Wow, when I started brainstorming an “R” word, I had no idea that there were at least THREE memes with wonderful R words all ready for me to take on. Hold on to your hats, folks, this might be a long one. (Being cooped up for days in the aftermath of surgery, with lots of pain medication and nothing else to do might account for my long-winded-ness too. Who knows.)
I’ve tried looking back to find the one pivotal moment when I realized that I might be…different…than other people that I knew in regards to sex (I was raised in a very small town where, if there was any hint of any kind of sexual “deviancy,” it was well-hidden.) I think the best I can do is maybe just list some of those moments (because there were a lot of them, even if I didn’t realize at that moment what I was experiencing.)
- At about 13, sleeping in the same bed as my best girlfriend, waking up spooning her and feeling aroused (I vacated the bed before she woke, uncomfortable with those feelings.)
- That same year, becoming aroused by secretly reading the Beauty Trilogy, and having no idea why I was aroused except that I knew it wasn’t “normal.”
- Later that same time period, I gave myself an orgasm for the first time, after reading The Hite Report, and mimicking the way that one of the respondents masturbated. But what I thought about wasn’t “normal” – it was to an image of myself with a woman, sucking on her breasts in the shower.
- Somewhere in that time period I visited my father in the city – he lived in Berkeley, CA – and on one of my walks, I happened by a place that said it was a “Gay and Lesbian” center. By then I knew that “they” existed, but I hadn’t imagined there was a special place for…them/me? I couldn’t identify with lesbians, because I knew I liked boys too. I stood and stared at the center for a long time, too afraid to go in.
- I lost my virginity to a boy because I wanted to. Every other girl I knew was either “wildly in love” with their boyfriend (I wasn’t) or had been pressured by someone to have sex with them (if anyone did the pressuring it was me. He didn’t “take” my virginity, I took his.)
- My first year in college, staying at a houseful of students of varying ages, another woman kissed me as I lay in bed. Aroused – and terrified by that – I jumped up (literally) and ran away.
Much, much later, there were the moments when I realized that BDSM wasn’t just a thing in fiction, and that I didn’t have to be ashamed of my desire for sex, or my attraction to women, and that I could be sexual or in love with more than one person and with men AND women. But those moments were really the first times that I knew I was different.
Another from The Erotic Journal Challenge:
“Risk – Consider this quote and how it might apply to your erotic life: ‘And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.’ – Anais Nin
I love that quote. I have often referenced it in my own writings, as though it was meant for me alone. Of course, going back to what I said in my “questions” post, if I have felt it, then others have too (and blogging has been wonderful in leading me to others who have. It’s good not to be alone.)
There are probably two moments when I really knew this to be true of myself. The first, about 15 years into my very stable, correct, and safe marriage, to a man I loved ridiculously, but who I found incredibly boring sexually. I didn’t know our sex was boring. I assumed it was that way because…well, that’s what happens when you have a stable, correct and safe marriage. You can’t have it all, can you? And since my first marriage – in which we’d had crazy monkey love that was exciting – was to a man that was abusive, I figured boring sex was an acceptable price to pay.
I discovered BDSM online…and realized that that was the kind of sex I wanted, and that I needed…but was terrified to talk to my upright, conservative, safe husband. Until I realized that to not risk it was to die just a little bit. And I told him. And…surprise of surprises, he embraced it, and we started on our BDSM journey together. It was amazing, and wonderful (except the part where he denounced any interest in it when we split. That was rough.) But it gave us five really amazing years together.
That “when we split” thing was the other time when the risk not to grow was greater than the risk to maintaining the status quo. We split because I am poly, and realized that I couldn’t be happy in a monogamous marriage. He is very staunchly (and happily) monogamous – but he really tried to be poly, because he loved me. It was painful for us both, and I was the one that finally pulled the plug on it. The pain that it was causing him wasn’t worth it. I couldn’t be mono, he couldn’t be poly. We are both happier now, living in a way that makes sense to each of us.
And that brings me to…
Oh my gosh, I could devote a whole blog post to the topic.
Oh wait…I just might.