There are two things I know to be true about my marriage:
- The sex is just as good as it was when we met in 2006.
- If I had married anyone else, I would have cheated to be with him.
Our initial attraction was so strong, I could feel it. I knew he was someone I had to have, and at the same time, I felt as if he was someone I would only dream of having. His companionship was to be possessed, an entity to hold in my hand so that I could watch it grow and mature. Even after the dangerous sexual energy of our first encounters had become familiar, there was still the humor, the shared interests, and the genuine friendship that kept us close. But I would have given all of that up for the sex.
It was that good.
I’ve spent the last three days working my way through an interesting novel I picked up at a local Goodwill, Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen.
Loose Girl is Kerry Cohen’s captivating memoir about her descent into promiscuity and how she gradually found her way toward real intimacy. The story of addiction – not just to sex, but the male attention – Loose Girl is also the story of a young girl who came to believe that boys and men could give her life meaning.
As soon as I saw the book cover in the store, I knew part of this story I would be reading would be the same as mine. In her memoir, she writes:
Boys and girls come together, and then they move on to the next. I want a boyfriend, but if I can’t have that, I’ll take this stand-in. It’s satisying somehow – the hopeful waiting, the flirtatious exchange, and then the rapt, sudden sexual attention. I begin to enjoy the immediacy of gratification. I still feel let down later when it is over and I am left alone, but this doesn’t keep me from going back for more.
For so many years of my life, that is how I felt. Intimacy was just a way to pass the time, to keep me occupied with something other than work. It was also a way to make me feel connected to something, to someone, and the anticipation of where the encounter would lead was enough to give me purpose. But it was always temporary. When I met him – this man who would become my husband – I had a new purpose. My days and nights consisted of him, his attention, his attraction, his companionship, and his intimacy. He was the kind of man that made me want to do everything possible in one night as if that one night could possibly be the last. The first time we were intimate is such a fond memory, one I will never forget, and I keep it close to me at all times. It’s a story to be told at a later time.
As for tonight, we awake, after gorging on pizza and root beer and watching an NBA game, on the upstairs sectional lying head-to-head. We seemed to have found one another in our sleep. His arms are over his head wrapped around my shoulders. My lips are pressed against his neck, ready to provide kisses to his supple skin. We find ourselves unintentionally close in the late night illumination of the TV screen. This closeness seemed dangerous and forbidden when we were just beginning to date, but now that we are married, it seems destined and perfect. I’m not sure who awakens first. All I remember is that I have the sudden urge to kiss him until his hands find their way underneath my red, satin lingerie. I do. His hands find my skin, and we are wrapped together in warmth and desire. I know that he wants me; I rub my hand across the front of his pants to confirm. Yes, he wants me.
It’s not quite like in the movies when the couple can’t seem to remove themselves from one another. It’s more like the intensity becomes so much that we need to take a break – to pull ourselves apart just to take a breath. We stand, looking at one another in the light of the TV. I make the decision. I move toward the bedroom where we will have more space. He follows. As soon as we are on the bed, he’s inside me – on top of me, wrapping me up in his maleness. I never feel more beautiful than when we make love. I have all of his attention, and in these moments I have the power to do whatever I want. He moves his hands through my hair and onto my hips, pulling me closer and pushing in deeper. As I thrust against him, I reach underneath to massage him as he works – something I don’t normally do. It brings him to ecstasy, and it feels so good to know there’s nothing between us, nothing that keeps us apart. In the next instant, he nestles his head between my legs and nearly brings me to tears. When it ends, he retreats to the bathroom as I lay there waiting for the rhythm of my heart to normalize and my panting to slow down. So many thoughts run through my mind – our first time, the times right after, our wedding night, this night – I think about how they all stack up, about how he still has my attention after all these years. He brings me a warm cloth and chuckles that I am still lying immobile on the bed.
We engage in our usual complimentary banter. I begin, “Where did you learn that, babe? Who’ve you been practicing on?”
He rolls his eyes and smiles. “What about you? You play with balls now.”
He noticed, and he liked it. “Yep, I like balls,” I say, suggesting that he’s not the only one.
He laughs out loud and gives me the look that says I’m going to get you. Of course, he knows, he is the only one.
We make our way to the kitchen. I look at him amusingly. He asks, “What’s so funny?”
I look him up and down as he stands there eating an apple pie from Pizza Hut and drinking another glass of root beer, wearing nothing but socks. He’s slim, muscular, sexy, and hilarious. He smiles back at me lovingly and asks if I’m coming to bed with him.
This is how I know number 2 is true. Our connection is explosive and not just sexual. I love everything about him, and I want to stay in a marriage with him through his mistakes. He’s one of the first people who makes me feel as though I am getting just as much from a relationship as I am putting in. He has worked at that, and I have noticed all of his efforts. After having been in this relationship with him, I can’t imagine moving on to someone else. Nights like this remind me what brought us together in the first place – the playful banter, the laughter, the closeness. If we were to split, I know that I would find my way back to him. Kerry Cohen stated it best:
This is what I’ve been waiting for, what I’ve been hoping for practically my whole life, and now that it’s here I’m thrilled. But I’m also surprised to find that I’m scared – terrified, actually. I’m still not sure I won’t screw it all up somehow, but I try to trust myself for once.