What is the true definition of love?
Webster’s dictionary says that it is “a deep and tender feeling of affection for or attachment or devotion to a person or persons.”
Then what is the definition of lust?
Again, quoting Webster, “lust is a desire to gratify the senses; bodily appetite; a sexual desire.”
Using these two definitions, it is difficult, as a youth, to determine whether one is “in love” or “in lust.” And, unfortunately, one may never be able to ascertain which is which.
A case in point: As an unhappy teenager, I was seeking acceptance any way I could get it. If a male told me he “loved me” I was ready to thank him any way I could, and usually meant going to bed with him.
A kiss could set me a twitter; I wanted that male to hold me, kiss me, and make me feel wanted. I would do almost anything to generate his “love” and never once thought about any gratification for me. I made up dreams and fantasies about how he would ask me to “go steady” and I would be the envy of all the other girls at school.
Except … none of my dreams came true. I was merely a receptacle for the male sperm; there was no love and there was a mental breakdown each time I saw the male with another girl. That is lust.
How does one, at any age, determine what is love and what is lust? Isn’t it possible to have both lustful feelings and be in love at the same time?
If I, as an adult, cannot determine just what the feelings I am having mean, how can the adolescent make a decision as to whether he/she should jump into a romantic situation and accept the consequences of this relationship? Where were the talks between father and son and/or mother and daughter that discussed – really discussed – what sex was all about? I know that I was told not to get pregnant and I assume that the males were told to wear condoms, but where was the REAL talk about sex?
Who teaches about “foreplay?” Foreplay is not a topic I discussed with my children – and in retrospect, I probably should have.
Who teaches about orgasms – male and/or female? Since these are such integral parts of the sex act wouldn’t it be advantageous for all parties to know about such things? We all know about a man ejaculating; but does the man know if the woman has a similar reaction to sex? Does the man know how to give an orgasm to a woman? Why not?
One could go for years and never know how to pleasure a partner. Or a woman could go for years and never experience an orgasm. Why is this such a taboo topic?
Just a few weeks ago a male friend, one that I am sure has scored many times, told me that he watched a program on oral sex and was amazed to find out what he was doing to his female partners was not giving them the orgasm he thought they were having. He was amazed to find that his “stroking” should have been one way and he was doing it a different way. He asked me – ME? – what he could do to help his partner have an orgasm each time they had sex. (I told him he should ask her, not me.) He told me he was embarrassed to ask her, and he thought she would be embarrassed to tell him.
And maybe that is the problem.
There is not enough discussion on what feels good and what doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t even have to be discussed orally – excuse the pun – but taking a hand and placing it in a different place may be all that is needed. The sex act should be mutually pleasing to all parties. It should never be a “chore;” it should never be used as a bargaining point.
I would like to think that those of us living in Ocean Beach and Point Loma are aware of how to pleasure our partners. Why I should like to think that is because we seem to care for our partners. We want to be loved and we want to love in return. Being lustful isn’t all that bad either, if the parties involved know that it is just a way “of gratifying our senses.”
But, for all those involved, don’t be afraid to ask what would make your partner feel good? What you can do differently? And, the most important thing is to answer honestly. I would think that having a great sex life would greatly enhance one’s own libido and make you feel good about yourself.
Maybe I’ll take my own advice – just as soon as I fall in love again.
Sex in San Diego, a column appearing every Friday here at The OB Rag, explores topics related to sex in America’s Finest City. To encourage openness while still respecting privacy, most authors will use pseudonyms.