May 232014
 

In the mirrorI’m such a hypocrite. I spend so much time talking to people about advocating for their own pleasure, and yet when it comes to my own relationship, I take the easy way out. You know, the path that leads to resentment and separation. I know it can be better than this; I even know how to get there, but it feels too hard. Despite my best resolve, in the moment Joel asks for sex, I either avoid it or I follow the path of least resistance.

The other day when I got out of the shower, Joel was getting ready to get in. I had just spent some time bring myself to orgasm, so I was feeling pretty sexy. Joel stood there watching me do my morning routine, slowly stroking his cock. It immediately put me off my high. It felt like he was being voyeuristic in a creepy way. I didn’t say anything because I figured it was my trigger, my problem. He’s entitled to get himself off.

But then he said, “Are you just going to watch?” and I was confused. I couldn’t think of anything to say. At all. He suggested that he would come a whole lot faster if he beat off while going down on me. (Is faster better?) Oral sex seemed like it might at least feel good (and provide lubrication if he decided to fuck me).

His tongue on my clit was indeed pleasant, but I was still in a place where I hadn’t really consented. I hadn’t come to this place willingly and joyfully. I hadn’t said no either. I kind of wanted to be making love, just not like this. Despite all my knowledge and skills and advice to others, I still can’t figure out how to create the sexual relationship I want with Joel. I have tried to explain what I want, but I hold back in the places where it really counts.

I don’t like this about myself. I hardly ever give in to fear, but I am really scared of rejection in my marriage. It doesn’t seem to matter that these quick bouts of maintenance sex also feel like a rejection. I don’t want to fight. I think that if he doesn’t want the whole of me now, he will never be interested. Yet, if I can’t open the door to sexual awakening for my own partner, how can I pretend to know anything?

I don’t know anything, except my own experience. I feel so blessed to know myself fully as a sexual being. Maybe I don’t need to have that mind-blowing kind of sex with Joel. Maybe what we have is just fine for us. Okay, maybe it’s ok for him, because it really isn’t okay for me. I want more in this relationship or not to have sex at all. I love him so much that I want to share wonderful sex with him.

We had a very intense hot connection when we first got together. Joel chalks that up to new relationship energy, but it gives me hope. At some point, we had the energy I’m wanting. It’s still there. It’s still ours. We just have to figure out what we want our relationship to look like now.

We had a conversation recently where I realized that we define sex differently. I’m pretty sure that he means penis-in-vagina, pounding away sex, whereas I mean all of the things that might increase intimacy between people – sharing a meal, talking about intense things, lots of touch or massage, looking into each other’s eyes, kissing, oral sex, anal play, sensation play, bondage – anything that deepens and broadens the connection and sensations between you. By Joel’s definition it’s highly unlikely that I could have sex for 4 hours. By my definition, some days I never stop having sex. I am a very passionate person, but if I didn’t have other sexual relationships, I would think that I just wasn’t that into sex.

The other day in the bathroom, he did ask to fuck me, and I agreed. It was physically fine, but emotionally kind of like any chore that I might sign up for, knowing it would help him and make him feel better. He came, then got in the shower. My orgasm, or lack thereof, never got mentioned.

I’m tired of feeling like a blow-up doll, but I have to accept responsibility for my part in being stuck in this dynamic. I need to be an active participant. I’m sick of giving in to sex once a month when I want to feel passionate all the time. I feel trapped by all of the things we share – our family, our home, our history. I love him like crazy. I care about him deeply.

I tried to explain that I want to have sex WITH him, rather than him having sex AT me. I think he gets it. Now it falls to me to follow through and show him what I want. Can we sync up our sexualities? Can our relationship still grow and change after all these years?

We’re going to figure it out.

(Edit: the conversation continues with No flinching and Keep talking.)

Feb 222014
 

Bad habitsI need a cup of coffee almost as bad as I need you.
Bitter and dark or sweet as honey,
I miss the taste of you on my lips.
I want the rush of you in my body,
But with you gone, I have to settle for another cup,
And you’re not here to know.

If I stayed up all night, would you know?
I roam around the house thinking of you,
Fingers dancing round the edges of my cup
Remembering orgasms golden like honey,
And the comforting weight of your body.
Up late and alone, I touch my empty lips.

