Saturday, April 09, 2011

Sex, Sensuality and Sadness

Sex. I’ve been thinking about it lately.
And I really miss it. I miss the animal-ness of having another sweaty body pressed down against mine, the sounds, the smell.

I miss being openly desired, I miss teasing, I miss all the foreplay that comes before. I miss being sexy. I miss being a sensual woman.

And I find myself unsure if I even know how to be sensual outside of him.

I know I don’t have to be. After all I’m a widow. Good widows don’t crave sex. Good widows don’t take about that need. Good widows move forward but do so looking back and sighing. Good widows leave their best years behind them, and walk bravely into the future. Good widows don’t talk about their “toys” either.

Sometime when people ask me how I’m doing I want to say, in a pleasant soft voice with a sweet smile, “I’m horny as hell and really want to get laid.”

I’m a shitty “good” widow.

But it’s not just about the sex. It’s about the desire to be desirable. It’s about having a man openly want me, it’s about my wanting him back.

It’s about being sensual and here is where I struggle. For all of our sex, for all the times we made love, I can’t say that I was ever sensual, I mean really, really comfortable enough to be sensual with Art.

And I’m scared.
Art’s death has splayed me open…. I am raw to the touch, to any emotional breeze. And in a weird way I feel the fool. Foolish for laying there letting anyone see me.

And yet in the fear strangely comes courage and the desire to use my second chance to embrace what I have always wanted to be but been too afraid to try.

It’s the bravery I turn into Sensuality here in Cancun. I love the word, it captures it’s meaning in its pronunciation.

I have dared myself to practice being sensual this whole trip. And in doing so I try to see my body the way Art did: beautiful, soft, curvy and expressive. It’s difficult to ignore the familiar, mean, internal messages. “Your thighs are too big. You have too much cellulite. And good Lord, whatever you do don’t lean over! Your three child stomach skin will hang down like elephant ears.”

My sensuality fights to stay present, in front of me.

On the beach, I study other woman from other places like Brazil and Atlanta. I watch them move in tiny bathing suits with bellies and thighs and bosoms that are the complete opposite of the waif thin I think I should be. And I watch the sensuality float around them, magnifying their sexiness.

I want that. I want to dip myself in it. I want to be amplified. I want to see what Art saw in my body. He didn’t see the stretch marks, cellulite, the wrinkled belly, or the saggy small breasts.

All he saw in that single minded male way was a woman, who he loved with breast that were just right, with a belly that was curvy in all the right places, soft, expressive and holy delicious to look at, to kiss, to stroke.

With those thoughts, Sadness creeps in. There is a man on this trip that I’m interested in. It will be a one night stand. And suddenly standing next to this man, I am lost, not sure how to do this or even if I want to. I am scared I will do something “wrong.” I am still splayed open. I feel unattractive and needy and fuck….vulnerable.

It is here that I see for now, I am trapped between my dead husband and a world that is out there. A world I see and occasionally venture into but for most of the time it waits for me to figure out how I want to engage in it.

And with that, the sensuality is gone. I am a widow. A scared, lost, confused widow. Not sure what to do or how to do it.

I've been here before. I'll figure it out.


  1. Amazing words to capture such complicated emotions. Can I steal your line about being horny as hell and wanting to get laid? I too worry about a new partner/s. My husband loved this body that brought him our two sons - I'm finding out other guys don't really care about the sons and only care about finding perfect bodies. I also love the personal ads I read from the guys who say they want women with no baggage - what jerks - really, like anyone out there is baggage free?

  2. To me, no baggage means they want me to take care of them! Widow in the Middle I hear ya! Thanks for posting.

  3. Your words touched me. My young husband, the love of my life, died in 1990. Those feeling never left me, they lie just below the surface. "Death leaves a memory that no one can heal. Love leaves a memory that no one can steal." So I wrote a book . . . it helped a little.

  4. My husband died from his cancer when I was is thirty years old. I understand the wanting to get laid. It's normal part of reclaimng yourself: your identity, emotions, self expression. Also, it's a part of mourning. I will always wish for that "special time" with my husband again.

  5. Good grief, thank you for this! I thought I was the only one!

  6. Anonymous9:31 AM

    I'm so glad I found this article. I lost my husband 53 days ago. I'm only 43 and my husband a bit older but we were sexually active for 23 years together. I feel lost, lonely and horny as hell. How twisted is that? At least I know I'm not going cookoo and that possibly these horny feelings are all part of the unknowing process of my grieving. Thank you for this.

  7. Anonymous7:06 PM

    I feel exactly the same way. Just lost my wife two weeks ago. Best friend for 26 years
    Lost. Just want to lay naked and hold some one and be held. This can't be normal!! Wtf

  8. Anonymous7:57 AM

    You are an angel for writing this! I too, thought I was the only one with these twisted up feelings. My husband has been dead for almost 2 years. I am extremely horny and sometimes think I might go insane. (I am also in the midst of my sexual peak - REALLY bad timing!) I hoped that these feelings would fade, but they haven't. At times, I think I just want to have a warm body to fulfill my need - and I'm positive that that's all I want. But when I really contimplate that thought - how it would really feel - I know it would leave me feeling cheap and used. I don't think I can bare feeling any worse than I already do.

    Then my mind brings me to my memories of our beautiful, trusting, full-of-love lovemaking and I realize that this is what I am truly longing for. Those thoughts are what brings back the sadness of knowing that I will never have that again. I will never have him again. That is truly all I really want. My husband and I were very sexually compatible and always enjoyed a very active, loving, sensual sex life. Knowing that I will never experience his love again kills me! I don't WANT to find someone else to love. I want my husband-and only my husband.