“But how many people are actually polyamorous? It’s tough to gauge the numbers, but it’s currently estimated that 4 to 5 percent of people living in the United States are polyamorous—or participating in other forms of open relationships—and 20 percent of people have at least attempted some kind of open relationship at some point in their lives. Those numbers, however, are likely to increase, as a 2016 YouGov study, found that only half of millennials (defined as under 30-years-old) want a “completely monogamous” relationship.
So what exactly is polyamory? How does it differ from open relationships? And why are we seeing a rise in interest and practice? Let’s break it down.”
“It seems that every day the word compersion makes its way further into daily discourse. While its usage is by no means pervasively common, at least not yet, I’ve noticed it being uttered verbally or in print much more often lately. While mainstream dictionaries have yet to adopt and define the word as part of our standard lexicon, its use in everyday life appears to be here to stay.”
“The kink sexual preference is a greatly stigmatized one, and the psychology behind it misunderstood. Kink is believed to stem out of trauma, which is false; it’s perceived to bastardize the tender idea of making love, again false; and it’s considered ‘freaky’ and ‘not normal,’ guess: false. Understanding how kink develops and what kinky people get out of it are initial steps toward normalizing an integral aspect of human sexuality.”
“Italian researchers recently surveyed the sexuality of 266 Italian men and women who enjoy bondage, discipline, and sado-masochism (BDSM). The study population ranged in age from 18 to 74 and averaged 41. The researchers also surveyed 200 demographically similar men and women not involved in BDSM. The two groups reported similar feelings about their sexuality, but the BDSM players reported less sexual distress and greater erotic satisfaction. The researchers said they hoped their study would ‘reduce the stigma associated with BDSM.'”
Here is one exercise to begin developing positive self-talk:
Write down some of the negative messages inside your mind. Be specific, whenever possible, and include anyone you remember who contributed to that message.
Next, to those negative messages write down a positive truth in your life. Don’t give up if you don’t find them quickly. For every negative message there is positive, keep looking until you find them.
For example, you might write, when you make a mistake, you think, “I can’t do anything right.” Right beside that negative statement, your positive message could be, “I accept my mistake and am becoming a better person.”
Positive self-talk is not self-deception, positive self-talk is about the truth, in situations and in yourself. When negative events or mistakes happen, positive self-talk seeks to bring the positive out of the negative to help you do better, go further, or just keep moving forward.
Have you ever heard someone tell a child who is crying to stop? Maybe they lead with something like, “What are you, a baby?” Or maybe they add in some fear as well by saying, “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.” Oof.
Most of us cringe to think these things are being said to children (and they are) but are we aware of the more subtle ways we ourselves might be dismissing children’s emotions?
If you’ve ever caught yourself wanting to tell an emotional child to just stop, (so basically, if you are a human being) here are three things to keep in mind that will help you help kids process their emotions free from shame.
1) ALLOW FOR EMOTIONS: Kids can actually feel intimidated by their own emotions, especially when adults in their lives react negatively to the expression of those feelings. When we react to a child’s experience and make having big feelings “wrong”, no matter how inconvenient or annoying that experience might me, we are minimizing and at times denying that child the right to their own internal experience. And as tempting as dismissing and denying might seem because we think we are “nipping this bad attitude in the bud”, in actuality, we are likely making things worse; at times even increasing the likelihood that we will find ourselves back in this very place tomorrow. And really, who wants that?
The first step in helping kids learn to process their feelings is acceptance. We get to accept the fact that this child is feeling one form of not happy or another. Allow for emotions. Period. End of story. Whether you see these emotions as logical or ludacris is irrelevant. Hit a pause button on the inner dialog that wants to scream, “What is wrong with you!?!?” and make space for their emotions instead. You do not need to agree with someone’s emotions to make space for them. All you really need to do is allow for them.
In the face of screaming and whining, allowing is easier said than done, so it’s helpful to have a phrase in your back pocket you can turn to for strength. Mine is this:
“EMOTIONS ARE SACRED.”
For me this means that emotions are not right and they are not wrong. They just are. Emotions are safe to feel, they matter, and they are always allowed. Kids are simply exploring a whole new world of feelings and benefit greatly when the adults in their world support this process.
2) RECOGNIZE EMOTIONS: Once you’ve made space for big emotions, the next step is to help children learn to recognize their feelings and the feelings of others. If kids are expressing their big feelings with actions like hurting others or otherwise acting out, see these actions as a form of communication – a cry for help. The phrase I turn to for patience and strength in these challenging moments is this:
“MISBEHAVIOR IS AN UNMET NEED.”
This moves me into thinking, “What’s the need?!” instead of “What is WRONG with this child?!”. With my own energies centered, I am then better equipped to approach the situation, maintaining my boundaries and respecting the child at the very same time. Instead of punishment, when we center ourselves first, we are then able to help children:
Think about and express how they were feeling.
Draw a connection between their feelings and why/how they acted out.
Consider their thoughts, words and actions. Tools like this set of (free) printable calming strategies with cute pictures kids can color along with words (designed for ages 3 to about 9) from the Time-In Toolkit are helpful as are any number of play based approaches to nurturing social and emotional skills in kids.
When we help children process their actions in connection to their thoughts and feelings, free from punishment, shame and blame, we are teaching important social and emotional skills in the most powerful way possible… and that is by example.
3) MODEL FORGIVENESS: There are times that feel impossible for us to keep our cool. Take the mom in my last parenting class who’s son threw a glass of water at her… a challenging moment to be sure. Despite of our best intentions, we are going to get knocked off center. Instead of beating ourselves up for our anger and frustration in times like these, we can see them as a teaching moment for us to model self love and acceptance in the face of our own mistakes.
When we are aware of our own trigger moments, instead of beating ourselves up, we can simply apologize. The catch phrase we use in my home in the face of our teaching moments is this:
“MISTAKES HELP ME LEARN AND GROW.”
When we model self-love and forgiveness, children learn self-love and forgiveness. Share how you were feeling, what you might have done differently and something you learned. In doing so, you are teaching children that it is possible for us to learn from our mistakes free from shame.
Emotions in and of themselves are never a negative thing and everyday life affords us countless opportunities to support children in learning how to process their emotions. This is no small task, but the stakes are high and the rewards for doing so are even higher. Our very world and peace in our time depends on it.
Mom of four, author and parent educator Suzanne Tucker is the founder of Generation Mindful, a line of educational tools, toys and programs committed to connecting the generations playfully and nurturing the human spirit.
Pony Play can be one of the most beautiful and disciplined fetishes. Both Handling and Pony Play require discipline, training, and commitment to the experience. Many handlers will train under professional equestrians in order to learn the proper skills necessary to train their pony.