Nine inches of true love


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Until recently, sex meant very little to me.

Sex was a relatively hassle-free way of ending a fight. Sex was a compulsion that I acted on to satiate my most primitive urges, the ecstatic beast within. Sex was humping and avoiding eye contact, sex was getting caught at a music festival with my pants off, sex was wry and, even at best, it was a complacency within my relationships that I never fully understood.

It may be of interest to note, that in my semester-long duration as a sex columnist, I have never once discussed the topic of "making love." Unlike my anecdotes about screwing on trampolines and my boasts of sexual prowess, this is different. Private. As I write this now, I still have my doubts. There is sharing raunchy exploits, in which I have no reservations, and then there are the collective experiences that shape and define you - moments that are sacred, frail and beautiful. These moments make up the sweetness of my soul.

I have only ever made love to one man, on the second day we met. Right from the very beginning, I knew what he would mean to me. There was no trepidation. There was, however, fear. This was heading into the unknown, a side of intimacy I had never yet experienced. I cowered under him, a shy little freshman 400 miles away from home, scared shitless of the deep waters I had readily waded into.

And to my inconceivable surprise, this near-perfect stranger was the one who eventually taught me how to love, how to truly, deeply love and make love, to be loved, dousing my life with joy and a light that will never go out. In that one moment, I felt every negative thing that I had ever worried about during sex - How do I look right now? Is he really enjoying this? Does he really like me? - eradicated, wiped clean from my mind.

In its place, a different kind of feeling took hold. I felt myself being adored, cherished so wholly and sincerely that I was stunned; my lips fumbled along clumsily as my head spun in a thousand different directions. What was going on? It enveloped me completely, this warm radiance, but it made no sense - I hardly knew this man! And yet ... yet ... we were making love.

Any and every person can claim to understand relationships through the act of observation. After spending a lifetime marveling at couples, whether they be old friends or new sweethearts kissing in the street, we all begin to formulate our own ideas of what couples and relationships should be like. Inevitably, at some point in our naivety and innocence, we will create our own idea of love from the scraps of life and the worlds that surround us. We will hold onto this view, shield it from the world, keep it secret within our hearts ...

Until the day (you remember what that day was like, don't you? The first time you were ever sure about anything in your life?) when you meet your counterpart. When one person simply opens your heart like a book, the first and most grave of many silent promises is made. It reads: I will love you, every day, as much as my heart will allow, until I can go on no longer. The trading of one lifetime for another.

And how very fitting should it be that this person, who would later go on to write chapters in my book of love, would find me outside of a library.

There are countless experiences that are rewarding and wonderful in their own right, memories shared with friends and lovers can be invaluable to everyone. And while these events may be the staple of happiness in the average man, the average man is capable of the extraordinary. To me, the world begins and ends at the word "love," for what greater emotion is there to be experienced?

I am overwhelmingly grateful to have ever had the chance at encountering this kind of intimacy. It is a beautiful thing, not to be treated lightly or disregarded; a rare occurrence in a world of superficialities, friends with benefits and fuck buddies, to be able to connect with someone on a level that surprises even the most adamant of cynics.

This is making love - to find yourself in another. To put their pleasure before yours and to do away with insecurity. Making love is lying openly and honestly with one another, abandoning all shame and extraneous forces or motivations in favor of seeing someone clearly, possibly realizing that it is the first time you have ever done so.

It is knowing the very content of their being, seeing this person in their own light and marveling at who they really are. On this level of intimacy, you find yourself capable of anything; you find that you are even able to push back the entire world in order to make one of your own.

And chances are, if you are anywhere as lucky as me, you'll never have to leave.


Contact Janelle at [email protected]

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