage document, the public declaration to spend your life with one other person only for the rest of your life.

A boundary frames something; it makes a clear distinction between one thing to the other, it tells you how far to go and when you’ve gone too far. A boundary draws the line between what is acceptable and what is not acceptable, what is safe and not safe, what is healthy and what is unhealthy.

Boundaries can help us. They can protect others and us from getting hurt. Boundaries can allow us to experience the fullness of life – an abundant life. Think of a playground; once the playground boundary is established, it is clear where a kid can play and where it is out of bounds.

The good thing about creating boundaries is YOU can set your own. You choose who and what you let inside your ‘house’ and what you will keep out. Its kind of like ‘guarding your heart’…..you choose who and what you let into your heart and who and what you don’t. Throughout your life there will be thousands if not millions of choices to make, particularly when it comes to friendships and relationships. Choose WISELY. Give yourself the freedom to decide what you will allow in your heart and what you will leave at the front door.

What boundaries do you have in your life?

Is kissing a good friend a ‘no go’?
Is having a one-night stand ok with you?
Is sleeping with your boyfriend or girlfriend off limits?
Is cheating on your partner debatable?
Is taking back your partner who cheated on you dependable?

Its all too easy to go with the flow when it comes to our friendships and relationships…..do whatever feels good at the time without giving a second thought to our actions and our behaviours. At times we can get caught up in the moment and it might seem too hard to stop. Sometimes we can think we have not harmed ourselves or others and other times our ‘in the moment’ behaviour can get us in trouble, destroying relationships and hurting ourselves and others.

How can I set boundaries in my life?

It starts with the basics…. how would you like to be treated? Treat others that way.

  • What behaviours display respect to yourself? What behaviours display respect to others? What doesn’t?

E.G. You’re hanging out with a group of guys and they want to take photos of you doing sexy poses and maybe even some shots with your top off. Does this behaviour respect you? Are these guys displaying respect towards you?
What boundary do you have about your body? Available to anyone or off limits and reserved for that special someone only?

  • What is valuable to you? Another way of putting it is, what is important to you?

E.G. You have a close friend who you really don’t like in that way but you’ve had a few drinks at a party and you are feeling a bit lonely. Is it ok to sleep with your friend? Even if there are no feelings on both sides and its only a one-night thing?
If you value your friendship with this person and don’t want to hurt them or confuse your friendship with sex, you may have a boundary about keeping friends as friends and nothing more.

E.G. You’re in a relationship and you are not ready to have sex with your partner. So how far is too far? If you haven’t thought about that, you might find yourself in the heat of the moment and not know how to stop.
A boundary will help you clearly know what you are ok with and what you aren’t. Being uncomfortably explicit and writing out what is ok and what is out of bounds will help you and your partner keep within that boundary.

Sticking to them & living them out – Making boundaries come ALIVE.

Actions are always harder than speaking mere words. Many people can talk the talk but not many can walk the walk. It may not be the easiest thing to do but in the long run, you will be better for it and glad you stuck to what was important to you.

Look at the boundaries you have in your life and think about what steps you can take to live your boundaries out. What actions will you take? Who will you speak to for advice or accountability? Living out your boundaries will make your friendships and relationships a lot simpler and easier to enjoy.

Let’s take Joe and Mary’s relationship as an example. They have been dating for a few months and really like each other but they both strongly value their sexuality and want to save sex together for marriage. To keep what is important to them they need to set boundaries on their physical relationship.
How do they do that?

Firstly, they need to talk to each other about what is important to them in their relationship. What physical activity is ok and not ok? Where can their hands go and where can’t they go? What kissing is ok and what kissing is out of bounds? How will they know if they go too far? What will they do when things get heated? Who will they speak to if they want to get advice? Both of them need to AGREE on these things, as agreement is the first step in setting a boundary.

Secondly, they can do things that will make it easier for them to stick to their boundaries. For example, avoid being home alone together, sleepovers or holidays and sitting in the car late at night. All these things will tempt them to do things they may wake up the next morning regretting.

Thirdly, they can make themselves accountable to someone they respect and trust and this person can provide support and give them advice when they need it. It totally helps when someone encourages us to keep going and reminds us what is important to us, especially when we are feeling discouraged.

Finally, they don’t need to beat themselves up if they make a mistake and cross a boundary. Refocusing on their vision and what’s important to them and continuing to work towards it is way more beneficial. No one is perfect. It doesn’t matter how many times a person falls, what matters is if they pick themselves back up again.

What is important to you?
What do you value?
Decide on these things.
Choose what is right for you.
Guard your heart.
Frame your life with what you want.

What boundaries do you have? I’d love to hear them. Email sexthewholestory@hotmail.com

More to sex than mere skin on skin

18 Sep

When I was a kid, I LOVED Christmas morning. I was so excited about waking up in the morning and running downstairs to the Christmas tree to search for all the presents that had my name on it. My excitement made me not want to go to sleep. If I didn’t sleep, I could open my presents in the middle of the night and not have to wait till the morning. Oh the joy of Christmas morning! The excitement of seeing wrapped gifts with my name on it. The surprise on my face when I opened the gifts. It’s such a wonderful experience. It made me feel so special.

