Everything starts and ends from within.

In order for people to trust you , you must be yourself and learn to trust yourself first, then others will trust you.

Trust has become a much misused, generic word like many others in our language nowadays. More often than not the commonality is that those we feel we can trust the most are those we later discover could not to be trusted at all.

Mistrust manifests itself in many ways: from someone sharing your private information, not looking after something of yours; not being on time, or not turning up at all; doing the dirty behind your back; stealing from you, and I'm sure it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for you to think of other ways people have broken your trust.

It may even be the case where you trust certain people with some things but don't entirely trust them overall. Confusing, isn't it? So confusing that you even begin to trust your own instincts, yourself. 

Trusting in yourself, or learning to trust in yourself is a healthy start towards a more positive and productive relationship with YOU.  I learned this many years ago when I left the mortgages, material possessions and a more than comfortable lifestyle with pots of money behind me, bought a gypsy caravan and became a hermit for several years.

As soon as you trust yourself first, you know how to live.

I appreciate we live in a busy world, and it's a brave person who gives up everything they know and the people they know to lead an almost monastic life away from all the many influences which interrupt the natural flow of things, and why Buddhist monks are always at peace with themselves in their natural environment: as I was in mine, away from what to me was the madness of the world.

For me it was the opportunity to hold a mirror to myself and look deeper than the surface of my being to within and reflect on what I discovered, which to this point in my life was being held together by an unrecognised and unhealthy emotional pain I needed to address.

So I buried my head into books on healing, spirituality and the various forms of religion such as Buddhism ,Taoism, Zoroastrian - in fact everything and anything which taught me other than my strict Catholic upbringing, and in doing so my world opened up completely to see a bigger, much wider vision of the world around me. I saw a truth which taught me that I had become a mirror image of the world around me before I escaped the madness and embraced the life of 'Spiritual Independence'.

To become spiritually independent means one begins to become deeply cognisant of their power of free will, choice and awareness. Those who are asleep to this inherent reality shaping power, remain forever victims of the collective and are destined to live a life dictated by fate rather than one of empowered choice. So I learned to 'Pledge allegiance' to myself; my own being; my thoughts; my independence; and belief in myself above everything and all others.

To ‘Pledge allegiance’ means to express your commitment and devotion in the highest sense. People will pledge allegiance to a flag, a nation, a religion, a government or a cause. At its root, (liege) which comes from the old French word, meaning ‘Lord and Master,’ to ‘Pledge Allegiance’ means to dedicate or bind yourself completely, mind, body and spirit to an external, and often ‘more powerful’ entity, which ultimately is harmful to the 'self', and I 'trusted' wholeheartedly that I could achieve personal 'Allegiance' within me so that I could empower others to do the same, because encased within our skull is the most powerful and sophisticated computer system in the world. So sophisticated is it as a knowledge base that it holds within it the answer to pretty much everything we need to know as humans. But so underused that we require constant validation and teaching from other sources to reach the answers to everyday situations and challenges that are more often than not provided to us already,  because humans don't come with an instruction manual: even though the hard wiring and programs are already in place prior to the day we are born.

As we declare our personal and spiritual independence – we begin to shift our allegiance from that of loyalty to the material world and the people, situations and circumstances that inhabit it, to a deeper loyalty and understanding of the Mental and Spiritual ones and the invisible yet limitless possibilities that exist within those worlds.

Before going any further I think it only fair to explain that I am by no means at all as intellectual as I may appear in writing. I left school at fifteen with a sharp mind and thirst for knowledge, but no qualifications at all. So in effect I am just your bog-standard bloke who has soaked up the knowledge I have through sometimes hard-won experiences in what is more commonly referred to as the 'university of life' itself. The only thing I can actually claim with validity and credibility is that within my period of isolation and learning I experienced the 'Awakening of Truth' that I share with you now.

The 'Truth' - Women are Highly Undervalued.

As a modern, forward-thinking man, I am confident that I share with you just how undervalued women are in this twenty-first century world. You are baby-making machines, wives, girlfriends, domestic managers, homemakers, trophies, and have all manner of other 'labels' attached to you which both consciously and subconsciously keep you covertly just below the global patriarchy. It isn't to say this hasn't shifted to a more worthy, valued, and hard-won place further up the scheme of things, but the bare-faced reality puts forward a very valid argument that in a lot of ways it's still quite tokenistic because it keeps the 'little woman' happier and quieter, and she should know her place in the pecking order anyway, as women unknowingly strive to make the long journey further up the levels of 'Maslow's Heirarchy towards a level of genuine recognition and a meaningful status in the world which removes them from the pseudo-labeling into their rightful place of no longer accepting that historical conditioning of being the baby machine, the wife, girlfriend, domestic manager, homemaker, or trophy to any other person except by honest self-choice, rather than it being a historical expectation dumped on women by the ruling male patriarchy.

What is so wrong with women just being themselves! I would therefore surmise this as an undeniable 'truth'.

I was having this conversation with my current student Ria only yesterday (27/02/2021) in which we talked about the fact that while the majority of women remain sleepwalking in their historical conditioning they will never progress to a higher status of equality, and patriarchy will continue to be the globally dominating factor. Feminism in itself offers arguably nothing towards the women's movement while it's embedded in being politically anti-male, with the exception of 'third-wave' feminism, which has a more open and not so politically-focused viewpoint. However, feminism still reinforces the most valid reason as to why offering 'Pledged Allegiance' to the hardcore feminist movement, or any organisation/adopted higher power is more harmful than helpful.

Therefore the only viable way forward is for women, in general, to stop kowtowing to the needs of men, who by the process of genetics are programmed to inseminate females in order to produce a likeness of themselves and thereby repopulate the planet. Let's not pass by the undeniable fact that our sole purpose as humans is to have sex so that humankind can continue, but it is women who ultimately determine whether they want to give birth, have the controlling power over doing so, and ultimately hold far more power over men than they actually realise. 

So now which is the more dominant sex? You see, it's ultimately and quite rightly women who hold the power as to what goes into their vaginas and what comes out! I fully accept that producing babies is a shared responsibility, or at least it should be. However, there is no escaping the fact that the dominant force in the decision-making process will always be the female's, which of course gives them far more leverage over men, and despite the common belief it, therefore, places the male in a subservient position to the female because he cannot do his programmed genetic deed to reproduce a likeness of himself without having a willing female host to be inseminated. Rocket science it isn't! Therefore the power-shift has to come from women to invoke the change which is much needed to become wholly independent in their own right without being needy where men are concerned, because the cold, hard facts, are that men are far needier of women for the reasons I've just outlined. What a volcanic power-shift, right?

So, given that women hold this power and in essence sexual dominance over the male, why have women continued to allow themselves to be subservient in respect of Maslow's Heirarchy, and is it in a skewed kind of way relative to the fact that historically women have always been classed solely as fundamentally the 'child-bearer and upbringer' in the global viewpoint, and little else?  So the boundaries between the 'supposed' historical subservience of women and the reality of the male being subservient to the female have created a blurred distortion, leading to conflict and an ensuing power-struggle between male and female. This will continue while women feel (or fail to recognise being) lost in a world where, at least the ones I have spoken with over the years, struggle to fully identify what place they have. The consensus is that they kind of have a hint of how a woman should feel because their inner instincts know it, but they somehow don't feel like a woman should and they are grieving a loss of clear direction on their life journey and feel hopeless, in a sense. For some, the only way forward is to have one or more babies because at least this gives them purpose - even if it is in some respects a false one by virtue of the fact they know no different. However, I also acknowledge that when women decide to have children and be housewives it should be on their terms and that a lot of women also feel empowered by having children. I do though challenge as to how much of this stems from learned conditioning still?

So I am wondering, how much of pregnancy in modern-day society comes about due to historical conditioning and expectation (no pun intended); how much is down to maternal instinct, and how much, if at all, the boundary between the two has become so blurred that women give no thought to it? If there is a blurring is it because women have become so conditioned that historically they have lapsed into lazy thinking so that the difference between historical conditioning and maternal instinct has been suppressed into a state of subconscious dormancy: or what otherwise may be labeled as some kind of  'Sleeping Beauty' syndrome, where a princess is forced into an enchanted sleep and is later awakened reversing the magic placed upon her? Using this analogy maybe now is therefore the time for women to 'Awaken' to this self-realisation, take a step back and challenge the trope which locks them into the conditioned belief that there isn't a world beyond their maternal instinct.

All of which offers up the challenging question (and I feel it right to be challenged in an informative, open-minded way towards providing thought-provoking enlightenment, clarity, and TRUTH) as to why a lot of women internally struggle to find themselves and their rightful place in the present world.

