This was the first time (in a long time; I can't even remember the last time) where J and I had some serious conflict, and I didn't feel like or think that we were breaking up. I don't know if this is from a lot of the intentional meditations and visualizations I have been doing (more on that to come; I have a review of the Chakras book M loaned me in the works), or what exactly. But it was such a lighter load to carry the past couple days, because I didn't also feel a simultaneous sense of pressure or doom associated with our conflict. I knew we were going to work it out and that it didn't mark the beginning of an end. It was just a conflict. So, yay!
I have a few more "light bulb" moments I want to share:
-The word "lovemaking" was/is a serious trigger for J due to some family messaging about what it meant and the values associated with it. For him, "lovemaking" encapsulates all sexual behaviors and activities that one does with a very intimate, long-term partner. Most of those same activities can be done with a less intimate partner, but then it is not "lovemaking." I have tended to think of "lovemaking" as a particular sexual behavior (more akin to tantric sex). Being able to dig down to the words we were using to get at the meaning was amazingly helpful in working through our conflict. I now understand that all of the sex that J and I have is "lovemaking" to him. Which is incredibly helpful for me in reframing my own perception of what lovemaking is and whether we do and how often. I still desire the tantric-one-on-one-sensual sex with him. But I am starting to build a bridge in my brain between our different viewpoints on it.
-What I have traditionally considered as "lovemaking" (tantric, super-present, purely one-on-one sex) is so intimate to me, that I am not comfortable having it with anyone but a pretty intimate partner (from a solid dating partner to a long-term extremely intimate partner). Kinky, rough, D/S kind of sex comes naturally to me within a casual or intimate sexual encounter; it just depends on the partner and context. J, on the other hand, uses more sensual sex as a way to build intimacy; he does not have kinky, rough, D/S kind of sex with anyone that he is not deeply intimate and comfortable with. Understanding this about one another also helped us move through our conflict.
-When I tried describing my desire for tantric-like sex using the phrase "vanilla sex," this also didn't work very well. Why? Because to J, "vanilla sex" sounds boring, missionary, square. I agree with him. Why did I use it then? Because I was trying to relate a concept that has been difficult for a long time to communicate. I was grasping for something that he could understand. I have since settled on "tantric-like sex." Not quite succinct enough for me, but it more accurately conveys what I mean than "vanilla sex" (and I don't want to use the word "lovemaking" since it is a trigger for J and for J, "lovemaking" encompasses everything we do together sexually).
-Biggest connection from counseling this week: my desire for this one-on-one-tantric-like sex is activated by the deep belief system that I cannot be loved unconditionally. When I have wanted tantric-like sex and J doesn't, I feel deeply rejected and pained, which is not the more neutral response I have to other instances when I suggest a sexual activity and J isn't feeling it. This told me it was about something much deeper: I have felt like I was being rejected, and that I couldn't be loved unconditionally without any exciting "add-ons" to our sex. Now that I have connected those dots, communicated them to J, and know he understands all of that, I have already begun taking away the power from that belief system. It's cracking, slowly.
-I don't remember specific times J and I have sex (unless there is something extra-dyadic about it; then I usually remember). This has meant that I don't remember the purely one-on-one, tantric-like sex we do have. I am starting a sex gratitude journal today. That way, I can have evidence of the variety, love, and deep intimacy present in all of the sex J and I have.
Thanks for reading my vent :)
"No wonder- I hate the word 'lovemaking,' you ask for 'lovemaking,' and it all goes bad!"
"Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment."~Eckhart Tolle - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose