When Jennifer Silva Redmond asked her fiancé, Russel, “What would you do if you could do anything?,” his response and the decision that followed changed the course of their lives. Since then, she’s learned a lot about intimacy, sex and herself while living and loving at sea. Learn much more in the new Girl Boner Radio episode!
“Body Acceptance, Lust and Romance at Sea: Jennifer Silva Redmond”
a Girl Boner podcast transcript
Jennifer: Would we want to just step into a transporter like on Star Trek and just beam up to a place, you know, when you could be the astronaut seeing the earth and seeing the moon and seeing all these things on the way?
A funny way to talk about sex, but it really does fit. Once you stop being so focused on that destination, just like sailing, you can enjoy the zen of it. You can enjoy the being in the moment. You can enjoy the thing that, oh, that feels different. I’ve never felt that before. I wonder what if he did that? And you just go with it and it can lead to something you’re like, wow, I never thought of that.
[encouraging, acoustic music]
Jennifer Silva Redmond is an author and editor, with a successful career spanning decades. Her new memoir, Honeymoon at Sea, recounts her first year of marriage — on a small boat. Yes, you heard me right. As the description reads, “the voyage tested their new relationship, not just through rocky waters and unexpected weather, but in all the ways that living on a twenty-six-foot sailboat make one reconsider what’s truly important.”
As unusual and surprising as the adventure was, in some ways Jennifer may have been built for it, given her hippy-like upbringing.
Jennifer: I think a lot of people would consider nudity de facto sexuality, but because I grew up with parents who were hippies, we went to nude beaches and I soon learned that when a lot of people are together nude in a natural way, there’s really nothing sexual about it. It’s wonderful and it’s freeing and it’s fun and it’s a great way to come together with people.
As a kid, I was fortunate in that I got comfortable with being around groups of people naked at a beach or, you know, out in the woods somewhere where people would be at a beautiful place and just get nude because they could! Go swimming or whatever.
My brothers who are slightly older than I and my cousin, Maya, her dad lived in Santa Barbara. I was probably 10 and we all went to the beach and we went, you know, way down East beach and we’re kind of around a corner in a little private spot. So we all took off our clothes and went swimming and we didn’t think anything about it.
And this truck comes up with this lifeguard and he says, “you know, you have to put your clothes on, it’s a public beach,” and we’re just looking at him like, you know, what’s. What’s the deal, dude, you know, no one’s around.
No one else has bothered. Right. And he says to my oldest brother, who would have been like 12 or 13, “Well, you’re getting to the age where people are going to start being offended, and so, we put on our shorts and whatever, and he drove away and we just thought that was the funniest thing.
So for the rest of the day, no matter what we did, we were like, “you’re getting to the age where people will be offended by that,” you know, and we just thought, Oh, this poor guy’s so messed up, you know? He’s not, he’s not cool like everyone we know, right?
We so much thought that we were just part of this group that was going to spread around the world and we’d all be holding hands and singing “Kumbaya.”
I mean, that totally felt that way in 1968 and 69 and 70 as a kid. We just felt like, oh, all this stuff that people are saying, you know, Black is beautiful and nudity is not shameful and so many things that we have to learn over and over and over again, sadly.
So yeah, I remember that the first time somebody saying you have to be ashamed of this. And we were all like, no, we don’t. And we just thought that was so funny that. We just felt kind of, I don’t want to say sorry for him, we just thought, oh, you’re so outdated.
August: Aw, I love that you could laugh about it and it didn’t fuel shame. It was the opposite. It was just like, Wow, you just don’t know better, dude. It’s actually much better this way. Did that stay with you, that confidence?
Jennifer: It didn’t, and that’s too bad.
Jennifer’s family moved to San Diego when she was 12 or 13. Not long after that, she started getting involved in acting.
Jennifer: I was very late developing. So I had no boobs at all, you know, it was a straight little stick. And so when I got into theater, it was kind of cool because, you know, that wasn’t a big deal in theater. And I actually played a boy in a play.