I pour whisky and bring it to my lips.
You don’t like it when I drink, I know,
But I need you like this burning in my body.
I’m all afire, desiring you.
You go down smoother than whisky, Honey,
And I’d rather have you in my cup.

Restlessly, I put down my cup,
Words to that song you hate on my lips.
Well I’m playing it loud now, Honey!
I can dance better than you know.
I would grind like this for you,
Bouncing, gyrating, and sweating on your body.

Why aren’t you here to satisfy my body?!
I hate being discarded like an empty paper cup.
I gave so much of my life to you.
My fingers find the pearl between my lips,
There are some things I still know.
One, is where to find honey.

And ohmygod the honey!
Pleasure ripples in waves through my body
Revealing mysteries I’m momentarily allowed to know
I pour coffee and whisky into the same cup
And bring a fucking cigarette to my lips
For a moment, I don’t even think of you

Then I realize – Honey, this is my cup,
My music, my pleasure, my body, my lips.
Perhaps my biggest bad habit was knowing you.

 

Jul 042013
 

WholeSexLife daisyThe changes sweeping the United States regarding gay rights make me ecstatically happy. I still start to cry joyous tears, knowing that my gay friends and loved ones deserve to have the same rights as everyone else ­– because it doesn’t matter who you love, it only matters that you love. I am not gay, but I know that defending human rights benefits all of humanity. I feel blessed to live in such times.

I also feel the weight of history. The Stonewall Riots happened before I was born. I am overwhelmed by grief and gratitude for all of the people who were unafraid to be themselves in the face of adversity and condemnation. It’s been a long hard road and we aren’t there yet.

There are still many things that need to change. I have the solution, but no one wants to hear it… We need to eliminate all of the boxes we put ourselves into. That would make it easier to treat everyone with respect. It’s not a new idea, living in a society based on dignity for every individual, regardless of the countless ways we choose to express ourselves. This is what I advocate for: stop classifying yourself and just BE.

To be clear, I am deeply thankful to the many people who fought for me to have the ability to classify myself however I want. As writer Octavia Butler said, “People have the right to call themselves whatever they like. That doesn’t bother me. It’s other people doing the calling that bothers me.” What I am looking at now is the next step, the goal we set ourselves after gay marriage is legalized across the nation.

This is what we do: we let go. We let go of our closely protected identities. We work toward a society where everyone is embraced with dignity. We are all the same. We are all different. We are all one people. Remember the many paths we walked to get here, honor the souls of those who died for change, then let go of the things that box you in.

I know this is not an easy task. We all have a natural instinct to belong. We explore who we are by defining ourselves – gender, race, age, orientation, religion, medical condition, family status, wealth, privilege, profession, sexual interests, hobbies, style of dress… these all give us a handle by which to know ourselves. These categories fix an identity for each of us by which we think we know ourselves and by which others can believe they know how to relate to us.

Like most people, I have struggled with my own identity. At 20 I was whole-heartedly in love with a woman and ready to start a family. Neither of us was gay, but we loved each other. If we had managed to live together, we would have been perceived as gay. We might have joined the lesbian community to have the support we needed and been happy as long as we didn’t also date men. Obviously, you can’t date men and still be a lesbian. My girlfriend couldn’t stand the thought of being perceived as a lesbian and we parted ways. Even now, with my two husbands and five children, I think of the path my life could have taken. No matter who I am with, I am still the same person, still attracted to people of all genders.

Just in the sexual arena, I see examples of how limiting identity can be – lesbians who are shunned when they decide to date men, trans people whose orientation changes when they finally transition, gay men who simply adore breasts but have no way to act on that interest, and people who desperately want to explore a sexual fetish but can’t ask their partner for fear of being rejected as a freak. If we treated all people with dignity, we could minimize the pain associated with each of these situations. People are unique. We can’t assume that we know who someone is because we can read the label on their box.

Breaking the boxes has another benefit – personal growth. When you stop saying that you can’t, anything is possible. One of my favorite games is to prove Harold wrong every time he says he doesn’t like something. Limits are largely artificial. Identity might help make the world more manageable for a while, but often gives us information about what we shouldn’t be as much as what we are.

It’s not wrong to choose an identity. We identify out of fear or pride, out of love or hate, out of strength or weakness. It’s important to know who we are and the history of those who came before us. I want to honor the work that made it possible for me to be open about who I am and recognize that there are many places in the world where human rights are not granted to all people.  Yet I am asking that those  of you who are ready, take the next step in the evolution of humanity.

The world is not ready to embrace universal dignity yet. This is obvious.  But that shouldn’t let that stop us from adopting it. The people who are ready are often distracted by our differences, our in-groups, our need to defend our niche against a hateful world. We have had a few role models, but they tend to die young. I’m not asking for martyrs, just people willing to break the boxes and live openly as themselves. People ready to stop agonizing over where they fit in and start figuring out how they can help. People willing to let dignity lead their lives. Will you join me?

Mar 242013
 

I’ve become hieny-centric. I’ve always found bottoms attractive, but now a nice ass has me thinking about all of the sexy things I’d like to do. Harold and I have done so much intensely erotic anal play that seeing his naked bum makes me lust after him as much as seeing his cock. I have totally objectified his ass – and why not, it’s gorgeous!

I’ve chosen to share a couple of images that are highly erotic for me, loaded with all of the love and intimacy Harold and I have shared. Sex has created a filter of desire for me, come see this piece of ass through my eyes…

 

His gorgeous ass

Diving deep

 

 

Wanna see some other erotic images? Click below!

Sinful Sunday

Feb 072013
 

EvoëThis morning I had an epiphany: I am not treating my body with respect. I have worked hard to have a good body image and to listen to what my body wants during sex. I eat foods that are right for me and nourish me properly, but I’m terrible when it comes to not feeling well. When I have health challenges, I do my best to ignore my body’s messages.

I am reminding myself that embodiment, existing fully in the physical self, is not just about sex. To be sure, being present in your body makes for wonderful sex, but it should carry over to other areas of life as well. When I was contemplating that, I was suddenly able to see the patterns that surround my difficulties being kind to myself when I am ill.

As a child I was in a lot of physical pain. For example, I had constant ear infections and ruptured ear drums. Once I broke my wrist and wasn’t taken to the doctor. Because there was abuse in the home, I think that going to the doctor happened rarely, like going to the hospital when my sister almost died from pneumonia.

I was taught to ignore my body’s signals, keep them to myself, not tell anyone about them. I felt ashamed because I thought that anything wrong with my body was my own fault. I was afraid that I was bad for feeling pain, and no one wanted to know about it. I was convinced that no one would believe me if I spoke, and I’d be punished for causing problems. At the same time, I was also terrified that something serious might really be wrong with my body and no one would do anything to help me.

Many of these childhood messages around illness have been further reinforced by my later experience in the culture at large. We’re encouraged to “suck it up” and go to school or work even when we feel pretty bad. People with chronic illness and/or disabilities are often looked down on. They aren’t seen as strong in this culture where we revere the ability to endure pain. I cringe every time I hear a parent tell a child to “man up” or “be a big girl” instead of comforting the hurt. We are taught that pain does not exist, or when it does, it’s weak, embarrassing, or maybe even crazy.

I think some people are drawn to BDSM because it can provide a controlled, “acceptable,” form of pain. Experiencing or providing pain in this context is letting one pain stand in for another, or granting the release of built-up pain. It’s not a bad idea, kind of like going to therapy to work out emotional pain – setting aside time to hurt. Perhaps BDSM is often misunderstood because people do spend so much time denying their pain.

Ignoring pain and sickness is occasionally necessary, as when there are no other options to take care of children, but I have made a habit of it. No, I think I never learned how to listen to my body in this way. I’m trying now. I think being aware of my body around pain and illness is going to be challenging because it brings up a swirl of emotions that are hard to sort, but I know some part of me really wants to be heard, wants to be comforted.

This shift in my way of thinking will help my body get more of what it needs. It will help me negotiate better with unhealthy impulses, such as cravings for foods I’m allergic to. Being able to acknowledging my own discomfort will let my family support me better. I’ve often felt so ashamed and scared of my own pain or illness that of course people don’t know how to treat me, which plays right into my fears that I will be punished or at least derided for malingering. If I can admit to myself that I do actually have some chronic health problems, then I can give myself permission to go about seeking appropriate support and medical help.

I want to be in my body the way I can be during sex – unselfconscious and aware. I think this will make losing weight easier, being more fit easier, and improve my overall health and happiness. I do love my body and all of the sensations I experience in it, and I want to own it all. I’m ready now to accept being embodied.

Oct 152012
 

Evoë campingI’m not really here. My heart and mind are still at Goldmyer Hot Springs where Harold and I stayed a couple of nights ago. Our joy there was so intense that we didn’t sleep, lest we miss a moment of pleasure. We’ve needed this chance to escape the daily grind. We’ve needed time to be alone together and we were determined to cherish every minute!

We backpacked in, talking about anything and everything, ranging from work to family to sex – basically the things that most people talk about. I love backpacking because you carry everything with you and no more than you absolutely need. I packed the sex supplies first: a bullet vibe, 4 non-latex gloves, 1 packet of lube, and a length of stretchy fabric to tie around Harold’s balls for CBT play. I figured that it covered the basics and presented many interesting options.

We arrived in the early afternoon, quickly set up camp and ate lunch. We had an amazing campsite right next to the river. The white noise is very soothing, even if I start to hear music in it. Harold and I work beautifully together, often lending a hand to each other while still completing our own tasks. We’re both very competent and it’s a pleasure to operate so seamlessly. And camp food tastes so intensely wonderful. Our lunch was Thai noodle soup, garlic mashed potatoes, super orange Emergen-c, a bit of red wine, fig loaf, and the most exquisite salt and pepper Mexican chocolate. Absolutely perfect!

backing out of the tentWe talk about what our intentions were for this overnight trip, wanting to make sure we were on the same page so we could get the most out of our time. Our priorities were: 1) to feel close to each other, 2) to have really hot sex, and 3) to work through any emotional issues that happened to come up. The first and second things were really the most important.

Finally we made our way up to the hot springs, stopping to talk to the caretakers on our way. I don’t actually have a lot of opportunity to socialize, so I may be a bit rusty at it, but I love getting to know people! Goldmyer is clothing optional at the hot springs. I’m mostly inured to nudity at this point, both my own and other people’s, but I still have that moment of checking other people out. I’m sure they look me over too. In that setting, I don’t care. And Harold and I were way too into each other to really pay much attention to making a good presentation.

Goldmyer is amazing. I’ve posted about it before. It may be my favorite place on the planet. It has certainly been a special place for Harold and me together – many of our big moments have occurred in those deliciously warm pools, surrounded by nature. There’s usually other people around, but they generally respect your privacy if you seem to want it. It’s just a sacred place. People tend to get that.

Harold and I talked some more while we waited for people to clear off and then we got the little waterproof vibrator out. It felt nice on my clit, but I wasn’t getting anywhere really. We stopped. Harold suggested that perhaps we were having troubles with the first of our objectives, to feel close to each other. He was right. Everything was fine between us, except that I was holding back on a deep level. When I looked at it, I realized that I was still upset about an argument we’d had 6 weeks ago. Something about that fight had left me feeling like I couldn’t trust him and it had never gotten repaired.

Evoë and Harold at GoldmyerIt’s amazing how one little thing can totally compromise my ability to orgasm. There I was, in the most beautiful place on the planet, alone with a man I adore, and unresolved feelings from an old fight were getting in my way. I’d thought that I was over that disagreement. Because what I most wanted was to feel close to Harold, it meant that I was going to have to spend some time going over objective 3) working through any emotional issues that happened to come up, even though I really didn’t want to.

We talked over things for a long time. It turns out that it was not only my stuff – Harold had issues to process through as well! Other people came up to the hot springs, but for a while we just wrapped ourselves up in each other, whispering frantically. We cleared out everything that had been building up between us, our connection coming out clear and strong. I began to feel a lot of desire.

We started thinking about heading back to our tent. Dusk was beginning to fall. Our fingers and toes were wrinkled and white. But a funny thing happened as we started to become more aware of our surroundings – we started conversing with the people around us. I am so busy all of the time that I forget what it’s like to have a normal conversation with people. If you can consider sitting around naked, talking about erotic foreign movies normal. I do.

Floating in the hot springsBy the time we made it back to our tent, made food, and crawled into the tent, it was nearly midnight. We had spent about 10 hours straight in the water! After crawling into our sleeping bags and eating, we began to make love. No, we had actually been making love all day. But we began to be carnally involved.

Half sweaty, half cold, we explored each other’s flesh under the sleeping bags. We had the body knowledge and comfort level of long time partners, with the enthusiasm and raw lust of of new lovers. With all the time we needed, we took it slow and sensuous. We were animals stalking each other’s pleasure, using our favorite sex acts to burn through the artificial boundaries that separate people. We made love until light began to filter in through the tent.

In all that time, we didn’t come. No orgasms, just hours of pleasure. You don’t get somewhere and stop, if you don’t come. You just reach and intertwine and want and gasp and want and love and have a happiness that is infinite but just keeps expanding and reaching – like the expanding universe. So at dawn, we lay in each other’s arms and had lucid dreams that we described aloud, feeling perfectly open and at one.

After a while, nature called, so we went to the outhouse and back up to the hot springs with our coffee. It feels miraculous to watch the morning unfold after such a night. I let the water soothe any aches in my body, listening to the river, watching the birds come out, feeling full of love. It was lovely to enjoy the stillness and experience the clarity of being fully in my body. I felt amazingly empowered, a feeling that has lasted for several days.

Reading in campAfter a couple of hours we went back to camp for some breakfast. I didn’t feel at all tired, despite a lack of sleep. I read a little Leaves of Grass by the river. We went back into the tent and made love some more – more straight fucking this time. Then we packed up our camp with the same efficiency and hiked home.

This trip to Goldmyer highlights for me a couple of things. First, it’s so important to work through the things that inevitably come up in a relationship. There is a tendency to shove those feelings into the background because life is busy, but if you let the pain and anger accumulate, lack of trust will taint your sex life. Second, sex is a sacred act. It doesn’t matter how you do it or what your religious beliefs are. Sex is a gateway to the spiritual realm, if you but open yourself up to the universe. Cherish every minute.
Apr 232012
 

Evoë, contemplative There’s always the one that got away – that one person that you really thought you could make it with, but for one reason or another it didn’t work out. Doesn’t everyone have a story like that? Here’s mine…

Once upon a time, long, long ago, I fell in love with a prince of man. Well, he was barely more than a boy, just as I was barely more than a girl, but in the way of people in their late teens to early 20′s, we were extremely mature. At the time I was engaged to a man who had suddenly decided that girls were icky, but he wanted to marry me anyway and have a family. I would be free to take lovers for my sexual gratification. It sounded dubious. The Fiancé and I both fell for the Prince. I left the Fiancé, desiring romance over a sexless marriage and became roommates with the Prince.

There was a time that I made love with the Prince while the Fiancé watched, making suggestions from the sidelines, but the Prince very politely rejected the Fiancé’s advances. I think each of us wanted something we couldn’t have. It was all very sad and poignant. Still, I had incredible energy with the Prince. When the two of us were in a room together everything focused on us. We were on fire.

I wanted the Prince desperately, but he wouldn’t commit. We could fuck like crazy, but he didn’t love me – not like I loved him. Before long he fell in love with someone else. It was painful to watch him be in love, waiting to hear her voice on the phone, seeing his face light up at the thought of her. I spun into depression. One morning while I was planning my suicide in the shower, I realized that plotting my death had become a habit, one I wanted to shake. I decided to live.

I went and woke up the Prince to ask him to drive me to the hospital so I could commit myself. He pulled me into bed with him, holding me while I cried. He nuzzled into my hair and whispered, “You know, you are really sexy when you’re depressed.” And he proceeded to make love to me. It was very bittersweet (not to mention less than ethical). It was also our last time – 17 years ago.

Evoë, contemplativeIt was a difficult transition after that. I was focused on turning my life around, starting the work that’s consumed my adult life, both personally and professionally. I moved. I moved on. I’ve found happiness. The Prince married his Princess and they started their life together. They have lived happily ever after.

Fast forward to present day. It was with a little bit of trepidation that I invited the Prince and his wife over for drinks a few nights ago, when Harold and I happened to be in their area. I’ve been on Facebook with both the Prince and his wife, but it’s not the same as sharing space with someone. I imagine that they must have been a bit cautious themselves, but we ended up having a great time.

I know that I felt hurt and confused so many years ago, but I don’t even remember why any more. Having the Prince sit across the room from me, I was reminded of why we had been friends originally. He is still all of the things that I liked when we were young, but he’s developed maturity to temper it, and the depth of experience grants him solidity. After the initial uncertainty, we all relaxed and had a good time. Maybe it’s just that I drank more than usual.

