Tag Archives: Intimate relationship

Getting Naked with Woman

Dating, mating…

I think I want to go ‘courting’.

I’ve been seeking a partner, not merely a connection. I’m longing for someone who I want to spend time with, who I can laugh and play with; someone whose values align with those of service and truth; a woman who wants to love me unconditionally. In fact, all the values I’m trying to hold.

I want to be with someone who doesn’t live 6000 miles away.

I’d like to be married. I want to explore us within this unique spiritual container, boundaried, committed, safe. Of course if it ever happens, I’ll be terrified. I’ll want to run.

I want to take it slow. I want to get to know who she really is. I’m ready to risk losing her love to find that out.

So where does my innate, longing for intimacy come from? Can it be that within an atom of chance I’m designed for intimate relationship? What mirroring took place at the dawn of humanity? Where does this yearning come from?

I believe I’m molded by skillful hand, by eternal love, by God. I’ve been uniquely created for this union; and I’ve been shaped in the image of One that longs to be in relationship with me too.

I’m watching the ducks. Down in the water, an extraordinarily violent ritual of the type only the wild man in nature can stage unfolds. A huge group of male ducks are beating the shit out of a female. We would call this rape. We judge it. A mallard duck won’t. He doesn’t have our special capacity for moral reasoning; no sense of right and wrong. Battered, she survives; a low, vocal, repetitive gurgle  indicates she is through. Warming her eggs and nurturing her young is her new purpose; she’ll now drive away the males to protect her children.

Men chase women. Watch the ducks. DuckJust watch nature’s cycle. Male bottle-nose dolphins will also coerce the female into mating, so do chimpanzees, orang-utans, and there are many other examples. I want to mate with you, or I don’t. That’s not objectification, that’s how I’m wired. On some level you’ll mate with me to make yourself safe from other men. Even then, I am subconsciously drawn to the most child-bearing hips in every moment with a woman; it’s the dance of procreation, a wild hymn to creation.

You can have a go at chasing us, but I haven’t met a woman who prefers it. You operate through a complex intuitive feel unknown to me, yes you’re attracted to me, but I hear many women say they haven’t really got a ‘type’. Men are more visually wired.

To begin with, it’s essential to note that the literature specifically studying men’s arousal patterns (gay as well as straight) has repeatedly emphasized their sensitivity to visual cues. As soon as the lust-inspiring image registers in their brain, they become turned-on—not only physically but psychologically, too. Exposure to such erotic stimuli immediately activates the parts of their brain related to getting an erection. (Leon F. Seltzer, Psychology Today)

So you want to attract me, and in you is a parallel genetic wiring, to attract the strongest man for your children, one who will protect and provide for your family. This is what your body yearns to do. You want to show me your body. You have to, to procreate.

This makes what you do with your body incredibly powerful.

So if I am saying “no” to you – I’m doing quite well right?

How do I choose to encounter you?

“Would you like to come back to mine for a few hours?”

Uh oh. Did I say that?

What is my intention? Once I start to nibble at the fruit, there’s a whole paradigm shift in me taking place that I will willingly buy into.

I am drawn inexplicably to the curve of her mouth, the little scar on her lips, the sweetness between her legs; I fuel her desire, and want to light the torch of this wounded, fiery princess. As we fold into each other, her eyes light up of with the truth of eternal possibility. I gaze into her soul; in her and through her is our divine gift, the sacred union at the mystery of our existence.

I’m longing for the one and to be one. I am longing for the one relationship that fulfills my need for intimate connection.

It’s difficult to say no. I’m no mallard, but I see men around me behaving with blinkers on. I’m gifted with reason, the ability to choose, to make a choice for what is right or what is wrong. I have the intelligence to see a moral law governing the Universe. A mallard duck is not blessed with this capacity.

Instant Gratification

Everything around me indicates that I can have what I want now. And we can most of the time; even sex. This is where I’ve found it starts to go badly wrong.

Getting naked is not really getting ‘naked’ is it? nakedI want getting naked to be opening my soul and spirit and letting someone in, in to my hopes, fears, thoughts and dreams. Getting naked is about letting in the Holy Spirit. It’s a step of ultimate surrender. It’s a step I’ve tried to make with women before making it with my Creator. It really isn’t the same thing; this choice to be in relationship. Choice: a capacity putting us way above the level of the animal in us: choosing to love. It’s a risky step. It’s a big decision. It’s a step of faith: a step into the unknown.

CS Lewis captures this ‘law of nature’ in Mere Christianity

First, that human beings all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way…

I freely break this ‘law’ each day, this higher law that sets me apart from the raping mallards; the law that offers me choice. When I break this law I fall from the garden. So we struggle altogether on paradise burned; a fragmented metal of unsanctified sexual union.

