I think I’m letting go of the hope that L and I will return to what we had. This is for a variety of reasons, chief among them, her husband’s lack of interest in our returning to what we had, and our (L’s and my) respect for her husband’s wishes. If it doesn’t work for him, it doesn’t work for her, it doesn’t work for me.
L said something to me that reverberated a bit for me the other day: she observed that, for me, hypersexuality is who I am. This world of constantly thinking about, writing about, pursuing, experimenting, gleefully participating in, sex – it’s all a bit compulsive, sure, but it’s also just totally central to my identity. It’s not so much so for her. For her, rather, it’s been a fun world to explore at my side, with me as a companion and occasional guide, or spur. But it’s a world from which she can turn away. Reluctantly, sadly, but relatively easily. (She wrote a bit about this here.)
I was chewing on this.
I am chewing on this.
Because, on the one hand, sex, sexuality, provide me with tremendous joy and meaning. I love connecting with people, I love doing it in a way that is not just intellectual but also bodily. I feel a deep, powerful, fulfilling, gratifying satisfaction from the full-throated (heh heh) acceptance of my desires and perversions, such as they are. In other words, it’s all good.
But on the other hand, it’s NOT all good: because, as you see, whether it’s in my former, CPOS, addicted form, or in my current, compulsively writerly form, sex does rule me far more than I rule it. It’s the first thing I think about most mornings, and the last thing I think about most evenings. It invades my thoughts throughout the day, and I spend more time thinking about sex than, if I were able to script my own thoughts, I would. People who meditate become intimately familiar with their inability to control their thoughts. And I know this: if I meditate (and I do, daily), the first fifteen to twenty minutes of almost every meditation session I have consists of rampant sexual fantasy, almost all the time. Not 100% of the time, but on the order of 75% of the time. This isn’t my choice. It’s who I am, how I am, at least so far. This has been even more true during my more celibate, less outwardly sex-obsessed periods.
And suddenly, as I thought about all this, I found myself envious of L. I mean, not of the wanting-what-she-can’t-have. But of the not-needing-what-she-wants. I’ve spent a lot of time and energy parsing the difference between my wants and my needs, and, at the end of the day, it’s not a pretty picture. I’m capable of leading a conventional monogamous life, for a while. But inevitably, after something like three months, I find myself in a pool of resentment, misery, self-loathing. Could I pass through it to some nirvana beyond? Maybe. Would I choose to if I knew I could? I’m not sure.
But just as I envy the orthodox the simplicity that comes from knowing, from believing, from having rules that you simply must follow, I envy L her ability to shrug, process, and walk away. Which I think she can do.
I can’t do that. And while I’m mostly a happy guy, I do envy those for whom sex, sexuality, doesn’t have the compulsive patina it always has had for me. There’s a touch of sadness in compulsion, even when it’s pleasurable, happy compulsion.
One other thing on L: she recently fretted that she feels “replaceable.” I’ve written before about special-ness, both generically and specifically, with regard to L. But here’s the bottom line for me: I feel as if in many ways much of the sexual quest I’ve been on over the past bunch of years was a quest for a sexual relationship along the lines of what L and I briefly had. And I miss it.
The loss of what L and I shared is tragic to me. No relationship I have had is comparable to the one that L and I had, and at this point, at least, I don’t even dare fantasize that I ever might find with another something comparable to what I had with L. This isn’t meant to be mawkish or maudlin.
I’m just sayin’.