Thursday, August 29, 2013

Swingers Club, Heteronormativity, & Couple Privilege... and DVP

J and I had a fabulous time at our swingers' club last night (hooray for Hump Day!)

But, almost every time we're there I become at least mildly irritated by displays of heternormativity. And now I can include becoming annoyed by the system of couple privilege at play. 

Last night, one of our closest friends met us there (it was his "singles" night and his wife, another super close and awesome friend of ours, was at home with their baby). It was really fun to hang out together, but I was completely flabbergasted when the staff came into the Couples Lounge to tell us that the three of us could not be in there together. Typically, only hetero couples and single women are allowed in the Couples Lounge, and it didn't cross my mind that having another guy with J and I would be a problem. It was a dual heteronormativity/couple privilege situation, and it really did leave my mind blown. The staff member who told us to leave said that having another guy with us was only allowed on their themed "Bi Night"- wtf? It's always "bi night" there if you are a woman, but apparently men only get one night a month, and on that special night (whoopdedoo) if you are a man and don't have a woman half, you are allowed into the Couples Lounge. Big deal. And- this idea assumes that men who want to go into the Couples Lounge are bi to begin with (and I still can't figure out why the Couples Lounge is the place where you would extend monthly privileges to bi men, instead of it always being a welcoming space). Last night, it was a situation of three people who simply wanted to be around each other in one of the club spaces. And what about people in poly configurations, like triads? Can they not then enjoy the Couples Lounge? Perhaps they could get in without notice if they were a man-woman-woman triad, but a man-man-woman triad would, based on our experience last night, would run into some difficulties. That's an issue.

Now that I have gotten my little rantiness out of the way, I have to say that I checked another super fun and exploratory thing off my sexy list- DVP! (double vaginal penetration).

I. loved. it.

Big surprise, haha! Given my love of multiple cocks, I had a feeling that I would dig it, and I did. And, it was surprisingly easy, logistically. I was riding our friend, and J came behind me in doggy style position. I think my pussy has perhaps gotten used to fairly wide insertions, with all of the play J and I do with his cock sheaths. It felt amazingly good!!! After J came, it was so hot to have J's come sliding around another cock inside me. Mmm, delicious.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Student Things

I am so excited to start school!! Next week!

The line-up:

-Psychology for Everyone (for my lack of psych background- it reminds me of my Physics for Future Presidents class from college. haha)
-Theory & Practice in Family Therapy
-Introduction to Marriage, Couples, & Family Therapy
-Equity in Family Therapy
-Ethical & Legal Issues
-LGBTQ & Family Therapy
-The Enneagram: Exploring a Tool for Clinical Practice (so stinkin' excited for this one!)

Whoo!! I am going to be a busy, but totally enriched and happy, girl. 

I finally feel like I am on my path. And it feels awesome. I remember a peer from my Masters of Public Health program who was, from the outside, totally on the ball, motivated, and driven. And she found fulfilling work soon after the program as a natural outcome from the satisfaction she got from her hard work during the program. I feel like how it seemed she felt. I feel on top of my shit and it feels so good!

*smiling wide* *looking forward to getting to go back to school* *looking forward to the opportunity to work hard*

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Consent, Exhibitionism, Voyeurism

J and I were at the nude beach in Maui back in May, and there was a couple that sneaked into the bushes above the beach and fucked. I don't have a problem with public fucking (it gets me off, too)- I do have a problem with forcing other people to be around public fucking without their consent.

That's why I think swingers' and sex clubs are awesome- because everyone there has consented to being around sex.

And just tonight- J and I were supposed to meet a new couple via Skype. They had expressed wanting to have Skype sex, and J was clear in telling them, several times via email and text, that we were not that into Skype sex and that we preferred to just chat first. They called, we answered. They were naked. They told us they were just going to go for it anyway. Semi-shocked and open-mouthed, J and I said hi, turned off our microphone and video and let them fool around for a few minutes before they ended the call. (They ended up texting J later and admitting they were "off" and "it must be hard to deal with new couples"- ha!)

Again- I have no problem with Skype sex. I think it can be hot sometimes with the right people and right mood. But, taking advantage of a non-sexual space for your own desires (the phone call was supposed to be friendly, introductory, but not sexual yet), with the knowledge that not everyone around you is comfortable, or that people might not be, is not okay. It's weird.

