To not see this reminder again
Erotic is the boldest, most symbolic, most intimate, most important act of love ...
To most erotically healthy people, perhaps, that is no secret, especially, if their heart be pure enough to be able to sense love, but since trying to own my story, I think it comes naturally to admit such truth, even though my whole life prior to this moment, my brain has tried to make sense of the world while believing the exact opposite. Believe that sex is an absolutely meaningless act and hard work caused by animal urges, at best, and often the most horrible thing you could do to another human being.
I didn't grow up in a strictly religious environment and fed with such opinions about what sex is about, contrary to most people's beliefs, or perhaps better said assumptions, Islam if you get too close to scripture and early scholarly works, is actually an extremely erotically healthy religion, or perhaps best said, as erotically healthy as human being could ever be. Just to give an example from the top of my mind, there is this Hadith regarding the poorest among men, and there are three kinds of individuals counted, one of them is a man who takes pleasure from his wife while his wife doesn't.
I heard recently this analogy today that our brains constantly try to make sense out of the environment and when events happen to you that you are not ready to understand them, it will be odd to not find yourself with an explanation or at least, some form of judgement concluded by your brain based on those events.
First when I realized the experience(s) I had made in childhood is actually what newspapers report as rape, I didn't even need to recall any memories to my conscious to be fully rest-assured that sex is the most horrible things that someone can do to me, or me to someone.
The first time, I was in a public library and trying to find a novel with the level of German that I could read it while requiring me only to look up few words per sentence or page. The beginning of the story seemed in a way philosophical and very unique and I really liked it, and so Cecilia Ahern won my trust and admiration with her beginning chapters, until I reached the part when she describes how the protagonist felt attraction to the body of man with muscles and sweats running on it and I was shocked. I thought the author must be nuts. Which woman would find attraction to such scenery, that's disgusting, but I was reminded that the book is translated from English to German and has made it to a public library and hand-picked under as a popular book on the shelf from which I picked it. If the acts in the tale are really that disgusting, the book won't make it in my hand through all these filters, being translated, then public library purchasing it, then the staff putting it as the recommended reads.
The second bold example was when I was the third man in the conversation between a male and female friends of mine who a little while later dated, or at least met once together and Elsa being asked for her favorite movies, and me being interested in getting to know her, I watched them, both really shook my perspective on love, but one of them really made me accept mentally that there is something especially about a man and woman being that physically intimate with one another. If I hadn't watched that movie, I guess, I would have never ever ever had the ability to think there is anything profoundly unique about erotic intimacy ...
The other time where my world-view was challenged in a way that I could accept it mentally was the TED talk by a designer where he expressed that his vision of the most sensually complex design is the act of sex because it evolves all the senses. I always liked inventors and artists and the sources of inspirations to me always had something Godly in them, because almost all sources of inspirations are at one level back to nature and nature is the creation of the Lord, in my worldview and so I always had high respect for whatever was considered as the source of inspiration; As to me it was a sign of the God, and that this intelligent designer was using "sex" as the ultimate manifestation of perfect design, I was lost ... mentally lost, or perhaps "lost" is the wrong term, to describe it better, I should say, the layer of protection around the evaluation that my brain had made for me about what sex is was deeply damaged, so damaged that looked like there is a whole world outside of it and I can't stay there for too long ...
Look, afterward, I actually read a sentiment close to the line I began this piece with, in Gary D. Chapman's "5-love languages", but as the brain of someone with sexual trauma is, it was just a piece of information compartmentalized away from all my personal experience and feelings about sex.
Especially the past months has been so rough on me, I would be crying and running up and down in my room arguing with myself:
- You really want to think this way, huh? Really? ... Really "sex is the most profound act of love"? ... So that man was engaging in the most profound act of love with me? I want to kill myself if this is true
- No, I didn't mean it that way.
- No, why do you hesitate, go on, go on ... why stop there, so, now that someone was engaged in the most profound act of love with me, I owe to love him back, huh? and by the way the guy was married, fuck you! Fuck this fucking idea about sex ...