None of that was really a thing for her, though, she said. She wasn’t focused on her body or looks. Until, that is, she moved to Los Angeles and starting auditioning for movies and TV shows.
Jennifer: It was immediately a lot of focus on, you know, your face is too pudgy, your figure’s, you’re not sexy enough. You can’t be too thin in Hollywood was basically the feeling. Like no matter how thin I was, somebody thought I should be thinner. And you certainly know that story.
August: I do. And I also remember going on auditions also as an actress in Hollywood and so many of my character descriptions talked about the body and how sexual the person was. I remember preparing for auditions and being like, do I need to have a pushup bra?And it wasn’t the same for men.
Jennifer: Right, the description of Maggie, a buxom blonde, they don’t say “Frank, a big dicked executive,” you know what I mean? What has that got to do with anything? As you say, her physique is a part of the character.
Jennifer detailed a related experience in her book. Her agent had sent on an audition for a sexy ingenue role in a film. The casting director’s feedback afterwards was that Jennifer was “not sexy enough and had to lose weight.” By then Jennifer had already turned to risky weight loss tactics – and that comment fueled more of the same. But that’s not what bothers her most about it, looking back.
Jennifer: I was a size five or something and being told, “No, you have to lose more weight for movies… You could just gain a few pounds and play the fat friend.” And what freaks me out now is how fat phobic I was because my mom had been fat all my life. And she literally considered it like the thing that kept her from being happy for many years.
So I really saw it as like the worst thing that can happen to you. So when he said, gain a few pounds and play the fat friend, it was like he was saying, you’re going to be ugly. I mean, it was just so stupid that I reacted that way, but I totally did.
Her book touches on memories like this, as it moves “back and forth with the currents of her life.” In many ways it’s a love story, one that involves her long time romance with her husband, Russel — and, as the cover reads, finding herself.
Jennifer first met Russel when they both tried out for the play, “Our Town,” at the Old Globe theater in San Diego. She was 14 at the time.
Jennifer: So we auditioned. We were all in a big room together…It’s so funny. I actually have a journal entry where I say, “He’s so bitchin.” [laughs] Which is so 14-year-old in 1975.
But I just thought he was the coolest guy. He was tall and handsome and blonde and adorable. Of course we get cast in this play together. And there’s a lot of young people in “Our Town,” but he was just someone that just totally took my focus. So I just sort of followed him around and mooned over him.
He also had sharp photography skills.
Jennifer: So for years after that, I would show up and say, “I think I need more headshots.” But I was also like, is he dating someone? What’s going on with him?
So finally at like age 22, I was living in New York and then I came back to San Diego and I show up at his house in my little strapless mini dress and said, “Hi, how are things?” And he said, “Oh, let’s go to lunch.” So we went to Mexico, like you do, and spent the night. And the consummation was well worth the wait. We really just had fun together from that very first date.
They didn’t stay together for good, though – at least not yet.
Jennifer: It was clear that he really liked me and we were serious. But we were using birth control and I got pregnant. And we just both knew that this was not a good time. I was young. I wanted a career. And he was. you know, also wanted a career and we were just like, okay, this isn’t going to happen. So we agreed to have an abortion. And we went through that fine and everything was great.
And I just kept thinking, well, the timing’s not right, but we’ll stay together. And then I don’t know if it was the forces of outside things that were happening at that point in our careers, but at a certain point it became clear that, that, you know, that what I thought I wanted. And, of course, now I can see that more clearly was it just wasn’t the right time for it.
So we broke up and it was pretty much his idea. I said, I’m either going to hang around here for booty calls, because he was irresistible to me, totally. So I just said, okay, if I’m in New York, I will be safe from this guy. That’s how I felt… We went on with our lives. I met someone else, we ended up living together. I did theater, I did plays. I studied acting. And just went on.
Then almost exactly five years later, in 1989, they reconnected.
