I was at the nail salon last week and ended up reading the latest Brad and Angelina article about their big news engagement. If you know me, it’s no secret that I’m not the biggest Angelina fan. I’m a die hard Friends fan and therefore fall on the side of Team Jen. So I haven’t been as excited as the rest of the world about their announcement. And then I read a quote of hers from a recent interview that has not left my mind since. When asked about her infamous “bad girl” image she responded by saying that her inner bad girl still exists but now belongs to Brad. And I have to say, I kind of love that. If you think about it, that simple sentence contains a great deal of power and liberation for married women (and men for that matter). Here’s why…
[Sexual intimacy] is the most fearsome of all intimacies because it is all-encompassing. It reaches the deepest places inside us, and involves disclosing aspects of ourselves that are invariably bound up with shame and guilt. When we express our erotic yearnings we risk humiliation and rejection, which are equally devastating. It is no wonder that many of us prefer the security of workable sex as a shield against this harrowing scenario.
Erotic intimacy is the revelation of our memories, wishes, fears, expectations, and struggles within a sexual relationship. When our innermost desires are revealed, and are met by our loved one with acceptance and validation, the shame dissolves. It is an experience of profound empowerment and self-affirmation for the heart, body, and soul.
We’ve all heard it. Once you’re married, the passion wanes and your sex life becomes less exciting, less adventurous, and less frequent. But what if that didn’t have to be the case? What if instead of becoming an oxymoron, sex and marriage actually fulfilled all of our wishes, desires, and expectations? What if marriage was a place where we could be completely and freely ourselves? A place where we could unleash our best inner [insert whatever part you keep hidden] self? I think Angelina’s on to something here. And I may have gained a lot more respect for her because of it.
Quote from Esther Perel’s Mating in Captivity, 2006.