Love and sex are easily confused.
Love is an emotion – an interpretation of endorphins stimulating the pleasure centers of our brains.
Sex is too. But, sex has a more visceral purpose. It is our biology urging us to fuck like bunnies so we can perpetuate our species. It’s a deeply ingrained animal urging – a drive not an instinct. Human beings have lost our inborn pre learned patterns of behavior over the course of our evolutionary journey. We just have impulses now.
We like to pretend we have instincts. It seems more romantic or spiritual. We don’t like to think we are creatures of biology arising out of nature only to return to it upon our death. We want to believe that our “urge to merge” our desire to make love is more than just hormones stoking the fire of lust so we will be motivated to procreate.
We think our sex is instinctual.
But we have to learn it.
By, the time we have our first encounter our friends and society have indoctrinated us into the “how to’s” of having sex. Just because you know that an erect penis fits inside a lubricated vagina doesn’t mean you know how to have sex. A lot of the information gleaned over our virginal years is bad. Men often learn the hard way that our buddies have no idea what they are talking about. Our porn lies to us. Some women really don’t want your engorged member in their butts. And so on…
Sex is often accidental.
I have heard tell that some people plan their first time. They supposedly have figured out some pre-determined moment when the time is right and they are ready. I think that is rare. Most of us end up having sex by accident – at least the first time. It’s raw, awkward and sometimes painful. It’s almost always disappointing. It fails to live up to our overblown expectations, but not so much we aren’t ready to try again and again as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
I think all of my experiences were accidental. I am often surprised that women want to sleep with me – any woman. But, occasionally they do. My middle aged body struggling against my efforts at fitness by way of yoga and running seems to not be a problem for them. I suspect these women would make love to their teddy bears if they could. I am just a stand in. I am a comfortable lover. Sex with me is really about the need to be comforted and cared for. When I realized that I ended up having less sex in my life and spent more time comforting.
My therapist says it’s a sign that I have matured. That I am making appropriate and rational decisions and have begun to learn the value of true intimacy. The angel on my shoulder nods in agreement. The devil shakes his head over all the pussy were are missing out on. I empathize with the devil. But, the angel is right. So is my therapist.
Our highly advanced cognitive nature complicates sex. We have overlaid our need for love, comfort and intimacy on top of a drive that at its core is a pure animal need. Our biology cries out to make more like us. We need progeny to replace us when we are gone even if we are not fit to be parents or if our genetics will create a child that is not healthy or has little chance of living a decent life because of its infirmities or birth defects.
Nature doesn’t give a shit. It just wants to procreate and produce. Nature understands you need large output because not every creature will live. Nature operates within the laws of natural selection. It is survival of the fit. It doesn’t worry about our feelings, our suffering or our experience of loss. Nature doesn’t take into account our stubborn and sometimes less than heroic efforts to save all the lives that would have been lost years prior.
Medical science has offered us abortion and testing to help us make such determinations. But our religious centers of influence rail against it. All life is precious even if it is going to suffer and be deformed. We have no right to take that experience from them. The most extreme religious conservatives such as the Catholics will even prohibit contraception.
It sees God where only nature’s unemotional hand is at work. Would God really create deformed children or let little ones come into the world just to suffer and experience pain, abuse and neglect? I think not.
I grew up Catholic. And even though my parish was an upper middle class church operating fully under the ideals of a post modern and post Vatican II spirituality its inability to grasp the power of human sexuality was still keenly felt.
Sex is power
It is raw power and that makes it dangerous. I think this is why the church and temple are embarrassed by it. It’s better to keep it for the sanctioned relationship of marriage. Its okay to enjoy it, but only if you don’t impede the procreative process. You don’t have to get knocked up every time. You just can’t prevent it from happening.
Sex uplifts and brings to people closer together. But, it can just as easily destroy you or be turned into a weapon attacking people at their most vulnerable. Rape is about power. It’s about rage. It’s this dark side of sex – the energy of rage, rejection and the inability to connect in meaningful ways scares us and so we create an oppressive and repressive morality around it. The potentially addictive power of sex forces us to sanitize our sexuality instead of learning how to make it healthy.