I had a few moments of unreality, where I thought, I have had sex this man who is now a stranger in my life. But then he would make some teasing comment to me and I would be amazed at how well he knew me. I was surprised to realize that the only thing I feel towards him now is a certain fondness. No hard feelings. I like the man he is now. I like his wife. He has chosen a different path than mine and that’s good for both of us.

I’m just not sure what the protocol is for old lovers. Hopefully, if you’ve had sex with someone you want to stay friends, but I’m really only friends with a few lovers from my past. I think we navigated the situation pretty well. I sat next to the Prince in the hot tub, hugging the corner out of politeness, trying not to let our skin touch. Then I thought, fuck it. We have been way more intimate. I once gave him a hand job in a movie theater. And I didn’t worry when the back of my hand came to rest against his arm. I would be way more familiar with a friend I hadn’t had sex with. Once I stopped worrying, it was all good.

naked outsideI am so thankful to have had this opportunity to reconnect. It feels very healing to realize that there is happiness where there was once pain and anger. I am very fond of the Prince and pleased at his successes. We found a lot of common ground in discussing parenting and sex. I think I need friends like this – people who remember spreading rumors in our circle about me being a pro domme. And as the Prince’s wife reminded me, I was holding a bull whip the first time she met me. I guess that makes an impression.

I don’t know if we will ever be close friends, but I feel like we’ve finally cleared up enough of the past that being friends is possible. It hurt like hell to be young and have my love rejected. I’ve learned so much about myself since then. Once I would have thought that making amends with the Prince would involve his apology, but it turns out that by making amends with myself, an apology isn’t necessary. We’re friends.

 

Other posts you might enjoy:

Jan 292012
 

Evoë feeling philosophicalThis morning I had a flash of inspiration, when I realized that something I’ve worked on for years in my sex life would really benefit me in general. I guess sex and life really are intimately related. Basically, I’ve been meditating on being present, being here now.

Even during sex, being present can be difficult. I struggle with letting go of the past. Occasionally flashbacks hijack my experience. I try to acknowledge the feelings and remind myself that I am no longer trapped in that situation. I don’t have to respond as I would have in the distant past, or yesterday. This is so huge – I can affirm that as a constantly evolving person, what really matters is not then, but right now.

The future is even harder to come to terms with than the past, though. If I’m thinking of initiating sex, I worry about all of the things I ought to be doing instead. My everyday worries rob me of the joys to be had right now. Even when making love, thinking too much about what comes next can put a damper on my pleasure. I find that I only truly lose myself in sex when I am wholly in the moment, not limited by who I was or who I think I ought to be.

I’ve worked on being present during sex for years. I think it’s why I’ve been able to enjoy myself so much. So why haven’t I seen that the same concept could be applied to every other aspect of my life? I find myself constantly focused on next steps rather than where I’m at. That can be helpful, but not if I can’t let myself be happy now. Not if it is a distancing technique.

The main thing for me today is that I feel bad over things that are in the past, from childhood abuse to the fight that Harold and I had a few nights ago. Everything is basically resolved, but I’m holding on to the emotions. The events are sticky. I need to remember that I am not a child, not a partner with hurt feelings. Those things are part of my past – they contribute to the person I am – but I am constantly expanding. Everything I experience makes me bigger and gives me more resources with which to act in the world.

Related to this idea is the concept of forgiveness, something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I finally understand that forgiving someone is something you do for yourself, not them. Forgiving a person means you can let go of the sticky parts – whatever that person did to you can’t hurt you any more. Forgiveness means you can be present in the now.

It’s woo-woo, but I’m finding it helpful. Remembered hurts and the fear of future pain can sometimes distract me from everything else, which is sad when I’m surrounded by beauty and joy. The next time I’m feeling stuck and struggly, during sex or otherwise, I am going to breath deeply and remind myself to be here now.

Oct 162011
 

Fall colorThe Autumn leaves are gorgeous. I noticed them in all of their unique fiery glory this morning while I was walking. I want to collect them – pick them up and take them home, but I know that they won’t look as nice after a day or two. They look better outside. Each day offers a fresh beauty. In a month I will admire the bare branches stark against the sky. In two months, perhaps snow. Nature is always offering me her best face. I see beauty everywhere. Yet it is a beauty that is impossible to hold onto.

