Friday, December 3, 2010

EM Field Work Saved My Sex Life

Over the past several months I've gotten trained in a method of working within the human electromagnetic (EM) field. Not only has this provided results for my clients, but when I say that it has saved my sex life, I'm not even overstating the case. Check it out...

Over the past year, I had slowly lost my libido. As a relationship coach and sexuality educator, you can imagine some of the challenges this posed. Women would call me about their reduced sex drive, and I'd think, "Me too!" Was my fiance unattractive? No! Was I repulsed by sex? No. If he started things, I'd eventually warm up and have fun. I just didn't care to pursue sex, nor did I find men (or women) particularly desirable. This was NOT usual for me, and long before our wedding I was getting really scared.

It was also very frustrating for my fiance-now-husband. While we were convinced that it was a temporary situation, nothing we tried (going off birth control pills, taking various supplements, exercising more, etc.) made any appreciable difference. Thank God he's such a patient and loving man.

Since our wedding in September, my favorable response to his touch had diminished even further. Roughly ten days ago we hit a crisis when I burst into tears during sex. Not the good tears, the bad ones. Even a moment of physical pain - even strong discomfort - launched me into thoughts of, "My pain doesn't matter to you." "I just have to take it." "If I speak up there will be painful consequences." All of this encapsulated by a thick layer of deep fear and anxiety.

We began working on it together, laying in bed for 30-60 minutes at a time while he touched me gently on my arm, my wrist, my sternum, my abdomen. "How's this? What thoughts come up?" Again, abject anxiety and terror. "I have no choice," and much more. We discovered that my experience of physical arousal had become associated with physical pain, helplessness and fear. The one immediately led to thoughts of the other. I have never been forced to have sex without my consent, but I FELT like I was processing the results of sexual abuse! What the hell was going on?!

Upon discovering this collapse between arousal and fear, I called my coach, the life coach who introduced me to EM field work
, and asked him to do an integration for me. He agreed and we met the next day, which was two nights ago.

The first step in any integration is declaring an intention and setting a goal, and he was extraordinary at helping me to discern additional aspects of what's been going on and distill it into a clear goal. Part of what showed up was a link between a non-sexual incident with my father when I was six and a rage incident with my husband at about the time that my desire began diminishing. I had never connected them before because their behaviors and the circumstances were so different, but MY emotional experience was identical: The man I loved the most had physically hurt me, out of the blue, I didn't know why, and I was being blamed for something. Seeing that connection, while amazing, did nothing to resolve the issue… but it helped us arrive at my intention of Courage and Forgiveness.

And then we did an integration. It was effortless – my job being to lay on the massage table, lock my deltoid when he asked me a question (muscle testing), and to keep my intention present – and it took all of 30 minutes. One of the things I love about this work is how gentle it is on the body and mind!

So I drove home. Immediately, I felt a freedom around my husband, something that had been in the way was gone. He noticed that I was much more affectionate, which he really appreciates. I can look him in the eyes for longer. I can kiss him without feeling the need to squirm away after a few seconds. Even spooning him in bed feels different, closer somehow.

The next day we challenged my body as we had before. "What if I touch you here? What's there for you?"

The results this time? NOTHING'S WRONG! A touch is just a touch again. It no longer means that sex is impending whether I want it or not, and that I should get scared. Sexual arousal is just arousal… and it's even enjoyable again! No fear, no terror, no anxiety. Even intercourse is more enjoyable! The nattering conversations and disempowering thoughts that had been filling my mind and clouding my perception are quiet now, and I am once again free to Experience.

Now, I may not yet be my lush, desirous, fully sexually expressed self again, but to be without the fear of pain and repercussion after twelve months of distress is HUGE. A damn miracle is what it is, and that it transformed in under two hours, nearly effortlessly, blows me away.

THAT is exactly why I now offer this work to my clients, my family, friends, STRANGERS! It is the most powerful tool I've come across to address a particular area of concern quickly, easily, gently, and with instant, clear (and sometimes miraculous) results. Check it out at
my website.

What would YOU like to change or have be different in your life?

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Sunday, November 14, 2010

How not to end up in court.

I find myself compelled to discuss the following article about a trial in progress against a BDSM Master, accused by a slave who has - since her accusation - moved back in with him. Oy Vey!

Let's look at what it means to be a slave. To quote from the 5-page negotiation contract that she signed, "By signing this slavery contract, it is agreed that slave gives up all rights to her own person in every manner, and that Master takes entire possession of slave as property.” This is one of the primary distinctions between being a submissive and being a slave.

Submissives can request renegotiation, or even say no, though there will likely be consequences to such a strong action. A slave, by most definitions, has willingly given up the right to negotiate and to refuse, and has expressly turned over his or her well-being to the Master/Mistress in whatever way is negotiated in the terms of the contract. Thus, when "Prosecutors allege he acted illegally because she did not consent that time to being handcuffed and beaten," it is clear that the prosecutors do not understand the Master/slave (M/s) dynamic. As a slave, her permission is not given on a "this time" vs. "that time" basis. She has agreed to become his property, and he can do with his property what he wishes.

That said, this is why it is SO important not to rush into an M/s contract. Giving up one's rights is no small matter - the only way for a slave to get free used to be to Run Away! Today, in the modern free world, it may be that a consensual slave can change his/her mind and break the contract, but this is emotionally a BIG deal for all involved, and nothing to bandy about as a regular back-up plan. It is imperative that one takes the time to get to know the Master/Mistress fully, and to be explicitly clear in the negotiation what is and is not to be agreed to in the contract.

For example, "Prosecutors say he was angry because she wanted to end their relationship after catching him having sex with another woman in a nightclub's parking lot." Did their contract state that "Master may engage in sexual activity with whomever he chooses with or without slave's knowledge?" It may have been implied, but if clearly stated, she had given up her right to get upset, or to use that as an excuse to void the contract.

Additionally, beating one's partner out of anger is always a challenging situation, even when she/he has relinquished the right of refusal. There's no more I can say about that.

So in February she "told friends, an emergency room nurse and doctor, a police sergeant and a police detective that Wise attacked her." Also, she "neither told police nor the doctor about her lifestyle because she was embarrassed." Now she say that it was consensual, and she denies the attack.

Now he's on trial. Excuse me, but WHAT DID SHE THINK WOULD HAPPEN?!

We have GOT to come out of the closet, people! We like what we like. Society will only get re-educated one person at a time, and it starts with each one of us opening up to someone.

It is VERY important when you're involved in any kind of consensual play dynamic that could leave bruising or marks to out yourself to your doctors! They are required, by law, to notify 'the authorities' when they see signs of possible physical abuse. Said conversation might go like this:

"Hi Doc. I want to make you aware that I engage in consensual BDSM, which means that I may occasionally show up with bruises, scrapes, or burns (or whatever result given the manner of kink you enjoy). Again, this is consensual, and I do not want you to worry or notify the authorities without asking me about it first. I promise that I will tell you if it was against my wishes. Do we have a deal?"

Furthermore, you now have an opening to educate your doctor if he/she has questions, and that is a service for the whole community! My doctor said, "I only care that you're healthy and happy. If you say you are, we're good." AWEsome.

