Monday, May 23, 2011

That Pesky "L" Word

The "L" word. It has the power to stun even the strongest men to silence. You know which word I mean. Not lust, longing, lascivious.... Men don't seem to have trouble with those. But love....that's a different story altogether.

Ok, I know some of you are sweating and squirming in your chairs right now thinking, "I thought this was a sex blog, goshdarnit! Why is she talking about l-l-l-love???" Just breathe, honey. You be fine, and this will be over soon.

Most extramarital affairs that last longer than a month include at least some element of love. Navigating those waters can be tricky.

Any parent who has had more than one child knows that we have an inexhaustible supply of love to share. It seems crazy to think that you couldn't love a second child because you already love your first child, doesn't it?

You can have five siblings and love them all, right?

And you probably have two parents and you love them both, don't you?

You may have several very close friends and you love them all, right?

So why is it that so many think they can only love one mate?

I know there are different types of love, and the love you have for a spouse is different than the love you have for a friend, even a best friend, but different doesn't necessarily mean better or less than. Just different.

For some reason, many don't think cheating is so bad if it's "just sex" and having an emotional affair (falling in love) is a line they can't - or won't- cross. By the way, I've never heard the spouse of a cheater, upon learning about an affair, say, "Well, thank God it was only sex!" even though the cheater swears up and down that "it didn't mean anything." That emotional boundary line is more in the cheater's mind than in reality, and I think it has a lot more to do with self-preservation than anything else.

Another issue is that the "L" word has different implications for men and women. For men, it carries all sorts of thoughts of commitment, and loving a woman that isn't his wife can feel like a betrayal of his wife. For women, though, loving another man doesn't necessarily feel like a betrayal of her husband. Of course, don't even try to use the same logic in reverse.

Also, for men, life is very compartmentalized, and romantic love is typically in the "family" compartment. Great sex is in the "mistress" compartment. Treating those two compartments the same in any way just feels wrong. Women, on the other hand, don't see things that way. For women, everything is connected. Love crosses all boundaries and all relationships are connected in some way.

My buddy DauntlessD talks about it in terms of waffles and spaghetti. Men are waffles and relationships and roles all fit neatly into a square and they stay separate. Women are spaghetti and we connect everything. Sometimes we'll be talking and he'll say something like, "You're getting all spaghetti on me now," and I know exactly what he means. Or I'll say, "Come on, now, lemme in that square," and he gets it.

So what about the connection between love and sex? Wild, passionate, uninhibited sex with someone you are not in love with can be great! But wild, passionate, uninhibited sex with someone you love is fantastic beyond words. There's nothing wrong with raw sex just to enjoy the sex. However, intentionally limiting it to a non-loving relationship is closing off a whole dimension of awesome sexual experience.

Okay, I'll admit I can't even claim to know everything about the L word and relationships, but I know this: I can absolutely love two men at the same time. I can love my husband and be devoted to him and I can also be in love with my lover - without feeling like loving one diminishes the love I have for the other. They are very different men. Both are amazing. I can also have a loving (and sexual) relationship with a friend. Does it mean I love my husband less? Of course not.

Have I fallen in love with every lover I've had?  Absolutely not.  It's a rare occurrence actually - a very rare occurrence, but when it happens I am more than willing to let it in.

For me, the more I love others, the more my capacity to love increases.

So, fellow Prowlers, what are your issues with Prowling and love?


Anonymous said...

Kat, I loved this post! I especially like the waffle, spaghetti metaphor -- so true. Also, I feel lucky to know how fantastic wild, uninhibited sex with someone you love can be. It only took me until my forties, but better late than never!

GoodWill said...

Great post...I feel like love is a dangerous road to travel when prowling, but ultimately I don't know how you completely shut off that side of you...I know I never would be able to. Embracing it as part of the equation would just make the intimacy, the sex, everything that much more intense, more passionate...better.

Kat said...

Holly - I love it that you "get it." Being uninhibited with someone you love is unbelievably amazing. Enjoy!

Will - Love certainly complicates the whole prowling game, doesn't it? (sigh) But the payoff is pretty fantastic. No risk, no gain. No guts, no glory. Right?