pole dancing

Clearly, I am little more than a forty-something cliché. My hormones have me thinking of nothing but sex at the oddest times…no, all the time. And, now, in addition to all those stereotypical, 40-year-old divorcee, cougar-ish things one might say about me, I’ve finally sealed the deal:  I signed up for pole dancing classes.

Don’t blame me; it was a Groupon! And my girlfriend wanted to go, too! This is for fitness, people!

Here are some observations:

  • No, this is not — as one of my male friends suggested — hot. There is nothing about this forty-something woman with an average, curvaceous figure and absolutely no skills awkwardly flailing around a pole that could be even remotely appealing to anyone. Unfortunately, I do not ever envision getting good enough at this for it to be described as “hot!” Still, I did ask, in jest, whether placement services were offered.
  • My body is killing me after class; it must be doing some good. I have an entirely newfound respect for this profession…who knew how hard these women work to do what they do?! My body aches for days after each lesson!
  • Weekday classes are definitely more “core” (read trashy). I learned a few cool moves, but the girls in the mid-week classes were definitely working to earn their keep. These were not the urban girls with professional day jobs in my weekend classes.

I’ve since shared these new endeavors with a few close friends (i.e. everyone within talking range) and I’ve learned a few things:  Apparently this is even more mainstream than I thought. One woman I met mentioned it had been featured on 60 Minutes. While I don’t have that link for you, I did find this clip from CBS News.

No, I don’t look like that. Not yet, anyway.

mind. blown.

I’ve been deflowered. Again. I had chat sex for the first time.

Sure, I’ve fooled around before…I’ve exchanged sexy texts, enjoyed some heavy verbal petting over the phone, but I’d never gone all the way, in real-time, via electronic media. It was, while not as spectacular as I suspect the real thing will be, very sensual and thrilling. Let’s discuss further…

This sort of interaction requires a leap of faith that someone across some wires and / or space is going to dive in and get just as intimate, graphic, tender (or rough) and, yes, dirty. It was so easy in some ways — trust me, I’ve done all that and more in my mind already — yet challenging in that it demanded a certain amount of trust, openness, creativity and imagination. Ultimately, I found it strangely satisfying without… well, satisfying.

I was so close to actually seeing him, hearing his voice say my name, feeling his touch! Perhaps one could describe it as analogous to tasting wine, then spitting it out:  some of your senses are engaged — you see, smell and taste, but you don’t actually get to feel the warmth as it goes down your throat. Instead, your mind fills in the blanks.

Our minds certainly filled in many of the gaps that night, and we agreed afterward (as part of our post-coital pillow talk equivalent) that this gray matter between our ears is so very powerful; in fact, the most powerful organ engaged in the presence and attention that make sex so incredibly wonderful!

And the excitement, anticipation and desire continues to build…

tying up loose ends

Ever since the talk (but before any action), I’ve carried with me a feeling of excitement and anticipation. I had some time to contemplate the side of the conversation I thought I’d heard, and began to have some questions:

  • When he said he’d only had relationships with two women in the past year, did that mean he’d only slept with two? (Because for a while, I’d had the impression he was a player, a total man slut…and I was, gulp, wrong.)
  • When we talked about safety and intimacy, did that mean my fantasy of revolving lovers was off the table?

Whatever it meant, I was suddenly moved to action, tying up loose ends where needed. Whatever was to come of it all, it felt right to release any other entanglements.

I’d still been limping along with the funny guy — who happened to have invited me to his home (in a far-off exurb) that very weekend. (He’s the one, not sure whether I’ve mentioned, who was an excellent kisser but aroused no below-the-waist passions in me.) I called him to let him know that I wasn’t comfortable coming to his house yet and, then, over an early dinner, told him that I wasn’t interested in or seeking a romantic relationship right now.

I texted my ex boyfriend (who wants you all to know that he broke up with me, by the way), to see if he wanted to have coffee. He declined, saying that he’s in a relationship (apparently with the woman with whom he’d planned to break up only days earlier). We had only recently re-opened the door to friendship, simultaneously considering the possibility of a friendship with benefits. I thought it was only fair to let him know that wouldn’t be happening, and his new endeavors saved me from having to do so. But I was surprised at how much I still felt as I once again let him go.

Even if I know in my heart I’m not looking for a relationship, even if my motivation is pleasure, I get the sense that I might be embarking on something truly interesting — something that feeds me in ways that are more than just physical, something that opens doors to new discoveries about myself.

