Becoming a more open, sex-positive person has taught me to see other women, and to celebrate and support them. And I didn’t realize it at first, but my daughter recently showed me through a simple, yet powerful, act of kindness, that I can bring that positivity of the lifestyle culture into my everyday life.
My daughter and I were running errands and when we got to the register, she paid the woman behind the counter a very kind compliment about her shirt. It was at least a year into the pandemic and everywhere we went, people were on edge, tense, worn out, stressed from everything that had been going on in the world – I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. I had been noticing lately how all the small pleasantries I used to enjoy were gone; no “hi, how are you”, no “what a day”, or anything of the sort. People were too distracted by the misery of COVID, among other issues, to be pleasant to each other. Myself included. The cashier’s reaction to the compliment was so genuine and emotional that I was stunned. After some explanation about how tough things had been and how the shirt sparked some joy for her, the woman said, “thank you for seeing me”.
The scene playing out before my eyes stopped me in my tracks. I was so surprised. Why was my daughter paying this random woman compliments? They don’t know each other. We’re just here trying to buy something and I have three other things I have to do before getting back to do the next seventeen things on my list … and then it hit me.
In the lifestyle, women are amazingly kind and generous to each other! We pay each other compliments without a second thought and without worrying whether or not we “know” each other. We build each other up and celebrate the beauty and sexiness that lives in everyone. I absolutely how this community is so kind and generous to each other. There are no backhanded comments or body shaming. Just genuine positivity and … love for each other. (I wish the men would do it more often for each other, too. I don’t think they have the same kind of culture, unfortunately, but that is a topic for another time.)
There are so many reasons we have to maintain a firewall between our lifestyle and “vanilla” worlds. But this one, simple aspect struck me hard that day as I left the store. Why am I so free with compliments to others in one part of my life, yet don’t see the opportunities to do the same in another? Why do I “see” women in the lifestyle, but look through them in other aspects of my life? Why not sprinkle a little ethical non-monogamy (ENM) love into the non-ENM parts of my life when I know the positive effects it can have on those around me? I found no answers to these questions, and so I decided to make some changes.
In the months since this experience, I have been more open, more generous and more complimentary to people that I encounter wherever I go. I see them, and I honor them. I tell them: I love your hair, nails, smile, shirt, eyes, shoes, etc. – male and female alike, but especially the women. When I see someone, I tell them I see them, I try to build them up a little because everyone deserves a little love and positivity in their life. Right?