Warning: naughty language ahead!
Catchy concepts aren’t they?
Of course they are—no matter if we’re living a mindful life or not, these things are always on our mind in some way or another.
I’m a new author on elephant journal, and so far I have written primarily about personal development and the growing understanding of reality. Not surprisingly, these topics are usually overlooked for conversations on Sex, Relationships, Love & Sex Again.
And Yoga of course.
Although I have no expertise in Yoga, I do in the former areas, so I’ve decided to give the readers exactly what they crave: this is a modern man’s account of the highs and lows of these primal aspects of life which compellingly—and sometimes scarily—grip the attention of the human heart and mind.
This article is somewhat a personal story with some societal observations interwoven between. Unfortunately, in our ego-based and image-driven society, sex and love are misused, abused and have been significantly devalued—a consequence of a collective mentality which has forgotten its true interconnected nature. Therefore this discussion might be a little raw for some readers.
Nevertheless, it’s not all bad: a global culture has been born and we’re bringing spirituality back (see “The New Old Age of Spirituality” for more on the current revolution of our collective consciousness).
Sex—it’s on basically everyone’s mind. And lips, as well as many other delicate areas of the body.
My first experience of sex was a little crazy. We were on a cruise ship: she was twice my age and on her hen’s party. Yes it was a bit crooked in more ways than one. I didn’t mind though, I was a young aspiring man. Neither did the Captain when he caught us mid act; but fortunately he waited until we had literally just finished and then informed us of his presence and asked us to move on.
In retrospect, I guess she really wanted to experience a bit of boy toy action before she bit the bullet. And who knows, maybe she had an agreement with her man where she could undertake such infidelity. Better not pass judgement on her, in any case.
Then a little while later I experienced sex as most of us search for—lovemaking. No, I wasn’t in a relationship with this woman, but we had a strong history and we were falling in love with each other. This experience was just the beginning of a beautiful and deep love and lust-making affair; a couple of years later we did eventually get together, too.
Through our union we expanded our understanding of love, sex, lust, relationships, communication, spirit, truth and respect, which really set the stage for both of us beginning a robust and rewarding life.
Then we broke up. This meant I was a single man on a mission to figure out the realities of sex, love and life. Hell yeah! Actually that’s sort of an untruth; I was bloody depressed at that point. It took me a while to find my strut, although eventually, I did fully embrace my freedom and maximize my opportunities for growth in these areas.
Yet, due to my past relationship, the bar had been set high. I therefore had several lovers which I had to ensure I was explicit with: “I do not want a relationship, but I’m cool to be sexually exclusive with you.”
They were exciting times. All the positions, ingredients and (physical, mental and emotional) stimulation which would take us to ecstasy and back. But at the end of the day, it was still just lusty sex mixed with a dusting of love and respect. It was good, but it wasn’t as amazing as what I’d had.
It also seemed everywhere I looked in society, sex was domineeringly present. Pornography was going crazy, nearly fully exposed breasts and long gaping legs were saturating the street, mates were bragging about their sexual experiences, the community going crazy about how hot some celebrity was. Fortunately, the birth of babies, a magical achievement of nature and the creation of new families and loves, balanced it all out a bit. Yet, images of sex continued to fill my daily experience.
Most of it seemed misdirected, but I probably felt this way because I was going through a huge spiritual revolution at that time. I decided I needed a break from it. Not from sex itself (I had already had a break from that at an earlier stage), but the non-stop reflection and focus of sexual desire.
So I refused to look at other women on the street. When I went out dancing, which was a lot back then, I gave no women any attention at all. I had a solid group of mates who equally loved to bust out on the dance floor, so for at least several years we all went out to party and dance, not to find a quick fuck and blow our money trying to achieve it.
But the sleaziness and slutiness was obviously still around me. Men were embarrassingly desperate to get laid. They appeared addicted. Women were dressing in ways that would make their future wiser selves hang their heads in shame, and that’s not even considering the make-up that they caked on their faces. Hadn’t they heard of natural beauty?
It appeared that most people seemed to be suffering through a weird and self-sabotaging ego sex trip.
The fact that I gave no attention to women on the dance floor seemed to increase their attraction to me; sometimes I’d have a look at the people around me and just be blown away by the selection begging for some action. It was basically being offered to me on a silver platter.
I won’t lie; of course my ego got a fix from it. But only a little. I had already accepted that I had a strong and sexy presence and was more at that point trying to detach the worth my ego saw in that.
Put another way, it was less about how others valued me and more about how I valued myself.
Additionally, my self-respect revolved around how well I was developing and living my v-three (i.e. virtuous thinking, feeling and action), although at this stage I was still learning a lot about that. Regardless, not focusing on fulfilling my ego desires by getting attention from random women helped me to achieve that.