Jennifer: I was going to be doing a play. I’d done a theater tour. And then I was going to be doing a play. So for the holidays, I came home to see my family in San Diego. So of course I’m driving past Russel’s old studio, not knowing if he even still lives there. I go to a phone booth, put in a quarter and he picks up the phone and we start talking. And he’s got a date that night. I’m like, well, of course, of course he would.
But he says, “Let’s have lunch tomorrow.” And I said, “Well, I have to do this, this and this.” And he said, “well, let’s have breakfast.” I pulled up the next day in front of his place and he was outside and he came up and we just started talking and within five minutes we were kissing.
It was just like a magnet. And then we started talking and he basically said,”I don’t want to let you go again.” And I was like, “Sure, right. That’s what you say now,” totally prepared to get my heart broken again. I was very defensive, very “sure, sure” kind of thing.
One thing led to another over the weekend and he proposed and I said yes, but I think that was a part of me that was still waiting for the other shoe to drop. And then he said, “I’ll move to New York.” And that’s when I thought, okay, he’s serious. He really does feel this way.
He never doubted it from the second we got back together. And that was how I felt. When the timing is finally right, there was no hesitation. And of course, my family’s going, “Wait, what? Why is this happening so fast?” We just felt like there was no reason to wait at that point.
That all happened during a January weekend. Jennifer and Russel got married that May. And by the summer’s end, they moved from a tiny apartment onto a sailboat.
Jennifer: We started talking about this idea of taking a honeymoon in Mexico on his boat. I did one of those, “What would you do if you could do anything?” And he said, “I’d ask you to come with me on the boat to, Baja, California, Mexico.” And I was like, yes, that sounds great.
August: Did you have any mixed feelings? Or you were like, this is an adventure and I’m on it.
Jennifer: I just did. I just felt like it was an opportunity to do something that was so different, but that in a way was no different than me growing up always swimming, always in the sun, always at the beach. And so to me, that didn’t seem weird, but I knew nothing about sailing. Absolutely nothing.
So he taught Jennifer some of the ropes. They also took classes.
Jennifer: And then we just jumped off literally into the blue and sailed a thousand miles to Cabo San Lucas. Oh, it was crazy.
I asked Jennifer to walk us through her honeymoon home, which again, measured at 26 feet long.
Jennifer: A boat is always smaller than what the length sounds like, so it’s basically like the size of a small walk-in closet below. Some people would find it really claustrophobic. Russel could not stand up inside the boat.
So you’re in this space that’s like a space capsule, but you spend most of your time in the cockpit of the boat, which is the open part of the boat where you can, you know, run the sails and, and pull the lines and that sort of thing.
And you spend time up on the deck of the boat. That’s where you’re outside most of the time, because Mexico, of course, is warmer most of the time of the year.But we never felt like it was a tiny space because we spent so much time out of doors.
They spent most of the first month sailing nearly nonstop. For me, someone who’s water skills end around arm floaties, I have a hard time imagining that. But it sounds…hard. Especially when the wind picks up.
Jennifer wrote in her book, “As soon as you get comfortable and start to think that this is more of a basking day than a sailing day, the wind will come back, usually from a different quarter altogether…Raise the mainsail again and snap the preventer on to the boom so that if you misjudge the wind and steer too far one way or the other, the boom doesn’t fly across the deck and clobber one of you.
But as they reached warmer times and places? Just, wow.
[Serene music: “Bermuda Sunset”]
I was able to walk out on deck and just jump into this crystal clear water. And the weather was lovely and the water was warm. So it sounds like a small space and, of course, it was. But it never felt cramped. That’s a big difference.
I think people that, and I’m sure a lot of your listeners, especially to this episode, hopefully will, will be interested in tiny living or van life or RV life, which is such a trend now. And I think people understand that when you’re traveling, what you’re traveling in, it never feels as small as it looks from the outside. It just always felt like a whole world was opening for us.
August: I love that. So even beyond the boat itself, it’s like you’re part of a much bigger world in some ways when you’re out on the water.
Jennifer: Yes. And there’s this whole community of people that are out sailing. And we met people from Canada and Europe. I mean, from everywhere to Mexico because it’s so beautiful and unspoiled and gorgeous and warm.
