What a great quote, eh? I have no idea whether there is any scientific basis behind it, but it is funny and wise and illustrates a point I woke up wanting to say!
Sex is not proof of love! It is not an exam in which you have to get an A* in order to be deemed worthy of being loved in the full sense.
I think a mistake many of us make (and I most certainly have) is to equate the strength of love with an erect penis or a waterfall down below: To confuse the genital mechanics of lust, in other words, with something more profound. Women often think that a man who constantly wants them sexually must be in love with them – and I am sure that there are men who assume that a woman who is sexually adventurous and easily aroused has deep feelings in the heart sense too.
But, the older I get, the more I realise that the excitement, the lighting up, of true love goes way beyond the response of the bodily organs – though, in a best case scenario, both heart and nethers are fully engaged!
The question which is not, perhaps, asked often enough is this one: ‘Is s/he pleased to see ME, or is it simply anticipatory pleasure at the service I am about to provide?’
Now, I have nothing against the Zipless Fuck per se; in fact, I think there is something curiously erotic about the idea of a faceless, nameless encounter which caters only for sexual arousal – in theory anyway! Most people have at least a nodding acquaintance with the One Night Stand, the brief sexual affair and the sowing of wild oats! All necessary parts of the Sex/Love Curriculum, I suspect. We all need to snog/fuck at least one frog so that we can recognise Love’s Royalty when he or she comes riding by…
But I think the desperation to be good in bed, to prove everything through genital contact, to use sex as blackmail to get love – and to mistake a loveless relationship for a loving because the sex is regular and not completely off-putting – is a sad waste of our potential as loving and genuinely sexual beings.
Excitement permeates both body and mind at its best. It suffuses the face and limbs with light, with blood, with a glow. But it also touches the heart, the feelings. It is the thrill of the other person’s presence, the bond between us, the communication (both verbal and non-verbal) – and not just the state of our organs of generation!
Love making is to do with sharing, not just the body but also the feelings. It is to be open to another human being, to find delight in that person, to trust, to feel the deep pelvic warmth which is more than basic lust, to feel the fluttering joy of love beating wildly with the heart – and, in some cases, to express that as physical, sexual connection.
The signs of arousal are clear – and, in the case of men, obvious: Pointed, you might say! – but ultimately Advanced Level skills in the bedroom are no guarantee of Degree Level (or even Key Stage 1 level) ability to love in the wider sense.
It is perfectly possible to have sex with someone without there being any true connection. It is equally possible, though I suspect far less common, to have a deep and loving bond with a member of the opposite sex which never touches upon the genital connection.
If the desire for another’s body is not matched by desire for his/her company; if the joy of sex does not extend to the joy of life; if the sharing of bodily fluids does not also take in other kinds of sharing – if, in a word, desire and ‘love’ reside only in the genitals, the resulting bond is very unlikely to be satisfying.
It is not essential to be sexually attractive to another in order to be loved – or, indeed, to find him/her attractive in that way. Even when there is sexual chemistry between two people, we as thinking human beings always have the choice whether to explore that particular path or not.
The fire of sexual desire can enhance a relationship not meant to be expressed physically. It can be expressed in other ways. It can be acknowledged and then moved on from. It can become a small part of the more widespread pleasure and excitement. It can fire the forge of creative endeavours: Writing, for example, or music, or travel or dancing.
I have been loved. I have been desired. Only once, however, did the two meld into a truly loving and sensual relationship. But, I have to be honest: The fault was, at least in part, mine for assuming that genital need would lead to love – and for seeing non-sexual bonds as, in some way, inferior.
Many things (including coffee, I daresay!) can stimulate the genital organs. Hanging is well-known for it, though a tad extreme as sexual arousal goes. But love is far more than the chance uplift and localised monsoon of said organs!