In my last relationship, my boyfriend would look deep into my eyes, tell me that he loved me and that he wanted me. Sometimes he would repeat that last part, or ask me if I understood. Sure I know what it means to be wanted and it didn’t hold any particular importance to me, so I kind of shrugged it off.

I mean, I wanted to be loved and I felt loved. Further, we had a fulfilling and passionate sex life. But handsome though he was, I didn’t lust for him.

And now I get it. I suppose I should have known by how often my ex repeated and stressed that phrase that he longed for me to say it back to him. I get it because now, as I explore a relatively new dalliance, I get a jittery feeling of anticipation in my abdomen before I see this new lover. But there’s more:  a raw, primal desire to touch his skin, to kiss his lips, to peel off each other’s clothes and feel as much closeness as humanly possible. In other words, I want him.

So does this newish fella feel about me? Does he have this same desire? I certainly hope to find out!

staying strong

I wrote the other day that I’ve been working on letting go of expectations, living in the moment and enjoying the present. This means being vulnerable and open, letting go, as well, of ego.

Of course it’s difficult to do all this consistently. I have to regularly remind myself what I’ve gotten into — the terms I set or, shall I say, what I asked of this man who is now a lover. I said that I wanted to experiment, and I’ve maintained that I’m not ready for a relationship…yet it would be a lie to deny that I feel my relationship buttons being pushed while in his presence.

Even while I’m trying to live in the moment, be strong and live my own life, I find myself occasionally wondering what he thinks or how he feels about me — plucking the petals off the proverbial daisy.

How do I stay strong? And how do I know how much I’ve grown?

  • While I appreciate the attention from a specific man, and express my appreciation and gratitude, I’m not focusing all my energy only on him. Instead, I’m looking inside myself. I notice how I’m feeling and telling the universe:  “Yes! I love how I’m feeling right now. I’m grateful to sense my mind, body and soul engaged — I want more of this!” It keeps me from obsessing or hanging my hopes on a single bloke and focused on what I ultimately want:  a long-term, life-affirming, fulfilling, healthy and companionable relationship.
  • I’m noticing my own wants and needs in all of this and asking for what’s reasonable. When I get frazzled, I remind myself that I’m responsible for this, whether it’s my job, my relationships, whatever. I’m here because of the choices I made. I said specifically that I didn’t want a relationship so, when I start feeling like I want a relationship, I look inside myself for answers. Turns out, at times I really just want a little more communication…so I’ve asked for and received it.
  • I’m not attaching meaning to things said or unsaid, actions taken or not taken. I’m catching myself when I’m not in the moment, and bringing myself back to the present, so that I can truly live, appreciate and respond authentically.
  • Even while I’ve decided not to seek out other potential matches online right now, I’m still noticing and appreciating the masculine attention I get from around me. The fellow I’ve been bedding being quite remarkable is far from proof positive that he’ll ultimately become the love of my life.
  • I’m staying focused on the person I need to be to have a healthy, fulfilling relationship. There’s plenty of work for me to do to be the kind of woman and partner I aim to be. Rather than waiting for someone else to come round and validate me, I’m doing the work I need to do to remove whatever beliefs or other obstacles might stand in the way of my having a rewarding partnership.

Perhaps the biggest sign of all that I’ve grown much healthier is that these things, for the most part, are happening naturally.

season of chaos

Christmas is a season for children and lovers. Thus, I confess, it’s been difficult for me to get in the holiday spirit these past few years. I go full in, kicking and screaming, only for the children’s sake (otherwise I’m sure my descent into Grinchy Scrooginess would be complete). Still, I find my small, cozy family is building new traditions that fit our unique sort of wackiness, and that warms my heart:

  • We bake cookies and the emerging trends are 1) to have help from one of my single girlfriends (who can get her kid jones on while making decorating more fun than my children would have with “just mom”) and 2) to cut out lots of little gingerbread people shapes and decorate them in ugly holiday sweaters.
  • Photo cards from friends are rolling in, and it’s so fun to see children growing up and the crazy couple who this year chose an eighties theme for their photo shoot.
  • We went out to a Chinese buffet this Christmas Eve, as has been our tradition since they were small and we vacationed in Florida and nothing else was open over the holidays.
  • I’ve just stuffed the children’s stockings and placed gifts under and around the tree. They’ll be waking me up first thing begging to open them all.

Finally, just for me, I’ve spent the last three nights watching “Love, Actually” with a glass of wine in hand after the children are off to sleep. All those interwoven tales of love never seem to get old. With another week or so of break, feel free to join me one of these nights.

