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On sex

They say that you either have sex, or think about it.

I've been doing a lot of thinking.

One thing that I learned from my ex-wife is that sex does not have to be tied to an emotional relationship, at least for me. I certainly appreciate having a regular partner that can learn all of your ins and outs (so to speak), but that doesn't mean that I have to be tied in a relationship with them.
Note that the converse is true. Just because I'm in a relationship does not mean that I'm having sex with that person.
But I like to.

For me, sex is primarily about intimacy. It's a time where I can let my guard down, a time when I can relax and play and share and trust. It's not serious time.

Other people attach different levels of importance to sex. I know a couple of people who believe that sex outside of marriage is wrong, and one or two that think of sex as a duty or as a tool for reproduction.

Who is more enlightened?

Not being in a relationship anymore, I really miss intimacy. That is probably the single biggest downside to being alone.

But can I achieve intimacy without being in a relationship? Can I be more open to friends, and trusting and playful? Can I achieve a level of emotional intimacy without losing my heart in the process?

And what about physical intimacy? I can get hugs from friends, which is nice, but there are very few friends with whom I could get naked and spend time just caressing each other.

Incidentally, if you fall into this category, let me know. :)

I have chosen to remain single & celibate for a period of time. It was a conscious decision, because I have a lot of personal issues to deal with coming out of a long-term relationship, and I want to deal with them in my own space. But I also want to be more open, and more emotionally available so that I can learn to be a better person.

Now, since you are reading this, I can assume that you either have an interest in sex and sexuality, or that you just want to hear about the sordid details of my icky.

So here's a question: how do emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, and sex tie together for you?


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 1st, 2004 10:28 am (UTC)
Since my laundry is still drying, I can take a crack at this.

Emotional intimacy:
My childhood was fraught with turmoil, leaving me terribly self-sufficient and fairly untrusting. I've worked through a bunch of those issues, but I don't come to emotional intimacy easily, nor do I find myself craving it. When you're used to no emotional safe space and you get some, it seems like a lot, y'know? Since trust is hard for me to give, I keep a close circle of friends I know I can turn to... but I've developed a lot of skills around coping alone, so I probably don't lean on them as much as I could... or should... or need to. I'm still working on this one.

Physical intimacy:
I don't think it's common for women to separate physical and emotional intimacy because of how we're raised. My situation being what it was as a kid, lesson #1 was how to separate what's happening to you (and how it feels physically) from your emotions. So, it was natural for me to keep the physical and the emotional separated.

That said, I can get a great deal of satisfaction from snuggling, napping with someone, having my hands massaged or having my hair brushed. Non-sexual touching connects me to that person differently than sex does, almost in a less vulnerable way, which is comforting and relaxing.

Physical intimacy feeds emotional intimacy, but it isn't the sole conduit for it. I'm verbal, so just talking and sharing details of my life with others brings me closer to them.

My friend recently looked at me like I was an alien when I mentioned during a discussion I'd once had sex with someone I didn't particularly like. I explained that we had killer chemistry, so as long as he didn't talk too much, I'd rather fuck him than punch him in the head. She was horrified.

For her, she needed a deep emotional bond. For me, I needed twenty minutes and broom closet. The key is that I wasn't looking for romance, I was looking for physical release with someone who I knew could push my buttons.

Sex for me is chiefly a sport. But it's one that engages my mind and body. Not only do I need to figure out all the moving parts, I need to figure out if he likes just hair-pulling or needs dirty talk, too. I love figuring out how someone ticks... and sex is the best way to get to someone's core.

I can get very competitive about sex like I do about sports. It's not enough to just get off, I have to do it better. Even though I am serious about my "performance" I'm not serious about sex itself. It's too crazy and silly for that. I can't elevate it to some spiritual union, even though I've sometimes felt that way.

Sex is a shortcut to physical intimacy for me, but it doesn't necessarily hold the same emotional connection. By the same token, if I've an emotional connection with someone, which through physical intimacy leads to sex: it's magical. So, while all the elements can exist independantly, it's only where they intersect that I'm most fulfilled.
Jul. 7th, 2004 08:28 pm (UTC)
On Sex
>So here's a question: how do emotional intimacy, physical >intimacy, and sex tie together for you?

So here's an answer: In different ways, depending on whom I am with and how I feel about them.
Right now, I am very strongly in love. When I am in this state, those three different things fuse into one inseparable whole. They are all the same thing. Hopefully they are the same for the other person; if not, loose gravel ahead and no guardrail.
When I am not in this state, those three things tend to hang out and chat. They are comfortable with each other and enjoy the company - by how much varies with the situation, the person(s), and where I'm at in my life at the time.
I know people who say that they all have to be bound together at all times, or they are meaningless. I know people who say "Who the fuck cares?". I'm on a sliding scale in between these two extremes. I like touching. I like being touched. I like feeling close to someone. I like getting as much friendly exercise as humanly possible. I like combinations of these things. I know I'm not always going to get them all combined.
So. With regard to sex that isn't part of a committed relationship, I only get busy with people who interest me and that I like... okay, it's sometimes enough to just not dislike them. But if I can't stand them, they get nothing. I once had sex with someone I was beginning to despise, and quit partway through. I just couldn't stomach being with someone who was such a lousy human being. I've met girls who I thought were irresistible when I first saw them, then found hideous after talking with them for a while. Life is too fucking short, and I've acquired far too many scars as it is.
I know I have a reputation. And I know that I earned it fair and square. I'm comfortable with that. It's part of who I am, who I've been, and how I got here. It's something I don't feel in any way negative about; I know that if my new situation aborts I will have my needed alone time, and then go back to what built my reputation.
I've done this before. It's never worked out. But I've been convinced to give it a try, so I will, and I actually find myself feeling very optimistic. Tara is absolutely wonderful. With her, all three things fuse into one. And I'll maintain that view until I have to eat crow and go back to my previous path, or die in a bizarre Star Trek discussion panel accident, whichever comes first.
Jul. 7th, 2004 11:20 pm (UTC)
Re: On Sex
Well Hola!
With the screenname of Saveau, it is not hard to figure out just who this is. :)
Jul. 8th, 2004 11:26 am (UTC)
Re: On Sex
Yup. Made this account waaay back in January or something, and just started using it now. Better late than never... especially since it seems that *EVEYONE* I know is on here. :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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