Valentine’s Day, Love, Sex, Submission, Self-Awareness and Intimate Relationships

On Valentine’s Day, 14th February, the Holland’s newspaper “de Volkskrant” has published a Skype interview with Jacky St. James, a successful porno writer and director. In it she spoke about the film “Fifty Shades of Grey”. According to St. James, the relationship between “Mr. Grey” and Anastasia Steele is one which intends to always satisfy and give pleasure to him. This is old-fashioned, she says, the man “who doesn’t want her enough; she who is driven by the need to be kept by him. It suggests”, Jacky St. James continues, “that women’s worth is dependent on the love of the man”.

St. James doesn’t like the message of “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Bdsm-relationships, she says (which stand for: bondage & discipline [bd]; dominance & submission [ds]; and sadism & masochism [sm]) should NOT be one in which the man is domineering and the woman submitting. Rather, it needs to be one in which both the man and the woman want to engage, not one which the woman agrees to in order to please the man.

Unfortunately, there are many – both men and women – who tend to satisfy their partner in order to be loved, be “kept” and stay together. There are many who don’t have the courage to express what they want and don’t want (in sex); what they want and don’t want in the relationship. There are many who do whatever they can in order in order to have a partner; to not be alone; to have their needs of love fulfilled – at the expense of giving up on their own will; desire; self-worth.

Giving yourself to your partner, submitting yourself and letting your partner control you and make all decisions may sound, on the surface, nice, compromising, and accepting. But in the long run such an attitude might come back to haunt you and might harm your relationships.

Becoming a victim within the relationship – which at first you might think is a good way to behave, showing so much love and acceptance – might end up sabotaging you and the relationship. Slowly but surely such a behavior might cause you disappointment, bitterness, anger and disillusion.

Your initial intentions when first beginning a relationship might be good ones; but your submission behaviors might be counterproductive. If you find yourself in similar relationships time and again, it might mean – there is something which drives you to behave that way, and as long as you don’t find out what this “something” is and take the steps to change, you will continue falling into relationships which are not healthy for you.

Looking inside yourself and contemplating about whatever it is that drives you to behave in ways which eventually sabotage the relationship, you might find out that you are too dependent on love; too needy; too insecure; too fearful of being alone. Looking inside and being honest with yourself you might begin to understand the reasons for your needs and insecurity: be it the home in which you grew up; the unconscious competition you might have had with one of your siblings; your parents’ control over you, and many more reasons, unique to you.

If you truly want to find out what drives you to fall into relationships which are no good for you and how to change, looking inside means: you begin to develop your Self-Awareness – becoming aware of whatever it is that controls your needs, feelings, attitudes and behaviors. Becoming aware of how you shoot yourself in the foot in relationships.

It is when you develop Self-Awareness that you can stand on your two feet and approach partners and relationships with a sense of empowerment. The Journey to Self-Awareness is a journey in which you grow up, get to know and understand things about yourself you haven’t known until now, acknowledge and accept things you might have tended to ignore and deny.

The journey to Self-Awareness is therefore a process which frees you from unhealthy emotional and behavioural patterns, one which paves the way for you to find a partner with whom to develop a successful intimacy.