But it only lasted so long. I made the sacrifice and grew from it; from that point forward I could justifiably open myself to attraction and beauty in the many forms that it manifests—especially in nature itself. And now that I can also embrace the enlightening aspects of sex, it’s not going anywhere (See here for how sex and other natural aspects of life accompany us on our journey of enlightenment).
Relationships & Love—where’s my soul mate? This seems to be what many people conceive as their ideal relationship and experience of love.
I thought my first love was my soul mate. Now I realize that my loved ones, both male and female, better fit my understanding of the concept. So when I was with my former lovers I didn’t have any long-term interest in—only to connect and have sex with—I genuinely loved them. I still do. I really felt that it was necessary to respect them and myself in that way.
And it was easy too—I had figured out by that stage that love takes many forms.
I met those women through friends or events and it all happened fairly naturally. The reason I wanted nothing more than a loving-friendship-with-benefits is that there wasn’t a part of me that felt the same as I did with my first love. I figured if I’m not with her, then I should at least be with a woman that makes me think and feel in a way that is beyond that initial introduction.
So, in each moment I made the most out of my circumstance and tried not to be impatient in finding true love. I was always honest with my lovers in the way that I felt too.
Then, seven years after technically being single, I caught up with another old flame. She made it clear that she wanted a commitment or she was gone. I hadn’t experienced this for a long time—generally it was me calling the shots. But I resonated with how strong and confident she was, so I gave in after an initial rebellion and committed to nurturing our relationship and love to grow.
Like any relationship, it was good and bad. The most important and amazing aspect was that we connected on a deep spiritual level; by this stage spirituality was the foundation of my life and was integral to how I connected with my partner. Yet she had many expectations of me, more than I believed was reasonable, so we had a lot of conflict in response. We were both fiery souls so it even escalated to verbal and emotional abuse at times. Those were horrible experiences, although they had many opportunities for personal growth, so I don’t regret one moment of it.
Regardless of the negatives, we had quickly fallen in love with each other so after a few years it looked like we were heading down the path of marriage. I thought that’s what I wanted. I knew I was making sacrifices to be with this woman, and vice versa, but I believed they would be worth it. We had co-created exceptionally empowering spiritual symbolism as well, which was a major portion of my reasoning that ‘it was meant to be.’
How wrong I was. Once it was being dictated what lifestyles I could and could not participate in, I knew it was getting dodgy. We both had different conceptualizations of maturity. I understood myself as a relatively healthy person with strong morals and developed philosophies of life, so if I chose to do something, I assumed my partner would accept and respect it. But that wasn’t the case.
We both hung in there as long as we could, but we eventually broke up. Maybe three or four times actually. When it was final, I had already done most of my grieving so my heart and mind felt super relieved. F*cked if I was going to put myself through that again, I thought.
I couldn’t believe that I had given up on so many of my needs to be with her. To be fair, we had both made many mistakes and it was primarily that we were just too incompatible in ways that would inhibit a life-long journey together. In any case, my life opened right up again.
Enter date nights. Because I had moved to a new city it was basically the first real time I was ‘dating’ in my life. I didn’t even do it that many times, but it was enough to understand how tragic that world can be.
Sure, I know there are a lot people who have hooked up permanently through blind dates or online, so I’m not saying it’s all bad. But bloody hell, it’s still a mind f*ck.
There’s so much fakery and few people are their real selves on a first date, or even well after that. “Better put on our best act and convince our perfect partner that we’re perfect for them.” People pretending to be who they’re not. Ulterior motives, sex driven lies, convinced of the need to find a soul mate right now. All this made it feel so unnatural, even though I was fortunate enough to personally make some real connections from my experiences.
So, when I exited that process, after not too long, I was once again feeling relieved.
Sex Again—When all else fails, have an orgasm.
For the past few years I have had both love and sex bless my life, in both romance and in friendship. My journey of Sex, Relationships, Love & Sex Again has been a roller-coaster ride and there’s absolutely no way I could have anticipated how it would unfold. Just like all aspects of life, I have come to expect the unexpected, and find my contentment through it.
I was in another serious relationship when it ended a year and a half ago. I had dealt with most of my personal dysfunction and was feeling fully refreshed, empowered and ready to enjoy sex as a single man.
But then, like an atomic bomb, guess who came along to f*ck my plan right up? My first love!
We’ve been back together for a year and I’ve never been happier or more my ideal self. I had completely let her go (emotionally) many years back, so it was a bloody rad surprise for us to reunite.
Yet, there are major differences between now and then, including the significant experience and growth that we have both gone through. In so many ways it was absolutely essential that we had our journey apart, and it is highly unlikely that we would have survived if we had originally stayed together.
Nevertheless, I am stoked. Of course it has its challenges, like every union to ever occur. Yet, not only has the sex blown my mind, our relationship and connection has blown my spirituality and our love has blown my heart.
It’s a f*cking magic tale.
Sex, Relationships, Love & Sex Again—okay so I haven’t told my story to boast (although I’m sure you understand by now that is not my intention), so please hold tight for the morals-of-the-story.