And warm meant that clothing, once again in Jennifer’s life, became more optional.
Jennifer: The difference between swimming nude in warm water and swimming in warm water in a swimsuit is literally like night and day. It’s completely different because you feel like you’re sort of one with it. You’re looking around at fish, sea lions and there are whales. Suddenly you’re in there and you’re just like them. You’re just this natural part of that world.
August: That contrasts so much in my mind to you going on auditions, like your body is part of this natural universe versus someone picking apart all your body parts and trying to morph you into someone.
Jennifer: I had not thought of that contrast, but that is so right on. Not only was I with someone who was very attracted to me — obviously we’re very attracted to each other — but also I was in a place and a space in which I could be nude very comfortably. Even when there were people around us in other boats, we could be nude below decks.
You could be wearing only a t-shirt if you were a distance away from other boats. And then it’s 90 degrees in the boat, so you come below and immediately you’re nude. Neither one of us had a hangup about being nude at that point. But I’d also been through this whole progression as we talked about of being very judged. So it was still, there was still that element in the back of my mind, like sit up straight and suck in your stomach and stick out your boobs…
August: Yeah! It’s programming.
Jennifer: Yes, programming, like so programmed. Or when you’re sitting on a wooden deck and you look down at your thighs, of course your thighs spread out like they’re supposed to do to hold you up, right? But it’s like judging that. Like, do my legs look. God forbid, you know, heavy. I mean, it’s just so crazy, but little by little, that began to fall away.
I just thought of, is this appropriate place to be nude? Not who’s going to see me, what are they going to think, or what is he going to think about me? You can say we got comfortable with each other, but that’s not even to the level. It became as comfortable to be together nude as to be together in any other way.
And once again, talking about full circle, it was like being a kid again, where nudity wasn’t about sexuality. That’s not, of course, to say that it wasn’t titillating at times to be together nude, but it wasn’t just because you’re nude, you’re constantly about to have sex. So there was a comfort in that and a relaxation in it.
That comfort and ease also made way for strong intimacy of many kinds.
August: You obviously have and have had this really strong physical chemistry with each other, and it sounds like a really wonderful sex life as an extension of all these other wonderful parts. What can you share about sex in those close quarters?
Jennifer: I would say the best thing about our sex life actually began with talking. I had had a lot of secrets, things that I never talked about with other boyfriends or maybe with one boyfriend, about things that happened to me as a child and, and a lot of shame that I carried around about that.
But I also think that was offset by the fact that I’ve talked about so far, like growing up in other ways that were not shaming. And I had an older cousin and she would tell me, “Oh, do this and you’ll want to do this and then tell him to do this.” I was like, “Oh, really? Okay.”
So it was funny because I had always felt like I was having orgasms for him, like it was a thing I was supposed to do to make him happy. So of course I’d faked it a lot. And I’d enjoyed when people could help me orgasm in some other way. And that was kind of the way things were.
I talked to Russel about this and it was like so hard to talk about. It was so hard to say like, “Yeah, I’d faked it. You know, the Harry Met Sally, you know, woo, ah, ee, you know, and make all these noises.” And, he’d say, well, “Don’t ever do that. You don’t need to.” Not like you’re bad to do that, but like, I see why you would do that, but you don’t need to do that. Just tell me, you know? Okay, I’m glad that was good for you, but it, I’m still trying to get there.
Of course I also learned, as I think people do when you spend a lot of time with somebody, and have sex a lot, which we were doing, you learn what you like, you learn what they like, and even though you try new things, because you’re just caught up in the moment. You know, like, “Oh, throw your leg over here.” “Oh, well, this will be different. That’s a kind of a fun position.” But you also learn when you want to just get to it, you learn how to do that.
