Why We Decided to Close Our Relationship & Go Back to Monogamy

For nearly three years, my partner & I have been seeking to merge our strictly monogamous relationship with what we have found most intriguing: polyamory.

It all started with a confession on his part, where he very carefully confided in me that he felt that his capacity to love was deeper than just me. I remember listening to him speak & feeling like my heart was being pulled slowly out of my chest.

So many emotions washed over me in that moment—confusion, devastation, admiration (that he could speak so confidently his truth made my heart swell full with respect), deep violation. My entire world was collapsing before my eyes, & at the very height of my emotions, I contemplated divorce.

It took several days before my heart began to soften, which was prompted by the realization that his confession, though incredibly emotionally disruptive, was merely a confession, not a request to switch over to free love right that moment.

We had a series of conversations, most of them gut-wrenching & sob-inducing, & came to one final agreement: His fuller capacity to love was noble, but not mutual, & I simply wasn’t OK with his polyamorous tendencies being actualized.

He understood & agreed to essentially “shut off” his desires to open.

And so it was. The topic wasn’t discussed very often after that.

Several months later, I fell in deep love/lust with a female companion. It was completely unexpected. It shook me to my bones. I felt like a hypocrite, & that, once more, my entire world was falling out of orbit. It was then Jonathan’s turn to be compassionate, & he gave much so much grace & patience as I worked to figure out what all of it meant.

Even though nothing ever physically manifested with my love interest & I, the overwhelming emotions I experienced during that time were enough to change my idea of polyamory. Suddenly, I understood what it meant to both love & lust after multiple people at the same time.

During this time, we sought through books, lectures, podcasts, & hypothetical conversations to make sense of the truth that was circling throughout our consciousness: That perhaps polyamory was more ingrained in us (in me!) than we thought. Our minds spun even more so after reading the book Sex at Dawn, which pretty much proved scientifically that monogamy amongst humans wasn’t the most natural. We couldn’t help but think that we somehow didn’t fit into exclusive partnering very well.

Thus began our experiment into opening up.

I went on a few dates with women. He declared his attraction toward close, unsuspecting friends. I put up a “Married & Available” profile on OK Cupid. We attended Poly Meetups, unabashedly flirted with a lot of good-looking people, & had many intense discussions together as we went through every sort of What If? scenario imaginable.

We played like this for about three years, experimenting with how far we could go, opening ourselves up to people & experiences, & in some cases practically holding up a neon-green signed that screamed, “We’re open!”

And it never got us anywhere.

I was having brunch with a friend a few months ago, & we got on the topic of relationships. I mentioned to her that my partner & I had been seeking to have a polyamorous relationship for a few years, & as I did, I was surprised at my indifference toward the admission.

Usually, this was a time for me to chat buoyantly about my lifestyle, partly with the hope of finding another comrade who upheld the same notions, & partly because I was curious to see if my confession would elicit an invitation for our friendship to possibly go further.

But strangely, everything about polyamory suddenly bored me. I had been feeling for several months a slight repulsion in continuing these flirtations, but it wasn’t until I was retelling my story about what brought my partner & I to explore non-monogamy that I realized how done I was with it.

“I think I’m over it,” I blurted out without thinking.

“Well, you know,” said my friend gently, “it’s OK if you are, honey. You tried it, you gave it a shot. There’s no shame in walking away from it for a time.”

I let her words linger in my mind for a few moments before finally uttering once more, “Yes, I think I’m done.”

We parted ways after brunch & I continued to repeat those words in my head as I walked home.

I’m done. I’m done. I’m done. But why?

I’m done because opening my relationship became too labored. What I was looking for was synchronicity & serendipity—an accidental kind of friends-turned-lovers partnership that would whisk me & my partner away & into a fiery love affair. But it was becoming too contrived, too well-thought out.

I’m done because I simply was not finding what I was looking for. No matter how much I tried, no matter how fervent my lust for expansion & experimentation, the people that came into my life continued to be imperfect matches, people who were not emotionally available (or sound) enough to give me what I deeply yearned for with this experience. I have grown tired of my heart being broken, & of having my hopes sliced by rejection.

I’m done because it’s all been very emotionally exhausting—the wondering, the seeking, the hypothesizing, the desiring; oh, the desiring has been the worst part of it all. Wanting so badly to experience something that you have no earthly idea what it will ultimately bring you, or if it’ll be at the demise of a relationship, or if this is the path meant to be taken, but the desire is still there, strong & unrelenting. Yes, that has been the hardest part for me.