- Okay, maybe that's not enough, but I really think that's how it seems to be, I really can't explain things otherwise, but yeah, I don't know how to explain what happened to me if we think this way about sex.
Without going into details of the things, the other cause that I'm finally capable of at least consciously admitting that such sentiment be true about erotic, is this totally out of control and out of my hopes and wishes interaction between me and kiddo that somehow terrible terrible terrible, endlessly terrible interventions of the others turned it into a painful, dangerous thing, where not explaining myself meant I'm guilty and explaining myself meant I will lose forever the chance to surprise her that I felt she can be the perfect ... she might be someone I could refer to as soulmate and ... the chance to only then tell her that I really seriously thinking about marrying each other, when you know she might as have similar attitudes as well ... Anyways, no need to go into details of things here, but somehow it was exchanged between us that I have a not nice past that kind of hunts me ... and ... and I never even dropped a hint, not even a hint as far aways as "there are things in my past but don't ask me about them" to someone I felt affectionate about, I mean, not in person, otherwise, yeah, in the past I had written poems for some celebrity with such hints, anyways, that was really an act of living with my story and it really changed my attitudes from constantly trying to think and imagine how other individuals who haven't been raped think and feel and react in this or that condition and try to mimic them, so I can pass myself off as someone who is erotically available, at least, that I don't come off as odd or damaged so visibly but as you can imagine, you can't possibly mimic such things. It's almost like having one of those old-fashioned prosthetic legs and joining a football club and trying to act as if you can run like any other healthy player. The problem is that you can't. Since few weeks after I told her, or better said, sent a really revealing SMS to her number, one of the many hundred SMS she never respond to, for the time in my life, the only human beings for whom I wanted to pose myself as an erotically capable human being, because I wanted to be someone whom she can love, turned to someone who knew what had happened to me, and for the first time in my life I realized, there is no escape from my past. That's all I got to offer:
I was raped when I was a kid and I really have a hard time feeling things that people say they feel. Being physically intimate with someone in my mind deep inside is actually an extremely horrible prospect that I rather never want to happen to me or to someone I love. I'm conscious that I should want it but I can't really 100% want it cuz somewhere in my brain deep down there, is a totally damaged place ...
There is another example revolving her and it is so nuanced that not telling it in detail is safer than telling some part of it and keeping the other parts of it, so let's just say I was the witness to a scenery I never even wished to take place in first place, but because I feel so connected to her in another dimension, it was so easy for me to understand and accept how she felt about that experience and so for the first time in my life the experience of putting your lips on someone else's was associated with positive feelings. As said, it is really hard for me to step outside of the compartmentalization so natural to my brain regarding all things erotic, because I've been witness to many even far far far more passionate kisses, by many different age groups, in different countries, so not really an unusual scenery of its own, once even, and I never really grasped why those people got in a full subway in first place but they did and there was really no room to turn around even for me, and that man and woman kissed each other right into my face, like five or ten centemeter away from my face, almost as if I were part of it, not emotionally like the example I wanted to not tell, but this time physically ... It was Berlin and Berlin is one of those cities where you can be totally outraged inside yourself about inappropriate behaviors of others, even sometimes if it touches the border of morally wrong, but you won't even make a compliment gesture. Of course, it's a city with most horrible politicians but the non-politicians in the city are the exact opposite, highly tolerant and accepting, regardless of what you do and I was part of it, and I'm always kind of highly tolerant and accepting, but not in the same style and language as in Berlin ...