So I’ve made space in my life for possibility. I’ve let go of expectations and attachment to any particular outcome. And I’m enjoying the flirting, teasing and anticipation…

different worlds

As a 40-something divorcee, conversations about sex / libido / hormones are pretty much a daily occurrence. I’ve had girlfriends tell me of times when their need / drive / desire was so powerful and urgent that they’ve pulled over to the side of the road while driving to manually relieve themselves. One girlfriend reports that her friends sometime act as scouts, even once sending a 21-year old man to her home, sight unseen, for a house call. (I wonder how that conversation goes?)

While I can’t claim to have pulled off to the side of the road for a quick masturbatory session or that any friends have delivered fresh meat to my front door, I can relate to the feelings of frequent powerful and urgent lust (even if they somehow seemed to disappear during most of the dates I went on over the summer). In fact, the ultimate fantasy du jour is to be passionately making out in the elevator with my prospective lover and, upon reaching the destination floor — whether a hotel room or flat — barely make it into the room before he slams me against the wall, tears off my panties (if I’m wearing any) and impales me.

In other words, “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” sounds not just okay, but ideal to me right now. After that, I’m open to whatever gentle touch or tenderness that might happen. Getting it done is the primary objective.

Some of my friends, many of them married, like to live vicariously through my dating stores. But recently I reconnected with a friend who made me realize that the raging 40-something libido is not an universal experience, even among singles. At only a few years younger than me, this girlfriend has gone through some lady hormonal stuff that’s essentially made her body chemistry the equivalent of a post-menopausal woman. She does not experience or share this raging, animalistic desire I have to rip off a man’s clothes and climb his tree.

In fact, her reality is quite different from that vision:  She’s never been what I would consider particularly conventional, but now she realizes the fall-in-love-get-married-make-babies path will never unfold for her. Looking for love has been an exercise in ambivalence these past few years. She thought she’d moved back to the midwest to realize all those things — settle down, make a home and a life, have children. Meanwhile, her heart wasn’t fully in it because of feelings for a man already in her life, albeit across the globe.

So this recent diagnosis (learning that she won’t be able to get pregnant without medical intervention) has changed her entire outlook. She hasn’t experienced the sort of hormonal demands or libidinous passions that I attempt to moderate (modulate? manage?) on a daily basis, but enjoys a healthy physical dimension to her relationship. Knowing that the traditional fairytale narrative of a relationship / marriage / family is not part of her reality has freed her to more fully embrace her relationship with a man who has not only celebrated his 70th birthday, but also lives on another continent. A few weeks ago, they celebrated their five-year anniversary.

My girlfriend acknowledges how unconventional all this is and, in fact, she’s not even “out” in her workplace about this relationship for fear of how differently she might be perceived. Yet their families have fully embraced them, and I support her happiness in whatever form it comes.

But where we are biologically or along our life paths? It’s as if we occupy entirely different worlds!


Fantasies, imagination and experimentation come in all forms, shapes and sizes. We’re all so brilliantly, terrifically, exquisitely different in the myriad things that excite us!

In more than forty years on this planet, I sometimes think I’ve heard it all. Yet, I’m beginning to see a theme:  some folks just stick with the usual, with what works, missionary. With so many options available to us, why do we so often end up in exactly the same position? And why are we so reluctant to confess that our sex lives have little variety…or do they.

I’ve written about a friend I know who has ventured outside her marriage. She described the sex with her lover as intense and hot…and only months later, confessed that it was always exactly the same:  missionary. Where’s the excitement in that? Was it just because it was illicit? Or was it because it produced consistent results?

I was terrifically close for years with a college professor who shared many intimate details from her life and loves with me. She famously had an affair while living in France for a year on a fellowship. When the truth of this love affair was finally disclosed, we giggled over the fact that the two had had sex in precisely one position:  missionary. The variable / fantasy factor? While ramming her, her lover would call out, “we are on a beach” or “now we’re lying in a field of flowers.”

I confess:  I love missionary; it’s consistently effective. I have a few other favorites, too. And I’m thinking of grabbing a book — the Kama Sutra to be specific — and proposing to my prospective lover that we work our way through every last one of them!

the talk

Last week I speculated a bit about a conversation I was about to have with a friend about whether or not we might mutually desire to engage in the earthly pleasures afforded us by our unattached status. We met last week at a hip lounge, ordered drinks and caught up on the children, work stuff, and much, much more. And I can’t wipe the shit-eating grin off my face; it was more spectacular than I could have imagined!

