If you follow me on IG you know midlife sex has been the topic of the week. I heard from so many of you in my DMs, which is awesome, by the way. I love hearing from people directly, so thank you for your trusting me and sharing your stories.
Sex and body image was a big piece of the puzzle this week. Trying to unravel one from the other seems virtually impossible, you know? We spend years of our lives trying to weave and dodge our way around our judgements, the judgements of others, as well as: hurt feelings, possible trauma, direct or indirect insults about our bodies, daily harassment... It's an effort to find our way to being able to see ourselves in all of our true splendor. In addition, puberty, pregnancy, menopause, internal factors, external factors, there's seemingly no end to what may contribute to how we feel about our physical selves. It's insanity and no wonder we stand in the mirror and pick ourselves apart. It's too much. And for what? We punish ourselves psychologically and physically because the messages received are that loud. It's criminal really. And it's entirely unfair.
And then, at some point, somehow, for many of us, not all, I know, midlife comes and there's perhaps an attitude that says, "Take me as I am...and, if you don't, I could care less" making its way around the psyche of women with regards to their sexuality and I find this most satisfying. I, for one, can say that I care so little about what I look like naked anymore, it's downright funny. Ha! Had I known this attitude was in store for me, I would've forced myself to get on the wagon before my jiggly bits and wiggly parts really took hold, you know? Actually, "taking hold" isn't quite right. More like, "loosened up." Ha! I mean, dang...when things were taut and glossy I should've been more about it! And here's the sex connection: all the parts that jiggle and wiggle and slide to the sides have nothing to do with my sex life! Isn't that a novel concept?! I mean, they do as far as they're attached to me and part of the action and all, but really....look, here's the thing: I spent many years assuming that a man's satisfaction was actually my own and that's just not the case. I spent too many years looking out of myself for approval about my own body. Big mistake. Waste of time. And, sidebar: any sexual partner is lucky to be getting it on with you. Don't you forget it! I had to experience my own growth and healing to not only calm the heck down about my own body but to also believe, I mean really believe, that his pleasure did not necessarily equate to my own and further, that the "parts" of me did not make or break my capacity for pleasure! You get me on this? The cellulite and whatever the heck else is around does not determine your capacity for a healthy and satisfying sex life. And that took a long time to wrap my head around.
It's your body. Your body is the most awesome vessel and does, well, everything! Let's not punish ourselves anymore. And, if you're feeling, perhaps for the first time in this season of life, that you're lacking something, well, abandon that thinking at once. I don't know about you, but I think sex gets better with age. Not only because of all the aforementioned stuff getting out of the way but also because when you're so young, you may not even know what you like or don't like. And well, isn't that actually much of the point? See, this is the thing: it can take awhile, for any number of reasons to get that. You should enjoy yourself! You should enjoy dictating and determining what your partner can do to please you. Ooh, this is getting good! It takes time to develop comfort and intimacy and feel that the act you're engaging in is not only your "birthright," as someone so aptly put it to one of my posts, but at this time in your life solely for your pleasure. Say that again. "This is solely for my pleasure." Yes, girl, I believe you!
Did you know that your clitoris does nothing else, nothing, except receive pleasure? It has no other purpose than that! Isn't that wild? Yeah, I know, I was like, "Whoa," when I learned that too. We have an actual part, that if functioning properly, serves no other purpose than that. Women are actually, and in fact, the most fabulous. So, what can I say? If I was in the room with you, I'd shrug my hands and tell you, "I told you so," and then I'd say as I once heard a friend say to another, "Sweep those cobwebs out girl and go get yourself feeling fine!" Ha! That was a good one. Said friend actually picked up a broom to emphasize her point.
Young people need to learn this and not just the girls. The boys do too. Doesn't the possibility of a more equitable sexual relationship sound wonderful and right for all kinds of couples? I have to think so. No matter the state of your union, you should feel safe and shored up to be clear about your desire. This is hard, I know. I can't tell you how many articles I've read encouraging women to "just talk" to their partner about desire. Well, that's easy if you're clear on what your desire is. And if you have a partner that's easy to talk to. What I can say, and I say it repeatedly about most everything: you have to know yourself better in order to ask for what you want, better. YOU have to feel safe and willing and open and unapologetic in order to even broach the subject, you know?
So, as your girlfriend who really wants you to feel all of those things and feel awesome after a romp in the hay, give some thought to where you stand on all of this. What may your hurdles be and are you ready to get them out of your way? Not just for the sex but also, for the entirety of you. You. Are. Worth. It. You are worth all things good. And all the pleasure you so desire.
For the academics among us, here are a few reads I picked up and want to share with you:
If you have read others that you enjoyed, please let me know!
Be well, beauty. xo.