I will provide more detail into the whole female nature-nurture thing in a later piece of writing, because quite frankly it's a little bit too long-arse in the here and now, and I didn't start-out in respect of this article at least, to embark on an entire book.

So, I'm going to zoom forward into the present case of Ria, a 23-year-old (in case you're not already familiar with her) Uni student here in Bristol, and to which all of the above bears' relevance because it is ALL about 'Trust' and women being able to 'trust' themselves, reclaim their ownership, 'Pledge Allegiance' to themselves and create extremely powerful internal dynamics by embracing the fact that they are 'sexually powerful' on a level which kicks just being 'baby-makers' and 'upbringers' way off into the long grass of life.

I asked Ria if she would capture her own thoughts on 'Truth', and this is what she wrote.

"To me, trust is the responsibility you put into someone else to do as I expected. It is needed for most relationships. Trust can exist at many levels; however, I haven’t always had the good fortune to experience this. So, to make the ‘crazy’ decision to meet John. I had to trust myself that this was the right decision. For me, this came in the form of pursuing this without stopping. I also knew this is what I wanted. Meeting John had the potential to increase my confidence and become something super-positive because of the potential outcomes. Yes, I did trust myself. But John also took necessary steps, to make sure I was comfortable. I had a certain level of knowing whom I was meeting as someone who had the potential to be trust-worthy.  

From the first seconds we met; did I trust him? Not entirely. But after a minimal amount of conversation, it was easy enough to build enough to confirm the trust in me. I could bend over and gain enjoyment because I believe there was an exact basic level of confidence. Furthermore, John gave me the space to be able to talk about the experience and be honest. Being able to share my thoughts and feelings, improved my trust in him considerably. Because of this, it allowed me to trust myself and John; I was able to let go of doubts. This changed the way my body felt. For the first time in a while, I felt tranquil, allowing my orgasms to come easier and take them to a different and exhilarating height. 

The next time I came, only a few days later it was a spontaneous meeting. I was excited and had lost the nerves that have previously restrained me. Having had time to reflect, I also figured that the level of trust had changed, I felt valued but most importantly respected. While feeling all of this, I still knew John was in control which helped me increase the level of orgasm possible, and I was even able to squirt

Since this, we have spent more time together, including a thrilling weekend. I have been able to see and experience the trust and discipline that John has for himself. Because of this, I can let myself go and relax my body. The most recent experience involved taking choking and breath control to a new level. I would never attempt this if I didn’t trust John completely. I know that he knows the responsibility and trust I am putting into him to make this a possibility.  

In comparison, I have never let anyone else in my life get to this level. Why? I have never been able to trust that they can trust themselves to stop at the right moment. My pleasure is forgotten in their processes, proving they are a ‘dominant male’ and ensuring that they cum. Because of this, my enjoyment has often been overlooked.  I can safely say being able to trust John has made a physical and psychological difference in my reactions and given me the ability to have a fantastic orgasm. I have experienced both mistrust and trust previously. I am pleased I have now experienced both. Because now, I know entirely how and whom to trust."  

Having read my preamble thus far, the leap from that into Ria's own honesty has probably taken you aback, as this was something that jumped off the page at you being so quite explicitly unexpected. To bring it into context I will break Rea's account down into explanatory bites for your clarity and understanding.

There are females who through instinct find their way to me from time to time and at a strategically given point along their personal journeys of life. It is always to satisfy a need from the learning opportunities they have yet to engage in. Some might call this fate, others perhaps would say opportunistic, or coincidental, while others would say that it was somehow an influence of the Universe which was destined and meant to be. I know not which, except for the fact that everyone I encounter comes to me with a mental-spiritual internal log-jam of one sort or another which keeps their overall being rooted in a place and blocking their way forward. Ria was quite open in stating -

"I’m an average person, a university student, working part-time and volunteering. I have things I love in my life and a great family and friends. Yet there is this part of me that doesn’t feel quite normal. Sex has always been a little bland, although I have had a couple of submissive experiences I had never looked further into this part of myself. Instead, I headed back to vanilla relationships and sex.

But there was this point I just knew that I wasn’t satisfied with what that can offer, I needed to explore my more adventurous side and step outside of the comfort zone I knew to different experiences. A few weeks using kink sites to find someone to explore with, I found nothing but endless fakery or men who simply had no idea what they were doing."