Now, RE: her choice to go to the cops... Perhaps it WAS abuse. M/s relationships are complex emotional constructs. Perhaps she was emotionally triggered at the thought that he might be "cheating on her," and perhaps he lost his control and beat her out of anger. If that was outside the negotiated realm of their contract, it may have constituted non-consensual abuse. If that is so, I'm glad she took the step to get support. (In which case, one must wonder about her mental state since she's chosen to return to her "abuser.")

There are too many unknown details to say much more, only that:
1) it's unfortunate that people may draw false assumptions about the BDSM lifestyle & it's participants from this case,
2) yes - it's a very complex system of relationship, and
3) it is dangerous, given our current legal system, when either party brings in outside influences without fully considering the consequences.

I wish both parties a successful outcome.

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A story worth reading

Sorry, y'all, not a new blog just yet, but I MUST share this link with you. This is a blog post from a mother, about her 5 y.o. son and the reaction of several other mothers to her son's choice of Halloween costume. He decided to be Daphne, from Scooby Doo.

PLEASE read and share this. Bullying is, at least to some extent, learned from the parent's intolerance.

Happy November,

Monday, October 11, 2010

Coming Out Day... my personal story.

In honor of Coming Out Day, I thought I'd share the most entertaining story of when I "came out" as kinky to my family.

I believe that it was Christmas day, possibly in 2004 or 2005, and if it wasn't Christmas day, it was damn close, and it makes a better story this way, so work with me here. By that point I'd already had my first Dominant boyfriend. He'd been a fiance, actually, and I had hinted about this or that to my parents. As an only child, we've always been very close, and it goes against my grain to keep major elements of my life hidden from them. Nonetheless, we'd not had a major conversation about it, as you can guess.

My Mom, step-Dad, and maternal Grandmother were visiting from Peoria, IL and we'd sat down after the gift giving and receiving, had a lovely meal, and were hanging about in the living room of my first house and generally chatting about life. I mentioned a course that I was taking, and the associated project I'd had an idea to create.

"It's a class, of sorts," I said, "a series of classes."

"What about?" they asked.

"Are you sure you want to know?" I asked, preparing to risk whatever response came my way.

They were, after all, guests in my very own house, and could return to their hotel room if it was just simply too much. I come from a fairly liberal family, pro-racial equality, gender equality, and anti-animal cruelty, so I was fairly sure that my Mom would take it in stride. My step-Dad and Grandma were the rogue factors.

"Of course," they replied.

"Well," I said, "It's called Pillow Talk, and it's a series of group discussions about sexuality that I'd like to get into the colleges. You know, what it means to be a sexual being, how much more is involved than the physical and biological aspects of it. One of the workshops is called '31 Flavors of Kink' and discusses all kinds of sex toys. Another one discusses alternative lifestyle choices like swinging and polyamory, and one discusses BDSM... do you know what that means?"

*Hold breath!*

"Um, no."

"Well, BDSM is an acronym for three different communities that cross-pollinate a lot - Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & submission, and Sadism & Masochism, which you've likely heard referred to as S&M," I said, launching into an esoteric education on the basic dynamics and elements of the BDSM world.

"Hmmm!" they said, expressing appropriate levels of polite interest and discovery.

Now came the personal plunge.

"I, for example, have recently come to discover a side of myself that is clearly submissive! In fact, I only made sense to myself and realized that I wasn't broken when I discovered that this is a valid lifestyle choice."



"And what does that mean?" ASKED MY GRANDMOTHER!

"Well," I said, "it means that I particularly enjoy a dynamic with my romantic and intimate sexual partners where they are in control, and I may even be ordered to perform certain tasks on their command. Somehow, the giving up of control, or rather, relief from having it, provides something that is very satisfying to me."

"So how might that work?" ASKED MY GRANDMOTHER, again.

"Well, there are certain implements one might use..." I explained, and proceeded to discuss floggers, bondage, sensation play, role play, etc.

Perhaps 30 minutes later we took a break. Perhaps we took a snowy walk around the neighborhood to look at the lights - honestly I can't remember. What I DO remember is that later that evening, while I was washing the dishes, my grandmother popped her head around the edge of the doorway and said to me, "You are SO cool!" and then left the room again.

She sent me a letter a few weeks later, sharing with me the story of a time when my grandfather was traveling and another man had flirted with her, and possibly proposed a romantic interlude. The details remain unclear in my mind, and I'm satisfied to leave them that way. The point was that she saw something of herself in me, and to this day she continues to be one of my biggest fans.

My step-Dad continues to be proud of me for following my own path, as does my actual Dad. My Dad got a bit confronted a few years back when, during a camping trip together, I showed him how to daisy-chain the backpack rope like we do with bondage rope. BUT it provided an opportunity for him to share his concerns that I'm putting myself in dangerous situations, and for me to correct his misconceptions and alleviate his fears as much as an only daughter can. It is not something he chooses to discuss, ever, but I am not pressured to hide my life, and THAT is a gift.

So happy Coming Out Day to all who have, to all who will, and to all for whom it remains a fear. May your families surprise you with their love and acceptance, and may you accept Yourself, no matter their response.


M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Polyamory - the ugly people's sex club?!

Peter, on 08 September 2010, posted a blog about his opinions on poly people all being ugly, choosing poly because we need to keep our options open and can't find that one right partner (more likely that they're out of our league). My response follows his blog.


I’ve been suspecting something for a long time, so I’m just going to come out and say it.

I think that all these people that are into polyamory on the internet are all overweight and or ugly people that don’t want to die alone and so they want to get involved with one person, to stop that happening while leaving their options open because they realise that they’re settling for something.

I kind of think it’s like some weird ugly people sex club.

I think the only reason to keep your options open is because you think you’re settling for something or what you’re getting into isn’t exactly right for you. I think it’s entirely possible to have all your needs met by one person and if they aren’t then you settled before you found the right one.

Saying I want to have the ability to fuck other people, is essentially, exactly the same as saying.. I’m not going to be ok just fucking you for the rest of my life.

I think all of them would pack the polyamory thing in for the right person. It’s just, if my theory is correct, the right person for them (in their mind) is sadly out of their league.

I justify all of this, by saying I’ve never actually seen an attractive person that said they’re polyamorous.

I’ve seen a couple that have never actually been in a polyamorous relationship though, that said they’d be ok with it.. but I think that would all entirely change when their partner turned around and actually started banging someone else.

I think polyamory is the open, honest version of getting into a relationship and then cheating on your partner.

I think the root causes are the same. I think it’s all down to not having your needs met on some level, but like I said, I feel if that’s the case then you should be dropping the person you’re with and getting with someone that does meet those needs and not getting into a relationship and then continuing to look for that person while having a fall back plan incase it never happens.

So there it is.

I’m ok with someone proving me wrong however. It’s just I don’t think I am.


Well, that is certainly one judgmental way to look at things, particularly for one who's never met a poly person to whom he was attracted. Your opinion is... Yours, and you're entitled to it. So if you decide that I look like a walrus, you'll use that as justification to ignore the rest of what I'm about to say? Weak sauce. You can do better than that.

You are confusing Swinging with Polyamory, among other things. Here's a link to a blog I wrote in 2007 distinguishing the two.

