August 12, 2014

Ask Me Anything: Should I Let My Freak Flag Fly? (Weekly Advice Column).

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Dear Elephants,

Welcome to this week’s Ask Me Anything, elephant journal’s weekly advice column, where no question is out of bounds!

To submit questions for next week, please email me at [email protected] or private message me on Facebook.

I look forward to hearing from you!


Dear Erica,

What is your advice for someone who wants to be healthy, positive, light, etc. but who enjoys the occasional foray into casual sex?

I’d love to be in a committed relationship but also appreciate letting my freak flag fly once in a while?

I want what’s ultimately healthiest for me, but sometimes you just want to feel good and sexy.

What do you think?

~ Sexy

Dear Sexy,

I think you just need to find the right partner. Granted, this may be more challenging for you than for your average Josephine, but it’s totally doable.

I’m sure there are many guys and girls out there who share your tastes for occasional casual sex as well as being in a committed relationship—the trick is to simply be up front about who you are and what you want right from the beginning—within reason, of course!

This should not be fodder for a first date, but perhaps for a fourth or fifth, when you’re starting to get a feel for the other person and if you can trust them. Lots of consenting adults have unique sexual arrangements that can work if shared and accepted mutually. As long as no one is getting hurt and everyone is honest and forthright, defining sexuality within a relationship in your own way can be fun and empowering.


Dear Erica,

I have found myself in somewhat of a pickle. But for you to get an idea of this particular pickle, I have to explain some things first.

I have shut myself off from love and relationships for many years because of a few bad experiences.

But recently I’ve found some people who have changed the way I think about love in general. I haven’t been looking for a relationship necessarily, but have been more open to the idea.

Well, there is this guy. We’ve been talking on and off for two years. There has always been flirting, but more than that there has been good conversation, and a honest connection from what I can tell. Before we stopped talking the last time, the flirting got to the point where he mentioned that he had a girlfriend. It got awkward, and we stopped talking for several months.

Until a few weeks ago, that is. The conversations are the same as always. But it always gets to the point with the flirting where I start to wonder if he is going to put the brakes on it.

He never mentions his girlfriend, but I sense that if she were to know about how he talks to me, it would hurt her.

I like to fancy myself a decent person, and can’t imagine putting someone through that knowingly. I try to keep my feelings at bay, but have a hard time ignoring the connection that I feel to him.

I guess my question is this: am I doing anything wrong? Is his relationship any of my business, or do I have an obligation to ignore my heart in order to save someone else the pain of a heartbreak


~ Utterly Confused

Dear Confused,

I can pretty much guarantee that this relationship is going to end up on your list of bad experiences making it all the harder for you to keep yourself open to love. Yes, you should be concerned about this guy’s girlfriend. If you have an inkling she would be hurt by your interaction with her boyfriend—which you do—you should back off.

Think of the Golden Rule; “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”Even more importantly, though, you should be concerned about yourself. It almost seems as if you are sabotaging your newfound willingness to find love by knowingly engaging with someone who clearly can not give you what you need, and who does not treat the people in his life respectfully.

Let this guy go to make space for someone who can truly give of himself. It will be hard, but you will feel stronger knowing you’ve made the right choice and can move forward with a clear conscience and a willing heart.

Love elephant and want to go steady?

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Editor: Renée Picard

Image: elephant archives

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