This is a jump off from Ashley’s comment – here-> about how to date and handle sex and being a ‘Girlfriend.”
Ashley, here’s my take – when you’re young – say not yet within three to five years of wanting to have a child – though you really don’t want to fall into the “Girlfriend” trap – that’s the time when you have to figure out what to do about sex in that context.
Here’s where I think Erika can help you (see her comment here ->). She has some very strong, interesting and powerful views about celibacy and how to do it even while you’re dating up a storm.
Talking with Erika here, and on her blog, also, might give you some things to think about. She’s also totally, as you can see from her comment – into the organic, moment by moment being present way of working with relationships and men.
(Erika – I also would like to thank you for your fabulous comments and invite you to send me some longer posts about how to date while being celibate – with your permission I’ll incorporate them into guest posts…)
And on the other side of the coin – I also have “relationship expert” friends who live and prosper in the mode of polyamory – which means you have loving AND sexual relationships with more than one person at a time. Even in a “marriage” you may bring others into the family. And if you are polyamourous and you like someone enough to “Date” them and become emotionally involved with them, you would also consider sex with them to be part of that – regardless of the “structure” of the “relationship.” It all sounds pretty far fetched to most of us, and I’ve never tried it or can even get my head around it.
I sit somewhere in the middle. I see sex as a powerful Tool to get closer to a man, closer to yourself, and yes – closer to God and the Universe. I see sex as an animal joy and a spiritual miracle, and I am not one to promote celibacy (and I have a 20 year-old daughter and can still say that).
That said, most of us are not in full command of this power of sex, and instead get caught up by our hormones when we have sex with a man.
We are not like men when it comes to sex – and yet, men are capable of the full array of emotions that often cannot be fully expressed WITHOUT sex.
At some point, for a healthy masculine man, a relationship will die without sex. It will simply not feed the greater growth of his emotions.
And for emotionally unhealthy men, the greater growth is more than he can handle.
My past is full of “serial” relationships and boyfriends, one after the other, all of whom I had sex with. Whatever drove me to jump in so fast (literally) – I know that sometimes I beat myself up over my poor choice because THEY liked ME so much more than I liked them, and most often I beat myself up because I loved them and they didn’t care all that much.
And now I don’t believe that sex had anything to do with it. At that time in my life I needed closeness and affection and to be touched, and I got that for myself however I could, even if it meant deceiving myself. And I believe that that was my “path.” That was my “journey.” whatever happened, and whatever I did and didn’t do, whatever mistakes I made – they were a part of who I am now, and I choose to rejoice in who I am now – so – I MUST, then, logically – rejoice in who I WAS.
And I don’t see that having “sex” was necessarily a mistake. What I see is how clearly I mixed sex up with love and affection, and how I took the “crumbs” of sex rather than actually looking for the whole enchilada.
And most important – I see that I almost DELIBERATELY took those crumbs because I was deeply AFRAID of the whole enchilada. I had no idea what it looked like, felt like – or what it even meant. Sex had nothing to do with it.
I can remember nearly every experience I ever had with a man – sexual and non-sexual – and I can also see how each one was a DIFFERENT learning experience – though they all followed the same pattern.
I can look back and see the men I felt strongly for, and the men I TRIED to feel strongly for. I remember how sex fit into the experience for me, how it intensified my feelings or dropped them into the garbage.
So – I want you to follow YOUR path. Your journey. And the only thing I want to say about sex is that, as powerful as it is – it cannot CHANGE anyone’s mind. It can deepen love, and it can liberate the body and spirit, and it can feel cold and coarse and empty, too. But it cannot change his mind. It cannot bind him to you.
What it can do – through the way our female hormone’s work – is to bind US to a man. It binds us in a physical way that feels like love, but often isn’t love at all. And that’s the problem.
When we are bound, too soon, before we feel secure and happy, to a man on our hormonal level – we run the risk of talking the rest of ourselves into love, whether it’s there or not, or even good for us or not.
And then that can turn into self-deception that damages our entire sense of ourselves.
So – I say a rock-star free spirit woman who can stay in touch with her body, knows what her hormones tell her is not always the truth, and ALWAYS stays in love with HERSELF – can do ANYTHING. Including having sex with as many men at one time or in serial relationships, or any way she wants to, as is humanly possible.
Find where YOU are on this journey. Find what will serve YOU best. Imagine what kind of woman YOU want to be. Don’t let anyone put rules on you.
Stay in touch with how you feel about YOU – and you’ll be great.