Share How To Intimate Relationships, Sex, , And Me : Please Read My Story And Know You. My background Before I begin, let me make it clear. My perspective is biased. Guess what? Everyone's perspective is biased. At least I know and admit mine is. Perspective is often just another word for opinion. You know what about opinions, right? My first "serious relationship With " began when I was 16. I had a couple of so-called puppy love relation ships prior to that. Anyway, that relationship later (age 19) became my first marriage, resulted in me being a father for the first time, and later ended in divorce at age 24. : Since my first divorce there has been a lot of water under the proverbial bridge: [*]I would not be in another "serious relationship" for another 10 years [*]I became a daddy for the second time with a woman I never married [*]I remained unmarried for 32 years [*]I got remarried and divorced again after 2 ½ years [*]Had several failed "serious" relationships [*]Had many casual or not-so-serious-relationships [*]Spent the better part of ten years totally celibate [/list] I am currently 61 and have developed a very distinct point of view that is not what is considered normal, if there is such a thing as normal. Does that make me a , a , or a social misfit? Perhaps, but I don't really think that's the case. I think it's more a matter of coming to terms with who and what I really am at my core and what may have been the case all along. I just didn't know it or couldn't admit it to myself, others, or both myself and others. Going forward, I blame no one for my past. I don't even blame myself. It's not to say there isn't plenty of blame to go around but it does no good to point the finger at anyone. On the other hand, I take FULL responsibility for my own thoughts, feelings, words, actions, and non-actions presently, in the past, and the future. : Here goes I posit that the accepted and I guess what is considered the normal standard(s) and social mores regarding sexual relation ships and other intimate relation ships are badly flawed. Furthermore, they do not promote honesty and truth. Why do I say such things? I will answer with a question. If the current standard is for people to be in exclusive and/or monogamous relation ships, why is the divorce rate so high and why do so many people cheat? Why are websites, that I will leave unnamed, that promote "cheating" so popular? I'm sure a lot of people will have many reasons that are based on morality, religion and more about why. It's because the idea of exclusivity and monogamy is flawed. Am I condemning exclusivity and monogamy? : Absolutely not! If that's what people really want and they're willing to do what it takes, I say go for it. Who decided it's the only way to go or the best way? It wasn't me. Seriously, how many people will be truly happy with one person for the rest of their life? How many people are actually honest about the answer to that question? How many people have found themselves lying about their true feelings, not to mention their actions? I admit I was one of those people. Notice I said WAS? I'm done pretending! On a different note, I believe if people are truly happy with one another and really don't want to be with anyone else, there is nothing more powerful and greater than a 100% that actually includes compatibility. Let's face it, it's rare. : The real issues I believe at the core of it all are two core issues: [*]Jealousy [*]Shame [/list] I doubt I'm not the only one who is jealous. It's a normal human emotion and is at the root of a lot of problems. People are naturally attracted to others. That includes sexual attraction. It's the way it is. If it wasn't that way, none of us would be here. People think about their attraction to others but so many are simply afraid to admit it. Furthermore, what it often boils down to is people want what they want but are afraid to think about their mate being with someone else. That's where the jealousy enters the scenario. So, what happens is, rather than be open, honest, and truthful, people cheat. That may not always be the case, but it is certainly common. There are many reasons why people cheat and I won't say more than that here. The reason so many people are unable or unwilling to be open and honest is because of shame. They're ashamed of what others will think of them or what they'll think of themselves. They are victims of a severely flawed system of belief. : I think it's tragic. Yes, I speak for myself. Am I saying everyone should have no discretion where sexual desire is concerned? Again, absolutely not! What I am saying is it's a matter of personal choice and too many people are caught up in a way of thinking that does not allow them to be themselves without cheating. The system does not promote honesty and truth although people want to believe it does. : Acceptance Another issue that may be the biggest issue of all is actually not about acceptance but lack of acceptance. People have a very difficult time accepting themselves and others. A large part, if not the major part, are for the reasons mentioned above. Keep in mind acceptance does not mean we have to like something or someone. It also does not mean we need to understand. Acceptance is the realization that something or someone is exactly as it is and allowing it to be. A program I believe in promotes the idea that acceptance is the answer to all my problems. Does that mean we should allow anything or anyone to steamroll us, take advantage of us, or harm us in