Oh hey, it’s me. She of the previously prolific blog writing fame. She of the ‘spill all of my secrets on the page with an honesty that makes my heart pound’ approach. She of the regular ‘overshare’. I’m back. For how long, who knows, but I’m back because I have something I need to get out. I feel compelled to lay it all on the page and possibly extract heightened clarity from it. One of the main reasons I haven’t been sharing much in this format for ages is because I’m really clear in a lot of areas of my life. Even the tiny knots are small enough to unravel in my head. But this topic, this is one I’ve got to give some more space to, lay it out there and then maybe create something more beautiful, more coherent, more clear.
That topic, ladies and gentlemen, is sex and physical intimacy of the erotic kind. Which is also kinda the topic of relationships I know, but we’ll see where this goes.
Why am I writing this now? Because, on the weekend, after two and a half years of solo adventures, there was a naked man in my bed. A guy I like and respect, a guy who showed up in the most perfect timing, in the most clear of ways. A guy I likely won’t be naked in a bed with again anytime soon – apart from last weekend, our life timing doesn’t sync at all. A guy who is most probably going to read this. Whether I would write about him or not actually came up over the weekend. (Hey you, yeah, seems I want to write about sex after all.) The following downpour isn’t at all a comment on him specifically, more a comment on the vast majority of us.
Anyways… What this naked, sexual encounter reminded me of is the fact that I am super, super, super uninterested in the typical approach to sex. I am so unimpressed by the terms we (myself thus far regularly included) use when we’re talking about sex. And, as you’ll discover, I’m yet to create a satisfying alternative in myself and in my life… And that current state of affairs, more than any other right now, annoys me!
*Content warning. If you’re not an adult who can read about sex without getting offended, go away.*
It wasn’t a ‘drought’.
Firstly, the timeline. Up until last weekend, I hadn’t had sex with somebody else (wording is deliberate) for over 2 and a half years. Two years and 7 months to be more precise. And while yes, I did occasionally go on my own solo explorations over that time, it was extremely rare. Not because I’m at all against masturbation, just ’cause it wasn’t a strong desire most of the time. There were seasons in the past when I have been crazy highly sexed, this just wasn’t one of them. (Which I’m glad for, because at times, back in the day, my super horniness utterly dominated my thoughts. It wasn’t very sustainable.)
And you know what we call this kind of season? A kind of season without sex? We (you!) call it a ‘drought’. One of my friends literally just said that, and I wanted to pinch him. (Just a little pinch! 😛 ) A drought! Actually, the last two and a half years of my life have been the juiciest, most lush, and fertile of my life so far, so you know what? This idea of a season of no sex being a ‘drought’ can fuck off! Bah! Know what intelligent farmers do to promote the most abundant, healthy crops? They let certain areas lay fallow for a season, or they plant other, regenerative crops. A good farmer has many crops growing at once, the fact tomatoes aren’t in season doesn’t render the whole place in a ‘drought’.
I have absolutely no doubt I could have had sex hundreds of times during the last 2 and a half years if I’d wanted to. I didn’t. I was clearing the fields of weeds, letting them regenerate, planting companion crops for those things I’m committed to growing – I, like most of the population that I’ve observed, had some messy, painful stories caught up with emotional intimacy and partners and sex. Soooo many of those noxious weeds are gone. I’m more emotionally stable, more loving, more grounded and playful than I’ve ever been. There is no drought here. There never was.
‘Did you cum?’ is a supremely limiting question.
One of my besties asked me that boring old question, and I groaned on the inside and wanted to pinch her too! Ha! ‘Cause it’s such a closed, linear question. There are only two answers to that question – ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, which in shorthand superficial exchange, seems to me to point in the direction of being arbitrarily being able to rate sex as ‘successful’ or ‘not successful’. As well as keeping the conversation closed, ‘Did you cum?’ puts an outcome based goal on sex that absolutely doesn’t need to be there.
