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Express Your Desires

Clear and Confident Communication

Now that you are grounded somatically and have a better understanding of the various factors in your set and setting that may be impacting your experience of jealousy, it is important to practice identifying and communicating your desires for continued security.

First, consider how the following variables may impact your desires, then identify the desires you would like to share with your partners as you move forward.

Needs and Desires

We all have a need for security, and we are going to have different desires for meeting that need of security. We also have a need for love and connection, but no single person is responsible for meeting all of our needs, regardless of which relationship style you practice. Instead, we have desires to have those needs met by the people around us.

For example:

My partners and I have established safer sex practices and consented to the shared risks in our exploration. We practice sexual self governance, meaning that we do not need to ask each other for permission before engaging in romantic or sexual activity that is within our consented safer sex agreements. The anarchist value of self-governance is always rooted in a deeper understanding of your interconnectedness to your community and collaborating together for the collective good. Within this abundant freedom, we do ask for a check-in before engaging in any romantic or sexual activity with shared community (i.e. shared friends, co-workers, partners), since those actions have bigger ripples for the community as a whole. 

I started connecting with someone new who expressed a desire that I ask for permission before I engage in any sexual activity with others. They stated this was the only way to meet their need for security. While I respect their need for security, their desire to have those needs met through permission texts is incongruent with my current practice of expansive relating. However, I would certainly be willing to meet their need for sexual safety by informing them after I explore new erotic connections so they can fully consent to any risks that my exploration introduces to our dynamic. 


We all have different desires for meeting our need of emotional security and different risk-ratio profiles with safer sex practices. How can you communicate with your partners to respect both your needs and any differences in your respective desires for meeting these needs? It is also important to remember we all have needs for love and connection, but no single person is responsible for meeting all of those needs. Instead, we have desires to meet these needs through multiple relationships (whether platonic, sexual, or romantic). This is not an excuse however for abuse, harm, or neglect by ignoring our basic needs of respect, consent, and care to be clear.


We all need respectful loving connection, but there is an infinite variety of ways for that love to be shared. What are your desires for a loving connection? Can you get clear about these desires and communicate them with your lovers? How can these desires be met across your community?While there is a relationship escalator, there is also an intimacy escalator. We often have unstated expectations for relationships that engage in certain acts of sexual or romantic connection.  Rather than running with unstated expectations and being hurt when our lovers do not meet them (remember our partners are not mind readers), take time to clearly communicate your unique desires for a pleasurable connection.


Now that you have identified and communicated your desires, we can practice embodying security to build pleasurable connections.

Identify Desires

1. Timing

While there is no perfect time to discuss new experiences with your partner, there are certainly better and worse times to take a psychedelic. Consider the factors discussed in Chapter 2: Set and Setting. Do both you and your partner have enough time and space to explore new shared experiences or hear about separate adventures? Be sure to check in with each other about your capacity. Mind altering experiences and drugs can make finding security in moments of jealousy exceptionally difficult. Can you find times to discuss new details or explore new experiences during your ordinary states of consciousness? Can you share new details while in each other's physical presence to have the benefits of co-regulation and somatic connection?

When would you like to learn or communicate about new experiences? Be as explicit as possible here. Would you like to know when new flirtatious energy is experienced? Trying to define these experiences can be extremely difficult due to their subjective nature, so try to be as clear as possible.  I ask that my closest orbiting partners communicate with me like they would with any friends as new meaningful developments unfolds, trusting that they will communicate openly and freely. This allows both myself and partners the space and autonomy to explore without needing to ask for permission. We of course have discussions about safer sex practices and commitments as well as expectations to check in before engaging in exploration with shared community (i.e. partners, co-workers, friends etc). Otherwise, there is space to live into the abundance of our pleasure and communicate freely about the joys of the exploration. 


Would you rather know when a date is scheduled or after erotic activity is explored? Every individual and relationship will navigate this differently. How can you honor your partners' freedom to explore while also feeling secure? Imagine the best case scenario that would build deeper security and communicate this with your partners to take steps towards that reality. 

2. Depth of Experience

As I continue to practice expansive relating, my desires during waves of jealousy continue to change and evolve. It is important to remember that there is no elimination of jealousy, but rather the relationship to this experience will shift over time. Things that once brought me tears now bring sincere compersion (joy for my partner connecting with other partners). Other experiences continue to surprise me with their impact, but I now have more tools, community, and insight to work with these moments. 

Similarly, your first psychedelic drug experience can bring significant waves of intense feelings as you navigate a new paradigm. With each trip and a good set and setting, you will continue to learn to adapt and enjoy the ride. This practice does  not mean that you can perfectly plan for all future journeys or that you will never struggle again on a psychedelic drug. Rather, your relationship to this experience will shift. Try thinking of expansive relating in a similar way, it is true that you will be more prepared for the trip of jealousy as you gain experience riding the waves of somatic feelings and thought patterns. Despite this experience, it is also true that you may still encounter difficult journeys that will surprise you depending on the set and setting. 

Have compassion for yourself along the way. While there may always be more growth on the horizon, be sure to also celebrate how far you have come in in your journey. Often clients will continue to beat themselves up for struggling with feelings of jealousy, forgetting to see how much growth they have already accomplished. What are some things that once made you anxious that no longer have the same impact?

