Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2014-02-13

My Second Session of Relationship Coaching with the Lesbian Love Guru

This is the second entry in a series about my experience Relationship Coaching with Christine Dunn-Cunningham, the Lesbian Love Guru. Follow the lesbian love guru tag on the blog to catch all the entries!

My not-yet girlfriend and I had our second session of relationship coaching the week after we began. Christine suggested we continue our coaching separately. It’s counterintuitive to how I pictured this coaching would occur; I imagined we’d both be together on skype with Christine, but instead we each take thirty minute separate calls with her. Since we tend to be together when it happens, the other hangs out in the living room with music playing.

Being out of earshot enables real talk with Christine about what’s happening. Often if you explained a problem in your relationship to a third party, you would use really different language than if you were together. I find it a relief not to think about Dara’s feelings when I’m explaining something. I feel like I can get right to the solution without spending extra time sugar coating an issue.
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Prior to the second session we had each filled out intake forms for coaching and sent them to her as well as one another. The intake form reinforces Christine’s confidentiality agreement.

The issue of confidentiality is paramount to this [coaching] relationship. My understanding is that nothing in this [coaching] relationship is to be discussed outside of our conversations. There are times when references to others may be helpful, however I would not ever mention a name or person that would lead someone to infer the discussion was about you as a client.

The rest of the intake forms were about our future visioning, setting out goals and what we think is limiting us. I liked that we shared them with each other because sometimes it’s good to see what the your sweetie is expressing in terms of goals for an ideal love life and how they see their future. What if your big goals are really incompatible? That’s important to talk about!

In my one-on-one session with Christine we focused on what was going on for me at that moment. This had a little less to do with my relationship and more to do with how I was feeling with my own time management. One of my goals this year is to get more structured about how I use my time. I am also really worried about caregiver fatigue because Dara has breast cancer and I’m her primary caregiver. Time management is important because I need to make sure I prioritize my self-care, which is easy to let fall by the wayside when you’re only dealing with things that are “bleeding.”

20140213_124617At her first chemo appointment, as the awesome nurse Erin at Sloan-Kettering was “pushing” the first dose of chemo poison, Dara sang Alice Cooper’s “Poison.” I would have gone with Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” which might do more to explain our communication issues than anything else.

Even though caregiving isn’t all that taxing (yet), it is a lot of time. After her surgeries was a lot of letting her rest and heal while I took on the lion’s share of the housework. Making sure we’re eating whole, healthy foods is another thing I’ve taken on 90% of the time. Her cancer diet is pretty restrictive, which means most of what I make is from scratch. Add to that we both work to only eat humane meats, which requires special trips to the butcher. I feel extremely grateful for my work from home lifestyle because when I plan well I can be cooking while working. But my time management can really use some improvement so that the planning part of that intention actually happens!

20140212_203059I highly suggest this infinitely customizable pizza casserole recipe, passed along to me by my dear friend JLV.

Christine suggested a Tony Robbins tool called “Rapid Planning,” which helps to ensure what you’re doing is in line with your priorities. I’ve begun implementing it in stages and so far it is helping me be mindful of my priorities. Just because something is urgent (bleeding) doesn’t mean it’s important and I need to remember that.

She also taught me a grounding exercise. When I got on the phone I told her I was feeling really spazzy and she did a meditation with me that was really quick and powerful. She’s offering an MP3 of the grounding meditation on her website for free if you click the link. I love a guided meditation and am totally keeping this on my phone for when I need a 30 second reminder that I’m right here, right now, one with the universe.

Dara and I usually talk about our sessions afterward–highlights and tools. She got a tool to work on for homework about how she responds to my emotions. I have really Big Feelings sometimes* and my face is a billboard–I usually don’t want to express myself right away but I can’t help it! Often what I feel immediately isn’t what I feel ultimately once I’ve had time to digest my reaction. My emotional reactions have historically been very difficult for Dara to handle, as she hates disappointing me or hurting my feelings. This has been difficult for many of my past loves.

20140213_111246I thought it was important to wear something cute to chemo.

Christine suggested a tool she calls “Holding the Bucket” where Dara doesn’t actually have to do anything but witness and recognize my feelings. She doesn’t need to take them on or feel bad for hurting me. I actually love this tool because it gives me a chance to have my Big Feelings and later apply the tools I have to respond instead of react and engage in my process without worrying about her reaction.

“Holding the Bucket” helped Dara prepare for a difficult conversation she wanted to have with me that we did some more work on getting geared up for during our third session. Dara said it helped her see that she didn’t have to take my feelings so personally, since they were about me and my process not necessarily about Dara.

Dara also told me she had been triggered by something that happened between us the night before this session. It was a relief to be able to talk to someone who was such an impartial party and a great listener.

I am really enjoying my experience working on my relationship with Christine’s help. I was pleasantly surprised at how skilled she is at working with folks on an individual level. She works with singles, couples and poly permutations. Experiencing how she is able to guide me one-on-one, though it’s centered on things coming up in my relationship, definitely enforces how awesome she is with singles looking to break down their limitations on finding and experiencing the love relationships they want.

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Christine offers a limited number of free introductory thirty minute calls every month. Twelve of you signed up last month. If you want to try her out, click here and sign-up! You’ll get to know Christine and find out if she’s a good fit for you, as a single, couple or poly permutation! (Even though she’s a “Lesbian” Love Guru she actually works with all gendered folks on all parts of the gender and sexuality continuums.)

*In my natal chart I have a Scorpio Moon.

2013-05-10

The Healing Awesomness of Crygasms!

Three years ago someone I respect and love very much, a lesbian event producer who is a pretty big name in a certain set of lesbian circumstances, was shocked that I hadn’t watched any episodes of the Real L Word. I was baffled that she had even seen it and her advice to me was, “You should at least watch one episode and know what they’re putting out there and calling lesbian.”

I took it as a fair point and it so happened, days later I was in a hotel room with Showtime and the Real L Word was on. I watched the one requisite episode and was horrified that the episode began with interviews of the cast about girls crying during sex. One of them in particular stood out with her horror about girls crying during sex. It was so shaming and judgey, I felt so gross about it. I was unimpressed that a show about lesbians was so sex shaming.

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Look, it’s Fancy Feast in a big TV! Real Queer Word! (Even though Fancy is actually into boys, she’s real queer.) Photo by Courtney Trouble.

I wondered how many fresh or curious queer girls were watching the episode and felt ashamed or bad about crying when they were having sex. I felt sad for them. Crying during sex isn’t just “being a chick” or “being needy,” as was characterized in those interviews, it’s a great physiological reaction that often means different things for different people. And, if it happens when you’re having sex with someone, it probably doesn’t mean what you think it means!

Luckily, I feel pretty secure in my sexuality and I didn’t let that person’s judgement affect me. In fact, I feel like it says a lot more about her sex life than anyone else’s. But I want to make it clear to the world, to anyone who has felt like a weirdo about crying during sex that crygasms can be awesome, normal, magical and healing.

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More Real Queer Word shots by Courtney Trouble. Dreamboat Johnny Valentine manages a couple of awesome blogs, including a tumblr about vintage butches!

I’ve cried maybe a dozen times in my life during sex, with about maybe four of my sex partners, and they were all people who were lovers for some length of time. I’m not sure what the alchemy is but it’s got something to do with my overall life emotional state, the quality, vigor and angle in which I’m being penetrated and a certain level of intimacy that sends it over the edge. Sometimes it’s a weeping after it’s over, sometimes it’s just a straight up sobbing cry fest.

Since it doesn’t happen very often, I never thought about how or when to tell my lovers that it might happen and what they should do when it does. But then I was having such unsavory reactions sometimes that I thought it was a good idea to warn people. Not like, make a big deal out of it, but once I’m at the couple months with someone mark I mention casually what might happen and what I’d like them to do if it happens.

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The divine Courtney Trouble.

I went through a couple of times where the person sort of freaked out and stopped having sex. One time someone just stopped and then made the crying about them and it actually wasn’t about them at all and I was sort of annoyed and offended. That ended up with me comforting and reassuring them, while still feeling sort of bereft and emotional. (Which, also, helped me see a real disconnect in how we were relating and was one of the last times I slept with that person.)

What I ask of my lovers now, during a casual moment mentioning that hey I might cry sometime, is that they stay in the act and then later check-in about it. Usually I don’t want them to stop, and I’m the kind of person who is aware enough of my boundaries and am a good sex communicator if I need to stop. Probably I want a power cuddle after. The tears are cathartic in some way, and relate to the release I feel during sex anyway. Also, I reassure them it’s probably not about them.

Since it usually happens with someone I really know well, I was shocked when it happened to me once the second time I slept with someone. We were on like hour five and I thought to myself, “OMG I cannot cry in front of this person so soon,” and I willed it to stop. I still remember the song that was playing, I’m not sure if those Mumford & Sons had anything to do with it.

Crying is really good for you. It’s a good release emotionally, and it is a great activity to unblock the heart chakra. I’m not looking to crygasm every time but I’m not really afraid of it when it happens. I really like that quote, “The cure for anything is salt water, sweat, tears or the sea.” I think all of those could be well-intermingled with sex.

If a crygasm happens with you or a partner, pause and check-in about whether you want to continue, and know that the crying might not be a bad thing. It’s totally natural and happens sometimes! But also be ready for them not to want to continue. Maybe it’s a deep trigger for them and they just need to stop. Or maybe it’s just they’re so tired they can’t keep from crying (have you ever been so tired you can’t stop crying?)

Crygasms during sex are natural, normal and awesome and if I had the Real Queer Word I would make that explicit on that show.

ADDENDUM!

The night this was published I hosted Yes Ma’am and a bunch of people were talking about this blog post! My friend Jacqueline said the funniest thing, “If I ever cried during sex and someone stopped fucking me, I’d not only be a fat, crying person in their bed, I’d be a fat, crying, angry bitch in their bed!” I laughed for a long time. See why it’s good to check in with your partners?

2011-10-18

GAY SEX WEEK: The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Better Sex

Hi friends and welcome to NATIONAL QUEERFATFEMME.COM GAY SEX WEEK, where each day this week I am going to talk about GAY SEX to increase LGBT presence in the media. Monday I addressed how to find other people to have gay sex with you. Today we’re chatting about how to have better sex.

I’m calling this GAY SEX WEEK in a satirical way in order to increase the presence of GAY SEX in the media (in reaction to a HuffPo article calling for less sanitized GAY SEX in the media) but really I mean queer sex.

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Miss Mary Wanna making it rain at the Zombie Queer Cabaret I produced in 2009.

I want to make explicit that my working definition of GAY SEX is any sex that a queer person has who wants to call it sex. What gets you off? That’s GAY SEX. What counts as GAY SEX to you today might not tomorrow and that’s okay. Variety is one of the very best attributes about GAY SEX.

Most of the links in this post are Not Safe For Work (NSFW) just so you know.

Here at QueerFatFemme.com I try to make it clear that there are no queer gatekeepers. For example, Femmes are still queer even when they are doing it to cisdudes. So when one of my Femme pals started doing it to a cisdude and reported back that the cunnilingus was surprisingly great (“Better than a lesbian! Best of my life!” she shockingly announced) I took my charm and talk show host realness to the source. Hanging out with this boy I asked him “So what made you so great at eating pussy?” (To be fair there was a lot of bourbon involved.)

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Talk show host realness. Zombie-style.

He told me he read a book! A pussy eating book.*

Mindblowing Sex: A Woman’s Guide

I heart Diana Cage and think you should buy all of her books.

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When this happened again to another friend who started dating a nerdy cisboy I knew there was a theme–some people are just naturally good in bed and others take that natural talent and add to it by studying ways to please their partners. To sum up–nerds are good in bed! You can study and get better than you already are!

So I asked around to my nerdy friends who are rumored to be good in bed what their favorite resources happen to be and created a little round-up.

One time on FemmeCast my friend Eden said that the key to being good in bed is to “never fall in love with your own line”–everyone’s body is different and you’re going to have to learn to pay attention to what your partner responds to and what they want. A trick that works on Femme A might not work on Femme B. (It might, though, so there’s always fun in trying.)

Communicating with your partner is the best reference guide. Listen to what they have to say about what feels hot to their bodies, how they like their bodies referred to and respect their boundaries. I firmly believe this is a conversation to have outside of the bedroom. Over dinner, perhaps, or over cocktails. It’s just a lot less vulnerable than getting a critique while you’re all naked and sweaty. Also, ask about fantasies and things they would like to try out. And bring some fantasies about what you would like to do to them to the table. I never even considered the magic of female ejaculation until a partner had studied up on it and brought it as a suggestion.

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Heather and Damien as Zombie Femmes. Genius.

One friend suggested these basic tomes to learn how to be a good and versatile lover.

Orgasms by Lou Paget.

The Good Girl’s Guide to Bad Girl Sex: An Indispensable Guide to Pleasure & Seduction by Barbara Keesling Ph.D.

This same friend also suggested “The occasional men’s magazine, astrology guide, watching queer porn like QueerPorn.TV and the classic Crash Pad.”

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Me, one of my favorite porn stars Lorelei Lee and Bambi Galore.

Since I am engaging in some sex Real Talk from my own life this week, I will fully admit to having been the grateful recipient of a lot of sex tips from Maxim Magazine. Like everything geared towards heteros and not queers, take what you like and leave the rest, but those men’s mags round up some good advice, much of which is interesting to women. Some of the best sex I’ve had started with a tip a lover read in Maxim.

Her final recommendation was Urban Tantra by Barbara Carrellas, who is a queer femme. I’ve been very curious about this book since I took a class given by Barbara–I like the link between sex and spirituality.

I can’t recommend Urban Tantra highly enough!

I asked a gay boy friend where he goes to learn more about sex. He said “I’ve always learned new things from other gay men. They’re really willing to teach you–hand’s on. It’s a great way to pick up boys.” In fact, he said, men rarely won’t or don’t talk about sex. (I am sure this is different for lots of folks but I thought it was a neat way to combine a thirst for knowledge with getting laid.)

My favorite place to go for information about sex and sex techniques is Autostraddle. If I want to know more about something or try something new I’ll google [the sex act I am looking for] + Autostraddle.com. They have hard working editorial staff publishing round-ups at the end of each week on NSFW Sundays.

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AfroTitty. Meow.

It was via Autostraddle I found KittyStryker’s “F*ck Me, I’m Fat: A Hot Guide to Fat Sex.” It is a pretty exhaustive round-up of fatty sex tips. I was ready to have more to add but by the end I was like, “Well, that’s most of it.” My addition to the fat sex round-up is to consider wearing a strap-on on your belly instead of closer to your crotch for better leverage. I had a lover pull that on me once and we were able to change things up a lot.

Zines are a super rad resource and there is an amazing zine called Fucking Trans Women. Issues are available on the website as a PDF and I think it is well worth it–how-to guides, sex stories, told by trans women for trans women and their lovers.

It can be sort of alienating to read all this stuff about becoming a better lover when you don’t have someone handy to try things out on, so I suggest learning how to be a better lover to yourself. This is a set of skills that will never expire. My friend Matie’s store Self Serve Toys in New Mexico has a great guide to trying out what works for you sex toy-wise and it’s a locally owned queer and feminist business that ships worldwide. You can even call them at the store and ask questions and get recommendations.

I just stumbled across some good FREE EDUCATIONAL PORN on another feminist sex toy store website, the Smitten Kitten. They star queer femmes Tristan Taormino, Courtney Trouble and Dylan Ryan among others and seem pretty rad. (I am having trouble loading them on my macbook so I can’t get them to go past the first minute.) Check them out and let me know what you think!

Also, don’t forget now and again QueerFatFemme.com has the good sex tips. Lola Dean’s time-tested blow job tips are really great!

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Lola Dean!

So, okay, I hope you acquired new resources from this post and have some really great new stuff to learn about GAY SEX for NATIONAL QUEERFATFEMME.COM GAY SEX WEEK.

*Here I am linking to Amazon for book buying but I think that you should get your sex ed books from your favorite feminist sex toy store. However, if you want to buy online and use my linky to get anything at amazon (whether I link right to it or you go rogue and buy a Wii) I get a tiny referral fee and it helps me buy more queer books.

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