So, I hope, by now, I'm ready to own my story and at the same time accept the truth of the statement that erotic is the boldest, most symbolic, most intimate, most important act of love ..., since I can remember in childhood I valued love highly, along the lines of there is no life worth living without love, but I had an endlessly hard time accepting how erotic and romantic love between human beings related to one another. and the example I counted are just the boldest most positive events which caused a shift in my perspective, of course, there has been many highly, sometimes endlessly painful events, like the first time I watched a porn with sound and the stuff the man was told to the woman were so similar to what that man was telling to me those many years ago ... I was just internally destroyed to the ground, because till then, still, I hoped somehow there was an explanation for what had happened those many years ago, that there was some way to explain away the fact that I was raped and that adult conscious highly successful man had actually deliberately made love with me. There were many things I find it hard to accept, or in the back of my mind, I never wanted to accept them being true, last but not least because I couldn't imagine how to live my life if those things are indeed true.
Admitting the truth of this statement, even though hard task to me, is perhaps just the beginning for me, because unlike others, I really had and have a hard time seeing the world like other in this respect, for example, recently I discovered looking at the face of someone is often interpreted as erotic interest in someone, and more often than not, the reason I've been looking at someone's face has been to read something from his or her life and the erotic interest rarely crossed my mind, to be precise, there are only two single events in my life, where I felt erotic interest in someone without trauma inhibitions hunting me in the back of my mind and with the ability to sense green light from my psyche and judgement regarding that state of feeling. It doesn't surprise me that one of those individuals is Jennette McCurdy, after all, because I considered myself owing a lot to her, and as such I am not allowed to feel many negative things, or have many negative judgements which I would have had otherwise ... the other instance I couldn't help myself but feel erotically attracted to that individual, maybe more than everything triggered by the conversations few male friends had with me, commenting about how big asses are beautiful and once when she passed by me, I couldn't help but think inside myself "I wouldn't ever care how her ass or other parts of her body is, she is endlessly attractive to my eyes" and I was telling to my body: "hey, hold on, hold on. She isn't your wife ... you don't need to be so over-protective whether she is attractive or not ... it's not going to make any difference to my life ... we don't have an obligation to be attracted to her" and some 18 hours later my body arrived me with hard-proof that it doesn't care how I judge my state of relationship with her and how I think I should be worried about her, in its perspective, she is attractive without an endpoint. and that's the other only example which I have. About Jennette McCurdy, I have an obligation to admit all the times, she is attractive, but about this individual, I didn't wish to make such life-long admission but I was punished in such a way that here and now and till the end of my life, whenever necessary I will admit, every part of her party is endlessly attractive. I made the grave mistake to comment something in my heart about some tiny little thing in her appearance and the God punished me in such a way, that for the rest of my life, I'll admit whenever necessary, as long as she follows her pure heart:
S---- is so endlessly attractive to me from head to toe, so that even every single hair on her body is as attractive to my eyes, as everything appealing in another woman's body combined ...
and yes, I'm well aware what I'm admitting here, I mean, you don't need to have seen any human being naked to know that hairs don't only grow on human's head, I am making such admission with such consciousness.
So, these are the only two individuals I really felt something erotic about while being able to associate those feelings with a sense of love, beside those single instances, I had never felt anything erotic related, without sexual trauma and/or its side-effects being so present in me, never such feelings were associated with pleasure, or any other positive emotional state in me. So, I apologize, if the way I looked at someone, or the way I talked to someone or what I have said, seemed to indicate otherwise, and I'm writing these with the consciousness that I've asked other someone else for her hand and there is poem there with the line: "I want to be intimate with your body" and few other individuals I expressed love while being open to the idea of a possible romantic relationship if we got to know each other more and it looked like a good idea, but all those times, to me such interactions seemed like a hard task which I'm obliged to do as a man and as part of a romantic relationship and as you can guess, the woman I wrote the lines "I want to be intimate with your body" is a special in that scene, because at time she was in a relationship with another woman and that poem more than being an indication of what I aspired for because I found such interaction pleasurable, was motivated by the idea that I wished she and her girlfriend being in relationship with men instead of women, for lots of reasons, also because I thinks some of the imagination they had from men where totally misguided. So, yes, I have said it and I meant it when I said it, but it wasn't motivated by the idea that I pictured us together and found that pleasing and couldn't wait to do it in reality but because I wanted to encourage her to overcome her hard-feelings and harsh judgement of men as a category and grow out of that discomfort and be in relationship with a man whom she loves and he loves her. Not because I think she is wrong to think men are capable of such horrors, I have experienced more horrible things that what she feared but I don't think men are born to behave that way by nature and that there is no free will and education, moral, religion and love and all the rest has no impact and are totally nonsense terms.
