Self Care Making Time For You

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Making an ally and friend of yourself unlocks a state of well-being.


If you have an ally, that is someone on your side. Ally comes from the Latin word alligare, meaning "to bind to," — an act of coming together, a protection of one.


Rene Böhmer    Photo

Yet, as a Life Coach, I find there are those who rather than being an ally to themselves,  are instead their own worst enemy. Most of the time they are unconscious of doing it to themselves until they have come undone. Often it is unconscious, the shadow side of themselves and acting without knowledge of what one really wants to accomplish. I am reminded of the quote: “The most reliable friend you have is your shadow.” – Matshona Dhliwayo


It comes later, as a revelation to them, to discover that self-awareness must be a key component for well-being and therefore success. To have success is to have communication with yourself. In other words, you are always in a relationship with yourself, the question is what kind is it?  Not to sound weird, but this relationship with yourself should be arguably one of the most important relationships that you have.


This Self-relationship is a foundation for everything else. Having said that, this self-relationship is not to be confused with negative compulsions of narcissism, nor on the other hand with overwhelming blame and shame about ourselves, rather it should identify traits that focus our being in a good place, to organize our self so that things happen in effective ways that allow for good interpersonal skills, and as a byproduct, produces success according to the individual’s own definition of success.


In other words, for you to focus on yourself in such a way to produce crucial development for a healthy sense of self. It is about gaining knowledge and having an understanding of how you operate and liking what you see in that process.

This establishes a baseline for you from which to work that can extend beyond yourself to others in ways that are altruistic and advantageous to all.


 This is going to take being a good friend to yourself first, by  developing and sustaining your relationship with the self.


One way to start, is by checking out how you speak to yourself. Remember everything you say you hear as well. No matter if talking to a room full of people or by yourself. This would include not only the words you say out loud but also the words you think. Words have an emotional imprint. Check yourself to see if you tend to speak harshly to yourself (either in your spoken voice or in your thinking voice).


If you catch yourself negatively impacting yourself with your self-talk, find a way to stop and observe. Try and see the emotional atmosphere you find yourself in — is there anger or agitation, is your heart rate up, are the words criticizing? Take a breath, slow it down and consciously reappraise the situation, in an effort to be gentler with yourself before continuing with any more outward action.


reappraise the situation,  in an effort to be gentler with yourself before continuing with any more outward action.  


Some life coaching clients find it helpful to practice conversations out loud with themselves— under the right conditions, doing so can be very useful. By consciously  using  the thoughts you’ve assembled  you have the capacity to unearth feelings buried within the words  to make possible clear differences in your discourse of what is advantageous and that which does not promote or contribute to personal or social well-being.



That said, know that it takes time to develop a new habit. It will require your desire and your motivation to build this skill.


Journaling is another good practice to capture, record reactions, and keep track of your progress with self-talk. It is a place to start getting to know more about you. Journaling as a habit becomes an invaluable way to acquaint oneself with and to change personal experiences for the better.

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Journaling seems easier to accomplish if you will begin by setting small manageable goals, such as writing for just 15 minutes a day. Once in the routine, beginners will gain a new slant or perspective on their behaviors, while for seasoned chroniclers these insights provide motivation to continue.

You are in essence creating a new habit, one that by sticking to it keeps you conscious of and befriending yourself.


 In the beginning, as I mention, it may require some effort. Fortunately, if you keep at it and can eventually practice it daily, the process will become easier for you and eventually become an automatic part of your daily routine

Calvin’s Learning Circle’s

Calvin’s Learning Circle’s

 More on Journaling in upcoming articles. For my readers asking for deeper work, may I suggest a small group or one on one session that can be arranged with me? In addition, The Prosperos School of Ontology offers two seminars that are extremely useful: Translation and Releasing the Hidden Splendor. The classes offer tools for reaching change, a change in consciousness, not a change in “things.” You can contact me at my email address for more information about these classes, small group activities, or one on one mentoring services by going to the Contact Page.


Let me conclude with these words:

 “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi


Thanks for reading


Calvin On Learning

How One Student Grows For Self & Others


Calvin Harris H.W. M.  isn’t simply teaching classes. He is deeply invested in how to better embody its lessons.  He takes to heart these words: “What An Educator Does In Teaching  Is To Make It Possible For The Students to Become Themselves” - quote by the Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Reglus Neves Freire known for his work with adult illiterates and for promoting critical pedagogy, a theory, and practice of helping students achieve critical consciousness. Calvin’s learning of Critical Consciousness came from a different path, for as a young person his search for Truth and self-understanding lead him to the teaching and later apprenticeship from Master Teacher Thane Walker, in his School The Prosperos, founded 1956 in Florida and operated in California since the 1960’s

Calvin uncovered his calling or dharma in 1969, in the Prospers, and his ultimate goal is to be able to facilitate change. To help build and sustain a holistic community, organized in a way so one can experience more intensive programs of self-discovery and learning. Calvin says: “My students, I want to give extraordinary experiences, perspectives that they would not be able to experience singularly. Training that is immersive, found in intimate group settings using handpicked subject matter with  unique perspectives, all with the goal of providing a sense of  drawing forth from within, and creating  transformative knowing within the student, in both mind and in spirit.”  


