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Excerpts from Nuestros Cuerpos, Nuestras Vidas

III. Relationships and Sexuality  (excerpt from the introduction)

The chapters from this section address our most profound and intimate relationships, the ones that nourish our bodies and souls with love and shared joy. The foundation for good health is mutuality in all of our relationships. Mutuality recognizes our human interdependence. Lack of mutuality is like a body that sickens when the heart, lungs, and inner organs cease to work together. Mutuality begins with equality. From equality flow relationships of mutual support, shared affection, and respect and appreciation for the opinions and feelings of others. From this equality,  open and sincere communication flourishes,  When we women have problems we try and find solutions that satisfy everyone. All tasks and pleasures should be shared.

We believe that mutuality should be the model for all of our relationships, including those between men and women, mother and children, women and women, men and men, lovers, friends, neighbors, and work colleagues. Mutuality is key to maintain harmony within ourselves and with our partners. In previous chapters we spoke of the importance of self-esteem to our health and how our socialization as women interferes with that foundation of good health.  Establishing relationships of mutuality also begins with self-esteem.  By valuing ourselves, we can seek out forms of relating to others that allow for open communication and help us solve our conflicts.

Shared love allows us to discover the  tenderness and inspiration that can exist between ourselves and our loved ones. When we share within our intimate relationships we learn about life, grow, restore, become inspired, gather strength and encouragement. When we listen and respect what our body-selves tell us about our experiences, we access a form of knowledge that benefits us all.

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