At the risk of destroying my sex-blogging credentials, I’m going to own up to something. I haven’t had a whole lot of sex in my lifetime. I mean, I’ve had isolated periods of a lot of sex when I’ve been in an intimate relationship with the person I’ve been shagging, but I haven’t had a lot of partners. I can, in fact, count my sexual partners on one hand.
While I would never judge anyone for the number of sexual partners they’ve had, whether it be an army of lovers or none at all, I can’t help feeling sad about the exciting fun I’ve missed out on over the years. Having discovered the kink-community very recently, and only realised now, here in the two-thousand-and-nineteenth year of the Common Era, that I am actually kinky as fuck, I wish that I hadn’t spent such a large proportion of my life too self-conscious, ashamed and embarrassed to explore my sexuality.
When I was a young girl, sex wasn’t spoken of in our household. It wasn’t a religious thing, as I wasn’t raised in a monotheistic religious tradition. (My parents were into theosophy and spent a lot of their spare time at The Theosophical Society bookshop.) However, I grew up with the sense that my mother had a particular aversion to sex and sexuality, although I know that she definitely had it, certainly at least three times in her life! But she didn’t ever talk to me about it, except in disparaging tones.
I got given “the period talk” at the age of 10 (back then, we didn’t get any sex-ed, and the biology stuff didn’t come until high school). Mum was thorough and kind and she did a good job of preparing me for this thing that was going to appear in my life soon. But when the part about the fertilised ovum becoming a baby came up, she wouldn’t elaborate on how this fertilisation occurred. I was a little naive, perhaps, but I don’t remember the birds and the bees ever being discussed in the school yard, and so I was none the wiser. I deduced that obviously this fertilisation happened by some kind of mysterious magic that was beyond the wit of man, and didn’t ask any further questions.
When my period arrived a few years later, Mum went over the basics again. But by this time, I knew a little bit about the whole egg and sperm business. This time, when she got to the part about fertilisation, I pressed her.
“But how does the egg get fertilised?” I asked, a cheeky little voice in my head saying, I’m gonna make you explain it to me eventually, Mum!
Mum paused for a moment, and I held my breath expectantly.
“I don’t know,” she said, simply. And that was it. As the modern parlance goes, End Of.
I was 13, nearly 14 years old at this point. If ever there was a moment for Mum to give me “the sex talk” that was it. But she balked and deflected, and thus my entire knowledge of sex was gleaned from the schoolyard and Mills and Boon romance novels.
As I discussed in a previous post, I wrote a lot of erotic romance stories when I was a teenager. Wait- scratch that. I wrote a lot of puerile fantasy scenarios that would occasionally feature sexy times as far as my limited knowledge and experience would allow. I’m sure if I were to travel back in time and read those stories now, I would be appalled and bemused by my ignorance. Up until the age of about 16, I thought (and I cannot believe I’m telling you this – keep it between you and me, okay?) that you could only get pregnant during your period. So if you weren’t bleeding when you had sex, you were fine, yeah? (It’s probably just as well that I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 19, by which point I had been disavowed of that theory! Otherwise things could have gotten very complicated, and very crowded!)
So I remember writing an “X and Y are really in love, so they bump their genitals together in some non-specific fashion that I don’t quite understand the mechanics of just yet, and then during the afterglow they discover that X’s period started mid-coitus, so they know immediately that she is definitely pregnant. Oh dear, well they love each other and would probably have got married anyway, so no harm done. We’re having a baby, isn’t it wonderful? End Scene”. Trust me, I know. I’m cringing, too.
This is just one example of my total naivety and lack of understanding about sex. Yes, I masturbated; very furtively, though I will admit to being a fucking insatiable wank-machine in my teenage years! (Hmm, “Insatiable Wank-Machine”. Good name for a band, that… 🤔) I knew about orgasms, because I’d had quite a number of them. I knew I liked them. I really wanted some more. But apart from two pretty uninspiring and, sadly, almost entirely orgasm- free sexual relationships, both of which had to be kept secret because I didn’t want my mother to be horrified by what a dirty slut I was, the period from age 19 to my late 30s was pretty much bereft of sex.
