Spiritual, or just damned pushy?
I am puzzled by the behavior of someone I just started dating (maybe) and was curious as to what a group of random strangers would think about it.
The history is this:
My first contact with M. was an email from him on OKCupid. It was overall a very nice email, except he suggested a possible plan for our SECOND date, and I found that a bit presumptuous, and told him so. M. insisted that he had only been trying to show me that he'd read my profile carefully, and I let it slide.
We chatted a little online and M. told me how to find his Facebook profile. Once there, I found out that we had four mutual Facebook friends, all very nice people. M. and I talked on the phone.A few days later, he invited me during an online chat for coffee and a "light cuddle." I bristled (sexual agenda from anyone, up front, freaks me out), and told him in no uncertain terms that he would do a whole lot better with me if he approached me without any physical agenda at all. Then I agreed to meet him anyway (mostly because one of our mutual Facebook friends had assured me that he was a great guy). I kept our first date very brief, only about a half hour. My overall feeling was, M. is a nice guy, I'm not sure if we have enough in common, I'm not sure if we have a strong enough sexual attraction on my end, but he's very sweet. M. asked if I'd see him again, and I said I would.
Several days later, we found each other online and M. invited me to a tantra workshop that was being given later that day by his primary girlfriend, a tantra educator. I decided to go, and brought my husband too. I talked briefly to M. after the workshop and he indicated that tantra studies, and spiritualism in general, were a very big part of his life. I had already gotten that idea from our previous interaction. I indicated, in turn, that I am not a very spiritual person, not really into New Age philosophies at all, although I had found the workshop both enjoyable and interesting.
Yesterday, I received the following message from M.:
Gwen, how'd you like the Tantra event Sunday?
I am searching for women who want to practice Tantra. Slow passionate physical, romantic and spiritual connection, in which even the breathing bonds us. A life in which every moment, regardless of what you are doing has a taste of the orgasmic.
Does that make sense to you?
Does that interest you? M.
So, my reaction to that was "OMG, he's positively waving his d--k in my face, AGAIN. Danger, Will Robinson!"
However, I talked to M. on the phone and indicated my distress about his message, and he insisted he had not intended any sexual agenda at all, that he wouldn't even consider being sexual together yet because we didn't know each other well enough, he merely wanted to feel me out about my goals for our relationship, and whether I would be ultimately be open to a sexual relationship that wasn't "Plain Jane."
I want to believe him, he seems like such a sweet person, he has nice friends, his girlfriend seems great, but...
You find this guy flaky, and off-putting. It doesn`t really matter why, or how nice everyone else thinks he is. Don`t try and force yourself to like him.
I am put off by this type too. Especially when I sense a sexual agenda, or someone trying to steer me in a certain direction. They can be as polite as they want....manipulation is still manipulation, even on a 'innocent' level. It doesn`t make them a bad person,..obviously it works on some of the people they approach, and some people seem to like that type. However, if you aren`t into it, don`t force yourself to be.
Edit to add : I don`t think he`s exactly waving his dick in front of you. More like Mr.Magic Orgasms if you just let yourself 'see' the possibilities,...Hahaha ! Ok, this type makes me laugh. Sorry. At least he was upfront fairly quickly.
I'm split on the tantra thing. Sure it can be spiritual but I've run into way too many poly people that take it to the fanatic level. A kind of odd superiority that makes it almost cult like. Not everyone of course, and the same thing can be said for so many kinks and religions. However, personally, I"m not interested in it. So if I'm dating or considering dating someone who is, they need to be respectful of my not wanting to join them on that journey just as I'd respect them taking the journey. He wants to study tantra, he has a partner for that, great! If you don't want to then you don't need to. If all he is looking for is another tantra partner or to try and get you to 'convert' then the answer is a simple no.
Try and take the sex out of it and think of it as a partner with a hobby or religion you aren't interested in. "I'm glad you like it and find fulfillment in it. It's really not for me." I don't have to follow the religion of my OSO to appreciate that it works for him. If he felt I did, we wouldn't be dating.
Fanatic is a good word. There is so-o-o-oooo much more to Tantra than sex, but so many people focus on only the sex part of it. Got this quote from Wikipedia:
"...most Western scholars have been severely critical of these new forms of pop Tantra. This "California Tantra" as Georg Feuerstein calls it, is "based on a profound misunderstanding of the Tantric path. Their main error is to confuse Tantric bliss ... with ordinary orgasmic pleasure."A while back I contacted a guy on another site who was all high and mighty about Tantra, and he actually told me that if I wasn't willing to attend Tantric workshops where I would get naked in front of strangers and the leader would choose someone for me who would then finger me and massage my g-spot for three 30-minute sessions, then I wasn't sex-positive or enlightened enough to date him.
