Journal of My 49th Year: Sexuality (Use It Or Lose It)

Sexuality(I’m turning 50 at the end of this year. So for the next 12 months, I’m going to tackle different parts of what turning 50 means to me. Here’s entry number three. Find the series here.)

I was a late bloomer when it came to my sexuality. Sure I’d been having orgasms since I was a teen thanks to having learned about masturbation long before I even had a boyfriend. I was my own first love.

I didn’t lose my virginity until I was a junior in college. He was my first real boyfriend and everything was great. Until he slept with his old high school girlfriend and I couldn’t extricate myself from the relationship because I was in love, and yeah, because he was my first. I started dating his best friend and in a wrong way, that felt right and helped me get over him. (Years later, I slept with his other best friend and then I really got over him.)

My dating trajectory after college followed along a predictable path filled with boyfriends, one night stands and periods of celibacy.

I was in my mid-20s when I met my first husband. I thought he was oh so handsome. We clicked in many ways but in other ways, we didn’t. We got married anyway, because at the time we loved each other, and had a kid. But our relationship changed. We both changed.

And I became asexual. I was unhappy in the marriage and uncomfortable in my skin. I gained weight and started dressing frumpy to hide my sexuality. I was not a sexual being. I was a mom. Sex between the two of us became a negotiation. A tit for a tat. We had another kid but we did not have a strong marriage. And a few years later we got divorced.

After our divorce, I started exercising. I lost weight and rediscovered both myself and my body. And I became interested in sex again. I dated a few guys, slept around a little bit. Then I met the man who would become my second husband.

So now as I teeter on the edge of leaving my 40s, this is what I know about my sexuality: I am a sexual being. I am a much more sexual being than I ever was when I was younger. Yes, people can change.

Part of it is being with the right person. A partner who brings out the best of you. Someone that you can be open and honest with about sex. What you like, what you don’t like. What you’ve never done but think you might want to try. Someone that is confident in their own sexuality.

My husband is that person for me. We’re in to each other. Physically and mentally.

And the other part, I think, comes from maturity. Knowing yourself better and being confident with who you are. I came to this confidence much later in life but I tell myself that the important thing is that I’m here.

But then of course, there’s fear. The fear that I don’t want my sexuality to shrivel up and die. That if I don’t embrace it, it will go away.

So one of my anti-aging mottos is “Use it or lose it.” And that’s not just for my sexuality. It holds true for my body and my mind as well.

So far, it’s working for me.

 

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