As a core point, however, you believe in One True Love Who Can Meets All Your Needs (and, one must assume, ALL of whose needs you can also meet), and I do not. Nothing I have to say will change your mind, nonetheless, I'll make my points. (That stuff about us all being ugly is just puerile and not worth my response.)

As a relationship coach, and a non-monogamous woman who's wedding is one week from tonight, I entirely disagree with your view that one couple can (should?) be everything to each other, and that if you haven't found THAT person, than you've settled. In my experience, it takes extraordinary courage to truly admit to your passions and desires, and create a partnership that allows your needs to be met. That is NOT settling.

And while we're on that point... Are you single or married? If married and you believe that you've found that One person - Hooray for you! I sincerely hope that your (very high) expectations continue to be met. If single... perhaps you will find that one, someday. Keep looking for 10 more years, and then let's talk. And for your reading pleasure, I offer: Love in the Western World, by Denis de Rougemont.

In case you haven't noticed, the assumption of monogamy is not working... largely, IMHO, because it is often an Assumption instead of a Choice. We are so thoroughly inundated from a young age with the idea that monogamy is THE way for sex in a marriage that most people never stop to question whether or not that actually empowers, excites and works for them!

The facts are the facts: The divorce rate was 49% per the CDC in 2008. Infidelity is rumored to run around 60% for men and 40% for women, and to be on the rise among women (given the social stigma, it's VERY difficult to gain accurate data on infidelity). We SAY monogamy, we TALK about our 'one true partner', but that's not the way we live our lives.

Swinging and Polyamory, forms of functional non-monogamy, happen with the complete knowledge, awareness, and agreement of both parties in a committed relationship. This is the opposite if Cheating, which is defined by breaking agreements (specifically the assumed agreement of monogamy), hiding, and sneaking around. That's why cheaters get CAUGHT. Swingers and polyamorists don't get Caught because we've got nothing to Hide!

In fact, being this open about your authentic desires, and facing your own fears and insecurities (like jealousy), can create an extremely strong bond between partners. It can also teach you relationship skills that benefit every area of your life, and every type of relationship you have.

AND monogamy is a completely valid choice. For some people it works. As does celibacy. I'll make my choices, you'll make yours, and we'll each have our own opinions. Viva la difference!

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The predictable future, and other mis-truths.

Well, we're now at T minus 15 days until my wedding, and 9 days until we leave for the East Coast. To say that this has been taking up my time would be accurate. Even a supremely small wedding like our, with only 14 adults and three children, involves flowers, and locations for family gatherings, and my dress and his clothes, and gifts for our families, and officiants and licenses, hair and make-up, a photographer, etc. But that's not the only thing that's been on my mind, and probably not the major thing. I've largely been up against my metaphysical paradigm. Let me explain...

I was a good human child. I took the domestication, and I dove right into the Midwestern Work Ethic with which I was raised. Life works a certain way, I learned - work hard, really hard; put in your time; pay your dues; and suck it up - sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do. Contribute to society by being such a hard worker, until you've established enough of a financial base to retire, which you're only allowed to do when you reach the age of 70 or so. Then, and only then, do you get to relax and thoroughly enjoy your life.

Yeah, yeah, so I created myself as being Retired NOW, and that has provided some freedom from the Push Push Push & Hard Work that was a major reason I left Washington DC. But my internal conversations about "money" continue to be the monkey on my back, and I've come to realize something even more dangerous - even more insidious - something I learned that has caused me an extreme amount of fear and anxiety over the years.

I've been taught that I should be able to predict the future.

I have been taught that having a job that pays me money on a regular interval allows me to accurately forecast my future. I can "make plans" because I know what money is coming in when, and how I'll be able to pay for things... right? Well, maybe not. I have seen payment for services rendered NOT get paid - sometimes to the order of $20K. My previous tenant, who's boss vouched that he would always have a job, lost his job when the company closed in 2009. I have also seen unexpected checks, refunds, and work opportunities show up out of the blue.

The truth, it seems to me, is that the future is completely unknown - a mystery in which anything could happen at any time. A comet could hit the planet, an earthquake could raise a new underwater mountain and thus raise sea levels, or I could receive $20K from a generous admirer. ANYthing could happen.

If that's the case, what's the point in worrying about HOW things will play out in the future? How will I pay for the training I want to take, for the conference I want to attend, for Q's unexpected $16K hospital bill. What if this doesn't happen, and that occurs, and what if... It's all a mental masturbation... and even worse, a Negative Future Fantasy. (Thanks, Barb Wade, for such a great term!) The future is entirely unknown, and it's going to happen the way it will happen. I trust myself to deal with emergencies when they occur, knowing that "I should have known better" is a lie. The simple fact remains that in THIS moment everything is fine!

This has led me to another paradigm-shifting realization that the laws that govern My universe may not be the laws that govern Yours. When I allow myself to listen deeply to my own inner guidance, what shows up is a world in which my job is to follow what calls me - to follow my interest and attention - and, in fact, to have faith that by doing so I'll be in flow and be taken care of. THIS is what resonated with me as Real, as True.

That this way of living goes directly against everything I've learned about struggle and suffering and sacrifice - well, that's where I've been challenged lately. I flip flop between clearly knowing what actions to take, and taking those in faith, and judging myself for not taking the actions that the old paradigm says I "should" take - even if they don't inspire me. Life is blissful when I clearly hear the guidance, and as soon as it goes silent my old ways creep back in.

I feel like I'm being called to rewire my entire personal hard drive, and I know that I'm not alone.

So that's where I've been over the last month plus! A little bit here, a little bit there, sometimes inspired and led, sometimes in tears of frustration, judging myself harshly, and often grateful for the challenge. :)

As ever, I look forward to sharing the journey with you!

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Friday, July 9, 2010

Early Retirement

I am now retired.

It's not what you may think.

I've discovered that I have an inner mechanism that connects work with survival. The way that shows up is that any time I take something I love doing - such as teaching partner dancing or coaching - make it a job (something that pays me money), and attach to it my financial well-being, it becomes Work, thus a matter of Survival, and all of the joy gets sucked right out of the experience. I begin to feel pressured, dominated by "what it takes to survive," and flip-flop between working until I drop or resisting so hard that it gives me a headache and puts me to bed! It's not effective, by any stretch of the imagination.

So I've declared myself retired!

Now, as a retired person, I get to spend my time doing activities that I love. This includes cooking, vacuuming, doing laundry and generally taking care of our household. It includes taking care of and playing with our animals! It also happens to include looking for a part-time job in a guest services/patient care environment where I can once again be part of a team (which is something I miss as a solo-preneur), talking with bookstores about carrying my book, presenting workshops and having extraordinary conversations that make a difference in people's lives.

Basically, everything that I was doing before... because I love it, not because it may pay me. Couterintuitive as it may seem, now that the pressure is off, there's a freedom to actually get things done... to let the joy drive me, and actions I've resisted taking for months have been completed in the last several days. Being retired also gives me the space to Stop Working and enjoy the weather or watch the dogs play. I'm retired, after all!

Yes, there will be bills to pay, and I will find a way to pay them. This is a simple fact of life! AND I plan to enjoy my retirement. Why wait 20 more years until society says it's okay?! I'm starting now!