Opening our marriage gave us a lot of things (like juicy conversations & a glimpse into what our partnership could be like with the addition of another), but the one thing it most certainly did not give us was what we were initially looking to experience: physical explorations (i.e., sex).

Not one kiss, not one grope, not one one-night-stand was had in all the three years we were playing. Only emotional affairs that kept our minds & our bodies wound tight with sexual tension & the gnawing What if? thoughts that made our imaginations run wild.

I’ve always seen our lack of polyamorous sexual activity as a negative thing, something that proved to us harshly that we weren’t meant for this lifestyle. These days, though, I am seeing this reality to be more of a blessing as I move into full attention on my partnership. Transitioning back into monogamy wouldn’t be as easy for me, I think, with vivid images constantly flashing through my mind of my lover in the arms of another.

What I realize now more than ever is how incredibly sacred my union is with my beloved.

Our deep, unchanging love, our amazing, spiritual, cosmic sex, our never erring devotion to each other. . . I do not want to share this gorgeousness with anyone. And because I know how powerful erotic energy is, I don’t want to give my body to anyone else.

Rather, I want to focus on other things, like the electric connection I have with Jonathan, & cultivating lasting platonic yet love-filled relationships with my friends (because it was getting so murky that every single person I knew became a “Potential Lover”).

All of this isn’t to say that we’ve given up on polyamory completely. Our curiosity was never quenched, & so, at least on my part, there will always be a sense of wondering. We might come back to it in the future, we might not. When I was speaking to Jonathan about moving back into monogamy again, he said to me, “I could die without having ever expressed polyamory & I’d be fine.”

As for me, I don’t know if I could be OK with dying without ever having actualized my fluid sexuality. But. . . I am learning to, at this point, be OK with & luxuriate in what I’ve already got.

A New Year of Living with Sex, Love, & Liberation + 26 Birthday Mantras

On Sunday, I turned 26.

Usually on my birthday, I wake up & the new age smacks me in the face abruptly & I’m left reeling for the next few weeks at the new-realized truth that I am another year older.

But this time around, my new age was permeating through my body & spirit long before September arrived. I’d say around July is when I began to feel a tiny shift in my essence. It was very gradual & slow, yet undeniable & nearly palpable.

At my very first thoughts about it, the number 26 left me feeling discontented. I didn’t like it. I’m partial to odd numbers; there’s just something about not being neatly divided that lights me up. So I began to feel this sense of contempt welling up inside of me for 26, an age that had not yet arrived but was warming up inside of my being.

But now. . . as I sit fully grounded in my new number, 26 (& 8, because 2+6=8), I feel at home, like this is precisely where I’m supposed to be. Twenty-six fits me perfectly.

26 mantras I’m whispering during my 26th year:

    1. I am safe.
    2. My desire is a gift.
    3. I am abundance & lightness.
    4. Breathe in light, exhale radiance; smile.
    5. Surrender to what is. twit-bird
    6. Open to love.
    7. Trust your self, your instincts, your wisdom, your heart.
    8. Continue walking the path of self-actualization.
    9. Be compassionate.
    10. Feed your warm light to others with your intention & presence.
    11. Embody Shakti.
    12. Speak your truth regardless of what anyone else thinks or says or feels.
    13. Heed your innate wisdom.
    14. I am deeply loved & wanted.
    15. Boundaries are important. Put them up where it feels like too much is coming in (or out).
    16. Follow your curiosities.
    17. My intuition is a compass. Trust it.
    18. Allow yourself to be amazed by life.
    19. I am a daughter of the stars, the wisdom of the cosmos, & the cycles of the Moon.
    20. I am connection & communion.
    21. It’s OK to feel. (And to feel deeply.) twit-bird
    22. And it’s OK to retreat.
    23. There are lessons in everything. Tune in.
    24. I am soulful & spiritual.
    25. I am a healer & a visionary.
    26. I am seen & heard.

For the last several days, I’ve been in the spirit of celebration around my new turning of age, giving myself 12 intention-filled days to ring in my new year. So even though my birthday happened days ago, today, in the bright light of this day, I am illuminated by the magic of my birthday still.

And I want to share some of that magic with you. Here’s one thing that has been birthed from 26:

My book got a shiny new update!

In 2011, I wrote a short book that accompanied my new work. I called it Sex, Love, Liberation: A Manifesto for the Bold at Heart, & put inside of it everything that I believed in & everything I wished the world could know about sex/sexuality, deep love, & self-actualization at the time. I wrote the book without much thought, just with the urge to create it.

