Before I took it back for myself, I allowed others’ opinions of me to color my sexuality. Not everyone’s opinions, certainly. But those closest to me… well, yeah. Biggest case in point: the husband (from whom I am now separated).
It makes me want to shake my head, pound my fists, even cry a little, when I think of how I allowed my sexuality to be buried underneath the color of his thoughts, his opinions, his wants, his needs. How I took his view of me and made it my own – how I became, in essence, the very sexless being he wanted to be married to.
I didn’t understand, you see. I didn’t know how very important my sexuality was. I didn’t know it was like a flower – capable of such beauty, fragrance and softness, but that it could wilt and die when left uncared for. I thought of it (when I allowed myself to think of it at all) as a skill – like riding a bike. Something you learn. And once you learn, even if you don’t ride for years and years, you never really forget how to do it.
I neglected to nurture it, to feed it. And it wilted inside for years.
I suppose many people wouldn’t understand why I think about sex so often, now. Why I read erotica. Why I take long, sensuous bubble baths with candles, wine and soft music… even if I’m alone. I do this, and much more, to nuture my sensual side. To give it the care and attention I neglected to give it all of those years.
Just because someone believes you to be (or even wants you to be) sexless doesn’t mean you have to be. You have a right to your sensuality. I have a right to mine.
I do it to remind myself and to protect myself from the color of other people’s opinions. Seeing him tonight reminded me of that. It would be easy, so easy to fall back into the trap of thinking of myself as a less than sensual person.
But I’m not. I love sensation. I love texture. It’s not just about getting off. It’s about reveling in my senses. And sensuality, the best kind of sensuality, is simply about the most pleasure your senses can stand. I touch my skin tonight, feel the softness of my upper thighs, the velvet tips of my nipples, to remind myself that I will never again allow myself to lose my sensuality, my sexuality. It is as much a part of me as my breath, my speech, my thoughts.
I will tend this flower, in this savage garden, for the rest of my life.