Dear Patrick: I want to lead an intentional life. This includes my sexuality. If it is going to be a special experience, I want to make sure there are clean silk sheets on the bed, candles ready to be lit, fresh flowers, and special music. I need time to prepare myself too so that my body is at its best and I feel completely feminine. This can take a lot of time, but I do it because I value the opportunity to encounter another person, body and soul.
It would mean a lot to me if these efforts were appreciated. Instead, most men just fall into bed. They don’t even bother to take a shower, and they seem oblivious to the fact that I have spent most of the day making sure I am at my best, so I will be clean and beautiful for them. This upsets me so much that I have sometimes had to ask guys to leave, even though they were expecting to spend the night.
Like everyone, I deserve to have a soul mate, but lately I feel as if I am beating my head against a brick wall. Where can I go to meet a man who appreciates sex as a sacred experience, someone who will come to me having prepared himself to reach a higher level of consciousness in union with one another?
Almost all of us want to feel that we are special to another person. We want someone to see us and treasure us at a deeper level than most people’s perceptions will allow. But if you ask somebody what it would take to make them feel special, many of them would not be able to answer. You are fortunate to have so much detailed knowledge about your own preparatory rituals for intimacy.
Unfortunately, many male/female couples experience chronic disruptions because of incompatibility on these crucial issues. Men are the disposable gender. Our species can survive if most men die before old age, as long as they pass on their genes first. We are living safer lives than any of our ancestors got to enjoy for millions of years. Men have evolved to be strong, quick, coordinated, and competitive. But they are generally less sensitive than women. Either they have less intuition or they don’t use it. A man may be willing to die for you, but he will wear his muddy boots in the house and still feel that he has his priorities in order.
The other thing you are up against is individual differences in what it means to feel safe or special. Some of us have lower self-esteem than others. We believe that we will feel loved if someone will accept our flaws without asking us to make big changes. So we let our slobbishness or laziness show a bit too much, to test whether a potential partner will continue to accept and cherish us. For you, coming to bed without a shower and still expecting sex falls under this heading. This is the very opposite of your romantic and erotic ideal.
There are popular movements underway that view sexuality as a spiritual ritual that can open us up to revelation and show us our higher selves. If you are not already involved with one of these movements (tantra being one example), I would suggest that you seek them out. Taking classes (or teaching them) are great ways to meet people who share your values. Sex has a great deal of power as positive reinforcement for learning and implementing new behaviors. If you are willing to be patient and teach an acolyte what you need, I think you can find a guy who wants you enough to go to the extra trouble of learning how to create the right setting for sacred coupling.
Just be aware that being too rigid or detailed about your requirements can also become a way to avoid the teaching moments of spontaneous ignition. If you are not having sex because the sheets are not expensive enough, or the florist doesn’t have your favorite flowers, you may be putting your attention on the wrong aspects of the ritual. What matters the most is how two people feel about each other. Nothing on this material plane can equal the purity or perfection of the spiritual realm. “Make your bed an altar” is a wonderful precept, but it is also a metaphor. The finest adornment an altar can have is an open heart.
When men and women become too much alike, desire can flag. By approaching you with masculine energy, a man may not be trying to disrupt your process or dishonor you. He may instead be offering you an opportunity to savor life from a different perspective. If you are going to ask a man to see you as a goddess and part the veils of the temple, you might also have to learn how to recognize the temple of virility and celebrate its rituals. The deities who created us have a thousand faces so that everyone can find a mirror in the realm of the divine.