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I started this blog because I wanted to talk about sex. I had no idea I’d soon be single and that sex would be the farthest thing from my mind. Or, that I’d be getting so naked with myself, literally and figuratively, than I’ve ever been in a sexual relationship. And at the risk of sounding like a yogic hippie, which I suppose I am, the getting naked has been possible because of meditation, safe spaces, a funky new brand of yoga and a life changing book.

This is the incidental story of how my intuition led me to uncover an infection that’s been going on for months, without my really being aware of it.

On Sunday, I decided to take therapy into my own hands, and in 9 emphatic pages, I unleashed my fury and pain toward my Ex.

Then, I burned it.

Along with pictures, cards, ‘love’ coupons, and a shirt that just would not die.

Then, I needed a mood brightener, so I danced the dance of the gods and followed up with some yoga nidra and crazy intense breathing. It had been a long time since I’d experienced the buzz of serious meditation, and damn, it was nice.

Because my massage therapist swears by the cleansing power of apple cider vinegar baths, I indulged for probably the 3rd time this week. My whole plan was to let out the emotions over my once-lover, then wash it all away and be done with it. Once the thrill of the warm water wore off and my mind started to wander, I decided to use a meditation from Wild Feminine.

And this is when the pain became tangible.

I think you’d need to read Wild Feminine to understand what I mean, but I used a pelvic bowl clearing exercise, and I uncovered a lot of tension in the front quadrant of my root. As in, I felt overwhelmed with crazy sad emotion, and I wanted to cry and be hugged and yet I just needed myself, all at once. And I wanted my book so badly to read over certain parts and understand more about this area of pain, and yet all I could really do was breathe. And just feel the tension, and breathe, and breathe, and ride it out. To let go of the emotion and find calm again, even though when I’m in that moment, it’s hard not to wonder if I’ll ever see calm again.

I had this urge to dunk my head under the water, and I know I have sensitive ears, but I decided I was going listen to my intuition. So I dunked, twice, and nothing alarming happened. Then for good measure, I showered off after my bath, to make sure all the bullshit went down the drain.

And, let’s be honest: so I wouldn’t smell like apple cider vinegar.

The rest of the night, I felt like I had water in my ears. Watching TV was painful because everything sounded so fucking loud. So I kept laying on my right side, thinking I needed to let the water drain out.

It didn’t get better.

I slept on my right side, woke up, and again, no change.

Actually, it was worse.

I remembered using alcohol to get water out of my ears from swimming when I was younger, so I grabbed some en route to work.

Then, the lovely google people confessed that alcohol: not the best idea for your ears. And I started to realize that the water wasn’t sloshing around, like a normal swimmer sort of feeling . . . it felt much deeper. As in, the shit’s not going to come out.

EXCELLENT.

It’s at this point that I started to question my intuition.

Dammit, I KNOW I have sensitive ears, yet there I go, just obeying the little voice. Well, fuck that, I’ll just shower next time. No dunking for me. Etc.

By the time I saw my doctor, I found out that I have a hardcore ear infection that has nothing to do with bath water.

And so, my intuition saved me, because the dunking shook up the fluid in my ears so I’d notice that I’ve got quite the problem going on here.

Cheesy {but true} yogic moral: It’s amazing what’s revealed when you allow yourself a safe space to listen.

And yeah, it could all be coincidence, etc., but I think that’s the thing about your intuition. You have to trust in that little voice, and you may not have real proof, ever, but I’ve found that more often than not, trusting the voice pays off.

Especially when it makes no sense at all.

I had a chat on Monday night that changed the way I see everything. It was one of those moments where my heart beat wayyy too quickly, I knew too much, and I felt disgusted because I thought I’d left these goddamn moments of panic behind.

I took a few more sips.

I finished the bottle.

I filled a tub.

I let myself thrash in the throes of fury, violent intentions, and painful hurt.

I took my time.

Finally, I laughed.

The more I listened to this song, the harder I laughed.

And somehow, with the burning of pictures and crazy wild yoga and sweaty hot walks, I’m actually feeling lighter than I had been, before I knew what had really been going on.

So while I’d like to say fuck you, I’d add a thank you as well.

Turns out, I’m one lucky bitch.

Crazy how that happens.

I am well aware that single is the only way for me to be right now. In no way am I ready for a love interest, no matter how ravishing or ‘perfect’ for me. But in looking at love and relationship, and who I want to be, and who I’d like to be with, these are the questions and ideas that come to mind . . .

Dear future lover,

If these quotes intrigue you, then we’re off to a good start:

“The feminine belongs to boys AND girls, for men AND women. The feminine is not a gender but an essence, and whoever understands that, also understands the feminine.”
~ Tami Kent

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing.”
~ Anais Nin

Will you get lost with me in the space between sensuality and sexuality?

Will you reverence and worship my body as a body, not just a set of sexy curves that appeals to your eyes, but compels your hands to feel and explore, and causes your heart to swell when my skin and muscles and heat responds to you?

Will you listen? Even when it hurts you, and especially when you don’t understand?

Can you understand that loving me results in my loving you, and your being filled and loving me back, and my being filled and showering you with love? Can you see the cycle of intimacy that’s possible when you live without keeping score?

Will you show me your soft side, and let me hold you there? Can I show you my softer sides, my rough edges, and will you hold me and not flinch, judge or look away?

When I need space, will you realize it isn’t about you?

Do you have a healthy love and respect for The Beatles? Led Zeppelin? Janis Joplin, Weezer, Sublime, the Grateful Dead?

When I express myself, will you witness it?
Will you let me be wild without asking me to be calmer, quieter, smaller, more manageable?
Will you express yourself to me?
Will you whisper how I affect you, how you value me, why and how often I capture your attention?
Will you be honest about what you desire?
Will you tell me your secrets?

If I’m frustrated, can you inspire me to smile? Laugh? Surprise me with pleasure?

Do you understand that underneath the color of skin, outside of different cultures and religious beliefs and spiritual practises, and despite language barriers, we are all connected and worthy of love and respect?

Most of all, do you feel that you are responsible for your own happiness?
Do you believe that Guys Night Out is just as necessary as Girls Night Out, even when in the throes of early romance or the routine of long-term love?

And how, exactly, do you feel about cats?
(Answer this one carefully, dude.)

xoxox
xoxo
xox
xo

I got my wish: he sent me two messages today. Short, simple, full of love and fully aware that this weekend would be our eighth anniversary.

Even though I wanted to hear from him, the words still weren’t enough. I’m not sure what I want to hear, or even if enough words could compensate for tangible action.

I’ve got plenty that I want to say to him, though, because well, he was my best friend.

But as a girlfriend, everything changes. I can’t just send him back a page long email about what’s happened in my life since I last saw him. I can’t just go hug him because the only hug my body craves is from him. But as a girlfriend, what I most want to tell him would be that my definition of love has transformed from this to this. And that’s part of why I hesitate to go back.

But I hesitate to seal the door shut because I realized this weekend that, essentially, I was hoping to find him plus the extra potential I’d hoped he would grow into.

And perhaps the ability to get this quote from Anais Nin:

“I do not want to be the leader. I refuse to be the leader. I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness. I want a man lying over me, always over me. His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone, the command, my pivot. I don’t mind working, holding my ground intellectually, artistically;

but as a woman, oh, God, as a woman I want to be dominated.

I don’t mind being told to stand on my own feet, not to cling, be all that I am capable of doing, but I am going to be pursued, fucked, possessed by the will of a male at his time, his bidding.”

It’s been a while since I felt courageous enough to log in and write a post. I’m not even sure how to describe where I am in my life right now – grief is one hell of a ride. Some days I feel so sure of myself, so solid in my choices, so alive with freedom . . . and then it can all crash down and I can see the tearful reunion in my head. It’s the worst when I picture us hugging, because I can remember that so physically that I tear up.

I’m not sure why, but the longer I’m away from him, the worse I feel. I thought the opposite would happen. But the last two weeks have required intense strength and discipline to keep me from driving by, sending a message, gettin’ all reckless and giving in to the evil voices plotting in my thoughts.