Now, standing here and for the first time in my life being able to mentally and psychology, at least to some level, admit that erotic is part of love, and not any part of it, but "the boldest, most symbolic, most intimate, most important act" of it, I'm totally shocked and I think we need to talk about something:
Guys, you can't imagine how hard I have worked to be able to be like you, to be able to not associate everything erotic-related when it is about me and my life to extremely excessively negative feelings, hatred and absolute denial of any pleasure whatsoever. I worked really endlessly hard to be in your shoes, to be able to want a romantic relationship with someone, not because I wished to have some deep, meaningful, lifelong, unconditional emotional attachment between me and we admire, respect and trust, each other, but also to want the erotic side of a romantic relationship. If it helps you to get an idea of how desperately far away I was from desiring anything erotic related with someone I love from my heart, maybe this comparison helps you: I have seen and heard many people who end up having a child while one or both of the first-time parents didn't even want to have a child, at least, not at that time in their lives, me on the other hand, since November 2016, felt this desire to have a baby -by the Lord's leave & if ...– and the closest I have got to become a father was to ask the hand of a young woman who was pregnant and considering whether to have an abortion or become a young single mother ... I worked endlessly hard about sex, to be able to feel good about it, to be able to want to do it with someone I love, but the trauma and everything, just impossible, so impossible that I wanted to circumvent fulfilling my heart's wish for having a baby but taking care of someone else's baby where the guy had no interest to be a father.
I'm not saying that you need to be thankful from the God that such horrible things didn't happen in your childhood and you feel amazing about sex or you like it or whatever, I'm just saying, I worked extremely hard to be able to see the place it has in respect of love, and since my childhood, as far back as I can remember, love was always something of high value to me. All my life after that event in childhood I lived in the safety of the compartmentalization of not relating erotic and love with one another and it was not a big deal because all my high-school years were spent on mathematics, then politics, then philosophy, religious poetry and love in the religious scene and a little sex related curiosity, so no interaction with a girl whom we were both intellectually and emotionally close to each other, where she enjoyed having sex, I would for the first time in my life face the reality that there is some form of intimacy she desires to have with another man and she is really so happy and motivated about it but I can't imagine such horrible things happening between me and someone I like ... Compartmentalization is not the only measure but perhaps one of the key features in human's design that enabled me to go totally unchallenged while believing erotic and love has nothing with each other.
Since the time I met such a woman, or at least a woman to some degree similar to the description above who kind of challenged my internal perspective on the relationship between erotic and love, I began to ask people about their romantic relationships while being extremely non-judgmental, and you can imagine I have met many different people, like a woman who had slept with the boyfriend of her female friend, or on another occasion was offered a threesome but refused, or I met a mother of toddler who said she is in an open relationship with her boyfriend and they live on separate floors of the same buildings and she is learning to live a modern life, but it felt like a man who couldn't accept being a father and wished to have erotic adventures with as many women as possible before settling down, perhaps there will never be any pressure on him to ever settledown or another man who was having different girlfriend while also legally being married but since many years no more in that relationship but still keeping the legal status cause his legal wife had cancer and the insurance and all the other stuff, or another shy man who believed he should have been in love with a girl he met on an exchange program and was living such a loveless life since he had returned and the relationship was resolved, till he apparently met a new person about a year or two later. and perhaps these are still ordinary examples for you, I have had few homosexual friends and with one or two I even discussed very intimate romantic relationship's issues ...
and all those times, I had so many difficulties in myself about anything erotic related that I was just listening to those stories and trying to be like those people, because all I knew of myself about erotic was the rape experience and few molestation experiences in childhood and recalling how they felt in adulthood was just unspeakably endlessly horrible ... I didn't know what to do when it comes to my own erotic life other than wanting to be dead because the fact that someone was so intimate with me whom I had no control, no desire, no request, no wish, no hope, nothing with, was just unbearable to live with, not just "was", I mean, still it is not easy to bear. Okay, so I just tried to listen to those people and think about how they are feeling and try to learn or at least pretend that this is how I feel whenever it was necessary for me to have some erotic interaction with someone.
