the gay love coach's picture

Quick Tips for Building Your Risk-Taker Muscles in Dating


There is probably no greater topic of importance to gay dating and relationship success than self-esteem. How you feel about yourself definitely translates itself in everything that you think, feel, and do. Having confidence and a belief that you have value and worth gives you that extra boost you need to take risks that will improve your life. It gives you that little extra sexy appeal and makes you feel positive and attractive to yourself and others. It also helps you in making sound and responsible decisions that will ensure you're living with integrity. Additionally, when you feel good about yourself, you're more likely to set boundaries with others to avoid being taken advantage of and helps you feel more able to be assertive and to go after what you need and what.

Much of the quality of our life comes from the choices we make. To grow as a person, we must be able to step outside our comfort zone to break free from stagnation and reach for progressively higher goals that lead toward self-actualization. The ability to take risks and "go for it" is correlated with a solid sense of self-esteem. In dating and relationships, being able to take risks is critical to being able to reach the visions you've set for yourself as it pertains to your love-life. Approaching that cute guy across the bar entails risk. Telling your boyfriend that you love him is another form of risk. Without having the confidence and motivation to conquer our anxieties and inhibitions about being vulnerable, we will never be able to realize and experience our romantic and relationship potentials to the fullest.

What follows in this short article is a tips list of things you can do to build your self-esteem and risk-taking muscles. The ideas may sound a little text-book and some suggestions may seem a little far-fetched, but I encourage you to pick and choose the points that make sense for you and apply those most relevant for your current life situation. Self-esteem is such a broad-based concept and once fixed, it can be difficult to challenge. Achieving positive self-esteem and confidence can't be accomplished from reading a tips sheet; it requires consistent practice and diligence in challenging oneself to think, feel, and behave in ways that are in greater alignment with the type of person you want to be. If you find that you struggle with low self-esteem or anxiety about making things happen in your life, it's important to be persistent in your efforts to overcome those things that bring you down and to enlist the services of a coach or therapist who can work with you to personalize your own program for self-esteem enhancement.

exposing body image issues's picture

What pains us makes us grow...

Why would anyone photograph and then draw themselves as a regular practice?

Is it narcissism? Vanity? Or a simple, accessible way to heal from self-rejection?

I do it because I have always judged and criticized myself harshly, and self-portraiture is the best process I have found to really change my vision. When I look in the mirror, it’s to check – criticize – correct -  (and I can always find something to fix) in a never-ending quest for perfection.

I am 44 years old now and have been drawing myself for about 8 years. I keep quitting and coming back to it, because in spite of my resistance, it works… it helps. This self-image-obsession has sucked so much vital energy from my life over the years that a part of me is really angry about it… but that anger just feeds the self-destructiveness of the mind.

Fortunately, the more constructive part of me that loves others easily is willing to look beyond the skewed vision of my mind to see something else… a perfectly imperfect yet strong woman with a still-vulnerable little girl inside, a worthy and yes, possibly even beautiful human being. AS ARE WE ALL…

It’s a double-edged sword in that it’s only because I want to be so outstandingly beautiful that I can possibly see myself as so pitifully ugly. And I’m not, even on the world’s terms, ugly. It’s craziness… but even crazier, our culture FEEDS this craziness!

Olga Wolstenholme's picture

Killing us Softly

Killing Us Softly Part One

“Most women who have had breast implants loose sensation in their breasts, so their breasts become an object of someone else’s pleasure rather than pleasurable in themselves.”

The last bit, in part one, the part I just quoted is incredibly important. Something switched in my brain when I heard that, and realized the implications. I instantly became a hell of a lot more accepting and loving of my own breasts. Flaws (imagined or real) and all. If they could hear, I would tell them how much I love them.

Fuck it, I’ll do it anyways. Breasts, I love you!

Olga Wolstenholme's picture

It’s Love I’m After

I’ve been sad for days, weeks, months, years it seems. I recently stopped taking the antidepressants that I had started taking in the midst of my last relationship when I felt like the combined stress of dealing with school and my exploding feelings of love might just kill me. When the relationship ended my doctor upped my anti-depressant and then when I just wouldn’t let go no matter how much of a mind fuck this whole situation was he upped them again and then when I wanted to kill myself, because I just couldn’t deal with how much pain I was in I started a second kind of anti-depressants and on and on it went for two plus years. And now, I’m no longer taking meds, but I also feel like a basket case, or you know, a very sad person.

I don’t know when it happened but somewhere along the line my self worth became intrinsically linked with what this one person thought of me or more to the point, how he treated me. He became the personification of the little voice in my head that constantly repeats “he doesn’t give a shit, he doesn’t give a shit, no one gives a shit, I’m a piece of shit”. And that’s precisely how I feel right now and have been feeling for quite some time to some extent or another.

I’m angry and I’m sad. I’m angry at him. Right now I hate his guts and would tell him so if it would change anything. But it doesn’t. I’m angry at him, but mostly, I’m angry at myself for letting all of this happen, for wanting him or that relationship or whatever so much that I thought it better to endure a certain amount of pain as a constant. As a compromise. I’m angry at myself for not caring about myself enough, for not having enough self-respect to stop any of this before it became what it has become today. I never should have let this relationship happen, especially when it was so clearly self-destructive.