Then, the date.

And being called ‘baby’ by someone else, and the tears that threatened to give me away to people I’d just met. And, damn you facebook, he updated his picture. After I’d updated mine.

I know what you’re trying to do.

And damn me, but it worked. He looked more handsome than even in my dirtiest memories and that evil voice thought it should be no problem to just mention it’s a nice picture.

Except, he sure as hell didn’t say that about mine.

And it’s a damn good picture, if I say so and took it myself.

So now I’m listening to Warren Haynes whom we both love, and it helps but it doesn’t. It makes me feel closer to him in ways that don’t cause tangible drama, but the music can’t hug me. The music doesn’t smell like him. The music doesn’t tell me what I want to know.

I keep telling myself: My wanting to see him is like wanting my favorite ice cream – it may be satisfying in the moment, but I know from past experience, it’s not the healthiest choice. Not for every day.

But maybe, if I check my email one more time, I’ll get some temporary relief in the form of an email.

Too bad that only happens on the days when I feel my happiest and his words don’t affect me.

First off, if you aren’t reading Cleavage by Kelly Diels, jump over there now to read about needs. I have these tiny seedling concepts floating in my mind and then BAM! she writes a fleshed out post that spins me around and expands my mind and it’s better than drugs.

She talks about emotions in that post, and this is a subject I’m just immersed in. I am an emotional creature, and thank you Eve Ensler for your new book. I promise I’m heading to my library to get it. Because I fought my emotions for a while, until I realized they were telling me important things about my relationship situation.

I had this idea that my relationship failed because our fights were more like a battle of wills than communicating about our issues and needs. Because he was right, then I must be wrong, and vice versa. He did not acknowledge how I felt. So naturally it follows that we could never get past our respective perspectives to any sort of compromising solution which may have saved us.

And I’m starting to think this is a common problem with many relationships.

I’ve been so sad since all texting between us ceased, because he was my best friend. It’s tough to lose a lover and a best friend in one fell swoop.

So in the process of writing it all out, as I’m wont to do, I had this crazy idea. I knew I wanted closure from him, which clearly wasn’t coming, so I started thinking of what I actually wanted to hear from him.

Here’s where the uncommon part comes in: I wrote myself a letter from him, saying what I wanted him to say. I explained the situation from his point of view, I acknowledged my point of view, and I apologized. I voiced the emotions that kept me (him) from apologizing at the time.

What floored me: after I finished, my heart had softened.

I was tempted to call him. I had thoughts that maybe we could’ve been saved, that I finally saw how he saw it, and I felt heard and understood and loved.

But it was all from me. Not him.

For the rest of the night, I couldn’t shake missing him. I’d fooled my heart into believing he’d said all that, and my hope had been restored (not totally, but enough).

This little exercise won’t save the relationship I just left, but I’ve learned enough that I have hope for my emotional and communicative skills for the next one.

After all, I’m also reading Kelly Diels. Pretty soon, we’re gonna have this shit all figured out.

After eight years, I left a relationship that drained me. I had no idea how much emotional support matters to me, until I gave up flailing and explaining and agonizing in an effort for him to get me.

When we started out, all shiny and bright, I had this idea that I wasn’t ‘girlie like that’ because I like sports and casual clothes and foul language and beer. So all the needs and wants and desires that I thought guys hated, and girls loved – – I decided they didn’t matter. It was easy to decide that, because I’d never gotten that kind of treatment before. I didn’t miss it, so I thought I could live without it.

Until I was sobbing in front of him, telling him I did need those things.

I suppose I could’ve seen the writing on the wall when I wrote blog posts about the lack of authenticity in the bedroom. But it took feeling ice in my body when I hugged him last for me to know that it was over.

I am fucking thankful for that ice, y’all.

So this is the backstory to why I say your body will tell you the truth. My inability to speak up in the bedroom was telling me that I didn’t feel safe. My lack of desire told me that I didn’t want him. My constant fatigue told me he drained me. Now, I see.

