In the past months, I have heard from women who experienced first orgasms at 35, 40, 50 and beyond--women who discovered their inner doms or subs after years, sometimes decades, of vanilla sex--women having affairs or leaving their husbands for younger men or other women--women taking off in any number of new sexual directions, including masturbating with vibes.
As young as 25, as old as 65, they are re-inventing themselves through sex.
Traditionally, women have explored self re-invention through cosmetic surgery, exercise, a new career path, adult education, spirituality/religiosity, the pursuit of travel or immersion in the arts--while men got a new car and a hot new, younger babe to put in it. (Or, begged their wives to go to swing parties.) The male path to self re-invention: Recapture youth.
Sexuality has long been a somewhat acceptable vehicle for self re-invention—as long as the "self" was a man. Now the midlife man leaving his wife for a much younger woman, for example, is a cultural cliché. The big story is women leaving men for other women. (I wrote about O magazine in "So....That Bi-Girl Things Is More Than A Phase".) Women are, in fact, pushing the relationship envelope in many ways.
Swingers, the polyamorous, adulterous lovers, BDSM players, men and women who leave their long-term marriages—they are all in search of a more intensely realized self through sexuality. Increasingly, women are the catalysts of this change in long-term monogamous relationships. She's the one with nipple clamps in hand saying, "Hey, let's try something new."
Why search for the sexual "new?"
Sex is that important. Many people don't acknowledge that it is in this sex-negative culture where the quest for "hot monogamy"inevitably leads to disappointment--and too often eventually to the Prude Attitude. (You know that attitude: "I'm not enjoying sex so I don't see why anyone should.")
The hardest task is re-inventing yourself in a long-term monogamous marriage. That dynamic has been our paradigm, the ideal of Western and Eastern societies, hyped to the extreme in books like Hot Monogamy. (Lifetime hot monogamy is a lie. If you can't accept that lust will wax and wane, you're doomed to unhappiness.) Therapist/authors deal with reality in an unreal way by exhorting us to “get emotionally naked” in our "intimacy." Oh, yeah, yammer on endlessly about your feelings. Strip away every vestige of mystery. That will turn up the heat in the bedroom.
Our sexuality is intrinsic to our identity and not just a youthful pleasure. Sexual adventurers know that. They push the envelope, one way or another.
They claim pleasure as if their lives depended on it--because, really, they do.
Tell me your stories about claiming pleasure. I know that your sharing them will inspire and encourage other women.
Here's a story to start:
Married at 21, a mother at 23, Patti, now 30, has been thinking about divorce since she brought her baby home from the hospital.
"The marriage was a mistake, not one of those big, awful 'He beats me' mistakes, but a small, quiet one. Once the lust subsided, we were strangers ill-suited to one another, about to become parents together. I looked at my parents and his parents and realized they must have started out like we did and that's how they ended up being such sexless, boring people old before their time."
Patti went back to school last year to finish her bachelors degree in psychology--and ended up in bed with one of her professors, twenty years her senior and long married.
"Omigiod, the sex was transformational!" she says. "Nobody had ever gone down on me like that. His mouth and tongue did things I didn't know could be done. I had my first oral orgasm lying on my back in a cheap hotel in Philly. A thousand butterflies swarmed my clit and I came and came and came."
Briefly, she thought she was in love with him, he thought he was in love with her, they talked about leaving their spouses for one another.
"That didn't happen, of course. He came to his senses first; and I cried for a few days. My best friend talked me back to reality. But the sex changed my life. I bought vibes; I masturbate. Sex with my husband is better because I keep pushing for more.
"I don't know what will happen to us but I have found my orgasm power."
A little note on Patti's story:
While I have no intention of offering "advice" at the end of these stories, I do want to point out that the lack of desire she experienced a few years into the relationship with her husband happens to all of us. Read about The Desire Curve in The Sex Bible for Women: Desire spikes in new relationships, remains high for 18 months to three years, then goes back down.
Babes, that is life. You can learn how to manipulate The Desire Curve (read the book and the posts under "Sexual Desire")--but you can't live on a permanent life-time high.
[Note: i have not followed the plan to do more of these stories. They seem to fold into the other blog segments.]
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