Can We Be Lovers and Not Have Sex?

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 10
Hearts 1.0
Comments 3.4
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
6 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.
162
957k

I want a life of a million lovers.

I want to love you.

I want to love you if you are male or female, young or old, single or married…

When I see you we will embrace and hold a hug long enough to glimpse some insight from each other’s heartbeat.

When we walk down the street we shall link arms, pause frequently, and turn our toes and noses towards the other to speak directly without modesty.

I would like us to share the couch together, rather than creating a “do not cross” line where we may as well be sitting on brick blocks seated four feet away. Give me your knee, your foot, your thigh—let your body dangle on top of my body so I can know you the way litters of kittens know each other.

I want to show up to you and look into your eyes instead of at your eyes. I want to feel your hand and be consumed by it until the rest of the world ceases to exist. I want to be in your presence and be in want of nothing.

I would like you to leave our time together feeling loved and free and full of your most vibrant and luscious hue of you-ness.

Please do not get confused: I do not want to have sex with you—whether you are male or female.

Why I don’t Have Sex with Everyone, But I want to Be Everyone’s Lover

I have no sexual agenda, as you know, because we laugh at the freedom we feel to speak to strangers for reasons other than because we have to or because we’re hitting on them.

For me, sharing sex with someone requires a certain alignment, and I do not take that lightly. My sex requires that I can possibly foresee living with a person and combining all my stuff with all of their stuff (and I mean physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual stuff—the stuff that just feels heavy if it’s not the right fit, but feels buoyant beyond imagination when it is). It is delicate, it is careful, it is not presumptuous or impulsive.

And I do not think that our connection is somehow weakened because we do not share our bodies with each other.

For love is love is love is love, and that is what I want.

I only want us to fall in love.

Now I realize that at some point, either you or I may change our minds and crave sexual expression with each other.

For I am human—as are you—and we have wants that change and grow.

But if that desire should spring upon one of us, I hope that we will talk about it, the way we talk about the universe, cultural tropes, the nature of depression, what makes a good cup of coffee, and how your day was yesterday.

I hope that that topic of conversation is no more avoided than talking about the latest episode of Doctor Who or how to effectively clean one’s mouth from Oreo breath.

I would like you to share yourself with me—every stitch of you—so that I may be warmed and nourished by your tapestry. And I would not like you to worry that some of your threading is inappropriate or uncomfortable to share with me, because I am only here to accept you exactly as you are and to take interest in the way you step through life.

So lay on me your doubts, your troubles, your faux pas, your suffering, your sadness. Lay on me your hopes, your dreams, your excitements, your curiosities, your guilty pleasures.

I want to see you how you see yourself.

And while you tell me all of this and more, I would like to rest my eyes upon your eyes, and take my hand upon your back, and laugh up to the ceiling as you divulge, because it is in these moments of pure exposure that I bask in the ever-so-specific you, and I become the ever-so-specific me, and even though you’ve never stepped into the tides of the pacific and I’ve never ridden a skateboard, I am more sure than I’ve ever been that we are the same.

I don’t care if I see you everyday or if I see you only just the one time when I happened to be in that coffee shop and you happened to be making my drink (which was delicious, by the way, and thank you for not rolling your eyes when I asked if your only non-dairy milk was soy)—I want to be your lover.

And I will have the lover whom I share a bed with, and it will be nonetheless—on the contrary, that love will be all the more—because I take on another million lovers.

So if you’re ready, let me see you and let me love you.

My insides, my arm, my couch, my laugh, my eyes, my toes are all for you.

I hope that is enough.

~

Bonus: How to have a fun, sexy, heartfelt, genuine, mutual experience when making love.

Relephant: 

Learning to Make Friends with Ourselves: a Pema Chodron video, on “Maitri.”

Maitri: how to be Alone.

~

 

Like elephant love on Facebook.

Ed: Bryonie Wise

 

 

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 10
Hearts 1.0
Comments 3.4
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
6 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.
162
957k

Read The Best Articles November
You voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares.
CLICK TO SEE WHO WON

Brentan Schellenbach

Brentan Schellenbach is a yoga teacher, writer, adventurer and happiness enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Yoga In Your Living Room, an online platform that helps people develop a fulfilling home yoga practice and learn how to be happy in life, regardless of circumstance. Join her and her partner, Oli, for free Weekly Letters every Sunday, which feature happiness lessons learned from life on their San Diego hilltop, along with new free online yoga classes and blog posts on the nature of happiness. She also helps local yoga studios and teachers move their branding online to connect with a broader audience. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

anonymous Feb 18, 2016 5:21am

Wowwww this is so beautifully written! You really painted a picture with your words. I love walking around with an open heart & open eyes; it’s the only way I truly know how to live. I love to flirt with/in life. People respond confused to me sometimes when they find out my legs are not as spread open my heart and mind, so to speak. This article gave me some new vocabulary to explain myself more accurately in that matter, if I feel like explaining it. So thank you for yur beautiful words and beautiful heart <3 Love, Yara

anonymous Dec 12, 2015 2:39pm

I click on verry very few articles based on emotional pieces like this one , But as soon as I read the headline , I just knew my day or week or the year wouldn’t be the same without reading this. Thankyou. Thankyou so much for writing this. Beautiful. Just beautiful . :’)

anonymous Aug 18, 2015 7:31am

I'm in love with this article. I am a 23 year old male, and over the last year I have become so conscious of the amount of love I have and the love I want. I have basically lived my life with the principles of sensing what people need on order to be happy and feel loved. Whether it's a genuine conversion, a mindful ear, a shoulder to cry on, hugs that embrace and loving energy passed to them. I have been accused of flirting, hitting on, or being too forward by men and women who are defending themselves against that intimacy. I have also been aggressively pursued by men and women who are so deprived and crave of love that they latch on and think the only way to move forward is with sex. Especially in my age group I cannot find others who believe in love and intimacy in this way. I believe myself to be the only man I know personally that has no sexual agenda. Im going to use your article as a tool to try and explain myself and y beliefs to my friends. I could not have ever explained it so well myself. Thank you for putting into words what I never knew how to.

anonymous Aug 17, 2015 3:39pm

This is beautiful and all, but one of my ways of feeling and expressing love is through sex, and my boyfriend refuses to have sex with me. That makes me feel unloved, unwanted, and depressed. He thinks that true love doesn’t find attachments in sex. I am deeply hurt.

anonymous Aug 16, 2015 8:43pm

I feel you there, eyes across the distance. Arms stretched open and waiting. A mirror of my own reflection. I love you as you love me

anonymous Jun 8, 2015 5:42am

I love the idea of this, but I feel this level of intimacy, which is really MORE intimate than some sexual liaisons, should be reserved for your Husband or Wife…Peace.

anonymous Jun 7, 2015 5:05pm

No.

I will not be the missing piece of your relationship with someone else.

Emotional Affairs hurt the most.

