My take: Sex can be reductive or expansive.
Without question the potential for a relationship to be expanded by intercourse is profound. There’s [the possibility of] the deepening of intimacy. Humility because, let’s be honest, sex is messy and awkward in real time; is to be vulnerable. To commit to being all that with someone else is expansive. If one is really allowed to be vulnerable.
But then performance comes in. Which reduces it; makes porn and casual sex possible. Nothing against either. But there is in the former more than physical—that’s expansive.
I have loved most desperately people I’ve never touched beyond a hug. Have never loved anyone with whom I’ve had sex. That’s my story. Yet I’d say that what can make sex expansive even in that kind of story is being allowed to be vulnerable, a risky proposition, or so we suppose, in real time. And sometimes risky too in what should be the suspended animation of sex.
Because shoot, Expectation is the gas of socialization and it takes its place wherever it can seep.
Our lives often demand something just short of dishonesty, you know? The way we armor ourselves in clothes, careers, cloaks of expectation, respectability. We don’t talk too loud; calculate the course of our eyes, hips. Subtracting so much in the act(s). And anything you practice long enough is bound to become habit.
My story too: I’ve never liked being reduced to my sexuality, and for most of us that is initially presented to us as attractiveness. (I like feeling and being perceived as attractive—make no mistake)!
Sexuality presents as attractiveness like “You’re cute, I’m attracted to your physical-ness.” And ultimately if biology and evolution is to be trusted, that translates into “I’d be interested in having sex with you.” It’s one way to fertilize the earth I suppose.
But say, let’s just say, the attraction was more than physical. Expansive. And beyond making more physical bodies (evolution speaking here) those bodies would be expected to be, like, flesh + spirit. Expansive. And let’s say we entered sexual contact like we were interested in expansion foremost. Like we wanted to share, shift, ergo expand energy. Like, what if?