Human beauty is like that too. The leaves had me thinking about myself while I walked, about my body image. I tend to focus on some time before or after now as a time that I have been or will be more attractive than now. I was very proud of my body as a young woman. After having children I worried that my breast sagged too much, or that I was too heavy. I wanted my pre-baby body back and judged myself by society’s standards of young beauty. I see now that my transformed body was simply the changing of the season. A different kind a beauty – one of lush fullness and fertility. Today I noticed, for the first time, that there are lines by my eyes when I really smile. It’s another kind of passage, one of having lived and known joy.

I realize that it’s like noticing the leaves and seeing the beauty of today. I want to stop judging my own beauty based on what I should look like and instead stay open to experiencing what is beautiful about me today. I may still want to lose 15 pounds and I may need a haircut, but today there is a sparkle in my eyes and something playful in my manner. It shines through. Tomorrow will be something new, a fresh beauty.

Sometimes I just become aware of something I love about my body – like the hollow of my knee when it’s bent or the curve of my breast near the armpit. I experience love for myself in small ways. It helps that we take so many pictures for the website. I get to see myself in new ways. In a few years I will look different and I will have these photos of now to remind me of the beauty that is today. Life is always about catching a perfect moment as it passes. I won’t regret the loss of today’s beauty because I know that tomorrow brings new wonders.

Oct 072011
 

 I love you and I love your body. I feel honored and happy that you choose to share it with me sometimes.”

We were talking on the phone, having stolen away a few minutes to share with each other how the day was going. When he said these words to me I was only half listening, but something about them spoke to some hidden part of me. As though he had uttered magic words, I have walked through the rest of my day feeling a slow metamorphosis change me from the inside out.

There are things that I believe utterly and hold sacred. That each person owns themselves is one of those truths. Yet, it’s hard to overcome the programming of sexual abuse. Sure, it’s great to own one’s self and body, but if no one else believes it and violates your right to choose, it is very difficult to feel empowered. If he had said anything about me owning myself I would have mentally gone, yeah, yeah, yeah, and moved on. But no, he expressed gratitude that I have chosen to be with him. His appreciation goes straight to my heart. I weep that I am so respected and valued.

The next thing I noticed was that he had no expectations. There was no implication that I was now required to meet any kind of need for him simply because I have given myself to him in the past. His love is not dependent on me meeting his needs. There are no assumptions that I will choose to share with him again. He is simply grateful for each and every time we make love or talk on the phone or make dinner together. I am my own person and he is happy to have me when I choose to give myself.

This brings up the issue of consent for me. I’m not very good about giving clear consent and I think it’s hugely important. In his way, he has always made sure that I was giving full and clear consent to our sexual encounters. I have blossomed in this environment, but it has also confused me. Having given myself initially, I felt that he could do what he wanted with me. When he refused, it felt like rejection. All of a sudden today, I feel like I understand. Even though we are in a serious relationship, we gift ourselves to each other anew, every time we make love. We don’t necessarily have to negotiate, but we do offer consent. This concept makes sex so much more powerful and emotionally driven. We make love because we have something to share. We each bring something to the other and we choose to be there.

When I contemplate his statement some more I am struck by how lucky I am to have him in my life. Like all of us, he struggles to balance too many things. Sometimes I am resentful at how little of his time I have, but when I think of it in terms of what he said to me today, I have to believe that every moment he spends with me is out of choice. He is with me because he loves me and wants to give himself to me. Strangely, this makes me feel better about the times that he is not with me – both because I can choose to devote myself to something else (not being tied to him) and because I feel more confident about him coming back to me. It makes being polyamorous easier. It means that all of us in the system give ourselves where we will, out of love and desire.

Photo by David Steinberg 2011

Photo by David Steinberg 2011

I feel so special. I want to hold on to this feeling – like maybe I’m 50 feet tall. I have known intellectually that I owned myself, but I haven’t been able to break away from the culture I grew up in. Whether these were the magic words that transformed me, or the key in the lock that turned the truth golden, I feel freed from a trap I didn’t know I was in.

Darling, I am grateful for your words. I am happy to share my body with you when I choose. I feel so blessed to have you give yourself in return.