Unrequited Sex.

Via on Apr 17, 2013

‘So, what would you like to work on?’ he asked kindly as part of a pre-session screening.

‘Oh, there’s nothing in particular—I was just curious,’ I smiled back, confident in my sexuality and self-expressiveness. I just wanted to experience the bodywork he had to offer—sexological bodywork—but had no neurosis or wounding to work on, as far as I knew. I had already done a considerable amount of healing in the area of sexuality and felt at home in my skin. But later that night, as I looked at the rarely-consecrated double bed, and felt a familiar sadness rise inside, it hit me.

My sexuality had become a burden, a source of sorrow.

That was my ‘issue’ if I had one. Unrequited sexuality.

I don’t need to be told that sexuality is a gift. I know that it is, intimately. I’ve experienced the highs of what it can bring. I understand how it can touch the soul and body in ways that are truly unique. And I have no difficulty in pleasuring myself fully, deeply and honestly. I’ve even written volumes on the subject! No, comfort with my own sexuality wasn’t an issue, but the sadness that I’d come to associate with it definitely was. Too many months of getting into bed with someone who had little interest in sexual sharing had started to lay down a pattern of association between sexual desire and sadness at a lack of reciprocation. It was an association I could certainly live without.

Ultimately, no matter how comfortable and alive we feel in our individual sexuality, sharing it with another brings a richness which can’t be experienced alone. We can reach depths of fulfillment and pleasure with a partner which are difficult to achieve alone. Sexuality, by its very nature, is intended to be shared, and when two people have a shared understanding and approach to their sexual intimacy, it enhances their lives individually and together in ways that are hard to describe to those that have yet to experience the territory. It was territory I had been familiar with, but to which I had been a stranger for several years.

My long-term partner had, for various reasons, lost interest in sex, relegating it to the ‘once in a while, when I’m in the mood’ part of his life (reasons for which this article is too short to cover). But my predicament, if I can call it that, would have been the same had I been single.

The opportunities for finding another who matched my understanding and energy were slim.

The gift of my sexuality, which I had once treasured, was now feeling more like a burden that I wanted rid of, something which nagged at me continually, reminding me of its presence and of its continual, unfulfilled, desire for shared expression.
I sat with the sorry realization for a while that evening, letting the full sadness of it wash over me. How many others feel like this, I wondered. Is this how men feel when their partners give them the cold shoulder, night after night, or just go through the motions to shut them up? No wonder they get to feeling there’s something wrong with their sexuality, and then end up acting accordingly. And what about other women?

Surely I wasn’t the only hot-blooded, spiritually-minded, woman on the planet who was short a good match?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/17006107@N00/2277196121
Photo: Lianne Viau

How did they manage, given that an unwilling male partner has a much harder time (pun not intended) just going through the motions?

As I sat there, though, I began to see that it wasn’t just about a lack of sexual action. It never is, is it? If that’s all it was, then I could easily have started hanging around the local night-clubs or paying a gigolo (budget permitting!). No, it was more than that. What I was missing was a partner who could open his heart wide enough, and with sufficient passion, to love me fully through his body, and who would be comfortable receiving my open, loving sexuality in return. Around me it seemed as if there were many who might be willing to have sex with me, and others who might give open-hearted loving a try, but there were few who combined both. And so, I had been carrying around this wonderful gift that I was longing to give, but with no-one to receive it.

My bodyworker did his best to help me release the sadness that had built up inside, working his magic on where it lay buried in the cells of my body, and reconnecting me to the natural joy that sexuality inherently carries when we come to it from a place of innocence. What he couldn’t do, though, was guarantee me someone who could and would reciprocate my gift of loving, intimate, sexuality, or promise that I wouldn’t feel the sadness return another day.

In the time since then, I’ve regularly received comments and messages in response to articles I’ve written, from readers who refer to the difficulty of finding a partner who matches their desire to share deep intimacy and sexuality. Most of the comments have been from men and, although I’m obviously a woman, I have to assume that perhaps it is more of a male issue. Or perhaps the women are just not speaking out as much? I prefer to see it as a genderless issue, though—as something that relates more to a certain type of person rather than to a particular gender. It certainly, although not exclusively, seems to be more common among those who have done a degree of personal growth work and have reached a level of maturity in themselves.

What the solution to this is, particularly when living within an area that has a small population, I’m not sure. Living in an urban area with a denser population, the opportunities to find a like-minded/hearted/bodied partner is presumably greater than it is in a rural or small community. But my experience of both bliss and frustration with this topic has led me to two main conclusions, both of which seem obvious but deserve elaborating on.

The first is that those of us who are comfortable in our sexuality have a role to play in helping to bring others to a similar place.

Even if we have no interest in doing so professionally, we can do this in our intimate relationships by being sensitive to our lovers’ needs and concerns, by patiently and compassionately supporting their own sexual explorations. Also, by taking the time to articulate how it is for us—how we feel about our sexuality, our pleasure, our bodies and our love of sharing those—we have a chance to ‘mentor’ our lovers into being better able to meet us deeply in a sexual encounter, to our mutual benefit.

This role as voluntary teacher and guide can also be done in broader circles, with friends and acquaintances. We can gently challenge commonly-accepted views we many not agree with as they appear in conversations around us—the ones that suggest that wanting sex is wrong, that wanting more sex than a partner does is wrong, that seeking satisfaction outside a relationship is wrong, that self-pleasuring is something to be embarrassed about, and so many more. Allowing these to be perpetuated, by staying silent out of a fear of rejection, isn’t of benefit to anyone. By contributing to a greater understanding and awareness around sexuality, we are helping to create a world in which sexuality is expressed more naturally and in which our gift of deep sexuality can be more readily received.

