I was that little girl who was put on time-out for bringing in the story book with nude pictures and telling people how sperms and eggs make babies.
I was that little girl who hovered around the Jacuzzi jets a little too long. I was that adolescent kid who locked herself away reading sexy romance novels our aunt intended for my older sister.I was that adolescent kid whose tits I was forced to put away ages before the rest of the girls in my class hit puberty.
I was that tween who looked older than she was and was accused of behaviors I didn’t understand yet. I was that awkward teenager who’s obsession with sex involved books and late night programing, eavesdropping, and a very active imagination.
I was the tease who’s first date took me to dinner, danced with me under the stars, parked in his dad’s driveway, and then finally took me home despondent because after hours of failed seduction I refused to make-out with him. I was that teenage girl who’s secret parlay with anorexia was ignored by her parents; who’s mom convinced her gynecologist without much persuasion to put me on the pill because I hadn’t menstruated in almost a year, and oh of course, I would need to start now before college corrupted me. I was that ordinary college kid who spiraled into depression, dropped out of school, and started seeing my mother’s hunky therapist. He put me on meds and told me to get a boyfriend. That was the summer I found my inner goddess, lost her, and then went looking all over for her.
I found Alex.
Alex was the guy I thought was just right. I had hit bottom. He liked me. He liked how I looked. He thought I was smart. We laughed. We made-out. We made-out a lot. He was nice to me. He listened to me. He was patient. I cringed when he introduced me as his girlfriend. I wasn’t used to so much attention. I flirted with other boys. I felt guilty. We cuddled and fondled each other. We went to concerts and he took me iceskating. Our parents sort of knew each other. I fell for him. We got body parts pierced. He asked me to move to be close to him. I declined his sweet invitation. He refused to have sex with me. I internalized his rejection. I moved to California.
Zach was my roommate’s friend.
They were on-again, off-again. They met at the needle exchange. He wore sarongs and burned sage in the bath. His back was inked. He was five years older than me and surfed every morning at sunrise. He was a chemistry major and slept with my best friend. I was obsessed with him. I propelled myself into self-destruction. I wanted to be a character in his narrative. I wanted him to repeat my name. I lost my virginity to him one week before my twentieth birthday in the sauna of a co-ed surreptitiously named tea house. We got high. I let him lead. We didn’t use protection. He dropped me off at home and thanked me for being a friend. I worried I might have AIDS.
I didn’t have sex for a long long long long time after that. Instead I perfected my make-out skills. I teased the boys in our circle of friends. I locked lips with ladies and strangers and welcomed heavy petting. I stopped wearing a bra, learned yoga, and found empowerment in my body and femininity. I raved in the nude. I stayed on the periphery of the Bacchanalia parties we frequented; spectator to too many orgies and designated driver to friends who regretted the night before. I maintained my boundaries. I achieved a lonely, though relieving status of too-hard-to-get. I was tiptoeing on a tightrope of fear.
I moved to London when I was twenty-four. I ran away from my dad’s over-protective good intentions that were instead received as psychic damage. I disengaged. My sisters were all paired up and I was roaming Europe trying to (re)establish my identity. I wasn’t ready to conform. I was introduced to Clive. He had two dead parents and his brother was MIA. He was attractive and passionate and a mess of baggage. Perfect. We agreed to keep it casual. Neither of us wanted commitment. I wanted to explore. We had amazing sex. And then we had pillow talk. And then I fell for him. And then somehow I was ready. But he wasn’t. So (eventually) I let go.
And then David.
The doctor. Tall with blue eyes. He orders a CSA and owns a home. His parents are nice. He was in love with me. I was exotic to him. He put me on a pedestal. I wasn’t attracted to him. For nearly a year I played with the idea of him. I closed my eyes when we had sex. He complained about wearing a condom. He wanted me to wear stilettos. And to shave my bush. All of it. He peed on me. He spat on me. He thought it was kinky. He made me feel like a whore. We talked about marriage. We went to couples counseling. I was bored. He bored me. I flirted with other men. I broke-up with him when he cancelled our dinner plans to see another woman and apologized with tacky lingerie. I felt free. If commitment meant being so unhappy, it wasn’t for me.
I moved to Brooklyn to be close to my family. And to connect with the old me. When my mom died I was suddenly liberated. I let go of the urgency I felt to be basic family-work obedient-daughter. I let go of the resentment I had nurtured for so long because now she’s gone and we will never talk-it-out. Parts of my identity were lost. Parts of it were reinforced.
I started to poder the lure of open relationships and alternative partnerships. I had anonymous sex. I had tinder sex. I dated lawyers and doctors and was bored bored bored. I dated artists and actors and got caught up in their creative spirituality. I was fucked on the hood of a car and in an office after-hours and in a bar bathroom. I was date raped. I was the other woman. I consented when I was too tired to protest. I consented when I was too lonely to say No. I consented when I was sad because having someone in my bed sometimes feels good. I purged the sexual energy I was desperate to explore.
And I still want more.
Only now I have the wisdom of emotional scars to understand that even more than being penetrated in a steamy contrived situation, I want stability.
I want to have sex with the same person a lot a lot a lot.
I want to know someone’s wrinkles and crinkles and freckles and the spot that I kiss, the spot that I touch, that makes him moan.
I want to share my shit and unload my baggage.
I want to fight and make-up and hug and hold hands.
I want to have babies.
I want monogamy to not be an imposition.
I want to break rules and push boundaries, with a partner.
I want infidelity to be perhaps expected and maybe okay. But we’ll have to talk about it a lot a lot a lot.
I don’t want to compete because I am an amazing person who does amazing things and has so much to give I get lost in it sometimes.
And also, I was raised by a couple who could have given up way back when, but stuck it out through four fierce girls, not so covert affairs and a death sentence that informs my everyday decisions. They’ve become my role models. I am ready for (something like) that.