Importantly, while it is true that you have learned significant insights from this practice, this does not mean that you are more enlightened than others. Some folks may never try psychedelics, some may try them and happily choose to never take them again, others may really enjoy them, some may choose to explore high doses, and some may only enjoy them at lower doses. Celebrate your own journey of exploration and honor that others will equally be navigating their own. There is no one way to be and experience pleasure in relationships. 

3. Shared vs Separate Experiences

Reflect on how your desires may change depending on if you are sharing expansive experiences in-person together or preparing and hearing about them afterwards. Your desires may also shift depending on if the experiences are with shared community (partners, friends, co-workers etc) or separate community. It can be helpful to create a flexible game plan to discuss with your lovers for the variety of experiences that may bring up feelings of jealousy. Of course, it is impossible to fully prepare for all of the possible experiences, but preparing a loose idea of what support may look like can foster greater feelings of security.

2. Dosage

In the psychedelic community, we say “start low and slow.” You can always take a larger dose later. Take your time adjusting to a new paradigm. How much detail would you like to know? How can you respect both your partner’s need for privacy and autonomy while also staying connected? How would a dose of watching your partner hold hands, snuggle, kiss, connect sexually with someone else feel for you? How would a dose of hearing that your partner has introduced their new lover to their partners feel? How would a dose of hearing that your partner is going on vacation with their other partner feel? What dosages bring you excitement? What dosages feel like a stretch? Is there a microdose that feels more accessible?


These experiences can be challenging and require stretching to new capacities. In that stretch, be aware of your personal edge. We want to stretch but not tear any muscles. Imagine an ideal exploratory dose of new experiences or hearing new details and then communicate this with your partner. Also have empathy for individuals who are new to expansive relating. Can you remember the intensity of your first time? A comfortable dose for you may be extremely challenging for another individual. Collaboratively discuss how you can support your community with stretching into this new paradigm with exploratory dosing.

After sharing new information, my partners and I practice asking each other, "how is that landing for you?" This creates space for us to reflect and share how we are feeling about the evolving dynamics. This practice has truly helped me to feel more secure because I know that my partner is considering how their actions impact me and that there is space for me to be heard in that. Often I will practice naming the various thoughts and somatic responses I am feeling to my partner and remind myself that I am not attached to or defined by any of these responses. 

3. Aftercare

Get creative and dream big! What would you long to receive from your partner, your community, and yourself to feel fully grounded in love? Try asking others for the words of affirmation you would like to hear. What words of affirmation can you provide yourself? Remember that you have done difficult things in the past. Can you recall anything you’ve learned from those experiences that you want to remember now? Be bold and ask for the quality time you crave. What self-care can you provide for yourself on your solo-date nights? Ask for the physical connection that feels supportive. Are there acts of service or gifts that would help you to feel cherished and secure?

You deserve deeply pleasurable relationships. Our partners and community are not mind-readers, we have to ask for the things we desire to build that world of pleasure. Imagine a world of your wildest dreams of loving connection being met in abundance. What is the first step towards that dream you can ask for?

After a psychedelic trip, we can often feel embolden to make big changes in our life (you know...quitting the job to go live on the commune haha). It is important to also take time to allow these desires to settle in before acting immediately. After hearing of your partner's exploration with someone else, you may feel a strong desire to go out and have your adventure or to swiftly end the relationship dynamic to avoid any potential discomfort. Practice getting curious about the roots of these desires. Trust that you have time to reflect and then act from a grounded space. The meaningful desires you crave will become clearer with time.

4. Integration

As you continue to practice, reflect on what is bringing both you and your community security and pleasure. What has changed for you and your community? Where is some change needed? Change is the only constant. Ways of relating that once felt secure can start to feel limiting. And, vice versa, commitments that once felt free can start to feel chaotically unpredictable. Rather than finding the perfect way of relating, embrace the reality that things will continue to change over time. Flow with these changes and communicate your evolving desires with your lovers.

1. Orbits

Imagine your relationships as an expansive solar system. These relationships can orbit you to varying degrees of frequency. You may encounter comet partners that come through your orbit with long  intervals of time in between, shooting stars that introduce a momentary blaze of intimacy, or planets and moons that consistently orbit you. 

I use the language "closest orbiting partners" to describe the relationships where we have committed to a once-a-week date night. Other relationships may orbit at bi-weekly, monthly, or less frequently scheduled intervals. All of these relationships are important and have a gravitational force. Force= Mass (importance in your narrative) x Acceleration (frequency of orbit). The relationships that orbit more frequently often, but not always, have a greater force of attachment and therefore potential feelings of jealousy. As such, you may crave different things to ground in moments of jealousy across your varying relationships. It may be easier or harder to hear about your partner's exploration with others based on the frequency of their orbit. For example, more jealousy may arise with a closer orbiting partner than a comet partner due to the stronger gravitational force of attachment. Additionally, you may feel more jealousy when one of your closest orbiting partners connects with their own closely orbiting partner rather than a one-time shooting star or comet partner. Take time to reflect on which desires feel consistent across all relationships and which desires are unique to individual connections. 

It is important to remember that while you have your own expansive solar system, you also play a unique role in the solar system of others.

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