In his quest to find authentic love, Damien Bohler examines a date that ended in bed… even though he’s not so sure he really wanted it to.
I reached for that extra cookie, my second… or third in a row and I knew full well the uncomfortable feeling in my gut and body that would arise later after consuming so frivolously.
“Fuck it!” is what I had said to myself earlier when confronted with a limited choice of less than my ideal.
I was on a downward spiral of indulgence, I had done my best and then reached a point where I decided it didn’t matter, and if I had to make shit choices then I would just go all out anyway and suffer the consequences later. I might as well enjoy it and eat all the stuff I normally wouldn’t… right? I mean, I like junk food, I like cookies and cakes and pies and pizza and burgers. I love the way they taste in that moment I stuff them into my face, and yes when I eat these kinds of foods it usually involves some kind of a stuffing motion.
And… and this is a big AND… I am all too aware of how terrible I feel later, so over the years being really present to the impact of food on my body I have reached a kind of effortless eating pattern that is ideal for my body and feels good in the long term.
I wish I could say the same about my relationship with women.
That Sunday night I discovered myself at dinner with a woman despite having set an intention to head home and settle into my new apartment.
Our conversation was fun and flirty, there was turn-on present and as we finished up our meal I asked her to come home with me, and she said no.
Ideally with the presence, respect and consideration I have been working to cultivate, that “no” would have been left alone as a respectful boundary she was setting for herself.
On this day, and perhaps due to my state of “fuck it” indulgence, after some more flirty banter, I gently took her hand and we went back to my apartment. She stayed the night and we fooled around. When she left the next day I felt empty.
From a Pick Up Artist perspective I did everything right. I displayed dominance and confidence, I took the lead and I got her to bed… and I felt crap about it.
I’m not a Pick Up Artist, or at least I don’t want to be one. I desire to free myself from the conditioning that values sex above all, that tells me that the number of girls I have fucked is more important than genuine connection, that views boundaries as challenges to be overcome and tells me that because I’m a guy this is expected and perhaps normal of me.
We did both want it, otherwise she would not have accepted my invitation after dinner or been so enthusiastic when we got to my apartment, yet her initial inclination was to go home alone and, had I checked in with myself in the moment, I would have found that my preference was to go home alone too.
So when I looked at this feeling during the days after, I realized an uncanny similarity to what happens when I eat fast food for that immediate gratification. Seems like a great idea at the time, feels good right now in a very fleeting way and then leaves me feeling crap afterwards, or even sometimes halfway through. And yet, like so many of us, I find myself reaching for that cookie again and again when it is available despite my better sensibilities and true desire. Fast food intimacy for me is in taking that shortcut to sex and calling it intimacy, missing the natural arising of desires that can occur with taking the time to create a delicate, elegant and nutritious meal.
By not honouring our very real preferences and wants in the moment, whether it is a casual encounter or more, there is something missing… something I am yearning for and I am confused. I don’t really know what I want. My body tells me one thing, my mind tells me another and my heart… sometimes it’s hard to hear that through the deafening roar of expectations, conditioning and cravings.
I am confused. I don’t really know what I want. My body tells me one thing, my mind tells me another and my heart… sometimes it’s hard to hear that through the deafening roar of expectations, conditioning and cravings.
I do know I want more, much more, than fast food intimacy.
What do you think, Shana?
You said it so well! Settling in one area makes it easy to settle in others. When you make choices that don’t nourish or enliven you it feels logical to continue saying “Fuck it. What difference does it make? I’m already hurting.”
I see a part of you wanting to live up to what others deem good and successful, and a part of you wanting to do what feels truly nourishing and enlivening for you. You said you were confused. But you seem to actually know what you want. The hard part is not letting other people’s measures of success, or your desire for “a hit” of pleasure NOW, bully the part of you that sees the bigger picture and the impact of each decision on the whole of you (and others).
It is clear to me that you want more than fast food intimacy. So, for you, and our readers, take some time to answer these questions:
What would make intimacy “gourmet” for you?
What would actually be nourishing for you?
What would have you know, at the end of a “meal,” that you made the right decision?
In what ways would you feel met and inspired in your mind, heart, body and even spirit?
When you are faced with a decision, knowing this will help you discern whether you are really a “Yes” to the option in front of you.
Even then, it will take awareness and commitment on your part to have what you want. Are you willing to pass by the next bit of fast food intimacy, even if you feel the pang of hunger, and instead create or find a meal worth eating? I have seen people doubt that what they want exists and settle for unfulfilling connection, sex and relationships, again and again. Until you take a risk, let go of what you’ve been settling for, and step into the unknown, your gourmet meal will always be out of your reach.
Read more from the Authentic Man Experiment series.
As a dating & relationship coach and workshop leader Shana has spent a decade working with men and women around the world. Instead of games or pick up lines she works with each person’s unique fears and stuck spots to make it natural for you to create passionate connections and fulfilling relationships. Shana will call out your greatness in a way that makes you visible and desirable to others. For more information go to: www.themanshewants.com
Photo: Flickr/Cia Gould