100 percent relationship with me or nothing at all.

anonymous Jun 7, 2015 12:29pm

Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing thoughts most of us can’t put into words. They ability to love, be close and show affection…intimacy, is not limited to our sexual lovers.

anonymous Feb 5, 2015 11:51pm

Thank you for this. It awakened a dream that I thought had died in me long ago. I used to feel this way about people all the time, but was always afraid to speak the words you put to paper so well. It must never be too late.

anonymous Feb 5, 2015 8:57am

Of course we can my love. But then you will allow ne to enjoy sex with someone else that I don't love as much as you but that she is sexy as hell and enjoys amazing physical contact.. my love. And you won't become paranoid and selfish that you are indeed 'desired' but not desired.

anonymous Feb 5, 2015 12:34am

Beautiful expression of the highest love for all beings (because we are all one- made from the same energy)

anonymous Feb 5, 2015 12:32am

Beautiful expression of love for all beings (because we are made of the same energy, and are all one!)!

anonymous Feb 4, 2015 11:55am

Breeds emotional relationships and infidelity. .. Ridiculous ideas…

anonymous Feb 2, 2015 1:45pm

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, hippie shit, no, no, no, no.

anonymous Jan 31, 2015 11:56am

I love this article, because it perfectly describes how I have felt and want to be allowed to feel again. I’ve lost more than one friend, because they just didn’t understand, but when they will, it’ll be great and I’ll still be happy for them.

I’ve gotten reluctant to show and say how I feel since, but it’s hard to contain. It’s like shaking a bottle of soda, sometimes I feel like I’m about to explode with love and appreciation.

“He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.” – applies to unconditional and universal love as well. Let it out!

anonymous Jan 31, 2015 5:41am

Before I even made it to the end of this blog, before knowing if the author is male or female (and I am a heterosexual male), I said out loud to my partner "I love this person". This is one of the most honest, true, heartfelt, insightful blogs i have read to date. This is an incredible piece of literature that rings so true with my own personal desires, and articulates that in a way I would never be capable of. Kudos.

anonymous Jan 19, 2015 11:39pm

Its very wonderful,enlightening and educative. I have been smiling all through my reading of this article and imagining the love of my life as i read. Good work and keep it up.

anonymous Dec 25, 2014 8:16am

Lovely, articulate essay. I can imagine a desire for such an asexual intimacy and I think lots of opportunities for rich relationships are missed due to the lack these kind of expressions and the societal narrative of relationships.
However, when a person has an asexual and a sexual lover I could see some obvious problems arising. Especially when the romantic love is mutual but the asexual desire isn't. The asexual partner might develop a tendency toward comparing these two relationships resulting in envy.
I could also imagine the other partner developing jealous tendencies.
Since you describe the cause of an asexual desire as as absense of a ceratin alignment. I fail to see how the asexual partner won't view this as as sort of weakening of the connetection. Especially when another, 'fully aligned' partner is involved.
Enhancing this corrosive effect might be a growing realisation that the the other lover is the more 'real' partner in practice. Comparison seems inevitable. And when true love is involved, unbearable.

anonymous Dec 5, 2014 2:20pm

You've put words to emotions that I can't, or haven't, put words to; this is the first thing I've read in years that I've truly felt compelled to share. I loves ya, thanks.

anonymous Oct 27, 2014 2:14pm

Absolutely beautiful.

anonymous Oct 10, 2014 10:53am

I am crying like a baby.. bawling my eyes out.. beautiful and true and what should be.. I love this. Thank you soo much!!

anonymous Sep 24, 2014 3:47pm

This is beautiful. However the word "lovers" implies sex. This just seems to describe a deep and intimate friendship. Maybe the issue is that we just don't have the word for that kind of friendship. But I think the word "lovers" here is not appropriate, otherwise we will be redefining what it is to be someone's lover and watering down its original meaning.

anonymous Sep 13, 2014 8:28am

Lots and lots of Love to you Brentan. Thank you kindly for your words.

anonymous Sep 4, 2014 9:17pm

This made my body tingle with recognition and a deep sense of longing. Beautifully written. <3

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 8:55pm

Traffic is the key to any website business. I found a company that has been an awesome resource in building our traffic and the communication back and forth has been great. I use most of the services offered by this site and I am now getting hundreds of targeted visitors to my website every day. Email them here: [email protected]

anonymous May 3, 2014 9:02pm

Thanks Millus for your comment…………………………….

anonymous Mar 10, 2014 8:03pm

You're absolutely beautiful. Thank you for putting this out here for us to share. This is fuel for our cosmic fire. <3

    anonymous Mar 12, 2014 10:17am

    "This is fuel for our cosmic fire". i love this statement!!!!!!! may i use this? i'll quote you~

anonymous Mar 10, 2014 4:44pm

People who are asexual want to find ways to be in loving relationships without sex. But it only works if the person you are in love with similarly doesn't share any desire for sex.

anonymous Mar 10, 2014 4:35pm

Even friends with benefits get more benefits than this type of friend. And so, I think it's great for those who don't really want to commit or don't really care for someone but just want to not be alone or like them but "not in that way" but don't mind a massage from the person. But if you're on the receiving end of this type of love, I can imagine a lot of people saying thanks but no thanks. Especially if they want a commited (and sexual) relationship.

So I should bear my soul to you as if we are lovers, but all you want to do is bask in my affection so that you can feel good about yourself being desired? Or, I can bare my soul to someone who does desire me sexually and isn't leading me down a road of endless snuggles but no actual relationship.
You can see how the second option works a lot better for most people.

anonymous Mar 10, 2014 11:36am

"And I will have the lover whom I share a bed with, and it will be none the less—on the contrary, that love will be all the more—because I take on another million lovers."
But what if you're not the one who you share the bed with? Is the friend just practice so you can perfect love for the lover you ultimately do bed? Those million others? How are they special, since you provided the same degree of intimacy to all of them?

anonymous Mar 9, 2014 10:44pm

Brentan. You've managed to capture the way that I feel about a guy that I've met. There is an energy there between us that I've failed to be able to describe. A connection. I adore being around him, talking to him, watching him, looking at him. I want to 'know' him – in the way you've written in this article. Not in a sexual way – for a number of reasons – just breathing his existence in.

Reading this made me think of all the things that I love about him. And how I love him. Thank you for being able to put words somewhere where I had tried and failed to.

anonymous Feb 23, 2014 7:43am

This is delicious. you HAVE to be a Scorpio. Namaste.

anonymous Feb 22, 2014 7:05pm

Have always loved this piece.

anonymous Feb 15, 2014 5:48am

Absolutely wonderful piece of work 🙂

anonymous Feb 12, 2014 4:54pm

V E R Y Related: http://bit.ly/1aSEdmg

Enjoy, and thank you.

anonymous Jan 9, 2014 11:15pm

Absolutely brilliant. Thank you.

anonymous Jan 9, 2014 9:55pm

I loved This… it’s exactly where I’m at in my life…I would love to have someone completely interested in me as a person, sexual aspects aside. This was absolutely beautiful and I’m sure speaks to all women wanting love and companionship… knowing that offering my mind and heart to someone is far more powerful than offering just my body…. I truly hope that people still believe in this…

anonymous Jan 3, 2014 8:09pm

I can imagine that many asexuals perceive of love in this fashion. I know I do. I'm just very grateful to have finally found someone who enjoys sharing in much the same fashion.

anonymous Dec 29, 2013 4:50am

This is such a refreshing and beautiful way to look at nurturing loving friendships. It's surprising because even though I really have close emotional relationships with many of my friends, I don't know if I would have the courage to open up in this way, but I would certainly love, loving my friends more.

