Kath Kolumna: Just like a pill

There’s a man in my life who keeps popping up; we’ve known each other for many years now. We know a lot about each other, but we also don’t know a lot about each other. He lives in a relationship, and I live my single life. He desires me. He desires me so much that I feel like I got a super boot every time we slept together. Like Super Mario when he got the star. This push to the body and mind sometimes lasts weeks, sometimes just a few days. Sex works like a pill. A pill whose ingredients give me everything I crave.

Is that why we need physical satisfaction, touch, and closeness? Does our psyche need sex?

Countless studies prove that sex is good for our physical and mental health:

Sex strengthens our immune system (promotes the production of pathogen-repelling immunoglobulin), prevents or helps alleviate depression and nervousness, lifts our mood (through the release of oxytocin and endorphins). Those who have a lot of sex supposedly sleep better and are less stressed. So it makes you wonder why you’re doing anything other than making love in the first place…

But is it merely about sex?

When I’ve had sex again after a long abstinence period, I often feel more vital, more alive, and sexier in retrospect. And I would argue that these changes can be felt even after lousy sex. Sometimes the fact THAT I had sex again is enough. As if my ego had been waiting to be flattered, my greedy body tasted the long-awaited closeness that my skin, my “armor,” had long craved. I also believe that physical closeness does not have added value only when you love the other person. Love is a complicated and physical desire often so simple. Our desire doesn’t follow the rules of reason; it overtakes us.  

Having sex with someone pushes my body and mind. Sometimes this drive lasts weeks, sometimes just a few days. It affects my psyche, I would say, because I can clearly remember the touch, the warmth, and the intensity for a long time afterward. Our bodies’ coming together is so free of rules and structure that it gives me a freedom I can’t otherwise achieve through any behavior, any thought. As if all my fears, my weaknesses are bundled at this moment, leave my body and what remains is fatigue that drowns out everything. When I was a girl, I didn’t understand for a long time that the one I sleep with doesn’t control how I feel my body, how I perceive it. Many men have tried to make us believe that it is certainly possible to come to orgasm; I just have to “relax.” Since I sleep with him, I know that it’s about something else: it’s about the connection of my consciousness with my body. 

And I don’t have to do anything about that. “Relax!” the command alone is an oxymoron. It’s about being able, in my opinion, not having to. Can I unwind?

I desire the feeling that comes when you know you want to make love. That unstoppable tingling sensation runs through the whole body. Goosebumps appear without any touch, the inner organs contract, the crotch begins to pulsate. Like when you’ve taken a pill. You don’t know what’s going to happen, but you let it happen, consumed by the infinity of the feeling of falling. 

And speaking of falling, I think I’ll turn to Freud’s work to get to the bottom of the theory of psyche and sex. I’ll keep you posted; Part II of this text will follow.