And he would say things like, “Oh, I had a girlfriend that liked this.” And because I didn’t go like, “What do you mean you had a girlfriend?” I mean obviously, he was 40 years old when we got married. But I didn’t feel threatened by it. And he didn’t feel threatened by the fact that I’d had sex with other men. So we would just talk about it and we’d say, “Oh, then this time I did this thing and this was really hot.” And so we’d you know, maybe do it or maybe use that as a springboard to something else.
And as she had sexual experiences while cohabitating in such a small space, Jennifer began to unlearn pervasive stereotypes.
Jennifer: I had to let go of that thing we talked about where, because of being nude or being semi-nude, I’m necessarily “asking for it.” I’m like, I’m here, so naturally you’ll want to have sex with me at all times, because men are like out of control and just constantly needing sex, you know. The mom thing of “he won’t be able to help himself if you show this or that or act this or that way,” which of course is crazy.
That unlearning, and the emotional ease they shared, made sex even better.
Jennifer: That comfort level extended into sexuality, where he could just reach over and caress my ass, or I could just reach over and cup him or just touch him in some way. It might lead to sex, but it might just be a fun little titillation that of course would add to the anticipation. Then there’s this heightened sense of, Ooh, we’ve been waiting for this. We’ve been looking forward to this. And that’s something that we’ve tried to keep alive.
So it was a honeymoon. I mean, it really was a honeymoon that went on for a year, but was also a honeymoon in the sense of being much more easy access. [laughs]
August: Yeah! It’s like constant intimacy, in a way.
Jennifer: Constant intimacy, but the fact that we had the intimacy on an emotional and intellectual level was what really made the physical sexual intimacy so rewarding. And so I was able to let go of, I have to do it this way. I have to come when he comes or I have to come before because he’d always say, well, “women come first, you know, because I’m a gentleman.” And sometimes of course, that’s wonderful, I think it’s very sweet. It certainly beats going, you know, Wham, bam thank you, ma’am. But sometimes I would find that being too put on the spot.
But I would just say, “No, it feels good, but let’s do something else. We can come back to that.” Because sometimes you can feel like, okay, we’ve been doing this and it’s not working. You just keep doing it. It starts feeling effortful. Because I have to get to this point, and of course, you’ve talked many times on the show about that sex doesn’t always have to be to getting to this point, or that getting to the point can take weeks or days or whatever you’re comfortable with. Or never, you know? Whatever different people are comfortable with.
But for me, it was letting go of that thing of, I have to be responsive to everything that somebody else thinks I’m going to like, because that’s part of that whole judgment stereotype script, if you will. Like I’m going to do this and you’re going to scream with delight or whatever.
I don’t like to say I’m never going to do anything. I mean, I haven’t been super turned on by anal, really. But I never like to say I’m not going to do something. But I like the flirting with something. And sometimes it’s just kind of being in that general area, or a little tease of it can be very erotic. But I find that if I feel like it’s being pushed, then I’m like, no. Then everything shuts down.
August: Yeah, it’s not sexy to be pressured.
Jennifer: Yeah. It’s not sexy to be pressured, period. And even if somebody isn’t meaning to, sometimes that can come just from they’re at one place at that moment and you’re in another place at that moment and they’re going, yeah, let’s go on. And you’re like, no, let’s not.
August: Yes. And then we have this self-pressure where we think, well, if they’re excited… Hopefully they are completely fine with something else. But we can internalize this idea of like, oh my gosh, I have to “perform,” quote unquote.
Jennifer: Yeah. Even to this day, I will find myself thinking, Oh, you’re, you’re giving too many instructions. You’re saying too many things you don’t like, or too many things you do. In other words, you’re wrong. You’re having too much of a voice in this.
That isn’t to say it’s not a comparison. It’s just me in my own head saying, you’re not supposed to do that. That’s not what women do. We’ve seen the movies. We’ve read the books. You’re always just ready for everything and not not giving any feedback. And so sometimes even at age 62, you can be like, oh, that’s just programming. I’m supposed to be part of this in a complete equal part, as that feels good right now.
And just because something felt good five days ago or five months ago doesn’t mean it’s going to feel good today. Cause I’ve been through the whole menopause, and then after menopause, and then, you know, all of the different things. And some things were great at one point, and some things weren’t. And we just keep evolving, instead of thinking, this will always work, and it will take about this much time.