anonymous Dec 22, 2013 8:57pm

Someone posted a link to this in our group on FB for asexuals. I read it out loud, even though my voice is cracking from a mild cold. This defines everything for me as a gray-ace. I want close friends, but so many of my friends are almost hyper-sexual, it makes me want to run. I want to have close friends/lovers with whom I can have pillow fights while watching favorite movies. Where cuddling doesn't mean we're going to have sex. Just being together and being close is enough. You've said what many of us Aces want in life, but have difficulty finding because so many around us are bordering on hyper-sexual. So thank you. Thank you for saying what many of us find difficult to put into words, even those of us who are writers ourselves.

anonymous Dec 13, 2013 2:28am

I see the cascade of lovely comments. You write well. Yet I have a fundamental issue with this scenario. There seems to be three aspects: universal love for mankind, friendship, and sensual/romantic love. The idea of a -sensuous physical connection- with others outside a relationship is conflicting to me. Desire is a natural ingrained part of our make up- so to feel you love another the logical conclusion would be for a natural initiation of desire with an intense compulsion to act out those desires. The unity of two mortals is worship- or could be termed the consequence of universal love.
Friendship is a separate matter. Deep friendship and a individual nature and culture which makes it relatively normal to be tactile is a beautiful thing. Is this what you mean? This I understand.
We can have different types of friendships, which obviously to be to tactile may be inappropriate bc they are married, different age, the relationship is of a certain type. So of course simply friendship is appropriate- yet if you take these individuals and sprawl over each other watching the sun setting in a a sensual context- of course desire will come. So different behaviour is appropriate for different types of friendships. Maybe I am not evolved enough~
I agree a powerful need for connection is within us all- physical contact is natural we are human, we need this- but to cross this into a sensual physical connection- well this is a fallacy as one person will always hold desire- if not both. Love humanity- yet sensual and true physical intimacy should be for just one.

anonymous Dec 12, 2013 8:46pm

Beautiful! Thank you. Many of us are asexual. Read up on it. Much love!

anonymous Dec 5, 2013 4:27am

awesome article. i wish i could find a match who just love me without any physical intimacy. some people are so lucky.. thanx for sharing this article. feeling very light today

anonymous Dec 4, 2013 8:21pm

I just want to say live and let live. That level of intimacy is for your true love. And sharing this level of intimacy is cheating. More power to you . But what ever happened to the sanctity of monogamous relationships and devoting yourself to someone. Call yourself poly amorous not monogamous, please.

anonymous Dec 3, 2013 3:20pm

Why can't the news be full of stories and ideas like this, instead of the depressing, perpetual news feed that we seem to see everywhere. A mentor of mine called this kind of "loverhood" by another name "true intimacy." It's the kind of thing that I used to think about constantly, but don't much anymore. That probably needs to change. Thanks for writing this. I enjoyed it a lot.

anonymous Dec 2, 2013 6:21pm

NO.

anonymous Dec 2, 2013 2:45am

Those who are very close to me will get this. my best boy & girl friends … my soul family will understand how from an outsider i can be seen as over familiar! i have little boundaries with affection and love. apart from anything sexual, anything goes- Cuddles, a kiss on the lips, holding hands, draped legs, arms round the shoulders, linked arms… The innocence of affection is what makes me a strong human being and open to leaning about life and who we are – my husband too thinks the same – every human being needs a hug from mhy hubby they are THE BEST … Many can vouch for this!!! I think think blog is the closest thing I've read that gets this way of thinking 🙂 THANK YOU

anonymous Nov 15, 2013 8:59am

Absolutely, this is the world I want…I love the article and would like to know more about how to create this for myself — I want to have a life full of lovers! Thank you so much Brentan..I visit Chicago a lot and would love someday to hug and chat…thanks again….way to share!

anonymous Nov 5, 2013 12:44pm

Thank you for sharing!

In my journey, yoga brings us to love in precisely the terms you've described (of course, tempered by my interpretation of your words). The semantics of "love," "lover," and "sex" tend to cause us to become befuddled, and our attempts to distill or compartmentalize love into individuals fall over, finally, at the realization and experience of truth as described in the Gita.

anonymous Nov 1, 2013 11:56am

This article has been posted to the mars-one group on facebook.
this was my comment there:
classic move by mystic yogi types(lol). word play with sexual connotation to literally force the listener to catch a glimpse of transcendence. for those more sexually repressed than others, it is relatively less effective(see comments above). This is out of the fear of parental reprisal agaist the mere mulling of the subject of sex. This is compounded by the fact that for young people it's all about themselves , as it were. While you have tried to say that universal love is better than sex, you have posted it before the eyes of people who have yet to bound their linear logic. You were clear, maybe they didn't read it all. Instead of "they're gonna take our guns!" they're like "they're gonna take our sex!" facepalm

    anonymous Nov 4, 2013 8:38am

    Thank you so much for your response. I think you bring up a very good point that the relationship paradigm addressed in the article is written as if it can be universally adopted and applied, when in fact, it cannot. I have realized this and continue to realize this everyday in meeting new people, and engaging in ways that others are comfortable with and are not alienated by. By no means do I suggest that this is what everyone wants from their loved ones, and I don’t blame that or think that’s wrong in any way. We are all just living and figuring out what feels good to us NOW. thank you again for your perspective, I enjoyed reading it immensely 🙂

anonymous Oct 30, 2013 7:43pm

I love this article! I so agree w/ everything you've said. The world needs more real love between everyone. Sex is wonderful & I very much agree w/ your views on it as posted here. But love exists outside of sexual relationships too. And too often our society doesn't seem to understand that.

anonymous Oct 30, 2013 7:12pm

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your views and opinions. For many years I have felt that something was lacking in me both socially and psychologically because my best friends have always been women. The relationships were always very intimate, and brought much meaning to my life, yet family and friends, including lovers, have seen my actions as wrong. One should not feel guilty because they enjoy the friendship of the opposite sex. And, as you say, sex never has had anything to do with these wonderful relationships. As a man reaching end of days, I am secure now in the knowledge that maybe I'm not so fucked up after all…

C~

anonymous Oct 26, 2013 3:11pm

I aspire to one day love with such purity.

anonymous Oct 26, 2013 4:37am

Nice post! All human beings need physical contact with other human beings in a regular and continuing way. This has been confused by our culture with sexual or erotic activity and feelings. Certainly the two can occur together, but they are completely separate phenomena.
We must learn to love boldly and more deeply and love more people, because warm loving humans everywhere surround us. Thanks for reminding me of our inherently loving nature.

anonymous Oct 24, 2013 8:25am

I had this kind of my relationship with my girlfriend and later fiance – at her request. We loved each other so much that we never had sex. Therefore, I had to have real sex with other people. Then she left me!

anonymous Oct 21, 2013 2:59pm

If you are talking about falling in love with a man, there one major elephant in the room that is relentless–his penis. You can talk about how it feels to avoid male hormones, sexual desires, and how the penis not going to get any action–but in the end the penis keeps you on the sidelines for the future chance, or moves on. I am a dude that has seen so many men become "loving friends without sex" with women…but there is never a time when every single one them comes to terms with Maslow's needs. The desire is just to strong. A woman can hold a mans hand for years "in love without sex" before he might move on–that is the real situation you are describing–men that will hope for longer than a day, month, or year. If your an attractive woman and married, you only are putting more opportunity for sexual desire in the universe and will eventually succeed with hurting your man and true love. You may want to consider open relationships, that way it wont matter so much when the time comes, and it will absolutely come if you keep gazing into other men's eyes with love, smiles, and holding each others heartbeats.

anonymous Oct 19, 2013 11:41pm

That was, beautiful, poetic, amazing…I just don’t have any words for what I just read. I literally had tears in my eyes cause I know and feel exactly like you, or at least what you wrote, as I don’t know what kind of person you really are.

