“Sex is the consolation you have when you can’t have love.” – Gabriel Garcia Márquez
When was the last time you stopped to actually consider if you know what love is?
We’ve been taught to wish for it, to long for it and wait for it all our lives. We’ve been told that love is the biggest power and the undoing of many great people – it is the sweet fragrant wind that cradles the birds in its warm hands as they reach out towards the clear blue sky, it is the righteous anger of the river bursting its banks with the strength of a furious bull. A world of its own, right and wrong in equal parts, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Is it only me, or does that sound really hard to uphold?
The price we have to pay for an idealistic view on life is too high most of the time, and we are only human. With our many failings and shortcomings we always seem to be a sliver of a thought away from both Heaven and Hell yet, by default, it feels like the latter is always much closer to our hearts than the first. Pain is a feeling that defines the existence of all that is living, and we are particularly prone to wallow in it rather than try to look up in search of whatever fickle smoke of hope is left. Does it come as a surprise, then, that we don’t know how to love? That, whenever we think we catch a fugitive glimpse of it, we claw at it like a drowning man in search for air and end up tearing it to pieces?
Love isn’t meant to be taken for granted. I think we’ve all stumbled upon that popular quote that claims love is like a butterfly, and the more you chase it the more it sidesteps you until, at last, you look away wearily and it rests on your shoulder. Let’s make use of our imagination and accept it, for a moment, as an absolute truth. How many of us have even considered that butterflies do not stay still for long and that, unless you catch them, they will usually be gone the moment you lifted a finger too much?
Granted, by this point you will probably think that love is not actually that much like a butterfly. Love is supposed to be resilient. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. But there’s honestly only so much one can accept before deciding they’ve had enough. And when that threshold is left behind the only option left is to embrace the heartache and move on, leave it all behind and don’t look back. There is never any justification for getting stuck in a place that hurts you, with someone who has trampled on your heart.
So let me ask you, in a world that constantly and consistently pushes us to the wall and tries to ingrain its grit into our very core, what can a simple man realistically expect? Undying, lifetime commitment? Someone who’d give their life to save another?
Will you excuse me for my cheek if I told you that sex is the only thing I think can be somehow taken for granted?
The ways of this new world, so intent on teaching us to find retribution in small consolation prizes rather than seek it in the dark recesses of ourselves, nudge us towards what ultimately ends up in disappointment.
What makes us the ones to blame is how easily we accept defeat and start acting upon it as if it’s our very basis for breathing. We start actively choosing the easy way out, living off of scraps rather than striving for the full course meal, settling for little bursts of satisfaction instead of working towards achieving a bigger goal. In an environment that promotes living fast and shallow, sex is nothing but a means to an imaginary end.
Rarely does anyone fall in love just because of it, and so using it as a substitute for love is nothing more than a big gilded lie, an excuse some rely on to justify a number of fears: abandonment, dependency, insecurity and pain, among others. There are times when the physical contact can soothe wounds, yes, but more often than not new wounds open as the others begin healing.
There is no question that it has its benefits, but for sure in my book sex does never amount to love. Does it in yours…?