Archive for the 'Sustainable Love' Category

A Thousand Years

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Life behind the fence“While we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us.” –Audre Lorde


Yesterday, a judge gave Ariel Castro, the Ohio man guilty of abducting, raping and abusing 3 young women for more than ten years, life in prison plus a thousand years.   Given that he only has one life to pay for his heinous crimes I was thinking maybe that the justice system might want to spread the other 1000 years around for the other hundreds of thousands of offenders who make a business out of abducting, raping, selling and torturing millions of young girls around the world. As horrible as Castro’s crimes were, they are far from unique. Sex trafficking includes all of the crimes that he committed against these girls and worse.  It is big business in the organized crime world. There are literally millions of Ariel Castros out there abducting, abusing and raping young girls all over the world.

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Angels in Disguise

Friday, June 28th, 2013

northernlights4“Nobody’s perfect. We’re all just one step up from the beasts and one step down from the angels.”-   Jeannette Walls


Years ago at one of the last adult shows I attended my Good Clean Love booth was next to the Angels, Buck the Transman porn star and his wife Elaine  author of the Piercing Bible.  At first glance, this couple who was literally covered from head to toe in tattoos and piercings selling huge glass pieces and giant posters of Buck: Man with a Pussy was as foreign to me as I could imagine.   I was stunned.  My judgments about who they were came upon me so fast that there was not enough time to recognize them as judgments, let alone question them.   I was pretty certain that I would not have much in common to connect to my neighbors.  That was the beginning of my summer of gratitude project when I was learning how to access gratitude and I was asking fellow vendors for prizes for the best gratitude entries. Asking Buck and Elaine about gratitude changed everything.

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The Infidelity Preventative

Friday, June 21st, 2013

comfortguyresized “Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.” -Sophocles

Yesterday, I interviewed Neil Biderman, the founder and CEO of Ashley Madison, the online affair portal that boasts 19 million profiles in 26 countries.  Every day, the business of cheating generates 26,000 new users and over $91,000.  His empire, built on what isn’t working in human intimacy, is booming. Our conversation was lively; he was accustomed to the push back and articulate about the challenges of making a fortune on the devastating betrayals that his website generates. Initially, he argued that it wasn’t the desire for sex as much as a longing for passion and attention that motivated so many of his female customers to initiating affairs. Only moments later he claimed that his website was actually helpful to marriage longevity because it allowed people to stay together and have their sexual needs taken care of elsewhere.

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How Lubricants Became a Public Health Crisis

Friday, June 7th, 2013

info-graphic-otc-lube-danger“Virtually all hyperosmolar lubricants need to be reformulated… Normally the mucosal lining of the vagina is a good barrier to infection all by itself, but when that barrier gets compromised, all bets are off.”   -Richard Cone, biophysicist Johns Hopkins

My work making personal lubricants never seemed like the answer to a national health crisis until now.  As many of you know, I was inspired to start Good Clean Love to solve my own intimacy needs. The burning and itching that followed my intimacy didn’t really leave me longing for more. Developing products that made loving healthier was a personal quest more than a business idea. Along the way, I have learned quite a bit about the business side, although still really struggle to understand the greed motive that drives so many large multinational corporations to do things that people individually they would never do on their own (Monsanto is practically synonymous with environmental destruction in my mind). Even though Monsanto’s genetic engineering and planting pesticides inside of food is well known, it seems impossible to stop them.

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Growing Up, Growing Older

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

oldcouplecloseupresized“The only way that we can live is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”  -C. Joybell


I am coming to the end of an era in my life as my youngest daughter celebrates her 15th birthday this week.  Mothering my four children has been my primary occupation for the last half of my life and now, as I near the end of this growth cycle, I am coming to see what has yet to grow in me. Somehow as I was having all these babies I never realized how old I would become when the job was done.  I remember a few random moments pushing a swing, when I would calculate how old I would be when this last little girl would graduate from high school, but then the idea of this time so far in the future felt like fiction.  Imagining my two–year-old at fifteen was as unimaginable to me as my then 37-year-old self turning 52.

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Weeding the Relationship Garden

Friday, April 12th, 2013

dandelion-blowing-in-wind1“You must weed your mind as you would weed your garden.” ~Terri Guillemets


I learned about weeds before I learned anything about gardens.  For my 40th birthday my husband built me a beautiful, secure deer fence and I was told to use straw to augment and lighten the heavy clay soil.   The straw turned out to be hay and seeded itself heartily throughout the space.   I was overwhelmed with weeds that I had inadvertently planted.   Later, after the hay crop was removed, as a novice gardener, I planted several varieties of plants that I was told had “magical” properties.  Although I didn’t know them as weeds, they infiltrated throughout the flowers and vegetable beds with their sticky seed pods.  For many years, weeding and gardening were synonymous.   Removing the weeds was the prerequisite to creating the space to grow the garden I had envisioned.   It also became a worthy metaphor for working on my marriage.

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Chrysalis of Transformation

Friday, April 5th, 2013

butterfly“The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly.” -Richard Bach 

I recently learned that the transformation of the caterpillar to a butterfly isn’t just about the effort of spinning their cocoon. Once inside, the caterpillar literally liquefies in its metamorphosis to its adult form as a butterfly, which, while short lived, optimizes the astonishing feat of beauty and freedom that most all living creatures aspire towards.  In humans, I would argue based on recent life events, the transformation to our fully free and beautiful selves is no less epic. Yet, instead of spinning a cocoon of silk, we transform through forgiveness, through our courage to feel and dismantle the stories that have defined us and remarkably re-make our cellular memory.

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Stop the Cutting

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Africangirls_ca-CM-mfk-1“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead


The deep abiding mistrust of female sexuality makes the world go round. For us in the West, we know this space as an inability to orgasm, the loss of desire and the fear of getting too close. But in the cultures that make up Africa and the Middle East this mistrust holds a razors edge over the genitalia of millions of young girls. In these cultures, just retaining the physiological capacity for pleasure makes one unclean, unmarriageable, and unable to take their place in their community. This required and brutal rite of passage, sometimes referred to as female circumcision, or more simply “cutting”, has been performed on more than 140 million women living on the planet.

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Unlearning Useless Lessons

Friday, February 8th, 2013

“Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” -William James


Most people would probably agree that if all they needed to remember about giving and receiving love, they learned in kindergarten, they might also add the caveat that most of what they need to forget is what they learned in high school. I have noticed in my dealings with the many teenagers that I find myself around lately, through the Positivity Club I helped launch in our local high school, as well as the strained relating with my own teens, that there are a few consistent behaviors that disrupt relationships and impede emotional development that are worth forgetting. In the Valentine’s Day spirit of opening up to all the love that surrounds us, here is a short list of useless habits of the heart that will only enhance your feelings of being loveable by letting them go.

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For Love or Money

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.” -The Dalai Lama XIV


It is an odd and painful irony that often just as things are really coming together successfully in life, we often lose touch with the love that had inspired us to get there. We expect just the opposite. In our longings for whatever we aspire to, we believe wholeheartedly that achieving our dreams and succeeding in our plans will bring us only happiness. The reality is just the opposite. More often than not, great success and windfall opportunity doesn’t connect us more deeply to what we love doing or the people we love. Rather, it increases our stress levels and turns our heartfelt work into a need to prove something or, worse still, a fear of failure.

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