Having one of the most powerful orgasms of my life while strapped to a massage table in the basement of a suburban home is actually a pretty fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
I met a couple at a kink-friendly party who talked about e-stim and invited me to try it. I’ll admit I didn’t do my homework and didn’t really know what they were talking about; I assumed it was a form of electrical play similar to using a violet wand. So when I accepted their invitation and trekked to their home in the suburbs, I was thinking I might remove my shirt but that was about it.
It was a bit of a surprise when Bob showed me two small objects with electrodes embedded in them and explained that one was designed to be inserted vaginally and one anally. Ohhhh… if I’d been smart I would have been a little more prepared! Apologizing for my unshaven legs, I gamely stripped and lay on the towel-covered table. I inserted the vaginal plug and asked my boyfriend to insert the anal one. They were attached by leads to a control box that looked, to me, similar to a CB radio, which was attached to a laptop for finer control of the sensations the electrodes would produce. Bob started with a basic pattern that felt like something expanding inside those orifices, though it was simply the muscles reacting to the electrical stimulation by expanding and contracting.
It was probably not the best way to start, since I wasn’t at all aroused at this point, and my arousal certainly doesn’t start with being penetrated. Truthfully, I wasn’t enjoying the sensations. Bob kept asking questions about how I felt and making adjustments, then suggested we try some electrodes on a breast. He placed two stick-on electrodes on either side of my right nipple, near the edges of my areola (which are quite large) and we removed the anal probe in order to hook up that lead to the electrodes with a splitter. The sensation there was fascinating and definitely arousing – it felt as if the nipple was being pinched, but the sensation was also distinctly below the surface of the nipple. Now, I absolutely adore breast play and always want lots of nipple stimulation during sex, so this is a key to my arousal, and I started having trouble staying quiet and still, much to the amusement of the audience of my boyfriend and Bob’s wife, Jenny. (Watching someone experiencing e-stim is about as interesting as watching paint dry; there’s really nothing to see except a naked person lying on a table. Jenny was knitting through most of the playtime! It’s only fun for other people if they’re driving the equipment, or when the subject starts squealing with pleasure.)
The nipple stimulation was so wonderful, I asked for electrodes on my left breast as well. This meant disconnecting the vaginal probe, which was fine with me – even with the arousal brought on by the nipple action, I wasn’t getting much out of the vaginal stimulation. So out it came and two more electrodes went on, not quite in the same position but still generating a very similar sensation. Having both nipples stimulated simultaneously is probably one of my most favorite things ever, and I loved it, gripping the edge of the table to keep from arching my back and squirming. I breathlessly told them that it would be heaven to be strapped down and stimulated with a vibrator along with the nipple stim, and I regretted not bringing one with me. Never fear – Bob and Jenny kindly offered the services of their Hitachi, and of course they had a handy pair of velcro cuffs to attach my hands over my head to the table. I just closed my eyes and let the sensations wash over me.
The boyfriend manned the vibrator, and eventually Bob joined in, experimenting with me. He tried inserting another vibrator in my vagina while the Hitachi covered my clit, but at first it felt like he’d inserted something anally – perhaps because of the angle – and I asked him to stop. No offense taken – try something else. He started playing with my nipples along with the electrical stimulation going on, which was phenomenal – very much the type of stimulation on the edge of overstimulation that I crave. The Hitachi was a bit too much, though – I tend to need very focused clit stimulation, and the ball top of the classic Magic Wand was a bit too generalized for me. We took a break from it, and after a few minutes I asked the boyfriend to finger my clit instead. He was game, and it was comforting to have him close and participating in this with me.
Unfortunately, my cell phone started going off with text message alerts, which distracted me quite a bit, and I probably would have reached orgasm much faster if there hadn’t been that break in concentration. I was at a peak of arousal without the release of orgasm for quite a long time, which is both delicious and agonizing – my arms were getting sore from pulling at the restraints, my ladybits were on the edge of numb, though my breasts were still in heaven. The boyfriend stuck to his task, and Bob eventually tried a vibrator inside me again, and that did it – stimulation overload sent me into spasms. My full body reacted to that orgasm – I arched up off the table, disconnecting one set of electrodes in the process, and I know I was loud – it was a deep, rich release. As I came back down, it took me quite a while to calm my breathing, and the boyfriend stayed close to me while I slowly relaxed again. I had a moment of overwhelming emotion that almost broke into tears (not unusual for me after a strong orgasm). Mostly I was terribly dehydrated.
