Do you have questions about creating intimacy or developing mindful relationships? Confusing questions? Awkward ones? Deep, dark scary ones?
I want them. Email your questions to: [email protected].
All authors remain anonymous. No judgments, just soulful answers.
Q. I am a 27-year-old (straight cisgender) woman and I am a virgin. I have never told anyone those words before.
I have not yet been in a relationship. In fact, I have not yet felt reciprocal romantic or sexual love. I have fallen in love with myself, over and over, and now—after many months spent in intense self-care and genuine self-love—I feel a huge capacity to give and receive from others.
I am ready.
I have someone I trust, a kindred spirit, the closest thing to a lover. We laugh and we talk about everything, we sometimes sleep in the same bed, we look deeply into each others’ eyes and recognize the souls in there.
However, when it comes time to communicate my desires, express my sensuality, initiate physical contact, or move forward into intimacy, I am frozen with fear.
My words stay locked in my chest. My body somehow holds me captive.
I want to be vulnerable, to be intimate, to invoke my wild woman sensuality. But how?
A. From what you’ve written here, it sounds as though you have done a great deal of work on yourself—accepting where you are in your life and celebrating that woman for who she is.
Because you say you’ve “fallen in love with [your]self over and over,” this lets me know that you have a solid foundation from which to build a healthy relationship with another human being. And, let’s face it, you have done that already. You have a person in your life who clearly connects to you deeply and can enrich you on a level that is separate from platonic friendship.
Sharing a bed is no small act. We are most vulnerable when we sleep. The fact that you have that level of intimacy shows that you have a caring partner at the ready.
So what’s the problem? Two things.
We are all afraid of the unknown.
What we don’t know freak us out. It’s human nature, a form of self-protection. Don’t think for a second that intrepid adventurers like Alfred Wegener, the polar researcher best known for his now widely accepted theory of continental drift, wasn’t shaking in his sealskin boots before his first expedition to Greenland to study polar air shifts.
The point is, what is new is frightening. And over time, we learn to adapt.
Your body may be “protecting” you from the foreign invasion of another body. Thank it for its tender care of you and ask it to trust you. As for your words, they too come from deep inside your well-worn and well-loved path of living. You are asking yourself to step off that path now and blaze a new one. Rather than trying to find the right thing to say, trust that your innate sense of connection will take over.
You must define love for yourself.
It may be that you are defining relationship and love with someone else’s dictionary. That is to say, no one expects you to have sex with this man you care for and who cares for you. It comes down to this: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you are happy with his closeness, then leave it there. When and only when you are ready—if you are—you will naturally make the shift to a physical relationship with him, presuming he is also willing.
Don’t push yourself. There are hundreds of ways to make love without having sex. How do you initiate it? Be the first human beings on the planet. Touch like that. Reach out. Investigate his body with your fingertips, your hands. Chances are good he’ll let you. Let him return the touch, if he’s amenable.
Take your time. Luxuriate in being fully human. No words necessary. (By the way, this is a great exercise for long-time lovers as well.)
The important part to remember is that you define what you need. The love you’ve shown yourself all these years is so powerful that it wants to express itself outward. Let it.
Author: Rachel Astarte
Image: Tais Sirole/Flickr
Editors: Renée Picard; Emily Bartran