"No thanks! She's too needy for me." Every man looking for a mate knows this woman. At an energy level, she's a black hole. And what about the male counterpart of neediness, voracious sexual hunger? Women, have you met this guy? "There's something…creepy about him. He sees me as a big dish of ice cream instead of a person." To be sure, men can also be needy or women predatory.
Remarkably, these conditions are mirrors of the same problem, which haunts all of mankind. The problem is a recurring sense of deprivation brought about by biologically-driven sex…and, at base, by gender itself.
Hungry or needy people make us uneasy because we're already feeling a lack of wholeness ourselves. We want a partner to fill our emptiness, not add to our sense of lack with his own. We all firmly believe that we deserve mates with surplus energy and resources, so we ruthlessly weed out prospective suitors who have nothing obvious to offer. We're even afraid to be nice, for fear "he might get the wrong idea."
As logical as this strategy is, it more often leads to loneliness than to Mr. or Ms. Right. By making self-protection our first priority, we paint ourselves into an unsatisfying corner, cutting ourselves off from our best means of recreating a sense of wholeness, namely, exchanging caring attention with each other. We also mistake genuine, if slightly wilted, princes and princesses (who could easily be resuscitated) for hopeless frogs.
Here's a valuable secret gleaned from experience with sacred sexuality. Connections - even with people who start out needy, or sexually famished - don't have to be draining.
I once participated in an exercise at a gathering with a man who was visibly jittery and edgy. We had to sit facing each other and hold hands. Almost as soon as I took his hands he began to breathe more deeply, yawn uncontrollably, and calm down. He didn't even do the rest of the assigned exercise, which was to talk about a past experience. When it was time for participants to give feedback, he just calmly smiled at everyone and said, "I feel much better!" We barely exchanged a word and there was no flirting. I never saw him again.
It was an important lesson. I had experienced the power of compassionate touch with no strings attached. It was deeply satisfying to realize that I could help an agitated person regain his inner balance simply by holding his hands. As a result, I now share as much of my caring attention with men as I can, especially if they seem like they're on the prowl, or as I now think of it, undernourished. I've made some excellent new friends this way, found mates for single friends, and been richly rewarded in entirely unexpected ways - all because of these small offerings without calculation.
This miraculous, yet perfectly natural, process is the fastest means I know of to strip ourselves of our amphibian costumes and reveal our true grandeur. It can be applied to intimate relationships, too, if you take the slow, generous approach recommended in the Ecstatic Exchanges (Cupid's Poisoned Arrow).
Within a few days of careful energy exchange, both partners feel stronger and more balanced. The longer they stay with the practice, the stronger they get. The confident sparkle returns to their eyes. Addictions to alcohol, unhealthy food, and even do-it-yourself sex fade surprisingly quickly. They remember how to give, and as they do, abundance begins to flow in their lives again. In effect, they plug the leak in their inner reservoirs, and their increasing vigor benefits every aspect of both their lives.
We err when we judge each other's relationship potential before we engage in selfless giving. The risk of restoring each other to wholeness is far less than we realize if we employ loss-free (i.e., non-hungry) interactions with caring attention, and avoid the drain of conventional sex. Start small. Make an experiment, and see how you feel. The next time you meet someone who seems needy or hungry, see it as an unspoken request for something you have an unlimited supply of, namely, compassion. Smile warmly, be attentive, hug (if appropriate), and hold an expectation that he can regain his sense of wellbeing and wholeness.
Don't worry that you are not fully healed yourself; giving heals. And resist the urge to use the person in any way, as that will change the flow of the energy between you to one of lack. Be there for him.
Set aside your fear that she will "get the wrong idea," and treat her like a sister whose wellbeing is genuinely important to you. Yes, she may be disappointed if you choose not to take the relationship further, but you will have nourished her and increased her sense of self worth with your caring attention. That will make it easier for her to relate to another.
Giving this way strengthens you as well. Not only is it empowering to assist someone to regain her sense of wellbeing, giving also encourages you to produce health-giving oxytocin.
So, fear not the needy or the sex-starved. Instead recognize that with a little water (selflessly-given attention) the wilted plant before you can straighten up into a vigorous, bountiful specimen with much to offer the world.