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Relationship Tip - Responsibility (=Power)

As a relationship coach, you might be tempted to think that my intimate partnerships are handled, worked out, or problem-free. NOT SO, my friend!

I recently went through a major breakdown with my fiance that shook us to the very foundation of our coupledom. I'm holding back on the detailed content - the 'he said - she said' of the matter, because, in truth, that's not the point. In brief, he violated one of our core agreements with each other... he lied. Not once, but multiple times over several days about the same topic. He convincingly lied to my face even when I asked, "Is everything handled? Are you sure you've got it covered?"

All of this ugly finally hit the fan as he was driving me to the airport last Wednesday in preparation for a presentation and conference in San Francisco, and sure enough, as with most reports on infidelity, it wasn't the subject about which he lied that ultimately bothered me - it was the lying itself. But I had to leave town before the issue could be resolved! What was I to do? I had to teach a class that night, and a disappointed, exhausted, and frustrated instructor does not create a safe space for the sharing of her attendees!

The solution looked like this...

Step One - I wrote a letter to him on the plane, and said what I needed to say, much of which got cut from the final version once I'd calmed down. The hurt, the upset, the frustration... it all needed a voice. To have held it inside of me would have made it cancerous, emotionally if not physically. The blame, the anger, the victimization (EX: How could you do that to me?!)... I let it all out onto the page where it couldn't hurt anyone. I coughed up that emotional hairball until I'd said it all and my pulse had slowed again.

Step Two - I acknowledged that I was viewing it as Wrong that he had lied to me. Setting aside my judgment of the matter, the fact remains that he did what he did, said what he said, and didn't do what he didn't do. None of that is inherently right or wrong but that I SAY its so, so if that is one of the aspects of my annoyance, it behooves me to let it go. The past is the past, and there's no changing it. Unless I wanted to take all of that anger and frustration back, I'd best look for a way to regain my power.

Step Three: The hardest part - I took a deep, long look for how I was responsible for the way it went down, and here's what I saw...

I KNEW. Deep down inside of me, I knew that something was not right, that something was off in his/our world. Sure, I asked him if everything was okay, but his response did not feel right to me, and I stepped over it. I chose the less confrontational approach of "Okay, then. Just checking, thanks!" instead of trusting my own instincts and calling him out.

Now, here's the point... It would have been very easy for me to blame the whole situation on him. He's the one who lied, who didn't keep his word to me, or to himself for that matter. I did my part, right? I asked the question! It's not my fault if he lied to me... but to maintain that view leaves me the victim of the situation. 'Poor me, he lied to me and broke his promise to tell the truth.' It's not very empowering, and it provides no access for me to choose a different path in the future.

By identifying that I had not been responsible for honoring my own instincts, I reclaimed my power and created a lesson from which I could benefit. In this case: Trust My Instincts, and Be Willing To Have The Uncomfortable Conversation.

We are back in a very good place now. He is on track, and our wedding plans are coming together. I am neither holding a grudge nor anticipating the next time that it might happen. The likelihood that it will happen again is, let's face it, moderate. But I will listen to and trust my instincts, have the difficult and uncomfortable conversation, and be prepared to discover another lesson in the process!

So the next time you're tempted to blame someone else, ask yourself, "How am I responsible?"

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

PS - I have my fiance's total permission to share about him and our life together in my blog and newsletters. He hears all of my entries before they are posted. :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A New Alternative to a Bitter Divorce or an Unfulfilling Partnership

Pursuant to my blog on collaborative divorce, I thought it important to let you know that I've recently announced the launch of my signature 7-Step Coaching System that teaches couples who are facing challenges to make loving, empowered decisions to either revitalize their bond or to end it respectfully. Working together, committed partners will learn how to get honest, step forward, take risks, and make empowered, authentic decisions to create the powerful and passionate union of their dreams – whether together or apart.

While I still offer ongoing coaching sessions for both couples and individuals' specific desires, the Marital Arts 7-Step System is the culmination of years of study and experience in the realms of interpersonal communication, relationship navigation, and sexual expression, and grows directly out of my mission that all people live the intimate relationships that inspire them.

Beginning with a 2-hour Comprehensive Assessment that supports the couple in clearly identifying their challenges, taking ground in addressing them, and creating a vision of their desired outcome, I will then custom-craft a process designed to deliver the modules that best meet the couple's needs.

The Seven Marital Arts Modules include:
1) Communication Skills: Listening, Speaking & Interpretation

2) The Dark Sides: Shame, Jealousy, Guilt, Anger & Fear

3) Core Values, Expectations & the Morality Conundrum

4) Partnership, Roles & Love Languages

5) Sex, Love, Intimacy & Sexuality

6) Relationship Purpose & Mission Statement

7) Negotiation & Agreements

Outcomes from the Marital Arts program include:

· Designing and achieving a life that aligns with your most heart-felt priorities.
· Enhanced compassion and forgiveness for yourselves and your partners – both past and present.

· Effective, loving, and genuine communication tools for decision-making, negotiating and conflict resolution.

· Reinvigorated lives with greater joy, passion, love and connection.

· A new enthusiasm and anticipation about the future.

For a limited time, you are invited to engage in a COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION to explore where you’re at in terms of relationship and intimacy, what may or may not be working, and what you truly desire to create for yourself. Know what’s possible, and see the simple steps that will take you there! (And there are no strings attached!) You and your partner(s) can also take my FREE Relationship Assessment Quiz at Whether partnered or single, just click on the offer!

Lastly, it’s your referrals that allow me to get to do what I love. Please share this offer with those you know whom my services may benefit. I truly need your help to create a world of empowered, inspiring relationships! Thank you!

I can be reached at, 540.623.9542 and toll-free at 1.866.928-7856. My workshops, videos and newsletter are all visible at

“Makael is very attentive to stated goals and skilled at maintaining focus in the discussion. She offers practical advice that when followed brings the desired results. I have benefited from her experience and grown as a person because of her dedication to her clients.”
- Frank Albert, Evergreen

“I really appreciate the coaching you gave me a few months ago... I've been openly poly for about six months and am experiencing more love and intimacy (not just sex) than ever.... thank you!”

- Chad, Denver

“He knew I’d been on the phone, and I offered that you were doing coaching with me around my sexuality. He asked if there was anything I'd like to share, so we talked! Yay! It was so much easier than I thought it would be. Thank you!”
- Sherry, Peoria

“I really found value in your Relationship Tip of the Month: Responsibility (= Power). We’ve also been going through a tough time and your article really hit home for me. I found it honest and empowering. Thanks for sharing your life's experiences!”

- Chris, Cleveland

“Your Tip of the Month: Purpose made my first marriage make sense and took away my fear for another relationship that could be as intense. It was so healing for me! Thank you for your newsletter!”

- Chetna, Washington DC


M. Makael Newby
Relationship Coach, Author, Presenter, Sexuality Consultant

Ph. 540.623.9542 or Toll Free 1.866.928.7856

Helping open-minded and inquiring people create fulfilling, lasting and juicy relationships in all areas of their lives, particularly their sex lives.

Offering a 7-Step Coaching System that helps couples facing challenges who want to make loving, empowered decisions to revitalize their bond or to end it respectfully.

