I'm curious about something

Dear Sir,
My Bestest and I were talking about the best way to express yourself to your significant other (or those deemed worthy). He feels that sex is the ultimate expression of yourself to another person. I on the other hand, feel that there are other ways to get the point of who you are across to a person. I mean, yes with sex you will learn about a person, but it's not the ultimate way, is it?

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MeiLin's picture

Most High

But I have some thoughts on this subject. People can absolutely lie about who they are during sex. 100%. It is not at all the ultimate expression of who you are unless you commit to making it so.

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

I can' see what you mean by that. I've heard plenty of stories about friends faking and pretending to like things they might not ordinarily do. I've never understood the purpose of doing all that, especially in the end when they weren't even planning on staying with the person.

V's picture

Embodiment

but I agree with MeiLin. You talk about best or ultimate...well, sex may be the ultimate expression of physical intimacy, but I don't believe it's the best, ultimate, or only way to express yourself. It might or might not be involved, and it might help you express yourself openly and plainly, but it's not necessarily required. Particularly in American society, we put a lot of restrictions and inhibitions on sex in general--so when they're dropped, we feel pretty darn close. That doesn't make it an absolute truth, tho.

raecchi's picture

Devotee

I've always found talking to be the best way of expressing myself. No, I'm not just being snarky, either! When I can sit down and tell my guy about things I worry about, things he's done that annoy me, what I fantasize about, secrets, anything I want -- that is when I feel the closest to him. Sometimes it overlaps with sex, but it seems to come out around the fringes more than anything, for me. Lying around all post-coital-like is often when I feel the least inhibited about saying whatever's on my mind. (Or when I'm really, really tired.)

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

because, among other reasons, people are often not the way you expect them to be. For instance, on a very basic level, I've noticed that people who seem to be the most in control of their lives, their relationships, and have the strongest, most type A personalities, seem to like to be on the bottom and not in control for sex purposes, and vice versa. I think maybe sex is telling, in some ways, because they show a different side of someone's personality than the one you see every day. I also think having sex with someone else (particularly for women, but maybe I just say that because I am one) is a really vulnerable position to put yourself in (in a good, trusting, way under the right circumstances).

On the other hand, talking is way more essential to a healthy relationship, I think. But, I totally agree with V...I would just wonder what V thinks is the ultimate. As for what MeiLin said, I don't know if there exists an ultimate expression of who you are unless you feel totally safe with another person, enough so that you could tell them anything and do anything that you're comfortable with doing alone in front of them. There are enough one night stands that I don't think sex is the ultimate, and enough liars that I don't think talking is the ultimate. I guess I don't believe such a thing as the ultimate expression of who you are, unless maybe it's the sum of your actions. I don't even think most people know who they are some of the time. I think if you watch how people conduct themselves and try to understand why they do what they do, as some combination of their personal histories, what they say, what they do, and maybe, sure, how they have sex...then maybe you have something. I just think people are too complex to define by something like sex, or really any one thing that they do. Things are what you make of them, and if you make too much out of any one thing, you'll lose a sense of balance and perspective on a person in general.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what Sir has to say about this...

fairnymph's picture

Embodiment

" I guess I don't believe such a thing as the ultimate expression of who you are, unless maybe it's the sum of your actions."

Exactly. I think a person may have a way in which they best express themselves, or the most parts of them come out, but not an ULTIMATE way. That's such an absolute term and concept.

V's picture

Embodiment

Putting singular labels like "ultimate" on something as complex and varied as "expression" requires too much simplification. It's not difficult to make a linear scale from "not physically intimate" to "very physically intimate" and "Yes, you can put that inside me" reasonably lays claim to one end. But people express themselves to each other in many, many different ways. There's people I've never met in person that I know far better than I'd know a one-night stand, but also people that I know better for having shared a bed.

I'm not sure I'd even recognize the ultimate expression if I encountered it. It's an ongoing question of--do I know this person well? OK, how can I know them better? That journey doesn't need to end.

Nye's picture

Supplicant

Indeed, the journey is going to continue because people change, too... and people are complex. If you can't even know yourself "ultimately," how can another person? especially through a rather limited act and time?

fairnymph's picture

Embodiment

And the journey can't end as a person changes constantly!

fairnymph's picture

Embodiment

Err, I don't think the ultimate expression of myself could be in ANY one way; I consider myself too faceted to be expressed via one avenue alone, though if I had to pick one, it'd probably be writing.

Perhaps what your boyfriend meant was that he considers sex the ultimate way to connect with a partner is through sex. And THAT IS true for me, but I don't think it's true for everyone. I think different people connect differently. My late husband was not a very sexual person like I am, and he definitely connected more with me mentally, via talking. This was a big issue in our marriage, though not an insurmountable one; we just each had to be sensitive of the other's different feelings. I had to learn not to take a rejection of sex as a rejection of me, and he had to learn that if I forgot something he'd told me it wasn't because I didn't care (or if I ignored him because I was focused on something, as I tend to get). Etc.

I hope that's of some use!

Andrea's picture

Supplicant

I think Sir already talked a little bit about this is another thread: http://www.meilinmiranda.com/node/725

You have to go a ways down to get to it though, and of the two posts he made I'm referring to the lower one.

Here's a quote, although it's not the whole post:
"If you want my overarching take on this:

"The ultimate expression of love isn't sex.

"The ultimate expression of love is staying by the side of your partner, and making them laugh when they are dying in a hospital. The ultimate expression of love is making sure that a coffee is had in the morning, and a kiss is always there at night. The ultimate expression of love is staying with your partner even after they are crippled and unable to give you the physical intimacy they once did, or staying with someone after their face is disfigured in a burn accident. The ultimate expression of love is making your lover hurt from laughing. In bed. Naked. While not even touching each other.

