This week’s Torah portion begins with the words: And then, Korach took. It doesn’t say what he took. Rashi explains that it means he placated others.
It conveys too that Korach was a taker. And Rabbi Dessler explains that all of Judaism only has one goal, to transform a baby who knows to receive into a grownup who knows how to give, emulating G^d Who only gives.
We don’t need to be altruists to focus on giving. It’s such a delight to have people around for us to love. Even more so when we feel fit lovers. We’re at our best when we know how to sense needs and supply what is needed.
Many of us heard the expression that life and relationships are a matter of ‘give and take.’ That is totally untrue. It should be: give and receive.
If you want to be in a happy relationship, both partners should mainly concern themselves with giving. (Be a giver and marry a giver.) When both people give, everyone is satisfied and happy. When both people constantly try to get what they want/need, everyone is unfulfilled forever. There’s no end to needs. But, when both people are geared toward giving, the cups are overflowing. (Only one giving does not work. It depletes the giver, in the end, it builds resentment, and the taker will keep demanding more.)
It is true that people in a sexual relationship should be seriously attracted to each other. But what that means is often totally exaggerated. Not only size doesn’t matter, also shape won’t. One may need to understand what someone feels who’s very thin or fat, very tall or very short compared to oneself, someone who is half-paralyzed or has triggers you want to avoid.
But, in a successful relationship, it doesn’t matter what your partner does to you as much as it matters what you can do for your partner. And feet, lips, breasts, a penis, etc. all work the same, whether small or larger. When we touch to make another happy, any of our hang-ups become irrelevant.
Ideally, people should first enjoy being emotionally close. Instead of both trying to talk, both try to listen. Works so much better. Then, physically close. And the next step in being sexual with each other should be no different from all of the relationship: mutual giving. When we are too concerned with receiving enough, we end up exhausting our partner unless it’s someone unwilling to give anyway. Consider marrying a giver. (Empathy can be learned. But it’s much harder to unlearn selfishness and become a continuous source of generosity, appreciation, and respect.)
Make it so that your sexuality answers to the highest standards that you have already for the unromantic parts of your life.
None of the above should be used to make others or oneself unhappy.