This speaks to his teaching trajectory, of offering practices and a way for the teachings to have embodiment. He says: “I love the idea of belonging to a strong community collectively working to become a more aware, insightful, sensuousness, conscious organization. I like to support creating leaders and role models that can extend our community with a positive message. Extending to others the challenge and joy of practices to know thyself.

I like the feel of working with others,  of when I am conversing, eating, drinking, exercising, just moving with conscious intention surrounded by others, all who are doing the work – then I am at home, living my dharma in the core of beingness.” 

Self Care Making Time For You


Making Time For You

by Calvin Harris H.W., M.



Between the demands of working and bringing home a paycheck, family obligations, paying the bills, social media, and a little time for friends . . . it feels like no time is left for you.


As part of Self-Care month, I wanted you to focus on making time for yourself. Self-Care is another way of saying let’s be Healthy. Which is really different from saying let me be selfish.


Another idea to consider about Health, is that health is not always maintained from medicines. Medicine suggests you can be relieved of dis-ease, or chemically restore a balance in pursuit of the healthy Body. A healthy lifestyle, I suggest, may take you further than just medicine alone. Consider adding activities and things that contribute to peace of mind, peace in the heart, peace in the soul. And, oh yes, liberal amounts of laughter and love to be applied daily for self-care.


To have a healthy lifestyle takes a change in habits, a conscious focus to make time for yourself each day, even if it is only fifteen minutes a day. It is important but, unfortunately, I have seen from clients in my life coaching business time and again it’s something they will let slide or neglect in their busy stressed-out life and wonder why they feel the way they do.


When your thoughts are negative or unsupportive of your happiness and success you feel out of balance or dis-eased. You will find that to change your thinking means to stop beating yourself up: instead, redirect your thinking to thoughts that will support your success and happiness. Laugh, if you can, when you think about the time you have spent obsessing over matters that are not happening or have run their course and are completed.


Suggestion: Arrange whatever small block of time you can to just stop - and draw back from the fast-paced routine of the day to just be truly with yourself and, if possible, define how you feel, or what you’ve learned or experienced. In those moments with yourself take stock to see how you live, and most importantly what gives you enjoyment. The importance of this exercise is that you are not just letting your life slip away from you.


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Self-Care moments exist to counteract living life on autopilot. Use tools like journaling to become more mindful in your day-to-day life. It can take just minutes a day to inspire valuable Habit changes. Two wonderful sources I use and that can get you started in that direction are: First, the book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey, which is a book written on Covey's belief that the way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. And the second is by a company called Vertellis, who has put out an actual journaling formatted book called Vertellis Chapters Journal. I highly recommend both for anyone looking to draw out of themselves and refresh their perspective on how they view the world and are living their lives in it. This is also preparation for those who choose to move their life forward. (Unsurprisingly, this forward movement comes with a feeling of living in gratitude and to have no regrets.)


Over the next 7 to 10 years, the world will look a whole lot different. “AI” Technology will see to that! Computer monitors and other screen-time activities will obliterate “quality”-self-time and instill the mantra “staying busy is more important than self-reflection." Unfortunately, this can create less understanding of oneself and the ability one has for crucial thinking and coping with change in a healthy manner. So, my mission is to facilitate meaningful habit changes with Life Coaching and encouraging self-dialog through Journaling and small group activities. I liken Journaling to going through a maze or Labyrinth of your mind, giving you an outlet for self-reflection and development.


Encouraging these offline moments increases space for self-reflection and can spark sincere conversations with yourself and people you care about to inspire a wholeness within you, through reflection, and self-awareness for a happier, satisfying and more meaningful life.


A satisfying life is what I call a successful life. It goes against conventional thinking, but the word successful, in its normal sense of the word usually is the measure of “other people’s criteria" or standards, not by what the individual creates as criteria for themselves. Flip that around with the use of the word Satisfaction: Now, you see, that is measured, and criteria of your own mind, heart, and efforts are in play.