Ria is highly intelligent with a mind that absorbs information like cotton wool absorbs liquid. She has no wish to have children until she feels that everything in her life is properly in place to have them, if ever - time will tell. Right now though I feel it a fair assessment to say that when Ria got in contact with me it was to enable her to find her true inner self, as she was lost on her journey, not knowing where and how to begin the way forwards from where she was and didn't trust herself enough to do so or have the trust in others to enable and empower her.

Fortunately for her, I am quite a well-established name within the context of my other life as a professional as opposed to being some random bloke with a paragraph or two on social media that accounts for nothing, and no credibility or track record to show. So in terms of 'Trust,' we had a clear head-start with some semblance of her knowing me. The other important factor to remember is that because I do have something of an established public name there is no way I can just disappear into thin air, never to be seen again, so to speak. I'm very much here, have been for quite some time, and have no intentions of disappearing anywhere.

Although Ria says that she did "trust herself" on meeting me, it came to light fairly quickly that her 'trust' was something that was quite minimal and therefore only went as far as she felt it safe to take it. Beyond which there were yet to be recognised barriers, and this provided grounds for further exploration, understanding, and acceptance within her towards feeling more whole and complete. Ria was surprisingly quick to pick up the pace with this, and it was something which she recognised and spoke about with nervous enthusiasm, to begin with. Through conversation, acceptance of her thoughts and feelings, and taking ownership of them Ria slowly began to emerge from the dis-comfort zone of the shell she had previously encased herself within for protection to a comfort zone which she began to enjoy immensely, but still safely, and it was through this that Ria started the journey of experiencing real orgasms of the type which were previously unfamiliar to her. Now Ria's own 'AWAKENING' was beginning to slowly emerge, together with a hint of realisation as to her own womanly potential to actually find the 'Truth' in HERSELF!

Ria, like any other person, is a natural 'sexual' being. This is after all who we are, and the sole purpose of our existence is to copulate to populate; and anyone who denies this denies the reason for their own existence. The fact that we may have a good job, a roof over our head, a vehicle, money to enjoy, hobbies/pastimes, etc, etc, provides us with nothing more than add-ons that stop us all getting bored and killing one another. 

I've often heard people say that sex is "overrated." Counter to this I would say exactly the opposite because based on my own humble opinion and a few years of experience behind me to speak of, sex has shifted from being a mindful, spiritually uplifting experience to something far more ego-centric within the individual - and dare I say, even 'matter-of-fact, perhaps? 

We all have sexual needs, I get this and there's no disputing it at all. However, let's not forget that for women their basic DNA coded sexual driver is one of fertility. Whereas the male DNA coded sexual driver is one of insemination, and I would argue that the male's need to inseminate is far greater than that of the female's need to be fertilised, based on the fact that throughout history men have been recorded as being far more promiscuous than the female ( Although some may regard this as a sweeping generalisation and brutal assault on the male ego, I feel it more generally accepted that while women seek to find a male partner who has all of the right credentials to be a worthy, caring, and loving father to her offspring, men will 'shag' pretty much everything and anything of the female form until they find the one with all the right credentials to become worthy, caring and loving father to the end product of his insemination. Of course, the reality to this being more a case of short-termism in relationships than longer-term ones nowadays. This offers up the question as to how many couples are in actuality really suited to one another; given the sheer number of divorcees, separations, single mothers, and absentee-fathers nowadays. Go back thirty, forty, fifty years or more and you will find that when males and females committed to one another it was more often than not for life. So, on this basis there may well be some validity in people saying that sex is "overrated" because it's been overdone and overused; and I would say, more importantly, taken for granted because it's there and available from any bar, night club, dating site, campus, workplace,  holiday resort, or anywhere else of choosing. 

Although I have yet to ask Ria, I suspect that her reply would be that she found sex to be very much overrated prior to finding me, and more importantly discovering herself through me, as the catalyst to her own 'Self-Awakening'. 

Whereas the most common sex nowadays is very much focused on the bodily experiences leading to the wonderful mindful experience as the climax to it, people have either lost sight of or are completely and blissfully ignorant to the fact that sex comes from the mind firstly, NOT the body! Of course, it goes without saying that without having the mental thought the action wouldn't happen, but the mindful part isn't given much consideration to as a separate, but necessary entity, and the most important one. My usual question to ask people is, "Which is the largest sex organ in the body?" To which, more often than not, I either get a baffled look, or a head-scratching "don't know."  Probably only one out of fifty will ever state the blindingly obvious when you think about it, which is the 'mind'.