After a bit of wind-down time we did play with a violet wand, which I’d love to experiment with more, then I dressed and we sat around talking for a couple more hours. Bob and Jane are older than my boyfriend and I, they have some interesting hobbies aside from electrical sex, and they were very kind, generous hosts. I’m very grateful for the experience they gave me and sent them a thank-you note afterwards.
It’s an adventure I’m very glad to have had, for a number of reasons. It was an aspect of sexual stimulation I’d never explored and found that I enjoyed very much. I’ve often mused on the possibilities of extreme arousal and sensual stimulation, and how that would impact me with my orgasm difficulties (see here and here), so this experience showed me that while it wouldn’t necessarily speed up my ability to orgasm, reaching orgasm was definitely possible with this kind of stimulation, and could result in a very powerful orgasm at that.
It was also the first sexual experience I’ve had in a long time that involved someone touching me in a sexual way for whom I didn’t feel any kind of sexual attraction. I’ve had poor experiences in the past with sexual contact from men I wasn’t really attracted to, but this was different – not clinical, but not wholly disengaged either. I think it was simply friendly play – Bob wanted me to have a good experience with one of his favorite toys, he wanted to share his knowledge, and he did things he thought would help me get the most out of it. Those things involved touching me in sexual ways, and I was okay with that, his wife was okay with that, and it didn’t mean anything more than friendly assistance. I’ve become unused to thinking of sex detatched from emotional connection and sexual attraction, so it is interesting to reflect on the fact that a wonderful sexual experience can take place with someone with whom I don’t have a strong emotional/sexual bond.
I was very grateful that my boyfriend came along for this experience with me. I was concerned that he would be bored, and very happy that he gamely participated. His closeness increased my comfort level in the experience, and added an element of emotional intimacy that probably helped as well. He has told me he enjoyed the experience, too, and that it is something he’d love to see happen again someday – a fantasy we share of bringing me to orgasm under group stimulation. Another adventure to find in the future.
While I wouldn’t invest in the equipment myself, given the option to play with e-stim toys again, I would definitely do so. Exploration of this kind is part of the life adventure I seek, and it was well worth a Sunday afternoon in the suburbs.
Earlier this week I caught myself thinking, “I need more romance in my life.” I almost tweeted that silly thought, but I stopped to wonder what I really meant by “romance.” What was it really that I was longing for? I don’t personally feel a need for the candy-gifts-and-flowers commercial brand of romance, so what does romance mean beyond those cliches?
I posed the question to Twitter, and got some wonderful responses:
- “A text the next day would be nice…” [@QuantumTree]
- “I leave special notes that say how much I care, in unexpected places. I do things for my loves that may not have thought of.” [locked user]
- “Knowing what I like and don’t like – especially food-wise…” [@OpenSourceHeart]
- “Going out of your way for someone, creating for them, & understanding that tiny things make a big difference.” [locked user]
- “I’d rather have little moments that count than flowers. Finding my chores done b/c I’m behind. Words of affirmation when you think of them. Making time to hang out even if it’s ridiculously short…” [@darkersunshine]
- “A soft touch, compassion and understanding. Support when you are are you weakest. Passion, Desire and Desperation.” [locked user]
- “Emotional and moral support. passion that extends beyond the sexual realm. understanding, patience. quiet.” [@anne_athema]
- “The burning itent to make your mate feel loved; to know how they have become an integral part of your very being.” [@Where_Do_I_Fit]
- “When they do/make/buy something that solves a minor problem I was having but I didn’t realize they noticed.” [@LadyMadhu]
- “Less flowers and gifts..more little moments and surprises that show I’m cherished and he KNOWS me. Memories.” [@meditativeme]
- “A connection deeper than just pure need. Talking about aspirations, desires. Sex at a higher level than just orgasm.” [locked user]
The thread through all the comments is that romance is in actions, not objects. It is how the connection between lovers is maintained, with communication, intimacy, and clear expression of emotion. I agree with these definitions of romance and would adopt all of them for myself.
