During the final months of my marriage, Nikki and I developed a ritual. Every morning we’d talk on the phone, sharing the day-to-day details of being mothers and women coping with the end of their most significant relationships. Inevitably at some point in the conversation, one of us would start the list. As with almost every other person going through the breakup of a long-term relationship, we had a list of things we were going to do when we “got out.” Two items stood out in particular: we wanted to start this blog, and we wanted to fuck. Let me be specific, we wanted to fuck a lot.
You’re surprised, right? Oh, hush.
I was starved for physical affection. I would have given my right arm to sit beside someone and have them hold me, brush their lips over mine or squeeze my hand. I felt like the desert, parched and yearning for a single drop of physical intimacy. I promised myself that in my new life there would be openly affectionate partners who would love me just as I was. As I struggled through the final days, trying to protect my child and my heart, I dreamed about my new life. But that was the romance novel part of the list. The rest was more explicit. In my ivory tower of the guest room, I plotted and schemed about how to get as much penis as possible.
Tumblr helped, as did upgrading my phone for a better camera. I had sexual fantasies about everyone who crossed my path, from the guy who bagged my groceries to the woman with the beautiful hair at the post office. Not my neighbor, Greg, though. He wore black dress socks with sandals. I can forgive a lot, but not that. At one point I entertained the idea of hanging a map on the wall, complete with little red pins, marking a road trip to meet all the people I flirted with on Twitter. That would have been a long damn trip.
Around that time a close friend of mine predicted that I would go crazy after I separated. She told me that her other divorced friends went through a period of acting out, of fucking and drinking and doing all the things they hadn’t been doing while married. I remember the women she referred to and how I had shaken my head about their outrageous behavior. Then, suddenly, I became that woman..
I was standing at the cusp of something big and wondrous and scary as hell. I was millimeters away from beginning something entirely new, a life that was solely my own. The interminable feeling of waiting for that moment when every part of you is screaming to break free, the pressure of that contradicting action vs inaction, was a pressure cooker inside me. I was ready to blow. In more ways than one.
I will not lie. After I separated, there was a man and a hotel room and the first oral sex I had in eight years. I didn’t know him well, but I was greedy and impatient. The room held the smell of clean sheets and a whiff of tobacco. I wore my favorite heels and panties the color of raspberries. As clothes were unbuttoned and hastily shoved aside, I reveled in the fierce joy of touching him. The texture of his skin underneath my fingertips, the taste of his kisses and the glorious sensation of his lips on my clit. As I lay there basking in an incredible orgasm, gazing unseeingly at the ceiling, I knew it was only the beginning of what I could have. Followed rapidly by the thought, “holy fucking shit what the hell am I doing?”
The months afterwards were intense and there was a lot of fucking. There are still days when I am a big ball of sexual need. The key is not always acting on it. (Nikki, stop laughing.) I have a child and bills and a new life that I’m creating that takes a lot of energy and attention. I’m writing a novel and honing my craft and settling into a new city. Real life and responsibilities often leave me with little extra energy for a Twitter road trip.
To those women and men who go a little nuts after the breakup, I get it now. We all have our version of “crazy.” I empathize with what you’re going through, and I hope that you’re using condoms. Just don’t let it go on too long. At some point soon you should rehydrate, pull up your big girl panties and get on with real life. Because that shit don’t wait.