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You Know Not What You Want

Toasting Wine Glasses in Candle Light Dinner

Have you ever had a relationship where you had no sex? Forget sex, there was no touch! It was just mentally stimulating and the two of you connected in ways you could never imagine.

Have you had days with your partner where you lay side by side, bodies barely touching, talking nineteen to a dozen and you have never felt closer?

Popular media has always perpetuated the false ideal of passionate sex as the end of all relationships. There has never been an image of any other relationship. Even if it does talk about relationships that are not physical, there is always the subtle message that it was forbidden and hence acted upon.

Relationships fulfill a lot of needs in us, there is the physical need – sex, cuddles, hugs, body contact, massages etc. Then there is the mental connect. I have had ‘connects’ with people where physical relationships have never been a priority. The most important thing is to converse. Give it a thought, if we are not able to converse, would you even get into a relationship? I am not talking of one night stands here, that serves a different purpose. I am talking about a relationship. One that requires nurturing, one that requires attention from both sides, one that requires time. Think of all such important relationships in your lifetime and now cut off the conversations from all these relationships. Would they still have mattered as much?

Someone who I had dated a decade back and still remains a friend told me during the peak of our relationship that she would not consider it wrong if she cheated on me physically. It could be just a moment of lust but if she were to develop a connect with someone which revolved around conversations and meeting of minds, there would be something amiss.

The younger (immature and wannabe masculine) me ignored the statement with a barely perceptible acknowledgement. The older (hopefully more mature, definitely more aware of the impotency of masculinity in a relationship) me nods in wise agreement over a drink as we remember our conversations from those days. Much water has passed under that bridge and today we meet without the sexual tensions of being in a relationship, just being out of the same relationship and seeing the other person in other relationships.

A decade is a long time to heal wounds from bitter statements. What remains today is just the ‘connect’, the knowledge that the other person exists and will be there in person or on the other side of a phone call whenever needed. It is a relationship, it is a deeply personal connect, a touch, more than a few hugs, but there is no sex, but it still is a beautiful and valuable relationship. I must add we are also in extremely amorous and caring relationships with other people who know about the existence of each other and accept that this is an equally important relationship in life.

I have always believed it is impossible and unfair to expect one person to fulfill multiple roles in one’s life. We are not yet genetically engineered humans designed to fit perfectly into a mould or image. We are humans full of contradictions and expectations. And if that means we need to have undefined relationships, then that is what it shall be. Like Pallavi told me, I consider sex as sense, a genital union is not necessary for sex.

Intimacy is a skill.

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