Every one desires to be loved, accepted and to belong. This is universal. It is intrinsic to our human make-up.  We were created for relationship.

Today’s culture is very much a sexualised culture. Sex is expected and assumed when you hook up with someone and especially when you enter into a relationship. But is this type of culture actually healthy for us and our futures? Are the people we are sleeping with even worth what we are giving them?

There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact.

Sex is deeply intimate and extremely vulnerable. It joins two people together as one. Sex deepens our love and bond with someone. It is life-creating and extremely relational. It was designed to be experienced in the confines of marriage where the devotion and commitment is for life – the ‘till death do us part’ commitment, the ‘no matter what happens, I’m sticking by your side’ devotion, creating a safe and loving environment for the couple to be completely exposed, vulnerable and intimate. Sex was created to seal and unify a marriage joining the 2 people as 1 – body, soul and spirit. It is the ultimate expression of LOVE. Powerful and completely beautiful!

Now there was a time when I couldn’t wait to see what I was going to get for Christmas. A few weeks before Christmas, I searched the whole house when my parents weren’t home. I knew that had already bought me gifts and I knew they were in the house somewhere. I finally found them in a cupboard. The gifts were already wrapped up with my name on it. This was going to be tricky. I carefully peeled the sticky tape off and slowly opened each side of the present making sure I didn’t rip the paper. It was exciting to see what gifts I was going to receive but once I knew what I was getting, I must admit, I felt a bit bad, a bit guilty, a little cheated that I had wrecked the surprise for myself on Christmas morning. When Christmas morning came, I tried to act surprised like I was opening my gifts for the first time. Truth be told, it just was not as special as it would have been if I didn’t take that sneak peak weeks before.

Our sexuality is a unique gift that we give to another person. Waiting for the right person and giving it to them in a committed, secure, long-term relationship makes the experience so special for both people. Awakening love before the right time can rob you of a beautiful experience and leave you feeling guilty and regretful. Think about this…. when I finally decide I want to spend my life with this person, what have I saved to give them?

Sex comes with an attachment.

After breaking up with my boyfriend that I had sex with, I felt deep rejection and heartache. Even though I knew that breaking up was the right thing to do, I felt a part of me was given to him that I wouldn’t be able to get back…..I was intimate and vulnerable with my boyfriend and from that I developed a strong connection to him. It made it even harder for me to not want to get back with him. I was left feeling unloved and lonely….looking back, I wish I didn’t sleep with him.” Elisa

When we have sex with one person, we get attached to them. We feel deeply connected with them and desire to be with them. Hormones oxytocin and prolactin are released in our brains making us feel a deep union with the person we’re having sex with. This explains why sex is designed in a ‘for-life committed relationship’. Casual sex – ‘friends with benefits’, ‘sex with no strings attached’ is not possible as sex comes with an attachment. We bond with the person we are having sex with and develop a deep connection with them.

Try before you buy. 

If you had a choice between a brand new fragrance or a tester fragrance, which one would you choose? Of course the brand new fragrance! The tester fragrance has been tried out before with many people wearing the fragrance. The brand new bottle has never been used.

 

“If I wait till our wedding night to have sex with my wife, what about if she is crap in bed? Then I will be stuck with her. It makes more sense to me to find out what she is like before I marry her.” Dean

Who wants to be the person “tried out” before bought? It cheapens a person down to their sexual performance and creates comparison. It doesn’t make a person feel special or unique. The gift of sex is cheapened and makes the sexual experience all about self-pleasure. And what about if the person you marry is good in bed but then turns bad? A virgin has nothing to compare their experience to.

A great lover is not just about how experienced they are in the bedroom or how many sexual techniques they can do. What makes a great lover is there ability to satisfy one person for their whole life and to be satisfied by one person for their whole life. To be a great lover requires work – effort, time & a willingness to learn. It requires openness and vulnerability. The sex shown in movies and through the media is fake. No ones sex life is as perfect as the movies portray – that’s why it’s a movie!

Sex can cloud a person’s view of their relationship.  Take sex out of the relationship and you will see what is left. Is it based on a solid foundation or simply mutual pleasure? Mutual pleasure will only last while its convenient.

Sex shouldn’t be a bandaid to fill intimacy. Pursuing the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy leaves us more lonely than ever…. We must treat someone in sexual intimacy like we want to be treated. Remember that you are fooling around with someone else’s future partner.

Our sexuality is valuable. It is a special gift and it is WORTH giving to only one person, in a life-long committed relationship, who will look after, cherish and appreciate it.

Sex and each other need to be treated with the upmost respect.

Is this person the ‘right’ one for me?

30 Aug

Bianca, 17 yrs, dates any guy who shows the slightest interest in her without giving a second thought if he is a great guy or if the relationship is going to work.