Merry Christmas!

proceed with caution

I mentioned in my last post that I’d finally grown tired of waiting for a certain guy to ask me out and, thus, propositioned him. I had several valid reasons for believing this approach would work to our mutual benefit and enjoyment:

  • After breaking up with my last boyfriend, we’d had another go-round or two (that is, slept together) and I had the liberating experience of, “Wow! This is tremendously fun and intimate and tender and safe…and, still, I have no intention of getting back into a relationship with you.” So I thought I could do it with someone else, as well.
  • Based on some rather strong statements my lover had made long before we were lovers and my rather colorful past, I suspected the skeletons in my closet precluded us from ever having a relationship. Flat out, I thought he would immediately rule me out, no chance for redemption; I never thought I stood at chance in sharing something more than the physical with him.
  • Astrologically speaking, and based on the very few details of his chart that I know, there is no good reason to believe that we’re a natural match for one another…so why not enjoy what few moments of fun we have?
  • Of everyone I’d met online or otherwise in the past couple of years, he’s the one who kept on entering my mind from time to time, the single one in whom I still had genuine interest. And I knew that, if I didn’t say something and another woman came along and captivated him, I would forever regret not having taken the chance.
  • A song called, “I Am Not Waiting Anymore” by Field Report was getting a lot of play on a local radio station, and it became something of a mantra for me coming, as it did, just as all these thoughts were synthesizing into an idea in my mind.

As I’ve acknowledged, this space between sex and relationship is sometimes a challenge. The more I get to know this new lover, the more my preconceptions and beliefs require adjusting. And, as I’ve said, I’m finding a lot to like. These seismic shifts along the fault lines of my heart and mind, as unsettling as they sometimes are, give way to feelings of wanting to be vulnerable, to be ready, in case our feelings for one another grow.

So, what to do now that so much, yet so little, has changed? I have to be honest, don’t I, that my beliefs, thoughts and feelings are shifting? Or is that just the most natural and obvious assumption anyone in any type of relationship (regardless how casual) has already made?

As if I could look ahead and see the future, here is what will happen:

We will find our bedroom shenanigans satisfying, or one or the other of us will not. We will grow in our feelings for one another or we will not. We will proceed with caution, care and concern for one another or we will not. He will fall in love with me, or he will not. I will fall in love with him or I will not. We will fall in love with each other or we will not.  You see, there is no telling what might come of it all and thinking of all the potentialities as rays of light branching out into millions of possibilities can be dazzling, mind-boggling.

Back down here on Earth we have full lives, we have children, we have careers. So I intend to savor every moment, grateful for whatever it is in its perfect manifestation, without looking ahead…because, how often and for how long, really, can we enjoy something truly shining and new?


I’m not even sure how to approach this topic, so I’m just going to come right out and say it:  Truth is, I’m kind of vain. I try not to be and, as a matter of fact, I’m a pretty low maintenance kind of girl. But I think my looks might be somewhere slightly above average, and I like to look nice…and I like it when people notice that I look nice, and it makes me feel good when they say so.

All that said, this recent lover of mine is perhaps less vocal than I’m accustomed to as it relates to the usual, “you’re so hot” and “you’re beautiful” and the like that men (who want to get a woman into bed) are often inclined to say. Of course, I propositioned him, in this case (as I was simply unwilling to wait any longer for him to ask me out). So…he doesn’t exactly lay it on, and he’s not overly attentive when we’re not together.

I’ve noticed this phenomenon and, while I’m trying to decide whether it matters to me, I’ve considered several lenses through which to observe:

  • It could be assumed that I’m accustomed to being picked up by and getting into relationships with shallow asses, who see how easily their hollow words work in their favor.
  • Is this aloofness (for lack of a more apt descriptor) just who he is? Or is he just not that into me?
  • Does the fact that I find him fantastically gorgeous (oh, those eyes! those perfectly colored eyes and skin and hair! his nose and the line of his jaw and all the proportions are exquisite!) turn him off? Does he find it off-putting that I’m so phenomenally attracted to his physicality? (Of course, all this is true because his pheromones are calling my name and his mind is brilliant…still, I can hardly help but gush!) Is he simply more evolved than all this objectification?

I suppose I’d be a fool to let it go unsaid that the (comparatively few) complimentary things he has verbalized are probably deeper and more meaningful than the usual drivel…take, “I know I’m going to love holding you all night,” for example — and he said it with my name. Kind of hard to beat that, actually.

Among the life lessons I’ve been working on lately are letting go of expectations, living in the moment and enjoying the present. I think I’ve done pretty well at that (relatively, at least). I’m interested in getting to know this fellow for who he is — and I’ve found a lot to like so far…he is different from other guys; he’s exceedingly respectful. Time has a way of providing answers to our questions, but I’m enjoying the now — and I’m not attached to any particular outcome.

