Sex (I said it)

The morning after a fun romantic first, on a blog titled "It Lasts for Always," seems like a good time and place to post this.

As I said last night, I want to watch/read this again and think more about it. But here are a few highlights and initial thoughts...

"So if there is a verb, for me, that comes with love, it's 'to have.' And if there is a verb that comes with desire, it is 'to want.' In love, we want to have, we want to know the beloved....We want closeness. But in desire,we tend to not really want to go back to the places we've already gone."

Seems very right to me, and is such a central tension of long-term relationships. In the beginning, having and wanting are aligned as we are getting to know our partner, building, discovering, first realizing how much they love us and how much power we have over them, and they over us. We then want to move toward having them, because this is important for all sorts of non-sexual reasons like comfort, stability, building a home together, raising kids, and if we're not careful, the wanting fades.

"I am most drawn to my partner when..."

1- "...she is away, when we are apart, when we reunite"

2- "...when he is in his element, when she's doing something she's passionate about"

3- "...when there is novelty. But novelty isn't about new positions. It isn't a repertoire of techniques. Novelty is, what parts of you do you bring out? What parts of you are just being seen?"

This is what got me thinking last night of the exotic bird metaphor. I hope you will continue to open your wings, even as we grow closer. And that I will remind myself to see it as natural to you, inseparable from the you I fell in love with, flight that reenergizes us rather than pulls you away from me.

Maybe this manifests in travel - that we are deliberate about a balance in which we share the excitement of adventures together, while also giving ourselves time to travel alone or with friends, bringing back new and surprising worlds to one another. Maybe it's about how we support each other's careers, knowing that we both care about doing work that matters and doing it well - having some projects as professionals or volunteers that we work on together, and others that are our own.

The third point also makes me think of your shyness in talking about sex, and how that inhibition drops when we're actually in bed together. I occasionally tease you about it, but I appreciate your shyness, honestly, and I don't want it to wear off. Because the contrast compared to when you do open up and are vulnerable puts a kind of sacred space around our sex, a space in which otherwise uncomfortable or embarrassing desires are safe.

Related to this, what I think we most need to preserve is trust and communication, which I think are already two of the strongest elements of our relationship. I've never felt so 'seen' and accepted as I do with you, or so comfortable sharing insecurities, desires, fantasies, etc. I believe you feel the same - I certainly hope so. With this feeling, new things become possible, as happened last night.

"Foreplay is not something that you do five minutes before the real thing. Foreplay pretty much starts at the end of the previous orgasm."

This is something I haven't ever thought about. In my mind, sex has always been something that simply happens with attraction. If I'm good at it, it's some combination of talent and attraction.

What I like about this is that it makes clear that being a good sexual partner, and having good sex, is - like everything else, duh - something that requires work, planning, conscious effort. It isn't just get in bed, clothes come off, and then follow whatever desires we have (OK, there's some of that). But it also means daydreaming, planning surprises knowing that they'll make your head spin, being attuned to the rhythms and patterns of our relationship and matching sex to those, maybe even looking for inspiration on the supermarket shelves in the pages of those bodice-rippers. And of course it also means all of the things discussed above, not directly related to sex. It means making sure that we always have a relationship in which we see one another in a certain light - a light that encourages desire.


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