Matty, 18 yrs, has a few girls really into him and doesn’t know which one he should date. Does he pick one or date them all to see which one is ‘right’ for him?

Crystal, 24 yrs, hasn’t been in a relationship for years because she believes she hasn’t met anyone right for her. But does she actually know who is ‘right’ for her?

John, 20 yrs, has been in a relationship  with Sarah for a year but is not sure she is the right girl for him.

Ever found yourself thinking “How do I know if this person is the ‘right’ one for me?” or “What should I be looking for in a boyfriend/girlfriend?” Working this out before getting involved with a person can save you time, effort, energy and unnecessary heartache, especially if that person is indeed not the ‘right’ one for you.

So, how do you know? Here are some thoughts to think about….

Does this person bring out the best in me?
People influence us in either positive or negative ways. Some people influence us to step out of our comfort zone and encourage us to do things we never thought we could do. Some people influence us to do things that we don’t feel comfortable doing and may regret later. Stop and ask yourself if this person makes you want to be a better person. Do they inspire you to be the best person you can be? If yes, they could be a keeper.

How well do I know this person?
Sparks are flying, the chemistry is thick, the feeling is amazing and you both want to make it ‘Facebook official’. But how long have you know this person for? A night, a few weeks, a month??? Do you know their last name, their favourite food or anything about their family??? Why is that important?

Building a friendship first is the best way to get to know what a person is all about. Over time you can see how a person does life and how they handle the good, the bad and the tough seasons. When everything goes wrong or they are going through a rough patch, do they run away from their problems or do they face them head on and deal with it in a mature way? A person’s true character comes out over time. Its worth taking the time to find out what they are really like before jumping in headfirst.

What type of a friend is this person to others?
How they treat others is how they will treat you. If they are talking behind their friend’s backs, can you be sure they will not do the same with you? A person who values friendships and spends time investing into their friendships says a lot about how they will be in a relationship. Generosity with your time, words and effort goes a long way.

Sometimes it’s hard to forgive someone, especially if they have hurt you. But have you ever hurt someone and wanted his or her forgiveness? A person who writes off anyone who crosses their path in the wrong way will not have many long-term friends. The more you hang around someone the more chances they have of hurting you. The more chances they have of hurting you, the more opportunities you have to forgive. A relationship can’t last the distance without forgiveness.

Is this person a friend to my destiny?
People you allow into your life will either help or hinder your dreams. Who you hang around is who you will become. Being in a relationship will change you – for the better or the worst. Surrounding yourself with people who are supporting, encouraging and going in the same direction as you is key to achieving your destiny.

You can tell if someone isn’t really supportive about what you are doing. They don’t really show any interest in it or ask how you are going with it. They might persuade you to not go to footy training or the game or try and talk you out of staying home to study for that exam. This person is not a friend to your destiny. All the little decisions that you make, like studying for that exam that doesn’t seem like a big deal at the time, can have a big impact on taking you to where you want to go in the future.

Is this person easy to bring out & socialise with?
Dating is meant to be fun and a time where your social life expands to each other’s friends and family.

Are you worried about taking this person out because they won’t make an effort with your friends and you will have to babysit them all evening? Does this person just want to hang out with you and no one else? If you answered yes to 1 or both of these questions, then overtime your social life will be greatly impacted. This person may make you feel restricted, like you can’t be yourself or talk to who you want. Eventually, you may realise you don’t enjoy being around this person as much as you used to. If your partner doesn’t want you to hang around your friends or family, they are trying to isolate you. This is a BIG sign that your relationship is unhealthy. Get out before what is important to you is compromised to make them happy.

Does this person respect me?
Respect = acceptance & appreciation. To respect someone is to accept and appreciate who they are. It’s also about respecting a person’s decisions, beliefs and values. E.g. if you are feeling pressured to have sex and you don’t want to, your partner is not respecting you. If you are talked about behind your back, your partner is not respecting you.

Are your decisions, beliefs and values respected or is this person trying to change you? Respect is a key ingredient to a healthy relationship.
Looking for the ‘right’ person but haven’t found them yet??? Being single is a great time to focus on YOU. Many young people wish their single days away but you can use this time to focus on becoming the best person you can be – that’s so attractive! Don’t expect anyone to complete you because they can’t even if they tried. Instead, take responsibility for controlling your own destiny, waiting for someone to do it for you is a COMPLETE waste of time! Your life will only drift along unless you make something out of it. A confident person living a life doing what they love is so appealing. This time is precious and it won’t last forever. Give it your best and enjoy the season you are in.

And hey…one last thought. Remember a relationship is not just about you. It’s about putting your partners needs above your own needs. It’s about being selfless in your love, time and energy. If you’re not willing to put someone else’s needs above your own, then you’re not ready for a relationship, so don’t get into one. Stop chasing that guy or girl for their attention and spend that time focusing on you. It will be worth it in the long run.

Love to know your thoughts….post below or email sexthewholestory@hotmail.com

Have a great week!

🙂

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