Would you like to increase your odds of survival by 50 percent?
Would you like to know about a factor that’s more beneficial than exercising, giving up alcohol, giving up 15 cigarettes a day, and losing weight?
That mystery factor is the strength of your relationships.
A medical study just published in the U.S. reveals the often ignored risk factor for death—the strength of people’s interpersonal relationships—is “comparable with quitting smoking and exceeds many well known risk factors” like obesity and physical inactivity.
Is this a risk factor you’d love to put behind you, if only you knew how? Then you might wish to check out the work of Gary Douglas, founder of Access Consciousness, and his co-author, Dr. Dain Heer.
Douglas and Heer are the authors of a frank, completely unconventional book, Sex Is Not A Four Letter Word But Relationship Often Times Is.
Whereas most of us struggle to get sex and relationship working together in our lives, Douglas and Heer recommend considering the two separately. Having sex all too often leads to the assumption that a long-term relationship follows. It can lead to wondering if someone is “the one” when you don’t even know their last name. Douglas and Heer have succumbed to this thinking personally, and observed it creating disasters in their lives and the lives of the thousands of people they work with worldwide.
A great first step to getting clear on what would create great relationships and great sex is getting clear on what we’re talking about. Towards that end, Douglas and Heer have broken intimacy into five components and sex into six, each with a different definition.
The components of intimacy, according to Douglas and Heer, are honor, allowance, trust, gratitude and vulnerability.
Interestingly, copulation is not included in this definition. The concept that having sex means you are intimate with someone is a mis-identification and a lie, according to Heer and Douglas. “Copulation is not the same as intimacy,” says Douglas. “It just means you’ve put the body parts together.”
Intimacy, on the other hand, involves the more complex combination of factors listed above. To honor someone, they say, means to treat them with regard. You trust that the other person will take care of himself or herself and do what is right for them. You do the same for you, without denying or suppressing any part of you.
The second component, trust, is defined as “simply knowing your partner is always going to do what he or she is going to do.” Trust is not blind faith. Trust is not trusting the other person to do what you want them to do, it’s trusting them to do what they will do.
In other words, “Trust is, This person is never going to be any different than they are—unless they choose to be.” One of Douglas’s favorite examples is men who leave the toilet seat up. Women who try to train their men to be different are in a relationship which has already ended, he observes, whether the woman recognizes it or not. When you’re trying to change any part of your partner or their behavior, honor, trust, allowance and gratitude are all missing.
Allowance, the third component of intimacy, is the attitude that everything that goes on is just an interesting point of view. Whatever your partner does is their choice, an expression of who they are, not a reflection on you. Douglas recommends if you’re interested in having a successful relationship, you should “Allow your partner to be everything they are without expecting anything of them.”
The fourth component of an intimate relationship that works is vulnerability, which Douglas and Heer describe as being like an open wound, being total sensitivity and ability to receive all information. This applies even when the person you’re with is delivering something unpleasant like anger, say the duo. Instead of putting up barriers to their anger, pushing them down means fully receiving the anger—which means the person being angry with you will likely run out of steam in a few minutes.
Some of the barriers other than anger that people use include intellect, emotional tirades, and refusing to have sex, which is an unwillingness to receive any part of the person you’re with. Putting up any of these barriers blocks the other person from being present with you. These barriers create separation and prevent intimacy.
Putting these barriers down may sound like a mysterious process if you’ve ever done it, but it is easier than you may think. When you notice your barriers coming up, acknowledge it and force yourself to shove them back down, recommend Douglas and Heer. The benefit to putting these barriers down is that, contrary to what you might think, the vulnerability that is then possible prevents anyone from ever hurting you.
The fifth element required for intimacy is gratitude. Gratitude is greater than unconditional love, say Douglas and Heer, because it cannot have judgment in it. So-called unconditional love still includes judgment because you have to judge whether or not it’s something you can be unconditional about.
Of course, having all of these qualities for yourself is required before you can have them for anybody else!
But wait a minute, you may be saying, I thought this was about sex! Good point! One of the difficulties with sex, according to Douglas and Heer, is that most of us mesh sex and relationships into one big puddle of confusion. Once that’s acknowledged and the true components of a successful relationship are set forth, the components of sex can then be examined. They are: copulation, orgasm, sensuality, sexuality, sexualness, and sex. Each of these has a distinct definition, the purpose of which is to bring clarity to this challenging subject, so you can have that relationship that could save your life.
Copulation consists of putting the body parts together, in any combination.
Sexuality is a limitation and a judgment. It is a limiting definition of who are and are not willing to receive sexual energy from. In other words, to say, “I am a straight man,” or “I am a gay woman,” says you will receive sexual energy from, and who you will refuse it from. Sexual energy is NOT the same as copulation—see above. You should be able to receive sexual energy from everyone and everything, point out Douglas and Heer. This can even affect your money flows, they point out.
Sexual energy, or sexualness, is the energy of life, as you feel it in nature. Sexualness is the nurturing, caring, healing, creative, expansive, joyful energy of life itself.
Orgasm is the energy for the creation of life and the creation of your body. It is the energy of total presence, whether you are having copulation, eating food, or walking on the beach.
Sensualness is the caring, healing, and nurturing touch that bodies love. This can be from anyone. Confusing sensualness with copulation leads to much confusion for customers of the therapeutic massage profession. Newspaper headlines that scream about “massage parlours” are assuming that all sensuality leads to copulation. Not at all!
And sex, according to Douglas and Heer, is when you’re looking good, feeling good, and strutting your stuff. It inspires others to flow energy towards you as they admire your body. Having a relationship is not required to have this component of sex—nor does it have to lead to copulation.
If you find these concepts puzzling, intriguing, or controversial, then you might wish to check out the books and workshops by Gary Douglas and Dr. Dain Heer. There’s a lot more controversy, clarity, and raucous humor where these came from! Can you afford to miss this one-off opportunity to hear Douglas and Heer talk about everyone’s favorite subject? It just might save your life!
Click HERE for the book, Sex Is Not A Four Letter Word But Relationship Often Times Is
Click HERE for Divorceless Relationship by Gary M. Douglas.