The second conclusion I’ve come to is that we need to speak up more clearly about what we need—to be willing to show ourselves openly for who we are and what we want, while accepting that others may not be in a position to reciprocate or even accept.

For me, what I need in my life is a deep sexual sharing which allows me to flow my energy fully with another. And I know there are others for whom this is also true, although they may not be as comfortable or as articulate in asking for it.

It’s not just about frequency of sex, it’s about quality, connection, depth and love.

Sometimes saying that this is what I’m looking for makes me feel like a starving beggar complaining that the bread she has been given is white rather than the fresh, seeded, whole-grain loaf that she needs to stay healthy. After all, shouldn’t I be happy with what I’m getting? And it’s not that I can’t derive pleasure from more casual, less-connected, sex. I can, and do, and it’s fun—the same way having white bread is nice once in a while but doesn’t form the basis for a healthy diet. It doesn’t really hit the mark. And it certainly doesn’t leave me with that sense of having shared a fulfilling, life-enhancing, meaningful connection with another—which is what deep, loving sexuality can bring at its best.

None of this is offered from a place of judgment, no matter how the story and my limited attempts at articulating a sensitive subject may seem. I’m neither wrong nor right for wanting what I do, nor would I consider those with different needs to be either right or wrong. We all are who we are, and we all have individual needs, desires and sexual histories that need to be taken into account—differing levels of sensitivity and of sexual desire, different forms of sexual expression, different rates of arousal, and different experiences of early sexuality. Being able to address, integrate and play around with all of these is part of making a relationship work, and being open to our individual uniqueness can prevent sex becoming a bland neutral where each person dumbs down what they really want.

So, those two conclusions aside, how do I continue to live right here, right now, without easy access to that deep nourishment which I feel I need? Like others do, I guess.

I take the opportunities for intimacy as they present themselves, whether within my long-term relationship or outside of it, and I make the most of them.

I focus on loving what I’ve got in my life—and I certainly have plenty. And I continue to offer the gifts I have to offer, knowing that they don’t always find a home but that it feels better to offer anyway than to hold back. I also make the most of those talented souls who offer touch and love as their professional services to the world. I may choose to be fussy about the quality of the intimacy I need, but I’ve had to become open to the way in which it may offer itself to me or live without.

 

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Ed: Kate Bartolotta

Photo: Jenn Slade

About Freya Watson

As a respected author and teacher, how we ground our heart-felt truths into the everyday experience of relationships, work and family is the foundation for a lot of my work. Finding our 'truth' is a challenge in itself, but living it day to day is an even bigger challenge. My books are all available on Amazon and my new volume of poetry, 'Sacred Poems from a Wild Heart', is published early September 2014. You can also find me on Facebook and read more on my blog. If you like what I write, you can subscribe to my Elephant Journal Feed here .

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96 Responses to “Unrequited Sex.”

  1. Jillian says:

    This hits home for me. As a newly single woman, I feel this way. I lived in a marriage where I was the one asking, begging at times for sex. But that wasn't all. I needed connection. Not the, ok-ya good?, roll over and go to sleep kind of sex. Then I had a boyfriend who I connected with very much, but towards the end I again felt that lack of desire on his part. Now that we have broken up, we have sex all the time, but it lacks the love that I had before. I seem not to be allowed both. It seems so very cruel.

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      It does seem cruel at times, and can be difficult to live through. But then we meet someone, or read a response like the one below, and our hearts lift again and we take heart. I do know that it's possible to sustain this level of connection, although it does naturally fluctuate – we're all human after all. I also know it takes a commitment from both parties, a shared understanding of the importance of connection and a willingness to make time and space for it. Thank you, Jillian, for reading and commenting. Much love, Freya.

    • Leslie says:

      I read this article….and the subsequent comments….and all I could do was cry. Partly just for the fact of finally feeling seen, and understood. Someone else feels this, too! A bit out of sadness for people (especially women) who feel this deep need, and feel ashamed for needing and wanting what we know we need. Mostly, though, out of relief at having finally…..after many years of silent disappointment and frustration and pain….finding a man who shares this need for deep connection. It's a beautiful thing when it happens! I hope you will find it all again, someday, in one place.

  2. Monkey says:

    We are out there… men who want what you talk about. Who want to connect, open… to dance in the interplay of masculine and feminine.

    Look for us. We may not be the most confident or outgoing, yet if you look quietly and see the sparkle of knowing in our eyes you'll see that there are men out there who desire… deeply… to connect with a radiant, spiritual woman.

  3. Jess says:

    Love the article. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Ashok Natarajan says:

    Freya,

    I love the way you've been able to put in words some of the most intense feelings and I feel very much like Monkey. Yet, there is a certain perspective from which we in India regard this whole sex/relationship/commitment issue. I'm someone who cannot have casual sex because it seems nothing better than masturbation when it lacks the connection that you speak of so clearly in your article. I prefer to starve rather than just eat the white bread. I think there is a sort of intensity which builds when you hold it back. Yet I am sometime wondering if my aggressive behaviour is a result of the sexual frustration. When I'm sufficiently removed (in my mind) from the urge to copulate, I sit back and realize that there is truth to some of the Indian perspectives on sexual energy and how it can be harnessed for other more divine/spiritual endeavors.

    The idea of finding sexual satisfaction outside of a relationship however is where I see an extremely divergent view. I find it difficult to articulate my opinion but the following video will give you and idea of what I believe in. Hope this helps in expanding your awareness just like your articles have helped me. Thanks for sharing your life. May you find what you are looking for.