Why the hell are there no girls like you where I live?

P.S. – Keep on living it your way girl.

anonymous Oct 18, 2013 9:46pm

I might enjoy this piece more if it did not contain, from this line:
"Please do not get confused: I do not want to have sex with you"
to this line:
"And I do not think that our connection is somehow weakened because we do not share our bodies with each other."

Go ahead, re-read it without that chunk. And change the title-take out: "& not have sex?"
The reason being is that it inserts a steaming pile of fear right into a whimsical and sensual message. Making such a divide between love and sex seems Puritanical. You say you have no sexual agenda. What if that someone else feels more than just ascetic agape while you are spooning and whispering to one another in bed? Why would that be out of place? By what moral stigma is a line drawn separating this valorous asexual touch from consensual sexual touch? In reference to the above quote, you ARE sharing bodies- you are draping arms and thighs, locking arms. Why are some parts off limits? Why cant caresses turn to kisses with such onerous inventory of both of our "stuff"? I was taught abstinence in place of sexual education and it took me years to find a sexual being within myself. Cant we envision path to fearless and consensual loving, without the suspect disclaimer that it be a-sexual? This feels too embattled…too much of a reinforcement that some parts of are bodies are good while other parts are bad. love is love is love, no disclaimers allowed!

    anonymous Oct 20, 2013 11:21am

    Hey Sean,

    Thank you for your response.

    It's interesting that you received fear from my message, because in writing it, I felt nothing but love.

    I am a very sex-positive person, and I enjoy sex immensely and I would never suggest that other people put limitations or barriers on their sexual expression. Do whatever makes you happy, man.

    I think my central thesis (if I can have a moment to reword it), is that we can be fully and totally intimate with more than just our romantic partners. I am a monogamist, and I choose that paradigm very carefully and with attentiveness and precision. That doesn't mean that I am resigned to internal transparency with only one person–I want relationships in my life that are free and wholesome and completely transparent, where both party's internal worlds are vibrant and open and unafraid.

    This is a piece to talk about how to engage in relationships with people we are not sleeping with. And in the course of developing those relationships, I understand that feelings may change between either person, which is natural and normal. Maybe I could get into a friendship with someone and we could fall totally and madly in love with each other and want to bang all the time. That's cool. But I will never start a friendship based in the idea, "oh this person is fuckable, I'm going to lay this option on the back burner and audition them for the role of my lover as I get to know them." I want to take sex out of my friendships and if it spontaneously and naturally arises, then good for us. But living with sexual agenda has never made me happy before, and from what I can tell, it hasn't made my close friends happy either.

    I agree with you that sex-negativity is probably not healthy, especially as cultural dialogue. But I don't think that's what I'm saying in this piece =)

      anonymous Oct 23, 2013 12:35pm

      This is lovely. All the comments that this is ‘just friendship’ and ‘would be better without the “no sex” parts’ are missing the point. As someone on the asexual spectrum I really appreciated this piece which doesn’t let sex equate to the “real ” or “only” way to experience intimacy.

      anonymous Dec 9, 2013 9:52pm

      I also felt somethin similar, like something was missing, when reading this piece; that it didn’t go far enough to eliminate preconceptions about sex.. for example… “My sex requires that I can possibly foresee..” sex is continually put up on a pedestal, as something ‘extra’ or special.. rather than something like q ‘take it.or leave it’ attitude…

anonymous Oct 17, 2013 10:13pm

wow !

anonymous Oct 17, 2013 9:21pm

love relationships without hierarchy?
this is beautiful. understanding that so much is possible in our connection with others … there are so many gifts that are reaped from connection that is fearless, open to depth, and honest.
but i do disagree with the statement "we are the same"
at our essence, yes, we are all humans and as i understand, we are all spiritual beings, but we can't ignore how "we are all different" too. more harm than good can be done when differences are not acknowledged. i would rather someone acknowledge that i am filipina, lesbian, brown, (etc) than pretend that these things don't exist.
but there's also this fear of "difference" in our society which sprouts from this idea of "whiteness" being the norm. when, nope, it ain't.
though those holding ideals of "oneness" and "universality" have good intentions,
what can follow is the homogenizing of differences so that identity becomes singular …
i think it's almost easier to say "we're all the same", slap on a smile and maybe sing kumbaya than it is to say "we have similarities but we're all different". living in peace means different things to different people.
understanding that it takes an ongoing STRUGGLE to get to peace is the key, it's gonna take people being honest enough to admit that it's not gonna be easy. this is the difference between equity and equality. the difference between ignorant bliss and facing what's going on. the difference between reaching consensus (which takes time) and going with the majority vote. the difference between dialogue vs. debate. the difference between hearing and listening.
and damn this world needs better listeners.

    anonymous Oct 20, 2013 11:15am

    Thanks for your response, Kim.

    I didn't mean to insinuate that "we are the same," is a homogenization of individual characteristics and qualities. By "we are the same," I was aiming to describe the feeling of being completely and wholly connected with another person who is so completely different and distinct, and yet there is complete union and unity. I've had that feeling with many people before in simple conversation, where it feels almost plugged in, and I think we often times associate that feeling with physical love-making and I would like to say, yes, physical love-making is beautiful wonderful and it should never ever stop, but that feeling is also attainable in other ways.

    "We are the same," is not a phrase I use to invoke naiveté or to skip over topics of conversation about our differences as humans.

    anonymous Nov 9, 2013 1:24am

    Wow, very impreSsive writing. I was utterly impressed by your ability of self expression in such a meaning, articulate, yet powerful manner. I think our differences is what makes love the essence of life. The infinite amount of knowledge gained through differences.

anonymous Oct 17, 2013 1:25pm

Oh I swooned… You have just put into words everything I've felt the last few years… it's taken many many MANY moons to feel as you do but god damn, it's a beautiful place to be and you captured it in prose so beautifully. Sending love your way!

j.

anonymous Oct 17, 2013 12:51pm

Giving a Big Fat Thank you! This link was sent to me via one of my Truthful Touch Cuddle Party participants (we have two events a month in Chicago). I love it so much I was moved to perform it for 100 participants of Polypalooza-a 4 day polyamorous retreat in Calif. They fell in love with it and all wanted the link!

