Sexuality Happens

Love Languages

Jiz Lee recently wrote a post that got me thinking.

The five love languages are familiar to me.

These are the five love languages:

1. Words of Affirmation

2. Quality Time

3. Receiving Gifts

4. Acts of Service

5. Physical Touch

 

I first learned about the 5 love languages at camp in 8th grade (welcome to smart kid camp). We all wrote our top two ways we best received love on our arms, so that people in our groups understood how to best demonstrate their love for us (again, gifted kid camp).

It’s important that people understand that there is no right or wrong language.  If you feel loved when you receive gifts, this doesn’t mean it has to be diamond rings…it could be cookies, flowers, a book someone thinks you’d like, a hand-me-down that is perfect for you.  Physical touch, while it CAN be sex, it doesn’t have to be.  It can be hugs, cuddling, massages, having your hair stroked. Acts of service can be anything from fixing a washing machine (or bed frame!) to giving you a ride to the airport or picking up a package for you from the post office. Words of affirmation don’t have to be said at a specific time or in a specific way; I love you, you’re beautiful, I enjoy how you make me think, thank you for being in my life.  These are all words of affirmation. And quality time? That can be whatever you make of it.  Strolling through museums, curled up on the couch watching movies, or supporting one another by attending events that are important to you.

I loved the concept, and made of poster of them for the wall in my bedroom. I literally just took it down from my mother’s house the other day while cleaning it out.  I held it, I read it, and I thought about how much I use it in various facets of my life, whether by name or not. Actually, I just had a conversation about the love languages with a woman who is in Vagina Monologues with me. They are everywhere.

It may seem silly, but those five simple ideas have helped me so much throughout my life. I know that Ifeel best loved through physical touch and quality time.  I want people I care about to hold me, to kiss me, to feel me, to touch me. I want them to want to spend time with me.  Walking through the Denver Zoo with Q, going lingerie shopping with my friend in SF, seeing people I love in the audience at my performances; this is quality time for me. Acts of service are hard, because when I’m sick, I want nothing more than soup and tea, and feel loved when people provide them for me…but when I’m not sick, I’m very counter dependent, and have trouble letting people do favors for me.

How do I best show my love? Physical touch, quality, and acts of service like woah fuck. I leave my phone on 24-7, so people I care about can get ahold of me whenever they need me.  I love giving people I love rides, I love helping them with online things, I love supporting them however I can.  I am a touchy-feely person; I give hugs, pets and cuddles like no one’s business. And quality time…? Well, just like I want people I love to spend time with me, equally, I want to spend time with them.

I can give words of affirmation. Usually they are written, although sometimes spoken. But I have much trouble receiving them. Especially from people I love.  I can’t imagine that they actually think I’m beautiful, or brilliant, or witty. I mean, yes, it’s a self-conscious thing, I know that.  And I’ve gotten better at taking compliments. But I still have issues with it.  I also have trouble getting gifts, unless I really know someone. But I do love giving gifts, things I’ve made, things I’ve found while out and about that are perfect for people I care about. So while I can and do show my affection in these ways, they aren’t the go to ways for me, as i have trouble receiving love these ways.

Knowing these things has helped me explain myself to my partners.  I realized when I was presenting my Poly/Relationship Mapping class at Femina Potens last month why having a partner who would bring me soup when I was sick was so important; it’s hard for me to ask for help, and so me asking for soup, and then having it brought to me was a demonstration of love…TO ME. It wasn’t until I was explaining it you all the people at this class that *I* realized why it was so important to me, so how could any of my former partners know how much this mean. When I hop into bed, and someone sleepily puts their arms around me, or strokes my back, I feel loved. When someone arranges to hang out with me, or just shows up wanting to spend time with me, I feel love.  When Monkey and Jen drove hours with 3 kids to come and take me to Fisherman’s Wharf and spend time with me, I felt cared for. When my best friend showed up on my door step the week before Valentine’s Day, as I felt like I lay on my death bed, with a half-gallon of minestrone and a smile, I realized how loved I was.

But also realize that I need to know my friends and partners love languages in order to best demonstrate my love to them, in a way that they understand and accept. I have some friends that are not touchy – I’ve learned this. So instead of telling them they just did an amazing job by giving them a big hug, I have to say it out loud. For some of my friends, they love it when I give them extra sex toys and porn, but are so busy that they don’t have time for quality time.  We have to adapt, and we have to know ourselves, so we can tell the people who love us HOW to best love us.

As usual, it all boils down to communication.  Communication is key, you know the drill :)

In hindsight, I wonder what the good doctor and all the gifted kid counselors would say if they knew how well discussing love languages helped relationships…sexual, kinky, poly and more.

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8 comments

8 Comments so far

  1. Curvaceous Dee February 23rd, 2009 2:21 am

    The love languages I appreciate the most are Words of Affirmation, and Physical Touch. And the two that I express the most are Quality Time and Receiving (well, Giving) Gifts.

    Which is not to say that I don’t like all five types when it comes to receiving or giving!

    I really appreciated this post, hon.

    *hugs*
    Dee

  2. Jerry February 23rd, 2009 5:58 am

    Interesting. I’ve heard of this before but have never delved much into it.

    My own observation is that for me, my love style is not static but can depend heavily on what’s going on in my life. At various times I hear the “love” in different ways.

    Jerry

  3. Sapphicslave March 1st, 2009 12:14 pm

    I really appreciated this post. I have known and subscribed to the love languages for a couple of years now and found that they make life with others so much easier and enjoyable. My love languages are, like yours, quality time and physical touch, and like you, I have had to adjust how I express love to others according to their own personal ways of understanding and receiving.
    Doing this has made my connection with the people in my life so much deeper. I am happy to see that there are others in the kink community who know about this as well. :)

  4. [...] I made the top three  I really liked my post about the Love Languages, so I’m really glad it got picked.  Check it out, and check out the rest as [...]

  5. The Geek March 21st, 2009 6:20 pm

    Hmmm. Could have used this post a couple of months ago…Looks like I succeeded unbeknownst to me in using 2-3 of these languages recently with good success…bookmarking this. :)

  6. nitish April 22nd, 2009 5:09 pm

    thats too good!! I have been receiving critics from my partners as such that i do not demonstrate my love well :s but i have been doing all the 5 elements listed in ur blog! am quite perplexed! Though recently i have not been able to meet my partner as often as being called :(

    I hope that i will be able to show my love in a more direct, better and clear way now!!!

    hmmm your blog is fantastic…. I totally agree with what you have said and experience it most!

    yah Communication is the key of relationship building and sometime its just the wrong communication style we use that disturbs a relationship

  7. [...] of the five love languages, I have a lot of trouble receiving Words of Affirmation. It’s hard for me to hear praise [...]

  8. alphafemme July 15th, 2009 12:08 am

    somehow I navigated to this post through jiz lee’s site… and I have to comment. as your other commenters say, this really resonates with me. wow. I think this will be excellent conversation fodder with mi’lady.

    I identify very strongly with the ways you describe yourself as receiving love. Physical touch and quality time. I think those two are equally important. I’m pretty uncomfortable with words of affirmation, too. And also totally agree with your relationship to receiving acts of service. Wow.

    I was about to ramble on about the ways I *give* love best, but… I should save that for my own blog :) Thanks for the thought-sparks!

    PS: are you in SF?? or do you just mention it a lot in this particular post…

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