The title for this article could have been “Friendship Is Just as Important as Any Sexual Relationship We Could Ever Have.” But then I realized that some of us have sex with our friends.
My only rule for all relationships is that there are no rules other than that they be healthy. But then, the question always follows, what does that mean?
I honor however people do relationships as long as it works for them. There is no one right way to do anything, and the complexity of how we all do intimacy and sexuality in our lives is fascinating to me.
Nothing is more important than how we do love, and sometimes that can include affection or sensuality or sexuality—and sometimes not. Whether we call the person we have a relationship with a “friend,” “partner,” “significant other,” “spouse,” “husband,” “wife” or any other label does not matter to me. Labels don’t tell us much of anything. If we really want to know, we still have to ask the person what they mean when they use that label and what their relationship entails. What’s important is how we do love—how we love ourselves and how we love our work, where we live, and all the people in our lives.
Sex is not more important than other forms of physical or emotional intimacy. Sexual love is not more important than non-sexual love. Romantic and sexual relationships are not more important than non-sexual relationships and friendships.
In all the joy I can find in the complexity of my relationships—in my attractions, desires and levels of intimacy and ways of doing emotional and physical intimacy and sexuality—the highest compliment I can pay to anyone is to call them a friend.
I prioritize the traits and qualities that go into my friendships, like trust, care, loyalty, authenticity, honesty and love. I protect them in my relationships regardless of all the other unique characteristics or arrangements possible in a particular relationship.
Having care and intention in how we do everything in our lives matters. Being conscious and intentional in each moment of relating is my only goal, knowing I may or may not do even better in the next precious moment I have with someone I love.