Holding Out For Love
After the “More than Sex” posts a good friend of mine e-mailed me and told me that her husband thinks the reason men don’t want the rest of me is because the sexual part of me is available. (The truth is, it isn’t really available currently, but men may perceive it as available.) She – or he – also said that sex “demotivates men.”
Can you guess what I’m going to write next? Well, that idea really frustrates me in a lot of ways.
First of all, it suggests that in order to get what I need from a man, from a relationship, I have to actively withhold myself – or at least an important portion of myself. That sounds like game playing to me. And I thought men didn’t like games. I know I don’t like them.
Well I like Trivial Pursuit, but that’s because all the information I have stored in my brain is rather trivial, so I kill at that game – but that’s beside the point.
My point is, if a woman has to withhold herself from a man in order to get what she needs from him that doesn’t sound like love. In fact it smacks of prostitution to me. But is that how it has to work? Does a woman have to continuously withhold herself in order to get what she wants? Even if it isn’t sexual withholding — like say if it’s information or affection ro kindness or information — that just doesn’t seem fair. And it really doesn’t sound like love. It sounds like business. Like a transaction.
“You can have yours once I get mine. Pay up front and then come back to the bedroom and I’ll give you what you want.”
So, that idea hurts. Beyond that, it demotivates me. I don’t see myself wanting to work toward a relationship with this sort of paradigm in place. I can’t imagine purposely, actively, withholding myself — any part of myself — from someone I’m supposed to love.
I’m an artist. A communicator. A creator. A writer. Withholding myself actually hurts. So am I doomed to be alone because I won’t play this withholding game. Or, dare I hope, is this an unusual personality trait that means I will have to find a special type of man to match me?
A man who is grateful for what I have to offer and what I can give without having to have it dangled in front of him and kept out of his reach — without being put through his paces before he gets a reward?
The idea makes me sad. Even if I could manage to withhold myself (even a portion of myself) for a time, what happens when I finally give in and make myself completely available to a man? Will any man suddenly lose interest? Will he be demotivated?
Sex demotivates men, don’t you know?
Of course, I’m not just talking about sex. I’ve actually seen evidence of this in all areas of relationship and personality. I have a tendency to put a lot out there. And people assume, or deduce that this means there’s nothing more. I’m honest, so I must have told the whole story.
Another friend of mine recently told me that I don’t have much feminine mystique. There’s no mystery for a man to unravel with me. And that makes me less attractive. And when he said that, it hurt.
Because even though I try to be as honest as possible. Even though there is a lot of me that’s available. There is still more. I’m complicated. There are parts I don’t understand that become revealed to me through the eyes of others. Things revealed during a relationship. I’m an iceberg like everyone else. There’s a lot below these surfaces.
And I want someone to see those things and love me anyway. Not see those things and run away because the availability makes them less special.
And what of marriage? Isn’t that kind of availability and vulnerability (physical and emotional) the whole point of marriage? Or do we have to play this game first and then the whole model changes after the vows? And if so how can anyone prepare for such a commitment?
(When it comes to the sexual aspects I suspect all of my christian friends will say that things do change post marriage because that’s what the system has told them. Of course the dogma doesn’t include an explanation of how.)
Anyway, I’ve been holding out for love for a long time. But I can’t see myself withholding for love. That seems like the opposite of what person should do in order to let love in.