Routine Daily habits of journaling will allow you to identify your greatest hopes, fears, and dreams, to process that information before you go into a situation that truly matters to you; to learn and name what could hold you back from exploring your innate creativity; to find the nature of what holds you in its grip such as “you’re scared of being disliked”, or “people don’t hear your voice”, or “ fear of letting other people down” –etc., etc. The practice of pinpointing your emotional state is what psychologists call emotional granularity. It is suggested that people who exhibit greater emotional granularity regulate their feelings better and have a greater sense of satisfaction regarding appropriate responses in stressful situations.


Making time for yourself, with daily Journaling, is Self Care that helps you speak to and act with greater control of your interactions, rather than pushing emotions down and numbing yourself to life or being tossed around like salad when stressful situations hit.



To sum up, having a healthy lifestyle takes a change in habits, creating a routine that makes time for yourself – operating in mind, heart, and soul, to consciously focus each day. This type of Self Care gives you the opportunity to see yourself as Conscious mind, the ability to think, "to create and govern thought" and as the vehicle to create your reality.


To investigate this idea further go to  There you will find audio lessons for individual and community group learning.


For Life-Coaching contact Calvin:





Eye Contact and The Lost Art of Communication by Calvin Harris H. W., M.

Feet & Pool by Photo Artist Juan Coronado

Feet & Pool by Photo Artist Juan Coronado


Recently at a pool party that I attended, someone unknown to me, who was sitting in my vicinity said, “I love how animated your eyes are.” I turned, and what I saw in the way of eye contact, told me far more than what the persons spoken words did, regarding what was really being thought.  This brush with the eye contact turned out to be an icebreaker for pleasurable and witty communication throughout the rest of the afternoon.

It turned out that this person had worked at Berkeley and now Stanford University in the areas of Global Security.  In the context of this work it was mention that accurate and usable communication is vital to security and the success of operations.  The conversation then turned to today’s cultural climate, and the difficulty of obtaining and reading the most basic of non-verbal language communication between individuals, be it visually, vocal, or physical, all are exhibiting affects of atrophy. This loss of vital communication tools and skills has meant less ability to decipher deeper levels of interpersonal communication,  and they have been replaced sadly with isolating insular social media and texting.

Vintage Photo of Prosperos Students Bob Labansat & Michael Zonta

Vintage Photo of Prosperos Students Bob Labansat & Michael Zonta

People don’t gaze into another person’s eyes as if into a "window to the soul" anymore because that would mean they would have to take their face out of their hand-held device screens to acknowledge the existence of another human usually standing right next to them.  To have a face to face encounter seems most difficult for many today, especially if the communication had to go beyond just the briefest exchange of words negating a more accurate ability to deduce a person's state of mind or intentions.

As our conversation continued, I noticed, my companion’s quick scans of my body language and that of the other party guess, this information gathered about body lanuage and by looking into the eyes of others,  was not just about color of eyes or the shape of the eye but more to do with the eye function in context to the face and the resulting messages being sent-received consciously or unconsciously between people. The eye pupil dilates when one is interested in a person or an object that is being observed.


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With a coquettish laugh, I said yes, there is a world of important feelings and thought that are communicated by one’s body, face and especially their eyes.  I continued by saying the benefits derived from such perception can give one an appearance of mind reading. I laughed again.  My companion turned, smiled and said This type of conscious observation is a lost art not understood by many, nor is it taught to anyone save the military, some branches of government, and high profiled business persons.  Yet it is a worthwhile skill for anyone to have, but atlas teachers nor instruction is not readily available.  How would you suggest going about teaching something like that, I was asked? 

Surprised at the question, I took a sip of my drink and thought about it. These were once active skills that had been developed through social engagements, therefore to reactive them would be liken to physical therapy for an unused muscle.  It would need conscious exercise in a social setting to reengage the skills. The developing user would need to be willing to consciously risk engaging in deeper levels of personal interaction within social settings. This could entail a few mistakes and some surprising reactions from others before the skill is perfected and becomes a habit. And finally, keep it playful, think of it as a game, a game in gaining extended perception as an advantage for success

My companion and myself discussing ideas through free association of our thoughts, conceived of a spectrum for eye contact. On the one end of the spectrum would be the person who was the persistent starer, we laughed saying, how creepy that guy would come off, as all sinister or crazy. Persistent eye contact or staring, can make the other person perceive you as intimidating, or persistent, they can feel threatened and defensive or if nothing else uncomfortable.

We contemplated the question of the other end of the spectrum, the person who avoids looking at another person or with fleeting eye contact.? Perhaps caused by the person having feelings of shame when looking at another person brought on by cultural upbringing; Then again it could be brought on by being awkward around someone they like, having eyes turn away trying to reach for something to say, or to find an answer to a question; Not to be forgotten in this category are those people who looks away because of wanting to be dishonest or deceptive. This category of people comes off to the conscious body language reader, as nervous, or insincere, or worse disinterested. Attributes that makes it hard for any person to build associations and or to kindle romance. 

