Real Intimacy through Radical Honesty
How to Create Real Intimacy using Radical Honesty
When John Rosania, founder of Honesty-Lab, asked me to share another personal story, I thought I would definitely not share the one I am about to tell you right now.
I feel heat in my face. I notice my breath and belly. I’m scaring myself about being misunderstood.
This story is about sex… with a woman almost twice my weight!
After my first Radical Honesty Workshop back in 2013, I moved from the United States back to Germany.
I lived in a city called Münster. I was in the process of cleaning up my past by having honest conversations with important people in my life. One day, a friend set me up on a blind date. He only knew her from pictures.
I judged her to be pretty on her pictures. And slim.
I don‘t really care much for skinny women, but my personal preference can be described as „not too fat“.
We agreed to meet at a cafe around 8pm.
I stood on the street, waiting. I felt my heart and my breath. A car pulled up. A blond girl sat behind the wheel. It was her – and let‘s call her Sarah from now on.
Sarah fixed her hair in the mirror, opened the door, and walked around the car.
A wave of heat rose to my face and my stomach felt tight.
Sarah was really big – and by that I mean that I could not hug her and touch my hands behind her back (and I‘m not a T-Rex with short arms). She walked towards me. I faked a quick smile. She looked nervous. I WAS nervous. My first impulse was to pretend that I am not really me and just walk away. My body was tense. Although I can‘t recall my exact thinking at the moment, it went something like this:
„Shit. Oh no. What am I going to do? Fuck. I don‘t want to be seen with her in public. What if my friends see me? Damn. How does she look so slim in her pictures? I don‘t know, but take that as a lesson to never go on a blind date again…“
You get the idea. So what did I do?
I decided to stay… and practice Radical Honesty.
Real Intimacy through practicing Radical Honesty
After one hour of idle, chit-chat I tired myself with being polite and pretending.
I decided to get real and address the elephant in the room: my thoughts and judgments!
Really, I forgot how I started the conversation, but I think I started by saying that I am really nervous to say what I am about to say. And that I have been obsessively thinking about it for quite a while. And that I want to get over myself to be present.
Now, here is the kicker, folks: I did not have the following talk to justify that I am right. Also, I did not have it just to say what I think. I had the conversation simply because it was true and pressing for me and I wanted to get real and maybe get over my thoughts.
And so I said: „I feel tight in my belly and heat in my face. I imagine you are fat. And I thought about turning around the second I saw you.“ I felt my breath and the heat in my face. I looked at her.
The heat got even hotter.
She looked down at first. Then she looked back at me. We both sat there. The heat decreased. My heartbeat went back to normal. And then I suddenly felt a strange sense I would call “connection“ and “appreciation“.
For the first time, I saw that her face was attractive for me.
Then I shared a resentment, saying: „I resent you for the picture you have on WhatsApp.“
After a few moments of discomfort, she thanked me for telling her and being honest.
And my whole world relaxed.
I imagine you should want to kiss me more than I want to kiss you
Now, of course I could have not told her…
I could have made up excuses for having to leave early – fake a phone call or something – and block her number (I used to do those things in the past). I bet she was used to this happening, too.
But by actually speaking about my own bullshit thinking, I got over the need to run!
The conversation took a whole new path.
I actually felt attracted to her. We laughed. It was now a fun time. After another hour, we went back to my place. We sat on my sofa and I wanted to kiss Sarah. She turned away.
Like a punch to the gut, I sank forward.
Immediately, my mind came in: “kick her out. Fake an appointment”.
But instead of retreating to my thoughts, I kept the honesty up and said: „I resent you for turning away now. And I imagine you should want to kiss me more than I want to kiss you.“
I felt my body shaking and then she giggled. I laughed too. I relaxed again. My thoughts faded into the background. Heightened awareness of the moment took over. Eventually, we kissed.
And talked more honestly about our feelings, thoughts, and judgments. I was amazed to see how I can actually get over shit by speaking about it. And how I became attracted to her. And how she was not very hurt of offended. Even she was relieved. Hell, she knew she was big, so why pretend otherwise?
Now, this is already quite a long story, so let me summarise the rest.
She went home that night. We met again a few days later.
Then we went to her place. We got naked. I shared my judgments about her body. She shared hers.
We had sex.
During sex, I thought „she is really fat… like a pig.“ I wanted to repress that thought at all costs. But by resisting it, it actually stayed with me for some time. After sex, I told her about the thought, feeling ashamed.
She laughed. And said: „But you liked it, right?“
I did like it. And I liked her.
We stayed in contact and met a few times. I learned about her life. She learned about mine. She told me about developing an eating disorder after her last relationship. She said she was really happy I told her what I told her and that she needed to hear this.
We only went out of contact after I left the country to go on a long trip that eventually lasted 18 months.
She was a warm, courageous, and kind woman – something I would have never learned if I would have lied about my judgments and taken my thoughts too serious. For me, this is a prime example of how Radical Honesty created real intimacy and how I can get over judgments by expressing them and feeling my way through my body.
Do you judge me for saying what I have said? What would you have done?
Let me know!