So much anxiety is generated in the bedroom by unspoken assumptions. By unasked and unanswered questions. And by destructive cultural myths that have become accepted as truth. It’s so much easier to take off our clothes than the invisible armour we wear, whether we’re conscious of that or not.
I recall some years ago being in bed for the first time with a new lover, the CEO of a sizable company. He said something to me which stayed with me. Something I hadn’t heard before, or since. “I make big decisions every day. I’ve a lot of people, and their families, depending on me to make the right decisions. I take risks every day that most people would never dare to take. Yet none of that scares me as much as being here right now, with you.” I listened to him with a sense of awe and humility. I understood. I got it. There was nothing for him to hide behind. No title. No desk. No Porsche. No exquisitely pressed suit. Along with everything he took off to be with me, went his defences. As he laid down his armour, I couldn’t hold onto mine.
I didn’t need it then anyway. He’d created a space where I felt safe enough, and held enough, to let it fall away. For my heart to open wider than I ever thought was possible. To love like I’d never loved before.
This morning, close to the end of one year, and the start of another, I found myself musing on the conversation I might have with a new lover now. What I’d like to share to co-create that magical space where our armour could dissolve as easily as an ice-cube on a hot summer’s day. Melting our anxiety with it.
1) “I’m probably as scared as you are right now. I’ve helped many people to enjoy love, sex and intimacy with less anxiety, yet like most people I have my own wounds from the past. My own anxieties get triggered from time to time. I want to know if I can bring all of who I am into this space. The messy bits. Those things that my ego shouts at me to hide and tries to fool me into believing are unlovable. Yet I know that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for me to abandon any part of my whole self now.
2) My orgasm is not something that you can ‘give’ me. It’s something I may blissfully experience with you when I feel free of any expectation or agenda you might have on it. I want you to believe me when I say that I don’t need or want to have my body pushed to orgasm when we get hot and naked with each other. I can feel completely sated, so full without it. Other times it feels delicious to feel my raw edge, my ravenous desire, my hunger. This may at times drive me to take you, with your consent of course, for my own pleasure. Then you may experience the unparalled ecstasy that total surrender can bring. But only if you don’t rob us of the magic that could unfold when you free my orgasm from being a barometer for your own sexual self-esteem.
3) I want you to trust that I’m good at asking for what I want. I want you to trust that if I want you to do something for me, in or out of bed, I’ll ask you. So you don’t need to feed your anxiety by wondering if I like something or not, whether I want something or not. If you’re not sure, ask me. I’ll always tell you the truth. I can take “No” for an answer too. And I’m learning to do that more gracefully!
4) I grow when I experience both support and challenge. I want you to give me both. I want you to call me on my bullshit when… I slip into being nice instead of real; say everything’s fine when it clearly isn’t; you notice that I’m not present in this moment, in this touch; I can’t receive; I’m temporarily insane enough, unaware enough to get caught up in pleasing or performing; you sense I’m not honouring my “No”.
5) We each have a past, we may not have a future. Either separately or together. There were spirits connected to their bodies an hour ago that are now gone. There are no guarantees in life. There’s the choice, love or fear. In loving our fear and the anxieties that arise, we choose love. The door to transformative mind-blowing intimacy, with ourselves and each other, is wide open. If we pretend to ourselves that we have no fear, we lie to ourselves, choose fear, and slam that door shut. I’m scared, probably as much as you are right now. I want to know if you’ll take my hand and walk through that door with me, into raw, undefended presence. Will you?”
Then I’ll shut up, and listen with my heart.