It would be easier if someone would just give us the dope on sex when we are young. But our parents are embarrassed to talk about it, if we are lucky, and, if not so lucky, deem themselves liberated and give us more information than we want from them.
We start out on this journey with nothing – barely a map and a working compass to guide us.
It starts with hand holding and nuzzling each other on a couch.
A nervous and unsteady hand sliding up the shirt of a girlfriend – fumbling inexpertly with the clasps of her bra as we man handle her sensitive breasts.
We hotly dry hump each other in the back seat of a car or on some scratchy blanket hidden behind a copse of trees in some forgotten city park or behind a driftwood log on a semi-secluded beach.
Somehow pants become unfastened – skirts lifted up. Foreign hands touching our genitals stroking and caressing them. A young women giving her first hand job squeezing and pulling on her lover’s penis as if she was trying to start a stubborn lawn mower. The young man fumbling with the clit, speaking of stubborn…It pokes its tiny head out teasing you then goes into hiding while you frantically search for that little bud.
Some of us eventually learn how to have sex. Others fumble around in the dark forest, wandering lost for years – the rest of their lives in some cases. Part of the problem for men is that sex is often about the release. Once we have achieved orgasm – expelled our procreative fluid we are done. It’s difficult to maintain interest. Our lovers have to wait for our next erection. The lovers of young men have it lucky in that department. Lovers of older men need to hope they have chosen well and that he is sensitive to their needs and is willing to learn the landscape of her body. Hopefully this man will be concerned about her sexual and emotional needs.
I can’t profess to know much about the inner working of a woman’s mind. Her heart is an even more confusing and mysterious place. But, I have learned that just because your lover says it’s not important for her to have an Orgasm every time or sometimes just the closeness is what she is after doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to cum – at least once in awhile. Men have to put away their performance anxiety and toughen up their fragile egos. If you pay attention, if you allow yourself to be vulnerable she will show you what she wants and how she likes it. A lot of times guys just don’t want to take the time. We love the vagina but we are afraid of it too. I wonder how much of the violence against women is due to this perplexing fear and reverence of their sexual power over us.
Women have the same equipment. But, you all seem to be wired different. What works for one lover is unstimulating or boring to another, at worst it’s uncomfortable or painful. One woman loved to have her nipples bitten and sucked on hard and I mean hard and the lover following her could barely stand to have you touch them when she was aroused. The same woman loved having her anus stimulated with her largest vibrator while performing cunnilingus on her. Another lover didn’t want you any where near her back door.
One lover liked it rough. She didn’t want romance. She wanted to be taken by surprise. She loved it when I came up behind her while she was doing the dishes or folding laundry and “gave it to her” while she stood against the dryer or kitchen counter. She was very clear about this. Another lover wrapped her arms and legs around me tightly while I sank into her slowly. She would pull me against her hard. I swear to God if she could she would have stuffed me entirely into her womb and carried me around in her belly all day. She was my favorite and her death left me bereft.
I had a vanilla lover who would rouse you from sleep her long hair tickling your nose and her heavy, pendulous breasts brushing against your chin as she rocked gently on top of you. I have had lovers who could only get aroused in public places. I have had others who were content to have it once a month still others who thought there was a problem in the relationship if we had sex less than three times a week.
I have had lovers who faked orgasms and one who used to cry after cumming. She would bury her face in my chest and just sob. I tried to get to the bottom of that but she could not or would not explain that. She said it wasn’t me, but my fragile ego had a hard time not blaming myself. I eventually broke up with her because she always seemed so sad after sex even though I let her be the one to initiate it – which was often. It felt like I was hurting her deeply somehow. Yet our sex was as gentle as the rest of the relationship. She was a sweet lamb. But, I sensed a strange violence churning beneath her surface.
Sex is complicated.
You wouldn’t think it so.
Its penises and vaginas
Its vaginal juice and semen
Its nerve endings and biochemical electrical impulses
Its simple biology
But our damn brains get in the way
We want more from sex – even need more from it
The rubbing and grinding of bodies and the aromatic scents of our musky genitals are a poor substitute for what most of us crave. We want the removal of our bone sacks – the barriers between us. We want to crawl deep inside each other and never come out.