Common day sex as it is known and people are more familiar with generally speaking gives a cursory thought to the mindfulness of sex and directs people straight to bodily parts which, if you think about it won't react at all without the mind being stimulated first. So the mind is by far where all of the attention should be focused, and the body parts come secondary to this. They are in effect the follow-on. But the mind, being the huge data-processing centre that it is, is filled with all varieties of mental clutter that needs to be cleared away as a first stop on the journey. Like all processors - think of your PC or laptop in this respect, when the memory is full it isn't going to be as efficient again until the log-jam of information that is slowing it down is cleared.

For Ria to experience the journey I was preparing her for I then took her through an exercise that concentrated her mind on nothing more than her breathing. With every inhale she learned to breathe in positive energy and fill her head with the excitement of the orgasms on her immediate mental horizon, and to exhale deeply out of her mind all of the mental clutter which had accumulated over quite a long period of her life. The more she relaxed into this process the easier it was for her to breathe, and the more relaxed and comfortable she felt in being at ease with herself. Oh, and just as a heads up, did you know that the word 'disease' comes from not feeling at ease with oneself? Dis-ease, get it?

With the 'ease' she felt in herself, Ria learned to 'trust' how she felt and why she felt, and to 'trust' the journey ahead of her into unknown and not yet familiar territory. I've no doubt whatsoever that the deeply sunken demon of irrationality popped-up from time to time to impart seeds of fear and doubt within her conscious mind and disrupt her inner peace and calm, like the badly behaved, attention-seeking, bullying and insecure child it can be, if allowed.

As Ria has stated, she enjoys the kinkier side of sex, so breathing techniques are definitely the way forward for this type of pleasure-seeker to enjoy all the many benefits kinkier practices engender. Ria also had something of a head-start from being a runner, and those who enjoy this particular sport will, or at the very least should be aware of something referred to as the 'wall'. In endurance sports such as cycling and running, hitting the wall is a condition of sudden fatigue and loss of energy which is caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, and during which there is a 'fight or flight' moment. The brain tells the body it’s time to hit the wall whenever it feels the body has gone too far, too fast. When the brain determines you have reached what it considers your breaking point, it increases levels of the chemical serotonin. This reduces neural control to recruit muscle fibres, which, in turn, triggers the sensation of extreme fatigue. Although a voice may whisper in your ear that you’ve given all you have to give,  in reality, you can dig deeper and give more. Hitting the wall is not something that needs to be feared, dreaded, or avoided if at all possible, and in Ria's case, this enabled her to reach a higher state of consciousness to the point where she could actually feel herself leaving her body and floating high above herself, while her body lay physically shaking on the material surface of wherever we happened to be in my home at that time. Ria was not just wet, but actually soaking with fluid from her Bartholin glands in a 'whole body' orgasmic experience. Every nerve centre in her body felt electrified, transmitting electro-pulses all around her body in a way she had never experienced before, believed physically possible, or even existed.

As for me, I would have sex with Ria up to 12 times over the course of a day; sometimes more, and each time the intensity of her orgasms would increase in pleasurable explosiveness to the point where she would momentarily pass out and enjoy the out of body experiences which were not just becoming familiar, they were in actuality bonding. This being a sign that she was becoming more connected with her true-inner self.

"Sex up to 12 times A DAY?" you may well be querying and asking yourself if this is for real, or just a fantasy made up to make this story far more interesting? Well.  To begin with, Ria has experienced this first hand, and secondly yes, it is entirely possible. Here's how. 