If you would like more of this kind of love in your life go to cuddleparty.com and find one in your area. Not only do they "dangle their bodies" on one another and know one another "the way litters of kittens know each other" (we call it a puppy pile :), but they teach communication skills that facilitate creating more of this in the world.

anonymous Oct 14, 2013 4:13pm

When people say things like this to me, I immediately know they are untrustworthy. As if the thought of a stranger staring into your "soul" was any less aggressive than copulation.

anonymous Oct 13, 2013 10:54pm

WOW. Thank you.

anonymous Oct 11, 2013 8:01pm

Sorry, all love is not the same. Quality is real and variable.

anonymous Oct 11, 2013 3:38pm

Absolutely beautiful!

anonymous Oct 11, 2013 3:09pm

This already exists, it's called friendship!

anonymous Oct 11, 2013 1:04pm

Love that four letter word we all spend most of our lives trying to figure out how to get some. To me that's easy first you have to give to recieve. Our society has too many rules and barriers,checklist that creates walls we try to pick and choose who we love, too much work. I love everybody on this planet as long you are one of God's creatures you have the right to be loved unconditionaly by everyone why limit to just a few.If you have a abundance of love even for the negative people you can see the change in their eyes when love starts to replace what they had before.Why do we make it so hard to share the love?Try to walk in the light with Budda and be more spontanious and the rest will happen automatically.

anonymous Oct 11, 2013 10:40am

I like the concept very much, however I think there’s an incompatibility between the statements,

“I would like you to share yourself with me—every stitch of you—so that I may be warmed and nourished by your tapestry.”

and

“I do not think that our connection is somehow weakened because we do not share our bodies with each other.”

Clearly you are arguing that two ‘persons’ / minds / identities can interact without necessarily expressing that physically.

But I have to wonder, instead of finding frustration with those who desire sex as part of a relationship, has the author or anyone else here gone to the very people who need this type of love most and are best prepared to offer it? The group includes burn victims, quadriplegics, terminal AIDS patients, and so on, basically anyone who is either already unable or unwilling to have sex but who are fully formed personalities in desperate search for this very experience?

An unfortunate paradox would be to crave a nonsexual love but only with those who are able and willing to have sex but must put it aside or otherwise ‘deal with it’ in order to reach this type of interaction.

anonymous Oct 11, 2013 9:24am

YES! ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN! <3 Ah! <3

anonymous Oct 11, 2013 8:49am

Love the idea, but to make sex the bad guy is also going to the opposite extreme…. how about being able to love, be open, walk hand in hand and express what you would like to experience without fear or either rejection or being socially unacceptable. If wanting to share through sex arises its been good for me to note 1. where it comes from in me ( a sticky place ) which has indicated in the past i'm still in conflict with my feelings ) 2. As i rest with myself and honour my human experience which includes my sensuality i find i'm able to be open and vulnerable in my strength. I have become clearer on my intentions and boundaries and i feel free to ask for what I would like to experience, which changes by the way and has no strategy or reason… fluidity is beautiful, strategy seems to arise from conflict. "The next time this happens I will do this "

anonymous Oct 10, 2013 11:59pm

It said much of what is never discussed. By being habitually kind to strangers and smiling at them too, we are building a potential for further love, and this shows we have a common creature feeling that wants nothing from the that person. I don't who said this: "Love and Lust is all mixed up with human dust" It is a statement worth pondering, I think ? Roger Whittaker, South Australia

anonymous Oct 10, 2013 9:52am

Beautifully put! Thank you for describing what my heart truly wants but my mouth wont say! You are an Angel! xo-S

    anonymous Oct 11, 2013 5:29am

    DON'T BE AFRAID TO SAY IT – I am not! =) In fact, I say it ALL THE TIME to my friends, EVEN IF THEY DON'T GET IT!!! =) GOOD ON YA, sariahdance. =D

anonymous Oct 10, 2013 9:30am

Love <3 <3 <3 Love It!!!!!…..* So True

anonymous Oct 9, 2013 6:13pm

I'm certain that I love you in these millions. Blessings for how your life is lived and share with us all you would.

anonymous Oct 9, 2013 11:59am

This is the only kind of friendship Ill ever want. Im never getting married. Decided right now. Id rather jam out to a record with my friends, go biking, talk about something deep/get in heated arguments about subject, lounge around, smoke weed, watch funny videos on the internet or a great movie, and create things. Thats all Ill ever want. Thanks for making my thought process valid.

    anonymous Oct 11, 2013 5:28am

    OOH I like your thought processes Joe. =) YES, me too – that's why *I* never want to get married or get into a relationship either – I'd FAR rather have lots of nice friends that understand me and feel like family, and whom I can share all my problems with, and interests with, and people that I can do things with that I and they are both interested in, and people that can help further my career, as that involves things that I like to do as well. =) PEOPLE who have interests in common with me. You know. =) That's enough to make for a VERY fulfilling and interesting life, WITHOUT the codependency, frustration, negative mind-addling qualities and flat-out TIME-WASTING pointlessness of marriage OR a sexual relationship. =P NAH, I've just got better things to do and many women (AND men like yourself!) feel JUST the same way as you and I do. =) Heh. =P

anonymous Oct 9, 2013 11:11am

So, sure this is good. But there are ways to see deeper into a person with sex, too. No sex is not better in a relationship, just as sex does not make a relationship better – usually. This just reads like, "let's be friends." Which is fine for friends.

anonymous Oct 9, 2013 2:56am

The Best…

anonymous Oct 8, 2013 11:38pm

this article inspire me that beyond sex there is a life of love who need nothing in return only a smile of love…

    anonymous Oct 11, 2013 5:22am

    HUGS WORK TOO, Damon! =) AS do kind words or a listening ear to someone's problems, or a helping hand when they need help – whatever kindness you can give out to people, DO SO! =) THAT'S my philosophy – and if we all did that, imagine how much society would benefit. =)

anonymous Oct 8, 2013 11:18pm

Oh gods … I think I forgot to breathe a few times as I read this. It felt you were looking directly inside me. Not a whole lot of people seem to understand a desire to be intimate isn't the same thing as wanting to have sex with them. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful post. (((huggles))) Ana 🙂

    anonymous Oct 11, 2013 5:20am

    NOT hard to understand for me. =) WE ALL need love – NONE OF US need sex; we just convince ourselves we want it…HOWEVER, if we DO HAVE IT, it should be part of love, as sex without love is purely selfish and will HURT other people – there is no such thing as sex with no strings attached, PARTICULARLY if you are a woman. BUT, love without sex with selfless, and should be the most common kind of love people should encounter for a healthy society, I believe – it is the knd of love children, AND all adults I believe, need. =) I know I benefit HEAPS from it myself, if even a complete stranger holds my hand or gives me a hug when I feel upset – it makes me feel loved when they do that. =)

anonymous Oct 8, 2013 2:47pm

How does Chris feel about this post, Brentan?

    anonymous Oct 8, 2013 8:18pm

    Hahaha. Chris? I'm not dating a Chris.

anonymous Oct 8, 2013 1:30pm

This opens doors of possibility, permission and not just in the realm you describe, but also in the realm of all relationships… Asking for and negotiating for exactly what I most desire, and cultivating relationships where others are empowered to do the same. That is what is most sexy… empowerment, nowness, aliveness. Creation, acceptance satisfaction!

anonymous Oct 8, 2013 4:56am

lovely!

anonymous Oct 7, 2013 4:38pm

This article speaks to my soul on so many different levels. At first I thought this was about simply being friends to our neighbors, strangers, and existing friends. Im still learning how the inflow and outflow of continuous love can heal all hearts.