Point of View

Point of View

I do find my eyes drifting from time to time in the best of conversations.  If the observer of my action is astute, based on the conversation taking place, they would be able to tell by my eye direction and where I am looking, whether I am possibly thinking or feeling something related to our conversation, or that my attention has been redirected. 

A clue to check is the direction someone's eyes are looking, such as a right handed person,  if they are thinking, their eyes would look to their left. This is an indication that they're reminiscing or trying to remember something. On the other hand, looking to their right indicates more creative thoughts, and this is often interpreted as a potential that someone may be actively 'creating' a version of events, or is being deceitful in some way. Of course, if someone is left handed, then the direction indicators may be reversed.

Eye contact should be natural when engaging with others, I am told, that people hold eye to eye contact around 70 to 80 percent of the time.  The other 20 to 30 percent they are found looking away. And these percentages will change based on whether the person is the speaker or the listener. 

If you are new to all of this, and want to begin, begin by not trying to look into both eyes of the other person, holding the proper gaze may be too much at the start, rather focus eye contact on just one of the other persons eyes, and that each time that you re-engage eye contact insure you engage with that same eye.
Natural eye contact has a softly focus on the speaker face.  I’m reminded that this soft focus was an evolutionarily wiring that helped our progenitors assess danger when engaging with another tribe, by detecting the speakers intentions and whether that other tribe could be trusted or not. Thus, we see, our eyes have always had a predominant role to play in how we interact with our environment, including the social environment. 

So, my conclusions to you are, if you want to be perceived in Business or Socially as someone that is confident, charismatic, trustworthy, or just approachable (all precursors to being popular or successful.) Pay attention to body communication and start with eye contact.  Challenge yourself to have some conversation in the day where you engage with another person, face to face.  . 

In learning to read facial and eye language, it takes the effort to really look into another person’s face, It can be awkward or threatening at first, especially in close physical proximity. A first step that may remedy that, is to do video chats. It will give you practice looking face to face and secondly it could start replacing some of your on-screen texting.  After you have gain some comfort with the video chat, decide as you leave your door each day to practice saying Hello, showing a smile and making eye contact with those you past.  Finally move on to holding soft eye contact conversation with people you meet,  looking for those non-verbal communication exchanges not expressed in words..

Photo Artist Jason Beamguard

Photo Artist Jason Beamguard

You will discover that within a short time of using this practice, that you have developed a deeper connectivity with your physical social network and that you have built closer successful business and social relationships.

Extraordinary Results begin with small changes, Try it and let me know what you think –Calvin


The (missed) Perceptions that Leads to Penis Envy in Men By Calvin Harris, H.W.,M.

It seems that sooner or later that within a conversation about masculinity the subject of the Penis will pop up and rear its head. Since all things Masculine has been a subject of conversations, reading, and writing with me lately I am not surprise the subject of Penis came up. Since this is a difficult subject to discuss, some levity has been added in this post as "puns" disguised as  "Freudian Slips." We learn through humor as much as through struggle. 

Neptunes Penis bologa, Italy

Neptunes Penis bologa, Italy

I am not new to the subject of men and their relationships to their penis, but in this context, of Penis envy, two situation occurred that tip the balance and moved me to write. One situation is a repeating occurrence that happens, and the second situation occurred in a relax few friends at lunch gathering. I was taken aback by the rise of emotion and  in heat of the conversation over the despair at the lost of foreskin and the possible pleasure missed as a result of that. At the time, I felt pieces were missing to the dialogue presented at the lunch conversation and needed to be put in a larger context along with Health, Love, Sexuality, Sensuality, and Relationship.  

I am not surprised with the notion about the penis and its importance in receiving pleasure in some men's lives (it is the most interesting thing they do), yet I am surprise as to the absence of any mention of other components to pleasuring oneself such as through other erogenous zones about the body, or to healthy relationships either with the self or anyone else? Well back to my story.

The latest instance for me in the Penis envy scenario occurred three weeks back at this pub, when an associate I don't know well, turns to me and says: “How" lucky I was to be born African American!, with that look of envy on his glassy eyed face, and you know that he didn't mean I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. As I looked at him, you could just picture, in his minds eye, him in that 1974 scene as the Monster with Madeline Kahn, from the  Young Frankenstein Movie – He sees himself toting an enormous schwanzstucker. You can hear Marty Feldman saying to him - “You are going to be very Popular.”  Unfortunately, I am looking at him and thinking maybe, He should sober up before meeting his date, that sexual encounter he describes he wants with such vigor ( upturn  shot glass after shot) and yet his fear of self prophecy of being dissipated, failing  his date, by being a rudely inebriated mess that has repeatedly fallen asleep mid coitus.  Personally I am thinking she declines sex with him, and considering an android companion that talks, learns and satisfies sexual desires on que.