So then I wondered, am I receiving these things? What am I missing that leads me to this sense of lack of romance?
And the answer is… well, I’m not really missing any of them. I just don’t always see them. I’m starting to understand that romance isn’t just about what is expressed or given, but it’s about being open to receiving those expressions with warmth, gratitude and appreciation for the intent with which they are given.
I struggle sometimes to see the wonderful things I have in the shadow of what I think I want. When I do stop and look more closely, the things I have shine brighter, and the things I think I want start to fade away. There’s a lack of gratitude in my life sometimes, but not a dearth of romance.
He will walk me down three flights of stairs to his door when I leave, just to have a few more minutes with me and kiss me good-bye one last time.
He will text me on the random occasion just to say “I love you.”
He offers foot rubs and enjoys giving them.
He will agree to be the designated driver.
He will flirt with my friends when they need it, but he’s never insincere about it.
He tells me that my breasts are phenomenal.
He has made me a few little love tokens and notes that I cherish.
He will talk to me about anything, and he respects my opinion, even if I disagree with his.
Romance? I’ve got it. I just need to be open and recognize it when it is given.
I started seeing a new therapist in June to work through some issues that were coming to the surface during bouts of PMDD depression. I’ve meshed with her much better than I did with the therapist I saw last year, and I feel a lot more comfortable with her and the work we’re doing. It doesn’t feel like work yet, four sessions in, but we’re getting to it, and in our last session I had two revelations that created a shift in my thinking. I’m still not quite sure what to do with them, but they definitely gave me pause.
The first came from discussion of a pattern I already knew existed. Since the decision to end my marriage, I’ve said several times that I will never marry or even cohabitate again. I’m very aware of what I do when living with a partner – I very easily shut off parts of myself that I think may displease that person; I become the caretaker, the responsible one; I strive to be as adaptable for and accommodating of that person as possible. Of the four men I’ve lived with in romantic partnerships, I’ve done this every time. I mentioned this to my therapist, and we dug into a bit, and suddenly the pattern came to the surface.
From childhood onward, I’ve been driven by an enormous desire to please others, to earn praise, respect, and love. I’ve always seen love and caring as things that must be earned, that I must prove myself worthy of. In my romantic partnerships, that same inner drive pushes me to give, give, give – particularly in the form of actions, taking responsibility for things, getting things done, being the stable, consistent, reliable partner, being helpful. I’m very conscious of the inner hope that by doing the things I do, I can earn the love I crave. But at the same time, this leads to a heavy doubt… am I only loved for the things I do, the help I provide? Am I only valued for what I give – my time, my money, my willingness to carry the burden of responsibility – and not actually who I am? So I become fearful through this doubt, and even more hungry for signs of love and affection, which drives me to do more, to give more, which leads me to more doubt. It’s the dog chasing her own tail in a sad and frustrating emotional circle.
So the first revelation was how this pattern was of my own creation. The next step is to try and break it. Stop giving unless I really want to give out of simple love and happiness. Stop taking responsibility for things that are not my responsibility. And learn that love probably won’t be taken away because I stop doing those things.
That one is pretty clear, and on the surface at least, pretty easy to do something with. The second one I’m not so sure about, but it took my breath away and leaves me with a lot more questions to explore. It was regarding a brief relationship I was in late last year, and how I felt in that relationship, in comparison to my current & ongoing relationship and how I feel in it. There have always been distinct differences to me, and as I started to dig into those with my therapist, I realized with that person, I had never felt the need to give, to do, to try and earn his love. In the brief span of that relationship, I knew exactly how he felt about me. I never doubted, wondered, longed for affirmation. I didn’t feel like I had to work for it. I didn’t feel unworthy, either. I had no doubt that I was loved for who I was, not what I might give.
