A few months ago, I was lying on the bed with a lover, cuddling and caressing. It was a sweet and beautiful moment that did not become “sexual” in the common sense of the word.
I remember this episode because, at a certain point, she looked at me with a serious look on her face, and said, “hey, thank you for not having expectations regarding what might or might not happen between us.”
That simple phrase struck me.
I was reminded, once more, of one of the big dramas in sexuality: a goal-oriented attitude.
Goal-oriented sex happens when, in intimacy, we focus on some “goal” instead of allowing the situation to unfold. Some typical goals in erotic intimacy: getting to intercourse, achieving orgasm, proving one’s ability as a lover, and other similar accomplishments. Over time, we can develop a goal-oriented attitude toward sex.
A goal-oriented attitude in sex prevents us from enjoying the present moment, and closes us down to the richness and variety of intimacy. When our intimate life becomes goal-oriented, we may find that we keep repeating the same sexual and intimate patterns over and over again—sometimes for years. As useful as being goal-oriented can be in other areas of our existence, it kills intimacy just as it would kill a good conversation.
I’m mentioning the example of a good conversation because, aside from the obvious differences, there is a lot of similarity between sexual intimacy and an intimate conversation. Conversations, just as sex, can be deep or shallow, emotionally invested or carefree, but one thing is for sure: approaching an intimate conversation with a fixed idea of the results we want to achieve isn’t a great start.
When we converse intimately with our friends, we don’t follow an agenda, but instead we carve the path of the conversation together, as we talk. We don’t really know where the conversation is going to lead, because the other can surprise us, and we can surprise ourselves.
But isn’t the situation quite similar in sexuality?