There is a certain kind of magic that happens sometimes: you’re at a party and something draws your attention to the other side of the room; in amongst the hundreds of faces you are immediately drawn to one particular person. They look up, your eyes meet, sparks fly, and there’s that feeling fizzing in the air between you – attraction. You can feel it in your body. Maybe you feel light headed, maybe your heart melts, maybe there is a hardening or moistening in your genitals. And it’s not just happening in your body, you can feel (or are you imagining it?) the same thing happening in their body. You don’t think you’re imagining it because they’re holding your gaze. There is a look in their eye which feels like the feeling in your body. Hot, right?
A little later you find your mouth on their skin, moving over particular places, your hands on parts of their body, their hands on you. You don’t stop to think about it because you’re really into this now, but what guides your hands and your lips to those particular places? Maybe you’ve touched that place on someone’s body before and enjoyed how it feels - how soft it is, how hard it is, how wet it is. Maybe you’ve read in a magazine that people like being touched in this particular area, in this particular way. Maybe you like being touched in that spot, so you’re thinking maybe they might like it too. But what about when you stop for a moment and realise you’re doing something really, well, odd. Something that does not fall into any of the above categories, you’re tugging on their ear, licking their eyebrows, or giving them the Heimlich manoeuver; and a part of you is thinking ‘This is hilarious, what am I doing? I must look ridiculous,’ but the rest of you is thinking ‘This is fucking awesome!’ In this moment it is the most erotic thing you’ve ever experienced and, weirdest of all, they seem pretty orgasmic about it too.
So what are the chances? That in a crowd of hundreds, or maybe thousands, of people at a party or a festival, you feel this attraction to exactly the same person who feels attracted to you. It doesn’t actually make any sense. But we try not to think too hard about it because we’d like it to continue because it leads to the kind of eye-brow licking ecstasy detailed above and we definitely want more of that.
But then it gets even weirder. What are the chances, perhaps without having had any conversation with this person, that the exact thing that is the biggest turn on for you in that exact moment, in exactly the same moment, that same thing, is the biggest turn on for them. Like, in the law of probability, how is that ever going to happen?
And often it doesn’t. Often what one of you wants may not be what the other wants. Sometimes there is a pleasure to allowing what the other wants, or to giving something you don’t personally desire but which gives huge pleasure to the other. There are many, very erotic, possibilities which Dr Betty Martin has mapped beautifully in The Wheel Of Consent. But sometimes you both just really want the eye-brow licking, right at the same moment. It’s not rational, it’s not like a long-term fetish, it’s just that in that moment it’s making every cell in your body explode with pleasure.
In the biz we call this ‘energy’.
We are all familiar with energy as a powerful force. We both depend on it - without the energy from the Sun we would die - and we are aware that we need to respect it - so that we don’t get electrocuted. When sparks fly between two people it is equally powerful. Whether we experience it as love, desire or longing, it has a very powerful impact on our lives - it moves us, motivates us, excites us, and it can also burn us, shock us and blow up in our faces. But basically, like other forms of energy, it’s what makes the world go round.
Because we can’t see it, we have, as a species, made various maps to record our observations of energy: How it moves; What patterns it makes; Under what conditions it moves fast or slow; How it moves from point A to point B or even state A to state B; and how we can choose to impact that transference. Chemistry, for example, will tell us that energy is exchanged during a chemical reaction – either absorbing or releasing. Ayurveda talks about how certain foods, like chillies, release heat in the body. Yoga describes how energy, in the form of heat, is released when we put the body in certain shapes. Tantra is interested in how this energy can move in circuits through the body. Physics is also interested in circuits.
These maps show very similar territory, but they all see it slightly differently, based on their perspective. Because we can obviously only see from our own perspective, from whichever position we’re in at the time. If you’re above a can of beans you will swear blind that its shape is circular but from the side you would be equally sure that it is rectangular.
Except, that sex thing - back with the eye-brow licking. From two different perspectives, without compromise, you arrived at exactly the same point. From opposite sides of a room, you've both arrived at exactly the same place. What is that place?
Judith Antell offers workshops and private sessions for individuals, those in relationship, groups and organisations, exploring these ideas in a variety of contexts, to support clients in finding a state of balance through expansion rather than through compromise. Feel welcome to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org