    Here's the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAGlyRBAnSM

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      Thank you, Ashok. I haven't looked at the video yet, but will do. A short article like this doesn't do justice to the depth and complexity of an issue like this. And I have, and do, harness the energy for other endeavors. But, at the end of the day, I have also discovered that there is nonetheless this yearning to share it with another, regardless of how much I flow it into other areas of my life. Casual sex has never appealed to me, either, and my ideal is to find that depth and connection with a life time partner. But I have discovered that it is also possible to share love deeply and sexually with another, even if its for a short time, when we are energetically matched and hold similar values.

      I love what you have written, Ashok. Thank you for taking the time to share and post.

  5. Holly says:

    Whoa yeah, this hits home so hard…aches in the heart.
    I deal with this sadness bringing it home to the depths of my heart, knowing in the end it's a spiritual longing for the ultimate union, and the intuition of Love itself. But yes, the yearning to share and express this tremendous power and grace within sexually and intimately with another is at times…absolutely overwhelming.
    Thank you for this article…feels empowering to know i'm not alone.

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      Hi Holly, thanks. Yes it is a spiritual longing, but my own path has been that the spiritual longs for a physical expression too. I've taken the journey upwards, to feeling that bliss of connection with the divine but have found that it wants to complete the circuit downwards for expression in this physical realm as well. No, you're certainly not alone.

    • Mojo says:

      Thank you to all of you for acknowledging this feeling.. I have experienced the profoundness of that connection of body and soul with my (long ago) ex. Nothing since has compared to that depth of feeling and I miss it terribly. It is good to know that there are others who understand this longing and just how painful it is. I wonder if anyone else experienced the feeling at orgasm when something deep inside me opened up to the universe, and I could feel it physically as well as spiritually. I've only experienced it with that one man, but WOW, it was amazing and happened a number of tmes. Has anyone else had this experience too? I'd love to hear about it.

      • Gojura says:

        The experience you talk about has not been limited to orgasm for me, nor even limited to sex, those these have both been occasions for such an experience. What I understand of it is that the Awareness you mention is always available, but that we often stop ourselves short because of fears we hold or because we keep ourselves situated in mundane attitudes. It can sometime take a kind of "trigger" to get through to us, but we must be open to it. So if you have not felt it since, perhaps there are more fears in your heart now that are asking to be addressed, or perhaps your practice has waned. Blessings to you.

  6. gemstar says:

    Oh thank you for writing this article… As a woman with an unrequited sex life/intimacy life I can feel very alone in this position… I love sex and making love and am also confident and comfortable with my sexuality… But I have been without a lover for a long time so for me there is now sadness with my sexuality too… I work on accepting my frustrations and longing and letting that desire drive my motivation in life…. I’m so happy and looking forward to sharing the depth of intimacy with the person I next make love with…

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      Beautiful words, thank you. It really is a day by day process, letting the frustrations go and allowing the desire to be a motivation, as you say. xEnter text right here!

  7. Corsica says:

    freya,

    thank you for articulating this experience… i feel like you just wrote about my adult life. i had mixed feelings reading this article…. comfort at the realization that there were others out there who shared this experience… and a deeper sadness at a broad acknowledgement that this is just a hard thing to find (i think a part of me was hoping i just hadn't figured out the right places to look…). i was really interested in your suggestion of responsibility in people who are comfortable with their sexuality and have a sense of this to share with the world…. i have longed to do this in a broader, more public way for some time, and am newly encouraged to seek out ways and spaces in which i can do this, where i can be open and honest about my truth. thank you so much…. i love your articles. thank you for taking on this responsibility to share your experience with the world, and for helping me to feel less alone today.

    be well…

  8. Teagan says:

    Thank you for this wonderful article. Having been a woman who has been in many unsatisfying relationships for most of my life, I know this experience well. I can only speak about my own experience and acknowledge that it is different for everyone, but I had to go on an intense inner journey to clean out my misperceptions about myself before I allowed myself to experience a fulfilling sexual partnership. The core issue for me was that I wasn't valuing myself enough to attract a partner who truly saw me for the Goddess I am. I had to surrender to the beauty in my own being before I could surrender to a man and be received in the way I truly wanted to be received.

    I had to learn to say no, when I realised that a man wasn't fully there for me or committed. I also had to learn how to communicate with the man in my life without judgement and with strength and softness to create space for a him to flourish, feel safe, respected and loved.

    I can happily say that I am now in a partnership/sexual relationship that is so deeply fulfilling. The other night we made love and I can honestly say that we merged with God/ the Divine/ Sacred Spirit or whatever you want to call. It was one of the most exquisite experiences I have ever had. This isn't the only experience of this nature I have had with my partner, but our love making just keeps deepening and deepening. The trust it takes to surrender to my own beauty, my Goddess nature and to him as an expression of pure beauty and love is enormous. The more I do this and let go, the more he lets go too. It is a beautiful dance.

    I know that there are many beautiful men out there who love women dearly. I know this, because I have worked with them in my role as a counsellor. I also know that they have the same fears, desires and need for love as we do. Separation is only experienced in ourselves, not between the genders. Life always reflects back to us and presents the relationships that most help us to see where we are still denying ourselves.

    Please don't give up hope. If anyone is in a postion to say this, I am. Just continue in a gentle and loving way to know and except yourself more fully, step by step, breath by breath… and enjoy the journey. Much love x

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      Thank you for such a heart-felt and wise response, Teagan. It is beautiful. Yes, I have also experienced what you are experiencing. Sustaining it may be more the issue for those that are together over the longer term. It seems like there are levels we go through. Finding such a connection is one thing. Co-creating a relationship which sustains the connection is another. And when you throw young children into the mix, it needs another over-haul and recommitment. Thank you again! Love, Freya.

