I spent time with the goats today. I run in my neighborhood, and at the end of my run I often stop at their corner. Goats are the “animal vegetation management” for a handful of select water facilities in my town. There are about ten goats that “work” at this particular facility. Really, they hang out all day behind a chain link fence on a nice patch of land with trees and water and lots of grass. They hang out and they eat.
The alpha male (the one with the largest horns) is very friendly and outgoing. I feed him dandelion greens from my side of the fence, which he loves. Today he sweetly motioned toward the juniper tree next to me, full of berries. I pulled some and fed it to him – he was in heaven! He has bone white fur and wide-set milky blue eyes that gaze at me with some kind of recognition. He licks my hand when I press it against the fence, and he will even slide his big torso along the fence to let me pet him. I have named him ‘Fountain’ for he gives me a fountain of love energy.
Fountain the goat feeds a desire in me for loving connection. I wish that chain link fence wasn’t there, because I’d really like to sit with him and hang out for a spell. Just sit and pet him and look at his beautiful, serene eyes. Feed him dandelion leaves and juniper berries. That sounds so completely satisfying.
It sounds more satisfying than sex.
What I am realizing is that through sex, I have really been seeking closeness and connection. I am realizing (with some frustration) how fundamental this need for connection is, much deeper than the desire for physical pleasure.
I know how to have sex and I enjoy sex. But when there is a disconnect, when the heart is blocked and we are just going through the motions, chasing an orgasm, trying to play the part — that’s when I feel truly alone.
In sex, we expose ourselves. Not just our bodies. We expose our raw energy. We expose our youngest self. We expose our hurts and insecurities. We expose our desire and our lack of desire. We are vulnerable.
Being vulnerable is beautiful, but it doesn’t look like porn. In fact, I’m not even sure what it looks like yet – I am just beginning to explore this possibility of being totally authentic EVEN IN THE BEDROOM.
I know how to have porn sex. Porn sex is hot. But wow, it can sometimes leave me feeling so, so empty. (I’m not a porn star; I’m talking about private “porn-style” sex). It’s so easy to skip over all of the things that create a real heart connection because look: life is short and we’re horny so why not and come on I’m an adult and this is a human need and let’s just get to it. But I wind up feeling unknown, even to myself. Even as we lie together with damp skin and tangled limbs.
I was seeking closeness, connection, being held. Now I am held in a sweaty embrace, but the closeness isn’t there and the connection is absent. Who is this stranger next to me? Who is this stranger inside of me?
Instead of post-coital bliss, there is cognitive dissonance.
Something wasn’t right to begin with, we didn’t acknowledge what was really going on. Getting into bed was so much easier than speaking of the caginess of the energy, the walls that were up even as we undressed and kissed and fucked.
I lay in his arms feeling not at all myself, and disappointed in myself for ignoring my intuition before sex began. We were both trying to run away tonight. From ourselves and from each other. I felt sad about it and we talked.
Talking helped, as unsexy as it was. It didn’t make the walls of fear disappear, but I came back from my own vanishing. In my head I was already thinking of how to leave and how to break this off and how I just don’t know what I’m doing in love. I don’t want to vanish anymore. I want to be here. I want to be held. I want closeness and connection. I want the light of being real.
Nothing is airbrushed here, and the light is not especially flattering. It is the light of facing what is. Some would call it the light of truth.
May this light be the light that leads me into love, of myself and of another.