“It’s possible to love a human being if you don’t know them too well.” –
In order for any of us to completely understand and accept love, we have to understand what love is not. We often confuse love for a lot of things, that simply aren’t love. For example desire and love don’t often go hand in hand. Desire is lustful, passionate, unending, unfulfilled, hungry, thirsty, creepy, unvarnished, jealous, erratic, stupid and very insecure. Lust is carnal, all consuming, addicting, dangerous and sometimes clandestine. Hate well, that’s definitely not love.
Love is secure. Love is steady, knowing, calm, compassionate, giving, bountiful and glorious. Love is the glue. Love (like one of my favorite bands wrote) is all you need. Yet we still confuse love for all that it is not. We as humans have the capacity to love, be in love, and love people and beings who aren’t like us, don’t speak like us, don’t share the same story as us and don’t come from us. I’ve written in past blog posts about the 7 types of love. The ancient Greeks had many different expressions for love. Erotic love, brotherly love (yes that kind of love ), love of a parent to a child, love of all humanity, longing pained love (that achy breaky heart kind of love), playful love (flirty yummy delicious), and self love. All these types of loves coexist, they are not mutually exclusive and yes we can love two (or more) people at the same time. One thing love is NOT is stingy.
Love is Not…
Nothing else is a replacement or a stand in for love. Love in all its forms, shapes and versions, is in its core without discrimination, distinction or agenda; pure. Love is equal opportunity, bi, trans, tall, short, big, small, all inclusive and all encompassing. LOVE IS LOVE. Control is not love, abuse is not love, deception is not love, war is not love, organized religion is not love, fanaticism is not love, nationalism is not love, fear is not love, force is not love, lies are not love, hate is not love reversed. Love sees all, there is no exception.
So while love seems to get far less advertising than it should, and is often mistaken for its poor, imitations; here are my personal favorite expressions of messy, erotic, playful, flirty, solid, wholesome love, a little lust and everything in between.
Love is : Poetry
Two of my favorite poems about love. One is a monologue for a play called Crave by one of my favorite playwrights Sarah Kane; (thank you to my friends in Greece for reminding me)
Full Monologue : And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy’s and talk about the day and type your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don’t listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you’re sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the the programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you’re late and be amazed when you’re early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I’m black and be sorry when I’m wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I’d known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you’re angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you’re gorgeous and hug you when you’re anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I’m next to you and whimper when I’m not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don’t and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I’m rejecting you when I’m not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I’d ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don’t believe me and have a feeling so deep I can’t find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I’d get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don’t want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don’t mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it’s empty without you and want what you want and think I’m losing myself but know I’m safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don’t deserve any less and answer your questions when I’d rather not and tell you the truth when I really don’t want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it’s all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it’s a beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you. Sarah Kane (3 February 1971 – 20 February 1999) English Playwright
My second favorite poem about love, lust and erotic love is by none other than…. E.E Cummings
i like my body when it is with your body. It is so quite new a thing. Muscles better and nerves more. i like your body. i like what it does, i like its hows. i like to feel the spine of your body and its bones,and the trembling -firm-smooth ness and which i will again and again and again kiss, i like kissing this and that of you, i like, slowly stroking the,shocking fuzz of your electric furr,and what-is-it comes over parting flesh….And eyes big love-crumbs,
and possibly i like the thrill
of under me you so quite new
Love is: Music
Everything love wants to express, it does through song, through lyrics, through the beat and the rhythm of music. Any time I’ve wanted to express love for someone I try to do in with music. The list is endless but these are some of my favorite “love” songs.
All in all… there are far more songs about love, longing, togetherness, sex, cigarettes and booze then there is about hate. I figure in the end of this little chess game called life, Love wins.
When sex is seen as a favor for good behavior what do you do?
I have often been placed in this predicament (as many women have) when either men I’ve gone on a date with or have been with for a certain amount of time, feel it’s their god given right to get sex just because they did something “nice” for me, or they felt I owed them. In their mind sex is some sort of reward. And by nice I am not talking about saving my life, or buying me a very expensive car, which in this case heck why not right? (just kidding!) But to those who do, more power to you.
I’ve wondered how this expectation came about. Is it their upbringing? Is it society in general? Is the prevalence of transactional and power play sexual encounters just a male mentality? In all the instances of “expected sex”, I wondered (as many women do), If I owed these men something, because that was the approach or the explanation given to me. This implied, or expected reward for good behavior sent me into a moment of self reflection. Did I invite this? Do I owe them some sort of explanation as to why I don’t want to have sex with them? Is this really being asked of me? And what allows for such an expectation?
Looking back at the events that lead to these still unanswered questions, I have yet to understand how the dynamics between men and women are formed, in allowing such expectations to exist, and why we accept living in a society that still creates them.