I realized in one big flash that I had never felt that certainty with anyone before. Every man I have ever loved, I felt like I had to work to be loved in return. But he saw me as I was – he knew more about me leading into our relationship than probably anyone else ever has – yet he chose to open up his life to me, and himself to me, knowing exactly what my flaws were. He saw me clearly and he loved me and never asked for anything except for me to be me and to let him love me.
I don’t know why I felt no drive to earn his love. I can’t say that others haven’t freely given their love to me, and I just felt for my own reasons that I had to work to deserve their love. I don’t know why it was different with him, other than maybe it was just who he is, and who I am, and the circumstances that led to our relationship, and the points in life where we both were at the time. I don’t know. I’ll be thinking about this more, asking more questions with my therapist, digging in to why it is so hard for me to just open up and be loved without trying to earn it. I want to. I want that experience again, that confidence and comfort of being held, emotionally held, with love that doesn’t ask to be earned.
Since the decision made in January to dissolve my marriage, I’ve been in essentially a monogamous relationship with my boyfriend. Monogamous on my side, to the extent of not having slept with anyone else but the boyfriend since the husband moved into a separate bedroom while he buys his own house. I’ve been on a date or two, and we had a threesome, but the boyfriend is presently my only relationship and my only sexual partner.
He is dating others, and having sex with others, though I’m his most regular partner in both the dating & sex categories. So it remains an open relationship, though I am not actively poly for the time being.
And you know what? I’m totally okay with that. I thought it would be difficult for me to only “have” him while he “has” others. But that’s not been the case at all. I’ve had little twinges of the standard, reflexive jealousy over time he spends with other women, but I’ve found those fears easier to acknowledge and let go, much easier than I ever did with the husband. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed listening to him talk about what’s developing with other partners, experiencing some of the journey through him, and have tried to provide support, encouragement, and at times a bit of reassurance as some things took different directions than he’d hoped.
I realized recently why this is so, and the answer is simple: my needs are being met. I’m very satisfied with this relationship. I don’t doubt that I am valued and cared for. I’m content with what we have, exactly as it is, and there’s no need or desire to make it something else, something different. In the realm of emotional support, intimacy and sex, I’m getting what I need. Which makes me pretty gosh-darn happy.
In comparison, I struggled TERRIBLY with jealousy with my husband. During the period where he was dating and I was not (the first couple years of our open relationship), it was extremely painful for me to let him go, and to hear about the women he was dating. He never developed any serious relationships, and I realize now that may have been, at least in part, because he knew how difficult it would be for me. And it probably would have been. I had many unmet needs throughout the course of this marriage, and through most of it I repressed any expression of those needs and was encouraged in that repression. But this post isn’t about throwing stones and blame about the reasons why my marriage ended. The fact is simply that I’m coming to understand that unvoiced and unmet needs lead to fear, and fear leads to jealousy. It’s as simple, and probably obvious to others, as that.
With the boyfriend, I’ve been encouraged and have challenged myself to ask directly for what I need. There’s an understanding that not every need can or will be fulfilled; we all have limits, and sometimes it’s just time and energy that will prevent need fulfillment. So far, though, all my important needs have been met when I voiced them, which is remarkably effective in helping one overcome the fear of voicing a need. And a lot of the time, my needs are simple – just reassure me. Just tell me I’m still loved. No need to change your course of action, no need to block your own feelings, just give me a few moments of attention and affection that remind me I am not being abandoned. That does wonders for helping me quiet the fearful voices and get back to being supportive and encouraging. And it’s a wonderful thing to have those voiced needs met without accusations of manipulation, or criticism of being “needy”. Positive reinforcement of voiced needs doesn’t make me more “needy”, I’ve found – quite the opposite, I feel like I’m needing less and less reassurance.
So, it’s simple – emotional satisfaction is good, and helps poly work. Geez. No amazing light bulb moment for any reader, I’m sure, but for me it has been remarkable to experience this and see it come together.
