What sex is to me (and it's not what you think)

What sex is to me (and it's not what you think)

“What is sex to you?” is a question that I heard on Glennon Doyle’s podcast back in September. My gut reaction was the physical act of sex, until her wife, Abby Wambach replied,

“Sex is my spouse bringing me coffee in the morning.”

When I brought this up to a friend, she said, “Oh, yeah: sex on Saturday night starts Monday morning.”

I’ve been turning this question over in my head, and I’ve landed on my personal metaphor for sex: a really nice, home cooked meal.

You can’t just sit down to a hot dinner. There’s a lot of planning and preparation that goes into it. If you miss a part, it doesn’t ruin the meal, but we know that it won’t be quite as good.

When we choose a meal, we do so with our guest of honor in mind. Do they have any allergies or strong dislikes? Does spicy food upset their stomach? What’s their favorite cuisine? What do they like? If we don’t know, we ask them.

We gather our ingredients. Step one: we look to see what we have that already works. Then, we make our first run to the store. I say first store run, because this is a nice meal, and we know that we’re going to forget something. Does that ingredient really matter? we ask ourselves. Yes, we reply, because we observe our guest’s preferences to show that were paying attention.

In prepping our dinner, we don’t wait until the last minute. We choose our meal four days out, and gather our ingredients three days out. Two days before, we look at our menu, and we create our action plan. We whisk the marinade and we chop the vegetables. This part may be boring to us, but we know that doing a little bit every day helps.

The day before, we bake the dessert. We marinade the meat, and we double check for our appetizer of wine and cheese. With our phone, we snap a photo and send our guest a “getting ready” text. We want them to know that we’ve been thinking of them and are excited for our dinner.

It’s Saturday night! We get ourselves ready, set the table, and put on our favorite playlist. An hour before, we pre-heat the oven for the vegetables and meat. When our guest arrives and offers to help in the kitchen, we kindly decline and hand them a glass of wine and the cheese plate instead.

It’s almost time to eat, and we’re proud of ourselves, because we’ve activated our guest’s senses. We’re looking good in our new sweater that our guest comments feels so soft when we hug them. The warm and cozy kitchen is emitting mouth watering smells. We laugh with our guest as a favorite tune from college plays, and we remember being young together.

The timer dings… This is the part we’ve been waiting for all week: dinner is finally served! As our guest eats, they remark on the time and effort that must have gone into the meal, and how grateful they are that they were treated in such a special way. We smile and nod, because we know, even though we intended this for them, that it also turned out to be a very pleasant experience for us.

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