The Website -

The Blog -

The Book -

Portland Meet-up -

Twitter @msmakael

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Monday, June 28, 2010

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative Divorce is an interdisciplinary, non-lawsuit style of ending a marriage that relates to divorce as a personal relationship issue that happens to have legal attachments.

Started by lawyer Stuart Webb in Minneapolis in 1990, the parties are encouraged to communicate what is important about an issue rather than arguing for a specific position or solution. It requires, therefore, that the married couple be committed to working with and not against each other in order to achieve results.

Both parties and their attorneys sign a Participation Agreement stipulating that the attorneys will remove themselves from the divorce proceedings should they fail to reach a negotiated settlement. The couple agrees not to begin litigation during this process, to act in their children's best interests, and that all communications will be constructive and fair, among other agreements.

It is not the same as divorce mediation, in which the mediator is a neutral party. In collaborative divorce, although working together to achieve a negotiated settlement, the attorneys are not neutral. Each lawyer provides his or her client with independent legal advice.

This is clearly a gift for families with children, as it limits the likelihood of an extensive, bitter battle the likes of which can leave lasting scars. Medicine Hat, Alberta was one of the earliest cities to take advantage of this new approach such that family cases in their courts were reduced by 85%.

For the couple willing to manage their emotions and think about their future relationship to their former spouse, collaborative divorce offers a less-expensive, friendlier approach to dissolving your marriage.


M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Good? Bad? Who's to say?

Who's to say what's good or bad, right or wrong?

"Husband cheats on famously talented and gorgeous wife with her best friend."

"Bad!" You might originally think. "That's just Wrong!" But don't jump to conclusions.

Two years after just such a scandal, Shania Twain's divorce is official, and she appears to be blissfully in love... with the other woman's ex-husband.,,20392236,00.html

Let me now make the quick point that this man may not have been available had his wife not cheated on him, and he'd certainly not be with Shania were she still married! And here they both are, smiling, laughing, and apparently enjoying each other.

It's a brain-twister, I know, but the next time you feel the urge to judge something (perhaps an infidelity), consider that this might just be exactly what's best for everyone's ultimate happiness.

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Polyamory. It's Personal.

Well, I had an very interesting phone call tonight.

There's a man in New York who I met at a sexuality conference in 2009, when we were both single. We fooled around a little, consoled and comforted and cared for each other a bit (non-exclusively), and have remained friends in periodic contact.

I say that I love him - and I do. The world is a better place with him in it, and there is a soft place in my heart for him. He brings out my desire to "take care of" and to "be good to." He gives so much of himself so generously... my natural response is to nurture him in return. It doesn't matter that we've only spent six days in each other's sporadic presence in the last two years, or that we only talk every three months or so on average. An organic love arises in me for him, and to deny that would be a lie.

He's been going through a tough time recently... his fiancee decided that she wasn't ready to be in a relationship with anyone, and while I admire her for identifying that before they tied the knot, it has understandably been hard on him. He was feeling spurned tonight when we finally spoke, and I shared with him how much I wish we were nearer geographically, and how I'd snuggle and comfort him, were I there to do so. In response, he, being the gorgeously sexual being that he is, asked me what I fantasize about!

The truth is that I don't! I may think about certain types of interactions, and perhaps even certain people, but I have stopped actively fantasizing... an activity I may need to put back into practice! Nonetheless, I shared my desire for a "throw each other up against the wall, tear our clothes off" kind of passion... one that came naturally when we were together in 2009. Its something that my fiance (Q) and I do not share, and that he honestly doesn't want with me. Ours is a different kind of energy, and it works for us, but leaves certain things lacking... and we've discussed a mutual need to get those other aspects fulfilled with other partners. In theory.

And then my dear friend invited me to fly to New York for a weekend. And now I totally get it. Because now it's personal.

In all of my attempts and flirtations and philosophical musings around polyamory, I've never been able to truly understand how it would be to have multiple loving partnerships. What would that look like? Feel like? How would that happen? How does that really work? Certainly, I understand it from an intellectual perspective, and I can even coach effectively within that paradigm, but the emotional intelligence was missing.

I LOVE my friend, AND we are not right for being 100% of the time life-partners. He is sexy, and handsome, smart and charming, funny and passionate, and we have an undeniable physical chemistry that's very attractive. I'd truly enjoy spending a weekend dining and dancing and making out and exploring each other, simply allowing ourselves to experience and express our love for one another in every naturally occurring way.

AND I would be completely thrilled to hop back on a plane and fly back to Q, who is my home base, my pillar of support, father to our animals and my 100% playmate and life-partner.

My love for my friend does not threaten my love for Q. My love for Q does not diminish my love for my friend. And both of them are entirely authentic expressions that arise from a deeply grounded place, one that never understood why "love" should be limited.

Admittedly, it would be much more challenging were we to all live within the same city, faced with schedules and other details of modern life. And I wonder, would it impact the way that Q and I are with each other afterward? There's no way to know until it happens. But for the first time, I GET it... and that makes a whole new world available.

The lesson is this: Wonder away, but you'll never know what it's like until you're IN the experience itself. Trying to anticipate the way it would work, how you'd react, how it would feel, etc. is a waste of time. This is true not only about such crazy questions like, "If I had to lose and arm or a leg, which would I choose?" but also, most certainly, for all matters of the heart.

You disapprove? Fine. But someday, should you ever find yourself in such a situation, don't be surprised if the rules you thought you honored no longer make sense.

Until it's personal, you'll never know.

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Tale of Three Relationships

Another one bites the dust... a celebrity marriage, that is, or at least the public perception of perfection. On the not-too-distant heels of Tiger woods' cheating debacle comes the news of Sandra Bullock's hubby, Jesse James, and his multiple extra-marital affairs.

But all is not lost in the world of high-profile, role-model, celebrity marriages... here are three examples of functional, loving relationships, each with their own unique flavor.

1) The (Semi-)Traditional - Amy Grant & Vince Gill

Amy Grant and  Vince GillAmy Grant and Vince Gill met in 1993 while taping an episode for Gill's Christmas show. Both were married at the time, and the Christmas show became a yearly collaboration as their friendship grew. Though they maintain that there was never any sexual impropriety during their marriages, their emotional connection was undeniable. Gill divorced in 1997, Grant in 1999 - and no, they were not in collusion at this point - and they married in March 2000 after a whirlwind courtship of less than a year.

Grant is one of the most influential Christian entertainers of her generation, and she took a lot of flak with the media for her divorce. Nonetheless, they seem to have created a successful family to include Gill's daughter from his first marriage, Grant's three children from her first marriage, and their own young daughter.

Some of what makes this monogamous marriage work is their willingness to learn from their previous marriages. Grant is quoted as saying, "You get into a second marriage and you go, Oh man, some of those weird dynamics, those were just me, and I've just dragged them off to the future! I shouldn't have been so hard on that first chapter!"

Knowing when
not to talk, asking for support instead of resenting not receiving it, giving up being right for it's own sake, and getting clear on (and telling the truth about) your own motivations are some of the tips they use for creating a productive partnership. "A big reason why our relationship is so good," says Gill, "is that it begins with respect and kindness. If you have those two things on the front burner, then the rest is kinda easy." (Quotes from Good Housekeeping, Feb. 2010)

2) The Sexually Open Marriage - Mo'Nique & Sydney Hicks

Mo'Nique and Sidney HicksMo'Nique, shortly before winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in 2009's Precious, was profiled by Barbara Walters for her final Oscar preview show. Not only does she share her experience with child abuse at the hands of her elder brother, and why she doesn't shave her legs, she also discusses her third marriage to long-time friend Sydney Hicks - an open marriage.