Alex Karydi's picture

Finding your Inner Lesbian

When did love become a race? When did the earth become such a lonely place or so scary that we all decided to bump into as many people in hopes of meeting someone and finding love? With all the advertising and social pressure to find this person, this soul mate; we have lost the ability to be on our own. We do not know how to enjoy ourselves or even if we are worth being enjoyed.

There is some truth in that, if you do not know who you are or what you like, then how will you expose it to anyone else? It is ironic that there are thousands of books on building self-esteem and self-love that are written and television shows  that makes millions on helping you find it, when really it is available immediately within you!  We all know what makes us feel good, because our experiences in life teach us that.

We know what pulls us down because it’s like a familiar banner that runs through our minds every day, when we are tired, angry, lonely, or hungry (because your diet affects your mood)! We see it; listen to it like an obedient dog that has been trained to hear the negative self-talk and go as directed “Yes, I’m stupid”, “You  are right I will never get her she is too good for me”, “Nothing I do is ever right”, “Who am I kidding this will never work.” 

Yes, I know those lines too, I have said them more than I care to think about to myself. Why is it people do not see their full potential? Why are we not able to focus on ourselves for long enough to build love and trust in who we are? We as a community and not just Gay women, but society rely so much on what others think and how they behave towards us?

Olga Wolstenholme's picture

Foot Fetish Trauma

I used to know a guy who had (and still does presumably) a foot/footwear fetish. Let me clarify, since most people use the word fetish to signify that they merely like something that is out of the ordinary, that in this instance I mean fetish in the truest sense of the word. The reason I’ve dug up this particular tale is that the man in question was very very concerned that he was perverse because of his predilection for women’s footwear. He was quite literally fixated by his foot fixation and this caused him a lot of anguish, to say the very least.

Now, I won’t go into the dirty little details, since I do want to preserve this person’s anonymity, but suffice it to say that his inability to accept this side of his sexuality led to some pretty devastating situations, mentally, physically and emotionally. As it stands now, I haven’t spoken to him in quite a few years so I have no idea whether he came to accept this or not, but I’d be willing to put my money on the fact that it simply got worse since he refused to admit that he needed help.

Several of his friends, myself included, tried to show him that in the realm of fetishes feet were pretty common and finding them sexually arousing was nothing to torture yourself with, but it didn’t matter what we told him or how many times we told him that he didn’t have a problem, he just wouldn’t believe us. Ultimately thinking he had a problem is what led to him actually having a major problem.

victorias sketchbook's picture

You make it what you want it to be

from Victoria's Sex Blog

What do you want out of your sex life? No matter what your background is, what mistakes you think you’ve made, or what misfortunes you’ve come across, you always have something to say about how to envision your own sexuality. You probably already have alot more choice over your sexual identity, actions, and lifestyle than you realize - especially if you live in a part of the world where you have access to this blog – and the many other blogs and images and films and stories that take a positive view of sex. Elsewhere in the world, obviously, there are still many outside barriers that restrict people from the kind of freedom I believe life intended us all to have over our own bodies.

It takes time and experimentation for each of us to discover what exactly having a “sex life” means. For some people, it’s only possible to have one with themselves, during certain periods of their lives or over their lifetime, sometimes by choice, sometimes by circumstance. But it’s the only body you get for this lifetime, so you might as well learn to love and enjoy it on all levels! You can choose to masturbate, or not; you can choose to look at others’ bodies but not touch, or not; and you can choose to look at images of others’ bodies and sexual lifestyles as much as you wish. Or not. There’s only one condition to  truly owning this kind of freedom:  no guilt allowed, no questionning, and no worrying. You must learn to be at peace with yourself and the way you see and experience your unique sexuality.

LaPrincipessa's picture

Links about Sex and Women

Because the media topic de l'annee seems to be "women and sex".

For the most part, these "studies" and articles just perpetuate deeply ingrained stereotypes about women, sex and that role in American culture. However, I did find some decent, and kind of obvious, tid-bits here and there; this is what I'm trying to highlight.

From CNN.COM : Love, pleasure, duty.

Nice start CNN.

Buss said he found it surprising how dramatically and variably sexual experience seemed to influence women's feelings of self-esteem.

"Some sexual experiences that women in our study reported just had devastating effects and long-lasting negative effects on their feelings of self-worth," he said. "But then for others, their sexual experiences provided the soaring height of euphoria and made them feel alive and vibrant."

Yeah so it took a "study" and a book deal to reveal women who have lived through traumatic sexual encounters (ie: rape) have self esteem issues. The cynic in me wants to blog about sensationalizing rape for a buck; the [tiny] positive side of my personality will point out that drawing attention to sexual trauma is important because we can't keep sweeping that issue under the rug.

Maybe I can just really relate with the author’s point.

exposing body image issues's picture


by Colette Coughlin

If we don’t like our bodies, there’s a good chance there’s something deeper about ourselves that is not quite in line with who we truly are and how we really need to live our lives.

We think it’s all up to us… we think we make all the choices… but do we? Just how much control do you think you really have over your existence, your talents, your circumstances… and over your looks? Do you think it was up to you whether you’d be black or white, male or female, homosexual or heterosexual, tall or short, big-busted or flat-chested? Even for your parents, most of these things about you came as complete surprise!

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