    • has says:

      Firstly Freya,

      I want to salute you for having the courage to write this. You have articulated precisely what I feel. I too yearn for this connection. I had come to the conclusion that this desire not being satisfied was a reflection of something within me. My focus of late has therefore been on building my own self esteem to a point where my Goddess nature is really glowing. I feel Teegan has articulated the process really well, it's a journey that I have intuitively embarked on and have not yet arrived at the destination.

      I'm holding a vision of both of us having our desires fulfilled.

      with much love
      hh
      ps freya my e-mail address ends in .co.uk. I had to take it of because your blog kept telling me that my e-mail address was too long and therefore would not accept the full address.

  9. J.J. says:

    You have iterated everything I've ever felt about my desire for deep/deeper sexual/spiritual connections. It's great to know there are many others out there like me. Thank you.

  10. kmzam says:

    Boy, this hits home for me too. At 50, while I've had good/great experiences (both with a partner and alone), I don't think I've yet met someone who matches my sexual energy. I know he's out there… I've not given up hope of finding him. I'm a force to be reckoned with on many levels. Thank you for allowing me to acknowledge that my sexuality isn't something I need to apologize for. In fact, I'm damned glad that at 50, I want and enjoy sex more than I ever have. Great article.

  11. Reena says:

    Wow I am so glad you wrote this. I thought I was the only one who felt this (well intellectually i knew there must be more people out there). But thanks for putting it all in words!

  12. Eve says:

    This was a comforting article! I really needed to read this today. I'm with someone I care about, and, while he blames his low testosterone for his lack of desire, I can't help but think…well, damn, if he were really interested in me, he would be working on getting that testosterone back up.

    I'm very complimentary to him, the few times we do have sex, and I have told him on a couple of occasions that I wanted to have more sex because I loved it with him. I enjoy that part of the relationship very much, but he's been stressed with work and just not into it, and it makes me feel unwanted. So, I end up pleasuring myself, which is fine in a pinch, but I do long to experience pleasure between us.

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      So to the point, Eve! That's how it is for so many – it's not a lack of love, or an unwillingness to engage, it just comes down to the need for two people to be willing to deal with it together, approaching it as an opportunity for shared love rather than just waiting until the 'mood' takes them. Personally, I feel that sex is too important a component in a relationship to be left to chance – I think it deserves a deliberate focus. Thank you for the comment. x

  13. Broken Yogi says:

    Maybe you should consider the possibility that the problem isn't with the men out there, but with yourself and this wall of pseudo-spiritual rationalizations and jargon you are using to describe yourself. Try becoming ordinary, down-to-earth, humbler, and less pompously sure of your own spiritual worth. All these grand spiritual concepts and self-referential attitudes clearly aren't helping. They may be the problem even, getting in the way of simple honesty and openness. Self-knowledge isn't easy, but neither are intimate relationships. Getting people to praise you for writing articles like this is not part of the solution.

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      Is self-confidence and self-understanding a flaw? Is it not okay to be sure of my spiritual worth? This is a short article that doesn't do justice to the honesty, humility, openess and self-examination that I (and we as a couple) have been through. It was written to air something which doesn't get a fair airing as many are unwilling to express these emotions in case they are shot down for being demanding, selfish or too sexually-focussed. I'm not looking for praise, in writing this article, I'm looking to articulate something that I feel needs to be discussed. I love my partner deeply, and I love myself, and we all need to be able to balance our own needs with the needs of those whom we hold dear in our hearts.

      • Broken Yogi says:

        If you had real self-confidence, you wouldn't hide behind these hubristic claims that nothing's wrong with you. If you had real self-understanding, you'd be able to criticize yourself without fearing some sort of emotional collapse in its wake. If you were honest about the lack that's going on in your relationship, you might have a chance to see that you're putting up so many defensive walls, it makes genuine intimacy and sexual dynamics impossible. The lack of rawness in your self-presentation is itself the most likely reason for the lack of passion in your sex life. There's no vulnerability present in you, just a facade that uses the right words and strikes the right poses, but won't go beyond that. What man could possibly find that exciting or passionate? Perhaps you enjoy your "self-love" too much to let it go, but realize that it comes at a price. And you are paying that price.

        • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

          Dear reader,

          I really did not want to get into a discussion about the ins and outs of how I handled this particular situation in my life as it would have taken up more than one article and distracted from the broader point. But I seem to have a struck a negative chord with you, which certainly was not my intention. If you have the impression that I’m unwilling to face my own shadows and do my own personal work, then I have to say quite clearly that this isn’t the case. Vulnerability is not something I fear, and I understand the pain and joy that comes with opening up to oneself and with another. It is something I engage with on a daily basis in my life.

          But anyone who has lived through this stage of a relationship understands that there is only so far they can go on their own – no matter how willing or open they are. Co-creation takes two at the end of the day, and if one party is unwilling to engage there is only so far we can go, in developing greater intimacy and passion, between our own work and being supportive of their journey.

          If you have written my other work – The Beautiful Garden in particular – you will understand that my commitment, within a relationship, is to love and to honesty. And as a therapist who has helped others, I understand the importance of looking within for an understanding of what is happening around us.

          I don’t expect you to agree with what I say, or to like my work, or my personal perspective on life. I do ask, though, that you respect my journey and my honesty as a fellow human being, as I am respecting your comments by taking the time to respond to them openly and honestly. If there are other personal comments you would like to make, it might be better to share them directly rather than here.

          With loving intention,

          Freya.

          • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

            Oops! Paragraph 3 should read ‘read’ not ‘written’!

