Sex is a gift. And people are not possessions.
Sex makes relationships messy, but only if you allow it to.
Humans are complicated creatures. Add in desire, arousal, greed, insecurity, and naked bodies and suddenly you’ve set up unspoken expectations of “me master, you slave,” and I don’t mean in a 50 Shades Of Grey sort of way.
The moment we drop our Andrew Christians undies or fling our Victoria’s Secret bra across the room, the shackles of limited sexual freedom clang into place pronouncing, “You’re mine, and mine alone,” … even when the big sex moment is just a casual hook-up.
And, no, this little jail cell doesn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation.
Honestly, curiosity killed my cat on this subject, and I just need to talk—adult to adult—about why sex complicates our ability to maintain healthy relationships.
Here’s some questions I often ponder:
When did sex become the badge of ownership? Why does sex wig us out, leading to Academy Award winning screenplays in our heads when sex isn’t mind-blowing? Who decided that sex with one person for the rest of our lives is the norm? What makes sex the bargaining chip for relationship success ? Where did we go off track as a society, allowing sex to rule our lives? How do we now masterfully bring sexual conversations into the fabric our lives without shame?
Beneath those three almighty letters—S-E-X—we find power, joy, pain, fun, shame, duty, guilt, adventure, and a plethora of other adjectives to define what SEX means in between the sheets of life. Yet, one of the most critical, relationship-killing positions not found in The Joys of Sex book is that sex, when used as a tool of ownership, kills relationships.
It’s time to come out of the closet about sex and realize that having sex with someone does NOT mean you own the other person.
Sex is a gift , freely given from a space of love , intimacy , and enjoyment.
Okay, it’s also an integral contributor to sustaining the human race through procreation, but let’s get serious. Admit it! If you’re human, breathing, and ever got an erection, felt all tingly in your lady parts, experienced a racing heart, or felt passionate intensity that makes your body melt, you know that sex leads you to a place of deep desire.
From deep desire, feelings of “must have” arise.
Once experienced, provided the romp in the three-ring circus of foreplay, sex, and orgasm prevailed, the animal desire for more, more, more sex with that person leads to, “I want that OWN that. He/She is mine, and mine alone!”
Do you hear that? Have you experienced it? Of course you have; we all have.
As soon as we experience intimacy and great sex with a person that properly turns our crank, there’s not a bowl of homemade ice cream in the world that will distract us from greedily wanting more, more, more, and making that person our own. Thus begins the downward spiral of sexual ownership, if not curtailed in a healthy manner.
For starters, define sex for YOU in three main areas for your life:
Playing : no strings attached hookups Dating : some strings, but possibly strings with multiple people with higher commitment standards Married/committed : must I really explain this one? Basically, I own your ass.
Each progression, through the sexual escapades of your life, need clear definitions that enable you to share your commitment expectations with your mate, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re straight, gay, or otherwise. We all seem to struggle with this.
Much of society falsely assumes that gay men somehow corner the market on mastering the casual sexual hookup without it getting messy, regardless of whether they’re hooking up, dating, or married. But the truth is, gay men wrestle with messy sexual relationships challenges, too. The only difference is that they’ve become the scapegoats and bad publicity of sexual freedom.
Now the question becomes—and not to turn this into a “free love movement”— what might happen if sex were no longer used as a tool of control, ownership, or tit for tat?
Imagine having honest conversations about sexual desires in and outside of the relationship that don’t scream, “I don’t love you!” or that something major is wrong in the relationship. What if sex no longer had any value as a bargaining chip, punishment, or reward? How might the barometer of sexual satisfaction be heightened knowing that sex doesn’t mean, “I’m your property; I’m simply experiencing the joys of sex with you willingly?”
I’m not advocating open relationships or swinging, nor lack of safe sex. Instead, what I’m suggesting is moving to an evolved thought process where sex no longer destroys relationships, but enhances them.
The two primary culprits of failed relationships are—sex and money. Yet, in both instances, if we used both in manners to enhance relationships rather than to tear them down, might we see less stress, strife, and fewer scrapped relationships?
Just for a moment, taking your ego out of the equation, dropping your “mine-mine-mine!” mentality—if a partner is honest enough to say, “I’m interested in exploring sexual experiences with another person and I don’t want to have to hide it from you because I love you ,” does that make things messy or clean in your relationship?
You be the judge, but I say it’s really clean and worth exploring how many shades of grey you are willing to put into your relationship—emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually, and sexually—to keep your relationship alive.
If it’s not worth it, then maybe it’s time to release ownership and move into the destiny you’re both meant to experience with someone more aligned to your sexual way of being in relationships … you know, with someone you don’t feel like you have to own so much.