Etymology and being stuck on an idea.
Now I don’t agree with the socially accepted idea of manipulation = bad. The root of the word is latin and combines “manus” (hand) and “plere” (to fill). Getting a full hand when working. It was used to describe a method of digging for ore and became later “skillful handling of an object” and even later “skillful handling of a person”. And that is what I still believe in. However, my handling of the situation during the dates was everything but skillful.
It actually was the exact opposite. To me, ‘handling’ someone skillfully, means that I take myself and the other person in consideration. Which means I am fully aware of my own wants, needs and desires. And I am aware of the other person’s. I am fully aware of my own emotions and I am aware of my date’s emotions. That also means I will experience said emotions fully and I allow my date to do the same thing. I can be aware of my needs and wants and speak them and allow the other person their own feelings about all of this. I can express my desires and let them have their own human experience. Let’s be honest: I would not go out on a date with someone that is not capable of handling their own emotions. However, me expressing what I want doesn’t mean I get what I want and I have to be aware from the start that that is the case.
When I was dating between 16 and 33 I was aware of none of those things. What I was, was driven by a desire that I couldn’t express and simultaneously I was stuck on a whole lot of silly ideas. My monkey brain was pounding it’s chest and screeching and screaming about having sex. I had a hard time even thinking about other conversational topics. And the little control my rational brain had was consumed trying to keep monkey brain in check with internal statements like “Women don’t want to have sex.”, “Women don’t have sex on a first date”, “Women are picky and don’t just go home with me” or “If I say I want to have sex she will slap me or walk away or slap me and walk away.” Talk about shitty self-talk.
The good news is: All these crazy notions and self-talk kept my monkey brain in check and I was able to get through the date. The bad news however is much worse: Not only did the shitty self-talk not get me any closer to what I wanted (because I did want to get physical) but it also reinforced some seriously fucked up ideas about male and female sexuality that I picked up somewhere in my adolescence and early adulthood.
Let’s get some things straight.
We. All. Want. Sex! It is that simple. We all want it, we all want to enjoy it and we all want it to mean something. (I am opening that can of worms in a bit, feel free to join the party and throw in your 2 cents already.)