Sizing each other up

Sizing each other up

The second instance of professed envy came during a lunch meet up of several friends, when  the discussion turned to an article by Van Barrett, an author and blog writer. He had written a blog on the envy of the uncircumcised penises.  One of the men felt a strong need to defend Barrett's  position, for it turn out, that he too longed for and desired foreskin.  A wish not to have been circumcised.

Van Barrett blog had come about due to one of his fictional book. his feeling  was so prevalent in the book that a reader wrote to question his sexual gender. The article he wrote in  response is found at the end of this blog. 

As to Mr. Barrett and the Lunch partner,  bemoaning lost of foreskin - It sounded like "the grass is always greener." To give the other side of the coin, we turn to - Hayley MacMillen, who did an article on the problems that Uncircumcised men face in the U. S. in her article in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Oct 5, 2016. The magazine titled - 9 Things Uncircumcised Guys Want You to Know.
Cosmopolitan quoted one interviewee, named only as Henry, as saying: “that while he’s open about not being circumcised with his partners, it’s a different story with his guy friends. "I never talk about it with other guys," he says, and even though "guys talk about their dicks all the time ... fear is absolutely a factor because being different is stigmatized."


What is key here is  'Perception' - "What are men focusing on when it comes to  pleasurable sex?"

Most times Male banter is about  “getting off,” not about having an experience that is a satisfying sensual-sexual experience.  This maybe due to Porn, or the speed of living life, or the unwillingness of men to make time for themselves to create an environment for true sexual pleasure. There is a large majority of men that  have concluded that all sexual pleasure is encapsulated in the manipulation of the skin that surrounds their penis, and they want to work it until, in the jargon of the day, you bust a nut - i.e. get off.

Given how much symbolic baggage this body part carries, it’s no wonder the misconceptions about it. To enlarge this conversation, as difficult as it is, it is  yet worthwhile.  Beginning with the misperception that your penis is '"The" Sex Organ', if you think that is so, you have completely missed out on your Biggest Sex Organ experience, which is the Skin that covers your entire body coupled with the creativity  of the Consciousness of the Mind …. roll that around for a while, you may find that statement to be correct. Now that being said, think then how much sense- satiable pleasure you have missed out on, if you are not activating your whole-body/mind experience? 

Dr. Debby Herbenick, a sex researcher, educator, and author as wells as the Co-Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington & the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction.  From her research findings, she states: “Often when people think about the pleasures of sex, they think about genital arousal (e.g., erections or vaginal warmth or lubrication) or orgasm. While I certainly wouldn’t argue these, I would add that one of the most pleasurable parts of sexual intimacy is the experience of touching and being touched all over.

Decades of research have shown that humans.... need touch…. not only to survive, but to thrive. Touch can have a biological effect that releases oxytocin (which has often been referred to as the “Cuddle Effect”) Touch can have psychological effects of helping people to feel loved, happy, accepted, calm or reassured.

In sex, we have the uncommon opportunity to touch and be touched all over our bodies. ... press bodies against each other in a hug or, while kissing or in one of many possible sexual positions, they get to experience an enormous amount of skin closeness. They may touch cheeks, lips, chests, legs, and feel... hand along their back, thighs, or stomach. There is, after all, something qualitatively... intimate in the experience of being exposed – physically, and often emotionally.” [sexual dilation].

From that point of view then the almighty penis becomes just another body part, vital but still one among many body parts in a mind body- somatic sexual dilation.  I’d like you to entertain the notion of making time for the sex experience (or putting sex on maximum drive).  Think of sex as something you gift to yourself be it alone or with a partner. Permit yourself to be mindful of being naked, of touching all over as much you can. To relax into an exploration that promotes sensual enjoyment, an inner awareness of intimacy and dilation.  Have an experience of sexuality that does not start nor stop (uncircumcised or circumcised) with those few centimeters of skin that extends over an Erect Penile Length and Circumference but engages a full mind-body (somatic) experience.  Then and only then can the identity of Sexuality be disengaged from the notion that it is a control of genitals. You can begin then to stop comparing or lamenting about genitalia, what you have or do not have and start enjoying the mind-body (somatic) wholeness that you truly are.

I recommend the following four books, they can be helpful in your striving for control and perception of a healthier, loving, and more pleasurably experience during sex. 

The Penis Book Photo.jpg

The Penis Book: A Doctor's Complete Guide to the Penis―From Size to Function and Everything in Between” by Aaron Spitz MD

Manhood: The Rise and Fall of the Penis” by Mels van Driel, Paul Vincent (Translator)

 Sex Made Easy: Your Awkward Questions Answered—For Better, Smarter, Amazing Sex” by Dr. Debby Herbenick.

