I have always been a little tormented by my feelings about hot women. For years, I was so repressed and had such low self-esteem that my head would fill with negative stories about my attraction to them: You shouldn’t look at her like that, you pervert! Be cool, don’t stare! Who are you, thinking about even talking to that woman? She can do way better than you!
I’ve made progress since those days; I mean, now I can actually speak with attractive women! Imagine that. I’ve even dated some of them, and become friends with many more. But the internal circus would still start up whenever I met a new one. It was always Should I ask her out? Should I just try to woo her? Should I leave her alone? Should I just see what develops? Obviously, it was a lot of thinking, and for the most part, it was self-sabotage. Don’t try = don’t get hurt, for sure, don’t try = loneliness and no growth, as well.
I kept moving through fears, and now there is, in my life, a beautiful and loving relationship with a woman I’m extremely attracted to and deeply fond of. We are connected on many levels and are a perfect match for one another. It’s awesome.
And I’m still turned on by other women. And still, there are stories and voices talking about that. Now it’s You have somebody! Why are you looking around? What will she think if she sees you looking at that young hottie like that? She’ll know what you’re thinking and be pissed! Or there’s an even more insidious voice, saying, Why did you sign up for a relationship? Look at all the hot women you’re missing out on! The feelings that arise with these thoughts are fear, shame, and guilt.
To deal with all of this, I tried the basic, distilled advice of most therapy work and spiritual traditions: sit with it, let it in, see what it’s about, and examine your relationship with it. Ask what it’s here for, and how my relationship with it is (and isn’t) working for me.
I start with my body: Where in my body do I feel this? In this case, a funny answer came up, because you’d think it’d be in my dick. But it wasn’t: it’s in my face and mouth. Looking at and talking to attractive women, I realize now that I was literally fantasizing about kissing them and licking their faces. Is that weird or what? I was feeling a buzz of attraction in my mouth!
So, I thought, what does that feel like, or remind me of? The answer came immediately:
Cupcakes. I know, weird again. My feeling for attractive women feels just like my desire for cupcakes. (And other sweet foods, as well, but to me, cupcakes are 100% pure divine magic.)
So what is that feeling about? Easy: instant gratification. Feels good right now, even if I know it won’t feel good later. Also, there’s no real content to it; I could probably starve to death eating just cupcakes. My relationship is like a well balanced meal, and yet I dream of eating cupcakes.
Now, I asked myself, why would wanting a quick sugar fix feel the same as my attraction to hot women? This one took a little more time, but I remembered a moment when I was in the middle of a “dry stretch,” when I had asked out like 10 women in a row and been turned down every time. At some point, I got so frustrated that I said to myself, “I just want somebody to say yes!”
Read back over that statement. I just want somebody to say yes! Really? All I want from women, from the world of relationships, from the infinite possibilities of intimate human contact is … somebody to say yes? That sounds like a quick fix, doesn’t it? In fact, what happens after she says yes scares the crap out of me. If we assume for a moment that what’s in our lives is exactly what we want, and what we brought, then apparently I really dig hanging out with women that turn me on but not actually being in relationships with them, because … it’s safer? It fulfills some low self-image I have of myself? That’s deeper work for another time.
For now, there’s this interesting hot woman/cupcake thing. I could beat myself up for admiring “cupcakes” when there’s a fine meal in my life. Or I could just feel the feelings, check them out, wonder what they’re about.
And I think what this one is about is my body sending me a signal: You’ve got what you need. You’re fine. Yes, cupcakes are tasty, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting them. Maybe you can have one someday (this, of course, is where the analogy breaks down!) But you’re fine. You don’t need a “yes” from her. Enjoy her, let her turn you on, then let her go. Don’t attach. Don’t cling. Let that cupcake energy in, then distribute it around your body and soul. It’s divine. Just understand that your past relationship with it wasn’t working, so let that go, too.
Then go home and have a nice meal. And be grateful.