There was a great thread going on in our Open FB group today about public exposure of body parts and snapping pictures or video for personal use later. I would feel weird (and potentially violated) if I knew that a stranger had taken a picture of my crotch or my ass, or taken a video of me dancing, without my consent. So I wouldn't do that to someone else. I would ask first (I would like to think that I would!)

While we were in Maui in May, I happened (oddly) to run into a customer of mine from work at the nude beach. He asked if he could take my picture for a fee. I told him Yes, but with my swimsuit on. He agreed. We took the photos. He gave me money. We were both happy. I think this is a great example of a consensual exchange of public exposure of one's body for someone else's personal use (in this case, photos) (not that money has to be involved of course).

What do you think? Does being in a public space change the terms of exposure and who can capture the exposure? What are ethical boundaries around exhibitionism and voyeurism within public spaces?

Recent Thoughts on Sex & Love

I have been thinking about all of this for a couple of months, and different things are gelling for me right now. Just a smattering of thoughts:

1- It is strange for me to encounter value judgements on different kinds of sex. For instance, in the small reading I have done on chakras, it seems that "tantric" sex is deemed the "highest" or "best" kind of sex. 

2- And yet, I have also been realizing, that for me: casual sex can be hot for certain encounters, but otherwise it is just kind of entertaining as an activity. Like watching a great movie.

3- They are each satisfying in their own way. I don't think I would ever be satisfied with only tantric-like sex or only casual sex. Both feed me in different ways, both contribute to my sexual satisfaction and sexual identity.

4- Tantric-like and casual sex aren't a binary, but define a spectrum for me. Depending on the connection with the person and the context and the meaning within the relationship, different experiences will fall at different points on that spectrum.

5- I love Aggie Sez's article on "Riding the relationship escalator." Just, love it. Even though I have been in a primary relationship, and enjoy the coupled relationship I have, I have been aggravated for the past couple of years trying to navigate how non-escalator relationships can look and act like. And aggravated when, in trying to figure out for myself what that non-escalator can look like, I frustrate others I am trying to relate to.

6- For me, love is distinct from the relationship model within which I find it. For instance, I deeply love J and have also decided within the past seven years that I feel compatible enough with him to have a long-term relationship. In other cases, I can feel sweet, intense, caring, passionate, friendly, fiery, gentle, or another kind of love for someone, see all the ways that we are compatible as friends, play partners, lovers, or some other kind of partner, and see all the ways that we aren't compatible to be a different kind of partner. For me, loving someone is not an indicator of the "seriousness" of the relationship. I think love is serious, but I also find it so easy to love another person, and I have been able to divorce loving feelings from needing to fit within the "right" relationship model (I have recognized the need to get off the relationship escalator if I am going to continue feeling love for other people- at least, I think I have been able to do this).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Polyamory Information for Therapists

I ran across this amazing poster on Reddit. If you are looking for a therapist or counselor, this poster has excellent information about polyamory and can provide a starting place for helping your therapist understand something they may have minimal knowledge of or experience with. I think I'll pass it along to my counselor as well!

I Need Your Love- Is That True?

I loved this second Byron Katie book I read: I Need Your Love- Is That True? She takes her method and applies it to something that I know I have struggled with my whole life- trying to gain the love, approval, and appreciation of people around me and then, once I think I have it, hold on to it for dear life. For some people this love/approval/appreciation seeking behavior can manifest in romantic relationships, friendships, family relationships, at work, etc. I can definitely remember and pinpoint experiences where I have sought someone else's approval as validation of my worth in some way in many different facets of my life. It's been truly moving for me to read this book (in conjunction with her first book, Loving What Is) and apply it to my life.