Anal Pleasuring (A Good in Bed Guide)” by Dr. Debby Herbenick.


Now here is the article that created weeks of discussion, debate and finally my blog.  I would be interested on your take on this,  so jot me a note. 

Van Barrett, Are You Really A Man?

 An article by Van Barrett  July 28, 2016

I had an e-mail recently from a reader of my book Seven Nights who was quite convinced that I am secretly a female, hiding behind a male pen name — and they were not too happy about it, either!

I must be a female, they wrote to me, because I write about men with circumcised cocks and men with uncut cocks — therefore, it’s a given that I’m writing about something I can’t possibly know or have firsthand experience of. Right? From there, it’s surely a small leap of logic to assume that I actually know nothing about what it is to have a cock, how they work and what they feel like, because I’m just a woman making crap up as I go. Insert eye roll here.

So? What say you, Van Barrett?

I’ll give you the answer to this burning question in a moment! But first I wanna share a personal anecdote.

I was in the seventh grade when I first had to take a ‘lifestyle’ class. I forget the exact name of it — something like “health and lifestyle” — but whatever, you get the gist. It’s the sort of course where you learn about balancing a checkbook and how to eat healthy and oh, oh gosh, (*cheeks blush*) human anatomy and sexuality. So that was the first time, age 13, that I’d had any sort of formal sex education.

And here’s where I should point out that some form of sex-ed probably should’ve come a lot sooner, as I remember riding the school bus home in the 4th grade with my best friend. Curious about sex, we looked up the word ‘sperm’ in the dictionary. We’d both heard this term, this magical sperm before, and we knew that it was related in some way to sex. When we read the definition, we looked at each other with puzzled expressions. Embarrassingly, I concluded that a sperm must be the head of your cock, and it detached from the shaft when the moment was right. Cough. We had trouble wrapping our brains around how there could possibly be some ~100 million more cock-head sperms just waiting around in our nuts to be ejaculated. Fun image, right? Clearly, something didn’t add up, and we still had no idea what a sperm was.

… Anyhow, I digress.

It was because of this lifestyle class in 7th grade that I first learned of the concept of circumcision. I’d never heard it before. I think we glanced over it and class and I didn’t give it much thought. It wasn’t until a couple days later, when I was hanging with a friend of mine, that it came up again.

My friend was uncircumcised. He gloated about being intact, he bragged about how uncut men statistically are said to have better orgasms and better sex and their partners report being more pleased. He asked me if I was uncircumcised. I had no idea! Again, I’d never heard this word before our class and even then, it didn’t seem like it applied to me. My penis seemed to work fine, and it didn’t look cut up, so why bother, right? But based on all the stats he told me, I sure hoped I hadn’t been cut!


But I wasn’t sure. I asked my friend to describe what a circumcision looked like. There were no suitable pictures or illustrations in our textbook for me to get the idea. He kept saying something along the lines of, “c’mon, this isn’t hard — it either looks like a bell or like it has a turtleneck that can cover the whole thing up! Which one is it?”

And still I was truly stumped. But more than that, I was a little frazzled. This idea that I might have been altered as a baby … without my knowledge or consent … that resulted in a less fulfilling sex life?

“No way,” I protested. “It looks fine. It’s totally natural. It doesn’t look like it was hurt.”

He wanted to see it: he said he’d tell me if it was or not. A shy kid in my youth, I said no way. So we opted to look at my newborn baby pictures instead.

“Dude,” he laughed. “You’re circumcised, alright. See that? That’s the head of your dick and it’s not covered. That’s a circumcision, Van.”

So it was. The realization set in immediately: I had a circumcised penis.

Was I crushed? Was I disappointed?

I’m sure I was — on some level. But not a consciously-available level. That would probably require more self-awareness than a 13-year-old possessed. Instead, I adopted a psychological tool more fitting for a teen: indignant anger.

“Yeah, well, everyone says a circumcised penis looks better!” I gloated right back at him. “And it’s cleaner, too!”

Then we’d argue back and forth about who had the better and the best pleasure-giving penis. It got pretty heated — and we even wrestled and threw punches over the debate. Yeah … 13 year olds … what can you really say?

Okay, to give some perspective as to why I’m sharing this story with you — it took years for me to process the emotions I’ve had over the fact that I was circumcised. As I aged and became an adult, I thankfully dropped that self-defense mechanism of “nah nah nah boo boo, my cock is better than yours!” and I started to think of it differently.

