Aug 22, 2006

"Rowdy Sex Romp?"

Larry is blogging on the various myths about marriage. Myth #2 was: Marriage is a rowdy sex romp. He said it was awkward to write about sex, knowing his mom reads his blog. Try: knowing his fiancee is reading it! Like the fact he told the blogosphere that we're 'waiting' to you know, consummate the relationship. Aaaawwwkward Moment. Okay now I have to put in my two cents worth.

Larry also wrote that sex "has a way of making you stupid and ruining a perfectly good relationship." Assuming he doesn't mean married life, I have to agree with his pronouncement. I also have to admit, I learned this the hard way.

When I was in junior high, our geeky youth pastor tried to scare us into chastity by gluing two pieces of cardboard together, pulling them apart, and watching them shred to bits. "This is what happens to your heart when you have sex outside of marriage," he growled. Then smiled: "Let Us Pray." The cardboard story didn’t keep me ‘pure.’ What kept me pure was the fact I was terrified of boys and sex. But I also was pulling down a 4.0 GPA, and my parents barely noticed I had a pulse. So the first guy I really fell in love with, who loved me back … well the need to be loved was greater than the need to be safe.

Came the inevitable breakup, the cardboard analogy proved true. It's not just because the first cut is the deepest; it's because when you bond, body and soul, and then break up; it does shred you. There's way getting around it. The heart is what it is, the body is what it is.

I’ve spent many a yoga class, doing 'hip opener' exercises, allowing the somatic response to release the emotions in those muscles. Pain, anger, sorrow, loss. Stored in your body. Heck it's even in the Bible. You can’t escape it. That’s why I hated “Samantha” on Sex and the City: to think you can jump in and out of bed and not feel anything? If you don’t feel anything, you should be scared: you're numbing your heart out, one fling at a time. I had one relationship like that. I numbed myself with alcohol and cigarettes and cynicism. It wasn’t worth it.

But what was my alternative? That True Love Waits campaign worked for high schoolers. But what about after that? The guys in my church waited, all right. They waited. And waited. Forget the “40-year old Virgin." These guys were "Eunuchs for Jesus."

I finally met a decent guy and we started dating. He was not of the church variety (of course not … he DATED). He was also not of the waiting variety. And I’d waited long enough. So I took that risk. We dated three years. We loved each other, we thought we were going to get married, even though we were wrong for each other.

Why? Well, as Larry had written, sex had a way of making you stupid. You don't ahve the objectivity to determine how appropriate yo uare for each other. You're so bonded that you put up with him criticizing your weight or how you spent your alone time; you endure him throwing tantrums when you dared talk to someone else on the train instead of fawning over him. You overlook differences, the red flags, the dysfunctions. Why? Because you love each other. Because the sex, and the time and the events and the shared memories bond you, body and sou. Your'e together.

Until you're not anymore.

I’m so glad I didn’t marry that guy, he was wrong for me. I’m so glad ... Now. But at the time, I felt like my insides were being ripped out. Probably because they were.

I understood where they got the phrase, “want to crawl out of your own skin.” My skin hurt so bad I wanted to scrape it off; I wanted to cut off the layers of skin that had had contact with his, the layers whose DNA had changed to fit with his. It hurt to eat. It hurt to be awake. Often I had to just tell myself to breathe. I prayed for sleep, but I’d dream of wolves needing to cry and hearing his ten-digit phone number in my head. Everything hurt. All over.

There’s a science to this. It’s the chemical Oxytocin. (Not the drug Oxycontin). Oxytocin is a chemical that men and women release during orgasm and a woman releases when she gives birth. It bonds two people together. There's scientific proof. Not that I needed it: my heart was being evisceraqted, my psyche being disemboweled. “Oxytocin, they call it? Now nice. Now we know."

One night, I was back in LA after a trip to New York (where I attended two weddings and, while strolling Central Park happened to see my Ex making out with his new girlfriend … Yeah it was that kind of year). I was back in LA, just trying to breathe until betime. I pulled off the road, parked the car, and screamed and wept

I stopped a moment, and got this sense or presence of God with me. And he was angry. He was enraged. But not at me, nor at the Ex. It wasn't ao reprimand, "told ya so!" Just intense, vengeful anger, because his child was going through such pain. He was angry at the destruction that resulted from human bonds being ripped apart. He was angry. It was anger on my behalf.

Suddenly I got it, how much God loved me; how profound and beautiful and true his laws were. They were more like laws of physics. There was such beauty in the symmetry of them. The way things worked. The love behind that symmetry and reason for thins.

I felt awed. I felt so loved.

I vowed never ever have sex with a man until we were married. And it didn't make me feel like some prude. It made me feel like a smart, fierce woman who loved herself.

But then Larry came along. He inspired me, he made me laugh. He was cute, he ‘got me” and I got him. He fit me like no one ever had. If I were going to marry anyone ever again, it would be him. If I were to get intimate with anyone, it would be him. Yes, he fired me up. In a whole new, really profound way. But in the heat of the moment, can you really keep that vow?

It wasn’t I who decided we were going to wait. It was he. I was caroming between feeling loved or feeling safe. That’s when Larry said it. “I want to save this. I want to save you.”

I nodded my head yes. And I wept. Larry made a decision to protect my heart and protect the both of us from the confusion that occurs when the physical and emotional closeness don’t match. When you load so much spiritual freight (approval, security, expectations) onto a relationship that isn’t ready to carry it.

Well, Larry and I are ready to carry all of that now. As of Saturday, it’s legal.

I hope he can manage at least one rowdy sex romp.


Levydry said...

When you have been married a few times and things have gone horribly wrong, you question the "sex thing". Being intimate with someone certainly creates a bond, and as a man you have to continually balance the emotions, as to what was lust and what was supposed to be love.

soulpadre said...

wow! Love this entry; you are speaking the real deal!! Can I send to about a zillion pastors, who need to speak the reality of relationships in terms that Joe from the auto body shop can relate to?

soulpadre said...

BTW, I've also heard that there is a similar chemical reaction during intense prayer.

arlene said...

cheer to "eunuchs of Jesus" and rowdy sex romp!!! very inspiring post. i miss you tons! glad i found your blog again.

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