Barbra Streisand sang that people who need people are the luckiest people in the world. I beg to differ (but don’t tell Barbra). The relationship that sustains me is the one I’m having with myself, and I like it that way. But is it possible that even loners like me are susceptible to love? I’ve know love before, twice, once in my teens and then in my early twenties. The love was not returned to me in kind, and I vowed never to put myself through the wringer like that again. But am I impeding my growth as a soul by denying that love can still happen to me?
For all my experience in the game of sex and hook-ups, I am deeply upset when, after a hook-up, the guy wants more and I don’t. I never know how to decline graciously and end up saying of lot of bullshit, like “Well, I’m getting busier at work, but I’ll let you know if I have free time...”. And then I avoid him, hoping that he’ll just give up on me. I would be wise to be more authentic and spell it out at the start, stating my M.O. right away before anyone gets hurt. Part of my resistance to doing so lay in my desire to keep my options open – what if I do wish to see a guy a second time? Why close doors before they are even opened?
Last night, Colin came over, and he lived up to his sexy online profile completely. We talked and laughed for an hour and a half, and then got down to sex, which felt electric. That almost never happens, where the connection feels good on all levels. I know that I’m hooked when I’m not just thinking about sex with a guy, but with seeing him puttering in our garden in the backyard of our country estate. I know I’m hooked when I imagine him crying over the death of a beloved and I’m the only one who can really comfort him. That’s the calibre of my fantasies. And today, I’m having those fantasies about Colin.
Here’s my plan, tell me what you think: I’m going to go on gay411 where we met two weeks ago and message him. Here’s what I plan to say: “Hey Colin, thanks for coming over last night, it was great! I hope you got home safe. If you’re open to it, you’re welcome to come over again sometime for some more whisky and I might even make you some bacon <smile>.” The bacon reference is an inside joke, but this is no laughing matter. What if I am dealing with a version of myself? What if Colin had sex with me and is, well, frankly, done?
The fear that Colin is done with me is a fear of the ego. When a man I like and admire and wish to pursue isn’t interested, I am beset with self-doubt and self-loathing. I decide it’s because I don’t have a flat enough stomach, that I’m not masculine enough, that I’m boring. But could it be that attraction goes beyond those superficial things and is more about what the “soul” needs at that given moment in time? But when I fell in love those two times many eons ago, why did my “soul” feel the need to bond with those men, but their “souls” evidently did not require the same? Is this a cosmic joke being played on us? What are we to learn from rejection? Barbra, needing people seems fine and dandy when the sentiment is returned, but when it isn’t, it’s a bitch.
Here’s where I’ll relent a little to Barbra’s refrain. I’m recognizing that there comes a point where being so self-sufficient, like any good thing, can be taken too far. Whether I like it or not, I do need people, I do need men. Why else do I go online or go to the bars looking for sex? It’s to feel alive. It’s to feel awake in my body. But what other parts of me exist that need to be awakened? Is it possible that my self-sufficiency has also frozen my heart in ice, a heart that needs to be melted? If sex brings rich rewards to the body, what heart rewards might I be missing out on?
I’m afraid of the mess and mud of a relationship, but life is meant to be lived, sometimes regardless of the emotional risk. What I like is that if it all falls flat, if my sentimental feelings are not returned in kind, I’ve created a safe place to land - within. The only rejection worth fearing is a rejection of self. So, here goes. Let’s see what Colin is up to next weekend.