At least I know that I’m listening to my heart, because that’s when I left.

Magpie Girl inspired me today with her post about gremlins and chatting right back with solutions. Without further ado, here is my list:

If I had the money and the stones, then I’d quit my job to learn massage therapy and then Holistic Pelvic Care from Tami Lynn Kent. (Then I’d better start saving and researching massage schools.)

If I had a healthy body, then I wouldn’t have to go through all these steps & meditations & journaling & I wouldn’t have this trail of pain & unruly emotions & relational faux pas. (Yay! I know how to help myself feel better, and I have all the resources, and I’ll deepen my relationship with myself all whilst feeling healthier! It’s just baby steps a day toward health. And I can do that.)

If I’d been born to more self-aware people, then I wouldn’t have all these issues. (And yet, I’d still have issues. We all have issues. And these people are my mirror for my own growth. And they love me like mad.)

If I’d saved money all those years at home, then I wouldn’t be so worried about money now. (Better late than never, my love, so look at the money you can save, and start there.)

If I just had this book, then I know it would all be better. (And then it’ll take me months to read it, and I won’t do the exercises because I’ll think I’ll read it again, and all the while, I alone know how I can help me best. And ps: you can send that money right into savings.)

If he would just be gentler, more aggressive, more loving, more _____, then things would be better. (And honey, you could be gentler, too. When you are triggered, it is your responsibility to care for yourself. Practice love!)

If I just had more time to myself, then I could do all these things I want to do. (Maybe, my love, and yet when you do have time, you forget all those things you want to do. Perhaps planning ahead and spending the week excited for your date with yourself would work better.)

If I just had an idea, then I would write more fiction. (Pssssst. You do have ideas. Many about this same character. What’s missing is the writing. Just sayin’.)

Join 8-Things

It isn’t easy to pinpoint when one loses herself.

I’m really not sure when just letting something go turned into faking as a habit.

I know this: it’s fucking hell to look someone you love in the eyes and say, I’ve been changing inside and haven’t told you. I’ve been forcing myself to carry on, when I knew that fundamentally, I am growing into someone new to us both.

And yet, I’m standing on the other edge of that cliff, safe and sound.

Transformed.

Wiser, wilder, and somehow, more innocent.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t sob my heart out and think This Could Never Work. I actually said that, out loud, in all my defensive glory. Or, really, lack of glory.

But once the emotion ran its course and the communication had room to be clear, I found myself hugging the hell out of a man who loves me enough to listen. Even when it feels like I’m gutting him by saying that all our past sex wasn’t really what he thought it was. (Which is grossly overstating the truth. We have a torrid history, to be sure. But the details are complex and personal. And hearing me say I’ve Never Felt So Hot in all my LIFE before January 6, 2010, probably felt like, “All that past sex? Horrid. A lie.” to him. Not true. Just Jan. 6th felt illegally good.) (Yep. Got the date memorized.)

And, I’m grateful to myself, for feeling that I, and my pleasure, am worth speaking up for.

In having a conversation that scared the shit out of me, I allowed myself to be vulnerable, seen and heard, despite my desire to run away and never face him again. I admitted what scared me. And I allowed myself to be loved in ways that make me feel loved.

I also know this: it sucks that sex is so difficult to talk about and be taken seriously. It sucks that there are very few women I know whom I could chat about this with and feel respected, heard, and supported. But for those I can talk to, I am supremely thankful.

What I’ve always thought about sexuality, and am now completely certain, is that it’s fluid. How I expressed myself sexually five years ago may or may not still work for me now. And accepting that as part of life, growth and learning is vital to my relationship with myself and my lover.

That’s where I faltered: I kept quiet when it wasn’t working anymore, rather than exploring how it could work. And you know, maybe that’s where a lot of women falter. Because it is scary to ask a man for more foreplay, much less emotional and spiritual intimacy, too. We’re told and trained and have experienced that men aren’t interested in those areas. That those areas are feminine, and only women get it. And yet, without those areas fulfilled, the physical part of sex is less fulfilling, too. Even for men.

