Illustration by the author
I am your first date in fifteen years. I remember my first date after cordoning off my body in a decade of marriage. No one wanted to touch me sexually–just hold me. I remain hopeful that you process differently, faster through love. I fuck you that morning. You make me breakfast. I look at each corner of your house, inspecting histories, proclivities—searching desperately for companionable aesthetic reflections in a weave, a chair, a drawing. After 40 dates with no reflection, I have almost forgotten myself, my knowledge, my history. Everywhere in your house, you are all that I have accumulated, yet in a tandem world. Lilly and Sophia. You have even named your daughters after names I considered before choosing one for my own, Julia.
We sit on a couch. My foot flinches with a sharp pain and I ask for tweezers. I can’t see the glass, but I know there is a shard puncturing me. I am afraid to bloody your interior, but happy that you have made a mistake, left broken glass unmanaged in this tidy home. I need a mistake. You make haste to clean me, inspect my body, admit your fault. In one bathroom or the other, I lift my foot not to soil other rugs, then lean to meet your lips. Lips never so soft.
Are we doing this? You ask.
I can only smile. It is what I know how to do now. Finally, in my middle-age, I know how to touch, to lick, suck, groan, writhe and grasp my way into other bodies and smile on the other side—I soak into your skin. Your pup whimpers at the scent of us from his corner of the room. I stake territory and gush for you. You are lithe and happy. You change before me. Boy, man, girl, woman, a large-handed elegant creature clambering and climbing into me.
I return to you, even with this burgeoning pain in my back. I can’t help myself. I have wanted you for so long. And there you are. A man who likes women who like women. And a man who likes men. A man who wants a disappearing cock, gentle in body and voice. You are 30 pounds lighter than your picture. You are becoming a new man and your old self–a facile receiver.
I have had a lover in between you and I. One I care for deeply. He attends to my body from night’s dusk and into this morning. His intelligence is in bodies. He anticipates my moves and guides me through sharp pains as I shift my weight and scream. He is G. And I love him. We had sex in quiet ways last night, with tension and no penetration. Another disappearing cock. I have little need of cock today. I am looking for skin orgasms.
I saw the artist Barbara T. Smith during a ritual performance at a museum last year—a group expression of angst after the election. I sat beside her afterwards, both of us sinking into breast pillows on the floor. I told her that I was discovering my sensuality again later in life and spoke of multiple orgasms. I asked her what came next, when everyone warns that the aging female libido dies. The 87-year-old smiled and said that the orgasm is all over her body, consummated by touch. It is the surface of her skin that cums. I leave elated.
G is helping me lift my legs up the wall and relaxes his long frame into my daughter’s pink bean bag. He smiles as he adjusts me, so happy to see my pussy as my legs splay. I am in excruciating pain. I cry in happiness. And I tell him of my mother and her twenty years of debilitating neurological pain, of writhing in full body cramps, her fingers and toes curling for hours. And of my father adjusting her body on the bed hour by hour for decades. I did not understand their love and yet today I do.
And because of that joy, I tell G the truth. I want two partners. One steeped in mental play and distilling life into word and art, the other steeped in the body and available. When G suggests I can find my artist in colleagues and friends, I tell him, I want to be seen in bed both ways.
From a series of erotica by Arwyn Other