Sex is a metaphor for everything else and everything is a metaphor for sex as well. Because sex is a coming together of two weather patterns, two separate countries, two entities in a conscious state of potentially blissful crisis. Or chaos, or harmony. You’re not quite sure what’s going to happen, but it is the most catastrophic, exciting, and weakening thing that can happen to us. If we are personally involved in it, every fiber of our being is made self-conscious, or is encourages to unify on some level with others. We are delicate. We bring our damage to sexuality, we bring our hopes, we bring our self-image, we bring our world-image, we bring what we believe we are/what we believe we aren’t, our blind spots, our prejudices, our sadness. Everything comes out. A lot of people are left wanting, and confusing, and having the idea that their body is like an unloved apartment building; it’s up for grabs and it’s of absolutely no worth. If we feel that way about ourselves and if we feel that way about others, then of course, sex is nothing more than a lot of rubbing and some kind of release. But the more we are, the more we can feel, the more we can empathize, the more human we are.
Getting in touch with the lovelessness within and letting that lovelessness speak its pain is one way to begin again on love's journey. In relationships, whether heterosexual or homosexual, the partner who is hurting often finds that their mate is unwilling to 'hear' the pain. Women often tell me that they feel emotionally beaten down when their partners refuse to listen or talk. When women communicate from a place of pain, it is often characterized as 'nagging.' Sometimes women hear repeatedly that their partners are 'sick of listening to this shit.' Both cases undermine self-esteem. Those of us who were wounded in childhood often were shamed and humiliated when we expressed hurt. It is emotionally devastating when the partners we have chosen will not listen. Usually, partners who are unable to respond compassionately when hearing us speak our pain, whether they understand it or not, are unable to listen because that expressed hurt triggers their own feelings of powerlessness and helplessness. Many men never want to feel helpless or vulnerable. They will, at times, choose to silence a partner with violence rather than witness emotional vulnerability. When a couple can identify this dynamic, they can work on the issue of caring, listening to each other's pain by engaging in short conversations at appropriate times (i.e., it's useless to try and speak your pain to someone who is bone weary, irritable, reoccupied, etc.). Setting a time when both individuals come together to engage in compassionate listening enhances communication and connection. When we are committed to doing the work of love we listen even when it hurts.