Her pleasure is a reclamation.
In this episode of Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel, we meet two queer women in a committed open relationship. Exploring consensual nonmonogamy summons insecurities for the partner born into a culture of individualism. By contrast, it’s an act of reclamation of self and sexual pleasure for the other breaking free of generations of communal traditions.
My Orgasm Is Not Just for Me cradles a powerful healing ritual that breaks the cycle of cultural and intergenerational pain and sacrifice and transforms the rules of agency and desire. A redefining of terms helps this couple reframe their connection with each other and orients the pair toward a future enriched by consciously curated heritage.
What to listen for in this episode of Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel:
- It’s human nature to seek stability. When is planning for continuity a healthy behavior, and when does it mask feelings of precariousness?
- Loyalty. Truth. Coming out. Honesty. Primary partner. Self. Poly—We each carry a history around the vocabulary we use. Words and phrases may sound the same, but they don’t always mean the same. Unpacking and sharing our own definitions opens the door to more productive conversations and a reframe of the relationship tensions.
- We hear two understandings of the word truth in this episode. One is full transparency, telling all. The other centers around empathy for what living with the truth will be like for the other person. When truth interacts with other values that are equally important—maintaining harmony, preserving closeness, not shaming the honor of the family—truth gets titrated within these other important values. It doesn't stand alone above all else.
- Ritual provides a powerful tool for intergenerational healing. When we leave something we’ve chosen to leave behind, we must embrace both the desire for where we’re going and the feelings of grief around what we’re leaving.
- “It takes two not to be one, but it takes many to be two.” According to Eli Finkel, strong, thriving relationships have a diversification. There’s a group of people around the couple. They are not alone as two.
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