It was kinda fucked up, after all, that I’d been robbed of some level of sensitivity down there to the tune of 20,000 nerve endings! I’d never asked for it and I probably wouldn’t have, if given the chance. I also began to see uncut cocks in a different light. Hell, they started to look kinda pretty — and that foreskin sure looked fun to play with. I was sad, angry, and depressed over what had been taken from me.

*Lifts needle from the record*

I just want to stop here and say that I don’t want to make any parents out there feel bad — that’s not my goal at all! I understand why my parents did it, and I don’t begrudge them for it at all. There’s just so much information out there, and societal customs and so on — it’s hard to make any sense of it sometimes.

But future parents, please do educate yourself about this topic before you make the decision! And if you still choose to circumcise your kids, that’s fine, that’s your choice and I wouldn’t give anyone a hard time for it. But just educate yourself because there’s a lot to learn and it’s one hell of an interesting area to research. E.g., did you know that John Harvey Kellogg, the doctor who pushed for circumcisions in the US [and yes, the cereal man], also wanted females to be circumcised? Yup — he wanted to pour carbolic acid on the clitorises of newborn girls. Lucky for all you ladies, that one didn’t catch on.

Thankfully, this story isn’t all sadness and depression. So, it was back in 2010 when I discovered that a man can actually restore his foreskin. It’s not a surgical procedure — it’s done through applied tension to the skin over a long period of time (2-5 years). It can be as simple as using your hands to tug and stretch the skin. Stretched to its physical limit, cellular mitosis takes over and the skin cells begin to duplicate. It takes a while, but you can absolutely grow your foreskin back.

Okay, so you’ll never be exactly the way you were prior to getting cut, of course. Some nerves endings are permanently lost. But it’s a big improvement, with a fuller spectrum of pleasures and sensations that simply weren’t available before.

So, yes, I write characters with cut and uncut dicks, because I’ve personally been both. I know what it’s like to be cut — the contrived sense of superiority over what is actually our natural form, the repressed anger, the jealousy, etc. I also know what it’s like to have a foreskin now — and it’s made me so much more sensitive. I also know how this topic is taboo, and a lot of people don’t like to think or talk about it at all. I’ve been called names just for going on this journey of restoring. Clearly, there’s a lot of emotional trauma swirling around this topic. It’s not an easy one for people to deal with. I get that.

So you’ve probably figured by now that in my book Seven Nights, Austin’s ‘jealousy’ and fawning over Cedar’s uncut cock comes from a deeply personal place for me. (Let’s just add an unofficial line to the epilogue: Austin, inspired by Cedar, began the journey of restoring his foreskin. Yay!)

If anyone wants more information about this, feel free to leave a comment or drop me an e-mail. Obviously, it’s something I’m personally invested in and passionate about, and believe me, I have a lot more to say.

For any guys out there, who want to get started on the journey of restoring, I’d recommend starting with the Foreskin Restoration forum on reddit. I say journey because it takes time — and it will require you to be dedicated and patient. But it’s worth it, in my experience.

Sooo, to answer the original question that prompted this blog post — yes, I’m actually a man. Shocking plot twist, eh?

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Love vs. Getting Somebody

The New Year has begun. For some, that new year’s resolution is to find Somebody. St Valentine’s Day, February 14, seems to be the kick-off day for couples of all types to express their passion, deepest feelings, and love for each other or at least their Lust. But for others, that set of folks, who are single or almost single, they may decide they need a Somebody and the Hunt is on.

When I was a young child in school, we celebrated Valentine’s Day by making cut-out red hearts using poster board and colored tissue paper for cards. We would share our Valentine cards with our friends in the class room, but we all hoped secretly to be special by getting the most cards from everybody (as if the number of cards determined how loved one was), or by getting special ones from our closest buddies.

Valentine’s Day is a poignant reminder of how far we’ve come today, far removed from that grade school notion of Valentine’s Day. Yet, as a culture at this time of year, we find our heart vulnerable, hoping for that special “other” someone. We want somebody else to recognize us and make us feel whole. Thus for some, the search is on - on the web and in the clubs - for that one special Valentine, that one person that will make their heart race and put a wide smile on their face. But does it ensure love?

I recently found out in idle party conversation that, for online dating companies, this is the most successful time of the year, with growth rates that move upwards to a peak of 60 percent in new clients (January to March of each year). For myself as a Mentor and Life Coach, I find people put themselves through a lot of stress during this time of year, trying to make something happen and / or to get Somebody. I guess it is good that they come to me and want to talk out some of their thinking before going forward. Some folks seem to stumble over performance issues, or being intimidated by feelings of being out of their league, or the need to find somebody in an arousal state to tell them they have sex appeal or that they are worth something. What’s worse is not having a sense of humor about it. There seems to be confusion in people’s mind about the difference between Love vs. Sex. In the back of my mind comes the phase “Sex is really the only interesting thing that some boring people do." And then they want to take the humor out of the equation. Really ???