In addition to that, as I got deeper into the article, I could see the relevance to the type of romantic relationship I yearn for. The pure love of God, Allah, Buddha, or the man/woman/spirit upstairs; to love the way children do with no prejudice, judgments, or boundaries. I know sometimes it feels like we might wander alone thinking no one else thinks or feels the way we do. All the more reason why this article and these comments reassure what I already had faith in.

If anyone is reading this and feels alone, just know theres lots like us out there. I myself have found a handful of friends as support as well as one very special person that holds these same principles for a romantic relationship even in this modern time. Stick to your guns and dont settle

Thank you for this wonderful article <3

    anonymous Oct 11, 2013 5:17am

    YEP, speaks to my soul too – FINALLY, a person (a MAN, even!) who thinks the same way as I do, and proved it by writing this article. =)

anonymous Oct 7, 2013 10:36am

Sarah 🙂 There are people that understand 🙂 I am one of them

anonymous Oct 7, 2013 8:12am

I have tried to have this conversation with two men recently and neither of them could grasp this concept. I gave them this form of my love and it was continuously misinterpreted. Cultural differences are part of the issue and perhaps quoting a bit if your writing might help. Thank you for this. And I I can admit I am surprised this was written by a man…..I’ve always had to bring this concept to the table myself. Thanks for helping me dissolve another unconscious assumption if mine.

anonymous Oct 7, 2013 7:09am

As much as I adore and appreciate the language of this. A voice in the back of my mind keeps saying 'isn't this just what all women always want -intimacy, and if women could, they would always want intimacy without ever having sex (it is the way women are designed)'. I doubt this piece of writing would get the same praise if a guy said, ' all I want is sex, without the intimacy' or if he said, ' I just want to meld with you but I don't want burden you'. Now I know I am going to get some criticism for presuming all men just want sex, but it is a prime motivator for interacting with the opposite sex.

    anonymous Oct 7, 2013 7:41am

    Of course sex is a motivator! I completely agree with you! And I can only speak from the context of my own wants and needs, but I want sex just as much as any other person wants sex. But I know that when I, personally, act out sexual desires without thinking about the emotional consequences of my actions, it doesn't end well. I want to be more thoughtful with where I have my sexual offering so that I am no longer hurting myself or other people. And I want to be clear in my friendships that I will offer them all the closeness in the world, but if one of us were to ever come across that desire big time, I would want our friendship to be the kind where our care and concern of each other made it okay to talk about what me or they were experiencing in terms of desire.

    Basically, in response to your post, I just want to be more careful with sex.

    And I have a lot of guys in my life who, to my knowledge, don't have a sexual agenda with me. I'm sure they would bang me, but they wouldn't break an appointment to do it =)

    anonymous Oct 7, 2013 4:46pm

    I am in no way offended by your inquisition I will call it. But I feel the need to say that your statements assumes women are not sexual beings that want physical intimacy. Which in my humble opinion is completely untrue. I do think that men and women think, feel, and love differently, but we do also have certain primal instincts that are completely the same. Just my opinion 🙂

      anonymous Oct 8, 2013 7:38am

      Well, I am a woman and I am sexual. My sexual and romantic paradigm may differ from others, but I do not presume to say that I, or other women are not sexually saddled and ready to go 🙂 I only write in a way that makes me feel healthy and loved and I want to create space with my writing for others to feel healthy and loved as well. From my perspective im not writing about gender or either gender’s sexual impulses or lack thereof. I’m writing about what happens when we have sexual desire for friends.

anonymous Oct 6, 2013 8:33pm

No, when I fall in love, i have sex. I want to feel the "closest" I can to the one I love, and for me, there is only 1 way for that expression to occur: penis in the vagina.

    anonymous Oct 7, 2013 12:51am

    Like in the 'where did I come from' book eh 🙂

anonymous Oct 6, 2013 6:56pm

Don't forget that the converse is true too. It's possible to have sex without being lovers. Sex can be a purely physical thing, where you're in it just for the physical ecstasy. You may have a deep, loving, personal connection with the other person, or maybe you don't, and are just partners in the pursuit of mutual pleasure. I know sexual preferences vary, and what I said is not true for everyone, but for many people it is true.

Unfortunately, there is a social stigma against people who like having sex primarily for the physical pleasure. It pushes people to hide their sexual desires for someone if they don't already have a loving relationship with them. It results in a lot of missed opportunities, and in the worst case, someone may even fake a love relationship to satisfy social expectations, causing much hurt for everyone involved.

Anyone who supports decoupling of love & sex needs to support both sides of the coin. They are both essential for the decoupling to work. Yes, that means both supporting people's desires to have sex without love, and people's desires to have love with sex. It also means supporting people who want both together, or want neither.

If we can accomplish this, people will have more fulfilling relationships, both love- and sex- wise, without any extra unwanted baggage due to social expectations. There will be less confusion approaching relationships, because people will be able to make their desires clear from the very beginning, without fear of being stigmatized.

    anonymous Oct 11, 2013 5:11am

    Love without sex is fine – it's selfless. Sex without love is selfish. We DON'T need sex; we ALL need love.

anonymous Oct 6, 2013 3:41pm

This feels like I found a sheet of paper I stashed somewhere in a book or pile of papers I write at moments of clarity or emotion. It feels like words from years ago that I'd forgotten I'd written. Words that gushed and flowed in a moment of soaring epiphany. You speak with my words, my cadence, my voice. I'm so pleased to see you wrote my meaning.
And I feel your (plural) embrace when I recognise the warmth of 82,655 readers and 3,402 shares who loved 'my' meaning. Thank you Brentan, I love you too.

anonymous Oct 6, 2013 3:34pm

This is beautiful.

I relate so much.

I am disheartened by having to limit my “I love you’s” around people. I got deleted from Facebook by telling an old friend that I am inspired by her and that I loved her. She totally thought I was a raging hippie lol (and I am! 😉

anonymous Oct 6, 2013 2:51pm

Real intimacy= Real Tantra=Being intimate with everyone and everything.

Great article.

anonymous Oct 6, 2013 11:37am

I'm crying, tears of joy, understanding, love and want. I feel every word in this and need to figure out how to digest it and live it. I love you. Xo

anonymous Oct 6, 2013 11:17am

Feel this so much. Beautifully well said and delighted to have found it today. Love.

anonymous Oct 6, 2013 11:16am

I not only like this and love this, but I have FELT this a number of times!!!! I have been blessed and am blessed now for knowing this exists in others too!!! Thank you! I am so grateful!!!! This IS love!!!! 🙂

anonymous Oct 6, 2013 10:32am

I’m 24 and having n

anonymous Oct 6, 2013 9:41am

Perhaps I can add, that for me, this is Freedom. Freedom to actually love, which means (to me), being there for Them. Caring enough to look closely at them with my heart and Respond to Them. It was easy for me to tell people what I wanted (which was always to love everyone freely), and to tell them what they wanted, (how to overcome their suffering), but it's taken me longer to see that every teaching and every gift has to be appropriate for the recipient or else it's more of a burden for them (me). I have to be Careful with my love for people, and give them just exactly (and a little bit more than:) what they can handle. I would want the same.

    anonymous Oct 6, 2013 11:54am

    Yes, I definitely agree with meeting people where they're at and listening (not just with ears) to how they are presently taking in the world and their surroundings and what they want and need from human interactions. And I know that being forceful in my approach is something that is not necessarily helpful for either party (although I think that no matter how things play out in life, it's always helpful). But I do want to create dialogue around this so that my personal relationships–with the people whom I love and spend time with and invite into my inner sphere–are created with nothing but love and are limitless in their love expressions.

