Feelings, sex and relationships – some perspective

pic by depsycho

Because this is a conversation that never gets old. So last week, during a talk I held for a very small and intimate group, we touched on the some sex stories that we desperately need to let go off, for example “men are about sex, women are about emotions”, “sex is PIV sex only”, “women’s orgasm is difficult” … that sort of rubbish “men are from mars, women are from venus” BS.

One of my top myths is “sex is love”. I’ve written about it before and believe strongly that perpetuating the idea that one needs to “love someone” if you’re going to “have sex” is problematic and even dangerous, especially for young women entering into the sexual interaction arena.

Sex can touch us on all our feels

But in the talk, someone pointed out that a sexual interaction can bring on all kinds of emotions, even feelings of love, and that needs to be acknowledged if we’re going to talk (and teach kids) about this kind of social engagement in any meaningful way. Sex can touch us on all our feels: love, vulnerability, tenderness, jealousy, rejection … you name it. How true.

Maybe it’s better to say “sex does not equal a love relationship” beyond that engagement.

A bit wordier, but maybe more to the point. And still a point that needs to be made.

Far from being a “teenage issue”, I hear grown-ass woman – women who consider themselves wild warriors of sexual potency – still making this mistake and then lashing out at the new sex partner for not meeting their needs. They experience feelings – love, longing, need, vulnerability – and think that their feelings ARE the relationship.

But it takes two (or three or four) to tango in an interaction that is agreed upon, in conversation, as a going or possible love relationship; as something that exists beyond the sex experience.

This isn’t an easy learning. At least, it wasn’t for me.

It requires ownership of your feelings and needs, strong boundaries between what is your “stuff” and someone else’s “stuff”, the strength not to take shit personally, and the openness and compassion to explore and play honestly in a space where two (or three or more) humans are just doing the best they can to unlearn all the damage done by those sex myths and cultural stereotyping – and still have some fun doing it!

Jeezy creezy plums. This ride is sometimes tough going. But in my experience, some perspective goes a long way to making the whoops and twirls and curls a lot more enjoyable.