The (Attempted) Clothes-free Weekend

October 12th. That Friday was the first really cool day of fall. I was excited because the weekend was finally here–our clothes-free weekend. The weekend in which we were going to spend lots of fun time in the bedroom, sans penetration. There was just one small hitch in my plans. My period was dragging on, just a drop or two for the last several days. Sigh. I knew with the Nex.planon that this was a possibility. I was determined to be naked anyway, and put the extra sheet over the bed in case of drips (or massage oil spills: sweet orange and vanilla. Yum.).

That week I’d been doing manual stretching of the vaginal opening with my fingers whenever I took a shower. It’s something I knew I should have been working on for a while, but I’d put it off. After all, it’s not very sexy or fun–it’s physical therapy and a chore when you get down to it. I had found a helpful article online and was following its steps. Including kegels. If any of you have read about kegels, there’s seemingly no end to their benefit. But there again, it’s a (small) chore, and isolating muscle groups like that has never been easy for me. When B came over, I actually had him read the article, and another one (that was clearly written for patients from cultures where it’s common to come to marriage as a virgin) that was a bit amusing but also had helpful advice that reinforced everything else I’d been reading. I wanted B to see how much thought I’d put into finding reputable assistance, and the number of (gradual) steps I had to go through. It’s also just good stuff for the partner to know! I also marked a few passages in The Guide that emphasized that sex and intimacy isn’t just about penetration. I let him know that my uterus was driving me crazy and still dripping and that I planned on getting naked anyway. (During previous conversations, I’d gathered that the possibility of a drop or two of menstrual blood didn’t seem to gross him out.) Finally, I informed him that I was going to give him a live, well-lit anatomy lesson. The Guide really emphasizes openness and reality–as in, the guy’s going to need to get to know your body and see what he’s doing and have you talk him through it. It’s not all rose petals and candles and magic orgasms. All of which I knew already–it’s just nice that there’s a guide out there that says it so plainly.

We undressed and got into bed with the light on. I asked him if he was ready and warned him that it was going to be very clinical. Yeah, I was a bit nervous and it was awkward getting into a position where we could both see. I opened The Guide to the page with the vulva that looked the closest to mine. And I showed him my parts and named them as I went. And then I did it again. I pointed to the clearly visible clitoris in the book and reiterated how frustrating it was for me to get to know mine, as it’s not visible at all. And that was it really. He went exploring a bit and tried stimulating me. There were moments that were nice. He really wants me to give him direction, and I have trouble with that. Eventually I moved his hand away, letting him know I was becoming desensitized. Good steps, though, to have made.

October 13th. Saturday we went shopping for work clothes for B. =) It was the first time I’d ever been shopping with a guy, and neither one of us knew what we were doing. At the end of that adventure, we went back to B’s place. He’d bought new sheets “for us,” in a lovely dark purple. So sweet. I just didn’t feel comfortable being naked on new sheets with my cycle still lingering, and I told B so. He said okay, and kept his underwear on too, but I could tell he didn’t understand why I was naked at my place but not at his. So much for the naked weekend.

October 14th. Sunday was really nice. We stayed in bed late and ate yummy food. Clothing was put on and taken off. We read some of The Guide together–there’s a short chapter on massage. I started giving him a facial massage with his head in my lap (I was fully clothed; his shirt came off). This is a lovely experience–everyone should be on the receiving end of this at least once a week! Then I made my way over his chest and arms and gave him upside down kisses. Then it was my turn. I lay on my stomach shirtless and he tried out our new massage oil. He really took his time and it was delicious. Somewhere in the lovely sleepiness, he leaned down and whispered, “I love you.” It was the first time he said it first. I also gave my first daylight intimate massage (better term than handjob, no?) trying out our new oil-based lube. It worked well–no need to reapply!

That evening we packed up dinner food and went back to my place. I took a shower, and when I was done, B poked his head into the bedroom with the biggest grin, knowing he’d find me naked. He made half-joking comments about how I’m only naked at my place, and I explained about the back up sheet as we climbed into bed.

The interesting thing was that being completely naked together wasn’t crazy-thrilling. It was just normal and nice. Which I liked. But I also wanted to be reassured that I can feel that wild frenzy of passion. Is that only in fiction? I have to admit here that the thought crossed my mind that B could be right: Maybe he isn’t “arousal material” for me. Maybe I loved him in a deep, true way, but not a sexual chemistry way. Maybe we were Seth and Anna, not Seth and Summer. It made me scared and sad to even think that because I didn’t want it to be true. I couldn’t even think about hurting him that way. It’s so not fair that one person could feel it and the other person just doesn’t.

So I had these thoughts. I admit that. But I honestly do feel the little thrills that make everything squeeze down below. I just feel them when we’re apart and I’m thinking about him. This leads me to believe that I just need to keep working on relaxing and being sexy together and my body will learn that it’s okay to respond when another person is around.

In bed we moved close together. He wanted me to stimulate myself with him there so he knows how I do it, and how I look and sound when I’m turned on. But I just wasn’t ready to do that. And we had the “You’re not telling me anything”/”I don’t know how” exchange again. He asked what I was thinking about, and I said, “You. On top of me.” He chuckled and obliged. I really like this–it’s intimate and pleasurable without worrying about penetration. But, it’s not easy for him to stay against me and sustain a rhythm, and when I asked as I had Friday night if he wanted to try it with some lube, he said no, just as he had then. I asked why not. He moved off of me. I asked if it wasn’t fair to him to be so close to doing the deed and having to keep things external. He said no. I was confused and feeling a little rejected, or at least unaccommodated. I asked him if he was feeling frustrated (meaning with me, but that was unsaid), and I think he said yes and asked me the same. Once he said, “You don’t want to do anything!” with a smile and exasperation, not anger. (He was referring to touching myself in front of him and telling him what he was supposed to do when he tried it.) I answered, “Yes I do. We just don’t want to do the same things.” His answer? Turning away on the pillow and saying he was tired. I just did not understand this turn of events. He had been so joyful when he’d come through the door with that grin on his face. I pressed my face into his back and took deep, sad, shaky breaths. I thought that we shouldn’t fall asleep with whatever-this-was happening, but that I couldn’t say anymore and that maybe we just needed time in our own heads.

Sometime in the night, he turned to me and kissed me, and I felt such relief. We made out and he touched me, and I managed a “that feels good,” but still need to work on specific direction. Finally, finally, I reached down with one hand, and with the other, held his hand over mine so he could feel what I was doing. After he felt it a while, he moved on to caressing and kissing my thighs. And it was nice, but not like thunderbolts or anything. I didn’t go all the way there–I don’t think I could have with him there yet. “That wasn’t twenty minutes,” he teased. I’d drilled into him that all the resources say it often takes that long. It was so nice, to have that middle-of-the-night reconnection, and to have taken another step.

October 15th. In the morning, I asked what had changed between him moving away from me and waking me with a kiss. He said his body hadn’t been cooperating when I’d wanted to make out, and that he’d been frustrated because he hadn’t been able to give me what I wanted. I said, “I thought you were frustrated with me. You could have told me. I understand your body not doing something you want it to, in more ways than one.” So we talked it through, and it all made so much more sense and I felt so much better. I ended with, “Communicating about sex isn’t easy.” B agreed.

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