I think it's a shift brought on by experiencing so many very different connections with people this year. Less than a year ago, spending time with someone I didn't have a strong connection with would have been a massively stressful experience because I'd be trying to create intense connection in order to feel safe. Now I'm more able to feel safe/secure even in small, almost-insignificant connections, and I don't need to be understood in order to be willing to share part of myself. I used to want to give my fullest effort and whole self to every person I loved (and receive the same in return), but that has changed somehow -- I feel more able to share parts without sharing the whole. In a dating relationship I still need to be able to share my whole self and feel understood, but in a friendship or casual relationship I can give less and expect less. I think there is finally enough love and connection in my life that I don't feel a constant drive to turn up the intensity on every relationship. Plus I'm not spending tons of energy trying to create it where it will never be, so I don't need to have all my relationships be intensely nourishing to make up for that.
And I'm more willing to risk getting hurt. Being in a partnership was a huge motivation for me to avoid pain because if I hurt, I felt that I wouldn't be as good a partner. And I couldn't afford to get hurt because then I would find out if my partner would give to me emotionally when I needed it, and I was pretty sure that I wouldn't like what I found. Now I don't have to worry about learning that I'm not loved AND I have people whom I know I could turn to. Plus, I like how I handle pain; I think I'm pretty good at transmuting it into growth. And this past year pain and joy have been fucking wildly in my life and I didn't mind it. Let my joys be outlined with pain; it makes them stand out more.
I feel like sex is a way that people can connect even when they find non-physical intimacy to be too difficult and I want to connect more with everyone. Also I want to know if I can connect spiritually through my body with people whom I don't have spirit/soul/heart connections with. And I want to know more about how people express themselves sexually. And I just want to give and receive more pleasure. "I need more sex, okay? Before I die I wanna taste everyone in the world." Well maybe not everyone -- but everyone who wants me and is respectful and is available. Which, okay, isn't that many people right now but I hope to change that, heh.
On a vaguely-related topic, I REALLY don't get flirting with people one isn't interested in. If I flirt with someone, it doesn't necessarily mean I want to jump their bones but it means that I am experiencing at least a LITTLE sexual attraction! To me, flirting with someone I have utterly no interest in feels dishonest and therefore isn't any fun. I'd be upset if I found out that someone who flirted a lot with me had utterly NO interest in me, so I can't risk doing that to someone else. Of course, there are those who take a smile or simple friendliness as flirting, and I can't help those. But with obvious stuff like sexual innuendo that goes back and forth for a solid five minutes? I'd take that as an invitation (unless I was aware that the person was unavailable for whatever reason)! But then, I am remarkably uneducated about this sort of thing and I try to keep that in mind :-p How do you flirt?