          • Broken Yogi says:

            Freya, I don't want to dig into you or make you feel bad about all this, but I do want to make a larger point about the pitfalls of building up a "spiritual" self-image, and then presenting that publically, and then defending it with all these fine-sounding words and concepts. For example, when you say, "Vulnerability is not something I fear," you give away the game. Everyone is afraid of vulnerability. Not being able to admit that you are afraid of vulnerability, is a key aspect of your invulnerability. Telling everyone how committed to honesty and vulnerability you are, is also a sign of your dishonesty and invulnerability. Genuinely honest and vulnerable people don't go around telling everyone about it, they just live it. They are able to be honest about their problems, and not sugarcoat them. They don't pretend to be fearless, they know they are afraid and allow people to see it. They aren't busy building up these narcissistic fronts of spiritual maturity and self-assurance, which crumble on closer examination. It's not that I'm having some negative reaction to your article, or that I don't like you or something. The real you isn't even on display here, just some manufactured facade of invulnerable "spirituality" that you are afraid to let anyone look behind. I'm not sure why you are so concerned about being respected, and not criticized. I look at your article as a public cry for help, from someone who needs it, and can't seem to grasp what the real sources of their sufferings are. But maybe not. Perhaps I've gone too far already.

          • Maggie McReynolds says:

            "Everyone" is not afraid of vulnerability, actually, but it reveals so much about you when you say you think so. See how I did that? It's easy to read another's writing, pick out phrases, threads, even whole sentences and paragraphs, and turn them into some kind of damning evidence that proves whatever working theory you've got going. I can promise you that if you start with the premise that a writer, any writer, is a coward and and a narcissist and hiding behind spiritual jargon, there's really nothing that writer can say to convince you otherwise. It's a "when did you stop beating your wife" kind of attack.

            Unless I'm misunderstanding you, if I, hypothetically, were to write that I am committed to being honest, vulnerable, authentic–insert spiritual aspiration here–I would be "giving the game away" and showing that I am not honest about any of those things. I would just somehow BE those things, without writing about them.

            Except that would make me a pretty boring writer.

            I don't know, maybe my own buttons are getting pushed here. I dated a man, long ago, whose father used to goad him and verbally abuse him as a teenager to the point of tears and helpless anger, and then say something like, "See? You know you're in the wrong. You wouldn't be so upset and feeling defensive if you didn't know in your heart that I'm right and you're wrong."

            Your posts remind me of this jabbing. Abuse and judgment disguised as insightful commentary.

            And maybe I'VE gone too far.

  14. Mel says:

    This was a bit heart-breaking…. It certainly is also a "women's" problem. I'm a woman in a, mostly, sexless marriage, and I have, through support groups, met many, many other women in similar situations. And it is about unrequited love. It is painful and damaging to the relationship and all in it. You are not alone.

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      Yes, at its root, it is about unrequited love. And although we may be aware of another's difficulty in loving themselves, and therefore a difficulty in loving those close to them, we can't do that for them. x

      • Mel says:

        Two things I found very eye-opening, The 5 Love Languages (which talks a lot about love and expressing love in a meaningful way being a CHOICE) and articles about passive aggressive behavior. I agree the refusing partner likely has their own issues that they must address on their own. I think there's a threshold for each of us as far as how "understanding" we can be and for how long. If a partner refuses to get help, it doesn't make sense to hang around indefinitely.

  15. nia says:

    I see that I'm not the only one here! It is so hard being the open and wanting one…. I feel so unsatisfied because of certain things that were mentioned, especially if its a sexual issue… And Then Its embarrassing, and fearful to talk about what we really feel about sex and how out intimacy is affected… I was the source of constant resetting and energy transference and then, I just shut down. Now I'm with a wonderful guy… now I'm wondering if its me or am I not satisfied enough? this article helped me a lot to know I'm not the only one.

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      Thank you, Nia, for the comment. It's always a mixture of different issues, isn't it? Ability to identify what we need and what has stopped us being open to it in the past, confidence in articulate what we need, willingness to engage with another around it, and then sustaining it in the longer term once we reach that openess with another.

  16. silverseale says:

    Ms. Watson: Broken Yogi was pretty blunt, but his/her words were wise nonetheless. You aren't even being honest enough with *yourself* to admit that you're "judging" your experiences. Cultivate the sort of deep intimacy with yourself that will allow you to be honest with yourself, and you'll be a step further on the journey.

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      They are wise words, and my response is a simple one. My first port of call is always myself. The amount of soul-searching and self-reflection that has gone into the background to this is beyond discussion in a short article. The point of introducing a personal element here is to make a broader point rather than to open a discussion about the ins and outs of my relationship with my beautiful partner. From the other comments here, I can see that the broader point reached its mark with many readers.

  17. Blondie says:

    Thank you for that article for your sharing…as a 40 something woman recovering divorcee- I too find in my own circles such judgement around sexuality…seems most deny their own and go numb. All the taboos – fears- being female and feeling that it's not right or OK to say…yes I want , need and love connecting sexually and no I don't agree it has to be within a "box" of a committed relationship- no I'm not a slut but do feel if I shared those views that I'd be viewed that way…often I just keep my opinions to myself as I watch the women in my life deny their own sexuality and settle for little or none in their life experience within the "box" of that relationship. That's not acceptable to me- our lives are meant to be joyful, loving and fulfilling…we are not meant to hide away that precious part of our humanity.

  18. Buddha says:

    You sure know how to put the right words in the right place to make yourself sound good. You could probably sell ice to an Eskimo. You are so enlightened, perhaps you should be having sex with the Buddha himself. This is the equivalent to someone talking just for the sake hearing herself talk.