Here are some of my favorite quotes and passages:

"...seeking love and approval is a sure way to lose the awareness of both." (p5)
 "Chronic approval seekers don't realize that they are loved and supported not because of but despite their efforts." (p6)

"When people take a fearful and rigid stance, they often bring about what they're trying to prevent. Turnarounds open more space. They allow you to see how things can work out in a peaceful way, beyond what you had considered when you were defending a position." (p21)

"A built-in part of developing a personality that's designed to please is constantly watching for signs that you're succeeding. This can be a stressful way to live. Anxiously focusing on the other person, checking for approval or disapproval, leaves nobody at home in yourself, nobody noticing your thoughts or taking responsibility for your feelings. This cuts you off from the source of real contentment. The outward focus also leaves unnoticed and unquestioned the inevitably painful thought that if you have to transform yourself to find love and approval, there must be something wrong with the way you are." (p40)

From an exercise on separating out manners and politeness from approval-seeking:
"Notice when you make excuses, explain, or justify yourself... What do you experiences when you defend, qualify, or explain even your very existence? What are you afraid we'll think or do if you remain silent and don't defend, justify, qualify, explain yourself, or tell us what really happened unless we ask?" (p43)

"Your understanding of another person is limited by what you think you already know." (p51)

"How can you know that a particular relationship is good or not? When you are out of sync with goodness, you know it: You aren't happy. And if a relationship is anything less than good, you need to question your thoughts. It's your responsibility to find your own way back to a relationship with yourself that makes sense.
When you have that sweet relationship with yourself, your partner is an added pleasure. It's over-the-top grace.
Romantic love is the story of how you need another person to complete you. It's an absolutely insane story. My experience is that I need no one to complete me. As soon as I realize that, everyone completes me." (p70)

"We use our beauty, our cleverness, our charm to capture someone for a partnership, as if he were an animal. And then when he wants to get out of the cage, we're furious. That doesn't sound very caring to me. It's not self-love. I want my husband to want what he wants. And I also notice that I don't have a choice. That's self-love. He does what he does, and I love that. That's what I want, because when I'm at war with reality, it hurts." (p73)

"This book could have been called The Two Major Universal Whoppers About Love... one...: 'I need to win people over to make them like me' (also known as 'I can manipulate your love and approval'). Now we've come to the other one: 'If you love me, you'll do what I want.'" (p76)
--> "...there are two basic misconceptions about love: first, that you have to manipulate others to get it, and second, that love is about getting what you want." (p88)

"If you're not a clear communicator, you may live your life unloved and misunderstood, not ever realizing that if you just said what you wanted, your whole world would change...
Notice that once you have separated love from want, simply asking becomes much easier. But you have to ask. People can't second-guess our desires; they aren't psychic on cue." (p83)

"I can tell you that when I have people's approval is when I have it. How do I know that I need their approval? I have it. How do I know that I don't need their approval? I don't have it. And in either case, it has nothing to do with me. It's their story about me that they're approving of. What's important is: Am I living in ways that I myself approve of? When I question my thoughts, I like the mind I live with. It not only leaves me alone, it leaves you alone too. That's very peaceful, and I love it." (p128)

I love her chapter on "What if My Partner is Flawed?" Using her method isn't about just passively accepting everything and everyone in your life, but about questioning stressful thoughts. Questioning your thoughts is an active process, and will always result in peaceful decisions, whether they change your situation or not.

"The Work is never passive, though its results are always peaceful." (p158)

"You may or may not be willing to put up with your partner's apparent flaws. Whether you stay in or leave a relationship, there are always two ways to do it. One is in peace, with love; the other is at war, with anger and blame... Clearly see that his flaws are flaws in your own vision. Then let the decision make itself. It always happens right on time, and not one second before." (p159)

"It's not your job to understand me- it's mine." (p160)

In her chapter called "Five Keys to Freedom in Love" she calls out these five things:

1. Recognizing that "The word need suggests a permanent state of mind... How many of your problems today come from believing a thoughts about the future?" (p177)
2. You can make it without your fear: "Some thoughts seem too frightening to examine. Thoughts like 'I couldn't make it without you' or 'If my children died I couldn't go on living' can terrify you, and then, instead of asking if you really believe them, you might push them back down or live as if they were true and, as a result, feel anxious without knowing why." (p179)
"Inquiry allows you to take the fear out of loss before anything happens to those you love. It also reveals the harm that fearful beliefs do to your relationships when everybody is still around and doing just fine." (p180)
3. This moment should be happening: "One way to be miserable and confused is to conjure up a long-term need...Another way is to believe thoughts that object to the present moment. The two have a lot in common. In both cases you're living in thoughts that separate you from what is; you're arguing with reality instead of enjoying or simply dealing with it." (p183)
4. 'This is just what I needed': the direct route to getting your needs met: "The direct route is to let reality be the guide to your needs. 'What I need is what I have.' This is not something to believe, it's the way things are right now, whether you believe it or not." (p189)
5. Whose business am I in now?: "It's confusing and painful when you try to mind someone else's business. This is especially true when the person whose business you've stepped into is someone you love. Often, you don't realize that you're doing this. Every time you try to second-guess what someone else is thinking or feeling, every time you believe that you know what's good or bad for them, you have moved out of your own business and into someone else's." (p192)

