Bad Ideas, Cultural Traits, Culture, Erotic Love, Human Nature, Jennifer, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Memes, Relationships, Sex, Sexuality, The Art of Living Well

Emotional Intimacy or Sexual Skillfulness?

(About a 2 minute read)

A very experienced man, Patrick, tells me that the most pleasurable sex he’s ever had in his life came about as a one-night stand with a perfect, but perfectly skilled, stranger.

Patrick has been married for at least a dozen years to the love of his life.

I myself cannot say quite the same thing as him about the best sex.  The best sex I have had came about within a committed relationship.  But I do think I can confirm that — in terms of pleasure — sexual skillfulness can go quite far towards making up for a relative lack of emotional intimacy.

Confirm that for me, if for no one else.

Put differently, the notion that emotional intimacy is absolutely key to sexual pleasure might be a myth — at least for some people.  For while intimacy certainly enhances sexual pleasure for most of us, so too does skillfulness for most of us.

Our culture does not recognize that fact.  We are so often told that almost everything depends on emotional intimacy and emotional intimacy alone.  But is our culture doing us a service there?

I recall another friend of mine, Jennifer, telling me she stayed in an abusive relationship for six or seven years because she had convinced herself that surely she must be in love with her abuser or otherwise the sex would not be as mind-blowing as it was.

Was she encouraged to think that way by our culture?  Or was that her own idea?  Or both?

Who really knows?

It would be nice to see some science on the subject.  A few surveys might give us an idea how most of us rank emotional intimacy relative to sexual skillfulness.  In the end, however, there is no substitute for figuring out your own answer to the question.

As for myself, I am greedy and want both.  Give me warm intimacy and cold ice cubes!

Abuse, Jennifer, Love, People, Poetry, Sexual Abuse

A Letter to Find in the Morning

(About a 2 minute read)

“Strange someone would do that to a child.”
It sounds lame to say it, Jennifer,
But that doesn’t make the strangeness go away,
The feeling that something alien, terribly alien,
Once happened to you on that lonely ranch
Near Grand Junction.

You’re restless in your sleep tonight.
Your head tosses this way, then that way.
I worry that when you whisper
Something I can’t quite make out,
You dream of the year of your foster father,
His brother and their cousin.

The moonlight on your face
Makes you look ghostly, those are ghosts
You wrestle with tonight,
Ghosts you’ll always have.

But at least they’re ghosts now.
They once were demons.

I can wish that year had never happened
But it did happen.
I can wish you could forget it had happened.
But how could anyone forget that?
I could wish
I could wish
And I could wish,

But what can I do?

There are healers. You’ve been to them.
You’re healed now — as functional as anyone.
Only the dreams still come at night,
The memories return by day,
The scars still show
In both your beliefs and your actions.

But what can I do?

I try to understand what’s too alien
To understand, what can never be understood.

I accept your scars, your ghosts,
I don’t tell you to “get beyond it”.

But nothing feels like I’m doing anything.

I slip out of bed,
Hoping that doesn’t make things worse
For you in your sleep.

On your desk by the window
I find a pad and your pen,
Write you a love letter to find
In the morning.


Inspired by a poem on Paeansunplugged’s blog that can be found here.

Humor, Jennifer, People

“So Of Course I Didn’t Even Think to Ask!”

(About a 1 minute read)

Jennifer was the first person to befriend me after I moved to Colorado in my late 30s.  One day she showed up at my work, looking for a job in response to an ad I’d placed.  Our rapport was instantaneous, and I quickly hired her.

Unfortunately, she didn’t like her new job and quit within two weeks.  She kept in touch, though, and we became casual friends.  I soon learned that Jennifer harbored a number of eccentricities.  Not the least of which was her enjoyment of sexually teasing me.  However, I was able to quickly realize that she wasn’t seriously coming onto me, because she would tease me in such blatantly funny ways.  So, I would just sit back and enjoy her humor.

But about a year after we’d met, she left the city to live up in a small mountain town with her mother.  We lost contact with each other, and I gradually accepted the fact I probably would not see her again.

However, one winter’s day I walked into a convenience store near my apartment and was astonished to discover her clerking there.  It was her first day on the job.  After enthusiastically reintroducing ourselves, I wrote down the directions to my apartment, and left them with her.

The next day was extremely cold, and the night even colder.  Around eleven o’clock, there was a knock on the door.  I was happy to see it was Jennifer.   We kissed “hello”, and then sat down on the couch together.

Immediately, she turned herself towards me, broke into a wide, brilliant grin, and without a word of warning, plunged her hands down the front of my pants!  Then she quite cheerfully rushed out an explanation as rapidly as she could,  “I’m so sorry Paul!  But my fingers are freezing!  And I figured your crotch would be warm.  And you’re such a humane man I just knew for sure you’d want to help stop my fingers from getting frostbite, so of course I didn’t even think to ask!”

We both broke out laughing.  Jennifer was back.