Most men also want love and commitment, some just don’t want to acknowledge the fact.
I’ve been thinking a lot about sex. Well, that is not entirely accurate. It’s more a case of…. I’ve been avoiding sex, a little like a player in Space Invaders, avoiding all the incoming blasts from alien ships. (Apologies to the youngsters, I have no analogy for sex and Mario Cart). I am astounded by the number of men I have met in less than ten days of traveling throughout Spain. The thing is, while the attention is nice and all that, this is not why I came here. I came for adventure. I recently learned in a Spanish class that “aventura” is a word that means a fling or love affair. Is this the reason I have so many applicants for a position I didn’t realize I was posting?
Another thing that might be happening (especially on that wild night mambo-ing and salsa dancing in a San Sebastian disco) is that these men know something about me without my telling them. They can feel it in the air, and in the way my body yields to them when we dance. They know I’m hungry for physical touch. I’m a starving person at a dangerous buffet. Hell, I’m the first to admit that it has been a while since I last ate, let alone really pigged out!
What gets me is that I am open for meeting someone, for having a relationship, for dating, and intimately exploring someone else’s body and mind and experiences and dreams. But it’s hard to do this in a language I am not fluent in, and it is impossible to do when I am only passing through. Although, if I discount my two and a half recent marriage proposals, maybe that element–the temporariness–is what these guys crave most. (Marrying for a green card is another story altogether. While I acknowledge the likelihood of this when considering the Latino men I’ve run into, I’m just not gonna get into it here. Raise your hand if this makes you happy)!
A man I once loved used to annoy the hell out of me by playing those old “lonesome cowboy” songs. Look up practically anything by Marshall Tucker Band. The theme tends to be, “I’m just passin’ through, darlin’, I’m a ramblin’ man, baby don’t get hooked on me…” etc., etc., etc! After I broke up with him I read the incredible book, “Why Men Won’t Commit” (2004, by George Weinberg, PhD), and I had a light bulb moment. One chapter was entitled “The Need to Travel Light.” Bingo! All men want to feel like that lonesome cowboy, free and independent, no one tying them down (even the ones who like being tied up)! And in a relationship it is important for them to maintain this mindset. In the book, Weinberg calls it the Masculine Pretense. Don’t roll your eyes, mister, the book was written by a male, remember?
But here is the clincher: most men also want love and commitment; some just don’t want to acknowledge the fact. And the nice guys don’t want to see you cry, so they won’t ever be the one to break up, they just pull back, close themselves off, remain vague, or cheat until you do the dirty work for them.
So, back to the lovely abundance of men here: it’s all of the above in a nutshell. An aventura, shall we say? They desire the flavor of the month, Americana Sola, sweet and ripe. Easy, fun, and leaves the cowboy (vaquero) free to enjoy life while I am the one moseying on. As I leave Barcelona for Madrid, I remain chaste, while still being chased. For me, it is the best combination for the present moment.
Maybe later I will find something to satisfy my gnawing hunger. But a one-night-stand, I know, won’t do it.
Alexa Maxwell is a writer, teacher, traveler and student of yoga. She is a huge fan of elephant journal and is honored to be part of the herd. You can read more at her blog here, follow her on Twitter @catnipkiss, or wait for her upcoming travel memoir which is a work in progress.