I froze, mute and paralyzed. No one had asked me that before. I was aware that when making out, my hands stay above his waist more often than not. It’s something I’ve been self-conscious of, but I had never been called out on it.
I didn’t know how I was going to explain myself. It wasn’t a lack of interest or desire. It was fear that held me back.
Tears pooled behind my eyes as I took a deep breath, my mind searching for an answer and coming up short as I stared at his face, holding a gentle, inquisitive expression, feeling shock and relief.
He brought it to light by asking, pushing me to deal with it instead of watching it float out in the ether. His question created a sense of accountability from that moment forward.
“Maybe you feel like you’re going to do it wrong, or that you’ll hurt me. I don’t know. Maybe there’s not a reason. ” he offered.
I replied, “Well, yes to everything you just said and, I don’t know how to express myself sexually.”
I was cut off from that part of myself when I was fifteen, and shamed into believing I was doing something I shouldn’t do, wanting something I shouldn’t want. I’ve been stitching this part back together my entire adult life.
I believed sex was all about his pleasure, that it was something I should do for him, not with him. Doing it with him meant he wouldn’t respect me, would make him think I was slutty. I was very concerned with what he thought about me instead of what I thought about myself.
I lived in between the space of perfect, squeaky-clean Barbie doll, void of a vagina, desire, or need for pleasure and the opposite, a ravenous woman who would devour you and your cock whole. The fear permeated both sides. One side was not enough, the other was too much. What was expressed was something that resembled stepping on a gas pedal and a brake at the same time.
A frozen rush of wanting, need, and action all tangled up in themselves had locked me in stillness or had me coming on too strong. It felt like I was hitting a wall every time I thought about advancing, kissing him harder, or taking his cock.
I didn’t know how to express myself sexually because I lacked the confidence to do so. I couldn’t be open, and connected to myself and him if I was concerned about doing something wrong, hurting him, or fearing that someone else could do it better. Those thoughts and feelings take the joy out of acting in the moment, trusting myself and him.
When an act is choreographed, when I am certain of what the next move is, like when playing a piece of music I’ve learned, or a dance routine, I don’t think about anything but that. I’m completely immersed in the moment, not worrying about doing something wrong. The knowledge I have of that act creates a soft landing where I am nearly 100 percent sure of where I’m headed and how the experience will go. In that space I feel free to express myself to the fullest extent.
Sex is tricky. It requires co-creation with another person or people. It asks that we act in the moment, to not only what is being given, but respond in the way we feel like responding. It is in these moments I feel put on the spot, and all the judgments and fears take over.
To move through this I’ve had to acknowledge the desires that I have, communicate them to my partner and then to allow myself to want what I want. The desires, the turn-ons, the things that get me off, all have to come to light. If I am fearful or I hold back, the experience of engaging sexually isn’t as satisfying.
I didn’t come here to only experience certain parts of life while shutting others down because of fear. Remembering this keeps me present, open and learning one moment at a time.