“Wow, that one’s tight.” he says on an exhale.
“I feel that!” I laugh and keep going. I love eliciting responses from people when working on them.
“Thank you for doing this.” he says, his eyes closed now.
“Of course.” I grin. I love giving in this way, making people feel good. I keep this skill I have to myself. It’s something I like to save for the special ones because it’s such a huge exchange of energy.
“Could you work on my left shoulder blade?” he asks.
“Sure. What’s going on?”
“It’s just really tight.”
He sits up, and removes his shirt, then lays face down on the bed while I slather my hands with a thick balm I find on his dresser. I lightly rub his back before focusing on his shoulder blade. I push, press, and dig, moving every time I feel inspired to do so. I know how to give a basic Swedish massage, but beyond that, everything is based on my intuition and feedback from the person I’m working on.
We’re quiet while I slide my hands over his shoulders. I love hearing his audible appreciation. I enjoy seeing his fingers curl or twitch in response to what I’m doing. I take pleasure in feeling the rigidity of his bones and the warmth of his skin beneath my fingers.
I move over to the right shoulder blade because, balance, and after working there, I feel moved to kiss him. A surge of electric energy pushes through the center of my stomach. I want to place my mouth on every part of his back.
I lighten the pressure of my touch before pressing my lips to his right shoulder blade. I kiss a trail along his spine toward his neck, relishing the feeling of his vertebra against my lips.
I press my lips into the softness of his sides, speeding up and slowing down as I kiss his ribcage, teeth grazing his skin, the heat of his body beneath my mouth and hands.
I check in with myself asking, “What am I doing this for?”
Because I want to.
“What do I want in return?”
“Are you sure?”
This inquisitive, care-taking part wants clarity before proceeding. It wants to make sure I am not doing anything for “attention” or “reciprocity”, which will result in feeling hurt at some point if not immediately if I have ulterior motives.
I kiss his neck and the spot he likes beneath his ear, watching his lips part and hearing the air push out of them, his eyes opening a little.
In exploring him, I am uncovering myself, my sexuality and the creativity that goes with that. I am learning to give in a way that feels inspired instead of expected. I want to give because it feels good. I obtain pleasure from slowing down and acting on my own behalf, expressing because I want to.
Watching him receive is a lesson on how to do the same for myself, on how to let him in. He’s relaxed against my touch, not scrambling to give back, not filling the silence with incessant chatter, he just is.
As a teenager, I poured over Cosmopolitan magazines I surreptitiously bought with my part-time income and kept hidden in my closet under a stack of clothing. “Good”, “respectable” girls don’t read things that like right? I hid anything that revealed my desire for sex while simultaneously feeding my curiosity in secret.
I wanted to know everything I could about how to touch a man the “right” way, in a way that is pleasing and that would make me desirable. I didn’t believe that I was desirable on my own. I felt I had to come with an arsenal of sexual acrobatics I didn’t even enjoy.
Consent, communication, and receiving my own pleasure was not something I found on those glossy pages. Sex isn’t a “one size fits all” event. I didn’t learn to ask what he thought, what he liked, I just blazed ahead blindly, hoping it was ok while ignoring my body, and its needs because I was caught between what was happening in the moment and what my harrowing upbringing taught me to believe about women and sex.
I didn’t know how to take my own pleasure into account because I felt that in doing so, I would come off as selfish, as slutty for enjoying something I was taught to resist. I worried about what my partners thought way more than I worried about what I thought, what my needs were and communicating them. Any time someone asked me what I wanted everything inside of me would get still and quiet. I’d reach for words but would find myself grabbing handfuls of nothing.
He turns over and kisses me as we wrap our arms around each other. The old tapes in my head offer their shrill warning, “But you don’t even know him!” My automatic reply of “how am I supposed to get to know him without being right here and now with him?” snaps back.
How am I supposed to know how to show up with someone if I don’t actually stay present and experience something with them? How am I supposed to figure out if I want someone if I don’t engage with them? This is the beginning where all the questions, talking, and discovering takes place. This is the time for figuring out if there is emotional and physical compatibility, so no, I don’t know him well, but I’m learning a little bit more with every interaction.
I try to be patient and understand the old stuff playing on repeat is just fear. It’s fear that doesn’t belong to me, but something I took on a long time ago without realizing it. It’s ok to follow my body’s requests and needs, and trust that it will act accordingly. It will stop and start when it wants to as will his. We each are trusting each other that we’ll communicate what works for us.
I haven’t trusted the nature of my desire in so long, that I feel uneasy and slow like I’m walking through thick, wet sand, but I keep moving, kissing, touching, and filling myself with him. It feels like opening a jewelry box of treasure and examining every piece, trying it on and deciding what fits best.
Taking inspired action is a huge turn on. It feels like effortlessly slipping down a meandering stream instead of climbing up a steep hill of resistance to my feelings and desire. For most of my life, I have practiced a skill I learned, sitting still and waiting for someone to come to me. Waiting only creates frustration and a feeling of powerlessness. When I fully embody a moment, an experience with someone, I’m allowing myself to be open to all possibilities.
He pushes his hands through my hair as our legs tangle together. I grin at him, studying his eyes, holding his gaze, seeing him and letting myself be seen. The ever-present tension in my belly relaxes, clenches and relaxes again as I gently remind myself that this is supposed to be enjoyable, I deserve pleasure, and I’m allowed to have fun. My presence is the greatest gift I have to offer.