When I was about 21, I read a book called ‘Peace Between the Sheets’ (now republished as ‘Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow’). The basic premise being that a whole swag of us are addicted to orgasms and we’re completely messing with our ability to create true emotional intimacy because of it. Orgasms give us a dopamine rush. Cocaine also gives us a dopamine rush. There’s a reason they have ‘Sex Addicts Anonymous’. The book’s solution to orgasm addiction? No orgasms, much loving touch, supremely slow build up to physical intimacy.
I got really into the ideas in this book for a while. Really into them. I’m still really into the ideas overall, I’m just more relaxed about it. For me reading that book was one of those ‘Oh, these hints and nudges of internal wisdom weren’t wrong. There’s actually something to this.’ ‘Cause you know what? When I’m with someone else, orgasms have never been my goal. Nope, not ever. Well, not mine. Not because I’m against receiving or super uptight – I love sex, I just don’t like adding Yes/No, Pass/Fail goals to it.
Except there was a massive double standard here, because I was always quite happy to make his orgasm/s my goal. Honestly, it used to often be a control thing. Other times it was because I’d been conditioned as much as the average heterosexual female that it was my responsibility to ‘satisfy’ him. Most of the time though, it was because he wanted to cum and I had no objections and I liked seeing him super aroused. Thus far, I’m yet to meet a partner/naked co-adventurer who truly embraces fully exploring sex without orgasm. Not because he can’t cum, or never will again, but because if you always head for the same destination, how will you ever know what other lands and mind-blowing experiences there might be? He’ll come though… But probably not cum! Ha!
‘Did you cum?’ Please stop asking me that, ever. Please start thinking about how default, boring, and limited this question actually is. Please ask more interesting questions – of me, of each other. (Unless you’re completely happy with your current approach to sex. In which case, carry on.)
Can’t even count it.
‘3 times in 10 hours.’
I said that, recently. Pinches, pinches for me. Like, if I get 10 stamps do I get one free? Bah!If we say we love someone, do we ask ‘How many times?’ We get it that we can’t measure it like that. I don’t want to measure sex like that.
There was a quote I read when I was a teenager that answered the question ‘What is the difference between having sex and making love?’. I still have the answer written in a journal somewhere. The answer was along these lines: Sex has a goal, making love is the goal in and of itself. Sex has a beginning and an end, making love never truly stops. Sex is about the mind and ego and technique- getting something, proving something. Making love is exploring, allowing, transcends technique.
Or something close to that.
Now, I kinda think the term ‘making love’ is a bit stupid, because to me it’s the equivalent of saying ‘We’re making air or atmosphere together.’ i.e. It’s already there, you didn’t have anything to do with consciously making it. ‘Making love’ also seems to be a phrase that people use here, there, and everywhere to try and elevate the same old garden variety sex they’ve always been having to new heights. You can put a cape and a tiara on a pig, but it’s still a pig. (Yes, my analogies are whacked. I don’t care, that’s the first thing I thought of.)
I want a better term or phrase for non orgasm driven, erotic, physically and emotionally intimate adventures that don’t have a defined end point. I don’t have one yet. Hmmmm…
I’m a super un-fan of the way most of us talk about sex. (As yet, I have no shining examples of new or better ways to talk about it that don’t make me shudder with the hippy mumbo-jumbo faffiness of it. Which is amusing given I technically hear myself utter hippy mumbo-jumbo faffiness all the time about other things.) And the way we talk about sex is just a reflection of where we’re up to with sex in general. I want a profoundly different way to talk about it, therefore I gotta come up with a profoundly different way to think about it, and experience it.
But I’m not actually as grumpy as I might sound – I just ultimately feel like sex/the experience of intimate physical connection is a magic kingdom full of sooooooo much potential, and most of us haven’t even gone into the kingdom yet, we’re still just playing on the curb. I wanna go in. I wanna go in, and when I do, I probably won’t give a fuck how you talk about it, I’ll just smile and remember that time I was frustrated playing on the curb. There is more my friends, there is so much more.
And now, there’s more space in this head of mine. More space for a new story, more space for a new experience. There will be an update on this topic. I don’t know when, I don’t know what it will be, but there will be an update.
And maybe soon there’ll be an update on my life in general – much change and adventure is afoot!