"The only obstacle to loving other people is believing what you think, and you'll come to see that that's also the only obstacle to loving yourself... If you have any trouble with loving yourself, your work isn't done." (p204)

"Love is what you are already. Love doesn't seek anything. It's already complete. It doesn't want, doesn't need, has no shoulds. It already has everything it wants, it already is everything it wants, just the way it wants it. So when I hear people say that they love someone and want to be loved in return, I know they're not talking about love. They're talking about something else." (p245)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Breaking Up Stinks

Even when it's between two pretty self-reflective and kind people. Even when it's a calm conversation. Even when it's pretty clear both people just wanted different things. Even when even when even when. It just hurts.

"Relationships END; it doesn't mean they were a failure, or that your ex-parters are bad people."


"You can't expect to HAVE what you want if you don't ASK for what you want."
"Just because you FEEL BAD doesn't necessarily mean someone did something WRONG."
"If you're AFRAID to say it, that means you NEED to say it."
"EXPECTATION on your part does not incur OBLIGATION on someone else's."
"Love is ABUNDANT."
"Relationships are often different in THEORY than in PRACTICE."
"Life is CHANGE."
"All of us are terrible at predicting how we will feel in new circumstances."
"When you hurt someone-and you will- suck it up, take responsibility, and do what you can to make it RIGHT."
"Feelings are not FACT."

Monday, August 19, 2013

Our Party!

I'm very thankful for this blog as a way to make sure I keep track of relationship-y things... definitely including our Party!

It was really just a fabulous time. We got down to southern Oregon on Wednesday very late, and we both were so excited to see our friends and family. Thursday we took an easy day and were able to spend time with my family, extended family, and some of J's extended family. Dinner, frozen yogurt.. we also met with our photographer, who was great and also kind of a nut. Friday I spent the afternoon with our woman Friends of Honor (my sister and her GF, my cousin, my two best friends from high school, my mom) getting our nails done. I thought I was going to cry when I saw my friends from high school- I hadn't seen either of them in over two years! They're just the same, but older, doing more adult things in their day-to-day. I love them so much.

That night we had our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and it was so fabulous. I am so glad that J and I made the decision to tell our officiant (the minister I grew up with) about our relationship last summer, because his extra remarks about our independence and strength and bravery were really special and moving to me. He is such an energetic and peaceful person, and it felt amazing to have him speak as our officiant. I was pretty nervous all Friday evening interacting with J's parents and sister and brother-in-law; I had a stomachache the whole time and felt a little on edge, but I interacted with them minimally and did my best staying focused on everyone else there. It was pretty loving to experience that his parents and sister behaved politely and mostly warmly towards us.

That night we went to clothing optional hot springs with our fabulous sexy friends, J's men Friends of Honor and couple of their partners, J's brother, and J's sister and brother-in-law. I definitely got naked, which was an interesting choice. I had a lot of fun, but I don't know if J's sister and brother-in-law did. (I can't control if they did or not! But I know it was an interesting layer on top of everything else- ie them finding out about our relationship.)

J and I stayed together at the fancy hotel in downtown both Friday and Saturday night, and it was really nice to have a space completely to ourselves to relax in. I woke up early Saturday morning for hair time- the woman who cut my hair from infancy traveled up to Oregon from California to do my hair and all of the other girls'! It was really fun. It was a great way to spend more time with all the girls, and to catch up with my hair lady!

Photos started midday, and I just love that. I am such a ham, and I had so much fun with our whole group dorking around town. We walked down through town, into the park, playing around trees and on jungle gyms and in fountains. We arrived at the park about 45 minutes prior to the ceremony, drank water, said hello to guests arriving (a couple of old college friends, former supervisors from college, and other people we hadn't seen in forever! AND several of our lovely sexy friends!)... and it also gave me time to get nervous. I was having performance anxiety!! The thought of being in front of so many people, having them witness something so personal, private, and vulnerable made me nervous. Right before J and I walked in together we held hands and he helped me shake the nervousness out. (Thanks lover boy!)