As I’ve grown, my work has too, & for the last several months I’ve been thinking about scrapping my book because it didn’t seem to fit me anymore. I hadn’t cracked open the book in a long time, but could vaguely remember what it entailed: childish, overreaching prose, a design that no longer matched—seemingly all of my incompetence on display in ebook form.

But an interesting happened when I finally decided to survey the “damage:”

I found my old words to be rich with life, potent with truth, & really, really fucking good (if I may say so myself).

And just like that, scrapping the book became a thought of the past, & I (& my designer) began to work tirelessly creating & designing the new edition.

And it’s here. 

SLL-Book-CoverWHAT’S NEW IN THE SECOND EDITION
// a beautiful new cover & layout that feels (& reads) spacious, clean, & easy-breezy; like a breath of fresh air (ahhhh!).

// 34 added pages of content freshly adapted from my life’s work (& they all beautifully accompany the book).

// a brand spankin’ new “note from the author”—from me, of course, & written with love.

// It’s Kindle optimized! CLICK HERE to buy via Amazon. (Note: The Kindle version does not include the workbook or the 30 Days of Sensuality prompts.)

And in keeping with the spirit of all this birthday magic, I want to do something sweet for you (’cause I love you):

If you’ve EVER purchased my ebook, send me an email [evyan@sexloveliberation.com] with your receipt & I will send you the pretty new edition + the workbook. . . free!

Doesn’t matter if you bought it when it first came out (almost three years ago!) or yesterday; I want to gift you with a fresh digital copy. (This offer does cannot apply to the Kindle version, unfortunately.)

This special book swapping will end on Thursday, September 26th @ 11:59am Pacific, on the very last day of my intention-filled birthday celebration, so make sure to send me your email & receipt before then.

You can learn more about my  book, A Manifesto for the Bold at Heart, by clicking HERE. (Or, buy it on Kindle HERE.)

 

With deepest gratitude & bright birthday sparklers,

Ev'Yan-signature

A Portrait of an Orgasm

DLP said recently that we need to talk about orgasm more. Here, I will tell you about mine.

My orgasm is the fuel in my tank, the mediator between me & my lover’s quarrels, the inspiration for all of the work that I do, & the shuttle I take when I’m desiring to come home to myself.

She is shy & elusive, bold & fierce. She will not allow me to have much time away from her. And when I finally do beckon her call, Orgasm courses through my body with such strong, jolting waves as if to frankly remind me of my potential for pleasure.

My orgasm knows when I am not relaxing into the moment or the natural rhythms of my arousal. When I or my partner begin to try too hard to chase her, she vanishes from my field of vision, from the grasp of my body.

My orgasm does not like to be chased, & she cannot blossom under the pressure of being conquered. The moment I or my partner begin to see her as a conquest, as something that must happen, she disappears.

My orgasm has sometimes been the bane of my existence, & the simple lack of her has the ability to shift my moods, my perspectives of life & of my sexuality. Not having an orgasm can occasionally spur in me false ideas about my relationship, about men, about the fallibility of my body.

And yet, there are times when my orgasm does not come, where she chooses, it seems, to not show up in order to teach me a lesson of patience, of ease, of the importance of sex without her, of how, without her, I am still a sexual woman. In these moments, though flustered with sexual frustration, I am grateful for the deep wisdom she offers me.

My orgasm sends me home to the Divine. Through my orgasm, I have seen & felt God. Through my orgasm, I have experienced & witnessed the Goddess within myself.

The spirit of my orgasm does not leave me when the climax is through, but continues to buzz through my body & infiltrate every little thing that I do: pushing a shopping cart, walking my dog, talking to my mother, writing this very post.

I am never separated from my orgasm, though I admit that I sometimes fail to acknowledge her existence & incredible power in my life. I also tend to ignore the tuggings of my yoni to bring her into my present life. I am getting better at this.

My orgasm feels like weightlessness, like suspension of time & space, like enlightenment—all within a matter of minutes.

My orgasm helps remind me of my potency, of my propensity to desire, of my potential to reach & generate robust pleasure.

My orgasm asks of me to surrender, to trust my self & my body, to give all of myself to the present moment to feel intensely.

Sex Love Liberation is Reborn!—A Celebration of Space, Ease, & Transition

“Perfection is static, & I am in full motion.” —Anaïs Nin

Welcome to my new digital home. I hope it feels like a breath of warm, shimmery air for you.

I have gone through some deep, personal transformations in the last several months—both inwardly & outwardly. Much of how I do my work these days consists of more ease, more lightness, more playfulness, more flow. . . & I wanted a new home for SLL that beautifully reflected that.