Although she does not admit to having had sex outside of her marriage to Sydney, she strongly asserts that either of them could do so without ending the marriage. "That's not a deal-breaker," she says. "That's not something that we would say, 'Oh my God! Because you were attracted to another person, and because you happened to have sex, let's end the marriage.'"

By Mo'Nique's definition, an open marriage is one without secrets, in which you can tell each other your every thought and deepest fantasy, so that there are no surprises, and she credits this arrangement, her best-friendship to Sydney, and their deep knowledge of who they are for their ability to operate this way. "What if it's 20 times?" she asks, in response to Barbara's questioning of more than once. "So what?... I'm very comfortable and secure with my husband."

3) The Emotionally Open Partnership - John Byrne, Tilda Swinton & Sandro Kopp

Tilda SwintonAlright, technically this one isn't a marriage, as Tilda Swinton (Oscar-winning Best Actress for Michael Clayton) and her playwright partner John Byrne are not married, but given their twin 11-year old sons, and the fact that they've been together for 19 years, I'm inclined to include them. Here are some interesting facts about their partnership...

Byrne is 69, Swinton is 49, and Kopp, an artist, is 30. Byrne and Swinton, and sometimes Kopp as well, live in a large, rambling house in Scotland with Byrne and Swinton's twins. Although Swinton and Byrne ended their marriage over five years ago, shortly after which Kopp entered the picture, they chose to remain living together, and both men play a major role in the children's lives. "We are all a family," she has said. "What you must also know is that we are all very happy."

This is not, however, an example of the stereotypical polyamorous relationship - one with multiple emotional and sexual partners. "When you say you love the father of your children and you also are in love with someone else, they immediately assume you're all in bed together," Swinton is quoted as saying. "Maybe the unorthodox thing, it's sad to say, is that we [are] all so happy, and this comes as a shock to people."

I acknowledge and celebrate these couples, or triads, for creating relationships that fulfill them, and that will hopefully stand the test of time.

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Friday, May 14, 2010

Relationship Tip - Speaking Up

Speaking Up

You know how it is... there's something you need to say to someone, and the dialogue plays out in your mind. I'll say this, and then she'll say that, and then I'll say, and she'll say... and it seems reasonable. You've know her long enough to anticipate her responses pretty well, right? The way you see it, it's not going to be a pretty conversation, and someone's feelings could get hurt. Perhaps, says a small voice in your mind, you should keep it to yourself for now and wait for better timing.

Don't listen to that voice's advice! It may be out to keep you "safe," but safe does not always lead to happy and successful, and isn't that what you really want for your relationships?

Try this on for size:

1) Each time you hold off in sharing yourself fully - a concern, an indiscretion, an upset - you treat the other person like they're too weak to handle it. Essentially, you turn into Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men hollering, "You can't handle the truth!" Chances are that they're stronger than you think.

2) You also allow yourself to think that you know how they'll react. I know, you have all of your history together to tell you how they'll respond, but people can surprise you. When you hold yourself back, you deny them the chance to do just that.

3) Are you sure that you're anticipating their reactions? Often, we imagine a response that we're afraid to receive, even one that happened years ago with someone else, and apply it to our current situation. It feels like our current partner might say no, or respond harshly, but in fact, it was someone long ago who said such a thing, and we've yet to forgive them and/or ourselves.

Humans - we are such amazing creatures!

So the next time that you find yourself holding back, thinking about the response you want to avoid, the likely behavior of your partner, or trying to shelter their feelings, take a deep breathe, admit to your fears, and speak up.

Incredible relationships take incredible courage, and they're worth it.

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Erotic Adventure - Guide for Therapists

For those who may not yet be aware, I have written an published a choose-your-own styled erotica entitled My Erotic Adventure. What that means is that the first few pages set up a scenario for the main character... for whom you'll be playing the part!

You get to choose what she does as each choice arises. For example, if you choose to go find your friend Lynne, turn to page 4, but if you choose to stay and talk with Trevor, turn to page 7. Well, the choices get pretty spicy - to give or receive oral sex, to include another couple in your sex or put on a show for an audience, etc. Eventually, each story line must end, and there are 48 unique endings for your entertainment. You can read testimonials and sample sections here.

Well, My Erotic Adventure is now available with a Guide for Therapists, Counselors and Coaches. Including four detailed maps of the book's branching story-line, the guide reviews the Sexual Acts, Relationship Styles, Alternative and BDSM Activities, and beneficial inquiries covered in the content and/or experienced by the main character. Additionally, I've included suggestions for possible conversations that can be intentionally broached with a client by using the book as a therapeutic tool.

If you or someone you know is a psychologist, therapist, counselor, coach or mental health professional who deals with issues of sex, sexuality or intimate relationship, please recommend that they contact me to discuss how this guide may serve their client's development and progress.

Thank you!

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Sunday, May 9, 2010

G-Spot Controversy

The Grafenberg Spot, commonly referred to as the G-spot, is named after Dr. Ernst Grafenberg, a gynecologist known for his research on female genitalia. This little pleasurable area that he hypothesized in a 1950 paper has long been a cause of debate in the medical community, and has recently been the focus of a study that's come under criticism.

The study by researchers at King's College London in the UK studied 1800 female twins and published their conclusions in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Lead study author, clinical psychologist Andrea Burri, and her team suggest that the G-spot has no genetic basis "and that environmental or psychological factors may contribute to whether a woman believes she has a G-spot or not."* The study's discussion section, however, reflects that the questions may not have been asked in a way that accurately captured the information sought.

Problem: The research team did not physically examine the women. Instead, they gave them a survey that asked if they believed they had a "so called G-spot, a small area the size of a 20p coin on the front wall of your vagina that is sensitive to deep pressure?" (a 20p coin is consistent with an American nickel.)

They found that 56% of the respondents answered "yes" and that there was no genetic correlation -- meaning, both twins did not necessarily answer the same way.

To me, this study seems not to indicate a darn thing about whether a woman actually Has or Has Experienced her G-spot, only whether or not she "thinks" she has one. This is a study about female thinking in the realm of sexuality. Using this study to invalidate the existence of the G-spot is heinous.

To quote Elizabeth Landau of CNN, "...those women who can't orgasm from vaginal intercourse may feel inadequate, and knowing that the G-spot may not exist can take some pressure off."*

Excuse me?!

Or, radical concept here, we could actually do a physical examination of women and use the tried and true, "Is it here? How about here? What about here?" technique, and then ask them if they believe they do or do not have a G-spot.

I recommend doing your own study and drawing your own conclusions.

To quote Debby Herbenick, research scientist at Indiana University and author of Because It Feels Good, "Whether you call it your G-spot or the front wall of your vagina, or if you make up a silly name for it ... at the end of the day, it's what you like and how your body works."*

*"Finding the G-spot: Is it real?" by Elizabeth Landau, CNN, January 5, 2010

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Friday, May 7, 2010

Relationship Tip - Listening

Listening... Huh? What??

You do not listen. Don't feel badly about that -- neither does anyone else. Is it any wonder then that living with and having meaningful relationships with other people is often referred to as one of the most difficult things? We have classes on public speaking, but where are the classes on listening? If everyone is speaking, but no one is listening, it's no surprise that the divorce rate in the USA was 48% in 2008.

One of the challenges in communication is what I'll call Family Language. We were each raised in a particular family environment, where certain words were used in certain ways, and held distinct meanings. Unfortunately, there is no set standard for Family Language, and the meaning of a word or phrase for one family is likely to mean something different in another.

During a heated discussion in my mid-20s, I came to realize that, when spoken with a particular tone, the phrase "What?" to me meant "What is wrong with you, are you stupid?" I did not hear the single word my partner spoke, or even that he was asking for clarification or increased volume, I heard that he thought I was stupid.

That's another challenge with what passes for listening -- hearing our own interpretation of what's said. My family did not say those things to me, I was never told that I was stupid. For whatever reason, I took on that interpretation. Realizing that my interpretation did not represent my boyfriend's intention led me to the next question... If it wasn't true with him, was it ever true with anyone? Did my family perhaps not accuse me of being stupid?

This points to one way out of these booby traps -- listening for the speaker's intention. I know that my fiance loves and respects me and wants me to be happy. So when he speaks in a certain way, and my hackles rise, I have the opportunity to be responsible for my own interpretation and say, "Okay, I just heard you imply that I'm stupid, but I don't think you meant that, did you? Did I hear you wrong?"

If he DID mean to call me stupid, we get to have a very interesting conversation... but that has never yet happened, and when he didn't, I get to let go of being upset and actually be WITH the man who loves me.

So the next time your panties get bunched or (insert manly example here), verbally check what you heard with the person who spoke it. You might discover a false interpretation, and gain access to intimacy and connection. And who doesn't want that?!

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Back to the Beginning

I haven't always been a relationship coach. No surprise - it's the rare person these days who retires from the same career path that they began out of high school.

My first college degree is a BFA in Theatre. It was 1987, I was young and impressionable, and I loved to sing and dance, and to build things, as I soon discovered. However, while I may have classmates on Broadway, operating theatres around the country, and in major motion pictures, the theatre lifestyle left me craving stability, and I thought I'd left it behind. Enter an unexpected alignment and opportunity!

I am now the Production Manager for Inviting Desire - a work of original theatre about women's fantasies that opens to Portland, OR audiences on May 14th. The ensemble cast surveyed over 100 women about their desires, fears and fantasies in preparation for the show, took the responses, and has crafted 15 original pieces plus several improvisations that will make you laugh, consider, and be glad you came.

For those not within driving distance of Portland, consider recommending this show to your local edgy theatre company. Our intention is to package the creative process to support other companies in creating their own original works, in a way that works!

Viva la sexual revolution! Pass my beret.

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Monday, May 3, 2010

Relationship Tip - Purpose


We hear the stories all the time... Couple gets married, has kids, raises kids. Kids leave home, couple gets divorced. At first we might think that they grew apart over time, or couldn't reconnect to what made them love each other in the first place.

Here's another view point to consider: Perhaps they fulfilled the purpose of their relationship.

People build relationships in their lives for all kinds of purposes. My relationship with my accountant is for the purpose of supporting me in my tax obligations... not just for handling them, but for supporting me too. My relationship with some of my distant friends is for the purpose of coaching each other when one gets into a funk, for sharing fond memories, and letting the other person know that they're loved. We might talk once every six months, and that's enough to fulfill our purpose.

Not all intimate relationships are life-long commitments, nor do they need to be. Some people are together to provide companionship during a challenging transition, some to educate each other on differing points of view, some to share new experiences, to create an experience of something that had been missing, or of what does
not work.

Some purposes, like that last one, may only be visible in your rear view mirror, once they are behind you, but others can be declared up front. My relationship with my fiance is for the fulfillment of our personal missions (mine is
all people free to live the intimate relationships that inspire, and his is a world of peace and prosperity for all), for our continued spiritual development, and for playing in the world together.

Now, I have had past relationships that were for incredible sex, and this is not one of those! We work through the challenges of a less-than fully compatible sexual nature without it breaking us up, because that is not what our relationship is
for. As long as the purpose of our relationship is being fulfilled, nothing else poses a real threat. Our reason for staying together is clear and joyously binding.

The process of finding your purpose may not always be an easy one. We're taught that relationships should look, and feel, and behave a certain way. Setting that aside, however, and looking at what truly matters to you most, may point you toward a purpose that provides stability and clarity in a world of chaos and wondering, and so I ask you...

What is your relationship's purpose?

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Relationship Tip - Agreements

It's all about your Agreement.

We live in a world full of agreements. Many of them are taught - use the restroom for your gender - and some of them are enforced - stop at the red light. Many of them, however, are unspoken, and these are the ones that get us into trouble.

From such simple issues as how to load the dishwasher to complex conundrums like how to behave around the opposite sex, we often take it as a given that we're in agreement with those around us. Imagine our surprise when they bend or break our rules, or fail to meet our expectations!

Look into your life and consider where you think you're in agreement with your partners and loved ones. How to raise the kids? Views on monogamy? The kind of sex life you'd like to have 10 years from now - or tonight? Did you actually discuss this with your partner, or have you assumed that you're both "on the same page?"

Raising the question with a loved-one can be challenging, but it can also be surprisingly fun! You might like what you find out. Either way, having a generous and open conversation now could save you some difficult times in the future.

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Processing Trauma

I could have lost my fiance this week.

He came down with "gas pain" on Sunday night, which came and went with varying severity over the next two days. Tuesday evening, while I was headed downtown, it suddenly blossomed into excruciating, guts-being-torn-out-with-a-hot-poker pain. He called me, I raced back home, located the nearest ER, fed the dog, loaded Q into the car, and off we went.

Pulse racing, chills, fever and cold sweats, barely able to move, panting and screaming from the pain, we got him into a bed, onto fluids and pain meds, and through a CAT scan that revealed the need for an emergency appendectomy. They admitted him around midnight, predicting surgery the next morning, and eventually sent me home for a meal and several fitful hours of sleep. Thank goodness for L-tryptophan and melatonin.

He had surgery the next day, which went well, though his appendix was gangrenous, and we spent the day managing his pain as he mostly slept. I went home again late that night, promising to return at 9 AM, fed the dog, fed myself, chilled for an hour and hit the sack. Again, thank goodness for enzymes.

Thursday was a bit better for him, though he'd had a rough night of pain and restlessness, but I was basically worthless. I was so tired I could barely function.

Lesson #1)
I should never have promised to return by 9 AM. He was relatively out of the woods, though still at risk for an abscess, and he honestly didn't need me there - he just wanted me there - and, having never been through this type of emergency before, I had not taken into account the toll it was taking on me. I was completely exhausted. He sent me home to take a nap, after which I returned, and kicked me out at a decent hour of the night.

Friday morning he'd fully turned the corner, and I returned to find him in good spirits. I, on the other hand, was an over-emotional, cranky, semi-petulant mess. "What's wrong with me?" I wondered. "It's too early to be PMS, so what's going on?" Finally, after speaking some of it out with Q, it hit me...

