In the 4th century BC, the Greek philosopher Plato stated "May I do to others as I would that they should do unto me." The previous quote is most commonly known in Christianity as the Golden Rule, by other faiths and philosophies it is known as the ethic of reciprocity. I've often talked about the Golden Rule, but I wanted to show how it can apply in our personal lives and relationships. By following the Golden Rule, we can learn to be better friends and lovers.
The following are ten suggestions for how to put the Golden Rule into effect:
- Practice empathy. Make it a habit to try to place yourself in the shoes of another person. Don’t always judge a person by their outward appearance, you might find that they have something tremendous to offer. Unless you are the picture of absolute perfection, you know that you yourself do not want to be judge by one look. Get to know the person. You might find out that you are in love with his mind or his sweet nature or any number of things that could make him your perfect partner.
- Practice compassion. Once you can understand another person, and feel what they’re going through, learn to want to end their suffering. And when you can, take even a small action to somehow ease their suffering in some way. Maybe it is as simple as telling your boyfriend that you love him. Maybe it is giving him a night of pleasure when he really needs a moment to relax. He may have had a stressful day, well do what you can to relieve that stress. It may be to leave him alone, or it may be to tell him to lie back as you show him that it can be all about his pleasure.
- How would you want to be treated? The Golden Rule doesn’t really mean that you should treat someone else exactly as you’d want them to treat you … it means that you should try to imagine how they want to be treated, and do that. So when you are intimate with a man, think about what would pleasure him. Don’t just think about what pleases you, though this is usually a good start, but always consider your partner. He will appreciate it.
- Be courteous in bed. When it comes to our own pleasure, we sometimes forget to reciprocate. Think about being in the 69 position, he is doing something wonderful to you and you concentrate on that instead of what you are doing to him. My advice is to ride the waves of pleasure but also realize that the more pleasure you are giving to him, the more electric energy is working between you. Allow your bodies to become in sync with one another and ride each others pleasures.
- Listen to others. Another weakness: we all want to talk, but very few of us want to listen. And yet, we all want to be listened to. So take the time to actually listen to another person, rather than just wait your turn to talk. It’ll also go a long way to helping you understand others. This goes along with listening to what he tells you in bed. His movement, his moans, his reactions, all tell you how much he enjoys what you are doing. If it looks like he is not enjoying it, try something else or simply ask him how you can improve what you are doing. Every sexual experience in my life has been a learning experience. Each time that I am with another man, I reflect on what I could have done better and do it next time. Communicate with each other. Don’t be afraid to tell your partner what you want, and make sure that he feels comfortable enough to ask you what he wants.
- Overcome prejudice. We all have our prejudices, whether it’s based on skin color, attractiveness, height, age, gender … it’s human nature, I guess. But try to see each person as an individual human being, with different backgrounds and needs and dreams. And try to see the commonalities between you and that person, despite your differences.
- Stop criticism. We all have a tendency to criticize others, whether it’s people we know or people we see on television. However, ask yourself if you would like to be criticized in that person’s situation. The answer is almost always “no”. So hold back your criticism, and instead learn to interact with others in a positive way.
- Don’t control others. It’s also rare that people want to be controlled. Trust me. So don’t do it. This is a difficult thing, especially if we are conditioned to control people. But when you get the urge to control, put yourself in that person’s shoes. You would want freedom and autonomy and trust, wouldn’t you? Give that to others then. Now the opposite of this is also true. Sometimes a man does want to be dominated. If this is what he wants, dominate him. All relationships can be made better through communication.
- Be the change. Gandhi famously told us to be the change we want to see in the world. Well, we often think of that quote as applying to grand changes, such as poverty and racism and violence. Well, sure, it does apply to those things … but it also applies on a much smaller scale: to all the small interactions between people. Do you want people to treat each other with more compassion and kindness? Then let it start with you. Even if the world doesn’t change, at least you have.
- Notice how it makes you feel. Notice how your actions affect others, especially when you start to treat them with kindness, compassion, respect, trust, love. But also notice the change in yourself. Do you feel better about yourself? Happier? More secure? More willing to trust others, now that you trust yourself? These changes come slowly and in small increments, but if you pay attention, you’ll see them.