Here’s the age-old problem – where does sex fit in the scheme of “relationship”? Especially at the very beginning? A comment from – I’ll call her “Gina” stated this issue so well, with a lot for me to talk about:
“Rori, I’ve recently met a man that I feel has much potential to be a great partner, the thing is on our second meeting we slept together. It was phenomenal, and we are both very much wanting it to happen again….however, I do not want to be a “one hit wonder” and do happen to think more of my self than that but to say no is difficult for me.
I freak out if I don’t hear from him and realize that I am making more out of it then it really is. He doesn’t know that I’m freaking of course but I can’t manage to hold it together around my friends and I’m a total mess. How do I break this cycle, even if it doesn’t work out with this guy…what about the future. I’m 42 and have never been married, I so desperately want to experience the love and passion in a true relationship. You’ve got your work cut out in me! Gina”
Okay here is my first hit on this situation.
Gina says straight out something that we all think, and that just kills our self-esteem and screws up all the good feelings between us and the man so far.
She says about the sex, “It was phenomenal, and we are both very much wanting it to happen again….however, I do not want to be a “one hit wonder” and do happen to think more of my self than that…”
So basically, Gina, you did something that now you feel ashamed of. Ick. You did something that now you want to backtrack from. And not only “something”… but something “phenomenal.”
So how did we get to this state?
How do we do something so full-out that it’s fantastic and then regret it later?
If you think more of yourself than you think of a “woman who would have sex with a man on her second meeting” — and YOU are that “woman” — then what hope does your self-esteem have?
What hope can you have to feel good about yourself and about this man the next time you see him, if you’re feeling guilty and ashamed and angry and bad about the really good time you just had with him?
Does this make sense?
Of course not. Absolutely not. And yet we do this to ourselves all the time.
Also, Gina, you say that “…saying no is difficult for me…”
So this is a good thing to look at. How exactly do we learn to say NO? I’m going to talk about the “how” of that in another post….for now, I want to focus on WHY you’d want to say No. What’s the point? What drives a decision to say No?
This is really, really important to consider before you just go around “deciding” what you should say Yes to and what you should say No to. You are not saying No because there’s something wrong with saying Yes. You’re not saying No because there’s something wrong with the request. You’re not saying No because there’s something wrong with the man.
You’re saying No because it doesn’t feel good to you.
And though you think it might feel good to you AT ANOTHER TIME – at this moment, it doesn’t feel good to you.
That’s the only reason. In fact, it has nothing to do with him.
This is the trick, the key, the essential, the solution, the secret — learning how to tell what is a feeling and what is a thought about your feeling.
To tell the difference between a real, honest, gut-level feeling, and a feeling that is COVERING the real, honest, truthful feeling.
In other words, if your feeling is anxiety, or if you’re going numb, those sensations are covering up a deeper feeling.
It takes practice. It takes practice getting in touch with your feelings as best you can and then acting from there. It takes doing that over and over and over again, until you get a real sense of how YOU work.
Now let’s say that George Clooney, or Christian Bale, or Johnny Depp, or somebody that really floats your boat, hits you up for a one night stand. Would you say no to that? Would you make an allowance for that? Would you just go for it and then beat yourself up later? Does the power of the man and the celebrity of the man change the equation?
Or… is the bottom line of all this about… Pleasure?
Do you have to say no to pleasure? Does saying yes to pleasure automatically mean you’re going to beat yourself up the next day? Does saying yes to pleasure mean that you are somehow going against your opinions about how sex fits into relationship?
If this reads like a lot of rules to you — that’s really what it is. A lot of rules. Way too many rules.
In my book, from here, in my imagination, I would say a very quick yes to George Clooney or Johnny Depp — but in real life, it might feel icky.
It might feel so obviously like it meant absolutely “nothing” that I wouldn’t even be able to have a pleasurable time. Never mind that I would have less charge on what happened the next day around this, because if I had low self-esteem to begin with, I would never assume that I could compete with all the other women that are available to George Clooney, Christian Bale and Johnny Depp, and so I would be going into that situation feeling LESS THAN.
So for starters on this way to getting what you really truly want as quickly as possible, I want you to commit yourself completely, totally, and passionately to your own pleasure.
This means that when something feels pleasurable to you you do not immediately counteract it with some kind of pain. We are all brought up to think that pleasure is somehow evil in some way. Guilt is how we’ve all been managed our whole lives.
I want you to stop that. I want you to look pleasure in the eye, and claim it as your own. So…
If you should decide in the moment that experiencing pleasure with a man feels good and you want to go ahead and do it, and then later on you find yourself all bound to him hormonally and wish you hadn’t done it, just file it away for next time.
Don’t bully yourself for taking pleasure in the moment. In fact, you might find that if you let up on yourself, the pleasure might just have stood all by itself. Maybe the experience was a stand-alone. Maybe it didn’t need to have any more meaning — maybe a relationship wasn’t required. All of these are opinions and thoughts that you have to kind of mull around.
I don’t want you to be run by some internal taskmaster. You need to have some experience with things. You need to experiment. And you need to go easy on yourself while you’re experimenting.
So can we turn this around, Gina?
I want you to say, “I had such a phenomenal time with this man, it doesn’t matter what happens next.”
And I want you to live by that. If you did it, if it happened — there was some kind of lesson in there for you. There was something you’re supposed to learn. At the top of the fund scale might be happy ever after. But the bottom can’t be all that bad now can it? At the bottom is only pleasure for one night.
With this attitude, you can choose to say Yes or No to the man the next time – and you can speak to him in Feeling Messages about your confusion – ALL BASED on how it feels to you in the moment. The question isn’t whether or not you sleep with him. The question is how you handle that afterwards. Can you take it for pleasure, and not for “tomorrow” – or are you stuck in “tomorrow”?
If you DO feel stuck in “tomorrow” and what having sex will “mean” to him and to the possibility of a relationship…then it’s plain not going to feel good to you to sleep with him. And if you feel all gorgeous and sexy and juicy and happy, and you don’t care what happens “tomorrow” – then you’re light years ahead of where you thought you were – and you’re on target for Happy Ever After with…your Mr. Right…woever he is and whenever he shows up.
Go easy on yourself Gina. Let me know how this attitude works for you. And later, let’s use the information you gather with your experimenting and experiencing to learn the Why, What, How-To and What If about saying “No.”