Beliefs about one's worth in sex/relationships

So, back to this “sexual market value” belief.

I finally had the courage to talk about this very specifically with my partner. For those playing at home, we have been “on again, off again” for around 18 months now.

I finally saw today that it’s not just something floating “out there”. It being the perception of my worth, and her worth, but a belief in me.

It doesn’t mean that by undoing this belief i will suddenly be more attractive. It doesn’t mean that at all. As Richard stated once, (paraphrasing), “being free isn’t going to make one popular, rich, attractive, successful”.

I won’t go into the specifics of the conversation with her, but it took courage to do. Again, it does not mean anything will change on her part. It’s not something that is specific to this relationship either. But to generalise, it comes down to how the other behaves in bed. I would say that with a modest standard deviation, that effort (on their part) has been around 60%.

I realised today why this had to be talked about, and why it must end the relationship (at least has the potential too), or radically change it.

Being reminded every second day, or as sex occurs, that i am only worth 60% effort, is not helping me feel good.

Now, this could be a very long post as all the nuisance and factors unpacked ; but to keep it very simple, (and thus something i can action), both the belief, and potentially the actual situation (relationship) must go. They are intertwined though.

It would be ridiculous to try and get rid of a belief which otherwise is being reinforced. It is also silly to end the relationship because i don’t have the courage to talk about it.

It is very confronting to me to be so specific. As a person (i assume women experience this too), spelling out how one feels the other values them has the very real ‘reality’, that they do in fact value one at the level one fears. It’s pretty obviously the case action speaks louder than words.

It’s not about “countering” the belief. Or begging, or even an ultimatum.

I made it really clear she can do what she likes in life. And, so can I. There is no “you should feel different”. There is the invitation to put into action the belief she has that “it’s all about intentions”.

This all actually “blew up” Friday night. Again, no specifics, but i was very angry at her, and was yelling on the phone Saturday about it. It’s only after that, i could really see the full picture. The rotten nature in her, the rotten nature in me.

There is so much i could add, but a lot of that is anticipation of what others may respond with.

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@Andrew I could be wrong about it but it sounds to me like a matter of need. You have a need to be validated by her.

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Yes. That’s definitely a way of putting it. I have used those terms before.

The difference is, i see that undoing the belief unilaterally, (whilst worthwhile, and i am looking at it now regardless), is sorta silly. Worth trying, but somehow silly.

I will see how i go anyway. Because waiting for the other to change is a big part of why i am 10 years into actualism, and not free.

There is of course, a long list of feelings and beliefs, but i want to stay specific because of the amount of emotion that was behind my anger on Saturday.

The thing is, there was a clarity in that anger. Later, today, when we talked calmly and i explained more, another level of clarity. Lots of subsidiary emotions, like shame, jealousy, defeatism, waiting.

There was also the thought that i am not being unreasonable in at least trying to get through to her. I saw that i would not be into actualism had i not been raised in Christianity. It is not really a choice i made to be questioning “life, the universe and everything”. That evolution happened before i was born. Maybe i can be a catalyst for her. The difference being, to no longer wait for her.

Certainly, if this belief / conditioning can be undone unilaterally in a relationship, it certainly would be of encouragement for those in relationships.

If I understand correctly, the belief is “the sexual market value belief”, i.e., “the perception of my worth, and her worth”, and you admitted that it’s a belief of yours.

But if this is the case, I don’t understand why “undoing the belief unilateraly” would be silly… Why it would be important for your freedom that she also undo her belief? (being important for the relationship is another matter).



Yes, I agree. I wrote that and later saw it’s the “waiting” talking. That it’s ‘unfair’ I should accept reminders via the relationship of my worth.

