Friday, May 13, 2011

Ruminations on Sexuality Part 5: Raging Fires

My mind leaps forward, grazing from meadow to pasture, field to forest as the days race towards surgery.

So difficult to sit motionless in quiet meditation, neither will my mind rest while fingers tap endlessly on raw nerves. Wishing for relief from these relentless thoughts and worries, I want to be more in my body, embraced with the physical sensation of healing, but am stuck on the phone making arrangements, securing post-surgery care and seeking a counselor who can talk me through the emotional trauma, not to mention the need to financially support myself.

The link between mind and body is so strong for me, intertwined like the very tissue, inseparable between cellular and electrical impulses. I visualize the ruptured urethra as whole again, as if the mind can make it so, while my heart physically aches with pain, burning with the effort to understand this injury so intimate and severe. For eighteen months, wrenching spasms in my testicles continually ask the emotional questions about my gaping wound that my mind would rather leave silent.

Through the process, I have been able to see how discomforted I was at the early stages of manhood to discover and celebrate the wonderful energy of rushing blood and the ecstasy it created. Quickly I learned to hide the evidence of such pleasurable arousals because I believed it was secretive, shared with a wife like my mother and father behind closed doors, not energy to be handled by some ruddy young boy. Looking forward to that, I stuffed it back down when I felt aroused and passed time snickering with my buddies even though I did not really understand their jokes.

As certain thoughts and visions, scents of particular young women tantalized my feelings, like hiding the body, I began to suffocate the mind, smothering the images with the promise that love would eventually be the sunshine that would make a blanket (or a private room) unnecessary. When a man and a woman loved each other, I believed, the behavior that was seducing me would then be beautifully appropriate.

In the meantime, as impossible as it is to control my fear of this surgery, it required more effort than I could manage to ignore the desire to explore the pleasure a little skin on skin could ignite. Slow dances and skinny dipping adventures created opportunities, but without love in the mix, my fingers fumbled and that awkwardness supported my worst fears that I was ultimately unattractive and would remain alone.

The first impressions of love made no overtures any easier because I continuously questioned the veracity of the emotion, wondering if the rush of good feeling was from heart or loin. When finally certain it was the heart enflamed and touches exquisite, in the morning I still felt overly human, not spiritually poetic and rapturously happy ever-after. My feet still touched upon the very solid ground and sometimes we did not even like each other.

There are those then and now who seem supremely confident and, like my little buddies, I fear, would scoff at my hesitations, wonder why I should be so unsure with hands that flutter in the moment they should so boldly caress. Honestly, I still fear that speaking up, exposing myself with these words, admitting I do not get the joke, will leave me lonely.

A million movies have scenes of passion with clothes ripped off and dishes shoved aside, but I wonder why I have never been so moved with such wild abandon in my own life. It all looks hotter on such screens that seem greener, but I contend the reality of love and lust is far more complicated than what we see as part of a script or on the cover of magazines. I suspect I am more normal than out of touch.

Instruction manuals and rule books are obsessively abundant. We can fill the shelves beside our bed and be no wiser, no closer to extending the sweet spot. A look at the divorce rate and the singles ads shows me the love we seek remains elusive and our fingers are willing to settle for caresses our hearts cannot long embrace.

Size both matters and makes absolutely no difference at all if we do not feel good about ourselves, both who we are and who we are with.

My experience, in truth, has been mostly with partners who pause to brush their teeth first and fear interruptions by the children, still I have learned to be a passionate lover. Daring to be vulnerable and brave enough to ask these questions, shine such a bright light into these shadows of my inexperience, I am more attractive, I trust, because I am real. My whiskers are not always shaved clean, my hair neatly combed, my wallet full. Currently I have a tube in my belly, but with my heart on a sleeve, I love with every cell the best that I can.

Youthfully, we dream and fantasize, wondering what it will be like, but in action, we have to work around the gear shift or worry the parents will hear. As adults, we have freedom and our own permission to explore as far as we are comfortable, yet ultimately count time, places and partners like so many notches. No sooner is the dream attained than scars, quirks or a better job in another city make it all go sour. Except in rare circumstances, work, children and the mortgage eventually become all consuming.

Or we just get bored.

The energy of love-making is ecstatic and profound. The spiritual connection between two souls that can happen in conjunction with the physical is spectacular. The fire burns so brightly, but requiring fuel, is so difficult to sustain.

Without connection, the luster fades...and eventually, we wither and die.

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