I don’t intend to remain monogamous to his polyamorous. In some ways, I’m eager to try bringing another romance into my life to better learn how to balance relationships and to share the love and happiness I feel. But I’m picky, and while I fall into limerance quickly I don’t find qualified candidates for it easily; I’ve only found three men in the past six years who really clicked for me. Also, I feel like I shouldn’t risk any emotional overload until my marriage is completely dissolved and I’m once again living alone. When the time is right, I suspect someone will come along. It always seems to happen that way, when I’m not looking or expecting. I want to be ready. And I can do that by nurturing this happiness and contentment I feel, taking good care of myself, and continuing to learn and grow. I see the value in the hard work. I’m willing to keep doing it.
Those readers who also follow me on Twitter will not be surprised at the story I’m about to tell; they’ve seen it coming, it was just a matter of time. But it’s a complex story, and I fear that no matter how I write it, I cannot do it justice. Because it wasn’t just a threesome, and it wasn’t just a woman. It was so much more. I hope I can convey that clearly.
One of my difficulties in poly has always been a type of sexual jealousy – the fear that my partner might find someone else who is more ______ sexually than I am – more uninhibited, more experienced, more experimental, more orgasmic. It’s part of an underlying lack of confidence, the fear that the only thing I bring to a relationship is my sexual availability, which may not measure up against other women. As the relationship with the boyfriend has strengthened and deepened, I’ve challenged myself to raise my confidence in this area, and not be afraid that his other lovers will diminish me. One way I’ve worked on this is through actively encouraging a flirtation between him and a dear friend. She’s someone I trust, whom I feel a strong connection to, and whom I care about very much. Their interactions began with awareness and involvement, and eventually included private contact between the two of them. I was happy that they liked each other, and I felt little to no fear about their contact, I think largely in part because I was somewhat orchestrating it. Right or wrong, that made it feel safe to me.
As this was developing, I was also doing a lot of pondering on my sexual feelings towards women. I’m becoming increasingly curious to explore in that direction again. I feel much differently towards women than I do men, and I’m not confident enough in my understanding of the nature of those feelings to describe them yet. But I’ve been wanting the chance to interact with a woman on a sexual level, and the best opportunity to do so in a safe space would be with the boyfriend present. Like many boyfriends, he saw no problem with this. And eventually the opportunity arose with our mutual friend.
And here’s where I fear I can’t do the event justice right now, and it will have to be written about later, in more detail, in a different tone. Because it was a sensual, erotic experience, friendly and relaxed, flowing easily and without much if any awkwardness or hesitation. Lovely as it was, I first need to explore the emotional aspects and reactions, before I put the experience out there as an erotic indulgence.
And so… it flowed, from playful spanking, to a man with a woman snuggled on each side, touching him, kissing one and then the other, two mouths pleasuring him together. I watched as he eased into focusing on her, and I felt a calm, fully present joy with this. There were two people I care about very much, taking pleasure in each other in what can be the simplest, most direct and essential way. It was perhaps my first real moment of poly compersion, and I love the memory of it and still feel the echoes of that happiness. His head between her thighs, I knew what she felt, I knew it was good, and I was happy to be next to her while she felt it. I stroked her hair and hesitantly stroked her breast. I kissed her once or twice on the forehead. I believe she came while he licked her, and I was happy to watch her pleasure grow and unfold.
But sadly, this is where some fear started to unfurl inside of me, and I started to withdraw. He expressed a desire to be inside one of us. I gave him a condom and pointed him to her. I lay next to them and watched, still happy to see their shared pleasure, but with a little voice inside me pulling me away. They came, almost simultaneously. He kissed me and told me he loved me. He tried to draw me in but I resisted, almost hid. We lay together, a man with a woman snuggled on each side, and talked for a while longer, then parted ways.
And I fell apart. Because the fear that came to the surface was the one I was, well, afraid of the most. That I’m broken. That I can’t do what other women do. That I can’t have an orgasm without a great deal of effort and difficulty.
Let me stop to state in no uncertain terms that this is not her fault. It is not his fault. I am in no way blaming them for enjoying their contact and taking sexual pleasure in each other, and I don’t want them to feel guilty for doing so. I wanted them to, and it made me happy that they did. These were my own fears and my own insecurities that took those things I watched and made them into a source of pain through comparisons that, again, only I was making. Neither of them in any way excluded me. Neither of them in any way said or did anything to imply that I wasn’t worth the effort to involve any further in this encounter.