I think these people who are always on their soapboxes about Tantra are very misguided, as they think what they practice makes them more evolved and spiritual than others. Back in the 80s, I used to go to lots of New Age-y type workshops and classes, and I'd see the same sort of glazed looks in the eyes of people who were "addicted" to any number of practices, from meditation to high colonics, thinking it would send them to Nirvana or bring them inner peace. Back then everyone was into Kundalini meditation, which also had a sexual connotation. So people would get into it under the guise of being spiritual, but there was very often this kind of predatory sexual vibe coming from them because they were really just focused on having orgasms.
This guy is probably very nice and a good person, but he's hooked like an addict, it seems. He's going to be a very difficult person to be involved with, because this is his focus and people like that are sort of like members of a cult. It will flavor every part of his life, and he's going to be blind to seeing how offensive he will be by harping on the issue. Eventually he will tell you that he is focused on the spiritual and you are dragging his spirituality down into the earthly plane (or some shit like that) by interpreting his practice as only sexual desire. I wouldn't get involved with him if I were you.
It doesn't matter how nice or even great someone is, when choosing a partner. It doesn't even matter what other people think of him (beyond hoping he gets along with others who are important to you) What matters is how you two connect, and if his messages to you keep setting off warning signals, regardless of how he explains them later, ask yourself: Do I want an entire relationship of this, where I bristle, then explain and he has to clarify/reassure?
People always need to work on their communication, especially in new relationships, but why set yourself up for such a drastic learning curve unless there's something that REALLY draws you to him?
"I want to believe him, he seems like such a sweet person, he has nice friends, his girlfriend seems great, but..."
Just because he seems like a sweet person doesn't mean that you need to date him.
Just because his friends are nice doesn't mean you have to date him.
Just because some other woman likes him enough to be his girlfriend does not mean that he is right for you.
You don't need to dig up a REASON to not date him. If you aren't feeling it, that is plenty reason enough!
You aren't being mean! You are leaving him enough free time that he can find and fit someone into his life that really wants to be there!
Seems nice but... not much in common... sexual attraction not very strong... kinda sweet but pushy about Tantra. What's the question? I don't understand the struggle.
Just because we're poly and we have an opportunity to date other people doesn't mean that just anyone gets the privilege of being with us. Sure, poly enables one to appreciate people for who they are and not pressure others to be who they aren't, but we're not obligated to try and fit incompatible people into our lives, like square pegs into round holes, just because there's an "opening" available.
You don't owe him shit.
The right advice has already been given, so I won't bother repeating it, I just wanted to say something in the guy's defense about being sexual early.
The thing for me is that talking about sex early isn't pushy, that's just a part of your dating/relationship style. I talk about sex very early (and all the time lol) and I have very little qualms about doing so. If it turns someone off, then that is a very clear indication that we have a compatibility issue and therefore we probably wouldn't be a good fit in a relationship. Like Nycindie says, just because we're poly doesn't mean we have to date/fuck everyone.
If he's talking about sex early, then he's being upfront about who he is. If that freaks you out then that doesn't make him a bad person (or you for that matter) it just means that the two of you are most likely incompatible. My point is that to you he might seem pushy, but to me it just looks like he's laying out what he's looking for. It's up to you whether you want that or not.
To me, it's much better to lay out what you want near the start before a relationship is formed, then decide whether to proceed or not based on whether you both agree what you want or not than to "hide" your desires and then find yourself in a relationship which isn't right for either person.
Good points, Jericka and others. I do get that I'm not obligated to pursue anything with M. The reasons I wanted to give him a chance despite not being sure of my attraction to him were these:
1. I am a very visual person and I did not want to dismiss what might be a wonderful human being just because I didn't find him particularly handsome to look at. People can grow on me, and our first date was only for a half hour, and we only hugged goodbye. While most of my partners have been more or less conventionally attractive, one of the few loves of my life would have been called downright homely by some.
2. I find that I rarely meet men who seem truly open to love and emotional commitment, even in the poly community. M. seemed like he would be one of the rare few.
3. I did like the idea of exploring tantra a little more with an experienced person. (In fact, I'm probably going to continue taking his girlfriend's workshop.) I just did not want it to define our relationship, up front. I didn't want goals. I wanted to go on a few dates with him and see how we did, before we got into all that.
I think I am going to take the advice I've received here and tell M. that I just want to be friends.
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