I had a discussion recently with a friend of a friend, who happens to be a Sexuality Educator and Counselor. As her job is something that fascinates me, I was keen to start a conversation with her. Of course, one doesn’t simply lead with “Oh, you’re having the ravioli? Tell me how you teach sex….”
As witty banter and discussions erupted, my inner monologue repeated over and over again, Sex. Sex. Sex. Tell me about sex.
Somehow, someway, my prayers to the Gods of Cosmo were answered and a conversation arose about a recent patient that she was working with. The patient was a mentally and physically handicapped young man who craved one thing – to simply be touched. (Not exactly Cosmo-worthy, but much more enlightening.)
I have always believed that humanity requires four things: food, water, shelter, and intimacy. However, in my musings and ponderings, I never once thought how universal this truth might actually be. In other words, I sat alone in my bedroom, crying into a journal, forcing myself to accept the fact that my loneliness was out of a simple human need to connect with another on an intimate level and I am not alone in this – everyone, I repeat, EVERYONE, must feel that same way too, right? Doesn’t the human in all of us thirst for touch?
And, yet, it’s important to acknowledge that the relief of this thirst is not always a given. Love is not a guarantee. And, although the platitude of “Oh, you’ll find the right person. He/She is out there” can be repeated with relative ease to the single and tender at heart, will the young man who is physically bound ever find the love that lasts a lifetime? Will I? Can anyone say with any certainty that we, two, beautiful human beings will, without a doubt, find intimacy?
As I grow older, I learn that these things that should be a human right are not always to be expected. Water is relatively cheap, but food and shelter? It can really add up and when you are given assistance in any way, you are publicly shamed on TV channels that dare to call themselves news broadcasts. A lasting career, a rent-controlled apartment, an IRA, health care…. it seems as though none of these things can be a tangible reality for my generation. Or, at least, not all at the same time. (Let’s face it, I have no idea what an IRA is….)
People have called me a relatively attractive, kind, twentysomething with a fabulous education and hardworking disposition. However, that being said, none of that means love is a guarantee for me.
And, part of me is okay with that. It makes the love I have received from friends and family truly special and unique. Their love is a gift, not a given.
And, yet, I can’t help but be deeply saddened and infuriated with those who waste that precious gift…because even the basic necessities of life can be taken away if we abuse them too freely.