So, does it matter? Am I okay with not constantly having my ego stroked in a superficial manner? Put another way:  If he doesn’t find me preternaturally beautiful, am I okay with that?

Finally, I have reached a point in my life at which I can say honestly, truly, I would rather a man find me beautiful inside than merely having a physically beautiful outer shell. I guess I’m learning to let go of ego a bit more, and that a little wisdom is catching up with my age. And that, my friends, is a happy realization.

dirty girl

I woke Sunday morning and pulled on the same clothing I’d worn out for cocktails with my lover the night before, brushed my teeth, finger-combed through my bed head and walked out the door to meet a friend for breakfast. I felt a little thrill, remembering those college walk-of-shame mornings so many years ago, and I reveled in the scents and sensations:  the taut dry feeling on my skin where our commingled fluids dried and his scent, our combined smells, clinging to my skin and clothing. I felt blissfully dirty and even a little slutty and I absolutely loved it.

living a double life

Most days, I am a mother, a corporate professional, a leader and an example. And then, every other weekend, while my children are away, I find more and more ways to express the sensual / sexual dimensions of my being.

The oldest of my children now has a “boyfriend,” is on the cusp of tweendom (experiencing the effects of hormones), and has begun to comprehend the suggestive humor and innuendo in certain media that flies over her younger sibling’s head. The media and other stimuli around us continually offers opportunities to frankly and candidly discuss sex and sexuality as a part of life and, particularly, as a dimension of health and wellbeing.

Meanwhile, I am honest about dating and wanting, eventually, to find a life partner.

Still, as open as I am, I feel as though I’m living a sort of double-life:  the matronly, pure-as-the-driven-snow mother figure and the slut. To wit, in the past several weeks and months, I’ve had several opportunities to consider the many aspects of that pleasure-seeking self that I’m most able to express only around 48-hours out of every two weeks:

  • When the woman who comes over to wax my brows last visited, I had her give me the French bikini treatment, as well. As we joked and laughed about grooming, tattoos and more, she mentioned that she’s done a lot of stenciling…hearts and stars and things. That got me thinking what sort of symbol I might want to stencil, if such a thing were to interest me…a peace symbol? No. “Welcome.” If only there were enough space / hair, I would create a welcome mat!
  • As I wrote previously, I was at a sex toy party not long ago, contemplating the kinds of gadgets that would not only enhance sessions with my lover and augment his collection, but also allow me to play and explore on my own. We learned that there are as many nerve endings in the anus as there are in the tip of the penis…(in case that gets your thoughts rolling, as it did mine). Recently, we had an opportunity to incorporate some of these new toys into our adventures…with mind-blowing results.
  • For entertainment, I seem to find myself drawn to titillating theater, cinematic or otherwise, such as the fairytale classic re-interpreted as a modern dance performance set in a bordello. Some such performances are merely fluffy and titillating, others are darker and more murky, such as the movie Shame. I find myself intrigued by the entire spectrum.
  • I’m still taking pole dancing classes, learning more off-the-pole sexy moves. Whether I’m ever brave enough to show any of them off remains to be proven!

I suppose what I mean to express is that, having been there, done that (in terms of marriage, family, divorce), I no longer feel the need for pretense:  unlike some of my younger, pre-marriage girlfriends, I’ve no need to play the role of “good girl.” (I’m not certain they really need to behave as if they’re “good girls,” either, but that’s another discussion.) I feel freer than ever to be the multi-dimensional woman — and human, both masculine and feminine — that I am.

And the more I explore pleasure on my weekends “off,” the more I feel a protective reaction — checking and re-checking to ensure I’ve packed all the toys away, for example, as it relates to allowing my children to mature at their own pace. Sometimes I catch myself sending a flirty text while in the vicinity of my children, and feel compelled to check from the corner of my eyes whether they’re seeing what I’m typing or picking up on the expression on my face.

My lover’s youngest is in high school. With his toy collection visible to anyone who opens his nightstand, he assumes his children have run across it. He has also had occasion to tell them that he has plans for the night and “don’t wait up.” Still, he feels this same duality between his regular role as parent / professional and sexual being.

We all compartmentalize; we all have boundaries between our personal, professional and parenting lives. Yet I wonder:  Will these selves, kept separate by necessity, ultimately merge into a whole, robust, multi-dimensional being? Sometimes I wonder, and I look forward to such a time when the expression of my whole self seems more fluid.

Meanwhile, I go about living this double life.

a message from the universe

I think the universe wants to keep me silent, tossing extra work and minor household disasters in the way of my writing. Cest la vie. Sometimes these things happen and, while I have plenty to say, I’m obviously to keep mum for a bit. 