And the ceremony was beautiful. I am so proud of the words we chose.

Afterwards: more photos, and so much socializing. It was so great!!

The food was fabulous. Mexican buffet, delicious cupcakes. The band was totally rockin'. We danced so much! I felt like I was going to throw up at one point. Yes, it was that good. Ha!

I cried when it was time to say bye to my (long-distance) friends. Even though I don't feel connected to my vanilla friends in the same way as I do to my sexy friends, we share a history and friendship that is important to me. And I miss them.

We spent the night after the reception with J's guy friends, chatting in our hotel room. It was really fun. Despite our sexy friends' and my woman friends' best efforts of making our honeymoon suite sexy (flowers, relaxing music on an iPad, lube, chocolate, wine) we were both exhausted and were more satisfied with socializing with people we don't get to see often enough.

We woke up the next day saying:

Let's do that again!
That was pretty perfect.
I loved everything!

That's the best, yeah?

And then the best honeymoon came! A trip to Glacier National Park for ten days, with the tail end in Canada (my first trip to Canada, wahoo!). We hiked our butts off, camped, stayed in historic lodges, and ate lots of pie and ice cream. Another fabulous experience for what I feel is a fabulous relationship.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Top 100 Blogs!

I just saw through some stats that this blog made it onto the Top 100 Blogs of 2012 on Under "Advice for Couples," #77.  Whoo hoo!

I love the description:
"a couple blogs about their transition from monogamy to an open relationship and all of the bumps along the way. Warning: contains some adult topics."

Haha, yeah it does! ;)

Safer Sex Advice

Gah, I haven't been here in forever! Haha, not really... but we've had a lot going on! I have a post up and coming about our party and honeymoon (spoiler alert: it was the BEST!), but first:

My DA post on Safer Sex went live on August 11. Read it and make safer sex sexy! :) Here's the end (make sure to read the rest!):

"When adding more sexual partners to the mix, it is important to communicate clearly with everyone about your sexual practices.
In my relationship with my primary partner, we have unprotected sex (I have an IUD that we rely on for birth control) and use male condoms for intercourse with all other partners.
We both get tested every three to four months for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV.
We make sure to get hard copies of our results in case any of our future partners want reassurance about our negative test results.
We both talk with any new partner about these practices and ask similar questions of them:
  • When were you last tested?
  • What were you tested for?
  • Who else are you involved with sexually?
  • What safer sex practices do you use with them?
From there, we are able to make an informed decision about what kind of sexual relationship we want and are comfortable with.
If I have a few different partners at any given time, I make sure to keep the lines of communication open, so if anyone has any questions about my safer sex practices with other people, I can talk about it.
Talking about safer sex practices can feel unsexy, but it gets easier and more natural with practice.
It’s important for your health, can help you relax with a new partner and shows you care about your partner’s health, too.
It’s the responsible and ethical thing to do if you do have a chronic STI, and it also demonstrates to any new partners that you care about and respect them enough to provide them with that kind of information.
How do you make safe sex sexy? How do you talk about it with your partner or partners? What tips can you offer to make the conversation more comfortable?"

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ceremony Outline

Our ceremony and party was fabulous. I will write a more complete post on the experience soon, but first I wanted to simply post our ceremony outline, as a resource for other looking to put together an open/poly friendly ceremony.

The Wedding of K and J
August 3, 2013

Processional- “Home”
           - Each Friend of Honor will walk in separately
- K & J will walk in together

Welcome/Opening Words/Introduction

Family and Friends, we have been invited here today to share with K and J a very important moment in their lives. In the years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now we are gathered here to celebrate their love and life together.  And for them, it is very fluid and very alive.
In her book “Gift From the Sea” – American Author Annie Morrow Lindbergh         says:

“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. That is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships that we leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity – But the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing.  It is in not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even.
Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor in looking forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation.  Security lies in living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now.
Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.”

Family and Friends, J and K are so glad that you are here with them today as they celebrate their love, their life and their relationship.  The bravery, the honesty, the commitment to living with the ebb and flow of life that they bring to this moment – come from the love and support with which you have supported them over the years.  They appreciate so much what you have given them – and they honor also the many others, both living and dead, who have helped shape their lives.