I’m not certain this is a conversation that would have been possible for me had it not been for my most recent boyfriend experience, which was only beginning to develop this time a year ago. After six months of fun, love and discovery, we found we wanted different things from the relationship. And then we broke up again a few times, without ever having gotten back together. Through that relationship, I experienced that I could care for, deeply love, share intimacy with and enjoy another human without wanting to be “in a relationship” with him.

So, on to my prospective lover:

Conversation with this man is typically so good that I forget to eat. Not just because the time seems to pass so quickly, but because his presence and the depth and breadth of our discussion is so hearty and fulfilling by itself. This robust deliciousness is not something I’ve ever before experienced with anyone else — at least not someone to whom I’m also physically attracted.

As we began to delve deeper into our discussion, we learned more about each other’s relationship histories and experiences. When it came to the juicy stuff, we quickly established what disinterests us, that neither of us claims expertise in any particular kink, that role play might be fun, who has the larger toy collection, and more. There were some pretty big revelations for me. For awhile I think I’d suspected that he might be a bit of a player, but that’s not at all what I learned from our conversation.

After that, it got even more interesting. We discussed all the other delicious stuff that goes along with physical intimacy:  the emotional connection that accompanies it, sleeping together, reading in bed, cooking and eating, watching television while rubbing each other’s feet… All in all, I think we spent more time talking about all the wonderful, fun discovery that goes along with sex than we did about sex.

Four hours later, we walked to my car, enjoyed some sweet lip-smacking kisses and a world-class hug, and I went home to sleep with a smile on my face and an immense sense of anticipation and possibility.

It will be interesting to learn, experience, communicate and feel my way — our way — through whatever is to come…

weird conversations

I’ve had no shortage of weird conversations lately. Let’s review:

  • I told one gentleman that we should no longer see each other because, after five or six dates, I had no desire to take him home, rip off his clothes and make homemade pornos with him.
  • I told another that I thought I might be too mainstream for his weird idiosyncrasies, which included writing historical epic poetry and translating Dante from Latin because he was dissatisfied with all the other translations he’d found.
  • My children are reaching an age at which I am constantly answering new questions or having new, carefully phrased yet entirely transparent conversations. Tonight I had the pleasure of explaining condoms and, in the process, erections.

And, now, I’m planning a conversation with a casual friend to determine whether we should engage in carnal pleasures with one another. (Just for the record, I’m leaning toward yes. I mean, why have the conversation otherwise, right?!)

So what does a conversation like this entail? To be honest, I’ve never really had a chat quite like this before. But here’s what I’m thinking we’ll need to cover:

  • State of the state:  are we both approaching this conversation with similar perspectives, expectations, boundaries, etc.?
  • Desire:  are we both equally eager to get naked and rub up against one another? what might we want to try / do / explore?
  • Safety:  sexual histories, date and outcome of last STD screen, plans for protection, etc.

I confess I’m nervous and excited about this upcoming chat…because this is one of those guys with whom I could get excited about making homemade pornos. So cross fingers and wish me luck!

truth and lies

It’s been awhile, and I apologize for leaving you hanging. My day job tripled in size for a few weeks, and I could bear neither staring at a screen any longer nor staying up later than I have each day this week. Luckily, I believe the immediate craziness has passed, so that I can lull you to sleep with dull observations and lazily-drawn conclusions about relationships.

That said, here’s another:  I have long espoused the general belief that unequivocal honesty is always best, particularly in intimate relationships. But the truth is that women and men lie to one another.

I can overhear the movie the children are watching downstairs: “Men lie; they can’t help it.”

Should I be allowing them to watch this? Should I at least be providing some commentary to refute that? I’m not.

And women lie, too, mostly in ways we think are harmless:

What, these? No, I’ve had these shoes for months.

No, this was at the back of my closet. I’ve only just rediscovered it!

Who? Susan? Oh, you know, she’s out-of-town visiting a sick relative.

Sometimes our desire to keep peace and protect overrides our honesty.

Is that okay in the course of a long-term committed relationship? I think many couples know each other well enough to enjoy a tacit understanding of what types of things each other lies about, under what circumstances and why.

Are you honest in the absolute sense? How much dishonesty is okay? Is any okay?