Case №1 — New York fall 2013
New York fall 2013. Having freshly arrived a few months earlier, I was still bouncing around from home to home and job to job. I was still insecure about my decision to drop my life in Athens, and live in a new city with absolutely zero job prospects. My surviving skills needed sharpening while sustaining myself on the very little money I had saved up. After feeling somewhat settled in and with the help of friends, I found a part time job as a dog walker for a company in Manhattan, but this was hardly enough to keep me afloat. Unlike many Greeks emigrating to the U.S I wanted no part in asking for handouts or favors; I knew full well what working with, and alongside Greek business owners could entail. Just because I was Greek, didn’t mean I cared to or wanted to immediately work in the Greek community, and despite my general rule to stay away from the insulated world of the Greek-American diaspora; I had a need to connect with “my people” and maybe find a better job suited to my education and skills.
After many inquiries and searches, I was introduced to an up and coming Greek American social coordinator, banker, and well known fixture in the Greek American community. Having spoken several times about potential job opportunities, we agreed to meet up in person, after maintaining email communication for several months.
After a pleasant dinner at a Greek restaurant in Astoria, and a somewhat general but also flirtatious conversation, he paid the bill and hailed me a cab to where I was staying. As we continued our conversation and fun banter in the backseat of a cab, he proceeded to corner me and get as close to me as possible. After trying quite a few times to kiss me, and repeating several times that we could end up at his place to fuck. I pleasantly thwarted his advances, and in the end pretty much had to push him off me with a smile. Beyond the dinner I had zero intention of sleeping with this man, and made zero allusions as such.
I got out of the cab, sent him on his merry way and pretty much knew I would never see him again. Upon arriving at my home I got a text message. “Why did you have dinner with me and let me kiss you, if you didn’t intend of having sex with me? You mislead me and that was a waste of my time.” It got me seriously thinking what exactly in my demeanor, our conversation or agreeing to go to dinner with this man gave him the idea that I was open to any kind of further contact? Did he think he was paying for sex with dinner? Or that a dinner was enough to warrant some sort of sexual favor?
This is not the first time or the last time this has occurred, and to be clear not all situations end up like this. Not all men or women for that matter are that manipulative, yet the idea of sex as a commodity never really appealed to me and certainly not as a reward for “good behavior”. I have experienced instances where, seemingly powerful people, and men in particular; like to wield their power in a sexual way and for the most part do so without repercussions. Those same people feel that sexual reward is par for the course, while blatantly stating that: “if I buy you dinner, take you out, get you a cab ride home; or do you a favor, I’m getting what I paid for, and If you don’t comply, I’m wasting precious time If you don’t deliver.” In all these instances, of sexual powerplay, I was never in a position of power. I was either broke, in some need, or seemed lesser or weaker than I actually was. This clarified in my mind what all sex, and power play games have in common.
Despite any unpleasant interactions I’ve experienced over the years with situations like this; I never felt I had to repay any dept or favors. My experiences did however make me think twice before accepting any further dinner invitations.
Share your story or stories of predicaments like this – I’d love to hear from men and women who might have been placed in similar (unwanted) reward sex situations.
I recently attended a workshop and discussion on Tantra as a methodology and philosophy. In my 20 years of yoga practice, I am still learning of this vast body of knowledge, of which I have explored very few aspects of.
For any one curious about Tantra, its origins its philosophy and its many offshoots; thousands of books have been written on the matter, some from a Yoga perspective, some from a spiritual practice and of course the more widely talked about and frequently advertised sexual explorations.
The divine feminine/ masculine the transformation of energy and sexual energy into something spiritual is a multi layered and multi faceted subject. It’s not just about sex. My problem with the workshop I attended, and many more that are out there on the philosophy of Tantra; is that most people will reduce this sacred ancient tradition to a new spice in their sexual exploration cabinet.
How do we deeply connect to these concepts without distorting them? How do we show reverence and respect for such traditions without transforming them into sound bites, easy quotes and convenient tricks?
For what seems to be the “the meeting of man and woman; the transformation of energy through sex, love and meditation. ” (Osho) becomes a gimmick and a pick up line.
Tapping into the deeper layers of Shiva and Shakti energy within us, the inner masculine and inner feminine traits take time, and deep devotion. In this fast paced world of instant pleasure, and porn culture, I’m afraid these practices are somewhat lost to most who seek to understand them.
For what modern feminism has sadly become is this man hating, castrating society and then the eventual rise of women in a man made world. Yes women have been oppressed, men have been given some sort of “god given” right to be superior, and the patriarchal societies have been built to oppress that which they come from. Yes all of this is true but what we’ve left out is the third aspect of the union between male and female energy and that is the divine.
Yet we’ve grown up thinking (myself included), that equality means denying our nature, our amazing feminine nature, and distorting it to making women think they are always inferior and men superior. This way of thinking leaves women with the only choice left to them to even the playing field in this distorted world, and that is “to act” like men… which isn’t the fucking point.
If any one is interested in Reading more about Tantra here is a beginner’s guide :