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Becoming a Better Man by Practicing Vulnerability

After Oct. 17, my relationship shifted from a spell of ho-hum, back to the same level of love and passion we’d had in the beginning. The shift began at TurnON SF: OneTaste’s weekly meet-up, which features saucy group exercises that allow you to divulge your innermost desires. TurnON’s conclude with “intimacies,” where everyone shares one feeling about a person, the group, or the experience in general.

One woman directed her intimacy toward me. She said, “I was disappointed that you did not reveal your true self tonight.”

I felt embarrassed; I knew she was right. That night, I’d opted to be funny rather than honest.  When I shared my intimacy, I decided not to hold back anymore. “Tonight I felt uncomfortable, and when I do – rather than showing my true self – I try to be an entertainer.”

After I said this, a layer of internal fog lifted and I felt 10x better.  I later mentioned this to OneTase’s co-founder and he responded, “Welcome.” He also suggested I sign up for that weekend’s 3-day course: Ignited Man, which was all about learning to be vulnerable and authentic.

I took his suggestion. The course began Friday at 7:00pm and went till 10:00pm. There were introductions, bonding exercises, hugging and chest bumps.  My girlfriend picked me up and expected to see change. I knew I hadn’t changed a bit. She noticed too, and I felt sad about this. To see progress, I knew I would have to push myself for the next two days.

Understanding the Issues

The following morning opened with a live demonstration of Orgasmic Meditation (OM), a 15-minute practice where the “stroker” applies a gentle stroke to the upper-left quadrant of a woman’s clitoris. After the demonstration, the woman sat up and smiled genuinely. Her satisfied grin made me realize I hadn’t seen my girlfriend smile in a while. I guess my girlfriend was feeling unfulfilled, too.

For the second part of the day, we were instructed to list 10 vulnerabilities. Mine included, “I’m afraid to commit in a relationship.” We then listed 10 desires, one of mine being, “I really want to have a three-some.”  During this exercise, we had to approach one woman in public and tell her one desire, then approach another woman and share a vulnerability. I always loved approaching women. I made a habit of doing so — sometimes to the dismay of my girlfriend. She especially disliked when I did so with gimmicks such as picking the woman up in the air, and twirling her around (that was my signature move), though she didn’t mind as much if it didn’t get too physical too quickly. After all, she liked women, too, and benefited from my “approaching.”

Me and the guys drove to the Mission, and were separated into groups.  As we walked toward Dolores park, I noticed a young woman sitting in the grass. I walked over and said with a smile, “Don’t worry, I’m not dangerous.” I extended my hand, “I saw you sitting here and wanted to introduce myself. Hi, I’m Rachman.” The other guys kept walking to scope out their own subjects. The woman blocked out the sun with her left hand, smiled, then shook my hand with her right.

“Nice to meet you,” she replied, “I’m Cassandra.”

As I sat down, I reminded myself to be real, and we started talking. Cassandra told me she was an energy healer. I mentioned that I had started meditating recently. “It helps me get out of my head, because sometimes I try to say the perfect thing to impress women.” I had just revealed one of my 10 vulnerabilities, and my chest loosened; I felt lighter and more relaxed. This, in turn, allowed me to be fully present in our conversation. Having an authentic conversation with an attractive woman was one of my 10 desires. My desire actually happened, as a result of me being vulnerable.

Failing Publicly

At this point, I am convinced that I have to become more authentic, in order to score more women for my girlfriend and I.

That evening, the Ignited Man class was invited to a party for a beautiful woman whose desire was to be treated like royalty. Everyone affectionately called her “The Queen” during the party.  My girlfriend came later that night to pick me up, and connected with The Queen instantly. I was proud that she was able to attract The Queen, while I was too intimidated to have a conversation with her as my new, authentic self.

As the party ended, everyone headed back to OneTaste’s residence.  My girlfriend’s friend was pulling her away as I was wrapping up a conversation, and I heard her yell over her should, “I’ll meet you there!”

When I arrived, however, my girlfriend wasn’t there. In fact, her friend was sitting alone in the lobby.

I called her phone. No answer.

I walked upstairs to look for her. As I passed another friend, he said, smirking, “The Queen needs 15 minutes with your girlfriend.”

What!?

I had wanted our relationship to be open to other partners, but we were supposed to be together when that happened. I felt a hot, searing pain in my chest, which I later identified as jealousy — something I hadn’t experienced very often. There hadn’t been a time when a woman liked my girlfriend more than she liked me.

Panic set in. I began imagining The Queen with a strap-on bigger than my cock, plowing my girlfriend while laughing, “Your boyfriend could never fuck you like me!”

I called again. This time she picked up.

“Where are you?” I tried to sound calm.

“In the Queen’s room…317.”

I walked over, knocked, and went in without waiting for a response. “Hi, honey!” my girlfriend said excitedly.

The Queen quickly interjected, “Is it OK if we have 5 minutes?”

I tried to think of a smart response, but no words came out. The Queen continued, “I’ve never been with a woman before.”

The only thing I could mutter while looking at the ground was, “Umm, we have these rules… about hooking up… and…” I looked at my girlfriend, and got nothing from her. She was on a totally different wavelength at this point. I gave up. “It’s OK, you two have your fun,” I pouted and walked downstairs.

“Everything OK, dude?” one of my classmates asked, noting my disheartened face.

I took a deep breath, then replied, “No! My girlfriend is upstairs with The Queen, hooking up without me!”

I plopped on the couch like a patient in a psychiatrists office. I recounted what had just transpired, now realizing that I had ruined a perfect opportunity to play with two turned-on women.

Five minutes later, my girlfriend came downstairs, sat, and listened as I opened up to a group of people, many of whom I did not know.  My audience was empathetic, as I told them how jealous and inadequate I had felt in that moment.

My girlfriend looked on, amazed. She felt the change in me.

Being Open to Monogamy

The next day over breakfast, my girlfriend and I discussed what had happened. My reaction made me question if I could handle other women in our relationship at all. After some intense discussion she said, “I go for other women because that’s what you said you wanted. I was just taking advantage of the openness of our relationship, and I thought we could both have some fun. But I only need you. I’m happy with you and only you.

“Wow,” I thought, “my girlfriend really loves me.”

I realized that by telling me she only wanted to be with me, she was making herself vulnerable. She put her true feelings on the line, even though she wasn’t sure how I was going to react. I could have told her I didn’t feel the same way, which would have hurt her deeply. I could have gotten scared off and decided to leave our relationship all together. She was expressing a desire for monogamy, even though I had never made it clear whether I was fully invested in our relationship. I was, in fact, relieved, because I had a sneaking suspicion that she really wanted other women more than me.

She continued, “For the record, The Queen and I didn’t hook up. When you walked out of the room, I knew you would be upset if I did, so I didn’t do it.”

I had already forgiven her, but it was comforting knowing I could really trust her, and I continued to marvel at how comfortable she seemed while being vulnerable.

After this experience, we both realized that what we really needed was to focus on each other. So, we agreed to OM every day as a way to reinforce our commitment to the relationship. Having done this for four weeks, we’ve seen a wonderful shift. By devoting 15 minutes a day to the practice, loving one another has become a habit. We’re at the peak of our relationship and I owe that to learning to be vulnerable, communicating authentically, and being consistently affectionate with my girlfriend.

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