To Love is Not to Possess - James Kavanaugh,

“To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one's self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one's self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another–and to one's inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon's own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child's scars
Or an adult's deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are–and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.”

            From Gifts from Eykis -Wayne Dyer

"Your love is located within you. It is yours to nurture and savor, to give to others in any way you choose. Love must be without qualifications or demands. You must learn to find ecstasy in other peoples happiness. Once you feel love for yourself, it is quite normal to give it away."

From The Prophet -Kahlil Gibran

“Let there be space in your togetherness.
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone.
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart.
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

Song- “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”

Affirmation of Intentions

            J and K – I will now ask you to affirm your intentions in coming before us today.

            J – do you come here of your own free will to declare your commitment to K as her very own person, to declare your commitment to your relationship to her as your partner, friend and lover, and to celebrate your commitment with beloved family and friends.

                        Response:  I do

            And do you promise to make this relationship a top priority in your life –
            doing the work through intentional and compassionate communication,
            to keep this relationship alive, positive and strong between you.

                        Response:  I do

            K – do you come here of your own free will to declare your commitment to J as his very own person, to declare your commitment to your relationship to him as your partner, friend and lover, and to celebrate this commitment with beloved family and friends.

                        Response:  I do

            And do you promise to make this relationship a top priority in your life –
            doing the work through intentional and compassionate communication,
            to keep this relationship alive, positive and strong between you.

                        Response:  I do

Wedding Vows

Having so affirmed your intentions, I will ask you now to join hands and repeat your wedding vows.

            I, K take you, J, to be my friend, partner and lover and I take you to be no one other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, with respect for your integrity and with faith in your love for me, I promise to bring my very best to our relationship, through all our years together and in all that life may bring us.

            I, J take you, K, to be my friend, partner and lover and I take you to be no one other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, with respect for your integrity and with faith in your love for me, I promise to bring my very best to our relationship, through all our years together and in all that life may bring us.


May I now have the rings?

The ring is a circle, and the circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe, of wholeness, and perfection, and peace. The ring you give and receive this day is also the symbol and the circle of shared love into which you enter together.

J and K – as you wear these rings upon your finger and as you look at them throughout your life – may they always remind you of this day, this celebration of love, and this commitment to each other and your own best hearts.

Placing the Rings.

K, I J, give you this ring as a symbol of my love, my commitment to you and my commitment to the life we share together.

J, I K give you this ring as a symbol of my love, my commitment to you and my commitment to the life we share together.

Silence and Blessing

            Let us now pause for a moment and in silence just drink in the beauty and the   promise of these two young people.

Now hear these words of Reflection – From Psychologist Erich Fromm

“Can any of us really have love?

If we could, love would need to be a thing, a substance that we can have, own, possess.

But the truth is, there is no such thing as “love.” “Love” is an abstraction, perhaps a goddess or an alien being, although nobody has ever seen this goddess.

In reality, there exists only the act of loving. To love is a productive activity. It implies caring for, knowing, responding, affirming, enjoying: the person, the tree, the painting, the idea. Love means bringing someone or something to life, increasing his/her/its aliveness.

Love is a process, that is self-renewing and self-increasing. . .To say “I have a great love for you” is meaningless. Love is not a thing that we can have.  It is a process, an inner activity that we are the subject of. I can love, I can be in love, but in love I have . . .nothing. In fact, the less I have the more I can love.”

Jeffrey and Katie may you be the subject of a great love.  And may the love in your hearts give you joy. May the greatness of life bring you peace. and may your days be good, and your lives be long upon the earth.


Family and Friends - I now present you K & J – stunning individual human beings and now a stunning couple – committed to their own souls, to one another and to the betterment of life for all living things.

K and J – you have been building your relationship with mindfulness, bravery and compassion for years and today you have declared your love and commitment to one another and to us all.

The Kiss

            I invite you now to seal this ceremony with a kiss.


            Now J and K – May the blessing that rests upon all those love well rest also upon you and fill you both with lightness and grace. May the power of the love that unites you continue to grow and evolve and be strong.  May you so grow and love and work together that your lives will be enriched by a true and deepening comradeship of heart and mind. May you have a lot of fun every step along the way. And may you bring a great deal of joy to the world wherever you go – for years and years to come.  AMEN

Recessional- “Heart Strings”