any way? Seriously , do you need to ask? I think you know the answer to that. However, before we can even hope to accept others, we need to accept ourselves. Too many people have no clue who they really are. To make matters worse, whether they realize it or not, they try to find themselves in someone else. Along the way, again, whether they realize it or not, they try to manipulate their mate(s) and it simply doesn't work. So what happens? A lot of them cheat. Some do more than that. I ask you, is it cheating if everyone agrees to the rules or non-rules, whatever the case may be? Is it cheating if no one is cheated? Isn't it also cheating when we cheat ourselves and one another by not being ourselves and not allowing others to be themselves all in the name of a flawed system? I believe that is the worst kind of cheating there is. : Sex My first questions are why are the words sex and respect so often inter-related? Why is it, especially in the case of women, that the belief that sex is disrespectful if out of wedlock or an exclusive relationship? I have definite thoughts and theories about why it is and how it got started but I won't delve into that here. I leave it to you to decide for yourself how you really feel about it and why. Sex and respect are mutually exclusive terms. Don't confuse them, regardless of who taught you they're not mutually exclusive. Someone who understands respect and is respectful is respectful all the time or as much as is humanly possible. : A disrespectful person is prone to being disrespectful at any given time. I think a big part of the problem is that because so many of us have had it pounded into our heads that these two words are somehow inter-related, way too many people simply never learned how to deal with either sex or respect. As open as our society has become in regards to sex, for the most part it's still a dirty little secret that people simply are unwilling or unable to deal with. It's a tragedy. How many relationships have been torn apart simply because the lack of understanding about sex? I'm not simply referring to the actual practicing of sex. I'm referring more to the fact that people do not allow themselves and their mates to be honest and truthful. How many relation ships have ended because of a cheating mate? : Is sex really the issue? If cheating is the real issue, how is that and why is that? I can't answer the question for you. It took me long enough to figure it out for myself and how it applies to me and my life. If you haven't done that, I suggest you do. There have been two periods in my life, one for about 6 years, and another for nearly 4 years where I was completely celibate. I'm not bragging. I don't say it for any other reason than because it's true. I will say that both periods were not my first choice, but as much as I hate to admit it, they were both because of choices I made. No, I wasn't incarcerated. No, I was not on a mission. I won't go into the details here. I bring it up and into this writing because I want to make it perfectly clear it did not kill me. On the other hand, it forced me and I do mean that literally, to look at sex from a completely different perspective. Do I recommend it? NO! Would I do it again? Not if I can help it, but if for whatever reason I had to, I already know I'd survive. I see no reason why anyone should deprive themselves of such a natural and enjoyable thing, not the , but sex. Regardless if someone chooses or the complete opposite is also a matter of choice. There's a lot of judgment surrounding other people's sexuality and/or lack thereof. That's another issue for another writing. The fact that judgment is so prevalent simply affirms that people think about sex a lot. Rather than deal with their own issues, they spend their time talking about and trying to figure out others' sex lives or lack of one. : MYOB!` : Conclusion Every one of my failed relation ships are and were the result of lack of acceptance, compounded by unrealistic expectations of myself and others-every single one. The level of attempted and real manipulation that occurred in every case was absurd. I admit to taking part in the manipulation process and lack of acceptance myself. To the best of my knowledge and ability that's changed. Meanwhile, I still found myself involved in relation ships that were full of manipulation and lack of acceptance whether I contributed to it or not( ). In at least three cases that I have been a part of, when I stopped allowing HER to manipulate me and trying to change me, SHE got frustrated and it was only a matter of time before the relation-ships ended. What I find very troubling about it all is that the three relation ships I am referring to, as well as every other failed relationship I've been involved in, were all in the name of trying to adhere to a flawed system that does not work and that does not promote honesty and truth. : It's a tragedy. There are too many alternatives that actually do work if people can learn to accept themselves and others for who and what we and they really are. If people can learn to deal with their own jealousy and understand the shame they probably are dealing with has been learned. We weren't born with shame as far as I know. : Bob is over age 60. He is a retirement planning and safe money professional who specializes in life insurance products. The name of his company is A Bulletproof Life, which is the 5 F's: Food, fitness, finances, fulfillment, fun and is driven by his motto: Honesty, respect, best effort .