• Jennifer Jade Merrihue



INNOCENCE is a concept I was introduced to 3 years ago.

I sat in front of a coach I had crawled to after burning out at the Red Cross. She suggested that my desire to get to know a man (who is now my partner), was innocent.

I had so much evidence for why I shouldn’t’ get close to him. All the people that would be confused or angry. The commitments I’d have to break to my best friend (that were out of alignment any way).

I sat there in tears. In pain because I couldn’t trust myself. I felt terrible about myself and what I wanted in my body.

When she brought in the word- innocence.

It was like a grenade.

I sat frozen. Confused. Angry.

What the hell did she mean by this? Did she mean naive/ignorant?

I was anything but naive! Look at all these facts and evidence of what would happen if I allowed my friendship with him, if I risked it! I was clear on all the angles.

But she did not mean naive. She meant innocent. I had never heard of this concept outside of crime and punishment.

I had never heard it applied to an adult.

It had never occurred to me that my desires, my body, my actions, my being, could all be innocent. What I felt naturally was innately innocent. I was tearing these things apart by my opinion of all the wrongness of it, and me.

Ask yourself, how do you treat yourself? How do you treat others? Does any part of you acknowledge their innate innocence? Yours?

A little boy or girl who is excited by a new thing or person, or hurt and scared by a comment is innocent. A child just feels things and then has the world respond positively or negatively to it. But the child is not innately evil. It just is as it is and we mold and shape them out of it. We mold and shape ourselves out of it. We grow up forgetting that we have innocence within us that needs protecting and cultivating and love.

I say this because it’s hard to trust yourself if you don’t understand that part of yourself. If you think your desires are innately wrong or evil you will grow a wall of shame that keeps you from deep connection, explosive sex, fulfilling work, and faith in yourself. Without faith in yourself, you won’t take risks or believe you can handle them, or make choices that define your life powerfully.

Shame is one of those things that builds in your body over time.

Men have a longer history of shame because their sexual arousal is physically shown through erections on the outside.

From the moment men get erections, they have to start hiding them from their community and parents, even though these are healthy arousal responses that are INNOCENT.

They don’t correlate solely to things of a sexual nature. But we forget this.

Male babies will get erections while breastfeeding because it is pleasurable, NOT because it is sexual. A baby has no value concept, the body enjoys something or not.

How interesting that a baby has so much access to pleasure and erections when most of my clients are grown men coming to me because they can’t feel their c0ck, don’t get erections unless watching porn, and finish quickly with absolutely no pleasure in the experience?

Boys begin to cultivate shame at the same time that women get their periods, 11 years old onward. That’s a hell of a lot of time practicing hiding yourself and your pleasure response from the world. Women go through other things, but at least we can hide it. Our pleasure is internal, so are our periods.

The balance of shame and innocence is an important one.

Innocence can be enjoying someone's energy outside your relationship (like a few seconds at a coffee shop), wanting to stay in instead of going out on a date with your partner, not knowing how to please your partner but wanting to anyway, not wanting to take out the trash.

Innocence doesn’t mean we have to take action on the desires in our body. But it does allow us to not make everything we innately feel MEAN something negative about ourselves or each other. There is nothing innately wrong or evil about these things. And innocence is the beautiful ingredient that liberates us from defining ourselves or our partner as dangerous or broken. It allows us to experience our desire as something that ebbs and flows and doesn’t dictate what happens in our life or the choices we make.

Shame is on the other side. It’s the part of you that feels worthless if you can’t please your partner, feels mistrust and distress if you get excited by another person outside your relationship, and feels like a horrible lazy failure if you want to Netflix vs. take your partner on a date when you said you would or take out the trash.

Though shame is natural. There is a time and place for it. Civilizations and its evolution has us experience these mechanisms (like shame/innocence) inside ourselves and not question whether they are appropriate or not in the moment.

I.E. Killing your neighbor because he trampled on your garden should probably cause you shame because it’s an extreme unwarranted reaction and you should probably get some help navigating whatever is going on with you. (Even in this scenario, shame serves a purpose, to slow you down and have you question your extreme response).

But your innate pleasure and desire is not in itself shameful. You not wanting to do the dishes- because you hate dirty dishes is not in itself shameful. Feeling tired and lethargic after a day's work- again NOT innately evil or shameful.

We have gotten very fast and loose with pointing the shame finger at each other in our relationships to try and motivate our partners to change, to do what we want, to be better. Let me tell you, this approach never works. Shame causes emotional callouses. Calluses that a person will have to work to soften in order to feel again.

If you’re in your relationship and you are no longer feeling excited, connected, turned on by your partner, I invite you to take a look at whether you guys have been cultivating shame callouses in each other. These things build subtly over time. Little comments here and there that make us feel like our partner doesn’t understand us, doesn’t understand that if we could WANT what they want us to want we would. Little jabs and criticisms that deny they believe some part of us is innocent in the way we are.

THIS WILL DESTROY your sex life. Your love life. Your business partnerships. The people that work under you. Understand that trying to motivate people by little jabs and criticisms will get you nowhere.

Think of a situation where you fucked something up unintentionally. If you could have done better, would you have? The logical answer is, yes. No matter how badly you fucked it up. If you COULD have done better in that moment you would have. WE would have a much more collaborative world if we acknowledged this FIRST before attacking each others performance, character, and desires.

Think of a situation where you fucked something up unintentionally. If you could have done better, would you have? The logical answer is, yes. No matter how badly you fucked it up. If you COULD have done better in that moment you would have. WE would have a much more collaborative world if we acknowledged this FIRST before attacking each other's performance, character, and desires.

If you are struggling with any of this and are looking for support, guidance, change. If you miss your partner even though live with them, if you suck at dating, don’t feel pleasure, or hate your life-DM me, I coach 1-1 and am committed to your success.


9 views0 comments

Jennifer Jade Merrihue

Los Angeles, CA 90291



  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black YouTube Icon

Name *

Email *



© 2018