All about sex

I quote from S’ last post.

“The dreadful truth is that you don’t just end up with a love that is passionate and mutual at the same time. You’re never lead straight to the ones who could love you back, the ones with no buts, and the ones with whom you can actually be happy.

~Hazel Venida

All the talk about relationships and family have gotten me interested to find out how my peers view marriage and love. So over the past weeks, whenever I am out with friends, the topic has been dominating our conversations and it has proven to be quite entertaining.

How I always start the ball rolling, is that I ask how they would react if they found out their husband (boyfriend) or wife (girlfriend) had cheated on them. I think one of the most insightful thing that came up was when my guy friend replied, what kind of cheating?

I immediately responded getting in bed with another person without actually thinking more about the question. On hindsight, I think my friend did bring up a point that I had missed entirely at the point in time. While we all instinctively think of cheating in the physical sense, a.k.a. sex, my friend had thought about cheating in the emotional sense as well. Most of my friends, male and female won’t stand for cheating in the physical sense, but would they react in the same way if it is cheating in the emotional sense? Does it make a difference?

My position on the matter is that love and sex are two distinct concepts. That would lead to the logical conclusion that I think it is okay for my significant other to sleep with another person and I will be cool with it as along as my significant other remains devoted to me. But I think it is a no brainer that no one in the right mind will be cool with it. Even if they say they are, they won’t feel comfortable on the inside. How do I reconcile the conundrum?

I am not sure to be honest. They can certainly overlap, and it would be a wonderful thing, but I think it’s really two concepts altogether. You can be with someone who gives you all the attention and love that fills you  up emotionally, yet he or she simply cannot satisfy you in bed. Where does that leave you? Deprived certainly. Is the problem with you, or with your other half? Is it love if there is no physical attraction?

This brings me to the point and quote in S’ last post which is so poignant, albeit perhaps a little too superficial in my interpretation here. Are relationships about the people or about the love or about the sex? Maybe it is everything?

I remember one thing that came up from all the discussions I had with my friends was whether love in the family context and in the relationship context are the same. My friends seem to think so, I beg to differ. I think love for our family (in the mom, dad, siblings sense) is far more complexed. For one you don’t get to choose your parents and siblings. And that is why I think in a family, one tends to be more tolerant. No matter how your mom, dad or brother or sister have failed you time and again, there’s always a sense that you are not going to give up on them just yet, and that there is always hope (but of course, there is a limit).

With sex, things get complicated. In the relationship sense, I think the love resembles more closely to a commitment. Hence, marriage is a commitment. It is far easier to break up or divorce your husband and wife then to say you are quitting on your mom, dad, brother or sister.

And I think perhaps this is the difference. That relationships are never really about love. It’s all about the people. It’s about wanting companionship – wanting someone to grow old with; it is about sex – satisfying your physical, sexual needs; it’s about being able to tell your relatives during Chinese New Year that you are finally attached; it is about doing what is expected of you by your family and by society – to settle down and form your own family.

That doesn’t sound very much like love to me.

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