    And I want to bring a heart full of love to any and all interactions that I have in this world, and by love, I don't mean force and I don't mean naiveté.

    Thank you for your responses, they are definitely helpful, and my interpretation of what you've said is essentially, "what you're saying is great, but pay attention to other people." Paying attention is definitely part of this as well.

    I only write to inspire love in myself and in others. That is where I am coming from.

      anonymous Oct 6, 2013 2:53pm

      thank you for responding and please don't get me wrong, dear one (i'm not sure if you think i was criticizing you). i absolutely love what you wrote. i just wanted to add this for people who maybe haven't spent so much energy thinking about and exploring it as much as we have. hopefully save a few people some heartache. but i think it Should be said the way you said it! strong and direct. it's complicated enough. i just think there should be some similarly potent words for thought in the comments… if only to allow the conversation. so again, thank you.

anonymous Oct 6, 2013 2:00am

This is exactly what I am in the throes of just at the moment. I wrote a long and important letter that completely mirrors your ideas, just a few days ago, to a new friend I was trying to sidestep some complications with. So reading this is a bit trippy (did I write this? karmically speaking. haha, but not.)
So, I was having a long conversation with a friend about it, just a few hours ago. She brought up something that I thought was interesting. She has had her own experiences of being too open and too friendly and too loving with people who frankly couldn't handle it. I experience that as well. The world is so love deprived, that sometimes when they see it, it's so bright and good and they can't get enough, you know? And we're so generous and so loving that we want to keep giving to them, because they're so in need. But what I'm considering, is that the whole thing depends so completely on each specific person involved (which is a relationship), and that often the way to love the person in front of me is to give them clear boundaries. For me, it's becoming more about walking through the day and being available for whatever the world NEEDS and not necessarily forcing my happy little face into theirs and thinking everyone just needs a hug, because that's all I want to give them. Love is about wanting others to be happy; it's an attitude. And when that attitude is genuine, it can see the other person and what they need to be happy, much more clearly than little old me:) So thank you for your huge-love-vision and laying it down for all to enjoy. It's so important. It's something I've fought for my whole life. I hope some of this is useful in the mission!

    anonymous Oct 8, 2013 11:43pm

    I'm one of those people who tend to think everyone needs a hug, but I'm learning that isn't always right for everyone. Sometimes, things I would make other people happy actually makes them unhappy, or even sometimes hurts them. I'm not always good at guessing at what people want or need. While I do still sometimes guess incorrectly, I'm starting to get better at it. 🙂

    anonymous Oct 28, 2013 7:55am

    Just me… thank you for this. Hugs are good! Physical contact is good! but it can all get confusing, especially at the beginning, and especially when you need to spend more time listening. Often your listening energy and mindful presence is the best expression of love you can give.

    Brentan I love this idea, thanks for your thoughts.

    anonymous Feb 5, 2015 1:19pm

    It's called "meeting people where they are." Not where you are, or where you want to be.

anonymous Oct 6, 2013 1:43am

"I /want/ to be in your presence and be in want of /nothing/." There is a better way to find the tranquillity you're looking for, sexual abstinence helps. Very thoughtful article.

anonymous Oct 5, 2013 11:34pm

Can I kiss you.

anonymous Oct 5, 2013 10:13pm

This is absolutely how I feel and have never expressed it with words like this with many of the people in my life. As I grow in love, I love all beings more and more. I want to exude love, walk in love, know love, be love. <3

anonymous Oct 5, 2013 8:24pm

"Can We Be Lovers & Not Have Sex?"

Yeah, sure. Let's talk about it.

But, on the other hand, let me also ask you this: "Can we be friends and have sex?"
Because, if love can exists without sex (and it most certainly does), then also sex can exists without love (although a certain affection is most welcome).

Just because, you know, I like things to be… even. 🙂

    anonymous Feb 7, 2015 12:31am

    Did you just "good mythical morning"? I'm actually so happy. 😛

anonymous Oct 5, 2013 7:48pm

You've put words to emotions that I can't, or haven't, put words to; this is the first thing I've read in years that I've truly felt compelled to share. I loves ya, thanks.

anonymous Oct 5, 2013 6:43pm

Thank you thank you thank you for the essay, especially this.

"For me, sharing sex with someone requires a certain alignment, and I do not take that lightly. My sex requires that I can possibly foresee living with a person and combining all my stuff with all of their stuff (and I mean physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual stuff—the stuff that just feels heavy if it’s not the right fit, but feels buoyant beyond imagination when it is). It is delicate, it is careful, it is not presumptuous or impulsive.

And I do not think that our connection is somehow weakened because we do not share our bodies with each other."

anonymous Oct 5, 2013 6:35pm

thank you for writing this. so many people are blinded by their sexual desires that they forget to love each other. we forget to look into a strangers eyes not at their eyes.

you are a beautiful man.

anonymous Oct 5, 2013 3:04pm

"How far are you from me, O Fruit?"
"I am hidden in your heart, O Flower."
Tagore

anonymous Oct 5, 2013 6:43am

YAY! It's so wonderful, so beautiful, so refreshing, SUCH A RELIEF, to see someone outside a HAI workshop finally saying this so eloquently! This is the way I have always lived and wondered how it could be that everyone around me doesn't live this way too! It has been incredibly lonely at times being the only person I knew who thought this way! But being the love has always brought the love! And on we go! Again, thanks so much! I love you (just based on what you wrote here)!
Ami Amema

anonymous Oct 5, 2013 1:00am

No, not alone Bob. This article describes what I understand as erotic energy. It is always around us, from birth to death. It is also a part of how we connect in the most intimate of ways. Unfortunately in our society there is a divide and huge distintinction between full sexual experience and these kinds of erotic energy experiences we share every day with strangers, friends and others or just with nature. It is unfortunate that actual sex has so many negative connotations, experiences and fears attached in our society. It is shame we have become so repressed. But yes, until we undergo and let go of all of our own and societies fears and negativity attached to full sexual experience, just being aware if erotic energy and sharing it will suffice as a beautiful experience. However, it will never be enough.

anonymous Oct 4, 2013 11:50pm

Beautiful. Thank you! People are too afraid to say this more often. I am too afraid to say this more often, yet I feel it constantly. As the years have gone on, I felt like I was navigating too murky of waters trying to find such lovers. I began putting up a polite wall between myself and potential lovers, which is sad and silly and unfair all around. Your article makes me want to risk trying again.

anonymous Oct 4, 2013 6:42pm

Am I the only one here thinking this is a copout strange article or maybe a new club is forming for the un-sexual people… lol just go take a Viagra if you need help!

    anonymous Oct 6, 2013 3:19pm

    Hey Bob, I think you miss the point. This is directed towards all the people you don't want to bone, Guys, Girls, And everything within the human spectrum. I imagine there is at least one in that million or so?
    Thank you for your words.

