It had been a long day.
A 6:30 start, with a rushed lunch and, to top it all, some petty squabble over who had forgotten the shopping.
All I wanted to do was flop in front of the television and zone out.
I looked at him sprawled on the sofa, feeling that irritation rise at his forgetfulness and wishing that we hadn’t agreed to make tonight ‘the night.’ Wishing, too, that in a moment of wild enthusiasm I hadn’t offered to prepare the bedroom. But I had, so I reluctantly dragged my tired bones off to clean the room up.
Ten minutes later, the curtains were drawn and the candles were lit. The room looked more like a haven and less like the normal dumping ground for dirty laundry, books and shoes. The emotional dirty laundry was to be left outside as well.
As we entered, I felt suddenly shy, and could see that he did too. It had been too long since we’d done this and we’d both lost the knack. How much easier to let sexual urgency overtake us under cover of darkness than to stand in the light, no matter how gentle, and deliberately open to intimacy! We used to be so good at this, when we first met, but then life just crept up and got in the way.
He looked at me and laughed uneasily. “So, what next?” he asked, hoping for a way out and I have to admit part of me would have loved to turn tail as well. The idea of ordering pizza and watching a DVD seemed very appealing. But we’d promised that we’d try to reconnect again, to make up some of that lost ground that had slipped away over the years, so I resisted the temptation to run.
Starting the easy way, I took him by the hand and we lay down on the bed fully dressed, hoping for inspiration. I could feel his resistance and my own too, that little voice which was whispering, ‘this will never work.’ Then he sighed and his body started to relax. I started to settle into it too, my belly softening against his. It was so comforting that feeling of lying belly to belly, feeling the soft rising and falling as our breath deepened and synchronized.
Low down, I started to feel a slight fluttering, pulling sensation—our lower chakras connecting, energetically reaching out to each other. Tuning in to what was happening, I could feel the warmth that was being generated as our energies connected. It felt like liquid sunshine spreading out around my womb, down to my thighs and up towards my solar plexus, carrying with it a deeply healing energy.
I looked up at him, meeting his eyes. Gone was that guarded look I had got so used to seeing in his face. He looked relaxed and open. “It feels nice,” he said simply.
And yes, it did feel good. My heart had that same warm feeling—an open, happy kind of sensation—and my throat and forehead were pulsing slightly. Only the solar plexus still felt a little numb—the result of that silly argument earlier, perhaps.
He stroked the back of my head, a gesture I hadn’t felt in years. I smiled, knowing my face probably carried a softness that he hadn’t seen in a long time either. We’d both missed the tenderness. Had we really been so caught up in ourselves that we couldn’t be bothered to simply make time? I felt a pang of regret at some of the rough treatment we’d been giving each other recently.
He put a hand under my chin and lifted my face towards his for a kiss. There was no rush, this time, no goal to gallop towards. The pattern that we’d fallen into of quick sex the odd night before falling asleep was finally being broken, and we were both still feeling a little shy at the thought of taking our clothes off without relying on a torrent of sexual passion to carry us through. So we just kissed, savoring the slow deliciousness of it.
But the energy built anyway, and as he pressed his body closer to mine, I could feel his arousal matching my own. It would have been easy to get distracted back into seeking a quick release and I pulled back just slightly.
“Let me undress you,” I said.
He sat up, looking a little sheepish.
This wasn’t just for his benefit, though. This was my opportunity to reconnect with a body that I had started to take for granted.
Working my way from the top, I took my time. I noticed the freckles and scars, the softness of the skin on his underarm, the veins along the outside of the muscles. I touched and kissed parts of his arms and torso that may not have been touched with tenderness in years. At first he tensed, then started to enjoy the unexpected attention.
I moved downwards, completely engrossed in what I was rediscovering under my hands and mouth. And his body responded beautifully – opening, pulsing, accepting. Kneeling at his feet, I could sense how vulnerable he felt just standing naked in front of me, and how he might have liked to relieve that vulnerability with a few quick thrusts.What I was seeing, though, was not weakness but power—a man standing openly, accepting, not hiding. He looked and felt so different from the man I had been arguing with over the shopping. And I was awed. I kissed his feet in what seemed a totally natural gesture in the moment. And he understood. As I looked up, his eyes held that same strength, as well as a softness that touched me deeply.
“Your turn now,” he said, bringing me back to my feet.
Afterward, I reflected on why it had taken so long and seemed so much of an effort to just make time for intimacy.
It had been too easy to make small excuses—tiredness, work to do, not in the mood, a good film to see. And the longer we’d left it, the harder it had seemed to contemplate baring ourselves to each other again in that way. Below the surface, as well, all the little angers and hurts that we’d stored up just added to the reasons why we wouldn’t make time. The channels of love and trust between us had got clogged up.
Yet the love we had just reconnected with by being so intimate had started the process of rekindling respect and trust between us again. The channels felt open and flowing once more. And all it had taken was a small amount of determination, a dash of courage and a shared willingness to get over ourselves and make time.
(Originally published on Elephant Journal)