August: Yeah, that’s so true. It’s really a journey. It’s a good analogy with sailing, right? You’re rolling with the waves and you’re experiencing your body and where you’re at now and the relationship dynamic. And if one partner is really stressed and like, that’s a beautiful thing, but we have this idea of this peak, right? Like we’re just gonna shoot off and be really sexy when we’re like 25 or 30 and then it all fizzles out.
August: And you’re such a great example of that’s not it at all.
Jennifer: No. It’s totally a progression. But I love your metaphor there because you’re right. When you jump in a boat and you’re going to that other shore, you’re like, okay, I know we’re going to get there, but there are times you’re going to have to tack in a different direction. You’re going to be literally heading away from your destination and that’s how sex can be, of course.
It could be, Hey, let’s do this other thing. You know, we watched some Bellesa, which we learned about from you.
Bellesa features porn for women.
Jennifer: They have a whole category of massage sensual massage. Those seem to be very, low key relaxed and they’re kind of a great way when you’re coming from like a busy day or whatever, you know, put that on and like start so slow and, and pretty and calming and calm music and you’re like, yeah. And then sometimes that will actually lead to massage or sometimes it’ll lead to massage which will lead to something else. But it is that progression of things that aren’t always, you’re not always going straight towards that destination.
Sex isn’t always a beeline toward an orgasm – and sexual fulfillment isn’t often about some finish line where you’ve reached XXX Utopia.
Jennifer: It seems so redundant to say that getting there is half the fun, but of course it is.
August: I hope it is! Otherwise, if all the fun is at the place you’re going, then what do you, do you not have fun the rest of the time? Hopefully you’re going somewhere cool.
Jennifer: Sure. Would we want to just step into a transporter like on Star Trek and just beam up to a place, you know, when you could be the astronaut seeing the earth and seeing the moon and seeing all these things on the way? A funny way to talk about sex, but it really does fit. Once you stop being so focused on that destination, just like sailing, you can enjoy the zen of it. You can enjoy the being in the moment. You can enjoy the thing that, oh, that feels different. I’ve never felt that before. I wonder what if he did that? And you just go with it and it can lead to something you’re like, wow, I never thought of that. Or we never tried that before. You know, it doesn’t have to be earth shaking. It could be something as simple as a different angle.
August: It’s so true. And then changing course when, say, a storm comes in. Maybe a storm would be menopause coming, or maybe one partner loses their job. It’s all part of it.
Jennifer relates to that. She said there’ve been times over the years when work or illness or fill-in-the-blank mean that for a while, physical intimacy is more of a caress or cuddle than full on sex. And times when things heat up in the bedroom for various reasons — which takes more intention when you’ve been in a relationship for some time. That doesn’t mean that any of it is less pleasurable. Familiarity and long-term closeness can bolster goodness, too.
Jennifer and Russel are a great example of that. They’ve really worked to ensure that their intimacy and connection remain strong, no matter how much space they have.
To this day, her life with Russel at sea continues — on a boat — decades since their post-wedding honeymoon.
August: This might be hard to even imagine, but have you thought about how different your just intimacy would be if you hadn’t been living on boats and hadn’t had this closer proximity?
Jennifer: All I know is we oftentimes say, we were so glad that we took that leap. Against all odds. Who would think that this actor who I was, most often employed waiting tables, would be able to get on a boat and find that that was her life and her place in life? You know, who would guess that, because it was really basically a recipe for divorce, you know, I mean, it was a recipe for disaster.
But instead it became this whole part of me that became such an important part of my life. That’s not always going to happen to people. It’s so easy to say, “I’m not familiar with that. I’m not good at it… I don’t know if I will be good at it. Therefore, let’s not try that.” Whether it’s food or an activity, an idea for a date, an idea for sex. You know, I’ve never done that. Therefore, the chances are I won’t like it.