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      Thank you, Buddha. I take it the Buddha you are suggesting I have sex with is not yourself? I will not apologise for my ability to write carefully crafted words nor for my acquired maturity at this stage in my life. If I was looking to talk just to hear myself talk, I would have selected a less emotive topic. A little respect, my friend, please.

      • Mel says:

        I have to say, "Buddha"'s response in particular, and some of the other "negative" ones, make me wonder, what's he so upset about? The only conclusion I can come to is that Mr "Buddha" and others must have their own issues with sex and that this very open, heartrending account must make them uncomfortable.

        Freya, your post is courageous. It took me YEARS to even tell my best friends that my husband was so disinterested in sex even as it was tearing me in two to live that way.

  19. Run. Floss. Travel. says:

    Frey, like you, eveyone is entitled to their own opinion regarding what they see/hear/read. I think the more defensive you are, and the more you try to explain or validate what you’ve written, the more credibility you will loose, in addition to sounding desperate to be liked by everyone. You can’t be everything to everyone. So be blessed that so many people on here are touched by your writing. Writing is a very personal thing, like a bottle of wine. You should leave it at that. Like most people on here, I also think that you’ve articulated your inner most deepest thoughts extremely well. I will share this article with my friends and family. You can make what you wil with that… Furthermore, I think that human emotions and cognitive processes are very complex. You can’t argue with someone who is deaf by choice. The strength of your will should not be imprisioned by other people’s ignorance. As far as I can tell, and for the most part, the comments on here, positive or malicious, are more of reflections of who people are and their perceptions and past experiences. It has nothing to do with what you wrote. That is true for most situations in life. It’s never about you. It’s how others perceived your actions or words. If everybody likes you, you are doing something wrong anyway!! Anyhow, stop the passive aggressive arguing with every comment people make. Silence is sometimes the best answer. I’ve rambled on for too long. Sorry. Take care. Keep up with the good writing.

  20. MatBoy says:

    We all live in the 'Wild Kingdom' and our sexual urges are as much a part of our existence as they are for other mammals. Sexual urge, almost always, relates us to 'others': it is a driving force that binds us together as humans. Sexual emotions and experience are, hands-down, the most intense I have experienced in my life. It's most primal function is reproduction, but it requires us to go through our psychological filters or overlays that we construct and carry with us whenever we relate to other people.

    Frey has constructed a healthy story around how she interprets her deep sexual feelings and experiences. I enjoyed reading the words she used in attempting to put into writing how she deals with it. That is about all any of us can get from her article. A few years ago I chose to live separately, for a few years, from my wife of 30 years so that each of us could take care of important items on our 'bucket lists' and during this time I had to at least consider the possibility of a post-sexuality life. It was a very interesting and difficult adjustment for me as I had to come to terms with this new situation and to construct a new way to deal with my unrequited urges and still live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

    This is what I've learned about where sex fits into my life. I need to recognize my sexual urges whenever they come up. I need to create a little time-gap before I respond to them. It is best that I do not put sexuality up too high is my value system: family health, taking care of society and the planet and sharing meals are all more important, though not usually as intense. Sex helps us soften to each other and to the world, it is inexpensive and can help us pass our empty-nester days happily. I do not put a 'spiritual' interpretation or meaning around my sexual urges and experiences although I can relate when other people do.

    Other people create different stories around sex and these stories can point out some ways they deal with their urges. I like reading about how other people manage and explain dealing with their primitive urges; I especially like reading about when it is well-written and touches places inside of me that I can relate to and enjoy at a deep, human level.

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      I love that we all come at it from different perspectives, and sometimes our stories match up and sometimes they don't. I enjoyed reading your thoughts here.

  21. bruceinpdx says:

    Taken as a whole, it is a marvelously written piece. The desire to be met is a huge desire; mismatches where one person mentors another are fraught with hazard as inadvertent up-leveling can destroy all the rest. The point about doing it for your broader circles of friends is very good encouragement. Knowing yourself, however, is truly the first step, Realizing core inherent qualities about yourself in clear terms lets you make the conscious tradeoffs necessary to traverse deep relationships – where you, by definition, are NOT going to get all your needs met by one person.

  22. sheri says:

    Lovely article, I could feel you throughout, Freya.
    You have a way of capturing your soul into the written word.

    thank you
    I am touched by you.

  23. Aella says:

    I'm there too, either I am very loved but not physically close, or its just physical and good but without heart. I think that's kind of what everyone is looking for(really basically) in a relationship.

  24. Arista says:

    Beautiful. You communicated something I didn't have the words to express. Lump in throat. X

  25. Rebecka says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey! I know how you feel. It is not just a male issue. For certain, intimacy is very important to happiness. Our opportunities to experience it seem greater and lesser all at the same time. We have more means of connecting and less understanding of how to connect deeply. Blessings of abundant intimacy my sister.

  26. david says:

    Hell, I'd be happy for some intimacy… Sex seems too simple.

  27. joyful2806 says:

    WOW thank you for posting this. After a failed marriage with little sex or love, I found him – I had a wonderful man who gave me the sex, intimacy and love I craved. Then after two years he abused that position, he cheated, lied, let other women into his bed, played so many mind games that I had to walk away for my own mental health if nothing else. Your post brought up a lot of empty, hollow feelings I have at my empty bed that I keep squashed down as I have truly given up on relationships.