    Daniel

    anonymous Dec 3, 2013 6:57pm

    Bob, you've been brainwashed well… lol

    anonymous Dec 17, 2013 5:31pm

    Poor Bob. Completely missing the point; it is not we who feel the truth of this article that are lacking in life, but those like you who don't. There is nothing 'wrong' with us, and we need no help. Just because we don't instantly view every guy/girl as a potential shagging partner doesn't mean most of us aren't interested in sex; far from it, we are, but to a degree where we value the connection formed with that other human being as particularly special, while still seeking to attain a level of non-sexual closeness with other men and women that a lot of people never experience – or even search for – in a life partner. I feel genuinely sad for you that the concept is apparently so alien. Finding another human being, regardless of gender or sexual attraction, that you can be so utterly open and honest with, and knowing that they view you the same way, is the most completing experience in the world. Better than skydiving or swimming with dolphins. It's worth looking for.

anonymous Oct 4, 2013 5:07pm

I had a deep connection at Rainbow Gathering this year with emotional sharing, touch, eye gazing and no sex (which we discussed our wants and chose not to). It was great! And lots of loving and hugs with many other people. And deep conversations with strangers. For me this is how I want to be in the world.

I find in non Anglo cultures there is much more hand holding and hugs and connection – one of the things I like about Peru, Indonesia and other countries I travel in 🙂

anonymous Oct 4, 2013 10:31am

Brentan
I never heard of you five minutes ago but I'm glad now I do. Thanks for a precise exposition of what I believe everyone feels but can't name. If you're ever in Santa Barbara please drop by the studio, lay on the couch and teach a class.

    anonymous Oct 4, 2013 2:54pm

    Thanks, Eddie!

    The next time I'm in Santa Barbara I'll do exactly that =) That little city feels really good to me. Solidarity to the west coasters!

    -Brentan

anonymous Oct 4, 2013 7:35am

You, I, We are lovely. Thanks. Made my day. I'd love to love you over a coffee someday! 😉 Shine!

    anonymous Oct 4, 2013 2:55pm

    If not in person, then in spirit =)

anonymous Oct 3, 2013 10:02am

This piece has everything that I would have wanted to express and the position described here is one of great COURAGE that nourishes the web of life in ways other ideas/taboos about physical touch don’t. I have experienced some form of this in different cultures all across the globe and this intimacy is the antidote to so many social illnesses and pathologies: many of which exist as potential within each of us but flower best when watered by separation, isolation (mental and physical) and the fear of self expression.

I grew up in a physically but not mentally intimate family and the edge for me has been appreciating and sharing my own feelings. Finally, here in Portland among my Beloved tribe I have found a family to share with on the level described in your article. It defies the dominant paradigms of intimacy=sex and is therefore confusing to people outside of this understanding. Your article is a useful tool to decode this difference for the uninitiated and to widen our circle of intimacy : thank you.

    anonymous Oct 3, 2013 2:54pm

    Healthy intimacy for all! It's so good to see humans transcending circumstances they were born into. Thank you for your response =)

    ~Brentan

anonymous Oct 3, 2013 7:20am

This is exactly what I want…..but no one seems to understand. So I am left wanting. Thank you so much for putting it into words.

    anonymous Oct 3, 2013 2:55pm

    You're welcome. Thank you for reading =) Perhaps with new intention, we can begin creating this with the people around us little by little.

    ~Brentan

anonymous Oct 3, 2013 1:18am

Amazing. When I read this piece, I felt that it expressed so much that I have not been able to put into words. I felt like I was in a HAI workshop again. There is no reason, but fear and ignorance that we can all have this all of the time. But because of lack of emotional literacy, deep neurosis, fear, ignorance, etc….we don't have this on a wide scale basis – most people. When I did, out of desperation and some kind of Divine guidance, discover this aspect of life described in this piece, so many miracles opened up in all aspects of my life – too many to describe here. Most people reply my never ending experience as "only Dave can do it because you are strong and special" or "Life is good enough already. I don't need anymore good." or "It's too hard." or "It's a sin." or "It's bad.' or "It's crazy." or "It's better to be closed." Most have no comment….just silence. I truly don't believe all of this stuff people claim about having extreme love described in this piece. But all I can do is move them inch by inch while I explode into the Light. The Love described here is probably the most healthy kind of love…….I love this article and am printing it out to add to my collection. A new favorite.

    anonymous Oct 3, 2013 2:53pm

    Thank you for your response, Dave!

    I have no doubt that most relationships in my life will continue to exist outside of the paradigm that we are talking about, but I think this conversation is important nonetheless. Thank you for your "inch-by-inch" comment. I like the idea of chipping away at things moment to moment =)

    ~Brentan

    anonymous Jun 7, 2015 11:18pm

    I'm glad you exist. I, myself, have fallen in love with you, adding to my millions to come. May your path be filled, daily, with encounters of falling and being fallen in love with.

anonymous Oct 2, 2013 5:46pm

Thank you so much for this article. I relate to his so much, often conflicted by cultural limitations of closeness with others & yearn to be able to have the (non-sexual) closeness from the grounded, whole place as you have described.

John Charles Galleni Jan 7, 2018 5:46pm

Brilliant!

Robert Clendenin Dec 5, 2017 10:34am

If I had written my manifesto, my de facto modus operandi, this would be it. Mostly, I fear seeming weird to people I meet. You are so smart. So honest. Thank you. I thought I was alone.

Kc Eppert Aug 18, 2017 10:13pm

YES....

Stacy Ash Mar 14, 2017 10:23pm

No no no!!!! Ok, my situation is a little different. This is exactly what my HUSBAND wants out of marriage but he never said that before we got married. This is totally fine if BOTH parties are in agreement but it is not ok to kiss & cuddle & flirt & act like it's going somewhere if you have no intentions of following through. No teases please! I screwed up and unknowingly married an asexual man ....

Hossam Hassan Mar 5, 2017 4:40pm

01281094296

Mark LaPorta Jan 25, 2017 7:31pm

It depends if love is unconditional. I think it also depends on how and why the arrangement came about and what the plan might be. As you may -- should -- know, the Greeks described four natures of love. Not a bad article. I felt a little uplifted. So, thanks.

Shawna Anderson Jun 18, 2016 1:44am

Amazing thoughts. Thank you for sharing. ❤️

Betty Bee Jun 18, 2016 12:05am

So light and airy and ever so lovely...I felt like I was floating while reading this. Beautiful.

Ern Collins Jun 7, 2016 10:50pm

Love this...perfect...

Faby Cordova Jun 4, 2016 4:06pm

Beautiful article!

Dorothy Hatic Jun 3, 2016 8:03pm

I have read this before when it was posted and shared it with my consciousness teacher who shared it with our class. It is beautifully written, well presented and so, so heartfelt. So much love to go around and that could be demonstrated if only we could get past our inhibitions that limit us to an unworthy dance through our lives. Thank you!

Deano Bhāvanā Harliwich Apr 24, 2016 1:24am

Love you!! <3 :)