But what if the chances are you will like it? What if the chance is always just as high that you will like that new thing, that new hobby, that new position, that new whatever that, you know, you can try it. And if you’re with somebody you trust, this is, of course, a huge part of that is being able to say, you know. That was nice, but this is not going to be my thing, or even before, like, whoop, yeah, I was wrong.
This totally applies to sex toys, too. I mean, don’t most things?
August: And that’s so fun too, I think if you have something that goes a little wonky, it can be really funny or just something you endured together as long as you are, having a good, good rapport through it. And you could just go, “Wow, I really thought I was gonna love anal. I really thought I was gonna love this unique toy.” And maybe it’s worth trying again. Maybe you’re like, I never want to try it again. And all of that’s great.
August: I figured it out. And wasn’t that funny when the toy went bouncing across the room or whatever funny thing happened.
Jennifer: Yes. And that has happened to me with a toy where it’s like every review is five stars and everyone loves it. And you try it and you’re like, Oh, this doesn’t actually fit me. It doesn’t literally fit me. My body just totally doesn’t work with it. It’s like, oh, well, that’s a shame.
You know, I mean, you can still do something with it, but it’s not going to be like the big, bonus part of, the, gee, I got this toy and everything changed. It’s like, no.
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Jennifer’s memoir, “Honeymoon at Sea,” is full of adventures of many kinds. Here’s what she most wanted you all to know about it — and related wisdom she hopes you’ll take to heart.
Jennifer: Of course, the fun of being able to get on a boat, whether you’re sitting in your armchair and to be able to take off on this adventure that seems so unlikely or incredible. And of course it was unlikely and incredible. I had a guy who’s 93 write a review and he said, “I feel like I lived it all along with you.” And I thought that was really cool.
But I think more than that, you read so much about how people get together and that a lot of marriages break up in the first year. Or things go wrong in the first year that aren’t addressed that later come up and that that can be really detrimental.
If I could pass a proclamation, it’s one that people would not marry people they don’t know. That just seems like such an obvious thing, but it happens all the time. You think you know somebody cause, you know, you were in Homeroom with them. You graduated at the same time. You like some of the same movies. I mean, you don’t really know them.
Part of that familiarity is letting them know you, too — including your desires.
Jennifer: Being able to learn to just say what you want, whether it’s in bed or in life, and to trust that that person is going to listen to you. And if they don’t, then you’re not with the right person. And that’s just a cut and dried thing. I’m not saying that they listen and respond right away. I’m saying that they’re willing to listen. That they have to be willing to listen to you and you saying your truth, whether it’s about your past or your dreams for the future or how you want them to touch you or how you want to touch them. Because I have fantasies that Russel is totally not interested in, you know, for him. But he does them with me because I find them cool and vice versa.
But if I was worried to say like, “Oh, I don’t think he’s going to like this,” so I better not tell him what I like or what I want… That was really what this whole period of my life was about, is what do I want to do next? Who do I want to be? And I was luckily with somebody who kept saying, “I don’t know, what do you want to be?What do we want to do next?” And so that was an incredible gift that I got.
We were both so lucky. I still think that we’re lucky to this day, of course, but that taking the time to lay that groundwork, that foundation for a relationship. So I think it’s trusting yourself and being able to look at your future without any preconceived notions and say gee I wonder where I’ll end up. Let’s go for this.
You know and I don’t think it’s about money – though, of course, it was very nice that he had a little bit set aside so we could do that comfortably for a year rather than the three months that we started out thinking about.
But for a lot of people, they’ll think, Oh, I can’t do that. But you can do something. You can do something that will be a shared thing that you do with the person you love. That it can be an adventure.
It could be hiking. It could be walking. It could be swimming. It could be taking up a sport or a hobby. And that you do together because I think that adventure that we took together is still paying off. Dividends, as we will say, that just are a daily payoff because of all that time we invested. It was fun at the time. And we’re still having fun. The honeymoon continues.
Find Jennifer Silva Redmond’s book, Honeymoon at Sea, on Amazon.
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