I am a non-judgmental person, or at least, may the Lord help me to be whenever necessary, because I believe human beings have to learn things on their own, but to me it was very easy to accept whatever I was being told, because I had nothing inside myself to check the validity or morality of what I was being told in respect of how the erotic relationships within those romances related to love or lack thereof, but now I'm just shocked.
To me, it is impossible to believe you guys actually have sex without marriage. Look, look, look, I'm not trying to "slut shame" anyone or whatever, look, I'm by far the worst that someone can be in respect of the erotic aspect of their life, perhaps the only worse off individuals are individuals who were raped by a blood-related relative in childhood or were forced into prostitution since early adolescent or perhaps the first times in childhood by someone who was supposed to care for them, maybe father or the stepfather or something, or maybe someone who was raped when toddler and was able to emotionally and mentally register it, but beside these really off the map occasions, I am not a healthy person in respect of erotic life and the damage is done. May the Lord help me heal from trauma fully but even afterward I will still be someone who has gone through all these and that's not the same. I don't bear the moral weight of the actions of individuals who harmed me but I'm damaged beyond your comprehension. and whether my words would make you feel good about your erotic choices or not, I will still be damaged beyond your comprehension and so making you feel bad about it, won't make me feel any different about myself.
Now that I realize how erotic fills within the bigger picture about love, I can't grasp how could you be so easy going about sleeping with someone without marriage. I mean, I have been working so hard to be there, to be able to feel something positive about erotic and you have it naturally and you leave it for the next available stranger on your way who had the luck to say the right things at the right time in the right place? I'm not arguing against love in the first sight, nor do I think you need to know someone that perfectly in order to live the rest of your lives loving each other, because even if someone people have done it successfully that way, they were one day total strangers to one another, so practically doesn't make sense to argue in favor of it. We are living in one of the most comfortable eras in human history for marrying whomever you love, the most single important question regarding marriage, which was the financial ability of the couple, is kind of out of concern, as most countries have some social security offerings, especially in Europe social security is amazing, so you don't need to look for a man who can guarantee to make a living at 18 nor do a man need to go and kill a dragon, in order to prove himself that he indeed can take care of providing for the princess's comfort and killing a dragon, by the way, was a process that would take decades. Most of the people in developed world are free from many numbers of things that would make choosing the person you love an impossible task, for example, you don't live in a caste system like India, there are far too little family businesses and far too little feuds among families or villages or tribes that would prohibit you marrying someone from the enemy camp or otherwise write your name in history books as another Romeo and Juliet. These countless number of barriers are just not there, and yet you waste the most meaningful act of love with someone you won't be sharing the rest of your life with, neither you won't even desire to share more than a couple of hours continuously together. To me, this is sincerely incomprehensible. If you aren't sure whether you love someone or not, so you can't marry them right now, then why don't wait with the rest of the stuff. Marriage is a far easier decision than loving someone, especially if you are not so young, you will realize there are many numbers of reasons to stay married or to get married in the first place which has nothing to do with love. Yet, young people are terrified by marriage and not terrified by wasting erotic interactions with someone whom in their right mind won't marry. Not to mention the general pattern of achieving such a success is to get yourself drunk so you can allow yourself committing such horrible mistakes while your brain not being able to judge and prevent you ...
