sex isn’t the cake…

May 6, 2010

Before I left for China I spent an evening hanging out with one of my oldest friends and her ex-boyfriend.  It was the first time I had interacted with them since they had broken up and frankly, I was shocked.

Nothing had changed.

In fact, I’d say he was more attentive, caring, considerate, and in-tune to her than he was when they were dating.

Fast forward a few weeks.  We chatted the other day and I asked what the deal was.  She replied, “it’s the same as it was.  He’s my BFF with commitment issues and still treats me like a princess.  I don’t get it.”

I think I do.

You see, when we discussed their relationship before I went to China, she made the comment “I stopped sleeping with him, and I won’t.  He can’t have his cake and eat it too.”

Well, what if the sex isn’t the cake?

Women have long-held this notion to hold out sex because a man will, upon withholding, respond like a well-trained circus animal and furnish a ring.  “Why buy the cow…” our mothers’ fable warns us – so we hold back the proverbial milk.

But that’s a version of men that I won’t reduce myself to loving.

Sure men enjoy sex; but they also enjoy companionship & friendship with a woman, emotional intimacy where forever is covenantal, a home where they feel safe to shed their armor from the day’s battle and be loved by a lady who astutely chose him as ‘the one’.  They enjoy encouragement from us mysterious female types; something about them feeds off our respect.  Their strengths couple and compliment with ours – and it feels right and good.  And if they can get all of that without a tux and an open bar – why would they risk the vulnerability of asking for a commitment and seeing one through?

We’ve reduced the cake to sex.  We tell ourselves that’s all a man wants.  Don’t get me wrong, men like sex and it’s important – but to say that attraction & intimacy have nothing to do with what goes on outside the bedroom is a lie we’ve been told.

So by withholding sex and wondering why the circus isn’t performing says a lot about what we think of men; but, it also says a lot more about who we believe we are and what we believe we are worth.

It made me sad for my friend and sad for all the times I’ve done the same thing.  I practically invented using sex as a way to manipulate guys; but I don’t now.  Do I have a boyfriend, no.  But, do I waste my time an energy on someone unworthy of it, that’s happily a “no” as well.  I’ve come to realize that my passion, ambition, intellect, humor, loyalty, friendship, encouragement, & love are what make me worth engaging.  That’s the stuff that should be withheld from the men who won’t give me the respect of a commitment.

I am the cake.


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