Did You Know?

Valentine’s day is a pagan festival. February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. You can do your own research or trust me on this one. According to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

Of course, Americans tone it down a lot, with just the exchanging of hand-made valentines in the 1700s (not as much fun as the Roman lotto). Then came Esther A. Howland in the 1840s, who introduced and sold the first mass-produced Valentine cards in America. Fast forward to today and, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas.

Yeah, I know the V.D. card isn’t doing it for you. So let’s put aside everything you think you know about this Love-in-bloom day and approach it differently. For some, you are all involved with the motions of what you should be doing to find and express Love, and yet didn’t stop to think what does Love and relationship really mean to you. And then the billion-dollar question, “Can I sustain and have love last”?

So what do we know about the scene now? Well people are into hook-ups, and I’d say from my unscientific method of investigation that about half of young adults have had a one-night stand, and about half of those people were lucky enough to turn that one-night stand into some kind of long-term relationship. Now, that is not to say that young singles of today are any more promiscuous than their parents, maybe just a little more open about what and how they do things. I’ve even found more young men and women ages 21-34 proud to tell you that they are virgins and have never had sex.

Single women for generations were expected to be married young or face dire consequences. As late as 1970, college-educated women earned less, on average, than a male with a high school education. A survey poll of the time found that almost two-thirds of college women said they would consider marrying a man they didn’t love if he met their other criteria, most of which revolved around financial security.

Today, by contrast, women are far less likely to put financial security ahead of love, and they express far less anxiety about the prospect of remaining unmarried if they do not find someone they love and trust. In America, today, women are far more cautious about getting themselves into relationships than men are. It is interesting now that women are more likely than men to want to maintain their personal space, their own bank accounts, and their own interests, including regular nights out with girlfriends and vacations on their own. It raises some interesting questions about today’s man and his ability to create support systems for himself beyond spouse and children.

To choose to be single, well that was a dicey option, and much harder to carve out as a satisfying life back in the 1950s and 1960s, even for those who would want such a life. During that same time period, men who were still unmarried in their early 30s were considered questionable and often denied bank loans or promotions. Unlike today, that choice of bachelorhood was not considered an option.

Fashion, culture, mores: all change; even our words change meaning. "I love you" once implied a serious sexual commitment. It is in wider use today meaning “I care about you,” - “I want or am happy with you in my life” or as an acknowledgement of various relationship with the individuals in your life. In fact, LOVE can have many meanings and be expressed in many ways, to many people. The most important, however, is how it will be expressed and sustained by you in your life. There are various studies that show love can and does last, and it’s not just for a rare and privileged few. Yet it usually takes a change of perspective and some conscious effort to maintain a loving state, especially beyond the euphoria of Lust and Fixation. But it is possible to cut through the confusion, both for you and for the people who are earnestly attempting to connect with you.

Let’s start with the word Love. We have long been told that we must love our selves before we could truly love someone else. Therein is the key. To turn the key, we must narrow the aperture of the word Love, for Love can mean all sorts of things. But by using one of its older forms - Agape - we have a far more potent form of the word Love. The secret knowledge regarding lasting love lies within that word Agape, in achieving the elusive and alluring ideal of Love. Those reporting greatest romantic love and closeness with their partners have somehow stumbled onto using Agape in their life, resulting in the reward of a more revved-up relationship.

To summarize . . .

Sometimes, when people are hurting and feeling rejected it’s often fueled by anxiety and a desire to feel better about themselves given the box they have put themselves in. This results in them not moving towards something positive; rather, they are trying to get away from something painful. When you’re in this emotional place yourself it’s hard to authentically connect with a new person. As much as you want to connect, you just don’t have the emotional stamina. Your heart is still occupied. You must come to a new truth of yourself to be able to declutter and dislodge those feelings of not being worthy. Those feelings of needing the presence of Sombody else for you to be loved. Once you start your examination, you will find you have all sorts of options to have love and be loved.

As you allow yourself to be aware, flexible, and able to express your authentic desire according to circumstance, you gain freedom, insight, and can acknowledge Love in your Life. You see Agape (love’s) multifaceted capability within you for great feats of compassion, empathy, and passion. You are not bound by the expectations of past customs, or cultures, or by what you have been through: you have the ability to change all that within you. You are wired for change. That wiring consists of being conscious, being aware and moving towards the freedom to be yourself - to be love and the desire to share however and with whomever you choose. It all depends on you: your feelings and your truth. Take some time to do the work of releasing your attachments. Then know you are Love, Eros, Agape expressing, rather than having that Somebody stand in for you. Share yourself as Love.

Aloha !