I understand that marriage is a serious decision, and living the rest of your life with a stranger is indeed an extremely serious and perhaps a dangerous idea, specially if you don't know each other well, or for whatever reason don't trust enough, but that doesn't permit you to not marry someone and yet have an erotic relationship with him or her. If it would give permission to anything, it is a permission to not be too harsh on yourself if you realize you have made the wrong decision and married the wrong person. It is easy to make the wrong decision, but even then, we do no more live in times where you were married till death and divorce was a crime higher than adultery in the perception of the public, it is true that we make divorce harder than it should be in areas that are not beneficial to make it harder, but it is still not enough an excuse. If it be any excuse to anything, it is an excuse to question social norms and aim at initiating a shift and not a permission for avoiding marriage.
If you don't trust yourself to be able to make such decision in your life at this point, firstly, I think you are probably not right, because if your body pushes you for something it means you're ready to walk in that direction, but walking in a direction doesn't mean you have to arrive at the destination in the next year, this style of thinking is just fucked up. You aren't ready to make that decision, why the hell then you spent so much time with a boy or a girl with some erotic backgrounds between the two of you? Even if we go with the most animalistic explanation possible and talk about "sexual needs", even then unlike the need for food and water, you won't die from not answering such need immediately, yes, if you do deny or repress them, you end up in not nice places, but by delay something because you are working on learning how to do it right the first time, you are neither repressing such needs nor denying them, you are doing what you have to be doing.
Another thing that I find extremely fucked up is that people talk about their romantic relationships as if it is supposed to be career: my first kiss was at such age with that boy or girl, then the neighbor's son or daughter, then, etc and etc., and then I become more successful and my partner couldn't deal with my success so we broke up and now I'm ... Guys that's not how it's supposed to be. The fact that human beings grow is not an excuse to change romantic partner year after year, if it would be an excuse for anything, it is an excuse for saying no to whoever is not sharing your vision and inspiration and motivation for growth. Especially men and women at 28, 30, it's really mind-blowing how easily they pretend the lie they have been telling to themselves about why their relationships didn't work, is going to come off logical to me. I understand marriage can be a mistake and necessary to be ended, but then it is a mistake and not a temporary arrangement that we will end as soon as we find a better job, or a way to go after our dream, or that other boy or girl whom we were really into but didn't dare to make a move, becomes available ... These excuses just don't seem real.
By the way, talking about "someone becoming available", firstly, I find this terminology fucked up, but that aside, I can't see the competition you guys are watching for. You can compete with someone for having sex with the same person, but you can't about love, because at the end of the day human beings are unique and you going after someone else's dream just means you have abandoned that of yours. I aim not claiming it is impossible that two or more people think they can have a successful marriage with the same person but the truth is that those individuals are different and they won't want the same thing, nor the same marriage and that person whom they are competing about, which I won't label it as "competition", won't going to feel the same about those different visions, and there are enough people out there that there be one woman for one man, as long as we don't mess up with the natural reproduction mechanism, which unfortunately we have done.
and then there are these other halfway solutions, when two individuals have started a relationship and they understand that love is something meaningful and important and just because they have slept with each other, it is impossible to admit that the relationship should come to an end, because it is not easy to define a clear endpoint for an endeavor which didn't have a clear start point to begin with. There are few typical strategies which I have observed individuals in such circumstances fall pray for, but before discussing that, let's make another point about marriage: the good thing about marriage is that it is so easy to figure out that you have married the wrong person and it is so easy to put an end for it, because there is already a framework available out there for it. By contrast it is so hard to define a clear criteria by which you could criticize the person you are in a casual relationship with and in case you do, that person can always come to you and argue that he or she didn't know it and that's not something which you should expect in a casual relationship, and once you're married you're going to see the difference, but that's not really a recipe for success. But the strategies: one typical strategy is to separate their romantic relationship into two categories, the erotic is with the official boy or girlfriend and the emotional and intellectual intimacy part is with a best-friend in the opposite sex, and by the way those best-friends are often people who are not in a relationship and not seriously