I am infuriated by the cultural sludge I have waded through about who is worthy of being my “mate”. I had an old story that chimed in when I met a human who is intelligent, kind, sexy, sweet, funny, talented, insightful and – a man. My mind learned to jump right in – “could they be a boyfriend/partner”? The cultural expectation weighs on me, the myth that we are lacking until we have a partner, and anyone of the “opposite gender” is in the running. This heaviness had me critically analyzing all the awesome humans who crossed my path, to know more about “what this is and where is it going”?
And then, in walked PRESENCE. Perhaps the full expression of connection between two people is exactly what is happening in the moment – on the dance floor, in a passing glance with a big smile, in a fit of laughter, in invigorating intellectual conversation, or in the simplicity of silence.
I remember watching a documentary several years ago about the science of sex appeal – spreading our genes through attraction to people with different genetics than our own (this is why your brother’s dirty t-shirt smells terrible, and your beau’s smells so good). This also includes the Golden Ratio, the science of symmetry and a universal understanding of beauty. I recently heard the term emotional polyamory – experiencing sincere heart-space with more than one person.
So I get it, there is a primal, biological reason we are attracted to some people and not others. AND, because we are more than our primal instincts – there are countless ways attraction can arise – emotionally, physically, mentally, and/or spiritually. Have you ever seen someone who looks unique and perhaps not “objectively or stereotypically attractive” yet their character, their kindness and their passion is captivating? Vis-Versa, maybe you’ve met a total babe, yet they are cruel, shallow or lack substance – not appealing. The person who lives inside the physical body influences our attraction.
I’m noticing recently there is no set formula for what inspires attraction. I’ve come to find greater liberation by opening the conversation, particularly in my partnership, about attraction; and enacting my vow as an Affection Advocate. When James and I meet someone who is a shining star – their energy feels peaceful and invokes ease, and their eyes are clear and genuine, I’ve found that honoring the beauty of Spirit that walks in them brings me great joy and insight.
Over the last several months, when I meet someone new, internally I ask the question: Where does Connection live here? Meaning, in what way can my heart and soul connect to their heart and soul? The beauty of an open-relationship is that I can ask this question! In the old monogamous/heterosexual story, if there was any spark between me and someone (who wasn’t my partner) I felt a wave of guilt and shame. I became awkward or curt. I experienced a sense of contraction because the story told me it was disrespectful and dishonorable to be attracted to anyone outside of my partnership.
My intention is to move fluidly with the natural rhythms of expansion and contraction – the eb and flow – the masculine and feminine – the inhale and the exhale. Some days I feel more introverted and reserved, desiring quiet stillness; other days I love meeting new people, I feel boisterous, playful and adventurous. I choose to be open and honest about my attraction to others, and I respect when James has an attraction as well. When he comments that someone was sweet, kind, or attractive – rather than jealousy rear up and make me small – I notice, yes! indeed that person was all those things (and likely more!), and wouldn’t we all love to live in a world surrounded by kind, sweet, caring and beautiful people?
Releasing the habit to label someone, I become authentically interested in who this person is – what are their passions, quirks, and hobbies? Where can we overlap in common ground (dance, food, music, yoga, biking, singing, community building, adornment, love for nature)? Likely there is something I can learn about myself by mutually entering a space of connection with another, as we mirror to each other our habits and awareness.
In this awesome TedTalk by Esther Perel she says “sex is not something you do, it’s a place you go”. Sex is the creative pull between the opposites (masculine/feminine). Life emerges from the intimate collaboration between the opposites (many thanks to Mark Whitwell for this wisdom!). My feminine energy will be drawn to a masculine energy that balances me, AND my masculine energy will be drawn to the feminine that balances me. Chances are, this is not in one individual, and my unique expression of masculine and feminine energy shifts and changes. Our multi-dimensional self desires and deserves to explore and create with the dimensions of others!
Openness does not mean a lack of discernment. The practice of openness enhances my curiosity, authenticity, and vulnerability – all of which lead me to greater freedom and connection.
My wish is that you are inspired to ask: where does connection live here? It could be in a moment, a lengthy co-creation, a hug, a dance, a life partnership and anything in between. First and foremost, embrace the intimate connection with yourself and nature, the ultimate creative potential.