  28. Matthew says:

    Beautiful article. I want to ask, what I can do as a man to better reciprocate these feelings. Or maybe I am already doing so but my partner doesn't respond, or does not want to communicate. Basically I found this article, as well as elephant journal when my partner liked this article on facebook. So I wanted to see what it was about. Not sure how to take it. I like to be open about anything in a relationship, especially sex. What can I do as a man in order to better give back. is what I guess I am trying to ask. I do my best in the bedroom and I like to please. We only see each other maybe three or four times a month, the relationship I guess is strange one. She doesn't want to fully commit and I am fine with that. There are times when she pulls back and doesn't want to talk or see me. I wonder what fault am I in this whole process. Maybe I shouldn't be typing this but I am just looking for answers.

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      Hi Matthew, this reply is probably well out of date for where you are now in your life, but I'm only now noticing that comments were left well after the piece was published. What can you do to give back? Honestly, I would say look to your own deepest needs first – to what you need and want in your life. If she's not in a position to be emotionally available for you, then perhaps its not really the relationship you're hoping for. But if she is, then communicate – verbally and with touch. Talk about your deepest needs, talk about those vulnerable, soft places in the heart that we usually keep guarded. Allow her space and opportunity to do the same. It's not always a comfortable conversation topic for everyone. And keep faith – everyone needs space as well as closeness.

  29. lucy says:

    Yes, all I can say is yes, this reminds me of what I've felt just under my skin for years now. I keep trying to work on the things that have kept me from experiencing the connection I ache for. I've learned to appreciate the spark of love I sometimes experience in a hug, a genuine smile that comes from someone's eyes, a thoughtful gesture. But reading this, I don't feel so alone anymore.

  30. Anonymous says:

    This is a heartbreaking article and hit home. As someone who long ago rejected my immigrant parents' values towards sex and relationships with tremendous guilt and self-inflicted pain, to many years later be in a loving, monogamous, but sexless relationship, I have often felt the same burden the author feels. Life would be simpler if we didn't need sex, we didn't have different appetites and we didn't have a social code that determined with whom sex was appropriate. But life isn't that simple and one learns to let go of what one can't have. That may mean letting go of monogamy for one person or letting go of sex for another or letting go of a relationship for a third. Those of us in this situation are all going to have to make our own choices on what to let go of and hope for the best.

  31. Amy says:

    Thank you for this article. My 13 year marriage is ending because I was tired of being constantly rejected physically. He is a good man but I need that connection. I’m not sure being single is the solution but I can no longer take the sadness. I felt I was alone in that feeling and have a tremendous amount of guilt related to it, but this article showed me there are many of us out there that feel the same way. I have never cried so hard reading an article.

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      It can be so much lonelier being in a relationship that's unhappy than being alone. I hope life has moved on for you since, in a happier direction. It can be difficult to know how long to keep a flame alive in a situation like that and when to move on. We each have to make our own choices. x

  32. Rarelight says:

    I love this article. I don't find many men or women that understand. They'll jokingly ask if I'm a nympho. No .. Lonely , but not from being alone. I enjoy my solitude often.. It's the deep sharing of energy I long for, human touch with openess..curiosity, allowing. I've had delicious glimpses and I want it all. Not a hook up, not just orgasm. A deep connection. Thank you for sharing. Speaking on my behalf. I will find the right man.

  33. Jenna B. Wiser says:

    I’m all about finding the right person that you can be fully open about your needs and desire and “mentoring” them. However, I would never be happy in a relationship with someone who doesn’t value a commitment enough to feel like its ok to “take other opportunities whether in a long term relationship or not and makes the most if them.” That cavalier attitude in a committed relationship is not something I would ever want. No true intimacy in that. Maybe that’s the difference between a southern and northern girl.

  34. M says:

    Rechannelling energy to the heart through Taoist practices instead of masturbation which depletes bodies reserves and can lead to empty craving later, honoring body, being creative, and meeting a partner who recycles his seed so have more desire than me even, but more than that actually into me have desire and patient enough to really feel me as a person, and also listen to my body because he honor and listen to his, really helped me.

  35. BusyBeingMe says:

    THANK YOU!

    As a woman who believes she is articulate and intelligent, I hadn’t been able to find the words. Your (our) story resonated so deeply, that it has brought me to tears. I am grateful that I am not alone in this feeling.

    Additionally as a queer woman, I have only once before experienced this connection so completely. I do not long for that lover as we are better friends now than we were partners. But it does allow me to see that I too must be forward and share my gifts even if they do not find an immediate home; I speak of being open and not of sleeping around. Having sex is easy, its readily available but that connection that brings you to your spirit is what I will have again.

    Thank you for giving voice to what sat in darkness in my spirit. I am grateful.

  36. Carli Susu says:

    Thank you for that. Perfectly articulated how I feel. I am generally ‘in love’ with myself, but after a long bout of solo-dom, I feel frustration at my inability

    to snap my fingers and conjure up a sexual, passionate and connected partner. D.I.Y. just isn’t the same. More depressingly, I DO live in a vibrate, urban populated city, and it still hasn’t increased my chances of finding a lover. I sometimes think, in my darker moments that, surely with 7 billion plus souls on the planet, there must be just one perfect for me? A connection of mind, body and soul. Just one please!

    I started this note stating that I do appeciate and love myself, but on deeper analysis, and after such a long time in single mode, I begin to question my worth. Certainly, I am not of conventional, Vogue beauty. I am curvey, well, ok, a bit plump, no longer in the prime of my life and dreadlocked. But surely amongst all the billions of people here, one will find my unique beauty aappealing and want to make the two headed beast with me?