Relax, I’ll be back shortly.

wherever I am

After I’d first had that famous conversation with my (at the time) prospective lover, I had two interesting follow-up conversations:

One was with my therapist, with whom I thought I should probably check in. After all, it’s been many moons. Her observation:  “If this is really all about sex for you, why does it already sound so much like a relationship?” Her advice:  “Get clear about what you want and then be clear about what you want. If you want to get the next ’50 Shades of Gray’ out of this, tell him that.”

The second was with my ex-boyfriend who, apparently having read my blog and feeling protective, called to say:  “I know you pretty well. And if you think you can do this without getting emotionally involved, you’re fooling yourself and you’re likely to get your heart hurt. I know it’s none of my business, but take care. You will get what you want; you just need to figure out what it is first.”

Now, having read these two snippets, imagine there’s a continuum between just sex and a relationship. I understand both of these; I’m not sure I understand what’s in between. In other words, I don’t know where on this continuum I am, or even if I’m on it. Or whether he is.

At one end is sex. You’ll recall this has been a bit of a driving motivation for the past few months years. Why? Because my forty-something body is at its prime, roughly the hormonal equivalent of a 19-year-old male, always eager. Yet, had I found just a sport f**k, I would have quickly become unsatisfied with the just of it.

At the other end of the continuum is a relationship. And, as much as I’d like a life-affirming one of these sometime down the road, I don’t feel at all ready for one at present.

Thus my conundrum:  Find a guy who’s a mere stud and bore of the lack of mental stimulation. Or find someone interesting and deal with the inevitable likelihood of developing feelings. I chose interesting. In other words, what I want is something in between sex and relationship…and, though I would tell you that dealing with ambiguity is a strength, it’s been more challenging for me to negotiate than I imagined it might be.

Labeling things, making judgements and categorizing are natural tricks our brains like to perform in order to move us through life efficiently. When we don’t have that sort of clarity, our brains like to fill in the gaps and will go through any amount of mental gymnastics to do so. It’s been fascinating and enlightening to observe my inner dialogue these days, the thoughts that drive my feelings. It would even be fair to say there have been some roller-coaster like emotions — enough to show me that I still have some healing to do. (That’s my stuff; I own it, and I’ve got to deal with it. That’s why I’m not ready or willing to inflict myself of another person in a relationship yet.)

And I’ve also witnessed enough of my own steadiness and resilience to see that many of my lessons — both personal and universal — have sunk in. I’m feeling pretty strong and solid (and also vulnerable) right where I’m at… Wherever that is.

to toy or not to toy?

Eighteen months ago, if a man had told me (and one did) that he was a big fan of toys, I would have found it (and did) a bit too forward for my taste. And I might have questioned his masculinity:  I mean, as a heterosexual woman, I think men already have the ultimate toy (toys, if you include hands and tongue along with the obvious). With my limited imagination and lack of experience in this regard, I wondered if a man saying he liked toys meant that he needed a little help to finish the job. At any rate, the suggestion planted just a hint of suspicion in my mind (i.e. I can safely say I was a bit of a prude).

Now? Well…

Naturally, most single women I know have a toy or two (or more) for pleasure or to satisfy certain needs. I might even have a friend named Bob (my Battery Operated Boyfriend) safely concealed in the back of a drawer. Along with a growing collection of other goodies…grin.

Most women I know have also been to one or more of those house parties with the overwhelmingly-scented lotions and lubes, canned jokes and bawdiness. In fact, I attended one several months ago at which the women knew each other well enough to tolerate an uncomfortable and forced camaraderie. Awkward.

Over the weekend, I was at another of these parties:  This one, however, was filled with like-minded women of a certain age / experience that created an atmosphere charged with open energy and wit. Oh, and plenty of alcohol. Further, our demonstrator was a bona fide sex educator, whose delivery combined facts and straight-shooting advice with her opinions and experience, as well as a healthy interjection of foul language. She came to us from a shop that is open and welcoming to all, where the products are made from the best manufacturers worldwide and adhere to high standards of safety, such as medical-grade silicone. (In the U.S., sex toys are considered novelties and are, therefore, not subject to protective regulations…who knew?! And which may explain why so many novelty shops feel so skeevy).

The party was an enormous success, at least by my standards — I got to take home some new toys. It was fun to contemplate which of so many interesting items to choose, particularly as I thought of complements to the collection of my lover (who, by the way, is the same fellow that told me all those months ago that he was a big fan of toys!).

As my openness to enhancements or accoutrements in the bedroom has grown in recent months, so has the size of my collection. Why not explore, come into my own, see what I like? Ultimately, I say, definitely toy.

And if you want to toy safely, shopping here would be an excellent place to start.