Lesson #2) I had never processed my fear and terror from the incident.
Oh my goodness, I was so scared! But I'm REALLY good in emergencies - I shove my emotional impact down so far and so fast that I barely even notice it's there. And that's what needs to happen -- it allows me to get things done in a fast and efficient manner, to be effective in the face of distress. It works... but only for so long. Once the situation has stabilized, I need to allow those feelings to arise and be experienced.

So I sat down on the bed next to Q and sobbed it all out. I could have lost him, and if I had, I would have sold my furniture, broken my lease, taken the animals and moved into my mom's house in Peoria, because I would NOT have been able to function. And that's scary for me, that I love someone so much that grief at the loss of them would functionally disable me.

Lesson #3) You NEVER know what that kind of loss is like until you face the possibility of it head on.
And the fact of the matter is that it could happen at any moment. ANY, for no reason and with no warning, and there may be nothing that you could do about it. I am so completely grateful for hospitals, and for their staff of experts who take such good care of strangers like us in our moments of greatest need. I thank the gods that Q knows how much I love him, and the other way around - had anything gone horribly wrong, there's nothing left unsaid between us. At the same time, we do not have wills, or estate trusts, or power of attorney to allow me to speak for his wishes in a crisis, and I don't even know what his wishes are, so that's a conversation for us to have.

I told Q that I didn't want him to be bothered with taking care of me when he should focus on taking care of himself. His response was that my breakdown could be an opportunity for him to provide for me, and give him a reason to get better faster. Hmmm... so...

Lesson #4) Allowing myself to be authentic and vulnerable could actually be of service to someone else? Imagine that!!

So we're home now, heading to bed again, in OUR bed with lots of snuggling on the menu. I feel that I've been seasoned somehow, that I've passed a trial, that I am wiser about the realm of loss and of strength... that there is a cost to the latter. I am keenly aware of what I have at stake, that I have something to lose in this world, and also something to deeply enjoy. So I'm gonna go do exactly that.

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Friday, April 16, 2010

Plz forgive temporary absence

My fiance came down with appendicitis and had an emergency appendectomy. All such writing work has gone to the wayside while he's in the hospital. I'll be back shortly, perhaps to share the lessons I'm learning about the importance of caring for oneself WHILE caring for another. Thanks for your patience!


Friday, April 9, 2010

Dishing the Dirt - Confessions of a Sell-Out

I sold out.

It's true. I didn't realize it until recently, but I had sold out on myself, and as a result, I had sold out on you.

I thought that I knew what great sex looked and felt like. I thought that I knew what it meant to experience intimacy, to be close to another person in a deeply moving and meaningful way. I thought that I knew - and thus, I stopped looking, and I stopped learning.

There was what I knew, and then there was that woo-woo Tantra stuff... and who can blame me, right? Some of the ways in which Tantra practitioners present their materials and concepts will push the believability boundaries of any logical, rational being with a healthy dose of cynicism. I just couldn't seem to bring myself to step into that realm, and I told myself that what I had was good enough, almost as good as it could get, and that I was working on it.

And then I attended a discussion with Baba Dez Nichols, co-author of Sacred Sexual Healing: The Shaman Method of Sex Magic. (I thought it was more of that woo-woo stuff, but Q wanted to go, and "Sex Magic" peaked my interest.) What I heard resonated with me in unexpected ways and opened my eyes to a glimmer of a possibility that there could be a whole world of sexuality in which I was VERY interested - a world where sexual energy could be used intentionally, not only for pleasure, and for connection with a partner, but for manifestation - for the intentional creation of the life I deeply desire.

You know which that life is, right? The one that seems just beyond what's realistic, the one that society says isn't really possible, the one that, when shared, gets me called a dreamer. THAT life, the one I sold out on.

To anyone else, it would appear coincidental that subsequent to my purchase of the book, Q and I experienced together the most intensely pleasurable sexual encounter I've ever known - one that blew the roof off what I thought my body could experience, what "orgasm" could mean, what was possible between loving partners. I hadn't even started reading it yet!

I know, however, that it was the result of an act taken in faith, the fruits of intended labor, the giving up of resignation and the willingness to explore and admit that perhaps there's something out there that I didn't know I didn't know.

It's a new world in which I live now, one full of adventure and possibility... and I promise to share it with you. I will not sell out on you again.

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Kinky Toybag Tour - Floggers

Let's discuss floggers!

Flogging, or flagellating, the act of using a flogger on another person, began as a punishment in the way-back centuries. For a full history, use something like
Wikipedia. This post is not for that purpose.

These days, flogging is used within the BDSM community for any number of reasons, one of which is to being about an altered state of consciousness, sometimes known as sub-space. Wikipedia has this to say, which which I agree:

"In the sexual sub-culture of
BDSM, "flagellation" involves beating the submissive partner and is a form of impact play. Such a flogging begins with soft blows, desensitizing the skin somewhat and triggering the body's endorphin response to pain, similar to "runner's high". The gradual increase in force heightens this response, often to a near-catatonic state in the bottom.

The flogger used in this context consists of a handle with an number of attached thongs known as "falls". Falls are typically made of materials such as suede, leather, rubber, rope, or other or flexible materials. The length, number, and composition of the falls determines the sensation caused by the flogger. Floggers are usually characterized by the sensation they cause. "Thuddy" floggers typically impart a broadly felt deep muscle impact, while "stingy" floggers are felt as a sharp stinging sensation over the skin. The sensation of floggers can also vary with the techniques used by the dominant (or top).

Floggers are typically applied to areas of the body which are well muscled, or protected by body fat, such as the upper back or buttocks. Vulnerable areas such as the abdomen, kidneys, and face are to be avoided. Some areas, such as female breasts, can be lightly flogged safely if appropriate care and skill is used. Intense flogging can leave
bruising but typically does not cut or permanently mark the skin."

This is actually well said! Thus my liberal quoting. Here are some additions...

Wider, thicker falls of heavier grades of leather lend themselves to a thuddy feeling, like being punched. The heaviest floggers are known as mops or bashers, and not only use heavier leathers, but also dramatically increase the number of falls.

Thinner falls of a lighter material lend themselves to sting, like being slapped. Cat-o-nine tails seems to be one of the original variants. Very thin falls, perhaps with angled tips, can get quite sharp, and there are lots of wild arrangements for people who really like sting... like knotted nylon rope instead of leather, or small plastic or metal barbs on the ends that actually Could cut skin. Leather is not the only material used, and one of the most beautiful floggers I've seen was made from linked chain.
This site will give you lots of visual examples. Peruse all of the categories at will!

This is another site with beautiful craftsmanship and great explanations, and which particularly mentions balancing their floggers. This is very important, as the way a flogger sits into your hand impacts your ability to control it comfortably. There is a style of flogging called Florentine that involved wielding two floggers at once, one in each hand, often in a figure-8 type of motion. I find it Hot to watch and fun to do. With imbalanced floggers, however, it can be torturous!

You can buy floggers at most sex shops that have any kind of kink section, but the best ones (IMHO) are hand made and woven and purchased from the artist.

Most importantly, remember that flogging happens by permission only! Now, go enjoy!

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -