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A testament to wanting that which we cannot have…

Photo by Cosmic Timetraveler on Unsplash

I’m sitting on my porch swing.

It’s early July and hot. The sort of wet, sticky hot that we expect in the south, but takes us by surprise in Colorado.

It’s still. The world is asleep, or at least preoccupied. My world, specifically my children, is off busy doing something or other. I’m reading.

I’m reading about breath, about breathing, about the limits of humanity, or the apparent lack of limits of humanity.

What can’t we do, the author wonders? I wonder the same.

But there’s a scent on the breeze, and it takes me to you. It pulls me from my seat and draws me…

How to respond when our partners disclose sexual trauma

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I’m a big advocate for talking about sexual trauma in relationships.

In my opinion, discussions about past traumatic experiences are not only helpful, they’re necessary. How can one be expected to tread bravely into the unknown jungles of loving without learning about the poisonous plants? How can one effectively cultivate the safety of deep intimacy without understanding their partner’s history of past hurt?

The thing about sexual trauma is that it doesn’t often just go away. Sure, we can work toward resolving it through therapy, meditation or meds, and sometimes people do overcome their wounds. But for many of us…

Slow mornings with you are sacred

Photo by Ahtziri Lagarde on Unsplash

I’ve written tens of thousands of words in honor of the raucous devouring of bodies that is passionate, unencumbered sex. Through those words I’ve begun to unravel the mysteries that carnal intimacy embodies.

I’ve written still more about the tender bend and sway of gentle lovemaking, leaning into the lilt of early afternoon, or the meager birdsong breeze of six am. That quiet sweetness and loving embrace is honey to the soul, thick and satisfying, full of life and vitality without needing to be loud, demonstrative or overly eager.

But there’s another world which we’ve discovered to be the sweetest…

The painful advice so many need to hear

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I never knew good love until I learned to settle.

Not settle as in give up those things that are important to me for the illusions of happiness or fulfillment, but settle like the silt out of muddy water which makes room for clarity as it steeps in stillness.

In today’s hyper-connected world, the internet abounds with the idealistic spew of youthful optimism dangerously combined with millennial entitlement.

As I write this, I’m 30. As a millennial, I understand the concept that we must fight for what we believe in. We must never give in to the devilish temptations of…

And how to do it better.

Photo by Alexandru Zdrobău on Unsplash

Holding space is hard. When our lovers, friends, or mothers come to us with a laundry list of grievances against the world, it can be immensely challenging to know how to respond.

Most of the time, our immediate response is to solve. We want to solve their problems, find their solutions, and move on.

The challenging thing is that we believe on the surface that our attempts to solve are philanthropic. We think we’re trying to help. And maybe sometimes our eagerness to fix the situation does arise from a genuine desire to alleviate their suffering.

But my bet is…

This probably isn’t what you’re expecting to hear…

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

A real man knows that sexual intimacy starts in his words, in his approach. He knows that whether he comes on strong or eases his way in, his character and his posture serve to communicate the purity of his intention.

A real man honors consent every step of the way but trusts himself enough to seek it in a million sensual songs so that his loving does not devolve into a legal contract of initialed clauses and some punctuating, officiated orgasm.

He always proceeds in the name of truth and trust and safety.

He remains present. He touches her in…

Here’s what it feels like to be ripped in two

Photo by Kimi Albertson on Unsplash

I’ve found myself processing a lot of grief and anger over the last couple weeks.

It’s par for the course whenever I enter a new relationship. The frustration I feel over the dissonance between my life now and what I always envisioned for myself brings me to my knees as I sit in the uncomfortable reality of living two lives.

In one life, I am like a boy again, blissfully enamored with a new partner, the two of us enjoying all the radiant glory of New Relationship Energy. …

We may no longer be husbands, but we will be fathers forever

Photo by Jimmy Dean on Unsplash

It is my third Father’s Day waking up alone. Downstairs, I can already hear my kids screaming at each other over trivial things, and I know that these are my burdens to bear today.

There is no mother here to float downstairs on angel’s wings and lure them into helping bring me coffee in bed.

Instead it will be me, and I will do it with a smile, because when it’s just us — just the kids and I, and there’s no one else watching — those often happen to be the sweetest times.

Then I’ll make my own coffee.

But I’m not complaining.

Here’s to the loves that come easy

Photo by Jamie Brown on Unsplash

How many songs have been written about excruciating love? How often have we heard the tales of forlorn lovers, who long and long and long for each other, separated by war, distance, conquest or family, eventually falling into bed together against all odds? Or what about the unrequited love that inspires novels, epics and suicides?

All around us, the poetic world draws its inspiration from that wry muse of heartbreak. To the inexperienced, it might seem as though love and agony are one in the same. …

Griz Emerson

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