Remember what I said not too far back when I referred to the primary driver of men being to inseminate women? Great, because the truth is I DON'T have sex to ejaculate and satisfy my own ego based on the historical hunter-gatherer pathway, which for over 2000 years the male species has been doing. I have recognised and taken ownership of the fact I have no interest in producing a likeness of myself through insemination. It is of no interest to me at all, so I have removed that instinct from being a driver and placed it firmly in the 'I will ejaculate as and when I feel I need to' cell of my memory bank. Why? Because my pleasure derives from the pleasure Ria enjoys as she reaches higher and higher states of blissful orgasm in reaching that place of subspace empowerment to which I am her enabler. My role, if anything, is to place myself secondary to her own needs. It is, after all, all HER journey, HER AWAKENINGnot mine!  Which surely is the role of every male in a relationship with a female, isn't it

I recall a saying which I believe captures the very essence of any relationship - 'Do not walk behind me as I may not lead, and do not walk ahead of me as I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend'. Powerful words indeed.  From a female perspective there can be nothing more disempowering and patronising to a woman than a man who feels that he has to speak for her; make decisions on her behalf because somehow she is incapable of making any kind of decision for herself; do things for her which given the opportunity she is capable of doing for herself;  talks down what she may say in a way which belittles and causes self-doubt within her; a man who weaponises feelings of fear and guilt against her to manipulate. All of which simply highlight and underline his own insecurities and need to control because the need to control stems from a feeling of not being in control, and it's futile, self-defeating.  Far too many women nowadays find themselves in relationships with males who are so emotionally incontinent they throw their toys out of the pram at the least little thing which would otherwise have no great or meaningful significance whatsoever. Basically, little boys dressed in men's clothing. Therefore is really any wonder females are so confused about their true role in society when faced with schizoid behaviour which causes them to question whether they are a partner to the guy, or in his life to mother him? A point that conveniently segues me into the fact that Ria has stated, "John was in control."

Far too many people nowadays take the word 'control' as a 'given' which it most certainly isn't! Whatever control I have where Ria is concerned is like 'Trust' and HAD to be earned. To 'ASSUME' control over another human being is wholly unacceptable because it devalues the person by not allowing them their freedom of choice, and therefore if they have no say in the matter then it is an abhorrent abuse of power towards that person. Therefore 'controlHAS to be by mutually agreed 'consent'. Ria gives me 'control' in terms of sexual activity as a matter of it being HER choice, and not out of feelings of guilt or fear. 'Control' has to be something that is both minimal and measured, and as far removed from personal ego as America is to China in terms of distance. There is a very, very fine line that divides 'control' and abuse, and if ego and/or personal issues are allowed to get in the way so as to take over the feeling of 'control', then you are crossing that fine line with your feet firmly in abuse territory, and it becomes totally unacceptable and non-consensual. When Ria and myself are active in sexual engagement it is very much a learning process for her from which she grows all the time in terms of increasing the 'Trust' she has in herself, and which is mirrored by the way I engage with her throughout our time together, and as her 'Trust' grows I feel it important to highlight the fact that the 'control' element doesn't increase in any way, and remains always minimal and measured!

I find it inspiring that Ria's journey so far is incredible! Within less than an hour with me she was enjoying the orgasms she believed she would never achieve, and soon after feeling the pleasure from squirting, and ALL because she had instilled the 'TRUST' within herself that she could do so without fear, or feeling any less about herself in doing so. The NEW and AWAKENED Ria was fast emerging and with this a sense of inner peace and calm enabled her to sleep better, and concentrate on herself and her studies more. She felt and looked completely revitalised, and even Ria's running took her to new levels of personal achievement in terms of further distances.

"Further distances" actually captures Ria's and other women's journeys so well on the path to 'AWAKENING' because it has everything to do with going beyond what is felt can be achieved in terms of female empowerment and personal development.

I feel it fair to say that my understanding of Ria's journey up to the point where we met is one of underlying emotional pain and blockage due to previous traumas in terms of her relationships with partners, and contributory to this an education system in the UK which has been and may still be in some cases, divisive in terms of male v female alignment and equality. As to how damaging the effects of both of these influences have impacted Ria's life so far I will leave for her to best articulate in semi-finalising this piece.

"My own experiences as growing up female have been a rollercoaster of attempting to fit into a world that promotes an idealises the perfect woman. It was often reinforced through peers and education what the male/female dynamic should be, often consisting of taking a mothering and caring stance. This has led to accepting being treated as a second-class citizen, because I have been taught that is what is right. This must change to allow women to understand their value and be treated with equality and respect by men and so each woman can feel fully empowered. 

