Originally posted August 7, 2012
There is a beast inside of me right now. She’s been neglected for a very, very long time. She’s pissed, starving and demands to be fucked.
If she’s like most women, she’s a sexual anorexic. This is NOT to be confused with a sexually hungry person. A sexually hungry person knows what they want and will do what they need to feed themselves (even if it’s living off Ramen Noodles for a while). A sexual anorexic, on the other hand, has too much pride to admit she’s hungry and gets off on having superior control. She looks down on all those creepy guys in the Tenderloin who stare at you as if you were a dripping, succulent steak. She’s fresh, pure and hops straight off the cover of Cosmo in her size 2 Prada dress.
All that changes when you open your orgasm.
Many guys joke when they hear about it. “Geez, I wish my wife/girlfriend had that problem of wanting to be fucked all the time.” Really? Most men don’t know how to handle a woman when she’s in the throes of indecision of what to order for dinner. You want to throw a 20+ year backlog of unexpressed desire, anger, resentment and trauma into the mix? Good luck.
The current perception of igniting a woman’s sex comes attached with pink feather boas, blossoming flowers and rainbows shooting from vaginas. There also seems to be the annoyingly ubiquitous use of the word ‘juicy.’
Let me set the record straight: forget Barbie and her Sex and the City entourage. Say hello to your dirty, skanky heroin addict.
The other day I woke up in the grips of this otherworldly thing that demanded climax and would stop at nothing to get it. I had just enough consciousness to acknowledge the beast and created the space for her to emerge—and then I plunged pussy-first into the darkness.
I did something I haven’t done in years—I watched porn. Now that may not sound like anything shocking, but what was powerful for me to observe was how utterly helpless I felt in the moment. I needed the drug so bad that I wasn’t going to step out of my room until I had it. I grabbed my phone (which was closer to me than my computer) and searched for ‘free porn.’ I found a video, but when it took too long to download, I gave up and ran for my laptop like it was sexual crack. With shaking hands I flipped up the monitor, typed in my password and found what I needed. The Visitor 3. “I don’t give a shit about parts 1 & 2,” I said to myself. “I just want to get straight to the cock-in-pussy pounding.”
Three minutes later, after I had climaxed, a little bit of reality started to settle back into me. My belly felt swollen, like I’d just wolfed down three Big Macs. I was watching this video of two people clearly not connected to each other. And it was set to some of the worst music I’ve ever heard in my life. I started laughing at myself.
“Have I really become that kind of person?” I thought. “I feel more like a scared, pre-teen boy than a 31-year old woman.”
Then it hit me: this was who was rising to the surface—my hyper-sexual teenager—and she was pissed at being chained in the basement for so long.
There was a period in my life, from ages 11-13, when I would masturbate almost every day. Yet in the midst of that sexual exploration, I also felt profound levels of shame. I saw members of my family struggle with sexual addiction and unhealed sexual abuse. I grew up in the South where young, Christian ladies didn’t do things like that. I had heard boys joke about masturbation all the time, but girls never talked about it. I thought I was a pervert—and yet I couldn’t stop.
Until I was 13 years old and got suspended from school for drug possession. I will never forget the look of abject fear on my mother’s face when she got the news. I felt like this horrible, out-of-control animal that had brought shame upon her. A straight-A student fallen from grace. I made a vow that day to suppress anything that was ‘wrong’ or ‘immoral’—which included my sexual appetite.
Fast forward eight years. I’m 21 years old and I’ve just started dating the man I would eventually marry (who was, incidentally, also the first man with whom I’d had intercourse). I’m away for the summer and I meet someone else—someone who rouses that slumbering beast within me. And I fuck him. And again, I feel like this out-of-control animal. And again, I make a decision to tamp down that wretched appetite. I can’t bear to see the look of pain on my soon-to-be husband’s face.
So for the six-year duration of my marriage, I buried that secret along with my shame and my sex. It’s also no surprise that for those six years, I lived as a food anorexic. If history had taught me anything, it was this:
Appetite = People Getting Hurt
But in the back of my mind, I knew that starving it wouldn’t help. In fact, the harder I pushed it down, the harder it smacked me in the face the moment my attention drifted elsewhere. I had to confront it head on. So I left the marriage and decided I would do whatever it took to recover from anorexia.
The months following the separation from my husband were some of the most humiliating of my life. I felt so insecure sexually that I seduced men just to prove to myself that I could, even though I was clueless about my own desires and hadn’t menstruated in over two-and-a-half years. I cried for five months straight. I found myself, on many occasions, standing in my kitchen pantry at 3am gobbling three or four bowls of cereal in a row, not even tasting what I was shoving into my face.
Yet through it all, I knew I was giving my body exactly what it needed. When you hold a pendulum all the way to the left, it has to swing all the way to the right and back again, multiple times, before it finally finds its center.
And this is how it feels right now in my sex. In spite of the junk-food orgasm and the predator-woman who is ready to jump on anything in her path, I simply have to trust how the path is unfolding before me. It feels like I am going down again, only this time the well is deeper. I have fear of losing everything: my money to the credit card company; my credibility to people who know what they hell they are doing; my fiancé to a younger, skinnier, more sexually-embodied tantric goddess.
And here’s kicker: even with all this sexual appetite, I’m bumping right up against my ineptitude. It’s still so difficult for me to ask for what I want. It’s painful to admit to my lover when I’m faking my own turn-on. It’s agonizing to watch as I lie and withhold my love and gratitude again and again and again.
I recently had someone tell me that fucking me was boring. BORING!?
Dear God. Tell me I’m crazy. Tell me I’m out-of-control. Tell me I’m too much to handle. But boring?!?! With my ego thoroughly eviscerated, I had reached a new low.
So this is orgasm in its rawest form. No sparkly glitter parades or rose-scented sheets. Just a searing burn and unbearable pressure as I sit in the crucible of my sex.
But as I sit here, the words of Anais Nin rise to the surface:
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
And I am reminded of why I chose this path and how lucky I am to feel alive. Those lonely, numb nights of starving madness are a place I can never return. Now that I have had a taste of what’s possible—electric connection, deep love and surrendered pleasure—I have no choice but to burn on.
This is what it takes to move from the chains of bondage to orgasmic freedom. The real sexual revolution doesn’t happen by burning bras or holding on to anger against men; it happens in our own minds, hearts and pussies. And it’s waiting for us, whenever we’re ready.
Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.