It was my choice. I withdrew. I closed up. Because the voice in my head was saying over and over, it will be too much work. Trying to bring me back into the erotic exchange and arouse me, excite me to the point of orgasm in whatever way possible, would require too much effort, and it was too late at night, and I was too nervous, and it wouldn’t work. It wasn’t worth it. I wasn’t worth it.
The voice told me I wasn’t worth it. And I listened to its lies.
I regret this deeply. I’m struggling to let go of my disappointment in myself. Because I thought, through a lot of work from myself and a lot of support and reassurance from the boyfriend, that I had gotten past this way of thinking, that I’m broken and insufficient and worthless because of how I’m wired. That the difficulty I have in orgasming with a partner is a flaw, a failure. I’ve tried hard to change my perspective. I’ve tried to accept this as the way I am, not a shortcoming, but just reality. We work with it; we get me off together, and he had, in recent weeks, been surprisingly successful in getting me off on his own accord. But there was a rotten core still in there, and this experience pushed it to the surface and I let it take over. I let it talk me into withdrawing from an experience that could have been richer, and in some ways I suspect could have been healing and comforting for me. But I was too afraid to take the chance.
I want a do-over, and I know I’ll get one in time. Both of these wonderful people have been reassuring in their willingness to listen to me try to explain my sad reaction to this happy event. We’ll try it again sometime. And with the light on this fear, keeping it from hiding in the dark corners again, I hope it can be another step towards truly conquering it, towards accepting myself as I am, with affection and desire from people who care about me, whether I have an orgasm or not.
One thing I know well about myself is that I’m an introvert. I need a lot of time alone. I feel drained after spending time in crowds, at parties, or otherwise around a group of people. The energy that people generate, the many voices, the activity and restlessness of groups can all overwhelm me. I prefer to build friendships and relationships slowly, one on one. And while I do have some circles of connected friends, I’d much rather spend time with each person as an individual, and at group gatherings I’ll tend to linger in conversation with only two or three people. I’m comfortable with this; I know this is what works for me, and how to balance my somewhat small needs for social interaction with my much larger need for quiet, peaceful, solitary time.
This seems in some ways to be contradictory to the poly lifestyle. Tweets with the #youknowyourepolywhen hashtag often focus on the group dynamics and the “fun” of being part of a large poly circle, family, clan, or whatever you may prefer to call it. Poly people also love to talk about their time-management skills and scheduling tips and techniques, seeming to take pride in having extremely full, busy lives booked months in advance because of all the wonderful sweeties and awesome metamours they have in their lives.
It feels at times like it’s presumed that if you’re poly, you want that kind of life. That peppy, gleeful constant busyness. A poly commune with your extended families all within an arm’s reach. It seems to me that this is set up as the ideal, the way to “win” at poly – the more colors on your calendar, the better your poly life is. The classic extrovert characteristics – having to be constantly surrounded by people and activity to feel sane, safe and happy.
It’s not for me. And I know it’s not for a lot of others who still identify as poly. Having the capacity, the inclination and the desire to build deep, intimate, loving connections with multiple people does not automatically equate to that extroverted desire to be with people all the time. The thought of communal living has no appeal to me at all; in fact, it sounds like a particularly dreadful form of torture. I need my own space and my own time. Also, it feels completely unrealistic to me to expect myself to fall in love with multiple connected people at once, or for a lover to expect me to fall in love with his or her partners as well. For me, attraction is a tricksy, unusual thing, involving a weird combination of elements. Sometimes I think finding a lover or partner is difficult enough; so an assumption or expectation that I’ll love your partner just because I love you isn’t going to work for me.
This is probably why I’m comfortable keeping my relationships independent, and why I don’t expect or presume that my lovers will become friends — I don’t even particularly care if they ever meet. To me, relationships are unique. I don’t expect to knit them all together into a glorious afghan of many colors. I’m very content with spending time with individual lovers, as I do individual friends.
