It was about one or two A.M. in the morning in the month of May. Lately, with all of the life events happening around me, this was the normal time for me to wake up from my sleep. For some reason, this morning was different. After following the work of sexologist and intimacy expert Shan Boodram for six years, I was excited to hear that she had a new book coming out and even more excited that she had a workbook to get me started on my reading journey.
That morning as I woke up, I felt the need to do her self-summary workbook. I made about two or three attempts to complete it before, but I would put it to the side or get distracted with something else (life of a millennial). I took a deep breath and dived into what would be the beginning of my self-discovery and inner work.
After doing the self-summary workbook, I found out about relationship structures, personality types, apology languages, and mind patterns. The analytical side of me was in love. My favorite ways to attain knowledge is through reading and having long conversations. The ‘how’ determines the ‘why’ and vice versa, and I’m always interested in learning how things, situations, and people get to those two points of reasoning. Why did this happen? How did you come to this conclusion? This started the framework for what was ahead: reading The Game of Desire by Shan Boodram.
The Game of Desire is a book for someone who is looking for love and romantic success, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be with another person. It could be with yourself and/or romantic partners. This book is focused on dating and finding love in a romantic sense. However, I read this book from the lens of developing a relationship with myself in order to foster healthier relationships with the people around me.
Shan Boodram gives you a tool kit where she encourages you to know yourself and how others see you, change the things that aren’t working for you right now (whether it is externally, internally, or both), learn how you would like to be loved and treated in relationships, learn the best ways that work for you in how you treat and connect with others, practice the things that you learn, and continue to go down the road of self-discovery where you become your most seductive and desirable self.
“…you cannot avoid confrontation. If you don’t do it externally you will end up doing it internally.” – Shan Boodram
During the course of six weeks, five women joined Shan Boodram on a journey to revive their love life by helping them learn about themselves and identify what they wanted out of dating. Then, she gave them the know-how and personalized tips to take the dating scene by storm. With some noteworthy and unconventional methods, I can say that you will enjoy reading about the experiences of these women and become captivated by this seductive game. Just like Deshawn, Courtney, Pricilla, Stephanie, and Maya, you may also agree that this ish really works.
Some of my favorite parts of the book were the sections about learning about myself, figuring out my five non-negotiables and learning what my standards are, switching things up in the appearance department, learning about the steps to failing at relationships, learning the difference between being seductive versus getting ghosted, and learning about different ways to flirt. I was on the fence about the method of using a game to express your concerns with a partner and using the method of disagreeing and agreeing for a period of time to make your date feel like they won you over. I still struggle with mapping out my ideal partner, but I love that I can dive back in the book or audiobook at any time to figure that out. An interesting method that got a lot of press was Shan Boodram’s method of “vabbing,” which is using your vaginal fluids as perfume to entice your date or those around you.
I had mixed emotions at first about contacting my most recent ex for insight on my shortcomings. As I was reading what was required of me, I immediately thought, “No.” Then, I realized that saying no was exactly the reason why I should do it. After that exercise, I gained a lot of insight. For example, some of the details of my attachment style came to life when my ex described my interactions with him. As I read his responses, I thought, “Ohhhhh, makes sense.” To be honest, I’m incredibly glad I had to courage to do that exercise and would do it again, but I have mixed feelings on if I would recommend it to someone else. I think it is something you can mention to someone and let them decide if that is the route they would like to go.
After reading The Game of Desire, I gained two things: confidence and clarity. After reading it for the first time, I let out a huge sigh and smiled. After being incredibly frustrated with my dating history, I thought, “What am I doing wrong? I gave everything I had the last time.” Then, boom- this book shows up in my life. Now, I am absolutely sure that it will take work, but being in love can be as easy as breathing (dear Twilight saga fans, that line was for you). Shan Boodram writes a line in her book that I will remember for a long time: “…you cannot avoid confrontation. If you don’t do it externally you will end up doing it internally.” Boy, was she right about that.
With a combination of reading this book and starting therapy, I realized that I attracted emotionally unavailable men who were incapable of loving me in the way that I needed. I hadn’t done the work to develop a healthy and loving relationship with myself, to re-parent myself, undo years of conditioning, and set kind but firm boundaries. I attracted emotionally unavailable men, friends, people in general because I was emotionally unavailable to myself.
Reading this book was a breath of fresh air because in starting the journey of doing some difficult inner work, I gained a new sense of awareness where I could finally show up for myself, respect myself, and love myself better.Tweet
I love that Shan Boodram emphasizes that the journey should start with yourself. I believe that is where everything starts and ends: your happiness, your love, and your peace. However, as humans, we are biologically designed to connect with others and to love each other. No matter what walk of life you come from, love is a universal language. You may not always attract the safest partners, but in having a tool kit of methods and ideas that work for you, you can choose better for yourself and trust yourself to choose better partners. Understanding that and knowing that has been an incredibly powerful experience.
This journey is not for the fainthearted, but after reading this book, you will have a clear guide on how to navigate the scary waters of dating in the 21st century and have a lot of fun as you go. It is reassuring that this book is a step-by-step guide to have and refer to while dating. With most things, this journey starts with a choice to take the first step. The first step starts with turning the first page of The Game of Desire.
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