Gender stereotypes were formed for me from a very young age. I was still in primary school when teachers would say 'when you're a mother' and 'girls don't act like that'. This created a schema (internal mental structure of behaviour) that I was and always will be treated in this way. It was apparent that I should act differently from males and taught to me from a young age that my purpose in life is to have kids. It was expected that the girls play together with the dolls and the boys play differently. Despite this, I grew up in a non-traditional family that defied what I was taught a female was. My father did the cooking, took me to school and worked shorter hours than my mother. I could play with whatever toys even those that were for boys. This confusion from a young age meant I never fit into what was expected. I didn't understand where my place was in this world because gender was never a barrier at home, but it was in school. However, this became more and more obvious, getting older. Through my teenage years, my interest in gossiping, baking, and looking after children was non-existent. However, I changed who I was, to fit in and grudgingly accepted and became that woman I was expected to be. So, one day I can take care of a man and have children, as this is my duty. Being a woman was never seen as complete until she was married and had children; despite all the amazing possibilities in life, that was my destiny. Schooling has played an enormous role in my disrespect for me. This has been from primary school, even to university. I feel this conditioning has affected my life. Until my realisation, what I have been taught and made to believe is so catastrophically wrong.    

This wrongful education towards both genders has led to several unhappy and traumatic interactions with men, prompting my trust in men and myself to vanish. One of the most memorable moments that highlighted the inequalities between men and women was when my boyfriend called me a bitch.  I was made to feel I deserved this because I shouldn't have such strong opinions. When I asked my friends if this was normal many of them believed it was, and deep down, it was love or that I had done something wrong. I came to accept this, my education had taught me that I am there to please the man, so if he felt like that, then indeed it was my fault. This name-calling continued. It became ingrained in me, and I believed that I was a bitch and entirely useless and worthless because I failed to make my boyfriend happy after all, his happiness is my responsibility. Other relationships have also followed similar lines. Men are starting off as happy to begin with, which transforms into become totally annoyed that I no longer provoke the same feelings. With this increased feeling of worthlessness came a lowering of my sexual desires. The only time they were ever happy with me was after sex, I did it for ages to make them happy, and it made my life easier. Still, after a long time, I got fed up and often ended up crying after sex because it was my only worth. The idea that women are only good for sex and children has only been reinforced using dating sites. It is common to ask if I already have kids, if I want them, checking I have the right age and health to bear children. When I tell a male that it's not what I want, they are always utterly shocked and believe it must be my biological issue. So much so one previous partner made me see doctors and gynaecologists because he was so stuck in the mentality that women are baby makers. After I found that there was nothing biologically wrong with me, I came to the decision to attempt to reclaim my own sexuality.  

I wanted to empower myself as a sexual being that did not need children or a man to protect me. Thus, the years of clubbing, one-night stands, and friends with benefits begun. I would go out with my housemates and go back with someone else. Often if they would let me, for some reason, my male friends seem to feel the need to protect me from sex, even if it was what I wanted. This highlights the urge for men to protect women and their vanity, often leading to slut-shaming. I am lucky to have open-minded friends who have now learned from their mistakes. Still, so many men feel it is their duty to protect women when it is absolutely unnecessary. Again, men should be taught that women can think for themselves and are actual sexual beings that can enjoy themselves. But even when I have ended up going to have a one-night stand with someone, my pleasure was often ignored by the man. If he could cum and enjoy himself, I was left to enjoy what little fun was leftover. This was such an apparent way of thinking as more and more men never asked if I had enjoyed myself.  Many men would whip off a condom halfway to add to the disrespect, feeling that it is their right to this biological urge. This highlights the education that women are good for only one thing, and this is ultimately as a 'child bearer'. I fully believe this behaviour has been led by their lack of education on women's rights and think they are superior and have that right to a woman's body. I do wish to add that some men have been fantastic and do care. Still, in large, they have educated themselves far beyond what the education system and stereotypes tell them. Furthermore, they have listened to woman, which is one of the most critical aspects of gaining an understanding of women.

I believe meeting such men along this path has kept my faith that men can be respectful and genuine. As explained previously, sex has been enjoyable, but I have never experienced orgasms and more profound pleasure. I believe this is vital to female empowerment. They can take control of their own sexuality and the many psychological benefits. John has a deeper understanding of the male/female dynamic than most experts in this world due to having experience around women and taking the time to listen to women and educating himself. I believe that this has meant he has empowered me to enjoy sex and experience the orgasms that are otherworldly. To be in a place where I trust John, and my pleasure is cared about is amazing. I can feel electricity every time he touches me. I feel tingling down my spine and finding myself getting wetter with each touch. My head feels lighter, with not a care in the world as I can enjoy his gentle movements over my body. These become more intense as certain parts of my body begin to shake, and I become wetter to the point I am craving something more than his touch. When we get further into sex, I feel my mind is losing control. I am flickering between the thought of sensation and the emotions of being with someone I genuinely care about. 