It’s definitely a journey. I want to rest in knowing that things are going to keep getting better, and yet I know that it’s still going to take work and communication and all those parts of sex that I’d been avoiding. It isn’t easy for me to ask for what I want, and I’m starting to see that that’s a theme.

But, of course, I have resources. It could be said that I am a slut for resources.

My most fabulous resources? Myself. My man. Communication.

Then, we have The Resource that’s distracting my mind whilst I remind myself that bills must be paid first.

And I’m still loving on Sheri Winston’s genius.

Mix in some oatstraw infusion, yoga, bellydancing, walking, and long, hot baths then blend until the body feels energized. Relaxed aliveness is what we’re going for here.

And, on the advice of someone in the know, don’t forget the lube.

Love on, people.

I’m in the habit of lying.

Not in a “I was at my friend’s house watching a movie” when truly at the bar sort of lying.

Not, “No, officer, no crack or crack pipes in this car. No, sir.”

More along the lines of: No, I’m fine; Yes, that works for me; Sure! That wasn’t what we talked about, but it’ll be just fine … Those sort of lies. The kind of lie where I shoot out an answer to keep the other person appeased before I even consult with myself. Or even realize that the other person doesn’t need appeasing.

As soon as I say Yes! I’d LOVE to! I feel it in my bones that that isn’t really true. Because I didn’t really even consider my options before agreeing.

These lies apply to a lot of valuable areas in my life. Dinner, What To Do This Weekend, How I Feel in a Disagreement, if I’d really prefer the heater on….and a biggie: Sex.

It’s crazy, but for a while (which means most of my sexual career) I knew I was missing some of the dreamy adjectives you hear related to sex…. but I didn’t have a clue what to do differently, so I didn’t say a damn thing. Nor did I realize how deeply being quiet affected my body, my soul, my life.

Thankfully, little lightbulbs of possibility started showing up:

The Five Hour, Enlightening Conversation at the end of 2009.

The Return of Desire by Gina Ogden.

The ridiculously intense journaling, which included ranting, blaming, complaining, lamenting, designing What I Might Be Missing and finally, ownership & responsibility.

Finding Sheri Winston’s 3 breath orgasm video.

Ordering Sheri Winston’s book.

And this snowball of clarity culminated in:

The Bodily Epiphany.

A night of such intense arousal that not only did I understand FUCK YES, I’VE BEEN MISSING A LOT, but I also understood that every orgasm I’ve ever had was forced.

And forcing sucks out the juicy.

Which, sucks.

And explains why I felt kinda sad and let down sometimes after sex.

Here’s the clincher: I told my lover that that was the best night of my life. So on some level, he gets that whatever he did, he did well.

However.

I didn’t exactly explain that I don’t ever want to force sex again. Or that my amazing night changed my mind about sex completely. As in, fuck having sex when I’m mildly interested. I want juicy, wild and uncontrollable desire.

And: I am willing to admit that I am a sexual beginner.

Even though I’ve been having sex for a long time, have all manner of sex toys, and am my circle of girlfriends’ go-to girl for sex talk.

I just want to be brave enough to admit all this to my lover.

And that’s where the truth comes in, because it’s scary for me to admit when something is less than perfect. I know why this is. But what’s more important is letting perfection go.

Just as important is owning what I know now, and taking the time to re-learn sex. Because I like to read about it, write about it, talk about it. The actual exploring part is where I feel hesitant – and I suppose rightly so. I realize I’m not sure where to start, and that’s difficult to admit to myself. Because in the past, it’s been a dry experience with a goal. And even now, I know it can all be different, and yet I still have a bit of a goal: I want to feel that incredibly alive again. All by myself, for the sheer pleasure of feeling that way and knowing it’s part of me. An accessible part of me.

It’s just that the goal part makes it feel like work. Or a pass/fail test.

Which isn’t incentive to play, let me tell ya.

So that’s where I am: telling the truth and starting over. And one way I’m telling the truth today: not wearin’ a bra. Yep, I’m at work. And yep, it’s probably obvious, because the girls are less padded than usual.

But I feel a lot more like me.