This blog is a text of the Tedx OrangeCoast talk given on December 01, 2012 for the Women’s Conference with the theme of The Space Between.
I have been sharing space with the other gender since conception – and I am not just talking about being in my mother’s womb!
I have a fraternal twin sister. Even though my twin sister makes a big deal about being older, I have a different perspective. See, most of you had the luxury of being in that space between all alone for 9 months. I shared that space as a twosome. And yes my twin sister is older – and I may have given her a little help with her exit strategy that day. See, I just wanted a few moments to myself, even if it was only 11 minutes!
So as a fraternal twin of the other gender, some might say that I was born to speak on twosomes as a gender diplomat. Today, I would like to share a few insights and invitations as to how we can co-create better twosomes – by playing better –together.
First insight: Staying in our heads instead of our hearts is a major obstacle to playing better – together. For instance, a desire to control relationships keeps us in our heads and out of our hearts,which is where we truly desire to be.
Let me give you a very common example. When we compare – to others, self, or where we think this relationship should be: we unintentionally create a hierarchy.
Someone is above and the other is below. The one on top is superior, the one below, not so much.
There is no possibility of intimacy in a hierarchy. If you want intimacy, you must stop comparing and create a space to enjoy the mystery of the other. Imagine hands of a vertical hierarchy shifting to a horizontal equality. It is in the horizontal where intimacy happens.
Rumi, the 13th century Sufi mystic and poet shares his wisdom here: “The inner nest, not made by instinct, will never be quite round and each has to enter the nest made by the other imperfect bird.”
When we see the other as imperfect and an unfolding mystery, never to be captured in full understanding, then we can approach the space between with playful curiosity. Curiosity about you allows me to practice holding you as the wonderful mystery that you are now and always will be. And my willingness to be vulnerable to seeing you as a mystery opens the door for me to see myself and our relationship in a similar way.
First Invitation – The shared space of mystery is where intimacy and imperfection love to play. I invite you to see the other as a mystery to be loved in your heart. Trying to control or manage the other will always keep you working in your head. We play better in our hearts!
Speaking of playing better – here is a playful gender insight. You may be familiar with many popular ideas that can be helpful to better understanding the other gender. Allow me to share something new.
I am going to ease drop on a conversation of few folks from one gender and let you know what I am hearing. See if you can figure out what the group is talking about and what gender it is.
“Sometimes I feel as if they are ready to do it anytime, anywhere.”
“Don’t they understand that we are just different when it comes to this?
“It seems like they are thinking about it all the time!”
(Think you have it yet?)
“I can feel so pressured, and then I feel myself just shutting down.”
What’s being talked about here? Did you assume that the voices were that of women and that they were talking about men? And that the topic was sex?
What if the voices were men’s voices? And the topic was “sharing feelings”?
Second Insight – I believe that just as men and women have a different sexual response cycle, they also have a different emotional response cycle when it comes to sharing feelings.
Let’s take a closer look. Through research and experience, we have acknowledged that men have a faster sexual response cycle than women. There is no debate here and there is no judgment. And without judgment, there is no hierarchy. We see that being different here is normal, because it is!
In a similar fashion, through my professional experience and thousands of conversations with men and women, I believe that women have a faster emotional response cycle than men when it comes to sharing feelings. They are good to go, much sooner than men.
I believe that in the same way that there is a normalized difference in the Sexual Response Cycle; the same can be true for what I call the Emotional Response Cycle. And coincidentally, foreplay is the key to a mutually satisfying experience for both genders in both situations. How simple is that?!
Now you may be wildly curious as to what Emotional Foreplay might look like. Let me just say that with the word PLAY in Foreplay – it is meant to be fun and not work. And in the spirit of mystery, I would never want to suggest that I would know what is best for your Twosome. If I was overly prescriptive right now, you may be tempted into wanting to “work on” the relationship (Make it perfect, be in your head), instead of playing (enjoying the mystery of the other, being in your heart) as a twosome.
Second Invitation – So, whether it is about Sexual Foreplay and/or Emotional Foreplay, I would invite you to be vulnerable enough to have the conversation with your partner.
So, when it comes to being a passionate twosome – stay in your hearts.
If you are not sure if you are in your heart at any moment, check by placing your hand on your heart. If you are not currently to be found there, you are probably up in your head. Don’t despair – it happens. Keep your hand on your heart, take a deep breath, smile and drop back down into the warm loving space of passion and play.
So whether it is seeing your partner as a mystery and/or enjoying emotional foreplay, being in your heart will always help you play better –together.
To view the video click here: Kevin Buck at TEDxOrangeCoastWomen