The Space Between...

The Space Between...

     "The Space Between/The tears
we cry/Is the laughter keeps us coming back for more/The Space Between/The
wicked lies we tell/And hope to keep safe from the pain"  the Dave Matthews Band
     I finished reading Mating In
Captivity:  Unlocking Erotic
Intelligence, by Esther Perel, this past week while on vacation.  It was very good, offering a number of
different insights into the psychology of relationships.
     The connecting point between her
work and mine can be summed up as “the space between”.  She takes a therapist’s approach, while I
take a coach’s and a mystic’s approach. 
But we come together in “the space between”. 
     She returns repeatedly to the point
that while committed long term relationships need union, comfort and familiarity,
erotic relationships thrive on differentiation and mystery.   From a
Tantric perspective, the erotic in a relationship thrives on the polarity
between the masculine and feminine essence we each carry within us.
     Sexual attraction requires polarity;
it’s like two magnets where the opposite poles attract. And yet, when most
couples build a long term relationship, it’s built on shared goals, dreams, and
values.  Committed, long term
relationships are built on similarities rather than differences, and as the
relationship is built, the goal is to bring you together, to blur the lines of
demarcation between “me” and “you” and create “we”.  For a time, in the beginning, the committed
relationship and the sexual attraction run on parallel tracks, so that one
might not realize that they are separate entities.
     Then eventually, what strengthens
the relationship deadens the fires of passion. 
You begin to think of yourselves as a unit, rather than as separate
individuals.  For years, when talking
about something I had done, I used “we” instead of “I”.  I lost myself somewhere in the merging, as
most people do.  It’s a tricky thing, to
create a union and maintain individuality at the same time.  Sexual attraction requires and object and a
subject.  If  there’s no “I”, there’s no one to be
attracted to, and no one to do the attracting. 
It’s a paradox, and it takes a heroine to successfully embrace the
     I won’t kid you, it takes a lot of
work to maintain passion in a long term relationship.  It’s so easy to slip into the baggy sweats,
both literally and figuratively.  It’s so
easy to slip into routines, not just with sex but with life in general; it’s
Friday night, time for pizza and an orgasm. 

     What if you used your sexual
encounters as play time?  Think of it as
a time out from reality.  What do you
fantasize about?  Our fantasies tell us a
lot about our desires and the taboos that run around like sex police in our
heads.  It can be really healthy (and
lots of fun!) to act out these fantasies. 
Lighten up a little, don’t take yourself so seriously.  Maybe next time, your sexual encounter can be
about the journey, not the destination. 
How much FUN could you have… in the “space between” the sheets?