"Sex? Its just a fun thing to do between consenting adults. It just happens to be that much *more* fun when you love your partner(s). "

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

but I'm not talking about expressing love. I mean, just expressing yourself to another person. I'd be a very naive to assume I could show you love my having sex with you, and you certainly wouldn't do that in a one night stand situation. If i wasn't clear I meant, how do you get yourself across to someone else? How do you let them in on the secret that is you?

MsGamgee's picture

Embodiment

Letting someone understand you isn't some sort of single, AHA! epiphany moment. It's something that takes years of trust and taking one another into confidence, talking and sharing and BEING together.

If you could do one thing that summed up who you are in one swell foop, dating, relationships, marriage and sex would be a lot easier than they are.

Basically, there IS no "ultimate expression of love," except living, loving, hoping and feeling and hurting and dreaming together.

Nye's picture

Supplicant

I absolutely disagree that it's the ultimate expression of anything except what it is... sexual pleasure. It's romantic... and a bit idealistic... perhaps young.

Sex can be unifying, intimate, truthful, trusting, loving, and amazing and all that jazz. It isn't inherently so. There can be lowered barriers, more emotional connection and trust, and that indefinable oneness. You can get a better sense of a person you're with if they are also committed.

People's sexual identities and personalities are not always the same as their "selves." A dominant boss man can often be an extreme submissive. Is that his true self? No, it's another side to him. Sex can show you additional aspects of a person, especially with exploration.

Other things over a long period of time will still show you more. Revelations into a person can be made in all sorts of situations. Physical intimacy is perceived vulnerability, so it might be easier to break through to some revelations during that act.

Every person will have their own triggers, though. My ultimate expression at one time would have been my writing. For some it might be art, for others it might be cooking. Some truly are who they are in the company of certain people, in certain places, doing certain activities. But a person is also a different self in different situations.... which one's real?

GreenGlass's picture

Supplicant

I don't believe sex could be an ultimate expression of one's self. Anything short of life would be too constraining for me. Same thing with the ultimate expression of love, but the whole life thing is my own longing. Smile

I like the added specialness that sex has because it's something we only do with each other, it helps us relax, de-stress, and focus on each other, and it encourages intense feelings. But if it was supposed to be some ultimate expression of yourself... I think I would be crushed if I tried to put that much pressure on my sexuality when I first had sex. I would feel very self-conscious, inadequate, and nervous trying to make sex convey what I am. It is only a facet of who I am. Sex is very important, but let's not make it something it can't live up to.

The secret that is you... that's a great question. I think immediately of this as a life long project, again, but I do have a few specific ideas.

Talking is great, but it isn't an easy medium for every person or even every couple. Making a habit of trying to put the really important things and feelings into words every once in a while is good practice though. People who are in love can sometimes do this at first, which is very significant, but might not be able to keep it up continuously in the future (not enough practice?). Try thinking about what wouldn't be obvious about you (the why of you) to a stranger and try expressing those things and those feelings for your partner. If you're good at talking, sharing secrets from your past can be a relief and also bond you closer because you have both been vulnerable about your greatest moments of hurt. Further down the road, sharing current stresses may bond in the same way. I'm not saying there's any one way to share or be supportive either. It could totally be a joking way of talking, or even a sarcastic way of sharing. What matters is the real people and care underneath.

DO as many things as you can together. The way that your partner treats you when they are in all sorts of different moods, settings, and groups, can tell you about the person they are, and give you a chance to try and work out how your relationship works beyond closed doors. Are you always touching base? Near each other, but focused in other directions? Working side by side, joined at the hip? In your own worlds, but somehow connected in spirit? Sending secret signals that increase sexual tension for later? There is no wrong way. I mention it because I think in the world dynamics are often neglected for one on one dynamics. But each is a big part of who a person is as a whole. And what better way to say I love you than to find a way to be comfortable doing it no matter where you are. No matter how distracted, you KNOW you are important to that other person, that they have their own unique way of reorienting back to you. No matter how angry they can get at you, they'll still be there. Learning new things about yourselves together is a very bonding experience, be it from a book, a wise one, whatever.

This is all stuff from the perspective of a person who is married and very committed. But I also think that these KINDS of things are what bond me to true friends as well. Finding ways to communicate and share life experiences is valuable with anyone you care about.

Saramander's picture

Petitioner

Quote:
How do you let them in on the secret that is you?

That is such an enormous question and I don't think it has any kind of simple answer. There is no way you can just drop a curtain and say "TADA!" and be completely revealed. People are way too complex for that, relationships are way too complex for that, love is way too complex for that. What you are talking about is being in love and wanting to share everything about yourself with this person, and that is a beautiful thing. The mechanics of love, especially love that lasts, dictate that this revelation will be a constant and ever changing process that will continue indefinitely, and thats the way it should be. part of the fun of being in love is taking the time to learn your partner. To explore each and every one of the myriad facets of their personality as the come up. As time goes on, those things change as you grow together and so you explore your relationship with this beautiful enigma who is just as interested as you are to divulge themselves completely. This goes so far beyond sex its not even funny. (though sex is an integral part in most situations like this, it is only one of those myriad facets I mentioned earlier.)

The best thing you can do if you want to reveal yourself is to be honest. Live honestly, tell people how you feel, laugh when you want to , and to beat a dead horse: BE YOURSELF. If they want to know your secrets, they need only tune in.

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