after dating and finding love, can you know why? Exactly, because they are in half consumed by someone else. I mean, you have to a make a decision, if the person you are having sex with can't be your intellectual and emotional partner no matter how much you ask and encourage him or her, you have to end that relationship and by the way that best-friend is not supposed to be single for the rest of his or her life, why don't you push him or her to becomes someone you can be erotically attracted to. People can learn, and appearing erotically attractive is to some degree a skill. and if this isn't the solution either, then go after finding the love of your life in someone who really satisfies your need for a husband or wife, the kind of spouse that you really do love each other in all aspects. There are even less self-confident people, who don't go after satisfying their unmet part in a relationship with a third-person, instead they become overprotective and worrying a lot and demanding unusual control and expecting their partner to drop any friendship with the opposite gender, if that friendship is with someone whom they feel capable of satisfying the needs he or she can't. That's not the way to handle a relationship. Look, I'm not against, neither in favor of friendship between opposite sex after marriage in any way different than prior to it, but even strangers can recognize that this particular individual from the opposite sex is the kind of friend you should have had in your spouse but you don't. Look, the fact that you can't satisfy someone's emotional, intellectual, or erotic needs, and even if you put all your best to improve yourself in that regard, doesn't mean you are doing something wrong but using these two strategies to maintain such relationship while obviously a necessary aspect of intimacy being missing, means you are doing something wrong. and that's actually part of a bigger problem as well. The first strategy means you are ruining the life of that opposite sex best-friend and the man or woman whom he or she could have been in a relationship with, had you not used half of his or her capacity for human bonding, the second strategy means you are preventing your partner from finding love and building a life with a man or woman regardless of how imperfect that person is but that imperfect person could have been a better fit tham you, and you are also stopping yourself from being with someone for whom you are the perfect fit, and these are just the beginning, in reality, by behaving this way, you are practically contributing to a chain of unhealthy romantic relationships in the society and with each new individual added to the chain, the chain grows exponentially, until it makes a full circle.
As said, I have been highly receptive of whatever romantic relationship I have been introduced because I had no ability to make emotional judgment about many aspects of it especially the erotic part. Since the day I realized why my heart was so stuck with someone was related to the wish to build a family and I went through a period of extreme internal fear and despair, because I never felt belonging to a family and the idea of building one of my own touched upon many damages, never fulfilled wishes and the automatic conclusion in my childhood's brain that it's so because I don't deserve it, and so I never will. and sexual trauma only added an extra layer to why I won't ever deserve it. But for the record, I want to make a late amendment to my lack of reaction to all the stories I've heard: the fact that I didn't say anything doesn't mean I agree with those romantic relationship styles and forms. Now that I understand the relationship of erotic with love, I stand for aiming at building a family with someone you love each other and leaving every erotic reaction after marriage.
PS. I don't think any man or woman in their right mind needs a reminder on this matter, but passion and lust can shut down one's eyes and better judgment, so, just to make things clear: "the boldest, most symbolic, most intimate, most important act of love ..." means it shouldn't happen because your primary motivation is for someone else to see it. As said, I didn't really like to talk about that kiss scene but now that the example is here, let put the warning notice as well. Anyone and everyone can be fooled about the nature of your interest in him or her and your real motivations, so such actions aren't praiseworthy. Even if there is no one there to witness what is in your heart and mind at that moment, but truth is always truth regardless of whether any other human knows it or not. And just to give you a sense of how horrible it is to engage in such behaviors with other motives than love and because I talked about what I felt about one side of the kiss scene I watched, let's use "kissing" as an example: "if you kiss someone and in your heart the motivation is for someone else to see it, to make them feel terrible, or kill the hope or settle score or prove them unworthy or whatever: the wastebasket has more dignity than you, the human being, to be thrown into it". The God is the all-knower and whether He allows someone to be fooled or allows him or her to know the motives of another human being by just looking into their eyes is His business, but because I had used that example, I think it is necessary to put a warning sign that just because certain acts are meant to be an expression of love, it doesn't mean they can't be abused and it doesn't mean if you get away with fooling someone to believe you meant it as an act of love while you didn't, you won, it just makes you one of the worst kinds of human beings.