I think it translates well, no?

What’s new here . . .

  • Simple, open, white space. More than anything with this new design, I wanted it to feel spacious, uncaged, & easy-breezy. Less truly is more. Can you feel it?
  • Attention to detail & pretty embellishments. Despite the minimalism & white space, I still wanted to bring some elements into this digital sanctuary that grounded the space & made it feel like home. In the video below, I share with you what those elements are & where they came from. (Hint: a very secret place.)
  • Comments have been disabled. But not to worry! This just means we’ll take the conversation elsewhere. Twitter & Facebook is where I’ll be hanging, & I hope to hear your beautiful voice chiming in there.
  • Sex in Public (my story-sharing series) has been paused. . . for the simple reason that my focus is now steady on my own work. Previously shared stories can still be found in the archives.
  • It’s responsive! (And if you don’t know what that means, try viewing the site on your phone or mobile device. /winks)
  • New projects & endeavors. Private, one-on-one work; a photo-a-day challenge on Instagram; live workshops & events; an updated, extended version of my manifesto. . . it’s all happening (& happening soon).

With my whole & incredibly full heart, I thank you for enduring yet another change with me.

And to my man Jonathan, who took my very, very helter-skelter vision & ran with it in ways I could only dream about, & to Alex Reyes, the savvy fellow who, with his code-fluent mind, managed to translate the look & feel of the design verbatim: big, big love & thanks. You’ve both made my life more than you’ll ever know.

OH! I almost forgot. . .

I made some things for you!

1.) A video greeting from yours truly. In it, I talk about what inspired this new design, what ways I’ve made the site feel more like home, & how I want you to feel when you come into this sacred space. Press play below & turn it up a bit; sound is not as vibrant as I’d like for it to be. (Having trouble watching the video? Click here.)

2.) A mixtape of my favorite jams & croonings. These are songs that have been playing in my ears for the last several months as I’ve been continuing to form in newness, & now, the magic they imbue within me can be shared with you.

Play this mixtape when you’re in need of a sensual boost; when you’re longing to get grounded; when you want to be taken to new heights with your sense of sound. Or. . . whenever you’re feeling like you need some tunes that’ll make you swoon & sway.

a sensual mixtape from ev_yan on 8tracks Radio.

Tracklist:
1. Passion // Nightmares on Wax
2. Gentle Spirit // Jonathan Wilson
3. Undo // Björk
4. You Woke Me Up! // Andrew Bird
5. Feather // Little Dragon
6. The Cosmic Game // Thievery Corporation
7. All for Myself // Sufjan Stevens
8. Go Slowly // Radiohead
9. Likufanele // Zero 7
10. Big Love // Broken Social Scene

Quick notes: Undo I love because the song could easily be about orgasm & the pressure we put on ourselves to go over the edge; it reminds me to let go & surrender. And Likufanele translates as “It suits you” in Zulu (it’s also a word that is tattooed on my forearm).

//

Here’s to new beginnings, ease, spaciousness, & glorious transition. I am looking forward to what this new chapter will bring for the both of us.

With love & liberation,

Ev'Yan-signature

On Desire & How to Harmonize Yourself With Your Hungers

“Desire is the engine of creation. Desire is an evolutionary impulse. Desire leads the way home.” —Danielle LaPorte

We live in a culture where we glorify & congratulate those who follow the rigidity of schedules, diets, regimens, & to do lists; where we’re more prone to denying our needs because in doing so we nobly show self-control & temperance; where our imperviousness towards macarons, reality television, & sleeping in past 6am make us to be a warrior of some kind—one who has the composure & sensitivity of a robot.

I don’t think I have to tell you that we are not robots, yet we regulate, govern, & maintain strictness with our delicate needs as though we were.

Many of us are suffering silently the callings of our hearts to indulge, to feel, to impulsively & deliberately quench the thirsts of our souls. We suffer because we choose to go against our inherent tendency for pleasure, for goodness, for ecstasy, for joy, that which is meant to be our natural state of existence & thriving.

I’ve been working with women one-on-one in the realm of sexual liberation, but we almost always end up on the subject of desire; specifically, what it is they want, what it is they crave, what it is their bodies, minds, & spirits are begging for, & how they can attune themselves to Desire’s whispers (or boisterous bellows) so that they can finally feel harmonious in their bodies & in their sexual expressions.

It always starts with this one simple question: What are your desires?
And then. . . What do you yearn for, crave for?

When I hear these questions, my mind is swarming with its own ideas & visions. . .

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