It can be so easy to turn to sex as the default way to further connect with someone. Our animal bodies are innocent in their desire and ability to receive and give physical pleasure.
There have been many times in my life when I thought what I wanted was sex, when upon reflection I realize what I really wanted was presence and connection.
For a good part of my twenties, I pursued meaningless and casual sex. Not only that, but I was desperately addicted to marijuana and near the tail end of my exploration of substance use I graduated to harder recreational drugs.
Weekend, and the occasional weekday, use of powder and pills became a norm. A way of feeling my body, of feeling connected. And when that wasn’t enough, I’d turn to the pleasures of the flesh.
When I look back during that time of my life, I see someone who was deeply hurting. Someone who felt so much, yet found himself in dark rooms with loud music seeking open eyes, unaware that what his heart was seeking was another warm heart with which to dance and sing.
The irony is that had I been more connected to my heart and being, I’m sure I would have seen the hearts and light that were already all around me.
So it is with so many of us.
All too often we forsake the divine for a hormonal crash of bodies and sweat. To be clear, the dance of bodies and sweat can be undoubtedly transcendent, but all too often the flavor of spirit is often lost or left just out of reach.
Too much stimulation, too much experience seeking, too much that takes us away from all the treasures that lay within a present breath and soulful touch.
It wasn’t until I began my work of somatic healing and trauma release that I realized how touch deprived I was. That on an instinctual level my animal body was doing its part in regulating my nervous system. The more touch deprived I am, the less oxytocin is in my body. The less oxytocin, the more detached and unloved I feel.
Looking back, with much compassion, I can appreciate the logic of my mind’s solution to the situation. By taking drugs, I played out some fantasy of meeting someone and experiencing the ecstasy of deep connection. As it was the only outlet I had, the only way I knew how, of course I would guide my ship in that direction.
And yet, it often left me lonely, disconnected, always reaching for something that seemed just out of reach and wondering why I wasn’t fulfilled or why I still felt empty even when the afterparties were often at my place with laughter and good times were being had all around me.
I wondered if I was too sensitive, if I was a little too out there, if I was too much.
The last few years living in Southeast Asia have been good to me. I’ve been welcomed into warm circles and loving arms where I’ve come to realize that sex was never really what I seeking.
I’m grateful to realize that what I really desire, the simple pleasure of being deeply present with someone, clear-minded, open-hearted, souls dancing together just under the surface, is always a possibility, and often only a breath away.
Whether with friends, lovers, or even strangers at the station, as we begin to give voice to our inner guidance, we find ourselves with more options from which to experience life and all its offerings.
I now know that “out there” is “in here,” and there’s no limit to the distance we can travel when we go within.
Won’t you join me?