  37. Brad says:

    As a spiritually awakened man, this is amazing to see the same desire in others that I have within myself, and a similar sense of unfulfillment by living without this kind of deep connection. With the rules always changing within my new consciousness of living in the 5D now, I find myself deeply desiring this kind of deep, real connection with a woman, but without loosing my personal freedom and personal identity as an individual. Ideally, I feel that my ideal spiritual relationship would be loving each other fully in the moment, but still living individual lives, and being happy and fulfilled in those moments as well. I've experienced the "merging" of identities and the clingy, addictive attachments that too often come along with really deep sexual connection, and long for a balance of all these attributes without one or the other partner feeling like an addict on a roller coaster, miserable without the high, suffering the neediness when trying to live one's life as an individual. A pipe dream? Perhaps, but I'm developing this level of independent strength within myself and look forward to meeting a match in the future :)

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      A belated reply, Brad, but your comment was interesting and I've only just read it. I think what you talk about is what a lot of spiritually awakened people long for. My own experience is that we can meet such a partner but the challenges come when we try to ground the relationship into the normality of life in this dimension. As long as we can remain unencumbered with material responsibilities (if that's the correct term), we can work our way through some of the issues such as insecurity that can come with the freedom we want. But when you introduce children into the mix, it changes the dynamics of the relationship and brings in a whole heap of other practical issues such as living arrangements, how to co-parent, etc.

  38. Suzette says:

    Wow..I could have written this piece, not as well, but felt it was me! I chose to step out of my relationship. There I found someone that I can share true deep intimacy and love on a level that I have never known.

  39. Tina says:

    I had thought all of this for a long time for myself but it is so nice to see it in someone else's words. I am now single and trying to put my sexuality back together. I know now it is better to be alone than feel unwanted and not fully embraced for every part of my being. Thank you for sharing.

  40. You (and others in similar situation) may want to read "Sex At Dawn" for some insight into this pattern. Challenging, but essential, for any real sexual healing to be cultivated….

  41. Christine says:

    This is a fantastic article! Everyone should be reading this, wow… I forwarded this to women and guys pestering me. Thanks for helping me articulate myself.

  42. Jenna B. Wiser says:

    I just re-read this article and want to say how it hit home to me this time. Wow. It’s all about finding the right partner and not settling in wrong relationships. Finding a soulmate and only sharing your naked body with someone in love with your naked soul is the only answer. Should be mind blowing then. If you ever do find it, please write an article on how it was the best you ever had. You know what they say “Saved the best for last .”

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      One of the quirky things about writing is that it is only one angle and yet it remains static in 'print' long after the situation that prompted it has gone. In my books and other blogs here, I talk about the ecstatic experience of 'higher' sex. But, like all things, no matter how incredible the relationship, it can have its ups and downs, and the most amazing and loving partner can become the most aloof and cold partner when s/he is going through their own stuff. Try this as a balance to the perspective above : http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/07/having-sex

  43. von-pipitsa says:

    I have been married twice and I have ended 2 longterm relationships because of exactly what you are describing in your article. I am single again and I really wonder: is this my life? Is this what I was born to do? My choices eliminated motherhood and I have reached the age of 50. To be able to survive I need a vivid sexuality, I need to feel connected and accepted like I need oxygen, water and food, all natural aspects of life and existence. Following various healing processes in many directions, as doing right now, helped me a lot but this sense of pattern terrifies me. Ok, everything happens for a reason, everything comes to an end. Maybe it is an issue of modern west civilization, but how many times does a woman need to expose herself and her sexuality in order to live a happy and fulfilled life with a man? I am sure most of you might think like a therapist. Same attracts same, the law of the universe, psycho-philosophical-cultural-spiritual-family-bla-bla-bla reasons are keeping us all apart from our deepest connection to love, making love and enjoying life to the fullest. Thank you for your article. We are connected..what a relief..

  44. Carly says:

    You put down in words how I feel! Thank you for reminding me I am not alone.

  45. Laura says:

    I can relate so much just to the beginning of this article that it hurts too much to even read the rest.

  46. Gorrión says:

    As a man fitting the exact opposite of the profile of the man you describe to be in a relationship with (who'd rather scratch his balls than worship you), I must say that I feel that most women now-a-days "leave behind" the men that worship them. That is a question you might ponder. Why? There are DEFINITELY/partners like the one you dream of, but we're not appreciated and we're going extinct…it's simple evolution. The women who "fear" us won't reproduce with us, hence, we're endangered. The qualities that characterize us, I think, conflict with subconscious beliefs most women have about the ideal man. Food for thought.

    • Freya Watson Freya Watson says:

      Interesting comment, and I'd love to hear more. Would you consider writing a longer piece and submitting it? Yes, I know there are good men – plenty of them. And my partner in this article is one of them, only going through a tough time which left him unable to deal with anything outside of himself. The prompting to write the article came from a sense that many women feel it's not okay to say they need sex.

  47. Resonate completely. Thank you for sharing the words of experience which have been for this long term Single and highly sexual being for my entire Life. Ready to Create differently. Namaste.

  48. Jacque says:

    As a woman who is shy, but hiding it by being extravert, I find it difficult to be open and vulnerable and have been single for 6 years, after a 4 year famine relationship. In response to my total heart and loyalty, I was left with nothing. No nurturing, no reciprocation and no connection. Now, I crave touch and intimacy, but I find it hard to put myself 'out there' into the 'market' again. I'm not afraid to ask for what I want (did that in the relationship and was rebuffed many times) and I will pleasure myself (and read lots of good books), but it is like eating sugar when you are starving. It's a bit ok for a little while, but I'm still starving to death. I had learned to hide who I really was because it scared people away. I'm learning now to be me again (only took 40 odd years!!) and if he comes along, great, but I can't go looking for him yet. That still scares me!

  49. neerja says:

    I feel the same way but haven’t been able to articulate it. Thanks! Love this.

  50. Ashley says:

    I cannot believe how much this resonates with me. Thank you for sharing. It is incredibly helpful to hear that I am not alone.

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