Sex After Loss, I

I finally did it!
I got laid. ;) I definitely sent a voice message to my closest group of sisters celebrating the fact that I received two nights of hungry hands groping for the taste of naked, taught skin that I had been famished for. Truth be told, I really needed it to be with a very specific body type. After eighteen months of witnessing disease run a deadly course across my once-vibrant, 10-years older than me man’s body, I needed VIRILITY.

Oh, and how the Universe delivered!
(Meow!!) With thick fingers and wide palms, calloused by manual labor; a distinguished nose, and jawline covered in wiry facial hair; and a thick mane of dark hair that I had been wanting to run my hands through from the moment he and I first caught eyes. Rawrrrrrr.

It was brief, red hot chemistry and I savored every fucking moment of. I knew what I was getting myself into, however. His deep fear of vulnerability and, thus, inability to connect deeply was evident from the moment we exchanged names.

Yet, sometimes in life, I cannot deny my body the deafening signal it is being called towards. Even though I have been shown, over and over again, that this insane attraction is usually rooted in some deep, unhealed part of ourselves, I still allowed for our experience to unfold. However, it was crystal clear that he was operating within the realm of shadow. For example, he only wanted to meet up at night and I am pretty sure that each time he showed up he was highly altered by a substance. Even if it was just Cannabis (of which I too am a frequent user), he was on a solo adventure that I just happened to be a part of. As well, he would not directly answer my questions about sex.

When we first exchanged names, I asked him if he would be interested in Tantra. I had become aware that, more than anything, practicing presence and sensuality with others would meet most of my needs. And that what I don't want is to project my hidden desires onto another, since this can come with a very heavy feeling of expectation. Rather, what I can do is to channel my sexual energy in order to to gain clarity on what it is that I really need.

His embodied response and lack of words were telling.
He seemed, well, scared. After our first, few hours alone together, during which he reminded me how to strum the major chords on a guitar, our relating had evolved into eye gazing.
“Quieres besar?” I inquired.
Without emotion, he just shrugged in response, yet he seemed happy to receive my leaning into him and then ending up on his lap. This lack of clear consent and communication is not ideal.
In fact, I don't recommend it.
But, yet again, I only asked for sex.
I didn’t ask for intimacy, too. And quickly, I remembered, that sex without intimacy sucks.
It can only ever be good - maybe really good, but never great. :(
It just doesn't work like this.
(For most of us women. Men as well. Perhaps, you too?)

(By intimacy, however, I do not mean a committed, monogamous partnership. What I mean is practicing LOVE which is: being present & aware; committed to the moment at hand and all of the thoughts and feelings that arise within it; communicating clearly our desires, needs, expectations and boundaries; etc.

For me, SEX & INTIMACY can be many-pronged:
~Just SEX;
~ Sex with Intimacy;
~ Intimacy without sex (I like sharing intimacy with a lot of people, and it doesn't have to be "sexual." Personally, I don't find it wise to share body fluids with a lot of people given the amount of disease, untreated trauma and pain masquerading as Love on planet Earth today);
-And Sex with Intimacy and Partnership.

I am working back towards the latter, But I am not ready for partnership right now. I might as well PRACTICE LOVE & INTIMACY along the way though.)

I am also choosing to share some of my experience here because
SEX NEEDS TO BE BROUGHT INTO THE LIGHT. Sex is natural.

My late partner and I both agreed that it is like breath. Unfortunately, my partner’s sex drive had been eviscerated by the six rounds of chemotherapy and 48 targeted radiation sessions he received in early 2019. He wasn’t available for me sexually during our last year together, which we talked about and I understood. He and I didn’t need to have sex to feel close. He was my closest confidant whom I miss talking to about everything to this very day. Without shame or guilt, I share with you that I was excited at the prospect of having sex with someone not long after my partner died. Last June, I was talking a lot about sex, especially with a mutual friend of ours. “Geez, Cara,” she responded. “Burt hasn’t been gone for very long.” True. AND… He would never want for me to deny or avoid this elemental part of my being out of some false notion of “respect.” But, even still, sex after loss doesn’t come easily. It’s a process of steadily tearing off the many seals that you don’t even realize time has bestowed you with, and that remind you of your loss with each step of the way. It can be painful to feel & experience all of this. There's programming the phone number of someone new whom you are interested in getting to know into your phone. Even if it is for only a texting relationship, it is a connection that now exists outside of the framework of the life you recently lived within. And, more than likely, you would not be interested in experiencing more intimacy with this person, if your partner was still alive. I tore off this first seal back in May 2020. It took me a week to overcome my fear, feel a pit in my stomach and then just do it. I am glad I did.

There’s also the contemplation of having sex with someone new. Early on, I considered asking someone younger to help me out with this, but I realized that the barren walls and lack of personality in his living space had everything to do with a deep fear of being seen - which is what having passionate opinions and strong proclivities means. Plus, I didn't know how I was going to respond under the touch of a stranger.
Will I cry?
Will they be able to hold space for me?
Or, would someone take my behaviors personally?

To top it all off, my man was the King of Vulnerability.
I really didn't want to move backwards in my forward trajectory.

Sometimes, though, all we can do is poco a poco (little by little), to get us where we are going. There is also the small, little fact that our planet is in the midst of a worldwide infectious disease outbreak. There are no more bars or restaurants to meet at; no dance clubs to wriggle our hips together; and cruising for dudes with a mask on at 6’ distance is just weird. As well, it doesn’t seem wise to kiss a stranger in the midst of a public health crisis.

So, what to do?

I went into the safety of my past, via good ol’ Facebook.

{to be continued…}

©2020 by Cara H Cadwallader.