If the goddess of my dreams walks up to me in the street or appears to me in a dance, I have a choice. The strong, unwavering, trustworthy man she really wants, will feel the “yes”, but say “no”. Very few women will offer themselves unless I appear to make myself emotionally available. It is the needy me who says yes; the man who wants to buy into her morality, her story; the man who is fulfilling an unhealed need in his own heart. The man who has yet to come to terms with his own pain.

Really, do I believe that having sex with someone with whom I have had no time to create a deep, spiritual, loving relationship with is going to serve her? These actions are lost. I’ve heard mature men in my men’s group advocate this because it’s their ‘truth’. Come on. It was Hitler’s truth to invade Poland.

It’s just very unwise.

I can avoid having to say “no” by not instigating a “yes”.

So.

Don’t ask her home. If we like each other then I know she wants to feel desired, but she doesn’t need to have sex with me. She just needs to know I want her. She can feel desired walking in the park, being taken out, feeling wanted. I can choose to give her that signal. Ultimately she longs to surrender to the source of my energy, my inner wild man, yet I’m so programmed into the lustful ‘now’. Feeling that is fine, it’s how I choose to act that defines me as a man. If I choose to put myself in a vulnerable situation – why would I resist? I’m wired to mate with her; temporarily she embodies all my longing.

She becomes ‘the one’.

”Would you like to come back to mine for a few hours…”

How is this ever going to work? I’m lonely, yes. I’m seeking comfort because I hurt, yes. I want to feel needed, yes. It’s not really the moment to fast-track to divine sexual union is it?courting-couple-at-midnight

I think I’m going to take up courting. It sounds wonderful. There are boundaries, a safe container to play out the dance and sex is out of the question.

Becoming genuinely naked, gradually, is the path I choose to walk.

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Sex, Intimacy and Me(n)

What is masculinity?

So when did I become a man? What did I need to ‘do’ to become ‘masculine’? Until recent years I thought I’d already become a man – a ‘legs and arse’ man. Well, those are the body parts I liked. Still do. Some guys like breasts, but I don’t think you can beat the women at Wimbledon for a good bit of old fashioned masculine validation…

A few years ago I was internet dating and dated a number of women. Three months into the relationship she raised her blue eyes to mine ‘Oh, you’re a relationship virgin’ she said. I felt disarmed. Perhaps she felt my uninitiated male energy. Was she saying I was still a boy? That was summer 2007. During another love-affair a year later a similar insight was offered me ‘you’re not the finished product yet’ she smiled, lovingly. What was it they sensed in me? Something incomplete?

I was still learning to use a warrior’s sword.

My body exploded into hormonal ecstasy when I was 14. The hard-wired rootedness, uncontrollable release onto the sheet, the used sock, the free-flowing connection between my imagination and that life-given and giving force within me, the glorious fantasies of English teachers and girls: Orgasm – again and again and again. An effortless flow. I think of women’s body: breasts, thighs, buttocks, the mystery between her legs and within seconds my groin is alive with energy and I’m a potential succession of fountains of fireworks. Was it then? When I realised I was a powerful engine and could kick-start with just a thought?

I’m 14 and on holiday with my parents in the South of France and I’m lying on a beach. It’s my first experience of women topless and two gorgeous creatures a few years older than me are sunbathing 20 metres away. I roll onto my front to hide the energy in my trunks and within seconds I’m climaxing – the light abrasion of sand and towel enough. I lie there disempowered and then walk dandily to the sea, a picture of complete ridicule, alive with my secret.

The loneliness of men

No-one understood this. That’s what I was led to believe. No woman could ever understand and no man was intimate enough with me to empathise. We’re alone. No man I knew talked openly about sex, let alone orgasm. The media, magazines, my peers and the loose vocabulary of older men regarding women were my teachers. Later, pornography was to derail me further. Surveys suggest that between 80-90% of men watch pornography or have at some time.

My sense of early masculinity was that it was inseparable from sex. I had to prove something, to myself and to the world. My quest was to seek out and experience the treasure that was being offered. It seemed pretty clear that that was what was on the mind of many of my friends too. How could we authenticate our ‘manly’ power? Dishonestly and ego-driven? This was the way the world worked and men worked the world.

‘We adults have put boys in charge of teaching other boys about the most sacred parts of their bodies. Boys are teaching other boys about sexuality in this culture.’ (Jayson Gaddis – ‘What Happens When We Don’t Teach Our Boys About Sex‘)

I didn’t realise then that in taking the treasure for my own I was helplessly buying into an endless cycle of dissatisfaction with relationship and buying into the illusion of a societally defined model of masculinity. Or else there was abstinence; this is what religion seemed to offer – a monk-like existence filled with sweaty dreams of untouchable women, fuelling the mystery; a life of denial and frustration.

