I suspect that, at some point, everyone has to look at how sex defines their life. How do I identify as a sexual (or non-sexual) person? Where does sex stand in my hierarchy of values? What is sex anyway?
Harold and I went away for the weekend and we discussed many of these concepts because I’ve been struggling with thyroid problems again. My sexuality as I have known it is on hiatus. I wrote a post about thyroid function and sexuality a while ago. When I reread that list of possible symptoms for hypothyroidism, I realize that I have been experiencing every single one. If I look back I can recognize a very gradual decline of my thyroid function over the past 3-6 months, with the last month being extremely difficult.
We needed some time away by ourselves. My extreme fatigue and lack of desire make it hard for us to just flow together sexually the way that we are used to doing. I’m missing that sensation of immediate lust that feels like sap rising in tree or riding a carnival ride – a thrill of warmth that starts in my cunt and moves up to my heart. Intellectually, I am still very interested in making love, I just don’t feel it. It takes more time for me to get my mind, body, and emotions aligned so sex flows.
When sex stops being easy for me, I am forced to examine all of my assumptions about who I am as a person and in a relationship. Harold and I spent a lot of time talking, as I tearfully wondered if I would ever really want to have sex again (which is kind of silly because we then went on to have lots of sex, but I needed to examine my fears). We sat on the beach and I poured out my heart, asking him if he would still love me and want me if we never had sex again. How would we connect? And slowly, I remembered all of the ways that we love each other. We make love in many ways that I would not consider “sex” and while I adore our sexual connection, it was a relief to realize that I will not lose him if I cannot recover my lust.
To be clear, the only person pressuring me to be sexual is me. I get really frustrated that this isn’t something I can think my way through. I get scared that I might never feel that thrill and transcendence through sex again. Much of this weekend was spent processing a loss I don’t even believe is permanent. But sex is strong like that.
Sometimes just knowing that a “no” is okay, lets me say yes. Knowing that I didn’t have to perform sexually in any particular way freed me to simply be present in the moment. I knew that Harold would meet me no matter what I brought to our lovemaking. This is an amazing gift and it’s what keeps us together.
For any couple that’s having troubles connecting sexually, I have this advice: get naked, get in bed together, and talk. It’s okay to touch and snuggle. Look into each other’s eyes. It works for me every time. Being naked is vulnerable, and skin to skin contact makes me feel closer as oxytocin is released through this basic intimacy. As our bodies, minds, and emotions sync up internally and with each other, we naturally flow into lovemaking.
We made love in a tiny little loft, warming our bodies after sitting on the cold beach. We kissed slowly, then more urgently, opening to each other. Hands explored flesh, squeezing and caressing. I lay on top of him, feeling him harden against me. We took turns going down on each other, then switched to 69 because we had to have everything all at once. I wanted to take him with my strap-on, but we got caught up in the moment. I had to feel him inside me, just for a minute…
Sex still isn’t easy for me right now. I normally orgasm in about a minute and am capable of multiple orgasms, but we have to really work for me to cum right now. It feels great to be riding that edge for so long, but sometimes I just want to get there already! The fact that the batteries were failing on my vibrator didn’t help. I worried that Harold would get bored or tired, but he was perfectly willing to do whatever for as long as I was enjoying it.
The next morning, I took a shower while Harold worked on his laptop. I ended up masturbating, wanting to see how my body responded to my own touch. It took a lot of fantasizing, but I was eventually able to get myself off. Immediately, I started wishing that Harold was there (never mind that we were in a tiny cabin and he could hear everything), and feeling resentful that he didn’t care to be sexual with me (never mind that I had told him to go ahead and work and I hadn’t invited him to shower). I had to laugh at myself for being so passive-agressive, then went and seduced him into fucking me right there in the kitchen. He didn’t mind at all.
I’m glad that we had time for me to examine the recent changes in my sexuality. We had awesome sex, but I am most grateful to spend time together doing relaxed things – talking, shopping, walking on the beach, drinking lambic out of the bottle like teenagers, looking at flowers, watching a movie, napping, and sharing meals. It’s the first time we’ve gone away and I brought my crocheting rather than, say, a trample table.
I don’t feel kinky. I don’t feel like much of a Top. I don’t feel particularly sexy. In fact, I feel sick a lot of the time. I am not up for wild rodeo sex, but that doesn’t mean that I am not sexual. I still want to kiss, to be close, to share dreams. If I think about it, I still want to orgasm. I want to connect with my partners. Everything is an effort right now, but sex is worth the effort.
If I never feel that hot lust again, it will be like losing a limb. For now, I am content redefining my sexuality to make wherever I am the perfect place to be. It’s a relief to know that I don’t have to be crazy kinky to be loved. I happen to like pushing my sexual limits most of the time, but that isn’t the whole of my identity. I can define sex any way I like.