Thoughts on Young Love and Sexual Discovery.
I recently received a beautiful message from my aunt, telling me that one of my cousins is about to turn 14 and that he has a girlfriend now.
She and her family live in France, so I don’t see them very often. She wrote, “I might need you to send some wise words on young tender love and sexual discovery to him. I really think it’s the teenagers who need our full support, encouragement, and tips. I’ve had a few talks, but it’s not the same coming from your mother.”
I thought about it a lot, and then I wrote him this letter.
To my dear cousin,
Wow, it’s been such a long time since I last saw you! Your mum tells me that you are a young man now and that you have a girlfriend. I feel excited for you, cuz!
Your mum also invited me to share some of my thoughts on young love and sexual discovery with you, probably because they are topics that intrigue me to no end.
I’d be honored to share my thoughts with you, but before I do, I want you to know that I have no doubt in your capacity to navigate through your teenage years in your own unique and courageous way. So please, do whatever you feel to do with my words. Take them to heart, or leave them, you don’t even have to read them if you’re not moved to.
Thoughts on Young Love
My first thought about young love is that it’s beautiful like nothing else. Above all, I’d say enjoy it, cuz!
One way to really enjoy it is by letting go of the need to be cool. Instead, allow yourself to have fun and be playful together. For me, the shared moments of laughter have always been infinitely more valuable than the times when I was trying to be cool and collected.
Even more gifts come your way if you allow yourself to be seen for who you really are. Allow yourself to be seen without the social masks we so often wear. It’s scary as hell at first, but after a while, a deep relaxation happens when we reveal ourselves to another human.
Alongside this, allow yourself to really see the person who is in front of you. People share themselves with us only as much as we are willing to see them.
In the same way, intimacy with another can teach us so much about ourselves. Yet again, we can only learn about ourselves as much as we are willing to see ourselves for who we are. But the journey of self-discovery has no end, and the rewards are just as limitless.
Also, cuz, give yourself full permission to express your feelings because I know society doesn’t. You’ve probably experienced the same limiting message as most boys and men, that it’s not okay to feel or share your emotions. The sooner you know that it’s bullshit, the better. The need to express our feelings is universal, regardless of gender or age.
There’s nothing braver than sharing the truth of what you are experiencing.
Another thing you may notice at some point is the temptation to merge emotionally with your girlfriend. Sometimes it is irresistible to become so enamored and entwined in one another that you completely forget yourself. Although it is seductive, it’s not sustainable long-term. When you disentangle, remember that you are whole and complete in and of yourself.
Allow your sense of worth to come from deep inside you.
Know that your girlfriend is inherently worthy in the same way. Choose to see all that is beautiful, brave and unique about her.
There are qualities, gifts, dreams and ideas that are unique to each of us. Seek to find what is of central importance to you, and align your thoughts, words and actions with that. If you cultivate and honor your passions, you will have more energy and joy to share with your girlfriend, loved ones, and the world.
Thoughts on Sexual Discovery
I do not presume to know where you are at in the realm of sexual discovery, but I can tell you that one of the qualities that I find most sexually attractive is patience.
When someone is patient with me, I am more likely to trust them.
When someone takes the time to really make me feel safe, I am able to deeply relax.
When someone takes the time to slowly get to know my entire body, my body responds with openness and desire.
And by patience, I don’t mean indifference. You can be burning with desire, but also have a resolute willingness to wait for your girlfriend to meet you there.
In whatever way you are connecting with your girlfriend, be present. Whether you’re kissing or touching her hair, don’t be absentminded. Really let yourself feel the sensations of the experience. Notice what emotions come up. Is there desire or tenderness or both? Be where you are entirely.
When you’re both ready to explore sexually, talk about it… a lot. Talk about condoms and contraceptives. Being on the same page about these things is so important for you to both feel safe and comfortable.
Ask each other lots of questions! The process of asking questions can be really fun and intimate. Ask her what she wants from the experience of connecting sexually. Ask her where and how she wants to be touched, ask her where she doesn’t want to be touched, ask her what she’s not ready for, ask her what’s she’s excited about, and ask her what she needs to feel safe before, during and after sexual connection.
Enjoy taking the time to explore together.
Ask yourself the same questions, and share your answers with respect and compassion.
When your girlfriend shares her answers, listen to her body as well as her words. For example, if she says she is ready for sexual intercourse but her vagina is not wet, lubricated and open, just stop. This is how you honor a woman. Really listen.
Whenever she says No to anything, say Thank you and respect her wishes. Society teaches women to please people and conditions us to say Yes a lot more than we say No. So saying No is actually really courageous!
In your sexual explorations, don’t focus on trying to replicate anything you’ve seen in films or online. It is so important to listen to your inner compass, and to only do what feels comfortable and exciting for both of you. Every sexual connection and relationship is unique. Find the way that you and your girlfriend can connect in each moment that brings the most pleasure and joy to you both.
One of the most sacred and beautiful qualities you can bring to sex is an attitude of worship. Imagine your girlfriend touching you sexually with total love, devotion and desire. Imagine her touching you like you are a God on Earth. It feels good, no?
This is how she wants to be touched as well, like a Goddess. Touch her like she is a portal to heaven because I’ll let you in on a little secret: she is.
Allow yourself to bring reverence and honoring to your self-pleasuring and masturbation practice too. Despite the societal and religious messages that equate sexuality with profanity, sexual energy is sacred. Sexual energy is the energy that creates and sustains life. There would be no life without sex! Sexual energy is inherently pleasurable, life-giving and creative, and that is something to celebrate.
So my dear cousin, it is my greatest hope that you enjoy all of your explorations. In my experience, there isn’t much in life that is as beautiful as sharing love, desire, devotion, passion and pleasure with ourselves or with another human.
Thank you for this opportunity to write to you and to share my thoughts on some of my favorite things.
Sending much, much love.
Ari Amala is a facilitator, counselor, writer, and inspired human. All of her offerings are influenced by her study in Transpersonal Counselling, Art Therapy and Dance Therapy along with her exploration of sacred sexuality. She considers spirituality to be the practice of cultivating willingness to embrace the entirety of the human experience. Ari lives in Melbourne, Australia with her partner, Alexander. They are the creators of The Call to Aliveness YouTube channel, as well as the business, Essensual Self, which is a celebration of sensuality and mindfulness. You can find out more about Ari’s offerings at her website.