I had opportunities. Occasionally even with men* that I really, really fancied. Men that I’d been crushing on for ages. Men that I’d spent an evening attempting to flirt with, in my own naive way. (*I say men, as I was firmly hetero; nowadays, hmm, I don’t know for sure, but I’m open to exploring I guess.) I could have had sex with a few of them. I got so, so close on a couple of occasions. I think, in fact I would go so far as to say that I definitely would, have really enjoyed it. I certainly would have liked to find out for sure. Even at the time, in that moment when that perfect guy leaned in to kiss me, and I was hypnotised by his blue-green eyes and the smell of his cologne, I wanted to have sex with him. So what the hell happened?
I balked. I chickened out. Just like my mother when the perfect moment was staring her in the face but she just couldn’t bring herself to acknowledge the existence of sex. I don’t know why I did it. It was an almost automatic response to sexual intimacy: I shouldn’t be doing this.
The dry spell may not have lasted forever, but I never really lived the kind of hedonistic sexual experience that I pictured myself having. I met H when I was in my mid 30s, but he courted me for a long time and, boy, I really made him work for it. It seems ridiculous, because I really liked him, but after so many years in the desert, and even longer spent conditioned to believe that sex just wasn’t a thing that I should be doing, I had no confidence. I didn’t believe that any man could genuinely want to have sex with me, and I assumed that any man who claimed that he did had some kind of ulterior motive or ominous agenda. When I finally did let H into my ‘secret garden’, as it were, I liked it. A lot!
We’ve never been together exclusively. Neither of us have the stomach for long-term monogamy. Nowadays, I identify as polyamorous, but that is simply because at one point in my life, for a grand total of four years, I was in a non-monogamous relationship with two different men at the same time, ‘H’ and ‘B’, and I loved both of them. Now, though, with the relationship with B long over, I don’t know if I am justified in identifying as poly. What I am is the secondary partner* in a relationship with a non-monogamous man who is now married to his primary*. (*I don’t really like those designations, but they are the most succinct way to explain our dynamic.) At best, I suppose you could say that I am a polyamorous woman in a non-monogamous relationship with one partner and open to relationships with other partners. At worst, I’m a single woman fucking a married man (albeit one whose wife is completely aware of my existence) . The truth, I guess, is somewhere in the middle.
This is an awfully long road to get to the crux of my post, but here it is. I wish that I had travelled the road of sex and sexuality, and taken the opportunity to enjoy more pleasure back when I was younger and thinner and my joints were more supple. I wish that I hadn’t set forth on a road where sex was something you occasionally might have to endure but wouldn’t, shouldn’t, enjoy. I wish I’d kissed that guy with the turquoise eyes and the nice smell. Maybe if I had, it wouldn’t have taken me until my 40s and a playful but pedestrian attempt at bondage and spanking during a “date” with H to eventually lead to my discovery that I’m actually kinky- and have the Erotic Blueprint test results to prove it, lol!
H isn’t into some of the more far-out kinks that I’d like to explore, and I’m totally okay with that. I love and respect him even more for being open with me about it. Also, because I “share” time with him, any of our more elaborate adventures often have to be scheduled and planned ahead of time. And sometimes life, health, children, periods, parents and work can come along and throw a spanner into the best laid plans.
I know it’s a very defeatist attitude to have, but I don’t really foresee a time where I will have completely let go of my hang-ups about sex, my body, my age and my confidence around potential new partners enough to really explore the kinky me that I’ve only recently discovered. Never say never, I suppose. But if I had my youth to do over, and the opportunity to use what I know now in order to make different choices and venture down different paths, I would have spent more time fucking and less time fretting about it.