I count it a blessing to have so many sex positive friends in my social media feeds. They remind me that I can feel empowered in my skin. They remind me to appreciate the many things that make me feel beautiful and sexy about myself. That is, in the short moments I take to watch their videos or read their posts.
I have been in this harried rush for the last several months. It wasn’t about resting in the present. I didn’t have enough time. I was forecasting my existence into a future I imagined. I was always busy being busy. I didn’t prioritize the things that matter most to me. And then I got hurt.
There are many versions of what got me in a splint. I have a temper. I was being gangster. I was being forceful in my job duties as a bill collector. The reality is, I was carrying too much that I didn’t want to drop. (Literally and figuratively because how you do anything is how you do everything.) I saw the door closing on me and tried to slide through it. I ended up getting caught by the arm. I was in an arm brace for a week and that week forced me to slow down.
The most significant thing for me in not being able to do much was that I was able to read. If you have been with me since I started blogging here, you might recall that I couldn’t write for a really long time. I was told that my love of reading and writing were responsible for my marriage ending and, in that devastation, I was unable to string along a couple of sentences, creatively. I was unable to get past the first two chapters in my favorite genre. One day I was able to start writing again and in focusing on my first crush in over 15 years, I was able to step outside of the trauma of divorce and I was able to write. With each word and how I looked at my life, I found healing. Up until this weekend, I was unable to read a book for pleasure. But I did. I’m in the middle of the second in the series which is far from 2-3 novels a day, but I’m reading. The ripples of what this means to me are still lapping around me in moments of joy but there is so much to reading that I’m still unpacking. It’s an assurance that I am who I am and knowing that there is nothing wrong with my love of literature. It’s knowing that it’s taken years, the greater loss of my twins and finding myself in a relationship I knew was wrong but accepted because it was temporary.
It goes back to writing those first blog posts and what I brought up in the first paragraph of this post. . . It goes back to feeling sexually empowered. When I first started dating, I was doing the online thing. I was exploring what I wanted in a man for the first time since my very early twenties. I was still feeling like giving pleasure was the only aphrodisiac I needed. I won’t say this is why I got so many dick picks, catfish trying to fund their lifestyle or men that wanted me to humiliate, degrade and hurt them. I didn’t want any of that stuff, but the idea of giving, in some way, probably made itself clear in my profile and vapid selfie moments. I do have a voicemail or two I still listen to when I’m in the mood for belly laughs. But so not the point. It’s that I was willing to entertain the idea of slapping a man, spitting on him, binding him with rope . . . because they wanted me to. (It was always the most beautiful ones and I still recall the blue eyes that first made me think it wasn’t too much to ask). It’s not at all something that I enjoy. It doesn’t excite me. It isn’t something I’m into at all. I like strong men that wouldn’t put up with that from me or anyone. It was a compromise of what I wanted for what was available to me.
Since my last relationship ended in December, I had decided that dating just isn’t a priority for me right now. Working is. My boys are. Finding my happy place in everything I choose is. I do my own handy work around the house. Whether it’s light plumbing, electrical, or hanging new curtains, I’m comfortable with a hammer and power drill. I take care of myself. I’m really good at it too. For Mother’s Day I bought myself panties and pearls. I bought a pearl bracelet and earrings but could not stop laughing at the idea of buying myself a pearl necklace. Part of it is that sex is always on the brain and I’m very immature. Part of it was the idea that giving myself a pearl necklace takes away anything unique a man could give me at this point. Maybe my imagination is limited. But I’m content with my life as it is. I’m sure I’ll go back for that pearl necklace soon but getting me to change my mind about dating is going to take someone special. He probably runs and lifts weights while towering over most people. He’s about my age. I’m still me. I still love watching a man on his afternoon run, but I no longer catcall while driving past him. I love them tall and beautiful. Smart is so sexy. And dominant men are everything. It’s just hard to find a man more dominant than me, who is not also extremely insecure and jealous. While I love the idea of being with a man again, it’s just not a priority. I’m no longer willing to settle for Mr. Right Now and that represents so much growth for me. My standards are high but I realized (just yesterday), I’m living what I said so long ago. Men don’t compete for my attention with other men. They’re competing with me and it’s really become a question of, “can you add value to the time I could be happy spending alone?”
A couple of years back when I first started dating, my main rule was he had to know it would never last. I didn’t want to get married or have anything serious. I didn’t want anyone trying to move in or tell me what he wanted me to do with my life and career. The last relationship kinda threw all of that out the door, because heaven knows what won’t I do for a dominant and strong man. But we settled on each other. We suffered through what we knew we didn’t really want. I needed to learn that lesson.
I was recently thinking of one of the men I briefly had a romantic fling with. It wasn’t too serious. But I liked that. I wasn’t ready for serious. I wanted to just live separate lives and spend a little time together. I wondered if I would want to go back to what we were toying with, and I realized I wasn’t interested in that. That realization showed me how much I’ve grown. It was a moment when I saw that who I was would have been happy with the limitations there. I’m not that person anymore and who I am now is a person that understands that we’re not even in the same league anymore.
Growing in my relationships is a lot like true dominance. I don’t need to say what I will or won’t take in a relationship just as I don’t need to say I’m in charge. It’s in what interests me. It’s in the authority I live in. It’s in how easily I give things a hard pass or what boundaries I set up. It’s what I allow to happen and how I allow others to talk to me. I don’t feel like I need to make myself a certain way. Don’t get me wrong, I believe relationships require compromise. I just don’t feel like I need to step outside of myself into who I’m expected to be.
I noticed my walk of confidence shifting. It’s with me when I’m relaxed and my thoughts aren’t rushed, but it’s not a strut through life like armor for a fight. Part of that is because I haven’t been on the prowl in a while, but I also feel like that shift is part of who I am. It’s not something to put on or become. It’s who I am. In the power and aggression I own, I know who I am. I’m still really aggressive when I’m interested in a man but that’s only because I know that initial introduction is a small taste of who I am. If he can’t handle that, he can’t handle much else. I’m no longer in a place where I need to hide or subdue my strength. It’s confidence. It’s being at peace with who I am in my skin. It’s knowing I’m sexy without needing to see myself through someone else’s eyes. Now if I could only be at peace with the many things I can’t control . . . But that’s another post.