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Are We All Hungry Tigers? Passionate? Predatory?

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Here’s a quick test you can run at home. While walking around today, your city, your grocery store, your public streets, notice your attraction to other animals, other animals of your preferred sexual orientation. I don’t think it’s just men who walk around half-cocked. Do women also have the predator inside them?

Here’s my own personal extension of the look-around test. Pay attention to what attributes get you more alert. Is it young chests in a tight t-shirt? Is it curly dark hair? Is it fitness or curvature? What little triggers get your tiger up?

Here are a few easily identifiable hits of my animal/sexual brain:

  • great hair
  • great smile
  • cute outfit, dress, colors
  • expressive joy in their overall look
  • youthful abandon in loose clothing on a hot summer day
  • a body within 10-15 lbs of prime fitness
  • athletic clothing – a plus for after workout glow
  • positive energy – you can feel these people when they walk by

And in various times in my life, I’ve been in a more predatory role. Today, I’m happily attached to a marvelous woman who fits many of the above triggers. (All of them, actually.) But my tiger heart does not care. I’m hungry for affection and uplifting energy. Aren’t we all? In my current state I’m merely amused by my hunger and easy love impulse. I can fall for a woman sitting a few tables away from me and facing the other way. It’s her hair. It’s her shape. It’s the idea of her. And it’s fantasy and energy only. I’m projecting my own desire. I guess I project it all over the place, even when I’m happily coupled. It’s just energy. It’s just desire. No need to act on any of it. But observing the impulse gives me insight into my own inner workings.

A few days ago I had an exciting interaction with a 75-year-old woman walking through Central Park. She was carrying a tennis racket in her backpack and an amazingly luminous smile beneath a short coif of white hair. It was her joy that struck up the conversation between us. I think she saw my light as well. We walked along for a bit discussing tennis and her prowess on the court as a younger 70-year-old. “I was the national champion,” she volunteered.

“I believe it.”

And that was it. She was gone. I was happy and a little bit high. There was no sexual burst, just something of joy that passed between us. About tennis. About athletic prowess. And the simple happiness at being alive and walking in Central Park. Is there something wrong with feeling these impulses so clearly? In calling it love?

I don’t think so. I think I’m awake to the tiger heart and I’m listening. This information I use to build my love and relationship with my girlfriend. I have no desire to engage in anything more than a bit of conversation. What’s the risk in a flirt between two consenting adults?

It’s the promise of a flirt that got me thus far in life. Sure, I’m motivated by love and sex and closeness. The tiger in me needs a tigress to share the warmth on a cool night. And when I have my mate, all the pretty tigresses in the world, or the city of New York, are merely other animals in the jungle.

Always Love,

John McElhenney

Epilog: When we trust with our open heart, whatever occurs, at that very moment that it occurs, can be perceived as fresh and unstained by the clouds of hope and fear. —Dr. Jeremy Hayward, “First Thought”

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image: tigers, creative commons usage


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