The Body Song

This past week, I had the privilege of introducing my family to Paddy and Carole Ducklow.  Back in the 60’s, when my parents left Texas to move up to Canada, Dad met Paddy in graduate school and they began a life-long friendship. My father wrote his first book in the basement of their home. He logged countless hours sitting out on their deck drinking beer and debating life, the universe and everything. Paddy flew to Texas to attend his funeral.

As a child, I have many memories of the Ducklow’s being a part of our lives. Even when the two men were living in different parts of the Lower Mainland, they always stayed connected. And then, several years before our family returned to Texas, they worked together at Burnaby Christian Fellowship. Dad was senior pastor, and Paddy was on staff as the church psychologist who ran a practice in the church.

One of the programs that they collaborated on during this time was a seminar to teach kids and their parents about the concept of “appropriate touch”. The kids and parents were split into different rooms and taught about issues surrounding personal boundaries, safety and communication. I was one of those kids, and my favourite part of the whole seminar was learning the song, My Body by Peter Alsop (which was thereinafter referred to by us simply as “the body song”).

Fast-forward 20+ years. My family is driving to the Ducklow’s house for the first time and I am explaining to my daughter about the importance of this family in my life. Having a vague memory of the body song, I decided that it would be spectacularly impressive if I could teach it to my daughter to sing for Paddy over dinner. Riley was very much into this idea (life is, after all, a musical for her) and enthusiastically embraced the task. The more we sang it, the more furrowed my husband’s brow became. He finally cleared his throat and said, “Uh, honey? I think you are not remembering that song right. I am pretty sure that’s not how it goes.” I pooh-poohed his concerns and, undaunted, Riley and I sang the song a few more times – to ensure that she really knew it.

When we arrived at Ducklow’s, the conversation inevitably turned to the body song. Actually, Eric brought it up because he was so smug in his assumption that I had the words wrong and thought it would be hilarious to see Paddy’s reaction. I was hesitant because I had an ever-growing suspicion that Eric was, unfortunately, right. Eventually, he coaxed Riley and me into singing it together.  So, in a vain attempt to prove that I was correct (or more that he was wrong) I belted out with great gusto:

My body’s nobody’s body but mine.

You touch your own body,

Let me touch mine.

There was an eerie silence that fell over the room for what was only a moment but felt like eternity.  Then the room erupted!  I thought Paddy was going to fall off the couch laughing. He fell to the side and buried his face in a pillow as he howled in laughter.  It was suddenly inherently obvious to me that I had turned a song on appropriate touch into one on mutual masturbation.

***Epic FAIL***

Later in the evening, Paddy and Riley went to the computer and drudged up the words to this 1980’s song. Thank goodness for Google!

The true version of the body song can be found here and goes like this:

My body’s nobody’s body but mine.

You run your own body,

Let me run mine.

I will admit that the correct one is a much better version for Riley to be singing out in public.  But as I am not one to be easily dismayed, I will brazenly confess that personally prefer my version…even if you’ll never hear me sing it aloud ever again.

So inn the midst of all of this personal humiliation, I figured that I should try to redeem myself by unabashedly sharing the story with everyone and using it as a teaching tool to help parents talk with their children.

Eric, however, is still laughing.

Simmering Passion

simmering pot

One of the challenges in my business as a Passion Coach is teaching a woman how to make the transition from the roles she plays during the day (mother, sister, daughter, friend, employee, employer) to the role of sexy, passionate wife at night. As women, we pour our energies into the people and tasks around us all day long. Our boss needs something done, and we endeavour to get it done efficiently and with excellence. Our friend calls up sobbing because her teenager is doing drugs, and we listen and empathize. Our coworker is on the verge of having an affair because her home life is boring, predictable and lonely; and we invest time over lunch trying to convince her why this isn’t such a hot idea. And when we return home, our children need us to help with homework, or kiss their boo-boos, or drive them to their game or dance class. Later, we feed, bathe, and tuck them into bed.

And then, tired and worn out, we stumble into the bedroom at night, and there is our dear husband. With that look on his face. And it feels like one more thing we have to check off our “to do” list for the day.

How do we make the transition?

I believe the answer lies not in what happens at the end of the day, but in what we are doing all day long. Sure, we want to be good at our job, be a great friend AND be a Super Mom who engenders the envy of all the other PAC moms. But in attempting to do so, we have trained ourselves to neglect the passionate side of ourselves – the side that actually notices the details of life around us rather than just seeing a blur as we whiz by it. After all, it slows us down and makes us inefficient.

But is it also the side that makes us feel alive.

The best analogy I give to women is that of a pot on the stove. If you want to get it to boiling and the water is cold, it can take some time. However, if the water is already simmering, the pot boils very quickly. So, if you want hot, steamy passion at night, you have to be looking for and cultivating it during the day.

Need some tips and suggestions? Here are a few:

  • The science of arousal is all about blood flow into the genital tissues, so do things which increase your blood flow during the day such as:
    • Do some cardio exercise. 20 minutes is a good place to start because it is long enough to get your blood flowing, but not so long that it is difficult to fit into your day.
    • Eat a healthy diet. Yes, it helps your blood flow as well as your dress size!
  • Slow down enough to actually listen to the words of the songs on the radio. Play songs which make you feel passionate, romantic or sexy. Create a “Passion” playlist on your ipod.
  • Remember the Four Kisses a Day article? Don’t forget to bring passion to your relationship with your husband during the day. Send him a sexy text message or call just to say, “I love you”. Email him reminding him of your last romantic or steamy time together and tell him how much you appreciate him.
  • Pick up an activity which makes you feel passionate and/or sexy. Try an art class, dance class, or even a cooking class (yes, a beautifully prepared meal can be sexy too!).
  • Pay attention to the beautiful things in your life. Do you have nature on your way to work which is lovely? Do you need to go to an art museum or pick up a book on classic art? Train yourself to notice, appreciate and be thankful for that beauty.
  • Most importantly, take your family on this journey with you. Teach your children to understand passion (albeit in the non-sexual way), so that they will take these lessons into their adult lives. In our family, we do it through dance.