Whole Life Magazine

February/March 2013

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/106392

Contents of this Issue


Page 18 of 43

Sextalk whole living If I Could Put love in a BoTTle By Wendy Strgar I can usually tell before a couple starts talking whether anything I have to sell will make a difference for their intimate life. How far apart they stand, how they look at each other or don't, comes across loud and clear in the love booth I've been transporting around the country to various health and sustainability events for close to a decade. I've heard thousands of inspiring and heartbreaking love stories that are as unique as they are universal in their quest for intimacy. Rarely do customers come into my booth to ask when or how to use my personal lubricants, what they're made of or how they act as an aphrodisiac in brain chemistry. Instead they ask really hard questions about their intimate lives: why their wives won't make love to them, or why their husbands would rather watch football than have a conversation with them. Often they ask whether their sexual preferences are weird, or if their desires are normal. Sometimes they break down in tears wondering if they will ever ind real love again. The common thread running through all these interactions is that everyone wants to be loved and to love successfully, but so many of us don't know how to make it work and have little insight into why it doesn't. They perceive my traveling love show as a quick ix for their relationship, hoping for something in a bottle that will heal their broken sex lives. But I have no magical love potion to offer, and instead of selling them something I know won't address the problem, I offer truth, which is that no product on earth can lip an instant on-switch for a sex life burdened by unspoken conlicts and broken promises. While some customers are grateful for the free love advice, others walk away in a huff when I tell them there is no lubricant that will magically heal the barriers that keep them from connecting intimately. I know this truth from personal experience early in my own marriage, when it became clear to me that our sex dificulties were only a symptom of the many ways my quick criticism of his parenting or his judgments about my messiness created an abyss between us. Sex issues are most often blamed for the end of a relationship, but they are rarely the source of its demise. Still, this is the number one excuse and the straw that breaks the camel's back when couples justify leaving. I am no longer surprised at how reticent people are to do the hard work relationships require. We live within a cultural misperception of relationships that prematurely ends many a workable relationship, plagued with the erroneous thinking that an intimate relationship should both make us happy and be easy, or at least easier than it generally is. These beliefs are not grounded in the reality of the most challenging work we take up in this life, of learning to love. Perhaps the poet Rilke said it best when he wrote, "For one person to truly love another is perhaps the most dificult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation." Most of us don't recognize how our unchecked negative thinking and off-the-cuff sarcasm acts like an invisible virus, invading and tearing away at our good intentions and hard work. I still remember the day my husband and I agreed from opposite sides of the kitchen counter to not say anything mean to each other anymore. It was the start of a slow thawing of defenses and equally slow growth of something soft and tender that took its place. It takes practice to listen for the heartless ways we speak to the people we are supposed to love best, and a real commitment to something bigger than having the last word. Real grown-up relationships mean you don't make it worse when you are hurt or misunderstood, or disagree about something. But that's a lot more dificult than blaming the death of your sex life. It was one of my earliest customers, a screenwriter at a swank Hollywood green party, who irst coined the term loveologist for me, back when I was known for carting around a hundred pounds of love products on a repurposed dog-show cart. It was a gift, this title with which he honored my work. Learning, writing and teaching about love has always been my real motivation for selling love products. Some have accused me of missing the bottom line in my love-product business, and more than one investor has questioned my primary mission of increasing the experience of love in the world. Yet despite my weakness in business spreadsheets, the dividends I have reaped from being able to give real answers about love gone wrong and offering hope to the sad, desperate faces of couples on the edge has always made it worthwhile. Wendy Strgar, CEO and loveologist of Good Clean Love, blogs at www.makinglovesustatinable.com and hosts a love radio show at www.theopeningdoor.com. Wholeliving.indd 19 February/March201319 1/25/13 5:54 PM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Whole Life Magazine - February/March 2013