As with most of my rambling posts, I share this mainly because there may be others who feel the same. There are, I’m sure, others who wonder if they can have time to themselves, or have independent, intimate relationships, and still be “really” poly. Just like with friendship, just like with monogamy, there are many approaches to polyamory. Group poly is okay if that works for you. Introverts who practice a more individual, independent form of poly are okay, too.
He said this with his fingers between my lips, stroking and searching for the perfect touch.
I could do this all day.
I’ve wondered ever since – what exactly about that moment could he do all day? What gave him the kind of contented, comfortable feeling that would make you want to stay in that moment all day?
Maybe he loves the exploration – trying to find the right angle, the right spot, the delicacy of stroking tiny ridges and curves of the most sensitive flesh, looking for the ones that quicken my breathing, that draw my wetness.
Maybe it’s watching my face, when my eyes close, when I start to soften, when I start to tense, when I have to breathe heavily with mouth open, when I lick my lips and turn my head to nuzzle against his beard and seek out his lips.
Maybe it’s what he senses through his fingers, how wet he makes me, how the soft flesh closes around him, how the point hardens and swells, and what these things tell him about how I feel and what his touch does to me.
Maybe it’s listening to my breath, to the rhythm he creates, the catch and gasp as his fingers move to different spots, dip inside to thrust and pull out the moisture, then return to circling, probing, seeking again. Maybe it’s a longing to hear that most tell-tale of signs, the rapid increase and heightening pitch of whimpers that mean he is going to achieve what he set out to accomplish.
I could do this all day.
I loved hearing him say it. I love knowing it. But I didn’t know the right thing to say in return, so I said what was probably the wrong thing: That’s good, because sometimes it takes all day.
He didn’t get what he was seeking that day, not on his own. My fingers joined his, mine above and his inside, and we brought it out together, the rise of breath, the swelling, the tightening, my hips rising as the heat spreads and I open and break and cry out and finish. Still wonderful release, together.
*Note, this was originally posted on my Tumblr on Saturday, 14 January 2012.
I started my Twitter account on January 1. My hasty first tweet, now lost to all except the Library of Congress, contained a mortifying language error for someone so obsessed with the written word. Over 6,000 tweets later, I don’t care so very much about those mistakes. But I do care very much about Twitter and the friendships I have formed there.
Twitter was, from the beginning, my hiding place and my outlet. Alice Digitalis is the expression of my id, sloppy and sexual and loud sometimes, serious and contemplative and introspective sometimes. I didn’t hold many thoughts back. I wasn’t trying to entertain anyone, but I built a small following anyway, I suppose by being real – not always about sex, not always about self-examination, but an odd mix that showed I was human.
It was intended to be a place to share my sexual thoughts, discoveries and adventures, primarily. At the time that I started using Twitter, I’d realized how much I’d let my sexual self stagnate, how much I had turned off in favor of being wife, wage slave, caretaker, supporter of others. I missed my sexual self and I wanted her to come out and play. I didn’t intend to use Twitter to meet sex partners, or even to flirt, but just to express the desires, needs, memories and fantasies that I couldn’t express anywhere else. This blog came about as an extention of that, a place for longer ramblings about sex and relationships.
A few months into the year, I met someone with whom I felt a real connection, for the first time in years, and began the first true polyamorous relationship in the context of my open marriage. Some of the ups and downs of that relationship have been chronicled via Twitter, for better or worse. A lot of the self-examination necessary in maintaining open relationships has spilled on to Twitter. My emotional breakdown and my work to regain emotional strength at the end of summer also found its way onto Twitter. My discovery of an intense new love and the sudden snuffing of that flame have also been exposed to readers’ eyes.
After that last event, however, I felt stifled. I started reconsidering what I was doing on Twitter. I found myself more frequently deleting posts that never made it to the timeline. I censored myself, and I hated doing it, but I was afraid. I was feeling exposed and vulnerable and raw. I knew things I said could be twisted and misinterpreted. I was suddenly hyper-aware that once the words left my fingers, I couldn’t control them. I lost my enthusiasm for sharing my random thoughts, my sexual drives, my lonely contemplations, my moments of weakness and wanton desire.