Men’s social conditioning

The Centrefold Syndrome, Brook’s 1995 study into the social conditioning men undergo, details voyeurism, objectification, masculinity validation, trophyism and the fear of intimacy as five catagories into which we’ve fallen… For me that’s tick, tick, tick, cross and long, flowing tick. Just who were these other creatures that seem to have the power to utterly dominate my reality?

Society taught me that women’s bodies are here to be looked at – films, magazines, television… It’s endless. Skipping back from school Mayfair magazine’s centrefold lies dirtied across the alley pavement, her legs agape: the fruit from the tree of knowledge? Either way, I’m pretty hard-wired by the time I get to the French beach. I’ve already been de-programmed in thinking that sex is something I ‘do’ or experience myself. I am the watcher and have the power. Woman is passive and my voyeurism is validated by nearly all the men I know, on TV, in novels and plays. This conditioning fuels itself throughout my life. It binds sex and my longing for intimacy together. One becomes synonymous with the other. Perhaps all I really want is to return to my mother’s arms.

Have I got what it takes?

So, for my 14 year old self, orgasm is the Holy Grail, the fruit from the tree of life is between a woman’s legs and sex is all about performance. How many? How long can you go for? Had I got what it took to prove myself? Every man needs to know he’s got what it takes. Now, I wasn’t the one-night stand type at all, but my intentions were clear. Masculinity was about being driven, goal centred and achievement orientated – competition at the expense of the other – so her orgasm(s), and her bodily reaction to me – become my goal. If she’s rolling in ecstasy coming like a train until the wee small hours then I’ve really made it. I’ve got what it takes. I’m validated.

Of course emotional intimacy is just not on. That’s not the path of a warrior hero, that’s the road to weakness and vulnerability. I know this because I secretly crave the softness and security of the woman’s body, the body of my mother that once held me, yet it is this very sensitivity that I’ve been socialised against. Sport scratches the surface, especially contact sport, but if I’m not one of those sporty types I’m lost, and if even if I am… Where are the men I’m supposed to get my nurturing and physical contact from? Television has degraded the theatre of sport into a win at all costs pageant of the ego. The lost opportunity here for young men to engage with healing masculine role models, I suggest, is next to catastrophic.

Is it any surprise then that the rapid-orgasm teenage firework fest completely derailed me? My fear of intimacy rises right on cue and in my mind sex and intimacy fuse at the hip. My body’s gone haywire. No woman will ever really understand this. My Dad’s friends who played rugby with me until the wee small hours never warned me. So, as far as I can understand sex is intimacy, and society demands that I seek it to affirm my masculinity wherever possible. Where were the wise, vulnerable male elders to guide me?

Where are men’s rites of passage today?

My private secret evolves into a deep sadness within me. I sense this in other men around me – quiet and unspoken within the matriarchal emptiness of their homes, the only outlet the pub, sports ground, cranky hobby or office, office, office. Where do men go? A long-lost rite of passage lies buried, flawed beneath layers of societal conditioning and fear of not meeting the mark.

Still unconscious of the potential of the pack of men who are my only source of genuine masculine affirmation, I struggled through relationship auditioning female partners via a crude process of body-part compatibility. Eventually I went into meltdown when I realised that my fear of intimacy was leading me to my heart, and that somehow I was looking for the essence of my soul among the late-night online porn searches that dirtied my 30s.

I was 42. ‘It’s all about sex’ she said, a little wryly and somewhat sadly. Boy I still wanted to buy into that. I’m closer to 50 than 40 now, and when my soul finally called to me during the emptiness and agony of that inevitable breakup, suffering forced me to face myself and journey the less travelled road into spirit, and that longing for her was really a longing for the one, loving, divine relationship at the heart of all things.

I developed a deep insecurity about intimate relationship. Looking back now – of course, I understand my daily interest in sex and distrust of emotional connection was part of an unavoidable socialisation. Penetration affirmed me as a man. I’m not sure that the primal hunter-gatherers of ancient times were prey to the myriad of language and images dehumanising women that I have been, even if they might have put it about a bit. Or did they? I’d heard they were pressured to have sex to populate, bonded heavily in groups away from women (sound good?) and didn’t have anything to do with kids until adolescence (let’s face it – this is when us older guys really need to show up)

‘If we’re not careful, someone’s going to get hurt’ she said.

Right.

I guess I’m still a legs and arse man: I’m trying to work with it.