However, that’s also a belief, because i don’t actually know how being free of the ‘market belief’ will affect the relationship. I just assumed it will make me seem even more pathetic / powerless and worse. Now it’s becoming clearer i have nothing to loose trying. :sweat_smile:


Unilaterally is the only way I see it. Ultimately this is all a part of the “love” package. It’s pretty clear to me now that forming (imposing) any sort of relationship on a person will always cause conflicts of being misunderstood, expectations not being met, power games, games of self-worth and validation. The relationship is a bundle of feelings and beliefs, it is “me”. The ending of this part of “me” need not end the real-world relationship, but I accept that it very well may. But I also notice that @Srinath’s real world relationship did not end despite becoming actually free.


I think because it is part of a larger, maybe the largest ‘package’ it is easy to get lost in the variables.

Investigation becomes a scatter gun, without much ever changing. I feel being specific is helping at the moment.

Although, each person could quite probably find some other aspects of the package worth looking at.

I am today more clearly seeing the hold this belief has had on me. And also how i try and counter the belief with despondency. As if i can “wait it out”, like a medieval seige. Or maybe that’s not a bad idea; build a seige machine, stop trading with it, cut off supply to this belief.

Hmm. I don’t think so. That is hardly naivete.

Courage, honesty in the face of the expectations to “be a man”.

I feel better when i am head on with it though. Even if i am “breaking some eggs” to do it.

Again, private life stuff is best kept private.

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I rang and apologised to her.

I realised that i could have said something, refused to believe / accept this belief, otherwise “lead” the relationship, or tried with more courage, in the direction i wanted.

I wanted gentle intimacy between us. But i was too afraid of it. Again, no specifics, but it was my own fear of intimacy, fear of rejection, and anticipation of loss that made me rather breakup, talk about anything but what was really on my mind.

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I was blaming her, but not seeing that i always had the choices to have the courage to go in the direction i wanted. I just couldn’t face rejection. Or, perversely, more afraid of succeeding and then losing the gentle intimacy i want.

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This may be a side-note at this point, but if you’re anticipating feeling pathetic/powerless, then you’re already being pathetic/powerless… nothing you do on the action-level matters comparatively.

By taking the steps you’ve been taking, actually valuing yourself in the situation, not standing for less than the best, having difficult conversations, you’re no longer ‘being’ pathetic/powerless… really everything comes out of the ‘being,’ the things you’re willing to do and do for yourself totally change because the belief about the outcome is different / no longer present

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I have had a similar realization in my ‘relationship’ recently of realizing that I had to use everything I have learned in my investigations in my relating to her.

Re-directing the whole project to intimacy, naivete.

I had been dropping everything I have learned the second I interacted with her because I was afraid that it ‘wouldn’t work,’ that she would reject anything I brought to the situation. But that approach wasn’t working well at all.

Since that time I’ve been very bold in saying things, challenging her, making suggestions, and with the security that 1) these suggestions are coming out of my experience, I know that they have worked for me, and 2) If she doesn’t want to take part in this, I will go find someone that does want to take part in it… I have options and I won’t put up with less than the best possible. Worst case scenario I move forward in my life alone, but I’d rather do that than be ingenuine in my relating to her, which is what I had been doing out of fear… really in all my relationships (with everyone), my whole life.

And with this boldness, this clarity of vision, she has definitely stepped up and met me here, she has exhibited interest in these ideas/explorations partly because I have exhibited interest in my own ideas & explorations! I feel more alive, more invested in my own life and because of taking these steps, interested in our inter-play as well. It’s quite exciting, actually.


Hmm, well, I’m done. Again, again.

No use recognising ones own rotten nature, without also seeing the rotten nature in others.

No vows of celibacy, or finding someone “interested”. Just refusing to believe that i am not “worth the effort.”

I like how this is different to believing “i am worth the effort”. Worth is based on the market. If no one values something, then it is “worthless”. So no use even dealing in “worth”.

I am not measuring myself in “worth”. Refusing to believe in “worth”.

Walking last night i started to smile at the 3D world i walked through. The power lines, trees, roads. I started to imagine, “what if that tree over there was the ‘centre of the universe’?”. Trees become quite interesting when the might be the centre of the universe. It’s also cool for the centre not to be me for a while.