Yes, sex is awesome. But it can also be unhealthy and I would suggest that for a huge portion of the population it is exactly that. I know it’s a primordial urge, but that’s exactly why we need to develop our self-control so we can advance our state of mind and ensure permanent contentment for ourselves.
So if you’re addicted to sex—stop!—you’re probably not that good of a f*ck anyway. It’s so much more powerful when it’s appreciated on a deeper level, especially when we begin to evoke the tantric and divine experiences which can accompany it. Make the sacrifices if you need to and then see “8 Sex Jewels” for a short but sharp list of tips if you’re ready to have a good crack at it.
Relationships are complex. But so is connecting with our loved ones in general. We can have an educated guess, but ultimately we don’t know what we’re going to get in any relationship until we’re in the thick of it.
There is no template to life, nor relationships for that matter. For one person, they may have no issue with making a lot of personal sacrifices. For another, they may find they resonate with the quality of intellect than that of sexual prowess. To be clear, this article is not in any way suggesting the types of relationships that people should create because that really is a personal choice. The point that I’m making is that if you’re going to have high expectations of love and relationships you better bloody well be mastering high expectations within yourself.
Throughout the years, both personally and professionally, I have seen many people who are expecting to have the ideal relationship, the ideal love and the ideal soul mate. And that’s okay in and of itself, but at the same time there’s a strong imbalance when it comes to the interest they have in developing their ideal self.
In all honesty, we should have a serious crack at our own development before we expect to form an ideal relationship, otherwise the love is more than likely only going to be as developed as we are. It’s no wonder that so many people are disappointed in love and relationships, because they forget to focus enough on themselves.
For an overview of the various vitalities of our own lives see the article “Have A Crack At Life (Taking Responsibility for Our Pieces of Health).”
Our loves are a reflection of ourselves. Most relationships, friendship or intimate, uniquely explore love in some form or another. What we give is what we attract. And it’s a common occurrence to mistake the shortcomings of ourselves as the shortcomings of others.
When our heart feels like it is ripped out sometimes we blame someone or something else, including love itself. It’s not loves fault; love is love. The reality is, the way we process all of our feelings and experiences, with the skills and knowledge we have at that time, will either hurt or benefit ourselves, or both.
I don’t know how many times I’ve experienced people in a ‘world of hurt’ who believe that someone they love, or even love itself, has crushed their lives. Sorry but I don’t agree. I know that people do hurtful things to others, but how much pain and suffering we experience really is up to us.
They cannot control how we respond to hurtful behavior; only we control how we respond to hurtful behavior.
Sure, it’s definitely hard when someone leaves us unexpectedly. Or cheats on us. Or does a myriad of other behaviors which challenge our emotional development. It tests us to our limits; but to what degree we suffer is where we need to take ownership. No one person feels the same, which means we each have control of how we react or respond to both the negative and positive experiences that life offers us.
Therefore, we permit our suffering. The empowering fact is that we can create the opposite—that’s how much power we really have.
Think about it: how many times have we or our friends suffered under the belief that someone or something hurt us beyond our control? If we realized that we have the control in how we feel, not other people, then how much ongoing suffering could we have avoided?
As Gautama Buddha said:
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
Love has a ridiculously strong grip on society’s conceptualization of happiness. It is intimately interwoven throughout all our relationships; therefore it can take many forms. Our family, partners, pets, friendships, lovers, f*ck buddy’s, all have their own ingredients of love mixed into the recipe. If we recognize that many of our relationships are each unique experiences of love then we can better benefit from each union right from the start and understand how much we actually have in our lives in this moment.
Isn’t that enough for us to be happy, even if we haven’t yet found our ideal love?
I believe so.
For both the single and attached readers, if you’re still obsessing or hurting over your ideals of sex, relationships and love, maybe you should take a breather for your own health. Instead, start focusing on creating the ideal you and embrace what you already have in your life right now.
Don’t you owe it to yourself and your potential relationship?
Think to yourself: am I the ideal partner? If not, can I expect my counterpart to be the ideal love?
Sex isn’t going to make us permanently happy. Neither will love and relationships. Yes they are contributing factors, but its only us that will ensure that we are happy and content, regardless of whether we have these things or not. Read “Have We Achieved Real Success” for a guide on personal development and contentment.
And please remember that the raw human experiences of Sex, Relationships, Love & Sex Again naturally manifest in ways that we will never expect. The more we demand something that we don’t have, the less likely it is to naturally occur.
Ultimately, if we want the perfect love, we should strive for personal idealization before we can genuinely attract it. If we try to force it, we suffer, especially and most importantly if we haven’t first idealized ourselves.
Disclaimer: there is no perfect love, only imperfectly perfect love. We’re human after all. Nor do we ever achieve a perfect self. Instead of aiming for complete idealization, we should aim for the best we can be in each moment, for the rest of our unidealized lives.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: elephant archives