When I begin to control my breathing with long slow breaths, it triggers me to focus on the sensations as new parts of my body are found. I start the process of letting my body be completely free, which relieves my mind of the stress of life and almost all thoughts. Trying to describe freedom through orgasm is hard because there is no comparable experience in the world. But I would describe it as the most profound form of meditation; I am experiencing pain and pleasure, yet I feel like my mind is at total peace. It's a feeling of timelessness. I am no longer aware of my surroundings and can no longer feel where my body is placed in the world. The orgasmic experience is not just unique but has adjusted my thinking towards life. I can feel more myself than I have in a long time as I have learnt that trust is possible and that my experiences of being a woman are valid and are fantastic. This has altered my outlook on life. I feel more able to focus and think deeply while taking more meaning from the little things. I no longer overthink decisions because I feel powerful in a world where I have had so little significance. I feel more connected to myself as my mind, body, and I have finally become one as I can now trust myself. 

I have taken ownership of my sexual expression while disregarding the shame narrative because I realise that my pleasure and existence as a woman are valid. Furthermore, I can live in a world without the fear of shame of expressing my sexuality, which has brought me more confidence and lowered my insecurities. But so many women need to unlearn shame so they can experience positive sexual experiences and positive mentalities. I feel lucky I have met John to have these experiences and realisations whilst learning to trust myself and my judgement. I believe that I am a better person for it. It has surprised me that having healthy sexual experiences and experiencing a healthy partnership can change so much. But I now know that I should not be fearful or submit to the stereotypes of being female simply to please a man. I now trust that I will never allow myself to be treated this way again because I am worth far more."

From my perspective, however, I have experienced first-hand the potential for growth in every woman which Ria has been the catalyst to, as much as it has opened my eyes to the dynamics which I now see as historically separating the great-divide between men and women, and how women, in general, have been disempowered by the ingrained belief that it's within the male DNA to assume a sense of superiority and protectionism which has no place, value or relevance, and as a consequence of this a greater proportion of women in more generalised terms have been assuaged into feeling 'lazy-thinking' comfortable in a secondary role to men because it has never been vociferously challenged in such as way as to make it a wholly successful fait accompli over the existing and embedded ruling patriarchy.

The fact that women have historically been, and to this day castigated, ridiculed, belittled, and slut-shamed for being the sexual beings they are; as an aside to their perceived mothering role, directly challenges the believed stereotype of how a woman 'should' be in such a way that it has become an anathema to male control, which is to keep the 'little woman' in her place and respectable, decent, maternal, 'virtuously saved' even! Yet the hypocritical counter-point to this being the genetically encoded male driver of inserting his member into any available vagina which offers to opportunity to do so in the belief that he will eventually plant his seed into the female most likely to become the ideal mother to his offspring. Thus reinforcing the conditioning which implies that women exist purely for the benefit of men in a way that women have become a subconscious and insidious form of modern day slavery to their wombs.

I was interested in learning from Ria as to how much, if at all she was influenced as a child to play with dolls and if at all this influenced her maternal instincts as she grew older. Her reply was "no" not in her case, but she readily identified that there were children who took on the whole maternal role of feeding and dressing their doll(s) to a point where it/they to all intents and purposes became almost human in some respects: even as far as one-way verbal communication from the child to its inanimate representation of a baby, and furthermore this was encouraged by the mother of the child from her own conditioned childhood through generational belief and learned helplessness that the main purpose of female existence is maternal, and little else.

Whereas, and most certainly in Ria's case at least, there is an inbuilt recognition that there's far more to her womanhood than being a baby-producer and that as a fully functioning sexual being in her own right any confusion as to her place in society is now far clearer, and with the mental fog which had before obscured her horizon view of the journey ahead of her in life now lifted she is more fully prepared to just enjoy being a sexually independent living and thinking woman with no other influences to consider other than her own, and more importantly on her 'AWAKENING' pathway is that there must ALWAYS be 'TRUST' within herself, first of all.

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