First and foremost, I want to thank everyone that has supported my journey as a writer, researcher, educator, and sexologist. This blog began in 2012, during a time I was just beginning to discover my purpose. Since starting this blog I have facilitated workshops and group sessions, guest lectured at universities, created a YouTube channel, hosted an online radio show, contributed to numerous online publications, and completed a Master of Education.
I am currently in a personal and professional phase that requires letting go of older methods to develop newer and bolder strategies. The INSIDE w/Noni Ayana blog has run its course, and December 2018 will mark its end. Now is the time to focus energy on my doctoral studies, professional growth as a holistic practitioner and sexology professional, and growing my most recent venture E.R.I.S. Consulting LLC. providing online one to one and group sessions, and a premarital program.
Have you noticed how some folks tend to romanticize relationship conflict? We teach each other that for relationships to be worth having, to be strong or to last, there must be strife and struggle. We have fallen in love with the idea of being “a ride or die”. Even if doing so usually means sacrificing yourself for your partners benefit.
This really is our way of rationalizing a toxic relationship, that needs to end. But we won’t because doing so could possibly result in feelings of abandonment, guilt, or shame. Why must you sacrifice yourself to be loved?
Without considering what society says you should have, ask yourself, what do I want? Because what YOU want is what matters.
~Noni Ayana, M.Ed. Sexologist, Principal Consultant, and Founder of ERISLLC.ORG, Online consultations exploring relationships, intimacy, and sexuality.
I recently viewed a video of a Black woman describing her experiences as an atheist, and she said something that immediately caught my attention. She said, “fear plus hope equals total control”. She was speaking within the context of religion. But I couldn’t help but realize how her words are quite relevant to relationships.
Women that fear being alone, often remain in unhealthy relationships because they hope things will eventually get better. It is ‘unyielding hope’ that keeps the cycle going. We, as in #metoo will allow a man to totally disrupt our lives. Abuse comes in different forms, and many of us rationalize the abuse away, with hope. We make conscious decisions to support and be loyal to a man only concerned about his own interests. We cherish the good moments and times he seem to care, the kind gestures, the jokes that make us laugh, the sex that makes us orgasm (or not), the few times he referred to us as forever, the few promises he actually kept.
All the while he has actually done nothing. With him you actually have more problems, anxiety, and lower self-worth. But hope, is what causes us to continue to believe at any moment he will change. Some day he will acknowledge my loyalty, my obedience, my submission to him. One day he will realize his own potential, and be the man I always knew him to be.
You believe in him more than he does. He doesn’t love you, he loves being the beneficiary of your goodness, because he doesn’t know how to produce goodness on his own.
Should any relationship result in you loving your partner more than you love yourself?
I know it’s been a while since I’ve written on my blog. Thank you so much for your continued loyalty and support.
I recently set a goal to lose weight, and to do that I needed to dedicate my time and efforts to a well thought out plan including food prep, and daily exercise. I lost almost 20 pounds without a gym membership in 4 months. I took advantage of Atlanta’s very warm summer, and took my workout to a few nature trails, several times a week I’d climb Kennesaw Mountain, and other times I’d work out at home. I ate “mostly” a plant based diet, and I also participated in a 7 day juice detox, which was really interesting. I definitely need to do a video describing THAT experience lol. I actually love working out, and I get excited when discovering new ways to challenge my body strength and endurance. Plus, I gotta admit, my body feels very different, but very good without the extra weight. Watch the video and comment how a weight difference has changed your life!
Side note: Weight gain or loss may also affect sex, endurance during sex, and positioning. Weight gain or loss may also affect body esteem and sexual esteem. Before I go any further I’m starting to realize this is another video I need to make lol. Stay tuned!
One of my biggest pet peeves is men not being truthful about whether or not they’re satisfied in their romantic relationships. Infidelity has become the norm. To the point that men will say their relationship or marriage is good, even though they are currently having multiple affairs with other women. This is not a matter of judgement. This is simply a matter of speaking and living the truth. Many men are not capable of being loyal to one partner. I don’t understand why people won’t just live the life they want to live. This may possibly mean not getting married, or at least being in a relationship that allows for partners to be intimate with people outside of their primary relationship. For some, this idea is damn near blasphemous. Yet, we all seem to be okay with breaking vows, living double lives, and being deceitful toward partners. We seem to expect this level of disloyalty, especially from men. Women must always maintain this image of belongingness.
What’s really going on? Why do men get married? Many say because at some point a man must settle down, have a family, and a woman who will take care of him. This ideal seems very man-centered. I rarely hear men speak of their significant others as someone they really like and enjoy being with. Not necessarily love, but simply like. There’s a difference. Even you may have family members or friends you “love”, but you all don’t spend much time together because you don’t “like” them.
Many men marry women they feel will fit the gender role. This expectation is problematic because it denies a woman’s individuality; she is dehumanized and desexualized. Maybe this is why men cheat. Men are sexually driven by women. Men are not sexually driven by wives. Think about it. #heterosexualisms
I recently acknowledged and embraced the fact that I had almost put myself in a similar situation I was in almost 20 years ago. Yet, because I had learned a few life lessons along the way, I had the courage to purge. At first I felt shame for allowing this to happen in the first place. I had briefly doubted my ability to make decisions. I felt foolish, and asked myself how could I have been so naïve.
I wasn’t. I had been shown signs along the way. I was in complete denial. I had ignored my intuition, and wallowed comfortably in a false sense of contentment. My courage to purge brought me back to reality.
I broke down. I was in a severe state of sadness. I withdrew from the world, and went into hiding. I felt physical and emotional pain. I was lost.
However, the lesson continued to teach me. I had to keep remembering why I purged. Why did I let go of this toxin? Because the universe knew this toxin would eventually destroy me, and I’ve come too far. There is a plan for me.
For the last 6 months I had been in heavy meditation. I had been speaking my desires, dreams, and vision into existence. I questioned why. Why haven’t I experienced progress? Am I not being heard? Do I not deserve what I ask for? And then the message came to me. That I would have to let something go, in order to gain what I had been asking for. I cannot be enthralled in toxic servitude, and be blessed.
This message was difficult to see, because what first appeared to be veiled in beauty, was internally repulsive. Thus my inability to discern this toxic spirit.
I succumbed to my intuition. Acknowledging the truth, set me free. I am in a space of healing, and awaiting my blessings.