Natalie Zed: Defying Gravity

Thursday, June 04, 2009

a wretched anniversary

I am breaking a rule by writing this post. In addition to not writing about my job, I have stalwartly avoided writing about my sex life. I have several reasons for this, including: I have already written a book about my sex life, so revisiting the topic seems somewhat indulgent; I do have some personal boundaries; and, until June 28th 2008, my sex life was not only mine but my ex-husband's, and I respected his privacy; and, perhaps most importantly, my family reads my blog. This last point is key. My family are lovely people who've had to endure a lot from me over the years. They don't need to see details of my orgasms on the internet.

Since last summer, however, my sex life has been mine and mine alone (remember that key word ALONE), and I've still avoided bringing it up. Now, however, as one horrifying date has past and another approaches, I am breaking this particular blog-rule of mine and talking about it.

So, Family Members who Read This Blog: you've been warned.

I have not had sex for year.

Actually, a little over a year. In April of 2008, my ex and I went on a trip that was supposed to be our honeymoon and ended up effectively being the end of the relationship (though we were not formally separated for another few months). While on that trip, we had sex for what would be the very last time in our marriage. Prior to that, we'd not done anything approaching sex for a good six weeks (a length of time I considered horrifying, but which my ex seemed to have no problem with whatsoever). That one fateful time I got some action on my honeymoon also marked the occasion when I may have been the drunkest I ever managed to get in my life. We both drank a lot; I know I had at least a bottle and a half of white wine myself, and that I needed a lot of help walking back to the hotel, and what once we got to the hotel I couldn't actually take my shoes off my myself and actually laid down on the bed crying and begging for help. I didn't actually remember the sex until weeks later, when my ex brought it up, and I managed to unearth a very hazy memory of something possibly happening. So, really, that last time barely counts, but it was still The Last Time Sex Happened during my marriage.

Initially, I had absolutely no desire to get any action. I was fucked up and sad all the time, and I was aware of myself just enough to know that even something uncomplicated would be a terrible idea. Then, a the very few romantic-ish encounters I did have ended up either fizzling out before they really began, or by ending up being rather terrible ideas. I realize I haven't really written about my love life (ha!) such as its been either, as I certainly haven't wanted to offend or embarrass or even just bug anyone. In any event, what few opportunities I have had have either not worked out, or were opportunities I ultimately did not want to pursue.

But then Spring came, and sometime in mid-May I realized, to my absolute horror, that I'd gone over a year without so much as a shag. There have been longer droughts than this, to be sure. But this realization has brought with it a ravening pack of insecurities gnawing at everything from my body image to my saleability as a hausfrau. While Spring has been a season of love for everyone else, it's simultaneously made me want to get out meet someone and bust this slump, and made me want to never leave my house again.

But it wasn't just the One Year of Nada passing that made me break down and finally write this post. It was the slow and horrifying creep of another anniversary. Whereas I the one year mark snuck up on me, and I only realized it has passed weeks after it actually happened, I can see this point from afar. On my next birthday, in the middle of July, I will have gone my entire twenty-fifth year, my quarter-century year, without a single bit of action. If that's not a terrifying prospect, I don't know what is.

This post is not an invitation. I am sure that I could go out and find myself a straightforward shag if I really needed to prove something to myself. But what is really behind this my own terror at being single again and, for the last year, not really having any idea what to do. Having time to myself, time to heal and grow and have a really great time, actually, has been both awesome and necessary. But lately I've been feeling to pinch of it, and found myself at a loss for what to do about it.

I haven't brought up my single-and-actionlessness as an issue to many people, but on one of the I think two occasions it has come up, a friend said, "Well. What are we going to do about that?" I joked that I'm not sure I'd even remember what to do at this point, which is both hilarious and a little bit horribly true. As a serial monogamist, I've dated very little, and never really got very competent at noticing when someone was interested in me or knowing what to do if there were (whether I returned the feelings or not). As always, I am sure something fantastic and unavoidable and life-changing will happen. I just need to relax, invest in a plunging neckline or two, and forget about the damn date.

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Natalie Zed updated @ 5:50 p.m.!!