May 2, 2020

I Prefer a Slow-Burn kinda’ Love—Global Pandemic or Not.

Relephant read: Elephant’s Continually updated Coronavirus Diary. ~ Waylon

~ Warning: Salty language ahead ~


“That’s it!”

Drew hits the brakes on our shiny convertible rental as we’re meandering down an empty Santa Cruz mountain road with old growth redwoods towering above us.

I laugh in my head and smile because it never ends. Drew’s olfactory receptors have picked up his favorite elusive scent of sun-saturated-redwood. He is obsessed with the smell. He puts the car in park, gets out, and begins taking in deep inhales and following the scent like a police hound on a criminal’s scented trail.

I get out of the car too, parked in the middle of the road, and I go sniff the trees with him. “God, if some genius could just figure out a way to bottle that scent!” he says for the 100th time. I say the usual, “you can buy fir and pine candles and essential oils…they’re close…” and as I trail off, he always comes back about it being more than one ingredient because of the sunlight factor.

He asks the universe—not me, “How do you bottle sunlight?” I make the smart-ass response of, “you want to roast the oldest living things on earth, baby…for a profit?” He whips his head around and shoots me a daredevil look with his eyes. Shots fired!

This man has the ability to level me with his eyes.

People in love can do that to each other when they’ve submitted to that weakness. It’s continual submission, bowing down before strong desire. As he walks back to the car, he says, “yeah, hand me the ax, Bonnie.” And my heart flutters as I slide back in to the passenger seat next to my devious and handsome-as-fuck-Clyde.

It’s been a year and a half of this slow burning love.

We’ve been on simmer since Day One. It never comes to a boil and it never goes cold. It’s a slow love that has its pulse on both ends of the limbic system, sensation and emotion…so that we don’t move too fast.

When control measures are taken to reduce the spread of a disease, you can move away from a peak with a high number of cases, to a plateau, with less severity.

The right approach to a lethal virus in a pandemic, is also the right approach to dating and love. The chemical high at the beginning of a new relationship, naturally goes from simmer-to-boil if left uncontrolled. It has its rise, its peak, and its decline.

But how do you control those chemicals? How does one become a testosterone wrangler? Since a whole chemical cocktail is in the works from the beginning as the feel-good hormones are stimulating testosterone, I feel women are in the driver’s seat and need to take the reins to control the pace.

This is not a walk in the park, because women are also high themselves from the feel-good hormones. Women have to multitask big time here. You have to remember that before the industrial revolution, testosterone (highest in the morning), was the energy behind the massive infrastructure that built our great American cities and ports.

Testosterone is a doer. An action-oriented, green lights and blue skies bull charging full-speed ahead—until he burns himself out. This happens because whenever you pair testosterone with all of the other feel-good hormones you are on. It is almost inevitable, unless you learn how to wrangle, control, and harness that power.

Yes, you need to become a chemical cowgirl, in a sense. And hey, now you’ve already got a mask on your face anyway. Dress for the job you want. Keep in mind, that men and women are chemical, complementary puzzle pieces.

And then, you open your dating app during the quarantine, where most men are virtually dry-humping you.

Not all are putting sex in their introductory message, a lot are, but this guy here is not. However, five or six messages down, he is giving you his phone number or Instagram handle. This guy is still virtually dry humping you. Just because he is not as crass or rapid as his bearded counterparts, does not mean he is not aggressive.

That aggression is testosterone by the way. When people connect, they’re doing it one of a few ways: they’re passive, assertive, or aggressive. There’s also passive-aggressive, but let’s just file that under aggressive.

The biggest roadblock in dating is our inability to spot aggression, and then handle it. Do you think I gave him my phone number when he gave me his? No. He is moving too fast, I don’t even know if I like his vibes yet. So I told him it was too soon to swap info and I handled him with a little sass and flirty finesse by putting attention on his photo choices…which were in need of some honest female feedback.

But say you did swap info too soon, fast-forward and now you’re in this tumultuous connection where neither one of you is pacing it. Aggression/testosterone is in the driver’s seat, and neither one of you knows it.

Aggression is bitch that plays with a lot of drag. Outfits galore. She is love-bombing, negging, micro-dosing, hot-n-colding, rejecting, boomeranging, ghosting, and yes, blocking too. Someone can aggressively come after you, as well as, aggressively ignore you.

Testosterone moves too fast, too hard, too fucking much. It’s a builder. It wants to build shit all the way up to the sky. You may build all the way to the altar, or some other seriousness—only to have a man freaking out and bailing because his serotonin, his calm and well-being hormone levels, are rising again after the feel-good-hormone-hangover has kicked in. The slow-burning love happens in assertiveness, not in aggression.

Both people are responsible for slowing things down and saying no. However, you’re up against testosterone and he is up against oxytocin making you feel elated AF. This is where you, the woman, needs to get so self-involved in you, that you kick all these chemicals out of the driver’s seat.

Our emotions get to be co-pilot, not pilot. When you pump the brakes, say no, and keep him at arm’s length, some really magical things ignite. A person’s character is revealed. Authentic desire is exposed. You do not rush into decisions you may regret later, and if you’re a law nerd like me who likes to observe life and analyze behavior and motive, then you’re running down Gavin de Becker’s checklist of signals and pre-incident indicators and of how to spot predatory men. So your life does not become a Lifetime Movie script based on court transcripts, shaping new case law.

Use your God or Goddess-given female sass to put men on a slow burn simmer. It’s what they secretly crave. Men want your efforts, your respect, and your affection—not simply your attention. They can get that anywhere.

Don’t let a man burn himself out before he has even left the driveway. Don’t ride roller coasters and then boil over with him. Men who bail when they hear the word no, have low desire for you. Isn’t it better to find that out sooner rather than later? Stoke the desire a man already has for you and he will pay it back tenfold.

Be warned that when you are wrangling testosterone, there are some men who are not used to hearing the word no. They’re used to being in control. They expect it. Or, they are not used to slowing down.

Thanks to misogynistic stereotypes and stigmas, some men have it their heads that women are in love three months in, with marriage and babies on the brain…when in reality, we may be just as terrified as they are of that big stuff.

And when you slow the relationship down, or say no, they may get angry, call you selfish or manipulative—this is testosterone having a tantrum at the word no. It might happen. Let him throw his tantrum. Do horses like being broken in? No, they buck you off. But say no. Stay firm, no matter how much you really do care. Give him space. Stroke him gently, don’t smother him. Refuse to be receptive to his aggressive behavior.

I finally resorted to referring to a man I dated three years ago, as “Boomerang” because he would not leave me alone. He would not get serious and he would not go away. He just kept love-bombing and trying to hook-up with me, to the point where it felt like emotional abuse. This was simmer and boil going head-to-head, both of us fighting for what we wanted.

I had this wonderful and tenacious Women’s Studies professor who used to say, “let’s call it what it is folks,” and there is a lot of power in that, so I did and he finally got the message. Grab your power, cowgirl…call it what it is and wrangle it.

Whether or not any of these men and you end up together, you’ve given them a refreshing taste of a simmer, which is consistent burning, in a time in history that is rampant with only knowing cold and boiling, scarcity and harsh disappointment.

Maybe in hindsight, he will have more clarity after dating you. Maybe you don’t turn every man you like into a relationship, but you can remind every testosterone-wielding stud you kiss that you are his equal, his counterpart, and his potential twin flame.

And if he wants to feel that consistent burn, go wrangle, cowgirl.

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