I’m slowly getting it back, that freedom of expression. It will probably never be the same. But my relationships will never be the same. I will never be the same. We change in every moment, with every breath.
I can honestly say I love Twitter, the short form, the need to be precise in each expression. It helps me think and focus. It has helped me grow. It is not the safe place I thought it was, but sometimes I think all safety is an illusion. I’ll keep taking the risk. I’ll keep yelling small stories and bad jokes and sorrows (to paraphrase The Weakerthans). I’ll keep sharing the messy highs and lows, feeling sorry for myself, finding moments of peace and contentment, and sharing what passes through my brain. In a world where perfection is unattainable, it is the perfect place for my sort of nonsense.
There’s one word in the English language that we treat with a strange mix of fear and excitement. One word that we prize above others, that we wait with baited breath to hear. One word we use casually and carelessly about objects and interests, but when applied to other people it’s handled with care, loaded with meaning and profound, dramatic emotion.
We think we know what it is, what it feels like. Sometimes it’s a physical ache from your chest, your core, a tangible yearning. Sometimes it’s a radiant warmth from the eyes, a blush of the cheeks, an involuntary smile at the thought of someone’s face, or a from moment’s lingering eye contact.
It’s a desire to see someone happy. It’s a hope to be a part of that happiness, or to influence it. It’s a longing for connection, for intimacy, physical and emotional. It’s the pleasure of seeing another’s genuine self, vulnerable, imperfect, but no less wonderful. It’s that delight in another person’s existence, in their companionship, their strength, their openness to you.
But we lock this word up tightly and use it so sparingly. We debate long and hard before we speak it to another about them. We worry that it’s too soon to use the word. We wonder if it might come back to haunt us; if it might build up expectations we can’t meet, set standards too high, and become a crushing weight, a word to regret. We take it very, very seriously and use it at the end of a practiced speech, trying to make what was carefully rehearsed sound natural and sincere. Or else we blurt it out in a moment of passion, or in a state of intoxication, and regret it later.
When I start thinking about love as a word, I’m reminded of a passage from Anne of the Island, one of the Anne of Green Gables books. (I’m a sap underneath all this misanthropy, really.)
“You love it, “Said Miss Patty with emphasis. “Does that mean that you really love it? Or that you merely like the looks of it? The girls nowadays indulge in such exaggerated statements that one never can tell what they do mean. It wasn’t so in my young days. Then a girl did not say she loved turnips, in just the same tone as she might have said she loved her mother or her Savior.”
What good is a word that is used to express love of turnips, mothers, Saviors, and romantic partners all? If there were better distinctions, different words for different kinds of love, it might make it easier for us to express our feelings without the fear that surrounds the use of the dreaded L-word.
It can be kind of fun, in some ways, to challenge myself to express emotion using any possible combination of words except that one. But more often than not, I dislike the fear that surrounds it’s use. I hate playing it cool, doing the dance of detatchment, wondering who’s going to slip up and say it first. What if he doesn’t say it back or what if I change my mind or what if it’s really just that I want to get laid… Ugh. Enough with the nonsense.
I’ve tried using the word limerance, and to a degree, it works. It covers that initial rush which is mainly about the longing for both sexual fulfillment and emotional connection. But at what point do you acknowledge that you’re past the stage of limerance and into real love?
And what is “real love” anyway? Do you love a person the same way forever? As an emotion, love changes; it deepens, broadens, forgives, glosses over, sees more clearly, adds reinforcement; changes texture, weight and color. I don’t love my husband today the same way I loved him five years ago, yet I still love him. And it’s still the same word.
Where I’m going with this, is this – I don’t want to be afraid of a word anymore. I’m going to use it with greater freedom. There is love in so many moments that get left behind because of this fear, and I don’t want to keep doing that. I can’t prevent others from reading different meanings into the word when I use it; but I can do my best to put the word in context when I use it. Using a few more phrases seems better than not using one word at all. It’s about communication, really. Something I don’t think love can exist without.