Love, in the bedroom and elsewhere

Photo Credit: Phoebe Lim

Love and sex? Yeah, they’re somewhat related. They can also be far from it, I know. But, being that it’s not completely prevalent elsewhere in the 2015 Sex Issue, I hope to throw in this edition at least a thought about the subject.

At least, I can show my own vulnerability, as talking about the concept of love can make me feel as vulnerable as sexy times can, or at least as being naked can.

And yep, I’m far from an expert on the topic of love. I’ve tried, I’ve failed, and I probably have an overall  average understanding about it. It would be a disservice to myself, though, if I told myself I couldn’t talk about it; and I think it would be a disservice to anyone to believe that only experts are worthy of opinions.

What I can offer is a willingness to talk about it, and the hope that I can promote an environment in which it is easier to talk about. As a man, especially, I want to show as often as I can that it’s okay to love, and to talk about loving, and say that that often feels more comfortable than prescribed, scripted, off-hand man-talk that those of my gender too often slip into.

When I feel love, I have a smaller ego, and lately, I’ve noticed my ego a lot. It’s that thing that tells me that I need to be smarter/stronger/better than other people/objects/housecats, etc. It’s a ridiculous part of being human. I feel the most welcoming of love when I feel egotistical fears have only their smallest grip on me, and thus, when I allow myself to be present, honest, and accepting.

When I am present, I feel ready to love. I feel focused on the immediate experiences around me, and sometimes, I can let myself try to forget the small pleasures of life I take for granted. Presence also provides a chance to focus on others, on the small parts of their personality that make them beautiful, and on how I view them, whether that way is fair or otherwise.

When I’m ready to love, I feel more focused on the immediate experiences around me.

When I am brave, I feel ready to love. And, in my less-than-action-packed life, my braveness usually comes in the form of honesty. I recognize I’m scared of saying how I feel, and say it anyway. My hands shake during a public speech, but I speak. I feel myself about to stutter, so I stutter anyway. I run head first into those fears and continue living.

When I realize I don’t want any more than what I have (whatever that may be), I feel I ready to love. When there feels like there is a roof to the happiness that I’m receiving, and I want to break through that roof, to extend happiness, to extend pleasure, to extend whatever — I’m relieved in those times when I realize how silly this is; I come closer to the joy of accepting what I have right now.

I hope you’re still with me. I’m not even sure if I know what love is. I could describe love as calm, serene, sincere, but these words can only touch a feeling. Everyone has to find and feel love for oneself, I’m certain.

This isn’t always an easy battle for me, because facilitating these conditions takes a lot of effort on my end. But when it happens, it’s always beautiful.

The feeling, of course, doesn’t have to be related to anything in the pants, or the bedroom; it doesn’t even have to be related to anyone but oneself.

But if these acts that one does do come from the vulnerability, openness, honesty, and trust that come from love, and if there is consent and safety, then that is something to celebrate.