Ep 07 - Please. Don’t Yuck Other People’s Yums.
Don't yuck other people's yums is a statement that was said to me some years ago and profoundly changed my perspective on relationships, sexuality and romance. I know some of you have heard me repeat this before and I feel like it could change many of your perspectives in a really beautiful, positive way, too. I’m so excited to dive into this today.
Listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast and more.
Broadcast: March 26, 2021
Here’s a snippet of our conversation…
Discovering, rather than judging.
What if instead of staying closed to things, ideas, perceptions and experiences that feel uncomfortable or odd or weird to you, you made a commitment to remain open to learning and discovering? And rather than judging, accepting someone's yums simply aren’t for you and moving along. So instead of just instantly thinking, ‘Oh, how gross’ or ‘God they're weird’ or ‘How strange’. What if you just accepted the differences and moved along with ‘Hey, all power to them!’
One of the reasons I want to have this conversation in the early stages of this podcast series is because it's likely that I'm going to have some conversations with experts that could make you feel uncomfortable. That could trigger you in some way. And possibly even that you might in the future feel like you just want to shut your mind down to. But what I'd love to say is try and remain open to the possibility that things could be really different for you moving forward, if only you enabled an open mind and more acceptance of other people.
When we stay open.
What if you remained open to the possibility that in the process of learning and staying open, you actually discovered another way? Something for instance, that bought immense pleasure to your life, or even meant that you established a wonderful connection with another human that you wouldn't have otherwise even considered because you'd remained closed?
Several years ago now I attended a workshop. It was a communication one-on-one workshop in Melbourne with a group called Curious Creatures. I attended it with a partner and the workshop was designed specifically to encourage open and positive communication between romantic and or sexual partners attending the workshop. We were instructed that it was never appropriate to yuck another person’s yum in that workshop, and nor was it appropriate to do so outside of the workshop, online or otherwise. Because what they were trying to do was foster a really accepting environment that would be in support of everybody's differences.
I learnt more about myself…
The workshop was wonderful for many different reasons, but it was such a beautiful instruction and it never left me because what happened following that workshop is I had some experiences in my own romantic life that probably I wouldn't have entertained should that very sentence ‘Don’t yuck other people’s yums’ not being spoken to me. It sort of stuck with me ever since, as I navigated my way through relationships and dating because many years ago, the idea of a non-monogamous relationship (which is a relationship where there might be more than one sexual partner or more than one partner, but usually sexual) it would likely have been met with judgment, critical judgment, and shut down to that idea entirely. Without any sense of trying to understand the reasons why some couples might even want to open up to non-monogamy. Yet, as it turned out, I made the choice to enter one myself for a period of time, a few years ago. And as a result of that, I learnt more about myself, how to communicate with another and how to ask for what I wanted. Because of the openness that is required in such a relationship.
For that, I’m grateful.
And for this, I've got to be honest, I'm really forever grateful because as a result of my relationship with this other person who had experience in a previous non-monogamous relationship, I learned great confidence in my communication. I learned the importance of speaking up, of asking for feedback, of checking in and ever since then what's happened is that my relationships with others have always started or been formed from a really wonderful basis because I am so open and clear in my communication. And I'm clear about what it is that I want. And I have confidence in my language around what I seek in a romantic relationship, or even a physical relationship. That is purely because I chose not to yuck other people's yums. And that's just one example.
We have no right to shame anyone.
Now, another example of yucking other people's yums could be different forms of pleasure or kinks. Some kinds of sexual experiences that are not considered vanilla. So a kink could be something that to someone else could be a little bit fetishy or quite a lot fetishy. It could be something you'd come across in communication via online dating sites or just in your day-to-day with others. So this in fact is another situation that's personal to me many years ago when I was online. As you know, if you've been following me for a while online, you'll know that I've been on dating apps for many years and I remember there was a few months where this word ‘kink’ kept coming up and I became really inquisitive because I just kept seeing it.
And so I reached out…
I just reached out to this one guy on an app whose profile read beautifully and he looked like a really lovely guy. And I said to him, what is this word? And we embarked on a really beautiful relationship, he's now one of my best friends. But he started educating and explaining to me something that had sort of been well and truly outside of my orbit. I opened my mind to other forms of joy and pleasure and communication as a result. I think partly what felt beautiful about this learning experience with him was the way in which he communicated with me in such a safe way. You know, there was never any sense of shame, which is really, really important.
We have no right to shame anybody else for experiences they have that bring them joy or pleasure. No one's sexual or gender expression is superior to anybody else's - my sexuality is unique, your sexuality is unique. And our relationship with sexuality and romance is just that, it's ours. You know, just because you and I enjoy a particular sex toy doesn't mean we'll experience it in a similar way. And this very uniqueness doesn't give us the right to shame anyone with any kind of difference to ours.
Power to you.
Stay open to the possibility that you might actually be able to feel differently in your skin in a really beautiful, positive way. And I think for those of you who are on your own, not yucking other people's yums particularly in the world of online dating is really important because when we do that, we are just filling that space with shame and it's by no means a positive experience for anybody. But also instead of doing that, you don’t need to provide somebody with feedback that you were feeling uncomfortable about some kind of kink or experience that they'd had that they'd like to share with you - just acknowledge it. And all you need to say is, ‘Hey, you know, all power to you, that's actually not something I'm interested in exploring, but thanks anyway, have a great day.’ You know, it's that simple.
I hope you will remain open to continuing to listen to this podcast series and perhaps along the way, it'll encourage you to stay open to the possibility of experiences that you may not have previously even have entertained. And to those of you who have actually contacted me directly to say that you have enjoyed it thus far, and you felt it's given you some sense of permission to explore pleasure in your lives I'm so grateful. I'm so very grateful that you've taken the time out to do that and I'm just so thankful that you've shared because the entire objective of this podcast is to help try and normalize these conversations and to try and give us all permission to experience more pleasure and joy because why the hell wouldn't we?
Thanks so much for being here.