♥ Onto a new path with one little but heavy bit of baggage

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Perhaps I should introduce myself and how I ended up on this path. I am a single mother approaching 40 and after many passion cycles, long periods of sexless loving, breaking up with generally wonderful people, going through the subsequent confusion and pain, and ending up with a child (no, I don't regret that!) and an ever expanding 'what I want in a new partner list', I felt dumbfounded. These past couple of years I have poured through way too many relationship books trying to figure out how a normally healthy, compassionate, mindful, intelligent, sexy (by some criteria), open-minded human being just can't seem to get this long-term sexually intimate relationship thing to last! I then read Sex Before Dawn and The Ethical Slut and was pretty much ready to give up on monogamy completely until I finally stumbled across Cupid's Poisoned Arrow.

I've read it from cover to cover and now I'm hooked...on the idea that is. Reading the book was like reading the story of all my relationships. I have truly been caught in the passion cycle my entire life, and until my most recent relationship, I would say all of my partners were just as caught in it as I was. Our sexual energies always started in the same place - intensely passionate desire and we just went for what we knew and wanted (great orgasms) until it broke down (within a few months to a year).

My most recent relationship (I'll call him X) was different. He was the first person I met who sincerely wanted to move slowly (which I wanted, but had no idea how), who had a 'guttural' instinct that being friends was where he wanted to be (regardless of his attraction to me), and who repeatedly said that sex would mess us up (although couldn't really explain why. Now I think it's that amygdala memory thing from all the relationship break-ups he's been through as well). But I, being intensely horny, (and ironically very turned on by a man wanting to be friends and withholding sex!) regretfully pushed for the sex and got what I wanted. X was right, although the sex was fantastic by my standards, it was short lived and it messed us up. We're no longer having sex and are still working on rebuilding the trust and the friendship. I hadn't read 'the book' yet.

At the time of meeting X, I had been practicing solo tantra masturbation and having daily, sometimes multiple orgasms that were, I felt, 'driving me crazy'. After about a month of seeing him, I was so aroused by his withholding sex that I was even having orgasms in very awkward places just thinking about him. I've never 'needed' porn, although I've watched it a little, but I did 'need' to come home in the middle of the day just to masturbate cause the arousal was painful.

Since reading 'the book' 2 months ago, I have stopped masturbating completely which has helped me shift my moods and sense of 'need' or neediness when it comes to sex. Although I was really wanting to be close friends with X after we stopped having sex, I found it extremely painful to even to be around him, that is, until I started seeing my behaviours from a neuroscience perspective and at the same time stopping masturbating. After a couple weeks, I started to feel comfortable around him, could see more of his flaws (he was god to me before!) and at the same time feel a much deeper love towards him. I am now very clear in my own head about my boundaries and no longer feel like I want something from him (except closeness).

Furthermore, I find myself being more giving with him and others, and am suddenly seeing the possibility of love and intimacy in many people around me and yet not feeling a desperate search for it. Seeing my past behaviours in relationships through this lense is also allowing me to see my past 'mistakes' as kindof comical, rather than being angry with myself for getting into and staying in unhealthy dynamics.

So in terms of relationships, I feel like I'm in a better space, but now that I am seeing the real potential that a sexually intimate relationship with bonding-based sex could possibly mean a life-long relationship, I'm finding myself thinking much more critically at how a new partner would fit into my family life. I haven't ruled out X (unless he's ruled me out). I wonder about even trying the exchanges until I find someone who is ready to make the full commitment to living with me, which also means making a commitment to being in my child's life.

Thus, the questions I've posted for this blog.

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I bet he would read CPA

and hope he will. I really think this would click for him quite easily. He's read lots about Tantra himself and practices delaying or avoiding ejaculating as well, but I'm not sure if he's explored the idea of women not orgasming or been with any women who haven't wanted to orgasm.

But right now I'm just stepping back from even talking about intimacy and sex with him for a couple of reasons. It was really me that pushed the 'sex' agenda and pushed him to ignore his fears that sex would lead to pain, all the while trying to convince him that there wouldn't be pain and then there was. I know he's been hurt and that has likely only increased his ambivalence to being in relationship and particularly with me. I think we need to just be relaxed with each other, connect in all the many other ways we connect, and then, when/if it feels natural, have a conversation about what I've been learning and experiencing. I think it has to come from a place of two friends having a conversation. Right now I think that without that basis of trust and strength of friendship, because of what we've been through, I think he'll just interpret that I'm trying to convince him, yet again, to be in a relationship with me. And the truth is, I'm in love with him and I do have some emotional attachment to how he would receive these ideas and my experience. For now I'm focusing on giving him (and other friends and family) the kind of love I would want to receive - the kind with no expectations and allowing whatever bonding can happen from that to happen on its own. My meditation is to think of him as a friend and a brother and a son and treat him the way I would want to treat anyone I love.

When I think of how tired he is from the battle field and how much he isolates himself, I feel really sad for him. He's a beautiful person and a gift to anyone who is able to be in his life and I want him to have the love and affection that could fill his soul.

patience

I have a "patience" card on my love altar. I was so pissed when I drew it! Dang it! But at this point I feel like I really get it! At first I thought it was patience to find someone, then I thought it was patience to let the relationship ripen. Now I think it's about maintaining an attitude of patience always, as an important quality of love.

Hi!

Nice to meet you. We've got tons in common.

I don't have kids myself, but I've been curious about that too. My most recent lover is a dad. I spent a day with him and his daughter a couple weeks ago and probably spent more time touching her that day than touching him! At the end of the evening, they gave me a sandwich hug to say goodbye, with lots of silly jokes about what kind of sandwich it was. It was cute and nice and a decent oxytocin hit. It's really bizarre to shift my sexuality so that cuddling with a kid is on the same neurochemical continuum with sex. What's great about it is that you can do a lot of bonding behaviors publicly, openly, in front of kids, even!

kids

Hi Clarity, after you posted here I went and read your blogs. You're right, I think we do have a lot in common. I love your posts and am going to add a few thoughts to some of them.

My daughter is away for a few days with other family right now and I'm finding that I'm more intensely aware of my loneliness right now. I've been reading lots of the posts from people who are trying Karezza with their partners and I'm feeling extremely envious. I'm finding myself having thoughts of wanting to go back to masturbating, to fantasizing about sex. That hasn't really happened until now, the 'withdrawal' period wasn't hard for me at all and I wonder if part of that was having my daughter to cuddle with all the time. I get big hits of oxytocin everyday.

One of the things my single parent friends and I talk about is how much affection with our kids kind of eases our need for being with a partner. That's more pronounced for me now that I'm not masturbating and focused on hot sex. Before I got onto this new path, I could satisfy my need for affection to a certain degree through affection with my daughter, but then my desire for a partner was intensely focused on finding someone to have sex with. When I found someone I was attracted to, I went so quickly for the sex, more than I ever have in my life and really didn't take any time for non-sexual affection. I wonder if that partly because my need for affection was eased somewhat already and it wasn't as deep a 'need'. Although now that I'm more in touch with my desire for bonding with an adult, that need is becoming way more pronounced.