“They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
Great sex is amazing—but true intimacy is even better.
I have always been a discriminate lover.
I can count on one hand the number of men I have taken to bed—among other places.
It’s not because I don’t enjoy sex—quite the opposite actually.
I have a deep respect for the physical act of sex—I have never believed in sharing that experience with just anyone.
But, I did use it as a source of comfort—I used sex as a way to ease the ache in being single and to make myself feel better.
And it did—until I was left alone again.
I let myself stay in this pattern of semi-casual sex for years—not because I necessarily wanted that off-the-cuff relationship, but because I was scared of what would happen once I felt truly alone again.
The attention that I received from the men in these situations was a drug—and it seduced me every damn time.
But something pretty amazing happened over a year ago—I stopped seeking those superficial experiences that soothed my ego but left my heart empty.
I made the choice to wait for the one who I was intimately connected with—mostly because after sharing that type of experience—everything else just fell short.
Sex wasn’t the same anymore—and I was no longer the same woman who was satisfied by the fleeting attention of sporadic lovers.
I realized that great sex is incredible—but sex with someone who I was intimately connected to, on a soul level, is something else entirely.
It becomes the experience to which all others are compared to—and after I experienced it, nothing else would do.
I felt secure in this new epiphany because even if the one who I shared that connection with wasn’t lying next to me each night—I still knew it existed.
And then out of nowhere—the universe tested me by bringing an old flame back into my life.
It was an easy decision when—thinking another wanted to claim me for himself—so I had no problem being honest and turning him down.
Because even though I was single—I still felt like engaging with this other man was somehow being unfaithful to the one who held my heart.
In saying no, I felt like I was finally putting my past to bed.
Unfortunately the thing about being technically single, was that I actually still was.
So, when just a few short weeks later it seemed I was losing the man who I felt such a deep level of intimacy with—I felt a loneliness I had never before experienced.
Thinking I was losing a connection that I thought would always exist threw me for a loop—any remaining walls that I had came crashing down in an instant.
But it was different this time—not because I wasn’t hurting, but because despite how absolute it seemed, I just couldn’t get myself to move on.
So I continued to enjoy my life without any man in it—I had no problem turning down offers to go on dates, because I knew deep down—my heart wasn’t available anyway.
And then, when I once again felt secure in my life, that same old flame came back.
But, I wasn’t who I was, even just a few weeks ago.
I was vulnerable, raw and very much open—and he knew exactly what my soul longed to hear.
And even though my heart still wasn’t mine to give away to another—I was tempted.
I was tempted to fall back into the same trap that I had lived in for years.
But as I was driving home, music blaring through the sunshine in my car and my hair blowing in the late summer breeze, I realized why I kept turning him down.
It wasn’t because I was saying no to him because of another man—but because I was saying no to him because of myself.
Because while I am far from being fully evolved—I am no longer the same woman who waits by the phone for a late night visit.
I realized that I had always feared telling my partner exactly what I wanted, because I thought in doing so, I risked being deserted by someone I cared about.
Instead I played the martyr and people pleaser. I let myself go with the flow and talked myself into contentment by taking whatever I could get from these lovers.
So when this old flame asked me recently, “What do you want?” this time, I had no problem answering him.
I simply said, “I want it all.”
I want a best friend, trust, laughter and deep talks, sarcasm and wit, spontaneity and dependability, passion and love.
Because who I am and what I have experienced, without those things, sex is now just sex.
And I don’t need or want it, anymore.
I don’t need the thrill of the chase or the excitement of something new.
Experiencing sex with deep intimacy has truly ruined me forever.
And while I am single—I am still choosing aloneness over shallow encounters.
Somewhere along this journey I have fallen into love with myself. Now I know what I want from a partner and this time I know what I deserve, as well.
Because sometimes we do reach a point where sex isn’t enough—because we simply realize that we want it all.
And this time—I’m not settling for anything less.
Author: Kate Rose
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: flickr/Porsche Brosseau