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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 all started with a delicious Girl’s Night Out and a five hour conversation about relationships, gender, the state of feminism, sex, and personal growth.

Next came copious journaling and the start of a new book: The Return of Desire by Gina Ogden.

In the course of my Seduction journey, I’ve read my fair share of books on Better Sex. And most of them include sections about body image, cultural affects on sexuality, religion, and sexual abuse. So I’ve certainly perused my sexual history before, and of course, I’ve ranted and raved in journals about the ill affects of being raised in the Bible Belt where Abstinence Reigns.

I may have felt a little bored reading over those same sections in this book, until I started noticing personal trends I’d never thought about before. More writing. I meditated using her suggestions. And even though I’m new to the concept of integrating spirituality with sexuality, I started to realize how dramatically separate I’d always kept those parts of life.

Precisely because I’d been taught to.

I’d never really considered that an ecstatic sex life could be spiritually meaningful. I’d been very passionate about the need for an ecstatic sex life …. mostly because I wanted to feel normal. And normal people who weren’t fanatically religious like my family seemed to be satisfied with their sex lives, and subsequently, happier people. More relaxed, for sure.

But I realized this morning: maybe the religiously fanatical people dislike talking about sex because then they’d have to acknowledge the melting pot of paradoxical bullshit that they created to keep teenagers from having sex … or even healthy desire.

If you think sex is inherently wrong before being legally married, what do you do when you feel sexy while single?

I was operating from a place of wanting to be good for so long that internally, I equated no desire as being good. I spent my teenaged years in Fundamentalist Christian school covering up my cleavage, always being conscious of what I wore, trying not to give the wrong impression of myself. And by that I mean, the impression that I am a healthy, sensual woman, aware of her femininity and capable of feeling pleasure.

So when I started having sex, and wanted to have better sex, and dammit, to feel sexy, I felt weird because all of that felt new and uncomfortable. I remember journaling that it felt like a mask that didn’t quite fit.

I felt jealous of every woman who exuded sexuality.

Now in retrospect, I see that I was trying to prove to myself that I was capable of feeling – being – sexy. And the more I felt I failed at that, the harder I tried to get it right.

I didn’t want to fail at being a woman.

With all the anti-pleasure training, it had never occurred to me that we were all naturally sexy. I simply thought something was wrong with me in that department.

Because coupled with the religious bullshit was the more ‘normal’ insecurity of not feeling pretty.

Couldn’t tan because of my delicate fair skin – felt inferior.

Felt fat because the other girls in my class were so lithe – counted calories. (Turns out, all that ‘fat’ was actually a set of voluptuous hips that I’m now proud of.)

Shy, shy, so shy, could barely speak a word to any of my crushes. Meaning: no dates til maybe senior year.

As I’ve grown into my body and my femininity, I know that the more I find to love about my physical beauty, the more there is to love. And that feeling sexy is much sexier than looking sexy.

It’s possible that my mom never felt sexy. She’s never felt pretty, I know that. She’ll talk about that, but sexy isn’t something that’s talked about – she’s shy about showing her cleavage, even now. Maybe she doesn’t know what she’s missing.

So that I did know, and sought out desire, makes me feel grateful.