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Dating Danger Zones: Eros negotiated
Dating Danger Zones: Eros negotiated
Perhaps the most unerotic thing two people can do is make arrangements. Expressing preferences, discussing logistics having to do with timing and transportation, figuring out what the other person wants to do, versus, is willing to do- these mundane tasks can challenge a couple whose golden anniversary is a distant memory. For the hot pair that is sizzling with anticipation, ardor can be cooled amazingly fast when squeezed between the kid's soccer and the proverbial dry cleaning. But even if it is hard to keep up a hot dialogue about what you'd like to do to each other when you get your hot hands on each others' hot flesh- hard because the soccer kid is right there- there is still hope.
Much is revealed about a person in the way they go about the "everyday" task of meeting someone. Some people have skill, some people have style, some are quite awkward. "Awkward" doesn't need to mean "dead," though. It's possible for an awkward or shy person to not only get through it, but to do it well. In order to do it well I think there needs to be at least three conversations going, right off the bat. There is the "Erotic" chat, however tame... that's number one. Then there's the "We're Real People" chat... that's number two. Then there is the "Check-in" chat... that's the third one- and a very important one, too.
For you to be interested in the other person (and they in you) there must be some sort of chemistry... a spark... a hook... something. I'm calling this the erotic chat. Obviously, it doesn't have to be overtly sexual. Anything that got you interested in each other is the spark that will get fanned into a flame, and eventually into a roaring... Okay, probably not, but it COULD happen. Perhaps you started out flirting. That was enough to get each others' attention. You want to meet. You start talking about where. You have different preferences. You agree on a type of venue. You have different schedules. No problem. More flirting. Problem's not solved, but as long as you're back to flirting, it's okay. You have to recharge the "I'm interested" batteries in order to handle the load you're about to put on them. You try again to arrange something. Early snag. Panic. Flame out. Ember dying. What to do? THIRD CONVERSATION TO THE RESCUE! You talk about the difficulties of keeping the ember glowing through the early stages of working things out. In other words, you talk about how it is going.
The erotic chat is not the real you. The person who has a life- with real-world considerations that must be dealt with- is not the real you. The real you is the person that's keeping a running evaluation of how it is going and how well you (and the other person) are doing. That observer self is weighing everything in terms of your current beliefs, and feeling every feeling as the dating drama gets played out.
So, if you want erotic behavior to ensue from your erotic chat, my advice is to allow yourself to stray from the part of the chat you consider to be erotic. There is nothing more erotic than being real. For true eroticism, there must be an element of the unknown. There must be at least a little risk, however slight. Erotic feeling cannot exist without tension, and where all is revealed, all tension is released. That is why the Third Conversation holds the key to your joint erotic future. It allows the erotic tension to exist as a function of the mystery of your self, not as a construct of it. Your erotic constructs might hold the attention of the Other for a little while, but YOU will soon become bored.
So, when in doubt, observe and reflect. Don't worry about revealing too much too soon. You can always retreat. The beauty of it is, you can observe and reflect on your retreat. By the way, guys, this is the key to your honesty challenge: instead of lying, you now can say, "I'm having a hard time being completely honest right now." From there you can go into a discussion about trust, boundaries, your childhood, whatever. It might happen that after observing and reflecting out loud, you'll decide to be honest after all. If you test and find it safe, you'll reveal.