This weekend I’m at a counseling workshop with a lot of Asians. It’s been going quite well, especially since I feel I’m just starting to get in the groove today. One big thing we’ve been talking about is closeness with others and what kind of a relationship would we ideally want with someone if we could really have it how we wanted?
Well, first of all, what does society offer as options? Essentially, we are given the messages that we can either be friendly or desperately and urgently sexual. Not a lot of options. Nor a range. Just two boxes. For all of humankind. Not very rational either.
Sex often does get in the way. And being physically close can even get in the way too. And many people may confuse physical closeness with sex. Can you be close, hold hands, lean on each other, cry on each other’s shoulder, all without getting into anything sexual? Well, they’re not necessarily inclusive. But the two—non-sexual physical closeness and sexual closeness—do often get intermingled and confused.
Because a lot of us did not get enough closeness when we were young we still search for it presently. In our current relationships. And since sex has historically been a basic human function and a need (to survive) it gets overlapped and confused with our natural desire for closeness with someone.
I think in forming new friendships it’s good to think beforehand about what you’d like the friendship to look like.
What if you could be really truly close to them and really be there for each other?
And do we want to include sex into the relationship and does it make sense and when? And how? What if you could talk about it together beforehand? Also if we can look at our own places where it’s hard for us to open up or trust someone or to really let someone in. Because of all of our past hurts. And really be honest with ourselves about that and not defensive. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.