Lessons from lovers part I: revering lessons from intimate partners
I am someone who people are drawn to share their secrets with. I’ve heard about adults pooping into napkins in their cars, I’m often the first person people share their pregnancy with, I can hold the emotional download of sometime reliving trauma and I’ve been the keeper of shy fantasies and empowering sex dreams. For better or worse, I’m also an inherently self-reflective person. I wonder constantly with open-ended questions, I look for the meaning and lesson in moments of crisis, and I am always asking, Why?
This combination of skills and personality traits – along with a general sex-positive vibe – has provided me with the privilege of hearing countless stories on relationships, sex and intimate explorations. In listening to people reflect, I’ve observed that the literal and metaphorical nakedness of intimacy seems to create a vulnerability vortex that when applied with a lens of self-inquiry, lends itself to profound personal insights and a deep appreciation for the people involved.
These lessons from lovers have the potential to penetrate us with the full spectrum of emotions and experiences that can leave us with a new way of seeing ourselves, and the world.
Frederick fulfilled a daddy fetish. Solomon’s slow orgasm seemed like it was stuck in time. Toni was into slow sucking and gentle fucking. Being in between Shauna’s thighs was the ultimate high. And then there was that time when I masturbated and cried.
Hettie was best loved at a distance. Caitlin was my best friend. Tim couldn’t get hard yet showed me that it wasn’t hard to fool around with a colleague. Polly showed me how to get out of my head. Harry never gave me head, and so I had to learn to ask him.
Tim couldn’t get hard yet showed me that it wasn’t hard to fool around with a colleague. Polly showed me how to get out of my head. Harry never gave me head, and so I had to learn to ask him.
I stayed with Kitty too long, yet perhaps I needed to stay in the safety they provided long enough to build up the confidence to know I could be in the world alone. Even though I only met him once, Marvin felt like home. Adam didn’t love me in the way I wanted him too, which meant I had to learn how to love myself.
Sally put salt in my hot chocolate and now I’m converted forever. Marlo showed me the depths of commitment, and now I know I can stay with them forever. Alexis showed me how to be vegan, and Sandy showed me how to eat pussy. Rose invited me to a threesome. Hugh asked for a foursome. And somewhere in there I spent two years celibate, learning how to let life’s erotic energy penetrate me instead.
From the sultry, meaningful and heartbreaking array of sexual and intimate encounters I’ve had the privilege of being privy to, I’ve come to revere the lover – whether it be another, ourselves or a toy. The coming together of gifts, words, bodies, fluids, needs and desires is an insanely unique experience, particular to only that moment in time. Influenced by hormones, a conversation that day, the strength of coffee or the weather, lovers embrace each other in a deeply personal and customised exchange that is always changing.
Tie me up today, and stroke my hair tomorrow. Yesterday I wanted you to fuck me, yet I reserve the right to tell you to fuck off today. I need you close. I need my independence. You need comfort. You need space. Will you listen to me talk about my mum, and then be the Daddy of my dreams?
Tie me up today, and stroke my hair tomorrow. Yesterday I wanted you to fuck me, yet I reserve the right to tell you to fuck off today.
I want to sleep together, in separate beds. You asked me to dance for you and I’ve never done that before. Don’t touch me there, ever. Touch me here, all the time. Hold my hand, suck my finger, slap my butt, massage my feet.
Playing chess is our foreplay. Sometimes we schedule sex. Spontaneity makes me anxious. You thrive on exhibitionism, and I judge you for it. I wish I had the confidence to go to parties with you. I love your record collection. We inspire each other to try new things.
Perhaps intimacy could exist on a spectrum of excruciatingly vulnerable to exhilaratingly empowering. Existentially orgasmic to unenthusiastic could also be true. Same with extraordinarily uplifting to utterly ordinary full stop.
Life is so complex. Sex and intimacy – even more so. There’s plenty of conflicting and competing needs within my own internal world, let alone having to consider other needing, desiring human beings in the mix. Some days I can barely turn myself on, let alone muster the energy to do that with someone else.
And sigh, I remember the point of this writing. Whether we shun, love, befriend, defend, go through heartbreak or follow the fate of our lovers, may we embrace them as teachers. May we revere the unique curriculum each confronts us with. Lesson by lesson, may we learn their history, listen to their wisdom, practice and perfect the new skills they call for.
Who, or what experiences come to mind as you read this? Is it a lover you dismissed as ordinary? A partner you never thanked? An unresolved encounter waiting for resolution? An apology waiting in the wings? A sexy text you’ve been wanting to send?